How to Say “Different” in Spanish

When learning a new language, understanding how to express the concept of “different” is essential. In Spanish, there are several ways to convey this idea, depending on the context and level of formality. This guide will provide you with a comprehensive overview of how to say “different” in Spanish, including both formal and informal expressions. We will also explore any regional variations that may exist, although the focus will primarily be on standard Spanish. Let’s dive in!

Formal Expressions for “Different”

1. Diferente: The most straightforward and commonly used translation for “different” in Spanish is “diferente.” This word is versatile and applicable in various scenarios. Here are a few examples:

  • El nuevo plan es diferente al anterior. (The new plan is different from the previous one.)
  • La cultura en este país es diferente. (The culture in this country is different.)
  • Tenemos opiniones diferentes sobre este tema. (We have different opinions on this matter.)

2. Disímil: Another formal synonym for “different” is “disímil.” Although less commonly used in everyday conversations, it is more prevalent in formal or written contexts. Examples include:

  • El resultado fue disímil al esperado. (The result was different from what was expected.)
  • Tus estrategias son disímiles a las mías. (Your strategies are different from mine.)

Informal Expressions for “Different”

1. Diferente: We mentioned “diferente” as the primary translation for “different” earlier, and it is also widely used in informal contexts. Its usage is not limited to formal situations, so feel free to employ it in casual conversations as well. Here are some examples:

  • Tu estilo de vestir es diferente. (Your dressing style is different.)
  • Me gustan los sabores diferentes de helado. (I like different flavors of ice cream.)

2. Distinto: As an informal synonym for “different,” “distinto” is widely used in everyday conversations. It conveys a sense of distinction or diversity. Let’s see it in action:

  • Esa película es distinta a las demás. (That movie is different from the rest.)
  • Tenemos estilos de vida distintos. (We have different lifestyles.)

Regional Variations

In general, the expressions shared above are widely understood and used throughout the Spanish-speaking world. However, it’s worth noting that regional variations may exist. For instance:

In some Latin American countries, such as Argentina, Uruguay, and parts of Central America, it is common to use the word “otro” (meaning “other” or “another”) to convey the idea of “different.” So instead of saying “diferente” or “distinto,” you might hear “otro” being used in certain contexts. Example: “Este libro es otro” (This book is different).

Tips for Using “Different” in Spanish

1. Be mindful of context: As with any language, understanding the context is crucial for choosing the most appropriate word for “different.” Consider the formality of the situation and adjust your word choice accordingly.

2. Expand your vocabulary: While “diferente” and “distinto” are commonly used, it’s always beneficial to expand your vocabulary and learn additional synonyms to express the concept of “different.” This will allow you to bring more nuance to your conversations.

3. Practice, practice, practice: The key to mastering any language is practice. Incorporate these expressions into your conversations, write sentences using them, and listen to native speakers to improve your understanding of how they are used naturally.


Now that you have learned various ways to say “different” in Spanish, both formally and informally, you can confidently express this concept in a variety of contexts. Remember to consider the level of formality, and don’t be afraid to expand your vocabulary to enhance your language skills. With practice, you will become more comfortable using these expressions and further develop your proficiency in Spanish.

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