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Quick answer
"Malo" is an adjective which is often translated as "bad", and "bueno" is an adjective which is often translated as "good". Learn more about the difference between "malo" and "bueno" below.
malo(
mah
-
loh
)
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (in quality)
a. bad
Si el vino que usas es malo, la salsa saldrá ácida.If the wine you use is bad, the sauce will turn out acidic.
b. poor
Pedro tiene tan mala letra que los profesores nunca le entienden lo que escribe.Pedro has such poor handwriting that teachers can never make out what he writes.
2. (in morals)
a. bad
Aléjate de él. Es un hombre malo.Stay away from him. He's a bad man.
b. evil
Algunas personas son malas por naturaleza.Some people are naturally evil.
3. (sickly)
a. sick
Está malo desde anoche. Vamos a llamar al médico.He's been sick since last night. We're going to call the doctor.
b. ill
Caí mala el lunes y estuve en cama toda la semana.I fell ill on Monday and was in bed all week.
4. (incompetent)
a. bad
Soy muy mala para cocinar.I'm really bad at cooking.
5. (harmful)
a. bad
Beber en exceso es malo para la salud.Drinking too much is bad for your health.
6. (unpleasant)
a. bad
Hoy el clima está muy malo.The weather is very bad today.
7. (poorly-behaved)
a. bad
De niña era una estudiante muy mala.As a kid she was a very bad student.
b. naughty
Era un cachorro tan malo que tuvimos que regalarlo.He was such a naughty puppy that we had to give him away.
8. (nasty)
a. mean
No seas tan malo con tu hermana. Déjala jugar contigo.Don't be so mean to your sister. Let her play with you.
9. (rotten)
a. bad
Esta carne ya está mala.This meat has gone bad.
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).
10. (bad person)
a. villain
Ella es la mala de la película.She's the movie's villain.
b. baddy
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
La protagonista se enamora de uno de los malos.The protagonist falls in love with one of the baddies.
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bueno(
bweh
-
noh
)
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (beneficial)
a. good
La dieta mediterránea es muy buena para la salud.The Mediterranean diet is very good for your health.
2. (useful)
a. good
Esta herramienta es buena para montar cuadros.This tool is good for putting up a painting.
3. (of good quality)
a. good
Quiero invertir en muebles buenos.I want to invest in a few good furniture pieces.
4. (virtuous)
a. good
Un buen hombre dio su vida por la comunidad anoche.A good man gave his life in the service of this community last night.
5. (delicious)
a. good
La tarta de manzana estaba muy buena.The apple pie was very good.
6.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(attractive)
a. hot (colloquial)
Ese actor está bien bueno.That actor is really hot.
An interjection is a short utterance that expresses emotion, hesitation, or protest (e.g. Wow!).
7. (in agreement)
a. ok
Creo que sería mejor ir al restaurante francés. - Bueno, vayamos.I think it'd be better to go to the French restaurant. - Ok, let's go.
8. (answering the phone)
Regionalism used in Mexico
(Mexico)
a. hello
¿Bueno? Sí, él habla.Hello? Yes, this is he.
A conjunction is a word that connects words, phrases, clauses, or sentences (e.g. The cat and the dog slept.).
9. (used to introduce a statement or question)
a. so
Bueno, ¿vamos a pedir pizza o no?So, are we going to order pizza or not?
b. well
¿Quieres una taza de café? - Bueno, vale.Would you like a cup of coffee? - Well, ok.
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