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How do I say in Spanish "there's a fine line between" something and something else?

As in "the difference is not clear-cut" or "it's not black & white".

It feels that something like "no hay mucha diferencia entre" doesn't capture the English idiom very well.

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"Una delgada línea" is frequently used i.stack.imgur.com/RvBmx.jpg –  belisarius Jan 26 at 10:10
    
@belisarius, thanks! That seems like a valid answer, you should post it as one. –  Jonik Jan 26 at 10:22
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4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Hay una sutil diferencia entre X y Y.

for "the difference is not clear-cut". And indeed,

No hay mucha diferencia entre X y Y.

would be wrong. You'd be saying that the difference is negligible.

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Yes, "sutil diferencia" indeed seems idiomatic. For instance, as Jorge Luis Borges wrote: Después de un tiempo, uno aprende la sutil diferencia entre sostener una mano y encadenar un alma –  Jonik Jun 6 at 21:20
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Del X a Y hay solo un paso

So Del amor al odio hay solo un paso will be There is a fine line between love and hate.

As Napolean said:

There is only one step from the sublime to the ridiculous.

In wikiquote is translated like De lo sublime a lo ridículo no hay más que un paso

Del X a Y hay solo un paso

or

Del X a Y no hay más que un paso

Both as idioms are the same, but for me the first is more used and I have heard it more often when you use two opposite words or in films.

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Is there is only one step the same as the difference is not clear-cut? –  c.p. Jan 25 at 23:17
    
I put one step because I think is the more appropiate translation for the idiom he is asking (maybe is too poetic). All three idiomas means there is no a clear difference between both words. Look at wordreference's forum, or maybe we can ask on englishstackexchange. Likewise, as it was commented 'delgada linea' seems to be more used. –  AlexBcn Jan 28 at 13:56
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Colombia:

Hay una delgada linea entre X y Y.
De X a Y solo hay un paso.
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There is a fine line between = Hay una fina linea entre...

The difference is not clear-cut = La diferencia no es clara.

It's not black & white = No es o blanco o negro.

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