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Quick answer
"Económico" is an adjective which is often translated as "economic", and "barato" is an adjective which is often translated as "cheap". Learn more about the difference between "económico" and "barato" below.
económico(
eh
-
koh
-
noh
-
mee
-
koh
)
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (related to economy)
a. economic
Durante la crisis económica, tuve que vender mi carro y mi casa.During the economic crisis, I had to sell my car and my house.
2. (low-priced)
a. cheap
Esta carne picada es económica, pero contiene más grasa.This ground beef is cheap, but it has more fat.
b. economical
Me alcanzó para comprar un frigorífico pequeño y económico.I could only afford a small, economical fridge.
c. inexpensive
El hotel es viejo pero económico, y queda cerca de la playa.The hotel is old but inexpensive, and it's located near the beach.
d. low-cost
Voy a volar a Londres en una aerolínea económica.I'm flying to London with a low-cost airline.
3. (related to money)
a. financial
La pareja no dejó que los problemas económicos afectaran a su matrimonio.The couple didn't let financial problems affect their marriage.
4. (cost-effective)
a. economical
Compré un acondicionador de aire que usa un 20% menos de energía que el anterior.I bought an economical air conditioner that uses 20% less energy than the old one.
5. (sparing)
a. thrifty
Ruy es económico y siempre compra las marcas más baratas.Ruy is thrifty and always buys the cheapest brands.
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barato(
bah
-
rah
-
toh
)
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (inexpensive)
a. cheap
El boleto fue muy barato.The ticket was very cheap.
2. (poor quality)
a. trashy (literature)
Estas novelas románticas son literatura barata.These romantic novels are trashy literature.
b. cheap (music)
Estas bandas ya solo tocan música barata.These bands only play cheap music.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
3. (economically)
a. cheaply
Tratamos de vivir barato.We try to live cheaply.
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
4. (commerce)
Regionalism used in Spain
(Spain)
a. street market
Leti compró unas flores preciosas en el barato.Leti bought some lovely flowers in the street market.
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