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

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10
votes
3answers
862 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 "today" always temporary in that it is constantly changing to the next day? If so, why don't we use ...
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?
5
votes
5answers
306 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
623 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?
2
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
402 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 ...
33
votes
11answers
2k views

Any difference between aquí and acá

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: Vivo ...
9
votes
2answers
637 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.
14
votes
4answers
4k 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
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
278 views

Difference between “el comer” and “comer” when used as noun

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
148 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
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!
6
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
4k 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
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?
6
votes
2answers
643 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
3answers
382 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
125 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
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?
3
votes
4answers
2k 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
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?
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
50k 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
3answers
465 views

Palabra correcta para describir la “acción de solicitar”

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