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I just a quick question regarding the translation of "wherever."

From what I've seen, we can say:

  • Donde + verbo
  • Dondequiera/Adondequiera que + verbo (typically where the verb is ser)

Is there a difference between the two forms, or are they synonymous and interchangeable?

For example, to translate the sentence "We can eat wherever you want," would it be acceptable to say Podemos comer donde quieras or Podemos comer dondequiera que sea? Or is one used more frequently than the other?

Edit: the answers on similar StackExchange page didn't fully answer the frequency/commonality of usage.

Thanks!

  • 2
    Translation requests for simple words are not on-topic, but I'd argue that this is a bit more than that, because you've looked up the thing and still have doubts. – pablodf76 Aug 16 '19 at 10:17
  • Possible duplicate of Doquier, dondequiera, adondequiera? – aparente001 Aug 16 '19 at 14:36
  • I'm now feeling doubtful that the proposed duplicate addresses the current question. – aparente001 Aug 16 '19 at 15:40
  • It depends on what the verb goes into the "Donde + verbo"? If you mean the verb querer, than i believe that would be correct. I'm not sure just any verb would work there. – Karlomanio Aug 16 '19 at 17:43
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You can use either donde or dondequiera que for the meaning that you've expressed in your examples. Using one or the other doesn't depend on the verb that follows. The main difference in meaning is that dondequiera que emphasizes the total freedom of the choice of place, while donde makes it sound more like you're asking for a specific place. Although no translations are exact, this is basically the same difference as between English "wherever" and "where" respectively.

There's however another important difference. Dondequiera (que) is a long, high-sounding phrase, and it doesn't belong in the informal register of a conversation. It sounds bookish, even archaic, or like something you might hear in a romantic song. You shouldn't often encounter people who say things like

  • Podemos comer dondequiera que gustes. ("We can eat wherever you like.")
  • Adondequiera que iba me lo cruzaba. ("Wherever I went I ran into him.")

even though they're grammatical. They're OK for a story with the proper context, or a piece of poetry, and they might be more common in the spoken language in some places, but I'd counsel it's best to avoid them. Donde is enough.

One thing you can do, though, if you think you need to emphasize the total freedom of "wherever" in examples like the one you gave, is add some adverb like más or mejor to the verb expressing preference:

  • Podemos ir donde más te guste. ("We can go wherever you like best.")
  • Podemos ir donde mejor te parezca. ("We can go wherever you think best.")

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