cut the atmosphere with a knife

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by lucyp, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. lucyp Senior Member

    Hi folks,

    Does anyone know of a similar expression in Spanish?

    'When we arrived they had clearly been arguing and you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife.

  2. murciana

    murciana Senior Member

    Spanish - Spain
    Nosotros decimos... se podía cortar el ambiente con un cuchillo (very alike)
  3. araceli Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Argentine, Spanish

    Por acá: ...cortar el aire con un cuchillo.

  4. rajenjo Senior Member

    Yo hubiera dicho que, de toda la vida, lo que se corta con cuchillo es la tensión...

    To me, the most idiomatic equivalent in the case provided would be: "la tensión se podía cortar con un cuchillo".
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  5. ACQM

    ACQM Senior Member

    Manresa (Barcelona)
    Spain - Spanish
    O simplemente: el aire se cortaba con un cuchillo.
  6. murciana

    murciana Senior Member

    Spanish - Spain
    A mí no me suena "cortar la tensión"; el aire sí:
    Se podía cortar el aire con un cuchillo
    Había tensión en el aire/ambiente
  7. ACQM

    ACQM Senior Member

    Manresa (Barcelona)
    Spain - Spanish
    Concuerdo, se trata de que el aire, a causa de la tensión, el mal rollo, ... se hace denso (como cuando hace bochorno), tan denso, tan denso, tan denso, que parece sólido y se puede cortar con un cuchillo.
  8. Sherlockat

    Sherlockat Senior Member

    Castilian (Patagonian)
    After reading your poetical and theatrical explanation, I may as well agree! :D
    I agree..
  9. aldonzalorenzo

    aldonzalorenzo Senior Member

    castellano de España
    Incluso creo que se puede decir sin añadir cuchillo:
    El ambiente estaba tan tenso que se podía cortar.
  10. Javadaba

    Javadaba Senior Member

    Seattle, USA
    Castellano - Argentina

    "El silencio se cortaba con cuchillo"
  11. kotosquito

    kotosquito Senior Member

    Champaign, Illinois, USA
    United States, English
    The usual way to say this is "The ___________ is (was) so thick you could (have) cut it with a knife.", with the word or phrase filling the blank being the tension/silence/etc. This would connote some conflict laden with negative emotion. It can also be used to describe physical air-related realities that might be described using thick: fog/mist/humidity.

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