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How To Say "Expensive" In Spanish

If you are traveling to a Spanish-speaking country or trying to communicate with Spanish-speaking friends, it is important to know how to say "expensive" in Spanish. The word "expensive" can vary slightly depending on the Spanish-speaking region, so we will explore some of the differences.

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What is "Expensive" in Spanish?

The most common way to say "expensive" in Spanish is "caro" (IPA: /ˈka.ɾo/), but there are regional variations that you may come across.

  • In Mexico, the word "caro" is also used, but costoso (IPA: /kos.ˈ is an alternative.
  • In Argentina, "caro" is also common, but you may also hear carísimo (IPA: /ka.ˈɾ, which means "very expensive".
  • In Spain, the word for "expensive" is "caro" or "costoso", but you may also hear carillo (IPA: /ka.ˈɾi.ʝo/), which is a slang term.

Meaning of "Expensive" in Spanish

The word "caro" is an adjective used to describe something that has a high cost or price. It is used to indicate that something is beyond what is considered affordable or reasonable. For example:

  • El coche es muy caro. (The car is very expensive.)
  • La cena en ese restaurante es muy cara. (The dinner at that restaurant is very expensive.)

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Translating "Expensive" to Spanish

If you want to say "expensive" in Spanish, you can use the word "caro". However, as we mentioned earlier, there are regional variations. Here are some ways to translate "expensive" in Spanish:

  • Expensive (general) - Caro
  • Expensive (Mexico) - Costoso/Carito
  • Expensive (Argentina) - Carísimo/Caro como la miel
  • Expensive (Spain) - Carísimo/Caro de cojones

Regional Differences

Spanish is spoken in many countries around the world, and each region has its own dialect and vocabulary. Here are some regional differences in the use of the word “Caro”:

  • In Mexico, “caro” can also mean “rude” or “unpleasant”. For example: Ese chico es muy caro con sus amigos. (That boy is very rude with his friends.)
  • In Argentina, “Caro” is often used to describe a person who is difficult to deal with. For example: Mi jefe es muy caro para trabajar. (My boss is very difficult to work with.)
  • In Spain, “varo” can also mean “loved one” or “dear one”. For example: ¡Mi caro esposo! (My dear husband!)


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How to Say "Expensive" in Spanish: Sample Sentences

Here are five sample sentences on how to say "expensive" in Spanish:

  • ¿Cuánto cuesta? Es muy caro.

(How much does it cost? It's very expensive.)

  • No puedo permitirme algo tan caro.

(I can't afford something so expensive.)

  • Este hotel es demasiado caro para mi presupuesto.

(This hotel is too expensive for my budget.)

  • Me sorprendió lo caro que es todo en esta ciudad.

(I was surprised how expensive everything is in this city.)

  • No entiendo por qué es tan caro.

(I don't understand why it's so expensive.)


Knowing how to say "expensive" in Spanish is important when traveling or communicating with Spanish-speaking friends. The most common word for "expensive" in Spanish is "caro", but regional variations exist, such as "costoso" and "carísimo". Keep in mind that the cost of living and prices can vary greatly depending on the region, so what is considered expensive in one place may not be in another. Use the examples above to help you navigate the world of pricing and expenses in Spanish-speaking countries.

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