A new president of the Goverment has just arrived to La Moncloa (the official residence for the Prime Minister of Spain). Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, leader of PSOE party, was named President of Spain last 1st of June after a no-confidence motion. He’s the seventh president of our democracy and the second one without winning an election.

Since Adolfo Suárez was elected in 1977, all presidents have left a legacy to the country. The society, culture and economy have changed with them and what’s more, they even left a mark in the language.

Today we’re going to learn some latiguillos (catchphrases) that became famous because of our presidents.

Phrases for Eternity

Un latiguillo is a well-known sentence or phrase, that is usually associated to a particular famous person. Que la fuerza te acompañe (‘May the force be with you’) in Star Wars or todo el mundo miente (‘everybody lies’) by Dr. Gregory House, are good examples in pop culture. Now, let’s see what our presidents used to say everytime.

Adolfo Suárez: ‘Puedo prometer y prometo’

‘I can promise and I do promise’ is now a symbol of Spanish Transition. It was part of a speech in 1977. This double usage of the verb gave Suárez credibility. What kind of clause should you use after the verb prometer? Of course, a future tense in indicative, because we need to show certainty, or infinitive if the subject are the same for both verbs.

Prometo que te ayudaremos a mejorar tu nivel de español.

Felipe González: ‘Por consiguiente’

This transition word is used to express consequence. The leader of PSOE and president of Spain for 14 years, used to link their arguments with this catchword. We should use a sentence in indicative after it, because we express a real effect, a fact from a cause.

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José María Aznar: ‘¡Váyase, señor González!’

In this case, one president mentioned directly to another. Aznar, leader of PP, repeated this order or advise to Felipe González in order to force his resignation. Váyase is the formal imperative form of the verb ir. Remember that we actually form the negative forms and the afirmative ones of usted in imperative using the present subjunctive.

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Rajoy: ‘Mire usted’

The President of Spain for the last seven years, used to start his replies in the Parliament using this phrase. It’s just a way to attract the attention of his adversaries. Other Rajoy‘s similar cathphrases were: vamos a ver, oiga, es decir…

Mire usted, señor estudiante, con nuestro método va a aprender español rápidamente.

Pedro Sánchez: ‘No es no’

The current president claimed he would never reach an agreement with Mariano Rajoy to form a goverment together, once and again. And finally, he let out: ‘no es no’. In this article, we showed you some ways to agree or disagree categorically: ¡De eso ni hablar!, ¡ni de coña!, ¡ni pensarlo!

¿Seguro que aprender español no es imposible? Ya te he dicho que no. No es no.

Of course, all of us have our own catchphrases, but unfortunately or, maybe, luckily we are not celebrities. Mire usted, vaya to your computer and say ‘no es no’ to other temptations on the net. Open www.spanishviaskype.com and reserve a free trial lesson via Skype here; por consiguiente, puedo prometer y prometo that you will earn your own Spanish catchphrase.