Spanish expressions: “De todos modos…”, “de por sí…”.

spanish expressions de por si de todos modos 1

In Spanish, there are many different types of expressions or phrases. We constantly use those phrases in our day-to-day life, that is the case of “de todos modos” and “de por sí“. They are not as formal as other phrases in Spanish like “de todas maneras”, and “de cualquier modo”. But, Latin American and Spanish people use it anyway.

Of course, it is easier to use “de todos modos” and “de por sí” in colloquial conversations. Now, if you want to learn what’s the difference between “de todos modos” and “de por sí”, you are in the right place. Here, you’ll learn how we use them and when is the right time to make use of them.

How to use “de todos modos”

“De todos modos” is the Spanish expression for “anyway” or for “in any case”. It is a connector of addition since it helps us to add more information to the sentence we are saying. When we talk about this type of connector, we can say it reaffirms the action of the adversity being indicated. Although we know we cannot do this adversity, we end up doing it.

Let’s see a few examples below.

Está lloviendo, pero iré a la fiesta de todos modos.

It is raining, but I am going to the party anyway.

El plazo de la tarea de historia era hasta hoy, pero de todos modos no la terminé.

The history homework deadline was until today, but I did not finish it anyway.

Using “de todos modos” to add important information more than expressing adversity is also possible.

Here are other examples.

Sí, pero de todos modos podría estar conectado a Diana.

Yeah, but he might just be connected to Diana anyway.

Y de todos modos, el futuro pertenece a la siguiente generación.

And anyway, the future belongs to the next generation.

We can also use “de todos modos” to state that a statement explains or supports a previous statement.

For example:

Gracias de todos modos.

Thank you anyway.

De todos modos, pienso que es peligroso que vayas a tu casa solo.

Anyway, I think it’s dangerous for you to go home alone.

How to use “de por sí”

“De por sí” is an adverbial phrase meaning “by its very nature”. It must also vary according to the grammatical person to which it refers.

María es estirada de por sí.

Mary is stretched out by herself.

Tengo la piel morena de por sí.

I have brown skin either way.

The common way to use it is with the third person only. We use “de por sí” to express a characteristic of something or someone that complies. Besides, it also contributes information to the rest of the sentence.

For example,

Yo, que ya de por sí soy rubia, me quiero teñir más rubia aún.

I, who already am blonde, want to dye my hair even blonder.

Ella, de por sí, es guapa, no entiendo por qué se quiere operar la rariz.

She, in itself, is pretty. I do not understand why she wants to operate on her root.

Moreover, we can also use “de por sí” as a phrase that we use with some sarcasm. As if it were not necessary to say something that is already a fact.

Let’s look at the example below.

El equipo perdió a su mejor jugador, si de por sí ya eran malos, ahora serán peor.

The team lost its best player, if they were already bad, now they will be worse.

“De todos modos” vs “de por sí”

When we speak of “de por sí”, we refer to the nature of something, of what it implies or supposes from the beginning.

For example:

Juan de por si es moreno, si se asolea se pondrá negro.

John is dark-skinned anyway, if he sunbathes he will turn black.

In this example, as you may realize, its meaning complies with the rule. It’s because we are talking only about Juan (or John), and everything that concerns him.

Now, we have other examples of “de por sí” for you to understand better.

El ecosistema es algo, de por sí, bastante frágil.

The ecosystem is something in itself quite fragile.

No es buena idea buscarle complicaciones a un asunto que, de por sí, no las tiene.

It is not a good idea to look for complications in a matter that in itself does not have them.

In these cases, we placed “de por sí” between commas because removing it from the sentences will not affect their meaning. Yet, it helps us make an emphasis on what we say.

On the other side, we use “de todos modos” to give the idea that something is true although we have said other things. When we use “de todos modos” these days, it is in the sense of “in any sense” or “any case”. We can also use “de todos modos” with the meaning of “in any way or respect”.

Aunque lo esperaba, de todos modos me sorprendió.

Even though I was expecting it, I was still surprised.

El abogado le advirtió a su cliente que no testificara, pero él lo hizo de todos modos.

The lawyer warned his client against testifying, but he did it anyway.

De todos modos, se considera de mala educación pasar la comida con la mano izquierda, ya que ésta se usa para el baño.

Otherwise, it is considered impolite to pass food with the left hand, because the left hand is used for bathing.

‘De por sí’, it’s very easy!

With all things considered, we can conclude that we use “de por sí” and “de todos modos” as connectors. We use “de todos modos” when we are going to do something regardless of the consequences. On the flip side, we use “de por sí” when we refer to something by its very nature, or to something very obvious.

These two expressions help us to improve our Spanish skills when we talk and write. It’s because by speaking in a not-so-formal way, we enhance communication with others. It does not matter if we are in a colloquial conversation or not.


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