The idiom "an eye on" means to watch or monitor something carefully. It often implies diligent attention, with the aim of preventing problems or ensuring smooth operations.
"An eye on" denotes attentive observation or monitoring of a situation, task, or individual.
The idiom suggests keeping careful watch over something, whether it's a process, a person, a situation, or an object. For example, you might keep an eye on the stock market, a toddler, your health, or a cooking meal.
Let's explore its core meanings:
The phrase "an eye on" traces back to the common use of "eye" in English to signify watchfulness or careful attention. It has been in use at least since the 1800s, and it's likely that it was used even earlier. The Oxford English Dictionary cites an example from 1824, but it's clear from the context that the phrase was already well-established by that point.
"Wherefore Saul had an eye on David from forward."
- 1 Samuel 18:9.
Here are some examples of how to use the idiom in sentences:
The idiom "an eye on" often appears in pop culture, primarily in dialogues and song lyrics, often reflecting a sense of watchfulness, care, or vigilance.
Let's examine some examples:
There are many alternative phrases that convey the same meaning as "an eye on."
Here are some of them:
"An eye on" means to watch or monitor something carefully, often with the aim of preventing problems or ensuring proper functioning.
You can use "an eye on" to express the act of watching or supervising something or someone. For example, "Can you keep an eye on the baby while I cook dinner?"
The exact origin of "an eye on" is unclear, but it uses the metaphor of visual observation to represent attentiveness or vigilance.
"An eye on" can be used in both formal and informal contexts, though it's more commonly used in informal and conversational English.
No, "an eye on" usually means periodic or regular checking, rather than constant observation.
Yes, "an eye on" can be used to refer to the monitoring of abstract things like trends, prices, or digital activity.
Yes, often "an eye on" carries an implication of responsibility for the person doing the monitoring, as they're usually watching to prevent problems or ensure proper functioning.
In some contexts, it might imply spying or prying, which can be seen as negative. However, it generally has a neutral or positive connotation of care, vigilance, or responsibility.
No, while it can refer to physical observation, it can also metaphorically represent any form of monitoring or supervision, not necessarily involving sight.
"An eye on" is a common phrase in both American and British English, and is widely used across various English-speaking regions.
The phrase "an eye on" refers to watching or monitoring something or someone closely, usually to ensure their well-being or prevent any mishaps. It implies attentiveness, vigilance, and observation.
Here's a quick recap:
The idiom "an eye on" helps us articulate the careful attention we often need to give to the many facets of our lives. As such, it's a versatile and useful phrase in the English language.