Habitual is a concept derived from habĭtus, a Latin term. It’s about a adjective what refers to what is performed, has or suffers continuously or frequently. For instance: “It is common for Dr. López to delay when he has a board of directors”, “As usual, the street was flooded with heavy rains”, “It is not usual for this team to score three goals in a game”.
The habitual, therefore, is associated with habits. A habit is a Way of acting that is sustained on a daily basis by repeating certain actions, either by custom or by instinct. Suppose a personAfter dinner and before going to bed, he is accustomed to drinking a glass of brandy. It could be said, then, that this subject has the habit of drinking brandy at night or, what is the same, that it is usual for him to drink this drink.
It is important to note that the repetition inherent to the habitual is neither good nor bad: what is relevant is what is repeated. There are numerous positive habits, such as washing your hands before eating, being physically active every morning, or recycling waste. On the other hand, other habits are negative for the person or for the society: smoking, throwing papers on the floor … the ideal, of course, is to make positive behaviors become habitual and to banish negative actions from behavior.
Beyond what the human being, the idea of habitual can also be applied to nature or other issues. It may be common for it to snow on a certain city or for a certain stream to dry up in the summer, to name two possibilities.
While the word habitual it does not belong to the cultured language, but can be understood by any Spanish speaker, it is true that it is not used in everyday speech as frequently as some of its synonyms, particularly “normal”. Others of them are listed below: current, usual, customary, ordinary and frequent. In this case, we could cite the antonyms abnormal, unusual, infrequent and unusual.
Of course, as with most words, their synonyms do not always have the same meaning, but share some of their meanings, or even part of them, and that is why they serve as a resource to avoid redundancy in speech. But this does not mean that we can exchange all these words without making any distinction.
Take for example the case of the word normal: Among its first meanings, the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy tells us that it describes something “in its natural state”, something that is “ordinary or habitual”, but also “that can be used as a rule or rule“Or” that can be adjusted to certain previously established norms, given its magnitude, form or nature. “
Here we find a synonym that has a completely different face, with a meaning that the term habitual it could not represent without a context to complete it. In fact, it could even be used to describe an absolutely opposite situation. Let’s look at the following example to understand this point of view:
«María lives immersed in a society in which it is normal for men to achieve the best works, with the highest salaries, and that they take over the merits of women, who usually rank below them in the corporate hierarchy. However, she is the president of her own company, one that she founded more than two decades ago. For her, it is common to receive praise for her performance and for the successful deals that she closes each year. The admiration he receives on a regular basis is not normal ».