Cruda – Translations, Meanings & Uses

What does ‘cruda’ mean in Spanish?

In Spanish, ‘cruda’ and its masculine version ‘crudo’ mean ‘raw’ when talking about food. They can also be translated as ‘harsh’ or ‘crude’ if referring to people or events. In Mexican slang, ‘cruda’ refers to a hangover when used as a noun and it can be translated as ‘hungover’ if used as an adjective.

Given that in Spanish the word cruda can be used in different contexts, it’s easy to confuse their meanings. However, by the end of this article you’ll know how to use this word and what it means depending on the situation.

What Is ‘Cruda’ in Spanish?

The standard meaning of ‘cruda’ is ‘raw’. So, you can use this adjective to describe any uncooked or undercooked food. Just like the majority of adjectives in Spanish, it has to match the gender of the thing you’re referring to. In simple words, this means that depending on what food you’re talking about, you’ll need to use ‘cruda’ or its masculine form ‘crudo’.

Although ‘cruda’ is a great adjective to describe your food, in Mexican Spanish this word is also used as a synonym of ‘hangover’. In this case, ‘cruda’ and ‘crudo’ can also work as adjectives to describe the people suffering from a hangover.

  • When talking about food, ‘cruda’ means ‘raw’.
  • To describe something unpleasant, ‘crudo’ can be translated as ‘harsh’.
  • If used as a noun, ‘cruda’ can be translated as ‘hangover’.

In the sections below, I’ll give a more in-depth explanation of this word, along with examples, so you have a better understanding of how to use it.

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To describe raw food

In a culinary context, ‘crudo’ and ‘cruda’ mean ‘raw’, since they’re words used to indicate that food is uncooked or undercooked.

[Noun] + (‘estar’ conjugated) + [crudo/cruda]

La carne y las verduras están crudas
The meat and the vegetables are raw

Disculpa, la pizza que pedí estaba cruda.
Excuse me, the pizza I ordered was undercooked.

No saques el pastel del horno, todavía está crudo.
Don’t take the cake out of the oven, it’s still undercooked.

If you check the previous examples, we use estar to talk about the food’s state or condition (being raw) at a specific moment. Of course, you can also combine ‘crudo’ and ‘cruda’ with other verbs. Check these examples below:

[Verb conjugated] + [noun] + [crudo/cruda]

Me encantan las zanahorias crudas.
I love raw carrots.

El ceviche se prepara con pescado crudo
Ceviche is prepared with raw fish. 

To express that something is unpleasant

When used figuratively, ‘crudo’ means ‘harsh’ or ‘crude’. If talking about people, ‘crudo’ and ‘cruda’ are used to describe someone that is inconsiderate and has no filter. If talking about a circumstance, these adjectives indicate a pessimistic outlook.

[Noun] + [verb conjugated] + (adverb) + [crudo/cruda] + [complement]

Lo siento pero esa es la cruda realidad.
I’m sorry but that’s the harsh truth.

Los jueces del concurso son muy crudos.
The judges of the contest are very harsh.

Los habitantes de Rusia pasarán un crudo invierno.
The people of Russia will have a harsh winter.

Su nueva película muestra un lado muy crudo de la humanidad.
His new film shows a very harsh side of humanity.

To refer to a hangover

In Mexico, ‘cruda’ means the same thing as ‘hangover’. Although this is a very informal term, it’s widely used among Mexican Spanish speakers. So if you have Mexican friends, you should get familiar with this term. Notice that in this case, you’ll always use its feminine form.

[Definite/indefinite article] + [cruda] + [complement]

No aguanto la cruda.
I can’t stand this hangover.

El fin de semana tuve la peor cruda de mi vida.
This weekend I had the worst hangover of my life.

No me gusta tomar porque siempre tengo unas crudas terribles.
I don’t like to drink because I always have terrible hangovers.

To indicate that someone is suffering from a hangover ‘cruda’ and ‘crudo’ work as synonyms of ‘hungover’. Since in this case, these words are working as adjectives, you need to make sure that they agree in number and gender with la persona cruda. 

(Noun) + (‘estar’ conjugated) + [crudo/cruda]

Todavía estoy crudo.
I’m still hungover.

Ayer fui al trabajo crudo.
Yesterday I went to work hungover.

Alicia se siente mal, dice que está cruda.
Alicia feels ill, she says she’s hungover.

Mis primos siguen crudos
My cousins are still hungover

Synonyms for ‘Crudo’ and ‘Cruda’ in Spanish

Resaca is a more formal way of saying ‘hangover’.

Duro means ‘harsh’ or ‘tough’ and it can be used to describe someone that is insensitive or a circumstance that’s hard to endure.

Related Resource
11 Funny Mexican Sayings to Crack Your Friends Up!: If you’re learning Mexican Spanish, there are funny words and expressions that you may want to include in your vocabulary. This Mexican vocabulary is not only funny, but it can also help you convey your ideas like a native speaker!

Daniela Sanchez

¡Hola! Soy Daniela Sanchez, I've been studying Spanish professionally as well as teaching it in Mexico and online for over 10 years. I’ve taught Spanish to a wide array of foreigners from many backgrounds. Over the years, I've made it my mission to work hard on refining many challenging to understand grammar topics to make my students' learning experiences easier, faster and more enjoyable. Read More About Me

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