Spanish Lessons


The Verb Volver

Although the verb, volver, is most often translated as "to return," it can actually take on a variety of meanings. Let's take a look at some of the many ways native Spanish speakers might use it in real-life situations. 



The Basic Concept

Typically, the verb volver means "to return" or "come back." Like other Spanish verbs, it is very commonly used in its infinitive form in combination with such verbs as querer (to want) or ir (to go). Learning how to use the infinitive form of verbs within such phrases is actually very useful— particuarly if you haven't yet mastered the conjugation of such irregular verbs. Let's first take a look at volver in the infinitive: 


No quiero volver al hotel y el apartamento me gusta.

I don't want to go back to the hotel, and I like the apartment.

Captions 18-19, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 3 - Part 13

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Nada... voy a volver a última hora de la tarde, nada más.

None... I'm going to come back late in the afternoon, that's all.

Caption 54, Muñeca Brava 9 Engaños - Part 4

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Using Volver to Indicate Repetition (As "Again")

The verb volver can also be combined with other Spanish verbs to indicate the English concepts of "over" or "again." 


Pues espero volver a verte pronto

Well, I hope to see you again soon

Caption 93, Blanca y Mariona Vida en general

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The infinitive, volver, with the preposition a (literally "to," "at," etc.) can be linked with other Spanish verbs in phrases such as volver a vernos (to see each other again), volver a empezar (to start over), volver a entrar (to reenter), etc. Let's take a look at such examples of the formula, volver + + infinitive, where volver has been conjugated:

Pero bueno, cuando pueda, me vuelvo a inscribir en otro gimnasio y me meto.

But well, when I can, I'll sign up at another gym again, and I'll go. .

Caption 29, Patricia Marti - Diversión y Ejercicio

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Doblamos un pliego de papel china naranja a la mitad y volvemos a doblar a la mitad.

We fold a sheet of orange tissue paper in half and we fold it in half again.

Captions 65-66, Manos a la obra Papel picado para Día de muertos

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The Pronominal Form: Volverse

The verb, volver, also has a pronominal form: volverse, which can take on such diverse meanings as "to turn around," "to become," "to turn upside down," "to turn inside out," and "to go back," among others. Let's look at a few examples where volverse means "to become":


Porque nunca ha estudiado con niñas y como el colegio se volvió mixto, está temblando.

Because he has never studied with girls and since the school became mixed, he is shaking.

Caption 38, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 4

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Entonces, el asunto se vuelve más complicado.

So, the issue becomes more complicated.

Caption 32, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo enero - Part 3

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La diferencia de edad también se puede apreciar en el pico, que también se vuelve de color más rosáceo con la edad.

The age difference can also be seen in the beak, which also becomes more pinkish with age.

Captions 50-51, Rosa Laguna Fuente de Piedra

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Finally, the expression volverse loco or loca is very often used when people want to say that someone went crazy:


¿Mi hija se volvió loca, Papá?

Did my daughter go crazy, Dad?

Caption 28, Yago 6 Mentiras - Part 14

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That's all for today. We hope you liked this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

Volverse, Convertirse, and Others: Ways to Become

All this talk about commands brought us back to Shaila Dúrcal's wistful song, Vuélvete la luna. ("Become the Moon"). Yup: here's another song title that's an order, if a somewhat abstract one. Some of you may know that Volver (the title of a 2006 Almodóvar film) means "to return." But did you know that "volverse" is one of many ways to say "to become"? For example:


Acaricia mi alma, vuélvete la luna

Caress my soul, become the moon

Caption 14, Shaila Dúrcal - Vuélvete la Luna

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¿Mi hija se volvió loca, Papá?

Did my daughter go [become] crazy, Dad?

Caption 28, Yago - 6 Mentiras - Part 14

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Se volvió loco.
He went [became] crazy.


A few other ways to say "to become" are hacerse, convertirse, and ponerse. Here are examples of how these "becoming" verbs work:

Hazte doctor.
Become a doctor.


Las redes sociales generan impactos sorprendentes, y hoy por hoy se ha convertido en la mano derecha de millones de usuarios.

Social media generate a surprising impact, and at present it has become millions of users' right hand.

Captions 11-12, Tu Voz Estéreo - Laura - Part 13

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La librería se ha convertido en un Starbucks.
The book store has become a Starbucks.

Se puso colorado.
He turned red in the face.

A veces la vida se pone difícil.
Sometimes life gets hard.


If you want to read more ways to say "become" in Spanish: Haz clic aquí (Click here).


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