Today’s Vine is by Zaifer, from Santander, Spain.
It’s a good example of the phrase por eso, which literally means “for that,” where “for” is taken to be “because of.” So por eso can be used as a stand-alone, or as part of a sentence, to mean “because of that” or “that’s why!”
por eso = because of that / that’s why
- Girl #1: ¡Sales guapísima en esa foto!
- Girl #2: Si casi no se me ve.
- Girl #1: Ya… por eso.
- Girl #1: You look gorgeous in that photo!
- Girl #2: But you can hardly see me. [literally: “If I almost can’t be seen.”]
- Girl #1: Yeah, uh-huh… that’s why. [literally: “for that.”]
So we see Girl #1 slinging an insult at Girl #2 (both played by the same person), by telling her that the reason she looks fantastic in a photo is: she can hardly be seen.
This dialogue, though short, is chock-full of interesting and useful sentence constructions. Let’s look at all of them.
Our good friend “ya”
Notice the use of ya – which means now/enough/already, and can also be used as yes – as in, “yes, yes, that’s right, I hear you.”
For more about the usage of ya, check out these earlier posts:
- “Deja de grabarme” – Monday, 10/27/14
- “Me avisas cualquier cosa” – Monday, 10/21/14
- “Con tu física y tu química” – Monday, 9/23/14
The verb salir = to come out / to go out / to exit.
So “sales guapísima” literally means “you come out gorgeous.” It’s a pretty common construction. Here are some other ones involving salir:
- ¿Te salió bien el examen? = Did the exam turn out well for you? / Did it go well?
- ¿Cómo te salió? = How did it turn out for you? / How did it go?
- Sólo guardo la foto si salgo guapa. = I only save the photo if I look pretty. / If I come out pretty.
- Salir del armario = to come out of the closet.
- Este problema es dificil. No me sale. = This problem is difficult. I don’t get it. / It’s not coming out for me.
Si casi no se me ve.
Literally, “if I almost can’t be seen.”
This is one of my favorite constructions in Spanish. It’s a way of talking back and making counter-arguments.
Replace the “if” with “but” to get a good sense of how this phrase would work in English.
Where you see this in English:
- “Eat three apples!”
- “But we only have two!”
You would see this in Spanish:
- “¡Come tres manzanas!”
- “¡Si sólo tenemos dos!” [“if we only have two!”]
To add more emphasis in Spanish, we can also say “but if”:
- “¡Come tres manzanas!”
- “¡Pero si sólo tenemos dos!” [“but if we only have two!”]
The interesting/surprising thing is the presence of an “if” statement without a “then” to follow it. That’s because the “then” statement is implied. I think of it as a generic, “then what?!?”
See if you can identify these words/phrases in English.
- la foto (short for: la fotografía)
- por eso
- ¿se me ve?
- No se me ve.
- No se te ve.
- ¿Salgo guapa?
- No sales muy guapa.