2
votes
0answers
530 views

Suffixes used to transform an adjective into a noun [closed]

Spanish has, to my knowledge, more possible suffixes than for example English or German. Many adjectives can be transformed into nouns by adding -ness, -ism, -ity in English, or -keit, -heit, -ismus ...
4
votes
3answers
312 views

Etymological origin of “false friends” between Spanish and English

Is there an etymological origin that can be called the main one that has created the list of "false friends" between Spanish and English? I'm constantly stumbling upon a new "false friend" when ...
13
votes
2answers
747 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: ...
8
votes
7answers
750 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

List of most commonly used Spanish words [closed]

When learning vocabulary in a new language, it is useful to focus on very commonly used words first. Are there any resources online (or in print) that give a list of the most frequently occurring ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Determining gender of words ending in “e”

When learning Spanish, there are basic rules taught about word gender: words ending in o are usually masculine, words ending in a are usually feminine. What about words ending in e? Are there any ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

“ir a «infinitive»” vs. future tense

There are two ways to indicate a future action, ir a «infinitive» and the future tense. How do I decide which to use when? Is one form more common when spoken or in writing? Is there a regional ...
12
votes
5answers
868 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the correct order of object pronouns?

I know that there are (at least) three types of personal pronouns in Spanish (well, and English): direct, indirect, and reflexive. In cases where all three (or at least two) are present, what is the ...
16
votes
3answers
370 views

How do I know whether to attach a direct object pronoun to the infinitive?

I often struggle to decide what sounds right when I need to use direct object pronouns. Lessons on these pronouns have not been much help because they teach that when using a direct object pronoun it ...
4
votes
2answers
165 views

How widespread was (or is) the phrase “La mamá de Tarzán”?

I came across the phrase "La mamá de Tarzán" when reading Los años con Laura Díaz by top Mexican author Carlos Fuentes. The part of the book was set in the early part of the 20th century if I recall ...
5
votes
1answer
165 views

Was the word “bomb” only used as slang in Chile and only in the '80s?

In the hit novel Mala honda by Chilean author Alberto Fuguet I remember the word "bomb" being used a lot. It's obviously a slang word. I think it was only used in dialogue. I got the impression it ...
8
votes
2answers
298 views

Usage of “adiós” in the Basque country

People in the Basque country commonly use local words, such as agur instead of adiós. According to our former Spanish teacher, usage of adiós is unadvisable in the Basque country because of its ...
6
votes
1answer
234 views

What's the origin of the Panamanian word “biñuelo”? Is it merely a corruption of “buñuelo”?

I was in Panama about five years ago and there was a common deep fried street food called "biñuelo". Of course there's a regular Spanish word "buñuelo" which means fritter. So is "biñuelo" just the ...
11
votes
2answers
523 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: ...
5
votes
1answer
86 views

What does “barrocanrolera” mean?

In the novel Los años con Laura Diaz by top Mexican author Carlos Fuentes there is a word, "barrocanrolera", which is not in the DRAE, the Gran diccionario Larousse, Wiktionary, or Google Translate. ...
4
votes
1answer
196 views

Do “alborada”, “amanecer”, and “madrugada” refer to the same thing?

In English we have the two words "dawn" and "sunrise". But in Spanish there are three words, "alborada", "amanecer", and "madrugada". Do the three Spanish words refer to the same thing? Or is one ...
9
votes
4answers
741 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
417 views

How to interpret “dar a” or “dar a conocer”?

I only know "dar" in its literal sense of "to give". And I know "conocer" in its literal sense of "to know" or "to get to know". But in reading Cien años de soledad I came to this passage: ... y ...
8
votes
2answers
920 views

How to translate “make it count”

This evening a friend saw a poster in English that said something like: If you have only one chance at opportunity, make it count. She asked me what it meant. She knew enough English to make out ...
5
votes
2answers
212 views

How to choose between “carecer” and “faltar”?

I've always used "faltar" to mean "to lack, to be missing". But in my reading I find that "carecer" seems to mean exactly the same. When should I use the one or the other? Are there some ...
6
votes
2answers
28k views

Forma correcta de “nisiquiera”

Al escribir siempre he tenido la duda de cuál es la manera apropiada del término o frase. ¿Es "ni si quiera", "ni siquiera" o todo junto "nisiquiera"?. When writing I've always worred about which ...
2
votes
3answers
357 views

American style TV shows in Spanish [closed]

Are there American style TV shows that could be used to practice listening Spanish. By American style I mean Each episode around 30 minutes in length Although it helps to watch them in sequence, ...
13
votes
3answers
790 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
211 views

Words and phrases with non-evident prejudice

Hace poco aprendí que el origen de la palabra algarabía es la pronunciación de árabe en la lengua árabe. Otro ejemplo notable es la palabra morisqueta. ¿Existen otras palabras o frases de común uso ...
7
votes
1answer
425 views

Usage of the compound preposition “para con”

Wikipedia mentions that para con is rarely used, but I hear it often enough to warrant this question. On the other hand, the Wikipedia article references the Diccionario panhispánico de dudas with ...
8
votes
2answers
168 views

How can I tell someone what I'm reading about?

I was reading a book, and someone asked me, "¿Qué estás leyendo?" I answered, "Estoy leyendo sobre ..." The person looked at me funny, but seemed to understand what I said. Looking back, it makes ...
2
votes
2answers
92 views

Infinitive instead of past participle in Maná's “El Verdadero Amor Perdona”

In Maná's song "El Verdadero Amor Perdona" one of the verses contains the lines: Cómo pude haberte yo herido / engañarte y ofendido I'd think it should be "Como pude haberte yo herido / engañado ...
4
votes
3answers
144 views

Single or multiple word names of numbers

Should numbers above 15 be spelled as a single word (diecisiete, veintidos, etc.) or multiple words (diez y siete, veinte y dos, etc). Does the Real Academia Española have a official opinion on the ...
5
votes
4answers
536 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?
6
votes
1answer
308 views

Etymology of “usted”

What is the etymology of the pronoun "usted"? What formal pronouns existed before, and when did the current "usted" come into existence?
7
votes
2answers
475 views

When should I use the pure passive voice in Spanish? ( fue/fueron [past participle] )

I know Spanish often avoids the passive voice by using the active instead or 'se' to change the subject of the sentence, but when do Spanish speakers use the 'pure' passive with `fue/fueron ...
7
votes
2answers
583 views

What is the future subjunctive and how was it used?

I've heard that there used to be another tense in Spanish called the "future-subjunctive" ¡A donde fueres, haz lo que vieres! I've heard the above means in a literal sense, "to where you will ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is the “X” in México and Texas pronunced as the letter “J”?

English Even as a native speaker I don't know the reason of this. Another example would be Xavier. Español Aunque el español es mi primera lengua, no sé por qué razón sucede esto. Otro ejemplo ...
5
votes
2answers
213 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
420 views

How should we translate “everything but the kitchen sink” or “the whole enchilada”?

There is an idiom that is popular (and old) in English that states "everything but the kitchen sink". This is a phrase that means "everything that could be conceived". Som examples: "I realized ...
7
votes
4answers
516 views

Why should we use estar over ser for being old or fat?

I can understand why we would use estar for temporary states. But there are conditions that people have that are not temporary, such as being old (or for some people, being fat). ¡qué gordo está! ...
5
votes
2answers
231 views

Is there an equivalent, in Spanish, for the interrobang?

In English, we have the interrobang -- ‽ (often represented by ?! or !?) -- which can express incredulity and surprise in-text. Does Spanish have an equivalent punctuation mark? If so, would it, like ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre «también» y «tampoco»?

Yo sé que se debe usar también cuando una persona se pone en acuerdo con una otra (en inglés, "You like movies? Me too!" será, "¿Te gustan las películas? ¡A mi también!") pero no se las reglas de usar ...
1
vote
1answer
567 views

What are some terms of endearment for a girlfriend/wife? [closed]

What are some Spanish terms of enderment you could use for a girlfriend or a wife? In English I'm thinking things like sweetheart, sweetie, darling, cutie, babe, etc.. Any others that are unique to ...
8
votes
1answer
934 views

Difference between “hay”, “ay” and “ahí”

These are commonly misused when writing, and can be very confusing for someone that is learning Spanish. These three words have a very different meaning and they are used in a very different context. ...
2
votes
1answer
155 views

Are there vulgarities in Spanish that are universal throughout the language?

The vulgar words I'm familiar with all seem to be local slang. Does Spanish have any words that are universally accepted as vulgar or profane?
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Preterit of ser and ir

Español Pretérito de ser: fui, fuiste, fue, fuimos, fuisteis, fueron Pretérito de ir: fui, fuiste, fue, fuimos, fuisteis, fueron ¿Cómo han evolucionado los verbos "ser" e "ir" para tener ...
13
votes
3answers
311 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
679 views

How to Translate “Sabor A Mi” into English

"Sabor a Mi" is the title of a song in Spanish. http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/l/los_panchos/sabor_a_mi.html Usually, sabor is a noun. But in this context, it seems to be used more like a verb. ...
20
votes
9answers
2k views

Are there native-born Spanish speakers that can't trill their R's?

It seems that one of the greatest difficulties some native-English speakers have is learning to trill their R's. Some, it seems, are completely incapable of performing this task. Is this ever a ...
3
votes
1answer
361 views

Pronunciation of words ending in -n

It seems that some people pronounce words that end with -n almost as a "ng" sound. "Bien", for example, seems to come out as "Bie[ng]". Is this a regional issue? What regions use this ...
-4
votes
1answer
679 views

In general, how well does Google Translate work? [closed]

I've had troubles with translations programs in the past. It seems that most take a word-for-word approach to translation. Obviously this falls short in most circumstances. It seems that Google's ...
12
votes
1answer
175 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
152 views

Are there regions or dialects which use both “tú” and “vos”?

In my experience most places use either "tú" or "vos" for the second person singular intimate/informal pronoun. But I haven't been to every Spanish speaking country and area. Are there places which ...

15 30 50 per page