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  5. "Necesito una pluma."

"Necesito una pluma."

Translation:I need a pen.

August 11, 2013



What is the difference between "una pluma" and "un boligrafo"? Are they interchangeable words?


"Una pluma" is either a quill or a fountain pen, "un bolígrafo" is a ballpoint pen; they are not interchangeable.


I respectfully disagree. A Google image search for "pluma" shows mostly quills and feathers, followed by ball point pens, and lastly fountain pens. Unlike Google tranlate, an image search for items can be quite revealing because there is no translation involved.


I agree - I think pluma and boligrafo are interchangeable for "pen" and even in english we would normally use "pen" interchangeably for ballpoint pen, fountain pen,etc. and would only be more specific than "pen" if we needed a specific type for some reason...


I agree. Either word is acceptable. My son lives in Mexico. I'm pretty sure they use pluma


I use Google images too, it can be helpful sometimes ;] In this case, though, I looked up "pluma" to see what I got and I only get fountain pens and quills. The only three results I get that are not those are something similar to a marker and two ballpoint pens; then again, the web is Dreamstime, which is not Spanish nor from any Spanish speaker country (it is from the USA and its CEOs are Romanian, I think).

I looked it up on the Spanish official dictionary and got nothing either, only a synonym for "bolígrafo", but it is called, apparently "pluma atómica" (?) in Mexico... if some Mexican (or other Spanish speakers!) could tell us if they shorten that to "pluma" (as a translation for "ballpoint pen", then), it would be great :]


I lived in Mexico for a time, and the only word I heard used for pen was pluma. I never heard boligrafo.


I did not think to look in the RAE; that was a good idea. I am beginning to think that the meaning of pluma and bóligrafo might vary depending on the region. This is very interesting and I appreciate all your information and comments.


It may be! So let's see if some other Spanish speaker can tell us ;]

It is very interesting indeed :]


That is what I was led to believe, that the appropriate word for pen, would be dependent upon the country you are located.


strangely when I searched for "pluma", I only found pictures of meat. I don't know where that came from..


Was it chicken? Lol


I agree with this - sadly at the moment "I need a fountain pen." isn't acceptable for this exercise (I reported it - I also primarily write with fountain pens).


I disagree. I asked a coworker from Mexico for un boligrafo, and he wasn't sure what I was talking about at first. When I pointed at his pen, he corrected me with "una pluma", and explained that although boligrafo is also correct, it's incredibly rare in the common lexicon there.


Thanks for the information Barbella. I appreciate it.


You are welcome ;]


Ahhh- well, it would be, wouldn't it?! How stupid am I...


It should tell us the difference between them.


I need a feather. (to tickle duolingo's nose and make it sneeze out properly queried SQL union affinity arrays).


Great comment you beat me you get a lingot


How do you give a lingot?


From what I've seen in comments, you can't do it with the mobile app. When on the website, there's an option below each comment, right after "Reply": "Give Lingot"


Why isn't I need a feather accepted?


Necesito una manzana...


I've never heard bolígrafo until today. Idk if this is a Spaniards Spanish thing but pluma has always been the commonly accepted word as far as I've heard.


pluma can also mean feather but it also means pen


Well I live in Spain and bolígrafo means pen. Often shortened to boli. Pluma means feather. Never heard of pluma being used to mean pen. And I have lived here 10 years..


Pluma vs. boligrafo. In high school, learning Castilian Spanish, we were taught 'pluma'. In college, learning Latin American Spanish, it was 'boligrafo'. A friend I used to work with, whose family was from Mexico told me pluma is like an old-fashioned quill pen or fountain pen. A boligrafo is an everyday ball-point pen. I suspect it changes with location and age of speaker.


They still use it though. Was your friend either young or very stylish? Lol my boyfriend is Mexican but he's almost 50 and he uses pluma for an everyday pen.


I have a friend from Puerto Rico. She uses the word bolígrafo for pen.


pluma = feather , as well as pen ? perhaps it refers to a quill pen made with a feather, a little out there for duo if thats the case, where as boligrafo = ballpoint pen

It did accept as correct "I need a feather "

any thoughts ?


It's the same in English -- "pen" originally referred to using a feather to write with, but it's still commonly used for ink pens. Before ball-point pens there were fountain pens, too, but people still just say "pen" instead of specifying "ball-point pen."

"pen (n.1)
"writing implement," late 13c., from Old French pene "quill pen; feather" (12c.) and directly from Latin penna "a feather, plume," in plural "a wing," in Late Latin, "a pen for writing," from Old Latin petna, pesna, from PIE pet-na-, suffixed form of root pet- "to rush; to fly" (see petition (n.)).

Latin penna and pinna "a feather, plume;" in plural "a wing;" also "a pinnacle; battlement" (see pin (n.)) are treated as identical in Watkins, etc., but regarded as separate (but confused) Latin words by Tucker and others, who derive pinna from PIE *spei- "sharp point" (see spike (n.1)) and see the "feather/wing" sense as secondary.

In later French, this word means only "long feather of a bird," while the equivalent of English plume is used for "writing implement," the senses of the two words thus are reversed from the situation in English. Pen-and-ink (adj.) is attested from 1670s. Pen name is recorded from mid-19c." -- Online Etymology Dictionary, http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=pen


It did not accept i need a feather for me.


I don't need a pen...... I have a computer ,It is my parents I use it for Spanish and GAMES


It also means "feather" which it did not accept. Who uses a fountain pen anyway? Unless you've mastered time travel and go back to the 1800s. Just don't get "consumption" or a case of the "vapors" whilst you are there.


"I need a feather" ? really?! What century is this?

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