Spanish Word of the Day Archive
Thursday September 19, 2013

importar, verb:
to matter

We’ve already seen importar meaning to mind, as in:

¿Te importa que fume?
Do you mind if I smoke?

You can also use importar to talk about how much something matters, especially in the phrase No importa It doesn’t matter.

‘Llegaremos un poco tarde.’ - ‘No importa.’
‘We’ll be a bit late.’ - ‘It doesn’t matter.’

A couple of other common constructions are ¿Qué importa? What does it matter? and lo que importa... the important thing... Notice how the subjunctive is used - it’s asterisked in the following examples.

¿Qué importa que no seamos* ricos?
What does it matter that we’re not rich?

Lo que importa no es el éxito...
Success isn’t what matters...

Lo que importa es que uno sepa* vivir como se debe.
The important thing is to know how to live properly.

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