Fact

In Spanish double letter usage indicates a plural.

Understanding Spanish Acronyms

In Spanish, double letter usage indicates a plural. For example, the U.S. (United States) is EE. UU., or E.E.U.U., or simply EEUU (Estados Unidos) in Spanish. With that said, doubling isn’t done for all plurals and special rules can apply. We discuss the basics below.[1]

Is one of the three forms preferred? Using the US as an example again. The form EE.UU. is the most common, and i’ve seen people criticize E.E.U.U., but from my research all three forms seem to be acceptable ways to write the acronym. Just like one can say USA or U.S.A.[2]

Why is the US called EE. UU. or E.E.U.U. in Spanish?

The United States is EE. UU. which stands for Estados Unidos where EE. (=Estados / States) UU. (=Unidos / United in a plural form).[3][4]

Many acronyms follow this rule, for example: Armed Forces is  FF. (=Fuerzas / Forces) AA. (=Armadas / Armed in plural form).

Others plural abbreviations include:[5]

  • SS. HH. — Servicios Higiénicos (hygienic services / toilet)
  • CC. NN. — Comunidades Nativas (native communities)
  • DD. HH. — Derechos Humanos (Human Rights)
  • JJ. OO. — Juegos Olímpicos (Olympic Games)
  • RR. PP. – Relaciones Públicas (Public Relationships)
  • RR. HH. — recursos humanos (human resources)

When Not to Plural

Not every acronym follows this rule, one can also use an alternative version that doesn’t’ double up on plurals, which is common with longer acronyms like the United States of America which can be abbreviated EUA (not EE.UU.A.)… however, even EEUUA is used and understood. Meanwhile, there are some exceptions like Buenos Aires as Bs.As. rather than BB.AA. (even though the basic rule is never to use little “s”) and there are most certainly 5 or more letter acronyms too, like EEUUA for example, so this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule.

Spanish Acronym Pronunciation, Spain Vs. Latin America. Also, how Spanish is used can differ between countries (like with Buenos Aires) and with the way terms like CD and DVD are pronounced. Check out this guys youtube channel for more interesting facts about the Spanish language.



Conclusion

In Spanish double letter usage indicates a plural, but not all plurals get a double letter abbreviation, for example ONU is the abbreviation for la Organización de las Naciones Unidas, the United Nations and EUA can be used for the United States of America (although it is less common than EEUU).


Citations

  1. Spanish Doubles Letters for Some Plural Abbreviations
  2. Spanish abbreviation for the United States of America
  3. Why is the U S A called E E.U U?
  4. Estados Unidos
  5. Why EEUU and SSHH in Spanish Abbreviations?


"Double Letter Usage Indicates a Plural in Spanish Abbreviations" is tagged with: Spain, United States of America


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