Expressions for the Spanish verb Echar


Apart from its most common literal meaning of "to throw out" or "to expel", "echar" is also used in a large number of expressions and phrases. On this page we include some of the most common and useful ones.

echar de menos algo / a alguien
Te echo de menos
Te echaba mucho de menos cuando estabas en Francia.
to miss
I miss you
I really missed you when you were in France.
echar una mano
¿Me puedes echar una mano con este ejercicio?
to lend a hand
Can you give me a hand with this exercise?
me echaron la culpa a mí
¡no me eches la culpa a mí!
they put the blame on me
don’t put the blame on me!
echar un vistazo
echó un vistazo a su alrededor
to have a look at something
she glanced around
echar leña al fuego to add fuel to the fire:
This is used in a figurative sense, meaning to make a bad situation worse by negative actions or comments.
echarse atrás
Ya es demasiado tarde para echarse atrás.

Se echó atrás en el último momento
to back out / withdraw / to go backwards
It's too late to back out now.

She backed out at the last moment
echar raíces
echar anclas
to put down roots (for a person)
to drop anchor
echarse a (infinitive)

echarse a llorar
se echó a llorar

se echó a llorar

se echó a correr
this expression is often used to express that something starts suddenly:

to burst into tears
she burst into tears
she burst into song

he broke into a run
echar una cabezadato have a nap
me voy a echar una siestaI'm going to have a siesta
echar una carrera
Tendrás que echar una carrera si quieres coger el tren.
to get a move on
You'll have to get a move on if you want to catch the train.
echar una corrida
Tuve que echar una buena corrida para coger el tren.
to run for it
I really had to run for it to catch the train.
echar la casa por la ventana
Echó la casa por la ventana para la boda de su hija.
to push the boat out / to go overboard / to spare no expense
He went overboard for his daughter's wedding.
echar el cerrojoto bolt the door
echar los dadosto throw the dice
echar a alguien
me echaron
me echó de casa
to sack / fire someone / to throw someone out

they gave me the sack / fired me

he threw me out of the house
eche el aceite en un bol
pour the oil into a bowl (from a recipe)
echar algo en falta
Lo que se echa en falta es más tiempo
to miss / lack
What is needed is more time.
echar una mirada a algoto have a look at something
echar un ojo a alguien o algoto take a quick look at something / someone
echar un partido de tenis
Vamos a echar un partido de tenis.
to have a game of tennis
Let's have a game of tennis.
echar un pulsoto arm wrestle
echarse en la camato lie down on the bed
Le tengo que echar gasolina.I have to get some petrol.
echar las cortinas to draw the curtains
echar brotesto sprout
echar las campanas al vueloto shout it from the rooftops
to get excited about something
echar su cuarto a espadasto stick one's oar in
echar los hígadosto bust a gut (higado = liver)
echar a alguien a los leonesto throw someone in at the deep end
echar luz sobre algoto shed / cast light on something
echarse las manos a la cabeza
Se echó las manos a la cabeza cuando vio lo que había hecho.
to throw one's hands up in horror
She threw her hands up in horror when she saw what he had done.
echar mano de algo
Si tenemos problemas de dinero siempre podemos echar manos de nuestros ahorros.
to fall back on
If we have money problems we can always dip into our savings.
echar algo a perder
Las lluvias echaron a perder la cosecha
to ruin / spoil something
The rains ruined the havest.
echar pestes de alguien
Siempre me está echando de pestes.
to run someone down
She's always slagging me off.
echar el restoto go all out
¿Cuántos años me echas?How old do you think I am?
Se ha echado novio.She's found herself a boyfriend.
echar rayos y centellasto fume (colloquial) (centella = sparks)
echar algo a suerteto toss / draw straws for something etc.
echar tierra a / sobre algoto cover / hush something up
echar algo por tierra
Van a echar este monumento por tierra.
to knock down / demolish
They're going to knock down that monument.
echar la toallato throw in the towel
echar algo por la ventanato throw something away
to spoil / squander something
echar de ver
He soon realised that he had been robbed.
to realise / notice
Pronto echó de ver que le habían robado.