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
5k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
12k 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
5answers
655 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
699 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
415 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
618 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
3answers
247 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
6answers
800 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
5answers
514 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
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
21k 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
689 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
3answers
391 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
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
738 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
240 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
1answer
339 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
5answers
38k 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
6k 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
175 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
591 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
9k 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?
8
votes
6answers
10k 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
3answers
563 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
2answers
893 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
3answers
5k 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 ...
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
6answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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, ...
8
votes
4answers
12k views

“Chinga” - common slang? Origin?

I've heard the Spanish slang word "chinga" used in several popular movies/tv shows, as well as by other Spanish speakers, as the English word "f*ck". My friend denies the notion, saying "chinga" is ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

¿Cuál es el origen de la frase “al pan, pan, y al vino, vino”?

Creo que la expresión quiere decir que algo fue dicho con claridad, pero ¿de dónde viene la expresión? Es decir: ¿a qué se refiere originalmente? ¿Por qué pan y vino, precisamente?
8
votes
3answers
358 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
13k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
559 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
1answer
610 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
5answers
852 views

¿Cuándo se usa “plano” y cuándo “mapa”?

Leo en el diccionario de la RAE: Mapa m. Representación geográfica de la Tierra o parte de ella en una superficie plana. Plano m. Representación esquemática, en dos dimensiones y a ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

¿Cómo se dice la expresión “screen name”?

La traducción literal de "screen name" – un nombre de usuario para un servicio en línea – es "nombre de pantalla". ¿Se utiliza eso comúnmente? ¿O se utiliza otra frase en su lugar?
8
votes
4answers
3k 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
5k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
536 views

¿Cómo pedir la opinión de alguien?

¿Cómo se pide la opinión de alguien sobre un tema o actividad? Por ejemplo, en ingles se dice: What do you think about __________?
8
votes
5answers
1k 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
4answers
173 views

Is the dropped /s/ in Argentina a class marker?

I'm watching La pelea de mi vida, an Argentinean film, and in it the characters are dropping their esses all over the place. E'ta, e'tuve, even stuff like E' muy e'traño and E'to tene' The film is ...
8
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Origen y uso de la frase “Para más inri”

Acabo de leer en un diario español la frase "para más inri", y según el diccionario on-line que ofrecen, significa "por si fuera poco". Yo nunca había leído ni escuchado tal frase. Mi pregunta ...

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