8
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the difference between “sólo”, “únicamente” and “solamente”?

According to the RAE: solo o sólo. adv. m. Únicamente, solamente. In what situations is preferred to use one over the other? Are they interchangeable? Sólo es una pregunta ...
8
votes
1answer
140 views

Is it acceptable to leave out the inverted punctuation marks?

Is it acceptable to leave out inverted question marks and exclamation points (¿ ¡) from questions and exclamatory sentences? I ask this because some computers and other devices I use won't let me add ...
8
votes
1answer
344 views

Origen de la conjunción copulativa “y”

Mi lengua materna es el español, hablo también francés y hace unos días estuve en Italia. Me he dado cuenta de que tanto en francés como en italiano, la principal conjunción copulativa (lease la ...
8
votes
2answers
155 views

Rules of style for Spanish

I know that there are several sources in English to check for commonly-accepted rules of style. This is, regarding how punctuation should look in non-common cases (eg., if the period should be used or ...
8
votes
2answers
217 views

¿Quienes son más afectados por el ustedeo?

He encontrado que varias veces, mi empleo del español en conversación es afectado por el llamado "ustedeo". Afecta mis relaciones con gente que acabo de conocer, porque muchas personas piensan que ...
8
votes
2answers
259 views

Usage of “adiós” in the Basque country

People in the Basque country commonly use local words, such as agur instead of adiós. According to our former Spanish teacher, usage of adiós is unadvisable in the Basque country because of its ...
8
votes
1answer
545 views

Condescendiente / Condescendant

Oh surprise, Condescendant has a very different meaning in English compared to Spanish. Condescendant: Assuming a tone of superiority or a patronizing attitude Condescendiente: adj. Que ...
8
votes
1answer
135 views

Indirect object and “le”

La madre le lava la cara a la niña. In that sentence, why is the word "le" there? The sentence already has a indirect object ("a la niña"), but removing the "le" makes the sentence to sound ...
7
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
4k 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"?
7
votes
4answers
3k views

What's the meaning of the expression “nada que ver”?

What's the meaning of the expression "nada que ver"? In which countries is used? Here are some examples: Lo que dices no tiene nada que ver con lo que estamos discutiendo. Conversation between ...
7
votes
4answers
185 views

Is/Was there a Basic Spanish?

There is a whole Wikipedia written in Basic English. This leads to the question if something similar exists for Spanish. Maybe a type of controlled language for teaching aboriginals a simplified ...
7
votes
6answers
223 views

What is the difference between “herramientas” and “útiles?”

My understanding is that they both mean "tools." But could they be references to different types of tools? ¿Cuál es la differencia entre "herramientas" y "útiles?" Mi entendimiento es que ambos ...
7
votes
2answers
666 views

¿Qué significa “de pe a pa”?

¿Cúal es el significado de la siguiente expresión "de pe a pa"? Por ejemplo: Tienes que aprenderte esto de pe a pa.
7
votes
6answers
207 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
633 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
535 views

How did the words “mataburros” and “tumbaburros” come to mean “dictionary”?

The recent question about irregular plurals led me to a couple of odd and interesting words that apparently mean "dictionary" in at least one sense each: mataburros tumbaburros The connection ...
7
votes
2answers
189 views

What exactly are “mis rasgos”?

Today in conversation a girl told me: tus rasgos, muy bonitos I smiled, replied with some compliment, but I had no idea what did she found nice. And even later, after secretly looking this up ...
7
votes
4answers
154 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
548 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 ...
7
votes
12answers
6k 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?
7
votes
3answers
601 views

Translation of “contact info”

What is the best way to say contact info in Spanish (as in a list of phone numbers, email addresses, postal addresses, etc. of a person or business)?
7
votes
5answers
167 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?
7
votes
9answers
1k views

¿Qué significa “salir del paso?”

Estoy leyendo esta página, y tiene la frase: Es una solución para salir del paso. Da mejores resultados entre idiomas de origen indoeuropeo, como es de esperar. Pero si se necesita una traducción ...
7
votes
3answers
18k 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?
7
votes
3answers
181 views

Translating “actually” (as in a change of mind)

There are many times I run into conversations like this: Waitress: Would you like some water? Me: No thanks. She walks away for a second, then comes back Me: Actually, could I get a ...
7
votes
1answer
179 views

¿Cuál es el origen del frase “media naranja”?

He oído la frase "media naranja" unas veces, y puedo entender el contexto, que significa una pareja o novia, por ejemplo. Pero quiero saber el origen de esa frase. A mi, ese frase me parece muy rara. ...
7
votes
2answers
395 views

Why “a ti” and not just “ti”

I am very much a beginner when it comes to learning Spanish. I have turned my language settings for Facebook from English to Spanish so that I see the language regularly and I have noticed that the ...
7
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
829 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
251 views

¿Como se contestan preguntas que llevan un “no” al inicio?

El español es mi idioma nativo, pero siempre he tenido esta duda, por ejemplo, si yo le pregunto a alguien: ¿Tienes frío? Esta persona podría contestar Sí. No. Sí, si tengo frío. No, no tengo ...
7
votes
3answers
660 views

How do you introduce yourself on the phone?

In United States, a telephone conversation usually starts like this. Me: [Calls John] John: Hello. Me: Hi, John. It's Joe. This is between 2 people that are familiar with each other, ...
7
votes
2answers
187 views

Difference between “suave” and “blando”

When would you use one over the other? I see Google Translate says both equate to "soft" in English.
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Usage of fea and rico

I'm learning Spanish with Rosetta Stone. The lesson I am currently on has two examples that I don't completely understand. La leche está fea El pan está rico "Fea" seems to be translated ...
7
votes
4answers
455 views

Why should we use estar over ser for being old or fat?

I can understand why we would use estar for temporary states. But there are conditions that people have that are not temporary, such as being old (or for some people, being fat). ¡qué gordo está! ...
7
votes
5answers
199 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

¿Por qué razón en España suelen pronunciar los extranjerismos de acuerdo a las reglas del español y no a las reglas del idioma original?

En México y América Central los extranjerismos más recientes suelen pronunciarse de acuerdo a las reglas del idioma original, o más comúnmente aproximaciones o deformaciones de estas acercando la ...
7
votes
3answers
943 views

Spanish for “douche”?

Is there a Spanish equivalent for "douche", as in the insult? I've search and found several results which, while being correct, either are too regional or lack the force of the English insult.
7
votes
1answer
544 views

Where does the alternate meaning for “mateo” come from?

When I was studying Spanish in college the teacher went around the room asking our names and how we had learned the language up to that point. When it came to be my turn I responded with, "Soy ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I distinguish between “girlfriend,” “fiancée” and “bride”, which are all “novia”?

I am a native Portuguese speaker, where noiva means "bride" or "fiancée." So I was very confused when someone asked me if a girl was my novia, since she didn't have an engagement ring (thank goodness ...
7
votes
1answer
325 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
130 views

“Liking” a musician or other artist

The verb gustar, when used with people, conveys a romantic interest (e.g. Ella me gusta. -> I have a crush on her.). How then, can you convey that you like a musician's music or an artist's paintings, ...
7
votes
2answers
131 views

What's the function of “mismo” in this sentence?

What's the exact function of "mismo" in the following sentence? For example: Se llevo a cabo la ceremonia y el mismo presidente le entrego la medalla al soldado. I'm a native speaker and I ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

¡Buenas! greeting in morning

Another question brings up the fact that in many countries, ¡Buenas! is used as a greeting (as an abbreviation of Buenas tardes or Buenas noches). In regions where this is the case, what should be ...
7
votes
4answers
499 views

Shorter/alternate version of refrigerator

English Is there a shorter or more common word for refrigeradora in Mexico and the southern parts of the US? I find it a cumbersome and difficult word to say in Spanish. Español Hay otra manera ...
7
votes
2answers
148 views

“to feel ashamed for an unknown person” or a cringe-worthy experience

Since the upcoming of talk- and music-casting shows in Ger & US TV in the last two decades, Germans created the compound verb fremdschämen, e.g., when somebody is embarrassing in his actions or ...
7
votes
3answers
428 views

Idiomatic translation of “Dame tu luz”?

In the song Pequeño Amor by the Chiquitas, there is the following chorus: Pequeño amor, por siempre tú pequeño amor, dame tu luz The song is a duet, and the above is sung by members of the ...
7
votes
1answer
106 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

¿Cuál es el diminutivo de mano, foto, moto, etc.?

Para las palabras que son femeninas pero terminan en o, ¿cuál es la forma diminutiva? O sea, ¿es el diminutivo de foto fotito o fotita? Y para mano, ¿es manito o manita? En el caso de mano, creo que ...
7
votes
2answers
217 views

Is there a difference in the pronuciation of a single vowel or multiple vowels in a row?

There are several phrases, most of which are easily distinguished by context, that have very similar, if not the exact same pronunciation. The distinction I'm curious about is a single vowel in a ...

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