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Using 'Vez'

Common Noun Usually Translated as 'Time'

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Batteries

Es una pila que dura hasta cuatro veces más. (It's a battery that lasts up to four times longer.)

Photo by Nacho; licensed via Creative Commons.

Vez (plural veces) is one of the most commonly used nouns of Spanish and can usually be precisely translated as "occurrence," although in practice it is usually translated as "time." Here are some examples of everyday usage:

  • Mil veces te quiero, Alejandro. I love you a thousand times, Alejandro.
  • Llegamos cuatro veces a la final. We made it four times to the final.
  • Será la última vez que me veas. It will be the last time you see me.

Una vez is usually translated as "once," although obviously it could also be translated literally as "one time," and dos veces can be translated as "twice" or "two times":

  • Se toma una vez por día en un nivel de dosis decidido por el médico. It is taken once per day at a dosage level decided by the doctor.
  • ¿Te has enamorado dos veces de la misma persona? Have you fallen in love with the same person twice?
  • "Sólo se vive dos veces" es la quinta entrega de la saga James Bond. "You Only Live Twice" is the fifth installment in the James Bond series.

Veces can be used in making comparisons such as the following:

  • Es una pila que dura hasta cuatro veces más. It's a battery that lasts up to four times longer.
  • La envidia es mil veces más terrible que el hambre. Jealousy is a thousand times worse than hunger.

Vez and veces can be used in a variety of phrases. The following examples show some of the most common, although these aren't the only translations possible:

  • Alguna vez voy a ser libre. Sometime I am going to be free.
  • El gato de Schrödinger sigue estando vivo y muerto a la vez pero en ramas diferentes del universo. Schrödinger's cat was alive and dead at the same time but in different sections of the universe.
  • A mi vez, no puedo comprender el tipo que dice que la casa es tarea de la mujer. For my part, I can't understand the type who says housework is a woman's job. (Also used are phrases such as a tu vez, "for your part," and a su vez, "for his/her part.")
  • Cada vez que te veo me gustas más. Every time I see you I like you more.
  • La actriz tolera cada vez menos la intrusión en su vida. The actress is tolerating the intrusion in her life less and less.
  • De vez en cuando es necesario perder la razón. Once in a while it is necessary to be wrong.
  • Estoy fantaseando en vez de estudiar. I am daydreaming instead of studying.
  • A veces sueño que estás conmigo. Sometimes I dream that you are with me.
  • Los baratos muchas veces salen caros. Cheap things often sell for a high price.
  • ¿Por qué el mar algunas veces se ve verde y otras veces azul? Why does the sea sometimes look green and other times blue?
  • Había una vez una gata vivía en una casita blanca. Once upon a time a cat lived in a little white house.
  • Una vez más Einstein tiene razón. Once again, Einstein is right.
  • La red otra vez fuera de línea. The network went offline again.
  • La felicidad se encuentra rara vez donde se busca. Happiness is rarely found where it is looked for.

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