30+ Popular Spanish Sayings and Proverbs

spanish sayings

How about spicing up your conversational Spanish with some Spanish sayings?

Spanish is a Romance language, and among the many Spanish-speaking countries you can’t expect to sound like a native by just doing things by the book! Integrating some Spanish slang or Spanish sayings into your vocabulary will definitely spice up your conversational skills and help you sound like a natural Spanish speaker.

In this article, we will be presenting you with some Spanish sayings and their meanings to sound like a true native!

Popular and Common Spanish Sayings and Proverbs

Here is a list of 30+ Spanish sayings to help you sound like a bonafide Spanish speaker! All of these are phrases, you won’t get a lot of Spanish question words here!How about sprucing up your Spanish verbs?

Año nuevo, vida nueva

Literal Translation: New year, new life.

English translation: New year, new me.

A new year washes away all the troubles of the old year; a brand-new start! How many new years resolutions do you have?

El que la hace, la paga

Literal Translation: He who does it, pays for it.

English translation: What goes around comes around.

If you hurt others or do awful things— it will come back to haunt you. A similar English phrase would be “Actions have consequences.” It costs nothing to be kind!

Más ven cuatro ojos que dos

Literal translation: Four eyes see more than two.

English translation: Two heads are better than one.

When solving a problem or trying to come up with a new idea, it’s helpful to have the help and opinion of another person!

Dios los cría, y ellos se juntan

Literal translation: God breeds them, and they flock together

English translation: Birds of a feather flock together.

People who have a lot in common tend to bond easily and become friends quicker.

spanish sayings

Con las manos en la masa

Literal translation: With your hands in the dough

English translation: Caught red-handed.

When someone catches someone else in the act! Usually, something they shouldn’t. Like when your mom found you elbow-deep in the cookie jar, you are caught in the act of stealing the delicious cookie!

A cada cerdo le llega su San Martín

Literal translation: Every pig has her Saint Martin

English translation: You reap what you sow.

When you do something bad, you will eventually be punished for it.

Dime con quién andas, y te diré quién eres

Literal translation: Tell me who you walk with, and I’ll tell you who you are

English translation: You are who you surround yourself with.

The best way to see who a person is can be found in who their friends are. After all, “Birds of a feather flock together.”

Donde hay confianza, da asco

Literal translation: Where there is familiarity, it’s disgusting

English translation: Familiarity breeds contempt.

Having close friends is great, but they are often more lax with boundaries than with strangers. For instance, they won’t feel the need to clean up after using your bathrooms, but in a stranger’s house, they will leave it spotless.

Hoy por ti, mañana por mí

Literal translation: Today for you, tomorrow for me.

English translation: Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.

Doing something can be transactional. If someone does something for you, they might expect you to do something for them.

Famous Sayings in Spanish

Desgraciado en el juego, afortunado en amores

Literal translation: Unlucky in the game, lucky in love

English translation: Unlucky with wealth, lucky with love

It means to say that you can’t have everything in life. Often used to cheer up a friend who lost or never found love, or someone that has great love but no funds.

El amor es ciego

Literal translation: The love is blind

English translation: Love is blind.

Sometimes when we are deeply in love, we look over the obvious “red flags” of the other person— which might eventually come to bite us later on in the relationship.

Obras son amores, que no buenas razones

Literal translation: Works are love, and not good reasons

English translation: Actions speak louder than words

People say a lot of things and make promises. These are nice but we need to actually see the person making the promises, actually keep or do them.

Hacer un sinpa

Literal translation: To do a no-pay.

English translation: Dine and dash.

When you eat at a restaurant then leave without paying. This is obviously considered very rude and offensive, so rather not.

Después de comer, ni un sobre que leer

Literal translation: After eating, not a single envelope is left to read

English translation: There’s nothing to do after eating but rest.

After eating a gigantic meal you will sometimes feel the need to just sleep. You are way too full and sluggish to do anything else.

Al pan, pan, y al vino, vino

Literal translation: Call a spade a spade.

English translation: Call the bread bread and the wine wine.

This phrase means to say that instead of beating around the bush or talking in circles, you must be direct. Similar to “Give it to me straight.”

Amar sin padecer, no puede ser

Literal translation: To love without suffering is not possible.

English translation: There’s no such thing as love without pain.

Love can be harsh and unforgiving. Without the bad, it wasn’t true love to begin with.

Más vale estar solo que mal acompañado

Literal translation: It’s worth more being alone than in bad company

English translation: Better off alone than in bad company

Rather spend your time with someone who uplifts you, than someone who wants to drag you down. In the case of the latter, being alone is the better alternative.

No hay trabajo malo, lo malo es tener que trabajar

Literal translation: There is no bad job; the bad thing is having to work.

English translation: The job isn’t bad, working is.

When you are just sick of working without actually hating the job.

Well-Known Spanish Mottos

Mucho ruido y pocas nueces

Literal translation: Lots of noise and few nuts

English translation: All bark and no bite

When someone talks big, but they don’t have the proof to back it up.

No es oro todo lo que reluce

Literal translation: It’s not gold everything that glitters.

English translation: Not everything that glitters is gold.

This phrase means to say that we should look beyond the exterior of something and look deeper within. What looks amazing could be disastrous in reality.

Lo que no se empieza, no se acaba

Literal translation: ****What does not start will not end

English translation: Put the pedal to the metal

To get started on something. Nothing will be done if you don’t start!

Te quiero como la trucha al trucho

Literal translation: I love you like the female trout loves the male trout

English translation: I love you like the female trout does the male trout

A play on words since trucha and trucho are female trout and male trout respectively. A cute little phrase used between lovers.

Más rápido se coge al mentiroso que al cojo

Literal translation: You catch a liar faster than a limper

English translation: The truth comes out sooner or later

Sooner or later the truth will come to the surface. Rather stick to telling the truth!

El tiempo lo cura todo

Literal translation: Time heals all

English translation: Time heals everything.

As the days pass, eventually, you will come to terms with something that happened and heal from it.

Si te caes siete veces, levántate ocho

Literal translation: if you fall seven times, get up eight

English translation: Fall seven times, get up eight.

A phrase that means to say that you should never give up.

Cuando hay hambre, no hay mal pan

Literal translation: When there is hunger, there is no bad bread

English translation: Beggars can’t be choosers.

You shouldn’t be picky when asking for something.

La curiosidad mató al gato

Literal translation: Curiosity killed the cat

English translations: Curiosity killed the cat

Sometimes when someone is being too nosy will end up in a bad situation.

Popular Spanish Proverbs

Al mal tiempo, buena cara

Literal Translation: Bad weather, good face.

English translation: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

This phrase means to say that, even when things go wrong or the path forward seems bleak, we should try to keep a positive attitude. Everything works out for the better in the end!

Nunca te acostarás sin saber una cosa más

Literal Translation: Learn from your mistakes.

English translation: Never lie down without knowing one more thing.

We learn new things every day, from new knowledge in school or in a book, to accidentally adding too much salt to chocolate cake. Knowledge is power after all.

Cada maestrillo tiene su librillo

Literal Translation: Every master has his own trick.

English translation: One in a million.

This phrase means to say that every person thinks and acts in a unique way.

Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente

Literal Translation: Out of sight, out of mind

English translation: Out of sight, out of mind.

A classic. If you can’t see something, you won’t think about it. Like that expensive box of chocolates that you want to devour in one sitting. Best to pack it away and forget about it for now.

Más vale tarde que nunca

Literal Translation: Better late than never.

English translation: Better late than never.

Rather do the thing you must do, than never at all! Like finally going to the dentist, or returning that very, very late library book.

Al que madruga, Dios le ayuda

Literal Translation: God helps he who rises early.

English translation: Early bird catches the worm.

If you wake up early, you will get more things done during the day.

spanish sayings

En boca cerrada no entran moscas

Literal Translation: Think before you speak.

English translation: Loose lips sink ships.

Basically, you should always watch what you say in order to prevent horrible situations from unfolding.

A caballo regalado, no le mires el diente

Literal Translation: A gift horse, don’t look in its teeth.

English translation: Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

It means to tell us that we should be grateful for the things we have.

Vísteme despacio que tengo prisas

Literal Translation: Dress me slowly because I’m in a hurry.

English translation: Dress Me Slowly, I’m in a Hurry.

Originates from Napoléon Bonaparte. When you are in a hurry but something keeps delaying you. Like a sibling that hogs the bathroom, even though you needed to be at work 10 minutes ago!

Using Spanish Sayings Like a Native Speaker

You have to learn a lot of Spanish words to hold a decent conversation, keep going and never give up, you will get the hang of it eventually!

Though, “eventually” may take a very long time. With online language tutors you will be sure to meet your language learning goals “soon” and not “eventually”! The best thing about learning with tutors at AmazingTalker, you get to do it all in the comfort of your home! Also, unlock your language potential with AmazingTalker’s Language Q & A Platform now!

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