Questions tagged [uso-de-palabras]

De qué manera una palabra, frase o concepto es usado en el idioma español. // How a word, phrase, or concept is used in the Spanish language.

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Is there any difference between 'aquí' and 'acá'?

ENGLISH I've been taught that aquí and acá are completely interchangable. From personal observation, acá seems to be used more often than aquí in the context of "I live down this road." Example: ...
Flimzy's user avatar
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46 votes
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Understanding ya vs. todavía vs. aún

English speakers learning Spanish have a hard time understanding the similarities and differences between ya, todavía, and aún (or aun). They don't perfectly match up with the similar English words "...
jrdioko's user avatar
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40 votes
6 answers
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What's the difference between "vamos" and "vámonos"?

Español Cuando estaba estudiando Español, aprendí que let's go es vamos, pero cuando fui a México, lo único que oí era vámonos. Le pregunté a una persona bilingüe allá, pero no supo la diferencia. ¿...
Old Pro's user avatar
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32 votes
14 answers
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'Vos' vs 'tú' usage by country

I lived for a while in Bolivia, and I noticed some people used "vos" instead of "tú" as the second person familiar singular pronoun. Which countries use "vos" instead of "tú", and are there any that ...
Eric Di Bari's user avatar
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26 votes
3 answers
25k views

Differences betwen "ahí", "allí", and "allá"

I am confused with the uses of ahí, allí, and allá. It seems they are used according to different situations. Could you please tell me what are the differences are and provide some examples?
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24 votes
3 answers
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Why do we say "Qué hora es" instead of "Qué hora está"?

I was taught that está is used in certain contexts meaning a temporary state (like emotion). Isn't "time" always temporary in that it is constantly changing? If so, why don't we use está instead of es?...
David G's user avatar
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23 votes
6 answers
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"Vaso de agua" or "vaso con agua"? Which is correct?

English What's the correct way to express that something "serves as a container for something else"? Example: ¿Quieres un vaso de/con agua? Should we use de or con? Are both correct? Why? If we ...
Alfredo Osorio's user avatar
21 votes
3 answers
30k views

What is the difference, if any, between "nunca" and "jamás"?

Friends tell me there is a subtle difference between the two, and that jamás is a little stronger, a little more definitive a statement than nunca. Both mean "never"—but are there any measurable ...
Robusto's user avatar
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21 votes
5 answers
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What is the difference between "personas" and "gente"?

I was translating a sentence for school en Español and I came across the word "people." I looked it up on Google Translate and it gave me "personas" and also "gente." What is the difference between ...
daviesgeek's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
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What are the differences between "ser" and "estar"? When to use each? // ¿Cuáles son las diferencias entre "ser" y "estar"? ¿Cuándo se usa cada uno?

This is a canonical question / Esta es una pregunta canónica This is a canonical question about the differences and usage of ser and estar. Feel free to collaborate both in the question as in the ...
Charlie's user avatar
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19 votes
6 answers
39k views

Is "me gustas" ever correct, e.g. to say "I like you"?

We have been taught that 'gustar' is an unusual verb and that you only ever use 'gusta' or 'gustan' depending on whether you like singular or plural things. Would you use 'me gustas' to say 'I like ...
David Pashley's user avatar
19 votes
6 answers
17k views

What's the difference between "ave" and "pájaro"?

What's the difference between el ave and el pájaro? My Spanish class has used them both for the same bird and it really has me confused. Are they the same thing? Or do they have distinct differences?...
Carrie Brown's user avatar
19 votes
3 answers
4k views

What's the difference between "debe de" y "debe"?

Is there any difference? What's their usage? When should one be used instead of the other one? Examples: El niño debe de hacer su tarea. El niño debe hacer su tarea.
Alfredo Osorio's user avatar
19 votes
5 answers
19k views

When to use "igual" and "lo mismo"?

English I often get corrected when using either the word igual or mismo, and haven't really figured out when to use which yet. What are the rules for when and how to use igual, and when and how to use ...
Flimzy's user avatar
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18 votes
4 answers
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¿Se debe decir jefe o jefa al referirse a una persona de sexo femenino?

Mi jefe en el trabajo es una mujer. ¿Cómo es la forma correcta de referirse a un jefe que es mujer? ¿jefe o jefa? Algunos compañeros de trabajo le dicen jefa, yo le digo por su nombre sin embargo ...
Alfredo Osorio's user avatar
18 votes
9 answers
97k views

How do you differentiate between walnuts and pecans in Spanish?

It recently occurred to me that the Spanish nuez can be translated to English as both "walnut" and "pecan." Is the same word really used for both types of nuts? How would you specify which nut you're ...
jrdioko's user avatar
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17 votes
4 answers
165k views

¿Qué significa en Argentina "al pedo"?

He escuchado y leído a argentinos decir "al pedo", por ejemplo, "estoy al pedo". Es evidente que NO se refiere a "estar pedo", que significa "estar borracho" en algunos sitios. ¿Qué significa "estar ...
JoulSauron's user avatar
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17 votes
4 answers
906 views

Does using "tío" imply a negative opinion?

I've seen the word tío used to mean "guy" or "bloke", but can't recall (in my admittedly limited experience) having seen it used to imply a positive opinion of someone. If I refer to someone as "Ese ...
razlebe's user avatar
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17 votes
7 answers
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¿Dónde se usa "fama" como sinónimo de carnicería? ¿Cuál es el origen de la palabra?

Acabo de ver en Twitter a una persona utilizando la palabra fama como sinónimo de carnicería (donde uno compra la carne): Crea fama y te sacarán fiada la carne. En Colombia está bien decir: Voy ...
Icarus's user avatar
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16 votes
10 answers
18k views

How do you say "I got you!" in Spanish?

If I threw a snowball (or dodgeball) at someone and it hit them, how would I say : I got you! in Spanish?
Teresa's user avatar
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6 answers
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Is the phrase still "cuantos años tiene" where the age is obviously less than one year?

You see the parents of a baby obviously less than one year old. You want to ask how old the baby is. Would it be natural or ridiculous to ask "Cuantos años tiene?" In other words, would the ...
Chaim's user avatar
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15 votes
12 answers
14k views

Use of "Veni"? Is it a real word?

I was teaching a high school Spanish class, and a student (who was raised in Texas, but has Mexican relatives) told me that he has heard "veni" instead of "viene". I'd like to know if this is ...
Rachel's user avatar
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15 votes
8 answers
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¿Es despectivo el uso de "gallego" en Hispanoamérica para referirse a los españoles?

Yo tenía entendido que en Argentina se usa el término "gallego" para referirse a los nacidos en España o de ascendencia española, y que es un término que se usa de modo amistoso, que no implica ...
Charlie's user avatar
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15 votes
4 answers
5k views

How to decide between "ahora" and "ya" for the sense "now"?

I know that ya has additional meanings besides simply now, such as already. But considering just the sense of ya which does mean now, when should I use it and when should I use ahora, which only has ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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15 votes
4 answers
19k views

How can I distinguish between "girlfriend," "fiancée" and "bride", which are all "novia"?

I am a native Portuguese speaker, where noiva means "bride" or "fiancée." So I was very confused when someone asked me if a girl was my novia, since she didn't have an engagement ring (thank goodness ...
Orion's user avatar
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15 votes
3 answers
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Difference between "mas" and "más"

What's the difference between mas and más? What rules should I follow to know which one to use? Could you provide examples showing their uses?
Alfredo Osorio's user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
16k views

When is "ello" used?

A long time ago in Spanish class, we were taught that "it" was literally ello but is rarely translated that way. I was thinking about the word recently, and realized I don't know if I've ever (at ...
jrdioko's user avatar
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15 votes
6 answers
1k views

Best way to translate 'uneducated', meaning lacking formal schooling

Generally the Spanish word maleducado more often means rude, rather than unschooled. In light of this, how would one describe someone who is polite and intelligent, but has never been formally ...
Gordon Gustafson's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
579 views

Is a mixture of exclamation mark and question mark accepted practice, or was it a typo?

Sometimes in English we write statements such as: What the heck is going on here?! (ending with both an exclamation mark and a question mark). I saw a sentence like this in a Spanish book: ¡...
B. Clay Shannon-B. Crow Raven's user avatar
14 votes
9 answers
158k views

Congratulations: should I use "felicidades" or "felicitaciones"?

English I have heard both ¡Felicidades! and ¡Felicitaciones! as translations of the interjection, "Congratulations!" What is the difference between the two, and when is each used? Español He ...
jrdioko's user avatar
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14 votes
5 answers
2k views

How big are the regional differences in the Spanish spoken in different countries?

As a non-native speaker, I have no more difficulty conversing with a Mexican than a Spaniard or Venezuelan or Colombian or vice versa. I realize there are regional variations and differences in verbs,...
Rachel's user avatar
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14 votes
8 answers
11k views

Why is a "jack" called "un gato"?

Español ¿Por qué se llama "gato" a un "jack"? Esto es, el gato hidráulico o mecánico que se usa para levantar grandes pesos. Para mí, un "jack" no se parece para nada al ...
B. Clay Shannon-B. Crow Raven's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
7k views

What's that funny "illo" I keep hearing in Southern Spain?

Common case: I came to live in Southern Spain some time ago and I'm learning Spanish here. I keep hearing every once and again the word 'illo'. It seems to be used as a vocative to call people or ...
Charlie's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
3k views

Usage of "oso" to express embarrassment

I have heard the expression: ¡Que oso! It is used to express embarrassment by a former acquaintance from Colombia, but I have never met another Spanish speaker who uses this expression. My ...
razlebe's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
4k views

¿Por qué cuando digo "Él no va a ningún lado" siento que está mal dicho?

En muchas, muchas, muchas ocasiones he usado este término. Y lo he escuchado de muchas personas también, la pregunta no es si está bien dicho, sino porque siento que carece de lógica y que significa ...
Axel A. García's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
162k views

¿Cuál es el significado de "órale" y su origen?

La palabra "órale" es usada frecuentemente en México en situaciones informales. ¿Cuál es su significado y origen?
Alfredo Osorio's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
51k views

Cuándo usar "usar" o "utilizar"

Español Ambos términos tienen un significado muy parecido. Según la RAE, el único uso de 'utilizar' es "Aprovecharse de algo" y el significado que me interesa de 'usar' es "Hacer servir ...
Francisco Presencia's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
3k views

¿Por qué dejó de usarse "ósculo" como "beso" y se convirtió en un cultismo?

Hoy día tenemos dos palabras para hablar del beso, aunque una de ellas se usa solamente como cultismo: beso Del lat. basium, voz de or. celta. m. Acción y efecto de besar ["Tocar u ...
Charlie's user avatar
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13 votes
6 answers
16k views

How is “pea” translated into Spanish?

Primero mi pregunta en español: ¿Cómo se dice "pea" en español? Details in English: Until very, very recently, the only word I’ve ever known for the word “pea” is the word “guisante.” That all ...
Lisa Beck's user avatar
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13 votes
7 answers
34k views

¿El o la app? ¿Un o una app?

La recomendación de la Fundéu es no abreviar y usar «aplicación» o, si se quiere abreviar, hacerlo de una forma más ¿española? y abreviarlo como «apli». Sin embargo es «app» lo que se sigue usando en ...
guillem's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
2k views

¿Por qué no decimos "crocodilo"?

En Wikipedia se encuentra el nombre de la familia (imagino que será latín) a la que pertenecen los cocodrilos: Los crocodílidos (Crocodylidae) son una familia de saurópsidos (reptiles) arcosaurios ...
Mauricio Martinez's user avatar
13 votes
6 answers
31k views

"Plátano" and "banana", geographical differences?

I don't really speak Spanish, but I do know a few words and phrases here and there, and enjoy furthering what little knowledge I have. So, today I saw, in a Swedish newspaper, a reference to plantains ...
Christofer Ohlsson's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
6k views

Can Spanish distinguish between "lonely" and "alone"?

I learned that solo in Spanish means both "alone" (the simple fact of not having anyone else around) and "lonely" (feeling sad because of being alone). Is there any way of distinguishing between these ...
jrdioko's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is the spanish translation for "Account" when referring to a user account on a website?

The English > Spanish translation of account on Google Translate comes up with various forms of the word cuenta. However, the Spanish > English translation of cuenta returns words relating to ...
Jason's user avatar
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13 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is "versus" a Spanish word?

RAE says no, wordreference says yes. Is it used or understood by the Spanish speakers?
Bogdan Lataianu's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
4k views

Article usage before country names

I have heard several countries expressed in Spanish with a definite article before the country name (e.g. los Estados Unidos, la Argentina, la India). Is there a rule for when this occurs and when it ...
jrdioko's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
18k views

What is the difference between "abajo," "debajo," and "bajo?"

I see some conflicting information out there on the web regarding this topic, especially with regard to which of these can and cannot pair with "de." I wrote a post on it, but when I ...
Lisa Beck's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
8k views

¿Cuándo se usa "aparte" y cuándo "a parte"?

Escribí una respuesta hace poco y Gorpik me corrigió una frase: Bromas a parte, sí tiene diferencia, aunque no mucha. Dejándola (correctamente) en: Bromas aparte, sí tiene diferencia, aunque no ...
fedorqui's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
5k views

Are "caminar" and "andar" interchangeable?

Today, as I was expanding my vocabulary, I've come across the verb "andar". I looked it up and I noticed that it has several meanings. One is "to walk". I thought of "caminar". Can "caminar" and "...
Zerotime's user avatar
  • 377
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

How does a doctor phrase expressions of empathy in Spanish? Similar to "I'm sorry to hear that..."

As a family medicine doctor, I want to refine how I express empathy with the different types of suffering that people experience. My voice and body language show the empathy I feel, but I don't feel I ...
DoctorWhom's user avatar

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