Tag: idiomatic expressions

Expresiones idiomáticas con DAR

One of the most difficult aspects of a language to master is the usage of idiomatic expressions.  Idiomatic expressions are phrases that carry a specific meaning within the language. Normally, there is no logical way of translating them word by word. The only way to learn them is to
memorize them, and to practice their use. Below, you will find a series of Spanish idiomatic expressions grouped by types, according to the verb or the preposition they contain, and their English counterparts.

dar a conocer: to make known

dar gritos: to shout

dar a luz: to give birth

dar gusto: to please

dar un abrazo: to embrace, to hug

dar la hora: to strike the hour

dar asco: to disgust

dar gato por liebre: to deceit, to swindle, to gyp

dar las gracias: to thank

dar brincos: to jump

dar guerra: to cause a lot of trouble

dar los buenos días/tardes: to say good morning/afternoon

dar largas: to prolong an affair

dar calabazas: to jilt; to flunk

dar lata: to make a nuisance of oneself

dar la cara: to take responsibility

dar lugar a: to give cause for

dar carta blanca: to give someone a free hand

dar una mano: to lend a hand

dar con: to come upon; to find

dar lo mismo: to make no difference

dar con la puerta en las narices: to slam the door in one’s face

dar la nota: to stand out

dar cuenta de: to give a report on

dar pena a: to aggrieve

dar cuerda a: to wind

dar que hablar: to give grounds for criticism

dar de alta: to discharge (a patient)

dar que hacer: to cause trouble

dar(se) de baja: to drop or unsubscribe (from a list)

dar que pensar: to give grounds for suspicion

dar de beber / comer: to give a drink / to feed

dar palos de ciego: to swing out wildly

dar de palos: to beat; to thrash

dar parte: to inform

dar en el clavo / blanco: to hit the mark, to hit the nail on the head

dar un paseo: to take a walk

darse por aludido: to take it personally

dar a/por hecho: to take for granted

dar por muerto: to consider dead

dar por sentado: to take for granted

dar razón: to give account

dar la razón: to agree with

dar recuerdos a: to give regards to

dar rienda suelta a: to give free rein to

dar al traste con: to destroy; to spoil

dar voces: to shout

dar vueltas a: to think something over

dar una vuelta: to take a stroll

darse a: to devote oneself to

darse cuenta de: to realize

darse ínfulas: to put on airs

darse la mano: to shake hands

darse por + past participle: to consider oneself

darse por vencido: to give up

darse prisa: to hurry

dársela a uno: to make a fool out of someone

dárselas de: to pose as; to claim to be

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Cuatro traducciones de “muerto de”


This expression is used to indicate that someone is extremely tired, and may be translated as follows:

  • Estuve trabajando todo el día. ¡Estoy muerto de cansancio! I’ve been working all day long. I’m dead tired!



This expression means that the speaker is really envious of something or someone:

  • Juan está muerto de envidia desde que me compré mi auto nuevo. Juan has been green with envy since I bought my new car.



We use this phrase to describe an overpowering sensation of cold:

  • ¿Puedes subir la calefacción? Estoy muerto de frío. Could you turn the heat up? I’m freezing cold.



This expression indicates that someone is experiencing extreme fear:

  • Después de ver “El exorcista” estuve muerto de miedo toda la noche. After watching “The Exorcist” I spent all night scared stiff.
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Should I say ‘cambiar de mente’ or ‘cambiar de idea’?

Always say “cambiar de idea” o “cambiar de opinion”.

When we talk about altering one’s opinions or decisions, the correct equivalents are “cambiar de idea” and “cambiar de opinión”.

“Cambiar de mente” is a literal translation from the English expression “to change one’s mind” that would only make sense in Spanish if we were talking about a brain transplant.

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Expresiones con la palabra “luz”

  • A buena luz: thoughtfully, after some reflection.
  • A la luz de: in light of.
  • A primera luz: at first light, at the break of dawn.
  • A todas luces:  to do something with confidence and certainty.
  • Bombilla, bombita: light bulb.
  • Brillar con luz propia: to stand out on your own, to succeed.
  • Corte de luz: power outage.
  • Dar a luz: to give birth.
  • Foco: light bulb.
  • La luz de sus ojos: to be the apple of someone’s eyes.
  • Luz artificial: artificial light.
  • Luz eléctrica: electricity.
  • Luz mala: phenomenon caused by decomposing bones, but according to folk tales and superstition this light belongs to the wandering spirits of tortured souls.
  • Luz natural: natural light.
  • Luz solar: sunlight.
  • Luces y sombras: the good and the bad of a situation, the ying and the yang.
  • Sacar a la luz: to make something public, to air someone’s dirty laundry.
  • Salir a la luz: to become public knowledge, to be discovered.
  • Ser corto de luces: to be dim-witted, to not be sharpest tool in the shed.
  • Ser una luz: to be very smart, brilliant.
  • Tener luz verde: to have approval to begin a project or task.
  • Tener pocas luces: to be dim-witted, to not be sharpest tool in the shed.
  • Ver la luz: to see the light, to be born, to be launched or published.
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Expresiones con la palabra “orden”

  • ¡A la/su orden!:  At your service! You’re welcome!
  • (Conceder) la orden de: (to grant) a military or civil honor for services rendered.
  • Del orden de: approximately.
  • El orden del día: items to be discussed at a meeting or assembly.
  • Estar a la orden del día: to be in vogue, something that happens on a daily basis.
  • Ir en orden: to take turns, one at a time.
  • Orden de atigüedad: seniority.
  • La ley y el orden: law and order.
  • Llamar (a alguien) al orden: to call someone to order.
  • La orden del día (military): list of duties read each morning at military bases.
  • Orden aleatorio: random order.
  • Orden cronológico: chronological order.
  • Orden de arresto, de allanamiento, etc (legal): warrant: arrest warrant, search warrant, etc
  • Orden inverso: reverse order.
  • Poner mis ideas en orden: to collect my thoughts.
  • Por orden de llegada: in order of arrival; first come, first served.
  • Sin orden ni concierto: without organization, order or planning.
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Expresiones con la palabra “lengua”

How well do you know the “lengua espanola”? Test your knowledge with these phrases featuring the word “lengua”.


  • Buscarle la lengua a alguien (colloquial): to try to pick a quarrel with sb, be spoiling for a fight/an argument
  • Con la lengua fuera (col): to be out of breath, panting, dog-tired
  • Darle a la lengua (col): to chatter away
  • Estar con/llevar la lengua fuera (col): to be dead beat, to have one’s tongue hanging out
  • Irse de la lengua (col): to let the cat out of the bag, spill the beans, blow the gaff, shoot one’s mouth off (about sth)
  • Las malas lenguas (col): gossip
  • Lengua culta/vulgar (hist): Latin/the vernacular, (registro) educated/common speech
  • Lengua de tierra: spit of land, tongue of land
  • Lengua de trapo (col): baby talk
  • Lengua oficial: official language
  • Lengua viperina/de víbora: evil/sharp/vicious tongue
  • Media lengua: baby talk
  • Morderse la lengua (fig) (col): to bite one’s tongue
  • No morderse la lengua (col): to not mince one’s words
  • No tener lengua (col): to have lost one’s tongue
  • No tener pelos en la lengua (col): to not mince (one’s) words, be out-spoken
  • Sacarle la lengua a alguien (burla): to stick one’s tongue out at sb
  • Soltar la lengua (col): to loosen one’s tongue
  • ¿Te ha comido la lengua el gato? (col): has the cat got your tongue?
  • Tener algo en la punta de la lengua (col) to have sth on the tip of one’s tongue
  • Tener la lengua larga (col): to talk too much
  • Tirar de la lengua (col): (sonsacar) to make someone talk; (provocando) to wind someone up
  • Trabársele la lengua: to get tongue-tied


Source: Diccionario Longman Advanced 2003 (Edición en CD-ROM)

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