1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

Look for/ look it/ look at the dictionary

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Dyana27, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Dyana27 Junior Member

    Hello, my question is if someone asks me for the meaning of a word and I want him/her to use the dictionary.
    How could I say?
    Look for it in the dictionary.
    Look it up the dictionary.
    Look at the dictionary.

    thanks in advance.
  2. grahamcracker Senior Member

    Look it up in the dictionary.
  3. Dyana27 Junior Member

    yeap, it's one question but I have doubts with the prepositions.
  4. grahamcracker Senior Member

    Buscar generally translates either "search for" or "look for". You could say "look for" but "look it up" is more common. When in doubt, use "look for" until you get more familiar with the variations.
  5. Dyana27 Junior Member

    thanks grahamcracker :)
  6. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    Looking for something is trying to find it. Looking something up is finding its proper place and bringing it "up" (= "into consideration"). Looking at something is merely looking toward it.

    You can help me look for my dog if she escapes, and you can look up my phone number online. You can look at a dictionary without ever opening it.
  7. Wandering JJ

    Wandering JJ Senior Member

    British English
    En general, buscar algo en un libro (de referencia) es 'look it up'. Hoy en día, también en internet: 'look it up on the internet'
    El consejo de Graham está bien - como siempre.
  8. grahamcracker Senior Member

    I was referring to searching for written or printed materials. Looking for a lost dog is right but looking up a lost dog would not be correct.
  9. Julvenzor

    Julvenzor Senior Member

    Español propio (Andalucía, España)
    Dyana, por si sirve de algo, la clave de las preposiciones inglesas está en la direccionalidad.

    Look at = Mirar, fijarse, observar... Hay un foco concreto.
    Look for = Buscar, indagar... Se hace por un motivo dado.
    Look up = Ojear, revisar... Mediante un medio.

    ¡Saludos a todos!
  10. chamyto

    chamyto Senior Member

    Burgos, Spain
    No siempre es así. El inglés es muy impredecible en lo referente a phrasal verbs.

Share This Page