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Arrested Development #8

Context: Somebody just offered to take her shopping.

Original English: My daughter does need some new school clothes.

Spanish Translation: Mi hija necesita ropa para el colegio.


We use the word “does” very oddly sometimes in English.

We use it as a question word, “DOES your daughter need new school clothes?”

And we use it as... whatever it is in this example, “My daughter DOES need some new school clothes.”

In Spanish, there’s often no translation for “does” when used like this.

And really, what does “does” (like this) even mean in English?

You CAN sometimes add a “sí” in the middle of the sentence, or “sí que” for that same effect.

But they chose not to do that here.


In the original English, there’s no “for”. But there is if you rewrite it!

My daughter does need some new school clothes.
My daughter needs clothes for school.
= Mi hija necesita ropa para el colegio.

They went with “para” because the clothes are “for school” or “para el colegio”.

Which means the PURPOSE (goal) of the clothes, is school.

And remember, “para” is an arrow. And the goal of an arrow is to hit a bullseye.

FOR purpose and goals, we use “para”.

Spanish Quickie: Por Vs. Para


I don’t know the history of the word “colegio”. But obviously, it looks like “college” which we use for “university” in English (in the US).

But in the Spanish-speaking world, they use this word in many different ways. In this scene, they used it simply for “school”. And the daughter she spoke of, was probably in high school.

Which matches what I remember from Spain. I’m pretty sure they use “colegio” specifically for “high school” in Spain.

But I also specifically remember, they use it differently all over Latin America.

Bottom line, “colegio” means “school”. It then takes on its specific meaning from the context.

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