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Gerald Erichsen

Whatever, Wherever, Whenever ...

By January 27, 2013

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It's not all that obvious where the "ever" in words such as "whatever" and "wherever" means, but it should be pretty clear even to students somewhat new to Spanish where the quiera in equivalent words such as cualquiera and dondequiera comes from — it's derived from the verb querer, meaning "to want."

In any case, various words ending in -quiera are common ways of expressing concepts such as whatever (cualquiera), whoever (quienquiera), wherever (dondequiera) and however (comoquiera). Our lesson on the -quiera words provides numerous examples of their usage.

They aren't the only way, however, of translating "-ever" words. Also common is the forma redupicativa, in which a verb is repeated. Example: Pase lo que pase, vamos a estar siempre juntos. Whatever happens, we're going to be together always.

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