Both "claro" (or "claro que sí") and "por supuesto" appear to be used to say 'of course' in one way or another.

Are there any differences in how they are used? Is one formal and the other informal? Or are they interchangeable?

  • I think "Claro" is most used in Mexican, while "Por supuesto" is more commonly used in traditional Spanish.
    – David Sun
    Aug 28, 2014 at 4:26
  • 3
    "Claro" is like "sure!", while "por supuesto" is more like "of course"
    – Bardo
    Sep 4, 2014 at 12:42
  • Desde luego hay una diferencia. Sep 4, 2014 at 18:58

8 Answers 8


Claro and por supuesto are synonyms, but por supuesto is a little more formal.

Imagine the Pope is at your home and asks for permission to use the bathroom. You would not say ¡claro!, you would say ¡por supuesto!

Por supuesto is “of course”. Claro could be translated as “sure”.


As far as I know there is not much to say here. They mean exactly the same and are both interchangeable in both formal and informal situations.

As a side note, "claro" can also mean "clear" when used as an adjective, of course in a completely different context.

  • Haha thanks for the quick response. Perhaps my question is really 'is there a difference...' not 'what is the difference...'
    – stevvve
    Jun 14, 2012 at 14:59

They are interchangeable, however, there is always a small difference.


"It's clear" (I understand)

Claro que si:

"Of course" (It's obvious, and I am very sure)

Not everyone is sensitive to these subtle differences, but it doesn't mean they are not there.


Claro is pretty passive, but the word itself suggests something to be clear and concrete.

Claro, to me, sounds like the equivalent of Yeah sure, Alright., Ok, Gotcha and so on.

Por supuesto translates to something synonymous with this awful sentence ...It is supposed. ... or better said, Of course.. <- That phrase carries just as much respect with it as the Spanish translation


"Por supuesto" could be more emphathised in some situations, but they are interchangeable 99% of times.


Claro is used more in conversation, such as when someone is telling you a story. The listener often peppers his responses with 'claro' and 'claro que sí', in order to express the listener's affirmation and understanding of the story.

But por supuesto is used more in declaring something true or obvious, such as, "you are of course the idiot in this situation," or "this is of course the way of doing it."

  • Clara??? por su puerto????
    – Jdamian
    Feb 26, 2017 at 19:20

Claro can be exactly translated to clear, so its used to point out something supposed to be obvious.

Por supuesto is more complex, it does the same job but by a different approach. The "supuesto" is something implicit in the content. Something that was indirectly pointed out, or, of what it consists or depends. How its "supposed". To translate it into english you could give this answer; Of course, its to be taken as a supposition. This is why we can also say: se supone, witch means: its supposed. The word supuesto literally means putted under, to refer to something (Concepts or ideas).


"Claro", in that context, is used as short of "Claro que si" (or even "Claro que no", depending on what's clear/obvious that is going to be your answer). 'Its clear that my answer would be "yes"'.

Apart from clarifying that, what you have already being told about both being synonyms and "por supuesto" being more formal is correct.

Also, although I don't know if it is offtopic to this question, "claro" could be used as a question ("Claro?", "Queda claro?") to make sure that what you just said is "crystal clear" to the listener.

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