The same? Igual vs mismo
I don't really understand how to convey the idea, "the same", in spanish. I understand if someone were to say "I'm cold", you would respond "yo tambien" if you felt the same way; however, I don't understand lo(la, el) mismo vs igual. The other day someone came to my work and asked for ten plates in spanish, after I gave them to him I asked if he needed forks and how many, and he responded with, "Si, igual." Why did he use igual and not el/lo mismo? Is it personal preference? Or some rule?
Some sentences to show context:
Do you have the same parents?
I have the same pet as you!
Him and I have the same girlfriend.
There is no rule to tell you which of these words to use. The choice is determined by word order, context, and preference.
In the case of the short response of "Sí, igual"; "(Sí) diez tambien", "así es, diez" could also have been used. "Lo mismo" ("the same thing") was not used because plates are not the same as forks, but "Sí, la misma cantidad" would have been proper. The way this guy answered is somewhat regional, which is his preference.
This type of thing is best learned by listening as much as possible to how the language is used. I can imagine it would be difficult to study without a certain amount of imerssion.
You have all of those uses in English too. It seems that English is your native language.
I think it is cold -> same here
I feel cold -> same here -> me too
As to the question you asked the Spanish guy, there must be missing something in the question, but it isn't so strange in English if after asking something you get answer like " all the same, I am going to need... " etc Right?
Edit: What's bolded up there replaces the word context
himself = él mismo herself = ella misma
the same = lo/el/mismo - la misma
Are you sure it's a good thing to share a girlfriend? The French havea good description, menage a trois, but I fear I don't know what you say in Spanish. Suggestion: mi amigo y yo compartimos la mismísima chica. Suerte, amigo, suerte.
I think you heard wrong and he said "Es igual" which is like saying it does'nt really matter, dont worry about it.
Another angle is economy of speech, He was getting his point across quickly with as few words or syllables as possible, which is common in work situations. Not thinking about correct speech. Si igual is very compact. Personally I like igual (equal) relative to quantity, count, etc. and lo mismo for sameness in general.