The verb volver in Spanish is one of the most polysemic. Its original meaning expresses a movement back to the point of origin… and that’s the place where millions of kids will go back in the following days in Spain.

They leave behind six months of a pandemic, a lockdown and social distancing. Now, they’ll face the threat of COVID-19’s rising back. Difficult times to volver. Today, we’ll learn some of the usages and meanings of the verb volver in Spanish.

The Verb ‘Volver’ in Spanish: doing something again and again…

One of the most used periphrasis in Spanish is volver + a + infinitive. If you don’t know what a periphrasis is, you can read this article, where we talk about the most common in Spanish. Using volver + a + infinitive, we express an action that was finished at some point in the past and it’s resumed one more time.

For example: Dejé de estudiar español hace años pero gracias a Spanishviaskype, he vuelto a tomar clases.

In the previous example, we assume that they used to study Spanish in the past but now they are taking lessons again.


Volverse: a time of changes

The verb volver in Spanish is also used to express changes. After the pandemic of COVID-19, the world has changed, who can’t deny that? Well, volver, in its reflexive form, can denote the result of an involuntary change, but deep and long-lasted. It may have a negative touch. It’s usually followed by adjectives of the personality.

For example: Mi hermano se ha vuelto muy egoísta con el paso de los años.

Volver(se) loco: a crazy expression

We also use this curious verb to show a strong disagreement, even calling someone loco (crazy).

For example: ¿No te vas a presentar al examen DELE? ¿Te has vuelto loco? ¡Tienes buen nivel de español!

Nevertheless, someone might volver loco a alguien (no-reflexive form). In this case, it can have a positive meaning (‘to turn somebody on’):

For example: Los españoles me vuelven loca.

On the other hand, it can be negative as well (‘to drive somebody mad’):

For example: Mi vecino me vuelve loco; tiene la música a todo volumen todo el día.

The verb volver in Spanish: turning around

The verb volver in Spanish as a reflexive verb is also used with a different meaning. It expresses the movement that a person does in order to turn around. This sense can be literal:

For example: ¿Quieres ver la luna? Vuélvete y la verás.

However, it can be also metaphorical:

For example: Todo el mundo se ha vuelto en mi contra.

This meaning also has funny variations using some parts of the face, mainly the eyes: volver los ojos or la mirada:

For example: Mi profesor de español volvió los ojos; en ese momento, comenzó nuestra clase de conversación.

As you can see, the verb volver in Spanish has numerous usages and the most of them you can use, the most natural you will sound. Don’t waste your time and reserve some lessons with us. Do you want to try one first? Of course, click here and reserve a trial lesson. ¡Vuelve a aprender!