We are back with the blog of our Spanish language school El Rincón del Tándem, ready to provide you with new tools for learning Spanish and Hispanic cultures.

In previous occasions we have talked about polysemic verbs, such as in our posts on the uses of the verb tener or the uses of the verb tomar. Today we are going to talk about a verb which, like the verb tocar, has very different uses in Spanish.

As we always do in our blog, we will show you the importance of learning new words and how to use them in different contexts. If you have read our blog before, you will surely know the importance of polysemic verbs and how fun it is to learn their meanings.
Let’s take a look at the multiple meanings of the verb caer with some examples that will help you to have a more versatile and richer communication in Spanish:

  • “Me caí por las escaleras” (I fell down the stairs). This sentence means that a person accidentally tripped or fell down the stairs. It is perhaps the usage that has the most direct meaning with the verb. It is also used when something drops, such as a glass of water. In this case we say “se me ha caído el vaso de agua” (I dropped my glass of water).
  • “Tu hermana le cae bien a mis padres” (My parents really like your sister). This usage refers to one person making a good impression on another. It can be used in both positive and negative sense. When we use it in an negative sense, we can say, for instance: “Juan me cae mal”(I don’t like Juan).
  • “Le cayó una multa por exceso de velocidad” (He got a speeding ticket). This example refers to the fact that a person received a fine as a result of driving faster than the speed limit. In the broad sense of the verb, caer indicates that the speeding ticket was received totally unexpected, as if it had fallen from the sky.
  • “Me cae lejos la escuela de español” (The Spanish school is far away). In this case, the sentence refers to the fact that the Spanish language school is at a considerable distance from the place where the person who speaks is. We can also find the verb in a sentence like “no me cae de paso la escuela” indicating that the Spanish school is not on the way to where the person is going.
  • “¡Ahora caigo!” (I now realize!). This phrase means that a person suddenly became aware of something or remembered something. The expression caer en la cuenta” (to realize) means to become aware of something that had been overlooked until then.
  • “Se me ha caído el mundo encima con lo que me has dicho” (literally “the world has fallen on my head with what you said to me”). In this case the verb caer means to collapse. In figurative sense, the person who is speaking means that he/she has been negatively and sadly affected by the news he or she has been told.
  • “Este año San Juan cae viernes”(This year San Juan falls on Friday). This is a sentence or an answer that can be given when someone is asked on what day of the week falls a certain date or event. For example, if we want to know whether the 25th of December is Monday or Tuesday, the question that Spaniards usually ask is: “¿Qué cae el día 25 de diciembre?”
  • “Se ha caído internet” (The internet connection has gone down). With this sentence we mean that the internet has stopped working. It is a phrase that can even be heard on the news when the telephone operators’ network stops working and people are unable to communicate.
  • “El Rey cayó en manos del enemigo”(The King has fallen into the hands of the enemy). Falling into the hands of another person means “to be trapped”. In the case of the King, it indicates that the enemy has captured him. But if we say “He caído a tus pies” (literally “I have fallen at your feet”) we are saying we have fallen in love with someone.

As you will have seen, the meanings of the verb caer are many and really important to be known if we want to communicate effectively in Spanish. At El Rincón del Tándem Spanish school we always recommend our students to pay attention to the context in which polysemic verbs are used, so that their full meaning is understood.

Do not hesitate to use this verb in your daily life and ask your teacher if you have any doubts. At our school we understand the importance of knowing in depth the use of polysemic verbs for effective communication in Spanish. Through practical and dynamic classes, our students improve their fluency and confidence in speaking Spanish, which allows them to be fluent in any real-life situation.

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