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Quick answer
"En absoluto" is an adverb which is often translated as "not at all", and "para nada" is a phrase which is often translated as "for nothing". Learn more about the difference between "en absoluto" and "para nada" below.
en absoluto(
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
1. (general)
a. not at all
¿Se parece a su hermana? - No, en absoluto.Does she look like her sister? - No, not at all.
b. absolutely not
¿Te importa quedar mañana en lugar de hoy? - No, en absoluto.Do you mind meeting up tomorrow instead of today? - No, absolutely not.
c. by no means
No se trata en absoluto de un problema que se pueda solucionar de la noche a la mañana.It is by no means a problem that can be solved overnight.
d. not in the slightest
Mis motivos no son en absoluto egoístas.My motives are not selfish in the slightest.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Actúa como si no le importara nada en absoluto, pero yo sé que no es así.She acts as if she didn't care about a thing, but I know that's not the case.
No pienses en absoluto que me vas a convencer para que te deje ir a la fiesta.There's absolutely no way you're going to convince me to let you go to the party.
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para nada(
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
1. (without result)
a. for nothing
No vamos a hacer todo esto para nada. Por lo menos, que ganemos algo de dinero.We are not going to do all this for nothing. Let's at least make some money.
b. of no avail
Todos los esfuerzos de la tripulación no sirvieron para nada. El barco se hundió.All the crew's hard work was of no avail. The ship sank.
c. to no avail
Todo lo que intentaron los médicos fue para nada; Greta estaba ya muy grave.Everything the doctors tried was to no avail. Greta was very seriously ill.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
¡Madre mía, Eugenio, verdaderamente no sirves para nada!Goodness me, Eugenio, you're utterly useless!
Estas herramientas no valen para nada.These tools are useless.
2. (used to emphasize negative statements)
a. at all
El novio de Marta no me gusta para nada.I don't like Marta's boyfriend at all.
b. in the least
Bernabé no es para nada generoso; de hecho, es más bien tacaño.Bernabe is not in the least generous; in fact, he is rather stingy.
c. in the least bit
El personal del hotel no fue atento para nada.The staff at the hotel was not in the least bit helpful.
d. the least
Por mí seguimos caminando. No me encuentro para nada cansado.I can go on walking. I'm not the least tired.
e. the least bit
El profesor hablaba y hablaba, pero los alumnos no parecían para nada interesados.The teacher talked and talked, but the students didn't seem the least bit interested.
3. (used as a polite answer)
a. not at all
Tengo frío. ¿Te importa si cierro un poco la ventana? - Para nada.I'm cold. Do you mind if I close the window for a while? - No, not at all.
4. (for no particular reason)
a. no reason
¿Para qué querías hablar conmigo? - Ah, para nada. Solo quería platicar un rato.Why did you want to speak to me? - Oh, no reason. I just wanted to chat for a while.
Copyright © Curiosity Media Inc.
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