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

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1
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2answers
682 views

Translating “They don't call me … for nothing.”

In English, there is a phrase "They don't call me ... for nothing." (showing that some nickname someone has has been confirmed by something they just did or are about to do). Is there any equivalent ...
1
vote
3answers
288 views

Break: romper vs. quebrar vs. quebrantar vs. partir

Off the top of my head, I can think of four Spanish translations for the English verb "to break": romper quebrar quebrantar partir In what cases can each be used, and what are the differences ...
1
vote
2answers
130 views

waste: desperdiciar vs. malgastar

I learned that "waste" in English can be translated as desperdiciar or malgastar in Spanish. What is the difference between these two words? Are there any cases where one is correct and the other is ...
7
votes
1answer
325 views

¿Cuál es la forma correcta de mencionar un año?(de o del)

Institucionalmente utilizo de para referirme a un año. Ejemplo: 26 de Enero de 2012 Sin embargo, intuitivamente, estoy impulsado a utilizar del en otros contextos. Ejemplo: 26 de Enero del ...
0
votes
1answer
225 views

Translation of “What was your name again?”

In English, if someone has already met someone else but later forgets their name, they might ask them something like, "I'm sorry, what was your name again?" (which is less forceful than a blunt "What ...
1
vote
1answer
589 views

Translating “how is …?” and “how was …?”

What are the options for translating the phrase "how is" or "how was," as in: How's the steak? How is your day so far? How is the traffic today? and How was your vacation? How was the meeting? ...
3
votes
2answers
262 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?
2
votes
1answer
130 views

cordura vs sensatez vs juicio vs sabiduría

Other than juicio, which has the additional meaning of a legal trial, these words all have to do with wisdom, judgement, and/or sense, as I understand it. In what ways are they different?
6
votes
1answer
700 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
376 views

Words for mountain/hill [closed]

English describes landforms that rise above the surrounding land as "mountains" or "hills." What words in Spanish describe a mountain or a hill? What are the differences between them (i.e. what size ...
3
votes
2answers
424 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
719 views

Translation of “how often” questions

What is the most idiomatic translation of "how often" into Spanish in questions like: How often do the buses stop here? How often does it rain in November? How often do you get headaches? How often ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Translation of “take your time”

In English, when making a polite request, it's common to say "take your time" (to tell the other person there's no need to rush). What is the most natural translation of this into Spanish? Is this ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Translation of “bed bug” (chinche?)

In English, bed bugs are parasitic insects that can infest beds and the areas where people sleep. Wikipedia shows that the Spanish term for bed bug is chinche. However, my understanding is that ...
4
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
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 ...
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?
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vote
1answer
615 views

Translation of “too good to be true”

In English, we say something is "too good to be true" to express that apparently amazing deals or benefits generally aren't real. Is there an equivalent phrase in Spanish?
1
vote
2answers
120 views

Insect bites vs. stings

In English, some insects bite you (like mosquitos), while other insects sting you (like bees). A bite generally involves an animal's mouth, while a sting involves another part of the animal (a bee's ...
2
votes
1answer
138 views

justicia: justice and righteousness?

In the Spanish Bible, I believe the English "justice" and "righteousness" are both translated as justicia. Is justicia the only word that can translate both of these terms? Is there any way to know ...
1
vote
1answer
163 views

plan: plano vs. plan

The English "plan" can be translated into Spanish as plan or plano. What is the difference between plan and plano, and when would each one be used?
3
votes
1answer
306 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
724 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?
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Translating “for the rest of the day”

What is the best way to translate the phrase "for the rest of the day" into Spanish, as in the following examples: I'm tired, I think I want to stay home for the rest of the day. Do you think it ...
1
vote
1answer
5k views

Translating “kind words” (as in “Thank you for your kind words.”)

In English if someone complements you or expresses their gratitude for something you've done, you can respond with something like, "Thank you for your kind words." What Spanish phrase would best ...
7
votes
3answers
822 views

Choosing between “Mirar” and “Ver”

What is the real difference between "Ver" and "Mirar". They are quite close in meaning but what are the differences between them? What are the rules to know whether we should choose one or the other?
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Why “¿Cómo te llamas?” means “¿Cuál es tu nombre?”?

Why does "¿Cómo te llamas?" mean "¿Cuál es tu nombre?". After all, it literally means "How do you call yourself?". Yet, most of the time, you don't call yourself anything; rather, other people call ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Translation of “What have you been up to lately?”

In English, when meeting someone you haven't seen for a while, you might ask, "What have you been up to lately?" What is the equivalent question in Spanish?
2
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
244 views

“although” vs. “even though” vs. “though”

In English, there are three conjunctions that are very similar: although even though though Is aunque the only possible translation of these to Spanish, or are there similar synonyms in Spanish as ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Translation of “to catch up” (sharing recent happenings with someone you haven't seen lately)

In English, "to catch up (with each other)" can be used to describe two people that haven't seen each other in a while that are sharing recent events in their lives with each other. For example: "I ...
1
vote
1answer
210 views

Efficient: eficiente vs. eficaz

The English "efficient" can be translated as either eficiente or eficaz in Spanish. What is the difference between these two translations? In what situations can each be used?
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Translation of “Are you ok?” or “Are you alright?”

What is the best Spanish translation of the English phrase "Are you ok?" or "Are you alright?" (said out of concern for someone who has just gotten hurt, for example after tripping and falling or ...
7
votes
4answers
155 views

Is there a translation for “He thumbed his nose at them”?

In English if you "thumb your nose at someone" you are ignoring their authority.. Is there an expression in Spanish that conveys that same sort of disrespect? Edit: adding example. Many ...
9
votes
2answers
932 views

Why is it 'Santo' Tomás/Domingo, not 'san'?

As far as I know, those two are the only exceptions. Is there a particular reason for this?
2
votes
3answers
112 views

Translation of “CD” and “DVD”

What are the possibilities for translating "CD" (Compact Disc) and "DVD" (Digital Video/Versatile Disc) into Spanish?
3
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
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)?
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
438 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
678 views

Translating “Me la paso pensándote”

In Wisin y Yandel's "Estoy Enamorado," the chorus contains the following line: Me la paso pensándote, nunca voy a soltarte What does "Me la paso pensándote" mean? Is "me" a reflexive or indirect ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

How should “have been” be translated?

I often use the phrase "have been" (or "has been") in English in sentences like: It has been raining a lot recently. I have been thinking about the exam all week. It's been a long time since I've ...
2
votes
1answer
75 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?
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)?
3
votes
2answers
11k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
190 views

Spanish words for cap, cover, lid, etc

What Spanish words can be used to describe a cap, cover, lid, or top (in other words, something placed on top of something, usually to close an opening)? What is the difference between tapa and tapón? ...
1
vote
2answers
110 views

Translation of “to play favorites”

What is the best Spanish translation of the English idiom "to play favorites" (as in favoring individuals in a group instead of treating everyone equally)?
2
votes
1answer
147 views

Translation of “range” (as in age range)

Is there a simple translation of the English "range" as in the phrase "age range"? If not, how would "age range" best be translated?
3
votes
1answer
126 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?
2
votes
2answers
446 views

Proper response to “con permiso”

When someone says con permiso, for example when squeezing through a crowd, what is the appropriate response? For example, in English we might say something like "sorry" or "go ahead."