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fug

Jan 20, 2012, 12:54 PM

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cuanto cuesta?

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For several years I have been using the word cuanto to ask the cost of an item for sale, as my Spanish dictionary defines cuanto as "how much". I have recently been told by a Mexican friend that I should say "cuanto cuesta" as cuanto by itself is rude. Came home looked up "cuesta" in my dictionary and it means "slope" or "downhill". I don't get it. HELP. Thanks, fug



karenanron

Jan 20, 2012, 12:58 PM

Post #2 of 40 (13774 views)

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Re: [fug] cuanto cuesta?

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I put it in my translator and your friend is correct


karenanron

Jan 20, 2012, 1:00 PM

Post #3 of 40 (13773 views)

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Re: [karenanron] cuanto cuesta?

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But then again, I put in cuanto and it shows correct also. Looks to me that both ways is okay.


fug

Jan 20, 2012, 1:23 PM

Post #4 of 40 (13769 views)

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Re: [karenanron] cuanto cuesta?

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That is the reason for my question. Which is correct and why? Cuesta is a separate word that seems to be totally unrelated to cuanto. Guess we will wait for folks that know and understand Spanish rather than you and I who have to run to our translator and dictionary. Thanks for trying. fug


karenanron

Jan 20, 2012, 1:27 PM

Post #5 of 40 (13766 views)

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Re: [fug] cuanto cuesta?

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There is a gal in here who I think teaches Spanish/English and I'm surprised she hasn't popped in. I think her name is La Ista. She's pretty up on this language thing.


fug

Jan 20, 2012, 1:56 PM

Post #6 of 40 (13755 views)

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Re: [karenanron] cuanto cuesta?

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What happens when you put "cuesta" into your translator? fug


norteño

Jan 20, 2012, 1:57 PM

Post #7 of 40 (13754 views)

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Re: [karenanron] cuanto cuesta?

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"Cuesta" is the present tense conjugated form of the verb "costar" (to cost) in the second and third person singular. When you say "Cuanto?" you are just saying "How much?", which some may take as being a bit brusque. The subject (it, this, whatever) is understood and not spoken in this case.

Pure coincidence that the noun for "slope" happens to be "cuesta".


mazatman


Jan 20, 2012, 1:57 PM

Post #8 of 40 (13752 views)

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Re: [fug] cuanto cuesta?

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http://www.wordreference.com/...tion.asp?spen=cuesta


fug

Jan 20, 2012, 2:45 PM

Post #9 of 40 (13747 views)

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Re: [norteño] cuanto cuesta?

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Thank you so much. You explained and answered all of my questions. "Cuanto cuesta" from now on for me. fug


fug

Jan 20, 2012, 2:47 PM

Post #10 of 40 (13746 views)

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Re: [mazatman] cuanto cuesta?

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Thank you , also. fug


La Isla


Jan 20, 2012, 4:10 PM

Post #11 of 40 (13733 views)

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Re: [norteño] cuanto cuesta?

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"Cuesta" is the present tense conjugated form of the verb "costar" (to cost) in the second and third person singular. When you say "Cuanto?" you are just saying "How much?", which some may take as being a bit brusque. The subject (it, this, whatever) is understood and not spoken in this case.


Good explanation, especially the bit about saying just "¿Cuánto?¨being too brusque in Spanish, though it's perfectly correct grammatically. One minor correction needed, though - "cuesta" is the third person singular form of "costar" in the simple present tense. The second person of any verb is the form with "you" as the subject, which makes no sense with this particular verb.


mazbook1


Jan 20, 2012, 5:17 PM

Post #12 of 40 (13727 views)

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Re: [La Isla] cuanto cuesta?

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I quite agree with La Isla, but I've heard, all my life, and spoken, for over 10 years, "norteño" Spanish, and just asking ¿cuanto? doesn't sound a bit brusque or rude to me. Certainly not as brusque or rude (or politically incorrect) as the universal Mexican method of getting a waiter's attention, i.e., "¡Joven!", even if the waiter is a graybeard or asking a waiter for something you want by saying, "Quiero…" – I want… – rather than the oh-so-polite, "¿Quisiera…?" – May I have…? – used elsewhere in the Spanish-speaking world.

Certainly NOT remotely as rude as using "" for "you" (or its verb conjugations) rather than "Usted", something considered totally rude (actually disrespectful) where I live, something nearly 100% of expats and tourists do without thinking.

¡FLAME AWAY! vatos.


sparks


Jan 21, 2012, 5:52 AM

Post #13 of 40 (13704 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] cuanto cuesta?

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¿cuánto vale? is more common around here

Sparks Mexico - Sparks Costalegre


cbviajero

Jan 21, 2012, 8:13 AM

Post #14 of 40 (13690 views)

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Re: [sparks] cuanto cuesta?

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Or (que cuesta?) or (que precio tiene) I don't use cuanto vale because in my mind the value and the price of an item are often different.
Chris


La Isla


Jan 21, 2012, 8:27 AM

Post #15 of 40 (13687 views)

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Re: [cbviajero] cuanto cuesta?

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Or (que cuesta?) or (que precio tiene) I don't use cuanto vale because in my mind the value and the price of an item are often different.
Chris


In Mexico City I've noticed people using "¿Qué precio tiene?" quite a bit. Rather than trying to figure out which phrase to use based on how logical it seems to my English-shaped mind, it makes more sense to speak the way the natives do.


cbviajero

Jan 21, 2012, 9:53 AM

Post #16 of 40 (13679 views)

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Re: [La Isla] cuanto cuesta?

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Or (que cuesta?) or (que precio tiene) I don't use cuanto vale because in my mind the value and the price of an item are often different.
Chris


In Mexico City I've noticed people using "¿Qué precio tiene?" quite a bit. Rather than trying to figure out which phrase to use based on how logical it seems to my English-shaped mind, it makes more sense to speak the way the natives do.

I agree that it's best to try to speak like the locals,I tend to use "¿que precio tiene?"more often than the other options.
One thing that made me laugh in Mexico City was the way a vendor would tell a potential client to"coge el que te gusta"they definetly wouldn't phrase it that way in Guadalajara
Chris.


(This post was edited by cbviajero on Jan 21, 2012, 10:39 AM)


tonyburton


Jan 21, 2012, 10:56 AM

Post #17 of 40 (13673 views)

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Re: [cbviajero] cuanto cuesta?

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Your're far more likely to be hearing:
"Escoge el que te gusta"...


mazbook1


Jan 21, 2012, 11:39 AM

Post #18 of 40 (13663 views)

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Re: [tonyburton] cuanto cuesta?

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Either cbviajero's slangy phrase or Tony's less slangy one works, but for sure, I would NOT use cbviajero's, just because of the vulgar "double entendre" it contains. It can be pretty embarrassing for a non-native Spanish speaker if he/she uses the verb coger for ANYTHING in México. It's best to avoid it entirely, commonly replacing it with tener, as most Mexicans do, but in this case escoger is the best verb to use, just as Tony says.


(This post was edited by mazbook1 on Jan 21, 2012, 11:44 AM)


esperanza

Jan 21, 2012, 11:46 AM

Post #19 of 40 (13659 views)

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Re: [cbviajero] cuanto cuesta?

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Goodness, you're missing the 'es' before the 'coge'...even if the vendor is actually saying 'coge', it's a bad idea--a REALLY bad idea--to copy his/her sloppy speech. It could get you in big trouble.

At my neighborhood tianguis, I hear all the choices given in the thread and a few more:
  • cuánto cuesta
  • cuánto vale
  • qué precio tiene
  • a cómo sale
  • me dice el precio
  • qué valor tiene
  • and all followed by your mother's magic words: por favor.


http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









mazbook1


Jan 21, 2012, 11:59 AM

Post #20 of 40 (13655 views)

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Re: [esperanza] cuanto cuesta?

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esperanza, No, he may not be "missing the es". His phrase translates as "pick the one you like" in the Google translator, but I totally agree with everything else you wrote about it. It is a really, really bad idea to ever use the verb coger in México (and in Argentina also!).


(This post was edited by mazbook1 on Jan 21, 2012, 12:02 PM)


cbviajero

Jan 21, 2012, 12:24 PM

Post #21 of 40 (13644 views)

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Re: [tonyburton] cuanto cuesta?

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Beg to differ but I have heard merchants in el DF say coge instead of escoge or recoge, my wife Maria Guadalupe who is a Tapatia pointed it out to me the first time we were there and she found it rather amusing,I don-t think we were both not hearing the *es*.I-m using my kids computer right now thats why the puntuation isn-t working
Chris


cbviajero

Jan 21, 2012, 12:44 PM

Post #22 of 40 (13637 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] cuanto cuesta?

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Either cbviajero's slangy phrase or Tony's less slangy one works, but for sure, I would NOT use cbviajero's, just because of the vulgar "double entendre" it contains. It can be pretty embarrassing for a non-native Spanish speaker if he/she uses the verb coger for ANYTHING in México. It's best to avoid it entirely, commonly replacing it with tener, as most Mexicans do, but in this case escoger is the best verb to use, just as Tony says.

Ive never used that phrase nor would I,we just heard it together there and had a laugh,its also possible they substituted the verb agarrar with coger.
Chris


(This post was edited by cbviajero on Jan 21, 2012, 1:05 PM)


GringoCArlos

Feb 16, 2012, 11:45 AM

Post #23 of 40 (13199 views)

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Re: [fug] cuanto cuesta?

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Asking a female "¿Cuanto?" is much like asking "¿Tienes leche?" If you're somewhere in Latin America that has any population of prostitutes, it's like asking her "How much" for you-know-what, or asking her if she is lactating, instead of asking if she has milk. It's rude.

¿Cuanto cuesta? is the polite way to ask "How much?" If you're in a taxi approaching your destination, or ordering food delivery to your home, then ask ¿Cuanto hacer? - how much will it be?


cbviajero

Feb 16, 2012, 12:13 PM

Post #24 of 40 (13191 views)

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Re: [GringoCArlos] cuanto cuesta?

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I would suggest that you agree on a fare before you even get in the cab,"Cuanto hacer"? maybe you mean "cuanto va a ser?"
Chris


GringoCArlos

Feb 16, 2012, 9:25 PM

Post #25 of 40 (13155 views)

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Re: [cbviajero] cuanto cuesta?

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Yes, you are correct, it is "¿cuanto va a ser?".

I agree on asking upfront how much a taxi will charge in the cities and for tourists with no local knowledge.

I live here in MX and know the local fares, but about once a month take a taxi to do all of my errands/pay bills. I ask the taxi driver to wait for me at each stop. An hour or two later when we've finished running around, I ask him how much it will be.


(This post was edited by GringoCArlos on Feb 16, 2012, 9:29 PM)
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