Video Spanish phrase #22: Ponte las pilas

Toni brings us this week's useful Spanish expression, Ponte las pilas, which literally means "Stick your batteries in"; its nearest equivalent is probably "Get a move on!" (though we can think of two or three English phrases which are rather more vulgar, which ponte las pilas isn't).

If you'd like another useful Spanish phrase, watch the previous posts — and come back here next week for another.

Toni is one of the first people you'll meet on your first morning here at IH Barcelona: one of his many responsibilities is making sure you go into the right level on your Spanish course.

What level are you? Try our free online Spanish level test.

Restaurante Carmen: calçotada en Barcelona

Calcotada 101

Traditionally, a calçotada is a late-winter/early-spring barbecue held out in the open air, at which grilled calçots (a kind of spring onion) are eaten, followed by grilled meat (most typically butifarra, a Catalan sausage, and lamb cutlets) all of which is washed down with copious amounts of red wine. It gets messy, so you really need a bib for it 😉 !.

If you fail to make Catalan friends who invite you to one, Cristina recommends us a restaurant in Sants…

  • Nombre: Restaurante Carmen
  • Dónde: Valladolid 44 [mapa], Metro Plaça de Sants (L1 o L5) o Sants-Estació (L1 o L3)
  • Me gusta: Toda la información que tienen en su web sobre los calçots: receta de romesco, orígenes, etc.
  • Cuándo: Si no puedes disfrutar de una calçotada fuera de la ciudad, es una muy buena opción.
  • Para: Una calçotada
  • En la web:
  • Nos lo recomienda: Cristina.

Metropolitan has a great little guide (in English) on how to throw a calçotada if you want to try it in the back garden.

Further help with the vocab in the comments…

Video Spanish phrase #21: Hablar por los codos

We guess everyone has a friend like the "Rafa" (short for Rafael) that Susana mentions: someone who talks non-stop ("sin parar"), don't they?

In Spanish we say "he talks through his elbows": habla por los codos.

Just in case you wondered, the phrase isn't considered vulgar 😉 !

If you'd like another useful Spanish phrase, don't forget to pop back here next Tuesday…

Video Spanish phrases #18 Es pan comido

This week's useful Spanish phrase, Es pan comido, literally means "it's eaten bread" (!!). We use it, Susana says, to predict that "un trabajo, una tarea, un examen" (a job, a task, an exam…) is going to be just so easy.

Colloquial synonyms would be "Está tirado" (lit. it's thrown) or "Está chupado" (lit. it's been sucked).

Susana teaches on Spanish courses at IH Barcelona, as well as being a course tutor in our Spanish Teacher Training Department.

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Video Spanish phrase #17 Que cada palo aguante su vela

Eugenia — who teaches on our Spanish courses — explains this week's phrase which, if translated literally, means "every mast (palo) has to hold up its own sail (vela) — meaning that everyone has to face up to his or her own responsibilities (and is also sometimes used to mean "I'm not going to help you," as Eugenia suggests).

We're struggling for an idiomatic equivalent for this one: it's really not "every man for himself" (which would be "sálvese quien pueda") so if you can think of one, do tell us in the comments.