Sunday, August 23, 2015

Eso que ni que

So there I was, texting away with my carnal:

Yo:  Hay que disfrutar la vida
Mi carnal:  Eso que ni que

By the way, carnal is Mexican Spanish for brother, either by blood or a close friendship.

Eso que ni que

I had never even seen that before. Clearly a literal translation wasn't going to work:

That what neither what

I didn't see his reply until a few hours later, so I wasn't able to ask him what it meant.

My mind was scrambling trying to figure that one out.  A few Google searches later and verifying my research with another of one my Mexican amigos, I finally found out what it meant.

Yo:  Hay que disfrutar la vida
Me: You have to enjoy life

Mi carnal:  Eso que ni que
My buddy: I totally agree

I won't say "I totally agree" is a direct translation, but it certainly captures the meaning.  Eso que ni que is way of saying you absolutely agree with what's being said or that something is very clear, leaving no doubt.

Here's another example:

Si me quitan ésta muela me dejara de doler
If they take this tooth out it'll stop hurting me

Eso que ni que

No doubt about it

It's very a common Mexican expression and if you want to say it in standard Spanish, it would be something close to definitivamente, no hay duda or sin duda, any way of expressing your agreement with the other person would work.

Well, another mystery solved.  But guess what?  It reminded me of a few other expressions involving que.

Eso que ni que is a statement of agreement and ni que nada is an expression of negation or denial, kind of like when we say "my foot", "no way"  or maybe even "in your dreams" to add emphasis.  You're saying that whatever it is they're asking for is not going to happen.

Party my foot 
There's a lot do around here

Let me point out the creator of our meme has some pretty bad ortografía (spelling).  Ay should be hay and aser should be hacer.  That aside, ni que nada is a very common expression, at least in Mexican Spanish.

Here's another example:

A: El me dijo que era contador
     He told me he was an account

B: ¿Qué contador ni que nada? Él no ha terminado la Universidad
     What do you mean an accountant?  He hasn't even finished college

 That brings us to our next expression, ni que ocho cuartos.  If you're attempting to translate it literally, forget it - Not even 8 rooms.  Nope, makes no sense at all.  But it's actually not that hard to understand.

Keep calm?
No way, Colombia is playing today

Ni que nada and ni que ocho cuartos are synonyms, used in the same way.

Here are a few more examples.

Your 13 year old daughter says she wants a boyfriend:

Que novio, ni que ocho cuartos
 Boyfriend? That's not gonna happen

¡Qué fiesta ni que ocho cuartos, ¡te vas a quedar en casa!
Party my foot, you're staying at home!

And like ni que nada, this is a very common expression. Both of them place a lot of emphasis on the fact that something is being denied.

Here are few more examples:

¿Puedo salir a jugar?
Can I go out and play?

¡Qué jugar ni qué ocho cuartos! ¡A hacer la tarea!
Go out and play my foot.! Go do your homework!

¿Me dejas quedarme en la casa de Pedro?
Will you let me stay at Pedro's house?

¡Ni ocho cuartos!
Absolutely not!

Well that's it for today.  Take these expressions and impress your Spanish friends with your new found knowledge.

Here a few other posts of Mexican expressions that you might also like:

  1. ¿Que me ves?
  2. ¿Por qué no te echas un coyotito?
  3. Ahorita vengo

Lastly, don't forget you can follow the blog on Facebook!

¡Hasta la próxima!


  1. Hey! Just came across your blog and I think it's awesome what you're doing! I'm Mexican myself but lived in Bogotá for two years and had the hardest time learning an entirely different set of vocabulary and slang. I noticed here you read "cuartos" as rooms but actually the phrase is referring to fourths (mathematically speaking). It's referring to the absurdity of having eight fourths to make a whole instead of four. Still a pretty nonsensical phrase but maybe that clears things up a bit! Muchísima suerte en tu aventura con el español!

    1. My brother in law (Colombian) was here in California for a few months, worked construction with Mexicans, and said he couldn't understand them! He had to learn a whole new vocabulary and expressions!