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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

9
votes
4answers
812 views

How to decide between “ahora” and “ya” for the sense “now”?

I know that ya has additional meanings besides simply now, such as already. But considering just the sense of ya which does mean now, when should I use it and when should I use ahora, which only has ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Other spanish synonyms to “Banana”

I remember reading in high school that the word la banana is actually a different word in several different countries. Is this true? If so what are the other similar/equivalent Spanish words for la ...
7
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
580 views

Acordar or recordar? What's the correct use? ¿Cuál es el uso correcto?

Español Comunmente escucho gente decir "¿oye, te acuerdas de esa película?", así como también escucho "¿oye, recuerdas esa película?." Siempre he creído que la acción de un recuerdo viene del verbo ...
14
votes
4answers
4k views

When to use “igual” and “lo mismo”?

English I often get corrected when using either the word igual or mismo, and haven't really figured out when to use which yet. What are the rules for when and how to use igual, and when and how to ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Translating “Slow down!” (in informal contexts)

English WordReference translates "slow down" as disminuir la velocidad or desacelerar. But those sound pretty precise or technical to me. How would you translate "Slow down!" in other, more informal ...
19
votes
4answers
551 views

Question words: “qué” versus “cuál”

English Often "qué" is translated to English as "what" and "cuál" is translated as "which." However, I know that this is not always the case. Here are some examples. (Please correct me if I am ...
9
votes
3answers
536 views

“De donde fue” instead of “De donde estaba”

In Nicaragua, addresses are usually given as directions from a landmark, for example: From the stadium, go 5 blocks south, then 3 blocks east Sometimes the landmark is a place that used to be ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Translation of “What goes around comes around”

What is the best Spanish translation of the English idiom, What goes around comes around?
3
votes
2answers
150 views

Translation for the adjective “haunting” (as in “a haunting melody”)

What is the best Spanish translation for the English adjective "haunting" (as in "a haunting melody")? WordReference gives three options: evocador, inquietante and inolvidable. Do any of these really ...
8
votes
5answers
833 views

What is the diminutive of “pan” (meaning bread)?

Is it: pansito panesito panito panecino panecillo (Although this one has most of the time another meaning...) Why? I know short question, but seemingly difficult for me. Is there a definitive ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Translating “looking forward to”

In English, we often used the phrase looking forward to when we are excited about something in the future: I'm looking forward to seeing you next week! I'm really looking forward to finals ...
8
votes
5answers
628 views

Is “tobogán” an acceptable word for “slide” throughout the Spanish speaking world?

English I'm trying to learn words to talk to my baby at the playground in Spanish. WordReference.com gives the following as part of its definition for "slide." slide 2 sustantivo 1. (in ...
2
votes
3answers
130 views

Translation of “desarrollo integral”

What is the best English translation for the Spanish phrase desarrollo integral (as applied to a person or country)? "Complete development" doesn't sound right, and I can't find the phrase in my ...
5
votes
2answers
451 views

Describing stress in Spanish

In Spanish class, I remember learning that "stress" (as in what someone who is coming up on a deadline feels) isn't commonly spoken of in Spanish-speaking countries for cultural reasons, but it can be ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is Usted sometimes abbreviated as Vd. instead of Ud.? Is there any difference in usage between the two?

I've noticed that the word Usted can be abbreviated at least 2 ways, the most common of which being Ud. and Vd. to my knowledge. I see how Ud. makes perfect sense, but why is a V used instead of a U ...
5
votes
1answer
174 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."? ...
4
votes
1answer
856 views

Translation: “To wish” expressing regret

How would you translate sentences like: 'I wish I had remembered that earlier.' 'I wish I had made the most of it while I still could.' There are a few ways to say I wish in Spanish, but I ...
6
votes
5answers
226 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
335 views

Translation of “slacks” (dress pants)

What is the typical way in Spanish to refer to "slacks" (or dress pants that you'd wear with a suit or other formal clothing)? Is there a universal way to distinguish them from less formal pants? ...
3
votes
3answers
312 views

Various translations of “ticket”

The English word ticket (that is, a slip of paper used to grant access to something) can be translated several different ways in Spanish: boleto pasaje billete ticket entrada resguardo What are ...
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
158 views

Difference between: “susurro” and “murmullo”

Are susurro and murmullo interchangeable?
3
votes
1answer
888 views

Translation of “personal statement”

What phrase in Spanish is used to describe a "personal statement" (i.e. a short essay composed for a college application, for example)?
6
votes
1answer
993 views

Difference between “oreja” and “oído”

What is the difference between oreja and oído? Both mean ear, no?
2
votes
1answer
144 views

Translation of “contra viento y marea”

What is the most idiomatic English translation of the Spanish phrase contra viento y marea?
5
votes
3answers
464 views

Translating “I'm bad with [remembering] something”

In English, you can say: I'm horrible with names. I'm bad with faces. I'm really bad with directions. What is the most natural way in Spanish of expressing that you are bad at remembering ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Translation of “let me know”

I use the phrase "let me know" all the time in English. For example: Just let me know when you're free. Could you let me know whether you can come tomorrow? If you have any questions, just let me ...
2
votes
3answers
608 views

Translation of “first time doing something”

What is the most natural way in Spanish to talk about someone's first time doing something? For example: This is my first time eating sushi. That was the first time she's ever gone camping. Was that ...
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 ...
17
votes
6answers
781 views

“vaso de agua” or “vaso con agua”? Which is correct?

English What's the correct way to express that something "serves as a container for something else"? Example: ¿Quieres un vaso de/con agua? Should we use de or con? Are both correct? Why? If ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

What's the difference between “dentro” and “adentro”?

English: How can I tell whether I should be using Dentro vs. Adentro? I've read that they both mean 'inside' and looked at some examples, but I still can't always figure out which one to use. Are ...
4
votes
5answers
248 views

“Fall in love with” (non-romantic)

English: In English, you can use the phrase "to fall in love with" with people who you aren't literally in love with. For example, when talking about children, you might say: You just fall in ...
5
votes
1answer
100 views

Uses of “SE” : se discutió

Can you see the difference between no. 6 and no. 7? Are there any differences in meaning? Could you please answer the questions below? 6, En el coloquio se discutió un tema interesante. 6a, ...
5
votes
1answer
363 views

Gusto variant of the verb gustar

When I thought I finally had it figured out... I was confronted with the following phrase which obviously must mean: I liked the story of your friend. Which for me logically translates to. ...
2
votes
3answers
119 views

What is the preferred word to use to know if the partner is grasping what you are explaining?

Suppose that you are explaining something to someone. Which of these is more appropriate to use? ¿Me entiendes? ¿Me explico? If you use "me explico" it could be interpreted as if you are ...
2
votes
2answers
465 views

Translation of “It will be a while before/until…”

When explaining that something won't happen soon, English uses expressions like: It will be a while until ... It will be a while before ... It will be a long time until ... It will ...
3
votes
3answers
293 views

Translation of “settling in”

In English, "to settle in" describes what someone does after moving in to a new place or returning from a long vacation: I just got back, I'm still settling in. We moved last week! It will be ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

Translation of “How difficult was that”

How would I ask someone "How difficult was that?" ¿Qué tan difícil era? ¿Cuán difícil era? ¿Cuánto dificultad tenía eso? Other?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Translating “If (request), that would be great.”

In English, I often use the formula, "If (request), that would be great." For example: If you could go to the supermarket after work, that would be great. If it's possible for you to finish ...
2
votes
1answer
577 views

What is the difference between “de corto plazo” and “a corto plazo”?

What is the difference between de corto plazo and a corto plazo (or de largo plazo and a largo plazo), meaning short-term and long-term? In what contexts can each be used?
2
votes
2answers
8k views

Equivalent of “To whom it may concern:”

When writing formal letters in English where there is no named recipient (for example, a job application sent to a Human Resources department, or a letter sent to an organization in general as opposed ...
6
votes
2answers
747 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? ...
4
votes
1answer
454 views

Names of mythical beings/creatures

Another question I asked made me realize that English has many names for mythical beings. Many of these can refer to both a historical myth or superstition as well as a more modern definition (in ...
7
votes
4answers
425 views

What is the difference between “a partir de” y “desde”?

Which one is correct? A partir de ahora, voy a hablar en español. or Desde ahora, voy a hablar en español. In meaning I think both are close to "from." Are there any specific instances ...
2
votes
1answer
174 views

“Reclamo” vs. “Reclamación”

Whenever I go to a restaurant I see a Libro de Reclamaciones which I believe it's something like a Book of Complaints. I thought the direct translation of complaint was in fact reclamo or queja. In ...
14
votes
4answers
719 views

Difference between “por” and “para”

Even after taking 4 years of college Spanish and living abroad, I still don't have a very firm control of when to use por or para. What are the basic rules on when to use either.
6
votes
2answers
558 views

What is the correct way to say the days of a month?

People refer to the days of the month as following: 1 de enero = uno de enero o primero de enero. 2 de enero = dos de enero. 3 de enero = tres de enero. ... Example: Hoy es primero de enero. ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Grammar of tengo and tienes

I am having trouble understanding how to use tienes/tengo and other related "have" words. For example, in my current lesson in Rosetta Stone, the following examples are used: Tengo anteojos de ...
5
votes
2answers
2k 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?