Decoding abbreviations

You’re reading along in Spanish, seeing a name and address.  So what the heck is Ma. at C. Garza no. 10?  It helps a lot to learn some of the most common abbreviations.  Unlike English, where most abbreviations are capitalized, many Spanish abbreviations are not.  But, of course, it wouldn’t be a living language if there were no exceptions.

a.C.,— antes de Cristo,— B.C. (before Christ), BCE (before Common Era)

am and pm.– rarely used, as most often time is stated in 24 hour time, 17:00h (5:00 pm), 8:00h (8:00 am)

apdo. — apartado postal — P.O. Box

aprox. — aproximadamente — approximately

Arq. – arquitecto (architect)

Av., Avda. — avenida — Ave. (avenue, in addresses)

C. – calle – St.(street)

c.c. — centímetros cúbicos — c.c. (cubic centimeters)

Cía — compañia —

Co. (company)

cm — centímetros — cm. (centimeters)

Col. – colonia (area of the city, a neighborhood used in addresses)

c/u — cada uno — apiece

D. — don — Sir

Da. — doña — Madam

d.C. — después de Cristo,— A.D. (anno domini), CE (Common Era)

dna. — docena — dozen

Dr., Dra. — doctor, doctora —

Dr.  E — este (punto cardinal) —

E (east)  EE. UU. — Estados Unidos —

U.S.  h. — hora — hour

Ing. — ingeniero — engineer

kg — kilogramos — kg (kilograms)

km/h — kilómetros por hora — kilometers per hour

l — litros — liters

Lic. — licenciado — attorney or professional degree

Ma. – María

m — metros — meters

mm — milímetros — millimeters

m.n. — moneda nacional —to distinguish the national coin  from others

N — norte — N (north)

no., núm. — número — No. (number)

O — oeste — west  pág. — página — page

P.D. — postdata — P.S.

p.ej. — por ejemplo — e.g. (for example)

Prof, Profa. — profesor, profesora — Professor

q.e.p.d. — que en paz descanse — R.I.P. (rest in peace)

S — sur — S (south)

S.A. — Sociedad Anónima — Inc.

Sr. — señor — Mr.

Sra. — señora — Mrs., Ms.

Srta. — señorita — Miss, Ms.

s.s.s. — su seguro servidor — your faithful servant (used as a closing in letters)

Ud., Vd., Uds., Vds. — usted, ustedes — you

v. — véase —  see

W.C. — water closet — lavatory

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