Spanish Expressions/Website


Moderator Spanish Forum
Dec 26, 2003
Idioms/ fixed expressions in the Spanish language-


This is a super website and these are truly a list of common expressions in the Spanish language. Most of all, if you like to learn idioms in a language, you will hear many of these in everyday speech and they are also used in literature. I am glad that you are not limiting yourself in Spanish. It's such a diverse and beautiful language. I myself heard many of these over the years. I can't begin to tell you the amount of times I was told or heard:

-A buen entendedor, pocas palabras bastan

-A caballo regalado no se le miran los dientes- there are a few variations but this is the one I use.

-A mal tiempo, buena cara

-Costar un ojo de la cara

-Echar le?a al fuego

-M?s vale tarde que nunca

- Matar dos p?jaros de un tiro

- Meter ciza?a- this is one of my favorite expressions but I say "sembrar ciza?a" which is the alternate version of it

- No dejes para ma?ana lo que puedas hacer hoy- ....sing the blues. This is a typical parent to a child idiom that you hear over and over again. My response is always "A buen entendedor, pocas palabras bastan"...

I also find it interesting that they added common English expressions/ idioms and their Spanish equivalents as they are not literally translated. In a translation, the intended meaning is usually lost. The meaning conveyed in the source language vs. target language is different via a literal translation. It's best to learn the expressions in each respective language.

IMO, understanding and being able to use expressions and idioms in a language is one of the end stages of true language acquisition. This is achieved by having a solid grammar foundation, listening to how the expressions are used in day to day conversation and reading. There's no way around it. Knowing the grammar of the language is key to be able to say the expression correctly or to recognize your own error when using it.

Thanks for this link. Definitely the highlight of the forum for me this week. I may provide more feedback when I am finished reading through the details. Good material!



Moderator Spanish Forum
Dec 26, 2003
Additional Feedback-

This website is an absolute gem for those interested in learning the language properly and thoroughly thus mastering two essential concepts which are sayings (dichos) and idioms. To speak a language well and naturally it?s essential to know and use them. Be whatever the language may be, it?s a sign of competence. They should not be confused with slang or colloquialisms.

Idioms in a language don?t always make word for word sense but convey the meaning of a concept or idea. The Merriam Webster dictionary states:

an expression in the usage of a language that is peculiar to itself either grammatically or in having a meaning that cannot be derived from the conjoined meanings of its elements.

2LF, to use your word "saying" (adage), the Merriam Webster dictionary defines an adage as:

a saying often in metaphorical form that embodies a common observation.

This website provides a combination of both idioms and sayings (expressions, adage) that are a vital part of language. To be able to understand them and subsequently use them confidently and correctly is achieved over time.

Some idioms you learn right away because they are an essential part of everyday speech. Your example of "by the way" is one of many. In both English and Spanish, the word for word meaning does not make sense but the collective meaning is what speakers understand. Some other examples that come to mind immediately include:

sin embargo, por consiguiente, por lo tanto, por ende, a lo mejor,
de manera que, a juzgar por, as? que, a no ser que, de por s?

As for the sayings (dichos), there is an infinite number in all languages. It takes time to learn the meanings and use them properly. They are also used as a form of self-expression and sometimes associated with the elderly, the sage crowd, intellectuals, people with life experience, etc. There are definitely some that are everyday and common and other sayings that make you think about the underlying meaning. Once again, understanding and usage are a vital part of language but mastered over time.

This website presents a fun way to learn and use idioms and sayings in both languages. The explanations provided in Spanish about the meanings of the sayings and examples of usage are very thorough and complete.

If you are confident enough when you speak Spanish, try to use some of these idioms. The more you practice the more natural it will become without trying to think of the English version of a Spanish idiom which in most cases is not literally translated.

As well, if you read the newspaper in Spanish, in one paragraph observe the usage of idioms and ensure you understand what they mean. This is one way to strengthen your own knowledge and understanding which will give your Spanish a very natural sound.

Here?s an adage that?s not on the list that I heard endlessly over the years and still hear:

Trata a los dem?s como quieres que te traten a ti.

-this is one saying I do believe in. I try to live by it and it works wonders.

Enjoy the link. I know I will. This is the kind of material I like to see in this forum.