Spanish Language Blog

How to say “again” in Spanish Posted by on Nov 27, 2010 in Spanish Grammar

There are cases when the same Spanish word can be expressed in different ways in English. For example, the verb “esperar” can be translated into English as “to expect”, “to hope”, or “to wait”. The opposite is also true in other cases, and today we will be dealing with one of them.

The English adverb “again” can be expressed in three different ways in Spanish depending on the context. The best way to get a feel for each one of those is by looking at some examples:

Otra vez:

Literally, “another time”. It can be used almost anywhere in a sentence, in any register.

El año que viene iremos otra vez de vacaciones a Málaga.      Next year we’ll go to Malaga again for our holidays.

¡Otra vez me toca trabajar horas extra!     I have to work extra time again!

¿Me puedo montar en la noria otra vez?    Can I go on the Ferris wheel again?

De nuevo:

Slightly more formal than “otra vez”, but still very common. It can also be used in different positions in a sentence.

De nuevo nos encontramos con el mismo problema.     We faced the same problem again.

Empezaré a hacer ejercicio de nuevo cuando me haya recuperado.    I will start exercising again once I am fully recovered.

Los vecinos se han mudado de nuevo. Our neighbours have moved again.

Volver a + infintive:

Used in conjunction with any verb to express that the action is happening again, in any tense.

Hoy volvemos a tener buen tiempo.     We’re having nice weather again today.

La semana pasada volví a comprar ropa nueva.   Last week I bought new clothes again.

¿Sabes cuándo volverán a estar de moda los pantalones de campana?    Do you know when flares will be in fashion again?

In most cases, these expressions are interchangeable, and your choice will be just a matter of style. However, if you have any questions or doubts about which one would sound better in a specific example, feel free to ask!

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About the Author: Magda

Hi all! I’m Magda, a Spanish native speaker writing the culture posts in the Transparent Language Spanish blog. I have a Bachelor’s in English Philology and a Master’s in Linguistics and Literature from the University of Granada, in Spain. I have also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, and then worked as an English teacher in several schools and academies for several years. Last year was my first at university level. In addition, I work as a private tutor, teaching English and Spanish as a foreign language to students and adults. In my free time, I’m an avid reader and writer, editing and collaborating in several literary blogs. I have published my first poetry book recently. And last but not least, I love photography!