5 Tricky Medical Spanish Words: Stop, Failure, Stay, Keep & Free

5 Tricky Medical Spanish Words: Stop, Failure, Stay, Keep & Free

5 Tricky Medical Spanish Words Stop Failure Stay Keep Free

This free Medical Spanish lesson focuses on understanding the different meanings of these 5 tricky medical Spanish words: Stop, Failure, Stay, Keep, and Free

Some time ago, we talked 4 tricky medical words in Spanish: back, butt, rate, and screen. In this case, I have added 5 new ones I think you need to know about: stop, failure, stay, keep, and free.

Here is the 5 Tricky Medical Spanish Words lesson I taught to the Facebook group:

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Why are these words tricky?

This are tricky medical Spanish words because they have multiple meanings in English, and therefore various equivalents in Spanish. On a practical level, they are tricky because when you look them up with Google Translate, it’s easy to pick the wrong word (Sorry 🙂

Since these words in English can mean a variety of things, you need to use different words to explain the idea correctly in Spanish.

Here is a list of common uses of each of these 5 tricky words and their corresponding equivalents in Spanish:

1. Common uses of the word “stop”:

Stop sign: Señal de alto

  • Doble a la derecha en la señal de alto 
  • Yes, I know when you see the word “alto” you think of the English words “high” or “tall” but in this case, “Alto” means “stop” and I think this is from the German word “Halt” 😉

Quit moving or working: Parar

  • Si tiene falta de aire cuando hace ejercicio, necesita parar y descansar un poquito.
  • Ok, another word with two meanings: “Parar” also means to stand up or to get up, and could be used as a reflexive verb.

An example of pararse as a reflexive verb:

  • Por favor, párese y camine hacia la puerta (Please stand up and walk towards the door)

Stop a habit: Dejar de…

  • Cuesta mucho (es muy difícil) dejar de fumar tabaco. Un grupo de apoyo le puede ayudar.

2. Common uses of the word “failure”:

Make a mistake or fail an activity: Fallar

  • No soy muy bueno con los exámenes. Tengo miedo de fallar.

To be a failure: Fracasar

  • Fue un fracaso. No tuvimos éxito. No pudimos parar el sangrado 

Organ failure: Insuficiencia

  • Necesita diálisis por su insuficiencia renal.

Heart failure: Insuficiencia cardíaca.

Respiratory failure: Insuficiencia respiratoria.

Note: you could see the word “insuficiente” in some settings, but this is not related to an organ failure. The meaning of this word is insufficient or not enough.

Example: La cantidad de comida que ingiere es insuficiente para mantener una dieta sana.

3. Common uses of the word “stay”:

Remain in a place: Quedarse

  • No vamos a buscar un hotel. Vamos a quedarnos aquí en el hospital con nuestro hijo.

Continue, stay: Seguir, mantener

  • Para mantener una buena salud, es importante comer bien y hacer ejercicio regularmente.

Time in a place: Estancia, tiempo

  • Durante mi estancia (tiempo) en el hospital, muchos vinieron a visitarme 

Note: In some countries in Latin America, una estancia could be: a room in a house or a small farm.


  • La señora está descansando en su estancia (The lady is resting in her room)
  • El fin de semana vamos a visitar la estancia de un amigo (This weekend we are going to a friend’s small farm)

Download 5 Tricky Medical Spanish Words Notes TODAY

4. Common uses of the word “keep”:

Store an object: Guardar

  • Debe guardar este medicamento en el refrigerador.

Possess an object: Quedarse con

  • No necesita devolver las muletas, puede quedarse con ellas 

“Keep on”, continue: Seguir, continuar

  • Es importante seguir con los tratamientos hasta terminarlas todas. It’s important to continue with the treatments until finishing all of them.

5. Common uses of the word “free:

No cost: Gratis

  • Es gratis, no necesita pagar nada 

Not containing or loosed: Libre de…

  • Este hospital es un lugar libre de tabaco.

Available: Disponible

  • Tenemos una cita disponible para mañana a las 11:00 AM.

Now is your turn! ¡Ahora te toca a ti!

Study these 5 tricky words in Spanish with the flashcards below

Download the lesson notes and start creating your own sentences using these 5 tricky words in Spanish and share it on the comments below or in our Facebook group to receive feedback from other Medical Spanish learners 🙂

I packaged all of this into easily downloadable .pdf notes– Get your copy for free today!

Download 5 Tricky Medical Spanish Words Notes TODAY

Keep up the good work speaking responsible Spanish to your patients! Check out our other books, classes & products to help you learn medical Spanish!

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