Spanish Word of the Day: ‘Sentar’

Today's word of the day has so many different meanings.

Spanish Word of the Day: 'Sentar'
Photo: nito103/Depositphotos

Why have we chosen this word?

Sentar is such a diverse Spanish verb with lots of meanings and phrases that use it.

Sentar: To sit

  • Él está sentado allí.

        He is sitting there.

People also use sentar to describe feelings and/or emotions, but also if you (dis)agree with something.

  • Me sienta mal que estás con él.

        I don’t like it that you’re with him.

It can also refer to someone (or something) being settled down. (sentar la cabeza)

  • Javier tiene la cabeza sentada desde que conoció a esa chica.

       Javier is settled down since March.

Sentar also has many compound forms, such as when something suits someone well.

  • Creo que azul marino me sienta bien.

        I think that dark blue suits me the best.

If someone looks really dashing, you can also add de maravilla.

  • ¡Tu nueva chaqueta te sienta de maravilla!

        Your new jacket looks stunning on you!

You can also use sentar to refer to something that someone does or doesn't like (think of when something sits well). (sentar bien/sentar mal)

  • A mi novia le sentó mal tu comentario.

        My girlfriend didn't like your comment.

And finally, sentar can also be used in an ironic context. (sentar/dar cátedra)

  • ¡No sientes cátedra!

        Don’t lecture me!





LAE Madrid is the leading Spanish academy in Madrid and is accredited by the Instituto Cervantes. It offers Spanish courses for all levels and also has Spanish classes for kids and families. For more information on our Spanish courses contact [email protected].

Check out our other word of the day posts

For members


Spanish Word of the Day: ‘Chachi’

Who would’ve thought that there’s a word used all the time in Spain that has something to do with Winston Churchill? Or so the story goes. 

Spanish Word of the Day: 'Chachi'

Chachi is a colloquial way to express approval for something or someone, in the sense of it/them being cool, awesome or great.

It’s mainly a word used by young people in Spain, so saying it to your bank manager or boss may raise an eyebrow or two, but it’s in no way derogatory or rude.

There’s even the expression ¡Chachi piruli Juan Pelotilla! that was popularised by a 90s’ kids show on TV called Telebuten, but it’s now a rather outdated way of saying ‘cool’ in Spanish. 

Chachi is certainly a rather bizarre sounding word and Spain’s Royal Academy actually has it recorded as deriving from chanchi (which nobody uses).

Linguists are not 100 percent certain about the origin of the word but there are two very interesting theories. 

The first is that chachi was first coined in the southern coastal city of Cádiz during World War II, at a time where hunger among locals and contraband at the port were both rife.

Smuggled goods from nearby Gibraltar were considered of the utmost quality as they came from the United Kingdom, and the story goes that Gaditanos (the name for people from Cádiz) referred to these bootlegged products as ‘charchil’, in reference to UK Prime Minister at the time Winston Churchill.

Over time, charchil became chachi, a slang word which (if the story is true) came to mean ‘cool’ across Spain.

Other philologists believe that chachi comes from Caló, the language spoken by Spain’s native gipsy or Roma population. 

Chachipé or chachipen reportedly means ‘truth’ or ‘reality’ in this language spoken by 60,000 people across the Iberian Peninsula.

This could’ve been shortened to chachi and gone from being used like chachi que sí/claro que sí (of course) to chachi to mean ‘cool’.

Whichever theory is true, chachi is a great word to add to your arsenal of Spanish vocab. 

There’s also the Spanish word guay, which has a very similar meaning to chachi; we reviewed it here.


Carlos es un tío chachi. 

Carlos is a cool guy.

¡Pásalo chachi!

Have a great time!

La verdad es que es juego de mesa muy chachi.

The truth is it’s a very cool board game.

¡Qué chachi! Van a hacer un concierto en la plaza.

How cool! They’re going to hold a concert in the square.