HomeQ&AWhat is the difference between "mas tarde" and "luego?"

What is the difference between "mas tarde" and "luego?"


This should be an easy one for native speakers, but it's got me stumped.

Whenever you leave a store or elevator in Madrid, they say, "hasta luego." It actually sounds like "hasta lugo" but that's just a local frustration.

So, we say, "hasta luego." When is it appropriate to say "luego" and when "mas tarde."

The dictionary says they mean the same thing: later.

Vale; hasta luego!

updated JUN 26, 2010
posted by JoyceM

5 Answers


Doesn't luego actually mean then? As in "see you then". If you break it down, "mas tarde" is, more late which of course would be later.

updated JUN 26, 2010
edited by Yeser007
posted by Yeser007

Well, luego can carry the connotation of "later".

Luego de cenar, se fue. (He left after dinner.)

I'd translate "hasta luego" as "see you later", or "catch you later" before I'd translate it "see you then"- unless they had been discussing the next time they would get together.

"Más tarde" on the other hand, simply means "later". And really, with a lot of Spanish phrases like this you can wear yourself out trying to take them apart and figure them out from and English perspective. Don't. It's a phrase- learn it that way.

updated JUN 26, 2010
posted by Goyo
I do understand that and myself would think of it as see you later but for the sake of defining I thought it was the best way - Yeser007, JUN 26, 2010
I will take your advice. - Yeser007, JUN 26, 2010
Vale! Muchimas gracias por todo. - JoyceM, JUN 26, 2010

Okay, I was so confident that I "knew" "luego" meant "later" that I never looked it up. You are right. I will never forget this one.

But, I thought "then" was "entonces," which it is. So what's the difference between "luego" and "entonces?"

So I looked up the translation of "then," and this is what SpanishDict says,

  1. entonces (at that time) it was better then -> era mejor entonces before then -> antes (de eso) since/until then -> desde/hasta entonces by then -> para entonces then and there -> en aquel instante, al momento
  2. luego (next) what then? -> y luego, ¿qué? and then there's the cost -> y luego está el coste
  3. entonces (in that case) if you don't like it, then choose another one -> si no te gusta, elige otro
  4. entonces (therefore)

This was fun. I learned something. It's good to be embarrassed among strangers for once.

updated JUN 26, 2010
edited by JoyceM
posted by JoyceM
It is fun, don't be embarrased for trying to learn something. - Yeser007, JUN 26, 2010
I was going to answer your "then" question but you managed it quite nicely on your own - Yeser007, JUN 26, 2010
Joyce, I have to say you have made me realize again the value of the Spanishdict dictionary. Thanks! - Delores--Lindsey, JUN 26, 2010

Okay, so this discussion took me back to the dictionary to figure out how to say, "later."

later [’le?t?r] [US]


más tardío

más reciente



más avanzada


más tarde




So, this was obviously a trickier thing than I originally thought.


updated JUN 26, 2010
edited by JoyceM
posted by JoyceM

Okay, if "mas tarde" means "later," you would still never say, "hasta mas tarde," right?

I don't know much Spanish, but that just sounds wrong. Right?

updated JUN 26, 2010
posted by JoyceM
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