An English speaker’s perspective

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Tarea is the word for task, job or assignment. It is also the word used for homework. As I thought about homework in relationship to this word, tarea, I thought it was a bit odd that the word really just means any task…not necessarily something that is brought home from school for completion.

Have you thought about the difficulty a Spanish speaking person would have with this word in English? What is the difference between homework and housework? They could both be translated tarea. Your assignment at work or your task to complete in a game could be tarea as well. We have many different ways to say the same basic thing in English. Of course, there are other ways to say this in Spanish, but it is nice to have one short word that fits in many different situations.

  • 1

    In Spain, homework would be ‘deberes’ I would use that word more than ‘tarea’, but you are right they’re both valid and used.

    luthien on September 18th, 2007
  • 2

    I am not entirely clear as to how ‘deberes’ is used in México. I don’t ever hear it used for ‘homework’ though. It is mostly used for ‘duty.’ But they also use it in some situations that I have not figured out yet.

    This is one of those meanings that I think would have many different words in different countries. I should ask my Argentinian and Peruvian friends what they would use.

    David on September 18th, 2007
  • 3

    When I was in school my mother would say something like:
    ‘¿Has hecho ya los deberes?’ Meaning if I had done my homework, but it’s very specific to school homework, I wouldn’t call it that if I was talking with a university student for example, it could be said and he/she would understand me but it’s not the word which would come first to my mind, I would look for a more especific word

    luthien on September 19th, 2007
  • 4

    My Peruvian friend says they use ‘tarea.’

    My Argentinian friend says that both ‘tarea’ and ‘deberes’ are used. But ‘tarea’ would be more for high school and below, whereas ‘deberes’ would be for college and up. Then you would talk about your ‘deberes’ for a particular class.

    I don’t have regular contact with college age people here (Mexico), but I have been told they use ‘proyectos’ more when talking about their homework.

    David on September 22nd, 2007
  • 5

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  • 6

    […] Quehacer is occupation, business or tarea. […]

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