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Llegar, Buscar

Let’s learn two new regular Spanish verbs, Llegar and Buscar. We’ll learn how to use these verbs in all kinds of contexts, in all their common forms, and we’ll get lots of spoken practice.

Full Podcast Episode



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 go over two new verbs that are very easy to learn. The first is Llegar, which means “to arrive” or “to get somewhere”. This is spelled l-l-e-g-a-r. So for example:

When are you going to arrive?

¿Cuándo vas a llegar?

This verb is conjugated exactly like the verb Hablar. So for example:

Yes, he has arrived; he got here at 11.

Sí, ha llegado; llegó a las once.

When you’re describing where someone has arrived, you’ll typically use a after the verb. For example:

We’ll do it when she gets to the party.

Lo haremos cuando ella llegue a la fiesta.

Note that this subjunctive form is spelled l-l-e-g-u-e. The U just appeared in there, but it’s silent, and it’s there for spelling reasons; compare how habla turns into hable the same way that llega turns into llegue.

Also notice that we said llegue a la fiesta, using the preposition a. In English, we often say that someone arrives “at” a place, but again, in Spanish, people arrive “to” a place; in other words, the verb Llegar is used with a as opposed to en.

Here’s another interesting thing about this verb. Check out this sentence:

We’re here! Come to our car!

¡Llegamos! ¡Ven a nuestro auto!

So in English we say “we’re here”, but in Spanish we say llegamos, literally “we arrived”. This is an idiomatic difference; in situations where someone just got somewhere, Spanish tends to emphasize the action of arriving rather than the fact of being somewhere. Try it yourself in this next example.

He’s here! Tell him to come in.

¡Llegó! Dile que pase.

Let’s go ahead and quiz with this verb, using a bunch of common conjugations. Remember that any use of “arrive”, or “get here”, or “get there” is going to be a form of Llegar, and in this quiz, you’ll also use Llegar when you describe someone as being somewhere, indicating that they just arrived.

The general idea is to arrive on time.

La idea general es llegar a tiempo.

We are arriving at our future home.

Llegamos a nuestra futura casa.

Get here on time! Don’t be the last one(f)!

¡Llega a tiempo! ¡No seas la última!

The gentleman hasn’t arrived yet, but the lady already arrived.

El caballero no ha llegado aún, pero la dama ya llegó.

She always arrives after we leave.

Siempre llega después de que nos vamos.

We didn’t arrive on time, but it’ll be fine when she arrives.

No llegamos a tiempo, pero estará bien cuando ella llegue.

She wants me to get to her house at 7.

Ella quiere que yo llegue a su casa a las siete.

Our next verb is Buscar, which literally means “to seek”. For example:

Where is my car? I’m going to seek it.

¿Dónde está mi auto? Lo voy a buscar.

OK, so in modern English, we don’t really say “seek” anymore; instead, we just say “look for” or sometimes “search for”. The problem is that in both of these phrases, we say “for”. But in Spanish, you’ll simply use the verb buscar along with a direct object; there’s no “for” involved. Here’s another example:

I have looked for him.

Lo he buscado.

So the word “for” in English just disappears. We don’t use para, and we don’t use an indirect object. Try it yourself in this next example, which uses the gerund buscando.

I’m looking for her.

La estoy buscando.

All right, let’s go ahead and get some practice with this verb, and I’m going to throw a bunch of different uses at you, but it’s easy to conjugate because it’s conjugated exactly like the verb Hablar.

In this first example, to search through the whole house is buscar por toda la casa. Try to predict the whole Spanish sentence.

They have searched through the whole house, it’s not real.

Han buscado por toda la casa, no es real.

They always look for trouble.

Siempre buscan problemas.

She is looking for her phone.

Está buscando su teléfono.

We’re going to look for it.

Vamos a buscarlo.

The devil always looks for fear.

El diablo siempre busca el miedo.

You don’t have to look for your car, it’s here.

No tienes que buscar tu auto, está aquí.

I’m looking for the house that is on the left, but I only see the one on the right.

Busco la casa que está a la izquierda, pero solo veo la de la derecha.

Look for the phone like we are looking for it.

Busca el teléfono como nosotros lo buscamos.

Before we go on to today’s final quiz, I’m going to point out a common idiom involving Llegar. Way back in Episode 47, we learned a special use for por to indicate that something is about to happen. For example:

The man is about to do that.

El hombre está por hacer eso.

So what we do is we use a conjugation of Estar, and then the preposition por, and then an infinitive. Let’s try this with Llegar:

The best is about to arrive.

Lo mejor está por llegar.

Note that you’ll specifically use this when something is in the near future. If it’s further distant in the future, like when we say “yet to come” in English, you’re likely to use the idiom por venir instead of por llegar. Try that yourself in this next example, which will start with tengo miedo de:

I’m afraid of what is yet to come.

Tengo miedo de lo que está por venir.

For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/152. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.

Let’s go back to the house!

¡Volvamos a la casa!

If you come back, people will think you’re a saint.

Si vuelves, las personas creerán que eres un santo.

Don’t come back here! I don’t care what you’re looking for.

¡No vuelvas aquí! No me importa qué estás buscando.

(Formal) Go back to your house! Your son arrived.

¡Vuelva a su casa! Su hijo llegó.

You have to use your right hand to search, not your left one.

Tienes que usar la mano derecha para buscar, no la izquierda.

Come back and get here on time!

¡Vuelve y llega a tiempo!

She has searched everywhere.

Ha buscado en todas partes.

The lady knows that the best is yet to come.

La dama sabe que lo mejor está por venir.

I don’t want him to come back, he has to go straight home.

No quiero que vuelva, tiene que ir derecho a casa.

I don’t know what you’re looking for, but we are looking with you.

No sé qué buscas, pero buscamos contigo.

She has returned home and I’ll return in three weeks.

Ha vuelto a casa y yo volveré en tres semanas.

God wants you to search for love again.

Dios quiere que vuelvas a buscar amor.

She hopes I arrive on time again.

Ella espera que yo vuelva a llegar a tiempo.

Look for the secret place! I haven’t arrived yet.

¡Busca el lugar secreto! No he llegado aún.

Maybe we’ll go back home because our family is about to arrive.

Quizás volvamos a casa porque nuestra familia está por llegar.

I don’t want them to look for it again.

No quiero que vuelvan a buscarlo.

She won’t come back when he arrives.

Ella no volverá cuando él llegue.

We got home yesterday and we’ll work again tomorrow.

Llegamos a casa ayer y volveremos a trabajar mañana.

The teenage girl always arrives at 7.

La muchacha siempre llega a las siete.

The teenage boy goes back home at that time.

El muchacho vuelve a casa a esa hora.

They are looking for the same thing I’m looking for.

Buscan lo mismo que yo busco.

When I come back home, I always arrive at the right time.

Cuando vuelvo a casa, siempre llego a la hora correcta.

(Plural) Don’t do that again until I get home!

¡No vuelvan a hacer eso hasta que yo llegue a casa!

He came back to talk about demons.

Volvió para hablar sobre demonios.

When we get home, my son always looks for his games.

Cuando llegamos a casa, mi hijo siempre busca sus juegos.

I don’t want to go back to that place.

No quiero volver a ese lugar.

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/152.

In tomorrow’s episode, we’ll learn the rest of the numbers we need to count to twenty in Spanish.

This show is brought to you by LearnCraftSpanish.com. The Spanish voice in this episode was our coach Ximena Lama-Rondón. 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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