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Quick answer
"Abrigo" is a noun which is often translated as "coat", and "capa" is a noun which is often translated as "layer". Learn more about the difference between "abrigo" and "capa" below.
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
1. (clothing)
a. coat
Hay que llevar un abrigo en el invierno.You have to wear a coat in the winter.
2. (structure that provides shelter)
a. shelter (from the cold)
El iglú sirve como abrigo en un paisaje nevado.An igloo serves as a shelter in a snowy landscape.
3. (defense from the cold)
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
¿Tienes abrigo suficiente?Are you bundled up enough?
¡Hace un frío del demonio! El bebé necesitará más abrigo.It's devilishly cold! The baby will need more layers.
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A feminine noun is almost always used with feminine articles and adjectives (e.g. la mujer bonita, la luna llena).
1. (covering)
a. layer
Puse una capa gruesa de salsa de chocolate sobre mi helado.I put a thick layer of chocolate sauce on my ice cream.
2. (class)
a. sector
Las capas sociales más marginadas no albergan grandes esperanzas para el futuro.The most marginalized social sectors do not have high hopes for the future.
3. (sleeveless garment)
a. cape
El torero provocaba el toro con su capa.The bullfighter taunted the bull with his cape.
b. cloak
El señor Smedley se puso la capa y salió caminando a la noche.Lord Smedley put on his cloak and walked out into the night.
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