An English speaker’s perspective

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I was explaining the biblical definitions of the words mercy and grace one time to a group of young people. These were completely new words for them; therefore, they did not catch the error that I wrote on the paper I handed them.

Mercy is misericordia. Grace is gracia. The problem came when I wrote the adjectives of those words. Misericordia becomes misericordioso. Logically gracia is gracioso. Even my dictionary agreed with that. One of the adults in the class started laughing at my paper. She had a good laugh at my ignorant mistake.

Whereas gracious can be translated gracioso, that is not the primary meaning of the word. The primary meaning is funny, jester, witty, facetious or clown. In essence I had written on my paper “God is merciful and God is funny.”

Before everyone got out that night, we were able to clear up the confusion and I learned the word bondadoso is a better choice for gracious.


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