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Quick answer
"Estar de vuelta" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "to be back", and "volver" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to return". Learn more about the difference between "estar de vuelta" and "volver" below.
estar de vuelta(
ehs
-
tahr
 
deh
 
bwehl
-
tah
)
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
1. (to have returned)
a. to be back
Gabriela estaba de vuelta en casa a las 9 pm.Gabriela was back home at 9 pm.
2. (to feel indifferent; often used with "de")
a. to be blassé about
Ramón está de vuelta de eso de salir con chicas. Nadie parece impresionarle.Ramon is blassé about dating girls. No one seems to impress him.
b.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Gus era uno de esos viejos reporteros de guerra que está de vuelta de todo.Gus was one of those old war correspondents who's seen it all before.
Entiendo que estés fascinado por el mundo del cine, muchacho, pero yo ya estoy de vuelta.I can understand you're fascinated with the world of movies, kid, but I'm too old to be surprised.
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volver(
bohl
-
behr
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to be back)
a. to return
Vuelve con el recibo si quieres un crédito en la tienda.Return with the receipt if you want store credit.
b. to come back
Odio tener que volver al trabajo.I hate having to come back to work.
c. to go back
Solo llevo una semana de vuelta pero ya quiero volver a España.I've only been back a week and I already want to go back to Spain.
2. (to do again)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
¡Tengo que volver a limpiarlo todo!I have to clean everything again!
Volverá a llover este fin de semana.It will rain again this weekend.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
3. (to swivel)
a. to turn
Volvió la cabeza y allí estaba ella.He turned his head and there she was.
4. (to grow to be)
a. to turn
Los años la volvieron cínica y amargada.The years have turned her cynical and bitter.
volverse
A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
5. (to change into)
a. to become
Andrés se volvió un poco difícil durante la adolescencia.Andres became a little difficult in adolescence.
b. to get
Te has vuelto flaquito desde que comenzaste la dieta.You've gotten skinny since you started the diet.
c. to turn into
La bruja hechizó al príncipe y se volvió rana.The witch cast a spell on the prince and he turned into a frog.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
6. (to be back)
a. to return
Se volvió a España porque no encontró trabajo acá.He returned to Spain because he couldn't find a job here.
b. to come back
Vuélvanse antes de que los agarre la tormenta.Come back before you get caught in the storm.
c. to go back
Me tuve que volver temprano para sacar al perro.I had to go back early to take the dog out.
7. (to turn to face in the opposite direction)
a. to turn around
Me volví para enfrentar a los que me estaban insultando.I turned around to face those who were insulting me.
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