When a word ends in -o or -a, how do we know which is preferred? When to use -illo, -illa, etc. and when to use -ito, -ita, etc.? For example, is it gatito or gatillo for a little cat? Chiquita or chiquilla for a little girl? Or are both acceptable endings? Thanks in advance for clearing this up.
The suffixes -ito/-ita and -illo/-illa are both used to make the noun "smaller" or to talk in a "cute" way about the noun/adjective. I dare say that -ito/-ita are generally more commonly used in Spain, and also that when using -illo/-illa often change the meaning of the word, for example: cuchara and cucharilla, the first meaning "spoon" and the second "teaspoon", so it may not be referring simply to a small spoon but a specific "teaspoon".
Using -ito or -illo more or less often depends on the custom in the region and the area of Spain and Latin America. Sometimes in a specific village one specific suffix is the one that everybody use there.
So, there is no good answer to this I am afraid.
This is entirely wrong for L.A. Spanish. The endings are ito, ita etc...no one in Mexico uses these diminutive endings. This course should be updated and fixed to match L.A. Spanish.
These are wrong unless you are in Spain. This lesson applies only to pennisular Spanish.
The other suffixes (-illo, -cillo) may not be as common as -illo in Mexico but in other Latin American countries they are. I ran this through 3 different Latin American friends (Colombian, Cuban and Mexican) and they all recognized all these suffixes. Maybe you haven't come across those yet? Or where you live they are not used that much?
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