See | English Usage

See means perceive with one’s eye. It can also mean understand. With these meanings it is not used in the progressive form.

  • I can see a ship.
  • see (NOT am seeing) from his letters that he has worked here before.
  • ‘We have got a problem.’ ‘I see. ’ (NOT I am seeing.)

Continuous forms of see

When see means ‘meet’, ‘interview’, ‘talk to’ or ‘go out with’, progressive forms are possible.

  • He is seeing a German girl at the moment.
  • I am seeing the doctor tomorrow.

See can also be used in the progressive when we mean that somebody is imagining things that are not there.

  • ‘Look! There is a camel!’ ‘You are seeing things.’

Other uses

The expression I will see means I will consider the matterLet me see means give me time to think or recall. Note that a preposition is necessary before the object in these cases.

  • We will see about that soon.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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