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Today I looked for the word desapercibido in the RAE and found the following:

desapercibido, da.

  1. adj. No apercibido.

Now, I know what desapercibido means, but then I was curious about the exact meaning of apercibido. So I looked for apercibido in the RAE and guess what:

Aviso

La palabra apercibido no está en el Diccionario.

All this came from a site that said that saying desapercibido for something that is inconspicuous was incorrect and that inadvertido should be used!!

Very confusing. Does someone has the exact meaning of apercibido? Since the RAE doesn't provide one.

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btw. I do agree that REA should have better search and find all the forms of the word. –  vartec Nov 18 '11 at 14:41
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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You couldn't find apercibido in RAE, because it's participle of verb apercibir.

As for desapercibido vs inadvertido. Desapercibido is most commonly used as for something that was not noted (possibly just because it was not important enough to anyone). Inadvertido in contrast means something that was not foreseen.

Very common usage is pasar desapercibido, meaning to go/pass unnoticed.

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+1 Nice! Thanks!! Didn't think of that... But why inadvertido should be used instead or desapercibido? –  Joze Nov 18 '11 at 14:41
    
This makes a lot of sense when we break down the word: desapercibido -> apercibir -> percibir = perceive. Making desapercibido being unperceived (roughly). Un-noticed makes perfect sense. –  Richard Nov 18 '11 at 14:59
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