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Quick answer
"Gato" is a noun which is often translated as "cat", and "cosa" is a noun which is often translated as "thing". Learn more about the difference between "gato" and "cosa" below.
el gato, la gata(
gah
-
toh
)
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).
1. (animal)
a. cat
Mi gato maúlla cuando tiene hambre.My cat meows when he is hungry.
2.
An offensive word or phrase used to degrade a person or group of people based on race, gender, sexual preference, etc. (e.g. ghetto).
(pejorative)
(personal attendant)
Regionalism used in El Salvador
(El Salvador)
Regionalism used in Mexico
(Mexico)
a. servant
¡No soy tu gato, hazlo tú!I'm not your servant; do it yourself!
b. maid (feminine)
Si quieres café, sírvetelo. No soy tu gata.If you want coffee, get it yourself. I'm not your maid.
3. (nationality)
Regionalism used in Spain
(Spain)
a. person from Madrid
¿Qué sabrá ese de flamenco? Es un gato.What does he know about flamenco? He's from Madrid.
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
4. (tool)
a. jack
No sé dónde está el gato en este coche.I don't know where the jack is in this car.
5. (game)
Regionalism used in Chile
(Chile)
Regionalism used in Mexico
(Mexico)
a. tic-tac-toe
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
Para jugar gato, solo necesitas un lápiz y un papel.To play tic-tac-toe, you just need a pencil and a piece of paper.
b. noughts and crosses (United Kingdom)
Necesitas una estrategia para ganar al gato.You need a strategy to win noughts and crosses.
6. (folk dance)
Regionalism used in Argentina
(Argentina)
(River Plate)
a. gato
Mi abuelo me enseñó a bailar gato.My grandfather taught me how to dance gato.
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cosa(
koh
-
sah
)
A feminine noun is almost always used with feminine articles and adjectives (e.g. la mujer bonita, la luna llena).
1. (object)
a. thing
¿Qué es esa cosa azul por allá?What is that blue thing over there?
b. something
Metí una cosita en tu mochila.I put a little something in your backpack.
c. anything
¡Es increíble! Nunca he visto cosa igual.It's incredible! I've never seen anything like it.
d. nothing (in negative clause)
No hay cosa que más odie que las mentiras.There's nothing I hate more than lying.
2. (concern)
a. affair
Yo ahí no te puedo ayudar; es cosa tuya.I can't help you there; that's your affair.
b. business
Deja de prestar tanta atención a las cosas del vecino.Stop paying so much attention to the neighbor's business.
c. thing
La cosa es que creo que estoy enamorado.The thing is, I think I'm in love.
d. matter
No seas maleducado. No es cosa de risa.Don't be rude. It's no laughing matter.
3. (circumstance)
a. situation
Pensé que ya se habría resuelto, pero la cosa está complicada.I thought it would have been worked out by now, but the situation is complicated.
4.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(male genitalia)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
a. thing (colloquial)
Después de la circuncisión, puede que le salga costra en su cosa.After the circumcision, he may have a little scab on his thing.
cosas
A plural noun indicates that there is more than one person, place, thing, or idea.
plural noun
5. (circumstances)
a. things
¡Oye, Manuel! ¿Cómo van las cosas en el taller?Hey, Manuel! How are things going at the shop?
b. situation
No es nada fácil pero así están las cosas.It's not easy at all but that's the situation.
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