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Usage

Usage Labels

Two types of usage labels are used in this dictionary—regional and stylistic. Spanish words that are limited in use to a specific area or areas of Latin America, or to Spain, are given labels indicating the countries in which they are most commonly used:

guarachear intransitive verb Cuba, Puerto Rico, familiar . . . 
bucket . . . noun . . . cubeta feminine Mexico

The following regional labels are used: Argentina, Bolivia, Central America, Caribbean, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Since this work focuses on the Spanish spoken in Latin America, only the most common regionalisms from Spain have been included in order to allow for more thorough coverage of Latin-American forms.

A number of Spanish words are given a familiar label as well, indicating that these words are suitable for informal contexts but would not normally be used in formal writing or speaking. The stylistic label usually considered vulgar is added for a word which is usually considered vulgar or offensive but whose widespread use justifies its inclusion in this book. The label is intended to warn the reader that the word in question may be inappropriate in polite conversation.

Usage Notes

Definitions are sometimes preceded by parenthetical usage notes that give supplementary semantic information:

not . . . adverb 1 (used to form a negative) no . . . 
within2 preposition . . . 2 (in expressions of distance) : . . . 3 (in expressions of time)
e2 conjunction (used instead of y before words beginning with i or hi) : . . .
poder1 auxiliary verb 2 (expressing possibility) : 3 (expressing permission)

Additional semantic orientation is also sometimes given in the form of parenthetical notes appearing within the definition:

calibrate . . . transitive verb . . . : calibrar (armas), graduar (termómetros)
palco masculine noun : box (in a theater or stadium)

Occasionally a usage note is used in place of a definition. This is usually done when the entry word has no single foreign-language equivalent. This type of usage note will be accompanied by examples of common use:

shall . . . auxiliary verb . . . 1 (used to express a command) <you shall do as I say harás lo que te digo> . . .

Illustrations of Usage

Definitions are sometimes followed by verbal illustrations that show a typical use of the word in context or a common idiomatic usage. These verbal illustrations include a translation and are enclosed in angle brackets:

lejos adverb 1 : far away, distant <a lo lejos : in the distance, far off> . . .
make1 . . . 9 . . . : ganar <to make a living : ganarse la vida> . . .