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What is the difference between Niño and Muchacho, and Niña and Muchacha?

Do Niña and Niño mean young boy and young girl and Muchacha and Muchacho mean older boy and older girl? Thank you.

  • Please use the correct letters :) - culé Nov 19, 2010 flag

4 Answers

2 Vote

niño, ña.

(De la voz infantil ninno).

  1. adj. Que está en la niñez. U. t. c. s. ( that is in his childhood )

  2. adj. Que tiene pocos años. U. t. c. s. ( who isn't old ) ( a few years ) smile

  3. adj. Que tiene poca experiencia. U. t. c. s. ( who has little expreince )


muchacho, cha.

(Del ant. mochacho, y este de mocho).

  1. m. y f. Niño que no ha llegado a la adolescencia. ( boy that has arrived to his adolescence )

  2. m. y f. Niño que mama. ( boy that suckles ) It's a little bit opposite, but what can I say... smile

  3. m. y f. Mozo que sirve de criado. ( young boy that is a servant )

Real Academia Española

  • Please can you answer in english? :) I am a beginner. :) - espanolalumn Nov 19, 2010 flag
  • Thank you! :) - espanolalumn Nov 19, 2010 flag
  • That has always been my understanding. Niño/a is a young child while muchacho/a is someone older and perhaps it would depend on circumstances at what age you may make the differentiation. - drewrywpg Nov 19, 2010 flag
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As far as I know, it's all the same. English also has more than one word for this:

young man, boy, child, youngster, kid, etc.

0 Vote

I think they can be used interchangeably in all cases they mean boy/girl child I suppose it is a bit of a regeonal thing. Los niños means children collectively i.e. boys and girls.

0 Vote

Nope, it may differ somewhat depending on the region, and colloquially 'niño/a' is also said to older boys/girls, but they are not interchangeable. 'muchacho' or 'chico' is used to call older boys, around puberty and older, whereas 'niño' or 'crío' is more appropriate for younger boys, all the way down to infants. Calling a 5 y.o. boy 'muchacho' for example would be wrong in most contexts.

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