"El hombre busca las palabras."
I think you're right, but you should just "Report a problem" then and tick the box indicating that your answer should be correct.
Why isn't it "The man searches for THE words" since it's "las palabras"?
The man searches the words. Not my ideal sentence but I would think grammatically correct?
Not strictly true. You search FOR an object, but you can simply search a location, either with the target of the search being implied or simply unknown.
"The police searched the surrounding area." ... for the suspect.
In this case, without context, you don't know if we're talking about Nicolas Cage trying to figure out how to unlock the Chamber of Secrets by reading through the Declaration of Independence.
The noise kept getting louder down the dusty tunnel as the floodwaters rushed in, ever closer. She grabbed his arm in fear, looking around for high ground.
"WHAT'S THE CODE, NICK!?" She screamed.
"I'M TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT, GIVE ME A MINUTE!"
Sweat dripped from his brow as he mumbled, reading as fast as he could. He knew Thomas Jefferson was a lover of books. He would have hidden it in the Declaration itself. In the words.
He searched the words...
But that's very specific and a bit coerced. Do keep in mind that word-to-word translations are not always possible, and that one word in Spanish might not include meanings that are considered synonyms in English. Yes, "searches" * could * be possible, but that's not what the sentence (in Spanish) means. Context is what determines final meaning.
(Entertaining post, by the way :P)
I struggle with this: Spanish & English do not use the present and the present progressive (continuous) in exactly the same ways. There are many times when Spanish uses the simple present when English would use the present progressive. (I have experienced this with native Spanish speakers. Example: ¿Qué buscas?" when in English we would say in that same circumstance, "What are you looking for?") So, yes, I think that in many contexts, your translation would be correct.