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Published on: Grammar Bites

The many Spanish equivalents of ‘tip’

“Tip” may be a short word, but it has a long list of Spanish equivalents. Let’s take a look at the main ones!

Tip as Punta

a) When we talk about the top end or corner of an object, particularly a pointy-shaped one, we translate ‘tip’ as ‘punta’:

  • Desde aquí puedes ver la punta del campanario. From here you can see the tip of the steeple.
  • Cuidado con las puntas de la mesas; son muy filosas. Watch out for the corner tips of the table; they’re pretty sharp.
  • ¿Llegaron a la punta de la montaña? Did they reach the tip of the mountain?

b) Similarly, when describing the end of an extremity or body part, particularly one long and tapered, we also use ‘punta’:

  • Necesito ir al salón para cortarme las puntas. I need to go to the hair salon and have my hair tips trimmed.
  • Juan se quemó las puntas de los dedos mientras cocinaba. Juan burnt off the tip of his fingers while he was cooking.
  • Me pica la punta de la nariz. I have an itch on the tip of my nose.
Tip as Consejo

When we’re giving or receiving useful hints or advice on how to do a task or make a decision, the right Spanish equivalent is ‘consejo‘:

  • Este libro tiene buenos consejos de repostería. This book has good baking tips.
  • ¿Tienes algún consejo para planear unas vacaciones buenas y baratas? Do you have any tips for planning a good and affordable vacation?
  • La profesora nos dió varios consejos para usar el subjuntivo facilmente. The teacher gave a few tips on how to use the subjunctive easily.
Tip as Propina

When talking about the gift of money given to someone for performing a service or task, we need the Spanish term ‘propina’:

  • Ellas dejaron una gran propina a la camarera. They left a big tip for the waitress.
  • La costumbre de dejar propinas puede cambiar de país a país. The costume of leaving a tip can change from country to country.
  • ¿Debo dejar propina en el hotel? Should I leave a tip at the hotel?
Tip as Dato o Información confidencial

When discussing a piece of secret or private information shared with someone else, we use the words ‘dato confidencial/privado’ or ‘información confidencial/privada’:

  • Escuchó un dato confidencial en la oficina y lo usó para comprar acciones. He heard a tip at the office and used it to buy stocks.
  • La investigación policial comenzó cuando recibieron información confidencial de un testigo anónimo. The police investigation started when they received a tip from an anonymous witness.
  • Ellos tienen un contacto en el hipódromo que les pasa información privada. They have a contact at the racetracks who gives them tips.
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