Spanish Words With No English Meaning

spanish words
Spanish Language

Spanish Words With No English Meaning

8 Spanish words that can’t be said in English

It’s important to start with the basics when you’re learning Spanish. Learn enough vocabulary and grammar to have simple conversations, work on your communication skills, and improve your pronunciation. When you first start learning a language, it’s exciting. why learn spanish?

Once you know the basics, though, the fun really starts. You start to learn the language’s quirks and special features and figure out how it works. The vocabulary is one of the things I love most about Spanish.

In Spanish, one word can sometimes say what would take a sentence to say in English. In fact, there are some Spanish words that don’t have an exact English equivalent.

Here is a list of 13 Spanish words that you can’t translate into English. This will give you an idea of how complex (and sometimes strangely descriptive) the Spanish language can be. learn spanish

7 best podcasts to improve your Spanish listening and speaking skills.


Sobremesa means “tablecloth” if you translate it straight. Even though the word “sobremesa” is in English, the idea behind it is not. When Spanish speakers talk about sobremesa, they are usually referring to the time after a meal when people sit around the table and talk.

Example: Los domingos mi familia siempre hace la sobremesa.

After eating together on Sundays, my family always sits around and talks.

Pena ajena/Vergüenza ajena

Have you ever seen someone drop a glass in a restaurant? When it falls to the ground and breaks, everyone looks at the person who broke it. Some people might laugh, but other people might feel bad for them. If you feel bad about what they did, you are feeling pena ajena. This phrase means that you feel bad about what someone else did. The same thing can be said in Vergüenza ajena.

Example: Me dio pena ajena cuando mi mamá olvidó el nombre de su vecino.

When my mom couldn’t remember the name of her neighbour, I felt bad for her.


Since the meaning of anteayer is so simple, it’s a little strange that there’s no exact English word for it. It is one word for “the day before yesterday” in Spanish. You might also come across the word antier, which means the same thing but is used less often.

Example: Llegué de los Estados Unidos anteayer.

I came from the United States the day before yesterday.


Quincena is a word for time that is used in Spanish but not in English. It’s like the English word “fortnight,” but it’s 15 days long instead of 14. This word is often used when renting a vacation home, talking about how often you get paid (every two weeks), or just talking about when something happened.

Example: Viajamos a España en la segunda quincena de agosto.

We went to Spain in the second half of August.


The most common ways to say “you” in Spanish are t and usted. You can use “usted” when you want to be formal or show respect, and “t” when you want to talk to a friend or family member. In Spain, it’s very common to say “t,” but in many Latin American countries, “you” is used even in casual situations.

The Spanish word tutear means “to call someone “t”.” It can mean something bad (“Don’t disrespect your teachers! “), or it can mean something neutral (“We’re friends now, so we respect each other”).

Example: Mi vecino y yo nos tuteamos.

My neighbour and I say “t” when we talk to each other.


The word “botellón” means “big bottle” in English, but in Spanish it means an informal party in a public place. Young people in Spain often buy bottles of alcohol at the grocery store and have parties in the street or a nearby park instead of going to a bar. It’s much cheaper, and they can listen to their own music. The neighbours don’t always like it, though, so you often hear of people calling the police to report botellones.

Example: ¿Te vienes al botellón en el parque esta noche?

Roughly: Are you going to the botellón tonight in the park?

Concuñado/a and Consuegro/a

When you tell someone how you are related to them, you might use a lot of words. There are a few different words in Spanish for describing relationships that have been going on for a long time. This is shown by the word concuado/a, which means your brother or sister-in-or law’s sister-in-husband law’s or wife. The relationship between your parents and the parents of your spouse is described by the word consuegro/a.

Example: Roberto es mi concuñado. Él es el marido de la hermana de mi esposa.

Roberto is my concuado. He is married to my wife’s sister’s husband.

Example: Mis padres y los padres de mi esposa son consuegros.

My parents and my wife’s parents are the same kind of people.


People from the United States often say that they’re “American,” but that’s not the best word to use. If you think about it, anyone from South, Central, or North America is technically an American. Because of this, if you say you’re “American,” people may ask you what country you’re from.

Estadounidense is a more specific way to say you are from the U.S. in Spanish. There is a word in English that means the same thing, “United Statesian,” but you don’t hear it very often. The word “Estadounidense” is used all the time in normal Spanish conversations, though.

Example: Soy estadounidense pero vivo en España actualmente.

I’m from the United States, but I live in Spain at the moment.

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Master Native-Speaking Skills

If you want to become truly proficient in Spanish, it’s not enough to simply learn the language’s vocabulary and syntax; you also need to practice speaking like a native. Learning slang and everyday expressions like those above can help you sound more fluent in Spanish. If you’re curious about Spanish language classes, go here.

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