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The Word Vez... Otra Vez

Notice how singing sensation David Bisbal uses the expression a la vez to express “at the same time”:


Es una canción dura pero... pero a la vez gratificante, ¿no?

It is a tough song but... but at the same time rewarding, right?

Caption 32, David Bisbal - Haciendo Premonición Live

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Don’t mix up this word with a veces, which means “at times,” “occasionally”, or “sometimes.” Dany, our Venezuelan chef, demonstrates perfectly:


Entonces a veces habrá que voltearla

So, sometimes it would be necessary to flip it

un par de veces más antes de terminarla.

a couple of times more before finishing it.

Caption 44, Dany - Arepas

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In the biography of Muñeca Brava's star Natalia Oreiro, we encounter the phrase de vez en cuando, which means “from time to time” or “once in a while.”

Quieras o no, era un sueldito

Like it or not, it was a little wage

que de vez en cuando venía bien.

that from time to time came in handy.

Captions 55-56, Biografía - Natalia Oreiro

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Una vez means "once", dos veces means "twice", tres veces means "three times"... etc. You hear an example when Bárbara Muñoz sings Miénteme:

Miénteme una vez

Lie to me once

Caption 13, Bárbara Muñoz - Miénteme

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As fans of our popular Telenovela, Muñeca Brava, will know, de una vez means “at once”:

¿Por qué no te acostás de una vez y apagás la luz?

Why don't you get in bed at once and turn off the light?

Caption 35, Muñeca Brava - 18 - La Apuesta

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If you add por todas (or para siempre), the meaning changes to “once and for all.” This becomes evident when you watch our other popular Telenovela, Yago (Pasion Morena):


No, uh, no, no, este, quiero a ver si me entendés de una vez por todas.

No, oh, no, no, um, I want to see if you understand me once and for all.

Caption 51, Yago - 2 El puma

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Do you find these lesson useful? We suggest you keep them at hand la próxima vez (the next time) you put your Spanish to use.


Further reading from our archives:
Una Vez (One more time)
Telling the Tale (Once upon a time) 
Ahora/Ya (Learning “now”)



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