Un foro anterior que publiqué hoy y que versaba sobre el sentirse orgulloso de sus raíces ha suscitado una discusión interesante. ¿El orgullo siempre es pecado? Yo digo que no. Hay orgullo sano que nada tiene que ver con sentirse superior a los demás. ¿Qué piensas tú?

A previous thread I posted generated quite an interesting debate about the word Pride in Spanish. Is pride always a sin? I'd say no. There's the kind of pride you take in something that does not put anyone down. What's your take on it?

  • Posted Mar 4, 2011
  • | Edited by gone Mar 4, 2011
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  • Hey Renzo! Excellent thread to elicit such lively discussion...going to try my Spanish on this one! - cristalino Mar 4, 2011
  • Thanks, Cristalino. - gone Mar 4, 2011
  • ¡Gracias, usarezo, mucho gusto en leer las respuestas! - Jubilado Mar 4, 2011

10 Answers



The key is to be proud, yet humble. But does the humble man truly know he is humble?

  • Mar 4, 2011
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  • If the "humble" man even begins to dwell on his own humility, might that not be an inroad for "pride?" A fine line indeed.... - cristalino Mar 5, 2011


Se podría comparar este asunto con el dinero, me imagino. Este versículo de la Biblia sigue siendo muy pertinente: 1 Timoteo 6:10 (NVI)... "Porque el amor al dinero es la raíz de toda clase de males. Por codiciarlo, algunos se han desviado de la fe y se han causado muchísimos sinsabores."

El dinero, como el orgullo, puede tener ventajas e inconvenientes (desventajas). Si se usan adecuadamente, ambos tienen su lugar. (please offer corrections!) Gracias....

  • Mar 4, 2011
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  • Good use of this verse. So many people misquote it to say "money is the root of all evil" and miss the first part of the verse. i think this is a good illustration - Nicole-B Mar 4, 2011


This is a great question. I think the difference is in two words:

el orgullo y orgulloso

That is if they both translate perfectly from Spanish to English.

There are many ways that having pride (satisfaction, esteem, etc.) are a good thing.

For example:

"My son is my pride and joy." or "Take pride in your work and do a good job."

However, once a person has crossed the line from having a healthy dose of pride to becoming prideful, than it is wrong. People who are prideful and full of themselves make life miserable for all of us. They are either always boasting and bragging and they are never in the wrong.

Another example I can think of in English is when we say:

"Don't be too proud to accept our help."

The expression is "too proud". I think that points to a healthy dose for the right reasons is o.k. If you are too proud to accept appropriate help or so prideful that you annoy everyone you come in contact with, than of course, it is a bad thing.

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  • Hey, looks like I'm prideful then :P - Vince_Peña Mar 4, 2011
  • No, I read your answer. You used "un poco orgullo". It seems you understand the need for balance. :) - Nicole-B Mar 4, 2011


I think egotism is sinful, and that is the pride of arrogance and superiority. Dignity is not a sin, human worth is not a sin. I'll try this in Spanish.

Pienso que egolatría es un pecado, y eso es el orgullo de prepotencia y altanería. Dignidad no es pecado, el valor de un humano no es pecado.

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Provacative question, Renzo!

You have raised a number of issues here. Is is a bad word? No, it is not vulgar, offensive, or obscene, neither in Spanish nor in English. Is it always a sin? I guess that depends on the definition, and the answer may be different regarding English and Spanish, depending on your definition.

The key to this question is what Jubilado asserts, that egotism and arrogance are to be distinguished from dignity and human worth. The problem though, at least in English, is that we use the word pride to refer to both ideas. I have wondered if the usage in Spanish mirrors that in English.

I have wrestled with this issue for a number of years, since a friend of mine discouraged my use of the words proud and pride. He said that they were never used in a positive light in the Bible, but always in a sinful one. And after several years I have only found one verse where the word proud could be considered a positive characteristic, but at the same time it could as easily be considered a negative one; it is not clear in English what is meant. However, the same verse in the Spanish Bible uses the word soberbia, making it clear that it is sinful. So, using a strictly Scriptural definition, I would have to say that "pride" is always sinful. But again, that must be distinguished from dignity and human worth, which could be equated to a believer knowing his position "in Christ" as a child of God.

As regards the Spanish Bible (Versión Reina-Valera, 1960), the word orgullo only appears five times, and orgulloso twice, all in the Old Testament, and all in a negative/sinful light, except for one that refers to the waves of the sea. What we see in the Spanish Bible where "pride" is used in the English are words like soberbia, altivez, arrogancia, and altanería, all of which are evil.

So, since I don't want to be associated with anything that God defines as being evil, I try to use other words that express more precisely what I mean. This has taken a little work. For example, it is hard not to tell our children we are "proud of" them or their work, since we are accustomed to that being a positive expression. We say instead that we are "pleased" with them, or that they make us "happy." "A wise son maketh a glad father ..." / "El hijo sabio alegra al padre ..." (Proverbs 10:1 & 15:20). "My son, be wise, and make my heart glad ... " / "Sé sabio, hijo mío, y alegra mi corazón ..." (Proverbs 27:11).

Nevertheless, we understand that not everyone uses these words with the same definitions (the Biblical ones) that we do, so we are careful not to judge, but consider rather what they are saying according to the commonly accepted definitions of these words.

  • Mar 5, 2011
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  • Thanks for such an elaborate and informative answer. In Spanish, there is a humongous difference between Orgullo and Soberbia (which is one of the seven capital sins) - gone Mar 5, 2011


Estoy de acuerdo contigo. Orugllo en un trabajo bien hecho no es malo, Solo se convierte en pecado cuando no reconoces tus debiladades o crees que eres mejor que los démas especialmente Dios mismo . Cuando no reconoces tus debilidades este conduce a más pecado porque no crees que eres capaz de hacerlo . Un orgullo sano puede convertirse en un orgullo arrogantes,si no te mantienes humlide Creo que la palabra más apropriada en español para esta actutid es soberbia. Las traducciones de la Biblia al español que he leído usa esta palabra más para describir orgullo arrogante.



¿Pero cómo es posible que la palabra Orgullo sea mala? A mí se me hace esto un invento de algún fanático religioso. Orgullo es Orgullo y se acabó. Es simplemente parte de la naturaleza del ser humano. Lo que si, se puede decir mala sería la razón de tenerlo si alguien haya hecho una cochinada, pero no orgullo mismo.

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  • No me malentiendas No creo que la palabra misma sea mala. - BellaMargari Mar 5, 2011


In normal usage "orgullo" is definately not a "palabrota" I don't think it very nice really to have someone think of (me) for example as being proud or arrogant. As Bella said, pride in a job well done and the familiar usages are fine. But "arrogant" well not so nice,but still not a bad word. Now when it comes to religion and sin,well, we have a very different meaning.

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Yo pienso que el orgullo es necesario. Sin el orgullo nadien no hara nada porque no pensaran que su trabajo seria bueno y tendrian verguenza de hacerlo. Entonces se necesita si quiera un poco orgullo.

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In Spanish, there is a humongous difference between Orgullo and Soberbia (which is one of the seven capital sins) - usarenzo

Right, Renzo, there is a difference between these two Spanish words, but opinion my vary as to how large that difference is. Look at these RAE entries:

orgullo - 1. m. Arrogancia, vanidad, exceso de estimación propia, que a veces es disimulable por nacer de causas nobles y virtuosas.

-Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados

soberbia - 1. f. Altivez y apetito desordenado de ser preferido a otros.

2 f. Satisfacción y envanecimiento por la contemplación de las propias prendas con menosprecio de los demás.

3 f. Especialmente hablando de los edificios, exceso en la magnificencia, suntuosidad o pompa.

4 f. Cólera e ira expresadas con acciones descompuestas o palabras altivas e injuriosas.

5 f. ant. Palabra o acción injuriosa.

-Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservado

Yes, according to RAE, soberbia seems to go beyond orgullo, but even this definition of orgullo ("exceso de estimación propia") would make it something sinful.

Again, the key to this whole discussion is how one defines the word. Do we accept the dictionary definition? If so, which dictionary? Do we go by common, accepted usage? Do we take a purely Biblical approach? In the Bible verses I cite below, we see that God considers the two to be similar. It's amazing to me how the Bible interprets Itself, and how by just studying out a subject in the Bible, we see how God defines it and what He thinks of it. It's also interesting to me how many of these synonyms appear in the RAE definitions.

Jeremiah 48:29-30:

"We have heard the pride of Moab, (he is exceeding proud) his loftiness, and his arrogancy, and his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart. I know his wrath, saith the LORD; but it shall not be so; his lies shall not so effect it."

"Hemos oído la soberbia de Moab, que es muy soberbio, arrogante, orgulloso, altivo y altanero de corazón. Yo conozco, dice Hehová, su cólera, pero no tendrá efecto; sus jactancias no le aprovecharán."

Leviticus 26:19:

“And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:”

“Y quebrantaré la soberbia de vuestro orgullo, y haré vuestro cielo como hierro, y vuestra tierra como bronce.”

Proverbs 21:4:

"An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin."

"Altivez de ojos, y orgullo de corazón,

Y pensamiento de impíos, son pecado."

Daniel 5:20:

"But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:"

"Mas cuando su corazón se ensoberbeció, y su espíritu se endureció en su orgullo, fue depuesto del trono de su reino, y despojado de su gloria."

I don't read anything in the Bible about "capital sins" or "seven capital sins," but certainly pride/soberbia evokes pretty strong reactions from God. There aren't many things or people that God "hates", but this is one of them. Consider these verses:

Proverbs 6:16-17:

"These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, ..."
"Seis cosas aborrece Jehová,

Y aun siete abomina su alma:

Los ojos altivos, ..."

Proverbs 16:5:

"Everyone that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished."

"Abominación es a Jehová todo altivo de corazón;

Ciertamente no quedará impune."

Santiago 4:6:

"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."

"Pero él da mayor gracia. Por esto dice: Dios resiste a los soberbios, y da gracia a los humildes."

Therefore, I adopt my approach to the subject from this verse:

Proverbs 8:13:

"The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth do I hate."

"El temor de Jehová es aborrecer el mal;

La soberbia y la arrogancia, el mal camino,

Y la boca perversa, aborrezco."

Great thread, Renzo!