Spanish Lessons


Uses of ya - Part 2

Uses of ya - Part 1

Let's continue studying examples of the use of the Spanish word ya.


Used emphatically, ya is equivalent to para (stop) and basta (enough):

Ya, ya, ya, para, para, para, para, para, para. -¿Ya?

Enough, enough, enough, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. -Already?

Caption 35, Yago - 7 Encuentros - Part 11

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But also to "now," "go," or "start":

A partir de este momento comienza la prueba. Ya. -¡Ya!

From this moment the test begins. Now. -Now!

Captions 39-40, Misión Chef - 2 - Pruebas - Part 6

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Or something similar to "that's it":

Pues, ya.

Well, that's it.

Caption 104, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 9

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Ya is also a short answer meaning "yes," "right," "agreed." It may be the case that this use originated from common phrases like ya entiendo (I understand [already]) and  ya veo (I see [now]):

Mira que hasta en la forma de... de ejecutarlo varía mucho. -Ya.

Notice that, even the manner of... of playing it varies a lot. -Yeah.

Caption 1, Festivaliando - Mono Núñez - Part 5

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Sí, ya veo.

Yes, I see.

Caption 77, NPS No puede ser - 1 - El concurso - Part 11

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Ya can also mean "since" when combined with the pronoun que:

Ya que es muy pequeña y por... tener dos océanos,

Since it is very small and due to... having two oceans,

Caption 39, World Travel Market en Londres - Maria nos habla de Guatemala

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But also "once" or "now that":

Ya que tenemos todo dentro de la licuadora,

Once we have everything inside of the blender,

Caption 26, [Bears in the Kitchen] Osos en la cocina - Carne asada

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Ya mismo  means  "right now" 


¿Está bien? -Esperando, ya mismo vamos a las castañas.

Are you OK? -Waiting, right now we're going to the chestnuts.

Caption 11, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 4

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Ya está is a common phrase meaning "it's ready" but it can also be used as "that's it":


Se pone en la caja y ya está.

It's put into the box and that's it.

Caption 86, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 16

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Cómo No: Saying Yes with a Question

The Spanish expression cómo no (literally "how not") is similar to the English "why not": It's a rhetorical question used to add emphasis to an affirmation. You can find an excellent example in the newest episode of our Argentinian telenovela Yago:


¡Sí, cómo no, suban, suban!

Yes, of course, get in, get in!

Caption 49, Yago - 7 Encuentros

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You must remember that, even when the phrase means "yes" or "of course," formally, it's still a question, so it's very important to place the orthographic accent on the word cómo, as you can see in the following examples:

¿Puedo pasar? -Cómo no, adelante.
May I come in? -Of course, go ahead.

¿Me das una mano? -Claro, cómo no.
Can you give me a hand? -Yes, of course.

Yo le dije: Cómo no, esperamos verlo pronto.
I said to him: Of course, we hope to see you soon.

Be careful, though. The actual question cómo no also exists in Spanish. In the following examples the interrogative word cómo (how) appears before the word no (no), not as an affirmation, but as an indirect question with a negation:

Ay, Dios, ¡cómo no voy a estar tenso con el estúpido de Lucio!

Oh, God, how am I not going to be tense with that stupid guy, Lucio!

Captions 31-32, Yago - 2 El puma

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It can also be used in a direct question:

¿Cómo no vas a saber? ¡Yo te avisé!
How come you don't know? I warned you!

Without an orthographical accent, como no can also occur in Spanish, usually as part of a conditional. It translates as "because" or "since":

Pero como no se venden, habéis recurrido al sistema de la permuta.

But because they aren't selling you, have resorted to the swap system.

Caption 42, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos

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Pero como no vine a corregirte, sino a avisarte que...

But since I didn't come to correct you, but rather to advise you that...

Captions 15-16, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poema

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Thanks for reading.

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