Salir rana and other uses of «salir»

If you’ve ever been to Spain I’m sure you’ve gone out for tapas, gone out to a party, or simply gone out to eat in a bar or restaurant. To say this you would have to use the verb salir, and you may have been unsure about how to use it. For example, you can’t say salir a tapas, but you can say salir a tapear or salir de tapas.

Salir de tapas

You can say salir a comprar or salir de compras — but with two different meanings. Salir a comprar means to go out to buy food because you have to, it’s an obligation or a basic necessity, while «salir de compras» is for pleasure, it’s not a necessity: for example, to go shopping for clothes, shoes, handbags, etc.

salir a + infinitivo
Example: Tengo que salir a comprar comida, mi nevera está muy vacía.
to go out to do something, for a specific purpose: to go out running, to go for a walk, to go out to eat, to go out for tapas.
salir de + sustantivo
Example: Este fin de semana voy a salir de compras, han abierto un centro comercial nuevo con muchas tiendas de ropa.
to go out for a leisure or social activity: to go out for tapas, to go out to a party, to go shopping, to go for a walk.

Centro comercial

The verb also has many other meanings and is used in many colloquial expressions. Here are some common examples:

Different meanings of the verb salir


  • To go outside or out of a place
    Example: El pájaro salió de su jaula.


  • To appear, to become visible
    Examples: Va a salir el sol.
    Mi padre va a salir en televisión.


  • To disappear or come out (e.g., a stain out of a fabric)
    Las manchas de vino tinto salen muy bien con bicarbonato.


  • To show one’s character or attributes
    Tu hijo ha salido muy responsable.


  • To be the first (second, third, etc.) person to participate in a game or competition
    Example: Si jugamos al ajedrez, ¿quién sale primero?


  • To cost
    Example: Estas patatas salen a un euro el kilo.

Corresponder pago

  • To amount to, to come out to (money)
    Examples: Hemos ganado 60 euros, así que salimos a 20 euros cada uno.
    El alquiler del coche cuesta 200 euros, así que salimos a 50 euros cada uno.


  • To get good results in an exam or test
    Example: ¿Cómo te ha salido el examen? Creo que bien.

Colloquial expressions with salir

  • Salir con alguien: To go out somewhere with someone; also to go out with someone in the sense of a romantic relationship.
    Examples:Voy a salir con mi amiga Marta esta noche, hace tiempo que no nos vemos.
    -¿Estás saliendo con alguien? -Sí, estoy saliendo con Luis, llevamos poco tiempo juntos.
  • Salir del armario: this is a translation of the English expression “to come out of the closet” (make public one’s homosexuality). This expression in turn comes from “to have a skeleton in the closet” (to have something to hide, something embarrassing in one’s past).
    Example: Hay mucha gente famosa que todavía no ha salido del armario.
  • Salir pitando To rush off somewhere (literally, to go out whistling). In the past the police blew whistles when they were chasing a thief, to warn other police officers. When thieves heard the whistle they ran off, trying to get away. Another explanation is that the expressions refers to the whistle blown by railway staff when the train leaves the station.
    Example: En cuanto me dijo mi madre que había tenido un accidente salí pitando de casa para ir a verla al hospital.
  • Salirle a alguien de los huevos: to do whatever you (feel) like. Los huevos is a vulgar word for testicles, so this expression is more commonly used by men. It’s a rather strong vulgar expression of annoyance or disgust.
    Example: No voy a limpiar el coche porque no me sale de los huevos, estoy harto de que siempre me estés dando órdenes.
  • Salir con algo: to say or do something unexpected or at in inopportune time.
    Example: ¿Ahora me sales con que no tienes tiempo? Me lo podías haber dicho antes, ¿no?
  • Salirle un trabajo o empleo a alguien: to find or get a job.
    Example: Por fin me ha salido trabajo de modelo, estoy muy contenta.
  • Salir a su padre/madre: to take after someone in looks or personality.
    Example: Pedro ha salido a su padre, es igual de trabajador que él.
  • Salir caro algo a alguien: to end up or turn out badly.
    Example: Quiso parecer un chico valiente saltando desde muy alto a la piscina, pero le salió caro porque acabó con una pierna rota.
  • Salir adelante: to come out ahead; to overcome a difficulty.
    Example: A pesar de la crisis logramos salir adelante gracias a que mis padres nos dieron dinero para pagar la hipoteca y comprar comida.
  • Salir rana: to turn out or end up badly. The origin of this expression is related to fishing: if someone ended up with a frog instead of a fish, this was a big disappointment. However it might also be a reference to fairy tales where a princess has to kiss frogs in order to find her Prince Charming. (What if you kiss the frog but he still turns out to be a frog?)
    Example: ¿Qué tal te va con Luis? – Mal, al final me salió rana, resulta que no era tan divertido ni tan simpático como pensaba.

Do you know any other expressions with «salir»? Tell us below!

If you have other comments, questions or suggestions, we’d love to hear from you!

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