él tiene cuarenta y pico años

MecklyBver

Member
Spanish
Hi everybody. i would like to know how to talk doubtfully or talking roughly about something, as the title of this thread says because everybody sometime has been blank so I would like how to express those situations in English.
I mean for example how to say "El dijo no se qué de un tal pepe no se cuanta, que ha estado en no sé donde" or" él tiene cuanreta y pico años "or"hay no se cuantas cajas ahí"..etc
I hope everybody can understand what I mean and you all can lend me a hand.
 
  • SFO

    Senior Member
    English (USA/New Zealand)
    One of my friends in Argentina had this same trouble with me when we were talking in English and I was expressing doubt by intonation - which is very commonly used in spoken English. (Using a rising tone to indicate that is like a question).

    Also starting sentences with "maybe", "perhaps", etc.

    Saludos!
     

    panorama

    Senior Member
    English & español / EE. UU.
    It varies, but usually the English construction of "vagueness" in casual speech is similar to Spanish.

    Esta construcción es menos frecuente en inglés, pero sí existe. A veces lo de "no sé" puede remplazarse con "I don't know" y "tal" con "some."

    El dijo no se qué de un tal Pepe =
    He said I don't know what about some guy.

    Sería más natural usar la palabra "something" en muchos contextos para "no sé qué". He said something about some guy.

    Cuando se usa un nombre universal como "Pepe" o "Fulanito", no se especifica ningún nombre en inglés. Para indicar que no se sabe o se le olvida el nombre de una persona, se puede decir; "some guy, some woman, etc."

    Existen ciertas frases hechas en inglés con "nombres universales", pero son dichos y no es común emplear esos nombres solos en el léxico corriente.
     

    SFO

    Senior Member
    English (USA/New Zealand)
    A universal name in English for a guy might be "John Doe" - Like when the police find a murdered guy without any identification, that's how he would be referred to. A female would be referred to as "Jane Doe".
     

    Eride

    Senior Member
    España (Español)
    A universal name in English for a guy might be "John Doe" - Like when the police find a murdered guy without any identification, that's how he would be referred to. A female would be referred to as "Jane Doe".
    En España hay varios equivalentes: Juanito de los Palotes, Fulanito, Menganito... Pero John y Jane Doe no pueden ser utilizados tal y como quiere hacerlo MecklyBver.

    Yo alguna vez he oído esto en la tele, pero no sé si es correcto:

    ¿Y ese tal Pepe quien es?: And who is this Pepe person?
    Un tal Pepe ha estado aquí: Some Pepe guy has been here.

    También puedes repetir mucho somewhere, somehow y something para reforzar la incertidumbre.
     

    mariposita

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Hi everybody. i would like to know how to talk doubtfully or talking roughly about something, as the title of this thread says because everybody sometime has been blank so I would like how to express those situations in English.
    I mean for example how to say "El dijo no se qué de un tal pepe no se cuanta, que ha estado en no sé donde" or" él tiene cuanreta y pico años "or"hay no se cuantas cajas ahí"..etc
    I hope everybody can understand what I mean and you all can lend me a hand.
    Here are some ideas for you--though it would depend a bit on the tone and context:

    El dijo no se qué
    He said something (or other)...
    He said whatever...
    He said who knows what...

    de un tal pepe
    about some (random) guy

    que ha estado en no sé donde"
    who's been who knows where
    who's been somewhere (or other)
    who's been wherever


    él tiene cuarenta y pico años
    He's forty something (years old)
    He's around forty years old.
    He's about forty years old.

    hay no sé cuantas cajas
    there are who knows how many boxes
     

    SFO

    Senior Member
    English (USA/New Zealand)
    Ah, yes, forgot that one. I think we use -ish quite a bit for approximations, though I can't think of many examples at the moment.

    Let's meet around five-ish.
    I'd say he was around five foot six-ish.
    I hear the -ish endings much more from my friends who speak BE. Maybe because they're always late ;)
     

    piripi

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    ¡Hola! Me gustan mucho las sugerencias de SFO, panorama, Eride, y mariposita. Aquí te dejo algunas opciones más:

    Some words you may hear in colloquial speech…
    …when you can’t remember the name of a thing: whatchamacallit, thingamabob, thingamajig
    …when you can’t remember the name of a person: whatshisname/whatshername, whatshisface/whatsherface (slightly rude)

    Example:
    A: Did you bring the whatchamacallit for whatshisname?
    B: No. I called whatsherface and she told me that they still have to put the thingamajig on it, so we can’t pick it up until Monday. :D

    Espero que te sirva. Saluditos.
     

    piripi

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    One more to add to the list: such-and-such (with or without hyphens) can be used to describe an indeterminate place, time, thing, etc.

    Example:
    A: Call John and let him know that you’re going to meet at such-and-such (a) place on such-and-such (a) day at such-and-such (a) time.

    Saluditos. :)

    PD: SFO, thanks for reminding me of the word "bozo." I haven’t used this word nearly enough in recent years. :D
     

    mariposita

    Senior Member
    US, English
    One more to add to the list: such-and-such (with or without hyphens) can be used to describe an indeterminate place, time, thing, etc.

    Example:
    A: Call John and let him know that you’re going to meet at such-and-such (a) place on such-and-such (a) day at such-and-such (a) time.

    Saluditos. :)

    PD: SFO, thanks for reminding me of the word "bozo." I haven’t used this word nearly enough in recent years. :D
    Along the same lines, there is also so-and-so...

    I was wondering what you thought about what so-and-so said about such-and-such and so on and so forth....
     
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