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Peaky Blinders #3


Context: The guys are swearing and Polly is trying to get them to stop.

Original English: I’m just saying there is no need.

Spanish subtitle: Solo digo que no hay motivo.


The subtitlers chose “solo” for “just”. The word “justo” does exist and means “just”.

But that’s “just” like “fair”.

This is the “just” like “only”. That’s why it’s “solo”.

They could’ve used “solamente” though.

As adverbs (like this) “solo” and “solamente” are exactly the same (and interchangeable).

“Sólo” is out there too. It’s also the same, but isn’t used much anymore (don’t worry about it).


They chose “digo” for “I’m saying” instead of “estoy diciendo” even though Polly is in the middle of “saying”.

Unlike English, in Spanish, you can’t say “I’m eating” (estoy comiendo) unless you’re actually eating at that time.

But that doesn’t mean you HAVE TO, as this scene shows us.

The normal present tense (digo) is just the more common way of speaking.

This is SO easy to get used to, you might start speaking like it in English, “I go to store.”


Have you noticed in English, “that” can often be removed from a sentence without affecting it?

Actually, taking “that” out usually makes the sentence sound better!

Polly said, “I’m just saying there is no need.”

But she could’ve said, “I’m just saying THAT there is no need.” Now the “que” makes more sense, right?

In Spanish, it’s the same. Polly could’ve said the same thing without “que”: Solo digo, no hay motivo.


“Hay” means “there is” and “there are”. That’s weird at first.

It can be used for ONE thing: hay una cosa = there is one thing

And for more than one thing: hay dos cosas = there are two things

I guess “hay” comes from “haber”...

But to me, “hay” is just a word. It means “there is” and “there are”.

But it’s a cool word! It allows you to speak quicker, and isn’t hard to get used to.


They chose “motivo” for “need” even though the word “necesidad” (need) exists.

Because the idea behind “need” in this case (the idea in Polly’s head) isn’t a “need” like food, water or shelter.

If Polly had said, “there is no reason” instead of “there is no need” -- they still could’ve used “motivo”.

But the subtitlers could’ve chosen “razón” (reason) instead of “motivo” too.

They use “motivo” a lot more in Spanish than we use “motive”. But “razón” is super common too.

Spanish Quickie: How Words Work

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