Like many things in Spanish, I didn’t know I needed this until I was in the moment and it was too late.
Once again I was caught speechless. I know that eventually something is going to stump me, but I hate it when it’s something this simple.
I don’t want to this to happen to you, so today I’m going to teach you how to say I’ll be right back in Spanish.
Surprisingly, there are quite a few options to tell someone you’ll be right back in Spanish. You’ll need to use one of the following words: ya, ahora, ahorita or enseguida.
Ya, ahora and ahorita translate to “now”. Well, translating ahorita can be a bit tricky, but more on that later. Enseguida is more of a direct translation of right away or immediately.
You then combine one of those with one of the following verbs: venir, volver or regresar. Venir means “to come”, and volver and regresar mean “to return” or “to come back”.
Let’s start with the options that use the word ya, which then gets combined with one of the three verbs I mentioned.
Pretty easy right? You just have to conjugate the verb to the YO (I) form, or the first person in grammar speak.
It works the exact same way with ahora and ahorita.
ahora (mismo) vengo / ahorita vengo
ahora (mismo) vuelvo / ahorita vuelvo
ahora (mismo) regreso / ahorita regreso
The mismo that you see above is optional. It just adds further clarification that you’re coming right back.
Remember I said that translating ahorita could be a little tricky? Now it’s time for me to tell you why.
In certain countries ahorita can be used to say “right now”. In other countries it means a little later. And there’s no way to tell which Spanish speakers use which definition.
Not realizing this difference in meaning can cause some pretty big misunderstandings, and here’s a great example of that.
So with that in mind, if you want to avoid any confusion use ahora, or ahora mismo instead of ahorita.
Let’s look at our last option, enseguida.
Vuelvo enseguida / Enseguida vuelvo
Enseguida regreso / Regreso enseguida
Enseguida vengo / Vengo enseguida
Did you notice that you can change the order of the words when you use enseguida? Don’t ask me why, but you can. That’s one less thing for you to worry about.
And that’s it!
If you’re wondering about which one to use, here’s my advice.
You can just pick one. Whichever one is easier for you to remember and pronounce.
The other option is to simply use what you hear the people around you using. Depending on where the Spanish speaker is from, they will generally have a preference for a particular version.
In Mexico it might be “ahorita vengo” and in Argentia “enseguida vuelvo”. You know the saying, “When in Rome….”.
Beyond that, it really doesn’t matter. All of these expressions are equally understood.
¡Ojalá que les sirva!
When I was studying in Mexico, one of the professors joked that “Vengo ahora” means I coming now, “Vengo ahorita” means I’m coming right now, and “Vengo ahoritita” means I’m never going to show up.
YES! It is SO true and accurate. Living in CDMEX I ran into the same thing. “WE” have a language all our own.