How to Say Neglect in Spanish: A Comprehensive Guide

Bienvenidos! If you’re looking to expand your Spanish vocabulary, specifically when it comes to the word “neglect,” you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll provide you with formal and informal ways to express this idea in Spanish, without forgetting a few regional variations. So, let’s delve into the various ways to say “neglect” in Spanish, along with plenty of tips and examples!

Formal Ways to Say Neglect in Spanish

When you want to convey “neglect” in a formal context, such as a professional or academic environment, the following expressions will come in handy:

  • Descuido: This noun is the most direct translation of “neglect” and is often used in legal or bureaucratic settings. For instance, you might hear “debido a su descuido con las tareas asignadas” (due to their neglect with assigned tasks).
  • Desatender: This verb means “to neglect” or “to disregard” and is commonly used when referring to responsibilities or duties. For example, “desatender una obligación” (to neglect an obligation) or “desatender su salud” (to neglect one’s health).

Informal Ways to Say Neglect in Spanish

On the other hand, when speaking in a more casual or familiar setting, you have several options to express the idea of “neglect.” Here are two common informal expressions:

  • Dejar de lado: This phrase literally means “to leave to the side” and can be used to convey neglect. For instance, “dejar de lado los problemas” (to neglect problems) or “dejar de lado una relación” (to neglect a relationship).
  • Olvidarse de: This verb phrase means “to forget about” and can also be used to communicate the notion of neglect. For example, “olvidarse del deber” (to neglect one’s duty) or “olvidarse de alimentarse” (to neglect to eat).

Common Regional Variations

Although Spanish is widely spoken throughout the world, there are some regional variations in how “neglect” is expressed. Here are a few examples:

  • Descuidar: While this verb is commonly used in Spain and Latin America, it may carry a slightly different nuance depending on the region. In some areas, it may imply more of a careless or unintentional neglect rather than deliberate negligence.
  • Dejar de prestar atención a: This phrase, particularly common in Latin America, literally means “to stop paying attention to.” It emphasizes the lack of attention or care given to something or someone.

Additional Tips and Examples

Now that we’ve covered the main ways to say “neglect” in Spanish, here are a few extra tips and examples to help you understand and use these expressions more effectively:

Remember that when using these expressions, context is essential. Adapt your choice of words to fit the situation appropriately.


  • El autor descuidó los detalles de su argumento: The author neglected the details of his argument.
  • No debes desatender tus responsabilidades laborales: You should not neglect your work responsibilities.
  • Siempre te dejo de lado cuando estoy ocupado: I always neglect you when I’m busy.
  • Olvidarse de sí mismo es un acto de negligencia: Neglecting oneself is an act of negligence.
  • No puedo permitirme descuidar mi salud: I can’t afford to neglect my health.
  • Dejé de prestar atención a los rumores: I stopped paying attention to the rumors.

¡Muy bien! With this comprehensive guide, you are now equipped with the knowledge of how to say “neglect” in Spanish. Remember to practice using these expressions in various contexts to enhance your fluency. ¡Buena suerte!

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