Spanish Language Blog

Idioms with the verb “echar” Posted by on Jun 17, 2010 in Spanish Vocabulary

The verb echar has more than 30 meanings, according to the Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española, and it also has lots of idioms.

Let’s take a look at some interesting idioms with the verb echar.

1. echar a rodar – to fail, to fall through (plans). Echó a rodar nuestros planes con su irresponsabilidad. (She made our plants fail with her irresponsability.)

2. echar (a) cara o cruz – 1. to flip a coin. Van a echar cara o cruz para ver quien empieza el juego. (They’ll flip a coin to see who starts the game.) – 2. to decide something randomly, rather than rationally. Todavía no sabemos donde vamos de vacaciones, lo echaremos a cara o cruz. (We still don’t know where we will go on vacation, we will flip a coin.)

3. echar de menos – to miss someone. Realmente echo de menos a mis sobrinos. (I really miss my nephews.)

4. echar de ver – to realize something. Eché de ver que quería irse y no quedarse. (I realized that she wanted to go and not to stay.)

5. echar rayos y centellas / rayos – to be extremely mad. Echaba rayos tras saber que Juan no había entregado los relatos. (She was really after to know that Juan hadn’t handed in his reports.)

6. echar a perder – to go to waste. Sus planes se echaron a perder a causa de la lluvia. (His planes went to waste / fell through because of the rain.) – Si dejas la pera fuera de la nevera, se va a echar a perder. (If you don’t putt he pear in the fridge, it will go to waste.)

7. echarse atrás – to take back something you said or to abandon a project. Se echo atrás y dijo que sí iba a ser parte del proyecto. (He took back what he’d said and said he would be part of the project.) – Iba a comprar un coche nuevo pero al final se echó atrás. (He was going to buy a new car but in the end he decided not to.)

8. echarse encima – (an event or period) to be near, to be coming up. Se echa encima la fecha tope y todavía no ha empezado su trabajo. (The deadline is coming up and he still hasn’t started his work.)

9. echarse tras alguien – to run after someone. Los policías se echaron tras el ladrón. (The cops ran after the thief.)

10. echárselas de – to act like, to pretend to be. Mi amigo se las echa de inteligente. (My friend pretends to be smart.)

Do you know any other idioms with echar? Leave us a comment and share!

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About the Author: Adir

English / Spanish teacher and translator for over 20 years. I have been blogging since 2007 and I am also a professional singer in my spare time.