Now or Right Now!|
This article was written by Dave Clark
US Institute of Languages and is republished here with permission.
In Spanish the word for "now" is ahora (listen).
We are going to talk a little this week about the importance of
ahora. Let's say you are conversing at work with a Spanish
speaking person and you tell them about something that needs to be
done ahora. What will likely happen is that they will get
around to the task in an hour or two or possibly even sometime later
in the day. This can be very frustrating if you need something done
"now." You may wonder why they are taking so long to complete the
task. Understanding this term completely and the culture behind it
will help you avoid frustration and bridge culture gaps that may
exist in this area.
For a Spanish speaking person, the word ahora actually
means "now, or any time today." So if you tell a Spanish speaking
person that something has to be done ahora
it will probably get done sometime today.
So, how do you let someone know that something really needs to
be done "now"? Many native speakers will tell you that the word for
"right now" in Spanish is ahorita.
But even that term means within the next hour or so. For example,
many native speakers will leave and say they'll be coming back
ahorita. This means they'll return within the next hour or
The way to say "right now" is
ahora mismo. This
literally means "the same now". By understanding this concept, you
can avoid many potential misunderstandings. Be sure you understand
this term well and start using it ahora mismo!
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