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Conjugating the Spanish Verb Buscar (to Look/Search)

Spanish verbs fall into different groups, and each group is conjugated a little differently. If you’re going to master Spanish verbs like buscar, you need to be able to identify which group a verb belongs to: regular (follows regular conjugation rules for -ar, -er, and -ir verbs), stem-changing (morphs depending on how you use it in a sentence), spelling-changing (has consonant-spelling changes in some forms to follow pronunciation rules), or reflexive (reflects the action back on the subject of the sentence).

Buscar (bvoos-kahr) (to look for/search for) is a (mostly) regular -ar verb, so its conjugation is pretty straightforward. Here it is in the present tense:

The Present Tense of Buscar
Conjugation Translation
yo busco I look for
tú buscas You (informal) look for
él/ella/ello/uno busca He/she/one looks for
usted busca You (formal) look for
nosotros buscamos We look for
vosotros buscáis You all (informal) look for
ellos/ellas buscan They look for
ustedes buscan You all (formal) look for

Check out these examples:

  • ¿Están ellos buscando algo? (Are they looking for something?)

  • Buscan un hotel para pasar la noche. (They look for a hotel to spend the night.)

Need to know how to conjugate buscar in another tense? The following tables show you the preterit, imperfect, and future forms.

The Preterit Tense of Buscar
Conjugation Translation
yo busqué I looked for
tú buscaste You (informal) looked for
él/ella/ello/uno buscó He/she/one looked for
usted buscó You (formal) looked for
nosotros buscamos We looked for
vosotros buscasteis You all (informal) looked for
ellos/ellas buscaron They looked for
ustedes buscaron You all (formal) looked for

Note that the c changes to a qu in the yo form to keep the proper pronunciation; otherwise, everything is business as usual. The following examples show you the preterit at work:

  • Busqué mi libro pero no lo encontré. (I looked for my book but I did not find it.)

  • Carlos buscó su fortuna como cantante. (Carlos looked for his fortune as a singer.)

The Imperfect Tense of Buscar
Conjugation Translation
yo buscaba I used to look for
tú buscabas You (informal) used to look for
él/ella/ello/uno buscaba He/she/one used to look for
usted buscaba You (formal) used to look for
nosotros buscábamos We used to look for
vosotros buscabais You all (informal) used to look for
ellos/ellas buscaban They used to look for
ustedes buscaban You all (formal) used to look for

Here are some examples of the imperfect tense:

  • Ellos buscaban mariposas los domingos. (They used to look for butterflies on Sundays.)

  • Elena buscaba a Juan para jugar. (Elena used to look for Juan to play.)

The Future Tense of Buscar
Conjugation Translation
yo buscaré I will look for
tú buscarás You (informal) will look for
él/ella/ello/uno buscará He/she/one will look for
usted buscará You (formal) will look for
nosotros buscaremos We will look for
vosotros buscaréis You all (informal) will look for
ellos/ellas buscarán They will look for
ustedes buscarán You all (formal) will look for

Take a look at the future tense in these examples:

  • Buscaré un lugar más seguro. (I will look for a safer place.)

  • ¿Buscaremos el tesoro mañana? (Will we look for the treasure tomorrow?)

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