7 Vote

Ok so they all mean to walk but are there special cases in which I have to use one over the other. thanks in advance.

  • Posted Dec 5, 2008
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22 Answers

15 Vote

I can't see why "andar" doesn't mean "to walk", but like many other verbs, it has other meanings which cannot be translated as "to walk", of course.

The way I see it:

"Pasear" definitely means to go from one place to another for fun, recreation, mild exercise, or any other purpose other than just reaching a destination (stroll, take a walk, walk for fun, walk about, go for a ride,...), often by walking. You don't use this verb when you just refer to the action of going from one place to another without focusing on the feeling of contemplating or enjoying the "trip".

"Andar" means to go from one place to another, specially when using your legs, but also for inanimate objects and other situations. This verb, unlike the other two, has nearly a twenty other different meanings that don't translate as "to walk".

"Caminar" is the same as "andar" when it involves steps (i.e. to walk), and more unusually, with inanimate objects. No extra meanings.

"Marchar" is to walk in a rather steady way, especially like a troop or a parade. It is also used for mechanical inanimate objects.

"Marcharse" means to go away, to leave. Used only for living beings.

3 Vote

James, in America is fairly common to use "andar" for "to ride" and other meanings, but not in Spain, where its use is more restricted to "to walk" in motion contexts. If you ask any Spaniard (myself, for example), how to translate "andar", the first thought that would come to anyone's mind is "to walk", even though there are cases where you can't translate like that. I'd say -without checking it- that statistically, in Spain, "andar" is "to walk" reasonably frequently, but as I said, it is the most polysemantic verb of the whole group, so it is often going to have other meanings.

2 Vote

I wouldn't really say that andar means to walk, although it can be translated that way. It's more like to move or go. But it is used in many different ways. Just double-click the word andar here and you'll see some of them. Another common meaning is "to hang around with," as in "Dime con quién andas, y te diré quién eres."

Caminar and pasear do mean to walk. The difference, in a nutshell, is similar to the difference between walk and stroll. That's just a general rule though, and there will be many exceptions.

Your best best is to look up all three words in a good paper dictionary that gives lots of usage examples.

2 Vote


i believe that ANDAR means to ride also but its not mentioned in the dictionary. andar en bicicleta, any ideas?

Yes, andar en bicicleta means to ride a bike or to go by bike. Andar a caballo means to ride a horse or go on horseback.

One way I've heard it used in the meaning of walk is "He venido andando," which is "I came on foot/walked."

2 Vote

Don't get me wrong: it is an extremely versatile verb everywhere (I mentioned that it has almost 20 meanings other than to walk), many of them related to the way people or things are "going", (or doing) in a very broad sense. What I meant to say is that we don't use "andar" for bicycles, cars or other transportation means, but apparently this is very common in America. If you say "He estado andando" in Spain, no one would ever consider a bicicle, or any other vehicle; only your feet.

In other contexts, "andar" can mean lots of different things (most of them related to the way things go).

2 Vote

I researched the web and came up with some pretty clear instances of the usage of these three verbs which I will write below. This is a tough question and a good one and sooo confusing. Andar has way too many other meanings so in the example I just used the meaning of "to walk" .

Me gusta pasear por el campo. I like walking in the country. (leisurly stroll for pleasure or walking your dog}

Yo camino al restaurante para cenar. I'm walking to the restaurant to have dinner. {use one's feet to advance to a place or to exercise}

El niño ha empezado a andar. The baby's started to walk. {move by taking a step or to move along}

1 Vote

Marchar is similar to andar in that while it can be translated as to walk, it usually isn't. It is often used to mean that some machine works or runs. Marcharse is very close to irse, meaning to leave.

1 Vote

OK, thanks, that's good to know. Here in the Americas it is definitely used more often in other meanings. That's not to say that it isn't used to mean "walk," but it is an extremely common and versatile verb (like quedar), so all its other meanings kind of shove the "walk" meaning to one side.

Dorian asked us for "a general to walk I could use for like I walk to the store every day or i walked for 3 hours yesterday." I'd like to hear what you say, but I would say the following.

Todos los días voy caminando a la tienda.
Ayer caminé tres horas (o, pasé tres horas caminando, o dando un paseo). (Depending on the type of walking)

1 Vote

James Santiago said:

But how would you translate the two sentences Dorian asked about?

The bicycle one, as you can imagine, is not used in Spain, so it is pointless for me to offer a translation. "To ride" would be the obvious one, I guess.

The second sentence (not explicitly mentioned), could be something like: "Anduve (por) dos kilómetros", and here "to talk" would just be an adequate translation.

Otherwise, I think that the distinctions that I mentioned above (except the complex details of "andar") apply to all other verbs.

0 Vote

And how about "marchar". Any thoughts'

0 Vote

i believe that ANDAR means to ride also but its not mentioned in the dictionary.
andar en bicicleta, any ideas'

0 Vote

Yea my teacher taught us andar en bicicleta also. However she did use andar as a way to say to walk once but i dont remember her exact sentence. Is there like a general to walk I could use for like I walk to the store every day or i walked for 3 hours yesterday.

0 Vote

I can't see why "andar" doesn't mean "to walk"

Read my post again and you'll see that I specifically said it CAN be translated as to walk. What I was trying to convey was that if we did a statistical analysis of good translations of andar, we would see that it is rendered as to walk a fairly small percentage of the time. That is, it is usually translated using other English words. I did, however, give one example of when it is translated as walk (in my third post).

0 Vote

But how would you translate the two sentences Dorian asked about'

0 Vote

hola! Quiero practicar mi espanol con alquien, quieres venir en la sala de chat'

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