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Spanish Usage Questions: Ways to say "Again"

written by: Eric W. Vogt • edited by: Rebecca Scudder • updated: 2/14/2012

Believe it or not, there is not just one meaning of "again" in English! It's important to know the differences when you want to express them in Spanish. This article helps with fun examples.

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    With a Bow to James Taylor...

    Some readers will remember James Taylor's redundant usage in the line about wanting see his lost love... "one more time, again." Well, it felt right to dedicate this article to him -- and all the English speakers out there who struggle with the uses of "again" as they try to express in Spanish what they really mean.

    Sometimes, we mean again in the sense of as before, a repeat performance, so to speak. If that is the case, use otra vez (vez means time in this sense of an occasion or event). This not exactly what James Taylor seems to have had in mind, as you'll see in a moment.

    Quiero verla otra vez (I want to see her again -- as before).

    The sense of otra vez then is of a repeat -- as a child might ask for a story to be repeated:

    Cuéntame el cuento otra vez (Tell me the story again).

    When you mean once more, as in when a Spanish professor asks you to repeat something just once more, use una vez más:

    Dime una vez más: erre con erre... (Say for me just once more: erre con erre...)

    When you mean to do something over again, as in a re-make or encore, use volver + a + infinitive:

    Después de pintar la casa, tuvo que volver a hacerlo (After painting the house, he had to do it over again).

    What James Taylor was thinking of seeing her one more time -- to have another go at their relationship (was it after he split with Carly Simon?). Here is how he could have expressed that wish, using de nuevo (anew, from new -- to get a fresh start, as in all over again):

    Quiero estar contigo de nuevo (I want to be with you, start from new).


  • Author's more than 20 years experience teaching and translating Spanish.

Spanish Usage

The articles in this series deal with various questions about the right choice of word or phrase when English may have one or two structures but Spanish has more. They often deal with prepositional issues.
  1. Spanish Usage Questions: "Above"
  2. Using "Actual" and "Actually" in Spanish
  3. A Problem Preposition: The Ways "About" is Expressed in Spanish
  4. The Many Spanish Faces of the English Verb "to Agree"
  5. Spanish Usage Questions: Ways to say "Again"
  6. Expressing the Many Meanings of After
  7. Spanish Usage Questions: How to Say "Ahead"
  8. Spanish Usage Questions: "Anyone" and "Anybody"
  9. Using "Anyway..." in Spanish
  10. Let's Learn About How to Talk About Appointments & Dating
  11. What Do You Use for "Around" in Spanish
  12. The Spanish Verbs Meaning "to Ask" are Many!
  13. Beware of False Cognates! How to Express "Attend," "Assist," and "Help"
  14. Are You "Cool" or "Cold"? Explore the Nuances in Spanish
  15. The Difference Between "Why" and "Because" in Spanish
  16. The Temporal and Spacial Meanings of "Before": How to Get it Right in Spanish
  17. Don't Be Left in the Dust! Learn to Express the Meanings of "Behind" in Spanish
  18. Get the Low Down on the Preposition "Below" and Say it Right in Spanish!
  19. Understand Saying "Help" in Spanish
  20. Translating "Beside" & "Besides" into Spanish: Interesting Solutions!
  21. Not all Meanings of "But" Are Equal!
  22. Expressing the Various Meanings of the Preposition "By" in Spanish
  23. What Can the English Word "Can" Mean and How to Get it Right in Spanish
  24. Spanish Usage Questions: "Corner"
  25. The Word "Country" in Spanish
  26. The Various Meanings of "Outweigh" in English and How to Express Them in Spanish
  27. Expressing the Idea of "Ownership" in Spanish
  28. How to Express "Time & Distance" in Spanish
  29. Treat, Try, Attempt, Deal with... In Spanish, You Probably Need "Tratar"
  30. Spanish Usage Questions: "Having Fun"
  31. Even a Word Like "Even" Has Many Counterparts in Spanish
  32. Don't Go Wrong When You Look for Ways to Express "to fail"
  33. Do You Mean "Fair" Weather, a "Fair" Game or a "Fair" Complexion? Learn How to Say Them in Spanish!
  34. Love, Desire and Wanting -- Spanish Style!
  35. Discover the Right Spanish Verbs for Taking, Holding, Grabbing... and More
  36. You Have Nothing to Fear Except Not Knowing How to Say "Fear" in Spanish!
  37. Spanish Equivalents of the Common English Word "Find"
  38. Discover the Various Meanings of "Middle" and How to Say Them in Spanish
  39. Not All Spanish Words Meaning "Worker" Are Created Equal