What is “Tal”? or what does “tales” mean? These are typical questions that man students of Spanish ask. It doesn’t have an exact translation to English but I can explain it to you in different contexts.

In the first case it has a function of being demonstrative.

The following examples could be replaced for the demonstratives: este-esta, ese-esa, aquellos-aquellas. We use tal or tales when the meaning is implicit in the conversation.

Nunca he dicho tal cosa. (I have never said that)

Los pantalones rojos hay que ponerlos en esta caja. Tales pantalones son para poner en oferta la semana próxima. (We have to put the red pants in this box. These pants are going on sale next week.)

In another case we use Tal with the connotation of: much, a lot.

Tal valentía merece un premio. (Such courage deserves an award.)

Esa publicidad emplea tal creatividad que nos dejó a todos sorprendidos. (This ad uses such creativity that left us all shocked.)

Also, it is possible to use tal/tales with the objective of hiding the exact information:

Nos podríamos encontrar tal día a tal hora y terminar de planificar la fiesta. (We could find such a day at such an hour and finish planning the party.)

Cuando ella hizo tal cosa y tal otra yo no me enojé, por eso no me gusta que me haga reproches. (When she did such and such things I got mad, so I don’t like that she blames me.)

Another use is when we are speaking about an indefinite person, that we don´t know exactly, but this person says his name or we heard his name.

Ha llamado un tal Oscar. (A certain Oscar called.)

Me dio estos papeles un tal Raúl, para que te los dé a ti. (I gave these papers to a certain Raul, so that he gives them to you)

We could be talking also of similarity.

Si es una persona que nunca reconoció a sus hijos, tal persona no merece mi respeto. (If they are a person who never acknowledged their children, that person does not deserve my respect.)

Qué falta de respeto. Nunca vi algo tal. (What disrespect. I never saw such a thing.)

There are also some phrases that always use Tal.

¿Qué tal? (how are you)

Son tal para cual (two of a kind)

De tal palo, tal astilla (like father like son/literally means: from that stick, this splinter)

via Learning Spanish Reviews Blog » What Does Tal Mean In Spanish?.

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