Determining the best possible word to express a concept among several choices.

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5
votes
6answers
8k views

Why does “Se habla español” translate to “We speak Spanish”?

I see on stores that they have a sign that says Se habla español. From first glance I would think that it is saying "It speaks Spanish". How is it unambiguous that it is saying "We speak Spanish"? I ...
2
votes
2answers
85 views

Bien vs buen/bueno/buena to describe something good

I have encountered phrases like these: La buena comida. El buen hombre. Buenos días. However in none of these instances is it grammatically correct to substitute bien even though it ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Ser and estar for location

The edge-cases of ser and estar still seem to get me. My understanding is that when speaking of a location, I should use estar. La biblioteca está aquí. However, a student I am tutoring had a ...
5
votes
3answers
290 views

¿Qué palabra se usa para describir a alguien que suda mucho?

¿Qué palabra es adecuada para describir a una persona que suda mucho?
6
votes
3answers
340 views

¿Por qué se usa la forma “tú” en publicidades en vez de “usted”?

Muchas veces he encontrado publicidades que usan la forma tú como lo siguiente: Yo pienso que que estaría mejor usar la forma usted, porque es mas formal y profesional (en mi opinión). ¿Quizás no ...
6
votes
5answers
7k views

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre “formación” y “capacitación”?

Estoy escribiendo con mi amiga de Argentina, y ella me habló de su nuevo trabajo. Ella dijo que tenía que tomar un curso de capacitación, pero veo la palabra "formación" en lugar a veces. ¿Cuál es ...
3
votes
4answers
116 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" ...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

Understanding ya vs. todavía vs. aún

English speakers learning Spanish have a hard time understanding the similarities and differences between ya, todavía, and aún (or aun). They don't perfectly match up with the similar English words ...
10
votes
6answers
19k views

Is there a difference between “claro” and “por supuesto”?

Both "claro" (or "claro que sí") and "por supuesto" appear to be used to say 'of course' in one way or another. Are there any differences in how they are used? Is one formal and the other informal? ...
7
votes
5answers
9k views

Are there any differences between “de nada” and “por nada”?

Most of the time in all the Spanish speaking countries I've been in I've heard de nada as the reply to gracias or the equivalent of English you're welcome etc. But after a while I became conscious ...
12
votes
4answers
11k views

How do you differentiate between walnuts and pecans in Spanish?

It recently occurred to me that the Spanish nuez can be translated to English as both "walnut" and "pecan." Is the same word really used for both types of nuts? How would you specify which nut you're ...
0
votes
3answers
146 views

“Tener tiempo” vs “Llevar tiempo”

Yo aprendí (en México) decir "Tener tiempo." Ejemplos: Tengo mucho tiempo sin ir al cine. ¿Cuanto tiempo tienes sin ir al cine? (a menudo abreviado: ¿Cuanto tienes sin ir al cine?) ...
2
votes
2answers
197 views

Is the country México or Méjico?

Is the name of the country south of the United States spelled México or Méjico? Which is the official name of the country in English and Spanish? When is each version used?
4
votes
3answers
214 views

Names of wedding reception and ceremony in Mexico

How do Mexicans refer to the wedding ceremony and the celebration following the wedding? I am attending a Mexican wedding and would like to refer to these events properly.
0
votes
1answer
91 views

“Haber” vs “A ver”

Tengo una pregunta que aun mis amigos que hablan español como nativos no saben con seguridad. Es común decir "A ver," por ejemplo, hoy me dijo una amiga: A ver si la ves. Creo es una forma de A ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Metaetiqueta, Meta etiqueta o meta-etiqueta?

La tercera casi seguro que no. Pero la primera y la segunda? Cuál es la correcta? Por un lado, Google usa "metaetiqueta" en sus páginas de ayuda. Ejemplo: ...
1
vote
0answers
57 views

What words are typically used to refer to vehicles and deliniate between types of vehicles in Latin America [closed]

In the US we typically refer to our vehicles as cars, trucks, vans, SUVs and sometimes wagons (station wagons). How are vehicles typical refereed to in Latin America in every day speech.
7
votes
4answers
31k views

Where did “pico de gallo” get its name?

Does pico de gallo (the type of salsa) literally translate as "rooster's beak"? If so, where did it get that name, and how does that describe the salsa?
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Which Spanish words are most commonly used to describe smells? [closed]

I would like to know how to name different smells in Spanish. In English, for example, we have adjectives like smelly, fishy, sweet, disgusting, stinky, rotten,etc (actually mainly for bad smells). ...
3
votes
3answers
380 views

Translating “to wind up (doing something)”

In informal English, we use the phrase "to wind up" to describe the final state of a situation, after all is said and done. For example: How did you wind up moving to Kansas after growing up in ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

Translation of “I would be more than happy to (do something).”

What would be some natural ways to express being "more than happy" to do something in Spanish? For example: I am more than happy to help you with your homework whenever you need it. I would ...
0
votes
2answers
296 views

Translation of “have (someone) do (something)”

What is the most common way in Spanish to express "have (someone) do (something)"? For example, a boss might say to his secretary: Have the marketing manager come see me ASAP!
4
votes
2answers
120 views

“la frase francesa” or “la frase en francés”?

In English, when referring to a sentence written in French, I could say "the French sentence" or "the sentence in French". English is not my first language, but I think those two variants can be used ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

diferente vs. otro/otra

I'm a bit confused about the differences in use of diferente and otro/otra. For example, I want to say "I'm a programmer like Javier, but I work for a different company." Would that be Soy un ...
7
votes
3answers
370 views

¿Cómo pedir la opinión de alguien?

¿Cómo se pide la opinión de alguien sobre un tema o actividad? Por ejemplo, en ingles se dice: What do you think about __________?
2
votes
2answers
135 views

What are ways to say “blue” in Spanish?

The "standard" word I was taught is azul. But the nearest English equivalent is azure, which means light (sky) blue. In English, a reference to "dark" blue might be "navy blue." I believe that there ...
0
votes
4answers
306 views

What is the best way to refer to those of Spanish descent or language?

In English there are several ways to refer to people who speak Spanish or are from a Spanish-speaking country: Hispanic, Latin, Latino, Chicano, Spanish-speaking, etc. What equivalent terms exist in ...
1
vote
2answers
321 views

What is the difference between frijoles and habichuelas?

My understanding is that they both refer to "beans." But there are several types of beans. For instance, there are round, "starchy" kidney type beans. And there are long, stringy "green" beans. Could ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

What's the difference between “fideos” and “tallarines”?

I know that they both refer to noodles, but would they be different kinds of noodles? For instance, one might be long and thin, while the other might be flat and wide?
11
votes
4answers
154 views

Is there any subtle difference between the two forms of the imperfect subjuntive?

The imperfect subjuntive has two forms. For example: Ojalá viniera. Ojalá viniese. I think both has the same meaning. However, is there any subtle difference?
8
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the difference between allí and ahí (“there”)?

English What is the difference between allí and ahí? Is there any difference in pronunciation between the two? Are there any contexts where one is correct and one is wrong, or are they completely ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Describing the common cold or flu in Spanish

In English, when talking about common viruses people often get, there are generally two categories: a cold is generally more mild and can come with runny nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, etc. ...
6
votes
3answers
126 views

Por y Para for Recipients

I've heard por and para both being used to indicate recipients: Mi amor es por ti Este regalo es para ti In what situations regarding recipients are por and para usually used?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Difference between “está” and “esta” or “esté” and “este”?

How do I know if I have to use the one with accent and not the one without accent? Could you provide examples?
1
vote
3answers
138 views

All is Well - Todo esta bien

Which is correct? English - All is Well Espanol - Todo es bien / Todo está bien I am confused with es and está. still I don't get a clear view. I referred this too. Please help to understand. ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Translation of “bowl”

I have heard many different translations for bowl (the dish) in different Spanish-speaking countries. What words are normally used to translate "bowl"? Which is most universally understood? What ...
0
votes
3answers
95 views

Ways of saying “The count can not be smaller than..”

What is the proper way of saying "The count of "something" can not be smaller than.." "la cantidad de "something" no puede ser más pequeña que.." or is it " el recuento de "something" no puede ser ...
2
votes
8answers
356 views

How do you say “coming” in Spanish?

What word/phrase can one use to indicate to someone that you are en route to a meeting point/destination and will arrive within a few minutes? In english, I usually use coming For example: earlier ...
10
votes
3answers
548 views

Why do we say “Qué hora es” instead of “Qué hora está”?

I was taught that está is used in certain contexts meaning a temporary state (like emotion). Isn't "today" always temporary in that it is constantly changing to the next? If so, why don't we use está ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

How can we say “I'm sorry” apart from “lo siento”?

So far the only way I know to say "I'm sorry" is "lo siento." However, this gets repetitive rather quickly, and sometimes I'm looking for a stronger form of an apology. What other ways are there to ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

What is a good translation for the “overview” other than “síntesis”?

I am looking for a good translation that doesn't sound too technical. I read the definition of "síntesis" and found the word "compendio" which has a definition which seems to match "overview" well, ...
8
votes
6answers
5k views

Is there a trick to remembering 'llevar' and 'traer'?

After years of living in a Spanish-speaking country, and speaking mostly only Spanish all day, I still struggle with 'llevar' and 'traer'. The rules are clear and all, but it is just very difficult to ...
1
vote
2answers
144 views

When should one use “para” for the English word “to”?

This is an extension of the question What is the difference between using "de" and "que" for the English word "to"? Consider the sentence "You have one minute to ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Armpit: sobaco vs. axila

"Armpit" in English can be translated as either sobaco or axila in Spanish. Is each term used in different regions, or are they both used across the Spanish-speaking world? What is the difference, or ...
2
votes
4answers
136 views

gustar: “I like the cat” vs “The cat likes me”

I put this in the google translate page: the cat likes me i like the cat I get back the translation: el gato me gusta me gusta el gato which doesn't look right at all, and sure enough it gets ...
5
votes
2answers
134 views

“Lo peor ya ha pasado” - Why is “Lo” used?

The sentence translates to The worse has already passed. Why is lo used instead of el? When am I supposed to use one over the other?
5
votes
1answer
312 views

“Ella es nuestra madre” - Why is “nuestra” feminine?

Why is nuestra feminine if we do not know the gender of the people the speaker is referring?
8
votes
12answers
9k views

How would you translate the word “badass” to Spanish?

I was thinking maybe of "cabrón" or "chingon" ; however I think those two sound too Mexican specific. Does anybody know a better and less region specific equivalent?
2
votes
4answers
213 views

How do you say “muscle fever” in Spanish?

I've heard only "envaramiento", so people say in Spanish Estoy envarado por haber nadado ayer. Wikipedia says it's said agujetas, which I've never heard. Is there another non-medical term for ...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

What is “él” for in “Estoy aquí porque me ha enviado él”?

I found this sentence which makes sense except for the last word él: Estoy aquí porque me ha enviado él. I am here because he has sent me. What is the él doing here? At first when I read it I ...