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Popular sayings in Spanish for everyday life

Today you will learn some popular sayings in Spanish for everyday life!

Sayings are well-known phrases that express something about life that most people believe is wise and true.

If you do a quick search on the internet, you will find lists with hundreds of them!

However, not all of them are used in all of the Hispanic world, because every country has its own culture and values.

And sometimes, there are sayings that native speakers don’t really use frequently in their everyday lives.

That’s why I have carefully chosen these 12 popular sayings in Spanish for you!

Popular sayings in Spanish

I promise that with these you will be understood from Argentina to Mexico, and in Spain too.

Depending on the country, there might be one or two different words, but the meaning is always the same.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

1) A caballo regalado no se le miran los dientes

Literal translation: You don’t look at a gift horse’s teeth.

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

It means that you should simply accept a gift and not to look for flaws or analyze it exhaustively, because it’s not a polite thing to do.

Just be thankful!

2) Al que madruga Dios lo ayuda

Literal translation: God helps he who rises early.

Equivalent in English: The early bird gets the worm.

It doesn’t only mean that if you get up early and arrive first at some place you will get something.

It’s also a invitation to work hard for what you want, because you will be more likely to succeed.

3) De tal palo, tal astilla

Literal translation: From such a stick, such a splinter.

Equivalent in English: Like father, like son / The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

It means that people are similar to their parents in character, ideas, habits, etc.

It can be used to stress both positive and negative qualities.

4) Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres

Literal translation: Tell me who you hang out with and I’ll tell you who you are.

Equivalent in English: Birds of a feather flock together.

You can deduce someone’s likes and traits from who their friends are and the places they frequent.

It’s also a warning about the influence that people you hang out with can have on your behavior or habits.

5) Lo barato sale caro

Literal translation: Cheap is expensive.

Equivalent in English: You get what you pay for.

Someone who buys something for a low price because they want to save money will have to buy it again in the future, and therefore spends even more.

It also applies when you hire someone’s service. I learned the lesson with the last plumber that came to fix the bathroom!

6) Más vale pájaro en mano que cien volando

Literal translation: A bird in your hand is worth more than a hundred flying.

Equivalent in English: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

You shouldn’t risk losing something you already have by seeking to get something you think might be better.

That thing may never come!

Más vale pájaro en mano - sayings in Spanish
Más vale pájaro en mano que cien volando.

7) Más vale prevenir que curar

Literal translation: It’s better to prevent than to cure.

Equivalent in English: Prevention is better than cure.

It’s better to prevent something bad from happening rather than dealing with it after it has happened.

Currently it applies more than ever!

8) Más vale tarde que nunca

Literal translation: Better late than never.

Equivalent in English: Better late than never.

It’s better for someone or something to be late than never to arrive or to happen.

So don’t get mad at that friend that forgot to send you a message on your birthday!

9) No hay mal que por bien no venga

Literal translation: There isn’t a bad thing that doesn’t bring something good.

Equivalent in English: Every cloud has a silver lining.

Every difficult or unpleasant situation still can have an advatange, even though it may not be immediate.

It’s a saying about being optimistic and looking on the bright side.

10) No todo lo que brilla es oro

Literal translation: Not all that glitters is gold.

Equivalent in English: All that glitters is not gold.

Something that seems really good might not be so good when you pay attention and look at it closely.

Be careful!

11) Perro que ladra no muerde

Literal translation: A dog that barks doesn’t bite.

Equivalent in English: Someone’s bark is worse than his or her bite.

People who say things that sound frightening, then actually don’t do anything. They are just empy threats.

In any case, I’d rather not test this saying with actual dogs!

12) Quien mucho abarca, poco aprieta

Literal translation: He who covers a lot, squeezes little.

Equivalent in English: Don’t spread yourself too thin / Jack-of-all-trades, master of none.

People who try to do or learn too many things at the same time can’t give enough attention to any of them, therefore, they perform poorly.

And that’s all for today!

Do you want to learn more Spanish?

I hope you have enjoyed this article with popular sayings in Spanish for everyday life!

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Thank you very much and until next time,


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