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Spanish has several words that could be translated "hole" in English:

  • hoyo
  • agujero
  • hueco
  • bache
  • boquete
  • brecha
  • madriguera

What are the differences between these words? In what situations can each be used?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted
  • Hoyo: Apertura en el suelo.

    El golf consiste en meter una pelota en un hoyo.

  • Hueco: Cavidad, espacio libre entre dos o más sólidos. Lo contrario de "macizo".

    Este ladrillo está hueco y por eso pesa poco.

  • Bache: Un hoyo en una carretera o camino.

    Este camino está lleno de baches.

  • Agujero: Apertura más o menos redondeada. (En astronomía, black hole = agujero negro)

    Los disparos hicieron varios agujeros en la bandera.

  • Boquete: Agujero grande.

    El obús hizo un boquete en la pared.

  • Brecha: Rotura o apertura irregular.

    Las máquinas de asedio abrieron una brecha en las murallas.

  • Madriguera: "casa" de los animales como el conejo que consiste en un agujero en el suelo con túneles y dependencias.

    "El conejo escapó de los perros al esconderse en su madriguera."

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La madrina canta el madrigal desde su madriguera –  belisarius Nov 29 '11 at 22:30
Alenanno, gracias por la edición que así queda mejor. Yo estaba editando simultáneamente, espero no haber deshecho tus cambios. –  Nexus Nov 29 '11 at 22:40
Gracias! "blach hole" debe ser "black hole." –  jrdioko Nov 29 '11 at 23:08
A correction: "hueco" is (apart from an adjective) also a substantive, similar to "agujero", or perhaps more, "cavidad" (cavity), and in this context this meaning should be more important. –  leonbloy Nov 29 '11 at 23:34
I would add: when in doubt, use "agujero" (at least in Spain) –  MikMik Dec 27 '11 at 9:04

Well they mean the same thing but there are several different circumstances in which each one is applied more often.

Agujero means hole but most of the times means a smaller hole than a hoyo.
Hueco could mean hole or hollow, but it isn't hard to figure it out with full context.

I've noticed that most of the time when the hole is in a vertical surface (such as a wall) we call it hueco or agujero not hoyo, and when the hole is in an horizontal surface, such as the floor we call it hoyo or agujero too but not hueco.

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