Hello! From VOA Learning
English, this is "Words and Their Stories".
Have you ever talked to someone who only wants to talk about
“me, me, me” or “I, I, I” from them all day long! This kind of talk can be a
real “turn-off” to the people listening.
ellos mismos; all day long: todo el santo día; kind of talk: tipo
de charla; turn-off: rechazo, asco; to the people listening: para
But at times, perhaps we are all guilty of being
those days, here are some self-centered expressions you can use.
Today our program is all about you!
Let’s start with the word “self.”
at times: a
veces; guilty of being: culpables de ser; selfish: egoístas;
self-absorbed: ensimismados; self-centered: egocéntricas;
“Self” can be added to many words to make new words. If you are
you are aware of yourself in a bad way. You carefully plot your every move.
People who are self-conscious can seem nervous around others and perhaps not
tímido/a, vergonzoso/a; aware of yourself: inhibido; in a bad way:
de forma negativa; plot your every move: calculas cada paso que das;
can seem nervous: pueden verse nerviosos; self-confident: seguros de
However, self-awareness is a good thing.
embargo; self-awareness: la autoconciencia;
Self-awareness means you recognize both your good points and bad points. A
person who is self-aware understands that what they say and do affects the
people around them.
consciente de sí mismo; what they say and do: lo que dicen y hacen;
affects the people around them: afecta a las personas que los rodean;
The difference between being self-aware and self-conscious may seem minor. But
there is a big difference.
insignificante, de menor importancia;
Self-employed people are people who work for themselves. They are their own
bosses. But people who are self-serving only think of their own needs. However,
if you are self-employed, being a
self-serving business person is a good thing.
No one is there to help you. You must look after yourself.
la gente autónoma (que trabaja por cuenta propia); own bosses: propios
jefes; self-serving: interesados (que buscan el beneficio propio); own
needs: propias necesidades; look after yourself: cuidarte tú mismo/a;
Self-preservation is also good thing. You have to
depend on yourself to survive.
However, self-pity is not a good thing to have. Nobody likes to be around people
who always feel sorry for themselves.
la supervivencia o conservación; depend ON yourself: depender de ti mismo
(presta atención a la preposición ON con el verbo DEPEND =
no es correcto); self-pity:
la autocompasión; always feel sorry for themselves: se lamentan todo el
You don’t have to be filled with self-pity to annoy other people around you.
If you are unable to make a decision, people could say to you, “suit yourself.”
This expression is a response when you don’t really care what someone does. It
means "do as you please." In other words, have it your own way!
to annoy: para
incomodar (a); unable to: incapaz de; to make a decision = to take a
decision: tomar una decisión; suit yourself:
haz lo que te dé la gana;
you don't really care: cuando realmente no te importa; what someone does:
lo que haga otra persona; it means: significa; do as you please = have
it your own way: haz como quieras;
Let’s listen to an example:
A: I don’t think I’m going to the party tonight.
B: But you just said you were going and that you would give me a ride!
A: Okay, I’ll go.
B: Look, suit yourself. Don’t go because of me. But make up your mind!
you would give
me a ride: me llevarías (en tu carro, en tu coche); but make up your mind:
pero decídete de una vez;
Some expressions using the word “self” can sound strange.
Take, for example, the saying to be beside yourself. To many people, this might
sound like you are having an out-of-body experience. But
to be beside yourself
means to be affected by a strong, usually negative emotion, like anger or
to be beside
yourself: estar fuera de sí; out-of-body experience: experiencia
extracorporal; like anger or sadness: como ira o tristeza;
Here are a few examples:
When her mother died, she was beside herself with grief.
He was so upset that he was beside himself.
with grief: fuera de sí de pena (femenino); so upset: tan alterado;
beside himself: fuera de sí (masculino);
Another unusual-sounding expression is to be full of yourself. This means that
you think so highly of yourself that you are full; there is no room for anyone
expression: expresión que suena poco común; to be full of yourself:
ser engreído/a, vanidoso/a, presuntuoso/a; so highly of yourself: tan
bien de ti mismo/a; full: lleno/a, completo/a; there is no room:
no queda lugar
If you are full of yourself, you might think that you are
the greatest thing
since sliced bread – a common expression in American English.
If you are full of yourself, you may need
to get over yourself. “To get over
yourself” may sound like a difficult physical exercise. But it only means that
you need to think of others – not just yourself.
the greatest thing
since sliced bread: lo más grande que existe desde que se inventó el pan en
rebanadas (slang australiano); to get over yourself: dejar de ser egoísta
o de sentirse el ombligo (centro) del mundo; think OF others: pensar en
los demás (atención a la preposición OF con el verbo THINK =
no es correcto);
If you are way too caught up in your own life or think you are better than
everyone else, others might say to you, “Get over yourself.”
way too caught up in
your own life: demasiado concentrado en tu propia vida; get over yourself:
baja a la tierra (deja de ser egoísta);
Now, getting out of your own way is different. This means that the thing or
barrier keeping you from getting what you want is you!
If you are the reason you are not achieving your goals, a friend could say to
you, “You have to get out of your own way!”
getting out of your
own way: dejar de salirse con la suya (dejar de encapricharse); barrier:
barrera, obstáculo; achieving your goals: logrando tus metas u objetivos;
People who experience hard times can become
a shadow of their former self. This
means they have less influence or strength than they once did.
who experience hard
times: que pasan momentos difíciles; become a shadow of their former self:
convertirse en una sombra de lo que eran; less influence or strength:
menos influencia o fortaleza; than they once did: de la que alguna vez
For example, imagine a man who has a loving wife, a high-paying job and helps
out in his community. Then his wife leaves him. She
blames herself for the
separation. But this doesn’t help. The man turns to alcohol to escape his
marriage problems. Then he loses his job, his home, his friends. When you see
how low he has fallen, you could say he is a shadow of his former self.
esposa cariñosa; a high-paying job: empleo muy bien remunerado; helps
out: coopera; leaves him: lo abandona; blames herself for: se
culpa (a si misma) por; doesn't help: no sirve de nada; turns to
alcohol: acude al alcohol (se vuelve alcohólico); to escape: para
huir de; how low he has fallen: lo bajo que ha caído;
But enough about him.
Let’s get back to you. Practice using some of these “self” expressions
I’m Anna Matteo.
let's get back to
you: regresemos a ti (a tu persona); to express yourself: para