donde vs adonde



I am so confused when to use donde vs adonde.  This sentence came up:  You have to know how to explain where you went.  Seems like it should end with donde fuiste, but it didn't, it was adonde fuiste.  

Por que?



¡Hola LisaL92!

Thanks for your question! 

As you've noticed, you'll see both donde and adonde translated as “where” in English. However, to be precise, adonde actually carries the meaning of “to where”; it is used when the sentence implies motion forward, which is often indicated by verbs of motion like ir “to go.” Donde, on the other hand, just means “where” and is used when we're talking about fixed positions. 

So in the sentence you've indicated, Tienes que saber cómo explicar adónde fuiste "(You) have to know how to explain where (you) went," we have to use adónde because there is motion. But in a question like ¿Dónde está el baño? "Where is the bathroom?", we have to use dónde because the bathrooms aren't going anywhere. 

I hope that this helps to clear everything up for you! Do let me know if you still have any questions.



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