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“Ser una perla” is not “estar de perlas”

The popular Spanish saying goes and Rosal, Mal Lara and Martínez Kleiser say that “pearls are precious and who knows how to estimate them is who should have them”. Both are worthwhile to help us to understand much more than it seems, also for to speak. In Spanish, one thing is “ser un perla”, another, “estar de perlas” and quite another, “encontrarse una perla”. ‘Perla’ is one of the words of the dictionary that is feminine, but popular speech, good or bad, and more the second that the first think, makes it masculine when it wants to imply that a male is a “crápula” (licentious).

When we say “son perlas auténticas”, we refer to that spherical nacre that forms inside the oysters which we use to highlight the elegance and the corporal beauty turned into a precious jewel. But when we say “esa niña es una perla” or “menuda perla está hecha” we emphasize her personal qualities (that little girl is a pearl, gem) or quite the opposite, the lack of them (“menuda perla está hecha”).

We consider that something “está de perlas” or “me parece de perlas” when we think something “is perfect”, “is great” or something “is very good”; but we say “esto me viene de perlas” when it suits me or fits perfectly, which is the same as saying “me viene como anillo al dedo” or simply, fantastic!, very good!, great!

Sometimes, we just say “de perlas” but beware! because this one “de perlas” may have a positive charge (something is perfect) or a negative one (something is annoying).

If with the verb “ir” ‘las perlas vienen’, these also go and when we express “me va de perlas” referring to the march of life in general or to a specific event we mean “I am doing better than good” but if it’s accompanied by some irony will be the opposite.

The verbs with which up to now we have accompanied the pearls, either in the singular or in the plural, and strangely lazy in masculine and feminine, are “ser”, “estar” and “ir”. But we can also accompany them with the verb say (has said an anthology pearl), or “buscar” and “encontrar”.

We look for and find pearls not necessarily in the seabed, also referred to people or facts and sometimes even from the media with the epithet “informative” or “perlas de hemeroteca” if they are safe.

So some titled “informative gems of the month” and in reality what they collect are the anecdotes, mistakes, and even supposed lies or manipulations of the news media or statements of this or that personality in the world of politics or sport.

Here, I leave a pearl necklace with the most common phrases that we form with them in case some day you need or listen to them or just want to embellish your Spanish language:

Esto está de perlas. (This is perfect.)

Ese muchacho es un perla.  (That boy is licentious.)

El chaval es un perla.  (The boy is licentious.)

Es una perla natural.  (It’s a natural pearl.)

La niña es una perla.  (The girl is a gem.)

Es la mejor perla de la cantera. (She’s the best gem of the reserve of young players.)

Es una perla muy codiciada. (It’s a highly coveted pearl.)

Me va de perlas.  (It goes very well for me.)

Esto me viene de perlas.  (It’s perfect for me.)

¡Tiene un hijo que es una perla!  (He/she has a son who is a gem.)

¡Todo de perlas!   (Everything is perfect.)

¡De perlas!   (Perfect!)

– ¿Cómo te encuentras? – Me encuentro de perlas.  (– How do you feel? I feel very well.)

–¿Cómo estás? –¡De perlas!   (– How are you? – I’m very well.)

– ¿Cómo va todo? – ¡De perlas!  (– How is everything?  – Perfect!)

Las perlas que más han brillado en la Liga.   (The gems that have most shone in the League.)

Perlas de hemeroteca.   (Gems of newspaper library.)

Me parece de perlas.  (That’s perfect.)

Habla de perlas.  (He /she speaks perfectly.)


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