7

I was reading the line below, which apparently translates to "Tomorrow I am going to meet a friend".

I thought the verb "encontrar" was "to find" or is this a case when trying to translate something directly in English is a mistake?

Mañana, voy a encontrarme con un amigo

Lastly why has "me" been added to "encontrar"? Assuming "encontrar" can also mean "to meet" I don't understand why the "me" is needed as we have "voy a - I'm going to"

Mañana, voy a encontrar con un amigo

7

This is a case where the verb changes its meaning when converted to a pronominal one. See the valid meanings in the RAE's dictionary:

encontrar

1. tr. Dar con alguien o algo que se busca.
5. prnl. Dicho de dos o más personas o cosas: Hallarse y concurrir juntas a un mismo lugar.

The first meaning (as transitive verb: "encontrar") is what we usually translate as "to find". But the fifth meaning (as a pronominal verb, with the "se" added: "encontrarse") is what you can actually translate as "to meet (someone)". So yes, you can use the verb when speaking about meeting someone, and you need to use the verb as pronominal:

Mañana voy a encontrarme con un amigo.
Mañana me voy a encontrar con un amigo.

  • Ah ok I think I see. So Mañana, voy a encontrar con un amigo wouldn't actually make any sense in that it would translate to, tomorrow I am going to find with a friend. Also is a pronominal verb the same as a reflexive verb? – mHelpMe Nov 24 '17 at 10:54
  • 2
    @mHelpMe not really. That could be a good question for the site, as I see it hasn't been asked before. Short story: in the pronominal verbs you need to add "se" to change the verb meaning. In the reflexive verbs the action of the verb falls upon the subject: "yo me lavo las manos". In this case the verb is not pronominal and it does not change meaning by adding the pronoun, but you need to add it to specify that you are washing yourself. – Charlie Nov 24 '17 at 11:05
  • 3
    I've just found out that there's no reference to Spanish pronominal verbs in English Wikipedia and basically (in English) no good explanation of them anywhere besides the bare fact of their conjugation. I think I'll be working on that. – pablodf76 Nov 24 '17 at 11:07
  • 1
    @pablodf76 I think that for whatever reason English learners of Spanish are usually taught that pronominal verbs are reflexive because they share the form of reflexive verbs. It took me some while on this site to realise that Spanish speakers have a different word for them. – mdewey Nov 24 '17 at 14:18
  • 1
    @mHelpMe - So Mañana, voy a encontrar con un amigo wouldn't actually make any sense in that it would translate to, tomorrow I am going to find with a friend. Yes, you are correct. – aparente001 Nov 25 '17 at 2:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.