In English, one can use Contrastive Focus Reduplication to clarify between one definition of a word and another definition by putting stress on the first part of the duplication. Some examples of this include:

Do you like her, or do you LIKE-like her? in clarifying between a friendly fondness and a romantic fondness.

Did you guys dance, or did you guys DANCE-dance? in clarifying between normal dancing and some other more significant dancing

I'm just wondering if this is possible to use in the Spanish language, because in my HS class we are writing myths (that are to be acted out) which must have literary devices used in them and I am thinking about choosing this particular device.



En inglés, uno puede usar la reduplicación de enfoque contrastivo para aclarar entre una definición de una palabra y otra poniendo énfasis en la primera parte de la duplicación. Algunos ejemplos de esto incluyen:

  ¿Te gusta ella, o te GUSTA-gusta ella? Aclarando entre un afecto amistoso y un afecto romántico.

"¿Vosotros Bailabais en el baile, o vosotros BAILABAIS-bailabais en el baile?" Para aclarar entre el baile normal y otros bailes más significativos.

Me pregunto si esto es posible usarlo en el idioma español, porque en mi clase de HS estamos escribiendo mitos (que deben ser actuados) que deben tener dispositivos literarios usados y estoy pensando en elegir este dispositivo en particular .


Correct me if my spanish is wrong too, please!

The thread linked was about adjectives, this is more broad.

  • 2
    The mentioned thread was mainly about adjective reduplication. We should make clear that reduplication can take place with any category of open-class words (nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs).
    – Gustavson
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 13:46
  • 2
    In the last weeks we have seen an ad in the Spanish TV that said: "Todos los comparadores [de seguros] te ofrecen el mejor precio, pero solo uno te ofrece el MEJOR mejor precio" (the best price among the best prices).
    – Charlie
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 13:37

2 Answers 2


Yes this does also occur in Spanish:

The first of the citations in (10) is excerpted from the Pedro Almodóvar film, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and occurs in the scene in which the protagonist, seeking to rent out her Madrid penthouse apartment (complete with chicken coop and tropical garden), opens the door to find prospective tenants, who just happens to be her lover's son and his somewhat inhibited fiancée, who registers the complaint in (10a). The remaining examples are more self-explanatory; the boldface is mine.

(10) a. No es una CASA-casa. 'This isn't a real [sic] house.'

  • It definitely occurs and I'd even say it's way more common in Spanish than in English!
    – nanaki
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 9:38

Here is another example, one of my favorite children's poems, Canción de los Constructores, by David Chericián, published in Urí urí urí. Palabras para jugar. México, SEP, 1994. I found a fragment online. Some of the meanings:

Casa muy casa: a house that's very much a home

Sin puertas puertas: without doors to keep you out

Todos todos: absolutely everyone

Now here's the fragment:

Canción de los constructores

Hay que hacer una casa
sin puertas ni ventanas,
ni techos, ni paredes--
una casa muy casa
pero bien ancha,
pero bien larga,
pero bien amplia
para que todos entren,
para que todos salgan,
para que todos todos
a donde vayan vayan--
en el verano fresca,
en el invierno cálida,
pero sin puertas puertas
ni ventanas ventanas
ni paredes paredes
ni techos techos--
nada que impida que la gente
encuentre las entradas
todas bien anchas,
todas bien largas,
todas bien amplias
para que todos entren,
para que todos salgan,
para que todos todos
a donde vayan vayan.

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