De qué manera una palabra, frase o concepto es usado en el idioma español. How a word, phrase, or concept is used in the Spanish language.

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3answers
1k views

Regional use of “genial”

What parts of the Spanish-speaking world regularly use the word genial? Is it only encountered in Spain, or is it common in other regions as well? Edit: It seems like it's more widespread than I ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

¿Cuándo usar “coste” y cuándo “costo”?

Ambas tienen un significado parecido, ¿cuándo se debe usar una o la otra? coste 2 . m. Gasto realizado para la obtención o adquisición de una cosa o de un servicio. costo 1 . m. ...
8
votes
3answers
364 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
301 views

How can I tell someone what I'm reading about?

I was reading a book, and someone asked me, "¿Qué estás leyendo?" I answered, "Estoy leyendo sobre ..." The person looked at me funny, but seemed to understand what I said. Looking back, it makes ...
8
votes
3answers
3k 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?
8
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4answers
2k views

Why does “madre” have so many different meanings?

In Mexican spanish at least, I can think the following (I may be forgetting some): Andar hasta la madre ~ Being really drunk Estar hasta la madre ~ Being really far | Being sick/tired of ...
8
votes
3answers
741 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 ... ...
8
votes
2answers
198 views

Are “caminar” and “andar” interchangeable?

Today, as I was expanding my vocabulary, I've come across the verb "andar". I looked it up and I noticed that it has several meanings. One is "to walk". I thought of "caminar". Can "caminar" and ...
8
votes
1answer
173 views

“Haber de” y futuridad

La entrada de "haber" en lo "Diccionario panhispánico de dudas" incluye este trozo: a) haber de + infinitivo. En el español general, esta perífrasis denota obligación, conveniencia o necesidad ...
7
votes
4answers
10k views

Why does “bomba” mean so many different things?

The word bomba can translate to English as any of the following, depending on the region: bomb pump spray major piece of news bubble fire truck fire station gas station plus a few more... That ...
7
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2answers
257 views

What exactly are “mis rasgos”?

Today in conversation a girl told me: tus rasgos, muy bonitos I smiled, replied with some compliment, but I had no idea what did she found nice. And even later, after secretly looking this up ...
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6answers
14k views

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre “formación” y “capacitación”?

Estoy escribiendo con mi amiga de Argentina, y ella me habló de su nuevo trabajo. Ella dijo que tenía que tomar un curso de capacitación, pero veo la palabra "formación" en lugar a veces. ¿Cuál es ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

How formal is “cuán”? What are the informal alternatives?

How formal is the Spanish word cuán? When is it appropriate to use, and when does it seem out of place? How are sentences using cuán normally expressed in informal speech?
7
votes
3answers
734 views

Can “diario” and “periódico” be used interchangeably?

I just stumbled upon "diario" and "periódico" while extending my vocabulary. Both mean newspaper in English. Is there any context in which just one fits? Can they be used interchangeably?
7
votes
1answer
156 views

“Liking” a musician or other artist

The verb gustar, when used with people, conveys a romantic interest (e.g. Ella me gusta. -> I have a crush on her.). How then, can you convey that you like a musician's music or an artist's paintings, ...
7
votes
2answers
210 views

What's the function of “mismo” in this sentence?

What's the exact function of "mismo" in the following sentence? For example: Se llevo a cabo la ceremonia y el mismo presidente le entrego la medalla al soldado. I'm a native speaker and I ...
7
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2answers
5k views

¿“Más bueno” es incorrecto, correcto bajo ciertas circunstancias o totalmente correcto pero poco usado?

En portugués brasileño mais grande (más grande) es aparentemente un error garrafal, solo bajo ciertas circunstancias no lo es, pero nadie me da una respuesta del porque. Hasta ahora mi conclusión es ...
7
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3answers
2k views

What is the difference between “ser casado” and “estar casado”?

I have read that both ser and estar can be used with casado to give different connotations to the phrase "to be married." What exactly are the differences, and when would you use each verb?
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2answers
7k 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?
7
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3answers
4k views

What is the meaning of “que” and “cual” without an accent mark?

What does "que" and "cual" mean without an accent mark? How do they compare when to each other? How do they compare to their accent-marked form?
7
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4answers
996 views

What is the difference between “a partir de” y “desde”?

Which one is correct? A partir de ahora, voy a hablar en español. or Desde ahora, voy a hablar en español. In meaning I think both are close to "from." Are there any specific instances ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Cuál es el uso correcto de “Perdón”, “permiso”, “disculpa”, …?

I always struggle with the correct usage of the various ways one could say the equivalent of I'm sorry or Excuse me. Of course there are many reasons I would say these things and I was often looking ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Age range of niño, chico, muchacho, joven, etc

Spanish has several words for referring to children: niño/niña chico/chica muchacho/muchacha joven Some dialects add others like chavo or chavalo. What are the approximate age ranges these words ...
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2answers
1k views

Article usage before country names

I have heard several countries expressed in Spanish with a definite article before the country name (e.g. los Estados Unidos, la Argentina, la India). Is there a rule for when this occurs and when it ...
7
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1answer
272 views

Is “mas sin embargo” a pleonasm?

I've seen and heard "mas sin embargo". My questions are: Is it correct to use "mas sin embargo"? Is it a pleonasm? Example: Mario tiene que hacer mucha tarea, mas sin embargo está jugando. ...
7
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1answer
2k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

Difference between “favor de” and “por favor”

What's the difference between "favor de" and "por favor"?. Examples: Favor de lavarse las manos después de ir al baño. Por favor lávese las manos después de ir al baño. Hazme favor de ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Difference between “tener que …” and “necesitar …”?

If I have to say something like I gotta leave in Spanish, I'd use a phrase like: Tengo que irme But I realize that I could also say: Necesito irme What is the difference? You would ...
7
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4answers
3k views

Uso invertido de palabras cariñosas e insultos

En mi tierra es bastante normal, en el uso coloquial, encontrar invertido el uso de las palabras cariñosas y los insultos: "Mira, cariño, una cosa te voy a decir..." -dicho a una persona con la que ...
7
votes
1answer
533 views

Usage of the compound preposition “para con”

Wikipedia mentions that para con is rarely used, but I hear it often enough to warrant this question. On the other hand, the Wikipedia article references the Diccionario panhispánico de dudas with ...
6
votes
2answers
317 views

What is the difference between requerir and exigir?

I believe that they both mean to "require." But do they refer to different "degrees" (urgencies) or types of requirments? Can they be used interchangeably or is one more suitable in some contexts and ...
6
votes
4answers
932 views

Why is a “jack” called a “gato”?

¿Por qué se llama "gato" a un "jack"? Esto es, el gato hidráulico o mecánico que se usa para levantar grandes pesos. Para mí, un "jack" no se parece para nada al animal "gato". Why is a "jack" ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Definition of escuela and colegio

Spanish has two generic words for school: escuela and colegio. I have heard different explanations for what phases of schooling each word refers to. For example, I've been told that colegio refers ...
6
votes
2answers
35k views

Significado de “presente” en una carta. ¿Se escribe dos puntos después del destinatario?

Por ejemplo, suelo encontrar los encabezados de las cartas como sigue: Cierta ciudad, Cierto país, ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

¿Desuscripción? ¿Desuscribir?

En cualquier website en inglés frecuentemente podemos encontrar un botón o enlace "unsuscribe", para dar de baja una suscripción. ¿Cómo traducir esto en español en una sola palabra? Existen ...
6
votes
2answers
673 views

¿Cómo se usa la forma femenina de tema?

He leído que la palabra tema se puede usar en la forma femenina: la tema. ¿Qué significa la tema, y cómo se usa? ¿Es común? ¿Cuál es la diferencia entre el tema y la tema?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between “claro” and “claro que sí”?

Cual es la diferencia entre "claro" y "claro que sí"? Are they like "yeah" and "yes, indeed!" or "sure" and "you bet!"? - IOW, is the longer one more emphatic, or are they simply synonymous? Is any ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Plátano and banana, geographical differences?

I don't really speak Spanish, but I do know a few words and phrases here and there, and enjoy furthering what little knowledge I have. So, today I saw, in a Swedish newspaper, a reference to plantains ...
6
votes
4answers
15k views

¿Qué significa “a poco”?

¿Qué significa la expresión "a poco" usada en México? Por ejemplo: ¿A poco? ¿A poco sí?/¿A poco no? ¿A poco no has hecho la tarea?
6
votes
2answers
279 views

What's the function of “lo” in “lo que”?

Examples: Lo que pasa es que el niño no fue a la escuela porque se fracturo el tobillo. Lo que quiere es una computadora para hacer sus tareas. Lo que dice es mentira. Lo que no ...
6
votes
1answer
432 views

What is the difference between «pensar en» and just «pensar»?

I feel like I should know the answer to this by now, and/or that it should have been asked here, but I can't find it. I was recently looking at some example sentences (I think linked from another ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the difference between “ser cierto” and “ser verdad”?

The English "to be true" can be translated to Spanish as either ser cierto or ser verdad. What is the difference between the two? When would you use one instead of the other?
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7answers
1k views

Uso de “concernidos”

Hoy he escuchado la siguiente frase: "Estamos muy concernidos por..." Es la primera vez que escucho el verbo concernir usado y conjugado de esta manera, siempre se usa como "me/nos concierne..." ...
6
votes
3answers
903 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
3answers
696 views

What's the difference between “estar ansioso de” and “estar ansioso por”?

I know that both 'estar ansioso de' and 'estar ansioso por' mean to be excited for something or looking forward to it, but how do I decide which one to use? Do the two have slightly different ...
6
votes
2answers
148 views

“Sockpuppet” en castellano

Estaba leyendo la noticia Wikipedia expulsa a cientos de editores por cobrar a empresas cuando me encontré con el fragmento: (...) Es habitual que los editores detecten y eliminen artículos que ...
6
votes
2answers
242 views

Use of “lo suficientemente” + adjective

From this text: ¿Son esas diferencias lo suficientemente grandes para descartar la variación debido al azar como una posible explicacíon para la diferencia observada? What is the purpose of "lo" ...
6
votes
1answer
110 views

Word : se quedaban

Please read the below sentence: Ya que los mayores iban a el campo a trabajar, los niños se quedaban y jugaban juntos. In English it means: Since the older went to work in the field, the ...
6
votes
2answers
319 views

Difference between “igual” and “como”

I was listening to Carlos Varela's "Una Palabra" and noticed sometimes he uses "igual" for "like" and sometimes "como". I am knowing that "igual" is used more similarities, but what separates it from ...
5
votes
9answers
7k views

Meaning and connotations of “gringo”

In the US, "gringo" is usually understood as a disparaging reference to a foreigner (see the Merriam-Webster definition). What exactly does gringo mean in Spanish? Is it neutral, or does it have ...