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Quick answer
"Efectivo" is an adjective which is often translated as "effective", and "metálico" is an adjective which is often translated as "metal". Learn more about the difference between "efectivo" and "metálico" below.
efectivo(
eh
-
fehk
-
tee
-
boh
)
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (efficacious)
a. effective
La vacuna tarda unos días en ser efectiva.The vaccine takes a few days to become effective.
2. (genuine)
a. real
El poder efectivo está en manos del pueblo.The real power is in the hands of the people.
b. actual
La posibilidad efectiva de que sobreviva este pajarito es muy escasa.The actual chance that this baby bird will survive is very slim.
c. true
No se ha podido determinar el valor efectivo de las pérdidas.It has not been possible to determine the true value of the losses.
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
3. (money)
a. cash
Pagué con tarjeta porque no llevaba efectivo.I paid by card because I didn't have any cash on me.
efectivos
A plural noun indicates that there is more than one person, place, thing, or idea.
plural noun
4. (military)
a. forces
El país aumentó el número de efectivos militares en la zona.The country increased the number of military forces in the area.
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metálico(
meh
-
tah
-
lee
-
koh
)
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (related to metal)
a. metal
El detector sonó porque el pasajero traía un objeto metálico en el bolsillo.The detector sounded because the passenger had a metal object in his pocket.
b. metallic
A Sandy le gusta pintarse la uñas de colores metálicos brillantes.Sandy likes to paint her nails with bright metallic colors.
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
2. (money)
a. cash
Prefiero pagar en metálico que usar tarjetas de crédito.I prefer paying in cash than using credit cards.
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