10
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do Spanish words have gender?

English: What is the origin of gender in Spanish words? (la mesa, el perro) I come from another language (English) that doesn't have gender for nouns, except maybe a few things like ships, planes, ...
10
votes
3answers
256 views

Duda entre “sino” y “si no”

Hace poco he leído un libro donde se empleaba el sino. Al principio pensaba que era un error de ortografía, pero me resulta un poco extraño que se equivocaron en poner sino y no separado si no. ...
10
votes
3answers
625 views

How to say “My old teacher”

If you say "Mi profesor viejo," your indicating your teacher old age-wise. I was wondering how you indicate that your talking about a past teacher.
10
votes
2answers
1k 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.
10
votes
5answers
12k views

Does “Prima” have a double-meaning (in Mexico)?

I recently saw this billboard in León, Guanajuato, México: [Sorry for the awkward placement of the light pole in the photo; I was driving when I snapped it.] The sign is an advertisement for ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Translation of “so close”

I was watching the Barcelona-Chelsea game just now, and Messi almost scored a goal in the last minute. How do you say "he was so close"? Messi estuve cerca de meter un gol. Is this correct? ...
10
votes
2answers
199 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" ...
10
votes
6answers
19k views

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

La pronunciación en el centro y el norte de España, como sabemos, pronuncia la "ce" y la "zeta" en forma diferente a la "ese" que es el único sonido que se utiliza para estas tres letras en ...
10
votes
1answer
733 views

“Quick brown fox…” equivalent in Spanish?

In typing classes in English, it is common to learn to type the sentence: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. Because it contains every letter of the alphabet at least once. Is there ...
10
votes
1answer
3k 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?
10
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
26k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
719 views

Best way to translate 'uneducated', meaning lacking formal schooling

Generally the Spanish word maleducado more often means rude, rather than unschooled. In light of this, how would one describe someone who is polite and intelligent, but has never been formally ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it bad to address a young male as “señor”?

I was recently in Mallorca, at a restaurant I address the waiter as "señor". He was probably in his early 30's, he said that I should not use señor, but another word (which I unfortunately don't ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

¿Por qué cuando digo “Él no va a ningún lado” siento que está mal dicho?

En muchas, muchas, muchas ocasiones he usado este término. Y lo he escuchado de muchas personas también, la pregunta no es si está bien dicho, sino porque siento que carece de lógica y que significa ...
10
votes
2answers
10k views

“a propósito” vs “de paso” to say “by the way”

How do you say "by the way" in Spanish, as in: By the way, what's your name? By the way, where do you live now? By the way, I met Javier the other day ... Google Translate shows a ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Translating “be right back” (or “brb”)

In informal spoken English, if we need to interrupt a conversation or meeting to take care of something else and then return, we might use expressions such as: I'll be right back. I'll be ...
10
votes
4answers
7k views

What's the difference between rezar and orar? Are there any other ways to say 'to pray'?

My teacher told me that different religions tend to use different words for "to pray", usually choosing between rezar and orar. Which words are preferred by what religions & in which areas? Are ...
10
votes
2answers
481 views

Does “francotiradores” have a historical link to France?

I see in the news that the Spanish word for "sniper" is "francotirador" Is there some historical connection between this and France/Frenchman? Literally it means "French shooter", right? Were ...
10
votes
9answers
5k 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. ...
10
votes
2answers
674 views

¿Qué tipo de palabra es «alto»?

En las intersecciones, es común ver una señal roja y octagonal que dice "alto", el mismo tipo de señal que en inglés dice stop. En inglés, stop es un verbo imperativo, pero no creo que haya un verbo ...
10
votes
1answer
809 views

¿Cómo se describe la temperatura?

Cuando se describe el tiempo, se usa "hace", por ejemplo, "hace frío" o "hace sol". ¿Es lo mismo con la temperatura? Si es la temperatura de algo, como una persona o comida, ¿es lo mismo?
10
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Was “rr” ever considered officially a letter of the Spanish alphabet?

Everybody agrees that the Spanish digraphs "ch" and "ll" used to be officially separate "letters" up to the time the RAE changed the rules of Spanish alphabetization in 1994. But when it comes to the ...
10
votes
1answer
483 views

What is the etymology of the word 'subir'? / ¿Cuál es la etimología de la palabra 'subir'?

For many years I've been asking myself this single and simple question : why subir, that should logically come from the latin sub-ire that we can translate into go down in English, does mean go up in ...
10
votes
1answer
301 views

¿Por qué se usa el subjuntivo en esta frase?

La portada del libro Guerra de Yugurta (ISBN 968366153X) tiene esta frase: La Biblioteca Sciptorvm Graecorvm et Romanorvm edita por segunda ocasión la Guerra de Yugurta, los Fragmentos de las ...
10
votes
2answers
821 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

¿Qué palabra se usa para describir cuando un pago cubre hasta cierta fecha?

Soy el autor de una aplicación de computadora para administrar Casas de Empeños en Puerto Rico. Cuando un cliente debe tres meses de intereses, podría perder la prenda, pero si solo paga dos meses de ...
10
votes
5answers
26k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
15k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
731 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
274 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
288 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

When is “Te quiero” used to mean “I love you?”"

I can come up with three phrases to express affection: Te adoro. Te amo. Te quiero. The first two are fairly clear in intention. However, I have heard "Te quiero", which literally translates as "I ...
10
votes
1answer
491 views

¿Por qué decimos “por cierto” para indicar añadidura?

La palabra "cierto" tiene distintos significados: cierto, ta (Del lat. certus). adj. Conocido como verdadero, seguro, indubitable. adj. U. precediendo inmediatamente al sustantivo ...
10
votes
1answer
511 views

Plural form of compound words

The plural form of compound words in Spanish is not an easy matter. If the compound word already has its final element in plural form, then the plural form is the same as the singular one: for example,...
9
votes
6answers
13k views

What does “a la orden” mean?

A friend of mine from Argentina keeps saying to me "a la orden" and I asked her what it meant and she couldn't explain it. What does it mean? I would guess it means okay?
9
votes
5answers
824 views

¿Es correcto mantener “de” y “el” separados en algún caso?

Estoy leyendo "El maestro y Margarita", de Mijaíl Bulgákov (¡los nombres transcritos de otros alfabetos se acentúan!). En él hay una construcción que me ha parecido incorrecta: Naturalmente, los ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Learning programming in a Spanish speaking country

This question is for anyone who has learned programming in a Spanish speaking country. Seeing as though the key words for programming languages like Java, C, Python etc are all in English I have a ...
9
votes
3answers
7k views

Spanish abbreviation for the United States of America

What is (or are?) the suggested abbreviation(s) for the United States of America in Spanish? I've seen: E.E.U.U. EE.UU. EEUU EUA USA (And only the last two actually makes any sense to me!)
9
votes
6answers
515 views

Alternative to the user-unfriendly Dictionary of RAE? [closed]

It is incredible the amount of time it takes to open particularly the page of the Dictionary of RAE. The search engine is bad as well. Is there another site, where one can access the same ...
9
votes
5answers
270 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?
9
votes
7answers
286 views

What's the best way to inform a pedestrian or fellow cyclist that I'm about to pass them?

It is common courtesy in the U.S. for runners, joggers, and cyclists to announce their presence to others, especially when approaching from behind, by shouting: Right! or Left! This ...
9
votes
5answers
288 views

Are there any studies regarding the future viability of the inverted question mark (¿)?

I guess that Internet is a very powerful catalyst in the evolution of languages. This evolution, however, not always takes place to please everybody. For example, I estimated, analyzing some of my ...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

Meaning of “Me cae gordo”

I know the meaning of the phrase "Me cae bien": I like him/her (in a strictly platonic sense), or He leaves a good impression But recently I have heard the phrase Me cae gordo (in Mexico). It's ...
9
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

How to say something is “annoying” in Spanish?

I have been wondering how to say annoying, adjective and verb, in Spanish (ES). I come from the Northwest of the US and we use this word very often. I have seen examples using molestar but none of ...
9
votes
6answers
760 views

¿hover/survoler/sobrevolar? ¿cuál sería la mejor traducción?

Otra vez en el contexto IT, cuando uno pasa el cursor del ratón sobre un elemento de una página web por ejemplo, en inglés se dice "hover" y en francés "survoler". Existe el verbo "sobrevolar" en ...
9
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...

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