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

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3
votes
2answers
540 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
256 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
357 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
1answer
458 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
137 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?
3
votes
1answer
757 views

se pronoun in “no fault constructions”

One page I recently ran across discusses the concept of "no fault constructions" or verbs that use se in such a way to describe an action as taking place apart from the person who caused the action. ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

“pensando en ti” vs. “pensando de ti” vs. “pensándote”

When using the verb pensar to describe thinking about a person, there are at least three options: Estoy pensando en ti. Estoy pensando de ti. Estoy pensándote. What are the differences between ...
3
votes
1answer
887 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)?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between “enfrente” and “frente”?

I was writing today and while editing I stumbled with this problem. Both words can be used but then again I didn't know the difference between them. When should I use one over the other and ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

judging something as poor (objectively) , bad (emotionally)

In GLU we had a question on difference between schlimm-schlecht (bad-poor). My rule of thumb was: use bad if something feels bad, affects you emotionally in a negative sense use poor to judge ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

Counterpart of “gutter language”

In German we use Gossensprache, in English gutter language seems to be the most common synonym, but my dictionaries don't show me a spanish word for the language/jargon (often vulgar) spoken by ...
2
votes
8answers
394 views

How do you say “coming” in Spanish?

What word/phrase can one use to indicate to someone that you are en route to a meeting point/destination and will arrive within a few minutes? In english, I usually use coming For example: earlier ...
2
votes
2answers
151 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
102 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
3answers
628 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
4answers
217 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
202 views

How to translate different English meanings of “work”

I've been struggling lately in translating the English concept of work. I am familiar with trabajar but I was told only to use that to describe a physical action. Like so: The man is working. -- ...
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?
2
votes
2answers
12k 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)?
2
votes
2answers
249 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
4k 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
3answers
4k 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
120 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
211 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
2answers
494 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
votes
2answers
157 views

What are ways to say “blue” in Spanish?

The "standard" word I was taught is azul. But the nearest English equivalent is azure, which means light (sky) blue. In English, a reference to "dark" blue might be "navy blue." I believe that there ...
2
votes
3answers
164 views

Preferred word for 'T-shirt'

Which word is more commonly used to refer to 't-shirt', remera or camiseta?
2
votes
3answers
778 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
127 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
2answers
123 views

Bien vs buen/bueno/buena to describe something good

I have encountered phrases like these: La buena comida. El buen hombre. Buenos días. However in none of these instances is it grammatically correct to substitute bien even though it ...
2
votes
2answers
4k 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
607 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
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
3answers
1k 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
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
3k 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
4answers
148 views

gustar: “I like the cat” vs “The cat likes me”

I put this in the google translate page: the cat likes me i like the cat I get back the translation: el gato me gusta me gusta el gato which doesn't look right at all, and sure enough it gets ...
2
votes
1answer
125 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
3answers
357 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
138 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
1answer
75 views

What is a good translation for the “overview” other than “síntesis”?

I am looking for a good translation that doesn't sound too technical. I read the definition of "síntesis" and found the word "compendio" which has a definition which seems to match "overview" well, ...
2
votes
3answers
5k 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
579 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
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 ...
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?
2
votes
1answer
913 views

Speakers' location in determining venir vs. ir

In English, we use the word "come" very loosely (at least in day-to-day spoken English): Want to come over to my place later? Can I come over to your house for New Years'? Can you come meet me at ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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?