The beauty of the English language lies in its usage. See, even a blind man can say, ‘I see’ to mean, ‘I understand’ or ‘I get the point’ depending on the situation. This is so often used when one gets a mental picture of something or someone regarding anything. However, we basically see someone or something, using our eyes, sense organs. Grammatically speaking, the word see as a verb is used in both ways, transitively (with an object) and intransitively (without any object).
It is very interesting to learn that we can’t say, “I see the sea. However, we can say that I can see the sea, says ‘Collins Cobuild English Usage’, an authoritative book on the English language. It is well-mentioned on the page number- 472. Such a thing is the subject matter and the subtleties of English Grammar, a rule book of the English language.
Let’s see how the land lies when greeting someone in English. “Be seeing you” could be yet another way for even a visually impaired person to say goodbye or bye-bye, a sort of greetings while parting. So is the case with the expression “don’t bother seeing me out”, when the host tends to see the guest to the exit door. Further, to welcome one, any member of the family can see to answering the bell when it rings.
Remember that a doctor is seen to be offering his or her services to one and all, irrespective of their physical status. Therefore, when it comes to seeing a doctor of medicine, even the blind can see him/her, as seeing a physician is consulting a physician. Hence, even the blind see a medical practitioner about their sickness or illness and can seek medical advice.
Furthermore, everyone, regardless of their eyesight, was required to receive a coronavirus vaccination seeing that there was no specific medicine for the pandemic. Here, ‘seeing that’ is a conjunction for the meaning of ‘considering that/ knowing that’.
So you can see from this write-up that the word “see” has both literal and figurative meanings and uses depending upon when you happen to use the verb “see,” whose noun form is “sight,” as in “get out of my sight.” You use it when you want to get rid of someone, or in other words, you don’t want to see their presence. However, this is a bit rude. Being rude is always seen as being lacking in manners. However, monkey see, monkey do.
At times, we forget someone, maybe, following the adage: out of sight, out of mind. However, the noun ‘sight’ has begun to be used as a verb also, as in ‘the man in question was sighted roaming around in the vicinity of our colony yesterday.
Thus, we will be able to see a lot of usages of “see” once we look it up in a good English dictionary like the one from the Oxford University Press. Essentially, we should keep sight of such a book as the saying goes like this, ‘Seeing is believing’, which calls for concrete proof to establish a fact. I am not sure whether you see eye to-eye with this author, Dr Birbal Jha. At times, in our life, we have to accept an unpleasant situation because we can’t change it, saying that ‘what the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over. Hence, we are not worried about things that go on without our knowledge.
To conclude, the word ‘see’ in English grammar is a verb of perception that conveys the experience of one of the physical senses. However, it can be seen as being used for different senses and meanings to communicate varying thoughts and feelings.
The writer of this piece is Dr Birbal Jha, a noted author and the Managing Director of Lingua Multiservices Pvt Ltd having a popular trademark ‘British Lingua’. He is credited with having created a revolution in English training In India with the slogan ‘English for all’.