With this article, I thought I would try something different. Even when we are studying something common, like idioms, it can be effective to look at them in a new way.
Normally when I talk about idioms, I group them together under the same umbrella, for example idioms related to weather, or idioms which use colors etc. This week we are learning a mixture of idioms which don’t fall under any one specific category; they are a mixture of Spanish idioms.
But, as I said before, we are doing this in a new way! I am suggesting a challenge -- are you in?
This idea came from one of my students, who I challenged to make the link between various expressions and their meanings. She got them all right! So, I thought I would try it here too to see how it goes. If she could find the meaning to these expressions, so can you! You just need to think and use your intuition.
A mixture of Spanish idioms
We are going to start with a list of ten Spanish idioms:
- Ir de maravilla
- Ser una lata
- Ir con pies de plomo
- A pan y agua
- Ir al grano
- (pasar/tener) una mala racha
- Hacerse un lío
- Llover sobre mojado
- Estar chupado
- Un sinfín
Below, you have the meanings of the expressions above (but in a different order):
Descriptions / Meanings
- No estar en el mejor momento (To be not in your best moment).
- Cuando algo va/marcha genial (When something goes very well).
- No es nada nuevo, no nos pilla por sorpresa, es algo que ya sabemos o esperamos (Something that is not new, does not catch you by surprise or is something known or expected).
- Gran cantidad de algo (A large amount of something).
- Tener cuidado, no confiarse o hacer algo prestando atención a los detalles (To be careful, to not trust or to do something while carefully paying attention to the details).
- Algo que es muy fácil (Something that is very easy).
- Tener poco o lo básico de algo (To have very little or only the basics of something).
- Algo es muy aburrido (Something that is very boring).
- No andarse por las ramas o dando rodeos, ir directamente a lo importante (To not beat around the bush, not going around in circles, to go straight to the point).
- Complicarse, pensar más de lo que se debe y confundirse a uno mismo (To complicate things for yourself, to overthink things and get confused).
Now let’s have a look back at the idioms and try to match them with the correct meanings!
Take your time, there’s no rush. Copy these idioms in your notebook and play around with them. When you are ready, come back and keep reading to find out the correct answers below
- Ir de maravilla = B. Cuando algo va/marcha genial
We use this idiom when we are enjoying a good moment in life, as in lo vemos todo color de rosa (we look at everything as though it is rose colored).
- Ser una lata = H. Algo es muy aburrido
This idiom is to express that something is truly boring, because what could be more boring than a tin?
- Ir con pies de plomo = E. Tener cuidado, no confiarse o hacer algo prestando atención a los detalles.
Plomo means lead, which is very heavy. If we have lead in our feet, then that means we will move very slowly; which will allow us to take it easy and give everything a second thought.
- A pan y agua = G. Tener poco o lo básico de algo
Pan y agua (bread and water) is the minimum requirement we need to survive. If we only have that, we have only the basics, i.e. just enough to keep us going.
- Ir al grano = I. No andarse por las ramas o dando rodeos, ir directamente a lo importante.
When we want to get to the point. We do not want someone to beat around the bush, we want to get to the important stuff!
- (pasar/tener) una mala racha = A. No estar en el mejor momento
This is the opposite of (ir de maravilla). We use it when we are are having a hard time, either for a specific reason or just in general. Instead of seeing everything as rose colored, we seem lo vemos todo negro (to see everything in black).
- Hacerse un lío = J. Complicarse, pensar más de lo que se debe y confundirse a uno mismo
Sometimes we overthink things and make a mess in our brains until we get confused, and end up thinking something is more complicated than it actually is. When that happens, we nos hacemos un lío.
- Llover sobre mojado = C. No es nada nuevo, no nos pilla por sorpresa, es algo que ya sabemos o esperamos
When it rains on something that is already wet, it doesn’t make much of a difference to the pavement, does it? It’s just the same with old news, or when we are told something that we expected to be the case.
- Estar chupado = F. Algo que es muy fácil
This idiom is used when something is very easy, i.e. easy enough that we think someone else has “licked” something so it is easier for us “to swallow” (this is obviously never meant literally!).
- Un sinfín = D. Gran cantidad de algo
When something is endless, it means there is a lot of things in it.
As you can see, I haven’t given any examples for the idioms above, which I usually do. This week, that is your homework. I am going to give you some sentences, and I want you to find the expression that suits each of the sentences best. If you want to check your answers, just leave a comment below and I will have a look and let you know. Exciting!
- No me cuentes historias, __________ ¡ responde a mi pregunta!
- Si estás pensando en ir a la conferencia sobre educación, no vayas, _________________.
- Yo que tú no confiaría tanto en él, lo acabas de conocer, __________________
- ¿Has escuchado las nuevas noticias sobre corrupción en España? ¡ La verdad no sé de que me sorprendo _____________!
- Hace mucho que mi pareja no me compra un regalo, me tiene ________________
- El examen ____________, creo que voy a sacar muy buena nota.
- Ahora mismo ________________, parece que tengo ______________________de problemas
- La verdad es que no me puedo quejar, tengo un buen trabajo, un hombre que me quiere, la vida ____________
- No sé si lo he entendido bien o no….¿a ti también te parece difícil o __________________?
I am so looking forward to reading your answers! I hope you’ve enjoyed this new format and have learned a lot today. Now it is your turn! Leave a comment below with the expressions that you think match each sentence. I will get back to you to let you know whether you are correct.
That’s enough from me. Have a good day and I will write to you soon.