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
317 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
689 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
363 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
695 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
176 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
514 views

Use of “Que” in “Que todo te vaya bien”

Que todo te vaya bien. Que nos reunamos a las 6. I've seen, and used, que in this form - it's as if the verb has been dropped, say, espero. What is the origin of this usage? Is it ...
7
votes
4answers
173 views

How to translate “open source” and “free software” and keep the distinction?

In English, when describing software you say "open source" to refer to software that's source code has been made available under a license. "Free software" refers to 'truly free' software that can be ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

How to translate the idiomatic expressions “I wish!” and “You wish!”

What's the best way to say "I wish!" as in... A: I hear you're a good dancer. B: Ha! I wish! Or... A: Will you help me move this piano? B: Ha! You wish! What is the best way to ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

“Está hecho de…” why not “es hecho de”?

I've seen "Está hecho de ..." used to mean "It's made of ...". Why is the verb estar and not ser? Isn't this an adjective that's permanent and not going to change? I can understand phrases like "la ...
13
votes
1answer
922 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

“Maje” (or “mae”) in Nicaraguan Spanish

What does the word "maje" (pronounced "mae") mean in Nicaraguan Spanish? Could the word be considered offensive, and, if so, in what contexts is it appropriate to use?
3
votes
3answers
329 views

Translation of “raw milk”

How do I refer to raw (unpastuerized) milk in Spanish? Leche cruda is the obvious translation, but I have learned that cruda and raw have some different uses and subtleties about them. And I know ...
6
votes
3answers
301 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
3k views

“It was great to see you”

What is the most natural translation of the English phrase "It was great to see you" (as in what you would say after seeing a friend you hadn't seen for a long time)?
34
votes
3answers
872 views

Origin and usage of “¿” and “¡”

English I was wondering what the reason is that the inverted exclamation mark ¡ and the inverted question mark ¿ were introduced into the Spanish language and not into most other languages. Any ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How to translate 'to become?' (hacerse, ponerse, convertirse en, etc.)

I've heard several different words used for 'to become' in Spanish. Obviously sometimes there are specific verbs to use, like 'enfadarse' means to become angry, but often you need to use a verb that ...
15
votes
5answers
755 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
245 views

What's the correct way to say printed?

What's the preferred past participle of imprimir, imprimido or impreso? For example: Tengo imprimido el email que me enviaste. Tengo impreso el email que me enviaste.
4
votes
5answers
476 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.?
-1
votes
1answer
677 views

Common Spanglish Words [closed]

What are commonly used Spanish words that are actually Spanglish (mix between English and Spanish)? Examples that I've heard, that I think are Spanglish, are El Cheque the check/bill - should be ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

“Dale pues” in Nicaraguan Spanish

In Nicaragua, the phrase "dale pues" is very frequently used. What does the phrase mean, and in what contexts can it be used?
9
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
28
votes
9answers
2k views

Any difference between aquí and acá

I've been taught that aquí and acá are completely interchangable. From personal observation, acá seems to be used more often than aquí in the context of "I live down this road." Example: Vivo ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Translating “to be excited to…”

What is the best way to translate sentences like: I'm so excited to see you next week! He's really excited about graduation. We're excited to have you come visit for Christmas. Do emocionado and ...
7
votes
4answers
179 views

Is there a translation for “He thumbed his nose at them”?

In English if you "thumb your nose at someone" you are ignoring their authority.. Is there an expression in Spanish that conveys that same sort of disrespect? Edit: adding example. Many ...
4
votes
4answers
579 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?
10
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
44
votes
11answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
143 views

Unclear why to use “A vuestros hijos” instead of “vuestros hijos”

I have the following sentence in English Do your children like to read? Which translates to Spanish: ¿ A vuestros hijos les gusta leer? To me it is unclear, why I have to use "A vuestros" ...
2
votes
2answers
659 views

Best translation of “accountability”

In conversations about the hardest words or phrases to translate well from Spanish to English, the word "accountability" has repeatedly come up. I have seen the phrase "financial accountability" ...
11
votes
2answers
319 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
174 views

¿Existen las palabras «nosotras» y «vosotras»?

¿Es posible usar nosotras o vosotras? Nunca las he oido, pero pienso que talvez son como ellas, pero para la primera persona y la segunda persona, respectivamente. Han oido ustedes estas palabras?
14
votes
9answers
4k views

How to translate “I can't wait…”

A literal translation always falls flat, and confuses people (I've learned this the hard way). I can't wait [to see the movie] => No puedo esperar [a ver la pelicula] This always leaves the ...
13
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
256 views

How can I translate “un ámbito cerrado” into English?

Here's a poem by Borges that I tried to translate into English: A Un Gato No son más silenciosos los espejos ni más furtiva el alba aventurera; eres, bajo la luna, esa pantera que nos es ...
39
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is “agua” masculine in singular form and feminine in plural? “El agua” / “Las aguas”

English Is there any rule that says that feminine nouns that start with "A" are converted to masculine or is it just done for phonetic (ie beauty) reasons? Does this happen in all Spanish speaking ...
2
votes
3answers
441 views

Proper translation of a Cole Porter song title?

I've seen the Cole Porter song title, "Begin the Beguine," translated into Spanish as "Volver a Empezar." http://lyrics.wikia.com/Julio_Iglesias:Volver_A_Empezar "Beguine," in English is a dance. ...
18
votes
6answers
9k views

When to use ya and todavía

What are the rules for when to use ya and todavía? (Or ya no and todavía no)? In many contexts, ya translates to yet or already, and todavía translates to still, but this simple understanding has ...
13
votes
4answers
694 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.
15
votes
1answer
1k views

¿Por qué es la palabra «mano» femenina?

En español, tenemos una regla en la cual, generalmente, se puede tener fé. Si una palabra termina con -o, es masculina. Sin embargo, palabras que terminan en -e o -a también pueden ser palabras ...
15
votes
2answers
614 views

What is the difference between: “aquel” and “aquél”

I see both "aquel" and "aquél" used in similar context and was wondering if there is any difference in meaning of those two words.
12
votes
5answers
766 views

How to translate the idiom: “missing the point”?

What would be the correct way to translate into Spanish the idiom: "to miss the point"? I'm often tempted to write "perder el punto", but it doesn't sound quite right. For example: "To bring ...
7
votes
1answer
180 views

Distribution of Spanish speakers regarding 's' and 'c' pronunciation [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How is the letter 's' (or the 's' sound) pronounced in Spain? We know that following groups of syllables se, si, sa, so, su ce, ci, za, zo, zu can be pronunced in 3 ...
14
votes
9answers
4k views

'vos' vs 'tú' usage by country

I lived for a while in Bolivia, and I noticed some people used "vos" instead of "tú" as the second person familiar singular pronoun. Which countries use "vos" instead of "tú", and are there any that ...
19
votes
4answers
508 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
3k views

Proper response to “¿Qué me cuentas?”

What's the proper way to respond to the question ¿Qué me cuentas? It seems to often be used as a sort of "What's up?" type question, similar to ¿Como estas? or ¿Que tal? However, answering with ...
17
votes
8answers
851 views

How should I translate “table” (as in a data table)?

What should be the correct word in Spanish to translate "table" (as in an arrangement of text or data in rows and columns)? Somewhere I've read that "cuadro" should be preferred to "tabla", but which ...

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