Looks like "-(c)ito, -(c)ita" and "-(c)illo, -(c)illa" are quite interchangeable (though the last ones are less common). What are the differences between them? What about other suffixes whithing the same groups(-(c)ito, -(c)illo, -zuelo, -(c)ín, -(c)iño; -ote, -ón, -azo; -aco, -ajo, -ote, -ucho)?

Which feature does each of them have? Or do they mostly depend on regional traditions?

2 Answers 2


I think some of them depend on regional variations (-iño for example is something that you would hear in the north of Spain, influenced by Galician speakers).

Other suffixes may contain different inflections (-illo may contain an emotional inflection).

Dinerito vs dinerillo

Hombrecito vs hombrecillo

Also -illo may depict things that are smaller than -ito (cucharita vs. cucharilla) but there is not a definitive rule about this.

-zuelo may also contain emotional (pejorative) connotations.

The differences and connotations between them may be so fuzzy that the context would give you more information than the suffix itself and is not possible to get a proper, definitive list of the variations of significance and connotations of each one of the suffixes.

-illo and -cillo may be less common due to regional differences. Some Spanish dialects may be less prone to use certain suffixes (making even more difficult to get a definitive list of the exact connotation of a diminutive or its divergence/variance from others).

  • 1
    Other regional variations are "-ico" (very used in Navarra) and "-uco" (in Cantabria)
    – MikMik
    Jan 23, 2015 at 16:12

This image shows the common diminutive suffixes used in different regions of Spain (and Portugal):


By Region:

  • -ito, -ita: most common suffix used by Spanish speakers
  • -ico, -ica: eastern Spain: Andalucía Oriental, La Mancha, Aragón, Navarra, La Rioja, Región de Murcia, Comunidad Valenciana occidental
    • Also used (as opposed to -ito) in Venezuela, Cuba, República Dominicana, Colombia, Costa Rica for words whose final syllable starts with -t.
  • -illo, -illa: used mainly in Spain (especially Andalucía). Mostly interchangeable with -ito. Can be affectionate or pejorative.
  • -ete, -eta: of catalán/valenciano/aragonés origin. Also used in La Mancha and murciano. In a non-Catalan context is mostly pejorative.
  • -ín, -ina: especially Asturias and Región Leonesa. More emphatic than -ito, -ita. Affectionate
  • -ino, -ina: Extremadura
  • -uco, -uca: Cantabria. In rural areas also -ucu. In the rest of Spain, when used, this is mostly a pejorative suffix.

Less common suffixes

  • -ajo, -aja: Used in La Mancha and murciano.
  • -ejo, -eja: La Mancha.
  • -ujo, -uja: Murciano.
  • -icho/-iche, -icha: Murciano.
  • -iquio, -iquia: Murciano and Valencia. Variant of -ico, -ica.
  • -ucho, -ucha: Venezuela. Can be pejorative

There are others, but these are even less common (see the links at the bottom).

Augmentative suffixes are almost always pejorative, e.g. -ón, -ona, -ote, -ota, -azo, -aza etc.

As Diego says, however, the specific meaning is often context-specific, due to regionalisms, different productivity of different suffixes, some words having lexicalised the suffix etc.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.