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Quick answer
"Encontrar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to find", and "obtener" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to get". Learn more about the difference between "encontrar" and "obtener" 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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obtener(
ohb
-
teh
-
nehr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to acquire possession of)
a. to get
El restaurante está tratando de obtener tres estrellas Michelin.The restaurant is trying to get three Michelin stars.
b. to obtain
¿Cómo puedo obtener mi pasaporte?How can I obtain my passport?
c. to gain
No sé cómo obtener más puntos en este videojuego.I don't know how to gain more points in this videogame.
2. (to have bestowed)
a. to receive
Obtuvieron el apoyo de uno de los escritores más conocidos de toda España.They received the support of one of the most well-known writers in all of Spain.
b. to win (a prize)
Los estudiantes obtuvieron el premio de "Mejor trabajo en equipo".The students won the prize for "Best Teamwork."
3. (to earn)
a. to make
Obtuvieron ganancias récord este año.They made record gains this year.
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