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. By using 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 in sentences, providing examples.

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 form of the verb that expresses the action that is repeated

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 back together.

Ellos vuelven a preguntar.
They ask again.

Note: As you may know, 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, right? Because when we do something again, we kind of “go back to doing it”.

In past and future tenses

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

But of course, we can also conjugate volver in past or future tenses, in order to express that something “happened again” or “will happen again”.

Here are some examples:

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

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

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

Other ways of expressing repetition: “otra vez” and “de nuevo”

There are other ways to express repetition in Spanish, apart 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 back together.

Ellos preguntan de nuevo.
They ask again.

Ganaremos otra vez.
We will win again.


So you always have the choice: you can use otra vez / de nuevo, or the formula volver a + Infinitive.

Try to master both ways, so that you can communicate the same idea in different ways. 🙂

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.

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