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I recently met someone from Chile who used "po" as a contraction of "pues" - and said that this is common usage in Chile. Is it used anywhere else?


Recientemente conocí una chilena que utiliza "po" como contracción de "pues". Ella me dijo que eso es común en Chile. Es usado en otros países también?

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  • Chileans don't use "po" as a contraction, it's more of a meaningless sound that gets randomly (to me) inserted into phrases. It's similar to how Malaysians use (or at least used to use) "la". For example, you might here "sí po" or "ya po, apúrate!" – R0MANARMY Dec 1 '12 at 15:47
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    That's exactly how "pues" is often used in Bolivia, though - "sí pues" and "ya pues" are very common here. My Chilean friend is very clear that "po" means the same as "pues", and she uses it the same way I'm used to for "pues". – user1135 Dec 1 '12 at 15:55
  • Not in Argentina. – leonbloy Sep 30 '13 at 15:33
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    A modo de ejemplo, no puedo evitar soltar la frase de los personajes de 'Makinavaja' (el comic): "Po güeno, po fale, po malegro" – deStrangis Oct 2 '13 at 13:24
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    Sometimes, new Chilean generations fail to realize that "po" is just a mispronunciation of "pos" (because of the Chilean aspiration of the 'S') and "pos" is, in turn, a contraction of "pues". So, no, you won't here "po" anywhere else. – GetFree Sep 13 '15 at 1:05
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"Po" is a word that we use in different situations. I think comes from the transformation or mutation from the words "pues". I have been in Brazil, Perú, Colombia, Uruguay , Paraguay, Dominican Republic and Bolivia; never heard "po" none of these countries (in the context or replacing "pues"). Different and multiple uses here in Chile can be found; in those you can hear:

  1. Next to afirmattions and negations "yes" "no": "si po" (like "yup") , "no po" (like nope), "ya po" (like ok).

  2. Next to many words like: "bueno po" (good for it), "buena po" (good for it), "vamos po" (mostly used like: "lets go buddy(buddies"), "acá po" (here we go).

  3. Next to perhaps random words on phrases: "mi polola me dijo que no, y yo le dije que ná que ver po" ("mi girlfriend says to me no, and so i replied i dont agree with you").

  4. I cannot think now in a phrase that is not "allowed".

I have thought a lot about meaning and origin about this word, best similar word for me in America (South and Central Amercas) is "pues".

Espero se entienda po.

"i hope you understood"

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Como en cualquier otro idioma, muchas palabras tienden a contraerse en sus formas de uso informales.

Yo no se como se usa en otros países, vivo en España, pero como dice pickoka en la Península ibérica suele usarse Pos.

Mi respuesta final, es que Po como contracción de Pues no llega a algunos países, como por ejemplo España, pero es probable que esos países tengan otras contracciones.

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    In Andalusia (southern Spain) you can also hear "po" as an informal way to say "pues". But it is very very informal. – joragupra Jan 8 '14 at 10:29
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In Mexico you will often hear "pos", as in ¡pos andale!, pos si, pos como no, which roughly stand for c'mon!, of course, d'oh!, of course...

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Yes, I usually say "pos", in the Iberian peninsule.

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    Warning for learners: "Pos" is extremely informal, and it is used mainly when you speak with your friends/family or in situations where you want to sound funny. It's not advisable to use it in other environments, for example in a business meeting because they may think you're laughing at them or that your education is poor. – Javi Nov 19 '12 at 12:50
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    And, at least in Chile, "mal educado" doesn't mean poorly educated. It means impolite. ;) – Walter Mitty Nov 20 '12 at 15:15
  • Adding to what @Javi correctly says, I would advise: never use it. Nobody uses that on purpose, excepting when you are being facetious. Now, pues sometimes comes out as pos in very informal contexts, but we don't do it on purpose. – Gorpik Oct 2 '13 at 11:46
  • En Andalucía, como nos comemos la "s" final, no es "pos" sino "po". – mcleod_ideafix Jan 5 '14 at 6:22
  • "Po" is used also in some low educated environments in the center of Spain. You can see this depicted in the well-known expression from Makinavaja comic: "Po fale, po me alegro" for "Pues vale, pues me alegro" – Bardo Sep 15 '20 at 12:59
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En Peru, suele usarse el pos, pes, pe.

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