30 Must-Know Spanish Expressions Using the Verb ‘Dar’
Spanish expressions with dar are a must if you wish to sound fluent.
The verb dar appears in many idiomatic expressions, which can help you participate better in Spanish conversations.
Let’s find out a bit more about the verb dar and learn how to use it in 30 common Spanish expressions!
What Does Dar Mean?
Dar is one of the first verbs you learn in Spanish, and means “to give” in English.
Me puede dar cinco tomates, por favor?
Can you give me five tomatoes, please?
That seems simple enough, right?
But when you go to a Mexican birthday party and start hitting the piñata, everybody sings:
Dale, dale, dale, no pierdas el tino…
Hit, hit, hit, don’t lose your aim…
How does dar become dale? We’ll explore this question and more!
Dar also translates as:
- to deliver
- to hand
- to hit
- to pass
- and many more
What’s more, dar also sounds like a noun sometimes. I remember the first time a Mexican friend complimented my house, she said: Está a todo dar!
This actually meant that it was great!
As a verb, dar is irregular and requires memorizing the dar conjugation forms well to use dar expressions correctly.
Remember, the verb dar can also be pronominal, meaning that dar may have a reflexive pronoun (me, te, se, or nos) attached to it.
25 Must-Know Spanish Expressions with Dar
Spanish Expressions with dar are common. The Spanish language, like many others, loves idiomatic expressions that cannot be translated literally. Learning them beforehand will save you some embarrassment.
I’ve divided the list of dar expressions into three categories:
- expressions with pronominal uses of dar
- dar expressions with indirect objects
- other dar expressions
Expressions with Pronominal Uses of Dar
1. darse cuenta – to realize
Me di cuenta que nuestra relación no iba a durar mucho.
I realized that our relationship was not going to last long.
2. darse prise – to hurry up
¡Date prisa! ¡Vamos a llegar trade!
Hurry up! We’re going to be late!
3. darse a la tarea – to dedicate yourself to an activity
Llegó y se dio a la tarea de limpiar la casa.
He arrived and took on the task of cleaning the house.
4. darse le mano – to shake hands
Ya, dense la mano y dejen de pelear.
Now, shake hands and stop fighting.
5. darse por vencido (Mex) – to give up
Intenté hablar con ella pero es muy terca; me di por vencido.
I tried talking to her but she’s very stubborn. I gave up.
6. darse por aludido – to get the hint
Le hablé de cómo no me gusta la gente que no regresa lo prestado pero no se dio por aludido.
I told him how I do not like people who do not return what they borrowed but he didn’t get the hint.
7. darsele bien a alguien algo – to be good at something
Se me da bien dibujar.
I’m good at drawing.
Dar Expressions with Indirect Objects
The following Spanish expressions with dar work, in most cases, the same way as the verb gustar (to like).
Me gustan los aviones.
I like planes.
In the above sentence, aviones is the subject. As it is plural, the verb gustar is in plural form. The person who likes is expressed through the indirect object pronoun.
The same thing happens in the dar expressions in this section. For example:
Me dan miedo los perros.
I’m afraid of dogs.
Nos da miedo la oscuridad.
We’re afraid of the dark.
8. dar asco – to disgust
Me dan asco los alacranes.
Scorpions disgust me.
9. dar las ganas / dar la gana – to feel like doing something
Me dieron las ganas de meterme al mar.
I felt like getting into the sea.
10. dar pena – to feel sorry (about)
Me da pena, no es su culpa.
I feel sorry for him, it’s not his fault.
11. dar igual – to not matter
Los coches me dan igual. Lo importante es que funcionen.
I don’t care about cars. The important thing is that they work.
12. dar lo mismo – to not matter
¿Quieres una manzana o una naranja? Me da lo mismo.
Do you want an apple or an orange? I don’t care.
13. dar la razón – to agree with somebody
Juan me dio la razón en la discusión.
Juan agreed with me in the discussion.
14. darle la espalda a alguien – to turn one’s back on someone, to ignore
Todos mis amigos me dieron la espalda. Nadie me apoyó.
All my friends turned their backs on me. Nobody supported me.
Other Dar Expressions
Here are some other idiomatic expressions with dar. Learn these to understand and participate in Spanish conversations.
15. dar a conocer – to make known
Se dio a conocer en el último festival.
She made herself known at the last festival.
16. dar a luz – to give birth
Mi prima dio a luz gemelos.
My cousin gave birth to twins.
17. dar gritos – to shout out
Se puso a brincar y a dar gritos.
He started jumping and shouting.
18. dar (la) lata – to bother
Mi espalda me está dando (la) lata.
My back is bothering me.
19. dar de comer – to feed
No muerdas la mano que te da de comer.
Do not bite the hand that feeds you.
20. dar las gracias – to say thanks
No me tienes que dar las gracias.
You don’t have to thank me.
21. dar algo por sentado – to take something for granted
No chequé si era verdad, lo di por sentado.
I didn’t check if it was true, I took it for granted.
22. dar que hablar – to be talked about, to provoke a discussion
Sus últimas acciones dan que hablar.
His latest actions are something to talk about.
23. dar cuerda a – to wind or to encourage
Tienes que dar cuerda al reloj.
You have to wind the clock.
Se daban cuerda mutuamente en sus tonterías.
They encouraged each other in their nonsense.
24. dar por muerto – to consider someone dead
Como nunca más lo vi, le di por muerto.
Since I never saw him again, I considered him dead.
25. dar fruto – to give fruit
Mi trabajo finalmente dio fruto.
My work finally paid off.
26. dar en el blanco – to hit the mark
Su comentario dio en el blanco.
His comment hit the mark.
You can also say dar en el clavo or dar en la diana to mean the same thing.
27. dar razón – to give an account
Habló para dar razón de sus acciones en los últimos años.
He talked to account for his actions over recent years.
28. dar largas – to make somebody wait, to avoid immediate action
Cada vez que le preguntaba por el cuadro, me daba largas.
When I asked him about the painting, he would put me off.
29. dar las horas – to strike an hour
Y de repente dieron las doce y la Cenicienta salíó corriendo.
And suddenly it struck twelve and Cinderella ran out.
30. dar rienda suelta – to give free / full rein to something
Tienes que dar rienda suelta a tu creatividad.
You have to give free reign to your creativity.
Practice Dar Expressions in Spanish!
Knowing idiomatic expressions empowers you to travel easier to Spanish-speaking countries and speak to more people even in your own country. Did you know that, according to CNN, there are 41 million native Spanish speakers in the U.S.?
However, idiomatic expressions in any language are tricky. You need to know them to understand them, and you need to use them to learn them.
Now it’s time to practice your dar expressions in a conversation! Sign up for a free trial class with one of our friendly, native Spanish-speaking teachers from Guatemala and dale con todo! (go for it!).
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