3 Vote

¿Adónde vas?

I have read that this phrase means "Where are you going?" but doesn't it actually mean "Where do you go?" and if so is there a way to distinguish between these two.

I ask because if I say "Lee un libro" it means "He reads a book"

but if i say "ésta leyendo un libro" it means "He is reading a book"



  • Posted Apr 19, 2011
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6 Answers

7 Vote

English uses the continuous forms (e.g. I am going) to mean right now, or in a planned future time, while keeping the simple present for habitual or regular actions... unless you use verbs of state, where the continuous is rarely used. Spanish rarely uses progressive forms (e.g. estoy yendo) with verbs like "ir", where there is no progression, and English does a similar thing with certain verbs. For example, you wouldn't say "I am having 3 coins in my pocket", right? Well, in some languages, you would have to say it like that.

If you are wondering how to determine whether "¿Adónde vas?" means right now or habitually, try to explain to people who speak a different language how do you know whether "I have three coins" means right now or habitually (Clue: context).

3 Vote

In Spanish, the present tense is often used where we would use present progressive in English (-ing). Therefore, you have to base the understanding off of context. For example:

  • ¿Adónde vas los sábados? = Where do you go on Saturdays?
  • Ahora me voy a casa. ¿Adónde vas? = I'm leaving to go home now. Where are you going?

See what I mean? Spanish doesn't always translate that literally.

2 Vote

Hello rores and Welcome to the Spanishdict forum grin

¿Dónde vas? = Where are you going? or Where do you go? (literally)

¿Adónde vas? = Where are you going?(lit: to where do you go)

I hope this helps grin

2 Vote

I was under the impression that ¿Adónde? is used for people like technically "to where" like to where are you going and ¿Dónde? is for things like "where is something"

For example ¿Adónde vas? = Where are you going? versus ¿Dónde está la mochilla? = Where is my backpack.

You would not normally use ¿Adónde? for things nor would you use ¿Dónde? for people. But when speaking ¿Adónde vas? sounds almost like ¿Dónde vas? that may be where the confusion comes in.

  • Welcome to SpanishDict. - rac1 Nov 10, 2014 flag
2 Vote

Adónde vas? - Where are you going?

Strictly speaking it is "Where are you going to go?"

but in Brit English.

the -ing form is not used with the "to go" and "to come" verbs.

example "When are you going to come? is not used

"When are you coming?" is sufficient.

  • I don't know too many that do say, "When are you going to come." We usually say, "When are you coming" as well. :)) - rac1 Nov 10, 2014 flag
  • That is correct princesa - Spanish speakers learning English do say it though - hence the rule above. :) - ian-hill Nov 10, 2014 flag
  • Oh I know...I was just saying that we don't. Well, I'm sure some do. jeje - rac1 Nov 11, 2014 flag
2 Vote

If I may piggy-back on this, there is a very popular band that started out here in New Orleans called "The Iguanas." Great band, by the way.

Anyway, one of their songs is "Para Dónde Vas." In the song, the guy is asking his girl "Where are you going?" Is "para" sometimes used in this question? Are there situations where it would be preferred?

  • I can't answer from a native perspective, to me a= to, para=to (end destination) por=through (via). I look forward to other input. :) - bosquederobl Nov 10, 2014 flag
  • you can say para donde vas instead of adonde vas - Rey_Mysterio Nov 11, 2014 flag
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