Daily sentences are normally fixed and usually do not need to be translated word for word from our native language. For Spanish, however, we have more than a few fixed words which you simply need to just learn them.


I am sure most of you habitually say sentences in your native language which acts like your “wildcard”, you use it so often, and you would love to find the equivalent sentence (in meaning) to apply to your Spanish conversations.


First off, let me ask you how many times have this happened to you -- when you are talking about something and suddenly stop mid-sentence to say “wait a minute! How do I say “this” in Spanish?”.


Today you will learn about some of these common sentences and their equivalent Spanish fixed phrases.



1) !Qué pena! - What a shame!


When we are disappointed about something then this is a typical phrase to say: !Qué pena! For example, when someone suddenly says that they cannot make it to one of our parties then we can say “es una pena” (it is a shame).



2) !Ojalá! - I wish


Similar to the equivalent English expression, this word expresses ‘a wish’ of something we really want. Of course, we are not sure if this wish will come true, most of the time we are certain that it won’t come true. For example:


  • !Ojalá ganara lotería!
  • I wish I won the lottery!


Or if someone ask if we are free tomorrow night and we need to work we will reply.


  • !ojalá! Por desgracia tengo que trabajar.
  • I wish! Unfortunately I need to work.



3) ¿A quién le importa? - Who cares?


This saying is used exactly in the same way in Spanish as it is used in English. Whenever we do not care about something or when we think it is not important, then we say: ¿A quién le importa?


For example recently everyone was talking about the EuroCup 2017, but perhaps some of you are not that into football. Perhaps you simply watch the matches as an excuse to drink with friends. You’d probably say this:


  • ¿A quién le importa el partido?!Yo estoy aquí para pasar un buen rato!
  • Who cares about the match? I am just here to have a good time!



4) Me apetece - I feel like


When you feel like doing something you would say “me apetece ir al cine hoy” (I feel like going to the cinema today). If you are talking about the context of food, however, the saying me apetece can be translated as “to be craving”. For example:


  • Me apetece comida China hoy.
  • I am craving Chinese today.



5) Tener mocos - To have a runny nose


When we are sick and have a cold, more than likely we are suffering from a runny nose, in Spanish we would say “tenemos mocos” to describe this.



6) Alucino contigo - You blow my mind


This express is very slang not only for Spanish but also for English. Currently there are many translations for this saying and they vary by context. Just note that this saying can sometimes be used when someone surprises you -- the surprise can be both good or bad.



7) Yo que tú - If I were you


When someone asks for advice, or even if they do not ask but we want to give our advice anyway, we will say:


  • Si yo fuera tú…
  • If I were you…



8) Las noticias vuelan - News travels fast


We would use this phrase when someone has done something and suddenly everyone knows. Or the reverse of hearing news of someone else’s actions from people not involved, we would also say this phrase.


For example, if you hear that one of your friends is getting married but he hasn’t told you yet, you might message him saying:


  • Enhorabuena, ya me he enterado, ya sabes que las noticias buenas.
  • Congratulations, I heard already, you know news travel fast.



9) Alto y claro - Clear as a bell


If you are talking on the phone, or skyping via Internet etc and someone asks if you can hear them, you might say this if you do not have any connection problems:


  • Alto y claro.
  • Clear as a bell.


Also if someone is nagging you and repeatedly saying something to you, you could say:


  • Te he oido alto y claro, no hace falta que lo repitas.
  • I heard you clear as a bell, there’s no need to repeat it.



10) !Cuánta razón tenías! - How right you were!


This is of the most favourite sentence that someone would love to hear from someone else.


That is all so far (hasta ahora). Make sure to mark this phrase hasta ahora as it is quite tricky to remember and people usually translate it poorly by saying “así lejos”.




Try to think of examples in which you will use each of the phrases above. You do not need to tackle all the phrases in a single day, try to say a couple, take a break and come back to this post the following day.And let us know how it went.


I would love to hear from you, do you have a favourite Spanish fixed phrase? Do you know any more that might help other learners? Or do you have a phrase you use all the time and would like to know the Spanish equivalent? Leave a comment and I will get back to you.


Did you find this useful? Do not keep it as a secret, share it with family and friends, spread the Spanish language around. As they say: cuantos más mejor (the more the merrier).


Hero image by Michael Weibel (CC0 1.0)