Diminutives in Spanish.
The topic of diminutives in Spanish, as in English, becomes complex because of the different uses we make of them in our everyday speech.
In English, the word compositions and suffixes used for the different uses of the diminutives are much more abundant than in Spanish, so we will only establish the minimum comparisons necessary for the most notable uses of these diminutives. For example, Diminutives can be used as:
Additional expression of affection with direct relatives.
|Root Word||Affective Form||English Diminutive||Spanish Diminutive|
|Father / Padre||Dad / Papá||Daddy||Papito|
|Mother / Madre||Mom / Mamá||Mommy||Mamita|
|Grandfather / Abuelo||Grandpa / Abue||Grandaddy||Abuelito|
|Grandmother / Abuela||Grandma / Abue||Grammy||Abuelita|
Course in Spanish, as in English, the terms used as diminutives for relatives loved ones are practically infinite, so we include only “the basics” in our table of examples.
Comparative expression of the characteristics of persons, animals or things.
|Root Word||English Diminutives||Spanish Diminutives|
|Dog /Perro||Doggie / Little dog||Perrito / Pequeño Perro|
|Cat / Gato||Kitten / Little cat||Gatito / Pequeño gato|
|Beach / Playa||Little beach||Playita / Pequeña playa|
|Beaches / Playas||Little beaches||Playitas / Pequeñas playas|
|Dwarf / Enano||Little dwarf||Enanito / Pequeño enano|
|Dwarfs / Enanos||Little dwarfs||Enanitos / Pequeños enanos|
|Chair / Silla||Small chair||Sillita / Pequeña silla|
|Table / Mesa||Small table||Mesita / Pequeña mesa|
|Bird / Pájaro||Birdie / Little bird||Pajarito / Pequeño pájaro|
Note that in both languages, there is the possibility of expressing diminutives with the combination that includes the adjectives:
little (or small) / pequeño (a) combined with the standard noun.
However, there are diminutives in Spanish using the word root and “ito”,” ita “, itos”, “itas” endings, based on the circumstances of the number (singular or plural) and gender (masculine or feminine), for which in English only is the diminutive form based on the use of the adjectives “small” or “little”.
Diminutive form of given names of people or animals.
|English Name||Diminutive||Spanish Equivalent||Diminutive|
In the case of proper names, diminutives in English are based on endings “y” and “ie” with some modifications of the original name. In Spanish the original names have very little variation and added “ito” and “ita” terminations.
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