9
votes
5answers
6k 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
6answers
35k 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
729 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
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 ...
9
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
343 views

What would be a good translation of “to go well with”?

How could one translate the expression "to go well with" in Spanish? For example: Tequila shots go well with strawberry ice cream.
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How to translate 'to become?' (hacerse, ponerse, convertirse en, etc.)

I've heard several different words used for 'to become' in Spanish. Obviously sometimes there are specific verbs to use, like 'enfadarse' means to become angry, but often you need to use a verb that ...
9
votes
2answers
27k views

What does “que lo que” mean?

Whenever I talk to a friend (Dominican I believe) via chat like Gtalk, he always starts the conversation with: klk I did some research about that and found that, in fact, it comes from the ...
9
votes
2answers
161 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

Translating “looking forward to”

In English, we often used the phrase looking forward to when we are excited about something in the future: I'm looking forward to seeing you next week! I'm really looking forward to finals ...
9
votes
1answer
493 views

Difference between -iera and -iese ending of the imperfect subjunctive

There are two forms of the imperfect subjunctve in use, for example, pudiera, pudieras, pudiera, pudiéramos, pudierais, pudieran and pudiese, pudieses, pudiese, pudiésemos, pudieseis, pudiesen I ...
9
votes
3answers
9k views

What is the preferred way of saying “I have to go”?

English As far as I can tell there are two ways to say, "I have to go." Tengo que ir. Tengo ir. Is the second way even right? And if so, which one is the preferred way to say, "I have ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

How should I discuss my wife's due date?

How do I tell people when my wife's due date is? I usually say something like "el bebé se debe nacer el cuatro de junio" but I don't know if that's the correct way to say it.
9
votes
4answers
13k 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?
9
votes
3answers
423 views

Regional differences between “escuchar” and “oír”

In school I learned that escuchar was for the English "to listen to" and oír was "to hear." In Central America, however, I frequently heard escuchar being used for "to hear" (e.g. No te escucho ...
9
votes
1answer
781 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?
9
votes
1answer
1k views

¿Cuál es la forma correcta de mencionar un año?(de o del)

Institucionalmente utilizo de para referirme a un año. Ejemplo: 26 de Enero de 2012 Sin embargo, intuitivamente, estoy impulsado a utilizar del en otros contextos. Ejemplo: 26 de Enero del ...
9
votes
4answers
504 views

¿Cuál es una traducción apropiada para “Thinking out of the box”?

El otro día, resolviendo con los compañeros de trabajo una serie de problemas, me vino a la cabeza la expresión Thinking out of the box (o thinking outside the box). Esta expresión viene a significar ...
9
votes
5answers
541 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
2answers
659 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
4k 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
6answers
847 views

Why does Latin America not lisp consonants, having learned from Spain?

I am referring to the sounds of "z" and the soft "c". Latin America learned Spanish from Spain. So why do they not lisp consonants, having learned from Spanish people? Did Latin America somehow ...
9
votes
1answer
4k 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
2answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
24k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
721 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
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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
837 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
367 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
6k views

Origin of the mexican expression “güey/buey”

The common Mexican informal expression "güey/buey" (written as "wey" in text). Where did it come from? Since when did it become a common expression? Examples: A que güey estás. (You are so ...
9
votes
5answers
45k views

¿Cuál es el significado de “órale” y su origen?

La palabra "órale" es usada frecuentemente en México en situaciones informales. ¿Cuál es su significado y origen?
9
votes
2answers
7k views

Choosing between 'sobre' and 'acerca de'

Is there a significant difference between "sobre" and "acerca de", when the intent is to describe the topic of something? Where is "acerca de" a better choice than "sobre", and vice-versa?
9
votes
1answer
311 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
2k 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
3answers
620 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
6answers
12k views

How can we say “I'm sorry” apart from “lo siento”?

So far the only way I know to say "I'm sorry" is "lo siento." However, this gets repetitive rather quickly, and sometimes I'm looking for a stronger form of an apology. What other ways are there to ...
8
votes
6answers
348 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
589 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
5k views

¿Cómo se dice regionalmente “coquetear”?

Español (Pregunta: ¿cómo se dice "to flirt" regionalmente?) Sé que la forma correcta de decirlo es "coquetear". Sin embargo, en México usamos la palabra "ligar". He oído que en Chile usan la palabra ...
8
votes
2answers
927 views

When is “al” not interchangeable with “a el”?

This is a clear case where "al" cannot be replaced with "a el": Al mirarlo, sonrió. Are there any other cases?
8
votes
5answers
1k views

How to translate “if any”?

I'm translating a text and have a doubt. It says: Please add a copy [of some specific papers] (if any). I could mix up the sentence and say: "Si existen [...], añade una copia, por favor." But ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Spanish for “spoon” in Venezuela and Guatemala

I know spoon is cuchara in Spanish. But I have also read that cuchara is a vulgar slang term for vagina in countries like Venezuela, Guatemala, and El Salvador. My question is what's the word one ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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
3answers
465 views

¿Es correcto usar “@” para significar femenino/masculino?

He visto bienvenid@s con una @ para significar bienvenidos/bienvenidas. Casi estoy seguro que he visto otras palabras también en cuales meten @ para significar masculino/femenino, pero no puedo ...

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