Hey Spaneasiers! How is your course going? We hope you are having a wonderful time learning Spanish. As we don’t want you to stop practicing, today we bring you a instructive post.
What are idiomatic expressions (aka idioms)?
They are word sequences whose meaning doesn’t derive from the meaning of its components. This is to say, the expression can have a literal meaning, but it is the figurative one we are interested in. Words don’t have an individual meaning, they work as a whole. So all words together compose a single expression.
Let’s think of an example: echar leña al fuego. We know what each word means. In this context, echar means to throw, leña mean wood and fuego means fire. So this expression literally means to add wood to the fire. For example, small branches of trees are cut and thrown to the fireplace in order to light the fire. However, in other context we may want to use this expression as an idiom. In that case, its figurative meaning would be to exacerbate the conflictive feelings and emotions.
We are sure you have heard this one before, but what about other widely used idiomatic expressions? Let’s take a look!
IDIOM LITERAL TRANSLATION EQUIVALENT
Estar como una cabra To be like a goat To be crazy as a bat
Dar la vuelta a la tortilla To turn the omellete around To turn the tables
Lavarse las manos To wash your hands To pass the bucket
Ponerse morado To eat a lot To eat like a horse
Ser la oveja negra To be the black sheep To go off the rails
Ponerse como un tomate To turn into a tomato To turn as red as a beetroot
Meter la pata To put the leg on it To put your foot in it
Verlo todo color de rosa To see everything in pink color To see all peaches and cream
Estar en la edad del pavo To be in the turkey’s age To go through teenage angst
Temblar como un flan To be shaky like a pudding To be a cat on hot bricks
Dormir a pierna suelta To sleep with a loose leg To sleep like a dog
Poner verde a alguien To turn someone green To call someone every name
Try to use these expressions every now and then. You will not only improve your vocabulary, but you will also sound like a native speaker. Also, follow our pronunciation tips and it will be the cherry on top of the cake!