sightsee/visit a place/ go sightseeing in a place

wolfbm1

Senior Member
Polish
Hello.
I'm doing a survey for a market research company. My topic is holidays.
Which of the following question would be O.K. to ask:

1. When you are on holiday, do you sightsee cities?
2. When you are on holiday, do you go sightseeing in cities?
3. When you are on holiday, do you visit cities?

I know that #1 is wrong because, according to OALD dictionary, the verb sightsee is not transitive and is only used in progressive tenses.
But I wonder how I can express the idea? I think that #2 is the closest. The word visit does not necessarily involve sightseeing. Am I right?
 
  • Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    You are correct that "visit" does not necessarily involve sightseeing. "Let's go visit Grandma" does not suggest we're going to see any sights, and your sentence #3 simply asks whether you take your holidays in cities.

    I thnk your sentence #2 is perfect. If that's what you want to ask, you've phrased it well.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Both 2 and 3 are grammatically correct, but they mean different things. I can visit a city without going sightseeing in it - and often do, if it's a city I've been to before and know reasonably well. What do you want to say?
     

    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Thanks Egmont. I want to ask somebody if they visit cities while being on holiday and if they do any sightseeing, e.g. they visit museums, historical buildings and other tourist attractions. I think I would have to use question #2 to convey my idea.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    ..., do you see the sights in the cities that you visit?
    Sightseeing is seeing the sights, not the cities themselves. The "object" is already included in the verb so it doesn't need to be transitive. If it were transitive, you might be saying things like "I want to sightsee the sights." :)
     
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    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I think you have two questions here:

    1. Do you visit cities when you're on holiday? (Some people visit the countryside, mountains, beaches, forests, ...)

    If the answer to (1) is "yes" or at least "sometimes," then: 2. Do you go sightseeing in the cities you visit?

    Also, if some of the people you will survey are American, keep in mind that "holiday" in this sense is BE only. The AE term is "vacation." Americans also use the word "holiday," but it means something else. There's more on this topic in several other threads here.
     

    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Thank you, Egmont. So the word visiting is more general and the word sightseeing is more particular. I realise that the Americans and the British use both words differently. I understand that a time off from work or school is vacation in AE and holiday in BrE. What is difficult for me is that I sometimes forget how to use holiday and holidays. Apparently the British can use the word vacation in partly a similar sense in which the Americans use it (as a time off from university but not from work and the short version is vac). That is a different topic though.
     
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    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    sightsee vs. go sightseeing

    Longmam doesn't even list 'sightsee' as a verb. It only lists the phrase 'go sightseeing'. Why? Other dictionaries like Cambridge has the verb sightsee among the entries.

    So are all of these correct?

    -In the summer, more people come to sightsee.
    -In the summer, more people come to go sightseeing.

    or

    -I was in Malasyia for work and didn't have much time to sightsee.
    -I was in Malasyia for work and didn't have much time to go sightseeing.

    or
    Friends warned him not to sightsee in downtown areas.
    Friends warned him not to go sightseeing in downtown areas.
     
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    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Oxford Learner's Dictionaries explains that 'sightsee' is an intransitive verb and is only used in the progressive tenses. It gives an example sentence:
    "That day I was sightseeing in Rome."
    Yet, under "Verb Forms" it says: he/she/it sightsees.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Oxford Dictionaries list sightsee as an intransitive verb: Visit places of interest in a particular location.- ‘the players have a day off to sightsee around London’.

    I must admit I wouldn't use it like that: I'd have said "... to go sightseeing around London".
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    So Longman is right not to list it as a verb :) Well it is not free of mistakes, yet I consider it the best dictionary :)
     
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