https://www.duolingo.com/profile/C_R_A_Z-Y1273

A question

I thought the Spanish word "sobre" meant "about", or "on", but while doing my duolingo spanish stories I saw the word used to mean "envelope"... I don't understand.

April 8, 2019

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alisa-Zhup

The word "sobre" has multiple meanings. It can be use as a preposition ("about," "on," "above") or as a noun ("envelope," "package"). Just like in English some words have multiple definitions (eg "bark" can either mean the sound a dog makes or the stuff on a tree), Spanish has those words too.

April 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/C_R_A_Z-Y1273

Huh, I didn't know that. So "sobre" as a NOUN is envelope and "sobre" as a PREPOSITION is "on", or "about/above".

Have a lingot!

April 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/C_R_A_Z-Y1273

Oh, one quick question: is this the same cosept for the word "esposas"? It can mean "wives", or "handcuffs"

April 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bootfall

Yes, "esposas" means both wives and handcuffs, which has a kind of logic to it: the word esposa comes from the Latin spondere, which means to bind or to vow. In marriage, two people bind themselves to one another with a vow. In handcuffs, your hands are bound together with pieces of metal. Some of the sources I found explaining the word suggest that it arose out of the idea that marriage (or more specifically, wives) takes away your freedom (compare with the English language idiom "The (old) ball and chain," also referring to a wife). :(

There is some etymological logic to sobre, too. Think about how an envelope goes about/on/over its contents. And envelope (as a verb) means to cover entirely.

It's often helpful to google "esposas Spanish etymology" (or "esposas etymología" if you want to try reading in Spanish). You can find a lot of information about where words come from, which in turn can help you remember them!

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alisa-Zhup

Very interesting! Thank you so much for sharing.

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ESK_22

Interesting the two go together

April 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/swduolingo2

That's cool, I never knew that! I just learned something new yay!

April 9, 2019

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