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Quick answer
"En un rato" is a phrase which is often translated as "in a while", and "al rato" is a phrase which is often translated as "shortly after". Learn more about the difference between "en un rato" and "al rato" below.
en un rato(
ehn
 
oon
 
rrah
-
toh
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (general)
a. in a while
Estoy retrasada, pero espero estar ahí en un rato.I'm running late, but I hope I'll be there in a while.
b. in a bit
¿Podrías levantar la mesa? - Claro, en un rato.Could you clear the table? - Sure, in a bit.
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al rato(
ahl
 
rrah
-
toh
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (general)
a. shortly after
Al rato, llegó el resto del grupo.The rest of the group arrived shortly after.
b. shortly afterwards
Al rato Irene volvió a tropezarse con la misma persona en otra parte de la tienda.Shortly afterwards Irene bumped into the same person on a different part of the store.
c. a while later
Al rato, Luis vino hacia mí y se disculpó.Luis came to me and apologized a while later.
d. a short while later
El avión se escondió tras las nubes; al rato volvió a asomar.The plane hid behind the clouds; a short while later it came into view again.
e. in a while
Al rato nos vemos, amigos.I'll see you in a while, folks.
f. soon after
Al rato de entrar en la sala de conciertos, empecé a notar mucho calor.Soon after I got into the concert hall, I began to feel really hot.
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