Sunday, January 9, 2011

No me suena

So there I was in Mexico asking the cab driver to take me to a very popular bar, one of my favorites.  I've jumped in many a cab asked this same question.  Only this time I was shocked by the answer.

No me suena

Say what?  I had never heard the phrase before, but the context made the meaning pretty clear.  The real surprise was the fact that he hadn't heard of the bar I was trying to get to.  But my bar hopping habits in Mexico are for another post, so let's get down to business.

No me suena
It doesn't sound familar

You could also think of it as "It doesn't ring a bell".

You can also use this phrase to talk about familar, or not so familiar faces and names.

¿Te suena mi cara?

Do I look familiar?

Me suena tu nombre
Your name sounds familiar

Tu cara me suena
You look familiar

There are other ways to say someone looks familiar:

Me resultas conocido
Me tienes cara conocida
Te me haces conocido

As always, some Spanish speakers use a given phrase more than the other depending on where they come from, but any or all of these should do the trick.
And yes, the cabbie eventually realized he did know the bar I was trying to get to.
¡Hasta la próxima!


  1. Hola otra vez. Gracias por tu respuesta sobre "donde." Tengo otra pregunta, esta vez sobre "te suena mi cara." Porque "suena" es del verbo "sonar," entiendo "no me suena" (it doesn't sound familiar). Pero una cara no hace un sonido. So can you really say "your face doesn't sound familiar"? Or is "suena" really used apart from its origin in sonar?

    Muchas gracias.

  2. Hola Juanita!

    Jaja, es cierto, las caras no suenan.

    It seems to me that "suena" in this context is being used as a colloquial/idiomatic expression, and therefore has nothing to do with the actual definition of "sonar".

  3. Muchas gracias, Rodney. This looks like a very useful phrase to know.