20
votes
5answers
7k views

What's the difference between “dentro” and “adentro”?

English: How can I tell whether I should be using Dentro vs. Adentro? I've read that they both mean 'inside' and looked at some examples, but I still can't always figure out which one to use. Are ...
4
votes
5answers
360 views

“Fall in love with” (non-romantic)

English: In English, you can use the phrase "to fall in love with" with people who you aren't literally in love with. For example, when talking about children, you might say: You just fall in ...
5
votes
2answers
113 views

Translation of “How far back?” in the context of time

How would I say "How far back do they want me to go?" The context of the question is that I was filling out an application where they wanted my work history. I was attempting to ask the person ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Usage of “ver(se)” for “to seem/look” (te ves, se te ve, te veo, etc.)

The verb ver can be used in a few different constructions to convey how something looks or seems: Te ves bonita. Se te ve mal. Te veo bien. For the reflexive constructions, the WordReference entry ...
5
votes
1answer
115 views

Uses of “SE” : se discutió

Can you see the difference between no. 6 and no. 7? Are there any differences in meaning? Could you please answer the questions below? 6, En el coloquio se discutió un tema interesante. 6a, ...
3
votes
2answers
838 views

What exactly are the “passive se” and “impersonal se”?

Many materials for learning Spanish, discuss the "impersonal se" (e.g. ¿Se puede tocar esto?) and "passive se" (e.g. Se habla español.). What exactly are these forms grammatically? Is the se in both ...
5
votes
1answer
543 views

Gusto variant of the verb gustar

When I thought I finally had it figured out... I was confronted with the following phrase which obviously must mean: I liked the story of your friend. Which for me logically translates to. ...
2
votes
3answers
128 views

What is the preferred word to use to know if the partner is grasping what you are explaining?

Suppose that you are explaining something to someone. Which of these is more appropriate to use? ¿Me entiendes? ¿Me explico? If you use "me explico" it could be interpreted as if you are ...
2
votes
2answers
588 views

Translation of “It will be a while before/until…”

When explaining that something won't happen soon, English uses expressions like: It will be a while until ... It will be a while before ... It will be a long time until ... It will ...
3
votes
3answers
542 views

Translation of “settling in”

In English, "to settle in" describes what someone does after moving in to a new place or returning from a long vacation: I just got back, I'm still settling in. We moved last week! It will be ...
3
votes
2answers
131 views

Translation of “How difficult was that”

How would I ask someone "How difficult was that?" ¿Qué tan difícil era? ¿Cuán difícil era? ¿Cuánto dificultad tenía eso? Other?
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does “toalla” sound like “tualla”?

I am a native speaker from Mexico and I just noticed that the word "toalla" when pronounced sounds as if it has an "u" instead of an "o" as if you were pronouncing "tualla". This also happens with "...
7
votes
4answers
115 views

Usage of plural in collective objects?

Even being a native speaker, I find it hard to know what's the correct way to announce in a sentence a thing that is a collection of other things, specifically in how to arrange adjectives and ...
-7
votes
2answers
487 views

What is English translation of this short audio file in Spanish ? [closed]

Please help to translate this simple audio file. audio file on soundcloud
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between “de corto plazo” and “a corto plazo”?

What is the difference between de corto plazo and a corto plazo (or de largo plazo and a largo plazo), meaning short-term and long-term? In what contexts can each be used?
8
votes
3answers
884 views

Words that mean different things in the preterite

There are some verbs that seem to have quite distinct meanings in the preterite tense. I don't know whether they also seem to change meanings to native speakers or if it just seems completely natural ...
8
votes
2answers
743 views

When should I use the pure passive voice in Spanish? ( fue/fueron [past participle] )

I know Spanish often avoids the passive voice by using the active instead or 'se' to change the subject of the sentence, but when do Spanish speakers use the 'pure' passive with `fue/fueron [past-...
2
votes
2answers
30k views

Equivalent of “To whom it may concern:”

When writing formal letters in English where there is no named recipient (for example, a job application sent to a Human Resources department, or a letter sent to an organization in general as opposed ...
5
votes
1answer
771 views

Names of mythical beings/creatures

Another question I asked made me realize that English has many names for mythical beings. Many of these can refer to both a historical myth or superstition as well as a more modern definition (in ...
7
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
381 views

“Reclamo” vs. “Reclamación”

Whenever I go to a restaurant I see a Libro de Reclamaciones which I believe it's something like a Book of Complaints. I thought the direct translation of complaint was in fact reclamo or queja. In ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

Difference between “por” and “para”

Even after taking 4 years of college Spanish and living abroad, I still don't have a very firm control of when to use por or para. What are the basic rules on when to use either.
1
vote
1answer
391 views

Studying Spanish at school in a Spanish speaking country

In the Spanish speaking country where you live or have been, up to what age/year level is it compulsory to study the Spanish language at school. Where I live (English speaking country) it is ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the correct way to say the days of a month?

People refer to the days of the month as following: 1 de enero = uno de enero o primero de enero. 2 de enero = dos de enero. 3 de enero = tres de enero. ... Example: Hoy es primero de enero. ...
7
votes
1answer
274 views

Is “mas sin embargo” a pleonasm?

I've seen and heard "mas sin embargo". My questions are: Is it correct to use "mas sin embargo"? Is it a pleonasm? Example: Mario tiene que hacer mucha tarea, mas sin embargo está jugando. ...
1
vote
2answers
152 views

Translating “wise” (not referring to a person, e.g. “wise decision”)

As I understand it, wise is normally translated as sabio when referring to a person. What about when not referring to a person? For example: I don't think that would be a very wise decision. ...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

forever: por siempre vs. para siempre

I have seen "forever" translated as both por siempre and para siempre. What is the difference? Are there contexts where you must use one or the other?
3
votes
3answers
792 views

Translating “Help!” (interjection)

In English, if there is any kind of emergency or urgent assistance needed, we use the interjection, "Help!" In Spanish I've seen several: ¡Socorro! ¡Auxilio! ¡Ayuda! or ¡Ayúdame! Which of these is ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

“Mariscal de campo” for “quarterback”

The American football position of quarterback is sometimes translated to Spanish as mariscal de campo (literally field marshal) It does not seem like this is the official translation since RAE limits ...
5
votes
2answers
221 views

Why, when, and how did vowels E and I get special treatment from consonants like C,G & Q?

I think this question may involve more than Spanish, and may include Romance languages or even Latin. I wonder why, when, and how did vowels E and I get special treatment from consonants like C, G, ...
14
votes
4answers
9k views

When is uppercase used in English but lowercase in Spanish?

There are many cases where English uses capital letters (e.g. January) but Spanish uses lowercase (e.g. enero). Grammar or orthography books have long lists of all the cases where capital letters are ...
2
votes
3answers
489 views

Continuing education after high school [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Spanish After Mango Languages Recently, I've been interested in learning a language. I took three years of Spanish in high school, and while I did better than the average ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Translation of cord, cable, string, line, thread, rope, etc

In English there are many words describing different kinds of long, skinny, flexible objects: cord line (as in fishing line, clothesline) cable strand lace (as in shoe lace) thread rope string wire ...
7
votes
4answers
280 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
549 views

Why does “mostrar a” mean “to show” and not “to show to”?

Tengo una biblia bilingüe. En el 14 capítulo de Juan, cuenta así una conversación entre Jesús y uno de su discípulos: --Señor-- dijo Felipe--, muéstranos al Padre y con eso nos basta. --¡Pero,...
1
vote
0answers
542 views

Good News/Chat/Cultural Podcasts in Spanish? [closed]

I spoke Spanish fluently, but it's been 10 years since I lived in Mexico. I'm definitely past the learn Spanish podcasts listed here. Are there good news podcasts available? I'm looking for something ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

esperar: wait vs. hope vs. expect

The verb esperar (e.g. Estoy esperándolo.) can be used in at least three senses: to wait for to hope to expect In English, these all mean very different things: I'm waiting for you to ...
2
votes
3answers
12k views

Ways to express “to get ready” or “to get dressed”

What verbs in Spanish are used to express the concept of "getting ready" or "getting dressed" (for example, before leaving the house to go out to dinner)? I've seen alistarse, arreglarse, prepararse, ...
7
votes
1answer
156 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, ...
8
votes
3answers
698 views

Use of “Que” in “Que todo te vaya bien”

Que todo te vaya bien. Que nos reunamos a las 6. I've seen, and used, que in this form - it's as if the verb has been dropped, say, espero. What is the origin of this usage? Is it colloquial / ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Difference between “tener que …” and “necesitar …”?

If I have to say something like I gotta leave in Spanish, I'd use a phrase like: Tengo que irme But I realize that I could also say: Necesito irme What is the difference? You would ...
2
votes
1answer
379 views

Translating “wait until” or “wait for”

How do you translate phrases involving wait until or wait for: Wait until I call you before you leave for the restaurant. Wait for me to come home before you buy the tickets. You should ...
4
votes
1answer
455 views

Cannot use adverbs + possessives: “delante de ti” v/s “delante tuyo”

In Spanish there are some adverbs followed by de: Delante de, atrás de, en frente de, etc... When these adverbs are followed in a sentence by a declined pronoun, they are often "contracted" ...
10
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
86 views

“Te elegimos a ti en concreto”. Isn't it pleonasm? When is it allowed?

I'm reading a book and there's this phrase: Te elegimos a ti en concreto I wonder in what situations should the objective pronoum be repeated this way. Or it's allowed to be repeated.
8
votes
3answers
383 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 bebé"...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a rule for forming the diminutive of names?

In Spanish, the diminutive form of names can be used to affectionately refer to someone. Are there any rules for how to derive the diminutive form of names (of people, not places), or is it different ...
6
votes
6answers
463 views

Use of “¿A cómo está […]?” to ask for a price

The Diccionario panhispánico de dudas does not offer a suggestion regarding the use of cómo to ask for the price of something (item, service, or currency). I am familiar with the variants ¿a cómo está/...
7
votes
2answers
592 views

How would you express giving a command to yourself in Spanish?

As there is no singular first person imperative form for Spanish verbs (as far as I know), I was wondering whether there is an equivalent to the, possibly idiomatic, English expression of a person ...
6
votes
1answer
110 views

Word : se quedaban

Please read the below sentence: Ya que los mayores iban a el campo a trabajar, los niños se quedaban y jugaban juntos. In English it means: Since the older went to work in the field, the ...

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