2

If I want to bring up the fact that somebody missed something done on purpose, how would I say that in Spanish?

For example:

"The ending was bad. Everybody died!"
"That's the point. It showed the horror of war."

1
  • Un poco a la antigua: Ahí donde aprieta el zapato – enxaneta Oct 15 '18 at 11:10
4

There are several ways to translate "That's the point", some of which have already been mentioned. In the Spanish of most native speakers, "Ese es el punto" is not one of them. It seems, however, that among those who speak a variety of Spanish heavily influenced by English ("Spanglish"), the English calque "Ese es el punto" is heard more and more, and you even find it in writing. To me, it sounds like a barbarism because I am not used to it (40 years living in the US). By the way, this use of the cognate "punto" to translate this particular sense of English "point" extends to other expressions, such as "to make a point", "what's the point?", and so on.

Depending on the context, these expressions can also be equivalent to "That's the point":

  • Y eso es de lo que se trata. / De eso se trata.
  • Esa es la cuestión.
  • Ese es el propósito.
  • Eso es lo importante.
  • etc.

  • 3
    • 1
      Cognates need not be false. "punto" is defined as follows in DRAE (a Spanish, not Spanglish, dictionary): 30. m. Lo sustancial o principal en un asunto. 31. m. Fin o intento de cualquier acción. – Gustavson Oct 15 '18 at 17:49
    • 1
      I'd add "esa es la cosa", "ahí le has dado", and "equilicuá". – FGSUZ Oct 15 '18 at 20:38
    • I still think that the word "punto" does not have that sense for most speakers, the DLE notwithstanding, and that it is a very marginal and limited sense. It is certainly not a good way to translate that sense of English "point", since most people won't understand you. No doubt some native speakers do say it and I venture to guess that it is a calque from English in the dialects of those speakers. – Jon Aske Oct 16 '18 at 22:25
    6

    No direct translation sounds good to me. I would suggest:

    Esa es la idea.

    Which means:

    That's the idea.

    4

    You do have the same sentence in Spanish:

    Ese es el punto. (Also: Ese es el objetivo.)

    Alternatively, you can say things like:

    • A eso apunta. (That's what it points to.)
    7
    • "Ese es el punto" doesn't sound idiomatic in the context stated by the OP. – RubioRic Oct 15 '18 at 8:26
    • lately i'm seeing a lot more of "ese es el punto" but it really is nothing more than a bad literal translation as of now, which doesn't mean it might become a true translation at some point in time, but as of now, unless the other person knows the english phrase you're most likely to get a puzzled face as a response. – Brian H. Oct 15 '18 at 14:21
    • @BrianH., I see nothing wrong with "ese es el punto" (actually, we very often hear sentences like "ese es precisamente el punto" or "ese es justamente el punto"). However, the other translations proposed are also fine. – Gustavson Oct 15 '18 at 16:06
    • I have never heard such an expression. – Jdamian Oct 15 '18 at 17:43
    • 1
      @Jdamian You made it sound like it was an expression out of this world! Here in Argentina I hear it all the time. – Gustavson Oct 16 '18 at 18:30
    2

    As Spuny says, it is not usually convenient to translate word by word. I would suggest using the following expression:

    De eso se trata. (Lit.: "That's what it's all about".)

    So your example could be translated like this:

    —Qué final más malo, ¡todo el mundo muere!
    —De eso se trata, de mostrar los horrores de la guerra.

    If you want to go more Latin, you can also use quid:

    —Qué final más malo, ¡todo el mundo muere!
    —Ese es el quid: mostrar los horrores de la guerra.

    The word quid is defined by the RAE as "the essence, the reason of or the most important thing about something".

    Your Answer

    By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

    Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.