Quick answer
"Criminal" is a noun which is often translated as "el/la criminal", and "penal" is an adjective which is often translated as "penal". Learn more about the difference between "criminal" and "penal" below.
criminal(
krih
-
mih
-
nuhl
)
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
1. (outlaw)
a. el criminal
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
, la criminal
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
The criminal showed no trace of shame when he was sentenced.El criminal no mostró pudor alguno cuando fue sentenciado.
b. el delincuente
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
, la delincuente
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
A gang of criminals that has been robbing banks is being sought.Se busca una banda de delincuentes que ha estado robando bancos.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
2. (illegal)
a. delictivo
After ten years on the run, his criminal past caught up with him.Después de diez años de prófugo, su pasado delictivo lo alcanzó.
b. criminal
Painting graffiti on a wall is a criminal act.Hacer grafiti en la pared es un acto criminal.
3. (legal)
a. penal
Mr. Ortiz will be defending him in the criminal case.El Lic. Ortiz lo estará defendiendo en el caso penal.
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penal(
pi
-
nuhl
)
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (general)
a. penal
The penal code defines the crimes that are punishable by law.El código penal define los delitos que son punibles por la ley.
b. penitenciario
Penal institutions are often located in remote places.Las instituciones penitenciarias a menudo están ubicadas en lugares remotos.
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