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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Eight ways to use the Spanish verb ‘poner’

The verb 'poner' means 'to put' but as usual can have a few different meanings depending on how you use it.

Eight ways to use the Spanish verb 'poner'
Photo: nito103/Depositphotos

Poner fecha means to set a date:

 

  • Tenemos que poner fecha para quedar y tomarnos algo.

           We have to set a date to meet and have a drink.

 

Poner en evidencia means to show up :

  • Cada vez que gritas en público me pones en evidencia.

         Every time you scream in public you show me up.

 

Poner el listón alto means to set the bar high:

  • Ha ganado todos los partidos y ha puesto el listón muy alto para el resto de equipos.

       He has won all the matches and has set the bar very high for the rest of the teams.

 

Poner en remojo means to soak:

  • Pon las verduras en remojo durante media hora.

          Soak the vegetables for half an hour.

Poner dificultades means to raise difficulties:

  • Me pones muchas dificultades y no me das ninguna solución.

 

          You give me lots of problems but no solutions.

 

Poner como un trapo is a colloquial sentence thatmeans to put somebody down:

  • Tus amigas te critican y te ponen como un trapo a tus espaldas.

         Your friends are criticizing you behind your back; they are putting you down.

 

Poner a caldo means to rip somebody  to pieces:

  • En su libro pone a caldo a todos los políticos.

        In his book he rips all politicians to pieces.

 

Poner al tanto means to inform:

  • Llevo fuera del trabajo dos semanas, me tienes que poner al tanto de las novedades.

      I've been away from work two weeks you need to inform me about the news.

 

Pronunciation:

poh-nehr

Check out our other word of the day posts

This word of the day has been contributed by LAE Madrid, the leading Spanish academy in Madrid. Accredited by the Insitituto Cervantes, it offers Spanish courses for all levels and also has Spanish classes for kids and families.

READ MORE: How well do you know your Spanish prefixes?

 

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SPANISH WORD OF THE DAY

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.

Examples: 

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.

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