How to say smart in Spanish?


How to say smart in Spanish?

Personality Traits in Spanish

When we call a person smart, we can mean many things. Sometimes it means that someone is intelligent. But also it can signify fast or elegant. Or we can even say that one thing is smart when it is well made. In addition, smart can indicate that something has hurt us. For each case, we have to use different Spanish words.

Answer and Explanation:

'Smart' is a very used adjective, but it really has many meanings. The most frequent translation is inteligente (pronounced een-tay-lee-HAYN-tay) or listo (pronounced LEES-toh), but there may be others depending on the context.

Inteligente and listo mean clever or intelligent. Inteligente has the same form for men or women. Listo has gender, therefore we use listo for a man and lista for a woman (pronounced LEES-tah).

  • Esta chica es muy lista. (This girl is very smart.)

We can use inteligente when we talk about electronic devices.

  • Nos hemos comprado varios teléfonos inteligentes. (We have bought several smartphones.)

But 'smart' may mean many more things that, in Spanish, are expressed with different adjectives.

  • 'Smart' with the meaning of well presented, in Spanish is bien hecho (pronounced BYAYN AY-choh); for example: El discurso de Jorge estuvo muy bien hecho. (Jorge's speech was very smart.)
  • 'Smart,' like well dressed, in Spanish is elegante (pronounced ay-lay-GAHN-tay). Elegante has the same form for men and women, such as: Marta llevó un vestido muy elegante al teatro. (Marta wore a very smart dress to the theater.)
  • 'Smart' with the meaning of quick translates into Spanish as rápido. Example: El atleta hizo un giro rápido a la derecha. (The athlete made an smart turn to the right.)
  • 'Smart' can have the meaning of disrespectful, which in Spanish is grosero or irrespetuoso, such as: Me enfadé porque me dio una respuesta grosera. (I got angry because he gave me a smart answer.)
  • The verb 'to smart' means to hurt or sting. In Spanish we use the verbs doler (pronounced doh-LAYR) or escocer (pronounced ays-koh-THAYR). Both are stem-changing verbs. The difference between the two verbs is that doler indicates a generic pain, which may have been caused by many causes. Escocer is more specific and indicates a pain that causes a sensation of itching or heat.

Learn more about this topic:

Personality Traits in Spanish: Vocabulary & Definitions


Chapter 2 / Lesson 1

Building a robust vocabulary of words to describe others is important when learning another language. Explore, define, and practice a variety of Spanish vocabulary for describing personality traits, including the expression 'Buena gente'.

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