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How does one say "no matter what" in Spanish? In English it would be akin to saying "at any cost" or "come what may". I saw pase lo que pase somewhere. Is it accurate? Or is there a better way to say it in regular conversations without sounding bookish? If there are regional variations, I would love to know what the Mexicans use.

I am trying to translate the following sentence:

No matter what, don't miss the meeting.

Is the following correct?

Pase lo que pase, no vayas a faltar a la junta.

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3  
pase lo que pase sounds about right. –  dockeryz Jun 17 at 13:44
1  
I would translate the sentence as: Pase lo que pase, no faltes a la junta. –  itziki Jun 17 at 14:54
1  
no importa lo que pase, no faltes a la reunión/no te pierdas las reunión –  Emilio Gort Jun 24 at 15:51

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

At least in Chile, no matter what means pase lo que pase, o suceda lo que suceda (this one less common). I don't know what do Mexicans prefer.

@itziki is right, but both options are OK:

Pase lo que pase, no vayas a faltar a la junta.

and

Pase lo que pase, no faltes a la junta.

The second one sounds prettier, though ^_^

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It would be better to know a little bit more about the English phrase you want to translate. "Pase lo que pase" translates to "no matter what (and an implied happens)". But the translation is dependent on the verb and the interrogative word (5 W's & H).

No matter who says it = Lo diga quien lo diga...

No matter what you believe = Creas lo que creas...

No matter where they go = Vayan donde vayan...

No matter when he goes = Vaya cuando vaya...

No matter why he runs = Corra por lo que corra...

No matter how she washes herself = Se lavara como se lavara...

Where(donde), when(cuando) and how(como) in Spanish generally translate "no matter interrogative + verb" to "conditional verb + interrogative + conditional verb".

Who (quien), what(que) and why(por que) being exceptions that throw a "lo" in the mix with a rule that I don't really understand (read: just because).

I learned Castillian Spanish (Spain) but I'd be willing to bet this goes all the way across the board.

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I lived in Paraguay for a couple years, and down there the common phase for "No matter what" was: "Sí o sí" (meaning directly, "Yes or yes"). This was used in sentences to demonstrate the imperativeness of an action.

For example: "You need to go to the the meeting, no matter what." --> "Necesitas asistir a la reunión, sí o sí."

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1  
This is also used in Spain. –  itziki Jun 24 at 16:07

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