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Otro: Another common mistake

Otro is a simple word in Spanish that looks and sounds like its English equivalent, "other" or "another." But with this ease of recognition and use, many non-native speakers misuse otro by adding an article where it doesn't belong.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

 

Here's a tricky question. How do you say "another" in Spanish — as in, "I'll have another (beer)"?

Answer: "Tomaré otra (cerveza)."

 

Note that it's NOT: una otra or un otro. That's wrong. It would be like saying "an another" in English.

 

In an episode of the documentary series 75 minutos, we find the following clip:

 

Yo tengo lo que me pertenece a la de... de la custodia: un fin de semana sí y otro no

I have what belongs to me to the... from the custody: one weekend yes and the other, no

Captions 13-14, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 17

 Play Caption

 

Note once again that otro in Spanish doesn't require the article that "other" does in English.

 

The time to use a definite article before otro is when we need to distinguish between "another" and "the other" if, indeed, the distinction needs to be made:

 

Otro día =  "Another day"

El otro día = "The other day"

 

So, if you add an article before otro(a), make sure it's a definite article (el or la) and not an indefinite one (un or una):

 

¡Hola! -La otra socia. -Sí. -La otra.

Hello! -The other partner. -Yes. -The other one.

Caption 16, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 8

 Play Caption

 

And finally, don't forget about otra vez, a very useful expression that you can use when you wan to say 'another time' or 'once again.'

 

That's it for today. Did you like this little reminder? Please send us your comments, questions, and suggestions

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