The Meaning of Contigo: What It Is and How To Use It

This guide will give you all of the knowledge needed on the word contigo, including its meaning, etymology, example sentences and more!

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What does the word contigo mean?

Contigo is a Spanish and Portuguese word that means “with you” in its English translation. It is pronounced “kohn-tee-goh,” according to Study. It is used in the same way as the English phrase “with you” and comes from the Spanish words “con,” meaning “with” and “tú,” meaning “you.” In this phrase, tú is changed to a “t” the suffix “-igo.”

Similarly, the Spanish dictionary has the words “conmigo” and “consigo.” These both use a similar format as contigo. The word conmigo means “with me,” and comes from the words “con,” meaning “with,” an “m” for “mi” and the same suffix “-igo.” Consigo means “with him or her” and is formed in the same way.

Contigo is a preposition used frequently in the Spanish language. For example, if someone was asking to be roommates with someone else, they might ask, “¿Puedo vivir contigo? Necesito encontrar una casa.” which means “Can I live with you? I need to find a house.”

Other common Spanish phrases include “de acuerdo” which is a way to show you agree, or “gracias,” which means “thank you.” Many English speakers tend to insert Spanish phrases into common speech depending on where they live and if there is a large Spanish speaking presence nearby.

Is the word contigo casual or formal?

Contigo uses the informal , which in Spanish is a word meaning “you” that is used to refer to someone of a similar status to oneself, like a sibling or friend. Therefore, one would use the word contigo when referring to one of their friends, siblings, or even coworkers of the same level. Because it is using the informal , this makes the phrase contigo a casual one.

If someone wished to use the phrase in a formal context, or refer to someone of a higher status than themselves – showing respect to a parent, elder, professor, or superior, for example – the formal usted would be used, changing the word from contigo to the phrase con usted. 

Where is the phrase contigo seen in popular culture?

The word contigo is used in the title and lyrics of the popular song “Loco Contigo” by DJ Snake, J Balvin, and Tyga, according to Billboard. Here, they use “contigo” along with “loco” to create a phrase meaning “crazy with you.” In a translation of the lyrics, the below is said:

You have my crazy, crazy with you

I try and try but baby, I can’t forget you

You have my crazy, crazy with you

I try and try but, baby, I’m still here

The song premiered in June 2019, and its music video has over 340 million views on YouTube. The song has over 3.7 million likes on the platform and peaked at #2 on the charts, according to Billboard. The song was on the charts for 45 weeks.

What is the etymology of the word contigo?

According to an article written by Joel Rini, the word contigo, along with other Spanish words conmigo and consigo, meaning with me and with him or her, respectively, come from the Latin words mecum, tecum, and secum. Contigo stems from tecum, which in Latin means “with you,” from the words “tē,” which means “you,” and “cum,” which means “with.” According to WordSense, the reversal came from the initial phrase cum nobis, a Latin phrase which means “with us.” It sounds unfortunately close to another inappropriate phrase. Therefore, the words were changed in all forms, creating mecum, tecum, and secum.

From each of these, the Spanish words were born. “Con” from the Latin “cum,” meaning with. ‘Me,” “te,” and “se,” from their Latin roots. From this, the words conmigo (with me), contigo (with you), and consigo (with him or her) were created, giving them their current meaning. The words have different conjugations depending on who one is referring to.

How can contigo be used in a sentence?

Contigo can be used frequently in Spanish, but it can also be used to sprinkle in Spanish phrases in common English conversation. Below are three circumstances in which people may use the word contigo.

Marina is reading in the library, and Jenny knows she’s at the top of their Spanish class, while Jenny is in danger with a C-. Jenny approaches Marina and taps on her shoulder.

Jenny: Hey Marina, have you studied for the Spanish test on Friday yet?

Marina: Not yet, I had a chemistry exam today. I was planning on studying today after school.

Jenny: Mind if I study contigo? You always know what’s going on and I’m pretty lost on this section.

Marina: Of course! I’ll meet you here right after school and we can go over everything.

Jenny: Thank you so much!

Here, Jenny uses the word contigo to ask Marina if she can study with her. In the next scenario, Carolina has been taking Salsa lessons and is finally going to her first Salsa Night. She approaches Killian, one of the men in her class, and taps him on the shoulder.

Killian: Carolina! I’m so glad you made it.

Carolina: Me too! I was wondering if I might ask to dance contigo?

Killian: Absolutely, mi amor! Let’s get out there!

Here, Carolina asks Killian to dance by using the word contigo.

Overall, contigo is a Spanish word meaning “with you.” This is an informal word as opposed to the formal con usted, and is frequently used both in the Spanish language and by English speakers to insert Spanish words into the language.

Sources:

  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/473659?seq=1
  2. https://www.wordsense.eu/tecum/
  3. https://study.com/academy/lesson/contigo-in-spanish-translation-grammar.html#:~:text=The%20Spanish%20word%20contigo%20translates,informal%20occasions%2C%20use%20con%20usted
  4. https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/latin/8516193/dj-snake-j-balvin-tyga-loco-contigo-lyrics-translated-englishhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNl00mOSnJI