14 Spanish Idioms With ‘Cuenta’
Many Spanish idioms include the word cuenta.
We use cuenta to number things, refer to accounts, do mathematical operations, and more. Today, we’ll focus on the most practical idioms with cuenta.
The verb cuenta comes from contar, which is the third-person singular present tense conjugation. We use the present tense to talk about habits or routines, to talk about facts, and to describe.
Contar is an irregular verb, meaning that its stem changes into cuent– in all of its singular forms and the third-person plural (ellos and ellas). Only nosotros and nosotras keep the stem cont-.
Cuenta as a noun translates to the check, bill, account, or jewelry bead. Keep reading to learn common and useful 14 Spanish idioms with cuenta.
What Are Idioms?
According to Merriam-Webster, an idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words but that has a separate meaning of its own or a form of a language that is spoken in a particular area and that uses some of its own words, grammar, and pronunciations.
When you start to use idioms in the language you’re learning, you’ve become advanced and immersed in the culture.
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14 Spanish Idioms With ‘Cuenta’
This Spanish idioms list with cuenta will help you on your travels to Hispanic countries or in conversations with Spanish speakers in your own community.
1. Savings Account (Cuenta de ahorros)
A savings account holds your money virtually. You can also open a cuenta monetaria (checking account).
Voy a abrir una cuenta de ahorros para mi viaje.
I will open a savings account for my trip.
2. Bill in Cash (La cuenta al contado)
In Latin America, as in many other places, bill in cash is becoming more and more popular since people don’t have the money they need so they borrow it.
La cuenta al contado is like having credit with an entity or a person; you have to pay back with interest.
Tengo una cuenta al contado con Roberto y le pagaré en cuanto pueda.
I have a bill in cash with Roberto, and I’ll pay him back as soon as possible
3. More than expected (Más de la cuenta)
This is a popular Spanish idiom to use when you have more guests than expected. In Latin America, this is never a problem because you can always welcome more people in your house. This expression is used when you get more of something or someone than you expected.
Vinieron más invitados de la cuenta.
There were more guests than what we were expecting.
4. Do it on Your Own (Hecho por tu propia cuenta)
When you have done something on your own or lo has hecho por tu propia cuenta, you feel proud.
When you accomplish something, you’d use this phrase to let people know of your success.
Estudió mercadeo por su propia cuenta.
He studied marketing all on his own.
5. To Keep in Mind (Tener en cuenta)
Tener en cuenta is a phrase to remind someone of something important.
Hay que tener en cuenta a los niños.
We have to keep the kids in mind.
6. To Realize (Dar cuenta de)
If you make a mistake and suddenly realize it and feel embarrassed about it, you’d say ¡me acabo de dar cuenta!
Me acabo de dar cuenta que cometí un error.
I just realized I made a mistake.
7. To Pay the Check (Pagar la cuenta)
When a customer wants to pay the check in a restaurant, they would say: voy a pagar la cuenta. Customers in Latin America are expected to leave at least a 10% tip which is often not included on the bill.
¿Me regalas la cuenta, por favor?
Please bring me the check.
8. It’s on Me (Va por mi cuenta)
When you want to invite someone to eat or drink something, you’d tell the bartender to put it on your tab because it’s on you—or va por mi cuenta. This way, the person you are inviting feels happy and welcomed. It’s commonly used in places that you visit often and have an open tab.
Pide lo que quieras, va por mi cuenta.
Order whatever you want, it’s on me.
9. Count on Me (Cuenta conmigo)
Whenever you want someone to know that you’re reliable and a good friend, cuenta conmigo is the perfect Spanish idiom.
Si te sientes sola, cuenta conmigo.
If you’re feeling lonely, count on me.
10. S/he Tells (Le cuenta)
This is a common Spanish idiom that means to tell is used in the third person. Because it’s about talking, people use it a lot in daily conversations.
El le cuenta muy feliz de los buenos momentos.
He tells her happily of the good times.
11. In the End (A fin de cuentas)
If you’re wondering about love, this phrase is commonly used in storytelling. It means at the end of the day or when it’s all said and done. People in Latin America love to use this phrase to share their beliefs or happy endings.
A fin de cuentas, era un amor de mucho valor.
In the end, it was a love of great value.
12. S/he didn’t realize (Ni en cuenta)
This is an idiom about life that is common in casual conversation. Ni en cuenta is when someone is completely oblivious to something that just happened.
Ramiro me saludó y yo ni en cuenta.
Ramiro said hello and I didn’t even realize.
13. To Pretend (Hacer de cuenta)
This is a funny Spanish idiom that’s common in Mexico and Central America. People use it in casual conversation to talk about pretending or seeming like something.
Estaba tan asustado, haz de cuenta que vio a un fantasma.
He was so scared, it was as if he had just seen a ghost.
14. Crunch the Numbers (Hacer las cuentas)
For accounting or budgeting, Spanish speakers use hacer las cuentas. They also use it when they get the check and they have to split it in equal parts.
Tenemos que hacer las cuentas del viaje.
We have to crunch the numbers on how much the trip will be.
Why Learn Idioms?
Idioms are an easy way to immerse yourself in the culture. When you understand idioms, you learn how locals speak and communicate. It’s a wonderful step to take on your language learning journey. These Spanish idioms with cuenta are so common that they’ll come in handy on a daily basis.
Spanish is growing immensely in the U.S., and by learning Spanish, you gain the ability to teach your children Spanish or set a family goal to become fluent together. Also, learning a language helps you improve your cognition and decision-making abilities.
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