Spanish Composition Through Literature chapter 5

Topic: LifeCareer
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Last updated: May 4, 2019
el rincón
corner (an inside corner or angle or, or a remote or out-of-the-way place)

la esquina
corner (an external or outside corner of something, such as a box or table and the corner of sheets…

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ALSO, street corner)

el ángulo
angle (mathematical), corner (internal or external)

la comisura
corner (refers to the corner of the lips or mouth, may also refer to the corner of the eye, ehich in standard speech, however, is “rabillo del ojo”)

el ambiente
environment (refers to the air around us as well as all the things and conditions that surround us) AND atmosphere (refers to the surrounding sof a place or the general feeling or spirit it creates)

la atmósfera
atmosphere (refers to the gases around any star or planet)

el medio ambiente
environment (used when the context implies a total environment, whether it is physical, social, political, or any combination of these)

el cuero
leather; hide (standard for leather or hide) [Cowboy boots are made of thick leather./Las botas de los vaqueros se hacen de — grueso.]

la tez
complexion (refers to the skin’s natural color, appearance, and texture)

el cutis
skin (used almost exclusively for the skin of the human face, although technically it refers to the epidermis that covers the human body)

la piel
SKIN; (the basic word for the skin of a person, animal, vegetable, fruit, etc.

pig-skin wallet/una cartera de — de cerdo]) LEATHER; (when leather refers to a soft or supple material [leather gloves/guantes de —] FUR [fur coats/abrigos de —]

estar en cueros
to be stark-naked (in contrast with “estar desnudo”/to be nude, undressed, is strongly colloquial and somewhat pejorative in tone)

salvar el pellejo
to save one’s own hide/skin

delatar
to reveal, give away; (indicates mainly a natural revealing of some circumstance or situation) [The smuggler’s restless manner gave him away to the customs inspector./El aire inquieto del contrabandista le — al aduanero.] to inform on (to betray a person by purposely revealing his or her secrets, crimes, behavior, and so on to a third party)

denunciar
to denounce, to report a crime or a violation of some ordinance to the proper authority

traicionar
to betray (indicates an act of disloyalty, treachery, or unfaithfulness to a person, institution, or nation)

revelar
to reveal, give away (is a more neutral word and a standard term for “to reveal, uncover, or show something”)

la suela
sole of shoe

la planta (del pie)
sole of foot

el lenguado
sole (fish)

el alma (fem.)/las almas
soul

a costa de
at the expense of

a toda costa
at any cost

el coste/el costo
cost (price [precio]…the two words are synonyms, but the first is the more common and the second is sometimes preferred when larger amounts of money are involved)

las costas
costs, expenses (used mostly in the plural, implies the costs, in monetary or other terms, of some event, such as an accident or trial)

el coste (el costo) de la vida
the cost of living

costear
to pay for, pay the cost of (Note that this verb is not followed by a preposition in Spanish, but directly by a noun)

advertir
to warn, notify, alert (to call a person’s attention to something he or she should know or realize)

aconsejar
to advise or to give advice (the standard word)

el consejero
adviser

avisar
to inform, let know, notify (false cognate: this does NOT mean “to advise”…it is a synonym of “informar”)

asesorar
to advise (a synonym of “aconsejar” but suggests expertise in legal, economic, or political matters)

el/la asesor/a
adviser

pillar
to catch (indicates the unexpected catching of someone who is doing what he or she should not be doing, ex: catch someone in a lie)

coger
to catch (used in many contexts [ex: catch a train], but is a taboo word in parts of Spanish America, where it is replaced by “tomar” and “agarrar”)

asir
to catch, grasp (something that has a handle, such as a pen, a pot, an umbrella, or a weapon)

agarrar
to catch; to grasp, grab (often with force)

atrapar
to catch, trap (especially after a pursuit or as a result of cunning or entrapment, physical or figurative) [catch a fox or catch a criminal]

comprender
to understand, comprehend; to comprise, to embrace

entender
to understand

suelto
loose, free (not confined) refers to something that is not constricted by being bound, tied down, or confined [loose-fitting clothing/la ropa —]

soltar
to let loose, let go of; to free (this verb has 2 participles: “soltado,” used with “haber” to form compound tenses and “suelto,” used as an adjective) [They have let loose/freed the guniea pigs in the laboratory./Han — las cobayas del laboratorio.]

apretado
tight (opposite of both “suelto” and “flojo”…it conveys the idea of overcrowding or overfilling a particular space [jam packed subway] or of excessively closing or tightening physical things or objects)

flojo
loose, slack (tight); in the sense of not tense, not tight…[ loose telephone wires, loose screws] AND in some Spanish American countries, it means “lazy”

aflojar
to loosen, slacken

apretar
to tighten

el barrio chino
the red-light district; (a seamy area of town characterized by cheap bars, prostitution, etc.) Chinatown (a concentrated Chinese population living in a single neighborhood)

el barrio
district, quarter, neighborhood, section (of a city) (refers to any of the specific areas or neighborhoods defined along ethnic, socioeconomic, or similar lines)

el distrito
district (shares an area of meaning with “zona” but reflects established administrative or governmental divisions: ex: postal district)

la zona
zone, district, area (a synonym of “barrio” sometimes used to designate commercial, industrial, or residential use)

el suburbio
suburb; outlying slum area of cities as well as newer middle-class or upper-class residential areas)

las afueras
outskirts, suburbs (safest interpretation of “suburbs”)

acercar(se)
to bring near; to approach (used reflexively to indicate that a subject is moving toward something or someone…used non-reflexively to indicate that someone is moving something or someone toward a particular place)

aproximar(se)
to bring near; to approach, draw near (used reflexively to indicate that a subject is moving toward something or someone…used non-reflexively to indicate that someone is moving something or someone toward a particular place)

arrimar(se)
to bring closer; to draw up to (used reflexively to indicate that a subject is moving toward something or someone…used non-reflexively to indicate that someone is moving something or someone toward a particular place…SUGGESTS A CLOSE DEGREE OF PROXIMITY OR EVEN PHYSICAL CONTACT)[The child snuggled up to his mother./El niño se — a su madre.] [I put the ladder against the wall./— la escalera a la pared.]

alejar(se)
to move away, to put out of one’s life (used reflexively to indicate that a subject is moving AWAY FROM something or someone…used non-reflexively to indicate that someone is moving something or someone away from particular place) [a train pulling away]

la tempestad
storm (indicates a rainstorm accompanied by strong winds, thunder, and lightening)

el temporal
storm (longer in duration and may last several days; similar to a storm front)

la lluvia
rain

la llovizna
drizzle

la tormenta
storm (a close synonym of “tempestad” but it may also indicate a storm WITHOUT rain)

el aguacero
shower, storm (sudden, brief, and heavy rainstorms)

el chubasco
squall, shower, storm (sudden, brief, and heavy rainstorms)

el chaparrón
shower, downpour (sudden, brief, and heavy rainstorms…most often associated with storms at sea and is characterized by very strong winds)

conseguir
to get, to obtain; to succeed in + gerund

lograr
to get, obtain, achieve; to succeed in + gerund

alcanzar
to reach, overtake, obtain; to manage to + infinitive

obtener
to obtain, get

respaldar (noun: respaldo)
to back; (for example, with money) endorse (to protect or help someone by offering a personal guarantee of support, a synonym of “proteger,” can also mean “to endorse” in a political sense)

apoyar (noun: apoyo)
to support, back; (to help someone by backing or standing behind him or her…for ex: people supporting a President…and in the sense of helping someone, this verb implies a lesser degree of personal commitment than “respaldar,”…also means “to lean”

amparar (noun: amparo)
to shelter, protect (implies protection in the form of physical or spiritual shelter for someone in need or in danger)[for ex: nuns sheltering a pilgrim during a storm]

proteger (noun: protección)
to protect

ayudar (noun: ayuda)
to help

socorrer (noun: socorro)
to help, aid (suggests urgency or immediate aid to someone in danger or need) [ex: immediately help the victims of an earthquake]

auxiliar (noun: auxilio)
to help, aid, assist (is a general term with a meaning broad enough to encompass all the preceding terms)

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