HomeQ&ADifferences in expressing beauty: linda, bella, bonita?

Differences in expressing beauty: linda, bella, bonita?

2
votes

In English there are subtle differences in expressing the idea of beauty in word choice: beautiful, gorgeous, pretty, good-looking, cute, attractive, etc. For example, a tropical sunset might be called "beautiful", but probably not "cute". Or it may be appropriate to tell a co-worker she looks "pretty" in her new outfit, but you may not want to call her "gorgeous". How are these subties expressed among the Spanish words: bella, hermosa, linda, guapa, bonita? Which of these words are appropriate in what kind of situations? Are there other words more commonly used?

74303 views
updated NOV 28, 2009
posted by richlowery911

4 Answers

1
vote

Bella, hermosa, linda and bonita can be used to describe a scenery, a women or a young girl.

Guapa can also be used to describe any female of any age, but not a sunset for example.

La hermosa tarde, el bonito dia, la bella mañana, el lindo paisaje.

Que niña tan hermosa! -- Que mujer tan bella --- In other words they are all interchangeable depending on how you use them.

updated NOV 28, 2009
posted by 0068e2f4
Thanks so much! But, although the Eglish words CAN be used interchangably (denotation), they don't convey the EXACT same sense (conotation). Is this also true of the Spanish words? - richlowery911, NOV 27, 2009
1
vote

guapa ( mostly used in spain but understood by everybody ).

In spanish it matters more the way you say it than the word itself. But if you want to know my opinion:

Preciosa = gorgeous. Linda = cute. Bella = beautiful. Hermosa = beatiful . Guapo/a = handsome.

"hermosa" is used more for feelings and "bella" is used more for exterior characteristics. (this is not a rule ).

updated NOV 27, 2009
edited by pisacaballo
posted by pisacaballo
Thanks, too! I, also, have my own ideas of which words conote similar ideas as the English ones. I just don't know how accurate my ideas are. I sure appreciate your thoughts. - richlowery911, NOV 27, 2009
0
votes

I think that they are NOT all interchangeable. You cant tell a friend that his mother is "preciosa" but instead of saying "preciosa" you can use linda.

updated NOV 28, 2009
posted by pisacaballo
I agree. This is exactly what I was referring to in my question. It seems from the answeres I'm getting that it's really just up to the speaker and what he is comfortable saying. I would just hate to call the town alcalde's wife a "hot mamma!" - richlowery911, NOV 27, 2009
I said interchangeable depending on how you use them - 0068e2f4, NOV 28, 2009
0
votes

Practically the differences between each of these words is the same in English and in Spanish. They have the same connotation in both languages.

updated NOV 27, 2009
edited by 0068e2f4
posted by 0068e2f4
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