Being a native language for over a half billion of people, Spanish is qualified as the second on the list of languages by the number of native speakers after Chinese and is the most popular second language learned in the United States. Spanish is not the most complicated language to learn. Yet, as any other foreign language, it has its grammatical peculiarities and a lot of tricky aspects that can become a real challenge for a rookie learner. No matter whether you choose a conventional academic method to learn Spanish or online courses, getting the hang of those puzzling aspects is the key to speaking Spanish close to natives.
In Spanish, there is a lot of confusing adverb pairs that look synonymous and sometimes even sound the same to any foreigner, yet, they are not the same and have a completely different meaning or differ in nuances depending on the context. Por vs para, ya vs todavia, que vs qué, aun vs aún might become a real pain in the neck not only for a beginner but even for a fluent speaker. However, all those words are a part and parcel of everyday street conversations and cannot be simply omitted if you want to speak Spanish like a native. In this article, we will try to give you a clue on Aun and Aún leaving other pairs behind for a while. What does aun mean in Spanish? What is the meaning for aún? How do they correlate with todavia and aunque? What are the major differences between those words? Let’s get into the issue step by step.
Aun vs Aún
Both words are adverbs and both can be translated into English by the adverb “even”. Actually, they look alike and are distinguished only by a little accent mark. No, it’s not a spelling mistake. While that mark makes almost no difference for pronunciation, it makes much difference for the usage of those words.
In practice, aun and aún are pronounced as “ahoon” that is similar to “soon” or “dune” and the major problems you would face is how to interpret those words in the context and how to understand the difference between them. We’ll try to figure that out for you.
Aun in Spanish stands for the adverb “even” synonymous to “incluso”. The implication is that what follows is included.
- Ni aun en coche llegaría a tiempo – I wouldn’t arrive on time even if I drove (Implied: I wouldn’t arrive in time including in case of driving.)
- 2. Aun los bebes que amamantan pueden tener problemas. – Even babies who were breastfed can have problems (Implied: All babies can have problems, including those who were breastfed).
- Aun los ricos sufrirán la crisis. – Even the rich will suffer the crisis effects (Everybody will suffer the crisis effects including the rich).
- Va en camisa aun cuando hace frío. – He goes around in a shirt even when it is cold (He goes around in a shirt under any weather conditions, including those days when it’s cold).
Aún with acute accent is usually translated as “still” in affirmative and interrogative sentences or “yet” in negative sentences and indicates an action in progress.
- Mis papás aún están en el trabajo. – My parents are still at work.
- Pero aún había 500 niños en Berlín. – But there were still 500 children in Berlin.
- Aún no he comprado el pan – I haven’t bought the bread yet.
- Aún no hemos recibido el pedido. – We haven’t received the order yet.
Aún goes for “even” only in comparisons and is commonly accompanied by más or menos. It should be noted, that “aun” is not used in comparative sentences.
- Me encanta leer, pero salir me gusta más aún. – I love reading, but I love going out even more.
- El software libre es ahora aún más importante. – Free software is even more important now.
Aún vs Todavia
Just like aún, the adverb todavia in English has the meaning “still” or “yet”. Many people outline them as perfect synonyms that can be used interchangeably. However, they are almost synonymous. Almost, not perfectly. There is a subtle difference that lies rather in the plane of semantics than direсt meaning. What does todavia mean in terms of context? When we say “todavia” we should be more likely to complete the action while aún is less indicative and the statement would sound more informative.
- Todavía no he arreglado el cuarto. – I have not tidied up my room yet. (Sorry, I have not tidied up my room yet. But I will do it).
- Aún no he arreglado el cuarto. – I have not made tidied up my room. (It’s just the statement of the fact).
Aun vs Aunque
Aun is sometimes is confused with aunque in the meaning “even though/ even if”. Yet,the major difference here refers to grammar. Aun is an adverb while Aunque in Spanish is a conjunction usually followed by a subjunctive or indicative mood.
- Aunque llueva mucho vamos a la playa. – Even if it rains, we are going to the beach.
- Aunque llegamos tarde conseguimos entradas – Although we got there late, we managed to get tickets.
“Aun” will have a similar meaning when used in phrases “aun si” or “aun cuando”.
Well, that’s it. We hope, we’ve managed to provide a glimpse of differences and similarities between “aun” and “aún” being the most often confused words by English speakers learning Spanish. Actually, everything is about understanding some grammar rules and having a bit of so-called “feeling for language”.