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Quick answer
"Zanja" is a noun which is often translated as "ditch", and "trinchera" is a noun which is often translated as "trench". Learn more about the difference between "zanja" and "trinchera" below.
zanja(
sahng
-
hah
)
A feminine noun is almost always used with feminine articles and adjectives (e.g. la mujer bonita, la luna llena).
1. (gutter)
a. ditch
La inundación arrastró su carro hasta una zanja de desagüe al lado de la carretera.The floods pushed his car into a drainage ditch on the side of the road.
2. (channel)
a. trench
Tuvieron que excavar una zanja en mi jardín para instalar la tubería de gas natural.They had to excavate a trench in my yard to install natural gas pipes.
3. (geography)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
a. gully
La erosión creó una zanja profunda en la ladera.Erosion created a deep gully in the hillside.
b. watercourse
Sigue la zanja hasta que encuentres el río.Follow the watercourse until you find the river.
4. (low wall) (Andes)
a. fence
Las ovejas saltaron la zanja y se escaparon.The sheep jumped the fence and escaped.
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trinchera(
treen
-
cheh
-
rah
)
A feminine noun is almost always used with feminine articles and adjectives (e.g. la mujer bonita, la luna llena).
1. (military)
a. trench
Los soldados salieron de la trinchera y se lanzaron al ataque.The soldiers came out of the trench and launched an attack.
2. (excavation)
a. ditch
Los prisioneros eran obligados a cavar trincheras, las cuales eran usadas para irrigar.The prisoners were forced to dig ditches that were used for irrigation.
b. cutting
La trinchera en la montaña era lo suficientemente grande como para que entren dos vías férreas.The cutting in the mountain was large enough to fit two railways.
3. (clothing)
a. trench coat
El detective siempre vestía una trinchera marrón claro.The detective always wore a light-brown trench coat.
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