Spanish Idioms

Webster's dictionary defines an idiom as: "1) the dialect of a people, region,etc., 2) the usual way in which words of a language are joined together to express thought; 3) a conventional phrase or expression having a meaning different from the literal; 4) a characteristic style."
Webster's New World Dictionary,Compact School & Office Edition - The World Publishing Company, 1967

The use of idioms allows you to expand your fluency in a language.   Where in English we might use the common phrase "Can't hold a candle to" when discussing a person's ability, such as in the sentence "As far as her ability to use idioms, no one can hold a candle to her.", in Spanish it is said in a different way.  In Spanish the word for candle "la vela", isn't used.  The phrase that is used is; "No poder compararse con."  This literally means "there cannot be a comparison with".  The general idea is expressed the same, just using different phrasing.  There are literally hundreds of these examples, so when you learn an idiom try to break down it's literal meaning, in additional to learning its translation.

General Idioms

Idioms that are based on the word "All" (todo)

Idioms that are based on the phrase "To break" (romper)

Idioms that are based on the phrase "To come" (venir)

Idioms that are based on the phrase "To do" (hacer)

Idioms that are based on the word "Ear" (el oída, la oreja)

Idioms that are based on the word "Face" (la cara)

Idioms that are based on the phrase "To get" (conseguir)

Idioms that are based on the word "Hand" (la mano)

Idioms that are based on the word "Ice" (el hielo) or "In" (dentro) or "Inch" (la pugada)

Idioms that are based on the word "Joke" (el chiste, el bromo) or "Just" (justo)

Idioms that are based on the words "To Keep" (guardar, mantener) or "Kind" (la clasa, la especie) or "To know" (saber)

Idioms that are based on the phrase "To Look" (mirar)

Idioms that are based on the phrase "To Make" (hacer)

Idioms that are based on the word "Nose" (la nariz) or "Nothing" (nada)

Idioms that are based on the word "Once" (un vez) or "One" (uno) "Order" (en (la) orden)

Idioms that are based on the word "Point" (el punto) or the phrase "To Put" (poner, colocar)

Idioms that are based on the word "Question" (la pregunta, la cuestión)

Idioms that are based on the phrase "To Run" (correr)

Idioms that are based on the phrase "To Stand" (poner derecho; estar; soportar)

Idioms that are based on the phrase "To Take" (tomar; llevar)

Idioms that are based on the word "Up" (arriba)

Idioms that are based on the word "View" (la vista) or "Voice" (la voz)

Idioms based on the word "Way" (la manera, el modo; el camino)

Idioms based on the word "Year" (el año)

 

All idioms from 2001 Spanish and English Idioms

Return to Student's Page