Quick answer
"Look back" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "mirar atrás", and "bring back" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "devolver". Learn more about the difference between "look back" and "bring back" below.
look back
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
1. (to glance behind)
a. mirar atrás
Don't look back now; John's following us.No mires atrás; John nos está siguiendo.
b. mirar hacia atrás
I ran as fast as I could and didn't look back till I'd locked the garden gate behind me.Corrí tan rápido como pude y no miré hacia atrás hasta que hube cerrado con llave la puerta del jardín.
2. (to return someone's gaze; often used with "at")
a. devolver la mirada
I opened the door of the shed, looked in and was surprised to see two brown eyes looking back at me.Abrí la puerta del cobertizo, eché una mirada adentro y me quedé sorprendida al ver dos ojos marrones que me devolvían la mirada.
3. (to think back to the past)
a. mirar al pasado
You need to look forward, not back.Hay que mirar al futuro, no al pasado.
b. mirar atrás
When I look back, I realize how naive I was.Cuando miro atrás, me doy cuenta de lo ingenuo que era.
c. mirar hacia atrás
There's no point looking back; you can't change what's happened.De nada sirve mirar hacia atrás; es imposible cambiar lo ocurrido.
d. volver al pasado
It's pointless looking back; what's done is done.No vale la pena volver al pasado; lo hecho hecho está.
e.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Looking back, I wish I'd realized how lucky I was to be married to Martin.Pensándolo ahora, ojalá me hubiera dado cuenta de lo afortunada que era de estar casada con Martin.
When I look back, I wonder how I never realized what Richard meant.Cuando pienso en aquellos días, me pregunto cómo puede ser que no entendiera lo que insinuaba Richard.
4. (to recall; used with "on" or "at")
a. recordar
I look back on that time at the farm with great affection.Recuerdo aquel tiempo en la granja con mucho cariño.
5. (to suffer a change of fortune)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Ten years ago, Daisy got a job designing fabrics, and she's never looked back since.Hace diez años, Daisy encontró un trabajo diseñando telas, y desde ese día las cosas le han ido muy bien.
When Emily came out of prison, she enrolled on a horticultural course and hasn't looked back.Cuando salió de la cárcel, Emily se matriculó en un curso de horticultura y desde entonces todo le ha ido sobre ruedas.
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bring back(
brihng
 
bahk
)
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
1. (to take to a previous place)
a. devolver
Tito brought the cell phone back to the store because it didn't work.Tito devolvió el celular a la tienda porque no funcionaba.
b. traer de vuelta
Don't worry, sir. I'll bring your daughter back by eleven o'clock.No se preocupe, señor. Le traeré su hija de vuelta antes de las once.
c. traer
George brought some chocolate back from his trip to Switzerland.George trajo chocolate de su viaje a Suiza.
2. (to evoke)
a. recordar
Eating Spanish ham brings me back to my semester in Madrid.Comer jamón ibérico me recuerda mi semestre en Madrid.
b. traer
Julieta couldn't listen to the song because it brought back so many painful memories.Julieta no podía escuchar la canción porque le traía muchos recuerdos dolorosos.
3. (to reestablish)
a. reintroducir
The day I found out they were bringing back Crispy M&M's® was the happiest day of my life.El día que yo me enteré que iban a reintroducir los M&M's® Crispy fue el mejor día de mi vida.
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