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Have you ever heard a Spanish expression that sounded strange? "Esto es pan comido" or "He metido la pata hasta el fondo". Well, these are colloquial Spanish expressions that will help you master the language.
The importance of understanding and using colloquial language is effective in gaining a deeper understanding of Spanish culture. We will show you some of the most common expressions, their meaning and some examples that will clear up any doubts of their context. And if you want to read this article in Spanish and practice your reading skills, just click here.
Colloquial language is a form of verbal communication used in informal and everyday situations. It is a more relaxed, familiar language that reflects the way people speak in their daily lives. Therefore, it is based on a more natural vocabulary, gestures and intonation gain more importance and, of course, expressions and idioms specific to each place or region are used.
The use of colloquial language is a natural way of communicating and it is important for interacting in informal situations. It is also very useful for understanding a language such as Spanish, as you can integrate yourself more into its culture. So, if you are learning Spanish, these colloquial expressions may help you to understand the language better.
These are some of the most used colloquial expressions in the Spanish language. Have you heard any of them before?
1.Estar en las nubes or Estar en la luna (To be in the clouds or To be over the moon)
It means to be distracted or thinking about something other than what is happening at the moment. For example: "Hoy estuve en las nubes en clase y no entendí nada" ("Today I was in the clouds in class, and I didn't understand anything").
2. Meter la pata (Screwed up)
It is used when someone inadvertently makes a mistake or says something inappropriate in a peculiar or sensitive situation. Example: "Ayer metí la pata al decirle a mi compañero que su idea no me gustaba" ("Yesterday I screwed up when I told my classmate that I didn't like his idea").
3. Echar una mano (Give a hand)
It means to help someone or have a person help you with a specific task. Example: "¿Puedes echarme una mano con este ensayo de ciencia?" ("Can you give me a hand with this science essay?").
4. Costar un ojo de la cara (Cost an arm and a leg)
It is often used when something is extremely expensive. For example: "Este nuevo smartphone cuesta un ojo de la cara" ("This new smartphone costs an arm and a leg").
5. Estar hecho polvo (To be knackered or To be exhausted)
This expression is very useful to say that you are tired. For example: “Nos estamos mudando, así que estamos hechos polvo” (“We are moving house, so we are kanckered”).
6. Ponerse las pilas (Pull your socks up)
This expression in Spanish means to get into action or to put more effort into something. For example: "Si quieres aprobar el siguiente examen, debes ponerte las pilas y estudiar más" ("If you want to pass the next exam, you have to pull your socks up and study harder").
7. Tener mala leche (Have a bad temper)
This is an expression used when someone is angry. It can also mean to be malicious or to have bad intentions. Example: "No discutas hoy con Juan, tiene mala leche" ("Don't argue with Juan today, he's got a bad temper").
8. Hablar por los codos (Talk too much)
It is used when a person talks a lot and non-stop. For example: "Mi prima habla por los codos, no puedo entender cómo tiene tanto que decir" ("My cousin talks too much, I don’t understand how she has so much to say").
9. Tener buena o mala pinta (To look good or bad)
This is a very common phrase and is used to say that something looks good or bad. For example, when you are in a restaurant, and you say: "La comida tiene muy buena pinta" ("The food looks very good").
10. Es pan comido (It is a piece of cake)
Means that something is very easy to do, for example: "El examen fue pan comido, no tuve problemas para responder las preguntas" ("The exam was a piece of cake, I had no trouble answering the questions").
11. Dar la lata (Bother or Badger/Hassle)
Another very common expression used to say that a person is annoying us is "dar la lata". For example: "María no ha parado de dar la lata todo el día con el mismo tema" ("Maria has been bothering us all day with the same subject").
12. Estar hasta las narices (Tired as hell)
It means to be tired or fed up with something or someone, for example: "Estoy hasta las narices del ruido que hace el vecino con el piano" ("I'm tired as hell of the noise the neighbour makes with the piano").
Have you heard any of these expressions? Have you heard a different one that is not in this article? What colloquial expressions does your language have? Tell us in the comments!
It is important to note that colloquial language can vary according to region and culture; what is colloquial in one place may not be colloquial in another. In addition, colloquial language is appropriate in informal contexts, such as conversations between friends. However, it may not be appropriate in more formal situations, such as job interviews or academic presentations.
If you want to learn Spanish in Spain or in a Spanish-speaking country such as Mexico, don Quijote schools are waiting for you. Our immersive courses and native teachers will help you learn Spanish and understand all these colloquial expressions.