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Quick answer
"Escaso" is an adjective which is often translated as "scarce", and "poco" is an adjective which is often translated as "little". Learn more about the difference between "escaso" and "poco" below.
escaso(
ehs
-
kah
-
soh
)
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (insufficient)
a. scarce
Talento de ingeniería es escaso en esta ciudad.Engineering talent is scarce in this city.
b. limited
El compromiso de la comunidad con el medio ambiente es escaso y debe aumentarse.The community commitment to the environment is limited and should be increased.
c. scant
Los médicos se quejan de la escasa participación del gobierno en las campañas de prevención.Doctors complain of scant government participation in prevention campaigns.
d. short
El discurso del presidente estuvo lamentablemente escaso de temas de seguridad pública.The president's speech was unfortunately short on public safety issues.
2. (just)
a. mere
Cuando nació Anita, pesaba dos kilos escasos.When Anita was born, she weighed a mere two kilos.
b. barely
Falta una semana escasa para las vacaciones.There's barely a week to go until vacation.
3. (miserly)
a. stingy
¡El tío José es bien escaso! De Navidad me regaló un chocolate nada más.Uncle Jose is so stingy! He just gave me a chocolate for Christmas.
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poco(
poh
-
koh
)
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (not much)
a. little
Nos queda muy poco vino para los invitados.We have very little wine left for the guests.
b. not much
Había poca agua caliente para la ducha.There wasn't much hot water to shower.
c. few (plural)
Pocos profesores dejan huella en sus alumnos como el Señor Blanco.Few teachers make an impression on their students like Mr. Blanco.
d. not many (plural)
Pocas personas asistieron al funeral.Not many people went to the funeral.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
2. (little quantity)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Duerme muy poco los fines de semana.He doesn't sleep much on weekends.
Últimamente nos vemos muy poco.We don't see much of each other lately.
A pronoun is a word that stands in for a noun (e.g. she).
3. (little quantity)
a. little
Con lo poco que me quedaba, pude arreglarme.I was able to manage with the little I had left.
4. (small amount; often used with "un")
a. a little
Solo quiero un poco; estoy a dieta.I only want a little; I'm on a diet.
5. (short)
a. not long
Falta muy poco para las Navidades.It's not long till Christmas.
6. (not many)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Menos mal que pocos piensan como él.It's just as well not many people think like he does.
Hay pocos que se molestarían en ayudarlo como tú.There are few who would bother helping him like you do.
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