HomeQ&AUn pocito = Un poco ?

Un pocito = Un poco ?

1
vote

On holiday in Spain I used "entiendo un poco" and I was corrected with "un pocito". Does this mean very little?

72075 views
updated SEP 4, 2010
posted by LisaM
I'm confused by this as well. when I look up both poco and poquito - both can be nouns meaning "little bit" - cdprater, AGO 26, 2009

4 Answers

0
votes

HI Lisa, they were saying:

Un poquito

Well, not really very little, poquito is the diminutive form , so they were trying to be kind smile

poquísimo would be very little.

updated AGO 26, 2009
posted by 00494d19
0
votes

A pocito is a little pozo. A pozo is a well or tank, so 'pocito' roughly translates as 'swimming hole'.

updated DIC 10, 2009
posted by kphoger
0
votes

And that's your random grammar lesson of the day! tongue laugh

Also, the /k/ (like "c" in "car") sound can be sometimes achieved in three different ways:

  • c
  • qu
  • k

If you can use "c" in Spanish for that sound, you normally avoid the other two, so "caro" would never be "quaro" (that would be a different sound), and it will not be "karo" unless it is a foreign spelling. The "k" is not part of the original Latin alphabet (it is Greek)

For the sound "k" in "ki" you can't use "c" in Spanish, so you use "qu", as in "quiero" instead (the second of the list).

So, when do you use the "k"? In foreign words, like "kilo" (also written "quilo").

A similar rule exists for "c" and "z" for the Peninsular sound "th" (note: this explanation is useless if you use the typical Latin American pronunciation):

  • c
  • z

If you can use "c" for this sound, as in "cero", never use the "z".

If you can't use "c" for this sound, as in "zapato", then "z" is a must. In verbal forms, such as "cazar", you cannot use a "c", as "cacar" would sound like "cakar", but when you say "cace", although you can use "caze", the "c" has priority, since the "z" is not part of the original Latin alphabet (it is Greek).

updated AGO 25, 2009
edited by lazarus1907
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Yes.... on a somewhat related grammar/pronunciation lesson, taken from an answer I gave to a post a few months ago:

Any verb that ends in -gar changes to -gue/-guen in the Ud./Uds. command form, in order to maintain the original pronunciation of the infinitive. The letter "g" in front of the vowels "a", "o", and "u" (hard vowels) create a hard sound; in front of "e" and "i" (soft vowels) it is pronounced with a soft sound (such as the g in "gente"). So, since the "g" in "llegar" is hard, you must use "-gue" or "-guen", for the Ud./Uds. command form, to maintain that hard sound. The "g" in "llege" would be soft, not hard like "lleGAR".

Thus: the tu command form of llegar is: "llega" (formed simply by using the el/ella/Ud. form of "llegar"), the Ud. form is "llegue", and the Uds. form is "lleguen."

Side Note: Verbs that end in "-car" change to "-que/quen" in the Ud./Uds. command form; verbs that end in "-zar", change to "-ce/cen" in the Ud./Uds. command form.

That would explain why "pocito" would change to "poquito". The "root word", so to say, is "poco", with the "c" being pronounced with a hard sound. The "c" in "pocito" would be pronounced with a soft sound, like an "s". Thus, to maintain the pronunciation of the "c" in "poco", "qu" is used in place of just "c". Thus... poco --> poquito.

And that's your random grammar lesson of the day! tongue laugh

updated AGO 25, 2009
posted by Nick-Cortina
SpanishDict is the world's most popular Spanish-English dictionary, translation, and learning website.
© Curiosity Media Inc.