Quick answer
"Look up" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "levantar la vista", and "look for" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "buscar". Learn more about the difference between "look up" and "look for" below.
look up(
look
 
uhp
)
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 raise one's glance)
a. levantar la vista
My father looked up from the newspaper and said, "We're not going to the game, and that's that."Mi padre levantó la vista del periódico y dijo, "No vamos al partido y punto".
2. (to look at something from below)
a. mirar hacia arriba
Look up! There's Batman on the roof of that building!¡Mira hacia arriba! ¡Ahí está Batman en el techo de ese edificio!
3. (to improve)
a. mejorar
Things are looking up for me now that I have a job and an apartment.Las cosas están mejorando para mí ahora que tengo trabajo y un piso.
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
4. (to investigate)
a. buscar
What does this English word mean? - No clue. I'll have to look it up in the dictionary.¿Qué quiere decir la palabra en inglés "antidisestablishmentarianism"? - Ni idea. La tendré que buscar en el diccionario.
5. (to get in touch with)
a. visitar
If you ever find yourself in Nashville, don't hesitate to look me up.Si en algún moment te encuentras en Nashville, no dudes en visitarme.
b. buscar
I was stuck in O'Hare Airport, so I decided to look up an old friend who lived in Chicago.Estaba atorado en el aeropuerto O'Hare, así que decidí buscar a un viejo amigo que vivía en Chicago.
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look for(
look
 
fawr
)
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 seek)
a. buscar
Will you help me look for my glasses?¿Me ayudas a buscar mis lentes?
2. (to hope for)
a. esperar
I was looking for some recognition for my contributions to the project.Esperaba algún reconocimiento por mi aporte al proyecto.
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