Spanish Lessons


—ito, —ita: Making it smaller, or is it?

Among Polbo's song lyrics that are entirely in Spanish in this video, we see the diminutive of todos ("everyone" or "all") repeated in the refrain:

Ahora toditos se fueron al sur
"Now everyone's gone south"
[Captions 10, 21 27, Polbo > Yo era tan cool']


Why use the diminutive of todos here? Well, adding the suffix -ito to make it toditos doesn't change the meaning of the word. It simply renders it more colloquial.

You see, in Spanish adding a diminutive suffix -- namely, -ito or -ita -- is often used in informal speech -- in its extreme, in baby talk or other affectionate banter. So, a gatito (gato / "cat" + -ito) can be a little cat (or "kitty") but it can also be a big cat that you're discussing with a small person. For example:

Mira el gatito, mi amorcito
"Look at the kitty, my little love.

This could be said at the zoo in front of a lion's cage if we're talking baby talk. Another example:

Besitos grandes
"Big affectionate kisses.

Back to our song. Toditos is "everyone" said in a friendly, familiar way. Toditos is not meant to shrink the size of "everyone," just to cut make it more casual.




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