What is the difference between these?

  1. congestión del tráfico.
  2. congestión de tráfico.

Thank you in advance!

  • The title of the question should be more descriptive: what is "them"?
    – JoulSauron
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 12:58
  • I have edited the title for you, I hope you have learned for your next question :)
    – JoulSauron
    Commented Jun 7, 2013 at 13:02

2 Answers 2


The difference is which one is the object of the sentences, in the first one you say:

"La congestión del tráfico", where "traffic" is the object and it is "congested"

On the second one:

"La congestión de tráfico", where "the congested traffic" is the object like in the answer of @MikO: "Las congestiones de tráfico son un gran problema" but I also believe they can be used indistinctly.

Note: "Traffic jam" is more popular and less formal. If you meant this usage, a more adequate form in Spanish is "Embotellamiento"

  • Both "embotellamiento" and "atasco" are used frequently in Spain. "Retención" (Hay retenciones en las entradas a Madrid) is also used, but it is more formal. "Congestión de tráfico" is less common. Commented Jul 11, 2013 at 7:56

I don't see any difference and I think both sentences are interchangeable.

If you want a slight difference, I'd say that the option 1 could be a bit more concrete than option 2, for example:

Hay una gran congestión del tráfico en la autopista A1 en estos momentos.


Las congestones de tráfico son un gran problema para los que trabajan en las grandes ciudades.

But as I said, this difference is a bit forced and I think both sentences are used indistinctly...

Note: I'd personally go for the option 1.

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