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The things we say with the word ‘cosa’

Probably ‘cosa’ is one of the most useful, versatile and global words in the Spanish language. It has come down to us from Latin. ‘Cosa’ is one of those words that serve a multitude of purposes. The lexicographers of the Academy say that “cosa” is everything that has an entity. “Corporal or spiritual, natural or artificial, concrete, abstract or virtual”. It means that you and me are a “cosa” , for example, or any object (“dame esa cosa”) or any matter (“la cosa es…”). We can designate as a ‘cosa’ something whose name we can’t find (in fact we play “veo, veo, una cosita (diminutive of “cosa”) or refer to the Chinese coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 pandemic (“la cosa esa, virus, bacteria o lo que sea…”). We could well have called the coronavirus ‘la cosa’ if one of the directors of horror films in the eighties had not already caught the name. But that is “otra cosa”. “La cosa es que” (the thing is that) is that “las cosas” can be good or bad, big, small, beautiful, ugly, different or nonexistent. There are “cosas del otro jueves”’, that is, nonsense, and “cosas maravillosas”. “Una cosa” can be an option (“es la única cosa que…”) or surprising (“¡pero qué cosas!”). And within all “las cosas” that we talk about every day, we have a battery of expressions that you should get to know little by little such as “¡no hay tal cosa!”. I leave some fairly common expressions, with the sole purpose of helping you improve your Spanish:


Esa es la cosa  (that’s it)= that’s right

Como tal cosa (just like that) = without giving importance

Es mala cosa (It’s a bad thing) = I don’t like it

Eso es otra cosa (that’s another matter/ thing) = that’s better

Mal está la cosa  (thing is bad)=  there are problems

No hay tal cosa (nothing of the sort) = denial

No se cuenta otra cosa (only talk about this)= gossip or allusion to what is told

Pasemos a otra cosa  (to chance the subject)= to change the subject

Como quien no quiere la cosa (to do something discreetly) = disguisedly

Con los ojos en la cosa (fixedly, intently) = fixedly

Eso es cosa de...  (this is a thing of…) = attribution

Son cosas suyas… (that’s his/ her affair…) = personalization

Ante todas las cosas…  (before anything else) = first

¡Pero qué cosas…!  (how strange!) = strangeness, surprise

A otra cosa, mariposa (It’s time to move on) = to change activity

Es poca cosa (It’s small thing, It’s nothing much/ small matter)   = small or of little importance

Es cosa fina (It’s excellent stuff) = to express excellence

La cosa es fuerte (the matter is serious) = to underline something because of its seriousness or importance

Como cualquier cosa (like anything)  = unimportant

Es cosa mala  (It’s a bad thing) = it will bring problems

Es cosa buena (It’s a good thing)

Es cosa rara (It’s oddly)= it doesn’t usually happen or is like that

No te queda otra cosa (you  don’t have a choice) = you have no alternative or option

No es una cosa del otro mundo (It’s nothing to write home about) = It’s not weird

La cosa en sí (the thing itself)

Hay que ver qué cosas (how strange!) = to express surprise or surprise

Mal anda la cosa  (things go wrong) = something is not going well

A cosa hecha  (with sure success) = to join to the success

No hay otra cosa (there is nothing else) = It’s what there is

Cada cosa a su tiempo  (everything in due course) = to express the sense of opportunity

And we have many more.


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