Say ‘By the Way’ in Spanish (and Other Useful Idioms for Conversation)
Have you ever wondered how to say “by the way” in Spanish? What about other useful idioms such as “no way” or “it is what it is”?
This post is all about Spanish idioms that are useful tools and connectors to make your conversations in the language feel more natural.
Keep reading to learn what an idiom is, how to say “by the way” in Spanish, and what other idioms you can use to change the topic of the conversation and to connect one idea to another and make your conversation in Spanish flow more naturally.
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‘By the Way’ in Spanish
“By the way” is one of the most common idioms in the English language. An idiom is “an expression that conveys a meaning different from what its words actually say.” Every language has them. Spanish is no exception!
According to Dictionary.com, “by the way” means “in passing, incidentally,” and it’s commonly used as a way of making the conversation feel more natural.
There are different ways of saying “by the way” in Spanish to make your conversation sound more natural. Let’s check out the most common ones:
Por cierto is perhaps the most exact translation of “by the way” in Spanish. You can use it in the same way as you would use “by the way” in English, to add something new to the conversation or to change the subject.
Por cierto, yo fui quien hizo la oferta.
By the way, I’m the one who made the offer.
Hola, ¿cómo estás? Por cierto, te manda saludos mi hermano.
Hello, how are you? By the way, my brother says hi.
Y por cierto, me encanta tu nuevo corte de pelo.
And by the way, I love your new haircut.
Literally translated, a propósito means “on purpose,” and sometimes it’s used in that context. However, like any good idiom, its meaning is variable and you can also use it to add something to the conversation that you just remembered or that has a connection with something just mentioned.
A propósito, ¿de dónde eres?
By the way, where are you from?
Vengo de la escuela. A propósito, el director preguntó por ti.
I just came from the school. By the way, the principal asked about you.
Voy a México la próxima semana. A propósito, ¿quieres algo de allá?
I’m going to Mexico next week. By the way, do you want something from there?
A todo esto
A todo esto literally means “to all this,” but it’s never used in that sense. Use a todo esto when you want to ask something related to what’s been discussed.
A todo esto, ¿quién organizó la reunión?
By the way, who organized the meeting?
A todo esto, ¿cuál es tu equipo favorito?
By the way, what’s your favorite team?
A todo esto, ¿a ti quién te invitó?
By the way, who invited you?
One more way to say “by the way” in Spanish is de paso. You can use this idiom when you want to communicate the idea of “while you’re at it.”
Le puse gasolina al carro y de paso, te compré unos chocolates.
I filled the tank and, while I was at it, I bought you some chocolates.
¿Puedes llamar a tu hermano? Y de paso dile que compre leche cuando venga.
Can you call your brother? And by the way tell him to buy milk on his way home.
Haz tu cama y de paso limpia tu cuarto.
Make your bed and by the way clean your room.
Idioms in Spanish to Make the Conversation More Natural
A sign of an advanced Spanish student is their good handling of idioms. If you’re able to use idioms in their correct context it means that your mastery of the Spanish language has reached an almost native-like level.
Although the idioms we just learned are useful to express “by the way” in Spanish, there are other idioms that may help you to make the conversation flow more naturally.
De esta manera
Literally meaning “this way,” de esta manera is used to connect ideas and give a sense of progression in the conversation.
De esta manera, fue que decidimos ir a Londres.
This way, we decided to go to London.
Meaning “and so,” this idiom is a very popular idiom used to connect ideas and to show progression in the conversation.
Y así fue como nos enamoramos.
And so, that’s how we fell in love.
Por eso means “that’s why” and you can use it to explain the reason for something.
Carlos nos llamó y por eso estamos aquí.
Carlos called us and that’s why we’re here.
Translating as “certainly,” use this connector in the same way as you would use it in English, as an expression to confirm or assert something.
Ciertamente, esta playa es muy bonita.
Certainly, this beach is beautiful.
Ahora que lo pienso
Meaning “now that I think about it,” ahora que lo pienso is a great way to connect ideas and express something that you’ve just realized.
Ahora que lo pienso, no sé qué hago aquí.
Now that I think about it, I don’t know what I’m doing here.
Ahora que lo dices
Similar to the previous one, ahora que lo dices translates just slightly differently as “now that you mention it.”
Ahora que lo dices, tienes razón.
Now that you mention it, you’re right.
Ya que lo mencionas
This one is just a different way to express the same idea as ahora que lo dices. It also translates as “now that you mention it.”
Ya que lo mencionas, recuerdo haber visto a Miguel en la fiesta.
Now that you mention it, I remember seeing Miguel at the party.
Si lo que dices es cierto
“If what you say is true,” is a common way to connect with a concluding idea. It’s usually followed by entonces or “then.”
Si lo que dices es cierto, entonces seguro reprobé el examen.
If what you say is true, then I surely failed the test.
De ninguna manera
Translating as “no way” or “absolutely not,” de ninguna manera is a useful idiom to deny or negate something with complete certainty.
De ninguna manera, no vamos a regresar a esa fiesta.
No way, we’re not going back to that party.
Déjame ver or “let me see” can be both a connector and a filler idiom used to express that you’re thinking about what’s just been said.
Déjame ver y yo te respondo más tarde.
Let me see and I’ll get back to you later.
Es lo que es
Meaning “it is what it is,” this Spanish idiom expresses many different things. Es lo que es can express resignation, potentiality, complexity, or even ambiguity.
Perdimos y ya, es lo que es.
We lost and that’s it, it is what it is.
Translating as “I used to,” yo solía is a Spanish idiom that connects ideas expressed by the person you’re talking to with something you used to do in the past.
Yo solía surfear también cuando vivía en México.
I used to surf too when I was living in Mexico.
This idiom means “I get it” and it’s perfect to express agreement or assent.
Entiendo, yo hubiera hecho lo mismo.
I get it, I would have done the same.
Idioms in Spanish to Change the Topic
Finally, I’m introducing you to some Spanish idioms used to change the topic of the conversation.
Cambiando de tema
Literally meaning “changing the subject,” you can use cambiando de tema to do exactly that.
Cambiando de tema, ¿cómo te fue en el examen de matemáticas?
Changing the subject, how did you do on the math exam?
Eso me recuerda
You can use this idiom in Spanish as eso me recuerda or esto me recuerda, the first one means “that reminds me” and the second one “this reminds me.”
Eso me recuerda que tu madre te llamó.
That reminds me that your mother called you.
Ya que estamos
Literally meaning “while we’re” or “since we are,” ya que estamos is used to add something new to the conversation. It’s usually followed by aquí (“here”) or en esto (“at it” or “on this”).
Ya que estamos aquí deberíamos entrar.
Since we are here, we should go in.
Como te iba diciendo
Meaning “as I was telling you,” this expression can be used when the other person changed the subject of the conversation or someone interrupted you, but you still want to talk about what you were talking about before.
Como te iba diciendo, el examen está muy fácil. No necesitas estudiar.
As I was telling you, the exam is very easy. You don’t need to study at all.
Como te comentaba
Similar to the previous one, it also translates as “as I was telling you.” You can use it in the same situations.
Como te comentaba, ya acabamos el proyecto, así que no necesitas venir.
As I was telling you, we already finished the project, so you don’t need to come.
Antes de que se me olvide
Meaning “before I forget it,” antes de que se me olvide is a useful expression to change the subject with the excuse that you don’t want to forget something.
Antes de que se me olvide, Carla te estaba buscando.
Before I forget it, Carla was looking for you.
Se me acaba de ocurrir
Translating as “it just occurred to me” se me acaba de ocurrir is another Spanish idiom that you can use to change the topic of the conversation with something new and even urgent.
Se me acaba de ocurrir que no hemos buscado el libro debajo de la cama.
It just occurred to me that we haven’t looked for the book under the table.
Use These Spanish Idioms in Your Conversations
It doesn’t matter if you want to say “by the way” in Spanish, change the topic of your conversation, or simply make it flow more naturally, study these Spanish idioms and start introducing them in your conversations. Soon, you’ll sound more like a native Spanish speaker!
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