Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Interesting words - (des)ayuno

Image: Paul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I like it when Spanish words are logical, or when they relate to English words in ways that are not immediately obvious. One example is the word for 'breakfast' - 'desayuno' which on the face of it has little in common with the English equivalent. However 'ayuno' is the Spanish word for 'fast' in the not eating sense. So when you fast you 'ayunar' and when you break your fast you 'desayunar', just like in English.

ayuno = fast
ayunar = to fast
desayuno = breakfast
desayunar = to breakfast
estar en ayuno = to be fasting

The phrase 'en ayuno' is sometimes used in a medical appointment letter to mean 'don't eat beforehand'.

Note that ayunar and desayunar are both regular -ar verbs.

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