Botar vs Votar

La diferencia entre Botar y Votar - The difference between Botar and Votar

A common mistake I see in written Spanish are with the verbs BOTAR and VOTAR and how sometimes a person writes Botar instead of Votar and vice versa. This is common among native speakers.

Why is this?

According to the Real Academia Española, the letters B and V are pronounced exactly the same in all Spanish-speaking countries.

No existe en español diferencia alguna en la pronunciación de las letras B y V. Las dos presentan hoy el sonido bilabial sonoro /b/. – Real Academia Española

This means that Botar and Votar are homonyms (= words that are pronounced the same but are different in meaning or sometimes spelling).

So, even though these two words sound the same, they both have a very different meaning:

Botar = (in English) to throw out; to throw away.
Botar = Arrojar, tirar, echar fuera a alguien o algo.

  • Tienes que botar tus papeles, no los dejes ahí.
  • No botes tu dinero comprando esa cosa inútil.

Votar = (in English) to vote.
Votar = Dar su voto en una elección de personas o en una reunión.

  • Voy a votar por el candidato X en estas elecciones.
  • No voté por el presidente actual.

The confusion about whether to use a B or V is not limited to these two words but many others. For example:

  • Barón – Varón
  • Baya – Vaya
  • Grabar – Gravar
  • Hierba – Hierva
  • Tubo – Tuvo

(There are many more)

Tags: , , ,