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pacomartin
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August 31st, 2011 at 12:49:06 PM permalink
Quote: Alan

Thanks for the explanation. I didn't get into details about that word(Ven) with her, she mentioned it and walked away. My comments in the () were obviously a wrong assumption.



Native speakers of a language usually don't think about grammer. She may have never heard of the word "imperitive".

Similarly as an English speaker you probably never thought about why the word "goed" does not exist. You just naturally use the word "went".

Likewise the regular grammar rule is to add "ed" to the end of a verb to get the past tense. So "I talk" becomes "I talked" in the past tense.

But if you look at the most commonly used verbs in the English language, you actually have to go pretty far down the list until you find one which uses the ed ending to make the past tense.

be
have
do
say
get
make
go
know
take
see
come
think
look
want
give
use
find
tell
ask
work
seem
feel
try
leave
call
Wizard
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September 1st, 2011 at 10:38:48 AM permalink
Palabra del día: TRAER

Thanks to all for all the comments yesterday.

Today I'd like to look at another pair of similar words: traer (bring) and llevar (take). Llevar is one of those pesky words that is used in lots of situations, where in English there would be different words. However, one of the common usages I would loosely translate as take, as in "take me to the movies." However, you could also say in English "bring me to the movies." In that situation, in Spanish, should you use traer or llevar?

Much like ir and venir from two days ago, the key is where the speaker is at the moment he is speaking. If he is at the place being discussed he would use traer, otherwise llevar.

Ejemplo time:

Consider the following exchange over the phone at a Pizza Restaurant with take-out service.

Customer: Me llevas una pizza con champiñones y chorizo, por favor. = Bring/take to me a pizza with mushrooms and sausage, please.
Employee: Te lo traemos en 40 minutos. = We will bring/take it to you in 40 minutes.
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Nareed
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September 1st, 2011 at 10:59:32 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Consider the following exchange over the phone at a Pizza Restaurant with take-out service.



Actually you'd say "Me manda una pizza...." "Send me a pizza....."

Here are some examples:

Traete unos refrescos cuando vengas a la sala de juntas. Bring some soda when you come to the meeting room

Llevale este papel al abogado. Take this paper to the lawyer.
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Alan
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September 1st, 2011 at 11:02:44 AM permalink
Por favor traiga algo de cerveza con eso.
pacomartin
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September 1st, 2011 at 4:16:55 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Llevar is one of those pesky words that is used in lots of situations, where in English there would be different words. However, one of the common usages I would loosely translate as take, as in "take me to the movies."



Actually the word take is called by the Oxford English Dictionary "one of the elemental words of the language". It is one of the ten most commonly used verbs. It is the English word that has multiple meanings in Spanish. Like all such word it is based on an Old Norse word (taka). It is similar to the word get or do in they are words with very little explicit meaning.

take: tomar, coger (Wiz: watch the use of coger as it has vulgar meaning in many Spanish countries, especially Argentina )
take a bath: banarse
take a shower: ducharse
take a walk: pasearse
take advantage: aprovecharse
take apart: deshacer
take care of oneself: cuidarse
take an oath: jurar
take away: llevar
take notice (of): advertir, fijarse
take off (airplane): despegar
take off (clothing):quitarse
take out of pawn: desempenar
take out (something) sacar
take possession: apoderarse
take power: apoderarse
take the lead: adelantarse
take part in: romar parte en


However, the use of the verb llevar in the following situations seems strange to an English speaker.
La novia llevaba un vestido muy bonito
Llevaba unos pantalones verdes
llevar la finca
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September 2nd, 2011 at 9:46:53 AM permalink
Palabra del día: E

Today's word is e. I like one-letter words in any language. In Spanish this is one you don't see very often. It means the same thing as y (and), but is used in certain circumstances only. As I understand it, you would use e if the word following it begins with i or hi (remember, the h is silent in Spanish). The reason being is that it would sound awkward to have the same syllable twice in a row.

The word y sounds like the letter E in English (not the sound E makes, but the letter itself). The word e is pronounced like somewhat like the word "a" in English, but also somewhat like "eh," as in "Eh, I can't hear you sonny, talk louder." I'm sure the better Spanish speakers can explain it better than me.

Ejemplo time.

El es guapo e inteligente. = He is handsome and intelligent.

On a related topic, we all know there are lots of exceptions to the rule that nouns ending in a have the feminine article la. Are some of the these exceptions for clarity in speaking. For example, we have el alma (the soul). When spoken, that is more clear than la alma would be with the two a sounds blending in together. Am I onto something here, or totally off base?
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Nareed
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September 2nd, 2011 at 10:23:12 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

On a related topic, we all know there are lots of exceptions to the rule that nouns ending in a have the feminine article la. Are some of the these exceptions for clarity in speaking. For example, we have el alma (the soul). When spoken, that is more clear than la alma would be with the two a sounds blending in together. Am I onto something here, or totally off base?



Spanish frowns of having a word ending in a vowel followed by one beginning with the same vowel. ergo, the "e" instead of "y" as you mentioned. But also things es "el alma," "el agua," and so on. This doesn't applies to consonants, tou, such as "el león." And none of this explains why words like "día" are preceeded by "el."

Anwyay, just to confuse you some more, the words alma y agua are not masculine nouns regardless fo the articles sued. If using the plural, you'd say "las almas, and "las aguas." Día, on the other hand, is always amsculine, as the plural is los días.
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pacomartin
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September 4th, 2011 at 4:08:07 AM permalink
Quote: Paigowdan

Yo recuerdo este pais cuando fue Americano



I pulled this comment from another thread. It is obviously saying "I remember when this country was American". It seems to me that a version of acordarse would be better than recordar.

Also fue seems wrong. Shouldn't it be era?

Me acuerdo de este país cuando era estadounidense.

Of course, American is derived from the Italian name Amerigo Vespucci. The name applies to all of the Americas, both North and South, Northern and Latin. But I always though estadounidense was overly awkward.
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September 4th, 2011 at 4:19:46 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

I pulled this comment from another thread. It is obviously saying "I remember when this country was American". It seems to me that a version of acordarse would be better than recordar.

Also fue seems wrong. Shouldn't it be era?




Dan's phrase is just fine. "Era" would be more appropriate, but the use of "fue" is also correct.

Quote:

Me acuerdo de este país cuando era estadounidense.



That one's correct, too, but it seems more contrived.

Quote:

Of course, American is derived from the Italian name Amerigo Vespucci.



Who, BTW, happens to be the man who first mapped the Western Hemisphere, or something like that. The new continent might as well have been called Triana, after Rodrigo de Triana who first spotted land in Columbus' first voyage. or Columbia, after Columbus.

Quote:

The name applies to all of the Americas, both North and South, Northern and Latin. But I always though estadounidense was overly awkward.



It's a made up term, and not a very good one. In English it would be like saying "Unitedstatesian." Ridiculous. BTW, Mexico's official name is "Estados Unidos Mexicanos," pretty much aping our northern neighbor.
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September 4th, 2011 at 8:08:56 AM permalink
Palabra del día: ROMPER

I like the sound of today's word. It sounds very French. It means to break. I would be interested to know what the root "romp" means. In English it means to play roughly and carelessly, perhaps breaking things in the process. It can also bean to have an easy and decisive victory, perhaps breaking the other team in the process, if not physically, then at least in spirit. Hopefully Paco can enlighten us on the etymology.

Ejemplo time.

Es necesario a romper huevos para hacer una tortilla. = It is necessary to break eggs to make an omelet.

I get tortilla for omelet from spanishdict.com. However, what I think of as a tortilla is the round thing made of corn or flour used for making tacos. Do people ever get confused?

In other news, we're just six posts away from becoming the longest thread.
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September 4th, 2011 at 8:31:49 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Es necesario a romper huevos para hacer una tortilla. = It is necessary to break eggs to make an omelet.



Since the common form of the cliche in English is "You can't make an omelet without braking some eggs," the proper Spanish translation should be "No puedes hacer un omelet sin romper unos huevos."

Yes, the Spanish word for omelet is omelet. Actually the word is French.

Quote:

I get tortilla for omelet from spanishdict.com. However, what I think of as a tortilla is the round thing made of corn or flour used for making tacos. Do people ever get confused?



No.

There is an egg-based dish in Spain called a tortilla. It's not an omelet, though. Outside of Spain, tortilla means a flat, circular piece of baked corn dough.
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September 4th, 2011 at 8:45:54 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

There is an egg-based dish in Spain called a tortilla. It's not an omelet, though. Outside of Spain, tortilla means a flat, circular piece of baked corn dough.



Not only does spanishdict.com say tortilla=omelet, but the dictionary on my escritorio (desk) also. It isn't that I question what you're saying. I'm not sure what my question is. How about, do you find it annoying that resources on the Spanish language hold out Spanish Spanish as the correct form? What percentage of Spanish speakers actually live in Spain? I would estimate under 10%. I would find it annoying if sources on the English language held out English English as the correct form, and all others as in error.

Then again, my tutor always holds out the Real Academia Española as the final authority. She will never let me say things like pelo for the hair on your head, despite the fact that everyone here calls it that, because cabello is the proper word, according to her, and everyone else is just using sloppy Spanish.
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September 4th, 2011 at 9:03:44 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Not only does spanishdict.com say tortilla=omelet, but the dictionary at my escritorio (desk).



It's still wrong.

I'm sure if you ask for an omelet in Spain you'll have trouble. But then that happens with lots of words the Spaniards misuse. I'm less certain in the rest of Latin America.

Quote:

How about, do you find it annoying that resources on the Spanish language hold out Spanish Spanish as the correct form? What percentage of Spanish speakers actually live in Spain? I would estimate under 10%. I would find it annoying if sources on the English language held out English English as the correct form, and all others as in error.



If we go by numbers, the Mexican Spanish ought to be the standard, as it is the largest Spanish speaking country. If we don't go by numbers, you're stuck with Mexican Spanish anyway because that's the language I know.

Quote:

Then again, my tutor always holds out the Real Academia Española as the final authority. She will never let me say things like pelo for the hair on your head, despite the fact that everyone here calls it that, because cabello is the proper word, according to her, and everyone else is just using sloppy Spanish.



Some people are like that. There is no other "official" Spanish language authority. But then there is no "official" English language authority at all. A language fares better when there is no authority decreeing what is and isn't proper in that language. It frees up innovation in use and the adaptation of useful terms from other languages.

One big annoyance I have with Spaniard's use of Spanish is that they don't accept terms in other languages unless the Academy does, and when it does it often makes up a Hispanicized version. The world over a volt is a volt, but in Spain it's called a "voltio." Even worse, Spaniards often translate the given names of foreigners.

I'm curious what your Spanish dictionary says of the word "sandwich." I'm willing to bet 100:1 odds it gives the proper term as "emparedado," which is quite ridiculous.
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pacomartin
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September 4th, 2011 at 9:39:45 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Palabra del día: ROMPER

I like the sound of today's word. It sounds very French. It means to break. I would be interested to know what the root "romp" means. In English it means to play roughly and carelessly, perhaps breaking things in the process. It can also bean to have an easy and decisive victory, perhaps breaking the other team in the process, if not physically, then at least in spirit. Hopefully Paco can enlighten us on the etymology.



It looks like English speakers mostly used the verb break from Old Eenglish brecan "to break, shatter, burst; destroy" for most of the language's existence. Phrases like break up were in use from the late 15th century.

Spanish uses a conjugation of the verb romper to mean the same thing, as in Mariana y Catalina rompieron although the break up can be between two friends in Spanish, and not necessarily lovers.

Romp is a relatively recent word in English, from only the last 3 centuries. The specific meaning of "an easy and decisive victory" was first attested in only 1888. The English word romp probably came from the French word rampe which means to climb, but in the sense of animals climbing on top of you in a rampage.

The English idea of romp as frolic and play (especially children) as in romper room is very similar to the idea of rampaging animals. It seems to me it ultimately must be related to the same Latin word, but I cannot verify. As the word in English existed only recently and it's exact origin is uncertain. The French word "ramp" long ago came from the Latin word rumpere which also generated the Spanish verb. In Spanish it only seems to mean "to break" and "to break-up", with no sense of the idea of frolic.

----------------------------------------

A Tortilla Espanola is widely translated as Spanish omelette but what English speakers call an omelette is tortilla francesa. The Spanish dish has it's emphasis on the oil, the potatoes and onions and not on the eggs which are more of the binder. In Madrid you can buy a Tortilla Espanola to eat between slices of bread to fuel your late night partying in the city streets.
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September 4th, 2011 at 11:20:39 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

I'm curious what your Spanish dictionary says of the word "sandwich." I'm willing to bet 100:1 odds it gives the proper term as "emparedado," which is quite ridiculous.



You're right. It also says bocadillo is acceptable. This came up with my tutor once, and I think she said bocadillo, but I'm not sure. I'll ask her next time. Bueno Entonces uses sandwich, as I recall.



Quote: pacomartin

romp/romper



Good stuff there! You would make a good High School English teacher. You even look like a teacher, if I may say so.

Speaking of romper rooms, anyone else remember a show by that name back in the sixties and seventies? My younger brothers used to watch it.

Quote: pacomartin

A Tortilla Espanola is widely translated as Spanish omelette but what English speakers call an omelette is tortilla francesa. The Spanish dish has it's emphasis on the oil, the potatoes and onions and not on the eggs which are more of the binder. In Madrid you can buy a Tortilla Espanola to eat between slices of bread to fuel your late night partying in the city streets.



You're the man. So, if I want an American-style omelet in a Spanish-speaking country I ask for a tortilla francesa? I'm a bit surprised that the French would go a heavy egg-based food like an omelet. In all my travels, I've never known a country to like eggs nearly as much as the US.

When I was in Panama I ordered a breakfast of stuff I never heard of and think I got something like your tortilla española.
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September 4th, 2011 at 11:56:15 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

You're right. It also says bocadillo is acceptable. This came up with my tutor once, and I think she said bocadillo, but I'm not sure. I'll ask her next time. Bueno Entonces uses sandwich, as I recall.



That's odd. Bocadillo usually means something like hors d'oeuvres, appetizer, tapas (he he) or even a snack.

I forgot to mention I like to tel Spaniards "Ustedes hablan nuestro idioma de forma rara." Or "you speak our language funny."

Quote:

So, if I want an American-style omelet in a Spanish-speaking country I ask for a tortilla francesa?



In Mexico I'd advise you to request an omelet. It will even be listed as such on the menu.
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pacomartin
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September 4th, 2011 at 12:47:16 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

How about, do you find it annoying that resources on the Spanish language hold out Spanish Spanish as the correct form? What percentage of Spanish speakers actually live in Spain? I would estimate under 10%. I would find it annoying if sources on the English language held out English English as the correct form, and all others as in error.
Then again, my tutor always holds out the Real Academia Española as the final authority. She will never let me say things like pelo for the hair on your head, despite the fact that everyone here calls it that, because cabello is the proper word, according to her, and everyone else is just using sloppy Spanish.



Even the Oxford English dictionary considers itself to be descriptive and not proscriptive. Nearly every grammatical rule can be broken if enough people are doing it. I always found it amusing that double negatives are considered bad grammer, but they are used all the time by the most famous of English writers including Shakespeare.

Interestingly enough the RAE definition of tortilla says it is a fried and beaten eggs, in round or elongated form, and other ingredients. I always thought of it more as a potato dish with eggs added.

In Mexico, Central America, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic it is made on a hot griddle. In Northern Argentina, Bolivia and Chile a tortilla can be made with flour and baked in hot ashes.

In Mexico if you say "tortilla de harina" then you are talking about a flour tortilla. I think more gringos eat flour tortillas since they are not as messy.

tortilla.
(Del dim. de torta).
1. f. Fritada de huevo batido, en forma redonda o alargada, a la cual se añade a veces algún otro ingrediente.
2. f. Am. Cen., Méx., P. Rico y R. Dom. Alimento en forma circular y aplanada, para acompañar la comida, que se hace con masa de maíz hervido en agua con cal, y se cuece en comal. Es fundamental en la alimentación de estos países.
3. f. NO Arg., Bol. y Chile. Pequeña torta chata, por lo común salada, hecha con harina de trigo o maíz, y cocida al rescoldo.

tortilla de harina
1. f. Hond. y Méx. Torta circular y aplanada hecha con harina de trigo.

=========================================
Peninsular Spanish (Castilian) speakers are roughly 10% of the native speakers of Spanish.

In a broad sense, American Spanish pronunciation can be grouped in five sets of variants.

The first group, the Caribbean, is spoken in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panamá, the Colombian Caribbean, much of Venezuela, and the Caribbean parts of Nicaragua and Mexico.

The second one is the South American Pacific , which comprises Perú, Chile and Guayaquil, Ecuador.

The third is the Central American , spoken in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.

The fourth is the Argentine-Uruguayan-Paraguayan variant , which probably includes Eastern Bolivia (Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando).

The fifth, which probably is not a group but a cluster of places that resisted changes in the pronunciation of the s sound at the end of a syllable, has been called the Highland American Spanish , and is spoken in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Andean Colombia, Andean Venezuela, Quito, the Peruvian Sierra and Bolivia (except in Santa Cruz, Beni, and Pando).


Spanish in the Philippines is a combination of Mexican and Castilian Spanish.

Even the relatively small country of Argentina speaks 6 different dialects of spanish.
pacomartin
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September 4th, 2011 at 1:13:30 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

You're right. It also says bocadillo is acceptable. This came up with my tutor once, and I think she said bocadillo, but I'm not sure. I'll ask her next time. Bueno Entonces uses sandwich, as I recall.





Good stuff there! You would make a good High School English teacher. You even look like a teacher, if I may say so.

Speaking of romper rooms, anyone else remember a show by that name back in the sixties and seventies? My younger brothers used to watch it.

Quote: pacomartin

A Tortilla Espanola is widely translated as Spanish omelette but what English speakers call an omelette is tortilla francesa. The Spanish dish has it's emphasis on the oil, the potatoes and onions and not on the eggs which are more of the binder. In Madrid you can buy a Tortilla Espanola to eat between slices of bread to fuel your late night partying in the city streets.



You're the man. So, if I want an American-style omelet in a Spanish-speaking country I ask for a tortilla francesa? I'm a bit surprised that the French would go a heavy egg-based food like an omelet. In all my travels, I've never known a country to like eggs nearly as much as the US.

When I was in Panama I ordered a breakfast of stuff I never heard of and think I got something like your tortilla española.




VIPs which is a popular chain in Mexico similar to Denny's, they use the term omelette to mean an American style omelette. Of course, it is very likely to be on a bed of refried beans. They don't seem to offer Tortilla Espanola . I can't remember where I would order it in Mexico.

Some people are surprised to find that the Oldest restaurant in the world is not French, but Spanish. It's outside the Plaza Mayor in Madrid.



If you follow the Camino de la Lengua you will pass within 1/2 miles of my Grandfather's birthplace.


Barcelona in Las Vegas has Tortilla Espanola for $5 on it's hot tapas menu. They also have Patatas Bravas.
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September 4th, 2011 at 1:17:05 PM permalink
Hasta la vista, 98steps. Se ha derribado su poste. "Spanish Word of the Day" es numero uno!
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September 4th, 2011 at 1:32:40 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

VIPs which is a popular chain in Mexico similar to Denny's, they use the term omelette to mean an American style omelette. Of course, it is very likely to be on a bed of refried beans.



You should look at the menu on the site you linked to. Not a bean to be seen among the omelets.
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September 4th, 2011 at 2:05:46 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

In other news, we're just six posts away from becoming the longest thread.



Whats the longest thread with the least contributors? I'd say you, Paco and I have posted 99% of this thread.
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September 4th, 2011 at 3:05:06 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Some people are surprised to find that the Oldest restaurant in the world is not French, but Spanish. It's outside the Plaza Mayor in Madrid.



Eh, that's nothing. gomadrid.com says it opened in 1725. Meanwhile, Ma Yu Ching's Bucket Chicken House has been around since 1153.


Quote: Nareed

Whats the longest thread with the least contributors? I'd say you, Paco and I have posted 99% of this thread.



Indeed. Congratulations guys! I know I don't acknowledge ever single post, but I really want to thank you guys for all the help with my Spanish. If we're ever all in the same place at the same time we should definitely celebrate -- on me of course.
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September 4th, 2011 at 4:17:28 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Eh, that's nothing. gomadrid.com says it opened in 1725. Meanwhile, Ma Yu Ching's Bucket Chicken House has been around since 1153.

Indeed. Congratulations guys! I know I don't acknowledge ever single post, but I really want to thank you guys for all the help with my Spanish. If we're ever all in the same place at the same time we should definitely celebrate -- on me of course.



The Bucket Chicken House existed in the 12th century, but it was re-established in 1864. Botin's has a certificate from Guiness Book of World Records. I should mention that while the restaurant was in Madrid, the original owner was French.




I wish I knew all of this stuff like Nareed. I have to look it up (although I do remember a lot from my classwork).
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September 4th, 2011 at 5:07:00 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

I wish I knew all of this stuff like Nareed.



I don't actually know anything about ancient restaurants.
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September 4th, 2011 at 7:27:42 PM permalink
Palabra del día: GASTAR

I think the most common usage of today's word, gastar, means to spend. It can also mean to wear or waste.

In English the root "gast" means to do with the stomach. So I don't see a connection to gastar, but I'm sure Paco won't let me down.

Ejemplo time.

Dame tu dinero, lo quiero gastar. = Give me your money, I want to spend it.


Quote: pacomartin

The Bucket Chicken House existed in the 12th century, but it was re-established in 1864. Botin's has a certificate from Guiness Book of World Records. I should mention that while the restaurant was in Madrid, the original owner was French.



I guess I stand corrected.
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September 5th, 2011 at 6:18:23 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Palabra del día: GASTAR

I think the most common usage of today's word, gastar, means to spend. It can also mean to wear or waste.



To wear, yes. To waste the word is desperdiciar

Quote:

In English the root "gast" means to do with the stomach. So I don't see a connection to gastar, but I'm sure Paco won't let me down.



That must be a Latin root. it applies to the digestive system, not only the stomach, in words like gastroenterology.

Quote:

Dame tu dinero, lo quiero gastar. = Give me your money, I want to spend it.



That's a peculiar way to ask for money. Otherwise the example is correct.
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September 5th, 2011 at 7:25:49 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

That's a peculiar way to ask for money.



I should introduce you to some American women I know.
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September 5th, 2011 at 8:17:42 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I should introduce you to some American women I know.



If I were to ask a man for money, I'd say something like "Can you please give me $xxx? I need to buy shoes to go with this handbag." That's a whole different thing :P
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September 5th, 2011 at 9:50:10 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Palabra del día: GASTAR
I think the most common usage of today's word, gastar, means to spend. It can also mean to wear or waste.
In English the root "gast" means to do with the stomach. So I don't see a connection to gastar, but I'm sure Paco won't let me down.



The words appear to be a false cognate or amigo falso. Two words that look the same but do not have a common root word.

The English words that have to do with stomach like "gastric" come from the Greek word gaster (Gk) which means stomach. The Spanish word is from the Latin word vastare (Lt) (lay waste, ravage, devastate). We get the English word waste from "vastare".

The idea of spending money associated with waste, is both replacement of vital things after they wear out or are destroyed, but also includes the idea of laying waste to you bank account by being a spendthrift.

There must be a difference between expender and gastar. It appears that gastar is the more commonly used verb.

The verb comprar (to buy) seems less to be making much less judgement. It comes from the Latin word comparare (Lt) where we also get the English word compare. The implication is that you are making a decision based on comparative value, and less of a wasteful action.
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September 5th, 2011 at 10:19:56 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

The words appear to be a false cognate or amigo falso. Two words that look the same but do not have a common root word.



How do you from cognate to friend?

Quote:

There must be a difference between expender and gastar. It appears that gastar is the more commonly used verb.



I've never heard nor read the word "expender" in my whole life, not in Spanish. There's "Expander," or "expandir," which menas "to expand" and has no connection to the issue at hand.

Quote:

The verb comprar (to buy) seems less to be making much less judgement. It comes from the Latin word comparare (Lt) where we also get the English word compare. The implication is that you are making a decision based on comparative value, and less of a wasteful action.



Are you sure? There is a Spanish word "compArar" which means "to compare." This leads to much confussion in online shopping sites that let you comapre products..
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September 5th, 2011 at 10:23:48 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Indeed. Congratulations guys! I know I don't acknowledge ever single post, but I really want to thank you guys for all the help with my Spanish. If we're ever all in the same place at the same time we should definitely celebrate -- on me of course.



I would like to take you up on that, but I fear you'll suggest dinner or lunch at a Mexican restaurant.

Did I tell you I've never once gone to a Mexican restaurant in the US? Never. Some Tex-Mex places, yes, but not Mexican. Then again Tex-Mex is more an American type of cuisine. Prior to Chili's and TGIF coming south of the broder, you didn't see fajitas in any local menu, now you do.

But I digress. I will take you up on your offer :)
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pacomartin
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September 5th, 2011 at 11:08:06 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

I've never heard nor read the word "expender" in my whole life, not in Spanish. There's "Expander," or "expandir," which menas "to expand" and has no connection to the issue at hand.



Expender definition

Quote: Nareed

Are you sure? There is a Spanish word "compArar" which means "to compare." This leads to much confussion in online shopping sites that let you comapre products..



According to my book comparar and comprar both are derived from the same Latin verb.
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September 5th, 2011 at 11:11:58 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Expender definition



I found it in a Spanish dictionary, too. But I maintain I've never heard or seen it used, and believe me the news use the word "gastar" a lot.

Quote:

According to my book comparar and comprar both are derived from the same Latin verb.



It may be, but it seems there should be an intermediate split somewhere along the line. I'm guessing vulgar Latin, perhaps, but my knowledge is sketchy.
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September 5th, 2011 at 11:38:09 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Did I tell you I've never once gone to a Mexican restaurant in the US? Never. Some Tex-Mex places, yes, but not Mexican. Then again Tex-Mex is more an American type of cuisine. Prior to Chili's and TGIF coming south of the broder, you didn't see fajitas in any local menu, now you do.



You can find fine quality Mexican restaurants in the USA, but the food is unbelievably expensive. In the border regions it can be reasonably priced and more authentic.
A typical Chinese restaurant in USA has a very Americanized version of Chinese food. It's been that way in Calfornia for over a century.

In San Diego Gringo's Cantina was the unlikely name of an excellent Mexican restaurant that featured some Oaxacan dishes. It has since been changed to Fat Fish Cantina.

I assume Mexico City has a fairly broad mix of ethnic cuisine. The one style that is almost non-existent in the USA is Basque cuisine. However, I do not like sushi restaurants in Mexico.

But in the USA you probably have more choices for Greek, Thai, Indian, Hungarian, and Russian than you do in Mexico. A popular Greek place in Las Vegas is The Fat Greek.


Merkato is one of the most charming and inexpensive places to get Ethiopian food in Las Vegas. The community of Ethiopians is getting fairly large in the city. This is one of the rare cuisines where food is served on a wheat flatbread, and you eat the serving plate. "Injera" is to Ethiopian culture as "corn" is Mexican culture. It's also unique, as the taste is unlike anything I have ever had in any other cuisine.

Ethiopians drink something called tej which is a honey based mead. I can't abide the stuff. I would rather drink castor oil with my dinner.
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September 5th, 2011 at 1:37:00 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

You can find fine quality Mexican restaurants in the USA, but the food is unbelievably expensive.



At EPCOT center thay have a branch of an expensive local Mex City restaurant, I forget the name. I've never been there, thoughthe menu is supposedly the same. Why would I when 1) I can go any time while at home and 2) I can get the same food for less at other places?

Quote:

I assume Mexico City has a fairly broad mix of ethnic cuisine. The one style that is almost non-existent in the USA is Basque cuisine. However, I do not like sushi restaurants in Mexico.



Some. Anythign that's not a generalized mix type of middle class palce, like VIPS, tends to be specialized or "ethnic."

Quote:

But in the USA you probably have more choices for Greek, Thai, Indian, Hungarian, and Russian than you do in Mexico.



Oh, there are Italian places all over town. Lots and lots of them. There's one called Rafaello in the Zona Rosa which was great until the founder died. We used to eat there a bit over once a month. There's a very nice Hungarian-Polish place called Spezia my parents like a lot (they have a decent duck), anda few Indian places. I don't recall a Greek, Thai or Russian restaurant, but there must be some.

Quote:

However, I do not like sushi restaurants in Mexico.



I dont' like them anywhere. There are a few decent Japanese places, though.
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pacomartin
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September 5th, 2011 at 1:37:52 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

How do you from cognate to friend?



False cognates are two words that mean similar things and seem to have the same root word in their common ancestor language, but it is just a coincidence. An example would be English day and Spanish día . The English word is from Anglo Saxon dæg , while the Spanish word is from Latin dies.

Some people think of false cognates as a type of false friend . But the more dangerous false friend is a word that looks similar in English and Spanish , but has a totally different meaning.

English actual. and Spanish actual . The equivalent Spanish word is real while the Spanish word means something is current or at the present time.

English to assist . and Spanish asistir . Spanish usage is Asisto a la oficina cada día where in English we would probably say I go to the office daily. Ayudar or "to help" is probably the best translation of the English concept.

Bizarro in Spanish mean's a brave person, while in English it means a strange person.

Complexión in Spanish refers to one's physiological build , while in English it refers to skin complexion only.

Decepción, Delito, Desgracia, Despertar, Disgusto, Destituido, Embarazada, Emocionante, Éxito are all considered "false friends" because the closest word in English means something different.

The verb molestar originally meant "to disturb" in both English and Spanish. But only since WWII has it acquired almost exclusively acquired the meaning of sexual impropriety in English. I think it is still a relatively benign word in Spanish, but I imagine there is some leakage from anglo culture.
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September 5th, 2011 at 1:48:32 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

False cognates are two words that mean similar things and seem to have the same root word in their common ancestor language, but it is just a coincidence. An example would be English day and Spanish día . The English word is from Anglo Saxon dæg , while the Spanish word is from Latin dies.



That may be a bad example. It seems utterly likely the Anglo Saxon word is of Latin origin, given the similarity.

Quote:

Some people think of false cognates as a type of false friend . But the more dangerous false friend is a word that looks similar in English and Spanish , but has a totally different meaning.



I'd never heard them referred to in that manner.

Quote:

English to assist . and Spanish asistir . Spanish usage is Asisto a la oficina cada día where in English we would probably say I go to the office daily. Ayudar or "to help" is probably the best translation of the English concept.



Not quite. While asistir does mean to attend, it also means to help. It isn´t used much, bt it is used. Emergency services standing by at a public event are often called "las asistencias." If you were to say "Necesito tu asistencia para compeltar esto," most people would understand you're saying "I need your help to finish this." And there's the related word "Asistente," meaning "asistant."

Quote:

Bizarro in Spanish mean's a brave person, while in English it means a strange person.



Really? I had no idea. At any rate it does also mean strange, and it is so used often. Bizarro Superman, for example, is called Superman Bizarro (really). It's not used often, but when it does it's easily understood as "strange."
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Wizard
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September 5th, 2011 at 2:56:22 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

False cognates are two words that mean similar things and seem to have the same root word in their common ancestor language, but it is just a coincidence. An example would be English day and Spanish día . The English word is from Anglo Saxon dæg , while the Spanish word is from Latin dies.



That is not my understanding of a false cognate. We both know lots of times the word for something is the same, or nearly the same in both English and Spanish. These are called cognates. That is why it is a lot easier for people like me to translate Spanish to English than vise versa.

However, there are some tricky words that you would guess would mean one thing, but in fact mean little or nothing to do with the similar English word. For example.

Simpatíco. You would probably guess this means sympathetic, but actually means nice.

Molestar. You would probably guess this means to molest, but actually means to bother.

Embarazada. You would guess this means embarrassed, but actually means pregnant.

So I claim that false cognates DON'T have similar meanings.

Quote: nareed

Bizarro Superman, for example, is called Superman Bizarro (really). It's not used often, but when it does it's easily understood as "strange."



I thought Bizarro Superman was the opposite of Superman. For example, Bizarro Wizard would be someone who was good at sports, successful with the ladies, and played 6-5 blackjack.
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September 5th, 2011 at 3:26:11 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I thought Bizarro Superman was the opposite of Superman.



And that's not bizarre?

Quote:

For example, Bizarro Wizard would be someone who was good at sports, successful with the ladies, and played 6-5 blackjack.



Hell no. He'd play Keno :P
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pacomartin
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September 5th, 2011 at 5:31:46 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard


However, there are some tricky words that you would guess would mean one thing, but in fact mean little or nothing to do with the similar English word. For example.

Simpatíco. You would probably guess this means sympathetic, but actually means nice.
Molestar. You would probably guess this means to molest, but actually means to bother.
Embarazada. You would guess this means embarrassed, but actually means pregnant.

So I claim that false cognates DON'T have similar meanings.



Normally these word pairs are called "false friends".

Wikipedia definition of False CognatesThe term "false cognate" is sometimes misused to describe "false friends". One difference between "false cognates" and "false friends" is that while "false cognates" mean roughly the same thing in two languages, "false friends bear" two distinct (sometimes even opposite) meanings.

In fact, a pair of false friends may be true cognates (see false friends: causes).

So "false friends" look the same and have different meaning. "False cognates" are similar words in different languages that appear to have a common historical linguistic origin (whatever their current meaning) but actually do not.



English "aye", Japanese "hai" and Cantonese "hai" mean the same thing and are pronounced in a similar manner. But they are "false cognates" because they have no common linguistic heritage.

Even two words in English, "great" and "grand" which have similar meanings and the same initial letters. They are "false cognates" because they are completely unrelated words in the history of the language. The word "great" comes from Anglo Saxon, and "grand" comes from French. The term Great Britain is commonly associated with the British Empire. But in fact the word "Great" is from the older meaning of the word and means "Large Britain", and is meant to distinguish the island of Britain from "Small Britain" which was settled by the Celtic tribe of Britons. Today we tend to call "Small Britain" by the name of "Brittany", and it is part of the modern nation of France. The people are called "Bretons".

So "Great Britain" does not mean "Grand Britain" or "Majestic Britain". It just means "Big Britain", and the name is much older than the British Empire. Should Northern Ireland leave the kingdom, they will probably return the country to the name "Great Britain".
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September 5th, 2011 at 6:01:58 PM permalink
Then count me among those who misuses the term "false cognate" to mean what you describe as a "false friend." I might add my Spanish tutor and Bueno Entonces define a false cognate the way I do.

That is interesting about the "great" in Great Britain, I didn't know that. Here is a question for you. There are country names of Guinea, Guinea Bissau, and New Guinea. What does "guinea" mean in this context, and are they all referring to the same thing?
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September 5th, 2011 at 6:28:55 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

English "aye", Japanese "hai" and Cantonese "hai" mean the same thing and are pronounced in a similar manner. But they are "false cognates" because they have no common linguistic heritage.



I once read a story about an american in Tokyo who approached a man and asked "Excuse me, do you speak English?" The man answered "Hi" and nodded. So the american asked "Oh, hello. Can you tell me whether this is the train to Downtown Tokyo?" The japanese gentleman again nods and says "Hi!"

This gets the American into a vicious circle of missunderstanding, thinking the local kept saying "Hello," when he was saying "yes."

And that's why you always should know at least a little of the language of a foreign country before you visit.

Sort of back on topic, in a marketing class we were told a story of an advertising executive who translated a slogan more or less like "Avoid embarrasment. Use Parker Pens." BTW the brand may have been Cross or somethign else. anyway, the translation to Spanish was "Evite el embarazo. Use plumas Parker." I don't believe it for a minute, but it is a half-decent "aren't marketing types stupid" kind of story.

BTW In Spanish "Pluma" means pen but also feather. for once, though, you can see the relationship, as pens used to be made from feathers justa few centuries ago. I'll stand by for a lesson on the word, I think, "Quill."
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pacomartin
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September 5th, 2011 at 8:32:18 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Then count me among those who misuses the term "false cognate" to mean what you describe as a "false friend." I might add my Spanish tutor and Bueno Entonces define a false cognate the way I do.



Quick surfing around the web quickly finds a number of websites that agree with your statement, and an equal number that disagree. In any case if you are learning or translating a language the danger points are words that look and are spelled the same, but mean entirely different thing. Words with different etymologies are curiosities, and are significant only if you are studying the development of language.

The English word "much", and the Spanish word "mucho" have nearly identical meanings, but they are not cognates since they derived from entirely different backgrounds. Surprisingly "island" and "isla" are not derived from the same word, even though the meaning is identical. By the technical definition these words are "false cognates" but are not "false friends" since they lead to no confusion when you are reading the words.

"Molest" in English and "molestar" in Spanish are true cognates because they came from the same Latin word, but the cultures in the last half century have given the words two different meanings. Hundreds of years ago we might use them in the same way. But in today's society they are "false friends".

The phrase "false friends" is common in most languages. It is "amigos falsos" in Spanish, and "faux amis" in French.


Quote: Nareed

in a marketing class we were told a story of an advertising executive who translated a slogan more or less like "Avoid embarrasment. Use Parker Pens." BTW the brand may have been Cross or something else. anyway, the translation to Spanish was "Evite el embarazo. Use plumas Parker." I don't believe it for a minute, but it is a half-decent "aren't marketing types stupid" kind of story.



This sounds like a made up story. I think every Spanish student is told about this word "embarazo" almost immediately, so I doubt that it happened for real. The story about the Chevy Nova, where Nova is mistaken for "No Va" or "It doesn't go" is probably an artificial story as well. It's a lot like the British guy asking the American girl if he can "come around and knock her up in the morning". I suspect that is an urban legend.
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September 5th, 2011 at 8:43:55 PM permalink
Palabra del día: ADVINAR

Today's word means to guess. I don't know if this qualifies as a cognate, but it is similar to word divine in English. Rarely do you hear anybody using divine to mean to guess something in English, it one of those poetic kind of words that nobody really uses in everyday speech. I don't think I've heard the word divine in that context since Johnny Carson last did Carnac the Magnificent.

A question for Paco is there a connection between the two uses of the English divine, meaning to guess and the other to be godly.

Ejemplo time.

Advino que hay lluvia manaña. = I guess it will rain tomorrow.
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September 5th, 2011 at 9:02:58 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Here is a question for you. There are country names of Guinea, Guinea Bissau, and New Guinea. What does "guinea" mean in this context, and are they all referring to the same thing?



As far as I know the names all three countries and "guinea pig" are all the same word. The word is of uncertain etymology but may comes from the Berber term aguinaoui, which means "black".

Etymology is not an exact science, mostly because many words were spoken for a long time before they were written. Also for most of history, spelling was not standardized, so any word could have multiple versions in books.

"Great Britain" was derived from 'Britannia Major' used by a writer who lived from 1100-1155, so we know that he meant to distinguish it from 'Britannia Minor'. But it is guesswork as to where Britain or Briton came from. The most common guess is that it came from Pretani, or "painted ones"; perhaps a reference to the use of body-paint and tattoos by early inhabitants of the islands; but it may also derive from the Celtic goddess Brigid.

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September 5th, 2011 at 9:09:13 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

This sounds like a made up story. I think every Spanish student is told about this word "embarazo" almost immediately, so I doubt that it happened for real.



I doubt pens and embarrassment are related in any way. Supposedly the ad, it was a print thing, showed a man with a leaking pen in his front pocket and a blue stain to match. But it seems doubtful.

Quote:

The story about the Chevy Nova, where Nova is mistaken for "No Va" or "It doesn't go" is probably an artificial story as well.



Sure is. I think around the time the first Nova appeared gas in Mexico was red and green, that is those were the names for them for some reason. but soon after they changed to Nova (regular) and Extra (premium). Now they're called Magna and Premium. Anyway, nova is a well-established word.
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September 5th, 2011 at 9:16:19 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

A question for Paco is there a connection between the two uses of the English divine, meaning to guess and the other to be godly.



The latin word is addivināre and the was originally applied to soothsayers who "divined" your future and later applied to priests and to God and Jesus. So it means "to guess" but using a supernatural power. A conjetura or conjecture is more of a WAG (wild ass guess).

Yes, the words are conjugates.

The word "guess" is from an Anglo Saxon word that means to estimate or to appraise. There is less divine intervention as there is the idea of trying to shoot at a target.
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September 5th, 2011 at 9:18:36 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Today's word means to guess. I don't know if this qualifies as a cognate, but it is similar to word divine in English. Rarely do you hear anybody using divine to mean to guess something in English, it one of those poetic kind of words that nobody really uses in everyday speech. I don't think I've heard the word divine in that context since Johnny Carson last did Carnac the Magnificent.



You hear it now and then. In any case, I think most people know what a divining rod is.

Quote:

Advino que hay lluvia manaña. = I guess it will rain tomorrow.



Not a very good example. Actually no one uses the language quite that way (you serial language abuser, you <w>). The English phrase translates better as "Creo que lloverá mañana," or "Me imagino que va a llover mañana."

Oh, "hay" is used in present tense. So for your example you should use "habrá." You may say "Adivino que habrá lluvia mañana," but that sounds too stilted.

Here are a few better ones:

Adivina que hay de comer = Guess what's for lunch

Adiviné la respuesta = I guessed the answer.

Adivinaste = You guessed right.

El objetivo de la ruleta es adivinar en que número va a caer la bola = The objective in roulette is to guess on which number the ball will land.

Wow. I haven't done this since junior high, when the Spanish teacher had us look up five words on the dictionary every day and write at least two examples of each.
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September 5th, 2011 at 9:48:55 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

As far as I know the names all three countries and "guinea pig" are all the same word. The word is of uncertain etymology but may comes from the Berber term aguinaoui, which means "black".



Regarding "guinea pig," I thought the pig was because when they brought them to Europe from South America the English thought they looked, and sounded, like pigs. The "guinea" is because they cost one guinea each.

By the way, is a guinea still a unit of money in Britain? If so, how many guineas are in a pound? Talk about getting off topic, sorry.
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September 6th, 2011 at 1:11:43 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Regarding "guinea pig," I thought the pig was because when they brought them to Europe from South America the English thought they looked, and sounded, like pigs. The "guinea" is because they cost one guinea each.

By the way, is a guinea still a unit of money in Britain? If so, how many guineas are in a pound? Talk about getting off topic, sorry.



A guinea is officially 21 shillings where it was fixed in 1717, or £1.05 in decimal currency. It hasn't been a coin in 200 years when the relatively newly formed United Kingdom decided to go on the gold standard. As a unit it exists in horse racing and the buying and selling of rams.

I assume that the guinea is retained for sentimental reasons in horse racing. It has a built in 5% commission for the exchange of livestock.

I assume troy ounces are retained for precious metals for practical reasons because so many coins and bars exist that are minted as multiples of troy ounces that it would be impossible to start over.
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