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

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4
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1answer
11k views

¿Cómo se dice, “a caso” o “acaso”?

En español, cual de las dos siguiente es la forma correcta para hacer la pregunta: ¿A caso estuviste ahí? o se debe de decir: ¿Acaso estuviste ahí?
4
votes
2answers
127 views

Usage of “millar” vs “millón”

First the context. There are two similar words that cannot be confused: Millar  →  Conjunto de mil unidades.  →  Set of one thousand elements. Millón ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Expressing past belief (creí vs. creía vs. pensé vs. pensaba)

When expressing in Spanish something that you believed or thought in the past, there are four options: Creí que ... Creía que ... Pensé que ... Pensaba que ... I learned that creía que was the ...
4
votes
2answers
88 views

What is the difference between “congestión del tráfico” and “congestión de tráfico”?

What is the difference between these? congestión del tráfico. congestión de tráfico. Thank you in advance!
4
votes
2answers
656 views

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre “por lo tanto” y “por tanto”?

Según la RAE: por lo ~. loc. adv. Por consiguiente, por lo que antes se ha dicho, por el motivo o las razones de que acaba de hablarse. U. t. c. loc. conjunt. por tanto. loc. adv. Por lo que, ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

Using female nouns to refer to males, how are adjectives affected?

Here is an English example where someone is referring to a man as a turtle: That turtle is slow. He is angry because he will not win. (calling that man a turtle) In Spanish, the referenced ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Translation of “awkward” (as in “an awkward situation”)

In English, the word "awkward" can be used to describe a situation that is uncomfortable and embarrassing (but neither word seems to fully describe what "awkward" describes). What is the best ...
3
votes
6answers
302 views

How to say “become” in Spanish?

I can think of at least two different words for "to become" in Spanish. They are "hacerse" and "ponerse." What's the difference? My understanding is "hacerse" is to become in an ACTIVE way. The ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Translating “young man” and “young woman”

In English, we use the phrases "young man" and "young woman" to refer to a person (usually an adolescent) who is older than a "boy" or "girl" but younger than an "adult." It generally indicates ...
3
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
552 views

Latinoamérica, Hispanoamérica, or Sudamérica?

Latinoamérica, Hispanoamérica, Sudamérica or other? For someone living in Venezuela or Chile, for example, what term would I be most likely to hear to describe countries south of the US? The terms ...
3
votes
4answers
41k views

congratulations: felicidades vs. felicitaciones

English I have heard both ¡Felicidades! and ¡Felicitaciones! as translations of the interjection, "Congratulations!" What is the difference between the two, and when is each used? Español He ...
3
votes
3answers
356 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
2k views

Proper response to “¿Qué me cuentas?”

What's the proper way to respond to the question ¿Qué me cuentas? It seems to often be used as a sort of "What's up?" type question, similar to ¿Como estas? or ¿Que tal? However, answering with ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Translation of “real estate”

I have read that "real estate" can be translated as: bienes raíces bienes inmuebles inmuebles What is the difference between these terms, and which is the most generic translation of "real ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

wallet: cartera vs. billetera

The English word "wallet" (as in something you carry in your pocket to hold money, credit cards, etc.) can be translated into Spanish as cartera or billetera. Are the words synonyms that can be used ...
3
votes
4answers
372 views

What is the difference between “tuyo” and “suyo”?

I see them both being used to represent possession. For example: El gato es suyo and El gato es tuyo. Are these sentences the same? What is the difference between these words?
3
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4answers
368 views
3
votes
3answers
291 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
256 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
283 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
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?
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votes
5answers
154 views

Translation of 'verbose'

I'm a software developer and I've seen thousands of times the word "verbose" in different tutorials, frameworks, etc. I wonder, which would be the correct translation of the word "verbose" in ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

challenge: desafío vs. reto

The English word "challenge" can be translated to Spanish as desafío (desafiar) or reto (retar). Is there any difference between these words, or are they exact synonyms? If there is a difference, when ...
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
315 views

Translation of “raw milk”

How do I refer to raw (unpastuerized) milk in Spanish? Leche cruda is the obvious translation, but I have learned that cruda and raw have some different uses and subtleties about them. And I know ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Ways to say “you're welcome”

The "textbook" way to say "you're welcome" in Spanish is de nada. English has many ways to express this: You're welcome. No problem. Don't worry about it. My pleasure. What other ways are there in ...
3
votes
2answers
241 views

Le estamos atendiendo

He oído muchas veces en las grabaciones que ponen al tenerte en espera en una llamada telefónica como a un Call Center que dicen "Por favor espere, le estamos atendiendo", creo que está equivocado ...
3
votes
2answers
128 views

In referring to a website's appearance, how would I say Skin or Theme?

What the title says, pretty much. This is for a website with a formal tone.
3
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
8k views

Responding to an apology (no problem, don't worry about it, etc.)

What are the common ways of responding to an apology? In English, if someone says "Sorry I didn't/couldn't do (whatever)" (or simply bumps into you accidentally and says "sorry") we'd say things like: ...
3
votes
2answers
148 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
617 views

Translation of “thank goodness” or “whew!”

In English, if a bad situation seems imminent but is finally avoided, we might reply with an interjection like "Thank goodness!" or "Whew!". I know "Thank goodness!" has several possible translations ...
3
votes
1answer
951 views

Translation of “be nice” (said to children)

In English, if children are misbehaving, someone might correct them by saying, "Be nice!" How is this normally said in Spanish?
3
votes
2answers
15k views

Translation of “ni modo”

The phrase ni modo is used in many varieties of Spanish to mean many different things. What are its possible meanings? Which meaning is most common (i.e. which meaning would you assume if ni modo was ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

“Dale pues” in Nicaraguan Spanish

In Nicaragua, the phrase "dale pues" is very frequently used. What does the phrase mean, and in what contexts can it be used?
3
votes
3answers
117 views

What's the difference between “guardar” and “mantener”?

What's the difference between "guardar" and "mantener"? The English I want to translate is "Help us to keep a good sense of humor." The verb to translate is "keep".
3
votes
4answers
275 views

Geographical distribution and use of “Enhorabuena”

I consider myself a near-fluent Spanish speaker, having learned it primarly in Mexico. I have never heard the term "Enhorabuena" used there; of course, I realize that this doesn't mean that it isn't ...
3
votes
1answer
200 views

Differences between “preocupado” and “molesto?”

They can both mean troubled or worried, based on my reading of Google Translate. But are there subtle differences in usage or context between them?
3
votes
2answers
308 views

Difference between vegetales and verduras? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Vegetable”: verdura vs. vegetal My understanding is that they can both refer to "vegetables." But verduras also translates into "greens." So what's the ...
3
votes
2answers
1k 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?
3
votes
2answers
282 views

What is the difference between parece and pareciera?

What is the difference between parece que and pareciera que? How are both normally translated? What tenses can be used after pareciera que, and in general how is pareciera used?
3
votes
2answers
484 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
222 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
342 views

Words for “to encourage”: alentar, animar, fomentar

In English, "to encourage" seems to have at least two uses: to suggest that someone should do something (e.g. "He encouraged me to find a new guitar teacher.") to give confidence or hope to someone ...
3
votes
2answers
334 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
1answer
375 views

shy: tímido vs. reservado vs. vergonzoso vs. penoso

In many parts of the Spanish-speaking world, describing a person who is "shy" can be done with at least four different words: tímido reservado vergonzoso penoso What is the difference between ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

Is there a name for the inner part of the elbow?

Is there a name in Spanish for the inner part of the elbow (on the opposite side of the part we call "elbow")? If not, how would it best be described?