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Published on: Grammar Bites

Three equivalents of ‘prospect’

Did you know that the Spanish equivalents of the word ‘prospect’ have nothing to do with the Spanish word ‘prospecto’?

That’s right; it’s a classic case of ‘false friends’. The Spanish word ‘prospecto’ means informational pamphlet or -less frequently used- a descriptive announcement of a new play, show or merchandise.

Let’s take a look at the actual Spanish equivalents of ‘prospect’:

1) Prospect as Posibilidad / Expectativa

When we want to disccuss the future possibility or reasonable expectation of carrying out an action, we use ‘posiblidad’ or ‘expectativa‘:

  • Este nuevo trabajo ofrece muchos beneficios; entre ellos la posibilidad de trabajar en el extranjero.
  • This new job offers many perks, including the prospect of working abroad. 
  • Las expectativas de terminar el conflicto pronto no son muy buenas, pero las negociaciones aún continuan.
  • The prospects of wrapping up the conflict soon are not great, but negotiations are still ongoing.
2) Prospect as Probabilidad

When we discuss things, events or situations that are likely to take place based on facts and supporting evidence or people that are likely to succeed in their endeavors, we talk about ‘probabilidad’ (or a derived term like ‘probable’):

  • Sus probabilidades de aprobar el examen son muy buenas; ha estudiado muchísimo.
  • Her prospects of passing the exam are very strong; she’s been studying a lot.
  • Tenemos dos probables candidatos para el puesto; debemos hacerles una entrevista final para tomar una decisión.
  • We have two prospects for the job opening; we have to conduct a final interview with them to make a decision.
3) Prospect as Futuro

Sometimes we use the term ‘prospect’ to describe how we imagine the future. In this context, the Spanish equivalent is simply ‘futuro’:

  • Él renunció a su viejo trabajo cuando se dió cuenta de que no tenía un futuro ahí.
  • He quit his old job when he realized he had no prospects there.
  • Ella se recibirá pronto y ya tiene algunas ofertas de trabajo. Se siente positiva sobre su futuro.
  • She’s graduating soon and she’s already has some job offers. She feels confident about her prospects.
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