Spanish word of the week: claro

This week’s Spanish word of the week is claro.

claro ADVERB, ADJECTIVE sure; of course; light; clear, obvious

Claro is a word you’ll very often hear in conversation. The more you use it appropriately in your own conversation, the more natural your Spanish will sound.

In one meaning it’s just a way of saying sure when somebody asks you something:

¿Te gusta el béisbol? – ¡Claro! Do you like baseball? – Sure!

¿Puedo usar tu bici mañana? – ¡Claro! Can I use your bike tomorrow? – Sure!

The other main meaning of claro is of course. You often use claro when you suddenly realize something:

¡Claro! Por eso estaba tan raro ayer. Of course! that’s why he was acting so strange yesterday.

¡Claro que sí! means Yes, of course and ¡Claro que no! means Of course not, or Not at all.

¿Me permites? – ¡Claro que sí! May I? – Of course!

¿Le molesta? – ¡Claro que no! Is it bothering you. – Not at all.

In face-to face-conversation, or on the phone, Spanish speakers tend to say ¡Claro! a lot. It’s a way of letting the other person know they’re listening and that they agree. Why don’t you try it next time you have a conversation?

Finally, claro has two basic meanings as an adjective. The meaning light refers to colours.

Siempre viste colores claros. He always wears light colours.

verde claro light green, pale green

azul claro light blue, pale blue

Using claro and the words gris and marrón, how would you say pale grey or pale brown? [1]

In the sense of obvious, it often goes with referencia and ejemplo:

Había una clara referencia al famoso cómico. There was an obvious reference to the famous comedian.

Es un claro ejemplo de la globalización. It’s a clear example of globalization.

[1] Answers: gris claro, marrón claro.

Come back next week for another insight into Spanish vocabulary!

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