Spanish Lessons


A Word Set Apart

Cognates are words in two languages that share a similar meaning, spelling, and pronunciation and are a great tool for expanding your vocabulary. However when learning cognates, you must also learn how to use them correctly. Take for example the word aparte (apart). In one of our newest videos we hear Cleer using it:



¿Puedo ordenarla sin cebolla y con el aderezo aparte?

Can I order it without onions and with the dressing on the side?

Caption 44, Cata y Cleer - En el restaurante

 Play Caption

In this case, English generally uses the expression "on the side" and not the cognate "apart" to translate aparte, even though expressions such as "can I have the dressing apart" or "serve the dressing apart" are not necessarily incorrect. On the other hand, Spanish does have an equivalent expression to "on the side": a un lado, which, in this case, you can certainly use instead of aparte¿Puedo ordenarla sin cebolla y con el aderezo a un lado? 

The word aparte is used a lot in Spanish. It could mean "besides, apart from, aside, as well, other than that" etcetera. For example:

...pero en lugar de ponerle nada más el caldito del piloncillo,

...but instead of putting into it only the little brown sugar cone broth,

aparte, se le va poniendo una leche, evaporada.

besides, one starts putting into it some milk, evaporated [milk].

Captions 46-48, Recetas - Capirotada

 Play Caption

It's very common to combine the word aparte with the preposition de. 


Pues, pero aparte de eso, para mí lo más importante es la seguridad.

Well, but besides that, for me, the most important thing is safety.

Caption 33, La Sub30 - Familias - Part 13

 Play Caption

So you can use the expression aparte de as an equivalent of "apart from" meaning "besides" or "other than that":


Y... aparte de la música, me gusta patinar.

And... apart from music, I like to skate.

Caption 14, Zoraida - Lo que gusta hacer

 Play Caption

Sometimes you would need the verbs separar (to separate) or apartar (to put or get apart) for expressions that in English require the word "apart." For example, while in English you say "I'm never apart from you," you can't really say nunca estoy aparte de ti in Spanish. Spanish speakers would rather say nunca me aparto de ti or nunca me separo de ti.


Tiene un valor muy importante para mí...

It has a very important value for me... 

jamás me separo de esa foto.

I'm never apart from that photo.

Caption 6, Yago - 3 La foto - Part 8

 Play Caption

Spanish doesn't use aparte in the same way English uses "apart" to talk about difference or separation in time, for example:


Como se llevan cuatro años de diferencia.

Since they are four years apart.

Caption 26, Biografía - Natalia Oreiro - Part 1

 Play Caption

So if you want to express the idea "they were born four years apart" you would say nacieron con cuatro años de diferencia [or separación]. 
Spanish also uses the verb separar (to separate) in cases where English uses expressions such as "put apart," "drive apart," "come apart," etc.:


Nos separa tu temor

Your fear tears us apart

Caption 5, Ha*Ash - Lo que yo sé de ti

 Play Caption


Or even verbs like deshacer (to undo):

Evidentemente, al cocer,

Evidently, upon cooking,

se va a deshacer, se va a desmenuzar.

it is going to come apart, it's going to crumble.

Caption 20, Cómetelo - Crema de brócoli - Part 6

 Play Caption



Instead of the dramatic "tear apart" Spanish would use the prosaic abrir (to open):


Nos abrimos el pecho

We tear our chest apart

Caption 15, San Pascualito Rey - Hoy no es mi día

 Play Caption


You May Also Like