Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Easy-to-remember idioms (Part III)

Hi people! Let's continue with our easy-to-remember idioms list. For those who haven't read the previous posts, let me tell you briefly that this list contains idioms that you probably know in English. Their Spanish equivalents are literal (or rather similar) translations, so it will be very easy to learn them. Okay, let's go!

A hair
A very small quantity or extent. In Spanish, we say "un pelo". If you want to be more emphatic, you can use diminutives like "un pelito" or "un pelín". For example, "Move it just a hair... Perfect!" --> "Muévelo un pelito... ¡Perfecto!".

The Cream
The very best of a group of people or thing. In Spanish, we say "la crema y nata". For example, "They are the cream of American society." --> "Ellos son la crema y nata de la sociedad estadounidense".

As if by magic
As yet unexplained, or too complicated to explain; magically. In Spanish, we say "como por arte de magia". For example, "...and when you add those numbers, you'll get your age as if by magic!" --> "... y cuando sumas esos números, ¡obtendrás tu edad como por arte de magia!"

You don't say!
This phrase is used to express amazement or disbelief. In Spanish, we say "¡No me digas!". It may be used straightforwardly (meaning "Really? I can I find that interesting, keep talking.") or ironically (meaning either "I don't believe you" or "You have just stated the obvious."). For example, A:"Have you heard the news? Jessica got married!" B: "You don't say!" --> A: "¿Ya te enteraste? ¡Jessica se casó!" B:"¡No me digas!". | Another example: A: "...and that's why I couldn't finish my homework" B: (ironically)"You don't say!" --> A: "...y por eso no pude terminar mi tarea." B: "¡No me digas!".

Behind someone's back
Without a person's knowledge and in an unfair or dishonorable way. In Spanish, "a sus espaldas". For example, "Carla made fun of him behind his back." --> "Carla se burló de él a sus espaldas."

You can read the previous easy-to-remember idioms here: Part I | Part II | Part IV

If there is an expression you would like to include in this list, feel free to email me at:

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