Saying ‘Even’ in Spanish

First step: Figure out what word means

watching movie
Parece que incluso mi hijo quería ver la película. (It seems that even my son wanted to see the movie.).

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"Even" has dozens of possible translations to Spanish. Here's a guide to "even" that will work most of the time.

As is the case with other words that have a wide range of meanings, many of them apparently unrelated to each other, when translating "even" you need to understand first what it means and how it is used. Most of the time it is an adjective suggesting uniformity or an adverb used to add emphasis, although it can be a transitive verb as well.

One way to translate "even," at least when it isn't being used for emphasis, is to come up with an English synonym and then translate the synonym. This can be especially useful when a dictionary isn't helpful.

‘Even'’ Meaning ‘Uniform’ or ‘Consistent’

Uniforme can be used most of the time when "even" is referring to something being consistent:

  • Las temperaturas no son uniformes durante el año. (The temperatures aren't even through the year.)
  • Es importante que la aplicación de tinte para el cabello sea uniforme. (It is importante that the application of dye for your hair be even.)
  • Si la superficie no es uniforme, se puede usar la masilla para arreglar las fisuras. (If the surface isn't even, the putty can be used to fix the cracks.)

‘Even’ as the Opposite of ‘Odd'

An even number is a número par.

  • Un número par es un número entero que puede ser dividido exactamente por dos. (An even number is a whole number that can be divided exactly by two.)

‘Even’ in Competitions

In competitive contests, empatado can refer to an even or tied score:

  • Los candidatos presidenciales están empatados con un 48 por ciento de apoyo popular. (The presidential candidates are even at 48 percent of popular support.)
  • Estaban empatados en la parte alta del inning 10. (They were even in the top half of the 10th inning.)

‘Even’ as Lack of Debt

Two persons or entities can be said to be even if neither owes something to the other. This can be explained directly:

  • Se me pagas 10 pesos, no me deberás nada. (If you pay me 10 pesos we'll be even. Literally, if you pay me 10 pesos, you won't owe me anything.)

Getting Even

At least two reflexive verbs, vengarse and desquitarse, can be used colloquially to mean "to get even" as an act of vengeance:

  • Voy a vengarme de una manera que te haga sentir miserable durante mucho tiempo. (I'm going to get even with you in a way that makes you feel miserable for a long time.)
  • No es justo desquitarse con el que trata de ayudarle. (It isn't right to get even with the one who is trying to help you.)

Translating ‘Even’ for Emphasis

"Even" often suggests the idea of up to and including a stated condition. In these cases, aun, hasta, or incluso can be used, often interchangeably.

  • Hasta el presidente lo piensa así. (Even the president thinks so.)
  • Aun así, no podemos ganar el premio. (Even so, we can't win the prize.)
  • Aun hoy, la mejor forma de prevenir la gripe es la vacuna. (Even today, the best way of preventing the flu is vaccine.)
  • Parece que incluso mi hijo quería ver la película. (It seems that even my son wanted to see the movie.)
  • En la casa de Dios, hasta los pobres son reyes. (In God's house, even the poor are kings.)
  • Ser jazzista es difícil, incluso en Nueva York. (Being a jazz musician is tough, even in New York.)

‘Even’ in the Negative

Ni siquiera is frequently used in translating the phrase "not even":

  • Ella ni siquiera puede hablarme. (She can't even speak to me.)
  • Un accidente destrozó su coche y ni siquiera fue al hospital. (An accident destroyed his car and he didn't even go to the hospital.)
  • Ni siquiera yo quiero estar conmigo la mayoría de las veces. (Not even I want to be with myself most of the time.)
  • El país ni siquiera va a crecer lo suficiente para pagar los intereses de su deuda. (The country won't even grow enough to pay the interest on its debt.)

‘Even’ as a Verb

Verbs that mean "to even," that is, to make smooth or level, include nivelar and allanar:

  • Allanaron el terreno antes de construir la casa. (They evened the terrain before building the house.)
  • Van a nivelar los salarios de los maestros. (They're going to even out the teachers' salaries.)

Key Takeaways

  • "Even" has a multitude of meanings and can be translated to Spanish in numerous ways that depend on the context.
  • When "even" is used as a way of adding emphasis, good translations include aun, hasta, and incluso.
  • Ni siquiera is usually the equivalent of "not even."
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Your Citation
Erichsen, Gerald. "Saying ‘Even’ in Spanish." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Erichsen, Gerald. (2020, August 27). Saying ‘Even’ in Spanish. Retrieved from Erichsen, Gerald. "Saying ‘Even’ in Spanish." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 28, 2023).