look up/around/round?

MuiBo

Member
Vietnamese
I have to complete this sentence with a correct preposition:

I thought there was somebody behind me, but when I looked ………, there was nobody there.​
I think one option is:
'
I thought there was somebody behind me, but when I looked up, there was nobody there.' :tick:

But since the person was thinking someone was behind him, a better solution is:
I thought there was somebody behind me, but when I looked around, there was nobody there. :tick:
And since around and round are interchangeable prepositions, another solution would be:
I thought there was somebody behind me, but when I looked round, there was nobody there. :confused:

But I think this one sounds really weird. If I were to write similar sentences with the verb look, I would always use look around but never look round, perhaps just because of the way I learned English. Do you think this final option is viable too?

I look forward and thank you very much for your input.
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    ...And since around and round are interchangeable prepositions, ...
    Not quite. My first instinct is for "looked round". This means that you stand in one place and turn your head and/or body to see the world through 360°.

    To say "when I looked around" might suggest that you went for a little walk, peering round corners and into doorways in the close vicinity.
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    "Look up" is correct in the specific case where you were looking down until that moment (reading, for example).

    For the other two I agree 100% with KB. However, that's a British view and I'm not sure that Americans make the same distinction.
     
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