+0
1. Have you ever seen a Korean movie?
2. Have you ever watched a Korean movie?
3. Have you ever seen a Korean TV program?
4. Have you ever watched a Korean TV program?
Which of the sentences are not acceptable?
Thank you very much for your reply.
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1. Have you ever seen Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" (correct)

2. Have you ever watched Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" (incorrect)

Is sentence #2 acceptable in American English?

I would say that both are acceptable in American English, though there is a subtle difference in emphasis. The first sentence stresses the fact or result, and the second stresses the process or the experience. So you might simply say "Yes, I've seen the movie." or "Yes, I've watched the movie very carefully three times studying the director's style," or "yes, I first watched the movie as a child, in my pyjamas, in my parents' car at a drive-in theater that doesn't exist anymore."

As far as "have you ever seen this TV program," or "have you ever watched this TV program" -- to me, "watched" implies sitting and watching an entire episode, or perhaps watching regularly, while "seen" might just imply catching a glimpse of it. "Have you ever seen "The Fabulous Fruit Bat Saves the World"? "Well, I've seen it once or twice. My husband watches it, but I can't imagine why he likes it!"
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Hi Teo

Though I myself am an English learner, I feel all the sentences are correct. "You see something" is "the thing comes into your sight" and "you look at something" is "you direct your sight toward the thing". And "you watch something" is "you keep attentively looking at the thing". It's my way of understanding the three actions.

paco
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All are OK. My personal preference is for "seen". CJ
According to Michael Swan's Practical English Usage (p493, third edition),

1. Have you ever seen Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" (correct)

2. Have you ever watched Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" (incorrect)

Is sentence #2 acceptable in American English?

Thank you very much for your reply.
Paco2004 "You see something" is "the thing comes into your sight"
Generally, I like your notion of three actions, Paco, and I think it is useful to distinguish between the various words we want to use for our visual functions.

It was William Blake who said a couple of things (that are particularly applicable to the education of artists)--'We see, not with the eye, but through the eye', and, 'A wise man sees a different tree than the fool'.

'Seeing', then, includes the action of grasping the significance of the array within the viewing field. Babies look at the world, and they watch the activity around them. But babies do not see, in the sense above, not because they are fools...such a term cannot apply to babies--but because they have not yet developed the faculty of conceptualizing.

Of course, this more nuanced definition has no real impact on the specific, posted question, which you and CJ have nicely resolved; it's only of interest once the talk shifts into the more analytical side of the issues involved. 'Have you seen' and 'have you watched' are both commonly heard, and I believe, in most circumstance, the intended meaning is the same.

As you suggest, Paco, in this situation, 'seen it' maybe carries a little more passivity, (or maybe a little more sense of reporting an action 'over-and-done-with'), while 'watched it' maybe adds a note of 'paying attention' while seeing it, (or maybe a sense of 'having-followed-the-action').
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Hi Davkett,

Got a question on your response. Is it grammatically correct to say "maybe carries.." or "maybe adds.."? ,or are they just typos?
Rishonly Is it grammatically correct to say "maybe carries.." or "maybe adds.."? ,or are they just typos?

Well, Rishonly, I can say they're not typos.

When you use 'or', do you mean is one correct and the other not, or do you mean are they both incorrect?

If one is incorrect, so is the other. I'd be surprised to learn that they're either grammatically incorrect or semantically inappropriate. Are they unfamiliar phrases to you?

'Carries' vs. 'adds' suggests active vs. passive agency.
Hi Davkett,

Sorry for the confusion. I intended to ask the validity of both "may be carries" and "may be adds"? Both of them sound different and new for me. I think few more examples may help me to understand the usage.
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OK. That's clearer.

Maybe = perhaps

'It perhaps (maybe) carries an implication of passiveness.'

May be = might be/ could possibly be

'That may be (might be/could possibly be) the solution to the problem.'

'Yes, maybe (perhaps) you're right.'
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