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Quick answer
"De sobra" is a phrase which is often translated as "spare", and "sobra" is a noun which is often translated as "excess". Learn more about the difference between "de sobra" and "sobra" below.
de sobra(
deh
 
soh
-
brah
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (remaining)
a. spare
¿Tienes un lápiz de sobra?Do you have a spare pencil?
b. extra
Lleva siempre dinero de sobra por si acaso.Always carry some extra cash with you, just in case.
c. left
Si tengo tiempo de sobra, volveré a comprobar todas las respuestas de mi examen.If I have any time left, I'll double-check all the answers in my exam.
d.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Veo mucha gente trabajando aquí, así que imagino que estoy de sobra.I can see many people working here, so I guess I'm not needed.
No hace falta que me digan que me vaya; sé cuando estoy de sobra.You don't have to tell me to go; I know when I'm not wanted.
2. (more than necessary)
a. enough
En el albergue había comida de sobra para aguantar toda una semana.There was enough food in the shelter to last us a whole week.
b. more than enough
Teníamos bebida de sobra para organizar una buena fiesta.We had more than enough booze to throw a good party.
c. plenty of
Aquí hay espacio de sobra para dos personas.There's plenty of room for two people here.
d. that's plenty
Te puedo prestar $100. ¿Te vale así? - Sí, de sobra.I can lend you $100. Will that do? - Sure, that's plenty.
3. (very well)
a. only too well
Se conocen de sobra, así que no hay necesidad de presentaciones.You two know each other only too well so no need for introductions.
b. full well
Sabes de sobra que no quiero que andes con esa gente.You know full well I don't want you to hang around with those people.
c. perfectly well
Conozco de sobra a mi mamá y es incapaz de hacer una cosa así.I know my mother perfectly well and she's incapable of doing something like that.
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sobra(
soh
-
brah
)
A feminine noun is almost always used with feminine articles and adjectives (e.g. la mujer bonita, la luna llena).
1. (overabundance)
a. excess
En este país hay sobra de ideas que no conducen a nada.In this country there's an excess of ideas that go nowhere.
b. surplus
La sobra de maíz hizo que bajara el precio del cereal.The surplus of corn brought the price of cereal down.
sobras
A plural noun indicates that there is more than one person, place, thing, or idea.
plural noun
2. (remains)
a. leftovers (of food)
Hice unas croquetas con las sobras del pollo.I made some croquettes with the chicken leftovers.
Hay sobras de la cena de ayer en el refrigerador por si te da hambre.There are leftovers from last night's dinner in the fridge in case you get hungry.
b. remnants (of cloth)
Aproveché las sobras de la tela para hacerle un vestido a la muñeca de mi hija.I used the remnants of the cloth to make a dress for my daughter's doll.
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