descomponer and romper

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Onion Patch, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Onion Patch

    Onion Patch Senior Member

    United States - KY
    English (US)
    Is there a difference between descomponer and romper when talking about something being broken? I have always thought of the word 'romper' first when thinking about something broken but I have noticed that is several episodes of a Mexican TV show that I like, descomponer is often used. In one example a car was broken down and in the other a woman threw a remote at a TV and messed it up. Each time the characters used descomponer to describe the now defunct state of the car and TV.

    I was just curious if its a regional thing or if they are completely interchangeable.

  2. Cal inhibes Senior Member

    El verbo adecuado es descomponerse o dañarse. Romperse es un calco del inglés break. No es adecuado decir de un aparato que se rompió, cuando en realidad no tiene nada roto.
  3. hubert145 Member

    Buenos Aires
    En Argentina decimos "romper" todo el tiempo, "se me rompió el/la X"...
  4. machokrap Senior Member

    Spanish (Venezuela, Chile)
    "Romper/roto" has been discussed a few times recently. It seems that in most countries "roto" is not used in this context, and it sounds (as Cal says) like an anglicism, a bad translation from English.

    Based on forum replies, in some regions of Spain and Argentina and Uruguay it is used the same way as in English. I was really shocked by this:eek:, but hey you have to accept some people use it.
    The problem is that this usage is not recorded on most dictionaries (not even the DRAE) and the house dictionary has it for Spain only.
    If you are interested in Mexican Spanish (or most types of Spanish) I would say: forget about it.

    Normally you can use "romper/roto" for a glass for example, but not for something that's stopped working.
  5. roxcyn

    roxcyn Senior Member

    American English [AmE]
    Por favor, recuerda buscar en el diccionario WR, fíjate:
  6. Julvenzor

    Julvenzor Senior Member

    Español propio (Andalucía, España)
    "Estropear" or "averiarse" are the verbs I use when expressing that something stops working. "Romper" sounds like an anglicism and "descomponer" is used around here for living material.

    A pleasure.
  7. Sergiotcj Senior Member

    Español de España
    When something is broken down and doesn't work properly or at all, we use the word "averiarse" or "estropearse" in European Spanish. I think this is the same case in which they use "descomponerse" in Mexican Spanish and maybe in other countries.
    I'd say that "Se ha roto la tele" sounds like children language in Spain.
  8. Onion Patch

    Onion Patch Senior Member

    United States - KY
    English (US)
    Gracias a todos por la ayuda. Hoy aprendí algo nuevo.
  9. nelliot53

    nelliot53 Senior Member

    Puerto Rico
    Spanish-[PR]; English-[US]
    Here in PR we mostly "dañado" when something doesn't work, and then "roto" to refer whatever it is that doesn't allow it to work. For example, "Tengo el carro dañado, tiene roto el alternador." ( My car doesn't work, its alternator is broken.

    Oh, maybe am late!
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  10. hubert145 Member

    Buenos Aires
    ¿Quién dice que sea un anglicismo? :confused: De uso regional seguro, pero anglicismo no lo creo, 'noquear', 'parking' y tantos otros sí lo son, o el más famoso de todos 'fútbol', en Argentina nadie dice 'se averió', pero eso no lo hace menos legítimo. (y también sería "children language" acá).
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2015
  11. EddieZumac

    EddieZumac Senior Member

    Mexico City
    Según DRAE:
    romper. (Del lat. rumpĕre).
    1. tr. Separar con más o menos violencia las partes de un todo, deshaciendo su unión. U. t. c. prnl.
    2. tr. Quebrar o hacer pedazos algo. U. t. c. prnl.
    3. tr. Gastar, destrozar. U. t. c. prnl.

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