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Upper Intermediate Spanish Lesson 47: Spanish Idioms (Modismos) and Spanish Proverbs (Refranes) (Part 1)

This lesson is part of the Upper-Intermediate Spanish Course
(74 Spanish video or mp3 lessons. 4 hrs 3 mins)

Upper-Intermediate Spanish Course

In this free Spanish lesson we will look at commonly used Spanish Proverbs (Refranes) and Spanish Idioms (Modismos). This is the first in a series of three Spanish video lessons on the topic and I hope very much that you enjoy gaining a closer insight into these interesting aspects of the language. An “Idiom” (Modismo) is a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words, such as “It is raining cats and dogs”. Without a familiarity with the idiom you would have no idea what it meant. Idioms are a form of expression natural to a language, person, or group of people. A “Proverb” (Refrán) is a simple and concrete saying popularly known and repeated to express a truth based on common sense or the practical experience of humanity. Proverbs are often borrowed from similar languages and cultures and you will recognise some similar proverbs and idioms in the list of Spanish proverbs and idioms I will provide in these lessons. Spanish speakers use proverbs and idioms a lot in everyday conversation. In my experience, we use them much more than most English speakers. I think they are really interesting and great fun learn and to use. They are an easy way to impress someone as well if you can throw in a timely Spanish proverb or Spanish idiom here and there.

Lesson notes:

De tal palo tal astilla: A chip off the old block

Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente: Out of sight, out of mind

Sobre gustos no hay nada escrito: Different strokes for different folks

Dios los cría y ellos se juntan: Birds of a feather flock together

Más vale tarde que nunca: Better late than never

Quien calla otorga: Silence speaks volumes

A rey muerto, rey puesto: Out with the old, in with the new

Segundas partes nunca fueron buenas: A Spanish expression which means that the second part of anything is never better or as good as the first


Translate the following sentences to Spanish…

Silence speaks volumes
Different strokes for different folks
A chip off the old block
Better late than never

Here are the answers to the last activity:

Se dice que los italianos comen mucha pasta
Se sabe que cada persona es diferente
He visto las noticias en la televisión y creen que mañana habrá mucho tráfico en esta carretera


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