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Quick answer
"Paño" is a noun which is often translated as "cloth", and "esponja" is a noun which is often translated as "sponge". Learn more about the difference between "paño" and "esponja" below.
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
1. (fabric)
a. cloth
¿Qué tipo de paño usaste para hacer esta cobija?What type of cloth did you use to make this blanket?
2. (piece of cloth)
a. cloth
¿Me ayudas a limpiar la mesa con este paño?Can you help me clean the table with this cloth?
b. dishcloth (for dishes)
Necesito un paño nuevo para lavar los platos.I need a new dishcloth to wash the dishes.
c. dish towel (for dishes)
Estos paños son súper absorbentes y 100% de algodón.These dish towels are super absorbent and 100% cotton.
d. tea towel (for drying) (United Kingdom)
Mi mamá me regaló un juego de paños para secar la vajilla.My mom gave me a new set of tea towels to dry the dishes.
e. duster (for dusting)
Uso este paño para sacudir los muebles.I use this duster to clean the furniture.
f. washcloth (for the face)
Todas las noches me lavo la cara con un paño.I wash my face with a washcloth every night.
3. (tapestry)
a. wall hanging
Pusimos un paño para adornar la sala.We put up a wall hanging to decorate the living room.
4. (absorbent cloth)
Regionalism used in Costa Rica
(Costa Rica)
Regionalism used in Nicaragua
Regionalism used in Venezuela
a. towel
Los paños azules son para los invitados.The blue towels are for guests.
5. (medicine)
a. chloasma
El paño está asociado con el embarazo.Chloasma is associated with pregnancy.
b. melasma
Daniela fue al dermatólogo porque tiene paño.Daniela went to the dermatologist because she has melasma.
A plural noun indicates that there is more than one person, place, thing, or idea.
plural noun
6. (garments)
a. clothes
En ese periodo histórico la realeza usaba paños elegantísimos.In that historical period, the royalty wore very elegant clothes.
7. (art)
a. drapes
La maestra de pintura nos está enseñando a pintar paños.The painting teacher is showing us how to paint drapes.
b. drapery
Los paños en la escultura tienen mucho movimiento.The drapery on the sculpture has a lot of movement.
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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. (cleaning supply)
a. sponge
Debes lavar estas copas de cristal con una esponja suave y agua jabonosa.You should wash these crystal glasses with a soft sponge and soapy water.
2. (animal)
a. sponge
Cuando buceamos en el Caribe, vimos hermosos corales y esponjas marinas.When we went diving in the Caribbean, we saw beautiful corals and sea sponges.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
a. boozer
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
Este tipo es una esponja. Se tomó una botella entera de ron él solo.This guy is a boozer. He drank a whole bottle of rum by himself.
b. old soak
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
Si invitas a Juan, que es una esponja, tendrás que comprar más vino.If you invite Juan, who is an old soak, you'll have to buy more wine.
c. lush
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
Esa chica es una esponja; se tomó tres cervezas y ya está achispada.That girl is such a lush; she had three beers and is already tipsy.
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