"Grace" and "Gracia" Are Derived From the Same Root

La gratitud es más que una emoción. (Gratitude is more than an emotion.). Photo by Echiner1; licensed via Creative Commons.

There are a variety of words that are shared and have shared meaning between Spanish and English. Grace and the Spanish word Gracia are a great example.

Spanish word: gracia

English word: grace


The words are derived from the Latin word gratus, which had meanings such as "pleasing," "beloved," "agreeable" and "favorable." The English word became part of English by way of Old French.

Related Words

Among the English words from the same root are "agree," "congratulate," "disgrace," "gratify," "gratis," "gratitude," "gratuitous" and "ingratiate."

Spanish words from the same root include agradecer (to give thanks), agrado (pleasure or kindness), desgracia (misfortune), gracias (the plural form, meaning "thanks"), gratis (free), gratificación (reward), gratitud (gratitude), gratuito (free, gratuitous) and ingrato (ungrateful).


These two words have a wide range of meanings that overlap. In both languages, they can have these meanings:

  • A personal quality that makes a person seem pleasant or appealing to others.
  • The ability to act or move in an elegant way.
  • An act of mercy or clemency.
  • In Christian theology, unmerited divine kindness.

The most common use of the word in Spanish is in its plural form, gracias, the usual way of saying "thank you." In English, this meaning of "grace" is present primarily when used to refer to a prayer of thanks said before a meal.

One of the most common meanings of gracia doesn't have a corresponding use in English. It can refer to humor or a joke, as in the sentences "No me hace gracia" (I don't find that funny) and "¡Qué gracia!" (How funny!)


American Heritage Dictionary, Diccionario de la Real Academia Española

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Erichsen, Gerald. ""Grace" and "Gracia" Are Derived From the Same Root." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/gracias-and-grace-3080283. Erichsen, Gerald. (2020, August 26). "Grace" and "Gracia" Are Derived From the Same Root. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/gracias-and-grace-3080283 Erichsen, Gerald. ""Grace" and "Gracia" Are Derived From the Same Root." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/gracias-and-grace-3080283 (accessed March 25, 2023).