Quick answer
"Distraído" is an adjective which is often translated as "distracted", and "despistado" is a noun which is often translated as "scatterbrain". Learn more about the difference between "distraído" and "despistado" below.
distraído(
dees
-
trah
-
ee
-
doh
)
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (inattentive)
a. distracted
Celia parecía distraída, como si estuviera en otro sitio.Celia seemed distracted, as if she were somewhere else.
b. miles away
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
Encarnación estaba distraída y no oyó acercarse a la profesora.Encarnación was miles away and didn't hear the teacher approach.
c.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
"¡Estupendo!" dijo distraída mi madre."Fantastic!" said my mom distractedly.
Distraído, mi abuelo vertió la leche en la cafetera.My grandfather absent-mindedly poured the milk into the coffee pot.
2. (easily distracted)
a. absent-minded
Lucía es muy distraída. Siempre pierde las cosas.Lucia is very absent-minded. She's always losing things.
3. (amusing)
Regionalism used in Spain
(Spain)
a. entertaining
Este juego de mesa es distraído para toda la familia.This board game is entertaining for the whole family.
This means that the noun can be masculine or feminine, depending on the gender of person it refers to (e.g. el doctor, la doctora).
4.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(easily distracted person)
a. scatterbrain
¡Eres un distraído! Esa camisa está al revés.What a scatterbrain you are! Your shirt's inside out.
b. absent-minded (adjective)
Este trabajo no es para distraídos porque requiere de mucha concentración.This isn't a job for absent-minded people because it requires a great deal of concentration.
5. (momentarily inattentive person)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
¿Cuántos accidentes occurren por culpa de un distraído?How many accidents are the fault of someone who isn't paying attention?
El accidente fue culpa de un distraído al volante.The accident was caused by a distracted driver.
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el despistado, la despistada(
dehs
-
pees
-
tah
-
doh
)
This means that the noun can be masculine or feminine, depending on the gender of person it refers to (e.g. el doctor, la doctora).
1. (inattentive person)
a. scatterbrain
Es un despistado. Deja sus llaves en casa cada dos por tres.He's a scatterbrain. He's always leaving his keys at home.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
2. (inattentive by nature)
a. absent-minded
Siempre ha sido muy despistado. ¿Te acuerdas cuando no encontraba el coche?He has always been very absent-minded. Do you remember when he couldn't find his car?
b. forgetful
¿Podrías llamarme para recordármelo? Soy muy despistado.Could you call to remind me? I am very forgetful.
3. (inattentive for a moment)
a. distracted
Aproveché que su secretaria estaba despistada para entrar corriendo en su despacho.I took advantage of his secretary being distracted to run into his office.
b. miles away
Estaba despistado y no me enteré de lo que dijo.I was miles away and didn't pay any attention to what he said.
4. (bewildered)
a. confused
Estoy despistado. ¿Los gastos no iban en esta columna?I'm confused. Didn't expenses go in this column?
b. lost
Soy nuevo y ando un poco despistado.I'm new here and am a bit lost.
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