Forum Rocket Spanish Spanish - Grammar Present Tense Spanish Verb meanings

Present Tense Spanish Verb meanings


I'm so sorry if this is a waste of time, but I'm a little desperate for an answer. In my studies, I came across a translation for "Busco" to mean "I am looking." I was told by someone that it only means "I look." My questions are: Does it actually mean "I am looking" and "I look" or is "Busco" special in some way, but other verbs (bebo, necesito...) only have the one translation (I drink, I need...), or is my friend wrong and the verbs have both translation options (I am drinking and I drink, I am needing and I need...), OR, is the lesson giving me a poor translation due to my novice speaking ability and will move to a more complex lesson later with Estoy buscando... Phew. That was a little long-winded, but I hope I got my confusion across clearly.
Thank you to any and all who help me with this.


If you look up the verb buscar, you will see that the first person singular conjugation is busco, which literally does means "I look." Actually, according to, buscar translates as to look for (or search), so busco translates to I look for. 

Busco might carry the meaning of I am looking for under certain circumstances or translations. Here are two sample sentences from SpanishDict:
busco piso en esta zona...I am looking for a flat, apartment in this area
estoy buscando trabajo...I'm looking for work

These 2 sentences were shown one right after the other, so I am assuming both could be used. Perhaps my more advanced amigos will provide a more complete or enlightening explanation, but this is the best I can do. It does, to my mind, illustrate the danger of making literal translations from one language to another and expecting them to make perfect sense. It gets me every time I do it!

What lesson was this in, by the way? It might help to see the context.

Hope this helps a little.


This sounds right to me. Each tense has a specific meaning and use. In English, we have many equivalent tenses and constructions, though Spanish has much, much more in the tense department.

I look for work. (present indicative) Busco trabajo.
I am looking for work. (present progressive) Estoy buscando trabajo.
I have looked for work. (present perfect) He buscado trabajo.


Hola a todos,

The present progressive is used when talking about  what is happening at the moment. If my wife asks what I am doing and I'm studying  Spanish, I look up from my book and say: Estoy estudiando  español. But when I go to a restaurant and the waitress doesn't know me and I want to practice speaking in Spanish I might say: Perdone señora, estudio español y necesito practicar hablando. Si esta bien voy a pedir en español. The following is from the LightSpeed Spanish folks." In English you can ask someone "Where are you working now?"=" ¿Dónde estás trabajando ahora?"  In Spanish this is PROHIBITED. To a Spanish speaker the present progressive describes thing that are happening right now!" Yo hablo." To a Spanish speaker this is understood as..."I speak"... and..."I am speaking".  Light Speed says the Present Progressive is used for emphasis and makes what you say very real-time and very alive. However it should be used sparingly and not at the level that it's used in English. Overuse it and it will make your Spanish sound weird and foreign."



No questions are a waste of time. We're all here to help each other so please feel free to ask a question at any time as it helps us all.


Thank you so much for your responses. Ricardo, that was exactly what I needed to read! I was a little worried that I would get used to thinking that when I used phrases like "Busco" as "I am looking" due to my lessons, I would later find out that it was not correct and I should have been using the present progressive every time I wanted to actively do something. :) I felt certain that Rocket Spanish would not lead me astray, but worried that I was misunderstanding their lesson. Now I am able to continue with my studying without fear. Gracias again to you all. It is good to know I have help available whenever I need it.


Thanks for the insight Ricardo.

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