Spanish Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Spanish language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What is the difference between verduras and vegetales? In what situations can one be used as a translation for "vegetables" and the other cannot?

share|improve this question
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Vegetal (here the new definition according to RAE) is either:

Verdura, on the other hand, refers to edible plants, specially those with green leaves.

In Spanish (in Spain, at least) we make a distinction between hortaliza (any vegetable, in the 2nd meaning of vegetable as a noun in the previous link) and verdura, which are a subset of hortaliza.

So lettuces, spinachs, cabbages, caulifloweres, chards, etc. are verduras, but potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, etc. are just hortalizas. However, when someone says "es bueno comer verdura", we all understand that carrots, tomatoes, etc. are included.

share|improve this answer

A "vegetal" is anything relative to plants, and "verdura" is a vegetable. So a "verdura" is a "vegetable", but a "vegetable" is not necessary a "verdura".

From the RAE Vegetal and Verdura.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.