Monday, November 28, 2011

Ahorita vengo

Ahorita.  One simple word. It's not hard to spell, it's not even hard to pronounce.  But don't let that fool you, because this little word has not only caused problems for gingos like us, but for native born Spanish speakers as well.

In Spanish, the word for now is ahora, which is where the word ahorita is derived from.  Figuring out where ahorita comes from is the easy part.  Figuring out what it means is the hard part.

Right now

Ahorita vengo
I'll be right back

If you frequent Mexican restaurants, you may have heard this:

Ahorita le traigo
I'll bring it right now

Notice that I said Mexican restaurants.  That's because ahorita is primarily a Mexican thing.  Not that other Spanish speakers don't say ahorita, because they do.  It's the meaning of ahorita that not all Spanish speakers agree on.

In some parts of the Spanish speaking world ahorita simply isn't used at all.  In other parts it's interpreted as "later".  Rather then me trying to explain it to you, I'm going to point you to a real life example of the kind of havoc this tiny little word can cause.  Take a look at this YouTube video.  The video is of a young woman talking about how the word ahorita caused the first argument between her and her boyfriend.  It's actually kind of funny and is a mixture of Spanish and English, so it's a good chance for you to put those Spanish ears to work.

And if you can't see the video for some reason, here's the direct link:

Since we're on the topic of Mexican Spanish, there's yet another Mexican way to say "right now". 

Regreso luego luego
I'll be right back

In fact, I actually wrote a post about "luego luego" a few years ago.  You can read it by clicking here.

If you want to convey the notion of "right now" in standard Spanish that everyone can understand, then you want "Ahora mismo".

¿Se le traigo ahora mismo?
Should I bring it right now?

Since ahorita isn't a 100% reliable way of telling someone you'll be right back, let me give you a few phrases that should work universally.

Ahora (mismo) vuelvo

Enseguida vuelvo

Ya regreso

 Enseguida regreso

Well, that's it for today.  I hope you all found this useful.  If you speak Spanish with enough people, sooner or later you'll hear these phrases and hopefully won't fall victim to the "Deer in headlights" syndrome. 

Hasta la próxima.


  1. I liked the video. You know, here they even use "ahora" for later on. Don't know if you hear Mexicans say that.

    Ahora te llamo.
    Ahora nos vemos.

    They also say "ahoritica" for soon/later on. I'd say that "YA" best conveys the idea of this very minute (though it can also mean very soon. It all depends on the seriousness of your tone. Good post.

  2. thank you for the information, its new :)

  3. LOVE this definition. I lived in Mexico City for years and am fluent. Going to Cuba, I got drilled because I was not saying AHORA vengo. Then translating for some puertoriquenos I heard the same critique...AHORA vengo. So relieved to know that my AHORITA vengo IS correct...somewhere in the world. Gracias.

    1. Hola Paty! Isn't it nice to know you're not crazy?

      It's always frustrating adjusting to Spanish speakers who say things differently than what you learned.

      Thanks for reading!