Another ending is -ill@

MarcosC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Another ending is -ill@

Once I was in a store here in Mexico and the clerk asked me if I wanted a “canastilla”.  I didn’t know what she meant until she brought me a plastic shopping basket.  My Mexican friends laughed when I said that I would have understood “canastita”.  I still don’t know a rule for when to use -illa.  I do know that “ventanilla” is the word for the small airplane window so I’m guessing that in general the “-illa” suffix is used for physically small things and not for any of the other uses.

 But the suffix -it@ is used a lot.  “Cafecito” is a common word and there are even restaurants that are named “El Cafecito”.  A Spanish teacher once told me that the Mexicans used to use diminutives in order to set themselves apart from the Conquistadores, who made demanding, forceful requests.  

Asked 1 week ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Marcos

Yes, the suffix -illo is very commonly used in Spain as well as in Latin America. It has the same purpose as -ito, mainly to talk about smaller things or people ( un chiquillo, una chiquilla, un hombrecillo, un platillo, ...) but I would say we use -ito a lot lot more. The diminutive suffixes vary from one region, city, town... to another, really, as well as the augmentative ones. 

We have a lesson on the -illo suffix here. 

Saludos

Another ending is -ill@

Once I was in a store here in Mexico and the clerk asked me if I wanted a “canastilla”.  I didn’t know what she meant until she brought me a plastic shopping basket.  My Mexican friends laughed when I said that I would have understood “canastita”.  I still don’t know a rule for when to use -illa.  I do know that “ventanilla” is the word for the small airplane window so I’m guessing that in general the “-illa” suffix is used for physically small things and not for any of the other uses.

 But the suffix -it@ is used a lot.  “Cafecito” is a common word and there are even restaurants that are named “El Cafecito”.  A Spanish teacher once told me that the Mexicans used to use diminutives in order to set themselves apart from the Conquistadores, who made demanding, forceful requests.  

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your Spanish level for FREE

Test your Spanish to the CEFR standard

Find your Spanish level
I'll be right with you...