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

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5
votes
4answers
1k 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
524 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
507 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
149 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
807 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
579 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
129 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
436 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
985 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
173 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
820 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
222 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
319 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
306 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
157 views

Difference between: “susurro” and “murmullo”

Are susurro and murmullo interchangeable?
3
votes
1answer
793 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
884 views

Difference between “oreja” and “oído”

What is the difference between oreja and oído? Both mean ear, no?
2
votes
1answer
142 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
445 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
578 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
756 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
243 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
98 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
328 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
455 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
278 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
549 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
7k 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
713 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
437 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
407 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
169 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
700 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
497 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?
5
votes
3answers
14k 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?
8
votes
3answers
27k views

Difference between “mas” and “más”

What's the difference between mas and más? What rules should I follow to know which one to use? Could you provide examples showing their uses?
3
votes
3answers
378 views

Translating “Help!” (interjection)

In English, if there is any kind of emergency or urgent assistance needed, we use the interjection, "Help!" In Spanish I've seen several: ¡Socorro! ¡Auxilio! ¡Ayuda! or ¡Ayúdame! Which of these is ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Translation of cord, cable, string, line, thread, rope, etc

In English there are many words describing different kinds of long, skinny, flexible objects: cord line (as in fishing line, clothesline) cable strand lace (as in shoe lace) thread rope string wire ...
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?