How Do You Say “Both” In Spanish?

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed to express the concept of “both” in Spanish, but didn’t know how to do so? Learning a new language can be a challenging but rewarding experience, and mastering the use of common phrases and expressions is essential to achieving fluency. In this article, we will explore the various ways in which you can say “both” in Spanish, and provide you with the tools you need to communicate effectively in any situation.

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s start with a quick review. In Spanish, the word “both” can be translated as either “ambos” or “los dos”, depending on the context. Both of these words are used to refer to two people, things, or ideas that are being considered together.

How Do You Pronounce The Spanish Word For “Both”?

Learning how to properly pronounce Spanish words is essential for effective communication. The word “both” in Spanish is “ambos.” Pronouncing it correctly can make a big difference in conveying your message accurately. Here is a breakdown of the proper pronunciation:

Phonetic Breakdown

The phonetic spelling of “ambos” is “AHM-bohs.” Here is a more detailed breakdown:

Phonetic Symbol Pronunciation
/ɑ/ Similar to the “a” in “father”
/m/ Similar to the “m” in “mother”
/b/ Similar to the “b” in “baby”
/o/ Similar to the “o” in “go”
/s/ Similar to the “s” in “sun”

Tips For Pronunciation

Here are some tips to help you pronounce “ambos” correctly:

  • Start by pronouncing the “a” sound, making sure to open your mouth wide.
  • Next, move your lips together to make the “m” sound.
  • Then, press your lips together to make the “b” sound.
  • Move your tongue to the back of your mouth to make the “o” sound.
  • Finally, push air through your teeth to make the “s” sound.
  • Practice saying “ambos” slowly and gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable with the pronunciation.

With these tips, you can confidently say “both” in Spanish and enhance your communication skills.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The Spanish Word For “Both”

Proper grammar is essential in any language, and Spanish is no exception. When it comes to using the word “both” in Spanish, there are specific rules to follow to ensure that your sentences are grammatically correct.

Placement Of “Both” In Sentences

In Spanish, “both” can be translated as “ambos” or “ambas,” depending on the gender of the noun it refers to. When using “ambos” to refer to a group of people or things that includes at least one male, the masculine form is used. When referring to a group of people or things that includes only females, or a mixture of males and females, “ambas” is used.

The placement of “both” in a sentence in Spanish is similar to English. It can be placed before the noun it refers to, or after the verb. For example:

  • Both of my parents are Mexican. – Ambos mis padres son mexicanos.
  • She speaks both Spanish and English. – Ella habla español e inglés.

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

When using “both” in a sentence with a verb, it is important to ensure that the verb is conjugated correctly. The verb should agree with the subject of the sentence in both gender and number. For example:

  • Both of us are happy. – Ambos estamos contentos.
  • Both of them were late. – Ambos llegaron tarde.

It is also essential to use the correct tense when using “both” in a sentence. The tense should reflect the time frame in which the action took place. For example:

  • We both went to the concert last night. – Ambos fuimos al concierto anoche.
  • They will both arrive tomorrow. – Ambos llegarán mañana.

Agreement With Gender And Number

As mentioned earlier, “ambos” and “ambas” must agree with the gender of the noun they refer to. They must also agree with the number. For example:

  • Both of my brothers are tall. – Ambos mis hermanos son altos.
  • Both of my sisters are doctors. – Ambas mis hermanas son médicas.

Common Exceptions

As with any language, there are exceptions to the rules. One common exception is when using “both” with the word “y” (meaning “and”). In this case, only the masculine form “ambos” is used, regardless of the gender of the nouns being referred to. For example:

  • Both Juan and Maria are here. – Ambos Juan y María están aquí.

Another exception is when using “both” with the word “ni” (meaning “nor”). In this case, the feminine form “ambas” is used, regardless of the gender of the nouns being referred to. For example:

  • He speaks neither Spanish nor English. – Él no habla ni español ni inglés, ambas lenguas son difíciles para él.

Examples Of Phrases Using The Spanish Word For “Both”

Both is a common word used in the English language to describe two things happening at the same time or two objects being compared. In Spanish, the word for both is “ambos”. Here are some common phrases that use “ambos” in Spanish:

Provide Examples And Explain How They Are Used In Sentences.

Phrase Translation Example Sentence
Ambos lados Both sides El puente conecta ambos lados del río. (The bridge connects both sides of the river.)
Ambos sexos Both sexes La universidad está buscando igualdad de oportunidades para ambos sexos. (The university is seeking equal opportunities for both sexes.)
Ambos países Both countries El tratado de comercio beneficia a ambos países. (The trade agreement benefits both countries.)
Ambos hermanos Both brothers Ambos hermanos son muy talentosos en la música. (Both brothers are very talented in music.)

As you can see, “ambos” is used to describe two things or people in a sentence. It can be used in a variety of contexts and is a versatile word in the Spanish language.

Provide Some Example Spanish Dialogue (With Translations) Using Both.

Here is an example conversation using “ambos” in Spanish:

María: ¿Quieres ir al cine conmigo esta noche? (Do you want to go to the movies with me tonight?)

José: Sí, me encantaría. ¿Qué película quieres ver? (Yes, I would love to. What movie do you want to see?)

María: Hay dos películas que me gustaría ver. ¿Te gustaría ver ambas? (There are two movies that I would like to see. Would you like to see both?)

José: Sí, me encantaría ver ambas películas. (Yes, I would love to see both movies.)

In this conversation, “ambas” is used to describe two movies that María wants to see. José agrees to see both movies with her.

More Contextual Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Both”

Understanding the various contexts in which the Spanish word for “both” is used is essential for anyone who wants to speak the language fluently. Here, we will explore the formal and informal usage of the word, as well as its slang, idiomatic expressions, and cultural/historical uses. We will also delve into popular cultural usage, if applicable.

Formal Usage Of Both

In formal settings, the Spanish word for “both” is often used to refer to two things or people that are being compared. For example:

  • Both options are equally good.
  • Both candidates have impressive qualifications.

The word “ambos” is typically used in these situations, and it is important to note that it always precedes the noun it modifies. This is true regardless of whether the noun is singular or plural.

Informal Usage Of Both

In more casual settings, the word for “both” can be used in a variety of ways. For example:

  • Both of us are going to the party.
  • I can’t decide between both of these dresses.

In these cases, the word “ambos” can be replaced with “los dos” or “los dos/as” depending on the gender of the nouns being referred to. It is also common to use “los dos” when referring to people rather than things.

Other Contexts

The Spanish language is full of slang and idiomatic expressions, and the word for “both” is no exception. Here are a few examples:

  • “A ambos lados” – on both sides
  • “Ambos pies” – both feet
  • “Ambos mundos” – both worlds

In addition to these expressions, there are also many cultural and historical uses of the word “both” in Spanish. For example, it is often used in literature and poetry to convey a sense of duality or contrast.

Popular Cultural Usage

One of the most popular cultural uses of the Spanish word for “both” is in the song “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. The chorus of the song includes the line “Despacito,

Regional Variations Of The Spanish Word For “Both”

Spanish is spoken in various countries around the world, and each country has its own unique dialects and regional variations. One of the most commonly used words in the Spanish language is “both,” which is translated as “ambos” in most Spanish-speaking countries. However, there are some regional variations when it comes to the usage and pronunciation of this word.

Usage Of “Ambos” In Different Spanish-speaking Countries

The word “ambos” is used in most Spanish-speaking countries to denote the concept of “both.” However, in some countries, this word is used more frequently than others. For example, in Spain, the word “ambos” is used more often than its alternatives, such as “los dos” or “los dos juntos.” In Latin American countries, on the other hand, the word “ambos” is used less frequently, and alternatives such as “los dos” or “los dos juntos” are more commonly used.

Furthermore, in some countries, the usage of the word “ambos” depends on the number of objects being referred to. For instance, in Mexico, the word “ambos” is used only when referring to two objects, while “todos” is used when referring to more than two objects.

Regional Pronunciations Of “Ambos”

While the spelling of the word “ambos” remains the same across all Spanish-speaking countries, the pronunciation of this word can vary depending on the region. For example, in Spain, the “s” at the end of the word is pronounced, while in Latin American countries, the “s” is often dropped.

Furthermore, in some regions, the “b” in “ambos” is pronounced more like a “v,” while in others, it is pronounced more like a “b.” In some Caribbean countries, the “s” at the end of the word is pronounced with a distinct “h” sound, resulting in the word being pronounced as “amboh.”


Overall, the Spanish word for “both” has various regional variations in terms of its usage and pronunciation. While the word “ambos” is used in most Spanish-speaking countries, some countries have alternatives that are used more frequently. Additionally, the pronunciation of the word “ambos” can vary depending on the region, with some countries dropping the “s” at the end of the word and others pronouncing it with a distinct “h” sound.

Other Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Both” In Speaking & Writing

While “both” in English is typically used to refer to two items or people, the Spanish equivalent “ambos” can have different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Understanding these different uses is key to mastering the Spanish language.

Distinguishing Between Uses Of “Ambos”

When using “ambos” in Spanish, it is important to consider the context in which it is being used. Here are some common uses of the word and how to distinguish between them:

1. Referring To Two People Or Things

Just like in English, “ambos” can be used to refer to two people or things. For example:

  • Ambos niños estaban jugando en el parque. (Both children were playing in the park.)
  • Quiero comprar ambos libros. (I want to buy both books.)

2. Implying “Both” Without Explicitly Stating It

Sometimes, “ambos” is used to imply “both” without explicitly stating it. This can happen in a few different ways:

  • When using “ambos” in combination with “y” (and), it can imply “both” without explicitly stating it. For example:
    • María y Juan ambos estudian español. (María and Juan both study Spanish.)
  • When using “ambos” in a sentence where the subject is repeated, it can also imply “both” without explicitly stating it. For example:
    • Ambos están cansados, ambos quieren dormir. (Both are tired, both want to sleep.)

3. Referring To A Group Of More Than Two

Finally, “ambos” can be used to refer to a group of more than two people or things, but only if the group is made up of pairs. For example:

  • Los dos equipos, ambos muy buenos, se enfrentaron en la final. (The two teams, both very good, faced each other in the final.)
  • Los dos hermanos, ambos pelirrojos, se parecían mucho. (The two siblings, both redheads, looked very similar.)

By understanding these different uses of “ambos” in Spanish, you can communicate more effectively and accurately in the language.

Common Words And Phrases Similar To The Spanish Word For “Both”

When it comes to expressing the concept of “both” in Spanish, there are a few different words and phrases that can be used depending on the context. Here are some of the most common:

1. Ambos/ambas

The most direct translation of “both” in Spanish is “ambos” when referring to two masculine nouns, or “ambas” when referring to two feminine nouns. For example:

  • Both boys are tall. – Ambos chicos son altos.
  • Both girls are happy. – Ambas chicas están contentas.

2. Los Dos/las Dos

Another way to express “both” is to use “los dos” for two masculine nouns, or “las dos” for two feminine nouns. This phrase is often used when the speaker wants to emphasize the number two. For example:

  • They both speak Spanish. – Los dos hablan español.
  • They both have blue eyes. – Las dos tienen ojos azules.

3. Tanto…como…

One way to express “both” in a more complex sentence is to use the phrase “tanto…como…” which translates to “both…and…” For example:

  • Both the cat and the dog are sleeping. – Tanto el gato como el perro están durmiendo.
  • Both the book and the movie were good. – Tanto el libro como la película estuvieron bien.

4. Antonyms

On the other hand, if you want to express the opposite of “both” in Spanish, you can use words like “uno” (one), “ninguno” (none), or “cada uno” (each one). For example:

  • Only one of them is coming. – Solo uno de ellos viene.
  • None of them are ready. – Ninguno de ellos está listo.
  • Each one has their own opinion. – Cada uno tiene su propia opinión.

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The Spanish Word For “Both”

When learning Spanish, one of the first things you’ll encounter is the word “ambos,” which means “both.” While it may seem like a simple word, there are several common errors that non-native speakers make when using it. In this section, we’ll discuss these mistakes and provide tips to avoid them.

Common Mistakes

One of the most common mistakes that non-native speakers make when using “ambos” is using it incorrectly in a sentence. For example, saying “ambos mi amigos” instead of “mis dos amigos” is incorrect, as “ambos” should only be used to refer to two items or people together, not separately.

Another mistake is using “ambos” when it’s not necessary. For example, saying “ambos de los libros son buenos” instead of “los dos libros son buenos” is redundant, as “los dos” already implies that there are only two books.

Tips To Avoid Mistakes

To avoid these common mistakes, it’s important to understand when to use “ambos” and when to use other words. Here are some tips:

  • Use “ambos” only when referring to two items or people together.
  • If referring to two items/people separately, use “los dos” or “las dos.”
  • Avoid using “ambos” when it’s not necessary, as it can be redundant.

By following these tips, you can avoid common mistakes and use “ambos” correctly in your Spanish conversations.


In this blog post, we have discussed the various ways to say “both” in Spanish. We have explored the differences between “ambos”, “los dos”, and “ambas”, and when to use each one. We have also looked at some examples of how to use these words in sentences and phrases.

Additionally, we have touched on the importance of understanding the context in which these words are being used, as well as the gender and number of the nouns they are referring to. By keeping these factors in mind, you can ensure that you are using the correct form of “both” in any given situation.

Encouragement To Practice And Use Both In Real-life Conversations

Now that you have a better understanding of how to say “both” in Spanish, it’s time to put your knowledge into practice. Whether you are traveling to a Spanish-speaking country, communicating with Spanish-speaking colleagues or clients, or simply practicing your language skills, using “ambos”, “los dos”, or “ambas” correctly can greatly improve your ability to communicate effectively.

So don’t be afraid to practice and use these words in real-life conversations. With time and practice, you’ll become more comfortable and confident in your ability to use them correctly. And who knows? You may even impress a native Spanish speaker with your mastery of this tricky little word!

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority and He’s a seasoned innovator, harnessing the power of technology to connect cultures through language. His worse translation though is when he refers to “pancakes” as “flat waffles”.