Today we’re going to take a look at how we may use the words “pero que” (but that)
in combination with repetition, to add a level of extra emphasis.
Repeating adverbs in English is a very common way to emphasis a point. “I’m very, very happy” for instance, or “That’s so, so sad”. By repeating words in English, we emphasis the point. This can be done in the Spanish language too: “Estoy muy muy feliz” (I’m very, very happy).
We can, however, take the concept of “very very” to the next level with the expression “(muy), pero (que) muy”. Notice that we’ve put some words inside brackets to indicate that they are optional. Often the “que” is omitted and sometimes even the first instance of “muy”. Literally meaning “very, but that very”, this expression adds repetition to a statement, plus the inclusion of “pero (que)” intensifies that statement further by really sign-posting the following adverb.
|Spanish ||Meaning |
|“Estoy muy muy feliz” ||I'm very, very happy |
|“Estoy muy, pero que muy feliz” ||I'm very, and I mean very happy |
|“Estoy muy, pero muy feliz” ||I'm extremely happy |
|“Estoy, pero muy feliz” ||I'm like, really happy |
Above then, we can see an example of “muy muy” being used to express “very very”, and then 3 variations of “(muy), pero (que) muy” depending on which words we might choose to omit. Don’t get too hung up on the exact translations we’re showing in English, as we could express the same thing in a number of ways. The important take-home is that the “pero (que)” really sign-posts the following “muy”.
This principle of sandwiching “pero (que)” with two like adverbs or adjectives can be applied to others too. Let’s see some more examples:
Conclusion | En conclusión
|Spanish ||Meaning |
|“Eso es tan, pero que tan difícil” ||That's so, so difficult |
|“La comida está riquísima, pero que riquísima, de verdad” ||The food is really and I mean seriously delicious |
|“En una galaxia muy, pero que muy lejana” ||In a galaxy far, far away |
|“Había mucha, pero que mucha gente allí” ||There were many, and I mean many people there |
Repetition is a common form of emphasis in both English and Spanish. In Spanish, we can intensify further what we are about to say next by adding in a “pero (que)” which serves to sign-post the following adverb or adjective.