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When I'm chasing my baby around the room, I frequently tell him, "I'm gonna get you!" and catch him and tickle him. Is there a similar expression in Spanish? I'd love to find something that can be used everywhere, but regional answers are appreciated as well. It should express that we're playing, not that I'm going to get him because he's in trouble or anything.

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I wonder if "agarrar" can be used for this sense? I think it usually means "to grab". – hippietrail Feb 28 '12 at 14:06
This is so region dependant – César Feb 28 '12 at 14:55
@César: Looking for the most neutral ways to communicate the most region dependant expressions is a great use of a site intended for experts I think! – hippietrail Feb 28 '12 at 20:23
up vote 6 down vote accepted

In Argentina you would say

'¡Te voy a atrapar!' (prefered)

'¡Te voy a agarrar!'

I think 'Te voy a agarrar' makes it sound like he is in trouble, but not so much, you could still use it.

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+1 for including te voy a agarrar. Personally though, it doesn't make it sound like the person's in trouble much. As a speaker of Mexican Spanish, it would be my prefered expression. :) – Miguel Feb 28 '12 at 18:07
I guess it depends on how you say it, if 'Te voy a agarrar!' in said in a playful way then it's ok. – Ghanima Feb 29 '12 at 23:54
I chose this answer because it referenced the location it was used, and it seems like it will be the most useful for my area. – Rachel Mar 1 '12 at 2:38

I would use some variant with pillar:

¡Que te pillo!

¡Te voy a pillar!

But I don't know about the neutrality of the verb "pillar" in other countries (I'm from Spain).


I would certainly use coger too, but I know it is not "neutral" in many parts of America.

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"pillar" is not used at least in Mexico. – Alfredo Osorio Feb 28 '12 at 13:54
"pillar" is very used in Chile. – Nicolás Feb 28 '12 at 22:26
Esta uso yo. También se oye con frecuencia A que te pillo. – fedorqui May 20 at 5:56
"pillar" is not used in Venezuela either. I heard spaniards using it a lot – Altons Jun 23 at 12:51

Some neutral expessions are:

¡Te atraparé!

¡Te voy a atrapar!

¡No te me escaparás!

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Neutral, meaning what? I'd never say, and I never hear, "¡te atraparé!" in Spain. I think it's good if we add a note about where our answers apply (as far as we know) for the sake of reference, as @MikMik has done on this same page. – CesarGon Feb 28 '12 at 13:46
@CesarGon "atrapar" is pretty neutral. "El gato atrapó al ratón". Look at . On the other hand, "pillar" is not used in Mexico for anything. – Alfredo Osorio Feb 28 '12 at 13:53
I don't dispute that. But, as an idiom, I'd never use that, and I never hear that, in the context described by the OP. I understand and am able to use the verb "atrapar", but it sounds terribly poetic for everyday speech, and I bet this is extensive to the average Spaniard. Hence my complain about your claim for neutrality and the lack of a regional qualifier. – CesarGon Feb 28 '12 at 13:56
I agree it sounds more neutral (I guess everywhere but in Spain) – DarkAjax Feb 28 '12 at 15:42

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