Realize, Notice and the phrasal verb Find out

These verbs have very similar meanings so English learners often don’t realize their meanings are different. Realizing is about cognitive events that happen in our brain, while noticing is more physical. Find out is a very common phrasal verb that means get information.
You’ll find these verbs often come up in Cambridge exams like First Certificate and IELTS and American exams like TOEFL and TOEIC and they’re useful for everyday conversation too. This video will help you understand the differences and find out how to use them correctly.

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Realize Notice Video Script

Oh, I didn’t notice you were there. Do you know the meanings of these verbs? Maybe you don’t ‘realize’ they mean different things? You’re going to need these verbs. Don’t worry. In this video you’re going to ‘find out’ how we use them.
Realize means to understand or become aware of a particular fact or situation. If you realize something, you know about it.

So sales have fallen by ten percent. Are you listening?
Yeah.
You do realize this is a serious problem.
Yep.
I don’t think you realise how serious this is.

So if we don’t realize something, we’re not aware of it. We don’t know about it. Realizing means to know and understand something in your mind. It’s a cognitive event – something that happens in your brain.

Oh. I’ve fixed your computer. I deleted a lot files. It’s running much faster now.
I don’t understand. There’s nothing wrong with this computer. It’s that one that has the problem.
Oh, I didn’t realize.
What files did you delete?

When we realize something it usually happens fast. So we don’t usually use ‘realize’ with progressive tenses. We don’t use continuous forms of the verb because happens fast.
OK, so realizing happens in your mind, in your brain. But what about noticing? Well that’s more like a physical event. It means you see, hear or feel something. It’s more physical.

Where’s Kathy?
Oh, I don’t know.
Has she left?
I didn’t notice her leaving. Oh look she in the other office.

So noticing is about seeing, hearing or feeling and becoming aware in a physical way. You might notice a smell.
Or notice that something looks different. We often notice changes.

Hey, you got your hair done, Vicki
Yes
It looks great, doesn’t it Jay?
Oh, yeah.
He never notices.
You know I noticed my hair is turning gray this morning.
Well yes. It’s been turning grey for a long time.
Really. I hadn’t noticed before.

Notice is a verb an it’s also a noun – a thing. A notice can be a sign that you see like ‘Don’t walk on the grass’, or ‘No parking’.

I just got a ticket for parking out front.
But there’s a big sign that says no parking.
I didn’t notice it.
They put it up yesterday.
They why didn’t you tell me?
I knew you’d find out.

So what about ‘find out’? What does it mean? Find out is a phrasal verb and it means to get information.

What time does the meeting start?
I don’t know.
Well can you find out?
Yes, I’ll send them an email.

We often find out information after we’ve tried to discover it. So if you want to know the meaning of a word, you can ‘find out’ by looking in a dictionary.
If you want to know more about the videos we make, you can ‘find out’ by subscribing to our channel.
In fact that’s a great idea. Why don’t you subscribe now and then we can meet again next week. Until then, happy studying!

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