Valentine’s Day: romantic expressions in Spanish

Do you know these romantic expressions in Spanish?

Today is Valentine’s Day and it celebrates, well, the day of love. Making good use of the occasion, we are going to go over some Spanish expressions to talk about relationships. They are all frequently used in everyday Spanish conversations and I’m sure some phrases will look familiar to you! Keep an eye out for them!

Other halves

When you find the person who in theory is meant for you, in Spain it is said that you have found ‘the other half of your orange’ (tu media naranja). This saying comes from a myth included in the book “The Symposium” by Plato. This book talks about one of the most well-known myths about love. According to the poet Aristophanes, in the origin of human beings they had a different form to the one we have now, they were round! They once wanted to attack the gods and Zeus decided to punish them by cutting them in half. Since that day, each part has been looking for its other half in order to feel complete. When a person finds their ‘other half’, they normally start going out with them. ‘Salir con alguien’ (going out with someone), is one of the most commonly used romantic expressions in Spanish and it means to begin a romantic relationship with another person.  

Love or hate?

When a pair is ‘uña y carne’ it means they have a strong relationship and that they are very connected (like the fingernail, la uña, and the fingertip, la carne del dedo). It can also apply to friends, and in this case it means that when something happens to one of them it affects the other since they are so close. On the other hand, if a couple gets along ‘como el perro y el gato’ (like cat and dog) it means that they are constantly arguing and that they don’t get along. This expression can also apply to siblings, for example, or friends and work colleagues.

Other Phrases about Couples

When a couple gets along badly it can end with them breaking up or cutting each other off. In Spanish, we use the verbs ‘romper’ or ‘cortar’ to express these actions. When a couple ‘rompe’ it means that one or both of the two people decide to end the relationship. A person might break off the relationship if, for example, they find out that their partner has cheated on them. ‘Ponerle los cuernos a alguien’ means being unfaithful or sleeping with someone without your partner knowing. Once your partner finds out, this can cause them to tell you to get lost (mandar a freír espárragos a alguien) or can lead to them shutting the door in your face (darle con la puerta en las narices). ‘Mandar a freír espárragos a alguien’ (literally meaning ‘sending someone to fry asparagus’) means that the person that says it doesn’t want to see the other person again. This phrase was already being used by the nineteenth century. As is well known, the quickest and easiest way to cook asparagus is boiling it. Therefore, if you tell someone to fry asparagus (freír espárragos), it takes them more time and you are sending them away for a while. With the same reasoning, you can also send someone away to ‘freír churros’. As for the latter, ‘darle con la puerta en la narices’ means turning someone down or rejecting someone in a somewhat violent way. 

However, there are couples that prefer to give themselves some time (‘darse un tiempo’) instead of breaking up. This means that although the couple doesn’t formally break up, they each live life as a single person to reflect and decide if they prefer being together or apart. 

We hope that you have learnt a lot with this article and that the romantic expressions in Spanish that we shared here today will be of great use to you in your Spanish practice. Also, if you like Spanish expressions, we encourage you to read this article about idiomatic expressions in Spanish. And last, but by no means least, we wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️

Violeta de Rueda

Violeta de Rueda

Student teacher at Entrelenguas
Article translated into English by Sophie Gordon

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