Difference between see and behold

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by krimo, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. krimo Senior Member

    Perpignan, France
    France, français
    Is there any difference between these two words?

  2. carolineR

    carolineR Senior Member

    Indian Ocean
    One (behold) is certainly rarer and more formal than the other.
    Nowadays I believe is is only found in the phrase "lo and behold" wich is generally used humourously to express surprise : ( qui voilà ?/ qui vois-je ?)
    we were sitting at a sidewalk café and lo and behold, my sister walked by :)
  3. texasweed

    texasweed Banned

    French-born/US English
    To behold is not rare in my circles. You behold a fabulous scenery : it's more intense a look, you see? :)
  4. carolineR

    carolineR Senior Member

    Indian Ocean
    in Google's circles :
    behold : 32 300 000
    see : 6 920 000 000
    No offence, Texasweed, just ;)
  5. Talant

    Talant Senior Member

    Don't forget the uses of "beholder" as in "Fear is in the eye of the beholder". A "seer" is quite a different thing.
  6. texasweed

    texasweed Banned

    French-born/US English
    That has nothing to do with the accuracy of the use of the term.

    "embrasser du regard" : 15 900
    voir : 232 000 000

    So what are you getting on my case (again) about?

    Yes krimo, there's a difference : to behold is closer to "embrasser du regard" and "see" is voir (with more or less interest.)
  7. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London but from Yorkshire
    English - England
    I'd say 'behold' was poetic rather than formal.
  8. krimo Senior Member

    Perpignan, France
    France, français
    ok, thanks a lot.
  9. Francis Nugent Dixon Senior Member

    English - France
    I agree about the poetic side of "behold", but there are also connotations of "wonder", and "amazement" when you behold something. Beholding something would be more "mind-shattering" that just "seeing" it. And if I am not too bold, I think "behold" is for a crowd, rather than an individual. It is for "all", rather than "one". I have not even looked up the definition in a dictionary - I just give you the "gut" reaction to the word, since I first saw it used many years ago. Behold would also be used in the written form, and probably not in the spoken form. The bible is the place where it is most used.
  10. Nagastar New Member

    I would translate "Behold" as "Contempler" and "See" as "Voir" in some spiritual texts.

  11. manska86 Senior Member

    UK English
    I think behold is rather taking in the whole of what you are looking at (as Texasweed said, "more intense") and see is simply that you see it, nothing to it, just the physical fact of your eye focussing on a certain object.
  12. Nagastar New Member

    Thank you for your input.

    Best, Nagastar.

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