'Look For' or 'Find'? What Is the Difference? | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 23 April 2023)

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Part 3

Look For or Find: What Is the Difference?

When you look for people or things (e.g. missing people, jobs, or lost items), your goal is to find them. In other words, looking for them is what you do before you find them:

I've been looking for you. Where are you? (= I've been trying to find you.)
I've been finding you. Where are you?

Police are still looking for the suspect. (= Police are still trying to find the suspect.)
Police are still finding the suspect.

'Has Chris found a job yet?' 'No, he's still looking for one.' (= He's still trying to find one.)
'Has Chris found a job yet?' 'No, he's still finding one.'

'Hey, what are you doing?' 'I'm looking for my wallet. Have you seen it anywhere?' (= I'm trying to find my wallet.)
'Hey, what are you doing?' 'I'm finding my wallet. Have you seen it anywhere?' 

Other Pages from the Same Book

Part 1: 'Desire Something' or 'Desire for Something'?
Part 2: 'On Second Thought' or 'On Second Thoughts'?

Examples from the Media

Officers on Monday looked for the missing man with the use of a helicopter. Toronto Star (2017)

ANZ economist Catherine Birch said this was "the best time for several decades to be looking for a job in NSW". —The Sydney Morning Herald (2022)

Resolutions for a healthier lifestyle in 2014 don't have to mean just cutting back on the booze or going on a diet. Why not book a healthy holiday break? It might be a day's outing to a spa, a stay in a wellness retreat—or something more active. Use the following websites to help you find what you're looking for. —Daily Mail (2014)

Eventually, the 28-year-old found a job working on exhibits at a children's museum a couple of hours away. —The Washington Post (2023)

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