High Frequency Words in Spanish 39 – CUANDO



Cuando is the thirty-ninth most common word in the Spanish Language.

This two-syllable word is both a conjunction and an adverb.

The easiest and best translation for cuando is “when”.

My trusty English – Spanish dictionary gives a whole range of translation possibilities, but the simplest and most useful one to keep in mind is “when”.

When writing this post the well-known song “dime cuando, cuando, cuando“, has been rattling around in my head – I am sure that you know it. Well, perhaps it has not quite been rattling around in my head – it is a little more pleasant than that, but it is definitely proving to be difficult to move from my mind.

Having had a closer look at the dictionary, cuando, without an accent, carries more the sense of the English word “whenever”. However, when there is an idea of a question behind it, although it makes no difference when you are speaking, when you are writing you have to add an accent – cuándo.

Here are a couple of examples of the use of cuando both with and without an accent.

Ven cuando quieras – Come when(ever) you want to…there is no idea of a question here

Desde cuándo – since when? ..clearly with the idea of a question

So, cuando, or is it cuándo, the thirty-ninth most frequently used word in the Spanish language is a tale of a well-known song and an accent.

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