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

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2
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2answers
149 views

Greetings for presents and cards

What phrases and greetings can you use for christmas presents / cards? Are there "general purpose" phrases which can be used for presents which are used the whole year, like an iPod? For example: ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Usage of pero vs sino

I am new to Spanish and was wondering when I need to use 'pero' in a sentence vs 'sino'. I have seen both these words used in sentences and I am confused on when to use which.
2
votes
3answers
943 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
97 views

video vs. grabación

What is the difference between video and grabación? In other words, what types of "videos" does each describe? Which of the two would best describe a video recorded using a home video recorder or ...
2
votes
4answers
169 views

How do you say “muscle fever” in Spanish?

I've heard only "envaramiento", so people say in Spanish Estoy envarado por haber nadado ayer. Wikipedia says it's said agujetas, which I've never heard. Is there another non-medical term for ...
2
votes
3answers
415 views

Translating “Thanks in advance”

In letters or emails, I often end by saying "Thanks in advance," thanking the recipient in advance for whatever I am requesting. Is there an equivalent phrase in Spanish that is used in the same way?
2
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 ...
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votes
2answers
1k views

Translation of “What goes around comes around”

What is the best Spanish translation of the English idiom, What goes around comes around?
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votes
2answers
8k views

Translating “I'm sorry for your loss”

What is the most natural way in Spanish to say "I'm sorry for your loss," as in what you would say to someone grieving over a departed relative or friend (or even the loss of a job)?
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votes
2answers
184 views

How to ask if a restaurant/store has something

In English, I may ask, "do you have tea?" to a waiter or waitress. This "you" may be plural since asking, "do you all (y'all) have tea?" makes sense, but I guess it could also be singular (more along ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Ways to express “to get ready” or “to get dressed”

What verbs in Spanish are used to express the concept of "getting ready" or "getting dressed" (for example, before leaving the house to go out to dinner)? I've seen alistarse, arreglarse, prepararse, ...
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?
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."
2
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3answers
135 views

Preferred word for 'T-shirt'

Which word is more commonly used to refer to 't-shirt', remera or camiseta?
2
votes
3answers
653 views

Translation of “I rest my case”

In English, the phrase "I rest my case" can be used in a conversation by one person whose point has just been proven by the other person. In a legal sense, it would mean that a lawyer has concluded ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How to translate “have a crush on somebody”?

Which would be the translation to Spanish of I have a crush on your sister. When speaking Spanish, everybody uses the English word and I'd like to know the translation.
2
votes
3answers
430 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
463 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
3answers
520 views

Translation of “ASAP”

What is the most common translation of ASAP (As Soon As Possible) in Spanish? I have seen: cuanto antes cuanto antes posible lo más pronto posible cuanto antes, mejor Are these all common and ...
2
votes
3answers
118 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Alternativas menos negativas a “desafortunadamente”

Estoy escribiendo un correo orientado a negocios. Quiero decir "Desafortunadamente, blah blah blah, porque bleh bleh bleh", con el objetivo de dar a conocer un hecho que no es beneficioso para la otra ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Describing the common cold or flu in Spanish

In English, when talking about common viruses people often get, there are generally two categories: a cold is generally more mild and can come with runny nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, etc. ...
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?
2
votes
2answers
110 views

Why is “por” prefered to “para” in the example within?

From Shakira's Suerte: Yo puedo escalar los Andes solo Por ir a contar tus lunares Why is por preferable to para in this case. If one translation of para is roughly "for the purpose of", ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

accommodating (as in “Thanks for being so accommodating”)

If someone has been very kind in adjusting their schedule and making sacrifices to help you, in English you might say, "Thanks for being so accommodating!" What is the most natural translation of ...
2
votes
2answers
403 views

What is the difference between “por medio de” and “a través de”?

It seems like a través de and por medio de can often be used to mean the same thing. What is the difference between them, and in what contexts can you only use one or the other?
2
votes
3answers
117 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
409 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 ...
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?
2
votes
1answer
123 views

Translation of “contra viento y marea”

What is the most idiomatic English translation of the Spanish phrase contra viento y marea?
2
votes
1answer
849 views

reserva vs. reservación

What is the difference between reserva and reservación (as in a reservation that you would make at a restaurant)? Do the two words mean the same thing? Which is used in what parts of the ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Most common translation of “Happy New Year!”

Is "Happy New Year!" more commonly translated as "¡Feliz Año Nuevo!" or "¡Próspero Año Nuevo!"? Are the two basically synonyms, or is there a difference between the two?
2
votes
1answer
483 views

Translating “I don't trust you” (said casually)

I have heard that confiar is a strong word, implying trust and confidence in someone or something. What then is the right way to translate more casual uses of the word "trust"? For example, let's say ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

Different words for “sign”

Spanish has several words that could be translated "sign" in English: letrero rótulo señal indicio cartel pancarta seña What are the differences between these words? In what situations can each be ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Difference and usage on “teléfono” and “telefónica”

Es "número de teléfono" pero "tarjeta telefónica". ¿Cómo puedo decidir qué forma es (más) correcta? It's "Número de teléfono", but "Tarjeta telefónica". How can I tell which word is more ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

Differences between “razón de,” “razón por la que,” and “razón para”

I think I've heard three ways of translating "the reason [something happened]" or "the reason [for something]": la razón para la razón de la razón por la que What is the difference between these ...
2
votes
1answer
282 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
144 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
113 views

Translation of “in a pickle” and related phrases

In English there are several idioms or phrases that describe being in the midst of a very difficult situation: in a pickle in a quandary in a predicament in between a rock and a hard place How ...
2
votes
1answer
139 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

Translating “wait until” or “wait for”

How do you translate phrases involving wait until or wait for: Wait until I call you before you leave for the restaurant. Wait for me to come home before you buy the tickets. You should ...
2
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
176 views

¿Qué quiere decir “engatillado”?

Sé lo que dice el RAE sobre la palabra. Sobre los animales y sobre la chapa. Pero cuando alguien me dice: Chepe estabas engatillado! Eso ¿qué quiere decir? La expresión viene de Colombia.
2
votes
1answer
267 views

Different words for “servant”

According to Wiktionary, the English "servant" has two meanings: One who serves another, providing help in some manner. (e.g. She is quite the humble servant, the poor in this city owe much to her ...
2
votes
1answer
207 views

What is the difference between “por si” and “por si acaso”?

I learned that "just in case" should be translated por si acaso, but I have also heard por si used by itself without the acaso. I believe I've even heard si acaso without the por. What is the ...
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?
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Translating “paying one's (final) respects”

In English, if someone visits a grave or goes to a funeral of someone who has died, we can say he is going "to pay his respects" or "to pay his last respects." While it's hard to explain what this ...
2
votes
3answers
768 views

How to say “later”

I know there are different ways to translate "later," depending on context. más tarde después luego entonces en otra ocasión And perhaps others? How can I decide which translation of "later" to ...