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

In English, we describe writing as either cursive/longhand (joined letters) or printed (block letters). What Spanish words are there to describe these concepts? And how common is the use of cursive in Spanish-speaking countries compared to English-speaking ones?

share|improve this question
up vote 7 down vote accepted

These are called:

Cursive = Cursiva o Manuscrita
Printed = Molde o De Imprenta

As far as how much is cursive is used I can tell you that where I come from (Mexico), I write in cursive and most people are surprised to see my handwriting, so I guess not too common.

share|improve this answer
Just a small addition... In Spain I'd say that we wouldn't understand "Manuscrita" as "Cursive". For us, "Manuscrita" is "hand-written" (without specifying any kind of style). Besides that, the usage is the same as Sergio said. (Cursive = Cursiva, Printed = Molde o De Imprenta) – BorrajaX Jul 20 '12 at 17:09
@BorrajaX: Good to know. Thanks! – Sergio Romero Jul 20 '12 at 17:36
I would use "letra ligada" for cursive, but maybe is regional? – Laura Jul 20 '12 at 23:07
Itálica o bastardilla are also used for cursive. – Gonzalo Medina Jul 21 '12 at 22:50
I'm afraid some commenters are misunderstanding the English word cursive. – Gorpik Feb 12 '15 at 15:38

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.