El rostro / la cara

1
vote

Hola!

I'm trying to figure out what's the difference between "el rostro" and "la cara" as both translates to "the face" in the dictionary. ¿Puede alguien ayudarme, por favor? smile

21123 views
updated OCT 11, 2017
posted by Marko-de-Finlandia

17 Answers

2
votes

... you don't say "toalla de cara".

Don't know if it makes much sense, but that's the best I can come up with.

In Argentina we say that all the time.

updated OCT 11, 2017
posted by 00e657d4
Agreed. Toalla de cara is perfectly normal.
┬┐Toalla de mano?
1
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He buscado la traducción de la expresión que dijo Toni antes porque me ha gustado como ejemplo:

No se atreve a dar la cara = he doesn't dare say it to my face.

updated OCT 11, 2017
posted by nila45
1
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Existe también la expresión:

Tienes más cara que espalda. = eres un caradura.

updated OCT 11, 2017
posted by nila45
1
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I would say that "rostro" refers more to the physical skin of your face whereas "cara" refers more to its image or visual appearance. For instance, you say "toalla de rostro" (facecloth) because the towel is used to wipe your skin; you don't say "toalla de cara". On the other hand, you say "cara de tonto" (foolish face) because it refers to the visual expression of foolishness; you don't say "rostro de tonto".

Don't know if it makes much sense, but that's the best I can come up with.

In Mexico is said: toalla para la cara but if you're talking about those cosmetic towels to clean face, then toallitas para el rostro, however can works well "toalllitas para la cara"

updated OCT 11, 2017
posted by AntMexico
1
vote

For instance, you say "toalla de rostro" (facecloth) because the towel is used to wipe your skin; you don't say "toalla de cara".
gulp

toalla de rostro? Diríamos como mucho: toalla para la cara

Rostro en España no se usa apenas, a no ser como para frases hechas:

tiene un rostro que se lo pisa: he is too cheeky to be true

updated OCT 11, 2017
posted by 00494d19
why is it toalla and not toallita if it's a washcloth? much smaller... :/
1
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I think it will depend on were you are. In Argentina ,and I'm guessing in Uruguay and Chile too, "cara" and "rostro" are synonyms. You can use either word with no difference at all. I would like to hear what people from Spain have to say.

updated OCT 11, 2017
posted by 00e657d4
1
vote

I think it will depend on were you are. In Argentina ,and I'm guessing in Uruguay and Chile too, "cara" and "rostro" are synonyms.

The fact that two words are synonymous does not mean they are always interchangeable. How would an Argentinian translate "face-to-face"? I seriously doubt you can say "rostro a rostro" instead of "cara a cara".

In any language there are usual ways of saying things, which are mostly a matter of convention.

updated MAR 10, 2014
posted by 00719c95
1
vote

Well, the simple answer to the original question is that there is no simple answer. As Toni said, the differences are mostly in usage and are a matter of rote memorization, which takes years.

I still think what I said serves as a rule of thumb to guess whether to use "rostro" or "cara". But guessing implies you will often get it wrong, which is why foreigners tend to say funny things.

updated JUL 20, 2011
posted by 00719c95
"which is why foreigners tend to say funny things" i love that, it makes me smile :)
0
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Rostro is anatomical, cara is is visual

updated OCT 11, 2017
posted by mowwow
0
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Rostro is anatomical, cara is recognitional

updated OCT 11, 2017
posted by mowwow
0
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El diccionario define rostro como cara de las personas. Las diferencias están en cada uno de los usos que simplemente se memorizan.

Generalmente cuando se habla de cosmética se utiliza rostro:

aplique la crema gentilmente sobre el rostro

Hay algunas frases predefinidas que usan cara:

no quiso darme la cara

updated OCT 11, 2017
posted by AntMexico
Rostro is anatomical, cara is recognitional.
0
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Rostro is anatomical, cara is is visual

updated OCT 11, 2017
posted by mowwow
0
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En el diccionario RAE www.rae.es encontrarás ejemplos de los diversos usos de cada término. Como ya se mencionó son muchos y sólo la práctica y los años los fijan en la memoria.

updated MAY 30, 2009
posted by AntMexico
0
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Hmm. So does anyone, anywhere say "¡Qué rosto duro!"? instead of "¡Qué cara dura!"

updated MAY 29, 2009
posted by samdie
0
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toalla de rostro? Diríamos como mucho: toalla para la cara

Must be a regionalism: http://www.google.com.mx/search'hl=es&q=toalla+de+rostro

Most matches seem to come from Argentina and Mexico.

updated MAY 29, 2009
posted by 00719c95