2
votes
2answers
196 views

Is the country México or Méjico?

Is the name of the country south of the United States spelled México or Méjico? Which is the official name of the country in English and Spanish? When is each version used?
1
vote
1answer
2k views

How should “have been” be translated?

I often use the phrase "have been" (or "has been") in English in sentences like: It has been raining a lot recently. I have been thinking about the exam all week. It's been a long time since I've ...
7
votes
4answers
31k views

Where did “pico de gallo” get its name?

Does pico de gallo (the type of salsa) literally translate as "rooster's beak"? If so, where did it get that name, and how does that describe the salsa?
0
votes
4answers
306 views

What is the best way to refer to those of Spanish descent or language?

In English there are several ways to refer to people who speak Spanish or are from a Spanish-speaking country: Hispanic, Latin, Latino, Chicano, Spanish-speaking, etc. What equivalent terms exist in ...
4
votes
7answers
3k views

Meaning and connotations of “gringo”

In the US, "gringo" is usually understood as a disparaging reference to a foreigner (see the Merriam-Webster definition). What exactly does gringo mean in Spanish? Is it neutral, or does it have ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Difference between 'podría estar' and 'estaría'

This question could apply to a number of verbs I guess, including: podría ser OR sería podría hablar OR hablaría podría comer OR comería Which could be generalised as 'conditional ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

Is there a translation for 'Piloncillo'?

The dictionary says brown sugar but azúcar moreno is brown sugar. Besides piloncillo is solid and not a powder. I'm having a hard time explaining to Americans what piloncillo is.
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How to say instead (when at the end of a sentence)

I know how to say, Do Y instead of X using 'en vez de' or en 'lugar de' But how should I say something like Learn Spanish instead. Can I end a sentence with 'instead' or must I always ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Difference between “favor de” and “por favor”

What's the difference between "favor de" and "por favor"?. Examples: Favor de lavarse las manos después de ir al baño. Por favor lávese las manos después de ir al baño. Hazme favor de ...
9
votes
6answers
5k views

What does the slang “cerote” mean?

I know this is a slang expression from Central American people. I don't remember the context but it was something like: Eres un cerote! (from a pretty angry girl) I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean ...
5
votes
1answer
673 views

Words for “size”

I know there are multiple words for size in Spanish, but I'm quite fuzzy on when to use them. The two most common seem to be tamaño and talla, although in some contexts (like shoes), número seems ...
1
vote
2answers
249 views

Spanish words for cap, cover, lid, etc

What Spanish words can be used to describe a cap, cover, lid, or top (in other words, something placed on top of something, usually to close an opening)? What is the difference between tapa and tapón? ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Is there a name for the inner part of the elbow?

Is there a name in Spanish for the inner part of the elbow (on the opposite side of the part we call "elbow")? If not, how would it best be described?
1
vote
3answers
2k views

What does “chepa” mean in Nicaraguan Spanish?

What does the word chepa mean when used to refer to a person in Nicaraguan Spanish? What are some examples of how it is used?
2
votes
1answer
210 views

Translation of “range” (as in age range)

Is there a simple translation of the English "range" as in the phrase "age range"? If not, how would "age range" best be translated?
0
votes
2answers
262 views

Translation of “a simple vista”

What is the most idiomatic English translation of the Spanish phrase a simple vista? Does it mean "at first glance," or does another expression fit better?
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Translation of “contra viento y marea”

What is the most idiomatic English translation of the Spanish phrase contra viento y marea?
3
votes
2answers
17k views

Translation of “ni modo”

The phrase ni modo is used in many varieties of Spanish to mean many different things. What are its possible meanings? Which meaning is most common (i.e. which meaning would you assume if ni modo was ...
4
votes
3answers
944 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?
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Response when you don't understand what's said before ¿…, verdad?

What are the possible responses to a sentence you don't hear or understand that ends in ¿verdad? For example: Mañana vas a ..., ¿verdad? In English you could say something like "Isn't what ...
15
votes
7answers
7k views

Can I learn to roll my R's?

Whenever I try to say words like perro or arroyo, I sound like I'm telling a pirate joke. I can identify the sound I'm supposed to make and I've been told how my tongue is supposed to move, but I ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between 'hallar' and 'encontrar'?

If I find something I lost, should I use 'hallar'? For example, I found missing keys and said to my wife '¡Hallé las llaves!' she replied '¿Las encontraste?' Then a discussion about Hallar vs ...
8
votes
3answers
357 views

Basque words in Spanish vocabulary

Which are the words, parts of words and structures coming from Basque to Spanish language? And possibly in which periods did they become part of spoken Spanish and official Spanish (Castellano)?
4
votes
1answer
11k views

¿Cómo se dice, “a caso” o “acaso”?

En español, cual de las dos siguiente es la forma correcta para hacer la pregunta: ¿A caso estuviste ahí? o se debe de decir: ¿Acaso estuviste ahí?
4
votes
1answer
158 views

What is the origin of word endings like -ducir, -vocar, -locar, -ludir, -mitir?

The word-endings -ducir, -locar, -vocar, -ludir, -mitir are quite common, each can take a lot of common prefixes to form real words, for example: conducir, producir, introducir, aducir, inducir, ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Names of children's games

There are many children's games that are played throughout many parts of the world. Do the following games exist in Spanish-speaking countries, and, if so, what are they called? (I found many of these ...
4
votes
2answers
735 views

Translation of “to talk behind someone's back”

What is the typical Spanish translation of the English idiom "to talk behind someone's back" (as in saying something bad about another person to others instead of to them directly)?
4
votes
1answer
534 views

Board game vocabulary [closed]

What are the typical translations in Spanish for the following terms related to board games? board game board (playing) pieces deck of cards to roll the dice to move forward to move backwards to ...
1
vote
2answers
121 views

Translation of “to play favorites”

What is the best Spanish translation of the English idiom "to play favorites" (as in favoring individuals in a group instead of treating everyone equally)?
4
votes
1answer
120 views

What is the etymology of the “diéresis” or “crema”?

This entry of the Diccionario panhispánico de dudas explains the uses of the diéresis or crema (the ¨ mark) in Spanish (it is mandatory over a u to indicate that this vowel must be pronounced in the ...
4
votes
1answer
251 views

Any rhyme or reason to the names of playing cards?

Playing cards A-10 are named expectedingly, As, followed by dos through diez. But the Jack, Queen and King are called (at least in my experience): Jota Qüina Rey I can understand calling a card ...
2
votes
2answers
487 views

Proper response to “con permiso”

When someone says con permiso, for example when squeezing through a crowd, what is the appropriate response? For example, in English we might say something like "sorry" or "go ahead."
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Why is “buena” in different places depending on its use? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Significance of adjective placement In these phrases below, why is the word "buena" in different places? Are there good things? => ¿Hay cosas buenas? Are there ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

Is “me gustas” ever right?

We have been taught that gustar is an unusual verb and that you only ever use gusta or gustan depending on whether you like singular or plural things. Would you use "me gustas" to say "I like you"?
3
votes
2answers
736 views

Algún to represent an indefinite quantity?

I'm using the textbook Fuentes: Conversación y gramática, and in it it states: "To talk about indefinite quantity in affirmitive sentences and questions, use the following adjectives and pronouns." ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

Using “qué” or “quién” when talking about people

Imagine for a moment you know who stole your car (some thiefs for example): Sabemos qué personas lo hicieron. The above sentence is the same as saying: Sabemos quiénes lo hicieron. (Persons ...
5
votes
1answer
552 views

A good word for “quest” in Spanish

The translation for Quest is "búsqueda" but it just does not work properly. In English we say "I'm on a quest for the holy grail" this is not quite the same as "I'm searching for the holy grail." So ...
5
votes
1answer
113 views

What adjective ending to use with “algo masculino y/o algo femenino”

When you're using y/o with options of different genders, what's the correct ending to use for an adjective that modifies both? Specifically, I was writing: Si entras un usuario y/o contraseña ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

¿Cómo se dice “cheers” en español?

¿Qué dicen los españoles cuando juntos levantan la copa de vino solemnemente? ¿Cómo se dice "cheers" en español?
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Regional usage and literal meaning of “¡No manches!”

The phrase ¡No manches! is quite common here in Mexico, and it's easy to tell from context when it ought to be used (similar to "No way!" in English), but what does it literally mean? And where is ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

When to add prepositions before an infinitive verb (por/para/a/de)?

With the infinitive form of a verb in English, (e.g. to speak), the word 'to' seems to convey a specific meaning where, in Spanish, an additional preposition is used in some cases. Examples: I ...
5
votes
3answers
373 views

What is the plural of 'Cuba Libre' (the beverage)?

For example, how would one say 'More Cuba Libres' in Spanish?
0
votes
3answers
589 views

Interpretation of quotes or famous sayings [closed]

I know you can't translate everything directly, sometimes it doesn't make sense, specially when it comes from quotes. What would be the best intepretation of the following quotes?: What goes ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

When should the subjunctive be used after 'cuando'?

I thought that any statement after 'cuando' should be in the subjunctive tense if it implied anything other than habitual events or was used in a question, but wasn't sure if this is actually the ...
5
votes
1answer
387 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?
3
votes
1answer
141 views

Is there a consistent rule for constructing reflexive verbs?

Is there a consistent rule to create reflexive verbs? When utilizing reflexive verbs are all verbs able to become reflexive verbs by adding, se at the end of the infinitive verb? I.E.: "lavarse", ...
2
votes
3answers
797 views

Difference between usage of “por favor” and “please”

I heard that Spanish puts much less value on "por favor" than English does on "please". If this is true, could someone elaborate? Are there any situations where in English 'please' is expected, but in ...
2
votes
1answer
215 views

How important is 'proper' pronunciation in Spanish and is it incorrect to 'make up' a dialect?

All languages have dialects, but there tend to be "major" dialects (e.g. For English, Canadian/American, a few of the British accents could be considered as the main dialects to consider learning ...
3
votes
2answers
102 views

Are nonsensical lyrics common in Spanish lyrics?

Based on the answer given to my other question, I'd like to know if it's common to have completely nonsensical lyrics in Spanish music. I know English music has some ridiculous lyrics, but generally ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

Why is “por” prefered to “para” in the example within?

From Shakira's Suerte: Yo puedo escalar los Andes solo Por ir a contar tus lunares Why is por preferable to para in this case. If one translation of para is roughly "for the purpose of", ...

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