Spanish Word of the Day Archive
Saturday October 23, 2010

tal, adjective:

You probably already know ¿qué tal? as a conversational way of asking how someone is.

Hola, José, ¿qué tal? ¡Tanto tiempo sin verte!
Hi, José, how are things? I haven’t seen you for ages!

The basic meaning of tal is such:

En tales casos es mejor consultar con un médico.
In such cases it’s best to see a doctor.

If you want to express the idea that one thing will happen only as long as something else happens, you can use the phrase con tal de que with the subjunctive.

Te dejo salir, con tal de que regreses* antes de las once.
I’ll let you go out as long as you come back before eleven.

Serían capaces de casi todo, con tal de que nos fuéramos* cuanto antes.
They would be capable of anything as long as we left as soon as possible.

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