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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What does “malditas ganas” mean?

There is a popular song now entitled "Malditas Ganas" According to google translate, this is "damn win" That can't be quite right. What is the singer really trying to convey with that?
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3answers
160 views

How widespread is the use of “hais” instead of the correct “habeis”

After living in Andalucia, Spain, for a number of years I realised my use of "hais" for the second person informal plural (vosotros) of haber instead of "habeis" is incorrect. I don't know where I ...
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2answers
86 views

How should “Advertencia” be translated as a section appearing at the start of a book?

I am reading "Los Indios" by Antonio Batres Jáuregui; the book begins with a section marked "ADVERTENCIA" A translation of this word appears to be "Warning" or "Caveat", but I reckon there's probably ...
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3answers
726 views

Is “versus” a Spanish word?

RAE says no, wordreference says yes. Is it used or understood by the Spanish speakers?
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1answer
136 views

Sobre el uso de la coma opcional [duplicate]

Es frecuente encontrar oraciones de este tipo: al final del día( ) Juan se despide de su mamá con un beso ( ) en la mejilla. En el primer paréntesis, usualmente no se usa la coma, pero es obvio que ...
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1answer
133 views

Why is “Dawn” translated “Mediodía”?

Me parece que "mediodía" significa "noon" y "dawn" debe ser "amanecer," pero: In "The Outcasts of Poker Flat / Los Desterrados de Poker Flat" (por Bret Harte) the original English has this: ...
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9answers
5k views

How do you say “I got you!” in Spanish?

If I threw a snowball (or dodgeball) at someone and it hit them, how would I say : I got you! in Spanish?
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1answer
435 views

Significado de la palabra “ora” [duplicate]

Cuando leo, a veces, encuentro la palabra "ora". No es difícil inferir que esta palabra se usa como "ahora". ¿Por qué se usa esta palabra? O, mejor dicho, ¿cuándo es apropiado o no usar esta palabra? ...
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1answer
181 views

“Que tan?” slang for “How are you?”

I'm english and I'm starting to learn Spanish on my own. My boss is fluent in Spanish and she sometimes says to me in the morning, Buenas días, que tan? Or something similar along those lines. She ...
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3answers
6k 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!
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3answers
214 views

Translation for the adjective “haunting” (as in “a haunting melody”)

What is the best Spanish translation for the English adjective "haunting" (as in "a haunting melody")? WordReference gives three options: evocador, inquietante and inolvidable. Do any of these really ...
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2answers
6k views

Translation of “to be fluent (in a language)”

The literal translation of "to speak a language fluently" would be hablar un idioma con fluidez, but I have heard that means that you speak the language fluidly and smoothly rather than that you have ...
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1answer
79 views

What word could I be hearing here?

I've been listening to some Spanish audio files which, at the end of each chapter, go back over the chapter in a form of summary. The reader always says something that sounds like, "Vijemonos" (Bvee ...
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3answers
132 views

Does saying “Hola Hola” imply impatience?

On the radio this morning, where free legal advice was being given to callers, a caller was perhaps being viewed as overly polite by saying hi and good morning to the host and co-hosts, and the host ...
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2answers
98 views

Un tesoro es un tesoro?

According to my Spanish/English dictionary, "tesoro" is both the word for "treasure" (I knew that) and "thesaurus" (I didn't know that). So how would you say, "A thesaurus is a treasure"? If you said ...
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4answers
33k 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 ...
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3answers
1k views

What are the differences between “tener” and “haber”?

Both verbs tener and haber both are translated as to have. What are the rules that distinguish their uses of one verb over the other?
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1answer
359 views

Why does “every eight days” mean once a week?

Mi amigo Bert, who grew up in Mexico, told me last night that he's never understood why the expression "cada ocho dias" (every 8 days) means once a week. My theory is that if you "count both ends" ...
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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 ...
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1answer
82 views

Use of comma between subject and verb

In William Strunk's Elements of Style, it is recommended that commas shouldn't be used after coordinating conjunctions that are followed by parenthetical elements: The Red Sox were leading the ...
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1answer
1k views

¿Hay diferencia entre “caldo” y “sopa”?

Se me hace que refieren a la misma cosa, pero algunos me dicen que son distintas. Formalmente, ¿hay alguna diferencia? ¿O depende de la región?
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1answer
67 views

Use of units of measurement

Entre 50 y 60 ml or Entre 50 ml y 60 ml? I have seen the former more than the latter in written and spoken Spanish, but I wanted to be sure. Couldn't find anything on the Diccionario panhispánico ...
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2answers
130 views

Why is “of” sometimes “de” and sometimes “del” or “de la”?

Why is "House of Fruit" (or "Fruithouse") - a restaurant/business near Hollister, California - called "Casa de Fruta"? Why is it not "Casa de la Fruta"? Is there a rule of thumb so that one can know ...
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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 ...
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2answers
335 views

Gracia vs. Gracia why?

Tendría gracia que un payaso estuviera perdido en una iglesia. Danzó con la gracia de un cisne. Why does gracia have such opposing meanings? Is there a historical context? Maybe because of ...
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1answer
462 views

“Tiempo” vs “clima”

Cuando estuve en Colombia, escuchaba mucho las frases como: Hoy hace buen clima en Bogotá. Hace buen clima para Caracas este viernes. ¿Es correcto usar la palabra clima para hablar acerca ...
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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 ...
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4answers
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¿Qué significa en Argentina “al pedo”?

He escuchado y leído a argentinos decir "al pedo", por ejemplo, "estoy al pedo". Es evidente que NO se refiere a "estar pedo", que significa "estar borracho" en algunos sitios. ¿Qué significa "estar ...
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3answers
87 views

Can “desprenderse” be used to imply the English phrase “to give off”?

English: He "gives off" a strange vibe. Español: Él se "desprende" extraño.
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3answers
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Difference between “mas” and “más”

What's the difference between mas and más? What rules should I follow to know which one to use? Could you provide examples showing their uses?
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2answers
81 views

When is ponerse valid to use as the equivalent of the English word “to become”?

I know ponerse can sometimes be used as the equivalent for the English phrase to become in the sense of I became angry --> me puse enojado but can it be used in the sense of I want to to become a ...
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2answers
149 views

Algunas manzanas / Unas manzanas

Objective Confirm the difference between 'Algunas' and 'unas' which both mean "some". Question Please confirm if my understanding is correct. "Algunas manzanas" is about the apples known to the ...
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3answers
137 views

¿Qué verbo se usa con la palabra “reflejo”?

¿Cuál es el verbo más apropiado para usar con el sustantivo "reflejo" (en el significado número 7 de la RAE)? Esto me provoca el reflejo vomitivo. Esto me causa el reflejo vomitivo. Esto ...
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2answers
687 views

What does my friend mean when he says this to his kid?

I've heard my friend say "me matas con cuchillito de palo" to his kid and I cannot figure out what it means. (I've googled it, and naturally google results are all over the map.) Usually the kid is ...
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1answer
192 views

Two forms of verb for same time (Pretérito Subjuntivo) [duplicate]

Why are the two forms of a verb for certain times and how to use them? For instance taking the word echar, for Pretérito Imperfecto Subjuntivo Activo my dicctionary gives Pretérito Imperfecto ...
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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 ...
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3answers
87 views

Graphic usage of 'el' and 'la' for television

I work for a production department where we create promo spots for movies in Spanish. My question is, if we are graphically showing phrases, such as "Bravery Lives Here" would it have to show as "La ...
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2answers
491 views

When to use the article “el” with infinitives in Spanish?

What is the difference between, for example, "el comer" and just "comer" when used as a noun? The case I'm thinking of would use a gerund in English. For example, El comer chuches antes de cenar ...
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3answers
378 views

¿Por qué “tener cara” es malo? ¿Y por qué “descarado” significa lo mismo, siendo exactamente lo contrario?

Me he dado cuenta de un fenómeno curioso: tanto ser "descarado" como "tener cara", "tener cara dura", "ser un caradura" o "tener mucha cara" tiene mala connotación. ¿Acaso todo lo relacionado con la ...
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5answers
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¿Cuándo se usa “plano” y cuándo “mapa”?

Leo en el diccionario de la RAE: Mapa m. Representación geográfica de la Tierra o parte de ella en una superficie plana. Plano m. Representación esquemática, en dos dimensiones y a ...
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4answers
673 views

“A menudo” vs “frecuentemente”

Dictionary says both mean often. Which one is a better way to say often in Spanish in day to day conversations? If there are regional variations, I would like to know what Mexicans prefer.
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3answers
725 views

Is a Wrist a Toy (muñeca)?

Both wrist and toy are "muñeca" in Spanish. Is there a connection, or just a coincidence that they are both the same?
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3answers
230 views

Use of “saber” in this context

This is usually figured out by reading, but I don't really much in Spanish. Saber means to know a fact: sé las noticias de mis abuelos. Conocer mainly means to be familiar with. Here is an ...
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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?
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2answers
293 views

¿Uso de “joder” en la serie “Los Serrano”?

En la serie "Los Serrano" (de España) los personajes usan la palabra joder. El Traductor de google lo traduce como fuck. El Diccionario de RAE tiene muchas acepciones y no puedo entender si esta ...
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1answer
1k views

Marmot vs Groundhog

In English, the groundhog and the marmot are not the same thing, the groundhog being a subcategory of marmot or distinct altogether, but in spanish there is but one word for the both: "marmota". How ...
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2answers
2k views

What is the spanish translation for “Account” when referring to a user account on a website?

The English > Spanish translation of account on Google Translate comes up with various forms of the word cuenta. However, the Spanish > English translation of cuenta returns words relating to ...
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3answers
672 views

Difference between “coche” and “carro”

I have always wondered what is the difference between coche and carro. I have done some googling on it but still can't understand. Can anyone explain what is the difference between coche and carro ...
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5answers
81k views

congratulations: felicidades vs. felicitaciones

English I have heard both ¡Felicidades! and ¡Felicitaciones! as translations of the interjection, "Congratulations!" What is the difference between the two, and when is each used? Español He ...
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1answer
171 views

Does Hagrid randomly switch between “tú” and “usted” forms?

I'm reading the first Harry Potter book in Spanish and have noticed that Hagrid addresses Vernon Dursley in tú form: —¡Le exijo que se vaya enseguida, señor! —dijo—. ¡Esto es allanamiento de ...