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Quick answer
"Pato" is a noun which is often translated as "duck", and "serpiente" is a noun which is often translated as "snake". Learn more about the difference between "pato" and "serpiente" below.
el pato, la pata(
pah
-
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. duck
Este parque se llena de jubilados que dan de comer a los patos.This park is full of retired people that feed the ducks.
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
2. (culinary)
a. duck
El chef preparó su famoso pato con salsa de mango.The chef made his famous duck in mango sauce.
3. (receptacle)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
a. bedpan
Los pacientes del hospital que no pueden pararse tienen que usar un pato.Hospital patients who cannot stand must use a bedpan.
4.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(tedious thing)
a. drag
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
La fiesta se convirtió en un auténtico pato cuando empezó a llover.The party became a real drag once it started raining.
b. bore
Hoy ha sido un pato total en la tienda porque no ha entrado un solo cliente.Today has been a total bore at the shop because we haven't had a single customer.
5. (clumsy oaf)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Soy un pato bailando.I have two left feet when it comes to dancing.
La camarera es un pato; la hemos visto tirar tres platos ya.The waitress is really clumsy; we've already seen her drop three dishes.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
6.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(without money) (Southern Cone)
a. broke
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
Me quedé pato después de mis vacaciones en Nueva York.I was broke after my vacation in New York.
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serpiente(
sehr
-
pyehn
-
teh
)
A feminine noun is almost always used with feminine articles and adjectives (e.g. la mujer bonita, la luna llena).
1. (animal)
a. snake
Vimos una serpiente escurrirse de su madriguera en el desierto.We saw a snake slither out of its burrow in the desert.
b. serpent
El pasaje del barco fue obstruido por una serpiente de mar iridiscente.The ship's way was blocked by an iridescent sea serpent.
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