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The words temporada and estación both mean season in English. Is there any difference between these two words? How can I use them properly?

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You have to use "estación" when you refer to one of the four seasons of the year: summer, fall/autumn, winter or spring.

The word "temporada" will be used to refer to some period during which an activity is performed or some business is conducted, as in temporada de esquí. The "temporada" may coincide with a certain season, and then we have temporada invernal, temporada de verano, but these will always be used when there is some implicit activity that takes place during the period in question: En la temporada de verano los hoteles trabajan a pleno (In this case, "temporada de verano" is used to describe the hotel business during the summer.)

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    Agregaría que son sinónimos en expresiones como ropa/fruta de temporada/estación. – pablodf76 Aug 9 '17 at 15:27
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The existing answer is great but I want to give you a couple other ways of thinking about this. Estación is at the foundation, at the level of the equinox. It's based on what happens astronomically with the earth and the sun. Temporada means in the time of, for example: In summertime, when the cicadas sing, you get in the mood for lemonade.

The other idea I want to share is that when you take a train, you stop at stations. Also, as you go cycling along through the seasons of the year, you also stop at stations. December 21st -- your train stops at the Beginning of Winter Station. Etc.

Hopefully these ways of associating the cognates and their meanings will help you remember the difference.

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  • @walen - Oh, you went even farther. Very good. I was just associating estación with the train stations on the Earth's annual voyage around the sun. For temporal I forgot to point out the connection between temporada and tiempo. – aparente001 Aug 14 '17 at 6:18

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