Rojo como un tomate | Beet-red

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Two person opposite each other, sayint the same expression in Spanish and English "Estar rojo como un tomate" and "turn beet-red"

¡Estas rojo como un tomate! | You are beet-red!

Who did not feel sometimes “rojo como un tomate”? We all can remember a situation where we felt uncomfortable and our face was bright red to show our awkwardness. This sentence is used to express exactly that: someone is blushing with shyness or embarrassment. We use it in informal situations, like the expression “to turn beet-red” in English. If we translate it literally, it would be like “red as a tomato”.

Formal vocabulary

However, if you want to use a more formal word, like “to blush” in English, you can use “sonrojarse” or “ruborizarse”. But don´t be afraid to use a very common and casual expression in Spanish as this one instead of the formal one. Your Spanish will improve and will sound more fluent as a native speaker. Don´t turn “rojo como un tomate” if someone praises your Spanish. 🙂

Why do we use this expression?

This expression comes from the physiological reaction when we are embarrassed or ashamed by something we have said or done. Then, our heartbeat races, and the veins in our face dilate. It´s natural but we can´t hide our red cheeks. And what is round and red like our blushing cheeks? A tomato! Hence, the expression.

Grammar aspects

  • It´s a comparative sentence so we use the conjunction “como” from the structure “tan + adjective or adverb + como” used to express two things are equal in some way.
    • “Juan está (tan) rojo como un tomate.” → “Juan is red as a tomato.”
  • We can use also the verb “poner”/ “to turn” in this case
    • “Juan se puso rojo como un tomate.” → “Juan turned red like a tomato.”
  • If you use the verb “Poner”, don´t forget that it´s a reflexive verb in this case: “Ponerse”: Poner + Se

 


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