Spanish Word of the Day Archive
Friday September 21, 2007

desgracia, noun:
misfortune, bad luck

The basic meaning of desgracia is something unfortunate. So, in the following example it means bad luck, rather than its false friend ‘disgrace’.

Es una desgracia que haya* tenido que abandonar el Tour de esta manera.
It’s bad luck that he’s had to drop out of the Tour like this.

Se apenó de la desgracia de su compatriota.
He was saddened by his compatriot’s misfortune.

Desgracia is very commonly used in the structure tener la desgracia de hacer, to be unlucky enough to do or to have the misfortune to do:

si tienen la desgracia de fracturarse un brazo
if they are unlucky enough to break an arm

Tuvo la desgracia de ser concejal cuando ocurrieron los hechos.
He was unfortunate enough to be a councillor when the events took place.

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