Terms with the same or almost the same meaning in at least one of their senses.

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14
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there a difference between “español” and “castellano”?

English I always thought the two could be used interchangeably (meaning "the Spanish language"). But I recently got into an argument with someone where they insisted there was a difference (although ...
11
votes
2answers
740 views

“Aún” vs. “todavía”, what's the difference?

Somebody just asked me to correct something, and I found that I changed one of their instances of todavía to aún. I didn't do this because todavía wouldn't have worked in the sentence, but rather ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Cuándo usar “usar” o “utilizar”

Español Ambos términos tienen un significado muy parecido. Según la RAE, el único uso de 'utilizar' es "Aprovecharse de algo" y el significado que me interesa de 'usar' es "Hacer servir una cosa para ...
10
votes
1answer
434 views

Chorizo como sinónimo de ladrón

¿Por qué en España la palabra "chorizo" es coloquialmente usada para referirse a los ladrones?
9
votes
4answers
710 views

How to decide between “ahora” and “ya” for the sense “now”?

I know that ya has additional meanings besides simply now, such as already. But considering just the sense of ya which does mean now, when should I use it and when should I use ahora, which only has ...
9
votes
7answers
8k views

Is there a difference between cilantro and culantro in Spanish?

I've seen the American English "cilantro" (British English "coriander") translated into Spanish as both cilantro and culantro. What is the difference? Are they synonyms used interchangeably, or is the ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Words for “East” and “West” in Spanish?

The words I learned when beginning Spanish for east and west are este and oeste, which are basically cognates of their English equivalents. But I've been told that there are other words to denote ...
8
votes
5answers
929 views

Difference Between “Computadora” and “Ordenador”

Español Ví un cartel fuera de una tienda que decía: "Computadoras y ordenadores" en un cuadro "cubano" fuera de New York City, En un principio, creo que ambas palabras significan "computer". Pero, ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Waterfall: cascada vs. catarata

What is the difference between cascada and catarata as translations for the English "waterfall"? Are they synonyms, or is there a difference?
8
votes
2answers
418 views

Differences between “aun”, “hasta”, and “incluso” to indicate extremes?

When referring to an extreme example for comparison, English seems to have just one word, even: Even an idiot could do it. But Spanish seems to have three: aun hasta incluso I had always ...
8
votes
3answers
619 views

Are there any subtle differences between “de nuevo” and “otra vez”?

There are two very common ways in Spanish to say the equivalent of "again": de nuevo otra vez But I use them pretty randomly because I've never been able to pick up on any differences in how ...
8
votes
3answers
220 views

Complemento vs. Suplemento

Is there any difference between the word "complemento" and "suplemento"? Do they really have the exact same meaning?. RAE (Real Academia Española) defines both as: Cosa o accidente que se añade a ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Armpit: sobaco vs. axila

"Armpit" in English can be translated as either sobaco or axila in Spanish. Is each term used in different regions, or are they both used across the Spanish-speaking world? What is the difference, or ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

When to use “tratar de” and when to use “intentar” for “to try to”?

Spanish has three words that can translate to English to try. Probar is easy to remember because it's used for sample or taste, like: Have you ever tried tacos el pastor? But I never know when ...
7
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the difference between allí and ahí (“there”)?

English What is the difference between allí and ahí? Is there any difference in pronunciation between the two? Are there any contexts where one is correct and one is wrong, or are they completely ...
7
votes
1answer
841 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

to drink: beber vs. tomar

I have heard beber and tomar used interchangeably as translations for the English "to drink." Is there any difference between the two, or are they exact synonyms when describing drinking a liquid? Are ...
6
votes
2answers
468 views

Origin and use of “echar de menos”

I've always found peculiar that the phrase echar de menos is synonymous of the verb extrañar. For example: Te echaré de menos. is equivalent to: Te extrañaré. Based on TV, its use is most ...
6
votes
2answers
163 views

Alternativas a “irretrasable”

La vicepresidenta del Gobierno de España dijo recientemente "medidas irretrasables" que no existe en el español. Yo encuentro como sinónimos medidas inaplazables, medidas de imposible retraso. ¿Qué ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Different words for “stop”

In English, we have a fairly generic verb "to stop" that can be used in many different contexts. For example: Stop talking to me! The driver saw the red light and stopped his car. You really need to ...
6
votes
3answers
346 views

feliz vs. alegre vs. dichoso

I recently heard dichoso used to mean feliz. Looking up dichoso in a dictionary shows it means "happy" (or "blessed"). What is the difference between dichoso, feliz, and alegre to mean "happy"? Are ...
6
votes
1answer
469 views

Significados de Fama

Acabo de ver en Twitter a una persona utilizando la palabra Fama como sinónimo de Carnicería (donde uno compra la carne). En Colombia está bien decir: Voy a la fama a comprar churrasco. Pero ...
6
votes
3answers
416 views

Usage of “mueco” vs. “mellado” for “toothless”

The RAE does not have an entry for mueco or mueca, a term commonly used in Colombia to describe a toothless person. However, the expression hacer muecas is understood in the traditional sense as a ...
6
votes
2answers
402 views

What is the difference between different ways of expressing desire and intention?

I hear a lot of different ways to express the idea of wanting something or wanting to do something. What is the difference between them? Yo quiero (algo o hacer algo o que pase algo) Me gustaría ... ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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
2answers
274 views

What is the difference between “Entrometido” and “Entremetido”?

The definition of entrometido in the rae just sends you to entremetido. Is there a real difference between the two? And if there isn't then why are there two words with exactly the same meaning. ...
5
votes
1answer
586 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

“Vegetable”: verdura vs. vegetal

What is the difference between verduras and vegetales? In what situations can one be used as a translation for "vegetables" and the other cannot?
5
votes
2answers
209 views

How to choose between “carecer” and “faltar”?

I've always used "faltar" to mean "to lack, to be missing". But in my reading I find that "carecer" seems to mean exactly the same. When should I use the one or the other? Are there some ...
5
votes
1answer
108 views

How are «parecer», «semejante», and «similar» used to express sameness?

What is the difference between different ways of expressing similarity? I see things like, La niña parece a su hermana. Compró dos vestidos semejantes. Quiere una fiesta de cumpleaños similar a la ...
4
votes
1answer
190 views

Do “alborada”, “amanecer”, and “madrugada” refer to the same thing?

In English we have the two words "dawn" and "sunrise". But in Spanish there are three words, "alborada", "amanecer", and "madrugada". Do the three Spanish words refer to the same thing? Or is one ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre igual (adverbio) e igualmente?

Según la RAE, tanto igual como igualmente puede ser adverbio. ¿Cuál es la diferencia entre los dos (con ese significado)? ¿Son sinónimos exactos, o se usan de maneras distintas?
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
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
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
99 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
1answer
114 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
329 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
3answers
170 views

Analogous-sounding spanish words from english to avoid using? [closed]

There was once an incident as a kid where I was acting foolish somehow at the dinner table talking with my brother, who maybe didn't care that much anyways as to what I was doing. My grandfather, ...
2
votes
2answers
479 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
1answer
979 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
134 views

Indio can mean Indian, Indigene, and Hindu also?

Indio in Spanish is used to mean Indian, Indigene, and Hindu. Are all 3 meanings correct?
2
votes
1answer
161 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
4answers
523 views

¿Cuáles son sinónimos de “ni fu ni fa”?

Mis diccionarios me dan unas variantes: 1. así así 2. regular 3. sin pena ni gloria 4. medianamente 5. así no más 6. tal cual (tal por cual) 7. de por ahí 8. de tres al cuatro 9. como el tiempo malo ...
2
votes
1answer
316 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
131 views

How acceptable is to use Cariño for non-relatives?

I usually greet my friends in many different ways, like Hola, guapa / bonita / amiga / etc. Sometimes with really close friends I would also use Hola, princesa! in a more perky way. But is it OK ...
1
vote
2answers
102 views

Palabras del animal: puerco, cochi, cerdo

Hay varias palabras que he encontrado para referirse a un animal, pero no entiendo cuando se use cual. ¿Cómo se distinguen los significados de: puerco, cochi y cerdo? Pido respuestas que pertanezan ...
1
vote
1answer
440 views

Synonyms for big (grande), as in volume?

I'm trying to find a proper synonym for "grande", as in the quality of three dimensional objects of occupying space, to use with a regular object, such as a "big dog". I'll explain my specific ...
1
vote
2answers
289 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 ...