Definition or explanation of the exact meaning of a word/phrase/idiom.

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5
votes
2answers
233 views

¿Donde se crió? o ¿Donde crió?

I was listening to a conversation and heard the question, '¿Donde se crió?', and the reflexive caught me by surprise. Checking my dictionary didn't help much. Although 'criar' and 'criarse' are both ...
6
votes
2answers
218 views

Difference between “igual” and “como”

I was listening to Carlos Varela's "Una Palabra" and noticed sometimes he uses "igual" for "like" and sometimes "como". I am knowing that "igual" is used more similarities, but what separates it from ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

Word usage: serme

I've come across the below sentence: Este año he decidido serme fiel a mi misma y no mentirme I checked the dictionary and couldn't find the word "serme". What does it mean?
0
votes
1answer
75 views

word usage: “furtivamente” and “a escondidas”

Do "furtivamente" and "a escondidas" both mean "secretly"? They are interchangeable? For example: 1. entró furtivamente en la habitación. 2. entro a escondidas en la habitación. The meanings ...
3
votes
1answer
274 views

Why do definitions use 'que' rather than 'lo que'

For example: lector - que lee Why not: lector - lo que lee
1
vote
2answers
394 views

Translating “shrewd” (as in “a shrewd businessman”)

The English word "shrewd" (as in "a shrewd businessman") describes someone who is sharp, clever, crafty, or cunning. For example, a shrewd businessman might come up with a coupon offer that seems ...
2
votes
1answer
649 views

Translating “I don't trust you” (said casually)

I have heard that confiar is a strong word, implying trust and confidence in someone or something. What then is the right way to translate more casual uses of the word "trust"? For example, let's say ...
4
votes
2answers
72 views

Sostenernos de una sombra

Spanish Significado difícil: "sostenernos de una sombra". ¿Se refiere a una sustancia superior? English Difficult meаning: "sostenernos de una sombra". Is it said about а superior substance? ...
3
votes
3answers
784 views

What is “surime”?

I've been trawling through my collection of interesting Spanish words and found one more wich is not in the DRAE, Wiktionary, Larousse Gran Diccionario, Wikipedia, or Google Translate. surime My ...
4
votes
4answers
295 views

What does “sobadito” mean?

Here is one more food word I collected in Costa Rica: sobadito In my notes I have only written that it has some connection with food. It's from about five years ago so I don't recall anything ...
5
votes
2answers
373 views

What is the meaning of “melaza” in the song “Caras Lindas”?

This is the song. The word is translated by online lyrics, RAE and wordreference.com as molasses. But it doesn't make sense to me in the context. Somos la melaza que ríe Somos la melaza que ...
8
votes
1answer
622 views

Condescendiente / Condescendant

Oh surprise, Condescendant has a very different meaning in English compared to Spanish. Condescendant: Assuming a tone of superiority or a patronizing attitude Condescendiente: adj. Que ...
9
votes
1answer
155 views

Plug vs Socket: Interchangeable?

Many dictionaries that I have looked at online seem to use enchufe as a word that is interchangeable for the English words plug and socket, which are two related, but distinct objects. Some ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the meaning of “Y yo voy y me lo creo”?

What's the meaning of "Y yo voy y me lo creo"? I encountered it in a Spanish novel. With 146,000 Google.es hits, it seems to be a set expression. Context helps, but doesn't remove all doubts.
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What does the “lo” in “pasarlo bien” refer to?

The phrase pasarlo bien means something like "to have a good time" in sentences like, "Lo pasamos muy bien anoche." What does the "lo" in this phrase refer to? Does it replace an actual noun, or is it ...
5
votes
2answers
510 views

Usage of “ver(se)” for “to seem/look” (te ves, se te ve, te veo, etc.)

The verb ver can be used in a few different constructions to convey how something looks or seems: Te ves bonita. Se te ve mal. Te veo bien. For the reflexive constructions, the WordReference entry ...
8
votes
3answers
704 views

Words that mean different things in the preterite

There are some verbs that seem to have quite distinct meanings in the preterite tense. I don't know whether they also seem to change meanings to native speakers or if it just seems completely natural ...
7
votes
2answers
811 views

What's the meaning of the Mexican expression “se te va el avión”?

Example: Te lo dije tres veces y de todos modos no lo hiciste. A ti ya se te va el avión. ¿No te acordaste de tu cumpleaños? La verdad es que a ti ya se te va el avión. What does it mean? ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

When does sólo have an accent?

When does the word solo have an accent (tilde) on the first o (sólo)? When does it not?
3
votes
2answers
583 views

esperar: wait vs. hope vs. expect

The verb esperar (e.g. Estoy esperándolo.) can be used in at least three senses: to wait for to hope to expect In English, these all mean very different things: I'm waiting for you to ...
8
votes
2answers
384 views

¿Qué tipo de palabra es «alto»?

En las intersecciones, es común ver una señal roja y octagonal que dice "alto", el mismo tipo de señal que en inglés dice stop. En inglés, stop es un verbo imperativo, pero no creo que haya un verbo ...
6
votes
1answer
251 views

What's the origin of the Panamanian word “biñuelo”? Is it merely a corruption of “buñuelo”?

I was in Panama about five years ago and there was a common deep fried street food called "biñuelo". Of course there's a regular Spanish word "buñuelo" which means fritter. So is "biñuelo" just the ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Querer vs Amar & Adorar

The words amar and querer according to RAE are synonyms; however, in Colombia, at least, amar is considered a stronger feeling, a highest level of love, if you can say that. For example, I can tell a ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Does pelón/pelona mean bald or hairy?

I have heard pelón (or the feminine pelona) used to both refer to someone who has no hair and someone who has a lot of hair. Is there any way of distinguishing whether pelón means bald or hairy, or is ...
5
votes
2answers
322 views

What is the difference between “Entrometido” and “Entremetido”?

The definition of entrometido in the rae just sends you to entremetido. Is there a real difference between the two? And if there isn't then why are there two words with exactly the same meaning. ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

“después que” vs. “después de que”

Along the lines of another question I asked, what is the difference between después que and después de que? Is the situation the same as for antes? When are they synonymous, and when is one correct ...
3
votes
1answer
743 views

“antes que” vs. “antes de que”

What is the difference between the phrases antes que and antes de que? When should each be used? Are there contexts where one is correct and one is incorrect, or are they completely synonymous?
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Translation of “awkward” (as in “an awkward situation”)

In English, the word "awkward" can be used to describe a situation that is uncomfortable and embarrassing (but neither word seems to fully describe what "awkward" describes). What is the best ...
3
votes
2answers
19k views

Translation of “ni modo”

The phrase ni modo is used in many varieties of Spanish to mean many different things. What are its possible meanings? Which meaning is most common (i.e. which meaning would you assume if ni modo was ...
1
vote
2answers
319 views

Spanish words for cap, cover, lid, etc

What Spanish words can be used to describe a cap, cover, lid, or top (in other words, something placed on top of something, usually to close an opening)? What is the difference between tapa and tapón? ...
5
votes
1answer
598 views

A good word for “quest” in Spanish

The translation for Quest is "búsqueda" but it just does not work properly. In English we say "I'm on a quest for the holy grail" this is not quite the same as "I'm searching for the holy grail." So ...
2
votes
1answer
574 views

Literal and metaphorical translation of “duende”

I have read that duende can mean both a mythical creature or, metaphorically, a kind of magical sensation to something. What exactly does duende refer to in both senses? How would both of these senses ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Best English translation of “conmoción”

I was told the Spanish word conmoción refers to a strong feeling of shock or emotion shared by a group of people rather than an individual. It seems like English doesn't have a single word or phrase ...
-4
votes
1answer
5k views

Why does “no sé” mean “I don't know?” [closed]

If "no" means "no", and if "se" means "is", why does "no sé" mean "I don't know"? This has been a bit of stumbling block for me as I learn the language. I as learn how to learn, I like to know the ...
5
votes
1answer
83 views

What does the Mexican term “predialazo” refer to?

There's a word whose definition has been requested on Wiktionary (perhaps by me but I can't remember) that seems to be mostly used in Mexico if you Google for it: predialazo But it's not in the ...
3
votes
1answer
300 views

What does “tracatera” mean?

I've been collecting unusual Spanish words for years. I've been going through them to find any that are not in my dictionaries and found this one: tracatera f It's not in the DRAE, it's not in ...
5
votes
1answer
125 views

What is apercibido?

Today I looked for the word desapercibido in the RAE and found the following: desapercibido, da. adj. No apercibido. Now, I know what desapercibido means, but then I was curious about ...
5
votes
1answer
98 views

What does “barrocanrolera” mean?

In the novel Los años con Laura Diaz by top Mexican author Carlos Fuentes there is a word, "barrocanrolera", which is not in the DRAE, the Gran diccionario Larousse, Wiktionary, or Google Translate. ...