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Quick answer
"Ultimo" is a form of "ultimar", a transitive verb which is often translated as "to finalize". "Actual" is an adjective which is often translated as "present". Learn more about the difference between "ultimo" and "actual" below.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to conclude)
a. to finalize
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
Los obreros están ultimando el proyecto de refacción.The workers are finalizing the restoration project.
b. to finalise (United Kingdom)
El pintor se tomó un descanso antes de ultimar el mural.The painter took a break before finalising the mural.
c. to complete
Ya ultimamos los preparativos para el desfile.We've completed the arrangements for the parade.
d. to put the final touches to
Los actores están ultimando los detalles para la función de esta noche.The actors are putting the final touches to tonight's performance.
e. to put the finishing touches to
La compositora alemana está ultimando su nuevo disco.The German composer is putting the finishing touches to her new album.
2. (to slay)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
a. to kill
La víctima le quitó la pistola al ladrón y lo ultimó.The victim took the robber's handgun and killed him.
b. to murder
No se pagó el rescate y los secuestradores ultimaron al rehén.The ransom was not paid and the kidnappers murdered the hostage.
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An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (of the present time)
a. present
Dada la inestabilidad política actual, vuelos a ese país han sido suspendidos.Given the present political instability, flights to that country have been suspended.
b. current
La burbuja inmobiliaria causó la crisis económica actual.The current economic crisis was caused by the housing bubble.
c. contemporary
La conquista del espacio es una parte importante de nuestra historia actual.The conquest of space is an important part of our contemporary history.
d. present-day
El asunto más importante en la política actual es el calentamiento global.The most important issue in present-day politics is global warming.
2. (modern)
a. up-to-date
Nuestra empresa ofrece los equipos informáticos más actuales.Our company provides the most up-to-date computing equipment.
b. fashionable
Le gusta ir vestida con el estilo más actual.She likes to dress in the most fashionable style.
3. (relating to current events)
a. topical
Es importante mantenerse informado sobre los temas más actuales.It is important to keep updated on highly topical issues.
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