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I know there are multiple words for size in Spanish, but I'm quite fuzzy on when to use them.

The two most common seem to be tamaño and talla, although in some contexts (like shoes), número seems correct, too.

Are there any rules for when I ought to use tamaño versus talla, or are they interchangeable? And when is número the proper translation? Are there other words I ought to (or can) use in other contexts?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

I would say:

  • Tamaño: general case, for the dimensions of any object, person, etc.
  • Talla: for clothes, shoes, etc.
  • Número: for shoes' size

So you can use talla for clothes or shoes, but it's not common to use número for clothes, although clothes' size is often a number.

By the way, talla also means the height of a person.

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