What Idiot Invented Homework In Spanish

Craving coffee, exotic fruits and Shakira?

How about Gabriel García Márquez, emeralds, aguardiente and salsa dancing?

Well, get on the next plane to Colombia then!

It’s the fourth largest Spanish-speaking country by area after Argentina, México and Perú, so there’s a lot of ground to cover.

And despite being far from the motherland, what they use is actually considered to be the “clearest” spoken Spanish dialect. The dialect may be clear, but the slang is all kinds of colorful. How’s that for a Colombian slang challenge? You need to speak cleanly and throw in slang wherever it will add flavor and meaning to your sentences. That’s the way to sound like true paisa.

So what’s a paisa you might ask? Well it’s a Colombian!

The name is attributed to a particular region of Colombia (the Paisa region) where their accents are unique to the rest of the country. Some Colombians only use paisa to describe people from this region.

Nowadays though, almost any Colombian is considered a paisa, and this is especially true when Colombians find each other in different parts of the world.

They like to build that international bond by referring to each other as paisas.

Paisa derives from the Spanish word paisano, “countryman,” and it’s just one of the many things you can call your new Colombian friends—but only after you’ve learned their kooky yet creative colloquialisms first!


79 Colombian Colloquialisms to Speak Like a True Paisa

Paisa Phrases For Friends

1. Parcero/Parcera

Meaning: Bro, dude, my man, girl

Parcero/a is what you can call a friend or acquaintance in Colombia. Colombians like to say it to anyone they meet.

2. ¿Quiubo, Parce?

Meaning: What’s up, bro?

Quiubo is a contraction of quéhubo (what’s been going on?). Parce is a shortened version of parcero/a. Colombians will sometimes simply say “¿Quiubo?” when you want to say “what’s up?”

Note that parce can be directed to any person who’s you age or to whom you don’t need to express additional respect. It could be a friend of a friend you’re meeting for the first time, or someone you’ll never see again.

3. Mi Llave/Llavería/Llavero 

Literal meaning: My key/key chain

Slang meaning: My (close) friend

Colombians call their close friends llaves (keys). This slang/dialect is also heard in other Latin American countries, like Ecuador. A popular Colombian expression goes like this:

¡Lo saqué del llavero! — I unfriended him! (I took him off the key chain!)

4. El Parche

Literal meaning: The patch.

Slang meaning: The crew, the homies

Elparche is your group of friends. It’s classic Colombian slang that’s only heard there.

5. Parchando 

Slang meaning: Chillin’, hanging out

I bet you can guess where this word derives from… parchando is the action of hanging out with el parche.

Desparchado is another popular saying that means the opposite: bored, not doing anything.

Estoy en casa desparchado, esperando al parche. — I’m home bored, doing nothing, waiting for the crew.

Party Mode


Meaning: Beers

Polas is only used in Colombia—and although it has no official meaning in Spanish, it does hold some history.

La Pola was the nickname of Policarpa Salavarrieta Ríos, a heroine who helped Colombia gain independence from Spain.

Back in the day, Bavaria Brewing in Colombia created a beer in her honor—La Pola. The beer doesn’t exist anymore, but the name stuck.

¡Páseme unas polas, pues parce! — Well, hand me some beers, dude!

7. Rumbiar

Meaning: To go out, to party

There are two ways to spell this word: as shown above, or with an e instead of an irumbear.

Rumbiar may be familiar to other Latino ears; without a doubt, it’s natural and native to Colombian speak.

¡Vamos a rumbiar! — Let’s go out!

8. Rumba

Meaning: The party itself

I know the word looks like zumbaand hey, that’s a great way to remember it!

Colombians love to dance (not zumba, but close—salsa), so when they say, “La rumba está buena!” that means, “the party’s good.” They’re dancing and having a blast!

9. Changó 

Meaning: To go dancing

Changó is only said in Cali (Valle Del Cauca), a southern region in Colombia.

The name comes from a famous salsa club in Cali called Changó. Every Colombian caleño’s hobby is dancing salsa, so when they refer to Changó, they all know that it doesn’t necessarily mean to go to the club itself, but to go dancing in general.

10. Toque 

Literal meaning: Touch

Slang meaning: A concert, a band

The verb tocar has two translations, “to touch” or “to play” (as in “play” an instrument). In the latter sense, tocar la guitarra means “play the guitar.”

El toque in Colombian Spanish is “the band” itself, but can also be referred to a concert or gig.

11. Estar Prendido/Prendida

Literal meaning: To be lit

Slang meaning: To be buzzed

In English I think we can agree that, “to be lit,” expresses a state of being tipsy. It has the same meaning in Colombia.

Esa pola me prendió. — That beer got me buzzed.

Be careful with this one, as it has a more sexual connotation outside Colombia.

12. Jincho/Jincha 

Meaning: To be drunk

This word is solely Colombian jargon, and it means to be straight up “drunk.”

Está jincha. — She’s drunk.

13. Guayabo 

Literal meaning: A guava tree

Slang meaning: To be hung over

It’s only used in Colombia, but other Latin countries might understand what it means within context:

Tengo un guayabo que me mata. — I have a hangover that’s killing me.

Estoy enguayabada. — I’m hung over.

14. Guaro 

Literal meaning: Fire water

Slang meaning:Aguardiente

Argentina has wine, Peru and Chile have Pisco, Ecuador has canelazo, and well, Colombia’s got aguardiente!

Aguardiente is Colombia’s national alcoholic drink, and different regions within the country have distilled their own versions: Aguardiente Antioqueño, Aguardiente Del Cauca and so on.

That’s not to say that other Latin countries haven’t distilled their own fire water—they have, but Colombians truly know how to do it best (and I’m not just saying that!).

15. Un Chorro

Literal meaning: A drip

Slang meaning: A swig (of alcohol)

You can either take a “swig” of alcohol, or in some cases make reference to the “alcohol” itself.

Regálame un chorro de ese guaro. — Give me a “swig” of that aguardiente.


Vámonos a comprar un chorro. — Let’s go buy a little somethin’ somethin’ (referring to alcohol).

Street Slang

16. A La Orden

Meaning: At your service

When you walk past a store, shop in a market, hail a cab or pay a clerk in Colombia, a la orden will be blurted at you either before or after your service.

If it’s a question: before your service.

If it’s exclamatory: after your service.

Vendors will repeat this phrase to grab your attention, in hopes that you’ll purchase something. A cab driver will post up to you, shouting it. It’s just a way to say:

“Can I help you?”

“Are you being helped?”

“Thanks for your business!”

…and so on!

17. Lucas

Meaning: Colombian Pesos

Lucas is obviously a name, but in Colombia, one luca is one Colombian Peso. 20 lucas is 20 Colombian Pesos.

18. Billete

Meaning: Dollar bills, money

Billete, “bill,” is a common Spanish word. It can mean a ticket, like boleto, or bills, as in, “dollar dollar bill y’all.”

In Colombian Spanish, “money” is billete—period. They don’t pluralize it. They leave it as is.

No tengo billete. — I don’t have money.

¿Cuántos billetes hay? — How many bills are there?

19. Plata

Literal meaning: Silver

Slang meaning: Money

Plata is similar to billete, and used exactly the same way. It’s left as is and not pluralized.

¡Papi, necesito plata! — Daddy, I need money!

20. Una Chuspa 

Meaning: A plastic bag

Chuspa is a Colombian’s way of saying, bolsa (or funda) plástica. This term is also heard in other Spanish-speaking countries.

21. La Olla 

Literal meaning: The pot

Slang meaning: The slums

This is the Colombian way to talk about the slums, ghetto, drug-ridden neighborhoods, etc.

22. Los Tombos 

Meaning: The police

Only original to Colombia.

Ya vienen los tombos. — The cops are coming.

23. ¡Ábrase! 

Literal meaning: To open up

Slang meaning: To leave, scatter, get out

There are different ways to use this expression:

Bueno pues, me abro. — Alright well, I’m leaving.

¡Abrasé! — Leave! (can be used in a mean context, as a demand or an exclamatory remark).

24. Dar Papaya 

Literal meaning: To give papaya

Slang meaning: To ask for it

Papaya is a South American fruit, but in Colombia it’s anything that holds value to you.

Jewelry, an iPhone, an expensive watch, your wallet, can all be papaya. 

If you want to keep these from getting stolen or pick-pocketed on the street (normal in most major cities) act smart, hide them, and no des papaya.

This idiom is a little hard to translate, but it closely means, “don’t give them a reason to rob you.”

It also means, “don’t let yourself get taken advantage of,” or “put yourself in a dangerous situation.” Simply, “don’t ask for it.”

25. Sapo/Sapa

Literal meaning: Frog

Slang meaning: A snitch, rat, gossip, busybody

This is a person who can’t keep a secret and may well end up throwing someone under the bus.

Other Latino countries use this expression too, but it’s very popular amongst paisas.

Usted le dijo a mamá que salí anoche, ¡qué sapa! — You told mom I went out last night, you’re such a snitch!

26. Te Caigo

Literal meaning: To fall

Slang meaning: To stop by, drop by

Llámame mañana y te caigo. — Call me tomorrow and I’ll stop by.

Love Life

27. Entucar

Slang meaning: To kiss

Colombian use only, and it means to smooch.

Ese chico te quiere entucar — That boy wants to kiss you.

28. Estar Tragado/Tragada

Literal meaning: To be swallowed (by someone)

Slang meaning: To be head over heels/in love

Ella me tragó — She’s got me love stuck.

Él está tragado — He’s head over heels.

29. Gallinear

Literal meaning: To rooster

Slang meaning: To woo

It’s usually said about a male that woos a female (just like in English). Due to the rooster reference, it’s more strongly masculine.

30. Caer

Literal meaning: To fall

Slang meaning: To flirt

Vaya, cáigale a esa chica. — Go hit on that chick.

Colombian Expressions

31. ¡Chimba!

Meaning: Various things, see below

This is one of those made up words that has many meanings and a variety of uses.

¡Qué chimba! — That’s cool or awesome.

Algo más chimbo. — Something so “cheap,” dull, useless.

¡La chimba, hermano! — No way, bro!

32. ¡Qué Gonorrea!

Literal meaning: What Gonorrhea!

Meaning: Various things, see below

Yep, you heard me right. Like the STD.

Colombians are crazy, let’s just put that out there. Like chimba, this expression has many odd ends.

Something can be a Gonorrea, or someone can be a Gonorrea. And it can either be a negative or positive remark. It all depends on context and clues.

When time is not on their side, Colombians like to shout ¡Qué Gonorrea!

When a friend is acting silly and stupid, yet funny, they call them una Gonorrea.

Even to just talk about a person:

Mira a este Gonorrea. — Look at this dude.

This is a very, very common saying for Colombians, so don’t be surprised when you hear the word Gonorrhea thrown around. But you should only practice it around friends and family—don’t go around calling your tour guide una Gonorrea unless you’ve become buddies!

33. ¡Es Una Nota!

Literal meaning: It’s a note!

Slang meaning: It’s awesome!/real good!

This expression can be used to describe a person or an instance.

Ella es una nota bailando — She’s awesome at dancing.

34. ¡Paila!

Literal meaning: A ceramic, metal pan

Slang meaning: Too bad!

¡Me olvidé el deber en la casa! Qué de malas—¡paila! I forgot my homework at my house! What bad luck—oh well, too bad!

35. ¡Estar Moscas!

Literal meaning: To be flies, to be like flies

Slang meaning: Be alert!

This means to be quick and swift as a fly. Alert and on point.

36. ¡Pilas!

Literal meaning: Batteries

Slang meaning: Keep your eyes peeled!

Same as estar moscasestar pilas means to be sharp and alert. ¡Pilas! on its own means the same thing.

37. ¡Berraquísimo!

Literal meaning: A wild boar (berraco).

Slang meaning: Off the heezy! Cool!

This is only used in Colombia, nowhere else.

38. Un Catorce

Literal meaning: A fourteen.

Slang meaning: A favor

Hágame un catorce. — Do me a favor.

39. Mamar Gallo

Literal meaning: Suck a rooster

Slang meaning: Loligagging, procrastinating

¡Deje de mamar gallo! — Stop loligagging!

Weird Words

These next set of words have no literal meanings, they’re all creatively made up.

40. Chiviado

Slang meaning: Bootleg, knockoff, fake

¡Este DVD está chiviado, hombre! — This DVD is a fake, man!

41. Cachivaches

Cachivaches is always said plural, never singular. It’s possible, but just weird. No one says it that way.

Slang meaning: Thingamabobs, thingamajigs, trinkets

Tengo muchos cachivaches que necesito acomodar. — I have a lot of junk I need to organize.

42. Chucha

Slang meaning: Bad B.O.

Chucha is a funny one, with different meanings in other Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America. In Spain it means absolutely nothing, and it’s not considered an “official” Spanish word.

In Ecuador chucha is a curse, so be careful when and how you say it. In Colombia it’s just bad body odor.

Huelo mala chucha — I smell bad B.O.

Tienes chucha — You have B.O.

43. Pecueca

Slang meaning: Stinky feet

This word’s only native to Colombia.

Tengo pecueca — I have smelly feet.

Tienes pecueca — You have stinky feet.

Pecueca is pecueca and doesn’t change whether it’s plural, feminine, singular or masculine, it always stays the same!

44. ¡Fúchile!

When you smell pecueca what do you say?

Fúchile is used to denote smell, and bad smells only! It doesn’t make sense to shout fúchile when looking at something physically gross.

¡Fúchile! — Ew!

45. ¡Guácala!

Slang meaning: Gross!

I know it looks like guacamole, but it’s not!

Similar to fúchileguácala is shouted when something is gross or unpleasant. Anything nasty that isn’t a foul smell can be guácala, because in the case of a foul smell you’ll use ¡fúchile!

46. Chichí

Slang meaning: To urinate

Chichí might ring familiar to other Spanish speakers because it’s a common slang term for saying “pee pee.”

Necesito hacer chichí. — I need to take a whiz.

Vaya a hacer chichí. — Go make pee pee.

47. Un Bollo

Literal meaning: A bun (of bread), a special type of steamed roll

Slag meaning: A turd

I can’t tell you why Colombians use this word to refer to a piece of turd, but they do, and it’s only heard in their corner of the world. It could have to do with the appearance of the edible bollo dish (see link above).

¡Pisé un bollo! — I stepped on a piece of poop!

48. Churrias

Slang meaning: Diarrhea

Like bollo,churrias is familiar to Colombian ears only.

Tengo churrias. — I have diarrhea.

Everyday Talk

49. ¿O Qué? 

Meaning: Or what?

The words o and qué are official Spanish words, but when put together in a short, quippy sentence they become a Colombian thing.

¿O qué? is kind of like saying “or what?” And Colombians will add the phrase to end of every question.

¿Estás bien o qué? — Are you okay, or what?

¿Comemos o qué? — Are we going to eat, or what?

50. Vaina

Literal meaning: a sheath (a covering, case, etc.)

Slang meaning: Thing

In Colombia (and many other parts of Latin America) this is used to describe anything. Even if you don’t know what something is, it’s still a vaina.

I do want to point out that this form of expression is a bad habit, because constantly saying “thing” or “thingie” is called being lazy.

There are some instances when saying vaina is excusable, for example, when you truly don’t know what something is. But I do advise that if you honestly know what something is, try your best to describe it with all the Spanish words in your repertoire, because that’s the only way you’re going to truly learn!

Don’t be lazy!

¿Qué es esa vaina? — What is that thing?

¿Qué vaina es esa? — What heck is that?

Ayer comí una vaina tan deliciosa, pero no sé qué era. — Yesterday I ate something so delicious, but I don’t know what it was.

51. Foquiado/Foquiada

Slang meaning: Deep sleep, passed out, knocked out

There is no literal meaning for this one.

If you take a light bulb, un foco, and punch its lights out, what do you get?


That might be a nice way to remember it.

Marta está foquiada, ¡sigue durmiendo! — Marta is passed out, she’s still sleeping!

52. Rancho

Literal meaning: A ranch

Slang meaning: Home

To Colombians a ranch is their house/home. It’s also a farm.

Me voy pa’ el rancho. — I’m going home.

53. Chino

Literal meaning: Chinese person

Slang meaning: Child

Chinos is Colombian way to say hijos (children or kids).

Mis chinos siempre se comportan mal. — My kids are always misbehaving.

54. Camello

Literal meaning: Camel

Slang meaning: Job

Camello usually points out a job that requires loads of physical labor.

Ese camello me cansa. — That job tires me.

55. Pieza

Literal meaning: Piece

Slang meaning: Bedroom

Pasa a la pieza, por favor — Pass to the bedroom, please.

56. Un Tinto

Literal meaning: A tint, a taint, a dye (red)

Slang meaning: A black coffee

Spaniards say tinto when referring to a glass of red wine (vino tinto), but Colombians are referring to something completely different.

Me gustaría un tinto, por favor. — I would like a black coffee, please.

57. Cuadremos

Literal meaning: To square up

Slang meaning: To schedule

Colombians will say cuadremos when they want to organize, schedule a date, meet up with you, plan, coordinate, etc.

Cuadremos algo para mañana. — Let’s plan something for tomorrow.

58. Embarrar

Literal meaning: Smear

Slang meaning: To mess up, ruin

When something goes wrong or messes up, Colombians use embarrar. This should be conjugated when used, according to the situation.

¡Yo lo embarré! — I messed it up!

Ella embarró su chance con ese man. — She ruined her chance with that dude.

59. Parar Bola

Literal meaning: To stand ball

Slang meaning: To give attention to, listen

This is another popular phrase that’s heard around Latin America.

¡No le pares bola! — Ignore him!

¿Por qué no me paras bola? — Why aren’t you listening to me?

60. Cascar

Literal meaning: Shell, casing, helmet (casco).

Slang meaning: To hit, to smack, to give a whooping

This is what Colombian parents say to their chinos when they misbehave.

¡Si no paras te voy a cascar! — If you don’t cut it out, I’m going to give you a good whooping!

61. Nombre De Dios

Slang meaning: Name of God

Colombian children are taught to say this to their elders the minute they say “hello” or walk into a house, or whenever they leave and say “bye.”

If you don’t, prepare to hear a stern statement that involves the word cascar!

Hola mamá, nombre de Dios. — Hi mom, in the name of God.

Chau, papi, nombre de Dios. Bye daddy, in the name of the God.

Colombian Adjectives

62. Un(a) Berraco/Berraca

Literal meaning: A wild boar

Slang meaning: A go-getter

¡Tu hermano es un berraco! Me cae bien. — Your brother is the best, I really like him.

63. Bobo/Boba

Slang meaning: Silly, dumb, stupid

A bobo/boba is a fool. It’s quite popular throughout South America, but Colombians tend to use it a lot.

No seas tan boba. — Don’t be so silly.

64. Gordo/Gorda

Slang meaning: A term of endearment

Literal meaning: Fat

It’s a popular term of endearment for friends, family, girlfriends, boyfriends and any other loved ones in most parts of Latin America, not just Colombia.

Some speakers might even add an is to the end of the word, turning it into gordis. This word is unisex.

Ven aquí mi gordis. —Come here my little fatty.

Llama a nuestra gorda. — Call our daughter.

65. Mono/Mona

Literal meaning: Monkey

Slang meaning: Light-skinned, fair-haired

Mono/Mona has different meanings depending on which Spanish-speaking country you’re in.

In Spain, it’s a way to call someone pretty or cute.

In Colombia, the word’s used to describe a light-skinned, fair-haired person. Typically a blonde—whether pretty or not—can always be considered a mono or mona. You’ll hear this a lot throughout Colombia.

66. Pelota

Literal meaning: Ball

Slang meaning: Idiot

Although it’s a feminine word, pelota is said to both males and females who are, well, “idiots.”

In Argentina they say pelotudo, which is essentially the same remark.

Note that the udo in pelotudo is a made up addendum. Colombians have kept it simply as pelota.

¡Qué pelota que eres! — What an idiot you are!

67. Cansón/Cansona

Literal meaning: Tiresome (from cansado)

Slang meaning: Annoying, pain in the butt

Cansón derives from the word cansado/cansada, but Colombians use the adjective to illustrate the actual person who tires them.

Esa niña es tan cansona — That girl is a pain.

68. Mamado/Mamada

Literal meaning: Sucked

Slang meaning: Tired, exhausted, fed up

Can be associated with cansón, but not quite. Unlike cansón, mamado defines the person who’s tired.

Think of being “sucked dry” of your energy (mental or physical) and you’ll be able to remember mamado.

Context is crucial, so be careful how you express this word outside of Colombia. Actually, keep it only in Colombia, because other Spanish speakers could get a little perverted on you.

Hoy caminé toda la ciudad, y ahora estoy mamada. — Today I walked the entire city, and now I’m exhausted.

¡Ya me mamé, deje de ser tan cansón! — I’m fed up, stop being so annoying!

69. Lobo/Loba

Literal meaning: Wolf

Slang meaning: Trashy, tacky

In Colombian this word portrays a tacky, trashy, displeasing person.

Mira a esa mujer, qué loba con ese traje — Look at that woman, so tacky with that outfit.

70. Juicioso/Judiciosa

Literal meaning: Judicious (judgement).

Slang meaning: Well-behaved

A Colombian chino (child) is rarely juicioso/judiciosa.

Por favor sean juiciosas. — Please behave.

71. Maluco/Maluca

Slang meaning: Ill, sick, bad taste

This is one of those Colombian-only words

Comí esa sopa, pero ahora me siento maluco — I ate that soup, but now I feel sick.

Si sales con el pelo mojado te vas a sentir maluca. — If you go out with your hair wet you’re going to feel sick.

72. Tener Buena Pinta

Literal meaning: To have a good paint.

Slang meaning: To be good-looking, handsome

Tener buena pinta is a popular Colombian phrase that’s also said in other parts of Latin America.

Exclusively said about males, it’s a way for men to compliment other men, but women can say it too—about men of course.

Sí, ese man tiene buena pinta. — Yeah, that guy’s good looking.

Fiery Remarks

73. ¡Huevón! 

Slang meaning: Dummy!

Huevón evolves from the word “egg,” huevo. 

And it’s widely used amongst Latin Americans in the same fashion, though there are other variations.

¡Qué huevada! — Darn!

¡Me vale hueva! — I could care less!

¡No seas un huevón! — Don’t be a dummy!

74. ¡Miércoles! 

Literal meaning: Wednesday

Slang meaning: Shoot!

It’s just a lighter way to say you know what! You don’t know what? Think of a 6-letter Spanish word that begins with mier. 

75. ¡Juepucha! 

Slang meaning: Dang!

If you know your Spanish curses, then might know what this one’s trying to convey.

Like our versions of “freaking” and “heck,” juepucha is like saying hijo de…(you know what—yup, another curse word). Jue is substituted for the word hijo and de, kind of blending their sounds together, and pucha is substituted for the curse itself.

Don’t ever, ever call anyone this, but if you stub your toe and no one’s listening, feel free to shout it!

¡Ay yai yai, juepucha! — Ow, son of a gun!

76. ¡Juemadre!

Slang meaning: Darn!

The same works for juemadre. It’s like saying, “mother lover,” instead of “bleep, bleep.”

Or more like, “son of a mother”—you get the picture, right?

77. ¡Malparido!/¡Malparida!

Literal meaning: Born bad

Slang meaning: Bastard

Parir means “to give birth.” Mal means “bad” or “wrong.” And malparido technically translates to, “given birth to the wrong way.”

I would say it’s the equivalent to “bastard,” so try not to say this word unless it’s dire.

78. ¡La Cagué!

Literal meaning: I pooped it

Slang meaning: I screwed up

Cagar translates as “to poop,” but “to poop it,” is to say you’ve “screwed it up” in the moment.

If a Colombian is in the middle of fixing something and it breaks, they shout:

¡Juepucha, la cagué! — Darn, I screwed it up!

79. Emberracarse

Slang meaning: To be miffed

Emberracarse is another variation of berraco (a word that was on this list, do you remember its meaning?).

Colombians use it depict angry people.

Ella se emberracó porque llegué muy tarde. — She was angry because I arrived too late.


And that concludes our list.

You have 79 (technically more) Colombian slang words to add to your language learning journey!

To hear them in action, we recommend a stop by Gritty Spanish (assuming you’re all grown up and okay with some mature language). They often incorporate Colombian slang and accents into their dialogues, so it can be a fun—and slightly offensive yet humorous—way to hear your Colombian Spanish in action, used by native speakers in real ways.

Now, get out there and start talking like a true Colombian!


And One More Thing…

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snakes, lizards and like creaturesserpientes (f), lagartos (m) y criaturas (f) parecidas or semejantes

his duties included providing information for delegates, seeing that all required materials were available and like matters

to be of like mindtener ideas afines

she and a group of friends of like mindella y un grupo de amigos con ideas afines;he was very intolerant towards people not of a like mindera muy intransigente con las personas que no le daban la razón

his friends at home were of like mindhe could be very intolerant toward those not of a like mindhe and a little group of cultured persons of like mind began to prepare plans for a great Exhibition

they are as like as two peas (in a pod)se parecen como dos gotas de agua

two birds of like genus


1(similar to)como

what's he like?¿cómo es (él)?;you know what she's likeya la conoces;ya sabes cómo es;what's Spain like?¿cómo es España?;what's the weather like?¿qué tiempo hace?;a house like mineuna casa como la mía;una casa parecida a la mía;I found one like itencontré uno parecido or igual;she was like a sister to mefue (como) una hermana para mí;we heard a noise like someone sneezingnos pareció oír a alguien estornudar;oímos como un estornudo

do you have any idea what it's like to be poor?what was it like growing up in Hillsborough?nothing like it had happened before"have you had an argument?" - "no, (it's) nothing like that"what's the coat like?eyes like starsit tastes like vinegar

I never saw anything like itnunca he visto cosa igual or semejante

what's he like as a teacher?¿qué tal es como profesor?

to be like sth/sbparecerse a algo/algn;ser parecido a algo/algn

you're so like your father(in looks, character)te pareces mucho a tu padre;eres muy parecido a tu padre;this portrait is not like himen este retrato no parece él

they are very like each other

it was more like a prison than a housese parecía más a una cárcel que a una casa

the figure is more like 300la cifra se acerca más bien a 300

she's more like 30 than 25

why can't you be more like your sister?¿por qué no aprendes de tu hermana?;that's more like it!¡así está mejor!;¡así me gusta!

come on, pick your feet up and walk properly - that's more like it!a fillet steak and a bottle of wine - now that's more like it!

there's nothing like real silkno hay nada como la seda natural

something like thatalgo así;algo por el estilo

"when exactly would this be - Monday?" - "something like that"he's called Middlewick, or something like that

I was thinking of giving her something like a dollpensaba en regalarle algo así como una muñeca;pensaba en regalarle una muñeca o algo por el estilo;they earn something like £50,000 a yearganan alrededor de 50.000 libras al año

people like that can't be trustedesa clase or ese tipo de gente no es de fiar


2(typical of)

it's not like him to do thatno es propio de él hacer eso;isn't it just like him!¡no cambia!;¡eso es típico de él!;(it's) just like you to grab the last cake!¡qué típico que tomes or cojas tú el último pastelito!; (Esp)

how like him to refuse to accept payment

3(similarly to)como

he thinks like uspiensa como nosotros;like me, he is fond of Brahmsigual que a mí, le gusta Brahms

he, like me, thinks thatlike a fool, I asked him back to the housethe news spread like wildfire

she behaved like an idiotse comportó como una idiota

just like anybody elseigual que cualquier otro

like this/thatasí

it wasn't like thatno fue así;no ocurrió así;I'm sorry to intrude on you like thissiento importunarte de este modo;stop pacing like thatdeja de dar vueltas;he got up and left, just like thatse levantó y se marchó, así, sin más

it happened/it was like this, I'd just got home...

like father like sonde tal palo tal astilla


4(such as)como

large cities like New Yorklas grandes urbes como Nueva York;the basic necessities of life, like food and drinklas necesidades básicas de la vida, como la comida y la bebida

there are many hobbies you might take up, like painting, gardening and so onhe could say things like "let's go for a walk" in French



on company advice, well, orders, more likesiguiendo los consejos de la empresa, bueno, más bien sus órdenes

it's nothing like as hot as it was yesterdayno hace tanto calor como ayer, ni mucho menos

£500 will be nothing like enough500 libras no serán suficientes, ni mucho menos

it's nothing like as bad as it looksthat hat's nothing like as nice as this one

(as) like as not

they'll be down the pub (as) like as notlo más probable es que estén en el bar

they'd come and bring their neighbours, like as nothe'll like enough stop in again tonightI found this money, likewe skidded across the road and like hit this treeI decided that I'd, like, go and take a picture of him in the shower



like we used to (do)como solíamos (hacer);do it like I dohazlo como yo;it's just like I sayes como yo digo (informal)

we really were afraid, not like in the cinema

to tell it like it isdecir las cosas como son

you can't help but admire someone who has the guts to tell it like it isthe scenes of Raynor injecting himself are sickening and his drug withdrawal sequence is harrowing, but no one can blame Rush for telling it like it is

2(as if)como si

he behaved like he was afraidse comportaba como si tuviera miedo;you look like you've seen a ghostparece que acabas de ver un fantasma

he felt like he'd won the poolshis arms looked like they might snap under the weight of his gloves


we shall not see his like againno volveremos a ver otro igual

the exchange was done on a like-for-like basisel intercambio se hizo basándose en dos cosas parecidas

did you ever see the like (of it)?¿has visto cosa igual?

an epidemic the like of which we have never seen in this centurytechnological advances the like of which the world had previously only dreaned ofthe likes of him

I've no time for the likes of himno soporto a la gente como él

posh hotels are not for the likes of you and meshe rubs shoulders with the likes of Princess Dianawhy would somebody like her want to spend an evening with the likes of me?

sparrows, starlings and the like or and such likegorriones, estorninos y otras aves por el estilo

you can add salmon, sardines, tuna and the likemany students are also keeping fit through jogging, aerobics, weight-training and the like

to compare like with likecomparar dos cosas semejantes

companies are not homogeneous animals - it is difficult to compare like with likeyou have to make sure you're comparing like with likehis theory does not work because it does not compare like with likejams in transparent containers where the customer can compare like with like in the shop

like attracts likeDios los cría y ellos se juntan

in terms of the mating game, like seeks likeone theory about love that nearly all of us can relate to is that of like attracting likethe homeopathic maxim: like cures like


transitive verb

1(find pleasant)

object, activity, place

I like dancing/footballme gusta bailar/el fútbol;I like bright coloursme gustan los colores vivos;which do you like best?¿cuál es el que más te gusta?;your father won't like itesto no le va a gustar a tu padre;I like oysters but they don't like meme gustan las ostras pero no me sientan muy bien;we like it herenos gusta este sitio;I like himme cae bien or simpático;I don't like him at allme resulta antipático;no me cae nada bien;I've come to like himle he llegado a tomar or coger cariño; (Esp)don't you like me just a little bit?¿no me quieres un poquitín?;you know he likes you very muchsabes que te tiene mucho cariño or que te quiere mucho

I don't think they like each othercreo que no se caen bien

I don't like the look of himno me gusta su aspecto;no me gusta la pinta que tiene (informal)

I like your nerve!¡qué frescura!;¡qué cara tienes!

I liked him as soon as I saw himshe is someone I like and admireI like that hat

well, I like that!¡será posible!;¡habráse visto!

untidy? I like that! - their place is like a pigsty!

she is well liked hereaquí se la quiere mucho

2(feel about)

how do you like Cadiz?¿qué te parece Cádiz?;how do you like it here?¿qué te parece este sitio?;how would you like to go to the cinema?¿te apetece or se te antoja ir al cine?; (LAm)how would you like it if somebody did the same to you?¿cómo te sentirías si alguien te hiciera lo mismo?;how do you like that! I've been here five years and he doesn't know my name¡qué te parece!, llevo cinco años trabajando aquí y no sabe ni cómo me llamo

how do you like him?we'll go to Paris! - how would you like that?how do you like that?¿qué te parece?

3(have a preference for)

I like my whisky neatme gusta el whisky solo;this plant doesn't like sunlighta esta planta no le gusta la luz

how do you like your steak?

I like to know the facts before I form opinionsme gusta conocer los hechos antes de formarme una opinión;I like to be obeyedme gusta que me obedezcan;she likes him to be home by tenle gusta que esté en casa antes de las diez;I like to think I'm not prejudicedcreo que no tengo prejuicios;I like to think of myself as a humanitarianme considero una persona humanitaria

At this time of year I like to get all our summer clothes washedhe likes to appear prosperousthey like to quote John Kennedy's inaugural addressI like to drink at least 2 litres of water a dayI like to get the job done without fuss and go homeshe doesn't like him drinking so muchI like to [believe] thatI like to believe my experience counts for somethingI like to think we give firm but caring advice


I didn't like to say nono quise decir que no;(because embarrassed)me dio vergüenza decir que no

take as much as you liketoma or coge todo lo que quieras

he thinks he can do as he likescree que puede hacer lo que quiera;cree que puede hacer lo que le de la gana (informal)

whether he likes it or notle guste o no (le guste);quiera o no (quiera)

like it or not, our families make us what we arewe're going to have to spend the night here whether we like it or not

whenever you likecuando quieras

she can do what she likes with himhe can say what he likes - I won't change my mindwould you like to tell me what happened?I thought of asking him but I didn't like to


would/should like

(specific request, offer, desire)

would you like a drink?¿quieres tomar algo?;I'd like you to do itquiero que lo hagas;would you like me to wait?¿quiere que espere?;I'd or I would or(formal) I should like an explanationquisiera una explicación;me gustaría que me dieran una explicación;I'd like to think we're still friendsquisiera creer que todavía somos amigos;I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you allquisiera aprovechar esta oportunidad para darles las gracias a todos;I'd like the roast chicken, please(me trae) el pollo asado, por favor;I'd like three pounds of tomatoes, please(me da) tres libras de tomates, por favor

I should like to know whyI should like some more time to consider thisI should like to have a better look when there's more time to study itI'd like (to take) a few days off, if that's possiblewould you like cream in your coffee?I should like more timewe'd like a double room for three nightswould you like to go to Seville?

(wishes, preferences)

I'd like a bigger flatme gustaría tener un piso más grande;he'd like to have met herle hubiera gustado conocerla

I should like to have been thereI should have liked to be thereme hubiera gustado estar allí

they'd like to live in a warmer climate

intransitive verb

as you likecomo quieras

"I think I'd better go now" - "as you like"[if] you like

"shall we go now?" — "if you like"—¿nos vamos ya? —si quieres

a cat or, if you like, a felinecome on Sunday if you likeyou can stay here if you like

likes (n)gustos (m)

it also gives them the opportunity to share their perceptions about school, their likes, talents, hobbies

likes and dislikesaficiones (f) y fobias or manías;cosas (f) que gustan y cosas que no

he has distinct likes and dislikes where food is concernedcon respecto a la comida tiene claras preferencias or sabe muy bien lo que le gusta y lo que no (le gusta)

I shan't be here when he takes over, so my likes and dislikes hardly matterthis is not an occasion to show your likes and dislikes in a public waythis is a critical age when children start to grow permanent teeth and develop likes and dislikes

While gustar is one of the main ways of translating like, its use is not always appropriate. Used to refer to people, it may imply sexual attraction. Instead, use expressions like caer bien or parecer/resultarsimpático/agradable. These expressions work like gustar and need an indirect object:

I like Francis very muchFrancis me cae muy bienorme parece muy simpáticooragradable

She likes me, but that's all(A ella) le caigo bien, pero nada más

Translate to like doing sth and to like to do sth using gustar + infinitive:

Doctors don't like having to go out to visit patients at nightA los médicos no les gusta tener que salir a visitar pacientes por la noche

My brother likes to rest after lunchA mi hermano le gusta descansar después de comer

Translate to like sb doing sth and to like sb to do sth using gustar + que + subjunctive:

My wife likes me to do the shoppingA mi mujer le gusta que haga la compra

I don't like Irene living so far awayNo me gusta que Irene viva tan lejos

Use qué + parecer to translate how do/did you like when asking someone's opinion:

How do you like this coat?¿Qué te parece este abrigo?

How did you like the concert?¿Qué te ha parecido el concierto?

But use cómo + gustar when using how do you like more literally:

How do you like your steak?¿Cómo le gusta la carne?

When translating would like, use querer with requests and offers and gustar to talk about preferences and wishes:

Would you like a glass of water?¿Quiere un vaso de agua?

What would you like me to do about the tickets?¿Qué quieres que haga respecto a los billetes?

I'd very much like to go to Spain this summerMe gustaría mucho ir a España este verano

Literal translations of I'd like are better avoided when making requests in shops and restaurants. Use expressions like the following:

I'd like steak and chips¿Me pone un filete con patatas fritas?, (Yo) quiero un filete con patatas fritas


Collins Complete Spanish Electronic Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers 2011

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