Spanish words: “Igual…”, “mismo…”

igual spanish words 1

“Igual” is a Spanish word that it’s commonly used to talk about similarities or equality.

For that reason, it is often used in daily conversations where we compare two objects, people, or events. However, it has many other uses and combine with other Spanish words, can even help us be more polite.

Many Spanish students face a challenge when understanding how to use “igual” because we often use it in the same way as “mismo”.

So, if you want to clear your mind and get better at speaking Spanish, don’t miss out on this article. Here, we will show you how to use “igual” and what’s the difference between igual and mismo.

 How to use “igual”

“Igual” is a Spanish word that we can use as an adjective, adverbial, or noun.

Different from many other adjectives, its ending does not change depending on the noun’s gender. However, it will change depending on if we are using a singular or plural noun. The plural form of “igual” is “iguales”.

When using “igual” as an adjective, it may also have several meanings. First, when we want to say that two things are indistinguishable.

We coil also use “igual” in maths, for example, to say that one expression is equal to a number, or when two things are just similar.

In a sports context, we can use “igual” to say that a match is tied. In some other situations, we can use “igual” as an equivalent to “even”, “constant”, or “steady”.

Let’s see some examples for each case below:

¡Ustedes son iguales! ¿Son gemelos?

You look the same! Are you twins?

En esta casa, todos somos iguales. Por lo tanto, hay que cooperar con los deberes.

In this house, we are all equal. Therefore, you have to cooperate with home duties.

Me gustaría comprar una cartera igual que la tuya.

I would like to buy a bag just like yours.

La raíz cuadrada de nueve es igual a tres.

The square root of nine is equal to three.

La temperatura en Miami estará igual toda la semana.

The temperature in Miami will be the same all week.

Nadal recuperó el punto con el saque y se puso 30 iguales.

Nadal recovered the point with the serve and got 30 equals.

We can use “igual” as an adverbial. In that scenario, it can mean “in the same way”, “possibly”, or “anyway” depending on the context. Still, using it to express “possibly” or “anyway” is less common.

Let’s have a look at the following examples:

A mis hijas les gusta vestirse igual.

My daughters like to dress the same.

No importa lo que pase. Yo igual te acompaño.

It does not matter what happens. I’m still with you.

A pesar de que Rafael pidió disculpas, la maestra igual lo castigó.

Although Rafael apologized, the teacher still punished him.

Finally, we could use “igual” as a noun. And, even though it isn’t typical in almost any context, native speakers sometimes use it.

Here are a few examples:

Deberías de usar un signo de “mayor que” en vez de un signo de “igual”.

You should use a “greater than” sign instead of an “equal” sign.

A Carlos le preocupaba mucho la opinión de sus iguales.

Carlos was very concerned about the opinion of his peers.

“Igual” + “que”

(“Igual” + “que”) is a Spanish structure we use when making comparisons. So, if you want to compare something using “igual”, you should use this structure. This expression is used in a similar way to (“mismo” + “que”).

We can use “igual que” to compare physical features, personalities, appearances, or events.

Let’s see the examples listed below:

Mi mamá es igual que tu mamá. A las dos les gusta viajar.

My mom is just like your mom. They both like to travel.

Muchas personas creen que comprar por internet es igual que comprar en la tienda.

Many people believe that shopping online is the same as shopping in a store.

Mi carro es igual que el tuyo. Los dos son de color azul.

My car is the same as yours. They are both blue.

Please note that if you need to place a verb right after “igual que”, it should be in the infinitive form.

On the other hand, using “igual que” helps us make comparisons but does not provide specific details about it. So, if you need to give more details, you will need to add that extra information.

“Igual” + “de”

(“Igual” + “de”) is a Spanish structure we use also to make comparisons. After all, we frequently use it together with “que”. Different from just “igual que”, “igual de” helps us provide specific information about what we are comparing.

Therefore, the formula we generally use is the following:

“Igual de” + adjective/adverbial + “que”

Please note that we could use adjectives that describe physical features or adjectives that describe any other feature. With adverbials, we would do just the same.

Here are some examples:

Marta es igual de bonita que Sofía

Marta is just as pretty as Sofía

Carlos corre igual de rápido que Martin.

Carlos runs just as fast as Martin.

Mi casa es igual de grande que tu casa.

My house is as big as your house.

Ni Juan ni yo somos igual de fuertes que Sebastián.

Neither Juan nor I are as strong as Sebastián.

Me siento igual de cansado que tú.

I feel just as tired as you.

Since we are making comparisons, there should be at least two subjects in the sentence. If there aren’t at least two explicit subjects. Then, one of them should be implicit in the context. Otherwise, we can’t use this structure as we will end up misusing it.

“Igual” vs “mismo”

It’s not surprising that “igual” and “mismo” are used similarly. Yet, there are a few things you should know to learn how to establish a difference.

First, when using “mismo”, we always have to use a definite article. With “igual”, an article isn’t necessary.

“Igual” is a word that will only change to “iguales” if we use a plural noun but it doesn’t vary depending on the noun’s gender. On the flip side, “mismo” will change depending not only on the quantity of the noun but also depending on its gender.

If you want to talk about literal sameness, you can only use “lo mismo” as it’s the direct translation of the same. Keep in mind that “igual” translates to “equal” according to most dictionaries and translation tools.

Spanish strange words

In summary, you can use “igual” as an adjective, a noun, and an adverbial. Also, the structure “igual que” will help you make simple comparisons.

Likewise, (“igual” + “de”) will help you make comparisons but with some extra information which can be important in many situations. Almost 80% of the time, we can use “mismo” and “igual” interchangeably.

So, apart from what we have told you today, don’t sweat it. Above all, in some cases “dará igual”.

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