I read some of the book my son was reading at home yesterday. It read "I look him." Afterwards, I felt curious about the difference between "I look him" and "I look at him" What is the difference between the two?

  • Could you provide a bit more context, please? For example, add the sentence before "I look him" and the sentence after so we can better understand the passage.
    – user11550
    Dec 10, 2012 at 6:34
  • 2
    "I look him" on its own doesn't sound like English to me. However, "I look him in the eye" or "I look him up in the Who's Who of Complete Unknowns" would be ok. Is it something like this? Dec 10, 2012 at 6:47
  • Yes, right. But what the difference between "I look him in the eye," and " I look his eye."
    – 박용현
    Dec 10, 2012 at 6:52
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    @user31377 The difference is that “I look his eye” is not English, and the other is.
    – tchrist
    Dec 10, 2012 at 6:57
  • This is probably the result of a badly edited book! Read some more to see if there are any more "gems" in there. :)
    – Ian Atkin
    Dec 10, 2012 at 7:02

1 Answer 1


It’s important to see the entire context of use. These are all grammatical constructions:

  • look something up

  • look something up and down

  • look somebody in the eye/face

But “I look him” is not an alternative to “I look at him”.

  • 1
    +1, and to generalise, “I look him…” occurs with phrasal verbs of look where him is the direct object.
    – Jon Purdy
    Dec 10, 2012 at 8:38

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