Looking for Accelerated Spanish? We've rebranded!

Click here to learn more.

Casi, igual, quizás, and other Spanish adverbs

There are a lot of Spanish adverbs that talk about whether or not something is true — or whether it *might* be true. Let’s learn words for “maybe”, “almost”, “really”, and several more.

Full Podcast Episode


¡Casi lo haces!

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 some essential adverbs that will help you adjust your level of precision when you use Spanish — words like “maybe”, “exactly”, and “almost”.

But let’s begin with a very strange word, the word igual. This word literally means “equally”, but it tends to be used in a very specific idiomatic way. Check out this sentence:

Still, I wanted to leave afterwards.

Igual, quería irme después.

In the English sentence here, we use the word “still”. But we’re not using it in a literal way, because we’re not referring to a length of time. Instead, we’re using “still” to mean something like “even so” or “regardless”. This is how igual tends to be used — at the beginning of a phrase to say something like “still” or “even so”.

Here’s another example.

No, she isn’t my friend. Still, she can go with us!

No, ella no es mi amiga. Igual, ¡ella puede ir con nosotros!

Our next adverb is the word for “exactly”, which is exactamente. This word is a lot like the English word, but with “mente” at the end.

Here’s an example:

That’s not exactly what I meant to say.

Eso no es exactamente lo que quise decir.

Similarly, a Spanish word for “really” is realmente. For example:

This is really the best that we have.

Esto es realmente lo mejor que tenemos.

Now this is a bit tricky, because we already learned that “really” in Spanish is often expressed by the idiom de verdad. But now we also have the adverb realmente. These roughly mean the same thing. So in our quizzing, you’re welcome to translate the English word “really” as either de verdad or realmente.

Let’s practice realmente, exactamente, and igual.

Exactly! Put the things there!

¡Exactamente! ¡Pon las cosas ahí!

Still, if you put that there it could be a problem.

Igual, si pones eso ahí podría ser un problema.

I don’t really know exactly what she wants.

Realmente no sé exactamente qué quiere.

I know you don’t want it. Still, you have to put it on.

Sé que no lo quieres. Igual te lo tienes que poner.

This isn’t really what I want.

Esto no es realmente lo que quiero.

All right, next let’s learn how to say “maybe” in Spanish. One of the easiest ways to say it is quizás, which is spelled q-u-i-z-a-s, with an accent on the A. Quizás. And when you say “maybe” in Spanish to describe a statement that may or may not be true, you’ll typically use a subjunctive. For example:

Maybe they have it at home.

Quizás lo tengan en casa.

A very similar word is quizá, which is exactly the same as quizás but without the S at the end. These words mean exactly the same thing and are used in exactly the same way. (It’s kind of like the words “toward” and “towards” in English — there’s really no difference between them, and it’s hard to explain why sometimes there’s an S at the end and sometimes there isn’t.)

Here’s an example:

Maybe her friend isn’t present.

Quizá su amiga no esté.

So in our quizzing, when you encounter the word “maybe”, you’re welcome to translate it as either quizás or quizá; either way, you got it right.

Our next word is casi, which means “almost”. This is used in basically the exact same way that the English word “almost” is used. For example:

Almost everybody was there.

Casi todos estaban ahí.

But in some cases, the tense works a little bit differently from what you might expect in English, especially if something almost happened just now. For example, let’s say that you want to say:

You almost did it!

In Spanish you might translate this as “you almost do it”.

¡Casi lo haces!

We won’t practice this particular use a whole lot right now, but just be prepared to see that use happening sometimes in real life.

All right, let’s practice quizá, quizás, and casi.

Maybe they’ll put the things there.

Quizás pongan las cosas ahí.

Maybe he’ll do it if I put it here.

Quizá lo haga si lo pongo aquí.

I almost went to that place.

Casi fui a ese lugar.

I have almost put it here, but maybe it is in another place.

Casi lo he puesto aquí, pero quizá esté en otro lugar.

Our next word is a very strange one. It’s siquiera. It’s spelled as if you put the conjunction si next to the subjunctive word quiera. Siquiera. And this word roughly means “even” or “at least”, in very specific sentence contexts. Here’s an example:

Could you give me even a little bit of your time?

¿Podrías darme siquiera un poco de tu tiempo?

Now we’ve already learned that hasta can mean “even” in situations a lot like this. The word siquiera is generally used in a more pleading way. Let’s say that you’re asking for something, and to make it more likely they’ll say yes, you qualify it by making it even smaller. Here’s another example, where we’ll have to use Spanglish:

Could I have one of those, at least the smallest one?

¿Podría tener uno de esos, siquiera el más small?

¿Podría tener uno de esos, siquiera el más pequeño?

Let’s quiz on siquiera. Watch out because I’m also going to throw in one or two uses of hasta to help you practice choosing between that and siquiera.

Put it here, at least for one hour.

Ponlo aquí, siquiera por una hora.

We even put the food in the fridge.

Hasta pusimos the food en the fridge.

Hasta pusimos la comida en la nevera.

Is he at least going to do it?

¿Siquiera va a hacerlo?

Yes, she did all that. She even went to their party.

Sí, hizo todo eso. Hasta fue a su fiesta.

All right, these uses of siquiera are pretty tricky. But actually, the most common way that siquiera is used is not all that hard to learn. The idiom ni siquiera, means “not even”. For example:

He didn’t have anything, not even a house.

No tenía nada, ni siquiera una casa.

Here’s a more complex example:

She didn’t tell it to anyone, not even to her best friend(f).

No se lo dijo a nadie, ni siquiera a su mejor amiga.

Try it yourself with this one:

Not even my brother was at the party.

Ni siquiera mi hermano estaba en la fiesta.

So ni siquiera is used in many negative situations, pretty much any place you would say “not even” in English.

Another very common negative adverb is tampoco. This word is essentially a synonym for no, or “not”. For example:

I’m not her friend (either)!

¡Tampoco soy su amigo!

In this sentence, we could have simply said no soy su amigo. However, tampoco tends to be used specifically when you’re trying to emphasize that something is included in a negative group, along with something else that has already been mentioned. Here’s another example:

Those things aren’t mine. And this house isn’t mine.

Esas cosas no son mías. Y esta casa tampoco es mía.

So in this sentence, in English we would probably say “and this house isn’t mine either”. But in Spanish, the words for “either” and “neither” can’t be used this way. Remember that we’ve learned o and ni as conjunctions that can mean “either” and “neither”. In English, we sometimes also use these words as adverbs, but in Spanish, you would use tampoco. Here’s another example:

You’re not with that family? Me neither.

¿No estás con esa familia? Yo tampoco.

So grammatically, in this sentence, we could simply say yo no at the end instead of yo tampoco. But we’re using the word tampoco to emphasize that we’re in the group of people that isn’t with that family, kind of the same way that we use neither in English.

Let’s practice using tampoco and ni siquiera.

I don’t even want to go either.

Ni siquiera quiero ir tampoco.

We aren’t putting things there either.

No ponemos cosas ahí tampoco.

You’re ignoring me, you aren’t even putting yourself in my shoes.

No me haces caso, ni siquiera te pones en mi lugar.

Our next adverb is demasiado. This word is a mouthful, so I’ll break it down for you: Think “YA-do”, which is the stressed part of the word, “YA-do”. And then put “de mas” at the beginning. Demasiado.

This word means roughly the same thing as muy, but in a more extreme way. Check out this example:

Their house is extremely big.

Su casa es demasiado grande.

Now, this isn’t a literal translation, because demasiado doesn’t translate perfectly between languages. The fact is, there’s another adverb for “extremely”, but demasiado is a bit more frequent than that word. The best way to think about this word is as a synonym for muy, but even stronger.

Incidentally, some people teach that demasiado means “too”, as in “too big”. But that’s not quite accurate, because Spanish doesn’t properly have a word for “too”. In English, the word “too” is specifically used in cases where something is excessive, or too much for some specific purpose. For example:

My family is too big for that house.

This sentence doesn’t have a perfect translation into Spanish, but there are still some ways you can express the idea. The most important thing to do is to use the word para, as in para esa casa. This use of para DOES indicate that something is excessive, which the word demasiado doesn’t do consistently. So here’s one possible translation for this sentence:

Mi familia es demasiado grande para esa casa.

But there’s a twist: Here’s another possible translation for that same sentence:

Mi familia es muy grande para esa casa.

So even the word muy can mean “too”, when it’s paired with para.

To make our quizzing easier, what I’m going to do for now is translate muy as “very” and demasiado as “extremely”. And then to use the word “too”, you can expect to use muy and then the word para, as in muy grande para esa casa. But I’ll also sometimes say “way too”, as in “way too big”, and in those cases you can expect demasiado. Here’s an example:

The house is way too big for this party.

La casa es demasiado grande para esta fiesta.

Let’s practice this.

He is putting something there that is extremely expensive.

Pone algo ahí que es demasiado expensive.

Pone algo ahí que es demasiado caro.

Those clothes are too big for my son.

Esa ropa es muy grande para mi hijo.

The color they put on the house is way too colorful for the neighborhood.

The color que le pusieron a la casa es demasiado colorful para the neighborhood.

El color que le pusieron a la casa es demasiado colorido para el vecindario.

Our final word today is the adverb tanto, which means “so much”. Here’s an example:

I didn’t know that he did so much for you.

No sabía que hacía tanto por ti.

Now, the word tanto does have other uses, specifically as an adjective, as we’ll learn in future episodes. But as an adverb, it’s used exactly the same way that we use mucho as an adverb. In fact, that exact same sentence that we just heard could use mucho instead, in which case it would be:

I didn’t know that he did a lot for you.

No sabía que hacía mucho por ti.

But you’ll use tanto to mean “so much” instead of simply “a lot”. Try it yourself with this sentence:

She did it so much that I wasn’t able to do it myself(f).

Lo hizo tanto que no podía hacerlo yo misma.

Remember that you can dive more deeply into any of this at LCSPodcast.com/93. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.

Do you really have to put that there?

¿Realmente tienes que poner eso ahí?

I know it’s not your style; still, you have to put it on.

Sé que no es tu style; igual te lo tienes que poner.

Sé que no es tu estilo; igual te lo tienes que poner.

Maybe she doesn’t like those clothes so much.

Quizá no she likes tanto esa ropa.

Quizá no le gusta tanto esa ropa.

I almost did exactly the same thing.

Casi hice exactamente lo mismo.

He put them(f) there, which was a mistake.

Las puso ahí, lo cual fue a mistake.

Las puso ahí, lo cual fue un error.

Maybe it would be way too expensive for them.

Quizás sea demasiado expensive para ellos.

Quizás sea demasiado caro para ellos.

You didn’t get sad either.

No te pusiste triste tampoco.

I really didn’t put the things where I had to put them.

Realmente no puse las cosas donde las tenía que poner.

At least get yourself here!

¡Siquiera ponte aquí!

She doesn’t want us to put it(f) in the trash, not even if it’s spoiled.

No quiere que la pongamos en the trash, ni siquiera si it’s spoiled.

No quiere que la pongamos en la basura, ni siquiera si está dañada.

I want you to put the things in their place.

Quiero que pongas las cosas en su lugar.

I want him to put this exactly where I tell him.

Quiero que ponga esto exactamente donde le digo.

Maybe they(f) don’t love her so much either.

Quizás ellas tampoco la quieren tanto.

I don't want him to put it there.

No quiero que lo ponga ahí.

If they put this here, maybe he wouldn't complain so much.

Si ponen esto aquí, quizá él no would complain tanto.

Si ponen esto aquí, quizá él no se quejaría tanto.

They aren’t going to get sad, not even at the end of the movie.

No van a ponerse tristes, ni siquiera at the end de the movie.

No van a ponerse tristes, ni siquiera al final de la película.

Still, this is way too big for our house.

Igual, esto es demasiado grande para nuestra casa.

Can I put on these clothes, at least for this party?

¿Puedo ponerme esta ropa, siquiera para esta fiesta?

I almost didn’t eat anything, not even dessert.

Casi no I ate nada, ni siquiera dessert.

Casi no comí nada, ni siquiera el postre.

(formal) Put this on, please!

¡Póngase esto, por favor!

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/93.

In tomorrow’s episode, we’ll learn some new nouns, including the words for “luck”, “fear”, and “love”.

This show is brought to you by LearnCraftSpanish.com. The Spanish voice in this episode was our coach Michael Agudelo. 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.

Get the Free Podcast Materials
Sign up for instant access to the free course that goes with the podcast!
Access the Free Materials