We have been exploring interesting forms of negation in Spanish. This lesson will be focusing on the use of the expressions en absoluto, de ninguna manera, and del todo.
The Spanish expression en absoluto (not at all) is similar to the English negation "absolutely not" but it's not used the same way. Perhaps the most notable difference is that in Spanish you don't necessarily need the word no (not) for the expression to be considered a negation. Here's an example:
Aldo, ¿a vos te molesta? -En absoluto.
Aldo, does it bother you? -Not at all.
Captions 4-5, Yago - 6 Mentiras - Part 9Play Caption
If you want to add the negative word no (not) you usually include it before the expression en absoluto followed by a comma:
No, en absoluto. ¿Alguna indicación más para el viaje?
No, absolutely not. Any other instruction for the trip?
Captions 76-77, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poema - Part 8Play Caption
Of course, if you don't add the preposition en (in) before it, the word absoluto is just an adjective:
Quiero tener el control absoluto de la empresa.
I want to have absolute control of the company.
Caption 14, Muñeca Brava - 8 Trampas - Part 3Play Caption
Spanish also uses the adverb absolutamente (absolutely). You need a negative word such as no (not) or nada (nothing) to use it as part of a negation:
Manillas tampoco, absolutamente nada.
No bracelets either, absolutely nothing.
Caption 59, Misión Chef - 2 - Pruebas - Part 1Play Caption
If you want to use this word in short negative answers, you just need to add a negative word directly after it, or before it followed by a comma. Here are some examples:
¿Te duele algo? -Nada, absolutamente / Absolutamente nada.
Is anything hurting you? -Nothing, absolutely not / Absolutely nothing.
¿Vino alguien a la fiesta? -Nadie, absolutamente / Absolutamente nadie.
Someone came to the party? -Nobody, absolutely not / Absolutely nobody.
¿Tienes hambre? -No, absolutamente / Absolutamente no.
Are you hungry? -No, absolutely not / Absolutely not.
The expression de ninguna manera means "no way." It can be used as part of long negative statements like de ninguna manera voy a hacer eso (there's no way I will do that). You could also invert the order of the words, but in this case you need to add the negative word no before the verb, for example: no voy a hacer eso de ninguna manera (I won't do that, no way).
You can also use de ninguna manera as a short negative answer, with or without the use of the negative word no:
¿Usted también me va a dar la espalda? -¡De ninguna manera!
You're turning your back on me too? -No way!
Caption 41, Yago - 8 Descubrimiento - Part 7Play Caption
No... no, no. No, de ninguna manera.
No... no, no. No, no way.
Captions 44-45, Muñeca Brava - 18 - La Apuesta - Part 6Play Caption
Finally, another Spanish expression that is commonly used in negative phrases is del todo (at all, totally, completely). In fact, to be part of a negation this expression needs to be preceded by a negative word, such as no (not) or nunca (never), and a conjugated verb. Here is an interesting example:
Se titula "Nunca se convence del todo a nadie de nada".
It's entitled "You Never Convince Anyone Completely of Anything."Play Caption
You can also use del todo as part of a short negative answer: you have to keep the negative word proceeding it (in this case you should not use a comma) but you can omit the conjugated verb because it's implied in context. For example:
¿Te gustó la película? -No del todo.
Did you like the movie? -Not completely.
¿Fuiste feliz en tu primer matrimonio? -Nunca del todo.
Were you happy in your first marriage? -Never completely.
Do you know how to say "cool" in Spanish as in, "That video is so cool!"? What is the best equivalent of this slangy English word that can have such meanings as "good," "nice," "great," "OK," or "in fashion"? Let's find out.
Any translator knows well that translating the word "cool" into Spanish poses a big challenge. In fact, there are many Spanish words for "cool" depending upon the speaker's country or origin. In the following sections, we'll provide you with some of those terms.
In Mexico, many people use padre and chido. While the use of padre is more generalized, chido is typically more popular among younger generations:
Y, y en cuanto la vi... No, ésta tiene que ser mía. -¡Qué padre!
And, and as soon as I saw it... No, this one has to be mine. -How cool!
Caption 34, Sergio en Monterrey - El ámbar mexicanoPlay Caption
Muy padre, porque la escalera viene así, después tiene un descanso,
Very cool, because the staircase comes down like this, afterwards it has a landing,
Caption 50, El teatro. Conversación con un doble de acción.Play Caption
...que está chido que estemos en Estados Unidos.
...it's cool that we're in the United States.
Caption 47, Belanova - Entrevista - Part 3Play Caption
Of course, since Mexico has such diverse people living across a vast territory, you'll find other, similar expressions as well. Conmadre (literally, "with mother") and suave (smooth) are good examples. You can hear suave in one of our videos from Monterrey, Mexico. However, it is worth noting that this expression is not very common in that particular city, and the student who utilizes it is from another state.
Aunque a veces sí está pesado, está muy suave porque se te van volando.
Although sometimes it is hard, it's very cool because they go flying by for you.
Captions 28-29, Yo estudio en el Tec - de MonterreyPlay Caption
Many people in countries like Colombia, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Peru, and Ecuador use the word chévere:
¡Súper chévere que la... el hijo de uno diga "No, mi mamá es una chef"!
Very cool for one's child to say, "No, my mom is a chef!"
Caption 13, Misión Chef - 2 - Pruebas - Part 1Play Caption
In Colombia, a newer alternative to chévere is bacano (and bacán in Cuba, Peru, and Chile):
Mi papá era un médico muy bacano, muy interesante.
My father was a very cool doctor, very interesting.
Caption 13, La Sub30 - Familias - Part 2Play Caption
In Argentina, people tend to use words like copado, masa, and groso:
Podemos sacar algo copado esta noche.
We can get something cool tonight.
Caption 87, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poema - Part 3Play Caption
¡Soy una masa!
I'm so cool!
Caption 69, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poema - Part 1Play Caption
In Spain, you'll often hear guay:
Y realmente la improvisación fue... fue la clave. Era muy guay.
And really the improvisation was... was the key. It was very cool.
Captions 31-32, Blanca y Mariona - Proyectos para el veranoPlay Caption
Sam, tengo esta ropa para ti. Vas a estar guay.
Sam, I have these clothes for you. You're going to look cool.Play Caption
In the following clip, Carlos (from Colombia) and Xavi (from Spain) talk about how they say the word "cool" in their countries. You will see that the word chulo is used in Spain as an alternative term for the more common guay:
¿Qué significa guay? Guay es bueno, chulo, divertido. OK. En Colombia nosotros diríamos chévere o bacano.
What does "guay" mean? "Guay" is good, cool, fun. OK. In Colombia, we'd say "chévere" or "bacano."
Captions 39-41, Carlos y Xavi Part 2 Ustedes y VosotrosPlay Caption
While the multitude of terms we've provided as equivalents for "cool" by no means constitute an exhaustive list, they should definitely get you started on your journey to express or understand this idea in many Spanish-speaking countries.
We want to remind you that, regardless of the culture, country, or language, slang words are inextricably linked to the cultural or individual identity of the people who use them, and one can never be too respectful of this. In that spirit, it's always wise to learn more "neutral" alternatives to slang. Genial, estupendo, and, to a certain extent, bárbaro are a good fit to express the idea of "cool" or its equivalents (and be cool in Spanish as well!).
¿Te parece que tus patrones se enojarán? -¡No, está bárbaro!
Do you think that your bosses would get mad? -No, it's cool!
Caption 16, Muñeca Brava 30 Revelaciones - Part 6Play Caption
¡Este grupo está genial!
This group is great!
Caption 27, Raquel - Expresiones para un festival de música.Play Caption
¡Muy bien, estupendo!
Very good, great!Play Caption
The superlative of bueno (good), buenísimo, is also a good alternative:
Bueno, buenísimo, como anillo al dedo.
Well, very good, it fits like a glove [literally: like a ring to a finger].
Caption 69, Muñeca Brava 9 Engaños - Part 8Play Caption
In other contexts, the non-slang expression, está bien, might be used in a case in which an English speaker might say "that's fine" or "that's cool," while está de moda might be used to indicate that a certain trend, for example, is currently "cool" or in fashion.
By the way, unless you're a purist, you could even go with "cool" in English as many Spanish speakers do frequently these days:
El estilo es súper vanguardista. Un estilo muy cool.
The style is super avant-garde. A very cool style.
Captions 12-13, Arume BarcelonaPlay Caption
Las chicas visten cool para impresionar
The girls dress cool to impress
Caption 25, Dhira La NochePlay Caption
That's all for for today. We hope you've enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. And of course, stay cool!
El problema es que no están a su alcance.
The problem is that they are out of her reach.
Caption 38, Provócame - PilotoPlay Caption
You may remember in Disputas, La Extraña Dama, part 5, when Santiago asks ¿Alcanza con esto? ("Is this enough?") and Amelia replies Alcanza y nunca sobra ("Enough and never more than enough"). When talking about money or time, alcanzar refers to "having enough," but alcanzar is also "to achieve" or "to reach" and the related noun is alcance. So when Marisol says El problema es que no están a su alcance she is saying "The problem is that they (horses) are out of her reach."
Telenovelas no alcanzaron los altos ratings de los partidos de fútbol.
Soap operas didn't reach the high ratings of soccer matches.
Desafortunadamente, dos no alcanzaron a llegar.
Unfortunately, two did not manage to make it.
Caption 23, Misión Chef - 2 - PruebasPlay Caption
Ponemos el potencial tecnológico a tu alcance.
We put technological potential within your reach.
El interior presenta una decoración de estilo francés
The interior has French-style decor
y la cúpula alcanza los cuarenta metros.
and the dome reaches forty meters.
Captions 24-25, Viajando con Carlos - Popayán - ColombiaPlay Caption
El tiempo nunca nos alcanza.
We never have enough time.
El dinero de La Yuca sólo nos alcanza para comprar comida y nada más.
Money from La Yuca is only enough to buy food and nothing else.
Caption 3, La Cocaleros - Personas y políticasPlay Caption
A mí me alcanza y sobra con que la flor se abra.
For me it is more than enough if the flower unclose.
(D. H. Lawrence, Rose of All the World, last line)