I'm learning English now so I need some helps to build on my English.

My question is if I can use the word "see" in "see a movie", because I understand that the correct word to "see a movie or to see tv" is WATCH but I heard some people saying "see a movie" not "watch a movie".

I am so confused really. It's too basic I know but help me please, thanks.


1 Answer 1


Watch is similar to look at, but it usually means that we look at something for a period of time, especially something that is changing or moving:

  • We watch television every evening.

  • I like to sit at the window to watch what’s happening in the garden.


We use see, not watch, when we talk about being at sports matches or public performances, such as films, theatre and dramas. However, we watch the television:

  • We saw a wonderful new film last night. You’ll have to go and see it while it’s in the cinema.

  • Not: We watched… You’ll have to go and watch

(Cambridge Dictionary)

Watch a Movie vs See a Movie:

  • We watched a movie yesterday. This would imply we watched a movie at home (TV/DVD...)

  • We saw a movie yesterday. This would imply that we did so by going to a movie theater.

  • We can also explicitly say that we went to the movie theater and watched Ice Age.

  • 1
    I think both watched and saw can be used for your last example: We went the theater yesterday and saw Wicked.
    – J.R.
    Sep 14, 2016 at 17:36
  • @J.R. is correct with his example. Also note that you can use "see" when describing a particular show (even if watched at home). "I finally saw the last episode of Breaking Bad"
    – eques
    Sep 14, 2016 at 17:40
  • @J.R. - I am referring to your comment here. The second and the third sentences say that see and watch can be used in that context.
    – user5267
    Sep 14, 2016 at 17:53
  • 1
    @xxxxx - Okay, I see that now. I must have gotten confused for some reason. (By the way, I had already upvoted this answer; it's a good one.)
    – J.R.
    Sep 14, 2016 at 18:04