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

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6
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2answers
179 views

What is the difference between requerir and exigir?

I believe that they both mean to "require." But do they refer to different "degrees" (urgencies) or types of requirments? Can they be used interchangeably or is one more suitable in some contexts and ...
6
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

to drink: beber vs. tomar

I have heard beber and tomar used interchangeably as translations for the English "to drink." Is there any difference between the two, or are they exact synonyms when describing drinking a liquid? Are ...
6
votes
2answers
416 views

Origin and use of “echar de menos”

I've always found peculiar that the phrase echar de menos is synonymous of the verb extrañar. For example: Te echaré de menos. is equivalent to: Te extrañaré. Based on TV, its use is most ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Words for strong or weak rain (sprinkling, drizzling, pouring)

This question on English.StackExchange made me wonder about words for rain in Spanish. In English, a light rain can be a drizzle, sprinkle, or mist and a heavy rain can be a deluge, downpour, or ...
6
votes
5answers
824 views

Definition of escuela and colegio

Spanish has two generic words for school: escuela and colegio. I have heard different explanations for what phases of schooling each word refers to. For example, I've been told that colegio refers ...
6
votes
4answers
170 views

Ironic constructions in Spanish

English As part of my masters in linguistics, I am taking a course on the subject of irony. We were given examples of sentences that are most likely ironic, as the English sentence "he is not ...
6
votes
1answer
103 views

Polite terms for excrement

There are many vulgar terms for excrement, but what are the non-vulgar, polite ones (used in medical settings, or with children, or among adults in polite conversation)?
6
votes
4answers
21k 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?
6
votes
3answers
996 views

What is the most universal way to say “keep the change”?

Español He escuchado unas pocas opiniones distintas para decir "quédate con el cambio" (es decir, lo que le dices a alguien a quien acabas de pagar cuando cuando quieres que se quede la diferencia ...
6
votes
3answers
837 views

Translation of “by the way”

In Spanish class I learned that the right way to say "by the way" in Spanish was a propósito, but I've recently seen it translated por cierto. How exactly are these two Spanish phrases used, and are ...
6
votes
1answer
645 views

Difference between “oreja” and “oído”

What is the difference between oreja and oído? Both mean ear, no?
6
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2answers
2k views

“a propósito” vs “de paso” to say “by the way”

How do you say "by the way" in Spanish, as in: By the way, what's your name? By the way, where do you live now? By the way, I met Javier the other day ... Google Translate shows a ...
6
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I say “You're making me hungry?”

A friend was describing some food she's making. I wanted to say "You're making me hungry" or "That makes me hungry." What's the proper way to say this? My first thought was to say something like: ...
6
votes
5answers
211 views

What would be a good way to express “You can't get something out of nothing”?

There is a common statement—well, I least I've read quite a few times—that goes like this: You can't get something out of nothing. I would like to know if this sentence has a common translation ...
6
votes
3answers
297 views

What's the difference between “estar ansioso de” and “estar ansioso por”?

I know that both 'estar ansioso de' and 'estar ansioso por' mean to be excited for something or looking forward to it, but how do I decide which one to use? Do the two have slightly different ...
6
votes
2answers
839 views

Different words for “stop”

In English, we have a fairly generic verb "to stop" that can be used in many different contexts. For example: Stop talking to me! The driver saw the red light and stopped his car. You really need to ...
6
votes
4answers
373 views

¿Cuándo usar “conseguir” o “lograr”?

Me parece que el sentido es de "to manage to do something", pero ¿hay alguna diferencia? ¿Cuál se usa con más frecuencia? ¿Uno es más formal que el otro?
6
votes
1answer
90 views

What is the preferred used word for “subscripción”?

What is the preferred used word for "subscripción", "subscripción" or "suscripción"? Why are there two ways to write the same word? Are there any other words like this one where the "b" can be ...
6
votes
1answer
84 views

Reflexive and non-reflexive third person

This English sentence is ambiguous: He ate his food. The word his can refer to the He at the start, or another man. In Spanish: Él comió su comida. Does the ambiguity still remain or does ...
6
votes
2answers
165 views

Regional differences between escuchar and oír

In school I learned that escuchar was for the English "to listen to" and oír was "to hear." In Central America, however, I frequently heard escuchar being used for "to hear" (e.g. No te escucho ...
6
votes
1answer
705 views

“Echar” vs “tirar” vs “lanzar” vs “arrojar” vs “disparar” (to throw)

The basic meaning of them all as I understand it is: To throw Disparar seems to pertain exclusively to shooting or throwing something for the sole purpose of harming (maybe to shoot is the best ...
6
votes
1answer
88 views

Referring to a specific “bisabuelo(a)”

When talking about grandparents, you can add "materno(a)/paterno(a)" to refer to a specific one. Example: abuelo paterno. Is there a way to refer to a particular "bisabuelo(a)" (great-grandparent)?
6
votes
2answers
106 views

Analog to “sustainability”

I asked a question on english synonyms of "sustainability" alrady on ELU. In Spanish, dictionaries and ngrams give out several options: Comparing with the english ngrams chart I conclude la ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Choosing between 'sobre' and 'acerca de'

Is there a significant difference between "sobre" and "acerca de", when the intent is to describe the topic of something? Where is "acerca de" a better choice than "sobre", and vice-versa?
6
votes
2answers
522 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
2k 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?
5
votes
3answers
221 views

Correct usage of debieras and deberías

Español ¿Cuándo es correcto usar deberías o debieras? (significado y uso). English When is it correct to use deberías or debieras? (meaning and uses)
5
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
31k views

¿Cuál es la palabra correcta, “membresía” o “membrecía”?

Cual es la forma correcta de escribir la siguiente palabra: MEMBRESÍA o MEMBRECÍA, según las normas de la Real Academia de la Lengua Española para el año actual (2013). Por favor incluir referencias ...
5
votes
3answers
202 views

Do mi and mío have different connotations?

I usually use the possessives mi and mío interchangeably. For example: Esta es la casa mía. Esta es mi casa. However, do the two have different connotations? (e.g. is one more formal ...
5
votes
1answer
162 views

What would be a good way of expressing “Es un placer haber sido de utilidad.”?

English How can I translate the phrase "Es un placer haber sido de utilidad."? What ways sound most natural? Thanks. Español Cómo puedo traducir la frase "Es un placer haber sido de utilidad."? ...
5
votes
2answers
897 views

forever: por siempre vs. para siempre

I have seen "forever" translated as both por siempre and para siempre. What is the difference? Are there contexts where you must use one or the other?
5
votes
3answers
9k views

What is the difference between “De nada” and “No hay de qué”?

I am learning Spanish and ran across "De nada" and "No hay de qué". Both mean "You're welcome" . What's the difference?
5
votes
2answers
163 views

Counterpart of “John Doe, Joe Public”?

In English these names are used as a substitute for the average guy. Or as a specimen when filling out a passport form. What names/expressions are used in Spanish for this purpose?
5
votes
2answers
173 views

Different words for “hole”

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
277 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?
5
votes
4answers
407 views

Difference between “volver” and “regresar”

I understand that both "volver" and "regresar" can mean "to return" as in: Tengo que regresar mañana... Tengo que volver mañana... Is there any difference between these two words? If so, ...
5
votes
3answers
153 views

“Earthquake”: When to use “temblor” and “terremoto”

When referring to an earthquake, are temblor and terremoto perfect synonyms? Are there any differences?
5
votes
2answers
112 views

In what cases are “de” and “para” interchangeable?

For example in these cases "de" and "para" seem to be interchangeable: muebles de oficina / muebles para oficina juguetes de niños / juguetes para niños Are there any other cases where ...
5
votes
3answers
167 views

“Habría” or “Hubiera”

Given the following sentence: Si lo hubieran anotado, después no les hubiera (habría) costado tanto recordarlo. we see that the first use of hubieran is well used, but the second one is ...
5
votes
1answer
439 views

Words for “size”

I know there are multiple words for size in Spanish, but I'm quite fuzzy on when to use them. The two most common seem to be tamaño and talla, although in some contexts (like shoes), número seems ...
5
votes
1answer
419 views

“Perdón”, “permiso”, “disculpa”, … ?

I always struggle with the correct usage of the various ways one could say the equivalent of I'm sorry or Excuse me. Of course there are many reasons I would say these things and I was often looking ...
5
votes
2answers
167 views

How would you build the spanish counterpart of “truthiness”?

I stumbled upon the English term Truthiness "truth" that a person claims to know intuitively "from the gut" in that it "feels right" without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or ...
5
votes
2answers
186 views

How to choose between “carecer” and “faltar”?

I've always used "faltar" to mean "to lack, to be missing". But in my reading I find that "carecer" seems to mean exactly the same. When should I use the one or the other? Are there some ...
5
votes
1answer
185 views

How do you write task lists in Spanish?

In English: Go to store. Eat dinner. ... How would this be written in Spanish?
5
votes
2answers
478 views

Difference between 'trabajar para' and 'trabajar por'

I know the difference between por and para, but I'm confused by these particular usages. I've seen both of them in various places. 'Trabajar para' seems to mean to work for, whereas 'trabajar por' ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

¿En breve o en breves momentos?

Un presentador de televisión anunciando la casi inmediata aparición de alguna persona. Cual es modo correcto de anunciarlo: "En breve estaremos con ..." "En breves momentos estaremos con ..." "En ...