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Quick answer
"Rostro" is a noun which is often translated as "face", and "cara" is a noun which is also often translated as "face". Learn more about the difference between "rostro" and "cara" below.
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
1. (anatomy)
a. face
Ese bebé tiene el rostro como un querubín de Botticelli.That baby has a face like a Botticelli cherub.
La estrella se cubrió el rostro con una bufanda.The star covered her face with a scarf.
b. countenance
A word or phrase restricted in usage to literature or established writing (e.g. sex, once upon a time).
Su rostro preocupado me dejó inquieto.I was unsettled by her worried countenance.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
a. nerve
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
¡Qué rostro tiene para no pedirme disculpas!She has some nerve not apologizing to me!
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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. (body part)
a. face
Le acarició la cara dulcemente para despertarla.He caressed her face sweetly to wake her up.
2. (position)
a. side
Recuerden escribir sobre las dos caras del papel.Remember to write on both sides of the piece of paper.
Son dos caras de la misma moneda.They are two sides of the same coin.
b. face
Decidieron escalar la cara norte de la montaña.They decided to climb the north face of the mountain.
3. (appearance)
a. look
No pongas esa cara después de toda la suerte que has tenido.Don't give me that look after all the luck you've had.
El pasajero tiene mala cara.The passenger doesn't look well.
4. (nerve)
a. nerve
¡Qué cara más dura tienes!You have some nerve!
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