Wednesday, September 16, 2009

¿Te cae?

This is a bit of Spanish I picked up a long time ago, and rediscovered as I was going through my notes.

This is actually fairly colloquial Spanish.   Here's some examples:

A:  Micheal se murio.

B:  ¿Te cae?

A:  Sandra va venir.    

B:  ¿Te cae?

A:  Si, me cae.

After looking over the examples, you may have figured out that te cae translates to "really?"  or "are you sure?"  And me cae is "I'm sure".

A more "standard" version of te cae is "¿estás seguro?"  and me cae would be "estoy seguro".

I hope you found this useful.  These kinds of colloquial expressions are really useful in helping us understand Spanish as it's spoken by native speakers.   

¡Hasta la próxima!


  1. Rodney,

    The full phrase as it is used here is ¿Te cae de madre? or in other words, Do you swear it? ¿Te cae? is the sort form.

  2. Wonderful blog ! As an aspiring anthro phd i work with mexicain/street spanish a lot... and then i just love languages ! thakns for sharing your "discoveries", and with context :)

    Anyway, i was trying to find a translation for "me cae"... I also wonder whether "me cae" isn't sometimes used as a short version of "me cae bien-i like it/that"

  3. This is more of Mexican slang not a general Spanish dialect. For example this same phrase to a Colombian person would be out of context and would not make sense.

    1. I just want to say that Spanish is a language, not a dialect

  4. abi,
    I missed your response before publishing my comment.
    Yes that is how it is also used and perhaps the most common use of the phrase.

  5. Hi, I am Mexican, I agree with the autor. Of course, it means "are you sure?", or "yes, I am", but it is only for colloquial use. Or when you feel in confidence. But, take care, "Te cae de madre" could be interpreted rude, like "are you fucking sure?". It is because "madre" is a strong meaning word in México, maybe you have listened about yet enough.

    I suggest you to pay attention or look for more examples: "pura madre" (literally "pure mother") is a rude disappointing phrase. And yes, it is different for another countries, and for the various regions of México. The "te cae" is very mmmm "chilango", from the Distrito Federal (México city). And the brave neighborhood Tepito's way, hahahaha, it could be "¿te cae de madres, güey? ¿te cae de madres, cabrón?" Pretty "ñero", hahaha.

    When you say "Me cae" or "te cae, les cae" etcetera, in a formal way would be "me consta, te consta, les consta". But "me cae" never should be interpreted like "me cae bien", it is "I like it, him, her, the chilaquiles, the ice cream...". Are not the same.

    [If you can read someday El laberinto de la soledad by Octavio Paz, there is an essay about "La chingada". Many Mexicans disagree with this outlook, I disagree, but you could feel the importance of "madre" and "chingar" (close to "fuck") in our Mexican Spanish.]

  6. Hi Elisa,

    Thanks for your comment! It's great to get some additional insight from a real expert on Spanish.

    While I did know that "te cae" was a Mexican expression, I had no idea it was a regional phrase, but now that you mention it the friend I learned this from is in fact from the D.F.

    Now I have to learn what "ñero" is :>)