At top speed!

At top speed!

Co-author: Gema Benítez Sánchez

There are so many interesting expressions that you can use to make your Spanish sound more colloquial and more natural! We’ll bring you some of them in this blog, as well as in all our lessons based on movies and TV programmes.

Today, we’ll introduce you to some expressions about speed. Did you catch the expression a toda pastilla in the home page video? A toda pastilla: at top speed, flat out, full throttle, full pelt, foot down, pedal to the metal… depending on context. Of course you can say a toda velocidad, or muy rápido, but your speech will be more expressive (and impressive) if you can use some of the expressions below.

Expression Possible origin of the phrase Example in context
a toda pastillaA toda pastilla Pastillas are used in electric musical instruments to create sound. A toda pastilla is at maximum volume. ¡Qué cansada estoy! Llevo todo el día a toda pastilla, corriendo de un lado a otro sin parar.
a toda mechaA toda mecha Una mecha is a fast-burning fuse used to ignite something quickly (such as dynamite). ¡Qué cansada estoy! Llevo todo el día a toda mecha, corriendo de un lado a otro sin parar.
a toda máquinaSpeed Machines work much faster than human beings. Estos empleados trabajan a toda máquina para que los clientes reciban sus compras en casa a tiempo.
a toda marchaExpressions Marcha is march, or pace, so a toda marcha is at full speed (“Quick march!”) La nueva campaña publicitaria va a toda marcha, muy pronto estará terminada.
a la velocidad del rayoLessons based on movies As in English, at lightning speed Esa mujer ha cruzado la calle a la velocidad del rayo, parece que tiene mucha prisa.
a toda cañainteresting expressions This expression comes from dar caña, which comes from the world of horse racing: to flog or whip (the horse). In this case la caña is a whip. Van conduciendo sus motos a toda caña, es un peligro para todos.

Find out how to naturally use expressions like these.

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