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6 Ways to Use Según in Spanish

Are you familiar with the Spanish word según? Did you know that it can function as a preposition, a conjunction or even an adverb? Let's explore six meanings of this common Spanish word.


1. In Accordance With 

As a preposition, the Spanish word según can mean "according to," "in agreement with" or "in accordance with," in the sense of following or abiding by something. Let's see an example of this usage: 


Yo estoy actuando según la ley.

I'm acting in accordance with the law.

Caption 11, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 3 - Part 10

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2. According To

As we see in the following captions, like "according to" in English, the Spanish preposition según can also appear before nouns or personal pronouns to describe what people or entities believe or say.


y según expertos es una de las más antiguas

and according to experts, it's one of the oldest ones,

Caption 25, Amaya Cata de vinos

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Las pirámides, según los abuelos Mayas, no son monumentos

The pyramids, according to the Mayan elders, are not monuments

Caption 47, Guillermo el chamán La tecnología maya

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3. Corresponding With or in Proportion To

This use of según as a preposition is often translated with the English phrase "depending on." In this case, según is often followed by a noun phrase that includes a verb in the subjunctive and describes some variable on which an outcome depends. Let's take a look:


que, según la manera en que respiremos, así va a ser nuestra vida.

as, depending upon the manner in which we breathe, that's how our life is going to be.

Captions 76-77, Ana Teresa La respiración

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Esta planta tiene diferentes nombres según el país en que se encuentre, 

This plant has different names depending on the country in which it is found,

Caption 15, Fermín La plumeria - Part 1

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4. Depending on What or How

In this case, the Spanish word según is classified as a conjunction and is often followed immediately by a verb in the subjunctive mood. Typical translations include "depending on what" or "depending on how," as in the following example:


 Según me sienta mañana, decidiré ir o no al evento. 

Depending upon how I feel tomorrow, I'll decide whether or not to go to the event. 


Let's see one more from the Yabla Spanish library:


Aquí se tira mucho o poco según se mire.

Here a lot or a little is thrown away depending on how you look at it.

Caption 20, Los Reporteros Sembrar, comer, tirar - Part 1

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5. As

There are two ways in which the Spanish conjunction según can function like the English word "as." Let's take a closer look. 


In the way that:

The Spanish word según can be replaced with the English word "as" to say "in the way that," as we see here:


Que según entiendo tampoco estás haciendo con juicio.

Which, as I understand, you're not doing sensibly, either.

Caption 59, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 5 - Part 7

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según dicen algunos, que de ahí proviene el nombre de Coronil.

as some people say, from there comes the name Coronil.

Captions 10-11, Tecnópolis El Coronil

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Según can also be translated as "as" as to talk about something that is happening at the same time as something else:


según iba caminando, iba interactuando con los niños, hablando, y a la vez 

as I was walking, I was interacting with the kids, talking, and, at the same time,

Caption 81, Circo Berlín Christian - Part 1

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6. It All Depends 

Finally, as we see in the caption below, the word según in Spanish can stand alone as an adverb meaning "depending" or "it all depends."


Durante un año, según

In a year, depending.

Caption 46, Edificio en Construcción Hablando con los trabajadores - Part 1

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That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped you to distinguish the many nuanced uses of the word según in Spanish, and don't forget to write us with your suggestions and comments.



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