Unit 16: Translation considerations (part 5)

16.2 Compound Adverbs

Some adverbs in Spanish take compound forms, whether or not they are formed by one or two words in English. While you may be able to deduce the meaning of these in context, some are less obvious than others. Among the most common ones are:

al revés upside-down
al revés (de dentro para fuera) inside out
allá abajo way down below
allá arriba way up above
allí arriba up there
aquí abajo down here
aquí arriba up here
calle abajo down the street
calle arriba up the street
cuesta abajo down (the) hill
cuesta arriba up (the) hill
hacia aquí this way (toward here)
hacia atrás backward
hacia delante forward
para adelante forward
poco a poco little by little

Other adverbial phrases may be formed by plus the feminine plural form of an adjective, present participle or past participle. Among the most common are:

a ciegas blindly
a escondidas secretly, on the sly
a gatas on all fours
a hurtadillas stealthily
a oscuras in the dark
a sabiendas knowingly, wittingly, consciously
a solas alone



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