English Lesson: Notice Vs. Realize

Michael Uncategorized 14 Comments

Today, I realized my dog Happy is sleeping a lot more than she used to. It’s only noon, but I just noticed she is sleeping here under my desk. Ah! She noticed me looking at her and she woke up. I didn’t realize she was sleeping lightly. She’s such a cute dog, and very strong and bold. That is unless she notices thunder coming. She hates thunder and lightning and if we have a storm, she hides under the bed. I realized a long time ago that she has such fear.

The other day, one of my students asked me the difference between notice and realize. These words have a similar meaning and are often confused. Do you know the difference? Read the paragraph above once more and then check today’s lesson.

When you notice something, you use your senses. Noticing something involves a physical part of your body. For example, you can notice something with your ears, eyes, and nose:

  • I noticed my dog is sleeping here under my desk. I used my eyes to notice her.
  • I noticed my neighbor was whistling while working in her garden. I used my ears to notice it.
  • I walked into my mom’s house and noticed right away she was making pasta. I used my nose to notice it.

When you realize something, you use your mind. Realizing something involves thinking and knowing. You realize something using your brain:

  • I realized my dog Happy is sleeping a lot more than she used to. Over a period of time, observing my dog’s behavior, I realized she sleeps more then before.
  • I realized a long time ago that she has such fear. Thinking about her reaction to thunderstorms over time, I  understood she is afraid of them.
  • I realized many students are confused about prepositions in English.  After spending some time working with international students, I became to know that prepositions were confusing for many of them

So, as you can see by the examples above, noticing involves one of your senses; a physical part of your body. Realizing involves thinking and your mind. I hope this lesson was helpful today. Please feel free to leave a comment or suggest a topic for a one-point lesson here.

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