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    #1

    find vs look for

    Are the following definitions correct?

    When something is missing, you look for it. When you have discovered it, you say "I've foundit."

    Are the following sentences incorrect?

    1. My watch is missing! Can you find it for me?
    2. I can't find my watch. Can you find it for me?
    3. I am finding my watch. (It is correct to say, 'I am looking for my watch')

    If the sentence 1 and 2 is incorrect, how do we say it?

    Many thanks for your help.


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    #2

    Re: find vs look for

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    Gil
    Many thanks, Gillnetter.

    Are the following sentences incorrect?

    1. My watch is missing! Can you look for it?
    2. I can't find my watch. Can you look for it?

    Thanks again.

  1. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: find vs look for

    Hi,

    IMO, they are correct. Only, I would personally use "could" instead of "can", since you are asking for a favor from someone.

    charliedeut
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #4

    Re: find vs look for

    If something is missing, can we use 'look for' or 'find' in the following cases?

    1. My watch is missing! Can you find it for me?
    2. I can't find my watch. Can you find it for me?

    3. My watch is missing! Can you look for it?
    4. I can't find my watch. Can you look for it?


    Thanks.
    Last edited by Winwin2011; 11-Jul-2012 at 09:11.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: find vs look for

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    If something is missing, can we use 'look for' or 'find' in the following cases?

    1. My watch is missing! Can you find it for me?
    2. I can't find my watch. Can you find it for me?

    3. My watch is missing! Can you look for it?
    4. I can't find my watch. Can you look for it?


    Thanks.
    You have already asked those questions and received good answers.

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    #6

    Re: find vs look for

    If the sentences 'When something is missing, you look for it. When you have discovered it, you say "I've found it.' are correct, why can we use 'find' in the following sentences.

    1. My watch is missing! Can you find it for me?
    2. I can't find my watch. Can you find it for me?

    Could any anybody help, please?

  3. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: find vs look for

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    If the sentences 'When something is missing, you look for it. When you have discovered it, you say "I've found it.' are correct, why can we use 'find' in the following sentences.

    1. My watch is missing! Can you find it for me?
    2. I can't find my watch. Can you find it for me?

    Could any anybody help, please?
    Hello, Winwin.
    I'm not really sure what you're confused about, but let me put it this way:

    "to look for" means "to try to find something".
    So, "When something is missing, you look for it." is the same as "When something is missing, you try to find it."

    Do you understand what I'm trying to say?

    (Edit) "I'm finding my watch." doesn't work, but "I'm trying to find my watch." is OK. Is it convincing enough?
    Last edited by tzfujimino; 11-Jul-2012 at 17:34.

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    #8

    Re: find vs look for

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    Hello, Winwin.
    I'm not really sure what you're confused about, but let me put it this way:

    (Edit) "I'm finding my watch." doesn't work, but "I'm trying to find my watch." is OK. Is it convincing enough?
    Many thanks for your help, tzfujimino.

    I 100% agree with you that "I'm trying to find my watch." is correct.

    There was a time when my child asked me some questions in his school , the dialogue is as follows:-

    My son: I'm finding the principal.
    Me: You should say ' I'm looking for the principal'.
    My son: Why can't we say 'I'm finding ' ?
    Me: 'Find' means 'to get back something/somebody that was lost after searching for it/them'. The principal is not lost, she is still in school.
    My son: If a child is missing', can I say 'The police are finding him'?

    I didn't know how to answer.

    The reasons that I am confused are as follows:-

    1) We cannot use the present continuous tense for 'find', we must add 'trying to' before 'find.

    2) When I googled 'find vs. look for, the moderator of the following forum said ' "Find" and "look for" have different meanings, and in fact, can be considered opposites.'

    a)"Find" is not usually used in the progressive, since, as you have noted, when you succeed, you have found the thing that you are looking for. The finding of something is a one-time event, not a continuous event.

    b) Don't forget, though, that "find" can be used in the progressive when it means that you are in the process of discovering something, particularly to describe a state. (It seems that sentences a and b have contradiction.)

    The websites are as follows:-

    http://thegrammarexchange.infopop.cc...9/m/8691047844

    find vs. look for - Topic

    3) If "find" can be used in the progressive when it means that you are in the process of discovering something, why is ' I'm finding my watch' wrong? I know that the correct English is 'I'm trying to finding my watch'

    If "Find" and "look for" can be considered opposites, why are the following sentences both correct?

    1. My watch is missing! Can you find it for me?
    2. I can't find my watch. Can you find it for me?

    3. My watch is missing! Can you look for it?
    4. I can't find my watch. Can you look for it?

    Why don't we say ' My watch is missing! Can you try to find it for me?

    I'd like to teach my son the different meaning of 'look for' and 'find, that's why I am so stubborn. If we use 'I found it' that's no problem for me.



    Last edited by Winwin2011; 12-Jul-2012 at 11:18.

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    #9

    Re: find vs look for

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    Many thanks for your help, tzfujimino.

    I 100% agree with you that "I'm trying to find my watch." is correct.

    There was a time when my child asked me some questions in his school , the dialogue is as follows:-

    My son: I'm finding the principal.
    Me: You should say ' I'm looking for the principal'.
    My son: Why can't we say 'I'm finding ' ?
    Me: 'Find' means 'to get back something/somebody that was lost after searching for it/them'. The principal is not lost, she is still in school.
    My son: If a child is missing', can I say 'The police are finding him'?

    I didn't know how to answer.

    The reasons that I am confused are as follows:-

    1) We cannot the present continuous tense for 'find', we must add 'trying to' before 'find.

    2) When I googled 'find vs. look for, the moderator of the following forum said ' "Find" and "look for" have different meanings, and in fact, can be considered opposites.'

    a)"Find" is not usually used in the progressive, since, as you have noted, when you succeed, you have found the thing that you are looking for. The finding of something is a one-time event, not a continuous event.

    b) Don't forget, though, that "find" can be used in the progressive when it means that you are in the process of discovering something, particularly to describe a state. (It seems that sentences a and b have contradiction.)

    The websites are as follows:-

    find vs. look for - Topic

    find vs. look for - Topic

    3) If "find" can be used in the progressive when it means that you are in the process of discovering something, why is ' I'm finding my watch' wrong? I know that the correct English is 'I'm trying to finding my watch'

    If "Find" and "look for" can be considered opposites, why are the following sentences both correct?

    1. My watch is missing! Can you find it for me?
    2. I can't find my watch. Can you find it for me?

    3. My watch is missing! Can you look for it?
    4. I can't find my watch. Can you look for it?

    Why don't we say ' My watch is missing! Can you try to find it for me?

    I'd like to teach my son the different meaning of 'look for' and 'find, that's why I am so stubborn. If we use 'I found it' that's no problem for me.



    Hello, Winwin.

    Well, as for the dialogue, I'm not sure how you interpret the words "lost" and "missing", but "Something (Somebody) that is lost or missing." is equal to "something (somebody) that cannot be found." Do you agree on this point? That is to say, if the principal is lost or missing, s/he cannot be found anywhere. You can use the word "find" in this context. You can use "look for" as well, of course.
    The question is, however, whether "find" can be used in the progressive (continuous). And...the answer seems to be...yes. (I've just seen the link.) So, "I'm finding the principal." meaning "I'm in the process / in the midst of finding the principal." is possible. I was not familiar with this usage.

    I think you're confused about the word 'opposite' Rachel (the moderator) uses. She does not mean "find" and "look for" are antonyms. I think she means something like this:
    look for: the starting point
    find: the finishing line

    Do you understand what I mean?
    Let's wait for native speakers to respond.

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    #10

    Re: find vs look for

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    Hello, Winwin.

    Well, as for the dialogue, I'm not sure how you interpret the words "lost" and "missing", but "Something (Somebody) that is lost or missing." is equal to "something (somebody) that cannot be found." Do you agree on this point? That is to say, if the principal is lost or missing, s/he cannot be found anywhere. You can use the word "find" in this context. You can use "look for" as well, of course.
    The question is, however, whether "find" can be used in the progressive (continuous). And...the answer seems to be...yes. (I've just seen the link.) So, "I'm finding the principal." meaning "I'm in the process / in the midst of finding the principal." is possible. I was not familiar with this usage.

    I think you're confused about the word 'opposite' Rachel (the moderator) uses. She does not mean "find" and "look for" are antonyms. I think she means something like this:
    look for: the starting point
    find: the finishing line

    Do you understand what I mean?
    Let's wait for native speakers to respond.
    Hi, tzfujimino. Many thanks for your kindness!

    I agree that "lost and missing' both mean 'unable to be found'.

    To my knowledge, the distinction of look for vs find is as follows:-

    'look for' and 'find' both mean searching, however:
    look for: emphasize the action/process of searching something/somebody
    find: emphasize the result of searching not the process of searching

    I don't know if I am right, that's one of the reasons that I am confused.

    I remembered that Moderator, 5jj had pointed out that we should use '... is trying to find' instead of '...is findng'.

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