13
votes
3answers
2k views

When to use “que” and “de que”

Español En ciertas oraciones no sé si es más correcto usar que o de que. ¿Cuáles son las reglas para utilizar que/de que? Ejemplos: Estoy seguro que me fue bien. Estoy seguro de que me ...
13
votes
3answers
355 views

Does an accent mark change the pronunciation of single-syllable words?

I know that some single-syllable words (most pronouns, for example) come in two varieties, with and without an accent mark on the vowel. "Él" has a different meaning than "el", but is it pronounced ...
13
votes
2answers
905 views

Significance of adjective placement

In Spanish, adjectives typically come after the noun they modify. However, there are some cases when the adjective comes before the noun, and usually (always?) with a change in meaning. Example: ...
13
votes
1answer
493 views

How to avoid the lexical redundancy in the literal Spanish translation of “to ask a question”?

In English we have different words for the verb to ask and the noun question. But in Spanish to ask is preguntar and question is pregunta. This always causes me to stumble when speaking Spanish and ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Proper placement of inverted question mark

What is the proper placement of the inverted question mark in sentences that are not completely questions? A common example: Hello, how are you? (¿)Hola, (¿)cómo estás? Or: That's ...
13
votes
1answer
215 views

¿Cuál palabra es “ouo”?

Leyendo una edición antigua de Las Sergas de Esplandian, me encontré una palabra que no pude entender. Aquí lo muestro con imagen: Transcrito al alfabeto moderno, se lee: Sabed que ala diestra ...
13
votes
3answers
255 views

“My kind of ___” in Spanish

Español He estado buscando una manera de decir "My kind of _" en español. O una frase equivalente (que creo que es más adecuado y preferible). Como la manera que un estadounidense diría: "this is my ...
13
votes
1answer
109 views

Is “al” a relatively new word?

I am curious about the history of the word "al". For example, was there a time when "a el" was the proper usage and "al" came later (presumably because of the slurring of speech)?
13
votes
4answers
1k views

¿Cuál es la etimología de “al fin y al cabo”?

La expresión fijada "al fin y al cabo" en Inglés sería algo como "at the end of the day, in the end, after all". Pero quería saber, ¿se conoce la etimología? En la entrada "al fin y al cabo" en ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Approximant vs. fricative realization of /b/, /d/, /g/

According to the Wikipedia article on Spanish phonology, the phonemes /b/, /d/, and /g/ are realized as approximants or fricatives instead of plosives in all but certain contexts (after a pause, nasal ...
12
votes
2answers
8k views

¿Cómo se pronuncia un número de siglo?

Cuando leo artículos de Wikipedia, o libros historicales, es muy común encontrar una frase como siglo [numeración romana]. Por ejemplo, Aljedrez, tal como se conoce actualmente, surgió en Europa ...
12
votes
5answers
943 views

¿Cómo se pueden identificar palabras árabes en español?

Español Yo sé que los musulmanes, cuando conquistaron España, impactaron en gran medida al idioma. Hay palabras en español que son prestadas (y ahora son una parte del idioma). ¿Hay un método con ...
12
votes
3answers
241 views

“Guion” vs “Guión” - Are there other words which could be written in multiple ways?

My dictionary uses guión while Wikipedia writes guion. I tried Google ngram and was nearly convinced that Wikipedia was wrong because nobody else seems to use that spelling today. I was really ...
12
votes
5answers
841 views

How to translate the idiom: “missing the point”?

What would be the correct way to translate into Spanish the idiom: "to miss the point"? I'm often tempted to write "perder el punto", but it doesn't sound quite right. For example: "To bring ...
12
votes
3answers
455 views

Internet Chat laughter in Spanish

In English we tend to use: lol = laughing out loud; rofl = rolling on the floor laughing; lmao = laughing my a** off; roflmao = rolling on the floor laughing my a** off. These are just some of the ...
12
votes
3answers
384 views

Why is búho written with an acute accent?

Spanish ¿Hay alguna razón porque la que la palabra "búho" lleve acento agudo? ¿Hay alguna regla ortográfica que lo determine? Estoy acostumbrado a los acentos sobre la e, pero me sorprendió bastante ...
12
votes
3answers
3k 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
4answers
13k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
8k views

How prevalent is the phrase “qué padre”?

Here in Mexico, the slang phrase qué padre (or various forms such as muy padre, etc) are quite common, with the meaning "how cool". Is this just Mexican slang, or do other regions use the same ...
12
votes
4answers
7k views

“True” meaning of “por cierto”

I have always thought of the expression of "por cierto" as meaning "certainly" or "surely." It certainly "looks" that way (for certainly). And even Google Translate gives it that meaning, as well as ...
12
votes
6answers
404 views

No supo la respuesta

Why do people say things like: Se lo pregunté, pero no supo la respuesta Sabía seems more natural to me, and I've been told that either is fine, but I'm still a bit fuzzy on why somebody would ...
12
votes
1answer
183 views

How can I know if a word or phrase should be avoided due to regional variations?

Say that I want to write some blog posts or news articles in Spanish. Are there any useful resources (e.g. books, websites or guidelines) that one could use in order to write “neutral” Spanish, that ...
12
votes
2answers
379 views

What is the history of the “personal a”?

What is the historical origin of the "personal a" in Spanish? Examples of the personal a: George sees Mary. -> Jorge ve a María. I see the waitress. -> Veo a la mesera. But with the exact ...
11
votes
6answers
687 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 ...
11
votes
8answers
22k views

Is there a difference between “claro” and “por supuesto”?

Both "claro" (or "claro que sí") and "por supuesto" appear to be used to say 'of course' in one way or another. Are there any differences in how they are used? Is one formal and the other informal? ...
11
votes
6answers
10k views

Translation of “Welcome back!”

In English, if someone has been gone for a while and has recently returned, it's common to greet them by saying, "Welcome back!" (or "Welcome back from your trip!", etc). What is the most natural way ...
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

Bueno as hello or greeting?

In the US State I live in, I sometimes hear Spanish speakers greet one another by simply staying "Bueno". I didn't hear this when I was recently in Mexico, although I realize I may just have not ...
11
votes
5answers
2k 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?
11
votes
3answers
672 views

Quizás or quizá, which one is preferred?

RAE redirects the definition of quizás to quizá but I wonder if there's any implicit, secret rule that I am not aware of as to whether quizás is preferred over quizá. I've seen both forms used ...
11
votes
2answers
371 views

Origin of contigo and similar “contractions”

What's the history of the words contigo, conmigo, etc? They're treated like contractions for con ti and con mi, respectively, but they actually make the word longer rather than shorter, as ...
11
votes
4answers
158 views

Is there any subtle difference between the two forms of the imperfect subjuntive?

The imperfect subjuntive has two forms. For example: Ojalá viniera. Ojalá viniese. I think both has the same meaning. However, is there any subtle difference?
11
votes
2answers
619 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: ...
11
votes
7answers
780 views

Help me pronounce single “r”

I've recently started studying Spanish (Latin American) with Rosetta Stone. I think I'm doing trilled r's right but I'm not sure if I'm doing single r's right. Are they supposed to have a single ...
11
votes
1answer
171 views

Translation of the C++ “move constructor” language element

The C++ programming language has several types of constructors (functions invoked when an object is being created): Default constructor: constructor por defecto. Copy constructor: constructor de ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I say “colmo” properly in English?

There is an expression in Spanish to denote something that is absurd or unexpected. Usually it can be the maximum expression of expertise and talent. I wondered about this mainly because in Spanish ...
11
votes
3answers
383 views

adjectives for “same thing” vs. “same kind of thing”

In German, das gleiche refers to We both read the same (das gleiche) book (everyone has its own, but they look exactly the same) while das selbe refers to We both read the same book ...
11
votes
2answers
169 views

Traer and llevar - what is the reference point?

I always have problems concerning traer and llevar. I think I understand the general meaning: Llevar means "to take", such as when an object is being taken (generally by you) to a place other than ...
11
votes
3answers
212 views

Is there a Spanish equivalent for “OP”?

The English abbreviation OP for the term Original Poster is widely used over the internet. Do the abbreviation and/or the term have widely used equivalents in Spanish?
11
votes
2answers
1k views

“Aún” vs. “todavía”, what's the difference?

Somebody just asked me to correct something, and I found that I changed one of their instances of todavía to aún. I didn't do this because todavía wouldn't have worked in the sentence, but rather ...
10
votes
9answers
3k views

What is the most idiomatic translation of “no way!”

The phrase "no way" is similar to this question about the expression "you wish!" but is perhaps more of an expression of disbelief or rejection of what the other speaker says (short for There is no ...
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 ...
10
votes
5answers
511 views

Why is “voy” used in “voy perdiendo” instead of “estoy”?

Apparently "Voy perdiendo" means "I'm losing." But I thought the present participle was formed using estar. I am confused!
10
votes
3answers
377 views

How to say “My old teacher”

If you say "Mi profesor viejo," your indicating your teacher old age-wise. I was wondering how you indicate that your talking about a past teacher.
10
votes
4answers
914 views

Why does saber mean both “to know” and “to taste”?

Español Cuando aprendía español, estaba muy confundido cuando aprendí que saber significa "to know" y "to taste". Los dos verbos en inglés me parecen muy diferentes. ¿Cómo puede ser esto? ¿Cuál es la ...
10
votes
3answers
684 views

Translation of “so close”

I was watching the Barcelona-Chelsea game just now, and Messi almost scored a goal in the last minute. How do you say "he was so close"? Messi estuve cerca de meter un gol. Is this correct? ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you say “I'm gonna get you!”?

When I'm chasing my baby around the room, I frequently tell him, "I'm gonna get you!" and catch him and tickle him. Is there a similar expression in Spanish? I'd love to find something that can be ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

“Antier” para expresar el día anterior a ayer

Hace unos días mientras me encontraba cambiando de canal en la televisión por cable, escuche una conversación de una pelicula americana doblada al español. Dos personas estaban en un bar conversando. ...
10
votes
1answer
349 views

“Quick brown fox…” equivalent in Spanish?

In typing classes in English, it is common to learn to type the sentence: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. Because it contains every letter of the alphabet at least once. Is there ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

When is uppercase used in English but lowercase in Spanish?

There are many cases where English uses capital letters (e.g. January) but Spanish uses lowercase (e.g. enero). Grammar or orthography books have long lists of all the cases where capital letters are ...

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