The concept of "next" may seem quite basic, but it can be expressed in Spanish in several ways, depending on how it is being used.
When talking about something that's next in a time sequence, such as when meaning "upcoming," the most common word used is próximo:
- El próximo domingo se espera que cientos de miles de personas participen en "El Mundo Camina Contra el Hambre". Next Sunday it is hoped that hundreds of thousands of people will participate in "The World Walks Against Hunger."
- La próxima versión de 3DMark funcionará únicamente con Windows Vista. The next version of 3DMark will work only with Windows Vista.
- La próxima vez quizás no haya tanta suerte. Next time maybe we won't be so lucky. (Literally, next time maybe there won't be so much luck.)
- Los Rolling Stones estarán por tercera ocasión en México el próximo febrero. The Rolling Stones will be in Mexico next February for the third time.
When using units of time, it is very common to use the adjectival phrase que viene:
- Nuestro sitio web estará en español el año que viene. Our Web site will be in Spanish next year.
- Voy a recopilar los eventos que me gustaría ir la semana que viene en Madrid. I'm going to compile the events I would like to go to next week in Madrid.
- Un nuevo estudio predice que el siglo que viene será "caluroso y húmedo". A new study predicts that the next century will be "hot and humid."
Que viene is seldom used, however, with names of months (such as marzo) or days of the week (such as miércoles).
When referring to something that is next in order, siguiente is often preferred, especially when it can be translated by "following":
- De esta manera el agua permanece limpia para la persona siguiente. In this way the water stays clean for the next (following) person.
- No tengo intención de leer la página siguiente. I don't intend to read the next (following) page.
- ¿Dónde vas a comprar tu coche siguiente? Where are you going to buy your next car? (In this sentence, próximo also could be used. But in many contexts, the use of próximo with coche would indicate that you were talking about an upcoming model of car.)
When translating "next" as an adverb, it is usually roughly synonymous with "afterward." Después or, less commonly, luego, can be used:
- ¿A dónde fue después? Where did she go next?
- Después Pedro empezó a leer el libro. Next, Pedro began to read the book.
- ¿Y luego qué? And what next?
The phrase "next to" when indicating location can be translated as al lado de: La casa está al lado de la iglesia. The house is next to the church. When translating "next to" to mean "almost," you can use casi: casi sin valor, next to worthless.
Other English phrases using "next" include "next to last," which can be translated as penúltimo.