4 Vote

Is hermano the same word for brother and sibling or am I missing something here? Sorry if this is a stupid question, I'm new. smile

  • Don't worry about being New, there isn't anyone here that wasn't new at one time, except Q - LateToDinner Jul 27, 2010 flag
  • jejejej, pero qué malo!! lol - 00494d19 Jul 27, 2010 flag

5 Answers

4 Vote

El Hermano is brother, un hermano is one brother.

La hermana is sister, una hermana is one sister.

Los hermanos are brothers or brothers and sisters. Or a brother and a sister.

Dos hermanos ... you will have to ask ... or pay close attention to their names.

1 Vote

Hola,

Many Spanish words follow this model. Most follow the o to a ending, like abuelo = grandfather, abuela = grandmother, abuelos = grandparents.

But, padre = father, madre = mother, padres = parents.

And, then there is nostotros which means we, if any or all of us are male. If we are all female then use nosotras. But, even if we are a countless group of females and only one male, then nosotros is used.

You may have a hundred friends, if all are female, then, ellas son tus amigas. If ninety nine of your friends are female and one is male, then, ellos son tus amigos.

As you study Spanish you'll discover a lot more. cool smile

  • I guess I have noticed other ones like it...just hadn't put it all together yet. What would be the appropriate follow up question in this case? Would you just ask "hermanos o hermanas?" - lil_tortuga Jul 26, 2010 flag
0 Vote

Okay, a follow up question from lil_toruga.

I guess I have noticed other ones like it...just hadn't put it all together yet. What would be the appropriate follow up question in this case? Would you just ask "hermanos o hermanas?"

Since dos hermanos was said, at least one of them must be male. If both were female then dos hermanas would have been used.

I think I would try, (¿Los dos son muchachos?). This might not be the best way, but, I think it would work.

Hopefully others who know will give us some help here. smile

  • I can't speak to the correctness of the Spanish, but boy, I like the logic! - LateToDinner Jul 26, 2010 flag
  • Thanks.. I think it would work but I still have a long way to go..... - canicos Jul 26, 2010 flag
0 Vote

I don't think the situation is as confusing as it sounds. If the speaker thinks that the gender of his siblings is germane to the conversation he will say: Tengo un hermano y una hermana or tengo dos hermanos; no hermanas. If he feels that the gender has no significance then he would say Tengo dos hermanos. (siblings)

If he does say Tengo dos hermanos (siblings) and you wish to know if any are sisters simply say ¿Algunas hermanas?

If the speaker thought it was important to specify step-siblings or half-siblings or adopted siblings then he would make the distinction and not just say I have xxxx siblings. If he does, then he didn't feel the distinction was important.

  • Thanks for the ¿Algunas hermanas? It's been added to my collection. Regardless of whether the speaker considered it important, being able to get clarification is the concern here. - LateToDinner Jul 27, 2010 flag
  • When trying to stress that I have five sisters, I often forget to mention that I only have one brother but they each have two! - LateToDinner Jul 27, 2010 flag
0 Vote

If the speaker thinks that the gender of his siblings is germane to the conversation he will say: Tengo un hermano y una hermana or tengo dos hermanos; no hermanas. If he feels that the gender has no significance then he would say Tengo dos hermanos. (siblings)

Not really, quentin, a native would never automatically say, tengo un hermano y una hermana.

  • Even if he knew that the person wanted to know how many sisters and brothers that he had? My only point is that natives understand the ambiguity and will clarify it if they feel that it is necessary. - 0074b507 Jul 27, 2010 flag
  • ...and not wait to have to be asked specifically. - 0074b507 Jul 27, 2010 flag
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