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Quick answer
"Él es alto" is a phrase which is often translated as "he's tall", and "guapo" is an adjective which is often translated as "handsome". Learn more about the difference between "él es alto" and "guapo" below.
él es alto(
ehl
 
ehs
 
ahl
-
toh
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (general)
a. he's tall
Francisco y Silvia son mellizos, pero él es alto y ella es baja.Francisco and Silvia are twins, but he's tall and she's short.
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guapo(
gwah
-
poh
)
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (attractive)
a. handsome
Mi esposo es increíblemente guapo.My husband is incredibly handsome.
b. beautiful
Aún en su vejez esa actriz es muy guapa.Even in her old age that actress is very beautiful.
c. good-looking
Para ser actor, no es suficiente ser guapo, hay que saber actuar.To be an actor, it's not enough to be good-looking. You need to know how to act.
d. pretty (feminine)
Su novia es muy guapa y tiene muy buen tipo.His girlfriend is very pretty and has a very nice figure.
e. hot
A very informal word or phrase used by a particular group or community as a substitute for standard language (e.g. joint, john).
(slang)
Yo sé que está guapo pero deja de mirarlo.I know he's hot but quit staring.
2.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(lovely)
Regionalism used in Spain
(Spain)
a. nice
Elena tiene una casa muy guapa.Elena has a really nice house.
b. cool
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
Oye, ¡qué bici tan guapa! ¿Es nueva?Hey, what a cool bike! Is it new?
c. awesome
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
Esos cascos están muy guapos.Those headphones are really awesome.
3. (well dressed)
Regionalism used in Spain
(Spain)
a. elegant
¡Qué guapa que vas hoy! ¿Celebras algo?You look so elegant today! Are you celebrating anything?
This means that the noun can be masculine or feminine, depending on the gender of person it refers to (e.g. el doctor, la doctora).
4. (daring person)
a. brave (adjective)
Se cree el guapo por haber defendido a esas viejitas.He thinks he's brave because he defended those little old ladies.
A ver quién es el guapo que se come esto.Let's see who's brave enough to eat this.
5. (attractive person)
a. good-looking one
Rubén sabe que es el guapo de la clase y que le gusta a todas las chicas.Ruben knows he's the good-looking one in the class and that all the girls like him.
b. pretty one (feminine)
Todos dicen que Lola es la guapa de las tres hermanas.Everyone says that Lola is the pretty one of the three sisters.
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