How Do You Say “Delayed” In Spanish?

Learning a new language can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. Whether you’re looking to expand your career opportunities or just want to immerse yourself in a new culture, mastering a foreign language can open up a world of possibilities. In this article, we’ll explore how to say “delayed” in Spanish, a useful term to know if you’re traveling to a Spanish-speaking country or communicating with Spanish speakers.

The Spanish word for delayed is “retrasado”. This term is commonly used in a variety of contexts, from transportation delays to delayed payments. Knowing how to use this word correctly can help you navigate everyday situations with ease.

How Do You Pronounce The Spanish Word For “Delayed”?

Learning to properly pronounce a foreign language can be a daunting task, but it’s essential if you want to communicate effectively with native speakers. In this section, we will explore how to correctly pronounce the Spanish word for “delayed.”

Phonetic Breakdown

The Spanish word for “delayed” is “retrasado.” Here is the phonetic breakdown:

Letter(s) Pronunciation
r trilled “r” sound, similar to the sound of a purring cat
e short “e” sound, like the “e” in “pet”
t hard “t” sound, like the “t” in “top”
r trilled “r” sound
a short “a” sound, like the “a” in “cat”
s soft “s” sound, like the “s” in “pleasure”
a short “a” sound
d soft “d” sound, like the “d” in “ladder”
o short “o” sound, like the “o” in “hot”

Tips For Pronunciation

Now that you have a better understanding of the phonetic breakdown of “retrasado,” here are some tips to help you pronounce it correctly:

  • Practice rolling your “r” sound, as this is a common sound in Spanish.
  • Make sure to emphasize the first syllable, as this is where the stress falls in the word.
  • Pay attention to the “d” sound at the end of the word. In Spanish, this sound is often softer than in English.

By following these tips and practicing the phonetic breakdown, you will be well on your way to pronouncing “retrasado” like a native Spanish speaker!

Proper Grammatical Use Of The Spanish Word For “Delayed”

When communicating in a foreign language, it is crucial to have a solid understanding of proper grammar. This is especially true when using words like “delayed” in Spanish, where improper usage can lead to confusion or miscommunication.

Placement Of Delayed In Sentences

The Spanish word for “delayed” is “retrasado”, which is commonly used as an adjective to describe a delayed object or event. In Spanish, adjectives typically come after the noun they describe, so “retrasado” would follow the noun in a sentence. For example:

  • El vuelo está retrasado. (The flight is delayed.)
  • La entrega se ha retrasado. (The delivery has been delayed.)

It is important to note that, unlike in English, the verb “to be” (estar) is used to describe delays in Spanish. This is because delays are considered temporary states rather than permanent characteristics.

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

When using “retrasado” in a sentence, it is important to ensure that the verb is conjugated correctly to match the subject. For example:

  • Estoy retrasado. (I am delayed.)
  • Estamos retrasados. (We are delayed.)
  • El vuelo está retrasado. (The flight is delayed.)
  • Los trenes están retrasados. (The trains are delayed.)

Depending on the context, different verb tenses may also be used. For example, the present tense is commonly used to describe current delays, while the past tense is used to describe delays that have already occurred. The future tense can be used to describe delays that are expected to happen.

Agreement With Gender And Number

In Spanish, adjectives must agree with the gender and number of the noun they describe. For example, “retrasado” would be “retrasada” if describing a feminine noun, and “retrasados” if describing a plural noun.

  • El vuelo está retrasado. (The flight is delayed.)
  • La entrega está retrasada. (The delivery is delayed.)
  • Los vuelos están retrasados. (The flights are delayed.)
  • Las entregas están retrasadas. (The deliveries are delayed.)

Common Exceptions

As with any language, there are some exceptions to the rules when using “retrasado” in Spanish. For example, when describing a delayed person, the adjective “atrasado” is often used instead of “retrasado”. Additionally, in some regions of Spain, the word “retraso” is used as a noun instead of an adjective to describe a delay.

By understanding the proper grammatical use of “retrasado” in Spanish, you can effectively communicate delays and avoid confusion or miscommunication.

Examples Of Phrases Using The Spanish Word For “Delayed”

When traveling or communicating with Spanish speakers, it’s important to know how to express the concept of “delayed.” Here are some common phrases that include the Spanish word for “delayed” and how they are used in sentences:

Examples And Explanations

  • Retrasado: This is the most common word for “delayed” in Spanish. It can be used to describe anything that is running behind schedule, such as a flight, a train, or a package. Here are some examples:
    • El vuelo está retrasado. (The flight is delayed.)
    • El tren está retrasado por una hora. (The train is delayed by an hour.)
    • El paquete está retrasado en la entrega. (The package is delayed in delivery.)
  • Tardar: This verb means “to take a long time” or “to be slow” and can be used to describe a delay in a process or action. Here are some examples:
    • La reparación tardará dos días. (The repair will take two days.)
    • El proyecto está tardando más de lo esperado. (The project is taking longer than expected.)
  • Atrasado: This word is similar to “retrasado” but is used more often to describe a person who is running late or behind schedule. Here are some examples:
    • Lo siento, estoy atrasado para la reunión. (Sorry, I’m running late for the meeting.)
    • El profesor llegó atrasado a la clase. (The teacher arrived late to the class.)

Example Spanish Dialogue

Here are some examples of how the word “retrasado” might be used in a conversation:

Spanish English Translation
¿Por qué estás tan estresado? Why are you so stressed?
Es que mi vuelo está retrasado y no sé si llegaré a tiempo. It’s because my flight is delayed and I don’t know if I’ll arrive on time.
Tranquilo, si llegas tarde les dices que el vuelo estaba retrasado. Relax, if you arrive late, tell them that the flight was delayed.

As you can see, knowing how to express “delayed” in Spanish can be useful in a variety of situations. Practice using these phrases in context to improve your communication skills with Spanish speakers.

More Contextual Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Delayed”

When it comes to learning a new language, it’s not just about knowing the words and their translations. It’s also important to understand how these words are used in different contexts. In this section, we’ll explore the various uses of the Spanish word for “delayed”.

Formal Usage Of Delayed

In formal situations, it’s important to use the appropriate language. The Spanish word for “delayed” is “retrasado”, and it’s commonly used in formal settings such as business meetings and official communications. For example:

  • La entrega del proyecto se ha retrasado debido a un problema técnico. (The project delivery has been delayed due to a technical issue.)
  • El vuelo ha sido retrasado por mal tiempo. (The flight has been delayed due to bad weather.)

Informal Usage Of Delayed

Just like in English, there are also informal ways of saying “delayed” in Spanish. One of the most common informal words for “delayed” is “atrasado”. This word is often used in everyday conversations and is less formal than “retrasado”. For example:

  • Lo siento, llegué atrasado a la reunión. (I’m sorry, I arrived late to the meeting.)
  • El tren está atrasado por un problema en la vía. (The train is delayed due to an issue on the track.)

Other Contexts

Aside from formal and informal usage, there are also other contexts in which the Spanish word for “delayed” can be used. For example:

  • Slang: In some regions of Spain, “retrasado” can be used as a slang term to refer to someone who is mentally challenged. However, it’s important to note that this usage is considered offensive and should be avoided.
  • Idiomatic expressions: There are also idiomatic expressions that use the word “delayed” in Spanish. For example, “estar retrasado en los pagos” means “to be behind on payments”.
  • Cultural/historical uses: In some contexts, the word “delayed” can have a cultural or historical significance. For example, in the context of the Spanish Civil War, “retrasado” was used to refer to soldiers who were left behind or delayed in their movements.

Popular Cultural Usage

Finally, it’s worth noting any popular cultural usage of the Spanish word for “delayed”. While there may not be a specific example related to “delayed”, there are certainly words and phrases that have become popularized through music, movies, and other forms of media. For example, the phrase “¡No me digas!” (Don’t tell me!) has become a popular catchphrase in Spanish-speaking countries, thanks in part to its use in telenovelas and other TV shows.

Regional Variations Of The Spanish Word For “Delayed”

Just like any other language, Spanish has its own regional variations, which can influence vocabulary, pronunciation, and even grammar. When it comes to the Spanish word for “delayed,” there are some differences you should be aware of, depending on the Spanish-speaking country you are in or interacting with.

How The Spanish Word For Delayed Is Used In Different Spanish-speaking Countries

In general, the Spanish word for “delayed” is “retrasado,” which comes from the verb “retrasar,” meaning “to delay.” However, in some Spanish-speaking countries, other words may be used instead of “retrasado,” or “retrasado” may have a different connotation.

For example, in Mexico, “retrasado” is the most common word for “delayed,” but “atrasado” can also be used in some contexts. In Argentina, “retrasado” can also mean “mentally challenged,” so the word “demorado” is preferred to avoid confusion. In Chile, “atrasado” is the most common word for “delayed,” while “retrasado” is less used and may have a negative connotation.

When traveling or communicating with Spanish speakers from different countries, it’s important to be aware of these differences to avoid misunderstandings.

Regional Pronunciations

Regional variations also affect the pronunciation of the Spanish word for “delayed.” While the basic sound of “retrasado” is the same across all Spanish-speaking countries, the intonation and stress may vary.

For example, in Spain, the stress is on the second syllable, so it sounds like “re-tra-SA-do,” while in Mexico, the stress is on the third syllable, so it sounds like “re-tra-sa-DO.” In Argentina, the stress is on the first syllable, so it sounds like “re-TRA-sa-do.”

These differences may seem subtle, but they can make a difference in how well you are understood by native Spanish speakers. Paying attention to regional variations can help you communicate more effectively and avoid confusion.

Other Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Delayed” In Speaking & Writing

While “delayed” in Spanish typically refers to a situation where something is running behind schedule, it can also have other meanings depending on the context in which it is used. In order to avoid confusion, it is important to understand the various ways in which this word can be utilized in both spoken and written Spanish.

Examples Of Different Uses Of “Delayed” In Spanish

  • Retrasado/a: This is the most common use of the word “delayed” in Spanish. It refers to a situation where something is running behind schedule or is late. For example, “El vuelo está retrasado” means “The flight is delayed.”
  • Atrasado/a: While similar to “retrasado/a,” this word typically has a more negative connotation. It can be used to describe something that is not only delayed, but also behind in terms of progress or development. For example, “El proyecto está atrasado” means “The project is behind schedule.”
  • Diferido/a: This word is often used in the context of television shows or events that are broadcast at a later time than originally planned. For example, “La transmisión del partido fue diferida” means “The broadcast of the game was delayed.”
  • Postergado/a: Similar to “atrasado/a,” this word can be used to describe something that has been delayed or postponed. However, it typically implies that the delay or postponement was intentional or planned. For example, “La reunión fue postergada para la próxima semana” means “The meeting was postponed until next week.”

By understanding these different uses of the word “delayed” in Spanish, you can avoid confusion and ensure that you are using the correct term in the appropriate context. Whether you are speaking with native Spanish speakers or writing in Spanish, it is important to be familiar with these nuances in order to effectively communicate your message.

Common Words And Phrases Similar To The Spanish Word For “Delayed”

When it comes to expressing the concept of “delayed” in Spanish, there are several words and phrases that can be used interchangeably, depending on the context and the level of formality. Here are some of the most common ones:

1. Retrasado

This is the most straightforward translation of “delayed” in Spanish. It is an adjective that can be applied to anything that has been postponed or slowed down. For example:

  • El vuelo está retrasado – The flight is delayed
  • La entrega se ha retrasado – The delivery has been delayed
  • El proyecto va retrasado – The project is behind schedule

Note that retrasado does not have any connotation of intentionality or blame, it simply describes a situation where something has not happened as planned.

2. Demorado

Demorado is another adjective that can be used to convey the same meaning as retrasado, but it is less common and more formal. It is often used in legal or administrative contexts, such as:

  • El proceso está demorado – The process is delayed
  • La respuesta se ha demorado más de lo esperado – The response has been delayed more than expected
  • El trámite está demorado por falta de documentación – The procedure is delayed due to lack of documentation

Demorado can also be used as a noun, meaning “delay” or “lateness”.

3. Atrasado

Atrasado is a more general term that can be used to describe anything that is behind schedule or overdue, not just things that have been delayed. It can also mean “backward” or “outdated”. Examples of its use are:

  • El pago está atrasado – The payment is overdue
  • El proyecto está atrasado desde el principio – The project has been behind schedule from the start
  • El sistema está atrasado en comparación con la competencia – The system is outdated compared to the competition

It is worth noting that atrasado can also be used as a slang term for “hungover”, so the context is important.

4. Antonyms

Antonyms are words that have the opposite meaning of another word. In the case of “delayed”, some common antonyms in Spanish are:

  • Temprano – Early
  • Puntual – On time
  • Adelantado – Ahead of schedule
  • Rápido – Fast

These words can be used to contrast a situation where something is delayed, for example:

  • El tren llegó temprano – The train arrived early
  • La entrega fue puntual – The delivery was on time
  • El proyecto fue adelantado gracias a la eficiencia del equipo – The project was ahead of schedule thanks to the efficiency of the team
  • La respuesta fue rápida y precisa – The response was fast and accurate

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The Spanish Word For “Delayed”

When it comes to using the Spanish word for “delayed,” many non-native speakers make common mistakes that can cause confusion. One such mistake is using the word “retrasado” instead of “retrasada” when referring to a feminine noun. This error can change the meaning of a sentence and lead to misunderstandings.

Another common mistake is using the word “tardado” instead of “retrasado.” While “tardado” is a word in Spanish, it does not mean “delayed.” Instead, it means “slow” or “sluggish.” This mistake can also cause confusion and lead to misunderstandings.


After reading this blog post, you should now have a clear understanding of how to say “delayed” in Spanish. Here are the key points to recap:

Key Points

  • The most common translation for “delayed” in Spanish is “retrasado.”
  • Other translations for “delayed” include “aplazado,” “pospuesto,” and “demorado.”
  • The context of the sentence will determine which translation of “delayed” to use.
  • It’s important to practice using these words in real-life conversations to improve your Spanish skills.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll become with using these words in context. Remember that learning a new language takes time and effort, but the rewards are worth it.

So go out there and start using “retrasado,” “aplazado,” “pospuesto,” and “demorado” in your conversations. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll start to improve your Spanish skills!

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority and He’s a seasoned innovator, harnessing the power of technology to connect cultures through language. His worse translation though is when he refers to “pancakes” as “flat waffles”.