31/1/14

Different ways of looking

To look (at) is the basic verb used in English with the meaning of 'mirar' in Spanish, but there are other related verbs which also mean 'mirar', but in a specific way. These verbs, like to stare, to gaze or to glare, each has a distinctive semantic feature ('rasgo semántico diferencial') which allows it to be used to express 'looking' in a different way. Here are the main ones:

- to stare (at) - to look fixedly (mirar fijamente)
- to gaze (at) - to look intently, as in wonder, delight or interest, at a work of art, a beautiful landscape, etc. (mirar con atención, con la mirada perdida, embobado, etc., contemplar una obra de arte, un hermoso paisaje, etc.)
- to glance (at) - to look quickly, momentarily, superficially (mirar rápido, echar una ojeada)
- to glare(at) - to look angrily (mirar con enfado/furia, airadamente)
- to scowl (at) - to look angrily, annoyed, bad-tempered, with strong disapproval (mirar enfadado, molesto, de mal humor, con desaprobación)
- to gape (at) - to look with your mouth wide open, as in wonder or curiosity (mirar embobado, boquiabierto, con admiración, curiosidad, etc)
- to peer (at) - to look closely, with difficulty (mirar de cerca, con dificultad, con ojos de miope)
- to peep/peek (at) - to look slyly, with curiosity, secretively, through a small opening or behind something (mirar furtivamente, mirar por una rendija/un agujero, etc., espiar)
- to glimpse - to look momentarily, so that the object is hardly perceived (entrever, vislumbrar)
- to ogle - to look with lust (mirar con lascivia)
- to leer (at) - to look in an unpleasant, malign or lascivious way (mirar de modo desagradable, con malevolencia o lascivia)
- to gawk/gawp (at) - to look stupidly (quedarse mirando a alguien como tonto, embobado)
- to goggle (at) - to look at something with wide open eyes as in amazement or wonder (mirar con los ojos abiertos de par en par, como maravillado o sorprendido)
- to squint (at) - (a) to look with one or both eyes partly closed trying to see more clearly or as a reaction to strong light (entornar los ojos para ver mejor o por culpa de una luz muy fuerte); (b) to have eyes that look in different directions (ser bizco, bizquear)

EXERCISE

Replace the words in italics by the appropriate verb from the lexical field of looking:

1.- Whenever I arrived late, my grandma used to look angrily at me.
2.- She heard a shout and looked quickly over her shoulder.
3.- The children were looking open-mouthed at the clowns' performance.
4.- The little boy crept up and looked curiously through a tiny hole in the fence.
5.- The man standing next to her on the bus kept looking lustily at her.
6.- They all looked fixedly at me when I came into the room.
7.- He used to sit for hours admiring the beautiful scenery.
8.- "It's the third time this week that you're late", the boss said looking at her with strong disapproval.
9.- The judge took off his glasses and looked closely at the document.
10.- She perceived briefly a figure at the window.

KEY

1.- glare; 2.- glanced; 3.- gaping; 4.- peeped/peeked; 5.- ogling/leering; 6.- stared; 7.- gazing at; 8.- scowling; 9.- peered; 10.- glimpsed.


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