Spanish word of the week: orden

orden NOUN order

There are a few weasel words in Spanish which have two genders, each with a distinct meaning. With the feminine article, la orden, una orden and so forth, orden means order in the sense of ‘command’.

Dio la orden de disparar. He gave the order to fire.
El presidente firmó una orden. The President signed an order.

In most Latin American countries la orden, una orden and so forth, also mean order in the sense of ‘request’.

El mesero tomó nota de mi orden. The waiter took down my order.

With the masculine article, el orden, un orden and so forth, it means order in the sense of ‘sequence’.

una lista en orden alfabético a list in alphabetical order
La exposición sigue un orden cronológico. The exhibition is arranged in chronological order.

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