How Do You Say “Terrified” In Spanish?

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, it’s becoming more and more important to learn a second language. Spanish, in particular, is a language that’s spoken by millions of people all over the world. Whether you’re planning a trip to a Spanish-speaking country or just want to expand your cultural horizons, learning Spanish is a valuable skill to have.

One important aspect of any language is its vocabulary. If you’re trying to learn Spanish, it’s essential to have a good understanding of common words and phrases. One word that you might come across is “terrified”. In Spanish, the word for terrified is “aterrado”.

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

Learning how to pronounce a new word in a foreign language can be a daunting task, but with a little guidance, it can be a breeze. If you’re wondering how to say “terrified” in Spanish, you’ve come to the right place.

Phonetic Breakdown

The Spanish word for “terrified” is “aterrado” (ah-teh-rah-doh). Let’s break it down:

  • “a” – pronounced like the “a” in “father”
  • “te” – pronounced like “teh”
  • “rr” – this is a rolled “r” sound, which can be tricky for non-native speakers. To make this sound, try vibrating your tongue against the roof of your mouth.
  • “a” – again, pronounced like the “a” in “father”
  • “do” – pronounced like “doh”

Put it all together, and you get “ah-teh-rah-doh.”

Tips For Pronunciation

Here are a few tips to help you master the pronunciation of “aterrado”:

  • Practice the rolled “r” sound. It may take some time to get this down, but with practice, you’ll get there.
  • Break the word down into syllables and practice saying each one separately before putting them together.
  • Listen to native Spanish speakers pronounce the word. You can find videos online or try using a language learning app that includes audio.

With a little bit of practice and patience, you’ll be able to confidently say “aterrado” in no time!

Proper Grammatical Use Of The Spanish Word For “Terrified”

When learning a new language, it is important to understand the proper grammatical use of words to communicate effectively. This holds true for the Spanish word for “terrified”, which is “aterrado”. Understanding how to use this word in sentences, verb conjugations, gender and number agreement, and any common exceptions will help you to properly convey your message.

Placement Of Terrified In Sentences

“Aterrado” can be used as an adjective or a past participle in sentences. As an adjective, it would typically come after the noun it modifies. For example:

  • “Estaba aterrado por la película de terror.” (He was terrified by the horror movie.)
  • “La niña estaba aterrada por el ruido.” (The girl was terrified by the noise.)

As a past participle, it can be used with the verb “estar” to indicate a state of being. For example:

  • “Estoy aterrado por lo que acabo de ver.” (I am terrified by what I just saw.)
  • “Ella estaba aterrada después del accidente.” (She was terrified after the accident.)

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

When using “aterrado” as a past participle with the verb “estar”, it is important to conjugate “estar” to match the subject of the sentence. For example:

  • “Estoy aterrado.” (I am terrified.)
  • “Estamos aterrados.” (We are terrified.)
  • “Están aterrados.” (They are terrified.)

It is also important to note that “aterrado” can be used in the present or past tense, depending on the context of the sentence.

Agreement With Gender And Number

“Aterrado” must agree with the gender and number of the noun it modifies. For example:

  • “Estaba aterrado por el ruido.” (Masculine singular noun)
  • “Estaba aterrada por el ruido.” (Feminine singular noun)
  • “Estábamos aterrados por el ruido.” (Masculine plural noun)
  • “Estábamos aterradas por el ruido.” (Feminine plural noun)

Common Exceptions

One common exception to the use of “aterrado” is when it is used as a past participle with the verb “tener” to indicate possession. In this case, it does not need to agree with gender and number. For example:

  • “Tengo aterrado a mi perro con los fuegos artificiales.” (I have terrified my dog with fireworks.)
  • “Tenemos aterrado al vecindario con nuestra música.” (We have terrified the neighborhood with our music.)

Examples Of Phrases Using The Spanish Word For “Terrified”

When learning a new language, it’s important to not only know individual words but also to understand how they are used in common phrases. The Spanish word for “terrified” is “aterrorizado” and it can be used in a variety of ways to express fear or extreme anxiety.

Examples And Explanation

Here are some examples of common phrases that use “aterrorizado” and how they are used in sentences:

  • “Estoy aterrorizado/a” – I am terrified
  • “Ella estaba aterrorizada” – She was terrified
  • “El grito me dejó aterrorizado/a” – The scream left me terrified
  • “El ruido del trueno la dejó aterrorizada” – The sound of thunder left her terrified
  • “El terror se apoderó de mí” – Terror took hold of me

As you can see, “aterrorizado” can be used as an adjective to describe a person’s state of fear or anxiety. It can also be used as a verb to describe an action that causes fear or anxiety.

Example Spanish Dialogue (With Translations)

Here is an example conversation between two people using the word “aterrorizado” to express fear:

Spanish English Translation
“¿Estás bien?” “Are you okay?”
“No, estoy aterrorizado. Escuché ruidos extraños en mi casa anoche.” “No, I’m terrified. I heard strange noises in my house last night.”
“¿Llamaste a la policía?” “Did you call the police?”
“Sí, pero no encontraron nada.” “Yes, but they didn’t find anything.”
“Deberías instalar un sistema de seguridad en tu casa.” “You should install a security system in your house.”

In this conversation, one person expresses their fear using “aterrorizado” and the other person offers a suggestion for how to alleviate that fear.

More Contextual Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Terrified”

Understanding the different contexts in which the Spanish word for “terrified” is used is essential for proper communication. Here are some of the varying contexts:

Formal Usage Of Terrified

In formal contexts such as academic or professional settings, the Spanish word for “terrified” is typically used in its literal sense, meaning “extremely frightened or scared.” It is advisable to use more formal expressions such as “atemorizado” or “consternado” to convey the severity of the emotion.

Informal Usage Of Terrified

In less formal settings such as casual conversations, the Spanish word for “terrified” can be used more flexibly to express a range of emotions, from mild anxiety to extreme fear. It is common to hear expressions such as “estoy aterrorizado” or “me da terror” to convey these emotions.

Other Contexts

Besides its literal and informal uses, the Spanish word for “terrified” can also be used in slang, idiomatic expressions, or cultural/historical contexts.

For example, in some Latin American countries, the expression “estar cagado de miedo” (literally, “to be sh*tting out of fear”) is a common slang expression used to convey extreme terror. In Spain, the expression “ponerse los pelos de punta” (literally, “to make one’s hair stand on end”) is commonly used to express fear or anxiety.

Historically, the Spanish word for “terrified” has been used in literature and art to evoke a sense of horror or terror. For example, in the famous Spanish play “La Casa de Bernarda Alba” by Federico García Lorca, the character Adela says, “¡Estoy aterrada! ¡No puedo más!” (literally, “I’m terrified! I can’t take it anymore!”). This use of the word emphasizes the intense emotions of the character and adds to the dramatic effect of the play.

Popular Cultural Usage

The Spanish word for “terrified” is often used in popular culture, such as in movies, television shows, and music. For example, in the Spanish horror film “El Orfanato,” the character Laura says, “Estoy aterrorizada” (literally, “I’m terrified”) when she realizes that her son has gone missing. This use of the word creates a sense of suspense and fear for the audience.

Regional Variations Of The Spanish Word For “Terrified”

Just like any other language, Spanish has its own set of regional variations. It is important to note that while the language may be the same, certain words may have different meanings or connotations depending on the region. This is particularly true for the Spanish word for “terrified,” which has different variations depending on the country or region.

Usage In Different Spanish-speaking Countries

In Spain, the word for “terrified” is “aterrado,” which is derived from the verb “aterrar” meaning “to terrify.” However, in Latin American countries such as Mexico, the word “aterrado” is not commonly used. Instead, the word “asustado” is more prevalent. In countries such as Argentina and Uruguay, the word “espantado” is used to convey the same meaning.

It is important to note that while these words may have different origins, they are all commonly used to describe the feeling of being terrified or scared.

Regional Pronunciations

Aside from variations in usage, there are also differences in how the word for “terrified” is pronounced in different Spanish-speaking countries. For example, in Spain, the “r” in “aterrado” is pronounced with a rolling sound, while in Latin American countries, the “r” is often pronounced as a soft “r” or even a “l” sound.

Furthermore, the stress placed on the word may also vary depending on the region. In Spain, the emphasis is placed on the second syllable of “aterrado,” while in Latin American countries, the emphasis may be placed on the first or third syllable depending on the specific word used.

Regional Variations of the Spanish Word for “Terrified”
Country/Region Word for “Terrified” Pronunciation
Spain Atterrado A-teh-RA-do
Mexico Asustado A-su-sta-do
Argentina/Uruguay Espantado Es-pan-TA-do

While these regional variations may seem minor, they are important to consider when communicating with Spanish speakers from different regions. Being aware of these differences can help ensure effective communication and prevent misunderstandings.

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

While “terrified” is a common translation for the Spanish word “aterrado,” it’s important to note that the word can have different meanings depending on context. Here are some other uses of “aterrado” in speaking and writing:

1. To Refer To A Place

In some cases, “aterrado” can be used to describe a place that is difficult to navigate or dangerous. For example, you might hear someone say:

  • “No me gusta caminar por ese barrio, es muy aterrado.” (“I don’t like walking through that neighborhood, it’s very dangerous.”)
  • “El camino hacia la cima de la montaña es aterrado.” (“The path to the top of the mountain is treacherous.”)

2. To Describe A Feeling Of Overwhelming Fear

While “terrified” generally refers to a strong feeling of fear, “aterrado” can be used to describe a feeling of overwhelming fear or dread. For example:

  • “Estoy aterrado de perder mi trabajo.” (“I’m terrified of losing my job.”)
  • “Se sintió aterrado cuando vio el tamaño del tiburón.” (“He felt overwhelmed with fear when he saw the size of the shark.”)

3. To Express A State Of Shock Or Disbelief

Finally, “aterrado” can be used to describe a state of shock or disbelief. This usage is more common in Latin America than in Spain. For example:

  • “Quedé aterrado cuando me dijiste que te casabas.” (“I was shocked when you told me you were getting married.”)
  • “Estoy aterrado de que mi equipo no haya ganado el partido.” (“I can’t believe my team didn’t win the game.”)

It’s important to pay attention to the context in which “aterrado” is used in order to understand its meaning. While “terrified” is a common translation, it doesn’t always capture the nuance of the word.

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

When it comes to expressing fear in Spanish, there are a variety of words and phrases that can be used. Here are some common synonyms and related terms to the Spanish word for “terrified”:

Synonyms And Related Terms

  • Asustado/a: This is a common word for “scared” or “frightened.”
  • Atemorizado/a: This term is similar to “terrified” and implies a deep, intense fear.
  • Aturdido/a: This word refers to feeling disoriented or confused due to fear.
  • Angustiado/a: This term is often used to describe a feeling of anxiety or distress.
  • Horrorizado/a: This word is used to describe a feeling of horror or shock.

While these words are similar to “terrified,” they each carry slightly different connotations and may be used in different contexts. For example, “asustado/a” is a more general term for feeling scared, while “atemorizado/a” implies a deeper, more intense fear.


On the other hand, if you’re looking to express the opposite of “terrified,” here are some common antonyms:

  • Valiente: This word means “brave” or “courageous.”
  • Seguro/a: This term is used to describe feeling safe or secure.
  • Tranquilo/a: This word means “calm” or “relaxed.”
  • Confidente: This term is often used to describe feeling confident or self-assured.

While these words may be used to describe the opposite of “terrified,” it’s important to note that they may not always be direct antonyms. For example, “tranquilo/a” may be used to describe feeling calm in a situation that would normally cause fear, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the person is brave or courageous.

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

When learning a new language, it’s common to make mistakes, especially when it comes to using words that have a strong emotional connotation. The Spanish word for “terrified” is no exception. While it’s important to learn how to express your feelings accurately, using the wrong word or phrase can lead to misunderstandings or even offend someone. In this section, we’ll introduce common errors made by non-native speakers and provide tips to avoid them.

Common Mistakes

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

  • Using “terrible” instead of “aterrado” or “aterrada”
  • Using “asustado” instead of “aterrado” or “aterrada”
  • Using “miedo” instead of “aterrado” or “aterrada”

Explanation Of Mistakes

Let’s break down each of these mistakes and explain why they are incorrect:

Using “Terrible” Instead of “Aterrado” or “Aterrada”

The word “terrible” in Spanish means “awful” or “horrible.” While it’s true that being terrified can be an awful experience, using “terrible” to express this feeling is not accurate. The correct word to use is “aterrado” or “aterrada,” which means “terrified” or “frightened.”

Using “Asustado” Instead of “Aterrado” or “Aterrada”

The word “asustado” in Spanish means “scared” or “startled.” While being scared is a similar feeling to being terrified, they are not the same. Using “asustado” to express being terrified is not accurate. The correct word to use is “aterrado” or “aterrada.”

Using “Miedo” Instead of “Aterrado” or “Aterrada”

The word “miedo” in Spanish means “fear.” While being terrified is a feeling of fear, using “miedo” to express this feeling is not accurate. The correct word to use is “aterrado” or “aterrada.”

Tips To Avoid Mistakes

To avoid making these mistakes, here are some tips:

  • Learn the correct word for “terrified” in Spanish, which is “aterrado” or “aterrada.”
  • Practice using the correct word in context.
  • Pay attention to how native speakers use the word in conversation or in media.
  • Use a dictionary or online translation tool to verify the meaning of a word before using it.


In this blog post, we explored the different ways to say “terrified” in Spanish. We discussed the various synonyms and antonyms for the term, including asustado, espantado, and valiente. We also examined the context in which each word is typically used, such as in horror movies or in everyday conversation.

Additionally, we looked at the grammatical rules surrounding the usage of these words, including the importance of gender and number agreement. We also touched on the importance of proper pronunciation and intonation when using these words in conversation.

Encouragement To Practice And Use Terrified In Real-life Conversations.

Learning a new language can be challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding. By expanding your vocabulary and becoming more comfortable with the language, you can open up new opportunities for communication and connection with others.

So, don’t be afraid to practice using the various words for “terrified” in Spanish in your everyday conversations. Whether you’re watching a scary movie with friends or navigating a tricky situation at work, having a strong grasp of the language can help you express yourself more effectively and confidently.

Remember, language learning is a journey, and every step you take brings you one step closer to fluency. So keep practicing, keep learning, and keep exploring the rich and diverse world of Spanish language and culture!

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”.