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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50
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14answers
12k views

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: ...
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5answers
63k views

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 "...
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6answers
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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. ¿...
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14answers
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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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
23
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3answers
20k 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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3answers
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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?...
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1answer
883 views

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 ...
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3answers
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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.
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3answers
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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 ...
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4answers
110k views

¿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 ...
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6answers
31k 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 ...
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2answers
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Why do we use “conmigo” but not “sinmigo”?

In Spanish we typically use "conmigo" for "with me" but "sin mí" for "without me". What are the origins of the word "conmigo"? How did it come to be preferred over "con mí"? Why do we continue to ...
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4answers
779 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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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8answers
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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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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¿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 ...
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7answers
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Why is a “jack” called a “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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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5answers
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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,...
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9answers
13k views

¿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 ...
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11answers
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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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
14
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9answers
15k 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?
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3answers
60k views

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?
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2answers
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 ...
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6answers
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 ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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6answers
9k 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 ...
13
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3answers
923 views

¿Cuándo se usa “sino” y cuándo “si no”?

Hace poco he leído un libro donde se empleaba el sino. Al principio pensaba que era un error de ortografía, pero me resulta un poco extraño que se equivocaron en poner sino y no separado si no. ¿Qué ...
13
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2answers
3k 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 ...
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3answers
2k views

Is “versus” a Spanish word?

RAE says no, wordreference says yes. Is it used or understood by the Spanish speakers?
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1answer
3k 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 ...
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4answers
152k 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?
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1answer
442 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: ¡...
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4answers
44k 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 ...
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2answers
6k 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 ...
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2answers
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 ...
12
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8answers
122k 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 ...
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8answers
7k views

Definition of 'escuela' and 'colegio'

Spanish has two generic words for school: escuela and colegio. I have heard different explanations for what phases of schooling each word refers to. For example, I've been told that colegio refers ...
12
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4answers
13k 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 ...
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6answers
6k 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?...
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14answers
54k views

How would you translate the word “badass” to Spanish?

I was thinking maybe of "cabrón" or "chingon" ; however I think those two sound too Mexican specific. Does anybody know a better and less region specific equivalent?
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2answers
2k views

Would you use “llamarse” for an animal's name?

Often in the Spanish language you would indicate someone's name using the verb 'llamarse', for example if you say 'his name is Joe' it would typically be Él se llama Joe which literally translates ...
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2answers
2k views

Is the phrase “Me siento mal” grammatically correct in Spanish?

Primero mi pregunta en español: ¿Es la oración «Me siento mal» gramaticalmente correcta en español? Details in English It is my understanding that, in English, the sentences: I feel sick and ...
12
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2answers
5k 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 ...
12
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4answers
3k views

What is the difference between “catedrático,” “docente,” “maestro,” and “profesor?”

Primero mi pregunta en español: ¿Cuál es la diferencia entre «catedrático», «docente», «maestro», y «profesor»? Details in English: Earlier this year, I prepared to take a DELE exam, more ...

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