9
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the accentuation rules in Spanish?

Many native Spanish speakers have trouble determining when accent marks (tildes) should be used and where. What are the rules for accent placement in Spanish? How do you determine whether the vowel on ...
9
votes
2answers
508 views

¿Hay una mejor traducción para up-vote y down-vote que voto positivo y voto negativo?

En StackOverflow y la red StackExchange, existe el concepto de upvote y downvote, que todos usamos diariamente para calificar las preguntas y respuestas que encontramos en los sitios de la red. No ...
9
votes
2answers
462 views

How can I say “to take the derivative” (mathematics) in spanish?

In english, we generally use phrases like "take the derivative", "find the derivative", "evaluate the derivative", but we also use verbs such as "derivate", "derive", "differentiate", etc. What are ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is it 'Santo' Tomás/Domingo, not 'san'?

As far as I know, those two are the only exceptions. Is there a particular reason for this?
9
votes
9answers
2k views

¿Qué significa la frase “Estoy más puesta que un calcetín”?

Una amiga mexicana me dijo la frase "Estoy más puesta que un calcetín." ¿Qué significa eso? El contexto es que ella me ofrece una lección de baile. Ella: Yo te doy unas clasesitas de baile. ...
9
votes
1answer
602 views

¿Cuál es la etimología de “sin embargo”?

La frase "sin embargo" se traduce como "however" en inglés, pero no la entiendo. La palabra "sin" significa "without", y la palabra "embargo" significa "ban" o lo mismo que la palabra inglesa ...
9
votes
2answers
910 views

Is there a Spanish equivalent to Ms.?

As far as I can tell, the honorifics to address a woman are: Señora (Sra.) which is equivalent to "Mrs." and is used to address a married woman; Señorita (Srta.) which is equivalent to "Miss" and is ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

¿Cuándo usar “excusa” o “pretexto”?

Aparentemente, "excusa" y "pretexto" significan lo mismo. ¿Cuándo usar uno o el otro? Por ejemplo, comparando estas 2 frases: Buscó una excusa para no venir. Buscó un pretexto para no venir. ...
9
votes
5answers
368 views

Why do oler and saber take the preposition “a”?

As an English speaker learning Spanish, I was always a little confused that it smells and tastes "to" something rather than "of" something: Huele a humo. Sabe a ajo. I would think of "a" as ...
9
votes
3answers
537 views

“De donde fue” instead of “De donde estaba”

In Nicaragua, addresses are usually given as directions from a landmark, for example: From the stadium, go 5 blocks south, then 3 blocks east Sometimes the landmark is a place that used to be ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Words for “East” and “West” in Spanish?

The words I learned when beginning Spanish for east and west are este and oeste, which are basically cognates of their English equivalents. But I've been told that there are other words to denote ...
9
votes
2answers
584 views

Acordar or recordar? What's the correct use? ¿Cuál es el uso correcto?

Español Comunmente escucho gente decir "¿oye, te acuerdas de esa película?", así como también escucho "¿oye, recuerdas esa película?." Siempre he creído que la acción de un recuerdo viene del verbo ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Cuándo usar “usar” o “utilizar”

Español Ambos términos tienen un significado muy parecido. Según la RAE, el único uso de 'utilizar' es "Aprovecharse de algo" y el significado que me interesa de 'usar' es "Hacer servir una cosa para ...
9
votes
3answers
216 views

idioma, lengua and lenguaje

The words idioma, lengua and lenguaje can all be translated as "language". Are they interchangeable? If not, what are the differences among them? When to use which?
9
votes
1answer
185 views

Usage of “llevar a trabajar” vs “llevar al trabajo”

I have found this example (which is counterintuitive, in my opinion) in "Uso de la gramática española. Elemental", Francisca Castro, Edelsa 2000: Yo no llevo el coche a trabajar normalmente. Why ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

¿Cuál es el origen de los nombres de los números?

¿De dónde vienen las palabras para nombrar a los números? En especial estoy interesado en el origen de las palabras 'once', 'doce', 'trece', 'catorce' y 'quince'. Usamos un sistema numérico de base ...
9
votes
1answer
152 views

Plug vs Socket: Interchangeable?

Many dictionaries that I have looked at online seem to use enchufe as a word that is interchangeable for the English words plug and socket, which are two related, but distinct objects. Some ...
9
votes
6answers
701 views

Is “$5 pesos” proper form in Spanish?

Today I saw a bus stop advertisement that read $5 pesos hacen la diferencia. Is this proper form? In English, that would be incorrect and redundant. "$5 dollars" would read as "5 dollars ...
9
votes
6answers
10k views

Are there any differences between “de nada” and “por nada”?

Most of the time in all the Spanish speaking countries I've been in I've heard de nada as the reply to gracias or the equivalent of English you're welcome etc. But after a while I became conscious ...
8
votes
6answers
9k views

How might you say a child is “cute” in Spanish?

Suppose you see a mother with a laughing little 2-year-old. In English, we might exclaim, "how cute!" I've had trouble saying this in Spanish. The word "cute" means something like "beautiful", but it ...
8
votes
7answers
789 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 ...
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"?
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Difference Between “Computadora” and “Ordenador”

Español Ví un cartel fuera de una tienda que decía: "Computadoras y ordenadores" en un cuadro "cubano" fuera de New York City, En un principio, creo que ambas palabras significan "computer". Pero, ...
8
votes
3answers
374 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)?
8
votes
8answers
2k views

What is the longest word in Spanish?

What is the longest word in Spanish accepted by the Real Academia Española? What about words not officially accepted by the RAE? ¿Cuál es la palabra en español más larga aceptada por la Real ...
8
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
260 views

¿Cómo decir bootstrap en castellano?

En el mundo de la informática se utiliza mucho el término bootstrap (últimamente para referirse a Twitter bootstrap). Veo que la traducción más directa es el de "lengüeta de zapatos", es decir, la ...
8
votes
2answers
982 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 ...
8
votes
12answers
10k views

How would you translate the word “badass” to Spanish?

I was thinking maybe of "cabrón" or "chingon" ; however I think those two sound too Mexican specific. Does anybody know a better and less region specific equivalent?
8
votes
3answers
272 views

How does one chain noun adjuncts in Spanish?

A noun adjunct is a noun that modifies another noun. For example, the word "baby" in the phrase "baby food" is a noun adjunct. In this simple case, you can translate it into Spanish as "comida de ...
8
votes
5answers
425 views

Is “la sétima” a correct word?

I am writing from Ybor City - Tampa, Florida's National Historic Landmark District. We have a main street which was awarded one of the 10 BEST Streets in America. It is 7th. Avenue. One man, Frank ...
8
votes
3answers
28k views

Difference between “mas” and “más”

What's the difference between mas and más? What rules should I follow to know which one to use? Could you provide examples showing their uses?
8
votes
1answer
421 views

Is there a Spanish equivalent for '(sic)'?

In English, when you quote text or speech that you know has nonstandard usage, such as misspellings or nonstandard grammar, it is typical to use '(sic)' to indicate that you know what you're quoting ...
8
votes
3answers
12k views

What's the “ísimo” in the following words?

What's the "ísimo" doing on the following adjectives? What rules should be applied to convert the adjectives to the corresponding "ísimo" adjective? Can this be applied to all adjectives or just a ...
8
votes
2answers
262 views

Difference between “el comer” and “comer” when used as noun

What is the difference between, for example, "el comer" and just "comer" when used as a noun? The case I'm thinking of would use a gerund in English. For example, El comer chuches antes de cenar ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Waterfall: cascada vs. catarata

What is the difference between cascada and catarata as translations for the English "waterfall"? Are they synonyms, or is there a difference?
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
2answers
519 views

Why is “Usted” grammatically a third person?

In English polite form of address is "You" which is second person singular and plural. In Russian it is "Вы" which is plural second person. In Spanish (and probably French and Italian) polite address ...
8
votes
3answers
257 views

Two nouns in a row, or, is it OK to omit “de”?

Two or more nouns are sometimes used consecutively, with the second modifying the first. For instance, I recently received a mail whose subject was "Honorarios migración." This is, I suppose, ...
8
votes
4answers
32k 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?
8
votes
5answers
839 views

What is the diminutive of “pan” (meaning bread)?

Is it: pansito panesito panito panecino panecillo (Although this one has most of the time another meaning...) Why? I know short question, but seemingly difficult for me. Is there a definitive ...
8
votes
1answer
254 views

How to pluralize “sexy”?

The anglicism sexy is accepted in Spanish, as you know. When it's an adjective, how is its plural supposed to be build? X persona tiene ojos sexy(s). I'm slightly inclined to think that it ...
8
votes
4answers
594 views

¿Qué significa “siempre sí” y “siempre no”?

Este fin de semana estaba en un hotel con una amiga esperando a otros amigos para salir juntos. Mi amiga dijo a la recepcionista: -"Estamos esperando unos amigos. ¿Usted puede avisarnos cuando ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Where does the expression “Oe oe oe oe oe, … oeee, … oeee” come from?

I have heard Spaniards singing "Oe oe oe oe oe, ... oeee, ... oeee" in soccer and other sports. Where does this expression come from? Is it a Spanish expression?
8
votes
5answers
631 views

Is “tobogán” an acceptable word for “slide” throughout the Spanish speaking world?

English I'm trying to learn words to talk to my baby at the playground in Spanish. WordReference.com gives the following as part of its definition for "slide." slide 2 sustantivo 1. (in ...
8
votes
2answers
491 views

Differences between “aun”, “hasta”, and “incluso” to indicate extremes?

When referring to an extreme example for comparison, English seems to have just one word, even: Even an idiot could do it. But Spanish seems to have three: aun hasta incluso I had always ...
8
votes
3answers
537 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
144 views

Are contracted pronunciations of mathematical functions common in spanish?

In mathematics, we have what are called hyperbolic trigonometric functions. For example, hyperbolic sine, hyperbolic tangent, hyperbolic cosine, etc... We generally write these functions with ...
8
votes
6answers
6k views

Is there a trick to remembering 'llevar' and 'traer'?

After years of living in a Spanish-speaking country, and speaking mostly only Spanish all day, I still struggle with 'llevar' and 'traer'. The rules are clear and all, but it is just very difficult to ...
8
votes
2answers
522 views

Best translation of “just wanted to”

In English, I often use "just wanted to" to soften the force of a question or statement: I just wanted to ask if it was okay with you. I just wanted to make sure you were coming to the meeting ...

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