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

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9
votes
3answers
559 views

“De donde fue” instead of “De donde estaba”

In Nicaragua, addresses are usually given as directions from a landmark, for example: From the stadium, go 5 blocks south, then 3 blocks east Sometimes the landmark is a place that used to be ...
11
votes
6answers
714 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
154 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
901 views

What is the diminutive of “pan” (meaning bread)?

Is it: pansito panesito panito panecino panecillo (Although this one has most of the time another meaning...) Why? I know short question, but seemingly difficult for me. Is there a definitive ...
7
votes
2answers
202 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
261 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
371 views

Does using “tío” imply a negative opinion?

I've seen the word tío used to mean "guy" or "bloke", but can't recall (in my admittedly limited experience) having seen it used to imply a positive opinion of someone. If I refer to someone as "Ese ...
3
votes
3answers
666 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?
5
votes
2answers
225 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
838 views

“vaso de agua” or “vaso con agua”? Which is correct?

English What's the correct way to express that something "serves as a container for something else"? Example: ¿Quieres un vaso de/con agua? Should we use de or con? Are both correct? Why? If ...
5
votes
1answer
388 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
619 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?
9
votes
2answers
387 views

Is “versus” a Spanish word?

RAE says no, wordreference says yes. Is it used or understood by the Spanish speakers?
7
votes
4answers
490 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k 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!
7
votes
1answer
214 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. ...
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?
8
votes
3answers
31k 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
413 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k 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?
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k 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?
3
votes
2answers
610 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
5k 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
138 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, ...
8
votes
3answers
565 views

Use of “Que” in “Que todo te vaya bien”

Que todo te vaya bien. Que nos reunamos a las 6. I've seen, and used, que in this form - it's as if the verb has been dropped, say, espero. What is the origin of this usage? Is it ...
7
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
277 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
3k 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
292 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
388 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
432 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?
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
2k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
396 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
157 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
303 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
1k 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
1answer
178 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
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?
7
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
177 views

Using “qué” or “quién” when talking about people

Imagine for a moment you know who stole your car (some thiefs for example): Sabemos qué personas lo hicieron. The above sentence is the same as saying: Sabemos quiénes lo hicieron. (Persons ...
9
votes
2answers
634 views

What's the difference between “debe de” y “debe”?

Is there any difference? What's their usage? When should one be used instead of the other one? Examples: El niño debe de hacer su tarea. El niño debe hacer su tarea.
8
votes
2answers
182 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

When is “ello” used?

A long time ago in Spanish class, we were taught that "it" was literally ello but is rarely translated that way. I was thinking about the word recently, and realized I don't know if I've ever (at ...
4
votes
1answer
856 views

What's the meaning of the -azo suffix?

What's the meaning of the (noun)-azo? How the nouns are transformed into their -azo noun? In which cases should be used? Examples: zapatazo golpazo
4
votes
1answer
83 views

What's the meaning of “hasta” in the following sentences?

What's the meaning of "hasta" in the following sentences? Hasta que te dignes a hacerme caso. Los resultados del examen se publicarán hasta febrero. Those have different meanings than the "hasta" ...