Lentamente vs. Despacio?

6
votes

When you're talking about someone doing something "slowly", do you use "lentamente" or "despacio"?

What is the difference between these two words?

If you want to tell someone to "slow down" when speaking so that you can understand him/her more easily, which word do you use?

Gracias!

30922 views
updated Jul 2, 2017
posted by manderine

4 Answers

4
votes

Despacio may also be used for intensity. In this case is not interchangeable. For example in this sentence: "Golpéalo despacio, o se puede romper", it would not make to much sense to say "golpéalo lentamente".

updated Jul 19, 2011
edited by 00e657d4
posted by 00e657d4
Great reponse Guillermo:)
3
votes

They're synonyms and can generally be used interchangeably. I usually use despacio when asking someone to speak more slowly, probably because that's what I learned when I first started.

Welcome to the forum.

updated Jul 2, 2017
edited by KevinB
posted by KevinB
2
votes

Even though both words are adverbs, Despacio can have the nuance of imperative in the proper context.

Slow down! .... ¡Despacio! (Road signs all say "Despacio" as well).

Demanding that someone do something slowly by using "lentamente" would sound ridiculous.

"Ella corre muy despacio / lentamente" (here both work).

updated Jul 2, 2017
posted by JulianChivi
0
votes

great! Thank you all so much for the explanations smile

updated Jul 19, 2011
posted by manderine
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