The diminutives are a particular type of affix used to alter the original meaning of a word, adding a nuance that will usually have to do with small size or small importance of the same, or to express a subjective feeling of affection towards her, or to convey a derogatory connotation towards her.


The Spanish language is rich in diminutives, which it applies most of the time to its nouns and adjectives, and more rarely - although not so much in some areas of Latin America- to its adverbs.

The diminutives ending in “ito” or “ita” are the most numerous and the most used. They are built by adding these endings to the root of the original word, although with some rules:

silly > silly

handsome > handsome

soft > soft (and not soft)

Diminutives ending in «ico» or «ica» are used identically to the above, but are less common among Spanish speakers. They are mainly used in the eastern half of Spain (Andalusia, La Mancha, Aragon, Navarra, Murcia and the Valencian Community), as well as in some Caribbean countries (Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Colombia and Cuba). There is, however, a difference between the two areas: while in Spain it is used as a substitute for "ito" (that is, where "ico" is not used, "ito" is not used, and vice versa), in theCaribbean both forms are used at the same time (“ico” in those words that end in “to”, like “gato”).

Diminutives ending in “illo” or “illa” are used almost exclusively in Andalusia, and to a much lesser extent in some areas of America. It has the peculiarity of not expressing affective connotations of any kind, something that the previous examples do ("I have a little problem" or "it's handsome" means "I have a small problem" and "it's something handsome", nothing more).

The diminutives ending in «ete» or «eta» are used almost exclusively in Catalonia and the Valencian Community (also in La Mancha and elsewhere, but in many to a lesser extent), and are somewhat more informal ("are you going with your friends?").

The diminutives ending in «ín» or «ina» are used almost exclusively in Asturias, Castilla y León, Madrid, Extremadura and Western Andalusia, being in general another substitute for “ito” and “ita” (“boy”, “little boy”)

Diminutives ending in «uco» or «uca» are used almost exclusively in Cantabria, although very widely. Contrary to what happened with “illo” and “illa”, this diminutive does convey a lot of affection when used.

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