Spanish words: “Normalmente…”, “muchos días…”, “a veces…”

normalmente muchas veces a veces

In Spanish, we can use some adverbials to express frequency when we talk about present or past events.

If you’ve been learning Spanish for a while, you probably are familiar with “normalmente” and “a veces”. Generally, we use them to talk about our daily routines.

Yet, when we use it to talk about past events, the meaning of the sentence may slightly change. Another Spanish phrase that comes in handy in these situations is “muchos días”.

“Normalmente”, “a veces”, and “muchos días” will affect the meaning of the sentence depending on its structure and context. Therefore, many students struggle when trying to use these expressions in a context different from telling their daily routine.

In this explanation, we will show you all you need to use them in any situation and, as a result, improve your communication skills.

How to use “normalmente”

“Normalmente” is an adverbial that comes from the Spanish word “normal”. It’s the Spanish equivalent of “normally” and it follows the common rule where the English ending “-ly” becomes “-mente” in Spanish.

When talking about routines, we use “normalmente” with verbs conjugated in the present tense. In this context, “normalmente” would be an alternative to “frequently” or “usually”.

On the other side, when we use “normalmente” to talk about events, it will help us express how things “used to be”.

Let’s see a few examples to get a clearer picture:

Normalmente, voy a trabajar todas las semanas.

Normally, I go to work every week.

Normalmente, era divertido jugar en el parque.

Normally, it was fun to play in the park.

In the first sentence, even though we aren’t providing information about how many weeks we go to work each month, we can assume that we go to work most of them.

In the second example, we want to emphasize how the activity was rather than how frequent it was. In that case, we want to describe how the experience used to be instead of how many times we did something.

“Normalmente” also helps us talk about things that are common and ordinary to us. So, we can use it to describe almost any activity, action, or situation.

Let’s see a few more examples to get a clearer picture:

Normalmente, no iba a trabajar en las tardes.

Normally, I didn’t go to work in the afternoons.

Cantábamos, normalmente, en nuestra habitación para pasar el rato.

We sang, normally, in our room to hang out.

Tomaba un baño luego de ir al gimnasio, normalmente.

I would take a bath after going to the gym, normally.

We generally place “normalmente” at the beginning of the sentence but, as you may see, we can also place “normalmente” in the middle or at the end of it.

Using “normalmente” at the end of the sentence isn’t pretty common. So, we would recommend placing it at the beginning of the sentence or in the middle instead.

We often place the adverbial “normalmente” right after the main verb and between two commas when we want to use it in the middle of the sentence.

“Normalmente” isn’t a changing word. Therefore, it will always stay the same. It doesn’t matter what kind of noun we use.

How to use “a veces”

“A veces” is the Spanish equivalent of “sometimes”.

We use it in a similar way to “normalmente”. If you have a while learning Spanish you probably are familiar with “a veces”. After all, it’s pretty common to use it when we want to express frequency and talk about routines.

In that scenario, we can also use “a veces” with verbs in the present tense.

Let’s see the examples below:

A veces, juego tenis con mis amigos.

Sometimes, I play tennis with my friends.

Trabajo desde casa, a veces.

I work from home, sometimes.

Viajamos, a veces, a Miami con la familia de mi esposa.

We travel, sometimes, to Miami with my wife’s family.

Just like with “normalmente”, we can use “a veces” to talk about past events and describe them. It expresses that “regularly” things used to be in a certain way.

When using “a veces”, we also try to highlight how the experience was rather than what kind of activity we did.

Here are some examples:

A veces, reíamos juntos cuando nos sentábamos a hablar.

Sometimes, we would laugh together when we sat down to talk.

A veces, era emocionante ver el mundial de fútbol con tus hermanos.

Sometimes, it was exciting to watch the World Cup with your brothers.

Me gustaba, a veces, sentarme en la terraza a ver el atardecer.

I liked, sometimes, to sit on the terrace to watch the sunset.

Please note that we always use the imperfect past tense instead of the indefinite past tense to build sentences in the past tense.

How to use “muchos días”

“Muchos días” is a Spanish expression we use with less frequency than “normalmente” and “a veces”. Generally, we use it to say “how many days” we will do or did something.

“Muchos días” doesn’t provide specific information about the exact number of days. Therefore, it’s a time expression that will help us give our opinion when we don’t want to be too specific. When using “muchos días” with verbs in the past tense, we often place it right after the main verb. But, it can also be at the beginning.

Using “muchos días” to start a statement isn’t common. Nonetheless, it help us highlight that we did something for several days. “Muchos días” could be translated to many days, several days, or a lot of days.

Let’s some examples:

Muchos días, fuimos a jugar tenis en el club.

Many days, we went to play tennis at the club.

El año pasado, pasé muchos días en casa por la pandemia.

Last year, I spent many days at home because of the pandemic.

Estudiamos muchos días Español para pasar el examen.

We studied Spanish for several days to pass the exam.

Jugué ajedrez con mis amigos por muchos días.

I played chess with my friends for a lot of days.

As you may see, when placing “muchos días” at the end of the sentence, we can use a preposition like “por” to give a clear idea of how much time we spent doing an activity. We would translate the Spanish word “por”, in this scenario, to “for”.

Express frequency

Generally speaking, “a veces”, “normalmente”, and “muchos días” are great Spanish tools to talk about routines and express frequency. However, when it comes to describing how an experience usually was, we would use “normalmente” or “a veces”.

Building sentences and using these Spanish phrases to express your ideas won’t be difficult if you apply what you have learned. Keep in mind that when using “normalmente” and “a veces”, we should conjugate verbs using the imperfect past tense.

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