Expressing repetition in Spanish with “volver a” + infinitive

Volver a Infinitive for Expressing Repetition in Spanish

Welcome to our grammar lesson about the formula volver a + Infinitive in Spanish.

We use this formula to express the repetition of an action. With it, we communicate that something happens again.

Two Spanish sentences with "volver a" + infinitive
Two sentences with “volver a” + infinitive

In this lesson we will learn to use volver a + Infinitive, providing example sentences.

We will also review some alternative ways to express repetition.

At the end you’ll find an Exercise for practice.

“volver a” + Infinitive

This formula for expressing repetition consists of 3 words:

  1. The verb volver, conjugated in any tense we need
  2. The preposition a
  3. The Infinitive of the verb expressing the repeated action

Here are some examples in Present Tense:

Yo vuelvo a pensar en este tema.
I think about this topic again.

Mi hermano vuelve a llamar al taxi.
My brother calls the taxi again.

Laura y yo volvemos a estar juntos.
Laura and I are together again.

Ellos vuelven a preguntar.
They ask again.

Note: Actually, the main meaning of “volver” in Spanish is “to go back, to return”.

So it makes sense that we also use it to express repetition. Because when we do something again, we kind of “go back to doing it”, right? 🙂

In past and future tenses

Every sentence we have read so far has been in Present Tense.

But we can also conjugate “volver” in past or future tenses, expressing that something “happened again” or “will happen again”.

Here are some examples in past and future tenses:

Elena volvió a viajar a Ecuador.
Elena traveled to Ecuador again. (Preterite tense)

Hoy he vuelto a comprar el periódico.
Today I’ve bought the newspaper again. (Present perfect)

Nosotros volveremos a ganar.
We will win again. (Future tense)

Other ways to express repetition: “otra vez” and “de nuevo”

There are other ways to express repetition in Spanish, different from the formula “volver a” + infinitive.

For example, we can simply use the phrases otra vez or de nuevo. Both of them mean “again”.

Examples:

Laura y yo estamos juntos otra vez.
Laura and I are together again.

Ellos preguntan de nuevo.
They ask again.

Perdemos otra vez.
We lose again.


It is your choice: you can choose to use otra vez / de nuevo, or the formula volver a + Infinitive.

Try to master both ways so that you have different alternatives to communicate the same idea. 🙂

Practice

Exercise

The following sentences express repetition with “otra vez” or “de nuevo”.

Can you reformulate them, this time using the formula “volver a” + Infinitive?

1. Nosotros jugamos otra vez.
We play again.

2. Ellas saltan otra vez.
They jump again.

3. El pájaro vuela de nuevo.
The bird flies again.

4. Yo llamo de nuevo a la farmacia.
I call the pharmacy again.

5. Tú pierdes otra vez.
You lose again.

6. Vosotros habláis de nuevo.
You guys talk again.

Solutions:
1.
Nosotros volvemos a jugar.
2. Ellas vuelven a saltar.
3. El pájaro vuelve a volar.
4. Yo vuelvo a llamar a la farmacia.
5. Tú vuelves a perder.
6. Vosotros volvéis a hablar.