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Old 14th October 2007, 09:33 AM   #1
DerekD
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Default Common Spanish Expressions

I thought it might be useful if we could list some common expressions that are heard all the time in spanish but which dont translate directly into english. I have such a mental block with these it is unreal! For example

Por lo tanto - so, therefore
Por lo visto - apparantly
A lo mejor - perhaps

Anyone have any others?
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Old 14th October 2007, 10:55 AM   #2
Beckett
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¡Uff! ¡Hay un montón! Aquí tenéis algunos:

pues, nada = well, anyway
antes que nada = first of all

en cambio = on the other hand, whereas
a cambio de = in exchange for

me da igual = it's all the same to me
a partes iguales = fifty-fifty

a ver = let's see
tener que ver = has to do with
no tener nada que ver = has nothing to do with
(Ese libro no tiene nada que ver con esta película. That book has nothing to do with this movie.)

estar al tanto = to be up-to-date
poner al tanto = to put somebody in the picture
a las tantas = the wee hours of the morning
entre tanto = meanwhile
no es para tanto = it's not such a big deal
¡y tanto! = and how!
tanto....como... = both
(Tanto Madrid como Barcelona tienen mucha historia y cultura. Both Madrid and Barcelona have a lot of history and culture.)

Last edited by Beckett; 14th October 2007 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 14th October 2007, 10:58 AM   #3
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I was thinking about starting this thread myself only yesterday Derek (great minds and all that) Por lo visto annoyed me for a long time because I saw it a lot but never got round to checking it out,apparently/evidently: I suppose the closest to the words would be 'by the looks of things'

Another one in that category is a lo largo meaning along, along the length/throughout-for time phrases ie a lo largo del tiempo -throughout history


Por lo tanto - so, therefore
Por lo visto - apparantly
A lo mejor - perhaps
A lo largo -along/throughout

Para nada(!) -no way!

Last edited by tad; 14th October 2007 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 14th October 2007, 05:35 PM   #4
Fearful Symmetry
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Great thread. Keep 'em coming!!

When learning German years ago, I had a small book of such idiomatic phrases that I carried around with me. Just a huge list like you've posed above: bit by bit they sunk in and the veil gradually lifted. Nothing brings a beginner to a screaming halt more quickly than an odd, untranslatable combination of known words.
Thanks
FS
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Old 14th October 2007, 07:27 PM   #5
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a la orden = at your service
hacer caso = to pay attention (No hace caso) he doesn't pay attention
por eso = therefore
a la vez = at the same time
a pesar de = in spite of, despite, even though
hacer falta = to miss (me hacen falta los niños) I miss the children
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Old 15th October 2007, 02:55 PM   #6
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a lo lejos =in the distance
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Old 15th October 2007, 04:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motley View Post
hacer falta = to miss (me hacen falta los niños) I miss the children
Isn't hacer falta more like; to need? lit.: it makes a 'lack'

Nos hace falta un reloj - A watch lacks to us - We need a watch

To miss in idiomatic form might be: Echar de menos

Echo de menos los momentos que pasamos juntos :I miss the moments that we spent together.

Last edited by tad; 15th October 2007 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 15th October 2007, 05:00 PM   #8
eldeano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tad View Post
Isn't hacer falta more like to need? lit.: it makes a 'lack'

Nos hace falta un reloj - A watch lacks to us - We need a watch

To miss in idiomatic form might be: Echar de menos

Echo de menos los momentos que pasamos juntos :I miss the moments we had together.
Perhaps it's 'I miss the children... because they duck when my hand swings round'. .. but I think that's no doy en..
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Old 28th October 2007, 10:15 PM   #9
motley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tad View Post
Isn't hacer falta more like; to need? lit.: it makes a 'lack'

Nos hace falta un reloj - A watch lacks to us - We need a watch

To miss in idiomatic form might be: Echar de menos

Echo de menos los momentos que pasamos juntos :I miss the moments that we spent together.
me hacen falta los niños= I miss the children (the children make me a lack)
Hey, I don't make this stuff up
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Old 18th November 2007, 07:44 PM   #10
loulou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tad View Post
Isn't hacer falta more like; to need? lit.: it makes a 'lack'

Nos hace falta un reloj - A watch lacks to us - We need a watch

To miss in idiomatic form might be: Echar de menos

Echo de menos los momentos que pasamos juntos :I miss the moments that we spent together.
Un amigo mejicano suele usar el verbo extranar para decir echar de menos. En espana se usa tambien?
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Old 17th October 2007, 07:50 AM   #11
José Miguel
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El chocolate del loro (chicken feed)
Mas raro que un perro verde (as scarce as hen's teeth)
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Old 25th October 2007, 01:00 PM   #12
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en cuanto = as soon as
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Old 27th October 2007, 04:02 PM   #13
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one of my favourites is...
"me hace la boca agua" = it makes my mouth water
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Old 28th October 2007, 09:44 PM   #14
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dar gato por liebre, to cheat ( to give a cat instead of a hare)

dejarlo plantado, to stand him up (to leave him planted)

echar la casa por la ventana, to spend a lot of money on a party (to throw the house out the window)

habla hasta por los codos, he, she talks all the time (he talks even through his elbows)

ni a tiros, not under any circumstance

soltar una carcajada, to laugh, guffaw (to release a belly laugh)
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Old 29th October 2007, 11:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motley View Post
dar gato por liebre, to cheat ( to give a cat instead of a hare)
Don't know whether to laugh or cry.
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Old 29th October 2007, 04:20 PM   #16
José Miguel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eldeano View Post
Don't know whether to laugh or cry.
No le busques tres pies al gato.
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Old 14th January 2008, 05:01 AM   #17
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Hi! My friend is very good in some languages which lead him earned big income through his tutorial. I was so impressed because he got that income by his skills of speech. No pressure at all. I have been realized that it is better to learn more languages besides it earned income it gained more friends too. So you can open this site to learn it.
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Old 14th January 2008, 05:26 PM   #18
José Miguel
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Dar jabón: to adulate
Te veo venir: I can guess your intentions.
¡Tararí que te ví!: I did guess your intentions!
¡Anda ya!: Go on with you!
¡Mira como tiemblo!: "See how I'm trembling!" but it means "don't shock me!"
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Old 16th January 2008, 07:48 PM   #19
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Me di cuenta de que ........ I realised that


Please don`t ask the literal translation or i`ll be forced to use


I know Jack (....)

That`s a good ol`English phrase
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Old 31st January 2008, 02:44 PM   #20
SevillaProfe
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Default Más expresiones sin traducción fija

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekD View Post
I thought it might be useful if we could list some common expressions that are heard all the time in spanish but which dont translate directly into english. I have such a mental block with these it is unreal! For example

Por lo tanto - so, therefore
Por lo visto - apparantly
A lo mejor - perhaps

Anyone have any others?

Cuando alguien te cuenta una historia y se desvía, a veces dicen "total" o "en fin", lo cual puede ser algo parecido a "anyway, anyhow"

Cuando alguien no quiere decir palabrotas, hay varias opciones, he oído "me cachis" mucho recientemente. algo en inglés sería "crud"

"A tope" he oído mucho tambíen, para referir a algo lleno, completo, o que lo has pasado muy bien, o que curras mucho.

"Un pedazo de" o "un cacho de", expresiones de describir tu opinión que algo es muy bueno-grande-elegante, etc. Un cacho de tortilla.. un pedazo de coche...

Otras expresiones comunes y confusas son "Ya voy" y "Ya vengo" - Alguien me llama del otro lado de mi piso y le digo "ya voy!"- I'm coming. Bajo a la tienda para comprar y digo "Ya vengo" - I'll be right back.

Otra "ya está" que no tiene que ver con "already" - that´s it - Quiero ir al cine y ya. (ya está) no discussion. O, que basta.

"Más te vale" --you had better... Más te vale estudiar o suspenderás

Y la famosoa "chuleta" para "cheat sheets", y no con la carne del puerco

Una más.."Te he pillado" - como "I gotcha! - Busted"

Adió mi alma
Amy

Last edited by SevillaProfe; 31st January 2008 at 02:47 PM.
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