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¡La ultima y nos vamos !

April 7, 2015
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One for the road

Mexico is known as an atmosphere of celebration almost for any reason. Mexicans use almost anything as an excuse for a party or gathering; it’s part of our culture. So many idioms are related to the party in Spanish, like “ir de parranda” that would be the same in English to “paint the town red”, which will be a topic on the following articles of Effortless Spanish phrases.

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¡La gota que derramo el vaso!

April 7, 2015
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Mexican phrase

Greetings, Effortless Spanish members! Thank you for following these articles and I hope you like them and they become something new to learn and practice your Spanish online.

The Spanish expression “la gota que derramo el vaso” is a very popular way in Mexico to say that’s enough! Or to put limits on each one of our patience. In our daily life, it is normal to withstand certain levels of stress and disappointing attitudes or tolerate people who are in our social, family or work circle.

When these negative attitudes or situations generated a high level of stress or exceed our capacity of tolerance, there are expressions that show our limits very clearly and “La gota que derramo el vaso” is one of them.

This expression is equivalent in English to “the straw that broke the camel´s back

Sometimes in social interaction, there are frustrating things or negative situations generated by third parties or sometimes by ourselves. These have been accumulated and tolerated patiently for some considerable time, as much as we would be filling a glass with water slowly.

But at the moment that we are not willing to tolerate anything more, that would be as much like having the glass of water at full capacity. Then a little thing happens again, which makes us explode and try to set limits. This action would be like a drop of water that made the water spilling out of the glass. Then we use this expression “La gota que derramo el vaso”.

But doing an analysis from a very personal point of view, it would be very easy to take literally the meaning of this old saying or expression. For when this glass of water or tolerance container to call it some how, spills, it happened because we allowed it to fill for some time.

Knowing that it would be very easy to exceed its capacity, it would have been preferable to prevent the spillage by not filling it with too much water. This would prevent our tolerance container from reaching its capacity and spilling. Making that any situation, no matter how small would overcome our patience.

This makes me think about how easy it is to blame things or situations for their consequences and not by their origin.

Whenever a situation is out of control and we want to put limits, it is a consequence of inappropriately tolerating actions that led us to that level of wear. Being patient and tolerant in excess its like trying to fill a glass with water thinking it will never spill.

Okay, I really hope you like this article and to listening the audio about this topic will help you understand in a comprehensive way, the meaning of the expression “la gota que derramo el vaso”.

Audio File

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¡Estamos a mano!

April 7, 2015
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Mexican expression

“Estar a mano” or “estamos a mano” actually has no relationship in meaning. It is an expression we use in Mexico and shows us that we have concluded a deal or issue and no one owes anything to anyone, all parties will concur.

This expression is more a sense of shaking hands at the end of a deal, to be again equal, i.e. you owe nothing and no body owes you.

We’ve all or almost all; occasionally borrowed money or we need a favor from someone. And to give value to our word or for some sense of honesty, we would pay the favor as soon as we can.

In Mexico, when we paid money or terminate any treatment, we use this expression as a sign of a fair agreement, for example:

Ayer liquide al banco el crédito que tenia desde hace varios años, ahora ¡estoy a mano con el banco!

Yesterday I liquidated the bank credit that I had for several years, now I’m even with the bank!

Jimmy-Escucha Jorge, quiero proponerte algo. Si te doy mi carro ¿estamos a mano con el dinero que te debo?

Jorge- Si claro con el carro ¡estamos a mano!

Jimmy-Listen Jorge, I propose something. If I give you my car, are we even with the money I owe you?

Jorge-Yeah right with the car we’re even!

The translation or equivalent phrase in English is we are even!

Drawing your attention to this blog, I would like to give an ideological meaning to the term “estar a mano”. And question if as a society are we even with nature. I mean if humans are paying the price for the predation of natural resources that we have caused to our Mother Earth in more than 200 years of industrial era.

Man remained at the top of the pyramid of predators, destroying their habitat with real fury as if we had an infinite source of natural resources. It’s sad that millions of years of earth evolution were thrown away just for making material and financial wealth for a single species, the human.

The human is the only species that pays to live on earth, but does not pay the price to be even with nature, but to generate and accumulates monetary wealth in a few hands.

I’m not trying to say I’m against technological development and amenities involved, since it is precisely this development that allows you to be reading this blog. I´m talking about the excessive consumerism and the negative consequences of a liberal capitalist model where excesses and vices are living.

If you want to understand a little more about the expression Estar a mano! Download the PDF file and listen to the audio in Spanish for this issue, there you will hear more examples and a brief explanation of this interesting Mexican expression.

And if you like to read in Spanish a little bit more about the Man as a predator of nature and Humans the only species that pays for living on Earth, just hit the links at the end of this article.

Audio File

PDF File



Read in Spanish:

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