https://www.duolingo.com/PolyglotCiro

The difference between ''pajaro'' and ''ave'' explained by a native

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Hello!
I'm a native Spanish speaker.

You can call ''pajaro'' to small birds, and not to big ones.
You can call ''ave'' to both.

So this is un pajaro:

And this un ave:

2 years ago

21 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/alezzzix
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That explanation falls a bit too short for my liking, ave and pájaro use to refer to two different types of bird, but nowadays they're considered to be synonyms, so any difference you might think there is between the two words is completely relative to your country or region. For example, some people say pájaro refers to small birds and ave to big ones, others say pájaro is a bird that can fly whilst an ave can't.

There are a bunch of ways to interpret the two words, if you check a dictionary you will find that ave is a generalised term, so it can be used with any type of bird, whilst pájaro has two definitions, it can either refer to a bird, especially if it is small (that sets a preference) or it can refer to passeriformes (birds with three toes pointing forward and one back to make perching easier). Given those two definitions, most differences made regionally between ave and pájaro are equally correct. For example:

  • Ducks: They can fly, so some people call them pájaros, but where I come from we call them aves because they are considered to be poultries (aves de corral).
  • Penguins: They cannot fly and they are not passeriformes so they are normally called aves, but that doesn't stop some people from calling them pájaros bobos (because they walk clumsily).
  • Ostriches: Normally known as aves for their size and inability to fly, still some people call it pájaro avestruz.
  • Dodo birds: They were apparently quite big and they couldn't fly, yet it's rare to see it being called ave, it was in the passeriformes order and the common name is pájaro dodo.

If you look around I'm sure you'll find a lot of other examples that contradict regional differences.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Danielconcasco
Mod
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Thanks for the in-depth reply. I never made the connection between passeriformes and pájaro. I'm a bit embarrassed (as a Latin teacher) that I didn't see the Latin passer in pájaro. Of course, this just shows that cognates aren't always synonyms :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GranBocadillo
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Do you know if there is any chance of a latin course on duolingo?

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sirmildredpierce

Thanks for the excellent exploration of these two words! Have a Lingot!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarkusKG
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¡Muchas gracias! Yo pensaba que las dos palabras eran intercambiables.

(Did I use the past imperfect correctly?) C:

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PolyglotCiro
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You did.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarkusKG
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Yus! Thank you.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Footsore_Rambler
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Because of the latin names, I always figured 'ave' meant any old bird, and 'pajaro' specifically referred to the passerine order: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passerine

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/no.name.42
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  • 1599

¡Qué chido! No lo sabía. Tengo un amigo que se llame Abelardo, pero le llamamos Abe. Pues, una vez le llamó Big Bird.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PolyglotCiro
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jajaja XD

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CeciliaLenzen

Are you really able to learn all those languages at once?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/no.name.42
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No, that would be a bit much. I'm on different levels for each language. So, I don't spend a lot of time studying Spanish and French because at my level I find it more effective to just take in French and Spanish media and speak them. I have been working on German. And the rest are mostly languages which I started out of curiosity. Many of them are are also Romance languages, which I already have a decent passive reading understanding of with little study,

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SRP87

I thought pajarito was little birds.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PolyglotCiro
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It does.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/omaresb

it is.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jannine_Smith

Thanks for this!! :D (I gave you a Lingot, btw)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PolyglotCiro
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¡De nada!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pedro.esol

COOL

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Superguy7

Thank you for this notification. Now, i can finally use the word "Bird" right again! W00T W00T

2 years ago
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