look for/ search for

GeneD

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2017
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Student or Learner
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Russian
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Belarus
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Belarus
I've searched everywhere for John, but I haven't been able to find him.

"Search for" and "look for" seem to be interchangeable, but would the sentence be correct if changed as follows?
I've looked everywhere for John, but I haven't been able to find him.
 

Rover_KE

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Staff member
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Jun 20, 2010
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Retired English Teacher
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English
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England
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England
Yes.

The difference is that 'search' usually involves a more thorough hunt for a small lost object like a ring or a key, where you lift things up and move stuff about to look under cushions and furniture, or through piles of dirty clothes, waste bins, papers and magazines—places a missing person is not likely to be.
 
Last edited:

Winwin2011

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Aug 4, 2011
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Interested in Language
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Chinese
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Hong Kong
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Hong Kong
Yes.

The difference is that 'search' usually involves a more thorough hunt for a small lost object like a ring or a key, where you lift things up and move stuff about to look under cushions and furniture, or through piles of dirty clothes, waste bins, papers and magazines—places a missing person is not likely to be.

Does it mean “I am looking for my key” is unnatural?
 

emsr2d2

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Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
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English Teacher
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British English
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UK
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UK
"I'm looking for my key" is more natural than "I'm searching for my key" to me.
 
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