Are you a passionate Spanish learner and want to sound just like native speakers? Here, we will discuss different ways to say ‘yesterday’ in Spanish. Learning different ways to say ‘yesterday’ will help you carry out different Spanish conversations effortlessly.

How do you say ‘yesterday’ in Spanish? The straight and simple answer is Ayer. However, if you have a conversation with a native speaker, you will probably hear more than just Ayer. That means, learning only one word isn’t enough here. In this guide, we will be sharing different ways to say ‘yesterday’ in Spanish. So, grab your pen and pencil now!

What is yesterday in Spanish

1.    Ayer

We use this word to talk about the day immediately before today. For example:

– “Enrique me vio ayer en el parque y no me saludó, ¿será que le hice algo?”

Translation: Enrique saw me yesterday at the park, and he didn’t say hi to me. Could I have done something to him?

– “Ayer te estaba esperando, pensé que vendrías a mi casa, ¿qué pasó?

Translation: Yesterday, I was waiting for you, I thought you were coming home, what happened?

– Ayer no fui a clase

Translation: I didn’t go to class yesterday.

Because we are speaking in the past tense, we must use the preterite or the imperfect, just like we do in English. Pretty easy, right?

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2.    El Ayer

When we say “el ayer,” we are identifying the day before today. It simply means “yesterday,” as if it were more than a time adverb. We don’t use this word very often in everyday conversation because it sounds a little poetic. But here are a couple of examples to build your understanding:

– “El ayer es historia, lo que importa es el hoy”.

Translation: Yesterday is history, what matters is today.

– “Sigues mirando hacia el ayer, como si tu ex aún pensara en ti”.

Translation: You keep looking towards ‘yesterday’ as if your ex would still think about you.

3.    Ayer en la mañana

We use this phrase to talk about what happened before noon the day before. Let’s have a look at some examples:

– ¿Cuándo llegaste entonces?

Translation: When did you get here then?

– Ayer en la mañana, mi vuelo se adelantó. ¿Por qué no fuiste al aeropuerto… pensé que ibas a estar ahí.

Translation: In the morning yesterday, my flight was earlier. Why didn’t you go to the airport? I thought you were going to be there

– Ahh pues, ayer en la mañana tuve que salir de urgencia para la oficina.

Translation: Oh well, in the morning yesterday, I had to go to the office urgently.

You can also use an online Spanish dictionary if you get stuck somewhere. These online dictionaries are super helpful in knowing the meanings of difficult Spanish words you come across while learning.

4.    Ayer en la tarde

This is yesterday in the afternoon, so we can describe something that happened in the afternoon the day before today, such as this:

– Bueno, ¿y en la tarde?… ¿por qué no viniste a verme ayer en la tarde?

Translation: Well, then, how about the afternoon?… Why didn’t you come to see me yesterday in the afternoon?

– Pues… ya sabes, salí de la oficina y… bueno… no recuerdo ¿qué hice ayer en la tarde?… ah sí, ayer en la tarde mi mamá fue a visitarme, así que salí para la casa apenas terminé de trabajar.

Translation: Well… you know, I went out of the office and… well… I don’t remember, what did I do yesterday in the afternoon?… oh yeah, yesterday in the afternoon my mom went to visit, so I went home as soon as I finished working.

– Ya veo, parece que ayer en la tarde estabas muy ocupado.

Translation: I see, looks like you were very busy yesterday afternoon.

5.    Anoche

This one is more common to hear in daily life, and even in music. It’s pretty straightforward so here are a couple of examples using anoche:

– Anoche soñé contigo, creo que fue mi peor pesadilla.

Translation: Last night I dreamt about you, I think it was the worst nightmare.

– ¿A dónde fusite anoche? Te estuve llamando y no contestaste.

Translation: Where did you go last night? I called you and you didn’t answer.

– Me fui a dormir temprano anoche.

Translation: I went to bed early last night.

6.    Antenoche

This is the night before the previous night. This may be difficult for English speakers to grasp because it was only two nights ago. And if you say “dos noches atrás,” which is the equivalent, people will understand what you mean.

For example:

– “Antenoche hubo un accidente en la autopista, dos carros chocaron, pero no hubo muertos”.

Translation: Two nights ago there was an accident on the freeway, two cars crashed, but nobody died.

– “Mamá estuvo muy enferma hasta antenoche, anoche empezó a mejorar y ahora está mucho mejor.”

Translation: Mom was pretty sick until two nights ago, last night she felt better and now she’s much better.

7.    Trasantenoche or trasanteanoche

“Trasantenoche” means “three nights ago.” You should avoid using this strange word because it is not commonly used in everyday conversation. Yet, some people are still going to use it, especially old Spanish native speakers. Let’s have a look at some examples:

– “Trasantenoche vino la policía y registró toda la casa, no sé que buscaban”

Translation: Three nights ago cops came and registered all the houses, I don’t know what they were looking for.

– “Honestamente, no te recuerdo, ¿cuándo dices que nos conocimos?

Translation: Honestly, I don’t remember you, where did we meet?

– ”Trasantenoche, en el supermercado, que usted estaba con su esposa”

Translation: Three nights ago, at the supermarket, you were there with your wife.

8.    Antier

This word refers to two days. People used to talk about the day before yesterday. This adverb does not specify what time of day it refers to. As a result, people may refer to the morning, afternoon, or night. For example:

– “Tu papá estuvo por aquí. Pagó todo lo que me debías.”

Translation: Your father was here last night. He paid everything you owed me.

– ¿En serio? ¿Cuándo fue eso?

Translation: Really? When was that?

– Antier, como a las 7 de la noche

Translation: The day before yesterday, like at 7 p.m.

9.    Trasantier

This word, like “trasantenoche”, means three days ago. This is the final “evolution” of the word “ayer,” which works just like antier. For example:

– Trasantier fui a la tienda de mascotas, pero no tenían comida para perro.

Translation: I went to the pet store three days ago, but they didn’t have dog food.

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Frequently asked questions

Q. What is the difference between Hoy and Ayer?

A. “Hoy” is an adverb that is often translated as “today”, and “ayer” is an adverb that is often translated as “yesterday”.

Q. Is Ayer imperfect or preterite?

A. Although ayer is not a verb that can be in either preterite or imperfect form if it appears in a sentence, it usually indicates that the verb should be in preterite form because it refers to a specific point in time.

Q. What does no naci ayer mean?

A. It means ‘I wasn’t born yesterday’.


Learning different ways to say ‘yesterday’ in Spanish can help you undertake a variety of Spanish conversations. In this guide, we have explored 9 ways to say yesterday in Spanish. Understand them with the help of examples provided throughout the guide.

We also recommend you learn days of the week in Spanish as these common Spanish words are used on a daily basis and hold great significance.

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