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When I am looking up my dictionary, I find it difficult to understand the abbreviation "con", for example, arrancar: con. to leave; gazapo: con. big lie. Any reply would be appreciated.

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updated JUL 15, 2008
posted by Luis-Lu

21 Answers

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Thank you. My dictionary has a list of abbreviations, excluding "con". If it is mispelled as you told me, there is not such an abbreviation as con.

updated JUL 15, 2008
posted by Luis-Lu
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"Dar en el clavo" is a colloquial expression according to my Spanish dictionary (I could have told you that myself, of course), as it is "cochino" meaning swine, so that "con" is most likely "coloquial", but for some reason they have mispelled it.

Does your dictionary not have a list of abbreviations'

updated JUL 14, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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Mr. James, thank you for taking the trouble to try hard to solve the problem. I will give you more examples for you to guess the meaning of "con". cochino -na adj. con. piggish, dirty; m. pig, swine clavo m. nail; corn (on foot); clove; dar en el clavo, con. to hit the nail on the head

updated JUL 14, 2008
posted by Luis-Lu
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I don't know how or why it happened, but my money is on colloquial. Perfect fit.

updated JUL 14, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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sí, ahora me acuerdo esa lección.

gracias una vez más

updated JUL 14, 2008
posted by motley
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What he says is completely true (of course), but just so you don't get confused, it would be a relatively rare situation when you would use the indicative in that sentence. In the majority of cases, it would be the subjunctive.

Necesito a alguien que pueda limpiar mi casa.
I need someone (and I don't yet know who it will be) who can clean my house.
(Mirando a tu hijo) Necesito a alguien que puede limpiar mi casa.
I need someone who can clean my house (and it is you!).

Busco a alguien que tenga un coche rojo.
I'm looking for someone (anyone) who has a red car (so I can buy it).
Busco a alguien que tiene un coche rojo.
I'm looking for someone who has a red car (so I can arrest him. Here is his photo.)

Does that help'

updated JUL 14, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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Muy interesante lazarus.
I was going to study the subjunctive (again) to try to grasp it before asking questions..

updated JUL 14, 2008
posted by motley
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Just checked, this would fit with "arancar" but not with "gazapo" which is a noun.

updated JUL 14, 2008
posted by Eddy
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Are you sure that it isn't the abbreviation for "conjunction" which is normally listed as "conjug". Your dictionary might just be listing it as "con"

updated JUL 14, 2008
posted by Eddy
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Lo siento, necesita a alguien que sabe más que yo

That sentence is correct... but only if you already have one person in mind, (e.g. Necesita a alguien que sabe más que yo = Necesita a James), i,e, you are declaring that there is one (particular) person who knows more than you.. In subjunctive, you don't declare that there is one person that knows more than you, so it could be anyone... or no one.

updated JUL 14, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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Dandi,
I got that list from a book "Spanish Verb Tenses" by Dorothy Devney Richmond, which I recommend. It has sections on all tenses of verbs with exercises and an answer key.
Check is out on amazon.com. ISBN 0-8442-7334-1

updated JUL 14, 2008
posted by motley
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that seems like a really useful list you might have. did you make it yourself or find it somewhere'

updated JUL 14, 2008
posted by 003487d6
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Mr. James, thank you for your bold guess, but is it possible for the compiler to misprint the abbreviation in the whole dictionary? By the way, "con" appears in the Spanish dictionary, and the Spanish word for colloquial is coloquial with only one "l", not double l.

updated JUL 14, 2008
posted by Luis-Lu
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Here's my guess. Either you are misreading it or the printer mis-printed it, and it is supposed to be "coll.," which stands for colloquial. This fits for all of the words you gave. Perhaps the font of the print makes the double L look like an N.

updated JUL 14, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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Mr. James, my dictionary has a page defining the abbrevions, exlcuding "con". I'll give more examples: chacha f. (con.) lass; (con.) nursemaid; charlar in. (con.) to chat; (con.) to chatter. James, I'm sure you can solve the problem. I'm waiting for your answer.

updated JUL 14, 2008
posted by Luis-Lu
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