Native spanish expressions to describe situations

inglés para describir situaciones
icon author Nagore Valera
icon calendar Modified
icon-time Reading time 5 min.

Have you ever wanted to improve your Spanish so that you can describe situations and problems in a fluent and natural way?
In this article, we present 10 of these native Spanish expressions. So get your mind and your notes ready!

Spanish expressions to describe situations and/or problems

1. Estar en un aprieto

Meaning : To be in a pickle

Imagine that you have lost the report you had to present at work. You’ve messed up, you’re in a complicated situation and you don’t know how to get out of it. In spanish we would say that you are “en un aprieto”.

Puedes expresarlo diciendo, “Ahora estoy en un aprieto de verdad, he perdido el informe.”

2. Abarcar más de lo que se puede

Meaning : This expression refers to the tendency of someone to take on more than they can actually handle or carry out.

Have you committed yourself to too many tasks and now feel overwhelmed? In spanish you can say “abarcar más de lo que se puede”. For example, if you are overloaded with work and studies, you could say “Creo que he abarcado más de lo que puedo con el trabajo y la universidad.”

inglés para describir situaciones

3. Estar entre la espada y la pared

Meaning : To be caught between a rock and a hard place

Sometimes, you find yourself in a situation where you have to make a difficult choice, and none of the options are particularly pleasant. In spanish, this is called “estar entre la espada y la pared”.

You could use it like this:”Estoy entre la espada y la pared. ¿Debería viajar durante la pandemia o perderme la boda de mi mejor amigo?”

4. Saltar de Guatemala a Guatepeor

Meaning : To be out of the frying pan and into the fire

inglés para describir situaciones

Have you ever tried to escape from a problem only to find yourself with an even bigger problem? Such a situation is called “saltar de Guatemala a Guatepeor”.

For example: “Después de dejar un trabajo estresante, me encuentro en uno aún más caótico. He saltado de Guatemala a Guatepeor”

5. Hacer una montaña de un grano de arena

Meaning : To make a mountain out of a molehill

Some people tend to exaggerate minor problems into major dramas. In English, this is called “hacer una montaña de un grano de arena”.

If a friend of yours is worrying excessively about something trivial, you could tell him or her: “Manten la calma, estás haciendo una montaña de un grano de arena.”

6. Empezar la casa por el tejado

Meaning : To put the cart before the horse

When you do things in the wrong order or try to do something before you have the prerequisites in place, you are “empezando la casa por el tejado”.

For example, if someone wants to start cooking a recipe before he or she have the ingredients, you could warn them by saying: “No empieces la casa por el tejado. Antes tendrás que comprar los ingredientes.”

inglés para describir situaciones : arriesgarse

7. Meterse en la boca del lobo

Meaning: To throw caution to the wind.

When you decide to take a risk and do something without thinking about the consequences, you are “metiéndote en la boca del lobo”.

For example, if you decide to invest all your savings in a risky business, you could say: “Conozco los riesgos, pero me meto en la boca del lobo e invertiré en este nuevo negocio.”

8. Estar en un callejón sin salida

Meaning: To be up a creek without a paddle

If you are in dire straits and without any apparent solution, you are “en un callejón sin salida”.

For example, if you are lost in a foreign city with no money, you might say: “Estoy en un callejón sin salida. He perdido y no tengo dinero.”

barco sin remos

9. Estás por encima de tus posibilidades

Meaning: To be in over one’s head.

If you find yourself in a situation that is too difficult for you to handle, then you are “por encima de tus posibilidades”.

For example, if you have enrolled in an advanced mathematics class without having the necessary background knowledge, you might admit to: “Estoy por encima de mis posibilidades en estas clases avanzadas de matemáticas.”

10. Estar en la cuerda floja

Meaning: To walk on thin ice

If you are in a situation where any little mistake could cause serious problems, you are “en la cuerda floja”.

For example, if your boss has warned you about being late for work, you might say:”Debo tener cuidado y llegar al trabajo a mi hora. Estoy en la cuerda floja con mi jefe.”

In short

Well done! Now you know 10 Spanish expressions that native speakers use to describe situations.

Remember that learning a new language is a journey, not a destination. If you can’t remember them all right away, don’t worry. Keep practicing and soon you’ll be speaking Spanish with native fluency. Don’t give up and keep going!

Remember !!!

You can download our translation apps to learn languages and travel easily : available for free on Googleplay and Applestore.

Don’t hesitate to visit our Talkao website and contact us with any questions or problems you may have; and of course, take a look at any of our blog articles.

Rate this post
Category: Tags:
icon calendar Published

Nagore ValeraNagore Valera Linkedin icon Instagram icon Email icon

Nagore Valera is a professional with more than seven years of experience in digital marketing and e-commerce, specializing in SEO and content management. She is recognized for developing and implementing effective SEO strategies and creating high-quality content that enhances online visibility and drives growth. Nagore also has experience in blog writing and developing specialized materials. Nagore has experience as an international ambassador, analyzing and improving SEO practices, promoting interdisciplinary collaboration, and enhancing the quality of digital content.


Newsletter subscribe

Subscribe to our newsletters and receive email notifications when we publish a new article :)

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.


Leave a Reply

By commenting you agree to our privacy policy.

Last entries

Aprender idiomas con la inteligencia artificial

Artificial intelligence (AI) in language teaching: Future perspectives and challenges

Discover how artificial intelligence is transforming language teaching, personalizing learning, and improving the accuracy of translations with tools like Talkao Translate.

07 Jun 2024
Viajar por el mundo y aprender

Discovering the World and Learning: A Journey of Exploration and Personal Growth

Discovering the world while we learn is more than an adventure: it is an opportunity to grow. Every interaction, from asking for directions to deep conversations, is a valuable lesson in the learning process.

Douha Laribi y Cañita enamorados

Uniting cultures: The love story between Douha Laribi and Cañita through translation technology

Discover how machine translation technology is breaking down language barriers, connecting people around the world. Real testimonies from influencers like Douha Laribi and Cañita show the transformative impact of this innovation.