If you’ve been learning Spanish for a while, there’s a good chance you’ve come across the verb Echar before. Spanish speakers use the verb echar constantly, and if you don’t know what it means, you’re going to be lost in the conversation.
So what does the verb Echar mean in Spanish?
The answer to that question isn’t as straight-forward as you might think. Echar has what I’ll call a few core meanings, but there are a lot of ways Spanish speakers use the verb Echar. I personally think of it as the Spanish version of our Get.
In this post I’m going to share 11 very common uses of the verb Echar with you. It has many more, but these will go a long way in improving your comprehension and ability to communicate, getting you that much closer to achieving your goal of conversation fluency in Spanish.
Let’s get started.
1. To talk about helping or giving someone a hand
Echar una mano a alguien
¿Me puedes echar una mano con la cena?
Can you give me a hand with dinner?
Siempre le echo una mano a mi abuelo con cualquier cosa que necesita.
I always help my grandfather out with anything he needs.
2. To talk about throwing the trash out
Echar a la basura
¿Echas a la basura las latas o las reciclas?
Do you throw the cans in the trash or recycle them?
Echa el pan en la basura, está rancio
Throw the bread in the trash, it’s stale
3. To say you miss someone
Echar de menos
Mi abuelo echa de menos a su hermano
My grandfather misses his brother
Te echo de menos
I miss you
4. To blame someone for something
Echar la culpa
No te echo la culpa, es culpa de tu amigo
I don’t blame you, it’s your friends fault
No me eches la culpa de todo
Don’t blame me for everything
5. To talk about putting on lotion, perfume, etc.
¿Me echas crema en la espalda?
Can you put lotion on my back?
Paola se echa demasiado perfume
Paola puts on too much perfume
6. To talk about pouring, adding or putting something on food
¿Te echo mantequilla en el pan?
Should I put some butter on your bread?
El pescado sabe mejor si le echas limón
The fish tastes better if you put lime on it
7. To talk about taking a nap or lying down
Voy a echarme un rato.
I’m going to lie down for a little bit.
¿Por qué no te echas una siesta en la hamaca?
Why don’t you take a nap in the hammock?
8. To ask someone to keep an eye on something
Echarle un ojo a algo
¿Te importa écharle un ojo a mis cosas?
Do you mind keeping an eye on my things?
Échale un ojo a la estufa porque la dejé encendida
Keep an eye on the stove because I left it on
9. To talk about taking a look at something
Echarle un ojo a algo
Ahora le echo un ojo al informe
I’ll take a look at the report now
¿Puedes echarle un ojo a mi tarea de matemáticas?
Can you look over my math homework?
10. To encourage someone to make an effort
Echarle ganas a
Échenle ganas chicos, es nuestro último partido del año
Give it your all boys, it’s the last game of the year
Vamos a echarle muchas ganas a los estudios para graduarnos con matrícula de honor
We’re going to put a lot of effort into our studies to graduate with honors
11. To fire someone or throw them out
Le echaron del trabajo por siempre llegar tarde
They fired him from work for always being late
¿Sabes por qué la mamá de Juan le echó de la casa?
Do you know why Juan’s mom kicked him out of the house?
Wrapping things up
And that’s it, eleven uses of the verb Echar in Spanish.
I wouldn’t try to learn them all at once, work with one or two at a time and before you know it you’ll be tossing around the verb Echar like a native speaker.
¡Hasta la próxima!