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How to say you’re looking for something in Spanish

I recently asked members of my Facebook group how they would say “I’m looking for a job” in Spanish – the responses were varied and sparked some interesting discussions.

Firstly in Spanish when we are doING something in Spanish we use a tense called the present continuous (also known as the present progressive). This is the equivalent to the English -ing.

The present progressive is what we call a compound tense, in that it is made up of two verbs. The first part is the “to be” as in “I am” and the second part the action as in “looking for”.

There are two verbs that mean “to be” in Spanish; Ser and Estar. Now I’m not going to go into detail about which is which in this blog post but to give you a general idea Ser is used for permanent things (your character, profession etc.) and Estar is used for temporary things and locations.

To form the sentance we can break it down into three different parts.

  1. ESTAR

Estar is also used in the present progressive tense and is conjugated like this:

Estar – to be

Estoy – I am

Estás – You are (informal, singular)

Está – He/she/it & formal you (formal, singular) is

Estamos – we are

Estáis – you all are (informal, plural)

Están – They/you (formal, plural)

So in terms of our sentence we use Estoy for the first part.

2. BUSCAR – TO LOOK FOR

The verb “to look for” in Spanish is Buscar. Verbs that end in -ar in the present progressive tense change to -ando. So buscar becomes buscando (looking). This stays the same no matter what the subject is.

Estoy buscando – I am looking

With -ir and -ir ending verbs, we remove the endings and replace them with -iendo. See these examples below:

Comer – To eat

Estoy comiendo – I am eating

Escribir – To write

Estoy escribiendo – I am writing

3. UN TRABAJO – A JOB

The word for ” a job” in Spanish is un trabajo (masculine noun). So, I’m looking for a job becomes:

Estoy buscando un trabajo

You could also say trabajo which means work generally or trabajar which is the verb “to work” but Un trabajo makes more sense in the sentence.

To make things even easier, the word “for” in the sentence doesn’t need translating in this case.

So, there you have it how to say you’re looking for something in Spanish. You can use this sentence structure and apply it to other things. Take a look at my latest mini lesson below, have a practice and let me know how you get on.

And if you’re ready to take your learning to the next level check out the different Spanish courses I run throughout the year on my website here: www.adventuresinspanish.co.uk

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