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Encontrar and Recordar

Encontrar and Recordar are two Spanish verbs that are frequently used but are slightly irregular. Let’s explore both of these verbs and get lots of verbal practice!

Full Podcast Episode


¿Recuerdas lo que te dije?

Intro: Join us on a rigorous, step-by-step journey to fluency. I’m Timothy and this is LearnCraft Spanish.

Today we’re going to learn two new verbs that are fairly easy to use. Let’s start with Encontrar, which means “to encounter” or “to find”. Here’s a simple example:

If you look for the animal, you’re going to find it.

Si buscas al animal, lo vas a encontrar.

So the difference between Buscar and Encontrar is a lot like the difference between “seek” and “find” in English. Buscar implies that you haven’t found something, but Encontrar relates to finally finding or encountering it. Try it yourself in this next one:

Do you want to find something else?

¿Quieres encontrar algo más?

But Encontrar can also more broadly mean coming across someone or something. For example:

Today we encountered a strange building.

Hoy encontramos un edificio extraño.

However, in these situations Encontrar is actually more likely to be used in a more idiomatic way. Check out this sentence:

You’re going to come across a very large building.

Te vas a encontrar con un edificio muy grande.

That’s a bit of a mouthful. Literally “you’re going to find yourself with a very large building”. So this is the pronominal version of Encontrar, which means something like “to find oneself” in a particular situation, or to come across something or someone. This is usually followed by con. Here’s another example:

Today I ran into an old friend(f).

Hoy me encontré con una vieja amiga.

Literally “today I found myself with an old friend”.

Let’s get some practice using Encontrar to mean “find” and Encontrarse to mean “come across”. We’ll use a bunch of forms that are exactly like the corresponding forms of Hablar. Try to predict the Spanish.

They haven’t seen him, we have to find him.

No lo han visto, tenemos que encontrarlo.

We have come across Juana’s friend(f).

Nos hemos encontrado con la amiga de Juana.

They came across many photos on the street.

Se encontraron con muchas fotos en la calle.

We come across them every time we go there.

Nos encontramos con ellos cada vez que vamos ahí.

We found something special and incredible in that place.

Encontramos algo especial e increíble en ese lugar.

She didn’t find it, but we will find it.

No lo encontró, pero nosotros lo encontraremos.

Did you find it(f)? Because I didn’t find it(f).

¿La encontraste? Porque yo no la encontré.

I’m sure I’ll come across her there because the coffee is free.

Estoy seguro de que me encontraré con ella ahí porque el café es gratis.

All right, there have been a few forms of this verb we haven’t been practicing, because Encontrar is slightly irregular. It has a stem change when the second syllable is stressed. So instead of “encontro”, we have encuentro, and instead of “encontra”, we have encuentra. And most of the subjunctives are based on encuentre. Let’s get some practice with these forms.

He wants me to find it because he’s not free now.

Quiere que yo lo encuentre porque él no está libre ahora.

It might be that he comes across her if he goes to that place.

Puede que se encuentre con ella si va a ese lugar.

They don’t find it, and I don’t think they’ll find it soon.

No lo encuentran, y no creo que lo encuentren pronto.

Do you come across her when you go to school?

¿Te encuentras con ella cuando vas a la escuela?

I come across them every time I pass by that black house.

Me encuentro con ellos cada vez que paso por esa casa negra.

All right, now let’s go ahead and learn another verb, Recordar. This verb can mean either “to remember” or “to remind”. Here’s an example where it means “to remember”:

I can’t remember her name.

No puedo recordar su nombre.

So when Recordar is used to mean “remember”, it tends to be used along with direct objects. Here’s another example:

They aren’t going to remember it.

No van a recordarlo.

But Recordar can also mean “to remind”, specifically in the sense that something reminds someone of something else. Here’s how that use looks in a sentence:

It might remind her of her dog.

Le puede recordar a su perro.

This is a bit tricky. So we started with le, because the person that is being reminded is an indirect object. And then where in English we say “of her dog”, the Spanish says a su perro. So it’s literally “to her it might remind to her dog”. But this is the most idiomatic way to use the verb. Try it yourself in this next example:

It’s going to remind me of my father.

Me va a recordar a mi padre.

Note that Recordar has the exact same stem change as Encontrar: When the second syllable is stressed, the O is replaced with a U-E. So we have recuerdo, recuerda, recuerdas, and so on. Here are two examples:

I don’t remember where it is.

No recuerdo dónde está.

This reminds her of her hometown.

Esto le recuerda a su pueblo.

Let’s practice a bunch of different uses of Recordar.

Those people remind her of her parents.

Esas personas le recuerdan a sus padres.

I remember he’s an idiot, but he’s not a murderer.

Recuerdo que él es un idiota, pero no es un asesino.

I don’t think you (plural) will remember it, it was a long time ago.

No creo que lo recuerden, fue hace mucho tiempo.

We’ll talk to them when you remember what they told you.

Hablaremos con ellos cuando recuerdes lo que te dijeron.

Remember what they told you! It’s tough, but you need to do it.

¡Recuerda lo que te dijeron! Es duro, pero necesitas hacerlo.

He’s kind of silly, I don’t think he reminds her of her brother.

Es medio tonto, no creo que le recuerde a su hermano.

Do you remember what I told you? It’s important, you have to remember it.

¿Recuerdas lo que te dije? Es importante, lo tienes que recordar.

All right, in this next one, “I’ll remind him of it” is se lo recordaré, literally “to him it I’ll remind”. Try to predict the whole sentence.

I’ll remind him of it, he never remembers anything.

Se lo recordaré, él nunca recuerda nada.

Try the same structure in this next sentence:

He wants me to remind you of it; he knows you aren’t going to remember it.

Quiere que te lo recuerde, sabe que no vas a recordarlo.

For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/171. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.

I never find it here. I need your help in order to find it.

Nunca lo encuentro aquí. Necesito tu ayuda para encontrarlo.

Do you remember where I found it? Tell this to your boyfriend.

¿Recuerdas dónde lo encontré? Dile esto a tu novio.

Remember what I told you! That’s why they don’t find it.

¡Recuerda lo que te dije! Por eso no lo encuentran.

They didn’t find it and I don’t remember where it is either.

No lo encontraron y tampoco recuerdo dónde está.

I don’t think that person reminds him of his aunt.

No creo que esa persona le recuerde a su tía.

I’ll find the little girl with her grandfather.

Encontraré a la niña con su abuelo.

Please, find what they gave you. I know you’ll find it.

Por favor, encuentra lo que te dieron. Sé que lo encontrarás.

He’s human, it’s possible that he doesn’t find it.

Es humano, es posible que no lo encuentre.

We’ll find what your husband hasn’t found.

Encontraremos lo que tu marido no ha encontrado.

I’m not sure(m) those people remind her of her parents.

No estoy seguro de que esas personas le recuerden a sus padres.

Those animals remind me of my days in the country.

Esos animales me recuerdan a mis días en el campo.

He doesn’t find the food and he wants me to find it.

No encuentra la comida y quiere que yo la encuentre.

We come across her enemy when we go to that place.

Nos encontramos con su enemigo cuando vamos a ese lugar.

Her girlfriend reminds me of a friend.

Su novia me recuerda a una amiga.

We’re going to do it so that you remember those things.

Vamos a hacerlo para que recuerdes esas cosas.

That woman is going to remind you of your grandmother.

Esa mujer te va a recordar a tu abuela.

You didn't find it, but I know she’ll find it.

No lo encontraste, pero sé que ella lo encontrará.

I’ll remind your uncle that he has to go.

Le recordaré a tu tío que tiene que ir.

Can you remember it? We have to find it.

¿Puedes recordarlo? Lo tenemos que encontrar.

We came across her girlfriend near that white house.

Nos encontramos con su novia cerca de esa casa blanca.

I know you come across her in that place.

Sé que te encuentras con ella en ese lugar.

We need him to remember what happened.

Necesitamos que él recuerde lo que pasó.

He didn’t find her and that’s why we want you all to find her.

No la encontró y por eso queremos que ustedes la encuentren.

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/171.

This show is brought to you by LearnCraftSpanish.com. The Spanish voice in this episode was our coach Michael Agudelo. Our music was performed by the Seattle Marimba Quartet, and I’m Timothy, encouraging you to do the hard work of learning Spanish. Acquiring a second language is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, so start your fluency journey today at LCSPodcast.com.

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