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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32
votes
12answers
4k 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: ...
22
votes
6answers
79k views

What's the difference between “vamos” and “vámonos”?

Español Cuando estaba estudiando Español, aprendí que "let's go" es "vamos," pero cuando fui a México, lo único que oído estaba "vámonos." Pregunté a una persona bilingüe allá, pero ella no supe la ...
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 ...
18
votes
13answers
8k views

'vos' vs 'tú' usage by country

I lived for a while in Bolivia, and I noticed some people used "vos" instead of "tú" as the second person familiar singular pronoun. Which countries use "vos" instead of "tú", and are there any that ...
15
votes
3answers
15k views

Understanding ya vs. todavía vs. aún

English speakers learning Spanish have a hard time understanding the similarities and differences between ya, todavía, and aún (or aun). They don't perfectly match up with the similar English words ...
14
votes
4answers
427 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
937 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 ...
13
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
22k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
9answers
4k 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?
12
votes
3answers
3k 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!
12
votes
4answers
19k views

How do you differentiate between walnuts and pecans in Spanish?

It recently occurred to me that the Spanish nuez can be translated to English as both "walnut" and "pecan." Is the same word really used for both types of nuts? How would you specify which nut you're ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I distinguish between “girlfriend,” “fiancée” and “bride”, which are all “novia”?

I am a native Portuguese speaker, where noiva means "bride" or "fiancée." So I was very confused when someone asked me if a girl was my novia, since she didn't have an engagement ring (thank goodness ...
11
votes
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 "today" always temporary in that it is constantly changing to the next day? If so, why don't we use ...
11
votes
2answers
937 views

Usage of “oso” to express embarrassment

I have heard the idiom ¡Que oso! ...used to express embarrassment by a former acquaintance from Colombia but have never met another Spanish speaker who uses this expression. My questions: ...
10
votes
4answers
32k views

¿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 ...
10
votes
2answers
834 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.
10
votes
3answers
594 views

Is “versus” a Spanish word?

RAE says no, wordreference says yes. Is it used or understood by the Spanish speakers?
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How to decide between “ahora” and “ya” for the sense “now”?

I know that ya has additional meanings besides simply now, such as already. But considering just the sense of ya which does mean now, when should I use it and when should I use ahora, which only has ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
9k views

Cuándo usar “usar” o “utilizar”

Español Ambos términos tienen un significado muy parecido. Según la RAE, el único uso de 'utilizar' es "Aprovecharse de algo" y el significado que me interesa de 'usar' es "Hacer servir una cosa para ...
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
14answers
20k views

How would you translate the word “badass” to Spanish?

I was thinking maybe of "cabrón" or "chingon" ; however I think those two sound too Mexican specific. Does anybody know a better and less region specific equivalent?
9
votes
2answers
403 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 ...
9
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
753 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the preferred way of saying “I have to go”?

English As far as I can tell there are two ways to say, "I have to go." Tengo que ir. Tengo ir. Is the second way even right? And if so, which one is the preferred way to say, "I have ...
9
votes
5answers
574 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

¿Cuándo usar “excusa” o “pretexto”?

Aparentemente, "excusa" y "pretexto" significan lo mismo. ¿Cuándo usar uno o el otro? Por ejemplo, comparando estas 2 frases: Buscó una excusa para no venir. Buscó un pretexto para no venir. ...
9
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
646 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
345 views

Regional differences between “escuchar” and “oír”

In school I learned that escuchar was for the English "to listen to" and oír was "to hear." In Central America, however, I frequently heard escuchar being used for "to hear" (e.g. No te escucho ...
9
votes
2answers
908 views

Acordar or recordar? What's the correct use? ¿Cuál es el uso correcto?

Español Comunmente escucho gente decir "¿oye, te acuerdas de esa película?", así como también escucho "¿oye, recuerdas esa película?." Siempre he creído que la acción de un recuerdo viene del verbo ...
9
votes
5answers
27k views

¿Cuál es el significado de “órale” y su origen?

La palabra "órale" es usada frecuentemente en México en situaciones informales. ¿Cuál es su significado y origen?
8
votes
2answers
801 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?
8
votes
3answers
37k 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?
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference, if any, between “nunca” and “jamás”?

Friends tell me there is a subtle difference between the two, and that jamás is a little stronger, a little more definitive a statement than nunca. Both mean "never"—but are there any measurable ...
8
votes
5answers
456 views

¿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 ...
8
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
648 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there any subtle differences between “de nuevo” and “otra vez”?

There are two very common ways in Spanish to say the equivalent of "again": de nuevo otra vez But I use them pretty randomly because I've never been able to pick up on any differences in how ...
8
votes
1answer
576 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?
8
votes
3answers
898 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
320 views

Complemento vs. Suplemento

Is there any difference between the word "complemento" and "suplemento"? Do they really have the exact same meaning?. RAE (Real Academia Española) defines both as: Cosa o accidente que se añade a ...
8
votes
2answers
238 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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
4answers
7k 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 ...