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Aun vs Aún

In this lesson, we will talk about adverbs and punctuation. Are you familiar with the word "aun" in Spanish? Do you know when to write that word with accent on the letter "ú"? Let's start this lesson with a little quiz. Which word would you use in the following sentences, aun or aún?:

 

____ si te digo la verdad, no me crees

Even if I tell you the truth, you don't believe me

 

Estamos ____ en la fase de entrevistas.

We are still in the interview phase.

 

Let's read the following explanation to find out the answer.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

 

The meaning of "aun" in Spanish

The adverb aun (without graphic accent) refers to the English adverb "even." Let's see a couple of examples:

 

Aun estudiando mucho, no pasó el examen

Even studying hard, he did not pass the exam

 

Yo hice aun más de lo que quería

I did even more than I wanted

 

he vivido demasiado

I have lived too much

aun con tanta historia

even with so much history

Captions 7-8, Kany Garcia - Estigma de amor

 Play Caption

 

Also, keep in mind that when aun is followed by así to mean "even so," it doesn't need an accent. Let's take a look:

 

Revolvimos los planetas

We stirred the planets

aun así te vas

And even so you leave

Captions 16-17, Belanova - Y aun así te vas

 Play Caption

 

When to write aún with an accent

When the word aun works as the English adverb "still", you need to need to put the accent on the letter "ú". Let's see some examples:

 

Para los que aún no me conocen, mi nombre es Natalia.

For those who still don't know me, my name is Natalia.

Caption 3, Natalia de Ecuador - Consejos: haciendo amigos como adultos

 Play Caption

 

Así que aún queda la pequeña esperanza.

So, there's still a little hope.

Caption 44, Rosa - Fuente de Piedra

 Play Caption

 

Durante este período, México aún tenía el nombre de la Nueva España.

During this period, Mexico still had the name New Spain.

Caption 16, Paseando con Karen - Monterrey - Museo de Historia Mexicana

 Play Caption

 

Considering the above, let's unveil the answer to our quiz:

 

Aun si te digo la verdad, no me crees

Even if I tell you the truth, you don't believe me

 

Estamos aún en la fase de entrevistas.

We are still in the interview phase.

Caption 19, Negocios - La solicitud de empleo

 Play Caption

 

And that's it for today. We hope you enjoyed this lesson and don't forget to send us your comments and questions.

Aun Así: Even So, It's Still Tricky

Even native speakers have no end of trouble with the distinction between aun and aún. In fact, this newsletter was instigated when our chief proofreader removed the accents she found on the u's in Belanova's title refrain Y aun así te vas. The band's own CD shows an accent on the u, so we were dubious. Ultimately, she convinced us that there should be no accent on the u in the phrase aun así. Hopefully the following will convince you too!

 

Revolvimos los planetas

We stirred the planets

Y aun así te vas

And even so you leave

Captions 16-17, Belanova - Y aun así te vas

 Play Caption

 

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Aun así is a Spanish idiom, or usage expression, meaning "even so", "still" or "yet." We could have equally well translated the line as "And still you leave," or "And yet you leave."

 

Hace frío afuera, aun así ella no se pone un abrigo.
It's cold outside, yet she won't wear a coat.

No tengo mucho dinero, pero aun así voy a comprar la computadora.
I don't have much money, but still I'm going to buy the computer.

Habíamos pagado por la habitación y aun así tuvimos que buscar otro hotel.
We had paid for the room and yet we had to look for another hotel.

Aun así, creo que deberías disculparte.
Even so, I think you should apologize.

The word aun, by itself, and with no accent over the u, and not followed by así, can often be translated as "even."

No como torta, aun en mi cumpleaños.
I don't eat cake, even for my birthday.

Aun cuando lo leyera, no lo entendería.
I wouldn't understand it, even if I read it.

Ni aun sabiendo la dirección llegarías a su casa.
Not even knowing the address would you find his house.

Can you see how when we put aun together with así ("like this" / "this way"), we get something along the lines of "even like this" / "even this way"? Or, more concisely, "even so"? Diccionario de Uso del Español, by María Moliner, a favorite of professional translators, goes deeper:

"AUN ASÍ" Expresión adverbial de significado adversativo, ya que expresa oposición entre el resultado real de la circunstancia expresada por "así" y el que podría esperarse de ella. "Aun así no llegaís a tiempo"

"AUN ASÍ" Adverbial phrase with adversative meaning since there is a contrast between the actual outcome of that circumstance expressed by "así" and the expected result. "And still / yet you are not on time"

If that's a bit too deep, ¡no importa! (don't worry), just remember the basic meaning and you'll be fine!

 

Aún, with the accent on the ú, means "up until the present moment" and is basically synonymous with todavía. Confusingly enough, aún is also defined as "yet," "still," but in the temporal sense (as opposed to when they mean "even so" / aun así).

¿Aún estás aquí?
¿Todavía estás aquí?
Are you still here?

Aún no ha llamado.
Todavía no ha llamado.

She hasn’t called yet.

Ya son las once y aún no ha llamado.
Ya son las once y todavía no ha llamado.
It’s already eleven o’clock and she still hasn’t called.

¿Has tenido noticias? —Aún no
¿Has tenido noticias? —Todavía no
Have you had any news? — Not yet.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

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