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How To Say Mean In Spanish

Have you ever found yourself struggling to find the right word when trying to express the concept of "mean" in Spanish? Fear not, as in this article, we will cover everything you need to know about how to say "mean" in Spanish, as well as its meaning, translation, and regional differences.

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What is "Mean" in Spanish?

In Spanish, the word for "mean" can vary depending on the context and the region. The most common translation for "mean" is "significar" or "querer decir", which both convey the idea of expressing something. However, "mean" can also be translated as "malo" or "desagradable", which both mean "bad" or "unpleasant".

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Meaning of "Mean" in Spanish

As we mentioned, the most common translation for "mean" in Spanish is "malo/a", which is typically used to describe someone who is unkind or malicious. However, it is important to note that this translation can vary depending on the context and region. In some areas, "malo/a" may be considered too strong of a word and "grosero/a" or "descortés" may be used instead.

When it comes to translating "mean" as an average or median, "promedio" (IPA: /pɾˈðjo/) is the standard translation in most regions. It is important to be aware of regional differences to avoid confusion and miscommunication.

Translating “Mean” to Spanish

Now that we have gone over some examples of how "mean" can be translated in Spanish, let us take a look at the word itself. "Mean" can be translated to Spanish as "significar", "querer decir", "malo", or "desagradable". Here are the IPA phonetics for each translation:

  • Significar (IPA: /siɣ'kaɾ/)
  • Querer decir (IPA: /ke.ɾeɾ de.'θiɾ/)
  • Malo (IPA: /'ma.lo/)
  • Desagradable (IPA: /ɣɾa.'ða.βle/)

Tips for Learning Spanish Vocabulary

Learning new vocabulary is an essential part of learning any language, and Spanish is no exception. Here are a few tips to help you improve your Spanish vocabulary:

  • Practice regularly: Consistency is key when learning a new language. Try to practice Spanish vocabulary every day, even if it is just for a few minutes.
  • Use flashcards: Flashcards are a great tool for memorizing new words. You can make your own flashcards or use an app like Quizlet to create and study flashcards on your phone.
  • Read in Spanish: Reading books, articles, or news in Spanish is an excellent way to expose yourself to new vocabulary in context.
  • Watch Spanish-language media: Watching TV shows or movies in Spanish can help you learn new words and improve your listening skills.

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How to Say Mean in Spanish: Sample Sentences

To help you better understand how to use these translations in context, here are five sample sentences on how to say "mean" in Spanish:

  • Él es muy malo.

(He is very mean.)

  • El promedio de altura es de 1.70 metros.

(The mean height is 1.70 meters.)

  • ¿Qué significa esta palabra en español?

(What does this word mean in Spanish?)

  • Ese gesto no fue muy amable, fue bastante malo.

(That gesture wasn't very kind, it was quite mean.)

  • El color amarillo significa felicidad y alegría.

(The color yellow means happiness and joy.)


Learning how to say "mean" in Spanish is an essential part of building your vocabulary and improving your language skills. Whether you are using it to describe someone's behavior, calculate an average, or signify something else entirely, understanding the different translations and regional differences can help you communicate more effectively. 

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