5
votes
1answer
7k 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.
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Translation of “awkward” (as in “an awkward situation”)

In English, the word "awkward" can be used to describe a situation that is uncomfortable and embarrassing (but neither word seems to fully describe what "awkward" describes). What is the best ...
2
votes
1answer
235 views

Vocabulary related to the nose

What are the most common ways of saying: to blow one's nose to pick one's nose stuffy nose runny nose nasal congestion
5
votes
1answer
788 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
824 views

Translating “Me la paso pensándote”

In Wisin y Yandel's "Estoy Enamorado," the chorus contains the following line: Me la paso pensándote, nunca voy a soltarte What does "Me la paso pensándote" mean? Is "me" a reflexive or indirect ...
3
votes
1answer
109 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 ...
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 ...
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
3k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
90 views

Referring to a specific “bisabuelo(a)”

When talking about grandparents, you can add "materno(a)/paterno(a)" to refer to a specific one. Example: abuelo paterno. Is there a way to refer to a particular "bisabuelo(a)" (great-grandparent)?
3
votes
2answers
19k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
468 views

Why is “Enrique” pronunced as though it has a double “r”?

Why is "Enrique", even though its 'r' position is at the middle of a word, pronounced as a double "r"? What are the orthographic rules you need to know to determine if an "r" must be pronounced as a ...
1
vote
2answers
319 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? ...
1
vote
1answer
92 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
125 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)?
2
votes
1answer
245 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?
3
votes
1answer
141 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?
4
votes
1answer
273 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 ...
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?
4
votes
1answer
122 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
167 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, ...
2
votes
2answers
506 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."
4
votes
2answers
875 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)?
5
votes
1answer
116 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
302 views

How regional or widespread are the colloquial “pa” / “pa'” in place of “para”?

In Mexico I sometimes heard or saw the colloquial variant pa' or pa used for para. But is this just a Mexicanism, also used in Central America, all Latin America, or even in Spain?
2
votes
1answer
100 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
110 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
925 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." ...
9
votes
2answers
710 views

Appropriate way to answer a negative yes/no question

When the question is not a negative question the response for the given question should be: Q: ¿Tienes carro? "Sí, tengo." for a positive answer or "No tengo." for a negative one. No, what if ...
2
votes
1answer
174 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
598 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
147 views

What do the Latin American language academies do?

The Real Academia Española is the main, official language academy of the Spanish language. But there are also country-specific language academies in most Spanish-speaking countries. What do these ...
4
votes
5answers
166 views

Translation of 'I was the one who did it'

What's the correct way to translate 'I was the one who did it'? By a literal translation it would be: Yo fui el que lo hizo. However, I know in Spanish the verb is often made to agree with the ...
2
votes
1answer
237 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
618 views

What's the difference between “debe de” y “debe”?

Is there any difference? What's their usage? When should one be used instead of the other one? Examples: El niño debe de hacer su tarea. El niño debe hacer su tarea.
4
votes
1answer
951 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
434 views

When is “mitad” appropriate?

Another thing I'm often corrected on is my apparent overuse of the word medio. What are the proper uses of the words mitad (and la mitad) and medio (and el medio)?
8
votes
2answers
180 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 ...
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
383 views

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

For example, how would one say 'More Cuba Libres' in Spanish?
3
votes
1answer
149 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
118 views

Translating “preferences” and “settings”

What is the standard way in Spanish to translate "preferences" (a menu option in computer programs where you can adjust program settings)? What is the standard way to translate "settings" (an ...
15
votes
4answers
256 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.
2
votes
3answers
103 views

video vs. grabación

What is the difference between video and grabación? In other words, what types of "videos" does each describe? Which of the two would best describe a video recorded using a home video recorder or ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

Different words for “beer”

In Mexico, besides "cerveza" we call beer the following: cheve chela pisto (anything with alcohol) bironga helada fría These are used informally. Are there any other words used to address beer in ...
9
votes
4answers
6k views

Use of AM/PM in time

Aside from using 'military time' (19:00 for 7:00 PM), is there another approach to delineate between AM/PM time in Spanish?
2
votes
2answers
130 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", ...
2
votes
3answers
917 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
107 views

Difference between some verbs and pronomial forms of the verb with the same translation

SpanishDict translates some verbs and their pronomial forms (+de, +a, etc.) as the same thing. Off the top of my head: Escapar - to escape Escaparse de - to escape Olvidar - to forget ...

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