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Calor V’s Caliente and how to avoid those embarrassing moments

Do you know the difference between Calor and Caliente in Español? Have you ever made that mistake where you’ve wanted to say you’re hot but you’ve accidently said that your feeling ‘frisky’!?

Do not worry, help is at hand in this blog post you’ll learn just that.

The first thing to learn is that the word Calor in Español is a noun an it means heat. Whereas the word caliente is an adjective and it translates as hot. So if I want to say that I am hot I say;

Tengo calor – I am hot

It translates in English to I have heat, which is where a lot of the confusion comes from.

If I want to say it is hot, as in the weather for example, I say:

Hace calor – it is hot (as in the weather)

Very different to caliente, which is when something is hot to touch. For example I might say:

El agua está caliente – the water is hot

La comida está caliente – the food is hot

A great example of the use of both these words that I like to use with students is in the Seasame Street video “Hace Calor” – you can watch a clip of this in my YouTube lesson – you’ll find the link at the bottom of this page.

You’ll hear that the weather is hot hace calor and that the pavement is hot caliente.

So hopefully next time you have the opportunity to practice this with your Spanish speaking friends you’ll feel a little more confident saying you’re feeling hot rather than getting some raised eyebrows when you accidently say you’re feeling ‘horny’!

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