All Questions

8
votes
1answer
149 views

Indirect object and “le”

La madre le lava la cara a la niña. In that sentence, why is the word "le" there? The sentence already has a indirect object ("a la niña"), but removing the "le" makes the sentence to sound ...
7
votes
2answers
522 views

Grammar of “¡A comer!”

I was recently staying with a Mexican family, and during lunch, the children (ages 8 and 5) were being rather unruly. The grandmother would command them: ¡A comer! I have never heard a command in ...
7
votes
1answer
216 views

“Soy yo el que vine…” or “soy yo el que vino…”?

What is often heard is "Soy yo el que vine ayer a ... " (I am the one who came yesterday to...) but I think that "Soy yo el que vino ayer a ... " is the correct sentence because the ...
7
votes
2answers
151 views

¿En qué países se utiliza la expresión “colgar el sambenito”?

Como resultado de una pregunta anterior relacionada con el concepto de culpabilidad (guilt trip), surgió la expresión (frecuente en España) "colgar el sambenito", que significa "culpar a alguien ...
7
votes
1answer
892 views

“Te va (a) encantar” - is “a” necessary?

Is the "a" necessary when using "ir a" to convey future meaning? Google gives 17m results for "te va a encantar" but also 1.5m for "te va encantar". Does this rule vary according to formality?
7
votes
2answers
8k views

“xq” in Internet slang/abbreviations

In informal chat conversations online, I have seen Spanish speakers write the abbreviation "xq." What does this stand for, and why?
7
votes
3answers
2k views

¡Buenas! greeting in morning

Another question brings up the fact that in many countries, ¡Buenas! is used as a greeting (as an abbreviation of Buenas tardes or Buenas noches). In regions where this is the case, what should be ...
6
votes
3answers
427 views

“Empanada”, “Emparedado”, and their genders

Lately, I've started noticing how some Spanish nouns are merely past-participles of verbs (with the addition of a "-ado/-ada" suffix), and that those verbs are sometimes derived from other nouns by ...
6
votes
3answers
559 views

¿Cuál es la definición de albur? Could you define “albur”?

Todos los que alguna vez hayan estado en México —y quizá en otros paises donde se practique el albur— saben que la definición que da RAE para la palabra "albur" es paupérrima: m. Méx. y R. Dom. ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I say “You're making me hungry?”

A friend was describing some food she's making. I wanted to say "You're making me hungry" or "That makes me hungry." What's the proper way to say this? My first thought was to say something like: ...
6
votes
1answer
276 views

How are words with “ps” or “pt” pronounced?

Here are a few examples: psicología ptosis Ptolomeo Interestingly is that "sicología" is also found in the RAE but most of the time I've seen it written as "psicología". How are they ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the meaning of “que” and “cual” without an accent mark?

What does "que" and "cual" mean without an accent mark? How do they compare when to each other? How do they compare to their accent-marked form?
6
votes
3answers
172 views

Why is 'estoy' used when saying “I'm related to”

I understand I'm related to David, he's my grandad. translates as Estoy relacionado con David, él es mi abuelo. Why is estoy used and not soy? It seems to me that the relationship is ...
6
votes
2answers
590 views

Article usage before country names

I have heard several countries expressed in Spanish with a definite article before the country name (e.g. los Estados Unidos, la Argentina, la India). Is there a rule for when this occurs and when it ...
6
votes
2answers
296 views

How would you express giving a command to yourself in Spanish?

As there is no singular first person imperative form for Spanish verbs (as far as I know), I was wondering whether there is an equivalent to the, possibly idiomatic, English expression of a person ...
6
votes
3answers
336 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Uso invertido de palabras cariñosas e insultos

En mi tierra es bastante normal, en el uso coloquial, encontrar invertido el uso de las palabras cariñosas y los insultos: "Mira, cariño, una cosa te voy a decir..." -dicho a una persona con la que ...
5
votes
3answers
325 views

¿“Ahí” y “allí” son distinguibles cuando usadas en países donde se usa mayormente el yeísmo?

La pronunciación me parece muy similar, y me pregunto se en la conversación normal se las pueden distinguir o si hay artificios o sinónimos que se usan para llegar a los mismos objetivos.
5
votes
3answers
15k views

What is the difference between “De nada” and “No hay de qué”?

I am learning Spanish and ran across "De nada" and "No hay de qué". Both mean "You're welcome" . What's the difference?
5
votes
2answers
169 views

Counterpart of “John Doe, Joe Public”?

In English these names are used as a substitute for the average guy. Or as a specimen when filling out a passport form. What names/expressions are used in Spanish for this purpose?
5
votes
1answer
156 views

Usage of “donde la espalda cambia de nombre”

In this answer to this previous question of mine, the answerer used the phrase Antonio se hirió donde la espalda cambia de nombre. as an example of a milder version of Antonio se hirió en ...
5
votes
1answer
762 views

When should you use the preterite or the imperfect to express past time?

There are two ways to express simple past time actions and conditions in Spanish. One is the preterite, Comí tacos. (I ate tacos.) Besé a una chica. (I kissed a girl.) and the other is the ...
5
votes
4answers
609 views

Names of letters “b” and “v”

The letters b and v have several possible names in Spanish. Is there an official, language academy-sponsored name for these letters? If not, what are the most common and standard names?
5
votes
2answers
239 views

Proper spelling of “beisbol”

I had the privilege of attending the 2011 Panamerican Games last month, and went to the brand new baseball stadium in Lagos de Moreno. The stadium said in big letters: Estadio de Beisbol My ...
4
votes
3answers
250 views

¿Cuál es la regla para asignar el género a cantidades numéricas?

Hace unos días pregunté sobre el caso de Millonas. Sé que es un dísparate por decirlo del alguna manera. ¿Cómo lo sé? Por intuición, no sabría explicarlo mas que me suena a un dísparate. En ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

Millones y Millonas

Viendo un video de Nicolas Maduro presidente de Venezuela el dice: Millones y millonas de Bolivar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrXQkPOvI7A en 0:42 ¿Es correcto decir millonas o es un modismo ...
4
votes
5answers
757 views

Translation of “guilt trip”

How can I translate the concept of a "guilt trip" into Spanish? The Free Dictionary provides this definition: guilt trip n. Informal A usually prolonged feeling of guilt or culpability. ...
4
votes
2answers
135 views

“no” + verb + “nada”

Español ¿Por qué "say nothing" en inglés se traduce como "no habla nada" en español? ¿Por qué hay una extra "no"? Otro ejemplo: "I know nothing" en inglés se traduce "Yo no sé nada" en español. ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Las palabras definidas como genero ambiguo como “internet” ¿se deben utilizar con artículo femenino o masculino?

Para el caso de la palabra "internet", tenía un profesor en preparatoria que comentaba que debería ser "la internet" puesto que "internet" es "la red de redes". Sin embargo aquí en México cuando ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre “por lo tanto” y “por tanto”?

Según la RAE: por lo ~. loc. adv. Por consiguiente, por lo que antes se ha dicho, por el motivo o las razones de que acaba de hablarse. U. t. c. loc. conjunt. por tanto. loc. adv. Por lo que, ...
4
votes
3answers
1k 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?
4
votes
2answers
353 views

Understanding “desde ya”

I have heard the phrase "desde ya" used to mean "in advance." Literally, it means "since already." How is it understood to mean "in advance," or is it simply an idiom with a nonsense literal meaning? ...
4
votes
1answer
929 views

Spanish phrasal verbs

The most difficult feature of English language (at least for myself) are "Phrasal verbs". Today I stumbled upon one sentence from a newspaper that made think about Phrasal verbs in Spanish. If we ...
4
votes
5answers
509 views

Translation of “should have”

What are the possible translations of "should have", as in "I should have told you earlier"? What are the differences between "debería (de)", "debí (de)", "debiera (de)", "debía (de)", etc.?
3
votes
2answers
124 views

Subject - Verb Agreement: Repitiendo…, y determinando, ilustra

Repitiendo este proceso muchas veces, y determinando la proporción de éxitos para cada muestra, ilustra la idea de la variabilidad de muestra a muestra en la proporción muestral. Should ilustra or ...
3
votes
2answers
180 views

“a” personal en “Yo les presento a mi novio a mis padres”?

Estaba viendo la pregunta sobre el "a" personal y empecé a estudiar un poco el asunto. Me quedé con la duda, que pasa con la "a" personal en caso de que se agregue a un objeto indirecto. Pensé en ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

¿Por qué la diferencia entre s y z/c solo se da en España?

La pronunciacion en el centro y el norte de España, como sabemos, proncuncia la "ce" y la "zeta" en forma difrente a la "ese" que es el unico sonido que se utliza para estas tres letras en ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

¿Cómo se usa el antepretérito?

En clase hemos estado repasando el tiempo pluscuamperfecto. En todos los ejemplos que vimos, usaron el imperfecto del verbo haber. Cuando pregunté a mi profesor sobre el pretérito de haber, nos dijo ...
3
votes
1answer
446 views

¿Es correcto decir “El (infinitivo del verbo) …”?

Encontre el siguiente artículo y la siguiente frase dicha por un pólitico de aquí de Monterrey: “El eliminar al 100 por ciento la tenencia nos va a afectar en todas estas áreas de inversión; yo ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Difference between “está” and “esta” or “esté” and “este”?

How do I know if I have to use the one with accent and not the one without accent? Could you provide examples?
3
votes
1answer
360 views

Words for “to encourage”: alentar, animar, fomentar

In English, "to encourage" seems to have at least two uses: to suggest that someone should do something (e.g. "He encouraged me to find a new guitar teacher.") to give confidence or hope to someone ...
3
votes
4answers
47k views

congratulations: felicidades vs. felicitaciones

English I have heard both ¡Felicidades! and ¡Felicitaciones! as translations of the interjection, "Congratulations!" What is the difference between the two, and when is each used? Español He ...
3
votes
1answer
715 views

“antes que” vs. “antes de que”

What is the difference between the phrases antes que and antes de que? When should each be used? Are there contexts where one is correct and one is incorrect, or are they completely synonymous?
3
votes
3answers
170 views

Jumping between pronunciations of “y” in Spanish songs

I've heard a few songs (off the top of my head, A Dios Le Pido) where they pronounce "y" both with a y-sound and an English j-sound at times. In some songs, the different pronunciations occur when ...
2
votes
3answers
134 views

Using El, La, Los and Las when it seems that they should not be used

I've been teaching myself Spanish for a while now and am getting ok but I am confused by the use of el, la, los and las. I know that they are used to give gender and number. That's no problem. What ...
2
votes
4answers
124 views

What is the difference in meaning between: se celebra & celebra?

I am having a hard time knowing when to use a reflexive pronoun before a verb. I understand when they are used before reflexive verbs but I often see them in front of non reflexive verbs too. For ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

What does “churir” mean?

I was watching a Mexican video once, and I heard it. A co-worker of mine claims to know it's meaning, translating it to "dent", but I'm not quite sure, and I can't find any reference online. The ...
2
votes
3answers
167 views

What is the correct verb for temporary/transient color?

Color, generally, is ascribed with ser. In the mental model I'm assembling as I learn Spanish, this seems to be because it is, generally, a durable characteristic. El cielo es azul - the sky is blue. ...
2
votes
10answers
1k views

Exception to the Phonetic Rule

As we all know that Spanish is a Phonetic Language, i.e. the way it's written is the way it's pronounced. I am just curious to know if there are any exceptions to this phonetic rule. I mean, when we ...
2
votes
3answers
399 views

Palabra correcta para describir la “acción de solicitar”

¿Cuál es la palabra correcta para describir la "acción de solicitar", según la RAE? ¿"Solicitación"?

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