Puro & Pura – Translations & Meanings in English

DefinitionPuro and its feminine form pura are Spanish adjectives that people use either to provide more characteristics about an object or to emphasize certain information in a sentence. Depending on the context, ‘puro’ and ‘pura’ can be translated as ‘pure’, ‘plain’, ‘simple’, ‘sheer’, ‘only’ and ‘just’. 

What Does ‘Puro’ & ‘Pura’ Means?

  • Translation #1: When describing an object’s material, ‘puro’ or ‘pura’ mean ‘pure’. 
  • Translation #2: If used to emphasize your sentence, these Spanish adjectives can be translated as ‘plain’, ‘sheer’ or ‘simple’
  • Translation #3: It also means ‘only’ and ‘just’. 

How and When to use ‘Puro’ & ‘Pura’

  • To describe an object or element’s material. Puro is used in Spanish to express that an object or material hasn’t been mixed with something else. In this situation, ‘puro’ and ‘pura’ are translated as ‘pure’. 
  • As a synonym of ‘only’ and ‘just’. In conversational Spanish, these adjectives can also be used to emphasize the characteristics or requirements of an event or situation. In this case, ‘puro’ and ‘pura’ mean ‘only’ and ‘just’. 
  • As a synonym of ‘plain’, ‘simple’ or ‘sheer’. Puro and pura are synonyms of ‘plain’, ‘simple’ and ‘sheer’. One common context where you use these adjectives is when talking about beverages and food, ‘puro’ and ‘pura’ are used to express that you want them to be unmixed with other ingredients.

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Examples on How to Use ‘Puro’ & ‘Pura’

Here are some real-life examples of how to use ‘puro’ and ‘pura’ in a sentence. 

To talk about an object or element’s material

In this situation, puro works as an adjective to provide further information about an object’s material or composition. 

El aire de las montañas es puro 
The air in the mountains is pure

Tus aretes son de oro puro
Your earrings are pure gold

Mi mamá tiene un juego de cubiertos de plata pura
My mom has a set of pure silver cutlery 

As a synonym of ‘only’, ‘just’ and ‘pure’

In this context, ‘puro’ and ‘pura’ can be used with the only purpose of emphasizing some situations’ characteristics or events. 

La fiesta es para puras chicas
The party is only for girls 

Sólo aceptamos puro efectivo
We only accept cash

En ese restaurante venden pura comida vegana
In that restaurant, they just sell vegan food

Take Note: In English, ‘only’ and ‘just’ emphasize the action, but puro and pura emphasize the object. Despite these grammatical differences, the purpose and the meaning of the sentences remain the same. 

As a synonym of ‘plain’, ‘simple’ or ‘sheer’ 

With this meaning, ‘puro’ and ‘pura’ are very common when talking about drinks and food. As synonyms of ‘sheer’, puro and pura can be used to emphasize a sentence. 

Pura agua para mí, por favor
Plain water for me, please

Tus comentarios son puras tonterias
Your opinion is sheer nonsense

Ya sabes que yo siempre te digo la pura verdad
You know that I always tell you the plain truth

Take Note: In this context, ‘puro’ and ‘pura’ don’t add any meaning to the sentence since its only purpose is to emphasize it. As a result, you could remove this word without affecting the meaning and intention of your statement. 

Who Can You Use ‘Puro’ and ‘Pura’ With?

These Spanish adjectives can be used both in formal and informal situations. Generally speaking, ‘puro’ and ‘puro’ are very common in conversational Spanish than in writing. 

Synonyms: 4 Ways To Say ‘Puro’ & ‘Pura’

  • Sólo → It means ‘only’. 
  • Real → It can only be used when talking about materials or the components of an object. 
  • Auténtico → Just like ‘real’, auténtico can be used to talk about an object’s material. ‘Auténtico’ has a feminine form. 
  • Únicamente It’s the direct translation of ‘only’ and ‘just’.

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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