20+ Spanish Expressions Using ‘Más’ and ‘Menos’
Spanish expressions are a fast pass to sound like a native! Learn Spanish expressions using the adverbs más and menos to express excitement, love, preference, and more!
Más in English means “more” and menos means “less,” but depending on the context those meanings can become something completely different.
I will cover famous Spanish expressions that will also serve as a sneak peak into Hispanic culture and how people use the language.
¡Usemos más y menos!
Let’s use more and less!
Spanish Expressions With Más
1. Más noche
The literal translation of this saying is “more night” but it means “later,” or “later tonight.” It is the answer to questions like “when are you going to do your chores?”
Haré mis tareas más noche.
I will do my chores later (tonight).
2. Más allá (del bien y del mal)
Más allá means “further away” (in any direction) and you can use it to describe the location of things. But más allá del bien y del mal means “beyond good and evil,” or in other words, “larger than life.”
Salma Hayek está más allá del bien y del mal.
Salma Hayek is larger than life.
3. Más adelante
Más adelante can also mean “further away” when it comes to spaces. The difference with más allá is that más adelante also applies to time and means “later.”
Yo le llamaré más adelante.
I will call you later.
4. Más de la cuenta
This translates to “beyond count,” “more times than I can count,” or “more than enough.” Learn more about when to use más de or más que.
Me pagó más de la cuenta.
He paid me more than enough.
5. Más bien
Spanish expressions like these are important to sound like a native regardless of the construction of the phrase. Más bien has a literal meaning of “more good,” but what it means in practice is “actually,” “rather,” or “better yet.”
Más bien faltan tres calles para llegar, no cuatro.
Actually, there are three streets to go, not four.
Más bien dame tres canicas y yo al rato te devuelvo cinco.
Better yet, give me three marbles and I’ll give you back five later.
6. Más vale (que)
This is one of the most common Spanish expressions. You can use it instead of “better” in spite of its literal meaning of “it has more value.” Más vale is the answer to when someone asks you if you want more of something just in case. Using it makes you a cautious person.
Persona 1: ¿Quieres más papel de baño?
Persona 2: Sí, más vale.
Person 1: Would you like more toilet paper?
Person 2: Yes, I’d better.
Pro tip! The phrase más te vale changes meaning to “you’d better,” and it sounds threatening.
Más te vale que vuelvas temprano.
You’d better come back early.
7. Por más que
“No matter how much” is the translation of this saying. You can add any verb afterwards, such as intento, in this example to mean “No matter how much I try”:
Por más que intento pasar el videojuego, no puedo.
No matter how much I try to succeed at the videogame, I can’t.
8. Cuánta más gente mejor
This Spanish expression translates to “the more, the merrier.” This is an answer to questions like “do you mind if I come with two friends?” (¿te importa si voy con dos amigos?).
Por favor pasen; cuánta más gente mejor.
Please, come in; the more the merrier.
9. Ya no quiero que vengas más
Some Spanish expressions are of anger and this is one example. Here, the word más means “anymore.”
Ya no quiero que vengas más.
I don’t want you to come anymore.
Ya no quiero verte más.
I don’t want to see you anymore.
10. De más
Literally: “of more.” When you use de más in a context of quantity, it means “extra” or “spare” but it can mean “out of line,” or “over” too. Read these Spanish expressions to see how different they are from each other.
Aquí están las cubetas; hay una de más.
Here are the buckets; there’s one extra.
¿Quieres un suéter? Traje uno de más.
Do you want a sweater? I brought a spare one.
Está de más lo que me dijiste.
Literally: It is “of more” what you said to me.
Meaning: What you said to me was out of line.
Gente de más de 60 años, por aquí por favor.
People over 60 years old, this way please.
Learn how to make comparisons in Spanish using “more than” (más que) or “less than” (menos que).
Spanish Expressions With the Word Menos
11. ¿Es lo menos?
This is one of the funnier Spanish expressions on this list. Use this phrase to bargain after asking for prices at the market or with a peddler. It means “is it the least?” As in “is that the least you can charge me?” In Mexico, we add a nickname for the seller that can be endearing as seño, short for señora or “miss.”
But, be sure not say this at a store where bargaining isn’t accepted!
¿Es lo menos, seño?
Is that the best price, miss?
¿Cuánto es lo menos?
What is the least you can charge me?
12. Así menos / ahora menos
“That way, less” and “now less” are the literal translations of these negative Spanish expressions. If we were hesitating to do something and there is new negative information, now it is less probable that we do it.
Persona 1: ¿Vas a ir al baile?
Persona 2: No tengo ganas; ¿dónde va a ser?
Persona 1: Del otro lado de la ciudad.
Persona 2: Así menos voy a ir. / Ahora menos voy a ir.
Person 1: Will you go to the dance?
Person 2: I don’t feel like it, where will it be?
Person 1: On the other side of the city.
Person 2: Now I want to go less. / Now I have less desire to go.
13. De menos / al menos / por lo menos / si al menos
De menos, al menos and por lo menos are Spanish expressions meaning “the least you can do is” or simply “at least.”
Al menos regálame otra paleta, ya que me hiciste perder mi tiempo.
The least you can do is give me another lollipop, given that you made me waste my time.
Caminé mucho pero al menos no llovió.
I walked a lot but at least it didn’t rain.
Por lo menos ayúdame con las bolsas.
At least help me with the bags.
Si al menos has the conditional word si or “if,” it transforms to “if only you”:
Si al menos me ayudaras, acabaría más rápidamente.
If only you helped me, I could finish faster.
14. Son los menos / somos los menos
“They are the least” (son los menos) or “we are the least” (somos los menos) are Spanish expressions we use when we are pointing out a minority.
Me encantaría decirte que toda la gente lee, pero somos los menos.
I would love to tell you that all people read, but we are a minority.
15. ¡No te conformes con menos!
This is a saying full of emotion that means “do not settle for less.” Here are some variants:
¡No te quedes con menos!
Don’t stay with less.
¡No te quedes por menos!
Don’t stay for less.
¡No te sientas menos!
Don’t feel less.
16. Te echo de menos
This is another of the funny Spanish expressions of the lesson, because this literally means “I throw you off less” when it actually means “I miss you.”
¿Cuándo regresas? Te echo de menos.
When will you be back? I miss you.
17. A menos que
A menos que means “unless.”
No te cases a menos que sea por amor.
Do not get married unless it is for love.
18. Menos mal
Menos mal translates literally to “less bad” but it means “luckily” and expresses relief.
Menos mal que llegaste a tiempo, si no hubieras reprobado el examen.
Luckily you made it on time, otherwise you would have flunked the test.
19. Es lo menos que puedo hacer
Another of the Spanish expressions used in English is es lo menos que puedo hacer which means “it is the least I could do.” You say it when you feel like you owe someone.
Déjame pagar la cena, es lo menos que puedo hacer.
Let me pay for dinner, is the least I can do.
Spanish Expressions With the Words Más and Menos
21. Más o menos
This Spanish expression translates to “more or less.”
¿Te gustó la película? A mí más o menos.
Did you like the movie? I liked it more or less.
22. Ni más ni menos
This expression means “not more, not less” and we use it to give an exact amount of money or refer to an exact moment.
Aquí está lo que te debo, ni más ni menos.
Here is what I owe you, not more, not less.
23. Nada más y nada menos que
While this literally means “nothing more and nothing less” it is one of the funny Spanish expressions we use to introduce someone, or pointing out someone just arrived as saying “no less.”
¡Miren quién llegó! Nada más y nada menos que Mariana.
Look who got here! Mariana, no less.
24. Por lo menos deme más
Por lo menos deme más is an example of the mix you can make with two words that are opposites. In this context the translation is “at least give me more.” See some examples:
Por lo menos deme más queso, seño.
At least give me more cheese, miss.
De menos quédate más tiempo.
At least stay longer.
At Least Study More (¡Al menos estudia más!)
Did you know that by learning another language you will gain access to amazing job openings? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics opportunities for interpreters and translators is increasing by 46%.
Additionally, you will get to talk to many more people. In the United States alone, there are más o menos 53 million people who speak Spanish. And CNN says 41 million of those speak Spanish in their homes.
So learn Spanish and get ready to be more social!
If you are curious about more Spanish expressions and other native-sounding ways to use phrases, get in touch with one of our native Spanish speakers here at HSA! Get ready to take on that cool job and to be able to talk to more people starting today.
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