Posted by: janecronin | August 26, 2011

“What happened?” “Nothing, apart from ….”

One of the “magic words” I mentioned a while ago was “nada” (nothing), commonly used in response to things such as – “Gracias” “Nada” (de nada);  “¿Algo más?”  “Nada más”;  “¿Qué pasa?”  “No pasa nada”. 

There’s another use of “nada” that’s quite strange, and that is sticking it just before telling a story or giving a long answer to a question.  I hear it all the time on the radio.  An interview says something like “So, how did your invention win the first prize?”  or “How did you manage to save that person’s life?”.  The response  invariably starts with “Nada”.  Perhaps it’s a form of modesty or an uncharacteristic way the Spanish have of playing something down.

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