Take the 2-minute tour ×
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. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What Spanish words can be used to describe a cap, cover, lid, or top (in other words, something placed on top of something, usually to close an opening)? What is the difference between tapa and tapón? What other words describe this concept?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Let's see what RAE says:

tapa
1. f. Pieza que cierra por la parte superior cajas o recipientes.

tapón.
1. m. Pieza con que se tapan las vasijas, introduciéndola en el orificio por donde sale el líquido.

So tapa is a generic cover, whereas a tapón is usually introduced in, or screwed on the hole it covers. Of course, it is not only used for vessels.

The word "cover" can be translated as cubierta, but I would say that a cubierta covers the whole object it protects.

share|improve this answer
    
As the definition you posted for tapon it goes in the hole where the liquid comes out. Not screwed on the bottle. –  Fortunato Jan 10 '12 at 8:28
    
Yes, but the dictionary doesn't always include all uses of a word. By the way, when I wrote screwed on, I meant "enroscado", but I'm not sure it's the best choice. These are called "tapones" in Spain, and are certainly not inserted on the bottle. –  MikMik Jan 10 '12 at 8:38

Tapa Is a lid or cover it basically goes on the outside or top of the container. Where Tapon goes on the inside of the top of container. "Los vinos buenos tinen un tapon de corcho y los baratos tinen una tapa."

share|improve this answer
1  
"Tapón" is also used for the screw-on caps (for example the one in a plastic bottle of coke), an it doesn't go on the inside of the container. –  Javi Jan 10 '12 at 9:01
    
@Javi: not everywhere; at least not in Colombia. For the caps on a bottle of coke we never use tapón but tapa. –  Gonzalo Medina Jan 10 '12 at 14:30

Your Answer

 
discard

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.