Action Expressions

darle voz a

to give someone or something attention and recognition

“Es un honor darle voz a este producto.” = “It is an honor to get the word out about this product.”

dar un viraje

to swerve

“Di un viraje brusco para no atropellar a un gato.” = “I swerved to avoid running over a cat.”


to unfold or display

“Mi padre desplegó el mapa en la mesa.” = “My dad unfolded the map on the table.”


To lollygag

“Mis estudiantes prefieren holgazanear.” = “My students prefer to lollygag.”

Hacer publicidad

To advertise

“No venden mucho porque no hacen publicidad.” = “They don’t sell a lot because they don’t advertise.”

Comprometerse con

To get engaged

“Me comprometí con Angela.” = “I got engaged to Angela.”


To score a point or goal in sports.

“Juan anotó un gol” = “Juan scored a goal.”

tirarse a la piscina

dive in to the pool

“Me tiré a la piscina” = “I dove into the pool.”

facturar el equipaje

to check your bags in

“Después de facturar el equipaje leí una revista en la sala de espera.” = “After checking my bags in, I read a magazine in the waiting area.”

cobrar un cheque

to cash a check

“Se puede cobrar un cheque aquí.” = “You can cash a check here.”


to try on (clothing)

“Me probé la camisa roja.” = “I tried on the red shirt.”

ir de excursión

to go on a hike

“Vamos de excursión mañana.” = “We are going on a hike tomorrow.”

manos a la obra

Let’s get to work

“Ya es hora, manos a la obra.” = “It’s time. Let’s get to work.”

pegarle un tiro a

to shoot someone

“El policía le tiró un tiro al criminal.” = “The policeman shot the criminal.”


to rip off or steal

“Mi jefe estafó miles de dólares a la compañía.” = “My boss stole thousands of dollars from the company.”


to warm up (before exercise)

“Es inteligente calentarse antes de hacer ejercicios aeróbicos.” = “It is smart to warm up before doing aerobics.”

echarse a reír

to burst out laughing

“Nos echamos a reír” = “We burst out laughing.”


to take turns

“Los niños se turnan en hallar sus propios zapatos en un montón de zapatos.” = “The kids take turns looking for their shoes in a huge pile of shoes.”


to board (a plane or car or bus)

“Subí al avión a las tres.” = “I got on the plane at 3:00.”

matar a tiros

to shoot to death

“Mataron a tiros un senador de mi estado.” = “They shot a senator to death from my state.”

hacerse el tonto

to play the fool

“Juan es muy inteligente, pero a veces se hace el tonto.” = “Juan is a smart person, but sometimes he plays the fool.”

llevar puesto

to be wearing

“Yo llevaba puesto un traje de seda.” = “I was wearing a silk suit.

enterarse de
to find out about

“Ella se enteró de la sitación.” = “She found out about the situation

levantar el ánimo

lift the spirits

“Necesito algo para levantar el ánimo de mi clase.” = “I need something to lift the spirits of my class.”


to be absent

“No me gusta faltar a la clase de matemáticas.” = “I don’t like to miss math class.”

dedicarse a

to do (in terms of work)

“¿A qué te dedicas?” = “What do you do for a living

hablar por los codos

to talk too much or non stop

“El profesor de español habla por los codos.” = The Spanish professor talks non stop.”

navegar la Red

surf the internet

“¿Te gusta navegar la Red.”= “Do you like to surf the web?”

salir por

to leave for

Salgo por el Ecuador el lunes.”=” I leave for Ecuadoe on Monday

romper con

to break up with

“Rompí con mi novia.”= “I broke up with my girlfriend.”

cambiar de canal

change the channel

“Si hay anuncios yo cambio de canal.” = “If there are advertisements I change the channel.”

tratar de

to try to do something

“Nosotros tratamos de ganar.” = “We tried to win.

pegarse en

to bump something

“Me pegué en la pierna.” = “I bumped my leg.”

romper a llorar

to break into tears

“Rompí a llorar cuando entró mi hija.” = “I broke into tears when my daughter entered.

ganar a

to beat (another team or person)

“Ganamos a los Tigres.” = “We beat the Tigers.

Contar con

To count on

“Puedes contar con ella.” = “You can count on her.”

Descargar el inodoro

To flush the toilet

“Se le olvida descargar el inodoro a veces.” = “He forgets to flush the toilet sometimes.”

Tirar la basura
To throw trash away

“Tiré la basura por la ventana.” = “I threw the garbage out the window

Volver a (+ verb) …

To do again

“Vuelvo a estudiar.” = “I study again.

Pedir prestado

To ask for a loan

“Le pedí prestado un dólar.” = “I asked him to lend me a dollar.


To run for

Obama se va a postular para la presidencia.” = “Obama is going to run for president.”

Dar una voltereta

To do a flip.

Di una voltereta en la cama.” = “I did a flip on the bed.

Dar una fiesta

To have a party

“Pienso dar una fiesta el viernes que viene.” = I’m planning on having a party next Friday

Darse con

To bump into

“Me di con la mesa.” = “I bumped into the table.”

Caminar de Puntillas

To walk on your tippy toes

“Mi hijo camina de puntillas. Me molesta mucho.” = “My son walks on his tippy toes. It annoys me.”

Hacer una escala

To make a stop (on a flight)

“El avión hace una escala en Chicago.” = “The plane makes a stop in Chicago.”


To fall asleep (as opposed to “dormir” = to sleep)

“No te duermas en clase. El profesor se enoja.” = “Don’t fall asleep. The professor gets mad.”

Ponerse al día

To get up to date on

“Voy a ponerme al día con el trabajo.” =“I’m going to get up to date with the work.”


To eat up

“Me comí toda la sopa.” = “I ate up all the soup.”

Ir de compras

To go shopping

“No quiero ir de compras con mi novia.” = “I don’t want to go shopping with my girlfriend.”

Contar con

To count on

“Puedes contar conmigo.” = “You can count on me.”

Dar una patada

To kick

“Un policía me dio una patada en la cara.” = “A policeman kicked me in the face.”

Ponerse a

To start doing something

“Pónganse a trabajar” = “Get to work.”

Darse cuenta

To realize

“Me doy cuenta que no voy a ganar mucho dinero en este trabajo.” = I realize that I’m not going to make a lot of money at this job.”

Ir al grano

To get to the point

“Vamos al grano.” = Let’s get to the point.”