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Quick answer
"Bolígrafo" is a noun which is often translated as "ballpoint pen", and "pluma" is a noun which is often translated as "feather". Learn more about the difference between "bolígrafo" and "pluma" below.
bolígrafo(
boh
-
lee
-
grah
-
foh
)
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
1. (writing instrument)
a. ballpoint pen
Prefiero los bolígrafos a los lápices.I prefer ballpoint pens over pencils.
b. pen
Por favor préstame un bolígrafo para firmar el contrato.Lend me a pen to sign the contract, please.
c. Biro
A word or phrase that is a proprietary term owned by a brand (e.g. iPod).
(registered trademark)
(United Kingdom)
Este bolígrafo no tiene tinta.This Biro has no ink.
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pluma(
ploo
-
mah
)
A feminine noun is almost always used with feminine articles and adjectives (e.g. la mujer bonita, la luna llena).
1. (of a bird)
a. feather
El pavo real tiene unas plumas preciosas.The peacock has beautiful feathers.
Hoy en día se cree que muchos dinosaurios tenían plumas en vez de escamas.Today it is believed that many dinosaurs had feathers instead of scales.
b. plume (ornamental)
¡Mira qué plumas tiene este sombrero!Look at the plumes on this hat!
2. (object for writing)
a. pen
¿Me dejas una pluma para firmar el contrato?Would you lend me a pen to sign the contract?
b. quill (from a bird feather)
A ella todavía le gusta escribir sus cartas con tinta y pluma.She still likes to write her letters with ink and quill.
3. (author)
a. writer
¡Es la pluma del libro que más me gusta del mundo!He's the writer of my favorite book of all time!
4. (activity)
a. writing
La pluma siempre ha sido mi pasión, e Inglés mi clase preferida.Writing has always been my passion, and English my favorite class.
5. (crane)
a. boom
La grúa tiene una pluma telescópica para mover mercancías al buque de transporte.The crane has a telescopic boom to move goods to the shipping vessel.
6. (plumbing)
Regionalism used in the Caribbean: Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico
(Caribbean)
Regionalism used in Colombia
(Colombia)
Regionalism used in Mexico
(Mexico)
(Southern Cone)
a. faucet
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
A mi madre se le olvidó que había dejado la pluma de la bañadera abierta e inundó el baño.My mother forgot she had left the bathtub faucet on and flooded the bathroom.
b. tap
Si quieres beber agua de la pluma, asegúrate de hervirla por lo menos diez minutos.If you want to drink water from the tap, make sure to boil it for at least ten minutes.
7. (prostitute)
Regionalism used in Bolivia
(Bolivia)
a. hooker (pejorative)
Violó el código de ética de la empresa cuando se acostó con una pluma.He violated the company's code of ethics when he slept with a hooker.
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