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10 idioms sobre problemas y dificultades

vicious-circle

Los siguientes diez idioms que podréis ver a continuación, suelen usarse para describir un problema o una situación que entrablezca una dificultad. La verdad es que hay varios que no tenía ni idea de su existencia (ese catch-22 que creía que sólo era una novela) y otros en el que su dificultad radica en la traducción literal (A vicious cyrcle). Por lo que entre los que veremos hoy, hay de todos los tipos y niveles.

At wit´s end

im_at_my_wits_end

Cuando estás al desesperado, frustrado y sin más opciones.

  • Can you help me to solve this problem? I’m at wit’s end.
  • I have to write a paper and I just can’t come up with a topic. I’m at wit’s end!
  • I’m at my wits’ end! I’ve been trying to solve a problem with this application all morning and I still haven’t got it to work!

 

Catch-22

catch-22

Una situación que es imposible ganar debido a las reglas o condiciones impuestas.

  • An example of a Catch-22 is the idea that you have to have money to make money.
  • So it’s a Catch-22: You can’t get hired unless you have experience; but you can’t get experience unless you’re hired.
  • But I feel like I’m in a Catch-22 situation. If I stop seeing him, I’m throwing him back to her. If I do carry on, it’s like nothing has changed.

 

Dodge a bullet

dodge-a-bullet

Escapar de una situación peligrosa o de un desastre. Por los pelos.

  • I dodged a bullet. I got a “C” on the final exam.
  • I know you wanted to date George, but he wasn’t interested in you. I think you dodged a bullet because I heard he´s a bad person.

 

The crux of the matter

crux of the matter

La parte esencial o el motivo de un problema. El quid de la cuestión.

  • Uncle Sergio is too old to drive the car. That’s the crux of the matter.
  • The police didn’t have enough evidence against him. That’s the crux of the matter.
  • I think that the crux of the matter of our relationship was the distance.

 

Grasping at straws

grasping-at-straws

Agarrarse a un clavo ardiendo.

  • I’ve never met his mother, so I’m grasping at straws for an appropriate gift for her.
  • Andrew couldn’t answer the teacher’s question. He was just grasping at straws.
  • Edward, grasping at straws, searched the backup data from last week, looking for the missing files of his final project.

 

In dire straits

in-dire-straits

Estar en graves apuros.

  • I am totally broke and need help to buy some food for my children. We are in dire straits.
  • The earthquake and the drought left the region in dire straits for a long time.
  • Everyone agrees the industry is in dire straits, but it is not because there are too many shops.

 

Have your work cut out (for you)

cut-out-for-you

Cuando tienes que hacer una tarea o algo muy difícil de hacer.

  • She’ll really have her work cut out to finish all those reports by the end of the week.
  • Your brother has left it to the last minute to write his essay, so now he really has his work cut out for him to get it done on time.

 

Last resort

as_last_resort

La opción que usas como último recurso, cuando no hay más opciones disponibles.

  • If you don’t improve, we’ll try this new medication as a last resort.
  • The soldiers had orders not to shoot except as a last resort to save human life.
  • If I do not find a proper job I will go abroad as a last resort.

 

The tip of the iceberg

tip

Tiene el mismo significado en español: Es sólo la punta del iceberg.

  • The internet is huge. What you can find through search engines is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Even so, the lies she told me were only the tip of the iceberg.
  • This technology is the tip of the iceberg, the very beginning of a new era.

 

A vicious cycle

vicious-circle

Al igual que la anterior, tiene un sentido literal: Círculo vicioso o la pescadilla que se muerde la cola.

  • If I quit cigarettes I put on weight, and if I put on weight I get depressed, and if I get depressed I start smoking again. It’s a vicious circle.
  • The fatter I get, the unhappier I am, so I eat to cheer myself up, which makes me fatter yet. It’s a vicious circle.
  • You could be in a vicious circle if the solution to one problem becomes the cause of another one.

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