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Useful Phrases In English And Their Spanish Equivalent

Sometimes we want to translate something that we say in English into Spanish, and it’s not always accurate. Here I share with you the right way to say in Spanish some phrases we use in every day English.

26 Şub 2015 00:00
Comments · 14

What? Why the thumb's down? It's a legitimate question! Are these expressions found only in Colombia or generally everywhere? You always have to think about that with expressions with languages that are used in many far-flung countries. 


If I were to share English expressions that I know there would be some that would be used just in Texas or New York where I grew up or just the USA but not in Britain or Australia etc. and then there are some that are pretty universal. 


If you are looking to visit or move to a particular country or learning one particular accent or way of speaking first it makes sense to learn the expressions of that place first or at least know which ones to use where. 


My husband for instance just said, "kettle's on the boil" (to tell me that my tea is almost ready) to imitate a British accent and expression that isn't used here in America. It's good to know what expressions are used where.


I thought Juan's list was a great one and would like to use it for study, but personally, since I'm concentrating first on learning Spanish vocabulary, accent and expressions from Spain to keep things simpler for myself since that's where I learned, I would very much like to know which of those expressions are used in Spain if anyone would be so kind as to tell me. 



26 Şubat 2015

Are these phrases used in every Spanish-speaking country?

26 Şubat 2015

Gracias por tus explicaciones! Son muy útiles! :)

3 Ağustos 2015

I went through all the phrases and made flash cards. It's a nice little stack! Many of these are exactly the kind of things that I might think frequently in English but not know how to say in Spanish... so never say! :) The list is going to broaden my speaking I'm sure. 


Rafael, you asked if I would tell you if any of the English side of these phrases would be things as an American with my particular background I wouldn't use or that don't seem right somehow. 


Ya lo creo I'm not sure would translate well to indeed. 

Le hace la vida imposible I guess could be is giving him hell, but I would say instead "he's making life impossible for ...

Que sea lo que Dios quiera I would translate to "It's in God's hands". That's the expression I grew up with. 

Verguenza cebería darte I was surprised at as I always heard in Spain "Sin verguenza" as a better translation of "shame on you". 

Similiarly, I've always heard "tranquilo" or "calmate" as the translation for "take it easy".

Poner los cuernos had a printing mistake as the example didn't correspond correctly. 


Overall though this is a really useful list of English phrases so would be generally very useful to English learners as well... but you Rafa probably already knew them all. :D

1 Mart 2015

I found this list very useful. However I find it a nuisance that these lessons are written in HTML. I like to download lists like this and print them out to study during  train journeys, or in the car while I'm waiting to collect someone. I had to open a word document copy it all into the document and then reformat the document, reducing the point size, cutting out all the unnecessary blank lines etc. It took quite a while. The document is now 5 pages long as opposed to over 20 pages when I first downloaded. 

I'm sure this is because of a policy decision by the web-site, but I would love if there were a downloadable Word version of each article.

I'm sorry if this sounds whingy. I find it's the same with every language site. I just hope you understand that I do appreciate the quality of this article and the effort that went into writing it.

Míle Buíochas (literally 'mil gracias') desde Irlanda.


23 Eylül 2016
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English, French, Spanish
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