Spanish verb “echar” – the top 11 “echar” expressions you should know

May 31, 2022

Hey, y’all!

I’ve got a new video up today about the many different ways of using the Spanish verb “echar”.

The verb “echar” is one of those words that’s in a lot of different expressions – and I’m fairly certain it’s one I didn’t really learn in school.

(We did learn how to talk about household chores, like “tirar la basura”. But “echar” is a bit more abstract, I guess.)

The usual caveat here is that this is the type of Spanish we speak in “big city” Spain, meaning Madrid and Barcelona – the Spanish cities where I’ve lived most of my adult life.

So if you’re in Galicia or Andalucía, some of these expressions might be a bit different. And if you’re in Latin America somewhere, some will definitely be different.

As you can see, “echar” has a few meanings. It can be…

  • literally: to throw something.
  • to kick someone out of a place.
  • to sack someone from their job.

And much much more. Then there are the expressions. Check out the video for the full explanation.

More of that, as always, on my channel “Learn Spanish with Daniel”. It’s the best channel in the entire multiverse for intermediate-to-advanced Spanish stuff.

(Also, much more Spain stuff on my podcast, Spain to Go. It’s on Spotify and also Apple Podcasts.)

Like I say there, if we’re talking about throwing something, the verb echar has some synonyms: tirar, lanzar and arrojar spring to mind. There are probably some nuanced differences, but that’s a story for another day – maybe.


Spanish verb “echar” – many meanings and example sentences

Here are the examples of the top 10 or so ways to use the verb echar in Spanish, with the English translations of echar expressions in parenthesis…

Los vecinos están echando colillas en el patio. (throw)

Me echaron del bar. (kick out, throw out)

Me echaron del trabajo. (fire someone)

Mi jefe me echó una bronca por llegar tarde. (tell someone off)

Te echo de menos. (miss someone)

¿Me echas de menos? (miss someone, again)

Mi coche empezó a echar humo. (emit or give off)

¿Me echas una mano con las maletas? (give someone a hand)

Voy a echar la siesta. Luego salgo. (take a nap)

El gobierno se ha echado para atrás con la propuesta de subir impuestos. (back off, backpedal)

Pedro echó un vistazo al informe. (glance, look briefly)

Mis padres se han ido a IKEA. ¿Quieres venir a echar un polvo? (have sex)

Okay then…

A few final notes about the verb “echar” in Spanish

Like I mention in the video, the verb “echar” has a conjugation “echo” which sounds exactly like one of the conjugations of “hacer”… specifically, “hecho” which is like the past participle meaning done or made.

“Hecho en España.” = Made in Spain.

“Te echo de menos.” = “I miss you.”

The echo / hecho thing is a rare example of Spanish homophones, and it’s because of the silent “h” in Spanish. Some real Spanish people even misspell one or the other, because it’s a bit confusing, especially if you’re not used to having homophones in your language.

Also, I should mention that in Latin America, “echar de menos” is usually “extrañar”. So instead of “te echo de menos” they’re likely to say “te extraño”.

Nada más por hoy…

I’m off to “echar la siesta”.



P.S. Here’s a picture of sheep in La Garriga, a small Catalan town, last week…

P.P.S. For mucho más español, see my article about Spanish Proverbs, or seafood, or relationship vocabulary. I’m trying to teach a bit more Spanish on YouTube and the podcast these days, as well. Enjoy!

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About the Author Daniel

How did I end up in Spain? Why am I still here almost 20 years later? Excellent questions. With no good answer... Anyway, at some point I became a blogger, bestselling author and contributor to Lonely Planet. So there's that. Drop me a line, I'm happy to hear from you.

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