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Poner los puntos sobre las íes.

 

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  #1  
Old March 27, 2008, 05:02 PM
Alfonso Alfonso is offline
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Poner los puntos sobre las íes.

Puntualizar, precisar, aclarar, poner los puntos sobre las íes.
How can I say these expressions in English?

I know to clarify for aclarar. But, what about the rest of them?
  • Quisiera puntualizar que yo no tengo nada que ver con el asunto.
  • Debo precisar que la cantidad desaparecida no llega a los cien mil euros.
  • Es necesario alguien que ponga los puntos sobre las íes. Vivimos en un delirio constante.
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Last edited by Alfonso; March 27, 2008 at 05:06 PM. Reason: Grammar
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  #2  
Old March 27, 2008, 05:12 PM
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I´m not sure about the others but for poner los puntos sobre las íes,I think the expression is to dot your ies and cross your ts.
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Old March 27, 2008, 05:58 PM
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Alfonso, here's a few options. Let me know if what you meant was something different.

puntualizar (recordar)
Quisiera puntualizar que yo no tengo nada que ver con el asunto.
I'd like to remind everyone that I don't have anything to do with this situation.
Keep in mind that I don't have anything to do with this situation.

puntualizar (precisar)
I'd like to specify that I don't have anything to do with this deal. (especificar)
I'd like to point out that I don't have anything to do with this deal. (señalar)
I'd like to state that I don't have anything to do with this deal. (declarar)
I'd like to go on the record as saying that I don't have anything to do with this deal.

precisar (señalar)
Debo precisar que la cantidad desaparecida no llega a los cien mil euros.
I must point out that the amount that has disappeared is less than 100,000 Euros.
I must specify that the amount that has disappeared is less than 100,000 Euros.

As far as the expression "poner los puntos sobre las íes", I honestly haven't heard it before. Literally it would be "to do your Is", but I suspect that it really means something like:

to take care of business
to do the job right
to take care of all the details
to be careful to do everything right

or something to that effect. Can you confirm that?
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Old March 27, 2008, 06:10 PM
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puntualizar also translates as emphasize. Precisar tambien
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Old March 27, 2008, 06:22 PM
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The phrase is "to dot your i's and cross your t's." (Apostrophes are used to write the plural form of a letter.)

For puntualizar, I would say 'to make clear,' 'to state,' or 'to point out.'
For aclarar, I would use 'to clarify' in addition to 'to make clear.'
For precisar, I would use 'to determine exactly/precisely' or 'to make absolutely certain/sure.'
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Old March 28, 2008, 01:35 AM
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good info. Thanks
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Old March 31, 2008, 12:10 PM
Alfonso Alfonso is offline
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Thanks everybody for your answers!

Y un par de puntualizaciones para David:

I don't use puntualizar with the nuance of recordar (neither to remember nor to remind). I've checked it in DRAE and DPD and it doesn't appear.

About poner los puntos sobre las íes:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomisimo View Post
to take care of business
to do the job right
to take care of all the details
to be careful to do everything right
I don't think it fits any of the meanings you say. It's more like somebody saying something that everybody expected to be said but nobody was so brave as for saying it. The person who pone los puntos sobre las íes speaks clearly, reasonably and vigorously.

So, I can neither be sure if it fits to dot the I's and to cross the T's, as I don't know the meaning of this English expression.
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Old March 31, 2008, 03:39 PM
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The "dot the i's and cross the t's" phrase means to be careful to do everything right (to be meticulous). So, it doesn't fit your phrase, although it appeared to at first glance.

The meaning you give to poner los puntos sobre las íes is something akin to 'a polished speaker' in English. This means the conversationalist is flawless, skillful, and excellent. It implies the use of clear (reasonable - making good sense), well-chosen words (concise - peppered with multi-syllabic words), and appropriate grammar. However, it doesn't imply vigorous speech. We usually say 'powerful' to describe vigorous, or animated speech. So, I think a good translation of poner los puntos sobre las íes is 'a polished and powerful speaker.' There are other ways (synonyms) to say the same thing.
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Old April 01, 2008, 01:07 PM
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Thanks for the corrections Alfonso.

Returning to los puntos sobre las íes...

I agree with Rusty's analysis, based on Alsonso's definition of the phrase.

I also found a blog titled Los Puntos Sobre Las Íes.
In this context, would a good translation be "Straight Talk" or "Telling it Like it Is"? What do you think?
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Old April 01, 2008, 03:59 PM
Alfonso Alfonso is offline
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I think a good translation would be straight talk or telling it like it is as David said.

Let's see these examples:

Estaba ya más que harto de mi jefe... y cuando me dijo que no podía ni abrir la ventana... fue la gota que colmó el vaso... Me levanté y le dije cuatro cositas. Le puse los puntos sobre las íes, todo muy clarito. No creo que vuelva a decirme otra tontería parecida.

No sé qué más quiere esa chica. Se lo he dicho cien veces. Me va a obligar a tener que ponerle los puntos sobre las íes. (Maybe this one a little forced because of the context, but valid as well).

Ese vecino es el que salva las reuniones. Cada vez que se levanta pone los puntos sobre las íes.

I hope this will be clearer than my previous attempt of definition in English.
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