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“Vegetable”: verdura vs. vegetal

My understanding is that they can both refer to "vegetables." But verduras also translates into "greens." So what's the difference?

Could it be that vegetales can also refer to "non-green" vegetables such as potatoes, mushrooms and (non-green) beans?

  • "Vegetales" is normally used for plants in general or plant related, like in "aceite vegetal". "Verduras" normally is used for edible vegetables.
    – JoulSauron
    Aug 19, 2012 at 23:22
  • I think it is a duplicate, and am closing it as such. However, Tom, if you feel you need additional clarification on some subtlety of the original question, please flag for moderator attention, and we can re-open this to address your additional question.
    – Flimzy
    Aug 21, 2012 at 5:01
  • @Flimzy. Could you put a link to the duplicated question?
    – Paul
    Aug 25, 2012 at 15:59
  • @Paul: It's automatically added to the top of this question.
    – Flimzy
    Aug 25, 2012 at 16:51
  • @Flimzy: Oops... I didn't notice it there. Thanks :)
    – Paul
    Aug 25, 2012 at 17:31

2 Answers 2


Verduras is a tiny subset of vegetales. Think of them as canidae (dogs, wolves, etc) and animals. In other words, all verduras are vegetales, but not all vegetales are verduras.

Vegetales is a type of organisms, as are animals, bacteriae, fungi, etc. You would say something has an origen vegetal when it was made from some kind of plant, such as olive oil, for example.

Verduras is a subtype, mostly something you can eat which is green colored. But not all vegetales you can eat are verduras.

  • Maybe is just my... mindset, but I also tend to think that "verduras" is something that you tend to cook (boil, mainly) before eating. I would never say that lechuga (lettuce) is a verdura... But maybe is just because of the way my mom used to call it... I totally agree with Jose J. Fernández, answer, though.
    – Savir
    Aug 20, 2012 at 15:45

There's an English word "produce" (as in "the produce aisle of the supermarket"). I would translate "produce" as "verduras".

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