are volver and regresar completely interchangeable synonyms or do they have certain situations where one is more appropriate than the other?
In addition to the link rocko2012 provided, I'd like to point out that while volver by itself is a synonym for regresar with both meaning "to return from a location", volver is often also used in the reflexive form where it is more like "to become" and idiomatically with the construction "volver a + infinitive" which is basically "to do something again".
For a couple of examples of other usages of volver/volverse mentioned above:
- Vuelvo a leer el libro = I read the book again
- Cuando toma tequila ella se vuelve loca = She goes (becomes) crazy when she drinks tequila.
Regresar surprises me because it's English meaning (don't recall the latin) is to psychologically retreat often dysfunctionaly into the past or to protect the psyche. I love all the help the on line dictionaries provide but would love to know the root and history of this word.
This is wrong. "En dos meses regreso" in English would be "I'm coming back in two months" or similar. Present simple in English here is just odd.
I agree. It's not the way most people would say it. This is an example of the present being used to express the future. Though this does happen in English in some cases, I don't think this is one of them. Normal Engish would be "I will return in two months" or "I am going to return in two months".
For examples: As present progressive, "I am returning...". As simple future, "I will return..." As the references establish both are good translations.
Also, of course, "I'll return...."
And in English, using the present simple for a near future is quite common, and not odd. As dansmisterdans states, and provides references for. Thus, "In two months, I return." Or, "I return in two months.
I don't think this is odd in English. "The simple present is used to make statements about events at a time later than now, when the statements are based on present facts, and when these facts are something fixed like a time-table, schedule, calendar."
I wrote, " I return in two months," because it isn't natural to say, "In two minths i return>"
It is unusual to say, "In two minths i return>" however, it is perfectly natural to say, "In two months I return."
Which does teh Spanish sentence actually mean? "I will go back" or "I will come back"? which is the correct verb for to come back? "I'll be back" can mean both, just as "I return" can, although "In two months I return" is not an idiomatic English phrase. Google translates both 'go back' and 'come back' as 'volver'
The "literal" translation of "En dos meses regreso" is literally one of several choices. "In two months.....,:
I'll return, I will return; I am returning
I'll come back, I will come back; I am coming back...
I'll go back, I will go back; I am going back...
I'll give back, I will give back, I am giving back.
I believe that a literal translation of the Terminator's famous line, "I'll be back" would be "estaré de vuelta".
See this reference: http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/regresar
And see comments by others above.
Present continuous in English should also be accepted "I'm coming back in two months"
How is I'll be back (which means the same as I'll go back) in two months wrong?
"To go back" is when you "go" to a place you've been before, which is NOT the place you are in now(you said go, not come). "To be back" is to actually be in that place, and often refers to a return to your current location, eg "I'll be right back."
Not if you're on the phone to someone who's asking when you're coming home.
With apologies to crowflys, in fact "I am returning" is a correct translation here! The present tense in Spanish comprises simple present, present continuous and near-future times, with the sentence above being a good example of "near-future." Unless a moderator convinces me otherwise--but moderators for Spanish seem a lot more scarce than those for Turkish, for Heaven's sake--marking "I am returning" wrong is, well, just plain wrong!
"In 2 months i am returning" is not correct for these reasons: The beginning letter of all sentences in English are supposed to be capitalized: "why" should be "Why." It is correct to spell numbers in this context: "two" not "2". The nominative singular pronoun "I" is always capitalized in English. Punctuation is missing in your quotation -- there should be a period at the end of the quoted sentence before the final quotation mark.
I know you weren't asking to have the grammar and punctuation of your post analyzed, but I couldn't help myself.
Could you say "regreso en dos meses" instead, or would that be wrong? :)
It makes sense, although I would use "En dos meses regreso". It isn't common though, at least in Spain.
"Look to my coming on the first light of the fifth day.
At dawn, look to the east"
How are "volver" and "regresar" different? How are they the same. I am confused about the usage of these two verbs.
I do not hear the "m" in the word "meses". She is hard to understand, sometimes.
I think the difference is this: if you are referring to repeated act use present tense. Like going every august to summmer home and returning in 2 months would be expressed as Gene said. The same as you would say I sleep in every Sunday. But if you mean a particular upcoming trip, usefuture tense. The same as I will sleep in this Sunday. I will go, i will return.