Use of the diminutives in Spanish

You all know that, to use the diminutive, the most common ending in Spanish is –ito. And so from words like beso, we say besito; or in the case of gordo we also say gordito.

1. In Spanish, this diminutive does not necessarily mean that it is shorter but we can also use it to employ a more affectionate tone and, with the words that we think are offensive, we can soften them and make them less aggressive, that is, we attenuate them:

It’s not the same to say: tu hermano es gordo a tu hermano es gordito

2. Instead of using courtesy formulas: por favor, si no es molestia, etc. We can use the diminutive. For example:

-Por favor, ¿me traes un vaso de agua?

-¿Me traes un vasito de agua?

3. We also use it to convince or make a plan more appealing to our friends:

-¿Nos tomamos unas cervecitas?

-Una copita y a casa…

-mañana vamos a la playa y nos comemos una paellita

4. It is curious how there are different diminutives for different areas of Spain. So the same sentence can be said:

“Tu hermano es gordiño” en Galicia

“Tu hermano es gordino” en Asturias

“Tu hermano es gorduco” en Cantabria

“Tu hermano es gordillo” en Andalucía

“Tu hermano es gordico” en Aragón

“Tu hermano es gordete” en Cataluña y Valencia

5. Finally, we highlight the curiosity in MexicanSpanish where it is common to use diminutives with adverbs. We will be able to hear formulas like “ahorita” or “arribita” with some small nuances:

“-Ahorita voy.” (in a few minutes I’m going)

“-No. Ahorita no, … ¡Ven ahora!” (that is, immediately).

Use of the diminutive in Spanish

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