Del susto y la aprensión, el rugido ha cesado.

What are the differences between "susto" and "aprensión"?

Both mean fear, no?
Or they have different degrees of fear?

  • 1
    I think if you look at them in a dictionary (RAE for example) the difference is evident.
    – Laura
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 9:25

2 Answers 2


When meant as "fear", aprensión is softer than susto. It certainly does not mean "fear" in a physical manner. What I mean is that you can feel susto in your skin. Your body can react to susto, but aprensión is just a conscious thought, an idea that doing something might not be in your best interest or convenience.

For example, you are on the way to see your friend John when you see his fiancée kissing another guy in a dark corner of a park. The feeling you experiment when you think about whether to tell John about this, or how to tell him, is aprensión. It is uncomfortable, awkward, and you even ask yourself "why did I have to witness that?". You are afraid of telling John what you saw, but you don't really fear the situation, you are not frightened.

On the other hand, if you happen to walk by a dark corner of a park and you see a gang of tall guys with guns walking toward you, then you will fear them, you will be asustado ("tengo susto"), but aprensión has nothing to do there. This level of fear you can feel in your sweaty skin or your growing pupils, but in the previous example, you only feel it "in your guts", it's something internal.


From RAE:


  1. m. Impresión repentina causada por miedo, espanto o pavor.
  2. m. Preocupación por alguna adversidad o daño que se teme.

i.e. Impression caused by sudden fear, terror or dread.


  1. f. aprehensión.
  2. f. Escrúpulo, recelo de ponerse alguien en contacto con otra persona o con algo de que le pueda venir contagio, o bien de hacer o decir algo que teme que sea perjudicial o inoportuno.
  3. f. Opinión, figuración, idea infundada o extraña.

i.e. Qualms or misgivings. Scruple of someone get in touch with someone or something that you can come contagion, or of doing or saying something that he fears is detrimental or inappropriate.


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