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Words Ending in '-quiera'

Spanish Equivalents of 'Wherever,' 'Whenever' and Similar Words

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Spanish has several words ending in -quiera that are the rough equivalent of English words ending in "-ever," although they are often used in slightly different ways.

The most common of these words are:

  • dondequiera, sometimes shortened to doquiera (wherever)
  • adondequiera (to wherever)
  • comoquiera, often spelled as como quiera (in whatever way, however)
  • cualquiera, sometimes used in the plural form cualesquiera (whichever, any)
  • quienquiera, sometimes used in the plural form quienesquiera (whoever, whomever, anyone)
  • cuandoquiera (whenever)

The -quiera suffix is obviously derived from the verb querer. The quiera words can be used as various parts of speech, depending on the context. When used as an adjective before a singular, masculine noun, through the process of apocopation the ending becomes -quier, as in "cualquier hombre," whichever man.

Here are some examples of these words used in sentences, with explanatory notes:

  • Dondequiera que voy, reviso mi correo electrónico. Wherever I go, I check my e-mail.
  • Dondequiera que yo vaya, mi amigo va conmigo. Wherever I go, my friend goes with me. (As in this and the preceding example, dondequiera is frequently followed by the relative pronoun que. Although it is more common to use the subjunctive mood with this sentence construction, the use of the subjunctive does not appear to be mandatory in everyday speech.)
  • Y salía David adondequiera que Saúl le enviaba. And David went away to wherever Saul sent him. (Adondequiera is used when suggesting a destination. Adondequiera has the same relationship to dondequiera that adónde has to dónde.)
  • Comoquiera que sea, gracias por tu amable comentario. Whatever comes of it, thanks for your friendly comment.
  • Comoquiera que no estaba yo muy convencido, me fui. Since I wasn't especially convinced, I left. (When comoquiera que is followed by a verb in the indicative mood, it often means "because" or "since.")
  • Este programa puede convertir videos de cualquier formato a cualquier formato. This program can convert videos from any format to any other format.
  • Existen cientos de carreras profesionales, y estudiar cualquiera de ellas tiene sus ventajas y desventajas. There are hundreds of careers, and studying any of them has advantages and disadvantages.
  • Cualquiera que estudie este libro va a aprender cosas que le van a ser muy útiles en su vida. Anyone who studies this book will learn things that will be very useful in his or her life. (Cualquiera que is typically followed by a verb in the subjunctive mood.)
  • En cualesquiera circunstancias, la mente siempre encontrará algo para que no seas feliz. In any circumstance, the mind will always find something so you aren't happy. (This is an example of the plural form, although it is translated here as singular in English.)
  • Quienquiera que seas, no importa. Whoever you are, it doesn't matter. (Quienquiera que is typically followed by a verb in the subjunctive mood.)
  • Nuestro movimiento está abierto a quienquiera. Our movement is open to anyone.
  • Cuandoquiera que dos o tres alcohólicos se reúnan en interés de la sobriedad, podrán llamarse un grupo de A.A. Whenever two or three alcoholics get together in the interest of sobriety, they will be able to call themselves an AA group. (Cuandoquiera que is typically followed by a verb in the subjunctive mood, although sometimes the indicative mood is used when referring to an event that regularly occurs.)
  • Puedes llamarme por celular cuandoquiera. You can call me by cell phone at any time.

Usage note 1: Note that the "-ever" words are often best translated using the forma reduplicativa rather than using the above words. For example: The first payments, whenever they come, will be modest. Los pagos iniciales, vengan cuando vengan, serán modestos.

Usage note 2: As a pronoun, cualquiera is sometimes used to refer to a promiscuous girl or woman.
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