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SPANISH WORD OF THE DAY

Spanish Expression of the Day: ‘¡Al grano!’

Here’s a short but sweet expression that will help you save time when talking to Spaniards. 

Spanish Expression of the Day: '¡Al grano!'
Ir al grano means to get straight to the point, to cut to the chase or to spit it out. Photo: Dan Burton/Unsplash

The word grano has many meanings in Spanish. 

It can refer to a grain, bean or seed, such as un grano de arroz (a grain of rice), un grano de café (a coffee bean) or un grano de mostaza (a mustard seed). 

It can also be used to speak about a zit or blemish that you get on your skin in the sense of acne, such as tengo un grano en la frente (I’ve got a spot on my forehead). 

There’s even the expression aportar tu granito de arena, which in the literal sense means to give your small grain of sand, but actually means to do your bit or to give your two cents. 

But in today’s Spanish Expression of the Day, we’ll focus on another very handy expression which includes the word grano al grano to be exact.

Ir al grano means to get straight to the point, to cut to the chase or to spit it out.

So if you want someone in Spain to stop beating about the bush with what they’re doing or saying and get to the nitty-gritty, this is the expression to use. 

Obviously it’s an informal expression which, just like in English, you should use with someone you know well and can afford to tell them to ‘get on with it!’. 

Examples:

¡Deja de andarte por las ramas, hombre! Vete al grano y dime que te pasa.

Stop beating about the bush, man! Spit it out and tell me what’s up with you. 

¡Ya basta de andarse con rodeos! ¡Al grano!

Enough with the messing around! Get on with it!

Juan ha ido directo al grano y le ha dicho a María que está enamorado de ella.

Juan got straight to the point and told María that he is in love with her. 

For extra brownie points from your Spanish friends and family, you should learn the most famous lines of the catchy (and raunchy) 1991 hit Estoy Por Ti by Spanish pop duo Amistades Peligrosas, who sing: “Pero basta ya de tanta tontería, hoy voy ir al grano, te voy a meter mano” (Enough with all the silliness, today I’m cutting to the chase, I’m going to feel you up). 

Different times the nineties, we’re not so sure that today’s political correctness would have allowed the duo to cut to the chase and sing about their true intentions.

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SPANISH WORD OF THE DAY

Spanish Expression of the Day: ¡Anda ya!

Here’s a great Spanish expression for those who don’t believe the hype.

Spanish Expression of the Day: ¡Anda ya!

Spaniards have many ways of expressing shock and surprise. In fact, we have an article which lists them all in detail, from ¡Madre mía! to ¡No me lo creo!.

 

But how about when you want to clearly express that you don’t believe what you’ve just heard?

 

That’s when Spanish speakers use the expression ¡Anda ya!.

 

It’s similar to when British people say ‘come off it’ or ‘pull the other one’, or Americans use ‘get out of here’ or ‘you cannot be serious’ à la John McEnroe.

 

In its literal sense ¡anda ya! means ‘walk now’, perhaps because it alludes to the fact that the person who is exaggerating or telling a lie should go for a hike. 

 

¡Anda! on its own (without the ya) just suggests slight surprise.

 

At times, ¡anda ya! can also be used to express surprise at unexpected news in a positive sense, without it meaning that you don’t believe what you’ve just heard.

 

But for the most part, this expression is whipped out when you feel someone is telling porky pies (lies). 

 

Other ways of shrugging off comments that don’t seem believable are ¡Venga ya! (used in the same way as ¡anda ya!no te lo crees ni tú (even you don’t believe that), ‘sí, sí, claro’ (whatever), ¿Será broma, no? (You can’t be serious!) or ni de coña (not a chance). 

 

Examples:

 

-En mi juventud, jugué para el Real Madrid junto a Di Stefano.

-¡Anda ya! Si viviste en Francia hasta los 30 años.

 

-In my youth, I played for Real Madrid together with Di Stefano. 

-Come off it! You lived in France until you were 30. 

 

 

-Penélope Cruz se van a presentar a la presidencia de España. 

-¡Anda ya! Eso no te lo crees ni tú!

 

-Penélope Cruz is going to run for the presidency of Spain. 

-Come off it! Even you don’t believe that. 

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