9 Ways To Say Stop in Spanish - Lingo Dude (2023)

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Saying stop in Spanish is as essential as learning to say thank you or please. It is one of the most useful and necessary expressions in Spanish slang, either to try to avoid a problem or accident or to indicate that “enough is enough” of something. In this post, I will teach you the different ways of saying stop in Spanish and in which situations or countries they should be used.

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¡Para!/¡Pará! – Stop!

It is the most used and casual way of saying stop in Spanish, although it is also often heard in formal conversations. In Argentina, they say pará with stress on the final syllable. Another important detail is that para can also refer to the verb parir of giving birth or parar of standing up, but of course, this depends on the context of the conversation.

If we say: “Tenemos que presionar a Juan para que él para el dinero.” (we have to pressure Juan so that he gives birth to the money), we are intending to use the verb to give birth. Since it takes a lot of effort for a woman to give birth, it is an expression used in some countries such as Colombia and Venezuela to denote someone’s enormous effort to do or get something.

If we say: “Tenemos que presionar a Juan para que pare la hemorragia” (we have to put pressure on Juan to stop the bleeding), we would be talking about the verb parar meaning to stop, in this case “to stop the blood from the hemorrhage”.

Instead, if we say: “Tenemos que presionar a Juan para que se pare de la silla” (We have to press Juan to get up off the chair), we are talking about the verb “parar” to “stand up” or “get up”.

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Returning to the use of para in the verb “to stop”, we have that if we refer to someone as usted, we use pare and if we refer to someone as vosotros, in some areas of Spain, we use parad.

Para de dibujar Mariana, que ya terminó la clase.Stop drawing Mariana, the class is over.
Pare lo que está haciendo y preste atención.Stop what you are doing and pay attention.
Os estoy diciendo que paréis de mirarme de esa manera.I’m telling you to stop looking at me like that.

¡Alto! – Stop!

More than an adjective and an adverb, ¡alto! is the way we usually order someone to stop, as well as indicating a temporary halt or pause in an action being performed.

¡Alto ahí bandido!Stop there bandit!
Los empleados hicieron un alto en la tarde para merendar algo.The employees took a break in the afternoon to have a snack.

¡Detente! – Stop it!

It is the most formal way of saying stop in Spanish. While detente can be used as a simple expression, it can also be conjugated to express other things, such as order and arrest. For example, when a policeman arrests someone, we can say lo detuvo, but this expression is limited to being seen in printed media such as newspapers or magazines and newscasts. When we are referring to the other person as usted, we use deténgase, while if we are using vosotros, in Spain, we say detengáis, in this way:

¡Detente María! Casi te atropella un carro.Stop it, Maria! You almost got hit by a car.
Señor, deténgase inmediatamente.Sir, stop immediately.
Le ordeno que detenga su auto y me muestre su identificación.I order you to stop your car and show me your identification.
¡Estoy diciendo que os detengáis!I’m telling you to stop!

¡Basta! – That’s enough!

It is another expression that, like the previous ones, can be used singularly, although it is more frequently heard as ¡basta!, demanding the subject to immediately stop the action they are doing and which, depending on the tone of voice and facial expression, can also denote annoyance. Basta also has another meaning, because basta as an adjective, refers to something that has been made without refinement or in a coarse manner and can also refer to a basting stitch.

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¡Ya basta Julián, me estás lastimando!That’s enough Julian, you’re hurting me!
Basta de jugar a la pelota por hoyEnough playing ball for today

¡Suficiente! – Enough!

It has the same function as basta but is a bit more refined, which is why we usually hear it in TV dubbing and animated series. It can be used in an exclamatory form or in sentences requiring someone to stop in all Spanish-speaking countries, like this:

Ya fue suficiente de esperar tanto tiempo aquí afuera.Enough waiting out here for so long.

¡Cálmate! – Calm down!

Although keeping calm refers to a state of tranquility and relaxation, the expression cálmate also works to say stop in Spanish. It is used in all Spanish-speaking countries, with the difference that we tend to hear it in everyday, informal settings.

¡Cálmate tío! Que vais a romper la mesa a martillazos.Calm down, man! You’re going to break the table with hammers.
Cálmate Joaquín, ni se te ocurra acercarte.Calm down Joaquín, don’t even think of coming near me.

¡Bájale dos! – Put two down!

This expression is also like cálmate since it can be used alone in an exclamatory form to express a stop, with the difference that it can also mean shut up. It is a Venezuelan colloquialism that has spread to other countries such as Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. It refers to the action of lowering the volume of a device because when this is required, we must stop what we are doing and turn the volume down on the device.

Bájale dos que no estoy hablando contigo.Put two down, I’m not talking to you.

¡Aguántalo! – Hold it!

Like bájale dos it is also used as an exclamation or in a sentence to denote order. It is used throughout Latin America and can also refer to the verb “to grab” or “to hold”. It is a way of saying stop in Spanish because when we hold something, we are stopping it from doing something specific. It is used a lot on buses when we want the driver to stop even though there isn’t a bus stop or he’s overshot the stop you wanted to get off at.

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Aguántalo ahí antes de que se vuelva a ir a su casa.Hold it there before he goes home again.
Aguántelo chófer, yo me quedo en Alta Vista.Hold it, driver, I’m staying in Alta Vista.

Tate’ quieto – Stay still

This expression is short for estate quieto (stay still) and is a Venezuelan colloquialism. It is used to reprimand disobedient or badly behaved children and make them stop behaving that way. Verbally expressed, it can also refer to putting an end to a specific situation or inciting a fight.

¡Dale su tate’ quieto para que deje de gritar!Give him a telling off so he’ll stop screaming!
Tienes que darle un tate’ quieto porque si no las cosas van a seguir igualYou have to give him a telling off because otherwise, things will stay the same.

Dar un parao’ – Give a stop

Like tate’ quieto, it is a Venezuelan colloquialism that has spread to countries such as Colombia. It can refer either to ending or stopping a specific situation or to referring to a hit, with the difference that the context of both situations changes. The hit referred to in this situation describes a moral blow, such as a word or a discussion that puts an end to a conflict, in this way:

Ayer hablé con Juana y le di un parao’Yesterday I talked to Juana and gave her a stop (dressing down).

While, on the other hand, it refers to situations of violence or abuse that must stop immediately, in which it is used thus:

Tienes que darle un parao’ a tu jefe para que no siga explotándote en el trabajoYou have to give your boss a stop (pull him up) so that he does not continue to exploit you at work.

Final thoughts

Now that we have explained the different ways of how to say stop in Spanish and seen some nuances about the verbs used in these expressions, you should now be able to go away and practice them. Practice is the only thing that will allow you to identify the contexts of each conversation so that you know how and when to use each of these expressions.

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How do you say stop in Spanish slang? ›

How to Say 'Stop' in Spanish: Alto. Alto means “halt.” The expression entails an abrupt stop or suspension of an activity or movement. In some Spanish-speaking countries, alto is the word printed on stop signs, while in others it is pare.

What are some Spanish words that mean stop? ›

Parar, detener and alto are all words that mean “stop” in Spanish. Parar and detener are verbs; therefore, are almost always interchangeable. Alto means stop, but it's closer to the word 'halt' and it's used for formal commands like on a stop sign.

Can para mean stop? ›

The form of Para you are referring to is the verb parar which means 'to stop'.

How do you say stop in Puerto Rico? ›

Yo paro: I stop. Tú paras: You stop. Él/ella/usted para: He/she stops; you stop. Nosotros/-as paramos: We stop.

Does Basta mean stop? ›

Basta is the imperative form of the Italian verb bastare, “to stop.” It's a forceful way to command: That's enough!

What is stop in Mexico? ›

"Alto" Defined

According to the Spanish Royal Academy's dictionary, the second reference to alto with "stop" as its meaning is commonly found on road signs in Central America, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, and it comes from the German halt. The German verb halten means to stop.

What's a different word for stop? ›

Synonyms of stop
  • cease.
  • halt.
  • end.
  • quit.
  • delay.
  • discontinue.
  • break.
  • can.

What are examples of stop words? ›

Stop words are a set of commonly used words in a language. Examples of stop words in English are “a”, “the”, “is”, “are” and etc. Stop words are commonly used in Text Mining and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to eliminate words that are so commonly used that they carry very little useful information.

What are better words for stop? ›

  • break.
  • cease.
  • close.
  • drop.
  • halt.
  • hold.
  • kill.
  • pause.

Does Alto mean stop? ›

While the Spanish "PARE" or "ALTO" are used on stop signs in Spanish-speaking countries once colonized by Spain, "STOP" is used in the mother country of Spain (the result of European Union rules specifying English as the language of road signs in order to standardize road travel across EU countries).

Does Pata mean foot? ›

Pata is a noun that means leg and you can find out how to pronounce it here: In English the word leg applies to people, animals and furniture. In Spanish you use pata for animals and furniture, and pierna for people.

How do you say stop in Brazil? ›

The Verb To Stop: Parar.

What is Puerto Rican slang for bro? ›

Broki. Many Puerto Rican slang words come from English. Broki is one of them; it comes from “brother,” and used in its broader sense: it can mean both a sibling or a close friend.

What does bicho mean in Puerto Rican? ›

5. Bicho. This refers to the male genitalia. In many other Spanish-speaking countries this means insect, but here you would just use insecto if you want to refer to a bug.

What does La Basta mean? ›

The exclamation BASTA!

Often, when we are really annoyed, we tend to shout it. If it's used on its own, it means that a certain situation needs to stop, because we're tired of it and we've had enough. It emphasizes the idea of exasperation. Let's see some examples.

What is the meaning of Prego? ›

interjection. /'preɡo/ (risposta / invito) please / you're welcome , after you , don't mention it.

What does Quanto basta mean? ›

Literally, “as much as is enough”.

What do stop signs say in Puerto Rico? ›

Latin America. In Spanish and Portuguese-speaking Caribbean and South American countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and Venezuela), signs bear the legend pare ("stop" in Portuguese and Spanish).

What is stop Romanian? ›

Termină! Stop it! Oprește-te! Stop it! stație {f} de autobuz.

Why does alto mean stop in Spanish? ›

Alto as a noun is the name of the stop sign in some parts of America; as an exclamation ("¡Alto!") it means "stop!" in all the Spanish speaking countries. See Alto in the Diccionario de la Lengua Española (it comes from the German "Halt", from the German verb "halten").

What is 333 slang? ›

"Lots of Love" is the most common definition for <333 on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. <333. Definition: Lots of Love.

What does stop it mean in slang? ›

stop it/that phrase. used for saying that something someone has just said is very surprising or exciting.

How many stop words are there? ›

The final product is a list of 421 stop words that should be maximally efficient and effective in filtering the most frequently occurring and semantically neutral words in general literature in English.

Are verbs stop words? ›

Generally speaking, most stop words are function (filler) words, which are words with little or no meaning that help form a sentence. Content words like adjectives, nouns, and verbs are often not considered stop words.

What is stop in a sentence? ›

The bus stopped at the corner. He stopped to watch the sun set. She had to stop to catch her breath. = She had to stop and catch her breath.

What is a word for hard to stop? ›

When a thing or process is inexorable, it can't be stopped.

What is the meaning of Flaco? ›

adjective. skinny [adjective] very thin.

What does alto mean for girls? ›

Word forms: altos

An alto is a woman who has a low singing voice.

Is there a word alto? ›

In a choir, alto describes the lowest singing part written for a female voice. While occasionally men are described as altos — in which case, the word describes a fairly high pitched singing voice — it more often describes a woman whose voice is lower than a soprano.

Is no Mames Wey? ›

No mames is sometimes extended to no mames güey (no-mah-mess-goo-ee) and no mames wey (no-mah-mess-way), which both roughly mean “No way, dude!” Wey and güey are both Spanish slang words meaning “dude” or “guy,” though wey can also connote “idiot.”

Is no Mames offensive? ›

No mames (literally means 'don't suck it') is one of the most ubiquitous Mexican swearwords.

How do you say skinny in Mexico? ›

Example Sentences in Context.

Eres muy flaca. You are too skinny. Ella no quiere ser flaca.

Do you say pasta in Spanish? ›

• pasta→ pasta↔ pasta
• pastafideomacarrón↔ Nudel weiteren Zutaten

What is Pato in English? ›

Translation of pato – Portuguese–English dictionary

drake [noun] a male duck. duck [noun]

What is PATA Rajada? ›

pata rajada [m/f] PA derog. person who behaves with no manners.

How do you say LOL in Brazil? ›

In Brazil, people speaking in Portuguese use the abbreviation "kkk" all the time, which is real jarring if you're American. Don't worry -- "kkk" is their version of LOL. You can also use "rsrs" for the same purpose.

How do you say stop Russian? ›

If you want to say “Stop” in Russian, say: СТОП!

How do you say Twerk in Brazil? ›

twerk {intransitive verb}

rebolar {v.i.}

Does vato mean dude? ›

Noun. vato (plural vatos) (Chicano, slang) Hispanic youth; guy; dude.

What do Papi Chulo mean? ›

Getty. A direct translation of papi chulo from Spanish is “pimp daddy,” with papi being a diminutive form of “father” (and used like “baby”) and chulo meaning “pimp” but also “attractive,” “cocky,” or “cool” in colloquial settings.

How do Mexicans say bro? ›

Carnal. Literally means “brother,” but as with “bro” in English, it's used to refer to good friends, too. María, te presento a mi carnal. María, this is my bro.

How do Puerto Ricans say garbage? ›

DOMINICAN WORD OF THE DAY: Zafacón This word is used only in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico and means "trash can". Though some sources believe it's an anglicism from the word "safety can" I think it's more likely came from the word "zafar" which means to get rid of and comes from the Andalusian Arab word azāḥa.

Why do Puerto Ricans say Papi? ›

Papi is a colloquial term for “daddy” in Spanish, but in many Spanish-speaking cultures, particularly in the Caribbean, it is often used as a general term of affection for any man, whether it's a relative, friend, or lover. The English “baby,” used as a term of endearment for spouses and children alike, is similar.

What does Cuchi mean in Puerto Rico? ›

cuchi m (plural cuchis) pig synonym ▲ Synonym: cerdo.

What are some slang words in Spanish? ›

10 Of The Best Spanish Slang Expressions
  • En un abrir y cerrar de ojos. Meaning: in the blink of an eye. ...
  • Mucha mierda. Meaning: break a leg. ...
  • Llueve sobre mojado. Meaning: to beat a dead horse. ...
  • Ponerse las pilas. ...
  • Hablar por los codos. ...
  • La gota que colmó el vaso. ...
  • Echar una mano. ...
  • Otro gallo cantaría.
Aug 23, 2022

How do police say freeze in Spanish? ›

Learn how to say them in Spanish. ¡Quieto(a)! Freeze!

What is a bolo Spanish? ›

Translation of bolo – Spanish-English dictionary

skittle [noun] a bottle-shaped, usually wooden object used as a target for knocking over in the game of skittles.

What does alto mean? ›

noun [ C ] /ˈæl·toʊ/ plural altos. a woman's or boy's singing voice in the range lower than a soprano, or a person or musical instrument with this range. (Definition of alto from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

What are 10 slang words? ›

10 English slang terms you need to know in 2023
  • It's giving. You can throw this one into conversation to describe the vibe something is giving you. ...
  • Era. Think of this as a substitute for “phase”. ...
  • Iykyk. This one is a pure and simple acronym. ...
  • Slay. ...
  • Fell off. ...
  • Gatekeep. ...
  • Situationship. ...
  • Bad take.

What is Spanish slang for dude? ›

"Vato" is a Spanish term that means "guy" or "dude." It is often used as a slang term to refer to a man or boy, particularly among Spanish-speaking communities in the United States. The term is often used in casual or informal settings, and can be used as a term of endearment or as a way to address someone informally.

What is Spanish slang for cop? ›

Popo/Po-Po. The term popo, sometimes written as po-po, is slang for law enforcement personnel that's believed to have originated in the United States in the mid-1990s.

What is Mexican slang for cop? ›

Here are some colloquial ways in which Hispanics call police officers in certain countries: Mexico: el tamarindo. Guatemala: la tira, la polaca. Argentina: la cana, la yuta.

How do Mexicans say ice cream in Spanish? ›

Helado (Ice cream)

Helado is probably the most common word for ice cream in Spanish.

What is a cop bolo? ›

A BOLO, or “be on the lookout,” is a way of alerting officers to pay attention to a specific individual or vehicle. This can take many forms, from an all-points bulletin to an advisory that a suspect is heading into an area where police are currently located.

What does bolo mean in FBI? ›

In these fields, the APB may also be known as a BOLO, for "be on (the) look-out". In the "event the radio is not a viable means for transmitting data (i.e., radio traffic is busy)", the police officer will use the digital all-points bulletin.

Is bolo a real word? ›

noun, plural bo·los. a large, heavy, single-edged knife or machete for hacking, used in the Philippines and by the U.S. Army.


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