When a phrase is contracted, does it change its undertone? That is, does it become more informal or more direct than its uncontracted version? For example, what are the differences between

Dame un taco de cabeza VS ¿Me da un taco de cabeza?


Quiero preguntarle VS Le quiero preguntar

  • 2
    That isn't really a contraction, the only contractions in Spanish are del, al, etc. the example that you gave is a gramatical construction that allows pronouns to be added onto the end of the verb. Ex: infinitive verbs, positive tu commands, and positive vosotros commands.
    – Eric
    Jul 18, 2013 at 16:58
  • All the phrases you are listing such as Dáme un taco de cabeza (informal) or Me da un taco de cabeza (formal) are not contracted. Neither Quiero preguntarle and Le quiero preguntar, in this case both are formal since you use the personal pronoun le of usted. Jul 20, 2013 at 10:28

2 Answers 2


In this case the contracted form "Dámelo" is an order or a command, and the uncontracted "Me lo da?" is a question, as you can recognize for the question mark. "Lo me da" is in incorrect order.

  • And is more casual, you can tell a friend ¡Dámelo! but you probably tell your boss: "Me lo da".
    – Newbie
    Jul 18, 2013 at 14:36
  • The question mark is for my question on this site. It is not part of the phrase.
    – JoJo
    Jul 19, 2013 at 4:08

Just to confirm, Dámelo is not a contraction and actually it is a grammatical structure that works as an order or like in the case of me lo da? as a polite request.

The tone changes since the way you request is different and probably you will choose one of them depending on who you are addressing (Dámelo is informal and direct, me lo da? is formal and polite). You may find this review of Spanish grammatical structures useful.

On the other hand, contractions are shortened versions of the written and spoken forms of a word or a group of words, and are created by omitting internal letters. The typical examples are:

A + el = al

De + el = del

There are other examples which are not so common(as far as I know) in Latin America such as:

Donde + quiera = doquier

De + esto = desto

I hope this helps!

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