How to Tell Someone in Spanish That You're Crazy Excited to See Them

September 10, 2016
<p>OHMYGOD OHMYGOD OHMYGOD!!!</p><p>You're finally going to meet your long-lost Spanish relative/lover/best friend!</p><p>How do you share this feeling of raging excitement with them?</p><p>You might be tempted to go for:</p><div class="mistake translation"><p><span class="sp">Llego dentro de nada. <span class="mistake">¡No puedo esperar!</span></span><br><span class="en">I arrive within (no time). I (literally) cannot wait</span></p><p><span class="sp">No te imaginas lo <span class="mistake">excitado (o excitada)</span> que estoy.</span><br><span class="en">You (can't) imagine how (aroused) I am!</span></p></div><p>Unfortunately, that would place you smack in the middle of Literal Translation Land.</p><!--excerpt--><ul><li>First, using <span class="sp">no puedo esperar</span> to express anticipation feels as wrong as Queen Elizabeth dancing bachata. What you're actually saying is that <strong>waiting is no longer a viable option for you</strong>: </li></ul><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp"><strong>No puedo esperar</strong> más. Si no vienes ya, olvídate de mí.</span><br><span class="en">I (literally) cannot wait (any longer). If you don't come now, forget about me.</span></p></div><ul><li>Second, saying <span class="sp">estoy excitado (o excitada)</span> is totally appropriate for talking about electrons or for sexting; but if you just want to express vanilla excitement, there are much better alternatives.</li></ul><p>Here are a few of them:</p><ul><li><a href="#ganas"><span class="sp"><strong>Tengo ganas de</strong></span></a></li><li><a href="#ilusion"><span class="sp"><strong>Me hace ilusión</strong></span></a></li><li><a href="#imaginas"><span class="sp"><strong>No te imaginas</strong></span></a></li><li><a href="#muero"><span class="sp"><strong>Me muero</strong></span></a></li></ul><h2><a name="ganas"></a> <span class="sp">Tengo ganas de</span></h2><p>The most popular way of expressing excitement in Spanish is to quantify how much <span class="sp">ganas</span> (<span class="en">wants, non-fiery desires</span>) you have of doing something.</p><p>For example, you would sound pretty native by telling someone <em>you can't wait to see them</em> by saying:</p><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">Tengo <strong>muchas ganas</strong> de verte.</span><br><span class="en">I have a lot of (wants) of seeing you</span></p></div><p>If you feel the need to take the excitement up a notch, you can try using <span class="sp">muchísimas ganas</span> (<span class="en">a lot a lot of wants</span>), <span class="sp">un montón de ganas</span> (<span class="en">a heap of wants</span>), or describing the size of your <span class="sp">ganas</span>:</p><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—Tengo un <strong>montón de ganas</strong> de enseñarte dónde vivo.</span><br><span class="en">"I have a heap of wants of showing you where I live."</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Lo que yo tengo, después de diez horas de vuelo, son <strong>unas ganas locas</strong> de darme una ducha.</span><br><span class="en">"(That which) I have, after ten hours of flight, are (some) crazy wants of (giving myself) a shower."</span></p></div><p>Highlighting how small or nonexistent your <span class="sp">ganas</span> are is a great way to communicate your lack of excitement:</p><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—¡Amor mío! ¡<strong>Qué ganas</strong> tengo de volver a verte!</span><br><span class="en">"My love! (What great amount of wants) I have of seeing you (again)!"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Ah, ¿sí? Pues yo tengo <strong>muy pocas</strong>, así que que no se te ocurra venir. <strong>No tengo ninguna gana</strong> de volver a verte.</span><br><span class="en">"Oh, yeah? Well, I have very few (<span class="sp">ganas</span>) (of seeing you), so (don't even) (think about) coming. I don't have any (desire) of seeing you again"</span></p></div><h2><a name="ilusion"></a> <span class="sp">Me hace ilusión</span></h2><p>You can think of <span class="sp">me hace ilusión</span> as <span class="en">I'm looking forward to</span> (<span class="en">it makes me (feel) excitement</span>):</p><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—<strong>Me hace muchísima ilusión</strong> que vengas a verme.</span><br><span class="en">"It makes me (feel) a lot of excitement that you (will) come to see me."</span></p><p><span class="sp">—A mí lo que de verdad <strong>me hace ilusión</strong> es perder de vista a mi jefe.</span><br><span class="en">"To me, (that which) (in truth) makes me (feel) excitement is losing sight of my boss."</span></p></div><p>When the event has already happened, <span class="sp">me hace ilusión</span> is a perfect way to show that <em>you're excited</em> it did:</p><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">¡<strong>Me hace mucha ilusión</strong> que hayas venido a mi fiesta! ¿Te apetece que bailemos?</span><br><span class="en">It makes me (feel) a lot of excitement that (you have come) to my party! Do you feel like (us) dancing?</span></p></div><p>Don't fall for the trap of using <span class="sp"><strong>estoy emocionado</strong></span> to mean <span class="en">I'm excited</span>. <span class="sp">Estoy emocionado</span> mostly means <span class="en">I'm moved</span> or <span class="en">I'm touched</span>:</p><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—<strong>Estoy emocionado</strong> de que me lleves a conocer tu ciudad.</span><br><span class="en">"I'm touched (that you will) bring me to (get to know) your city."</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Bueno, no es para tanto. No te pienses que después te voy a llevar a conocer a mis padres.</span><br><span class="en">"(Come on), it's not (worth getting) so (emotional). Don't think that afterwards I'm going to take you to meet my parents."</span></p></div><p>If you want <strong>less informal alternatives to show excitement</strong>, you can try <span class="sp">estoy contento</span> (<span class="en">I'm happy</span>) or <span class="sp">estoy encantado</span> (<span class="en">I'm delighted, charmed, excited</span>):</p><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—¡Rodríguez! <strong>Estoy encantado</strong> con este informe que me acaba de enviar.</span><br><span class="en">"Rodríguez, I'm delighted with this report you just sent me."</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Gracias, jefe. Yo también <strong>estoy muy contento</strong> de haber sacrificado los mejores años de mi vida por «Cárnicos Serrano, S.L.».</span><br><span class="en">"Thanks, boss. I'm also very happy to have sacrificed the best years of my life for 'Serrano Meat Products, LLC'"</span></p></div><h2><a name="imaginas"></a> <span class="sp">No te imaginas</span></h2><p><span class="sp">No te imaginas</span> plays nicely with the previous two expressions and it means <em>you can't even imagine</em>:</p><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—¡<strong>No te imaginas las ganas</strong> que tenía de ir al baño!</span><br><span class="en">"You don't imagine the wants I had of going to the bathroom!"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Y tú <strong>no te imaginas la ilusión que me hace</strong> conocer estos detalles de tu vida privada.</span><br><span class="en">"And you don't imagine the excitement it makes me (feel) to know these details (of) your private life."</span></p></div><p>It also has a couple of close relatives that mean pretty much the same thing: <span class="sp">no sabes</span> (<span class="en">you don't know</span>), and <span class="sp">no te puedes imaginar</span> (<span class="en">you can't imagine</span>).</p><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—<strong>No sabes</strong> las ganas que tengo de verte.</span><br><span class="en">You don't know the wants I have of seeing you.</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Lo sé, y <strong>no te puedes imaginar</strong> lo que me gusta cuando me lo dices.</span><br><span class="en">I know it, and (you) can't imagine (how much) I enjoy (it) when you say it (to me).</span></p></div><h2><a name="muero"></a> <span class="sp">Me muero</span></h2><p>We're saving the last rung in our excitement ladder to announce our <em>imminent death</em>. You can do it by using two flavors of <span class="sp">me muero</span>:</p><ol><li>With <span class="sp">por</span>, <a href="">to express the <strong>reason</strong></a> for your death:</li></ol><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp"><strong>Me muero por</strong> volver a verte.</span><br><span class="en">I'm dying to see you again.</span></p></div><ol><li>With <span class="sp">de</span>, to express the <strong>cause</strong> of your death:</li></ol><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp"><strong>Me muero de</strong> ganas de volver a verte.</span><br><span class="en">I'm dying of wants of seeing you again.</span></p></div><p>You can use <span class="sp">me muero de</span> with other things (<span class="sp">me muero de calor</span> <span class="en">I'm dying of heat</span>, <span class="sp">me muero de hambre</span> <span class="en">I'm dying of hunger</span>, <span class="sp">me muero de amor</span> <span class="en">I'm dying of love</span>), but to express the deadly cause of your excitement, nothing beats <span class="sp"><strong>me muero de ganas</strong></span>.</p><h2>Bonus: Infinitive vs. Subjunctive</h2><p>If you were confused by the choice between infinitive and subjunctive in the sentences above, follow this simple rule:</p><ul><li>if the <strong>person who is getting excited</strong> is the same as the <strong>person who is doing the action</strong>, use the <span class="sp"><strong>{infinitivo}</strong></span> </li><li>otherwise, use <span class="sp"><strong>que {subjuntivo}</strong></span></li></ul><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—No te imaginas qué ilusión <strong>me</strong> hace <strong>llegar</strong>. ¿<strong>Tú</strong> también <strong>te</strong> mueres de ganas de <strong>verme</strong>?</span><br><span class="en">"You don't imagine (how much) excitement it makes me (feel) to arrive. You also die of wants to see me?" (I feel the excitement, I arrive: infinitive. You die of wants, you see me: infinitive)</span></p><p><span class="sp">Sí, <strong>yo</strong> también <strong>me</strong> estoy muriendo de ganas de <strong>que llegues</strong>.</span><br><span class="en">"I also am dying of wants (so that) you (will) arrive." (I have <span class="sp">ganas</span>, You arrive. Subjunctive.)</span></p></div><hr /><p>Enough exploring for now, I think we're ready to fix the opening sentences:</p><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">Llego dentro de nada. ¡<strong>Me estoy muriendo de ganas</strong>!</span><br><span class="en">I arrive within (no time). I am dying of wants!</span></p><p><span class="sp">No te imaginas <strong>la ilusión que me hace</strong>.</span><br><span class="en">You don't imagine the excitement that it makes me (feel).</span></p></div><h2>Spanish takeaways</h2><ul><li>If you're <strong>feeling excited</strong> about doing something, talk about how much <span class="sp"><strong>ganas</strong></span> you have to do it, or how much <span class="sp"><strong>ilusión</strong></span> it makes you feel.</li><li>If you want to add a flavor of disbelief to your excitement, challenge your listener with <span class="sp"><strong>no sabes</strong></span> or <span class="sp"><strong>no te imaginas</strong></span>.</li><li>If you want to reach peak excitement, bring up your imminent death: its reason (<span class="sp"><strong>me muero por</strong></span>) or its cause (<span class="sp"><strong>me muero de</strong></span>).</li><li>And finally, if the written word is not enough to convey your excitement, go crazy with the exclamation marks:</li></ul><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">No sabes la tremenda ilusión que me hace que vengas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</span><br><span class="en">You don't know the tremendous excitement that it makes me (feel) (that) you (will) come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</span></p></div>