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Relations gradation

It's interesting to know how you define in your languages relations. For example, if you want to mention your beloved, in English you can say "girlfriend"/"boyfriend", but it doesn't mean actually the "friend". So how to call girl that is just friend? Because "girlfriend" is already taken.

In russian there's a trick, we call it "my girl", "my boy" if we mean something more than friends, and "girlfriend/boyfriend" if we talk about closer relation. But I see that nowdays more people call their beloved "girlfriend".

I was always wondering how in Spanish "novia" means "girlfriend" and "bride", and if you want to say "she is my girlfriend, but not the bride" - "es mi novia, pero no es mi novia"? How do you avoid confusion here?

Are there any other words used for relations gradation?



We call them Female friends or male friends. If its your buddy and he/she is the same sex as you just say "friend". Girls can get away with saying "my girlfriend" when talking about a friend, but a guy cannot say "my boyfriend" unless he is gay. Yeah, its confusing.


In Spanish novia is girlfriend, fiance for female is " mi prometida" literally means "my promised".But like you said, bride in Spanish is novia as well because she doesn't become "esposa / wife" until after the wedding. The day of her wedding is like her last day being called " novia / girlfriend" After the wedding she will be called by her husband "mi esposa / my wife" or "mi mujer / my woman". Another word is " cónyuge" means spouse, it can be used for both male and female. 

A funny fact about the word "esposa / wife" is that it also means handcuffs in Spanish. 

Thank you for replies!

Natali, it's really interesting that "esposas" is handcuffs :))


In Hindi there is no word for "boy friend' or "girl friend".

@Anita, and how do you call them?

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