Native Spanish Learning

Resources to help you speak Spanish, like a native.

Native Spanish Learning - Resources to help you speak Spanish, like a native.

How to say “at least” in Spanish – there are at least two ways

Pudú Project
at least he got a tabletLizette Greco / Kids Photos / CC BY-NC-SA

The other day at the airport I saw an interesting statistic: “at least 54% of children under 10 have their own tablet computer”.

How would you say that in Spanish?  On this post I’ll talk about two ways to translate the expression “at least” into Spanish.  That means you’ll learn at least two new expressions, which can be used pretty much interchangeably.

Before going into the two expressions, let me clarify something.

Click on the play button below to listen to this whole post in Spanish.

The word “menos” can have several meanings:

#1 Menos – minus:  Cinco menos tres es igual a dos (5-3=2, five minus three is equal to two)

#2 Menos – less: Ayer gasté mucho dinero comprando un nuevo televisor.  Por eso hoy tengo menos dinero que ayer. (Yesterday I spent a lot of money buying a new TV.  That’s why today I have less money than yesterday)

#3 Menos – least.

In the following examples I’m going to be using “menos” to mean “least” (meaning #3).

And using this last meaning is how you put together the two expressions to mean “at least”:

Al menos – por lo menos

Literally: “At the least” – “by the least”

Some people prefer “al menos”, others prefer “por lo menos”.  Check out this Yahoo answer to get an idea.

Example 1

You’re taking a train to the city, and you don’t know how long it takes, so you ask your friend:

-Oye, Manuel, ¿cuánto se demora el tren a la capital?

-Es un poco largo, se demora por lo menos dos horas.

At least I know these two expressions in Spanish.  Click to tweet.

Example 2

You’re trying to lift a box, but it’s way too heavy.  You need at least three people.

“¡Esta caja está pesadísima! Necesito al menos tres personas más que me ayuden.”

Example 3

The test was really long, but at least I was able to finish.

“El examen estaba bien largo, pero por lo menos pude terminarlo.”

Example 4

I don’t understand what the speaker is talking about, but at least he has a pleasant voice.

“No entiendo de qué habla el presentador, pero al menos tiene una voz agradable.”

________________________________

So, how would I translate the expression: “at least 54% of children under 10 have their own tablet computer”?

“Por lo menos 54% (cincuenta y cuatro por ciento) de los niños menores de diez años tienen su propia tableta.”

Fácil, ¿no?  Ahora ya sabes por lo menos dos expresiones para decir “at least”.

Por favor, al menos comparte con tus amigos…

 

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Current month ye@r day *

%d bloggers like this: