Refranes: Spanish Proverbs and Sayings

Posted on 04. Feb, 2008 by in Spanish Vocabulary

Today we will learn about “refranes” in Spanish. “Refranes” are sayings or proverbs and they are part of a country´s histoy and folklore. Below are some Spanish refranes, their correspondent in English and their literal translation.

1. El que no oye consejo no llega a viejo. (He who hears no advice will not reach an old age) – Advice when most needed is least heeded.

2. Quien tiene lengua, a Roma llega. (He who has a tongue, gets to Rome.) – Ask and you shall receive.

3. Más vale precaver que tener que lamentar. (It´s better to prevent than to have to lament.) – Better safe than sorry.


4. Más vale pájaro en mano que ciento volando. (Better to have bird in hand than a hundred flying.) – A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

5. Borrón y cuenta nueva. (Smudge and new account). – Clean slate.

6. No hay que ahogarse en un vaso de agua. (You don´t need to drown in a glass of water.) – Don´t make a mountain out of a molehill.

7. Camarón que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente. ( The shrimp that falls asleep is carried off by the current.) – Don´t rest on your laurels.

8. Al que madruga Dios lo ayuda. (God helps the one who gets up early.) – The early bird catches the worm.

9. Del dicho al hecho hay largo trecho. (From said to done there is a long way.) – Easier said than done.

10. No hay mal que por bien no venga. (There´s no evil that does not bring some good.) – Every cloud has a silver lining.

by Adir Ferreira link

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8 Responses to “Refranes: Spanish Proverbs and Sayings”

  1. Ezequiel 1 May 2008 at 4:46 pm #

    How would I translate, “Going beyond the expected”.

  2. David Carmona 3 May 2008 at 11:30 am #

    Depends on the context, since this phrase can be used in a variety of metaphorical senses. In a general sense, it would be “ir más allá de lo esperado”. If you give me the context, I would be able to fine tune the translation.

  3. beth cruz 25 August 2008 at 9:49 am #

    my spanish friends use the word muazz what is the meanin g and how is used

  4. david carmona 25 August 2008 at 10:35 am #

    Hmmm, that is not a word in Spanish. Unless you give me a different spelling (that one is probably an approximation) or some context, there is no way of finding out.

  5. j. 2 October 2008 at 3:25 pm #

    “muahzzz” is like a kiss sound *muah!*

  6. LC 27 January 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    Is there an equivalent (I am not looking for a translation) for this english proverb in spanish:
    “big shoes to fill” ?

  7. David Carmona 27 January 2011 at 10:04 pm #

    You can say about someone: “Ha dejado el listón muy alto.” (to set the bar too high)


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