To avoid this confusion, you can also think of buscar as meaning "to seek."
Note that buscar is conjugated irregularly in terms of spelling, but not in terms of pronunciation. When a c in the verb ending is followed by an e or an i, change the c to qu. For example, to say, "I sought," use busqué, as buscé would result in a mispronunciation.
Here are some of the common ways buscar is used, followed by a definition, example and translation:
- buscar algo — to look for something — Busco mi lápiz. — I am looking for my pencil.
- buscar a alguien — to look for someone — Buscamos a Pedro. — We are looking for Peter.
- buscar a alguien — to pick someone up — Voy a buscar a los niños a las dos de la tarde. — I'll pick up the children at 2 p.m.
- buscar [infinitivo] — to look to [verb] — Buscó nadar en aguas más seguras. — He looked to swim in safer waters.
- se busca [nombre] — [noun] wanted — Se busca cocinero. — Cook wanted.
- buscársela — to look for trouble — Ella se la buscó en las calles. — She found trouble on the streets.
- el buscapersonas (sometimes shortened to busca) — pager
- el buscapiés — firecracker
- el/la buscaplata — fortune hunter
- el/la buscapleitos — troublemaker
- el/la buscarruidos — troublemaker, rabble-rouser
- el/la buscavidas — ambitious person, busybody