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Obviously, I couldn't do much with Chie, Mai and all these other people looking on, so I concentrated on getting as many photos of her as I could before she straightened back up.

What's the meaning of looking on? Watching? If so, is 'on' redundant?
Thanks.
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New2grammarObviously, I couldn't do much with Chie, Mai and all these other people looking on, so I concentrated on getting as many photos of her as I could before she straightened back up.

What's the meaning of looking on? Watching? If so, is 'on' redundant?
Thanks.

Yes, it means watching.
'on' is optional here, but confirms that they were watching the scene.
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looking, to my ear, seems to be restricted to a simple seeing of what is happening.
looking on, on the other hand, nearly suggests (to me) a gathering of people for the purpose of observing with curiosity what is going on.
Mary wiped the stain off her skirt when no one was looking.

Mary felt uncomfortable practicing her ballet steps with so many people looking on.
CJ
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Comments  
It makes so much sense! The girlfriend was suspicious of him checking out other girls.
Thanks, CJ.
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