Today’s Vine is by Slobotzky, from Mexico City.
Slobotzky was also featured in this earlier post for his corny pickup line.
Today, he makes a pun on a ubiquitous expression: no me digas. Literally, “don’t tell me.” It’s used to express amazement. :O Think of it as, “I can’t believe it!”
no me digas = “don’t tell me” / no way! / I can’t believe it! / you’re kidding!
- Guy on phone: Bueno.
- Guy on phone: No– no me digas.
- Guy on phone: No me di–
- Guy on phone: Nooo me diii–
- Guy on phone: Bueno, bye. [hangs up]
- Voice in the background: ¿Quién era, eh?
- Guy: No me dijo.
- Guy on phone: Hello? [literally, bueno = “good”]
- Guy on phone: No– no way.
- Guy on phone: No wa–
- Guy on phone: You’re kiddi–
- Guy on phone: Ok, bye.
- Voice in the background: Who was it?
- Guy: Didn’t say. [as in: “he/she didn’t tell me.”]
And we see a twist at the end!
Instead of using the expression no me digas in its natural meaning of “you’re kidding me,” Slobotzky used it literally as “don’t tell me.”
So when someone asked him who he was talking to, he responded, “the person didn’t tell me.”
He picked up the phone and said, “bueno.” Beyond meaning “good,” bueno is also somewhat of a filler word. It can be used like “well” in English:
- [English] Well, I don’t know what to say.
- [Spanish] Bueno, no sé qué decir.
It can also be used for “ok”:
- [English] Ok, sounds good to me.
- [Spanish] Bueno, me parece bien.
And it’s a great way to answer the phone. So are “yes,” “talk,” and “talk to me.”
Good ways to answer the phone in Spanish:
- Bueno. [especially in Mexico]
- Diga. [“talk”] [especially Spain]
- Dígame. [“talk to me”] [especially Spain]
- ¿Aló? [primarily in Latin America]
- Hola. [used in Argentina, though far less common in other countries]
No me digas. Don’t tell me.
You can look at this two ways. One way is to simply memorize it as an expression, meaning “you’re kidding.” I recommend this to get started. Another way is to look at the verb tense and understand how this phrase breaks down. I recommend this if you already have a basic grasp of grammar and are looking to deepen it.
The verb here is decir (to say/tell). As we saw in this previous post, to command someone “tell me!” we say “dime.”
So for “don’t tell me,” you may expect to see, “no dime!”
However, in Spanish, there are three different tenses for giving commands. Each one is a link if you’re interested in learning more:
- informal affirmative (dime. tell me.) (come. eat.)
- informal negative (no me digas. don’t tell me.) (no comas. don’t eat.)
- formal (dígame. tell me.) (coma. eat.)
¿Quién era? – Who was it?
- Quién = who
- era = was
“Era” is the past tense of ser (to be). There are types of past tense: preterite (boom, done, it happened) and imperfect (it was happening, it used to happen, it happened over a period of time).
We saw the preterite form of ser in this lesson: “What was the last thing I said?” / “¿Qué fue el último que dije?
Now we are seeing the imperfect form: “Who was it?” / “¿Quién era?”
- ¿Quién era? = Who was it?
- ¿Quién es? = Who is it?
- ¿Quién soy? = Who am I?!?!
See if you can identify these words/phrases in English.
- no me digas.
- ¿Qué dije? [review from this lesson]
- ¿Qué dijo?
- ¿Qué te dijo? [review from this lesson]
- No me dijo nada. [review from this lesson]
- ¿Quién era?
- ¿Quién es?
- ¡Dime quién es! [review from this lesson]
- Si no sé quién es. [review from this lesson]
- ¿Quién eres?