HomeQ&AWhy do some words have such different dual meanings?

Why do some words have such different dual meanings?


Píla - Pile. Battery. There's a ton of words like this. I know "batería" is probably more used for battery. Should I just discard the idea the píla also means battery? There doesn't seem to be another word for pile. I try to learn at least 3 meanings for each word but it seems like in English they rarely give so many meanings for words. Japanese though, has like 11 meanings per word, I've never seen a more contextual language. This is a general discussion, así que ¿Qué opinan amigos?

Edit: I spent a year on Japanese before my two years or so on Spanish. I must be pretty bored to be writing this.

updated JUL 4, 2010
edited by jeezzle
posted by jeezzle
Chinese is similarly complicated. - 00813f2a, JUL 4, 2010

2 Answers


Una pila also means a bunch or a lot.

"Había una pila de gente en el partido de fútbol".

Pila and grifo (faucet) also mean the same

Cierra la pila del agua.

Pila is commonly used as battery in Cuba. In Cuba Batería is for a set of drums, a battery of soldiers and a car's battery. We know it can also mean a small battery (C,D, AA, AAA, etc.) but we rarely use it as such.

updated JUL 4, 2010
posted by 00813f2a

"Pile" and "battery" can mean similar things in English, too. They can both mean a stack or collection of electrical cells. You seldom hear "pile" used this way in American English, though.

Pila does mean battery in Spanish. I hear it all the time. Pilas are generally little batteries, like AA's or flashlight batteries. Batterías are generally big, rechargeable batteries, like car batteries.

updated JUL 4, 2010
edited by KevinB
posted by KevinB
Ok then Kevin, I will keep Píla as battery and pile. Gracias por ayuderme otra vez. - jeezzle, JUL 4, 2010
ayudarme. - jeezzle, JUL 4, 2010
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