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

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3
votes
1answer
135 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
3k 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
173 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
343 views

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

For example: lector - que lee Why not: lector - lo que lee
3
votes
2answers
909 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
1answer
955 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
4answers
520 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
1answer
388 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
190 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
247 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
640 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
377 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
1answer
20k views

¿Qué significa la abreviatura “VoBo”?

¿Cuál es el significado de la abreviatura "VoBo"? ¿en qué casos se puede utilizar?
2
votes
3answers
351 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
171 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
3answers
110 views

Can there be situations where both “saber” and “conocer” can be used?

Example1 Uds quieren saber mi país. If conocer is substituted for saber in this sentence, the meaning switch from knowing exactly what the country is to things about the country. Example2 ...
2
votes
2answers
223 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
467 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
176 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
93 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
144 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
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
956 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
2answers
474 views

¿Es la palabra “parcero/a” un insulto en Colombia?

A: ¡Hola! ¿Qué más? B: ¡Que bacán, parcero, gracielas! Alguien me dijo que llamar a alguien parcero/a es un insulto. ¿Por qué es así?
2
votes
1answer
59 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
83 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
197 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
475 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
91 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
2answers
459 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
121 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
88 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
80 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
987 views

¿Qué significa abatizar (visto en Nicaragua)?

He visto la palabra abatizar en periódicos de Nicaragua, pero no puedo encontrar la palabra ni en el diccionario de la RAE ni en WordReference.com. ¿Exactamente qué significa abatizar y en cuales ...
1
vote
1answer
297 views

Many meanings of “llamas”

Why and how has the word llama(s) 3 meanings? (you) call llama (the animal) flame
1
vote
8answers
406 views

Is «verga» a word I should avoid in polite company?

Wiktionary mentions that «verga» can be a vulgar term for an erect penis. It mentions this along with several other definitions. RAE mentions the vulgar term as the first definition, then lists half ...
1
vote
4answers
915 views

How can I translate/describe a “rough idle” to the mechanic?

I need to take my vehicle to a mechanic to diagnose a problem with a rough idle. How do I translate this term, "rough idle" to Spanish?
1
vote
3answers
179 views

¿Qué significa “superajustada”?

According to http://www.translate.com/, the translation of "superajustada" in to English is "superajustada" - that's helpful! (not!) It gives for "ajustada" adjusted, so...superadjusted? What does ...
1
vote
2answers
233 views

Gracia vs. Gracia why?

Tendría gracia que un payaso estuviera perdido en una iglesia. Danzó con la gracia de un cisne. Why does gracia have such opposing meanings? Is there a historical context? Maybe because of ...
1
vote
2answers
588 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? ...
1
vote
3answers
78 views

“Absuelto” but not absolved

The quote is this one : «Dios es el Absoluto en el sentido literal de esta palabra, el que está absuelto o desligado radicalmente de las cosas.» Well, in this situation I don't think that 'absuelto' ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

¿Qué significa la expresión “echar toda la carne al asador”?

¿Qué significa la expresión "echar toda la carne al asador"? Esta frase la he escuchado en México.
1
vote
2answers
9k views

Cuál es el significado de la palabra “hay” en “qué hay sobre”

Era en un tebeo que estoy leyendo. Adición: el contexto: Una persona regresa con comida por solo una otra, y un otro personaje dice "¡¿Qué hay sobre la comida que nosotros queríamos comer?!"
1
vote
1answer
147 views

What does “descunchifle” mean?

What does the word descunchifle mean?
1
vote
2answers
178 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?
1
vote
3answers
3k views

What does “chepa” mean in Nicaraguan Spanish?

What does the word chepa mean when used to refer to a person in Nicaraguan Spanish? What are some examples of how it is used?
1
vote
2answers
51 views

What does “se trata de” mean?

In my reading, I've run across several forms of "se trata de", and dictionaries haven't been much help. For example: eran todos hombres libres y se trataba de un feudo feliz y prospero si se ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

What does “alimentarse del viento” mean?

If someone puts the phrase "Alimentarse del viento" as their status on a social site, what does it mean?
1
vote
2answers
582 views

What does my friend mean when he says this to his kid?

I've heard my friend say "me matas con cuchillito de palo" to his kid and I cannot figure out what it means. (I've googled it, and naturally google results are all over the map.) Usually the kid is ...