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03 / 12 / 2004

DETALLE IN ENGLISH: meaning and examples

Good morning. A very common error that many of my students make is to directly translate "detalle" into English as "detail." Consider the following sentence. i) Para mi cumpleaños, mi mujer me preparó mi cena preferida. ¡Qué detalle! To translate this into English, we would NOT say "...what a detail." We would probably say "what a nice gesture or "How nice of her." In other contexts "detalle" might be translated as a token of appreciation or a sign of consideration Example 1 For my birthday my wife prepared my favourite meal. What a nice gesture. Example 2 I'm very satisfied that my boss finally gave me Saturday off. It's the first sign of consideration I've seen from him since I have been working here. Example 3 As a token of my appreciation for letting me use his car, I washed it and filled it up with petrol. So, the next time you want to say "qué detalle," remember to say what a nice gesture! and NOT "what a detail." If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please don't hesitate to contact me. Oh, be sure to see the short note after my signature. Have an excellent day and a relaxing and fun very long weekend! The next Daily Vitamin will be on Thursday, December 9th. Until then, remember to practise your English a little bit each day. Best wishes,