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Quick answer
"Encontrar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to find", and "localizar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to locate". Learn more about the difference between "encontrar" and "localizar" 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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localizar(
loh
-
kah
-
lee
-
sahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to pinpoint)
a. to locate
El equipo de rescate no pudo localizar al alpinista perdido.The rescue team couldn't locate the missing alpinist.
b. to find
Las pruebas sirven para localizar la fuente de la infección.The tests are aimed at finding the source of the infection.
c. to track down (a person)
Después de nueve meses de investigación, la policía logró localizar y arrestar al pedófilo.After nine months of investigation, the police were able to track down and arrest the pedophile.
d. to trace (a phone call or a trail)
Colgó antes de que la policía pudiera localizar la llamada.He hung up before the police could trace the phone call.
e. to localize
El operario de radio no puede localizar qué es lo que causa interferencia.The radio operator cannot localize the source of interference.
localizarse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
2. (to lie)
a. to be located
El templo de Apolo se localizaba afuera de las murallas.The Temple of Apollo was located outside the gates.
b. to be found
El viejo ayuntamiento se localizaba en el norte de la ciudad.The old town hall was found in the north area of the city.
c. to be localized (medicine)
El dolor se localiza debajo de la rodilla.The pain is localized below the knee.
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