9
votes
8answers
28k 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
43k 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
5k 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
6answers
8k 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
2answers
501 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
18k 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
1k 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
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?
9
votes
3answers
4k 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
10k 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
3answers
4k 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
5answers
8k 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
154k views

¿Cuál es la palabra correcta, “membresía” o “membrecía”?

Cual es la forma correcta de escribir la siguiente palabra: MEMBRESÍA o MEMBRECÍA, según las normas de la Real Academia de la Lengua Española para el año actual (2013). Por favor incluir referencias ...
9
votes
4answers
70k views

Where did “pico de gallo” get its name?

Does pico de gallo (the type of salsa) literally translate as "rooster's beak"? If so, where did it get that name, and how does that describe the salsa?
9
votes
2answers
5k 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
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
2answers
777 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
350 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
217 views

How did the syntactical strucutre “me gusta” come to be in Spanish? It seems to be different from its Latin root and other Romance languages

In Spanish there is the structure "Me gusta" where "Me" is the object. But in other Romance languages such as Portuguese "Eu gosto (de isso)" or French "Je goûterai le soir bleu", "eu" and "je" are ...
9
votes
2answers
29k 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
167 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
105k views

When is it appropriate to say “buenos días”?

English It looks like "buenos días" is most commonly translated as "good morning," although apparently it can mean "good day" as well (like a literal translation would suggest). Is it appropriate to ...
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
3answers
7k 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
513 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
1k views

What is the difference between “a partir de” y “desde”?

Which one is correct? A partir de ahora, voy a hablar en español. or Desde ahora, voy a hablar en español. In meaning I think both are close to "from." Are there any specific instances ...
9
votes
4answers
14k 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
4k views

Are there any subtle differences between “de nuevo” and “otra vez”?

There are two very common ways in Spanish to say the equivalent of "again": de nuevo otra vez But I use them pretty randomly because I've never been able to pick up on any differences in how ...
9
votes
1answer
319 views

¿Es correcto anidar paréntesis en una frase?

Si quiero anidar pensamientos con paréntesis (tiendo a abusar de ellos sin querer (deformación profesional)), ¿es correcto en español?
9
votes
1answer
897 views

¿Es correcto usar 'amarizar' o 'amartizar' para aterrizar en Marte?

En español, existe un verbo para describir la acción de aterrizar en la Luna: 'alunizar'. Siguiendo esa misma idea, ¿se puede decir 'amarizar' o 'amartizar' para una nave que aterriza en Marte?
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
771 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
3answers
437 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
5answers
551 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

Difference between “hay”, “ay” and “ahí”

These are commonly misused when writing, and can be very confusing for someone that is learning Spanish. These three words have a very different meaning and they are used in a very different context. ...
9
votes
6answers
878 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
4answers
50k 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
1answer
5k 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
2k 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
5answers
938 views

Forming a conditional clause in present and present tense

I just learend the conditional and past subjunctive. Here is an example: If I had a million dollars, I would buy a big house. Si tuviera un millón dolares, compraría una casa grande. So I'm ...
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 simple....
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 ...

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