18 thoughts on “Happy Halloween Spanish!

  1. Niall

    What about, un miedo que te cagas which seems to be very popular here. It may not translate very well but I think it maybe uses the ´Famous´Subjuntive?

  2. Andrea

    But if “una película de miedo” means “a horror movie”, how would you say “an amazing horror movie”?
    “Una peli de miedo que esté de miedo”, perhaps?

  3. Lorna


    Thank you for the great Halloween Spanish e-mail.

    You both are a great inspiration to me.

    I am really struggling with the preterite and the imperfect tense, to the point where I actually questioned whether I wanted to continue learning Spanish.

    You have a way of explaining things that is easy to understand. Grammar etc is awful at the best of times. So thank you, you have restored my faith and I will try again.

    Happy Halloween.

    Many thanks.

  4. Raymond Labelle

    To Niall. Quizás “un miedo que te cagas” es demasiado familiar. Vamos a ver lo que piensan Ben o Marina de eso.

  5. Andrew/Seattle, WA

    ¿Ha había un accidente…? What’s the difference between that and “Hubo un accidente…”? Is there a subtle difference of meaning?
    I love the whole double-entendre (sp) thing with “miedo”! What I wanna know is if Ben loves it or finds it odd–because when the British use the words “frightening”, “dreadful” or “awful”, there’s no wavering–they mean it!
    btw, the whole “me he dado/me ha dado confuses me: are both terms used? (Ditto “me alegro/me alegra”. Oh, yeah, thanks for your great lessons!

  6. Ben Post author

    @Niall, that phrase isn’t used so much as it used to be in Madrid – it is on the far side of slang, and I’m not sure we can recommend using it in polite company!

    @Andrea – I guess you could say that!

    @Lorna – Thanks – don’t give up, when it feels like you are stuck on a grammar point it usually means you are about to make a leap with the language, so hang in there!

    @Andrew/Seattle – I love it! I like the double meaning, and I especially like it with this word!

    The more grammatical questions above I’ll get Marina to have a look at on Tuesday – there’s a big 4 day holiday here in Madrid now so I’m not sure she’ll get to the comments until next week, Ben

  7. echorad

    Thanks for yet a few more great phrases related to the season. One of the first is a good example of why I sometimes despair ever being able to really speak as the natives do and this relates to the use of “que”, especially for the native English speaker.

    That’s why I’d love to hear both of your comments on this: In the phrase: ¡No me asustes, que acabo de recogerlo del taller! it is the use of the “que” that seems strange for this English speaker. As you have it in English we would say: “Don’t scare me like that (comma, dash or verbal pause) I just picked it up from the mechanic (or repair shop). So my question is this: does the “que” somehow function as an abbreviated “es que” or as an abbreviated “porque”? For example, a person might say colloquially in English: Don’t scare me like that ’cause’ or ‘cuz’ I just picked it up etc.
    Or is is just a muletilla, a filler word to avoid any kind of verbal “stop or pause” that ends up just making the sentence flow better or more smoothly.
    Do you have any grammar references to this particular use of que? Is it more common in Spain than in other Spanish speaking countries? Thanks so much for considering this question.

  8. Rtansony

    Hi Niall, I am pretty sure “un mierdo que te cagas” would translate in English as ” scare the sh*t out of you”. I’ve left out a vowel to keep things clean but I’m sure you get the idea. We use this a lot too where I come from (Toronto), but as Ben says only in the bar with your friends. I would never say this at the family dinner table. Cheers. Robert.

  9. michaelevan

    Muchas gracias, Ben. Isn’t this expresión… “de miedo” close in meaning to “formidable” in Italiano… or perhaps even French. I think it might also be close to the American vernacular “wicked” or “wicked cool,” which in street slang means it’s engaging on a deeper level.

  10. marina

    @Niall, as mentioned above it is correct… but a bit vulgar so be careful if you use it.

    @Andrea, podríamos decir “una película de miedo que está de miedo” … pero puede resultar un poco confuso, en este caso por no repetir miedo usaríamos “una película de miedo fantástica”


    ha habido un accidente – it has just happened or happened in a time frame that hasn’t finished yet.
    Esta mañana ha habido un accidente en la carretera – said when the morning hasn’t finished yet.

    hubo un accidente – happened in the past or in a time frame that already finished. Yesterday a month ago.

    Me he dado – I’ve hit myself with something
    Me ha dado – Someone has either hit me or given me something

  11. marina


    In this case the second clause explains or gives reasons to the firs clause, that’s why que is used. It is exactly as the example you give in English:
    Don’t scare me like that ’cause’ or ‘cuz’ I just picked it up

  12. echorad

    Gracias, Marina, por explicármelo. Entonces, ¿es verdad que la “que” en tales frases es en esencia una abreviatura de o ‘porque’ o ‘es que’? En inglés ‘cuz’ o ’cause’ es una abreviatura jergal de ‘because’. Así, ¿es lo mismo en español?
    Quizás jergal sea demasiado fuerte para referirse a este uso de ‘que’.

  13. marina

    En este caso podríamos usar ambas:

    ¡No me asustes, que acabo de recogerlo del taller!

    ¡No me asustes, porque acabo de recogerlo del taller!

    “Que” representa la razón o el porque, así que a lo mejor el origen es una abreviatura pero es del todo correcto usarlo por si solo. Además se puede usar de manera formal y en inglés entiendo que cause or cuz no.

    No sé si aclaro tus dudas por completo.

  14. echorad

    Gracias de nuevo, Marina. Sí que me has aclarado por completo las dudas que tenía.
    Te (os) lo agradecemos la verdad todo vuestro trabajo para nosotros que estudiamos español y seguimos vuestras paginas de la red.

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