1

Talking with my spanish colleagues one used the word Regañar and explained that it means 'tell someone what they are doing wrong', like telling a child to correct their behavior.

Can anyone think of any English words that translate more literally than browbeat, verbal smackdown, set them straight?

Google translate says quarrel, argue, complain which my colleagues agree is not correct

  • I thought of another: "Dress down" – Plato Jul 17 '15 at 21:05
  • And rebuke, although that's fancy. All these words are fancy. You need a simple word, go for scold. – tchrist Jul 17 '15 at 21:50
  • 1
    Got some extra context from my colleagues: regañar implies punishing criticism, so nothing so far is a literal translation (because you could admonish/scold/rebuke someone for small offenses) – Plato Jul 17 '15 at 23:26
4

Admonish might be the correct word. See also words like chastise, chide, reprimand, and scold.

  • 1
    "Scold" is how I usually translate "regañar" from Spanish to English. For a slightly softer feel, one could also use simply "correct." As in "Don't scold/correct me" / "No me regañes." – Flimzy Jul 27 '15 at 16:13
1

If nothing else that's suggested works, you could also use discipline as a verb:

verb: to train (someone) to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

You could discipline a child for their bad behavior, for example.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.