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Cualidad vs Calidad


At first I thought these were essentially the same thing, but a quick google search reveals that many of the cualidad hits refer the people and the calidad hits mainly refer to objects. Can anyone confirm/deny this allegation?

updated JUL 26, 2017
posted by jeezzle

4 Answers


"calidad" gives you a sense of measurement, as in: is this a high quality or poor quality item? There's no reason you can't use it to describe a person.

Ella es una persona de calidad.

"cualidad" refers more to an aspect of something. What kind of qualities does that person have? One of her qualities is her capacity to love people.

Ella tiene buenas cualidades. Una de sus cualidades es la capacidad de amar a la gente.

updated JUL 26, 2017
posted by hyrumt
That is very helpfu!! ...to the non-native speaker. - Janice, ENE 29, 2010

Please, look at these definitions and examples.

Calidad - quality

vino de calidad  - good quality wine

carne de mala calidad - poor quality meat


(de persona) attribute, quality

(de cosa) property, quality


updated ENE 29, 2010
edited by Carlos-F
posted by Carlos-F

Perhaps you might have a look at how the words are defined in by RAE:

calidad where I found this entry (with de) among many explanations:

de ~.

  1. loc. adj. Dicho de una persona o de una cosa: Que goza de estimación general.

and cualidad .............a much shorter entry, but again:

  1. f. Cada uno de los caracteres, naturales o adquiridos, que distinguen a las personas, a los seres vivos en general o a las cosas.
updated ENE 29, 2010
posted by Janice

So it looks like Calidad referes mainly to objects but Cualidad can refer to either? Hmmm... I will use Calidad for objects and Cualidad for people in that case.

updated ENE 29, 2010
posted by jeezzle
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