Spanish word of the week: imagen

la imagen (PLURAL las imágenes) NOUN image, picture

Imagen has very much the same range of application as its English cousin image.

It can be used literally to refer to a physical image or picture:

las imágenes del accidente the images or pictures of the accident

And as all designers and presenters know:

Una imagen vale más que mil palabras. A picture is worth a thousand words.

(Remember that in Spanish the phrase is, word for word, ‘more than a thousand words’.)

Like English, imagen can refer by extension to the mental image or picture you have of someone:

Tenía otra imagen de ti. I had a different image of you.

Imagen can also refer to the physical reflection of something, as in a mirror:

Contemplaba su imagen en el espejo. He was studying his reflection in the mirror.

There are also two useful idioms you can use imagen in:

ser la viva imagen de alguien to be the spitting image of somebody
Es la viva imagen de su padre. He’s the spitting image of his father.

a su imagen y semejanza in his/her own image
Ha confeccionado un equipo a su imagen y semejanza. She’s put together a team in her own image.

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