Spanish Verbs with Similar Meanings  

Mirar, Ver, Buscar

The English verb to look is expressed by mirar in Spanish when you want to say to look at or to watch. The verb ver is also often used to express the idea of to watch.

  • ¿Qué quieres ver, el partido o este programa?
    What do you want to watch, the game or this program?

To express the idea to look for, use the verb buscar.

  • Estoy buscando un canal sin anuncios.
    I'm looking for a channel without advertisements.
Escuchar/Oir

Whereas oir refers to the physical capacity to hear, escuchar implies that one is paying attention to a sound.

  • No te contesté porque no te oí.
    I didn't answer you because I didn't hear you.
  • ¡Nunca me escuchas cuando te hablo, mi hijo!
    You never listen when I speak to you, my son!
  • ¿Qué quieres ver, el partido o este programa?
    What do you want to watch, the game or this program?

Other problems might surface due to false cognates.

Tener éxito/Lograr/Suceder

Note that suceder does not mean to succeed. It means, to occur, to happen or to follow in succession. To talk about success in Spanish use tener éxito or lograr.

  • Andrea siempre tiene éxito en todo que hace.
    Andrea is always successful in everything she does.
Soportar/Mantener/Apoyar

Whereas soportar can be used to refer to things that physically support one another (walls support roofs) it can also mean to put up with. Mantener is used to express the idea of supporting a family or any other person financially. Apoyar means to support in the sense of to back or to help.

  • ¡Ya no te soporto.
    I can't stand you any longer.
  • Marcos mantiene a toda su familia.
    Marcos supports his entire family.
  • Hijo, siempre te hemos apoyado.
    Son, we have always backed you.
Realizar/Darse cuenta (de)

Realizar refers to the accomplishment of something. Darse cuenta means to realize in the sense of become or be aware of something.

  • Realizamos nuestro sueño. Ganamos el torneo.
    We achieved our dream; we won the tournament.
  • No me di cuenta que la puerta estaba abierta hasta que llegué a casa.
    I didn't realize that the door was open until I got home.
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