THE RIGHT WORD IN SPANISH

When you are looking up the Spanish translation of an English word you need to make sure that you have the correct Spanish word.  Look at these examples:

Again
repetition otra vez
Dígalo otra vez.
Say it again
over again
(from the beginning)
de nuevo
Trata de hacerlo de nuevo.
Try to do it again.

do something again volver a + infinitive (verb)
Volvió a decir lo mismo.
He said the same thing again.
Appear
to appear
(in the physical sense)
aparecer
De repente, José apareció a la puerta.
Suddenly, Jose appeared at the door.
to appear
(in the figurative sense)
parecer
Ella parecía divertirse.
She appeared to enjoy herself.
Ask
to ask a question preguntar
Él me preguntó dónde estaba el centro.
He asked me where the downtown was.
to ask for something pedir
Ellos pidieron unas Cocas al camarero.
They asked the waiter for some Cokes.
Back
the body part la espalda
backward motion atrás
Se está echando para atrás.
He is backing out.
in back of detrás de
to return back de regreso; de vuelta
Está de vuelta después de su viaje.
He's back now after his trip.
back of the bus, theatre or building al fondo
Al fondo a la derecha.
All the way back on your right.
Become
to become
(to enter a profession)
hacerse; llegar a ser + a noun
Carlos se hizo médico.
Carlos became a doctor.

 

Quiero llegar a ser doctor.
I want to become a doctor.
to become
(condition or state)
ponerse + adjective
Mi madre se puso triste al oír la noticia desgraciada.
My mother became sad upon hearing the unfortunate news.
Burn
burning
(such as a candle)

Arder
burning
(much more destructive)
incendiar
to burn something quema
Estás quemando el bistec.
You're burning the steak.
Can
container la lata
to be physically able poder
Puede levantar pesas de 200 libras.
He can lift 200-pound weights.
to know how to saber
Ella sabe tocar bien la guitarra.
She can play the guitar well.
Character
person in a book or play personaje
Augusto Pérez es el personaje más importante de la novela Niebla.
Augusto Perez is the most important character of the novel Niebla.
personal traits or attributes carácter
Tiene un carácter muy bueno.
He has a very good character.
Commercial
advertisement (radio, TV) anuncio
Los anuncios de televisión insultan al público.  Television commercials insult the public.
commerce, business comercial
Es un asunto comercial.
It is a commercial affair.
Corner
indoors rincón
Ponga la lámpera en ese rincón.
Put the lamp in that corner.
outdoors esquina
Ese guitarrista siempre toca en la esquina de la Avenida Juárez.
That guitarist always plays on the corner of Juárez Avenue.
Country
meaning countryside campo
Vamos a pasar el fin de semana en el campo.
We are going to spend the weekend in the country
meaning nation país
¿En qué país nació usted?
In what country were you born?
meaning native land patria
El soldado defendió a su patria.
The soldier defended his country.
Date
date on the calendar fecha

 

date
(romantic, although also an appointment with a doctor or lawyer, etc.)
cita
Fail
fail an exam suspender

 

fail (not succeed) frascar
Fracasó en su intento.
He did not succeed.
fail (not be working) estar fallando
Funny
funny makes you laugh chistoso; gracioso; cómico
funny makes you wonder extraño; raro
Go
to go ir
Vamos al teatro esta noche.
We are going to the theater tonight.
to go away irse
¡Véte!    Scram!
to go out, leave salir
Salió hace cinco minutos.
He left five minutes ago.
to go down bajar
Bajó la escalera.
He went down the stairs.
to go up subir
Subió la escalera.
He went up the stairs.
Grass
herb hierba
pasture pasto
lawn césped
Hear
to hear oír
Oigo un ruido.
I heard a sound.
to listen to escuchar
Me gusta escuchar esa música.
I like to listen to that music.
Here
here (motion - Come here.) acá
Ven acá.
Come here.
here (stationary - I'm here) aquí
Estoy aquí.
I am here.
Know
to know
(a fact)
saber
Yo sé ese poema de memoria.
I know that poem by heart.
to know
(how to do something)
saber
  Sabe divertirse.
He knows how to enjoy himself.
to know
(a person or city)
conocer
Le conozco.
I know him.

 

Leave
to leave, go out salir de
Ella salió del apartamento.
She left the apartment.

 

to leave behind debar
Dejó una propina para la camarera.
He left a tip for the waitress.

 

Little
in terms of quanity poco
Tenemos poco trabajo hoy.
We have little work today.

 

in terms of size pequeño
Mi casa es pequeña.
My house is small.

 

Look
look for buscar
look at mirar
look (by itself) verse
¿Cómo me veo?
How do I look?

 

look like parecerse (a)
Ese señor se parece a mi padre.
That man looks like my father.

 

look as if parecerse
Parece que va a llover.
It looks as if it is going to rain.

 

Love, like
to love a person querer
Ella quiere a su esposa.
She loves her husband.

 

to love a thing encantar
A ella le encanta la música de Joaquín Sabina.
She loves the music of Joaquín Sabina.

 

to like a person or thing gustar
¿Le gusto a ella?
Does she like me?

 

Make
to make something hacer
Ese señor hace huaraches.
That man makes sandals.

 

to make someone do something hacer + infinitive
Nos hizo escribir una carta a mamá.
He made us write a letter to Mother.

 

to make money ganar
Gana mucho más dinero que yo.
He makes more money than I do.

 

Miss
to miss a train perder
Perdí el tren.
I missed the train.

 

to miss a person or thing. echar de menos; estrañar
Te echo de menos.  or Te extraño.
I miss you.

 

to miss an occasion. faltar a
Faltó a la fiesta.
He missed the party.

 

Part
part of a whole parte
Ella quiere la tercera parte de la torta.
She wants a third of the cake.

 

part in play or film papel
Tiene el papel de Hamlet.
He has the part of Hamlet.

 

Party
party (social) fiesta
Voy a dar una fiesta.
I am going to a party.

 

party (political) partido
Es un miembro del partido conservador.
He is a member of the Conservative Party.

 

Pay
to pay money pagar
Paga tus deudas.
Pay your debts.
to pay attention prestar atención; hacer caso
Estudiantes, presten atención, por favor.
Students pay attention please.
Nunca hace caso del programa.
He never pays attention to the program.

 

People
people in general gente
persons (individuals) personas
the people (a race, nation) pueblo
Play
to play a game, sport, cards jugar
Juega a las cartas cada sábado.
He plays cards every Saturday.

 

to play a musical instrument tocar
Toca el piano.
He plays the piano.

 

to play a role (part) hacer un papel
Hace el papel de Hamlet.
He plays the role of Hamlet.

 

Quiet
keep quiet cállate (singular); cállense (plural)
quiet not answering callando
quiet meaning peaceful tranquilo
Busquemos un lugar tranquilo para platicar.
Let's look for a quiet place to talk.

 

Realize
to realize, to become aware of darse cuenta de
No me di cuenta de que tú estabas aquí.
I did not realize you were here.

 

to realize (achieve) a goal realizar
Por fin José realizó su meta de hacerse abogado.
Finally José realized his goal of becoming a lawyer.

 

Return
to come back volver
Vuelve a casa a las 10 en punto.
Come back home at 10 o'clock sharp.

 

to return a thing devolver
Devuélvame mi libro.
Return my book.

 

Right
a right by law derecho
Ella tiene el derecho de expresar su opinión.
She has the right to express her opinion.

 

to the right, on the right a la derecha
El museo está a la derecha.
The museum is to the right.

 

to be right tener razón
Siempre dice que su amigo tiene razón.
He always says his friend is right.

 

Save
to save (time, money, etc.) ahorrar

 

to save by avoiding evitarse = to avoid
Me evité un viaje a la tienda cuando llegó con azúcar.
I saved myself a trip to the store when she showed up with sugar.  (I avoided a trip...)

 

save by setting aside guardar
Guárdame un trozo para más tarde.
Save me a piece for later.

 

save by holding onto guardar
save by rescuing salvar
salvavidas = lifesavers (candy or the flotation device)
Sign
sign for a street letreros
sign
(in math or grammar)
signo
signo (de) menos = minus sign
sign meaning an indication señal
Es una buena señal.  It is a good sign.
to sign something firmar
una firma = a signature
Spend
to spend money gastar
Gastó todo su dinero.
I spent all of my money.

 

to spend time pasar
Pasé dos horas en El Prado.
I spent two hours in The Prado.

 

Take
to take from one place to another llevar
Juan me llevó a casa.
Juan took me home.
José llevó la silla de la cocina al comedor.
José took the chair from the kitchen to the dining room.

 

to take, grasp; to eat or drink tomar
La profesora tomó el libro y comenzó a leer a la clase.  The professor took the book and began to read to the class.

 

to take a picture sacar una foto
Me gusta sacar fotos.
I like to take pictures.

 

to take a walk dar un paseo
Demos un paseo.
Let's take a walk.

 

There
there
(nearby)
ahí
there
(within sight, not nearby)
allí
there
(not within sight)
allá
Allá tengo esposa y tres hijos.
Back home I have a wife a three kids.
(Back there I have a wife and three kids.)

 

Think
to think of someone or something pensar (used with the preposition de)
¿Qué piensa usted de este libro?  What do you think of this book?

 

to think about something pensar (used with the preposition en)
Pienso en las vacaciones de verano.
I am thinking of summer vacation.

 

Time
time of day (hour) hora
¿A qué hora vamos al baile?
At what time are we going to the ballet?

 

vague or indefinite duration of time tiempo
No puedo ir contigo porque no tengo tiempo.
I cannot go with you because I don't have time.

 

occasions or different times vez
la primera vez   -  the first time
Worker
blue-collar worker trabajador
white-collar worker empleado, oficinista

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