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Quick answer
"Go back" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "volver", and "return" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "regresar". Learn more about the difference between "go back" and "return" below.
go back(
go
 
bahk
)
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 return)
a. volver
I would love to go back to Madrid some day.Me encantaría volver a Madrid algún día.
b. regresar
What time should we go back for dinner?¿A qué hora tenemos que regresar para la cena?
c. regresarse
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
I have to go back to the hotel to get my luggage before 6 pm.Tengo que regresarme al hotel para recoger mi equipaje antes de las 6 pm.
2. (to return to a previous time)
a. volver atrás
I acted like such an idiot. I wish I could go back.Me porté como un verdadero imbécil. Ojalá pudiera volver atrás.
b. volverse atrás
They had taken a crucial step, and they knew there was no going back.Habían dado un paso decisivo y sabían que no existía la posibilidad de volverse atrás.
3. (to have common history)
a. conocerse desde hace tiempo
Adam and I go way back. We went to elementary school together.Adam y yo nos conocemos desde hace mucho tiempo. Hicimos juntos la primaria.
4. (to take up in a conversation)
a. volver
To go back to what you were saying about your children, mine do the exact same thing.Volviendo a lo que me decías de tus hijos, los míos hacen exactamente lo mismo.
5. (to be reunited)
a. volver
I don't know why she went back to her girlfriend. She treated her really poorly.No sé por que volvió con su novia. Se portó muy mal con ella.
6. (to date)
a. remontarse
The origins of the castle go back to the 12th century.Los orígenes del castillo se remontan al siglo XXII.
7. (to change time)
a. atrasarse
Do the clocks go back an hour tonight, or tomorrow night?¿Es esta noche cuando se atrasan los relojes una hora, o es mañana por la noche?
8. (to extend)
a. extenderse
This field goes back toward the house.Este campo se extiende hasta la casa.
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return(
rih
-
tuhrn
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to go back)
a. regresar
In December I am going to return to Ecuador.En diciembre voy a regresar a Ecuador.
b. volver
The student returned from the library at nine at night.El alumno volvió de la biblioteca a las nueve de la noche.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
2. (to give back)
a. devolver (object, favor)
Margaret helped me paint the living room, and I'd like to return the favor.Margaret me ayudó a pintar el salón, y quiero devolverle el favor.
b. corresponder (affection)
I fell in love with a girl who did not return my affection.Me enamoré de una chica que no me correspondía.
3. (commerce)
a. devolver
You can't return sale items.No se pueden devolver artículos rebajados.
4. (to put back)
a. devolver
Having returned the book to the shelf, Mr. Sanderson came over to speak to me.Después de devolver el libro al estante, el señor Sanderson se acercó para hablar conmigo.
5. (telecommunications)
a. devolver
Please leave a message and I will return your call.Por favor deje un mensaje y devolveré su llamada.
6. (sports)
a. devolver
My sister's arm was hurting, and she couldn't return the serve.A mi hermana le dolía el brazo y no podía devolver el servicio.
7. (legal)
a. pronunciar
Has the jury returned a verdict yet?¿El jurado ya ha pronunciado su veredicto?
8. (finance)
a. reportar
The company returned a profit of 10 million dollars.La empresa reportó un beneficio de 10 millones de dólares.
b. rendir
How much did our investments return last year?¿Cuánto rindieron nuestras inversiones el año pasado?
c. dar
My investments returned only two percent in 2015.Mis inversiones dieron solo un dos por ciento en 2015.
d. producir
Sheila has a stable, which returns a good income.Sheila tiene una cuadra, que le produce una buena renta.
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
9. (arrival)
a. la vuelta
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
After his return from London, Josh spent a few days in Maine.A su vuelta de Londres, Josh pasó unos días en Maine.
b. el regreso
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
Following my return to New York, I started working as a journalist again.Tras mi regreso a Nueva York, volví a trabajar de periodista.
c. el retorno
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
Not long after our return to Scotland, we received a letter from my cousin.Poco tiempo después de nuestro retorno a Escocia, recibimos una carta de mi primo.
10. (change)
a. la vuelta
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
We would all welcome the return to power of our former leader.Todos acogeríamos la vuelta al poder de nuestro antiguo líder.
b. el regreso
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
The whole world is celebrating the return of peace here.El mundo entero festeja el regreso de la paz aquí.
c. el retorno
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
I'd like to see a return to truthfulness in politics.Me gustaría ver el retorno de la honradez a la política.
11. (commerce)
a. la devolución
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
For returns or exchanges, please go to the top floor.Para cualquier cambio o devolución, diríjase al último piso.
12. (finance)
a. el rendimiento
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
It is a shame that he will see little return on his investment.Qué pena que verá poco rendimiento por su inversión.
b. la ganancia
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
It's a risky investment, but the returns are good.Es una inversión arriesgada, pero las ganancias son buenas.
13. (computing)
a. la tecla de retorno
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
Press "return" to continue.Pulse la tecla de retorno para continuar.
14. (football)
a. la devolución
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
The favored team made a return of 60 yards in the first quarter.El equipo preferido hizo una devolución de 60 yardas en el primer cuarto.
15. (transport) (United Kingdom)
a. el boleto de ida y vuelta
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
It worked out cheaper to buy two singles than a return.Salió más barato comprar dos boletos de ida que un boleto de ida y vuelta.
b. el boleto redondo
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
Regionalism used in Mexico
(Mexico)
I had to buy a single ticket because I didn't have enough money for a return.Tuve que comprar un boleto de ida porque no tenía suficiente dinero para pagar un boleto redondo.
c. el pasaje de ida y vuelta
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
Did you want a single or a return, sir?¿Quiere un pasaje sencillo o un pasaje de ida y vuelta, señor?
d. el billete de ida y vuelta
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
Regionalism used in Spain
(Spain)
Did you buy a single or a return to Edinburgh?¿Compraste un billete de ida o un billete de ida y vuelta a Edimburgo?
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
16. (homeward) (United Kingdom)
a. de vuelta
We were delayed by a couple of hours on the return journey.En el viaje de vuelta, nos retrasamos un par de horas.
b. de regreso
My suitcase got lost on the return flight.Mi maleta se perdió en el vuelo de regreso.
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