How Do You Say “Minus” In Spanish?

Learning a new language is a journey that opens up the doors to a whole new world of opportunities. It allows you to communicate with people from different cultures and backgrounds, and gain a deeper understanding of their way of life. Spanish, in particular, is a language that is spoken by millions of people around the world. Whether you’re planning a trip to a Spanish-speaking country or simply want to expand your linguistic horizons, learning Spanish is a great choice.

When it comes to learning a new language, one of the first things you need to master is vocabulary. Knowing the right words and phrases can make all the difference in your ability to communicate effectively. If you’re wondering how to say “minus” in Spanish, you’re in luck. The Spanish translation for “minus” is “menos”.

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

Learning to properly pronounce words in a foreign language can be a challenging task, but it’s essential if you want to communicate effectively. If you’re looking to learn how to say “minus” in Spanish, it’s important to understand the proper phonetic spelling and pronunciation.

The Spanish word for “minus” is “menos”. To break it down phonetically, it is pronounced as “meh-nohs”. The “meh” sound is similar to the English word “may”, while the “nohs” sound is pronounced like “nose” without the “e” sound at the end.

Here are a few tips to help you improve your pronunciation of “menos”:

1. Practice The Sounds

To master the pronunciation of “menos”, it’s important to practice the individual sounds that make up the word. You can use online resources or language learning apps to hear the correct pronunciation and practice repeating the sounds until you feel confident.

2. Focus On The Stress

In Spanish, the stress is usually on the second-to-last syllable of a word. In the case of “menos”, the stress falls on the first syllable (“meh”). Make sure to emphasize this syllable when pronouncing the word.

3. Pay Attention To Intonation

Intonation refers to the rise and fall of your voice when speaking. In Spanish, the intonation can change the meaning of a word or sentence. When saying “menos”, make sure to keep your voice level and avoid raising or lowering it too much.

By following these tips and practicing regularly, you’ll be able to confidently pronounce “menos” and other Spanish words with ease.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The Spanish Word For “Minus”

Proper grammar is essential when using the Spanish word for “minus.” This word is commonly used in mathematical equations, but it can also be used in everyday conversation. To ensure that your communication is clear and accurate, it is important to understand the proper grammatical use of this word.

Placement Of Minus In Sentences

The word “minus” can be used as an adjective, adverb, or conjunction in a sentence. As an adjective, it modifies a noun or pronoun. As an adverb, it modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb. As a conjunction, it connects two clauses or phrases.

When used as an adjective, “minus” typically comes before the noun it modifies. For example: “El examen tiene tres preguntas, dos de las cuales son de opción múltiple y una es de resta.” (The test has three questions, two of which are multiple choice and one is subtraction.)

When used as an adverb, “minus” typically comes before the verb it modifies. For example: “Para resolver este problema, tienes que restar 10 de 25.” (To solve this problem, you have to subtract 10 from 25.)

When used as a conjunction, “minus” typically comes between the two clauses or phrases it connects. For example: “No puedo ir al cine contigo esta noche, minus tengo que estudiar para un examen.” (I can’t go to the movies with you tonight, minus I have to study for an exam.)

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

Verb conjugations or tenses may be necessary when using “minus” in a sentence, depending on the context. For example, when using “minus” as an adverb to describe a subtraction action that has already occurred, the past tense of the verb must be used. For example: “Ayer, resté 5 de mi cuenta bancaria.” (Yesterday, I subtracted 5 from my bank account.)

Agreement With Gender And Number

When “minus” is used as an adjective to modify a noun, it must agree with the gender and number of the noun. For example, “resta” is feminine, so the adjective “minus” must also be feminine: “La respuesta correcta es menos tres.” (The correct answer is minus three.)

Common Exceptions

There are some common exceptions to the grammatical rules for “minus.” For example, when “minus” is used as a conjunction, it may be shortened to “menos” in informal speech. Additionally, when using “minus” as an adverb to describe a subtraction action that has not yet occurred, the future tense of the verb may be used. For example: “Mañana, voy a restar 10 de mi cuenta bancaria.” (Tomorrow, I’m going to subtract 10 from my bank account.)

Examples Of Phrases Using The Spanish Word For “Minus”

When learning a new language, it’s important to understand common phrases and vocabulary. One essential term to know is “minus” in Spanish. This word is used to express subtraction, negative numbers, and more. Let’s dive into some examples of phrases using the Spanish word for “minus.”

Examples And Usage

Here are some common examples of phrases that use the Spanish word for “minus,” which is “menos.”

Phrase Translation Usage
5 menos 2 5 minus 2 Used in mathematical equations to express subtraction.
Temperatura menos 10 grados Temperature minus 10 degrees Used to express negative numbers, such as temperature or altitude.
El costo es menos de $50 The cost is less than $50 Used to express a decrease in value or quantity.

As you can see, “menos” can be used in a variety of contexts to express subtraction, negative numbers, and decrease. Let’s take a look at some example Spanish dialogue to see how it’s used in conversation.

Example Spanish Dialogue

Here’s an example conversation between two friends discussing the temperature outside:

Friend 1: ¿Qué tal el clima hoy? (How’s the weather today?)

Friend 2: Hace frío. La temperatura es menos 5 grados. (It’s cold. The temperature is minus 5 degrees.)

In this example, “menos” is used to express a negative temperature. It’s important to note that in Spanish, the word order is different than in English. The adjective “frío” (cold) comes before the verb “hace” (is), and the phrase “menos 5 grados” comes after the noun “temperatura” (temperature).

Overall, understanding how to use “menos” in Spanish is essential for basic communication and mathematical equations. With these examples and dialogue, you can confidently incorporate this term into your language skills.

More Contextual Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Minus”

Understanding the different contexts in which the Spanish word for “minus” is used can greatly improve your language proficiency. Below, we will explore the formal and informal uses of “minus,” as well as its slang, idiomatic expressions, and cultural/historical significance.

Formal Usage Of Minus

In formal settings, “minus” is typically used in mathematical equations or scientific contexts. For example, if you were to say “two minus two equals zero” in Spanish, you would say “dos menos dos es igual a cero.”

When used in a formal setting, it is important to note that “minus” should not be replaced with colloquial or slang terms. Doing so can come across as unprofessional or inappropriate.

Informal Usage Of Minus

In informal settings, “minus” can be used to express negative emotions or situations. For example, if someone were to ask you how your day was and you had a terrible day, you could respond with “menos mal” which means “not so good” or “minus good.”

Informal usage of “minus” can also be used in everyday conversations to indicate the absence of something. For example, if you were to say “I have everything I need, minus my phone,” you would say “tengo todo lo que necesito, menos mi teléfono.”

Other Contexts

In addition to its formal and informal uses, “minus” can also be found in Spanish slang, idiomatic expressions, and cultural/historical contexts. For example, “estar en números rojos” or “to be in the red” is an idiomatic expression that uses “minus” to indicate a negative financial situation.

Another example of cultural usage of “minus” can be found in the sport of bullfighting. When a bullfighter misses their target, the crowd will yell “¡menos mal!” or “minus good!”

Popular Cultural Usage

One popular cultural usage of “minus” can be found in the Spanish language version of the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” Contestants are asked to choose the correct answer from a list of options, and if they are unsure of the answer, they can use one of their lifelines to “eliminate” two of the incorrect options. This lifeline is referred to as “el comodín del 50 por ciento” or “the 50 percent wildcard,” but is commonly known as “el comodín del menos dos” or “the minus two wildcard.”

Regional Variations Of The Spanish Word For “Minus”

Spanish is a widely spoken language and is the official language in 21 countries. Despite having a standard form of the language, there are variations in vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation across different regions. The word for “minus” is no exception to this rule.

Usage Of “Minus” In Different Spanish-speaking Countries

In general, the Spanish word for “minus” is “menos.” However, there are some variations in how this word is used across different Spanish-speaking countries. For example, in Mexico and some Central American countries, “restar” is often used instead of “menos” when referring to subtraction in mathematics.

In some South American countries such as Argentina and Uruguay, “menos” is used more commonly, but “restar” is still understood. In Spain, “menos” is the most commonly used word for “minus.”

Regional Pronunciations

In addition to variations in usage, there are also regional differences in pronunciation. In Latin America, the “s” sound in “menos” is often pronounced as a soft “h” sound, making it sound like “meh-noh.” In Spain, the “s” sound is pronounced more clearly, making it sound like “meh-noss.”

It is important to note that while these regional variations exist, they do not hinder communication between Spanish speakers from different regions. Spanish is a highly adaptable language, and speakers are generally able to understand each other despite these differences.

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

While “minus” is commonly used in Spanish to indicate subtraction, it can also have other meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Understanding these different uses can help speakers and writers communicate more effectively in Spanish.

How To Distinguish Between Different Uses Of “Minus”

One way to distinguish between different uses of “minus” in Spanish is to pay close attention to the words that come before and after it. Here are some examples of different uses of “minus” and how to identify them:

Use 1: Subtraction

As mentioned earlier, “minus” is most commonly used in Spanish to indicate subtraction. In this context, it is typically preceded by a number or mathematical expression and followed by another number or expression that is being subtracted. For example:

  • 5 minus 3 equals 2. (5 menos 3 es igual a 2.)
  • The temperature dropped by 10 degrees. (La temperatura bajó 10 grados.)

Use 2: Negative

In some cases, “minus” can be used to indicate a negative number or quantity. In this context, it is often preceded by the word “menos” or “negativo” and followed by a number or expression. For example:

  • Minus 5 degrees. (Cinco grados bajo cero.)
  • Negative 10. (Menos diez.)

Use 3: Without

Another use of “minus” in Spanish is to indicate that something is missing or excluded. In this context, it is often preceded by the word “sin” or “excepto” and followed by the thing that is missing or excluded. For example:

  • Salad minus tomatoes. (Ensalada sin tomates.)
  • Everyone minus John. (Todos excepto John.)

By paying attention to the words that come before and after “minus” in Spanish, speakers and writers can more easily discern its intended meaning and use it appropriately in their communication.

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

When it comes to mathematics, Spanish vocabulary can be quite different from English. If you are trying to learn how to say “minus” in Spanish, there are a few other words and phrases that you may come across. Here are some common synonyms and related terms:

1. Menos

The most common word for “minus” in Spanish is “menos.” It is used in the same way as “minus” in English, to indicate subtraction. For example:

English Spanish
10 minus 5 10 menos 5

2. Restar

“Restar” is another verb that can be used to indicate subtraction. It is less commonly used than “menos,” but it still appears in some contexts. For example:

English Spanish
Subtract 5 from 10 Resta 5 de 10

3. Negativo

“Negativo” means “negative” in English, but it can also be used to indicate a negative number. In this sense, it is similar to “minus.” For example:

English Spanish
-5 Negativo cinco


Finally, it’s worth noting that there are several antonyms for “minus” in Spanish, depending on the context. Here are a few:

  • Suma – “Addition”
  • Positivo – “Positive”
  • Más – “Plus”

These words are used to indicate the opposite of subtraction, or to indicate a positive number. For example:

English Spanish
10 plus 5 10 más 5

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

When it comes to using the Spanish word for “minus,” there are a few common mistakes that non-native speakers often make. One of the most frequent errors is using the word “menos” incorrectly, as it is often confused with the word “más,” which means “more” in English. This confusion can lead to incorrect calculations and misunderstandings in conversations.

Another common mistake is failing to use the correct verb tense when using “menos” in a sentence. For example, saying “yo menos diez” instead of “yo resto diez” can result in confusion, as the former is not a correct sentence construction in Spanish.

Highlight These Mistakes And Provide Tips To Avoid Them.

To avoid these common mistakes, it is essential to understand the proper usage of “menos” in Spanish. Here are some tips to help you use this word correctly:

  • Remember that “menos” means “minus” in English and is used to indicate subtraction.
  • Be careful not to confuse “menos” with “más,” which means “more.”
  • Use the correct verb tense when using “menos” in a sentence. The verb “restar” (to subtract) should be used instead of “menos” to indicate subtraction.
  • Practice using “menos” in context to ensure that you are using it correctly.

By following these tips, you can avoid common mistakes and use “menos” correctly in your Spanish conversations and calculations.


In this blog post, we have explored the various ways to say “minus” in Spanish. We started by examining the most common translation, “menos,” and its usage in mathematical equations. We then delved into other synonyms, such as “restar” and “quitar,” and how they can be used in different contexts.

We also discussed the importance of understanding the nuances of these words, as some may be more appropriate than others depending on the situation. For example, “restar” is often used in situations where subtraction is involved, while “quitar” is more commonly used in everyday conversation.

Overall, it is important to remember that the translation of “minus” in Spanish is not a one-size-fits-all solution. By understanding the different synonyms and their contexts, you can more effectively communicate in Spanish and avoid any confusion or misunderstandings.

Encouragement To Practice

Now that you have a better understanding of how to say “minus” in Spanish, it’s time to put your knowledge into practice. Whether you’re studying Spanish in a classroom setting or simply trying to improve your conversational skills, incorporating these words into your vocabulary can be a valuable asset.

One way to practice is by using these words in real-life conversations. Whether you’re discussing a math problem with a teacher or simply ordering food at a restaurant, incorporating these words will not only improve your communication skills, but also help you feel more confident in your abilities.

So, don’t be afraid to practice and use these words in your daily life. With time and effort, you can become a more effective and confident Spanish speaker.

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”.