Category Archives: Learn to Speak Spanish

Tips and tricks for studying Spanish. Learn some basic Spanish words, phrases and grammar that may help you in a Spanish conversation.

Best Spanish Spell Checkers

If we want to achieve readable texts, we need to check the grammar. Whether you work as an online journalist, you write as a fiction writer, you write for an important fashion magazine or, well, for your own personal use, grammar checkers are imperative.

When it comes to the Spanish language, it is maybe one of the languages with most linguistic richness in the entire world, which doesn’t make our task easier.

Fortunately, technology has brought us a multitude of tools, and these tools have greatly facilitated proofreading for us. We have online checkers, dictionaries, and translators into so many different languages, and all available in Spanish, of course.

As a rule, Spanish Spell Checkers are for free use, but if we make an annual payment, we get access to more functions in the system.

With these Spanish Spell Checkers, you will be able to improve your text. They are not only for students of that language, but for native Spanish speakers as well.

However, they are not perfect. If you want a high-quality text, I would recommend passing the Spanish Spell Checker first and then sending it to a Spanish proofreader.

Microsoft Word

At the time of writing, the checker per excellence is the one that comes incorporated to Microsoft Word. My recommendation for you is always having it activated. It will help you greatly to always have well written texts with the correct spelling, since every time you write a spelling error Word Office will detect it and will show it in red, giving you the option to correct it.

With the passing of time, the aforementioned spell checker has been getting better substantially, not only with the expansion of vocabulary but also with the detection of some grammatical flaws.

The automatic checker is a simple comparator of letters between the words written and the words compiled in its “dictionary”.

Stilus

One of the alternatives is Stilus, a Spanish Spell Check online. Stilus will give us a lot of surprises and, also, joy, because it’s one of the best Spanish Spell Checkers. Stilus is not merely a checker, but instead it makes a revision of the linguistic context and is accompanied by a didactic explanation and its related bibliography. In other words, it doesn’t get comfortable enough with the mere detection and mention of an error, but instead it’s capable of arguing for it.

In the final analysis, Stilus will help us to avoid grammar flaws and spare us some very valuable time by conducting multiple documental searches, letting us work quickly and be more productive. It’s not the universal remedy for automatic checks, but it’s a giant step for us to use in our daily life as a worker, as well for students or for our personal use.

Spanish Checker

And now, one of the best along with the great Stilus. The second Spanish Spell Check is called: Spanish Checker.

Spanish Checker is another option for us to correct our texts, although maybe not so complete as the previously mentioned tool, but it’s completely free. Its handling is very simple, and despite this, it’s very strong. Spanish Checker will correct our texts orthographically and grammatically. In both cases, whether it’s a grammar check or an orthographical check, Spanish Checker will suggest a modification or will simply suggest that we verify what we have written with the correct sense for the sentence. Putting the text over the word in question, Spanish Checker will show us a short explanation of the possible flaw through a floating text and will suggest the proper use for the sentence.

We will be the ones to correct the text, which is very useful because we will be able to learn from our mistakes. Also, this tool can correct texts in the English language.

Now, I share with all of you some reviews that I have made about some other Spanish Spell Checkers, and these are not less important than the previous ones.

Ortógrafo de Lenguaje.com

It’s a fast Spanish Spell Check and is composed of more than five million words; it also recognizes every form of conjugation, including the diminutives, augmentatives and the most common prefixes and suffixes. Its engine detects typographical and spelling flaws and even corrects Roman Numerals.

Spellboy

Spellboy is another of the bests and most reliable Spanish Spell Checkers you will find online. It’s kind of a treasure, really. Its layout is very attractive. The layout imitates a notebook. And you don’t get too much advertising on the website.

In addition, Spellboy has a great number of languages at your disposition: Russian, German, Spanish, Dutch and French.

Correctorortográfico.com

This one, it’s a practical and easy tool to use. It corrects your flaws of grammar and it can help you with your homework or your daily job. The only thing you have to do is “copy and paste” the text inside the empty box and it will instantly be fixed. Furthermore, it counts eleven different languages you can work with. Its use is very simple – you only have to put the text you want to check into the field, choose the language and click on the “Check” button to finish the job.

Corrector-ortográfico.comh

And finally, but no less important, this website brings together simplicity with reliability. It contains eleven different languages which you can use to check your texts in. These languages are: Spanish, Catalan, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Swedish and Scottish.

Conclusion:

These are some of the best Spanish Spell Checkers. If you can check one by one and use the one of your own preference, you will definitely find the perfect checker for you. Remember the function of each one is to “clean” your texts, checking orthographical or spelling flaws. The goal of each and every Spanish Spell Checker is to clean up our flaws in our writing to get it free of errors for every reader or for the general public.

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How to learn Spanish in the car

Travelling is a big part of our day. We wake up andcommute to work. When we go out, we spend some time in traffic. On an average,we spend about 2 hours a day in traffic. Most of us waste that time doingabsolutely nothing, either trying to wake up or relax before or after a day atwork. Some even spend the time listening to music. Others, even read a book ifthey are not driving. So, this is why I was thinking about how you can startspending this time learning Spanish. Do you want to see how? Keep on reading.

There are many ways in which you can learn a new language or polish up your skills in a language that you already know, while riding in your car. One of them is by downloading, buying or listening to an online “Spanish in the car” course. This is extremely useful, as they usually repeat the words many times, and if you happen to have an auditive memory, you can catch up quite fast.

Another method of learning Spanish in the car is by listening to Spanish songs. As rhymes are easier to remember and if the song happens to have a catchy chorus, then you have a winner. Later on that day, you can look up the lyrics of your favorite songs and learn their meaning. Actually understand what that singer was trying to say.

If you are more advanced and want to be up to date with what is happening around the world, then you can also listen to a news channel in Spanish. This way, you can both amp up your Spanish language skills, and keep up with what is happening around the world. If listening to news is not your thing, you can also listen to podcasts and stand up shows. A little laugh can definitely help lighten up your mood.

Finally, you can also listen to audiobooks. If you are a beginner Spanish learner, you can start by listening to childrens’ books as they are easier to understand, because the vocabulary is not that complex, and the reading is clear. You can then move up to books that interest you, starting from fiction, and advancing towards more complex books like nonfiction.

As you can see, you can put the time that you spend commuting between a place an another into good use. By simply listening to songs in Spanish, or even audiobooks, if not Spanish language courses that you can take in your car, your Spanish skills will improve in no time. It is true that mostly your speaking, and listening skills will be better, but your vocabulary will definitely improve, and that really matters.

An important thing that you do not have to forget is thateven if you have reached a certain level of Spanish, you can forget it if youdo not have contact with it every day. So, even if it is only a song, or apiece of news, listen to it and put that commute time into good use.

Spanish expressions with food

Spanish cuisine is one of the best in the world, and I am not saying this because I am from Spain. If you are not convinced it is so, it is probably because you have not tried it yet. As food plays a major role in our day to day lives, I have decided to teach you some expressions with food. Prepare yourself with some snacks, because things are about to get tasty.

  1. Vete a freír espárragos

If you want to tell somebody to leave you alone, a great way to ask him is to send him to fry asparagus, literally. I am not really sure where this expression originated from, but I guess that the first person to use it was not a great fan of asparagus either.  So remember, if your friend is showcasing one again his lack of karaoke talent, just send him to cook a bit of asparagus. He will never know where that even came from.

  1. No todo el monte es orégano

This expression is like a reality check. It literally translates into not every hill is oregano. For this one, I happen to know the background. People used to go up the hills to collect herbs. Not all of the plants that grow are good to eat. Some of them are weeds or even poisonous plants. This is a caution. Sometimes things might not turn out how you want them to be. This is an expression designed to say this exact thing.

  1. Esto es pan comido

You know how in English, we have the expression “it is a piece of cake”. In Spanish, the equivalent is “this is eaten bread”. For those of you who do not know the expression, it means that it is very easy. So, I guess that next time when you have an exam, you could happily say that “esto es pan comido”.

  1. Ser quien corta el bacalao

It is time to add a fishy expression to our list. “Ser quien corta el bacalao” literally means, to be the one that cuts the cod. It basically means that you are the boss, the person in charge. How did we get to this expression? It is quite simple. In the 16th century, the foreman was the person in charge with cutting of the salt cod, along with dividing it along the workers, and sometimes even the slaves. So, in your family, are you the one cutting the cod?

As you can see, there are many expressions related to food. You can also check out my article about expressions with fruits. This way, your vocabulary will definitely improve. As soon as you know it, you will be using expressions better than a Spanish native. Always keep in mind, that in order to truly master a new language, you need to learn, and understand their expressions.

I hope that I did not make you too hungry. Keep on snacking, and keep on learning some food for the mind.

Learn Spanish with flashcards

Learning a new language is always hard. Even though you might find a way to ace the grammar, everybody knows that vocabulary is really the one that makes the difference. The more words you know, the better you can communicate in Spanish, and the more you can immerse yourself in the language, and culture. This is why, today I have decided to teach you a new way of learning vocabulary: with flashcards.

It is said that you have to “meet” with a word 80 times in order to remember it, and never forget it. Just imagine how many different words you have just read. Now imagine just repeating them 80 times. It would be quite tiring. For this reason, flashcards are a great tool to use.

First of all, let me tell you what flashcards are. They are basically some pieces of paper which has a word on one side in one language, and then translated in a second language on the other side. They are practically a really compressed version of a dictionary that helps you learn words quickly.

Let’s say for example that today you want to learn some vocabulary related to fruits. You make a list of all the fruits that you want to learn, and then you start making flashcards for each fruit. Then, you start reading them a couple of times until you think that you have memorized them. After that, it is time to test yourself. You take out random cards from the deck, and try to say the fruit in the language on the back. If you are right, you take out the card. If not you repeat until there are no more cards.

You do not have to use this type of flashcards only for vocabulary. They are also a great tool for learning verbs. A great way that you can do so is to create a set of cards for each verb. On one side, you can write for example ser- presente de indicativo vosotros, and on the other, put the right answer. You can make it even more complicated by writing the verb, the verbal tense, and the person in English. It all depends on how you want to make them.

There are, of course, many other ways in which you can learn words by using flashcards. You can even learn a family of words. You can a word like ‘happy’ (alegre), and make various cards. For example, one can be happy-verb (alegrarse), happy-noun (alegría). The best part is that the options are limitless.

One more fun thing that you can do is to strategically place them around the objects in the cards. For example, if you are trying to learn words related to food, you can place them in the kitchen, or if you want to learn words related to clothes, you can put them next to your wardrobe. This way, it will be even easier for you to identify the word in the cards, and it will make learning new words more fun. All that you have left to do is to try it.

Spanish fruit idioms

Today, I have decided to share with you some Spanish fruit idioms, because why not make your Spanish vocabulary more fruitful?

I guess that the perfect way to start learning some expressions about fruits is if you are also eating some. In this case, I advise you to grab a plate of fruits, and let´s start learning.

  1. De uvas a peras – once in a blue moon

This expression literally translates into ¨from grapes to pears¨. I guess that now, you are probably a bit confused of how we got to this meaning. This expression is actually related to agriculture. Grapes (las uvas) are usually harvested in September, meanwhile pears (las peras) are harvested in August. This would be the shortened version of the expression. The longer one would be something like ¨from harvesting grapes to the harvest of pears¨. I guess that it makes more sense now.

  1. Media naranja – other half (soulmate)

This expression comes from a legend, according to which people used to be round. However, they were punished and split into half, doomed to search for their other half for the rest of their lives. A variation of this expression is ¨medio limón¨( half of a lemon). It means exactly the same thing. It now only depends on your choice of fruit when describing your soulmate.

  1. Nos van a dar las uvas

As you can see, for some reason, Spaniards have something with grapes. This second grape-related expression has something to do with New Years´. When the clock strikes midnight, the tradition says that, twelve seconds before, you have to swallow 12 grapes, one for each month of the year. The expression, ¨they are going to give us the grapes¨, is used to tell somebody to hurry up, as eating the grapes is the very last thing one does at the end of a year.

  1. La manzana de la discordia – the apple of discord

This expression, the same as in English, basically means the root of an argument. It has many legends revolving it, such as the Trojan war, but I am not going to get into history today.

As you can see, there are many expressions in Spanish regarding fruits. These are just some of the most common ones. I guess that each expression gets you one step closer to becoming a native, if you are not one already.

If you know more fruit expressions, feel free to write them down in a comment or contact me. Maybe we can even do a part 2 with fruit expressions, but this only depends on you guys. Meanwhile, I suggest that you try to learn more Spanish fruit names, and while doing so, you can even look up some expressions with them. Maybe you can even teach me some of them.

If you like this post, you may enjoy this one about Love Phrases in Spanish.

Tools and tricks to help you read in Spanish

Reading in Spanish might be hard at first, as there are many new words, and phrases that you are not familiar with. However, this does not mean that you have to panic, because practice makes things perfect. Just remember what kinds of texts you used to read as a kid. Think about all of the progress that you have made until now. You are able to read specialty texts without finding any difficulties on the way. I bet that you can do the same thing with Spanish too. You will just need a bit of effort, and a bit of time.

Today, I have decided to show you some tips and tricks that are great for improving your reading skills in Spanish. I bet that you have already used some of these. Without keeping the suspense any longer, below are some of them.

  1. Use a dictionary

Probably the most common tool used when reading in a foreign language is a dictionary. You are reading, and reading, and suddenly you are stuck. There is one word that you simply do not understand. What do you do? You simply look it up in the dictionary. If you are using a paperback dictionary, you also have the advantage of stumbling upon more words while trying to find your word. The inconvenience is that it takes more time to find your word.

  1. Start with easy texts

When we were kids, we started by reading picture books. Then we slowly evolved into reading chapter books. Now, we are able to read novels, and even technical texts. Depending on the level of Spanish that you have, you can start with easy texts, and as soon as you develop your vocabulary, you can read harder texts, and your language skills will also evolve.

  1. Use a Kindle or an ebook reader

The Kindle, and even some other ebook readers have dictionaries incorporated in them. This means that you do not have to interrupt your reading every time in order to look for a word. You simply put your finger on it, and the ebook reader will give you the translation or the definition of it. The best part is that some ebook readers, like the Kindle even have an option that memorizes the new words for you. You can see them all gathered in a place. The bad news is that when you switch to reading on paper, you will find yourself putting a finger on a word, and nothing comes out.

  1. Use the frame option

This is an excellent tool when you are reading in a new language. What do you have to do? You need to make a frame out of a piece of paper, and put it around the page that you are reading. What is the idea behind this? Whenever you find an unknown word, you can simply write it on the frame, with the translation. After that, you will find yourself with a frame full of new words.

  1. Try to understand the context

Sometimes you do not need to understand each and every word in a text. You just need to understand the context, and you will remember the new word from the context that you have found it in.

  1. Write down the main ideas

In order to see if you have really understood the text, you need to extract the main ideas. You will see that it is hard at first, but soon it becomes easier and easier. After that, you can even try to make a short summary of the text that you have read. This helps because you can also develop your writing skills. I would advise you at first to also rely on a Spanish proofreader to help you correct your errors.

  1. Try to do some tests

DELE tests are the Spanish international language certifications. Their exercises are an excellent way of testing your reading skills. You will see how much you have understood of what you are reading with every test. You will even learn some tips and tricks, such as looking for key words, or skimming the text.

  1. Read out loud

This is more of a pronunciation exercise then it is a text comprehension one. However, it really pays off. You can start off by reading some short texts, then moving on to larger ones. The best audience that you can have is your dog. He will most definitely listen to you no matter what. The best part is that he will not laugh at you, nor will he know when you make a mistake.

  1. Try reading with different accents

This is a fun way to read in Spanish. It is also a great way to improve your accent. You can start by reading with a normal accent, and then trying some more exotic ones, such as those in Latin America or the South of Spain. It might be challenging at first, but you will definitely have a laugh.

Wanna have a reading Spanish class? Contact me!

As you can see, there are many tips and tricks that will help you read in Spanish. I guess that technology has now evolved to a point in which you can find an app for about everything possible, but more about that later, so just keep on refreshing the site, because you never know when the article pops up.

I hope that the tips and tricks from above are helpful. Do you have any other tips and tricks that if you would like to share with us? If yes, you can write them in a comment down below. Who knows? We can all benefit from sharing knowledge.  Also, if you try them, please let me know which of them works better for you and why. So, good luck reading, and improving your vocabulary.

Spanish vocabulary for the cold season

Winter is here and whether you are anxiously waiting for Santa Claus or for the Three Kings (los Reyes Magos) to bring you gifts, you should learn some Spanish words suitable for winter. Regardless of whether you want to learn how to build a snowman in Spanish, learn some words for winter clothing that will help you if you are shopping, or simply say Merry Christmas! in Spanish, this article will help you.

Let’s start with the first sign of winter, which, of course is the weather. So, when we think of the cold season, we think of winter (= el invierno), and then we think about the cold (=el frío). If we are lucky enough, we are greeted with snow (= la nieve). This makes us scream: it’s snowing (= está nevando; nevar). We all know that when it is snowing we want to make a snowman (= el muñeco de nieve), and in order to do so, we need snowflakes (= los copos de nieve). If we are lucky enough, we get some days off due to a snowstorm (= la tormenta de nieve).

In order to go out and enjoy the snow, we need to dress up with warm clothes, or wrap ourselves up in warm clothing (= abrigarse). The first thing that we put on is our coat (=el abrigo) or our jacket (= la chaqueta). Then, we go on and put on some gloves (= los guantes), which we will use to make a snowman. Then, we want to make sure that we won’t get sick so we add a scarf (= la bufanda) and then, we also put on a hat (= la gorra). We also need some shoes suitable for the snow, such as boots (= las botas). We are ready to go out and enjoy some winter activities.

There are many things that you can do outside. Among the most common activities are skiing (= esquiar), ice skating (= patinar sobre hielo), and of course, this list would not be complete without sledding (=andar sobre el trineo). Since we are talking about sleds, let’s also mention Santa’s reindeer (= el reno), which is pulling the sled.

Since we just mentioned Santa Claus (= Papá Noel), I guess we should get ready by learning some Christmas carols (=los villancicos). Oh, and we should also, get the Christmas tree (= el abeto / el árbol de Navidad) ready for the holidays. I almost forgot, since we are talking about Christmas (= la Navidad), we should also learn how to wish people a Merry Christmas! (= ¡Feliz Navidad!).

Well, I guess that you are set for the cold season with the vocabulary. All that you need to do now, is to relax, and while you are waiting for Papá Noel or los Reyes Magos to give you a visit, you should learn a bit about Spanish Christmas traditions.

 

Time expressions in Spanish with “hacer”

Hacer is one of the essential verbs in the Spanish language. It is one of the first verbs that you learn in Spanish. There are many different ways in which this verb is used, a lot of expressions. However, I do not want to scare you today. What I want to do is to show you the time expressions with hacer.

Remember hacer conjugation

Straight forward to the structures

Now, lets’ take a look at how we conjugate the verb in some of the different tenses, as a short recap.

Present- Indicative

  • Yo hago,
  • tú haces,
  • él hace,
  • nosotros hacemos,
  • vosotros hacéis,
  • ellos hacen

Present Perfect

  • Yo he hecho,
  • tú has hecho,
  • él ha hecho,
  • nosotros hemos hecho,
  • vosotros habéis hecho,
  • ellos han hecho

Past simple

  • Yo hice,
  • tú hiciste,
  • él hizo,
  • nosotros hicimos,
  • vosotros hicisteis,
  • ellos hicieron

Future

  • Yo haré,
  • tú harás,
  • él hará,
  • nosotros haremos,
  • vosotros haréis,
  • ellos harán

Subjuntivo

QUE…

  • yo haga,
  • tú hagas,
  • él haga,
  • nosotros hagamos,
  • vosotros hagáis,
  • ellos hagan

Now that we have made a small recap of the verb hacer, lets’ take a look at those time expressions.

When we talk about a specific time when an action happened, a certain amount of time in the past, we use one of the two golden formulas, as to say so:

Formula 1

Hace+ (amount of time)+ que+ past simple

Example: Hace tres años que terminé el colegio. (=It’s been three years since I finished highschool)

Formula 2

past simple+ hace+ amount of time

Example: Fui al médico hace una semana. (=I went to the doctor a week ago)

When we want to talk about some actions that started in the past, and still continue into the future, we can use the following two formulas to express it:

Formula 1

Hace+ amount of time + que+ no +verb (present tense)

Example: Hace mucho tiempo que no nos vemos. (= It has been a long time since we have seen each other).

Formula 2

Verb in the present+ desde + hace + amount of time

Example: Trabajo en esa empresa desde hace cuatro meses. (=I have been working in this company for for months.)

There is also an option to express an action in the past that got interrupted by another action. For this, you can use the following three formulas:

Formula 1

Hacía+ amount of time+ que+no+ verb in the imperfect

Example: Hacía un mes que no hablaba con su padre, cuando lo vió por la calle. (= A month had passed since he did not speak with his father, when he saw him on the street)

Formula 2

Verb in the imperfect+ hacía+ amount of time

Example: Llovía hacia una semana, cuando de repente salió el sol. (=It had been raining for a week, when the sun rose.)

Formula 3

Verb in the imperfect+ desde+ hacía+ amount of time

Example: Salía a corer desde hacía dos semanas, cuando se cayó. (= She used to run since two weeks ago, when she fell.)

These are some formulas that will come in handy when you want to amp up your Spanish game. If you need more help from a Spanish tutor, or a Spanish content writer, do not hesitate to contact me.

Verbs with prepositions in Spanish

Verbs are essential elements if we talk about forming sentences. Basically, without them, we would not be able to speak.

It is true that in Spanish, verbs are quite complicated. Well, I am talking about all of those different tenses and the long list of irregular verbs. So, do you remember how Spaniards like to overcomplicate things? I guess that it is time to make things a bit harder. How? By adding prepositions in the mix.

These are the Spanish prepositions:

a
ante
bajo
cabe
con
contra
de
desde
en
entre
hacia
hasta
para
por
según
sin
so
sobre
tras

Spanish verbs with prepositions are the equivalent of English phrasal verbs. Let’s take a look.

There are many verbs that require a preposition. We are going to talk about the most common ones. First, let’s take a look at the 5 prepositions that you should know:

  1. En (= in)
  2. Con (= with)
  3. A (= to)
  4. Por (= for)
  5. De (= of/from)

Verbs with en

The Spanish verbs with prepositions that use the preposition en can be followed either objects or infinitives. Let’s take a look at the 3 most common verbs that are followed by this preposition.

1. Confiar en (= to trust to/ to rely on)

When followed by an infinitive, confiar en means “to be confindent in”. When it is followed by an object, it means “to trust”.

  1. Dudar en (=to hesitate to)

It is followed by an infinitive.

  1. hacer bien en (= to be right to/ in doing something)

It can either be followed by an infinitive or an object.

When followed by an infinitive, it means “you are doing the right thing”. When followed by an object, it means “you are doing good in/for”.

Verbs with con

1.contar con (= to count on something)

It is usually followed by an object.

  1. Soñar con (= to dream about)

This structure is usually followed by either an infinitive or an object. It means to dream of or to dream about. However, when followed by an infinitive, it can also be translated as “to hope to”.

  1. comenzar con (= to begin by/ with)

It is usually followed by an object.

Verbs with a

The verbs that are followed by the preposition a, are a special type of verbs. Why? Because in Spanish, this grammar rule is known as the personal a. This means that the preposition a is placed before the object.

1.acercarse a (= to approach)

  1. ayudar a (= to help)
  2. resistirse a (=to resist)

Verbs with por

1.esforzarse por (= to struggle to/ to do your best)

This structure is usually followed by an infinitive.

  1. comenzar por (= to begin with)

This structure is usually followed by either an infinitive or an object.

  1. estar por (= to be in favor of)

This structure is usually followed by either an infinitive or an object. With an infinitive, this structure means to consider doing something. When it is followed by an object, it is used to show preferences.

Verbs with de

  1. Acordarse de (=to remember to)

This structure is usually followed by an infinitive, however, you can also use it with objects too. The meaning stays the same.

  1. Preocuparse de (= to be worried about)

This structure is usually followed by either an infinitive or an object.

  1. Dejar de (=to give up/ to stop)

This structure is usually followed by an infinitive.

Now that you now these things, your Spanish language skills have already improved.

Spanish animal expressions to use in your Spanish phrases

Animals have been with us since the beginning of times. Our lives have always depended on animals in one way or another. We use animals for transportation, for food, for protection, and even for company. Much of our lives depend on our furry friends. This is why, today, in order to honor our little friends, I have decided to share with you a few animal expressions. You will see that some are more intuitive then others. So, let’s have some fun and learn some new expressions.

  1. Ser un/a gallina – to be a chicken

This expression literally means to be a chicken if we translate it word by word. Now, let’s think a bit. Do we have a similar expression in English? Well, there is this expression: to chicken out, which means to freak out. What exactly does ser un gallina mean? If you guessed to be a coward, then you are right. It is also quite intuitive as chicken get scared quite fast and run away when you get close to them.

  1. Estar como el perro y el gato – to be like cats and dogs

This expression is quite an easy one as there is an identical one in English. To be like cats and dogs or to fight like cats and dogs means to fight a lot. I guess no further explanation is needed for this one.

  1. Comer como un pajarito- to eat like a bird

Let’s think about this expression. How do birds eat? Have you ever seen a bird eat a lot? We are not talking about pelicans or vultures, but normal birds. They eat a few bites. After all, they do not have a big body, so they do not need all of those calories. So, if someone eats like a bird, then they do not eat a lot.

  1. Tener memoria de elefante- to have the memory of an elephant

Elephants are big, and so are their brains. It is said that they are the animals with the highest memory. So, if someone tells you “tienes memoria de elefante”, this means that he is complimenting you. He is saying that you remember everything, just like elephants do.

  1. Estar pez –“ to be a fish”

In English we have various sayings about fish. One of them is to have the memory of a fish. Another one is like a fish out of the water. Fish are known for their short memory. Having this in mind, what do you think the expression estar pez could mean? Well, it is actually the equivalent of like a fish out of the water, which means clueless.

As you can see, there are many animal idioms in Spanish that are quite similar to those in English and very helpful to add in your Spanish phrases. However, it is important to remember that not all expressions translate the same. It is better to always double check with the dictionary or a native Spanish speaker when you want to use a Spanish expression, otherwise you might end up making a fool out of yourself. With this in mind, I might come up with another list of Spanish expressions in a short while if you have enjoyed this one.