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Quick answer
"Encontrar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to find", and "buscar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to look for". Learn more about the difference between "encontrar" and "buscar" below.
encontrar(
ehn
-
kohn
-
trahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to retrieve)
a. to find
Al fin encontré las llaves del coche.I finally found my car keys.
2. (to uncover)
a. to discover
Ellos encontraron una caja vieja en el bosque.They discovered an old box in the forest.
b. to encounter
Encontramos una bifurcación en el sendero y no sabíamos qué dirección tomar.We encountered a fork in the road and didn't know which path to take.
3. (to consider)
a. to find
¿No te gusta ir al teatro? - No, lo encuentro muy aburrido.Don't you like to go to the theater? - No, I find it very boring.
encontrarse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
4. (to be situated)
a. to be
La playa se encuentra al otro lado de la calle.The beach is on the opposite side of the street.
5. (to sense)
a. to feel
No me encuentro muy animado.I don't feel too lively.
6. (to get together)
a. to meet
Nos encontraremos en el bar para una copa.We'll meet at the bar for a drink.
7. (to experience a state or situation)
a. to find oneself
Me encuentro en un dilema.I find myself in a dilemma.
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buscar(
boos
-
kahrr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to try to find)
a. to look for
Estoy buscando un nuevo desafío.I'm looking for a new challenge.
2. (to locate)
a. to look up
Busca el número en el catálogo.Look up the number in the catalog.
3. (to collect)
a. to pick up
Estuve esperando a que mi hermano viniera a buscarme para ir a almorzar.I was waiting for my brother to come and pick me up for lunch.
b. to fetch
Tengo que ir a buscar las flores para la fiesta.I need to go to fetch the flowers for the party.
4. (computing)
a. to search for
Pasé la tarde buscando ofertas de vacaciones en Internet.I spent the afternoon searching for vacation deals on the Internet.
5. (to try to achieve)
a. to seek
Buscamos cambios fundamentales en el modelo de negocio para asegurar nuestro futuro.We're seeking fundamental changes in our business model to secure our future.
6. (to aim for)
a. to look for
No busco pelea, solo quiero que me escuches.I'm not looking for a fight, I just want you to listen to what I have to say.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
7. (to search)
a. to look
Busca bien. En alguna parte tienen que estar.Look properly. They must be somewhere.
buscarse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
8. (to try to cause)
a. to ask for
Se está buscado problemas si sigue así.He's asking for trouble if he continues like that.
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