Let's continue learning idiomatic expressions in Spanish that use body parts. This lesson focuses on the word mano (hand).
The expressions echar una mano (to throw a hand) or dar una mano (to give a hand) mean "to help." Frequently, people use this expression with negation in the interrogative form: ¿no me echas una mano? or ¿no me das una mano? are common ways to ask for help in Spanish:
¿No me das una manita con Pablo?
Won't you give me a little hand with Pablo?
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See? You can even throw in a diminutive like manita (little hand)! Native Spanish speakers use diminutives a lot, so you can use this truquito (little trick) to make your Spanish sound more natural.
Now, dar una mano (to give a hand, to help) is different from dar la mano (literally, "to give the hand"), which means "to shake hands" or "to hold hands." Usually the verb dar (to give) is used with a pronoun in these expressions. So you can say: le doy la mano (I shake his/her/your hand), nos damos la mano (we shake hands, we shake each other's hands). In other cases the pronoun can be added to the verb dar as a suffix, for example: ¡dame la mano! (shake my hand!), or:
En ocasiones más formales también podemos darnos la mano.
For more formal occasions, we can also shake each other's hands.
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Slightly different is tomar la mano de alguien (to take somebody's hand):
Bachué se despidió llorando y tomó la mano de su esposo.
Bachué said goodbye crying and took her husband's hand.Play Caption
If you add the preposition de (by) you get the expression de la mano (by the hand, holdings hands). Tomar de la mano is "to hold by the hand," estar de la mano is "to be holding hands," cruzar la calle de la mano de tu mamá means "to cross the street holding your mom's hand," and caminar de la mano con tu novia means "to walk with your girlfriend holding hands". Here's one more example:
Un helado, un paseo, tomados de la mano
An ice cream, a stroll, holding hands
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On the other hand, estar a mano (literally, “to be at hand") means "to be even:"
Estaríamos a mano. ¿Eh?
We would be even. Huh?
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The expression hecho a mano means "made by hand." And the phrase a mano can either mean "by hand":
Los que se pueden coger con la mano desde abajo, se cogen a mano.
The ones that can be picked by hand from below are picked by hand.
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or "at hand," which can also be spelled a la mano:
Ponte lo que tengas a [la] mano.
Wear whatever you have at hand.
To do something mano a mano (hand in hand) means to do something together:
Los investigadores trabajan con los pescadores mano a mano.
The researchers work with the fishermen hand in hand.
In Mexico, Dominican Republic, and other Spanish speaking countries, people use mano to shorten hermano/a (brother, sister), just like “bro” and “sis” in English. For example: No, mano, así no se hace (No, bro, that's not how you do it), Oye, mana, vámonos a casa (Hey, sis, let's go home).
And that's all for this lesson! Don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you know that the Spanish words sí (usually meaning "yes") and si (usually meaning "if") also have special uses that are for emphatic purposes? Let's look at some examples.
The word sí (yes) is used in a similar way to the repetition of the word "do" to express that someone indeed did something. For example, when someone says "you did not do it," one can reply, "I did do it." Well, in Spanish, you use the word sí (the orthographic accent is important here) in a similar way: a declaration such as tú no lo hiciste (you did not do it) can be answered with yo sí lo hice (I did do it).
Like the repetition of the word "do" in English, this use of sí has a purely emphatic effect. You could easily answer tú no lo hiciste (you did not do it) with a simple yo lo hice (I did it), but using yo sí lo hice (I did do it) is way more common. Let's look at some examples so you can learn how to throw in that emphatic sí in conversation:
Ah claro, ahora sí lo entiendo hija, ¡qué torpe soy!
Oh, of course, now I do understand it, girl. How clumsy I am!
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The combination sí que is very common and is similar to the English phrase "does indeed”:
Traigo mi cargamento -La cintura de Shakira
I bring my shipment -Shakira's waist
sí que tiene movimiento -De pura salsa
does indeed have movement -Of pure salsa
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On the other hand, the word si (without the orthographic accent), commonly used in conditional clauses, can also be used to indicate that you are affirming something very emphatically. It's not always easy (or necessary) to translate it into English, but in the following examples we added "indeed”:
Te tengo que pedir un favor.
I have to ask you a favor.
¡Sí, loco, otro más! Si estás para eso, ¿no?
Yes, dude, another one! That's [indeed] what you are for, right?
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In the following example, a more literal translation of si me encanta could be "indeed, I love it" or just "I do love it," but we used "I'd love to" (me encantaría in Spanish), which better suits the context:
Ah, cuando quieras, no, si me encanta.
Oh, whenever you want, no, I'd love to.
¿Yo te di mi teléfono, no?
I gave you my phone [number], right?
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The word si as an emphatic affirmation is also commonly used to express a protest or to contradict someone. It could be translated as "but,” but it doesn't actually need a translation, as you can see in the following examples:
¿Cuál es tu burla? ¡Si tú estás igualita!
What are you making fun of? [But] You are the same!
¡Si yo estoy más fresca que una lechuga!
[But] I'm fresher than a [head of] lettuce.
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Si yo lo estoy diciendo hace rato ya, hombre.
But I've been saying it for a while already, man.
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