Spanish idioms

Spanish idioms are a piece of cake

‘He’s let the cat out of the bag’, ‘she’s hit the nail on the head’ …

When foreign speakers of English hear these phrases in conversations which aren’t concerned with kidnapping pets or building a shed, they are probably a little confused. Well bad news Spanish learners! These bizarre frasas hechas (idioms) are even more common in Spanish and it’s important to get a handle on them early.

They’re so essential to Spanish communication that the most common way to say ‘give birth’ is ‘dar a luz’ (literally: give to light), but the real reason you should learn some is that they pop up in Shakira songs. In Tortura, my personal favourite, Shakira sings ‘a otro perro con ese hueso’ (to another dog with bone) which means “to go try that on someone else”. The sassy Columbian also sings ‘no puedo pedir a los olmos que entreguen peras’ a play on the phrase ‘no pidas peras al olmo’ (don’t ask the elm tree for pears). Continue reading

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