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Adverbs of frequency and time in Spanish (ahora...)

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Adverbs of frequency and time (adverbios de tiempo) give information on time, duration, and frequency.

They give an answer to questions starting with “when?” or "how often?”.

Examples: 

  • Ahora me voy a la cama. (I'll go to bed now.)
  • A menudo voy al gimnasio. (I often go to the gym.)

Verb-modifier 

Adverbs of frequency and time generally modify the verb they refer to. 

Since they refer to a verb, they do not change according to the gender or number.

Examples: 

  • Ayer nos fuimos a un restaurante italiano. (Yesterday we went to an Italian restaurant.)
  • Nunca te mentí. (I never lied to you.)

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Placement 

Adverbs of fequency and time can be placed before or after the verb they modify. 

Examples: 

  • Llegó tarde a clase. (He came to class late.)
  • Todavía no ha acabado la universidad. (He has not finished university yet.)

Adverbs of frequency and time list

Spanish adverbEnglish adverbExampleEnglish translation
ahoranowAhora me voy a casa. I'll go home now.
anochelast night Anoche salí con unos amigos. Last night I went out with some friends.
anteanochenight before last Anteanoche ví a Juan.The night before last I saw Juan.
anteayerday before yesterdayAnteayer me fui de compras.The day before yesterday I went shopping.
antes beforeVolví a casa antes de que se levantara.I arrived home before he got up.
aúnstill, yetAún no se ha ido.He has not left yet.
ayeryesterdayAyer me fui a Madrid.Yesterday I went to Madrid.
despuésafterDespués, nos fuimos al teatro.Then we went to the theatre. 
hoytodayHoy tengo una cita por Skype.Today I have a Skype meeting.
jamásneverJamás sería capaz de hacerte daño.I would never be able to hurt you.
luegoafter, thenAhora ceno y luego voy al cine.Now I have dinner and then I'll go to the cinema.
mañanatomorrowMañana es mi cumpleaños.Tomorrow is my birthday.
nuncaneverNunca te mentiría.I would never lie to you.
prontosoonTe llamaré pronto.I will call you soon.
siempre alwaysSiempre tomo un café en ese bar.I always have a coffee in that bar.
tardelateEsa noche volvímos a casa tarde.That night we came back home late.
tempranoearlyAyer me desperté temprano.Yesterday I got up early.
todavíastill, yetTodavía no he visto esa película.I have not watched that movie yet.
yaalreadyYa te dije que fumar no está permitido.I already said to you that smoking is not allowed.

Adverbial expressions

In addition to single words, Spanish uses adverbial expressions to express time as well. 

There are different types of adverbial expressions:

  1. preposition + adjective 
  2. preposition + noun
  3. preposition + verb
  4. adverb + adverb

1. Preposition + adjective

Adverbial expressionEnglishExample
a menudooftenA menudo voy a la piscina. ( I often go to the swimming pool.)
de nuevoagainTengo que ir a la farmacia de nuevo. (I have to go to the pharmacy again.)
de prontosuddenlySe fue de pronto. (Suddenly he went away.)
de repentesuddenlyLa tierra empezó a temblar de repente. (Suddenly the earth started shaking.)

2. Preposition + noun

Adverbial expressionEnglishExample
a vecessometimesA veces desayuno huevos. (Sometimes I have eggs for breakfast.)
de díain the daytimeLlegamos a Gante de día. (We arrived in Ghent in the daytime.)
de nochein the nighttimeNos fuimos de la oficina de noche. (We left the office in the nighttime.)
por la mañana in the morningPor la mañana suelo tomarme un café. (I usually have a coffee in the morning.)
por la nocheat nightLlegué a casa por la noche. (I arrived home at night.)
por la tardein the afternoonPor la tarde me fui al parque. (In the afternoon, I went to the park.)

3. Preposition + verb

Adverbial expressionEnglishExample
al amanecerat dawnNos fuimos a la playa al amanecer. (We went to the beach at dawn.)
al anochecerat nightfallMiguel llegó a Cádiz al anochecer. (Miguel arrived in Cadiz at nightfall.)
al atardacerat duskPaseamos por la playa al atardecer. (We  strolled along the beach at dusk.)
al salir el solat sunriseSalieron al salir el sol. (They set off at sunrise.)

4. Adverb + adverb

Adverbial expressionEnglishExample
de ahora en adelantefrom now onDesde entonces, no podemos quejarnos ya. (From now on, we cannot complain anymore.)
de vez en cuandoonce in a while

De vez en cuando voy a Valencia a ver a mi novio. (I go to Valencia to visit my boyfriend once in a while.)

desde entoncessince thenHe madurado desde entonces. (I have grown up since then.)

 


Exercises

  1. Adverbs of frequency and time in Spanish - Practice quiz
  2. Adverbs of frequency and time in Spanish - Quiz
  3. Adverbs of time in Spanish - Fill in the blanks

Adverbs of frequency and time in Spanish - Practice quiz


Adverbs of frequency and time in Spanish - Quiz


Adverbs of time in Spanish - Fill in the blanks


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