In English there are several idioms or phrases that describe being in the midst of a very difficult situation:

  • in a pickle
  • in a quandary
  • in a predicament
  • in between a rock and a hard place

How would the meaning of these English phrases be best translated to Spanish?

2 Answers 2


Some options:

en un aprieto

en un apuro

en una situación comprometida

entre la espada y la pared (for the last one)

I wouldn't know for sure how the nuances of these expressions correspond to the one in yours (since I'm not that familiar with them). However, the last ones in your list and mine clearly correspond.

Another option (which might correspond nicely to the "dilemma" aspect) is

en una encrucijada

  • As a side comment, here in Uruguay a very common expression between young people nowadays is "estoy en el horno" ;) Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 1:50

I would "recast" the English expression as "cornered." The Spanish equivalent would then be arrinconado.

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