How Do You Say “Failing” In Spanish?

Spanish is a beautiful language that is spoken by millions of people all around the world. It is a language that is rich in history and culture, and it is no wonder why so many people are interested in learning it. Whether you are learning Spanish for personal or professional reasons, it is important to have a good grasp on the language. One aspect of learning a language is understanding how to express different emotions and situations. In this article, we will explore how to say “failing” in Spanish.

The Spanish translation of “failing” is “fracasar”. This word is commonly used to describe the act of not succeeding or achieving a goal. It can be used in a variety of contexts, such as failing a test, failing to meet a deadline, or failing to accomplish a task. Knowing this word can be helpful in communicating your thoughts and feelings, especially when it comes to discussing your successes and failures.

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

Learning a new language can be daunting, especially when it comes to pronouncing words correctly. If you’re looking to learn how to properly pronounce the Spanish word for “failing,” you’ve come to the right place.

Phonetic Breakdown

The Spanish word for “failing” is “fallar.” It is pronounced as “fah-yar” with the emphasis on the second syllable. Here’s a phonetic breakdown of the word:

Letter(s) Pronunciation
F fah
A ah
LL yar
A ah
R r (rolled)

Tips For Pronunciation

  • Practice the word slowly at first, breaking it down syllable by syllable.
  • Focus on the “yar” sound, which is unique to the Spanish language and can take some getting used to.
  • Listen to native Spanish speakers pronounce the word and try to mimic their pronunciation.
  • Use online resources, such as pronunciation guides or language apps, to help you perfect your pronunciation.

With a little practice and dedication, you can learn to pronounce the Spanish word for “failing” like a pro.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The Spanish Word For “Failing”

Grammar is a crucial aspect of any language, and Spanish is no exception. Proper use of grammar is essential to convey the intended meaning of a sentence. When it comes to using the Spanish word for “failing,” it is important to understand its grammatical usage to avoid any confusion or miscommunication.

Placement Of Failing In Sentences

The Spanish word for “failing” is “fracaso.” In a sentence, “fracaso” can be used as a noun or a verb.

  • As a noun: “El fracaso fue inevitable” (The failure was inevitable)
  • As a verb: “No quiero fracasar” (I don’t want to fail)

It is important to note that in Spanish, the word order in a sentence is not as strict as in English. However, the placement of “fracaso” in a sentence can affect its meaning and emphasis. For example:

  • “El fracaso del proyecto” (The failure of the project) emphasizes the project as the subject.
  • “El proyecto fue un fracaso” (The project was a failure) emphasizes the failure as the subject.

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

When using “fracaso” as a verb, it is important to understand verb conjugations and tenses. The verb “fracasar” is a regular -ar verb, which means it follows the same conjugation pattern as other -ar verbs.

Here is the present tense conjugation of “fracasar”:

Person Conjugation
Yo fracaso
Él/Ella/Usted fracasa
Nosotros/Nosotras fracasamos
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes fracasan

It is important to use the correct verb tense to convey the intended meaning. For example, “fracasé” means “I failed” in the past tense, while “fracasaré” means “I will fail” in the future tense.

Agreement With Gender And Number

In Spanish, nouns and adjectives must agree with the gender and number of the subject. This means that if the subject is feminine and singular, the adjective or noun must also be feminine and singular.

When using “fracaso” as a noun, it is important to use the correct gender and number agreement. For example:

  • “El fracaso del proyecto” (The failure of the project) uses the masculine singular form of “fracaso.”
  • “La fracasa de la empresa” (The failure of the company) uses the feminine singular form of “fracaso.”

Common Exceptions

As with any language, there are exceptions to the rules. One common exception when using “fracaso” is when referring to a person. In this case, the word “fracasado” is used instead of “fracaso.” For example:

  • “Juan es un fracasado” (Juan is a failure) uses the masculine singular form of “fracasado.”
  • “María es una fracasada” (María is a failure) uses the feminine singular form of “fracasado.”

It is important to be aware of these exceptions to avoid any confusion or incorrect usage.

Examples Of Phrases Using The Spanish Word For “Failing”

When learning a new language, it’s important to understand how to express the concept of failure. In Spanish, there are several phrases that can be used to convey this meaning. Below are some common phrases that include the word for “failing” and how they are used in sentences.

Examples And Explanation

Phrase Translation Usage
fracasar en algo to fail at something Él fracasó en su examen de matemáticas. (He failed his math exam.)
fallar to fail El motor del coche falló y tuvimos que llamar a un mecánico. (The car engine failed and we had to call a mechanic.)
no pasar to not pass Ella no pasó el examen de conducir. (She did not pass the driving test.)
no funcionar to not work El plan de negocios no funcionó y tuvieron que cerrar la empresa. (The business plan did not work and they had to close the company.)

As you can see, these phrases are used in a variety of contexts to express different types of failure. Whether it’s failing an exam, a machine failing to work, or a business plan failing to succeed, there are many ways to use these phrases in everyday conversation.

Example Spanish Dialogue

Here’s an example conversation in Spanish that includes the word for “failing” in different contexts:

Persona 1: ¿Cómo te fue en el examen de historia?

Persona 2: Fracasé en el examen. No estudié lo suficiente.

Persona 1: Lo siento mucho. ¿Y qué pasó con la presentación de tu proyecto?

Persona 2: Fallé en mi intento de presentar el proyecto porque la computadora no funcionaba.

Persona 1: ¡Qué mala suerte! Espero que puedas arreglar la computadora pronto.


Person 1: How did your history exam go?

Person 2: I failed the exam. I didn’t study enough.

Person 1: I’m so sorry. And what happened with your project presentation?

Person 2: I failed in my attempt to present the project because the computer wasn’t working.

Person 1: What bad luck! I hope you can fix the computer soon.

More Contextual Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Failing”

When it comes to the Spanish word for “failing,” there are various contexts in which it can be used. In this section, we’ll explore some of the different ways in which the word is used in Spanish, from formal to informal settings, as well as other unique contexts.

Formal Usage Of Failing

In formal contexts, the Spanish word for “failing” is often used in a more serious and professional manner. This could include situations such as academic settings, job evaluations, or legal proceedings.

For example, if a student is not performing well in school, a teacher might use the word “fracaso” to describe their failing grades. Similarly, in a legal context, a judge might use the word to describe a defendant’s failure to comply with a court order.

Informal Usage Of Failing

On the other hand, in informal settings, the Spanish word for “failing” can take on a more casual or colloquial tone. This could include conversations with friends or family, or even in online discussions.

For instance, someone might use the word “fracaso” to describe a failed attempt at cooking a complicated dish, or a failed attempt at learning a new skill. In these contexts, the word is often used more lightheartedly, and may not carry the same weight as it would in a more formal setting.

Other Contexts

Aside from formal and informal settings, there are also other unique contexts in which the Spanish word for “failing” might be used. These could include slang terms, idiomatic expressions, or cultural and historical references.

For example, in some Latin American countries, the word “chancear” is used as slang for “failing.” This word is derived from the English word “chance,” and is often used in a humorous or ironic sense.

Additionally, there are many idiomatic expressions in Spanish that use the word “fracaso” to describe various situations. For example, the expression “fracaso estrepitoso” (which roughly translates to “spectacular failure”) is often used to describe a failure that is particularly noteworthy or memorable.

Popular Cultural Usage

Finally, it’s worth noting that there are many examples of popular cultural usage of the Spanish word for “failing.” This could include its use in movies, TV shows, music, or other forms of media.

For instance, in the popular Netflix series “Narcos,” the word “fracaso” is used frequently to describe the various failed attempts by law enforcement to capture drug lord Pablo Escobar. In this context, the word takes on a more serious and dramatic tone, underscoring the high stakes of the situation.

Overall, the Spanish word for “failing” has a wide range of uses and contexts, from formal to informal, slang to idiomatic expressions, and beyond. Understanding these different contexts can help you use the word more effectively and appropriately in your own conversations and writing.

Regional Variations Of The Spanish Word For “Failing”

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, with over 580 million speakers worldwide. However, depending on the region, the Spanish language can vary in vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar. This is why it is essential to understand regional variations when communicating in Spanish.

Spanish Word For “Failing” In Different Spanish-speaking Countries

The word for “failing” in Spanish is “fracaso.” However, this word can have different meanings and connotations depending on the country or region where it is used.

In Spain, “fracaso” is commonly used to describe a failure or a setback. However, in some Latin American countries, such as Mexico, “fracaso” can also be used to describe a person who is a failure or a loser.

In some Latin American countries, such as Argentina, the word “fracaso” is not commonly used. Instead, they use the word “fracasar” or “fallar” to describe failure. In other countries, such as Chile and Uruguay, the word “fracaso” is used interchangeably with “fracasar.”

Regional Pronunciations

Just like the vocabulary, the pronunciation of “fracaso” can also vary depending on the region. In Spain, the “c” in “fracaso” is pronounced as a “th” sound, while in Latin America, it is pronounced as an “s” sound.

Additionally, some Latin American countries have their own unique pronunciation of “fracaso.” For example, in Mexico, the “c” in “fracaso” is pronounced as an “h” sound, making it sound like “frah-ah-so.” In Argentina, the “s” in “fracaso” is pronounced as a “sh” sound, making it sound like “frash-ah-so.”

It is essential to understand these regional variations in pronunciation to communicate effectively with Spanish speakers from different regions.

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

While the word “failing” in Spanish, “fracaso,” is most commonly associated with academic or professional setbacks, it is important to note that the word can have different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Understanding these various uses can help avoid confusion and miscommunication.

1. Personal Failures

One common use of “fracaso” is to describe personal failures or shortcomings. This can refer to anything from a failed relationship to a missed opportunity. In this context, “fracaso” is often used to express regret or disappointment.

For example, “Mi matrimonio fue un fracaso” translates to “My marriage was a failure.”

2. Technical Malfunctions

In certain technical contexts, “fracaso” may refer to a malfunction or breakdown. This can apply to anything from a malfunctioning car engine to a computer program that crashes. In this context, “fracaso” is often used to describe a mechanical or technical problem.

For example, “El fracaso del motor causó el accidente” translates to “The engine failure caused the accident.”

3. Failed Attempts

Another use of “fracaso” is to describe a failed attempt or effort. This can refer to anything from a failed business venture to an unsuccessful attempt to quit smoking. In this context, “fracaso” is often used to describe a lack of success or achievement.

For example, “Mi intento de dejar de fumar fue un fracaso” translates to “My attempt to quit smoking was a failure.”

It is important to note that the context in which “fracaso” is used can greatly affect its meaning. By understanding these various uses, one can better understand the intended meaning of the word and avoid confusion in both speaking and writing.

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

Synonyms And Related Terms

There are several words and phrases in Spanish that are similar in meaning to “failing.” Here are a few of the most common:

Word/Phrase Definition
fracaso failure
malogro setback, failure
fallar to fail (verb)
fracasar to fail (verb)

These words and phrases are often used interchangeably with “failing” in Spanish. For example, you might say:

  • El proyecto fue un fracaso. (The project was a failure.)
  • Tuvimos un malogro con el lanzamiento del producto. (We had a setback with the product launch.)
  • No quiero fallar en mi examen. (I don’t want to fail my exam.)
  • Si fracasamos en este proyecto, perderemos mucho dinero. (If we fail in this project, we will lose a lot of money.)


Antonyms are words that have opposite meanings. In the case of “failing,” some common antonyms in Spanish include:

Word/Phrase Definition
éxito success
triunfo victory, triumph
logro achievement, success
ganar to win, to succeed

These words and phrases are used to describe the opposite of “failing” in Spanish. For example, you might say:

  • Hemos tenido mucho éxito con nuestro nuevo producto. (We’ve had a lot of success with our new product.)
  • El equipo celebró su triunfo en el partido. (The team celebrated their victory in the game.)
  • Logré terminar mi tesis a tiempo. (I achieved finishing my thesis on time.)
  • Espero ganar el concurso de ensayos. (I hope to win the essay contest.)

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

When learning a new language, it’s common to make mistakes. Spanish is no exception. One of the most common mistakes non-native speakers make is using the wrong word for “failing.” In this section, we’ll introduce some common errors made by non-native speakers and provide tips to avoid them.

Common Mistakes

Here are some common mistakes non-native speakers make when using the Spanish word for “failing”:

  • Using “fallando” instead of “fracasando”
  • Using “faltando” instead of “fracasando”
  • Using “fracasado” instead of “fallido”

Tips To Avoid Mistakes

To avoid making these common mistakes, here are some tips:

  1. Remember that “fallando” means “failing” in the sense of “malfunctioning,” not “failing” in the sense of “not succeeding.”
  2. Remember that “faltando” means “missing,” not “failing.”
  3. Remember that “fracasado” means “failed,” not “failing.”
  4. If you’re not sure which word to use, look it up in a dictionary or ask a native speaker for help.

This section has highlighted some common mistakes non-native speakers make when using the Spanish word for “failing” and provided tips to avoid them. By following these tips, you can use the correct word and avoid confusion or misunderstanding.


Throughout this blog post, we have explored the various ways in which you can say “failing” in Spanish. We began by discussing the most common translation, “fracaso,” and then delved into other options such as “fallar,” “desaprobación,” and “fracasar.”

We also examined the nuances of each term and how they can be used in different contexts. For example, “fallar” is often used to describe a technical failure, while “desaprobación” is more commonly used in academic settings.

Furthermore, we explored some common idiomatic expressions that use these terms, such as “caer en el fracaso” and “fracasar en el intento.”

Encouragement To Practice

Learning a new language can be challenging, but with practice and persistence, you can improve your skills and gain confidence in using the language in real-life conversations. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – they are a natural part of the learning process.

Take the time to practice using these different ways of saying “failing” in Spanish, and try incorporating them into your conversations with native speakers. Not only will this help you improve your language skills, but it will also give you a deeper understanding of the culture and customs of Spanish-speaking countries.

Remember, language learning is a journey, and every step you take brings you closer to your goals. Keep practicing, stay curious, and enjoy the process!

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”.