Monday, February 7, 2011

¿Te regalo este plato?

You may already know that in Spanish you use the verb Regalar to talk about both giving and receiving gifts.  Here's an example:

Me regaló una falda
He gave me this skirt (as a present)

What you may not know is that you can use regalar in other ways.  Let's take a look at our phrase:

¿Te regalo este plato?

Meseros and meseras will commonly hear this, and contrary to our previous definition of regalar, they aren't being offered an actual gift.  Let's revist out translation.

¿Te regalo este plato?
Can I give you this plate?

Actually, in English we'd say "can you take this plate?", but you get the picture.  Another way to say this is:

¿Puede retirar el plato?

It's nice to have options.

And as you can see, regalar can also mean "to give", like the verb dar in Spanish.  So let's look at a few more examples. 

¿Me regala una caja para llever?
Can you give me a to-go box?

¿Me regalas un besito?
Can you give me a little kiss?

On an unlrelated note, if you'd like a great big kiss, then you can ask for besotote.  Ok, now let's get back to business.

¿Me regalas un hojo (de papel)?

Can you give me a sheet a paper?

That's it! Facilisimo, ¿verdad?

Hasta la próxima.

1 comment:

  1. Another example: “Me regala una firma, por favor.” (Sign here, please.) That was the one that really clued me to the fact that “regalar” doesn’t always imply a gift.