How to Use Spanish Idioms Like a NativeJanuary 27, 2023 2023-01-30 10:03
How to Use Spanish Idioms Like a Native
How to Use Spanish Idioms Like a Native
The Two Types of Spanish Idioms Modismos are common phrases whose literal and figurative meanings are different.
For example: Tener más cara que espalda.
“To have more face than back,” in English.
“to have a sense of humour”
Refranes: Proverbs or old sayings.
For example: Quien a buen árbol se arrima, buena sombra le cobija
“Anyone who leans against a good tree gets good shade.”
About 500 quotes can be found in Don Quixote. Most of them were said by Don Quixote’s servant, Sancho Panza.
This article, on the other hand, is about idioms that you can use in everyday conversation. Let’s start with spanish phrases :
15 Spanish Phrases You Can Use Everyday
1. Estar con un humour de perros.
“My mood is that of dogs,” in English.
Means: To be in a bad mood.
2. La gallina de los huevos de oro.
“The goose that laid the golden eggs,” to say it in English.
Means: Something that is a great way to make money or do business.
3. Tirar la casa por la ventana.
“I threw the house through the window,” in English.
“I threw the house through the window,” in English. To spend a lot of money or put in a lot of time.
This saying goes back to the 17th century, when the estate started holding lottery games. People who won the first games used the money to fix up their homes and threw their old furniture out the window.
4. Matar dos pájaros de un tiro.
“To get rid of two birds with one stone.”
Means: To do two things at once without thinking about what will happen.
This is a reference to a traditional way to hunt.
5. Meter la pata.
To put a leg or foot of an animal in it.
Means: To mess up, say the wrong thing, or make a mistake.This expression also comes from hunting, when an animal’s leg gets caught in a trap.
6. Dormirse en los laureles.
Means: This is the same as the English version! As you may know, important people in ancient Greece and Rome were given crowns made of laurel wreaths. If the person who had won something didn’t keep trying, he “sat on his laurels.”
7. Estar con la soga al cuello.
“To have the rope around your neck.”
To be in trouble means to be very stressed out.
Also, to keep with the theme of a “hanged man,” here are some other very common phrases:
8. No nombres la soga en la casa del ahorcado.
“Don’t name the rope in the house of the man who’s been hanged.”
Means: Don’t bring up an uncomfortable or controversial subject.
9. Dios aprieta pero no ahorca.
“God squeezes, but doesn’t hang,” says the “God squeezes, but doesn’t hang,” says the Bible.
Means: : Life can be hard, but it won’t kill you.
10. Estar hecho polvo
“Dust to be done,” in English.
Meaning: To feel very tired or worried.
11. Ser pan comido.
Literally: “To be eaten bread”.
Meaning: To be very easy.
12. Echar una mano.
“To throw a hand,” in English.
This means: to help.
13. Salir un ojo de la care.
“To get an eye out of the face,” in English.
Meaning: To be very expensive or pricey.
14. Borrón y cuenta nueva.
“A big wipe and a new account,” in English.
Meaning: to start from scratch.
15. Decir algo con la boca pequeña.
Literally, “to talk with a small mouth.”
Meaning: To say something without meaning to.
Using Spanish Idioms to Carry on a Conversation
You pick up where you left off and tell your co-worker:
Pareces estar hecho polvo, pero seguro que no era pan comido. Dime si te puedo echar una mano, y si ves que te va a salir un ojo de la cara, pues borrón y cuenta nueva. De verdad, no te lo digo con la boca pequeña.
“You look like dust, but I’m sure it wasn’t made from bread. Tell me if I can give you a hand, and if you think it will cost you an eye, delete the account and make a new one. I can honestly say that I don’t have a small mouth.”
Muchas gracias, pero el horno no está para bollos. Quiero mantener los pies en la tierra y no perder los estribos, pero tampoco quiero quedarme de brazos cruzados. Lo que pasa es que no puedo pegar ojo.
“Thank you, but cupcakes don’t go in the oven. I want to keep my feet on the ground and not fall out of the stirrups, but I also don’t want to cross my arms. “Sometimes I can’t paste eye.”
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