Encontrar Conjugation: Present Tense, Preterite & Subjunctive

Instructor: Raychelle Heath

Raychelle has a BA in Spanish and an MFA in Writing. She has studied in Puerto Rico and currently lives in Mexico. She has taught Spanish in various settings.

The verb ''encontrar'' means 'to find' in Spanish. This lesson will show you how to conjugation ''encontrar'' in the present, preterite, and subjunctive tenses. You will also see several helpful examples of how to use the verb in these tenses.

Did You Find It?

Who hasn't felt that feeling of relief when you finally find your keys after having looked everywhere? Or maybe you have been lucky enough to look in a pocket and find money that you had forgotten was there. The verb 'to find' in Spanish is the verb encontrar (in-cone-TRAR). In this lesson, you will learn how to conjugate encontrar in the indicative present and preterite tenses. You will also see how to conjugate this verb in the present subjunctive.

Let's get started!

Encontrar in the Present Indicative Tense

The present indicative tense is used to talk about habits and actions that are happening in the present. Encontrar is mostly regular in the present indicative but has an -o to -ue shift for all pronouns except nosotros and vosotros.

VERB: encontrar (in-cone-TRAR) to find

Subject
Pronoun
Indicative Present Tense Pronunciation Translation
yo encuentro in-KWEN-troh I find
encuentras in-KWEN-trahs You (informal) find
él, ella,
usted
encuentra in-KWEN-trah He, she finds; you (formal) find
nosotros
nosotras
encontramos in-cone-TRAH-mose We find
vosotros
vosotras
encontráis in-cone-TRAH-ees You (plural, informal) find
ellos, ellas,
ustedes
encuentran in-KWEN-trahn They (male, female), you (plural, informal) find

Examples of Encontrar in the Indicative Present

  • Siempre encontramos rebajas en esa tienda. (We always find discounts in that store.)
  • ¿Dónde encontráis comida natural para vuestros mascotas? (Where do you all find natural food for your pets?)

Translation=Carlos does not find his key.
encontrar encuentra

Encontrar in the Indicative Preterite

The preterite tense is often referred to as the short-term past, as it is used to talk about things that happened just once. Encontrar is regular in this tense.

VERB: encontrar (in-cone-TRAR) to find

Subject
Pronoun
Indicative Preterite Tense Pronunciation Translation
yo encontré in-cone-TRAY I found
encontraste in-cone-TRAH-stay You (informal) found
él, ella,
usted
encontró in-cone-TROH He, she, you (formal) found
nosotros
nosotras
encontramos in-cone-TRAH-mose We found
vosotros
vosotras
encontrasteis in-cone-trah-STAY-ees You (plural, informal) found
ellos, ellas,
ustedes
encontraron in-cone-TRAH-rone They (male, female), you (plural, informal) found

Examples of Encontrar in the Indicative Preterite

  • ¿Dónde encontraste a ese libro? (Where did you find that book?)
  • Marla y Lisa no encontraron a su amiga Natalia. (Marla and Lisa didn't find their friend Natalia.)

Translation=My sister found a blue dress for the party.
encontrar hermana encontro

Encontrar in the Subjunctive

The subjunctive is used to express doubt or desire. It is also used when emotion is expressed about an action. The subjunctive can be conjugated in the present, imperfect, and future tenses. For this lesson, we will focus on the subjunctive present conjugation of encontrar.

The subjunctive present tense of encontrar has the same -o to -ue shift as the indicative present tense.

VERB: encontrar (in-cone-TRAR) to find

Subject
Pronoun
Subjunctive Present Tense Pronunciation Translation
yo encuentre in-KWEN-tray I find
encuentres in-KWEN-trays You (informal) find
él, ella,
usted
encuentre in-KWEN-tray He, she finds; you (formal) find
nosotros
nosotras
encontremos in-cone-TRAY-mose We find
vosotros
vosotras
encontréis in-cone-TRAY-ees You (plural, informal) find
ellos, ellas,
ustedes
encuentren in-KWEN-trehn They (male, female), you (plural, informal) find

Note: The conjugation of encontrar in this tense is the same for yo and él, ella, usted.

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