How do you say “to be alert” in Spanish? This sentence can be pretty simple, but if you really want to take your Spanish a step further have a read and find out the different ways to say “to be alert” in Spanish.

Today is all about “being alert” and how we express that in Spanish, it will be a short and sweet post to give you a bit more of vocabulary so can sound a bit more like a native instead of using the literal translation.

Because sometimes a simple sentences as this one can drive you mad, because….the translation just seem to simple, and as a learner you know all about Spanish fixed sentences, tricky words with double meanings, false friends…probably when you have to say “to be alert”, you will stop and think…wait a moment…-un momento!-how do you say “to be alert” in Spanish?

This actual sentences, it is not hard we can say “estar alerta”, which is good news, not hard words to remember…pretty sentences, but “estar alerta” for Spanish speakers just sounds a bit….plain, as we have a few more common options, not that literal/simple but a bit more fun, so let’s spice your learning up!




How do you say “to be alert” in Spanish?

We have a few options, and good news, you do not need to learn them if you are happy with “estar alerta”, but they will make you sound like a native, so let’s have a look to them and find out different ways to say “to be alert” in Spanish, with some slightly differences

If you are a fan of slang and the things are unlike to be found in a book, this is for you.

1-estar al tanto

Estar al tanto is “to be alert” but with the note of keep checking something, like to be on top of something or keeping an eye, so to be alert for something to happen, pretty much.

Like when you start a new job and it is pay day (whoop hoop) probably (more in you are in Spain) some of your colleagues will tell you.

-Es día de paga, así que estate al tanto de si recibes el dinero

-It is pay day, so “keep an eye” to see if you get the money.

In some occasions can be translated as well as to be aware.

In the same occasion if a colleague tells you it is pay day today-día de pago, and you are well aware of it, you can say

-Estoy al tanto, comprobaré mi cuenta 🙂

-I am aware, I will check my account



2-estar al loro


Pretty much the same, “to keep an eye”, “to be alert”…

If you are in a busy street in a big city you will warn your friend “to look after her handbag”, to be alert for thieves saying

Estate al loro en esta calle, siempre hay gente intentando robar

Be alert in this street, there is always people trying to steal
















3-estar atento

Followed by the preposition “a” – I know how hard it is to figure preposition out

This is exactly that to pay attention, to be alert

If your friend is looking for a job and you heard your company is going to hired you will warn him

-He oido que en mi empresa van a contratar a nuevas personas, así que estate atento a las ofertas de trabajo

-I heard in my company is recruitment soon, so pay attention to its job’s offert

















4-estar pendiente

Mainly to be alert or on the lookout or even waiting for something

Like when you you were a student and the examn results were about to come up

If you live in a country which is not yours and you have problems with the visa, you would like someone to tell you

Me acaban de llamar desde el gobierno para informarme que tu problema está en trámites de solución, que han dado prioridad absoluta a tu problema y que estés pendiente del consulado para que una vez que esté resuelto, solicites el visado y podamos contar contigo

I just recieved a call from the government to inform me that your problem is being solved, that they have given the highest priority to it, and that you should stay alert (“keep an eye on the consulate”) so you may immediately, once it is solved, apply for the visa in order for us to count on you.


5-estar al quite

It is quite popular to talk about someone that wants to know everything and is always alert looking for new gossip

If your flatmate is quite noise and your friend is telling you something you do not want her to know, but your friend is being quite loud (probably is Spanish :S) you will say

-Habla mas bajo, porque Maria está al quite de todo lo que decimos
Speak lower because María is alert/paying attention to everything we say


6-prestar atención

If you are doing a test and in one of the exercises you need to pay extra attention, to be alert for something special, they can grab your attention by writting

-Los números a los que se debe prestar atención se han marcado en azul

The numbers to pay attention to are in blue




This one is also common, and it is just a way to grab someone’s attention, to make sure they are alert to something quickly,

Like when a friend is going to cross the street not looking and you can see a pretty fast car coming, you will grab her and shout


Watch out!














And…that is al!l-eso es todo, I told you it will be a short one, hopefully short but intense 🙂


We have a saying in Spain which match this perfectly, it says “lo bueno si es breve, dos veces bueno”,- What’s good, when brief, is twice as good 🙂


Your turn-a simple actionable for you, leave a comment below and let us know is you know any other ways to say “to be alert” in Spanish, I am sure there plenty options out there, so if you know any do not keep them, share them 🙂 I would love to read from you


Homework-I would love if you could spare some minutes on these and have a thought if you could find a different way to say these sentences above using other sentences, just that for this week, have a thought and share your knowledge, as they knowledge is power and to share is caring J so help someone to improve their Spanish today learning something new!


I hope you enjoy today’ s dose of Spanish

Have a good one and I will write you “pronto”


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