"Yo encontraba el coche."

Translation:I used to find the car.

May 27, 2013

131 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vandermonde

Who the hell habitually finds a car?

September 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wardo1234

The people who make duolingo

October 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/percyflage

"I used to find the car when you were too drunk to remember where you left it"

February 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kablargh

but not anymore, apparently

January 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skibo21776

When you get older you'll understand.

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daisytuck

I'm with you on.... Oh hang on, what was I saying...?

October 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amy786823
July 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MystyrNile

This tense is not only for habituals. It's also used for when the action was interrupted. For example, "Encontraba el coche cuando caí me."

October 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmuLampen

Small mistake in your sentence - "Encontraba el coche cuando me caí"

February 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MexicoMadness

EmuL., could you please translate your sentence? Thank you.

October 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmuLampen

Sure! Encontraba el coche cuando me caí. I was finding the car when I fell.

October 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/malkeynz

Sure, but I assume vandermonde is referring to Duo's English translation of "used to find". In your context we'd translate it using the progressive "was finding" instead.

But even that sounds a bit weird - if it was really meant to imply an ongoing action, wouldn't "buscaba" fit better?

July 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TerryBarco

Indeed, but in real speech you would not get just the first part of your sentence in isolation.

May 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NEGenge

This sentence made me smile. When we were kids, our job was "spot the car for Mom!" :) She'd come out of the mall with four munchkins hanging off her cart and acres of parking lot ahead of her. Remembering the number on the light pole nearest where we'd parked - and then finding the car! - was our game before there were handheld games. :)

December 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeanHoxton1

Hahaha my mum used to blame us kids for not paying attention when SHE forgot where she parked rhe car!

September 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hope_deferred

I used to do that with my kids when they were little: "remember, we're in the 'Itchy' lot..."

November 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pastafarianist

Yo encontraba el coche. Ahora no hay coches aquí. Todo el mundo andan a bicicletas.

December 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AchyuthanS

Someone who habitually loses a car, may be? :^)

April 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/malkeynz

"I used to find the car in the parking lot after searching for a long time."

Or, adding in a couple more imperfects and using the "would" construction that Duo doesn't like to be a bit more eloquent:

"I used to lose the car in the parking lot every time I went to the supermarket. I would only find it again after wandering around for what would seem like hours."

July 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mpaulson44

Because everybody buys the same ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ silver car

October 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EugeneTiffany

Think of a guy reminiscing back when he was a kid, like way back when he considered it a game to be the first to espy the family car after shopping at the mall.

"There it is! I see it!"

December 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YaSadeeq

Sorry, but this comment made my day. Have a lingot

February 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DABurnside

DL sometimes includes phrases instead of complete sentences. This is most likely that. The challenge is to try to make sense out of such phrases: I used to find the car...parked on that side of the road. I used to find the car easily until they built a multi-tier parking lot to confuse me. I used to find the car by the bright orange flag on the antenna. I used to find the car with my electric key which flashed the headlights and beeped.

September 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lurker_Wolfie

It could also mean ' i was finding the car' , which makes more sense

June 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MPK93

have you seen the movie "Dude, where's my car?" ?

February 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/allelopath

The translations really don't make much sense

May 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dr.Manhattan95

I put "I was finding the car." And it marks it correct.

November 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tomk123

It is just as strange as "I used to find the car". You can't be finding anything until you find it. The verv "find" is not suitable for the imperfect except in expressions like "I am finding some of DL's exercises very odd.

December 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robert2047

"I was finding the car" is clear, acceptable English. It describes what you were doing during a time in the past. And I will even go as far as to say that "I used to find the car" is acceptable English too, if it accurately describes a situation. For example, if you used to play a game where your friend repeatedly hid a toy car, then "you used to find the car."

January 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SGuthrie0

You are correct. "Back in those days, I used to find a car that was in bad shape to use in car crash derbys.

February 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marie282520

Well if you can't find the car, you just get another one...and a little uptick in the insurance no doubt.

September 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elizadeux

Based on a Google Search of "encontraba el coche," se encontraba el coche seems to be more common.

"Una vez en el lugar del suceso, los bomberos inspeccionaron la zona y decidieron descender la pendiente con un sistema de cuerdas y portando el equipo de excarcelación como alternativa más rápida para alcanzar el enclave en el que se encontraba el coche."

In this case, the translation would be more like "where the car was found" or "where the car was located." It's imperfect, but clearly doesn't mean "where the car used to be" nor "where the car was being found."

I'm wondering if plain "I found the car" might be the best translation in many cases.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michisjourdi

"I was finding the car." actually does make more sense.

Imagine you are on the cellphone with somebody and they heard you fumbling around.

"What were you doing?" they ask, curious about the noise.

"I was finding the car," you respond as you fumble with your keys.

March 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tomrich11

But I think we'd be more likely to say 'I was looking/searching for the car'.

I personally would never say 'I was finding . . .' when talking about objects.

If it was in reference to these last few DL lessons, one could say 'I was finding them difficult, so I gave up'.

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SGuthrie0

To search or "look for" is much different from actually "finding."

Las year, I was spending far too much time searching for my car keys. Eventually I solved the problem (of losing my keys).

February 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marie282520

The authors of these sentences have had trouble also finding children or knowing where they are.... so we have to admire their dedication to duo and hope for the best for their offspring.

September 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/glazewg

Exactly my thoughts. That's why I answered this way. It just makes more sense than the translation offered.

July 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

I used to find the car, but then I started drinking even more, so I never found the car after that.

True story: My Dad was leaving the race track on late afternoon over 50 years ago. He noticed a drunk guy trying to find his car. So, he got out some paperwork and waited in the car to see how long it took for the guy to find his car. He was there a long time. The parking lot had about 500 cars in it. The guy finally found his car when there were only two left, his and my Dad's.

This was back drunk driving wasn't regarded so harshly (as it should be - what were they thinking?)

March 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marie282520

In that case, someone should take the keys...and keep them.

September 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/samtoland

"used to find," "used to think," etc in this section are basically equivalent to "found" or "thought" The past imperfect tenses in English seem to be able to equate the past imperfect in Spanish, but I'm pretty sure you can't translate every past imperfect English phrase directly into Spanish and convey the same meaning.

October 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/icepalace

It helps me to think of the imperfect as storytelling mode. Recounting past events as a narrative.

June 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brian_Blair

The setup of the story is in imperfect, but the specific action sequence is in preterite.

August 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SGuthrie0

The idea of a "storytelling mode" is a wonderful way to describe the imperfect. Thanks. Have a lingot

February 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vicki.kura

I find many of these phrases to be awkward in this section. Rarely would someone say "I used to find the car". Because if my mind has gotten bad enough to not be able to find the car....I probably don't remember that I was able to do this before. :)

I don't feel that "I used to" and "I found" have anywhere near the same meaning.

January 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SGuthrie0

I think that DL has mistakenly labeled this section. The translation form the Spanish is "Preterite (past) imperfect), but in English we generally just refer to it as the "imperfect.' , which is a type of past. However, there is no "past imperfect" tense. There is a "past perfect" (aka "pluperfect) and an "imperfect' (AKA "Pluscuamperfecto"), and a "simple past (preterite; preterito).

See these: http://elblogdelingles.blogspot.mx/2014/12/la-equivalencia-de-los-tiempos-verbales.html http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/COURSES/VERBFORM.HTM

https://www.thoughtco.com/spanish-uses-two-simple-past-tenses-3079930 http://spanish.about.com/od/verbtenses/a/verbtenses.htm http://www.spanish411.net/Spanish-Using-Imperfect-Preterite.asp https://www.myenglishteacher.eu/blog/imperfect-tense/

http://josecarilloforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=6942.0

There is also a Preterite Perfect tense in Spanish. But it is used in literature or historical accounts, but not in current-day speech or modern writing.. https://www.thoughtco.com/using-the-preterite-perfect-tense-spanish-3079936

February 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michisjourdi

Nothing about this sentence makes sense.

June 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SLL3

How about this: when I was a kid, my mom used to forget where she parked at the mall. I used to find the car.

June 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jay.Ey

I used to find the car to be very comfortable, once I got into it. :)

July 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chingmoj

I used to find the car before i got alzheimers disease

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iXPLODE

Oh my. Oh my.

March 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michisjourdi

It's funny. I wrote that a year ago and I've realized that there are actually several ways one could use this sentence. Thanks for the examples.

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1920SJJ

What's wrong with " I esed to meet the car" . You give it as one of the definitions.

September 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeyiOlubad

I agree; I put 'I used to meet the car' and it was marked incorrect. It makes sense, like if you regularly meet a car that's dropping off your kid, or you regularly meet the car that's dropping something off for you.

February 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dzintonik

Would it be correct to consider "I would find the car" as a valid translation? If I was telling you some made up story, as in "(...) and then I would find the car and drive where no one would find me." Could the "would" be the equivalent to "encontraba" in this case?

November 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jfGor

Yes you are correct. I have learned that because in English we only have one past tense conjugation, we often have to resort to adding additional words to get our exact meaning across. I am am sure you have noticed this with other translations besides the imperfect Indicative tense.

Look at these sentences in English. All three could be translated the same way in Spanish.

I walked on Sundays. I would walk on Sundays. I used to walk on Sundays.

(Yo caminaba los domingos.)

All three sentences convey that the action is "incomplete;" it doesn't have a specific beginning or end. Because the imperfect is used there is not a definite time frame to these actions, we're indicating that when they began and when (or if) they ended is unknown or unimportant

So, yes, 'would' is an acceptable translation. "Would" does not always trigger the conditional.

November 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dzintonik

Thanks a lot for your help!

November 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SGuthrie0

You are absolutely correct. "Would" can be completely appropriate for an imperfect.

See this: http://josecarilloforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=6942.0

February 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheQueenZerelda

Oh gosh, this one made me laugh so much. Since it's past tense I read it nostalgically (he's sitting there, she's sitting here, he's reminding her of how it used to be) , which sounded pretty...odd.

October 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fanavdg

A bit of a cheap translation perhaps, but could "I encountered the car" be a correct answer here?

November 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PMftW9

I tried that and it said it was wrong. It said that I should have written "I discovered the car." Well, it is Columbus Day but I don't think I actually have discovered a car since I was about 2 years old...maybe walking in an unlighted parking lot on a moonless night, but that was more a "tripped over a car" moment.

October 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iXPLODE

that isn't conditional tho

March 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fanavdg

"I used to find the car" isn't a conditional either. Do you mean it's not imperfect?

March 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skibo21776

When you get older (and can no longer remember where you parked) this sentence will make abundent sence. Just saying....

February 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/raf1949

I was looking for the car

March 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreaja69

Yo buscaba el coche.

October 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Si_Robertson

I found the car was also accepted. So I assume this Spanish sentence can mean both that and the given translation and you would know which one was being said based on the context.

Is this correct?

July 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/malcolmcro

Could it be "I used to meet the car" as a child coming home from school? or is this only for people?

September 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eaNAE1

This is a dumb sentence. Very unlikely verb to see in the imperfect. Buscaba, sure. Quería encontrar, yes. ¿pero encontraba?

November 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lisakeenan2

I put in 'I was looking for the car'. Why is this wrong?

December 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lafe55

buscar=to look for; encontrar=to find

December 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TysonClassicist

It's not wrong semantically, just literally.

January 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/efaryna

Dulingo broke you! Stop thinking of the imperfect only as "used to..." It can mean that but it is so much more. This sentence makes far more sense when translated as "I was finding the car" or just "I found the car." I never even thought to translate the imperfect as "used to" until Duolingo forced it on me.

You need to leave Duolingo to get some real understanding of the past tenses: http://spanish.about.com/od/verbtenses/g/imperfect.htm

May 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlejandraMglls

"I was looking for the car." was not accepted. Weird

June 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreaja69

You used the wrong verb. To look for = buscar; to find = encontrar

October 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HarpoChico

... but it never used to recognize me...

April 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ACL8903

"I used to find the car" sounds like it's coming from an old woman who is going senile. Is there a better translation?

May 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mimo_Eve

What the hell, Duolingo...

August 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/droma

"I found the car." was accpeted

October 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shawy89

I would be careful with that translation though, it probably COULD be translated into the the imperfect tense, but it would have to have some very obscure context. Something like...

"My grandfather had Alzheimer's, he lost the car on a regular basis. I found the car".

But as a stand-alone statement, "I found the car" is definitely the preterit tense. So just be careful.

November 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jfGor

It could be either depending on the context of the conversation. As it is, there is no beginning time or ending time. You can not pin point when the car was found, thus the imperfect. The use of imperfect is NOT always habitual behavior in the past.

August 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jjcthorpe

I thought that the imperfect was used for " was finding", "used to find", etc. but also used (almost) interchangeably with the preterite "found"...it seems that the spanish speakers i know use the imperfect MORE than the preterite to express things that happened in the past but I am not good enough at spanish to know if there is a subtle difference in what they are conveying....do you think they are saying/meaning something different than the preterite meaning ( ie found) when they use the imperfect? Thanks.

March 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amodia

I used to find the car, but then I got Alzheimer. That's the first sentence that came to mind that made sense with "I used to find the car."

July 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WilbPorter1

The problem with all these weird translations is that it makes it very difficult to be intuitive. This sentence just doesn't make any sense, and its difficult to transfer what you learn from it to some other sentence/structure.

September 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/barry_boettger

I don't think the sentence needs to be intuitive.... removes the guess work and forces translation to unlikely sentences.

December 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chronosparks

Looking for?

September 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HarpoChico

Now I can't even find me specs!

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EugeneTiffany

It's the CD drive remote for me.

December 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NancyBlake1

It accepted "I found the car." So how do you know to translate: found or used to find? I am so confused!

November 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jfGor

It is hard to use a tense that doesn't exist in English. So, the sentence is in a past tense we don't use and to express that meaning of the imperfect is usually hard. The imperfect tense has no beginning and no completed end in time. So in this sentence, we do not know when it took place except some time in the past. This is the main concept of the Spanish imperfect tense.

Translating as 'used to' is overused by Duo, especially when we don't have context. So to translate it into English as 'i found the car' is ok because we don't have the imperfect tense in English We have a simple past. You also could translate it as 'I would fine the car'. Or, you could translate 'I was finding the car'. IMHO, I think these sentences need more context for us to understand the imperfect tense.

CHECK OUT THIS REF from StudySpanish.com.

Also, HERE IS MORE INF You will see more examples.

November 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kirakrakra

You get a lingot for this. And yes Duo overuses used to

November 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joatmoo

When I lost my sight I needed a friend to help me to the driver side door.

December 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joatmoo

With autonomous self-drive cars, we could be using this comment often in the future

December 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThomasMcWh

The English translation to that doesn't make sense.

May 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/keepuprockin

Maybe he is someone living in a underdeveloped country which doesn't have many cars.

June 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/philallthethings

Colega, dónde está mi coche?

July 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Imagein

How about "Yo podía encontrar el coche" I used to be able to find the car. or English meaning of "Yo encontraba el coche" I used to retrieve the car?

October 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chemisstre

I used to find my car until i got my gps now i walk and get anywhere

November 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/randtx

I understand the pharase: I was finding the car, in english.. but not so much the phrase I used to find the car.

December 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamSaul1

it's hard to learn a language when the sentence translation is nonsensical in english

May 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmuLampen

It's not nonsensical, only lacking context.

My little brother used to have a favorite toy when he was small. It was a racecar, and he would take it with him all around the house. But, he was also very forgetful, and would leave it in all kinds of strange places. When he realized it was missing, I used to find the car for him so that he would calm down .

May 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/datsmemydu

Looking for the sense of those phrases :I

May 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/randtx

I found the car. still works nicely.

May 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/miyavizim

Very confused! Why isn't it I was finding the car?

June 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ellie596157

How can you tell if llevaba means was wearing or used to wear?

July 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreaja69

Are you referring to a different sentence from this one?

October 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/april569697

What is stupid sentence

August 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Addicted359

Is this kind of sentence describes about habitual activities or something which was doing in the past?

September 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tika.gomez

In American English, I've never heard "spotting" being used it this way. I was looking for" is more common.

November 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TysonClassicist

Sometimes in Spanish, encontrar is used to mean "look for". In English, we only find something when we have located it, but in Spanish you can say that you are "finding" it. Hence, a correct solution to this sentence that should be accepted is "I was looking for the car".

January 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WarrenEsch

...until the parking lots became so big and all the cars looked so alike

January 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/james538335

Ahora presiono el butón de pánico

January 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dingo451580

What the hell kind of a sentence is this

March 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paul476843

Maybe before dementia set in

August 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sue919013

If, as the hints claim, Encontrar also means to meet. Why is "I used to meet the car." considered incorrect. It makes much more sense than the preferred sentence.

March 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Traci269363

This makes absolutely no sense

March 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichelleBa827935

Why not "I used to meet the car." SpanishDict confirms one of the meanings of encontrar is "to meet".

March 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carole943438

I used to meet the car - is this not a reasonable translation too depending on context.

April 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/williamwan854934

I used to meet the car marked incorrect. Anybody else think it should be accepted? Meet the car on the corner.....

July 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/barb.a.morin

I would like to see 'I used to meet the car ' accepted...Any reason that would be incorrect?

August 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elmer_Jose13

One of the meanings provided for "encontraba" is "used to meet" and that seemed more sensible than continually finding the car. Having that marked wrong is not sensible.

June 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cordell.au

"I had found the car" was rejected - should it have been?

May 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OttenhoffJohn

I agree. It seems like a valid translation to me. If not, what is a good translation for "I had found the car"?

February 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kirakrakra

había encontrado, Duo writes pluperfect when he wants pluperfect

February 6, 2016
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