Lecciones de Español


Ir al grano: Let's Get To The Point

If you want to say, "Let's get to the point" in Spanish, you say, "Vamos al grano." Remember the word "grano" mentioned earlier in this newsletter? It's a noun that means "grain" (e.g., a grain of cereal or sand), "bean" (as in a coffee bean) or "pimple" (a spot on the skin -- as we used it above).


Based on the individual words, you might think "vamos al grano" meant "let's go to the grain" if you didn't know the expression. But in standard Spanish from both Spain and Latin America, "vamos al grano" is commonly understood to mean "let's get to the substance of something" (pushing aside all superfluous niceties or meaningless details).

The lyrics to Risa from Babasónicos include the phrase (with the verb "ir" in its subjunctive form):

Algo en tus labios color carmín sugiere que vayamos al grano
"Something in your carmine lips suggests we get to the point"
[Captions 14-5, Babasónicos > Risa]


Another way we might say that in English is "let's cut to the chase" or "let's not beat around the bush."

We stumbled upon some more useful phrases containing "grano" (or its diminutive "granito"):

apartar el grano de la paja
"to separate the wheat from the chaff"

hacer una montaña de un grano de arena
"to make a mountain out of a molehill" (Hint: "arena" means "sand")

poner su granito de arena
"to do one's bit / add one's two cents"



And that's our granito de arena for now. Enjoy the videos.


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