How a word, phrase, or concept is used in the Spanish language.

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7
votes
4answers
7k views

¿Cuál es el significado de “órale” y su origen?

La palabra "órale" es usada frecuentemente en México en situaciones informales. ¿Cuál es su significado y origen?
7
votes
1answer
395 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
441 views

When is “al” not interchangeable with “a el”?

This is a clear case where "al" cannot be replaced with "a el": Al mirarlo, sonrió. Are there any other cases?
6
votes
2answers
180 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
5answers
828 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
1k 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
3answers
245 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
708 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
297 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
2k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
109 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
722 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?
6
votes
2answers
443 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
166 views

Regional differences between escuchar and oír

In school I learned that escuchar was for the English "to listen to" and oír was "to hear." In Central America, however, I frequently heard escuchar being used for "to hear" (e.g. No te escucho ...
6
votes
1answer
708 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
2answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
87 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
376 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 ... ...
6
votes
2answers
168 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
5answers
795 views

What does “apañao” mean?

¿Qué significa "apañao"? Aparentemente se usa exclusivamente en la región de Andalucía. Estaba hablando con alguien y dijo esa palabra pero no la pudo traducir. ¿Alguien sabe su significado y uso? ...
5
votes
3answers
222 views

Correct usage of debieras and deberías

Español ¿Cuándo es correcto usar deberías o debieras? (significado y uso). English When is it correct to use deberías or debieras? (meaning and uses)
5
votes
5answers
269 views

Uses of “se”: “se rompió” o “rompió”

He leído las siguientes oraciones. Mi hermano menor se rompió la mayoría de vasos. Mi hermano menor rompió la mayoría de vasos. Dice que la segunda frase es correcta. ¿Pero por qué? Su ...
5
votes
4answers
118 views

¿Para referirse a un jaguar cuál palabra es la correcta jaguar o yaguar?

Existen dos formas para referirse a un jaguar: jaguar yaguar ¿Cuál es la palabra correcta?
5
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
6k 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, ...
5
votes
3answers
203 views

Do mi and mío have different connotations?

I usually use the possessives mi and mío interchangeably. For example: Esta es la casa mía. Esta es mi casa. However, do the two have different connotations? (e.g. is one more formal ...
5
votes
2answers
918 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
261 views

Word usage: difference between “bailar” and “danzar”

Is there any difference between "bailar" and "danzar"?
5
votes
3answers
7k views

¿Se debe decir jefe o jefa al referirse a una persona de sexo femenino?

Mi jefe en el trabajo es una mujer. ¿Cómo es la forma correcta de referirse a un jefe que es mujer? ¿jefe o jefa?. Algunos compañeros de trabajo le dicen jefa, yo le digo por su nombre sin embargo ...
5
votes
3answers
155 views

“Earthquake”: When to use “temblor” and “terremoto”

When referring to an earthquake, are temblor and terremoto perfect synonyms? Are there any differences?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

¿Qué significa la expresión “a lo que te truje chencha”?

¿Cuál es el significado de la expresión "a lo que te truje chencha"?
5
votes
1answer
422 views

“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 ...
5
votes
2answers
185 views

Matutino and Vespertino

I see matutino and vespertino, meaning morning and afternoon, used to describe parts of the daily schedule in schools and church. They sound very formal. Are there more words like them to describe ...
5
votes
4answers
194 views

Si británico se refiere a lo natural del Reino Unido, ¿cuál es el gentilicio para lo estrictamente de Gran Bretaña?

Dice la RAE.es: británico, ca. (Del lat. Britannĭcus). adj. Perteneciente o relativo a la antigua Britania, sur de la Gran Bretaña. adj. Natural del Reino Unido de Gran Bretaña e Irlanda ...
5
votes
6answers
468 views

Why do you use “al” before a verb?

I understand that al is a combination of a + el when used before a noun, however in what situations would you use it in front of a verb, for instance 'Al llegar al tercer semaforo...'
5
votes
3answers
528 views

añorar vs extrañar

I was wondering if there were any difference between these two verbs, especially in their usual respective contexts. Bonus point for pointing out differences between Argentina and Spain as well (if ...
5
votes
7answers
443 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..." ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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?
5
votes
3answers
641 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?
5
votes
3answers
289 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Differences betwen “ahí”, “allí”, y “allá”

I am confused with the uses of "ahí", "allí" and "allá". It seems they are used according to different situations. Could you please tell me what are the differences and provide some examples? Thanks!
5
votes
4answers
2k views

¿Qué es “inventar el hilo negro”?

Una expresión muy común en México es "inventar el hilo negro". ¿Qué significa? Ejemplo: No hay que inventar el hilo negro.
5
votes
3answers
179 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?
5
votes
1answer
119 views

What is apercibido?

Today I looked for the word desapercibido in the RAE and found the following: desapercibido, da. adj. No apercibido. Now, I know what desapercibido means, but then I was curious about ...
5
votes
2answers
113 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" ...
5
votes
2answers
313 views

Can Spanish distinguish between “lonely” and “alone”?

I learned that solo in Spanish means both "alone" (the simple fact of not having anyone else around) and "lonely" (feeling sad because of being alone). Is there any way of distinguishing between these ...
5
votes
4answers
487 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
668 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?
5
votes
1answer
135 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 ...
4
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...