As a non-native English teacher, I love discussing the different meanings and connotations of words. For me, the first association of ‘spare‘ is in collocations, such as ‘spare time‘, ‘spare key‘, ‘spare parts‘ or perhaps ‘spare tyre‘. I’m also very familiar with its use as a verb, e.g. ‘I don’t have a moment to spare‘ or ‘spare me the details‘. I must say, though, that the use of ‘spare‘ to mean the same as ‘sparse‘ was totally new to me. I’m wondering if this is a more American usage as I’m more at home with good old British English? A good reminder, how you will never be finished with learning any language, even your own! This lifelong learning aspect is also an essential part of the beauty of learning languages, which I keep reminding my students of.
As for the picture I chose, I’m going with the meaning I know here. Sunday lunch time, at one of the most popular little restaurants in town, we were lucky to find a table spare without an advance booking. Or, actually, a convenient, spare slot in the busy booking schedule.