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In the Internet I've often come across to internationalized websites where they have things like:

Remove file / Remover archivo

I always thought this translation may be done by someone who is not a native speaker, because at least in Spain the typical verbs for translating "to remove a file" are "borrar" or "eliminar". So at least something like "remueve ese fichero" sounds very weird.

But RAE says this about remover:

No hay por qué censurar su empleo con los sentidos de ‘quitar [algo] de un lugar’ y ‘apartar [a alguien] de su cargo’, suponiendo, erróneamente, que se trata de un calco del inglés to remove: «Librar a este país de ese hombre, eso era lo principal. Removido ese obstáculo [...], se abriría una puerta» (VLlosa Fiesta [Perú 2000]); «Sus jefes tendrían la facultad de designar o remover coroneles y capitanes» (Otero Temporada [Cuba 1983]). Son acepciones tradicionales en español, ya presentes en el étimo latino: «Tales deven ser removidos de la aministraçión fasta que fagan buena penitençia» (Cuéllar Catecismo [Esp. 1325]).

I just want to know if in any country "remover" is the usual way of saying "to remove" when it means "to eliminate". Is it generally widely used or quite uncommon?

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IMHO "Remover archivo" is Spanglish, not Spanish. – vartec Mar 29 '12 at 13:38
up vote 7 down vote accepted

"Remover", meaning to eliminate something, is not uncommon and I don't think it's necessarily a calque or Spanglish.

Off the top of my head, "remueve hasta las manchas más difíciles" (literally, "removes even the hardest stains") is the slogan of a stain remover here in Argentina and sounds quite natural. "Removido de sus funciones" is a common euphemism to say someone has been fired (especially from a public office).

Having said that, "remover un archivo", although perfectly understandable (and probably correct), sounds a tad odd to me (or at least, not very colloquial). I would use "eliminar" or "borrar".

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Other options: eliminar/borrar/suprimir (erase/delete), sacar/quitar (take away/out). – thunsaker Apr 13 '12 at 18:32

En España, "remover" nunca significa "to remove". Aquí decimos "borrar", o "eliminar". Para nosotros, "remover" significa dar vueltas, con ayuda de algún utensilio, a un líquido o una mezcla, para homogeneizarla.

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I think you're looking for the word "stir." – neizan Aug 6 '13 at 17:17

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