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Breaking Up Is Hard to Do (In Spanish)

As the old song goes, "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do," in any language! That said, as there are an abundance of ways to describe the concept of "breaking up" in a relationship in Spanish, we thought we'd introduce you to several, many of which are featured in videos from our Yabla Spanish library. 

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Ways to Say "to Break Up" in Spanish

Interestingly, many common verbs with different meanings in everyday use can also mean "to break up" in Spanish in certain contexts. The way one chooses to speak about "breaking up" in Spanish will depend upon both regional tendencies and personal preference. Let's take a look at some of them:

 

1. Acabar con (alguien)

 

Starting with an example from our lesson on the verb acabar, literally meaning "to finish with," acabar con is one manner of saying "to break up" in Spanish:

 

Pienso acabar con mi novio.

I'm planning to break up with my boyfriend. 

 

2. Terminar (a alguien) 

 

The Spanish verb terminar also means "to finish," but it can also mean "to break up." So, naturally, terminar a alguien (literally "to finish someone") means "to break up with" that person. We encounter these expressions a lot in Colombian series like Los Años Maravillosos and Confidencial: El rey de la estafa:

 

Van a terminar.

They're going to break up.

Caption 64, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 8

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Andrea, Andrea, no me diga que es en serio

Andrea, Andrea, don't tell me it's serious

que usted me va a terminar.

that you're going to break up with me.

Caption 47, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 3

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3. Cortar 

 

Literally meaning "to cut" or "cut off," cortar is yet another Spanish verb used to speak about "breaking up" with someone:

 

No está enamorado de Andrea

He's not in love with Andrea

y no sabe cómo cortarla.

and doesn't know how to break up with her.

Caption 89, Muñeca Brava - 48 - Soluciones

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4. Dejar 

 

The Spanish verb dejar means "to leave." Let's look at an example where the verb dejar in the preterite tense has been translated as "broke up with":

 

Salía con un chico,

She was dating a guy,

pero la dejó hace dos semanas.

but he broke up with her two weeks ago.

Captions 54-55, El Aula Azul - La Doctora Consejos: Subjuntivo y persona ideal

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Although this sentence may alternatively have been translated as "he left her two weeks ago," the English expression "to leave someone" is arguably used more commonly to talk about abandoning a longer-term relationship. So, in this context, where someone appears to have been dating someone for a shorter time, "to break up with" serves as a viable translation for the verb dejar

 

5. Pelearse

 

Although the Spanish verb pelearse typically means "to fight," "have an argument," or even "come to blows with," in certain countries like Argentina, it can also mean "to break up":

 

More, vos acabas de pelearte con Tomás,

More [Morena], you just broke up with Tomas,

Caption 49, Yago - 10 Enfrentamientos

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That said, should you hear se pelearon (literally "they fought") or están peleados (they're in a fight), additional clarification may be required. While in certain regions or contexts, these two utterances might simply describe people "in a fight" or "mad at each other," in others, they can mean "they broke up," "split up," or "are broken up" temporarily. 

 

6. Romper con 

 

The verb romper in Spanish can mean to "to break," as in an object, but when combined with the preposition con (with), it can additionally mean "to break up":

 

Ella rompió con su novio hace dos semanas.

She broke up with her boyfriend two weeks ago. 

 

Of course, the verb romper could also be used to describe the "breaking" of one's heart following the breakup: 

 

A las niñas,

Girls,

les rompen el corazón.

they get their hearts broken [literally, "they break their hearts"].

Captions 44-45, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 4

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Additional Spanish "Breakup" Verbs

Vamos a terminar ("Let's conclude," in this context) this lesson with two terms that should be easy to remember since they are very similar to their English counterparts:

 

7. Separarse

 

The Spanish verb separarse means "to get separated":

 

Pasa que mis viejos se separaron, por eso.

It so happens that my parents got separated, that's why.

Caption 38, Muñeca Brava - 30 Revelaciones

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8. Divorciarse

 

As you might guess, the Spanish verb divorciarse means "to get divorced":

 

Pero... como mis papás se divorciaron cuando yo tenía dos años

But... since my parents got divorced when I was two years old,

y mi mamá no se volvió a casar...

and my mother didn't remarry...

Captions 54-55, La Sub30 - Familias

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Now that we've provided you with a multitude of ways to say "to break up" in Spanish, te dejamos. But don't worry! We're not breaking up with you. We're just saying goodbye for today— and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments

How to Say "Cool" in Spanish

Do you know how to say "cool" in Spanish as in, "That video is so cool!"? What is the best equivalent of this slangy English word that can have such meanings as "good," "nice," "great," "OK," or "in fashion"? Let's find out.

 

A Headache for Translators

Any translator knows well that translating the word "cool" into Spanish poses a big challenge. In fact, there are many Spanish words for "cool" depending upon the speaker's country or origin. In the following sections, we'll provide you with some of those terms.

 

How to Say "Cool" in Mexican Slang

In Mexico, many people use padre and chido. While the use of padre is more generalized, chido is typically more popular among younger generations:
 

Y, y en cuanto la vi... No, ésta tiene que ser mía. -¡Qué padre!

And, and as soon as I saw it... No, this one has to be mine. -How cool!

Caption 34, Sergio en Monterrey - El ámbar mexicano

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Muy padre, porque la escalera viene así, después tiene un descanso,

Very cool, because the staircase comes down like this, afterwards it has a landing,

Caption 50, El teatro. Conversación con un doble de acción.

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...que está chido que estemos en Estados Unidos.

...it's cool that we're in the United States.

Caption 47, Belanova - Entrevista - Part 3

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Of course, since Mexico has such diverse people living across a vast territory, you'll find other, similar expressions as well. Conmadre (literally, "with mother") and suave (smooth) are good examples. You can hear suave in one of our videos from Monterrey, Mexico. However, it is worth noting that this expression is not very common in that particular city, and the student who utilizes it is from another state.
 

Aunque a veces sí está pesado, está muy suave porque se te van volando.

Although sometimes it is hard, it's very cool because they go flying by for you.

Captions 28-29, Yo estudio en el Tec - de Monterrey

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Versions of "Cool" in Additional Latin American Countries

Many people in countries like Colombia, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Peru, and Ecuador use the word chévere:
 

¡Súper chévere que la... el hijo de uno diga "No, mi mamá es una chef"!

Very cool for one's child to say, "No, my mom is a chef!"

Caption 13, Misión Chef - 2 - Pruebas - Part 1

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In Colombia, a newer alternative to chévere is bacano (and bacán in Cuba, Peru, and Chile):
 

Mi papá era un médico muy bacano, muy interesante.

My father was a very cool doctor, very interesting.

Caption 13, La Sub30 - Familias - Part 2

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In Argentina, people tend to use words like copadomasa, and groso:

 

Podemos sacar algo copado esta noche.

We can get something cool tonight.

Caption 87, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poema - Part 3

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¡Soy una masa!

I'm so cool!

Caption 69, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poema - Part 1

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"Cool" in Spanish from Spain

In Spain, you'll often hear guay:
 

Y realmente la improvisación fue... fue la clave. Era muy guay.

And really the improvisation was... was the key. It was very cool.

Captions 31-32, Blanca y Mariona - Proyectos para el verano

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Sam, tengo esta ropa para ti. Vas a estar guay.

Sam, I have these clothes for you. You're going to look cool.

Caption 23, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 2 - Sam va de compras - Part 5

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In the following clip, Carlos (from Colombia) and Xavi (from Spain) talk about how they say the word "cool" in their countries. You will see that the word chulo is used in Spain as an alternative term for the more common guay:

 

¿Qué significa guay? Guay es bueno, chulo, divertido. OK. En Colombia nosotros diríamos chévere o bacano.

What does "guay" mean? "Guay" is good, cool, fun. OK. In Colombia, we'd say "chévere" or "bacano."

Captions 39-41, Carlos y Xavi Part 2 Ustedes y Vosotros

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While the multitude of terms we've provided as equivalents for "cool" by no means constitute an exhaustive list, they should definitely get you started on your journey to express or understand this idea in many Spanish-speaking countries. 

 

How to Say "Cool" in Standard Spanish

We want to remind you that, regardless of the culture, country, or language, slang words are inextricably linked to the cultural or individual identity of the people who use them, and one can never be too respectful of this. In that spirit, it's always wise to learn more "neutral" alternatives to slang. Genialestupendo, and, to a certain extent, bárbaro are a good fit to express the idea of "cool" or its equivalents (and be cool in Spanish as well!). 

 

¿Te parece que tus patrones se enojarán? -¡No, está bárbaro!

Do you think that your bosses would get mad? -No, it's cool!

Caption 16, Muñeca Brava 30 Revelaciones - Part 6

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¡Este grupo está genial!

This group is great!

Caption 27, Raquel - Expresiones para un festival de música.

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¡Muy bien, estupendo!

Very good, great!

Caption 11, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam - Part 5

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The superlative of bueno (good), buenísimo, is also a good alternative:
 

Bueno, buenísimo, como anillo al dedo.

Well, very good, it fits like a glove [literally: like a ring to a finger].

Caption 69, Muñeca Brava 9 Engaños - Part 8

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In other contexts, the non-slang expression, está bien, might be used in a case in which an English speaker might say "that's fine" or "that's cool," while está de moda might be used to indicate that a certain trend, for example, is currently "cool" or in fashion. 

The Easiest (But Not Proper) Way to Say "Cool" in Spanish

By the way, unless you're a purist, you could even go with "cool" in English as many Spanish speakers do frequently these days: 

 

El estilo es súper vanguardista. Un estilo muy cool.

The style is super avant-garde. A very cool style.

Captions 12-13, Arume Barcelona

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Las chicas visten cool para impresionar

The girls dress cool to impress

Caption 25, Dhira La Noche

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That's all for for today. We hope you've enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. And of course, stay cool!

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Using Qué, Cómo, and Cuánto in exclamatory sentences

The use of the orthographic accent on Spanish words such as qué (what), cómo (how), and cuánto/s (how much/many) usually indicates that those words are part of an interrogative or exclamatory sentence. The following examples review how to use quécómo, and cuánto as exclamatory words.

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Qué can be used right in front of nouns, adverbs, and adjectives.  It means "how" or "what a." In our newest episode of Muñeca Brava, Mili uses qué with an adjective when she talks about the Christmas party:

 

¿Viste todos los regalos? ¡Qué linda! -Sí, estuvo estupenda.

Did you see all the presents? How lovely! -Yes, it was great.

Caption 2, Muñeca Brava - 30 Revelaciones

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Qué can also be combined with an adverb to express surprise about the way an action was done:

 

¡Qué bueno he sido pa' ti Y qué mal te estás portando!

How good I've been for you And how badly you're behaving!

Captions 17-18, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa

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Qué can also be placed in front of a noun:

 

¡Ay, qué espanto! ¡Y pensar que el hombre ese estaba en mi cama!

What a scare! And to think that man was in my bed!

Caption 4, Muñeca Brava - 18 - La Apuesta

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Cuánto (how much) can be used in front of nouns and verbs. When used with a noun, this exclamatory word must agree in gender and number:

 

¡Cuántos frijoles hubiéramos hecho!

How many beans we would have produced!

Caption 28, Con ánimo de lucro - Cortometraje

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When cuánto is accompanied by a verb, we always use the masculine, singular form. If a direct object pronoun is required, we must place it between the two words:

 

¡Ay, no sabes cuánto lo lamento!

Oh, you don't know how much I regret it!

Caption 17, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poema

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Finally, the exclamatory cómo is used in front of verbs. This example requires the use of a reflexive pronoun (me), which is also placed between the two words:

 

¡Guau, cómo me gustan esos hobbies!

Wow, how I like those hobbies!

Caption 38, Karla e Isabel - Nuestros hobbies

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We hope you have enjoyed this brief review on exclamatory words.

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