Spanish word of the week: sombra

la sombra NOUN shadow; shade

Sombra covers two separate meanings in English. It can refer both to a shadow and to being in the shade.

Lo único que veía era mi sombra. All I could see was my shadow.

When it means shade it’s often used in the phrase a la sombra:

Hacía 30 grados a la sombra. It was 30 degrees in the shade.
Prefiero sentarme a la sombra, para que el sol no me dé en la cara. I prefer sitting in the shade so that the sun doesn’t shine in my face.

In its other meaning of shadow, sombra is often used metaphorically:

la alargada sombra de la Mafia the long shadow of the Mafia
Solo Picasso fue capaz de hacerle sombra. Only Picasso was capable of overshadowing him.

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