COLLOQUIAL TIPS FOR SPANISH CONVERSATIONS When you are involve in Spanish conversation normally, always depending on the context, you will get a lot of colloquialisms, and to be familiar with some of them can avoid you a lot of trouble.

Sometimes you think you manage the language, in this case Spanish , then you go to the country, Spain, and realise you have no idea what people is talking about…why? Because people use colloquialisms all the time and your grammar book did not cover that…that is why today I am giving you some colloquial tips for Spanish conversations, different ways to express formal things in the “street language”.

So if you are going to travel to Spain soon, or you like Spanish series/movies you are in for a treat, as you will probably can spot them from now on.




We have a few with the verb “estar”, so let’s start colloquial tips for Spanish conversation with that.



1-ESTAR liado-to be busy doing something.

Your friends are going to a conference and they ask you to come, but the day of the conference you are moving houses, you have the perfect excuse, and you will use it.

-Lo siento, no puedo ir porque estoy liado con la mudanza-“I am sorry I can’t make it as I am busy with the moving”

we can also use it to when we are having a busy week/season. If you are talking about what you have been up to recently and you have been quite busy you will say

-He tenido un proyecto difícil en el trabajo, y he estado muy liado, así que no he he hecho mucho más.- “I have had a difficult project at work and I have been very busy, so I haven’t done much”


2-ESTAR de bajón, when someone is on a low mood, it is common to use when you feel tired and with not much energy. Normally it comes after an energetic period, for example after a holidays, or something intense you have deal with that makes you go on a high and when it passes you feel kind of in the blues mood.

Imagine-you have been on holidays and you had the time of your life, doing lots of fun stuff, but then you are back to work, and in your city is cold, it is probably that after your holidays you…”estés unos días de bajón hasta que te acostumbras de nuevo a la rutina”-“you are a bit down in the dumps until you get back to your normal routine”


3-ESTAR currando, currar means to work, and it is a really common thing to say curro instead of trabajo, meaning job/work.

For example, if you phone to speak with a friend but she is working she could answer saying

Estoy currando, te llamo luego-“ Iam working, I’ll call you later”


4- No es lo mio, when something is not for us, it is not our style or in English it is not our cup of tea



If your friends want to go to the cinema and watch an action movie, but you are more into other kind of movies you can say

Lo siento, las películas de acción no son lo mío-“I am sorry but action movie are not my thing/cup of tea”


5-echar de menos-it is used when we miss someone/something.



A lot of the time you can find someone would ask that to you, for example, now that I am living in the U.K. a lot of people ask me

¿echas de menos a tu familia? – “do you miss your family?”

Or even, ¿echas de menos el tiempo de España?-“do you miss the Spanish weather?”

Or imagine that before you woke up whenever you wanted, but now, you have a job, therefore you need to wake up at a normal time you could complain saying

Echo de menos levantarme cuando quiero-“ I miss waking up whenever I want”

#note-another verb that means to miss someone is extrañar.


6-Ahora no caigo, it is quite common when we can recall something in an specific moment.



Imagine you are talking about a place you visited last summer with  your friends and they can’t remember the name of that fantastic restaurant you had dinner at, when they ask you for its name, you probably can remember the restaurant but not the name, so you will say…

Sé que restaurante me dices, pero ahora no caigo-“I know what restaurant you are talking about, but I can remember right now”


7-Cruzarsele los cables a alguien-very popular to use when someone gets temporally crazy, that means that someone does something unexpected and a bit weird. You can even use it to talk about you.



For example there is a race at your work and you never run but everyone is talking about it and you get involved so when you saw the event you put your name down to do it. When after you talk about it or even think about it, you reaction might.

No sé que pasó, pero se me cruzaron los cables y me apunté a la carrera-“I do not know what happened, but I got my wires crossed/crazy and I joined the race”


8-Dejar plantado, when you stand someone up.



If you agreed to meet one of your friend to go shopping a while ago, and you forgot to write it down, and the day comes and you do not go, your friend could be mad and say

No sé porque hago planes contigo, eres una irresponsable, siempre me dejas plantada-“I do not know why I make plans with you, you are very irresponsable, you always stand me up”

You can also be the one who is stood up, in that case you will say

Al final no fui al cine el sábado porque mi cita me dejó plantada-“At the end I did not go to the cinema on Saturday because my date stood me up.”

#note-we sometimes use “dar plantón”


9-Hacer la vista gorda-when someone knows something is not right but they bend the rules a bit, kind of to turn a blind eye



Imagine you go to a bar, and even when you are not 18 yet, your birthday is coming in two days, probably the bouncer could let you in, if that happens, you can say

El portero hizo la vista gorda y me dejó pasar-“The bouncer turn a blind eye and let me in”


10-Hacer la pelota-normally when someone is over nice to someone, in English is used “to suck up to”, it is popular that kids are nice to their parents so they can get something from them.



Imagine a teenager that wants to go out on Saturday night, her parents says no, then she starts to tidy up her room, saying her mum how good she is etc…if the mother realised she is doing that because she wants to go out she will say

Aunque me hagas la pelota no vas a salir el sábado,  este fin de semana vamos a visitar a los abuelos.-“Even when you suck up to me you are not going to go out on Saturday, we are going to visit your grandparents this weekend”


And once again amigos that is all, as you see you have a few new colloquial expressions you can start using in your convos now.

As usual before you leave I would love to hear from you,

-did you know any of this colloquial expressions?

-did you like any of them?

If you were familiar with these colloquial expressions, have you used them much?

Also if you have time I would really appreciate if you would share this blog with a fellow learner that might benefit from it, let’s spread the Spanish language around 🙂

As usual if you feel motivated and strong leave a comment using one the colloquial tips for Spanish conversations below, you know …practice makes perfection…so let’s practice!

Talk to you soon, meanwhile enjoy your day!


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