I know how to say,

Do Y instead of X

using 'en vez de' or en 'lugar de'

But how should I say something like

Learn Spanish instead.

Can I end a sentence with 'instead' or must I always specify 'instead of X'?



Thanks for all the input guys!

I think the most appropriate answer for this context is:

Mejor aprende español

Cheers also for the information on "en vez de" and "en lugar de"

  • 1
    if you translate (Do Y instead of X) to "Usa Y en vez de X" yo must use the X. If you use (Use Y instead). Then "Usa Y en vez" and there still fragments. Same rules.
    – Fortunato
    Jan 11, 2012 at 5:23
  • Muchas gracias =) Tambien puedo decir "Usa Y en lugar" ? No se porque pero suena un poco raro
    – Kage
    Jan 11, 2012 at 7:09
  • 1
    Porque "en vez" es una simple substitusion quado la posision no es inportante. Si tienes una equasion en el que la posicion es critica usa "en lugar." Depende donde queres poner la inportancia en replaso o posicion.
    – Fortunato
    Jan 11, 2012 at 10:33

3 Answers 3


I think "Learn Spanish instead" can also be translated as: "Mejor aprende español"

  • 1
    +1 here in Mexico that's the common way to say it. This could be the equivalent of: It's better to learn spanish. Jan 11, 2012 at 17:34
  • It's ok if you're speaking in present, but not if you're talking about the past. For example, in a sentence like "I went to the supermarket, there weren't apples so I bought pears instead". Translating it as "no había manzanas así que mejor compré peras" is a weird way of saying that (indeed I'd think that the speaker is not native). Mejor... is understood as the change doen't bring any disadvantage but it's not always true.
    – Juanillo
    Jan 12, 2012 at 9:20
  • Well, here in México "No había manzanas, así que mejor compré peras" it's ok, i have use it in many other forms: "Fui al cine y no estaba la pelicula que quería ver, mejor entré a ver otra".
    – Cesar
    Jan 13, 2012 at 13:38

Do Y instead of X

can be said as

Haz Y en vez de X

Haz Y en lugar de X

If you want to ommit X because it is understood in the context you can say:

Haz Y en su lugar.

There "su" refers to something mentioned before, which should be X.

But you can't say:

Haz Y en vez de *. (incorrect)

Haz Y en lugar de *. (incorrect)

because we would be waiting for something after the preposition "de".


Another possibility is "en cambio". It's not the same as "en su lugar/en lugar de", and the difference is rather tricky to explain, and also the construction.

"Aprende español, en cambio" is about ok, but "En cambio, aprende español" or "Aprende, en cambio, español" are better.

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