Can You Pass Me the Eraser in Spanish in Duolingo?

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During my recent Duolingo Spanish lesson, I encountered a peculiar phrase: “Can you pass me the eraser?” Curiosity sparked within me, and I couldn’t resist delving deeper into its linguistic nuances. Join me as we embark on a linguistic journey, unraveling the intricacies of this seemingly simple request.

How to Say 'Eraser' in Spanish - YouTube

Can You Pass Me The Eraser In Spanish Duolingo

While the direct translation of “Can you pass me the eraser?” is “¿Puedes pasarme el borrador?”, Duolingo opted for a slightly different rendition: “¿Me alcanzas el borrador?”. Let’s break down this alternate phrasing.

“¿Me alcanzas el borrador?”: A Closer Examination

The verb “alcanzar” means “to reach” or “to hand over,” implying a physical action of extending an object towards someone. This subtle distinction captures the nuance of passing an item, making the phrase more specific than the literal translation. Additionally, the use of “el borrador” (the eraser) clarifies the object being requested.

Now, let’s delve into the broader context of requesting an object in Spanish. The use of the informal pronoun “tú” (you) indicates a casual or familiar relationship between the speaker and the person they’re addressing. However, in more formal settings, one would use the formal pronoun “usted” instead.

The Evolution of “Borrador” in Spanish

The word “borrador” has an intriguing linguistic history. Originally derived from the verb “borrar” (to erase), it referred to a writing instrument used to erase ink or pencil marks. Over time, the term evolved to encompass a broader range of erasers, including the rubber and plastic varieties we commonly use today.

Interestingly, in some Spanish-speaking countries, the word “goma” is also used to refer to an eraser. This term originates from the natural latex material used in early erasers, which were derived from rubber trees. The use of “goma” as a synonym for “borrador” is particularly prevalent in countries like Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay.

Tips for Using Phrases Like “¿Me alcanzas el borrador?”

To effectively use phrases like “¿Me alcanzas el borrador?”, consider the following tips:

Use the appropriate pronoun: Choose “tú” for informal settings and “usted” for formal ones.

Be clear about the object: Specify the object you’re requesting, such as “el borrador” (the eraser), “el lápiz” (the pencil), or “el libro” (the book).

Practice pronunciation: Familiarize yourself with the correct pronunciation of Spanish words to ensure effective communication.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is it common to use the phrase “¿Me alcanzas el borrador?” in everyday Spanish?

A: Yes, it’s a common and useful phrase for requesting an eraser in various Spanish-speaking contexts.

Q: Can I use “goma” instead of “borrador”?

A: Yes, “goma” is an acceptable synonym for “borrador” in some Spanish-speaking countries, particularly Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay.


Exploring the phrase “¿Me alcanzas el borrador?” has enriched our understanding of Spanish language and culture. By appreciating the nuances of word choice and context, we gain a deeper appreciation for the beauty and complexity of language. Are you intrigued by the world of Spanish linguistics? Delve further into its fascinating history, diverse dialects, and rich vocabulary to unlock new perspectives and enhance your communication skills in this vibrant language.

Can You Pass Me The Eraser In Spanish Duolingo

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