The Chabacano Rompido and Roto

I once heard a friend at the office say. “esta roto?” Then somebody replied “todo esta roto”. They were talking about the computers in the office.

Hearing this conversation gave me the idea to write about the Chabacano Roto and Rompido.

What’s funny is that the word rompido does not exist in Spanish. Saying rompido in Spanish would be incorrect as roto is the past participle form of romper. Here is an example of how the word roto is used in Spanish:

Las paginas del libro estan rotas (meaning the pages of the book is torn)

La television esta rota (meaning the TV is broken)

In Chabacano though both roto and rompido are used. The word roto is used solely for clothing articles like socks, shirts, and pants. It can be used both as a noun and as an adjective and would mean a hole or a torn part.


Used as a noun:

Tiene roto el mio camisa (meaning there is a hole on my shirt)

As an adjective:

Roto el mio camisa (same meaning)

Meanwhile, the word Rompido is usually used for materials made of paper or anything that’s not a clothing article. Rompido can only be used as an adjective.

Here is an example:

Rompido el libro (the book is torn)

Rompido el retrato (the photo is torn)

Note though that there is another way to say this (especially when you are describing an action that was done in the past).

Ya rompe el libro (the book was torn)

Ya rompe el retrato (the photo was torn)

Another thing that I would like to add is that while the Spanish romper can also mean to break something, the Chabacano rompe can only be used to mean to tear something up. The word for breaking something up in Chabacano is quebra.

Note that what is written above may only apply to modern Chabacano.

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