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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14
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3answers
2k views

Why do we say “Qué hora es” instead of “Qué hora está”?

I was taught that está is used in certain contexts meaning a temporary state (like emotion). Isn't "time" always temporary in that it is constantly changing? If so, why don't we use está instead of ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre «también» y «tampoco»?

Yo sé que se debe usar también cuando una persona se pone en acuerdo con una otra (en inglés, "You like movies? Me too!" será, "¿Te gustan las películas? ¡A mi también!") pero no se las reglas de usar ...
8
votes
2answers
926 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?
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?
10
votes
2answers
988 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.
7
votes
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
42k 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?
14
votes
4answers
465 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 ...
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?
3
votes
2answers
136 views

“Todo lo demás” o “Todos los demás”

I came across this on a programming website: Todo lo demás se ejecuta en las dos partes, cliente y servidor. Shouldn't it be: Todos los demás se ejecuta en las dos partes, cliente y ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Speakers' location in determining venir vs. ir

In English, we use the word "come" very loosely (at least in day-to-day spoken English): Want to come over to my place later? Can I come over to your house for New Years'? Can you come meet me at ...
34
votes
13answers
5k views

Any difference between aquí and acá

ENGLISH I've been taught that aquí and acá are completely interchangable. From personal observation, acá seems to be used more often than aquí in the context of "I live down this road." Example: ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

¿Por qué cuando digo “Él no va a ningún lado” siento que está mal dicho?

En muchas, muchas, muchas ocasiones he usado este término. Y lo he escuchado de muchas personas también, la pregunta no es si está bien dicho, sino porque siento que carece de lógica y que significa ...
15
votes
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!
2
votes
1answer
143 views

When to use or not use “a” after a verb? E.g. “voy a comer” and “quiero comer”

In English we think of the infinitive as being "to" + action. E.g. "to eat". There are cases where we use a verb followed directly by the infinitive. E.g. "quiero comer" quiero = I want comer = to ...
13
votes
4answers
9k views

When to use “igual” and “lo mismo”?

English I often get corrected when using either the word igual or mismo, and haven't really figured out when to use which yet. What are the rules for when and how to use igual, and when and how to ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

When is “Te quiero” used to mean “I love you?”"

I can come up with three phrases to express affection: Te adoro. Te amo. Te quiero. The first two are fairly clear in intention. However, I have heard "Te quiero", which literally translates as "I ...
9
votes
2answers
485 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 ...
18
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
172 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 ...
8
votes
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 ...
7
votes
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
2answers
6k 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?
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
270 views

¿Cómo se dice “play” en el contexto de música o un DVD?

En inglés usamos la palabra "play" para significar la acción de ver una película o de escuchar música. La usamos así: Can you play the movie? What song is playing? Pregunté un amigo latino ...
1
vote
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?
8
votes
2answers
452 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
7k views

“Maje” (or “mae”) in Nicaraguan Spanish

What does the word "maje" (pronounced "mae") mean in Nicaraguan Spanish? Could the word be considered offensive, and, if so, in what contexts is it appropriate to use?
6
votes
1answer
3k 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?
5
votes
3answers
273 views

El uso de “comerse”

Qué diferencias hay entre las oraciones siguientes : Así que empezaron a comerse las paredes de la casa. Así que empezaron a comer las paredes de la casa.
4
votes
1answer
141 views

¿Cuándo se usa “aparte” y cuándo “a parte”?

Escribí una respuesta hace poco y Gorpik me corrigió una frase: Bromas a parte, sí tiene diferencia, aunque no mucha. y lo dejó (correctamente) en: Bromas aparte, sí tiene diferencia, aunque ...
4
votes
1answer
192 views

Millones y Millonas

Viendo un video de Nicolas Maduro presidente de Venezuela el dice: Millones y millonas de Bolivar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrXQkPOvI7A en 0:42 ¿Es correcto decir millonas o es un modismo ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “hace que” mean in this sentence?

¿Qué significa la frase hace que en la siguiente oración? Pienso que el escritor de esta oración quería decir que la profesora manda a sus estudiantes trabajar en grupos. Pero, me parece esta frase ...
4
votes
5answers
79k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Adjective placement - Does order matter?

In English, generally we say or write adjective + noun, like the full moon or brown dog. Does order matter in Spanish, for instance Hablo un poco español vs. Hablo español un poco?
3
votes
3answers
154 views

¿Qué significa “confiamos haberle ofrecido un buen servicio”?

Viajé alguna vez con Iberia y la sobrecargo dijo al final: "Gracias por viajar con Iberia. Confiamos haberle ofrecido un buen servicio" Quizá me maravilla que la traducción que después ella ...
3
votes
2answers
171 views

Uso de artículos con abreviaturas como DVD, CD o nombres de organizaciones

Esta pregunta viene de un comentario que @fedorqui dejó aquí acerca del uso del artículo con la palabra DVD. Como el español no es mi primer idioma, para mí no hay mucha diferencia entre la DVD o el ...
3
votes
1answer
255 views

¿Por qué las furgonetas de la policía se llaman “lecheras” en España?

En España llamamos a las furgonetas de la policía "lecheras". ¿Alguien sabe por qué?
3
votes
1answer
3k views

In what era was “que suave” used?

I talked to someone from México and when I was talking to him about my trip he said in reply " que suave" . I asked my mexican friends what it meant and they said it's like "cool" but they didn't ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

¿Cómo se usa el antepretérito?

En clase hemos estado repasando el tiempo pluscuamperfecto. En todos los ejemplos que vimos, usaron el imperfecto del verbo haber. Cuando pregunté a mi profesor sobre el pretérito de haber, nos dijo ...
3
votes
2answers
4k 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?
3
votes
1answer
683 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
807 views

Nombre de los acentos y otras marcas ortográficas

En otra pregunta hice una mala traducción al inglés. Quise referirme al acento gráfico (´) como tilde, pero la traducción correcta es diacritic. Esto me confundió un poco. Quiero entonces consultar ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Palabra correcta para describir la “acción de solicitar”

¿Cuál es la palabra correcta para describir la "acción de solicitar", según la RAE? ¿"Solicitación"?
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3answers
5k 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 ...