Monday, December 26, 2011

¡Qué madrugadora eres!

For the most part, the holidays have come and gone.  Yes, we still have to get through "el año nuevo", but Christmas (la navidad) is usually the most stressfull half of the holiday season, especially viernes negro (Black Friday). 

My only problem with viernes negro is that you have to levantarse temprano (get up early) to take advantage of the best ofertas (sales).    Venga (come on), who decided that 4 in the morning is a good time to get up and go shopping?

Anyway, as I mentioned above, to talk about getting up early you need the verb levantarse

Tuve que levantarme a las 4 de la mañana para ir de compras para el viernes negro
I had to get up at 4 in the morning to go shopping for Black Friday

Siempre me levanto temprano para ir al trabajo
I always get up early to go work

Levantarse is one of those verbs you just have to know.  If you're not familiar with it, it's pretty standard, so you'll find plenty of help in your Spanish book.  However, what you may not know is that there's another way to talk about getting up early. 

Madrugar also means to get up early. So with that in mind, you can say:

Madrugué (or Me levanté temprano)
I got up early

Here's another example.

Madrugué a las 4 del la mañana para ir de compras
I got up early at 4 in the morning to go shopping

Instead of "4 de la mañana" you can say "4 de la madrugada".

Por Madrugar in our photo above would translate to something like "for early birds" or "for early risers".   And speaking of early risers, you have the terms madrugador or madrugadora, which is a way of refering to someone who gets up early. 

¡Qué madrugadora eres!
You're really an early bird/early riser

There's really no one word translation in English that I can think of, but you get the idea.

Keep in mind that madrugador is for a male and madrugadora is for a female.

There's also a saying in Spanish you may have heard:

A quien madruga Dios lo ayuda
The early bird catches the worm

This bit of Spanish is a great addition to your toolbox and sure to impress your Spanish friends that have been monitoring your progress. 

¡Hasta la próxima!


  1. While there’s no single English word for “madrugar”, it’s interesting to note that there’s no direct expression for “to sleep in” in Spanish. To express “I slept in”, you might say in Spanish “I got up late,” “I got up later than usual,” or “I got up later than I should have” as the case may be.

  2. Hello from Spain. First of all, congratulations for your blog. It's really good.

    About the sentence "Madrugué a las 4 del la mañana para ir de compras" / "I got up early at 4 in the morning to go shopping".... Does it really sound right in English? For me it doesn't sound OK in Spanish. I'd say "me levanté a las 4 de la mañana para..." or just "madrugué para...". But, for some reason, it doesn't sound right for me to say the time after "madrugué". Actually, the sentence in English doesn't sound OK for me either (does it for you?). I miss a coma: "I get up early, at 4 in the morning"... The translation would be mucho longer: "Madrugué, me levanté a las 4 del la mañana, para ir de compras" ;).


  3. Thanks to all of you for your comments.

    But to respond specifically to my visitor from Spain...

    I'm really glad you commented on this. After reading your comment I did a quick search in Google and there are plenty of people using it the same way I did. Here's a few examples of what I found:

    "yo madrugue a las 6.00 tu?"

    "YO tambiém madrugue a las 5:30 para ver el partido..."

    "hoy madrugue a las 6 am para hacerlo"

    I have no idea where these people are from, but I would attribute this to regional differences in the way people speak from one country to another.

    I'm going to discuss this with my friend (also from Spain) and get her take on it as well.

    And as for the English, what I wrote may not be grammatically correct (I don't know what's worse, my English or Spanish grammar), but it would not be uncommon to hear it said exactly as I wrote it.

    It's always very interesting and helpful to get input from native Spanish speakers like yourself, so thanks again for your comment. I rely on my readers to keep me honest and point out my (often silly) mistakes. :>)