Entonces is a word you will hear very frequently in speaking Spanish. If you have trouble using it accurately, our Spanish school, El Rincón del Tándem, will help you master this word in no time 😊

We continue exploring meaning and usage of Spanish words, especially of those that can be easily confused by students.

One of the questions that are most commonly asked by students during Spanish lessons concerns the meaning and use of entonces. Like many other Spanish words, entonces can have different meanings and functions in a sentence.

In fact, entonces can be an adverb but also an adjective and a filler word (muletilla).

Therefore, let’s learn together how to master it!

1. ENTONCES = En aquella época / en aquel momento

Firstly, entonces is an adverb, expressing time. It refers to a moment or a timeframe that has been already mentioned in the conversation.
The English equivalent would be “then”, “at that time”.

  • Cuando tenía 20 años visité muchos países. Entonces tenía mucho tiempo para viajar = When I was 20 I visited many country. At that time, I had plenty of time to travel
  • El abuelo llamaba todos los días desde una cabina telefónica. Entonces no existían los teléfonos móviles = Grandpa called every day from a telephone box. At that time, there were no mobile phones.

Furthermore, entonces is frequently used in set phrases, like:

A partir de entonces / desde entonces (since then)
Hasta entonces (up till then)
En aquel entonces (at that time)
– Por aquel entonces (back then)

2. ENTONCES = Por eso, en ese caso, por tanto

Secondly, we can find entonces is also used as a consecutive connector. In this case, it connects two situations, where the one is consequence of the other. Therefore, it is used to draws conclusions from a situation.

The English equivalent would be “therefore”, “so”, “then”.

  • Si has acabado las tareas, entonces puedes ir al cinema = If you have finished your homework then you can go the cinema
  • Ayer el horno se estropeó, entonces no he podido hacer la tarta = Yesterday the oven got ruined so I couldn’t make the cake
  • Pablo no va a venir esta tarde – Entonces nos vamos = Pablo is not coming this afternoon – Then, we leave
  • Si nadie ha hecho la compra, entonces tendremos que pedir comida = If nobody went to the grocery, then we will have to order some food

3. ENTONCES as an adjective

Entonces can also be an adjective. It is placed before the noun and refers to something that used to be.

  • El entonces director del colegio aprobó un nuevo proyecto didáctico = The then director of the school approved a new didactic project
  • El entonces rey de Roma firmó la paz con su enemigo = The then king of Rome signed a peace agreement with his enemy

4. ENTONCES like a filler word

Lastly, entonces can works in a sentence like a filler word (muletilla). We remind you that muletillas are words or phrases whose usage does not change the substantial meaning of the sentence. Although they do not affect the literal meaning, they can be used by the speaker to express an intention or with a specific purpose.

In this case, entonces is used to add emphasise or starting a conversation.

  • Entonces, ¿Cogemos el tren de las 8h o el de las 10h? = So, shall we take the train at 8 am or at 10 am
  • Entonces, ¿Leíste mi cuento? = So, did you read my tale?

We hope that this short article on entonces will help you use it fluently when speaking Spanish.

Finally, our Spanish school, El Rincón del Tándem, invites you to add more and more Spanish words to your vocabulary and to make the most of your Spanish lessons.

¡Hasta luego!