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Quick answer
"Chico" is an adjective which is often translated as "small", and "chica" is a noun which is often translated as "girl". Learn more about the difference between "chico" and "chica" below.
chico(
chee
-
koh
)
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (size)
a. small
Compramos un auto chico.We bought a small car.
b. little
Hay una cabaña chica en el bosque.There is a little cabin in the woods.
2. (related to age)
a. young
Sus hijos aún son chicos.Her children are still young.
This means that the noun can be masculine or feminine, depending on the gender of person it refers to (e.g. el doctor, la doctora).
3. (young person)
a. kid
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
¡Qué chico más cómico!What a funny kid!
b. boy (masculine)
Es un chico muy perseverante.He's a very determined boy.
c. girl (feminine)
Es una chica muy inteligente.She's a very intelligent girl.
4. (romantic partner)
a. boyfriend (masculine)
Este es mi chico, Darío.This is my boyfriend, Dario.
b. girlfriend (feminine)
¿Sabías que Óscar tiene una chica nueva?Did you know Oscar has a new girlfriend?
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
5.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(form of address)
a. man
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
Chico, no tienes idea.Man, you have no idea.
b. dude
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
¡Ya vámonos de aquí, chico!Let's get out of here, dude!
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chica(
chee
-
kah
)
A feminine noun is almost always used with feminine articles and adjectives (e.g. la mujer bonita, la luna llena).
1. (young woman)
a. girl
¿Has conocido ya a la chica nueva?Have you met the new girl yet?
b. chick
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
La chica rubia de la barra tiene un doctorado en Astrofísica.The blond chick at the bar has a Ph.D. in Astrophysics.
2.
A word or phrase that is seldom used in contemporary language and is recognized as being from another decade, (e.g. cat, groovy).
(old-fashioned)
(cleaning lady)
a. maid
La chica tiene que barrer el piso.The maid has to sweep the floor.
3.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(form of address)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Pues, chica, no sé cómo voy a resolver el problema.Well, I don't know how I'm going to solve the problem.
¡Chica! ¿Qué dices?Wow! Are you serious?
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