4 Spanish words exactly the same but with different meanings In Spanish, as in many other languages is common to have words that they are exactly the same, I mean they are written the same, pronounce the same and if it would not be for the context we will think their meaning is the same….

Hola amigo amante del español, I hope you are doing great on your Spanish journey and you are ready to face today’s post. 🙂


Today we will be seeing something really cool (at least from my point of view) it is exactly same words that have different meanings, I love it because that allows us to play with double meanings (a few jokes at the bottom of the post) but first things first, probably you know all of these words, you probably have learned them and fight them until they got stuck in your “Spanish brain”, most of them are basic words, you learn at the beginning of your learning and then ….ta-dah! You see them again in another different context, oh…oh…trouble! The meaning you learn does not apply any longer so you need to make space for a new meaning…


Are you ready  to see this on 4 Spanish words? Let’s go to it


4 Spanish words



4 words exactly the same but with different meanings


As many of you know, even before to learn Spanish mañana means tomorrow…(quite useful if you visit Spain…-everything takes place “mañana”) but also mean…morning, therefore mañana por la mañana es “tomorrow morning” –when everything happens :P-


Watch out! Do not let the expression!Buenos días!-“ Good morning” make you believe that días is morning….días is days, and even when we translated to Good morning literally has it is the common equivalent in English is still Good day literally 🙂



As well probably one of the first words you learn when you start learning the “Spanish family”, tío means uncle and tía means auntie, so far so good, but as your learning keeps moving forward (or you visit Spain, watch some movies or talk to  your Spanish amigos or unlimited case-scenarios) you hear and realize that people use it to talk to someone you know is not a relative, and your surprise goes beyond imagination…in this case means mate/dude….or to get closer (just because we are talking about family) brother, same when you use your brother with someone is not relate to you. It is a slang really common, so when you meet a friend is common to say (overall among young people)

-¿Qué pasa tío? Kind of your “what’s up brother?”

Or it is also common if you are talking about someone you do not know you can use it as well and it will be as say “bloke”or “guy” in English

El tío de la tienda, me hizo esperar y luego no tenía lo que yo quería-“The guy from the shop, made me wait and then he did not have what I wanted.”


Easy peasy untill here isn’t it?

Now things get a bit more complicated just because the next two words have more tan two meaning (lo siento…..but it is useful to know)



a-I think the typical meaning you will learn is the one is closer to English, bank.

b- But banco also means bench, yeah you have read it well, the ones in the park where you can take a sit, (confusing….)



c-Other of the meaning is shoal, so when you see a lot of fish swimming together you can talk about them as banco de peces.

d-Sometimes we use banco to refer a storage, a place with a lot of things (of the same kind in it) such as banco de comida “food bank”, banco de sangre “blood bank”, banco de palabras “word bank”…but you use it as well in English, so I guess this meaning is not the hardest.


meaning time is an easy one, beacuse the several meanings match the English pretty much except for I think the most confusing ones:

a-One of the first thing you learn too, talk about el tiempo,  “the weather”, ¿qué tiempo hace? “How is the weather like?” El tiempo es bueno….es malo, hace mal tiempo….”The weather is good, is bad, it is bad weather….”

b- But suddenly you are talking about something you like to do and someone ask you ¿Cuánto tiempo hace que juegas al fútbol? “How long have you played football for?” (Oh…oh…you would think….we were talking about football and now he is asking me about weather ¿? What!!!) in this case time means period of time, as in months, weeks…so tiempo here is time

c-If we are talking about the past we can use tiempo as well as “en los viejos tiempos”, in the old times…it has an “era” sense

d-If we talk about sport, its meaning is half , like “Iban perdiendo hasta el segundo tiempo”-“they were losing until the second half”

e-sometimes can mean moment or while like in “estudié español por un tiempo” “I studied Spanish for a while” or “necesito un poco más de tiempo” kind of saying “Give me a moment, I need a bit more of time”


I think those are the confusing ones for tiempo…the rest have the same meaning than in English, but if you have questions please ask 🙂


That is all the learning for today, now is fun “tiempo” time as we have talked today about double meanings I thought I would share with you these funny pictures which play with words and its different meanings.






Pictures from ilustrAna, llegas pachecho, facebook group humanimonos, cintasooch.com, pinchemeso.com and melocom.es



it is your turn… Did you get the meaning?If you do not know do not be afraid to ask…they are quite funny, and I am  here to help you to understand them 🙂 And if you understood them let us know in the comment below your favourite and  if you know any other that can help us to increase our “words with more than one meaning “ notebook.

And please if you know someone can learn something from this post please do not keep it as a secret  SHARE IT WITH THEM.



Stop for a moment and think if you know many of these words with double meaning, if you can not think of any, do some research and find some words with more than one meaning, you will be surprise how many are out there, once you do it post it on the comments so we all can learn.


And….that is your weekly  “Spanish lesson”, I hope you enjoy and you have learned something new.

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One Response to “4 Spanish words exactly the same but with different meanings”

  1. 6 slang expressions every Spaniard use | Spanish Connection

    […] a clear example we do use it a lot and for those who did not read last week post here it is a link http://spanishconnectionedinburgh.co.uk/4-spanish-words-exactly-the-same-but-with-different-meanings… so you know what we are talking […]


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