How to Say “Inherit” in Spanish: A Comprehensive Guide

Learning how to express the concept of “inheritance” in Spanish can be extremely useful, whether you are discussing family matters, legal documents, or general conversations. In this guide, we will explore the various ways to say “inherit” in Spanish, covering both formal and informal expressions. While regional variations may exist, we will focus on widely-used terms and provide multiple tips and examples for a better understanding. Let’s dive in!

1. Formal Ways to Say “Inherit” in Spanish

When it comes to formal situations or legal contexts, it is important to use appropriate vocabulary. Here are some formal expressions for “inherit” in Spanish:

  1. Heredar: This is the most common and straightforward term for “to inherit” in Spanish. It is widely understood and used across Spanish-speaking countries. For example, “She will inherit a large estate” translates to “Ella heredará un gran patrimonio” in Spanish.
  2. Suceder: This verb carries a formal tone and is often used when describing the process of inheritance. It emphasizes the succession of rights or properties. For instance, “He succeeded to the family fortune” can be translated as “Él sucedió a la fortuna familiar” in Spanish.
  3. Recibir una herencia: This expression literally means “to receive an inheritance” and is commonly employed in legal contexts. It reflects the passive aspect of inheritance, focusing on receiving rather than actively acquiring. For instance, “She received a substantial inheritance” translates to “Ella recibió una herencia sustancial” in Spanish.
  4. Adquirir por herencia: This phrase translates to “to acquire by inheritance” and is used to express the specific act of obtaining something through inheritance. For example, “He acquired the family business through inheritance” can be expressed as “Él adquirió el negocio familiar por herencia” in Spanish.
  5. Recibir una asignación: Although less common, this more formal expression means “to receive an allocation” and can be used when referring to receiving an inherited share or allocation of assets. It can be a suitable alternative when discussing inheritance in legal contexts. For example, “Each sibling received an equal inheritance” translates to “Cada hermano recibió una asignación igual” in Spanish.

2. Informal Ways to Say “Inherit” in Spanish

In everyday conversations or less formal settings, it is common to come across informal expressions for “inherit” in Spanish. Here are a few examples:

  1. Coger algo de alguien: This expression literally means “to grab/take something from someone” and is often used informally to mean “to inherit” in a casual conversation. For example, “She took her grandmother’s jewelry” can be translated as “Ella cogió las joyas de su abuela” in Spanish.
  2. Caer en manos de: This informal phrase carries a sense of unexpected or accidental inheritance. It is used when something “falls into someone’s hands” due to a will or unforeseen set of circumstances. For instance, “The property fell into his hands unexpectedly” can be expressed as “La propiedad cayó en sus manos inesperadamente” in Spanish.
  3. Pillar una herencia: In colloquial Spanish, “pillar” is a slang term meaning “to catch” or “to grab.” When combined with “herencia,” it becomes an informal expression meaning “to score/catch an inheritance.” For example, “They scored a huge inheritance” can be translated as “Pillaron una herencia enorme” in Spanish.
  4. Catapulta patrimonial: This is a humorous expression used colloquially when someone unexpectedly inherits a large fortune. Literally meaning “patrimonial catapult,” it carries a playful undertone. For instance, “He was hit by the patrimonial catapult” can be translated as “Fue alcanzado por la catapulta patrimonial” in Spanish.

3. Examples and Additional Tips

To deepen your understanding of how to say “inherit” in Spanish, let’s explore some examples and additional tips:

Note: While the formal expressions mentioned earlier are widely understood across Spanish-speaking countries, the informal expressions may vary. It is crucial to consider regional and cultural differences when using them in specific contexts.

Example 1:

English: “He inherited his father’s wealth in Spain.”

Spanish (Formal): “Él heredó la riqueza de su padre en España.”

Spanish (Informal): “Él pilló la pasta de su padre en España.”

Example 2:

English: “She received a large inheritance after her grandfather’s death.”

Spanish (Formal): “Ella recibió una gran herencia tras la muerte de su abuelo.”

Spanish (Informal): “Ella se llevó una buena herencia después de la muerte de su abuelo.”

Additional Tips:

  • Be mindful of the verb tense and noun agreement within the context of inheritance. Spanish grammar rules apply as usual, so adjust the verb and noun forms accordingly.
  • If you are unsure whether it is appropriate to use an informal expression, it is often best to stick with formal options, especially in professional settings or when addressing older individuals.
  • When engaging in conversations about inheritance, demonstrating empathy and sensitivity is vital. Inheritance discussions can be emotionally charged, so be respectful and tactful when using these terms.
  • Consider expanding your vocabulary related to inheritance by learning words like “legacy” (legado), “estate” (patrimonio), or “will” (testamento) to enhance your comprehension on this topic.

By now, you should have a solid understanding of how to say “inherit” in Spanish. Remember to choose the appropriate expressions based on the context and formality of the situation. Keep practicing and exploring the Spanish language to deepen your knowledge, and enjoy incorporating these new terms into your conversations. ¡Buena suerte (good luck)!

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Written by Gabrielle Gladys

Hola! I'm Gabrielle, a language enthusiast with a passion for Spanish. I love sharing my knowledge in a fun and engaging way, making the learning process much less daunting for you. I've published a vast array of articles; from understanding complex terminologies to mastering day-to-day expressions. When I'm not busy writing or improving my linguistic skills, I'm exploring the richness of Latin culture or experimenting with traditional Spanish recipes. So if you're wondering, '¿Cómo se dice ... en español?', you're at the right place with the correct guide. ¡Hasta luego!

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