gaze at/ gaze into/ gaze on

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stephent74

Senior Member
Chinese--Beijing
I find these 3 phrases are quite close in meaning but there is still differece.

Could you give me some idea about the difference.

This is a general question but I can provide a context. Below is a sentence from appointment with death

She sat on a rock, pushed her hands through her thick black hair, and gazed down on the world at her feet.

So, look here, if I use ''at or into'' in this sentence, what do you think of it?
 
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  • cropje_jnr

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    I think 'at' and 'on' both work, but 'into' would only really apply to a world that she is outside of, and that she is looking into (i.e. a miniature world, by implication).
     

    Boxer13

    Member
    United States, English
    Hello.

    If you say gaze down on, it implies that this person is above something and looking down, so it is properly used in this sentence.

    Gaze at: I would say you could use in this sentence as well, but it is not specific as to which direction she was looking and the word "at" would be used a little too much. She could gaze at her feet or gaze at the sky, but I would not say "...and gazed at the world at her feet."

    Gaze into: You can really only gaze into someone's eyes I think and this term isn't really that commonly used. "...and he gazed into her beautiful eyes."

    Gaze on: I don't think you can really just say gaze on, I personally can't think of a sentence in which I have heard "gaze on" used without the word "down" as you used it above.

    I hope this helps.
     

    stephent74

    Senior Member
    Chinese--Beijing
    Hello.

    If you say gaze down on, it implies that this person is above something and looking down, so it is properly used in this sentence.

    Gaze at: I would say you could use in this sentence as well, but it is not specific as to which direction she was looking and the word "at" would be used a little too much. She could gaze at her feet or gaze at the sky, but I would not say "...and gazed at the world at her feet."

    Gaze into: You can really only gaze into someone's eyes I think and this term isn't really that commonly used. "...and he gazed into her beautiful eyes."

    Gaze on: I don't think you can really just say gaze on, I personally can't think of a sentence in which I have heard "gaze on" used without the word "down" as you used it above.

    I hope this helps.
    Oh, this is a comprehensive answer. Thanks!

    I guess regarding '' gaze down on ....", ''gaze down'' are actually used together, as a phrase verb. This phrase verb indicates an action.

    To link the action with its object, we can use the prep '' on''.

    Thanks
     

    Boxer13

    Member
    United States, English
    Yes. Exactly. You can just "gaze down" not fixating on a specific object, but you can also be looking a something in particular and "gaze down on" it.
     

    LMCA1962

    New Member
    European Portuguese
    Can someone help me, please?
    Can I say:
    "Staring AT the outer space TO stars that shine for centuries", or " Staring INTO outer space AT stars that shine for centuries"?
    Is any of the sentences acceptable?
    Thanks!
     
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