How to Write Abbreviations. With a List!

Abbreviations don’t appear often in the Spanish language. But we still use them. We call them:

Abreviaturas

Abreviaturas have one role in Spanish—to save space. And they require five things:

  1. Cut at least two letters of original word.
  2. Close la abreviatura with a punto de abreviación.
  3. Capitalize abreviatura only if original word was capitalized.
  4. Don’t place an abbreviation in the middle of a sentence (some exceptions).
  5. Don’t sacrifice readability.

An abbreviation that usually appears within a sentence:

Spanish writing examples:

La abreviatura e.g. es muy común en textos en inglés, pero su contraparte en español p. ej. no es tan común en textos escritos en español.

El aguacate es una fruta de gran venta en algunas celebraciones (p. ej., en el Super Bowl, el Cinco de Mayo, en Memorial Day).

Did you notice?

First example doesn’t have a comma after abbreviation, but second one does. The abbreviation period is not a punctuation mark. Therefore, punctuation mark rules don’t apply here. Write a comma after the abbreviation only if your Spanish sentence needs it.

Both examples have lower case abbreviations. In Spanish, we don’t need to capitalize the abbreviation unless original word was capitalized.

Throughout time, the Real Academia Española de la Lengua has compiled a list of abbreviations. I created this short list with Spanish abbreviations we often use in Marketing.

Here are some of the most common abbreviations we use:

3Q (third quarter)
tercer trimestre
No abbreviation in Spanish.
Mar. (March)
mzo. (marzo)
MAR (Spanish symbol)
a.m.
a. m. (ante meridiem)
One space after first period.
May. (May)
my. (mayo)
MAY (Spanish symbol)
Acct. (account)
cta. (cuenta)
max
máx. (máximo)
Admin. (administration,
administrative)
admón. (administración)
Min. (minimum)
mín. (mínimo)
Apr. (April)
abr. (abril)
ABR (Spanish symbol)
Miss.
Srita. (señorita)
Capitalize
apt. (apartment)
apto. (apartamento)
Mon. (Monday)
lu. o lun. (lunes)
LU (Spanish symbol)
Aug. (August)
ag. o agt. (agosto)
AGO (Spanish symbol)
Mr.
Sr. (señor)
Capitalize
Ave. (avenue)
av. (avenida)
Mrs.
Sra. (señora)
Capitalize
Feb. (February)
febr. (febrero)
FEB (Spanish symbol)
No. or # (number)
núm. o nro. o # (número)
Comp. (company)
Cía. (compañía)
Capitalize
Nov. (November)
nov. (noviembre)
NOV (Spanish symbol)
Ct. (count)
pza. (pieza)
Oct. (October)
oct. (octubre)
OCT (Spanish symbol)
Dec. (December)
dic. (diciembre)
DIC (Spanish symbol)
p. (page)
pág. o pg. (página)
Dept. (department)
depto. o dpto. (departamento)
phone
tel. (teléfono)
Dr.
Dr. (doctor)
Capitalize
p.m.
p. m. (post meridiem)
One space after first period.
Ea. (each)
c/u (cada uno)
PT (Pacific Time)
Tiempo del Pacífico
No abbreviation in Spanish.
e.g. (exempli gratia)
p. ej. (por ejemplo)
R.S.V.P. (Répondez s’il vous
plaît, or please reply.)
confirmar asistencia
No abbreviation in Spanish.
etc. (et cetera)
etc. (etcétera)
Sat. (Saturday)
Sá. o sáb. (sábado)
SA (Spanish symbol)
E.T. (Eastern Time)
Tiempo del Este
No abbreviation in Spanish.
Sep. (September)
sept. (septiembre)
SEP (Spanish symbol)
Fri. (Friday)
vi. o vier. (viernes)
VI (Spanish symbol)
Sun. (Sunday)
do. o dom. (domingo)
DO (Spanish symbol)
hr. or h. (hour)
No abbreviation in Spanish.
h (Spanish symbol)
Symbols don’t need period.
Thur. o Thurs. (Thursday)
ju. o jue. (jueves)
JU (Spanish symbol)
HR (Human Resources)
RR. HH. (Recursos Humanos)
All capitals.
Tue. or Tues. (Tuesday)
ma. o mar. (martes)
MA (Spanish symbol)
Jan. (January)
en. (enero)
ENE (Spanish symbol)
U.S. (United States)
EE. UU. (Estados Unidos)
All capitals, space after period.
Jul. (July)
jul. (julio)
JUL (Spanish symbol)
vs.
vs. (versus)
Jun. (June)
jun. (junio)
JUN (Spanish symbol)
Wed. (Wednesday)
mi. o miér. (miércoles)
MI (Spanish symbol)

Some abbreviations from this list show a different Spanish writing, they start with a capital letter:

Srita. (señorita), Sr. (señor), Sra. (señora), Cía. (compañía), Dr. (doctor).

These abbreviations become part of the proper noun next to them; reason why we need to capitalize abbreviation, even though original Spanish word was in lower case.

Examples:

Srita. Alicia Zamora

Sr. Eduardo Aguilar

Sra. Leticia Gama

El Árbol del Yoga y Cía.

Dr. Gómez

Things to remember:

Don’t place an abbreviation in the middle of a sentence.

Abbreviations should not sacrifice readability.

Keep consistency throughout your document.

If you are interested on learning more about abbreviation Spanish writing, follow below links. And if you have a question about how to abbreviate your word in Spanish, feel free to ask me under comments.

https://www.fundeu.es/dudas/tipo-de-unidad/abreviaturas/

http://www.rae.es/diccionario-panhispanico-de-dudas/apendices/abreviaturas

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