13

I am watching TV and some kids are walking in front of me and happen to block my vision and I can not watch TV.

Is it correct to say "Could you get out of my sight? I can not watch TV" or "You are in my sight"?

The same way to say "get out of my way" and "you are in my way".

17
  • 15
    My father used to say sarcastically "You make a good window!" (That is, 'I can't see through you'). You could say "Hey, you're blocking my view (of the TV)!" Dec 7 '21 at 14:37
  • 5
    "You're in my sight" means "I can see you."
    – stangdon
    Dec 7 '21 at 14:39
  • 20
    @Kate, my mother would say (sardonically but not sarcastically) that I made a better door than a window!
    – randomhead
    Dec 7 '21 at 15:58
  • 6
    Note that the specific phrase "get out of my sight" is a moderately rude way of telling someone to go away. Probably not the impression you want to give.
    – Hearth
    Dec 8 '21 at 1:59
  • 7
    @KateBunting "You may be a pain, but you are not a window!" ;-) Dec 8 '21 at 8:13
41

Almost. Get out of my sight, means get away from me. It means you want the other person to remove themself from your presence. In AmE we would be more likely to say You are in my line of sight, meaning between you and something you are trying to look at (i.e. the TV).

I would probably say, Hey, you're blocking the TV. Everyone would know I was talking about my line of sight.

7
  • 11
    I think line of sight would also be better in BrE.
    – mdewey
    Dec 7 '21 at 16:37
  • 17
    Or "You're blocking my view" [of the TV is implied here]
    – spacetyper
    Dec 8 '21 at 5:33
  • 6
    @mdewey, in BrE the correct phrase is "you make a better door than a window"
    – Separatrix
    Dec 8 '21 at 14:55
  • 1
    @Separatrix While I think I've heard that metaphorical phrase, it doesn't seem at all common — I wouldn't expect all Brits to know it, nor to understand its implication (without a little thought).
    – gidds
    Dec 8 '21 at 15:15
  • 1
    @gidds as noted in comments on the question, it's quite common to AmE speakers.
    – FreeMan
    Dec 8 '21 at 15:57
21

You are in my sight, so I cannot see the TV!

No, this does not make sense in any normal context. You cannot say this.

As Kate and Ellie have mentioned, what you want to say in this situation is that the person is blocking your line of sight to the TV, or that they are blocking your view of the TV.

In this usage my sight and my view are not synonyms—or, rather, they sort of are, but you don't actually want to say "my sight/view." If something is in sight or in view it means you can see it from your current position; for example, from your current position you probably can see the window, and the other chair, and the doorway, etc, etc. All of those things are "in your sight" but they are not preventing you from viewing the TV.

What you want to say is that the person is hindering your view of the TV. This prepositional phrase with "of" means that you are able to see one specific thing, or not, in this case. Idiomatically, we do not say that someone is blocking our sight of something; we only use view of.

The following are all more-or-less idiomatic, and mean what you want them to mean:

Get out of my view of the TV!
Stop blocking [my view of] the TV!
You are between me and the TV!
Get out of my line of sight to the TV!

That last one is a little less idiomatic but still understandable.


If you say "Get out of my sight" that literally means you want the person to go away completely, that is, move themselves so you cannot see them at all. It does not mean that you want them to get out of your line of sight to some object. And it has the further meaning, by extension, that you are very angry at or disgusted with them, and you do not want them to even be near you. If I told someone to "get out of my sight" and they simply walked around to stand behind me, they would be taking the literal meaning but not the deeper one.

3
  • 9
    Good answer. I would say however (as a native English speaker--US Midwest) that this one sounds a little odd to me: "Get out of my view of the TV!" What sounds natural to me is "get out of the way" or "you're blocking my view."
    – zedmelon
    Dec 7 '21 at 23:36
  • 4
    @zedmelon agreed. I've lived in many parts of the US. While I would understand the request, I would attribute it to a non-native AmE speaker.
    – FreeMan
    Dec 8 '21 at 15:59
  • 5
    "No, this does not make sense in any normal context. You cannot say this." I think that's a little harsh. As a native speaker, I understood immediately what OP meant, even if it's a little clunky.
    – BruceWayne
    Dec 8 '21 at 16:42
12

Do not say "...get out of my sight..." in this context.

The phrase "Get out of my sight!" is an idiom which usually means "Go away!" but with a harsher tone. It implies you don't want the person to even be in the same room as you... because even seeing them in your peripheral vision would anger you!

Say "...get out of the way..." instead.

When a person is watching TV, or sitting in a stadium, or watching an opera, then it is generally understood that each viewer needs a clear line of sight to enjoy the show. In these situations, "...get out of THE WAY..." can be used very similarly to how it is used on a roadway or sidewalk.

In these audience situations, the "person-in-the-way" is obstructing the audience's line of sight in much the same way as a "person-in-the-way" is obstructing traffic. Strangely, however, making things more personal by saying "...get out of MY way..." would sound quite strange in this context... so I guess it is not quite a perfect analogy.


For more guidance, the other answers her offer plenty of good advice, particularly in terms of explaining how "... the view ..." and "... the way ..." are different ways in which a "sight line" or "line of sight" is natively understood/contextualized versus "sight" alone sounds/feels incorrect in the specific context.

Please, get out of the way! I am trying to watch TV!
You're blocking the view (of the TV)!
You're in the way (of the TV)!
You're blocking my view! (of the TV)!
You're in my way (of the TV)!

5
  • 2
    "Get out of the way" is entirely understandable, but it usually carries a tone of rudeness, anger or annoyance on the part of the speaker. i.e., it's not the polite way of asking. It's good for the 4th or 5th time of asking, though.
    – FreeMan
    Dec 8 '21 at 16:00
  • 1
    "Hey, could you move? You're in the way."
    – Cullub
    Dec 9 '21 at 21:49
  • Why is the last entry struck through? "You're in my way" is very common usage in every state I've been to in the US, and I'm pretty sure could be easily understood in pretty much any english-speaking country (stand in front of the TV at a bar during playoffs of the locale's preferred sport, and see how often you hear it! -- but I disclaim any responsibility for whatever other words or objects may be thrown at you during this test!)
    – Doktor J
    Dec 10 '21 at 15:33
  • @DoktorJ In my Midwestern US experience, "...in THE way..." feels like the more idiomatic default for these kinds of "viewer" scenarios and I was mostly trying to steer the OP away from defaulting to "...in MY way...". Sure, the MY version is understandable, but making it possessive seems more intense/confrontational than the default. Dec 10 '21 at 19:17
  • @AmateurDotCounter I agree the possessive form a bit more confrontational, but I think either is well-understood.
    – Doktor J
    Dec 11 '21 at 2:15
10

I would usually say, “You’re blocking my line of sight,” or “You’re blocking my view.” Or “blocking my vision” could also work. In the right context, I might say, “You’re in the way,” although this can also mean that I want to move past you.

As others have mentioned, “in my sight,” without context, usually means that someone is close enough for you to see. “Get out of my sight,” is very insulting and means you don’t want the person anywhere where you could see them. There’s no particular reason I can think of that, “You’re in my sight,” is not idiomatic English, but it isn’t. Good guess, though, and good question!

5

If you ask someone to get out of your sight, it means that you want them to leave the room or go far enough away that you cannot see them anymore. It's rude.

If you ask someone to get out of your way, it means that you need to pass through where they are, and you'd like them to move so you can do that.

If you ask someone to get out of the way, it means that there's an important path between something and something else that they are blocking, and you would like them to move. This includes blocking your view of the TV, and is indeed something that we might say in that situation. The assumption is that it's obvious what they are in the way of. It's also what we would say to someone who is blocking a parade route, so the context is important.

2
  • 1
    +1 - in the OP's circs, I would say "You're in the way" (BrE native). Agreed this can also be used if I want to move in a particular direction, but under those circs I'd be inclined to say "Get out of the way!" (but that has a certain amount of brusqueness) Dec 8 '21 at 15:32
  • +1 to this, because "get out of my sight" is automatically understood as "I don't want you in my presence at all". I've heard (sometimes abusive) parents use it, as well as bosses, and it's always meant as "get out of the room entirely, you disgust me, I don't want to see you at all"
    – Doktor J
    Dec 10 '21 at 15:35
1

An American (and maybe other countries) colloquialism that would mean the same is "down in front!"

It comes from stadiums, theaters, and other locations where there are people walking in front of you. Granted, it's not the nicest thing to say, but it can sometimes be used humorously.

1

All variants of the statement "I cannot ... because you ..." tend to sound impolite / offending. Be they correct (in a technical sense) or not.

I suggest: "Would you please move to the side a bit, I would like to watch TV?".
(This is inspired by Marshall Rosenberg's "Nonviolent Communication")

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .