Quando usar "Stand for" ou "Mean"?

Os dois têm o significado de "Significar"
Avatar do usuário Marcio_Farias 12280 1 21 206
1. Ignacio | 20/10/10 - 09:04
Hi Matthew:
The last three days you are explaining us some English abbreviations. In each one of them, you use the phrasal verb to stand for to explain its meaning.
My question is: are there any difference between the verbs “stand for” and “mean” or can both be used as synonyms?

2. Matthew | 20/10/10 - 10:39
That's an excellent question Ignacio.

There is a slight difference between "mean" and "stand for". Mean is "to have as a meaning" (=significar). Stand for MEANS "to be an abbreviation or symbol of something". In Spanish they would both be translated as "significar", but they are slightly different. “Xmas” doesn't MEAN Christmas, it stands for it.

I hope that helps. If not, let me know.

3. Ignacio | 20/10/10 - 11:27
Thank you Matthew, I think I get it. Stand for means more or less "representar", despite that it's not the suitable translation into Spanish.

4. Matthew | 20/10/10 - 14:24

http://www.ziggurat.es/es/lecciones_ing ... sp?id=1535

Pelo menos quanto a "signs" usamos "stand for". Ex.: What does that sign stand for? (O que quer dizer aquele sinal?)
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Avatar do usuário PPAULO 36030 4 32 632
I think they can be interchangeable, not always, but sometimes.
As in:
Question: What OPEC stands for?/What does OPEC mean? Or What´s the full meaning of OPEC?
Answer: Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries...

So, it goes with context, since both, "stand for" and "mean" have many other definitions as well.