Relative adverbs: donde, cuando, cuanto, como in Spanish

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Relative adverbs: donde, cuando, cuanto, como

Relative adverbs help us add information about time, place, quantity and the way in which something is done.

Este es el barrio donde vivo.

This is the neighborhood where I live.

To specify…

  • The time or moment, we use cuando (when).

Llegamos cuando empezó a llover.

We arrived when it started to rain.

  • The place, we use donde (where).

Barcelona es la ciudad donde nací.

Barcelona is the city where I was born.

  • The direction we're headed, we use adonde (literally, “to where”).

El lugar adonde vamos.

The place where we're going.

  • The way to do something, we use como (literally, “how”).

Prepara el cóctel como te enseñé.

Prepare the cocktail the way I taught you.

  • The quantity or amount, we use cuanto (as much as) with verbs and masculine nouns, and cuanta with feminine nouns.

Come cuanto puedas, nada más.

Eat as much as you can, no more.

Comí cuanta cosa había en la nevera.

I ate as much as I could find in the fridge.


  • We can use prepositions (a, por, hasta, etc.) to make the relative adverb even more specific.

Vete por donde viniste.

Go back to where you came from.

Esta ciudad me gusta hasta cuando llueve.

I like this city even when it rains.

  • We use these same terms with an accent to ask questions.

—¿Cómo te llamas? —María.

-What is your name? -María.

—¿Dónde vives? –En Sevilla.

-Where do you live? -In Seville.

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