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Quick answer
"Cuento" is a noun which is often translated as "story", and "historia" is a noun which is often translated as "history". Learn more about the difference between "cuento" and "historia" below.
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
1. (narrative)
a. story
Te voy a contar un cuento sobre un burro y una serpiente.I'm going to tell you a story about a donkey and a snake.
b. tale
El cuento comienza con "érase una vez".The tale begins with "once upon a time."
c. short story
Encontrarás el libro en la sección de cuentos de la biblioteca.You will find the book in the short story section of the library.
2. (fabrication)
a. story
Se acabó; estoy harto de tus cuentos.That's it; I've had enough of your stories.
b. lie
¡No escuches sus cuentos, maestra!Don't listen to his lies, Miss!
3. (funny story)
a. joke
Se pasaron la noche contando cuentos malos.They spent the night telling bad jokes.
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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. (series of events)
a. history
Es sin duda una de las mentes más brillantes de la historia.There's no doubt she is one of the greatest minds in history.
2. (narrative)
a. story
La película cuenta la historia de una mujer que ha perdido a su hijo.The film tells the story of a woman who has lost her child.
3. (discipline)
a. history
Quiere estudiar historia y dedicarse a la enseñanza.He wants to study history and pursue a teaching career.
4. (something of the past)
a. history
Los CDs ya son historia.CD's are already history.
5. (excuse)
a. story
¡Ya estoy harto de tus historias! ¿Lo vas a hacer o no?I've had enough of your stories! ¿Are you going to do it or not?
6. (rumor)
a. tale
No quiero que vayas por ahí contando historias sobre mí.I don't want you to go around telling tales about me.
7. (fling)
a. affair
Ha tenido varias historias con mujeres casadas.He has had several affairs with married women.
8. (dealing)
a. business
Estaba metido en una historia muy turbia.He was involved in some very shady business.
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