Spanish fixed sentences which get every learner crazy Even when I think Spanish grammar is tricky, I think if you study and be really focus you get to manage it, make yourself understood and be able to have conversation, but I think the big handicap many learners have is the huge amount of idioms and fixed sentences Spaniards use, that is why I try to every now and again give you a dose of them, so you can improve your fluency one step at a time.

to every now and again give you a dose of them, so you can improve your fluency one step at a time.

Today is all about sentences, indeed Spanish fixed sentences which get every learner crazy, I love them all and even when I can understand why they are confusing and drive you mad, learning a few and keep them as an ace up your sleeve to use in the right moment will give you extra point in your learning journey and people will be so impress.

So enough talking 🙂 Time to get to action, if you are ready grab your Spanish notebook and a pen and take some notes


Spanish fixed sentences which get every learner crazy

1-Dar en el clavo-

To hit the nail

I probably won’t “dar en el clavo” if I use it when some of my students as probably they won’t understand, but in normal words “dar en el clavo” is not different than “acertar”- to be right, or sometimes as you say too to hit the target.

















If you are suspicious about a friend has started to date someone and you previously mention to another friend and they thought you were crazy but later on you find out you were right and your friend is actually meeting someone your friend could tell you

!Has dado en el clavo!-“You are exactly right, kind of you nailed” 🙂

2-Poner la mano en el fuego-

To put the hand on the fire

Make sure you use this one with a Spanish speaker or otherwise probably the person you are talking to run away because of “the craziness sound”on it 🙂

This one is used to say you trust someone or something, like if you think you are right –“das en el clavo” you could “poner la mano en el fuego” to reinforce your stament.
















If at the office some important documents are missing and few people blame one person from your team and you totally trust that person you will say

“Estoy seguro de que no ha sido Juan, pongo la mano en el fuego por él”- I am sure it has not been Juan fault, I would bet my life on it


Can be used for something you think is true too like if following the first example you are super sure your friend is acting weird and you think is because he has started seeing someone you can say to your other friend

“Pedro no sale tanto como antes, pongo la mano en el fuego que ha conocido a alguien”- Pedro does not go out as much anymore, I am sure he has met someone

#watch out-sometimes we use in a negative way, if you do not trust someone

“tú no pondrías la mano en el fuego por él!”-You won’t bet your life on him

#tip-sometimes we add “y no me quemo”, that is you are super sure about something or believe someone, the whole sentences would be “pongo la mano en el fuego y no me quemo”-I put my hand on the fire and I wont get burned

#note-sometimes some non native speakers translate it as “to risk my neck”, but we do have that sentences too “jugarse el cuello”

3-Dejarse la piel-

Leave the skin

It is common to hear this when someone works really hard to get something.

















“Espero que Amaia consiga aprobar el examen para ser abogada se está dejando la piel estudiando”-I hope Amaia pass her exam, she is breaking her back studying to get it

Or using in a negative sentences

“No necesitas dejarte la piel para aprender español”-You do not need to slave to learn Spanish

Do you? 🙂

4-Ser mano de santo-

“saint’s hand”.

Obviously, it is not what literally says, “saint’s hand”.

When something works well for something, in other words when something is a good remedy.
















If your flatmate has toothache and you know a remedy from your granny that always work, you will share it (even if it is a bit weird) with him saying

“Confía en mi es mano de santo”-Trust me it really works

5-Ser del año de la pera-

“to be from the year of the pear”

It just means that is really old, why “the year of the pear” and not the orange, like instance…?Ah…wonders of the Spanish language

















If someone compliment your old dress and ask you if it is new, you would feel very proud and thank them saying

“Muchas gracias, pero no, no es nuevo, es del año de la pera”-Thank you very much, but it is not new, it is ancient

#extra-ser la pera limonera-to be the lemony pear, to express that something is good or high quality, so keep your motivation high and say

“Soy la pera limonera”- I am pretty good 🙂

I hope you enjoy this spanish idioms dose, if you think they were not enough, you love idioms and you are keen to learn some more, get the“Spanish idioms book” and take your Spanish fluency to the next level, have a look to it at the amazon store 🙂

And….before you close this page…actionable!


Your homework-write a sentences, probably the one has made you smile, and keep it hidden for your next Spanish conversation with a native, you will surprise, to help you to remember the sentence, leave a comment below with the one you picked and make a sentences,  it will be easier to remember next time,  guaranteed!


Now over to you, let me know,

-Have you fight to  learn these sentences before?

-Have you used/heard them before?

-Which one do you think it would be the most helpful to you?


Looking forward to reading all your comments.


Write to you soon-pronto

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2 Responses to “Spanish fixed sentences which get every learner crazy”

  1. Andrés Esteban de la Plaza

    ¡Felicitaciones por el artículo!
    Un pequeño desliz, pero sin drama, ya que nos pasa a todos. Quien nada hace nunca se equivoca.
    Está en el punto#2 “Poner la mano en el fuego”, donde dice:
    “Pedro no sale tanto como antes, pongo la mano en el fuego que a conocido a alguien”
    debe decir:
    “Pedro no sale tanto como antes, pongo la mano en el fuego que ha conocido a alguien”

    ¡Un abrazo y adelante con los faroles!

    • blancadt

      !Muchas gracias Andrés 🙂 !solucionado! El autocorrector a veces me juege malas pasadas, es bueno tener siempre un segundo par de ojos 🙂


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