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

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3
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4answers
38k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
506 views

How do you say “sharp objects” in Spanish?

I was watching Airport Security Colombia, and sharp objects were mentioned (I know that because of the subtitles). They said something like "cortopozantes", but I can't find anything like that on ...
3
votes
2answers
335 views

What's the difference between `tiene pelo azul` and `tiene el pelo azul`?

I have faced two different sentences in my Rosetta Stone Spanish program. The sentences below seem to have the same meaning, but why does one use a definite article while the other doesn't? El hombre ...
3
votes
3answers
715 views

Is a Wrist a Toy (muñeca)?

Both wrist and toy are "muñeca" in Spanish. Is there a connection, or just a coincidence that they are both the same?
3
votes
4answers
207 views

What is the correct way to refer to students in high school and lower?

In English, whether a person is studying in kindergarten or college, they are typically simply referred to as a student. Although we can say a phrase like "grade school student" or "college student" ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Significado del prefijo “para-” en palabras compuestas

¿Cuál sería el siginifcado o qué debo entender sobre el prefijo para- en palabras compuestas? Por ejemplo: Paramédico Paramilitar
3
votes
3answers
4k views

challenge: desafío vs. reto

The English word "challenge" can be translated to Spanish as desafío (desafiar) or reto (retar). Is there any difference between these words, or are they exact synonyms? If there is a difference, when ...
3
votes
2answers
85 views

What's the difference between “granjero” and “campesino”?

What's the difference in usage between granjero and campesino? They both mean farmer, don't they?
3
votes
2answers
95 views

Periférico de sonido en inglés?

English I was working on a neighbor's computer the other day and, they thought that the speakers weren't working. But, it was actually the "periférico de sonido" that wasn't working. At least that's ...
3
votes
3answers
105 views

Meaning of 'Elícito'

«Llamamos decisión o elección al acto elícito de la voluntad que tiene por objeto(...)» What is the meaning of elícito in this sentence? From word reference dictionary I get no definition, so I've ...
3
votes
2answers
110 views

Using “datos” to refer to specific points

Hay tres datos extremos (uno en 20mm y dos en 21mm) en la tabla The "datos" in the above sentence refers to are extreme data values. However, doesn't "datos" refer to a group of data points? If we ...
3
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
242 views

What is the meaning of Peru's motto “Firme y feliz por la unión”?

What is the meaning of Peru's national motto? Firme y feliz por la unión My literal translation is "Firm and happy for the union" but that seems too literal. What is "la unión" and can "Firme y ...
3
votes
3answers
9k views

“Dale pues” in Nicaraguan Spanish

In Nicaragua, the phrase "dale pues" is very frequently used. What does the phrase mean, and in what contexts can it be used?
3
votes
1answer
187 views

Two forms of verb for same time (Pretérito Subjuntivo) [duplicate]

Why are the two forms of a verb for certain times and how to use them? For instance taking the word echar, for Pretérito Imperfecto Subjuntivo Activo my dicctionary gives Pretérito Imperfecto ...
3
votes
4answers
610 views

What does “alma sucia” mean?

What does it mean? I've checked the literal meaning with Google: dirty soul I was looking for something more elegant, that shows its tone. Is it an idiom?
3
votes
4answers
4k views

¿Cómo se usa el antepretérito?

En clase hemos estado repasando el tiempo pluscuamperfecto. En todos los ejemplos que vimos, usaron el imperfecto del verbo haber. Cuando pregunté a mi profesor sobre el pretérito de haber, nos dijo ...
3
votes
4answers
201 views

Repartiera meaning (or what is subjunctive preterite imperfect?)

I'm to the point in my Spanish study that I'm reading books. I often come across words that I might know (such as repartir - to distribute) but the specific form is confusing. I'm hopeful that ...
3
votes
1answer
388 views

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

For example: lector - que lee Why not: lector - lo que lee
3
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
89 views

¿Existe algún verbo para definir la acción de realizar trabajos de mecánica?

En varias ocasiones he escuchado a los mecánicos de autos referirse a la acción de hacer revisiones o ajustes a las piezas de un medio de transporte como "mecanear" o "macaniquear", pero estas ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

“Pasto” vs. “césped” vs. “prado”

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre "pasto", "césped" y "prado"? ¿Cuál palabra se usa para hablar acerca de las partes verdes en una ciudad?
3
votes
1answer
456 views

Words for on purpose, accidentally, intentionally, unintentionally, etc

English has several words or phrases to express that something was done with or without the person meaning to do it: purposefully (or on purpose) accidentally (or on accident) intentionally ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
289 views

¿Qué significa “por” en el eslogan “Es por ti”?

Español En una clase de español hemos hablado del uso de "por" y "para". En camino a casa esto me ha recordada de un eslogan de la compañía de vuelo Avianca que he visto: "Es por ti." No estoy seguro ...
3
votes
1answer
307 views

Which “sense” of “measure” does medida refer to?

The English translation of "medida" that I have is "measure." This could mean "measurement" as in "length." Or it could mean "measure" in the sense of "means," (to an end.) Which of these two ...
3
votes
1answer
811 views

Rascarse una pantorrilla contra otra

[Dioniso] sigue rascándose una pantorrilla contra otra, desesperado. Entiendo que la pantorrilla es la parte de la pierna opuesta a la rodilla, la parte abultada. Entonces, ¿cómo es posible ...
3
votes
1answer
485 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
611 views

What is the meaning of “perdóname la vida”?

In García Márquez's "Memories of My Melancholy Whores", in some point Rosa Cabarcas, while talking to the Maestro, says " Ay, maestro, perdóname la vida". The English translation by Edith Grossman ...
2
votes
1answer
35k views

¿Qué significa la abreviatura “VoBo”?

¿Cuál es el significado de la abreviatura "VoBo"? ¿en qué casos se puede utilizar?
2
votes
3answers
354 views

Recognize spanish phrase

What's written on this picture? How you would translate it? I can recognize “El Rafael Pombo de Felipe Santiago Gutiérrez lo hice en hora y media … Clavdia [or Claudia]”. This is for description of ...
2
votes
2answers
178 views

What sort of Spanish are they speaking in this video?

I like watching videos to learn and I used to watch a show from Spain but the Spanish in this video (http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VPGo3t5qTZ4) seems different somehow. What kind is it? And, is this ...
2
votes
2answers
647 views

¿Qué significa “sacalepuntas” en México?

He oido esta expresión en México. Por ejemplo: Jorge anda muy sacalepuntas. ¿Cuál es su signficado? ¿Por qué?
2
votes
2answers
246 views

Por and Para origins

How did por and para come to mean so differently in Spanish while they both come from the same source, i.e., Latin?
2
votes
2answers
179 views

Could General Pablo Morrillo have been misunderstood as saying “Spain does not need wise people.”?

According to Wikipedia's Pablo Mordillo entry, When Morillo ordered the execution of the Colombian scientist Francisco José de Caldas (known as El Sabio Caldas, "Wise Caldas") and the people ...
2
votes
2answers
410 views

¿Qué quiere decir “alivio de luto”?

Leí hace poco la expresión "alivio de luto" en un libro. La lógica me indica que se trata de un luto aligerado tras la primera época posterior a la muerte de un ser querido. ¿Estoy en lo cierto? ...
2
votes
2answers
235 views

Translation of “We look forward to assisting you” in spanish [closed]

I'm working on translating a script for a service desk, but I'm stumped at finding an equivalent for the ending phrase "we look forward to assisting you" in spanish. What would you advise to be a good ...
2
votes
3answers
196 views

Using Cruzar to indicate turning

My computer based spanish course just served up a lesson where they translated cruzar to mean to turn when giving directions (and did so on multiple occasions). This confused me as I understood ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Speakers' location in determining venir vs. ir

In English, we use the word "come" very loosely (at least in day-to-day spoken English): Want to come over to my place later? Can I come over to your house for New Years'? Can you come meet me at ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

¿Es verdad que «advertir» puede significar «to notice something»?

Según Wiktionary, una definición de «advertir» es: to notice something Pero RAE no dice lo mismo, o por lo menos no en esos terminos. ¿Se equivoca Wiktionary? Sí no, me puede dar un ejemplo de ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Does the word “inquisitivo” have a negative connotation?

RAE defines "inquisitivo" as: inquisitivo, va. (Del lat. inquisitīvus). adj. Perteneciente o relativo a la indagación o averiguación. adj. ant. Que inquiere y averigua con cuidado y ...
2
votes
2answers
224 views

Meaning of verb form 'es algo que *inhiere* en ellas'

In the following sentence: advertimos que la forma accidental que configura al bronce como estatua o a la madera como silla es algo que inhiere en ellas, que se encuentra en esa materia como en ...
2
votes
1answer
618 views

Definition of “burris”

What is the meaning of burris? RAE and Google are no help. It seems to be a very slang term, and from context it relates to humor or sarcasm. It may be a Mexican term.
2
votes
1answer
129 views

What are these words “hances” and “deshances” in a proverb common on the Internet?

A friend of mine just showed me this Spanish proverb, which is some equivalent to English "shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations". "Quien no lo tiene, lo hance; y quien lo tiene, lo ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

What does “arroz atollado” mean?

The Colombian dish of arroz atollado. I know what "arroz" means, but I haven't been able to find what the second part "atollado" is supposed to mean.
2
votes
2answers
660 views

¿Qué quiere decir “engatillado”?

Sé lo que dice el RAE sobre la palabra. Sobre los animales y sobre la chapa. Pero cuando alguien me dice: Chepe estabas engatillado! Eso ¿qué quiere decir? La expresión viene de Colombia.
2
votes
1answer
135 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

What does lavor mean when talking about land?

I've seen this on a website selling land: 120 HECTAREAS DE LAVOR 60 DE PASTOS Y RESTO DEHEZA (It is possible this may be Andaluz - a word used locally in Andalusia)
2
votes
2answers
114 views

Meaning of idiomatic phrase: «a caballo de»

I've seen the phrase «a caballo de» being translated as «to be ahead of the game». I'm reading a book, and the sentence doesn't seem to relate to this meaning. The sentence is the following: «La nada ...