Michael Wolf
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When is "al" not interchangeable with "a el"?
9 votes

Some proper nouns that start with el don't contract. Back in the day, I worked near a taquería called El Pelón, and we'd say Vamos a El Pelón. But if you're in Chilangolandia and are taking a day ...

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Translation of "bloody" etc. for frustration (colloquialisms)
6 votes

In Mexico, pinche is quite common: ¡Apaga la pinche televisión!

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What's the function of the letter h?
Accepted answer
6 votes

The silent, leading h exists for etymological reasons. As Vulgar Latin developed into Castilian, many (but not all) *f*s at the beginnings of words began to be pronounced as, and spelled with, h. ...

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¿Cómo se dice "más o menos" en inglés?
Accepted answer
4 votes

Más o menos means at least two different things in Spanish. When it is used as a synonym of "aproximadamente" ("approximately"), "more or less" is a fine English translation. For instance, "está a ...

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¿Cuándo se usa "sino" y cuándo "si no"?
3 votes

@Zeravala's answer is good, but I'd add a few things. When I was learning Spanish, I decided that the best translation of sino was most often "but rather." No leí el libro de Bioy Casares sino el de ...

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Practicamos hablando
3 votes

En español idiomático, para usar un verbo como si fuera un sustantivo, hay que usar el infinitivo. No se permite usar el gerundio así, aunque sea en inglés posible, común y, a veces, la única manera ...

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What is the preferred word to use to know if the partner is grasping what you are explaining?
2 votes

I'm partial to ¿estamos?: Primero A, después B y luego C. ¿Estamos? Bien, ahora tenemos que seguir con pasos D y E. It goes particularly well at "checkpoints". Having said that, I disagree ...

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How does one chain noun adjuncts in Spanish?
2 votes

As the other answerers said, usually you can invert the nouns and put de between them, sometimes replacing de algo with an adjective. In the real world, however, many people—especially in writing—...

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usted and its usage
1 votes

Usted needn't always be used directly with a verb; it can also be an object. Se lo doy a usted. This means "I give it to you." In this case, of course, doy is conjugated for yo, not for usted, ...

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How formal is "cuán"? What are the informal alternatives?
1 votes

Although this isn't really what you were asking about, maybe it's worth mentioning that it would be somewhat out of place to use cuán when you're in Mexico, where it is far more common to say qué tan. ...

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Direct or indirect object for textear?
0 votes

El estimado AlexBCN tells us that textear isn't in any dictionary. If it ever makes it into a dictionary lexicographers may come up with a different analysis, but for now I'll propose the following as ...

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¿Cómo decir "Cage free eggs" en español?
-1 votes

En México verás huevos de libre pastoreo y de gallina libre. Véanse http://www.airesdecampo.com/nuestros-productos/abarrotes/huevo/ y http://bachoco.com.mx/productos/huevoblancogallinalibre/99-huevo-...

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