¡Hola! Today we will share with you a few Spanish Expressions Refranes. These Expressions would be the equivalent to English Proverbs and Sayings. The Expresions we’re analysing today are mainly used in Mexico. We will let you know their literal translations as well as the meaning or purpose they serve.
Al mal tiempo buena cara
This Expression’s literal translation is: “For a bad time, a good face”. It actually means that it is better to have a positive attitude towards a challenging situation. It provides a message of moving forward and not making things worse by having a negative attitude.
Example: La compañía donde trabajaba Luis cerró. Pero él sabe que al mal tiempo buena cara.
Donde manda capitán no gobierna marinero
This Expression means that a subordinate should not make important decisions without consulting his boss or immediate authority. It literally says: “Where a captain commands no sailor governs.” It provides a message of hierarchy and it can also be applied to children obeying their parents.
Example: José iba a enviar el e-mail sin consultarlo con el gerente. Pero donde manda capitán no gobierna marinero.
Cría cuervos y te sacarán los ojos
This expressions means that sometimes you will do favors or help someone and that person won’t appreciate it, and even worse he will do something bad. A literal translation would be: “Raise ravens and they will pull out your eyes.” It provides a message of the ungratefulness of people, usually when parenting. It can also mean that someone created his or her own disgrace.
For instance: Su hijo no le agradeció cuando le ayudó a comprar el auto. Y ahora quiere que lo pague todo. Cría cuervos y te sacarán los ojos.
No todo lo que brilla es oro
This Expression means that we shouldn’t judge by appearances, because we might be deceived. It literally says: “Not all that glitters is gold.” It provides a message of looking beyond the surface of people and things.
Example: Las promesas del vendedor parecían demasiado buenas para ser ciertas. Debemos recordar que no todo lo que brilla es oro.
El que es perico, donde quiera es verde
This expression means that no matter what the situation or context is, one should be able to deliver a task if he has the required skills. It literally says: “A parrot is green no matter where it is.” It provides a message of not being scared of proving your skills.
Here’s an example: Jorge no estaba preparado para la audición pero el que es perico donde quiera es verde.
Preguntando se llega a Roma
This expressions means that we should not be afraid of asking questions, for this is the way to attain more knowledge and achieve goals. When translating it, it says: “By making questions you get to Rome.” It provides a message of making questions to get somewhere or completing a task. It is more commonly used when being on the road.
Example: No me quedó claro el tema pero preguntando se llega a Roma.
Video Spanish Expressions Refranes
Watch this video we’ve made with the Refranes you’ve learned and try to repeat them aloud so that you can also practice your pronunciation.
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