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I am trying to say, "the man embarrasses us." Which is correct and is there a subtle difference?

El hombre nos avergüenza.

El hombre nos pone colorados.

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The difference is one of register and tone. Avergonzarse is just a common verb without any special connotations and a meaning that should be understood by Spanish speakers everywhere in all suitable contexts. Related phrases exist: sentir vergüenza (por/de), dar vergüenza, etc.:

  • El hombre nos da vergüenza.
  • Sentimos vergüenza por el hombre.
  • Sentimos vergüenza del hombre.
  • El hombre nos produce vergüenza.

Ponerse colorado is an idiomatic phrase which literally means "to turn red", and while it too should be understood fairly universally (even if you translate it literally!), it's still an idiom and a metaphor, and to some it might sound too informal or a bit childish.

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@Bryan, It's better the sentence El hombre nos avergüenza, also you could use El hombre nos hizo quedar mal. The problem when you say El hombre nos pone colorados, colorado is red so you don't know Why are you red?... You could be red cause the man was the Sauna controller and put the max heat and everybody go out red, or because give you an allergic product and put everybody red or the obvious reason, cause he embarrasses you.

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I can't imagine that a stranger's behavior would cause embarrassment. The feeling of embarrassment would more likely come from something that a friend, relative or colleague might do.

Let's consider an example context.

My son tends to ask people how old they are. I realize that he's too young to know better, but still, that question embarrasses me.

Here's how I'd express that use of "embarrass" in Mexico:

Me da pena.

Which means I feel embarrassed [about an action].

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