27 Spanish proverbs to express yourself like a native speaker | Blog FluentU in Spanish (2023)

27 Spanish proverbs to express yourself like a native speaker | Blog FluentU in Spanish (1)

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Learning a language will never be complete without immersing yourself in the wonderful world of dictations. And in Spanish, we have a lot of colorful and insightful.

Proverbs are a culture's way of passing down distilled wisdom.for the next generation. They reflect where a culture has been and allow the inquiring student a deeper appreciation of the language.

And beyond the moral and cultural lessons that are taught, the dictations are perfectly structured ideas and, therefore, an excellent way to learn.new vocabularymispanish grammar.

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Spanish proverbs that you should know

1.New Year New Life- New year, new me

Literally:New Year New Life

Just like in English, this Spanish saying is mainly used in the new year.

"New Year New Life"is a great example of how the different parts of speech in Spanishmust agree with each other in genderand number

“Novo” is used in its masculine singular form(nuevo)and the feminine form(new star).

Fromagainis masculine, the adjective that describes it is also masculine. Fromlifeis feminine, the adjective is feminine.

2.Every dog ​​has his day- You reap what you sow

Literally:Every pig has its Saint Martin

November 11 is the feast of San Martín de Tours, a traditional pig slaughter that takes place in different towns in Spain.

Also know asdecreases"(the slaughter), this time of year is perfect for curing meat with the arrival of the first frosts. A family would kill one to three pigs to store enough food for the winter.

It's like saying, "Every turkey has its Thanksgiving."

It's essentially about bad behavior finally being punished, or "you reap what you sow" in English.

3.He who lives by the sword will die by the sword- What goes around comes around

Literally:who does, pays

Corrupt politicians, scrupulous businessmen, greedy corporations, cheating partners: these are the types of people you could use this phrase to describe.

Like the previous expression, it underscores the strong belief in Spanish cultures that justice will eventually be done, by divine intervention or otherwise.

The damage you do to others will eventually be your downfall.

4.bad weather good boy- When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

Literally:In bad weather, good boy

The expression speaks of the attitude that a person should have in the face of adversity.

It's more than just "putting on an angry face" or "keeping your upper lip stiff." It is an attitude of hope and optimism because you can always change your attitude, even when you cannot change your environment.

5.Four eyes see more than two- Two heads are better than one

Literally:Four eyes see more than two

Another person's point of view, perspective, or opinion is vital if you want to fully understand a situation.

So instead of making a decision on your own, enlist the help of others.

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A fresh set of eyes can reveal options you may not have considered before, resulting in a better understanding of any issue.

6.Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are- You are who you surround yourself with

Literally:Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are

You can know a person by the company they keep.

If you associate with the wrong crowd, not only will you be misjudged by others, but by osmosis you will absorb the customs of your friends.

But if you find the right audience, keep it close and never let it go.

For example, you don't have to be alone when you learn Spanish. Find partners, tutors, friendly native speakers, and a community of like-minded people who, just like you, are making their lives better by learning a second language.

7.Birds of the same plumage fly together— Birds of the same plumage fly together

Literally:God creates them, and they come together

People often bond with other people with whom they have things in common.

But this phrase is often used disapprovingly to refer to people who share anegativefeature (like a bunch of rowdy boys who were sent to the principal's office).

And just as you don't have to finish the whole expression in English and you can say “Birds of a feather…”, you can also say “God creates them…”and the Spanish would know what you mean.

8.Where there's trust, it sucks- Familiarity breeds contempt

Literally:Where there is familiarity, it is disgusting

There are many advantages of friendship.

You have a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand, and a friend to share good times with. But proximity can also bring drawbacks.

For example, your friend may not worry about being late for a date with you because he knows you'll wait for him, whereas he would respect a stranger's time.

9.today for you tomorrow for me"Scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."

Literally:Today for you tomorrow for me

This expression is about reciprocity and the golden rule, but it's actually more positive than "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" suggests.

Rather, the actions come from a sense of generosity. It's like paying the bill at the restaurant and saying, “Let me buy this. take the next.

10Bad luck in gambling, lucky in love— Unlucky with wealth, lucky with love

Literally:Bad luck in gambling, lucky in love

No one can have it all in life.

If you've found love, that's a lot to be thankful for. And if you found great wealth, you are better off than others. It is often used to comfort someone who has lost (or never found) love or material wealth.

This saying could also be reversed:Lucky in the game, bad luck in love— which means lucky in gambling but unlucky in love.

11Love is blind- Love is blind

Literally:Love is blind

When you're deeply in love, it's hard to recognize your partner's shortcomings.

You can use this phrase when letting your friend know that they are ignoring someone's red flags because they have a big crush, or a good friend can tell you!

12Jobs are loves, not good motives- Actions speak louder than words

Literally:Works are love, not good reasons.

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Spanish is an exciting language with many words to express love, such asto want(desire),enchant (bewitch) andaventura affectionate(subject).

someone could have even said"I love you"o"I love you"(I want you for you.

But you've also heard the saying "to love is a verb" - well, that's the Spanish equivalent. Someone can say they love you all they want, but if their actions don't back up their claims, they mean nothing.

13So much noise for nothing- They all bark and don't bite

Literally:Much ado About Nothing

This saying is used when someone talks about a great game but has almost nothing to show for it.

Think of the politicians who promise heaven and earth during the election campaign and do nothing after winning. Lots of talk and little action..

Think of a hyped show that fails or a long-awaited movie that doesn't deliver.

All these situations justify the expression,So much noise for nothing."

14All that glitters is not gold- Not all that glitters is gold

Literally:Not all that glitters is gold

This saying encourages us to always see things deeper, to look beyond the flashes and sparkles to the real substance.

Things are not always what they seem, and an attitude of healthy skepticism can empower us to make the right decisions.

Of course, the opposite is also true. Just because something doesn't shine doesn't mean it's not precious.

Things are not always what they seem to be. As such, this sentence can be positive or negative.

15.A gift horse, don't look in the teeth- Do not look at the teeth of a gift horse

Literally:A gift horse, don't look in the tooth

Horse(horse) appears in many Spanish proverbs because horses were the main means of transportation until the 19th centuryºcentury. The number of horses someone owned also symbolized his wealth.

The saying originated from the practice in cattle markets, where buyers look into the mouth of a horse they are interested in, because the teeth and molars can reveal its health.

The expression is about gratitude: receiving gifts while appreciating the generosity of the giver, rather than highlighting the gift's imperfections and flaws.

sixteen.We are lunch boxes and on the way we will meet- What goes around comes around

Literally:We are muleeiros and on the way we will meet

When someone refuses to help another person, it is likely that at some point in the future they will need help but not receive it.

I have heard this expression among co-workers jokingly but with a slight tension. It is letting the other person know that their lack of help has created a “feedback” situation.

You may hear variations on the wordmuleteers,which could be replaced by its diminutivemuleteers

17It's better to relax than work hard"It is better to do nothing than to do everything wrong."

Literally:Better to be idle than to work poorly

It is better to be idle than to work ineffectively, or better to do nothing than to do everything wrong.

You can use this expression at work or to describe a situation in your life that you don't want to screw up.

18What doesn't start doesn't end— Stand or non-metal pedal

Literally:What doesn't start doesn't end

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You have to go there to get things done. The project will never be finished if you don't even start.

This can be used in situations where you would say "full throttle" in English to motivate someone to continue their part of the job.

Or “you miss all the photos you don't take”.

19There is no bad job, the bad thing is having to work— The work is not bad, the work is

Literally:There is no bad job; the bad thing is having to work

In this case, the meaning is quite simple.

When you're tired and fed up with work, this is the perfect saying to put a smile on everyone's face.

He also talks about the importance of leisure in the Spanish-speaking culture. I've listened to this one a few times while traveling through Mexico, and she's my favorite.

20I love you like a trout loves a trout"I love you like a trout loves a male trout."

Literally:I love you like the female trout loves the male trout

This is a very common expression among lovers that plays with Spanish masculine and feminine nouns:trout(a female trout) andtrout(a male trout).

This beautiful love saying is used between couples during small moments of love like “Eskimo kisses”.

It can be worn by men or women and puts a smile on anyone's face.

Alternatively, but on rarer occasions, it can be used with children. For example, a mother or father can use this saying to express love for her little son.

21The liar is caught faster than the lame"The truth comes out sooner or later."

Literally:You catch a liar faster than a lame

This phrase is the equivalent of "spit" or "sooner or later, all lies come to light."

For example, when you suspect that your partner is blatantly lying to your face, this expression is a plea for him to be honest and tell the truth because sooner or later you will catch him.

You can use this expression when you already know that someone has lied, but you are pretending that they did not.

22Better to be alone than in bad company- Better alone than in bad company

Literally:It is better to be alone than in bad company

This is a very popular expression and is used exactly the same as its English equivalent.

It is mainly used to advise your friends who are interested in someone who is not worth it or has a lot of red flags like "it's better to be alone than to date that guy/girl".

Or you can use it to comfort a friend who is heartbroken by saying "you're better off alone/without him or her!"

23Love without suffering cannot be- There is no love without pain

Literally:Loving without suffering is not possible

This sentence opens the soap opera mentality: love is full of drama and suffering, and if it isn't, it isn't real love.

This is not a judgment on the Spanish-speaking world's view of love, but rather an observation of how the culture might view it. It's pretty much the equivalent of "Love is a b word."

A little harsh, yes.

After heartbreak or disappointment, this saying perfectly describes how you feel (or can be used to comfort a crying friend).

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24To bread, bread, and to wine, wine- call things by their name

Literally:called bread bread and wine wine

Although this phrase contains references to food, it means "talk to me directly" or "talk to me directly."

This indicates the importance of food in Spanish, since many phrases that containVocabulary of foodthey have nothing to do with food, but are general attitudes, commands, or opinions.

This phrase is commonly used among friends in Spain (mainly in Madrid).

It is a call for someone to speak directly and truthfully and can be compared to the English expression "call a spade a spade".

25Caught red handed- Caught in the act

Literally:Caught red handed

Here is another expression that uses food but has little to do with it.

Children often use this phrase to give others away, such as saying, "I saw you with your hands in the cookie jar!" But it can also be used in adult situations.

For example, if you catch someone cheating on a test, cheating on their partner, or even stealing something that isn't theirs, you can bet they have thehands on!

26After eating, not even an envelope to read— There is nothing to do after eating but rest.

Literally:After eating, there is not a single envelope left to read.

This expression is difficult to translate, but it basically means that there is not much to do after eating other than rest.

This says a lot about the importance of resting (or taking a nap) after lunch or noon in Spanish-speaking culture.

This saying can be used after a good hearty lunch (the main meal of the day in Spanish-speaking countries) that needs a siesta to digest. You can also express your satisfaction with the meal and announce the transition to "chill out" to a nap.

27make a sinpa- Dine and run

Literally:To make a default

In the Spanish-speaking world, making jokes about good food can be offensive and impolite.

I remember an American friend once told me that he used this saying as a joke after finishing dinner with some Spanish-speaking friends.

Long story short, no one laughed and awkward smiles shot around the table. They thought he was serious because he was being ironic.

If you're with close friends, this could be a joke... but know your audience well.

Where to find authentic Spanish sayings

Check out these resources to get your share of awesome sayings in Spanish:

  • "neighbors"is a classic Mexican sitcom full of little sayings that are normally used in Mexico.
  • "One Hundred Years of Solitude"is a classic novel (for advanced students) that shows South American literary expressions and speech.
  • "The city and the Dogs" Esanother South American classic that will help you fill your vocabulary with Spanish proverbs.
  • Movies, blogs, music and media in Spanish.Make sure you fill up onSpanish movies, blogs,TV showsand anything else you like.
  • FluentU.You can also use an immersive online platform like FluentU, which turns authentic Spanish videos, like music videos and movie trailers, into language lessons. While you watch, you can find new Spanish sayings and see a wealth of information about them (and any other word) with the interactive subtitles.

To continue, take a look at theCervantes official websitesaying(saying pager).

Explore some of the sayings in this post to read about their origins, variations, or even antonyms in Spanish. Since this is a multilingual phrase finder, you can search for proverbs in 20 foreign languages.

Why language students should study Proverbs in Spanish

  • Spanish proverbs are a great way to learn vocabulary.They provide context for the words you're trying to learn, since they come in sentences rather than single, easy-to-forget words.
  • Proverbs teach efficient grammar.Spanish proverbs are perfect examples of how to create grammatically correct sentences with maximum impact.
  • Spanish proverbs have a certain cadence and melodic quality.. Sometimes they even rhyme. Sometimes they follow a certain structure, like when two things are juxtaposed. take the phraseToday for you tomorrow for me"For example.
  • You will be able to speak more naturally.and bring a smile to the faces of native speakers. Suppose you still don't have a friend to speak Spanish with. In that case, you can look for one on a language exchange app orget an online tutor through italki.

So there you have it: 27 common Spanish proverbs to enrich your knowledge of the Spanish language and culture.

Try incorporating them into your conversations and you'll be sounding like a native speaker in no time.

Download:This blog post is available as a convenient, portable PDF that you can take anywhere.Click here for a copy. (Discharge)


What is an example of a Spanish proverb? ›

Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente.

“Eyes that don't see, heart that doesn't feel.” If you don't see it, you can't feel it. This popular Spanish proverb means that people don't suffer for what they don't know.

What is Proverbs in Spanish translation? ›

Word For 'Proverb' In Spanish

The word proverb in Spanish is 'Proverbio.

What are 5 Spanish idioms? ›

18 Funniest Spanish Idioms and Expressions
  • Cuatro gatos. Literal Meaning: four cats. ...
  • No hay tu tía. Literal Meaning: there isn't your aunt. ...
  • Estar de mala leche. Literal Meaning: to be of bad milk. ...
  • No estar católico. ...
  • Sacar las castañas del fuego. ...
  • Montar un pollo. ...
  • Me piro vampiro. ...
  • Matar la gallina de los huevos de oro.
Sep 20, 2019

What are famous Spanish sayings? ›

  • The 10 most popular Spanish sayings. ...
  • Al mal tiempo, buena cara. ...
  • Más vale pájaro en mano, que ciento volando. ...
  • Más vale tarde que nunca. ...
  • Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente. ...
  • Al que madruga, Dios le ayuda. ...
  • A caballo regalado, no le mires el diente. ...
  • Cada maestrillo tiene su librillo.
Jul 8, 2022

What are proverbs give 10 examples? ›

22 English proverb examples
  • The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. ...
  • All that glitters is not gold. ...
  • A picture is worth a thousand words. ...
  • Beggars can't be choosers. ...
  • A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. ...
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away. ...
  • Better safe than sorry. ...
  • Blood is thicker than water.
Jun 20, 2022

What is a good example of a proverb? ›

A proverb is a short sentence that people often quote, which gives advice or tells you something about life. For example, `A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. ' An old proverb says, `The enemy of my enemy is my friend'.

What are common proverbs? ›

PROVERB. All good things must come to an end. MEANING. Everything ends; good times don't last forever. EXAMPLE.

What is a Spanish proverb about kindness? ›

Haz el bien y no mires a quien.

This Spanish proverb is essential for life. Be good to others no matter who they are or what they've done. Kindness is key in becoming a better person, and love can be expressed through the tiniest acts.

How many proverbs are in proverbs? ›

Although he is said to have composed 3,000 proverbs (1 Kings 4:32), only 800 bearing his name appear in the book of Proverbs. But these are the best. There are other biblical proverbs not found in this book (see 1 Sam. 24:13; Ezek.

What are most famous proverbs? ›

  • Many hands make light work.
  • Strike while the iron is hot.
  • Honesty is the best policy.
  • The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
  • Don't judge a book by its cover.
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
  • Better late than never.
  • Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
May 24, 2020


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