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The English word ticket (that is, a slip of paper used to grant access to something) can be translated several different ways in Spanish:

  • boleto
  • pasaje
  • billete
  • ticket
  • entrada
  • resguardo

What are the differences between these words? In what situations would each be used? Specifically, which are appropriate for a plane, bus, or train ticket?

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Ticket translation ticket. Is almost the same with taxi. – razpeitia Nov 23 '11 at 5:36
Taxi is up there with OK and coffee as one of the most universal words, though that last one does change its sound quite a bit. – hippietrail Nov 23 '11 at 8:40
Calling it names doesn't make it not Spanish. Borrowed words doesn't make it not Spanish. Otherwise using tique or tiquete would make it "Franish" as much as using "ticket" would make it "Spanglish". – hippietrail Nov 27 '11 at 12:11
See prescription vs. description. – jrdioko Nov 28 '11 at 3:32
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Pasaje and billete are usually used in the transportation sector (pasaje de tren, billete de avión, etc.). Boleto is commonly used in the lottery and gambling world (boleto de lotería), but can also be used in the same way as pasaje and billete.

Entrada refers to a ticket to a show or a generic event.

Resguardo is usually a paper that certifies something (a comercial transaction, a bureaucratic affair, a package delivery, the delivery of a document...).

(Edit: I'm talking about the usage of these words in Spain)

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The usual English word for resguardo is receipt. – hippietrail Nov 23 '11 at 9:16
@hippietrail, thanks, the word didn't come to my mind. – Ignacio Contreras Pinilla Nov 23 '11 at 10:02
No problem. I had to check because the word I always used for receipt was recibo. – hippietrail Nov 23 '11 at 10:33
As I said in my answer there are a lot of highly localized usage there. In Argentina, for example, "billete" is for money or lottery ticket ONLY, "boleto" is for ground transportation ticket (bus, train, but never airplane or ship. Those use "pasaje") :). Also "boleto" is used in the sense you mentioned "resguardo", as in "boleto de venta" (a legal promise to sell a property) – Dr. belisarius Nov 23 '11 at 16:12
@belisarius you're right; I was talking about what I've seen so far in Spain. – Ignacio Contreras Pinilla Nov 23 '11 at 18:42

Boleto, pasaje, billete and ticket (and tiquete) have different local precise meanings, but are usually understandable by almost anyone.

Entrada, refers usually to a ticket you have to show up at the entrance (in the cinema, for example).

Resguardo is not an usual word for a ticket, but I heard it used referring to the part of the ticket stripped from the main body which allows you to exit from some place where you could only enter with a ticket and the going back in (showing the resguardo)

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The usual English word for resguardo is receipt. – hippietrail Nov 23 '11 at 9:16
@hippi Receipt is usually translated as "recibo" – Dr. belisarius Nov 23 '11 at 14:20
Indeed. But that's in the other direction. Welcome to the wonderful word of translation where symmetry as you know it is not guaranteed (-: – hippietrail Nov 23 '11 at 14:43

Voy a colocar el significado coloquial de estas palabras en Chile, solo por referencia:

  • boleto/boleta
    • trozo de papel que atestigua de algun suceso. es común que se refiera a un recibo de pago.
  • pasaje:
    • derecho de abordar a un transporte. También se refiere al trozo de papel que atestigua este derecho.
  • billete:
    • reservado para moneda de papel.
  • ticket:
    • igual que boleto pero no se usa para recibo de pago. Es común que se use en vez de entrada
  • entrada:
    • derecho de entrar a algun lugar. Común para conciertos, cine, etc. Se usa también para nombrar el trozo de papel que atestigua esto.
  • resguardo / recibo: no usado en chile, pero se entiende que es un papel o comprobante en recibo de un pago o prenda.
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