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After and afterwards

These two words are often confused. They are not interchangeable (intercambiable).

Examine these:

I will see you afterwards.
“Afterwards” does not have a complement nor object, because in the context you are referring to something already understood (porque esta refiriendo a algo que ya se entiende).

If you said “I will see you after”, you would have made a mistake. “After” needs an object (…necesita un objeto).

I will see you after the opera (te verá después de la ópera). Here “after” has an object, and the sentence is correct.

You will regret it afterwards (después te vas a arrepentir). Here the context is obvious so no object follows “afterwards”.

You could say “you will regret it after the event” (…después del evento) but why use 7 words when you can say the same in 5 words?