Spanish Word of the Day Archive
Friday November 15, 2013

cuenta, noun:
to realize; to notice

Apart from using cuenta to mean bill in restaurants, you can use it with the reflexive form of dar in the phrase darse cuenta when you realize something is the case. Notice how it’s followed by de and then by que in the first two examples.

Me di cuenta de que era inútil seguir.
I realized there was no point in going on.

You often use darse cuenta a bit apologetically:

Perdona, no me había dado cuenta de que eras vegetariana.
I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were a vegetarian.

You can also use darse cuenta when talking about noticing something. Note that in Latin America people often leave out the de after cuenta:

Fernando, ¿Te diste cuenta cómo te miraba esa niña?
Fernando, did you notice how that girl kept looking at you?

In southern Latin America, you use the exclamation ¡Te das cuenta! Can you believe it! for something quite incredible:

Estaba con esa mujer. ¡Te das cuenta!
He was with that woman. Can you believe it!

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