44
votes
11answers
1k views

How important are accents in written Spanish?

English I notice that native Spanish speakers often leave off accents in writing. Outside the context of edited material, it almost seems like accent pedantry is the sign of someone who has learned ...
7
votes
3answers
145 views

Translating “should” expressing future desirability

Español Quiero expresar: You should come study with us tomorrow. No con un sentido de probabilidad ("you are likely to") o de obligación ("...or else you won't pass the exam"), sino de deseo ...
6
votes
2answers
198 views

Traduccion para “as far as I can tell” / Translation for “as far as I can tell”

Español Como hispanoparlante nativo y, yo considero, con un alto nivel en el manejo del Inglés, varias veces tengo dificultad para traducir expresiones de uso común y me acaba de pasar cuando quise ...
0
votes
2answers
168 views

Words for “grave”: tumba vs. sepultura

English has several words for burial places, many of which have specific, distinct meanings: grave tomb vault crypt mausoleum sepulcher As far as I know, Spanish has at least two words for ...
18
votes
5answers
978 views

How do I ask someone not to call me “usted”?

Suppose you're in a situation where you have a formal/business relationship with someone, but the relationship has become more familiar over time. The other person continues to call you usted. How ...
6
votes
4answers
170 views

Ironic constructions in Spanish

English As part of my masters in linguistics, I am taking a course on the subject of irony. We were given examples of sentences that are most likely ironic, as the English sentence "he is not ...
9
votes
4answers
581 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Other spanish synonyms to “Banana”

I remember reading in high school that the word la banana is actually a different word in several different countries. Is this true? If so what are the other similar/equivalent Spanish words for la ...
5
votes
2answers
166 views

How do you spell “Chocaraet” correctly?

The Valencian dish Paella traditionally (at least that's how I was taught it has to be done) is prepared by slightly allowing the rice to burn from the bottom, to a point where it gets quite dark. I ...
6
votes
3answers
837 views

Translation of “by the way”

In Spanish class I learned that the right way to say "by the way" in Spanish was a propósito, but I've recently seen it translated por cierto. How exactly are these two Spanish phrases used, and are ...
5
votes
1answer
351 views

What do Mexicans always mutter to me after I say, “Feliz año”?

When I say, "Feliz año" to Mexicans, they usually mutter something and trail off. Is this a standard response to my holiday valediction, am I being dissed, or am I being neurotic?
5
votes
3answers
159 views

¿Por qué mis amigas dicen “listo” en vez de “lista” cuando están listas para ir?

He tenido la impresión de que debo de usar "lista" cuando me refiero a una mujer. Por ejemplo: Ella está lista para ir. Pero es común oír a mis amigas decir solo listo en este contexto. ¿Por ...
9
votes
2answers
435 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
952 views

Spanish for “douche”?

Is there a Spanish equivalent for "douche", as in the insult? I've search and found several results which, while being correct, either are too regional or lack the force of the English insult.
8
votes
2answers
18k views

When is it appropriate to say “buenos días”?

It looks like "buenos días" is most commonly translated as "good morning," although apparently it can mean "good day" as well (like a literal translation would suggest). Is it appropriate to greet ...
9
votes
1answer
460 views

¿Cuál es la etimología de “sin embargo”?

La frase "sin embargo" se traduce como "however" en inglés, pero no la entiendo. La palabra "sin" significa "without", y la palabra "embargo" significa "ban" o lo mismo que la palabra inglesa ...
14
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
989 views

Translating “Slow down!” (in informal contexts)

English WordReference translates "slow down" as disminuir la velocidad or desacelerar. But those sound pretty precise or technical to me. How would you translate "Slow down!" in other, more informal ...
19
votes
4answers
434 views

Question words: “qué” versus “cuál”

English Often "qué" is translated to English as "what" and "cuál" is translated as "which." However, I know that this is not always the case. Here are some examples. (Please correct me if I am ...
5
votes
3answers
239 views

Preposiciones para dirección

Me encontré escribiendo esta frase: Ella comenzó a correr hacia la dirección en la que él había apuntado. Sin embargo, siento que las preposiciones son correctas de forma independiente, y no ...
7
votes
5answers
391 views

Forming a conditional clause in present and present tense

I just learend the conditional and past subjunctive. Here is an example: If I had a million dollars, I would buy a big house. Si tuviera un millón dolares, compraría una casa grande. So I'm ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

“Major” and “minor” (emphasis of study in college)

In many universities in the US, students choose a primary specialty to study (called their "major") and optionally a secondary emphasis (called a "minor"). How would these terms be expressed in ...
6
votes
2answers
437 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?
4
votes
1answer
210 views

Do fluent Spanish Speakers say the pronoun when speaking? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use the word 'yo' in a sentence where the verb conjugation already shows that I am the subject? I was wondering if fluent Spanish Speakers say the ...
9
votes
3answers
432 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
167 views

Plurals of loan words

Are there any rules for forming the plurals of loanwords? I ask, as I was recently reminded of a sign I saw in an Office Depot in Mexico advertising "mouses". Can this be correct in Spanish, or is ...
4
votes
1answer
634 views

Is there an equivalent idiom for “Slow and steady wins the race”?

English has an idiom: "Slow and steady wins the race." It is used to describe situations where slow, steady progress towards a goal is better than a rushed attempt to achieve things all at once (and I ...
9
votes
6answers
506 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
3k views

How should I translate “he is a pain in the ass”?

When referring to someone you don't like Americans (or English speakers) often use the sentence "he is a pain the ass", the literal translation to the Spanish is es un dolor en el trasero ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there a difference between “español” and “castellano”?

English I always thought the two could be used interchangeably (meaning "the Spanish language"). But I recently got into an argument with someone where they insisted there was a difference (although ...
8
votes
2answers
123 views

Usar puntuación extra para expresar incredulidad

En inglés a veces, se usa puntuación extra para indicar confusión o ira en una frase, como en: He said what?? Are you serious?! etc. Porque se pone ciertos tipos de puntuación al principio y ...
7
votes
3answers
279 views

¿Cómo pedir la opinión de alguien?

¿Cómo se pide la opinión de alguien sobre un tema o actividad? Por ejemplo, en ingles se dice: What do you think about __________?
8
votes
7answers
677 views

Are there any words that have opposite regional meanings?

Following in the footsteps of EL&U, are there any words that have opposite meanings in different Spanish-speaking regions? We are looking for words that are the same, but have different meanings ...
6
votes
2answers
449 views

¿Cómo se dice la expresión “screen name”?

La traducción literal de "screen name" – un nombre de usuario para un servicio en línea – es "nombre de pantalla". ¿Se utiliza eso comúnmente? ¿O se utiliza otra frase en su lugar?
12
votes
6answers
345 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
116 views

Are there cases when I can mute last s?

Just listening Manu Chao's marvelous song, "Me Quedo Contigo" The question is - sometimes (not only in this song) it's sounds like last S in some words (ideas, ellas, siglos, ojos, labios etc.) is ...
4
votes
4answers
254 views

What does “sobadito” mean?

Here is one more food word I collected in Costa Rica: sobadito In my notes I have only written that it has some connection with food. It's from about five years ago so I don't recall anything ...
10
votes
3answers
492 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? ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Translation of “What goes around comes around”

What is the best Spanish translation of the English idiom, What goes around comes around?
3
votes
2answers
141 views

Translation for the adjective “haunting” (as in “a haunting melody”)

What is the best Spanish translation for the English adjective "haunting" (as in "a haunting melody")? WordReference gives three options: evocador, inquietante and inolvidable. Do any of these really ...
8
votes
5answers
686 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
221 views

Translation of “Under Pressure” — Queen song title

Today I heard Under Pressure by Queen on the radio. After the song, the DJ announced the song as Alta Presión. That sounds more to me like "High Pressure" than "Under Pressure." I would have ...
5
votes
2answers
243 views

What is the meaning of “melaza” in the song “Caras Lindas”?

This is the song. The word is translated by online lyrics, RAE and wordreference.com as molasses. But it doesn't make sense to me in the context. Somos la melaza que ríe Somos la melaza que ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Translating “looking forward to”

In English, we often used the phrase looking forward to when we are excited about something in the future: I'm looking forward to seeing you next week! I'm really looking forward to finals ...
3
votes
4answers
508 views

Present subjunctive in vos form

What is the rule for conjugating verbs in the vos form in the present subjunctive? If it varies by region, what are the differences?
8
votes
5answers
440 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
68 views

No se acumulan vs No están acumulados

Ejemplo: Los permisos no se acumulan durante la configuración. En inglés está bien dicho The permissions are not accumulated during the configuration, o por el contrario lo que estoy diciendo con ...
14
votes
5answers
632 views

When should I use the word 'yo' in a sentence where the verb conjugation already shows that I am the subject?

Early on while I was learning Spanish, my teachers would always make us use the pronoun 'yo' even if it was redundant: Yo pienso que... Yo quiero... Yo hablo... etc. However, a more ...
7
votes
2answers
189 views

What exactly are “mis rasgos”?

Today in conversation a girl told me: tus rasgos, muy bonitos I smiled, replied with some compliment, but I had no idea what did she found nice. And even later, after secretly looking this up ...
7
votes
1answer
297 views

What's the origin of words ended in letter “j”?

What's the origin/etymology of these words? The only one that I know and it is common is reloj. Are there any others recognized by the RAE?

15 30 50 per page