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

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12
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between “personas” and “gente”?

I was translating a sentence for school en Español and I came across the word "people." I looked it up on Google Translate and it gave me "personas" and also "gente." What is the difference between ...
7
votes
2answers
248 views

Is “remover” a good translation for “to remove”?

In the Internet I've often come across to internationalized websites where they have things like: Remove file / Remover archivo I always thought this translation may be done by someone who is ...
10
votes
6answers
598 views

How big are the regional differences in the Spanish spoken in different countries?

As a non-native speaker, I have no more difficulty conversing with a Mexican than a Spaniard or Venezuelan or Colombian or vice versa. I realize there are regional variations and differences in ...
3
votes
2answers
149 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

Use of “Veni”? Is it a real word?

I was teaching a high school Spanish class, and a student (who was raised in Texas, but has Mexican relatives) told me that he has heard "veni" instead of "viene". I'd like to know if this is ...
7
votes
2answers
192 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
424 views

Best way to translate 'uneducated', meaning lacking formal schooling

Generally the Spanish word maleducado more often means rude, rather than unschooled. In light of this, how would one describe someone who is polite and intelligent, but has never been formally ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the difference between “sólo”, “únicamente” and “solamente”?

According to the RAE: solo o sólo. adv. m. Únicamente, solamente. In what situations is preferred to use one over the other? Are they interchangeable? Sólo es una pregunta ...
6
votes
2answers
203 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
327 views

Gusto variant of the verb gustar

When I thought I finally had it figured out... I was confronted with the following phrase which obviously must mean: I liked the story of your friend. Which for me logically translates to. ...
2
votes
1answer
546 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?
3
votes
3answers
617 views

Connotations of “mortal” (slang)

What does the Spanish word mortal mean when used as slang? Does it have a positive or negative connotation towards the thing being described?
6
votes
1answer
128 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
335 views

Is “versus” a Spanish word?

RAE says no, wordreference says yes. Is it used or understood by the Spanish speakers?
5
votes
2answers
2k 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
votes
1answer
206 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. ...
8
votes
3answers
26k views

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?
3
votes
3answers
376 views

Translating “Help!” (interjection)

In English, if there is any kind of emergency or urgent assistance needed, we use the interjection, "Help!" In Spanish I've seen several: ¡Socorro! ¡Auxilio! ¡Ayuda! or ¡Ayúdame! Which of these is ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Difference between “está” and “esta” or “esté” and “este”?

How do I know if I have to use the one with accent and not the one without accent? Could you provide examples?
6
votes
1answer
96 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
3answers
382 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
263 views

Word usage: “caminamos” VS “caminábamos”

Please read the below sentence which is in the past tense. Can I replace "caminamos" to "caminábamos" to describe a continued action? Así que caminamos de tienda en tienda para comprar las ...
2
votes
2answers
76 views

Difference between “enterar por” and “enterar de”

Please read the following sentences: Nos enteramos por las noticias que las flores valían más caras que los años anteriores. Al comenzar este invierno me enteré de la noticia de que haría/iba a ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Singular and plural of pants, shorts, jeans, etc

In English, words like pants, shorts, and jeans appear to be in the plural but really refer to one item of clothing (I don't know what the technical term for it is). To be more specific, you can say ...
3
votes
2answers
264 views

“matricular” y “matricularme”

Both the captioned words mean "enroll, register". "matricular" is a transitive verb and "matricularse" is a reflexive verb. But they have no difference in meaning but just "matricular" follows a noun ...
6
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!
3
votes
1answer
344 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
4answers
44k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Translation of cord, cable, string, line, thread, rope, etc

In English there are many words describing different kinds of long, skinny, flexible objects: cord line (as in fishing line, clothesline) cable strand lace (as in shoe lace) thread rope string wire ...
1
vote
1answer
352 views

Translation of “to wind (a rope, hose, string, cord, etc.)”

The other questions about "wind" got me thinking about it's normal verb use. To "wind" something is to wrap it in circles, either around an object or simply making a coil. For this use, it looks like ...
8
votes
1answer
370 views

¿Cómo se describe la temperatura?

Cuando se describe el tiempo, se usa "hace", por ejemplo, "hace frío" o "hace sol". ¿Es lo mismo con la temperatura? Si es la temperatura de algo, como una persona o comida, ¿es lo mismo?
2
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Usage of fea and rico

I'm learning Spanish with Rosetta Stone. The lesson I am currently on has two examples that I don't completely understand. La leche está fea El pan está rico "Fea" seems to be translated ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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?
1
vote
2answers
149 views

waste: desperdiciar vs. malgastar

I learned that "waste" in English can be translated as desperdiciar or malgastar in Spanish. What is the difference between these two words? Are there any cases where one is correct and the other is ...
2
votes
3answers
345 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
336 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
288 views

What is the difference between parece and pareciera?

What is the difference between parece que and pareciera que? How are both normally translated? What tenses can be used after pareciera que, and in general how is pareciera used?
7
votes
1answer
920 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 ...
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, ...
3
votes
2answers
517 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
3answers
1k views

challenge: desafío vs. reto

The English word "challenge" can be translated to Spanish as desafío (desafiar) or reto (retar). Is there any difference between these words, or are they exact synonyms? If there is a difference, when ...
2
votes
1answer
160 views

justicia: justice and righteousness?

In the Spanish Bible, I believe the English "justice" and "righteousness" are both translated as justicia. Is justicia the only word that can translate both of these terms? Is there any way to know ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Words for boat, ship, and other seafaring vessels

In English, we have many words to describe the different types of vessels that travel on water: boat ship yacht dinghy canoe kayak raft watercraft vessel sailboat barge catamaran lifeboat/liferaft ...
2
votes
1answer
968 views

Does pelón/pelona mean bald or hairy?

I have heard pelón (or the feminine pelona) used to both refer to someone who has no hair and someone who has a lot of hair. Is there any way of distinguishing whether pelón means bald or hairy, or is ...
5
votes
4answers
131 views

Usage of the word acullá

WordReference translates acullá as "yonder." Is this a word that was only used in the past, or is it still used in modern Spanish today? If so, what regions does it appear in and how is it used?
7
votes
3answers
1k 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?
4
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
7
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
938 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?