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
2answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
6k 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
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
3answers
3k 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?
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
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
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
459 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
285 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
779 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
3answers
13k 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
1answer
266 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
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
797 views

Chorizo como sinónimo de ladrón

¿Por qué en España la palabra "chorizo" es coloquialmente usada para referirse a los ladrones?
10
votes
1answer
495 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
11k 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
10answers
1k 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 ...
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
4answers
2k views

What Spanish term (or terms) work best to describe a glass jar as used for coffee, jam, etc?

A bit earlier in the chat room I mentioned that I needed to buy a new jar of coffee, but that I didn't know how to express that in Spanish. I want to know a good Spanish word for "jar" in the sense ...
9
votes
5answers
251 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
6answers
480 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
277 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
7k 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
2k 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
3k 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
725 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
6k views

¿En qué países la palabra “coger” tiene connotaciones sexuales?

En algunos países hispanoparlantes la palabra coger tiene connotaciones sexuales. La RAE indica "Realizar el acto sexual", pero el problema es que es una expresión malsonante, marcada fuertemente como ...
9
votes
14answers
27k 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?
9
votes
4answers
5k views

¿Qué significa 'va' en “Nos vemos después, ¿va?”

Hoy, por chat, una amiga (de México) dijo: Nos vemos depués, ¿va? Entiendo "Nos vemos después", pero qué significa "va" en este contexto?
9
votes
3answers
42k 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?
9
votes
6answers
4k views

“s” final en tiempo pretérito indefinido: -aste(s), -iste(s)

Español La segunda persona singular del pretérito indefinido generalmente termina en "-aste" o "-iste". En muchos lugares, la gente agrega una "s" final a estas palabras (por ejemplo, hablastes en ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the difference, if any, between “nunca” and “jamás”?

Friends tell me there is a subtle difference between the two, and that jamás is a little stronger, a little more definitive a statement than nunca. Both mean "never"—but are there any measurable ...
9
votes
2answers
485 views

When to use the article “el” with infinitives in Spanish?

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 ...
9
votes
5answers
16k views

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

La pronunciacion en el centro y el norte de España, como sabemos, proncuncia la "ce" y la "zeta" en forma difrente a la "ese" que es el unico sonido que se utliza para estas tres letras en ...
9
votes
2answers
888 views

“Sensación de que sucede algo”, ¿es dequeísmo?

Ayer escribí la siguiente frase humorística: No hay devaluación. Es solo una sensación de que la moneda nacional es papel higiénico. (es una referencia a expresiones como "es sólo una sensación ...
9
votes
8answers
26k views

Is there a difference between cilantro and culantro in Spanish?

I've seen the American English "cilantro" (British English "coriander") translated into Spanish as both cilantro and culantro. What is the difference? Are they synonyms used interchangeably, or is the ...
9
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

¿“Septiembre” or “setiembre”?

Setiembre is only used in Peru, AFAIK, but I wonder if there are any other countries where setiembre, as opposed to septiembre, is also valid. RAE links the definition of setiembre to the definition ...
9
votes
3answers
9k views

The letter “k” in Spanish

The letter "k" is rarely seen in Spanish. What is the origin of Spanish words containing a k? Are most recent loanwords from modern languages, influences from older languages (Latin or Greek), or of ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Can Spanish distinguish between “lonely” and “alone”?

I learned that solo in Spanish means both "alone" (the simple fact of not having anyone else around) and "lonely" (feeling sad because of being alone). Is there any way of distinguishing between these ...
9
votes
6answers
11k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is Usted sometimes abbreviated as Vd. instead of Ud.? Is there any difference in usage between the two?

I've noticed that the word Usted can be abbreviated at least 2 ways, the most common of which being Ud. and Vd. to my knowledge. I see how Ud. makes perfect sense, but why is a V used instead of a U ...
9
votes
6answers
34k views

What is the difference between “De nada” and “No hay de qué”?

I am learning Spanish and ran across "De nada" and "No hay de qué". Both mean "You're welcome" . What's the difference?
9
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the most common way to answer the phone?

What is the most universally-used greeting when answering the phone (i.e. way to say, "Hello?")? Are there any circumstances where the greeting would be different (for example, when answering a phone ...
9
votes
2answers
709 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?
9
votes
5answers
5k views

Why is the 'b' and 'v' pronunciation inconsistent?

I've learnt that the v sound in Spanish is pronounced as a "b", however why are some words such as "por favor" and "Revolucion" pronounced as a "v"? Also, is this type of pronunciation Spanish (spoken ...
9
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...

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