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From Fly High 4 by Jeanne Perrette & Charlotte Covill (suspiciously French-sounding names...) by Pearson Longman, unit 13, page 40, "They went through town":

"I can see Claudia and Magnus," shouted Jack. They're getting on the train. Run!"

Isn't the instantaneous Present Simple more appropriate in the given context and doesn't it describe the events more accurately?

"I see Claudia and Magnus," shouted Jack. They're getting on the train. Run!" ?

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Both I can see Claudia and Magnus and I see Claudia and Magnus are possible. Swan in Practical English Usage (p102) notes that the first variation is more common in British English, while the second is more common in American English:

Section 125 see, hear, feel smell, taste

...To talk about seeing, hearing etc at a particular moment, we often use can see, can hear etc (especially in British English):

  • I can see Susan coming.
  • ...I can taste something funny.

In American English, I see/hear etc are common in this sense.

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