14
votes
4answers
906 views

Difference between “por” and “para”

Even after taking 4 years of college Spanish and living abroad, I still don't have a very firm control of when to use por or para. What are the basic rules on when to use either.
14
votes
2answers
272 views

“Todo lo demás son tonterías”

Hoy me topé con un anuncio de una gran cadena de tiendas de aparatos electrodomésticos, cuyo lema (entre otros) es : Todo lo demás son tonterías ¿Es gramaticalmente correcto en este caso tener ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Translation of “bug” to Spanish

What is the best way to translate "bug", as in a misfeature of a computer program or device? Google translate offers a few options, none of which quite seem to fit, except the term itself: bug ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

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

Español Cuando estudiaba 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
3k 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
1answer
596 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
279 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
272 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
115 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
2k 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
6answers
2k views

Difference Between “Computadora” and “Ordenador”

Español Ví un cartel fuera de una tienda que decía: "Computadoras y ordenadores" en un cuadro "cubano" fuera de New York City, En un principio, creo que ambas palabras significan "computer". Pero, ...
12
votes
6answers
867 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 ...
12
votes
9answers
2k views

What is the symbol “&” called in Spanish?

The symbol & is a representation of the Latin word et (see DPD, Appendix 4). Wikipedia claims that the symbol itself is called et; however, the DRAE's entry for et doesn't list the symbol as a ...
12
votes
9answers
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 ...
12
votes
8answers
33k 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? ...
12
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
11k 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
4answers
4k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
1k 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
286 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
3answers
531 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
456 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
4k 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
177 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?
12
votes
5answers
11k 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
17k 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
4answers
8k 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
477 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
196 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
418 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
7answers
811 views

¿Cómo se dice “bootstrap” en castellano?

En el mundo de la informática se utiliza mucho el término bootstrap (últimamente para referirse a Twitter bootstrap). Veo que la traducción más directa es el de "lengüeta de zapatos", es decir, la ...
11
votes
6answers
16k 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
8answers
942 views

Is “tobogán” an acceptable word for “slide” throughout the Spanish speaking world?

English I'm trying to learn words to talk to my baby at the playground in Spanish. WordReference.com gives the following as part of its definition for "slide." slide 2 sustantivo 1. (in ...
11
votes
5answers
3k 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
13k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
1k 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
474 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
2answers
827 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
1k 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
175 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
3k 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
436 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
184 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
220 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
2k 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
4k 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
3answers
2k views

Difference between “broma” and “chiste”

Both words broma and chiste translate to the English word joke. What's the difference between these two Spanish words, and how do I know when to use each one?

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