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Andar and Regresar

Let’s learn the Spanish verb Regresar, which roughly means “to return” We’ll also keep working on the Spanish verb Andar, and we’ll practice both verbs in all of their most common forms and uses.

Full Podcast Episode



Intro: Join us on a rigorous, step-by-step journey to fluency. I’m Timothy and this is LearnCraft Spanish.

Today we’re going to learn more conjugations of the verb Andar, which we started learning yesterday, and at the end of the episode we’ll also learn a new verb.

First, let’s review what we’ve learned about Andar. As we explored in the previous episode, this verb can mean either “walk” or “go”, and it can sometimes also be used as a synonym for Estar. We’ve often been translating it as “go along” or “get along”. Let’s do a mini-quiz to practice the present-tense and unconjugated forms of this verb.

She doesn’t want to walk.

No quiere andar.

I’m getting along pretty well here.

Ando medio bien aquí.

She has walked for two hours.

Ha andado por dos horas.

You’re going along with María.

Andas con María.

She continues going by train.

Sigue andando en tren.

She goes by foot when she doesn’t have her car.

Anda a pie cuando no tiene su auto.

We go by car because it’s better.

Andamos en auto porque es mejor.

They are getting along well with them at the party.

Andan bien con ellos en la fiesta.

Next, let’s learn the preterite forms of this verb. The bizarre thing about Andar is that its preterites are not conjugated like the preterites of Hablar. Instead, this verb is conjugated like Estar, with the letters U-V in the preterites. So remember that for the preterites of Estar, we have estuve, estuvo, estuviste, estuvieron, and estuvimos. For Andar, we have anduve for “I walked”, anduvo for “he/she walked”, anduviste for “you walked”, anduvieron for “they walked”, and anduvimos for “we walked”.

Here are some examples:

I walked for more than an hour.

Anduve por más de una hora.

That afternoon she didn’t get along well.

Esa tarde ella no anduvo bien.

Let’s practice these.

I didn’t get along well.

No anduve bien.

We walked for three hours.

Anduvimos por tres horas.

You didn’t walk around there.

No anduviste por ahí.

He didn’t get along well at the party.

No anduvo bien en la fiesta.

The imperfect forms of Andar are very regular: They’re all based on andaba, which of course is similar to both estaba and hablaba. For example:

We were walking with Nacho.

Andábamos con Nacho.

Let’s practice these.

You always walked there.

Siempre andabas ahí.

They weren’t getting along well during that time.

No andaban bien durante ese tiempo.

I was walking by her house this morning.

Yo andaba por su casa esta mañana.

She was walking when we were walking.

Ella andaba cuando nosotros andábamos.

All right, now time to explore a whole new verb, the verb Regresar, which means “to return”. The good news is that this verb is perfectly regular, conjugated exactly like Hablar.

Here’s a simple example of Regresar:

We want to return before tomorrow.

Queremos regresar antes de mañana.

Now, in modern English, we rarely say “return” in contexts like this; more often, we say “go back” or “come back”. For example:

We went back the following day.

Regresamos al día siguiente.

There’s something you may be wondering now: Didn’t we already learn the verb Volver to mean “return”, “go back”, or “come back”? Why do we need another verb for this?

The thing is, Regresar and Volver often do mean the same thing. In the sentences that I just presented, you could have just as easily used Volver. I’m going to point out some interesting differences between the two verbs soon, but for now, let’s get some quizzing with a bunch of different forms of Regresar, and don’t worry about Volver for now; all of these sentences will use Regresar.

In this first one, to say “both of you”, just say ambos.

Both of you, come back!

¡Ambos, regresen!

I’ll go back home next week.

Regresaré a casa la próxima semana.

She wants me to go back to the company.

Quiere que regrese a la compañía.

She always comes back home at 7.

Siempre regresa a casa a las 7.

She went back in order to give you the bag.

Regresó para darte la bolsa.

The army hasn’t come back yet.

El ejército aún no ha regresado.

If I come back, I don’t want them to come back.

Si regreso, no quiero que ellos regresen.

Come back here before your mom comes back from work.

Regresa aquí antes de que tu mamá regrese del trabajo.

She wants me to go back, but I don’t have to go back.

Ella quiere que yo regrese, pero no tengo que regresar.

All right, now let’s talk about some of the differences between Regresar and Volver. Again, both of these verbs can be used to mean “go back” or “come back”. So we actually could have used Volver in any of the examples of Regresar that have been presented so far. But there are other ways that these two verbs are different.

First of all, remember that we’ve also been using Volver to refer to repeated actions, basically in place of the English word “again”. For example:

We never did it again.

Nunca lo volvimos a hacer.

Literally “we never returned to do it”. This is a very common and idiomatic way to talk about doing something more than once (or in this case, not doing it more than once).

The thing is, Regresar can never be used this way. This is reserved for Volver. So that’s one way these verbs are different from each other.

And then there’s something that Regresar can do that Volver can’t do. Check out this sentence:

I’m going to return the gift.

Voy a regresar el regalo.

So here, we’re talking about returning something to someone, or to a place, as a transitive verb. In this case, you can’t rephrase it in English as “go back” or “come back”. Instead, in cases like this, “return” means something more like “give back”. Here’s another example:

We returned it after the party.

Lo regresamos después de la fiesta.

And the thing is, Volver can’t be used this way; only Regresar can.

So in summary, both Volver and Regresar can mean “return” as in “go back” or “come back” to a place. But only Volver can be used to mean “again”, and only Regresar can refer to giving something back to a place or to a person.

By the way, if you want to describe who it is that receives the thing you’re giving back, you’ll use an indirect object for the recipient, in addition to the direct object, which is the thing you’re giving back. For example:

I’ll return the gift to my mother.

Le regresaré el regalo a mi madre.

Try it yourself in this next one:

We returned his things to his family.

Le regresamos sus cosas a su familia.

Let’s get some more practice with Regresar.

We gave the book back to them.

Les regresamos el libro.

He won’t come back next month.

No regresará el próximo mes.

You gave her back the rest of the things.

Le regresaste las demás cosas.

Don’t come back to eat! 

¡No regreses a comer!

I always come back on time.

Siempre regreso a tiempo.

I came back and I wasn’t in on it.

Regresé y no estaba en ello.

She wants you to come back in order to be able to see your style.

Ella quiere que regreses para poder ver tu estilo.

You have to come back soon; if you don’t come back, you’ll be in trouble.

Tienes que regresar pronto; si no regresas, estarás en problemas.

Let’s go back home! If we go back now, we’ll be on time.

¡Regresemos a casa! Si regresamos ahora, estaremos a tiempo.

For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/202. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.

I don’t want you to come back, go be with the others.

No quiero que regreses, ve a estar con los demás.

When I come back, I won’t be standing.

Cuando regrese, no estaré de pie.

We came back home and we walked a long time.

Regresamos a casa y anduvimos mucho tiempo.

Every man walks in a different way.

Todo hombre anda de manera diferente.

You walk fast, but they don’t walk much.

Andas rápido, pero ellos no andan mucho.

They were getting along fine.

Andaban bien.

Come back and talk to him!

¡Regresa y habla con él!

The government doesn’t know anything about it.

El gobierno no sabe nada de ello.

I want him to come back with his camera.

Quiero que regrese con su cámara.

(Plural) Go back home! The paper is there.

¡Regresen a casa! El papel está ahí.

We like the game, so we came back to play with it.

Nos gusta el juego, entonces regresamos a jugar con él.

He can come back by foot.

Él puede regresar a pie.

I walked a long time trying to find this gift.

Anduve mucho tiempo tratando de encontrar este regalo.

Don’t come back! Anyone can do your job.

¡No regreses! Cualquiera puede hacer tu trabajo.

He will give her back the letter.

Él le regresará la carta.

Let’s return both phones.

Regresemos ambos teléfonos.

You can walk if you go back.

Puedes andar si regresas.

He gave the sword back because he didn’t like it.

Regresó la espada porque no le gustó.

You didn’t give me back my card.

No me regresaste mi tarjeta.

I was walking by that house in which you were walking.

Andaba por esa casa en la que tú andabas.

Walk there and tell them to come back.

Anda ahí y diles que regresen.

I’ll give them back the meat because it’s not good.

Les regresaré la carne porque no es buena.

You walked too much and that’s why you have returned.

Anduviste demasiado y por eso has regresado.

I always come back at 6, but today I came back at 5.

Siempre regreso a las 6, pero hoy regresé a las 5.

(Formal) Come back! We can keep walking.

¡Regrese! Podemos seguir andando.

After that they were(andar) sad.

Después de eso anduvieron tristes.

She didn’t walk that day.

No anduvo ese día.

He always walked when we were walking.

Él siempre andaba cuando nosotros andábamos.

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/202.

In tomorrow’s episode, we’ll learn the remaining numbers we need to count all the way to 99.

This show is brought to you by LearnCraftSpanish.com. The Spanish voice in this episode was our coach Ximena Lama-Rondón. Our music was performed by the Seattle Marimba Quartet, and I’m Timothy, encouraging you to do the hard work of learning Spanish. Acquiring a second language is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, so start your fluency journey today at LCSPodcast.com.

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