I'm trying to find a fitting Spanish interjection to use for "Can you believe this?", e.g. in the following sentence:

Can you believe this? They left without paying!

It seems that "¡Vaya!" ("¡Vaya! Se fueron sin pagar.") could work, however I'm not sure if the sense of incredulity is transferred well.

  • No te lo vas a creer! Ambas respuestas son correctas!
    – AlexBcn
    May 31, 2016 at 14:32
  • 1
    A widely used version of this in Chile is: ¿Te das/diste cuenta? - Often applied when something outrageous happened.
    – Schwale
    May 31, 2016 at 16:15

4 Answers 4


Ok, i don't know if in Spain, but, in Colombia we use this:

Se fueron sin pagar, ¿puedes creerlo?

Or you can use:

¿Puedes creerlo? ¡Se fueron sin pagar!

In this case you don't need some interjection, only translate literal and sounds good and grammatically is correct.

But, if you want user an interjection with thatis enough:

¿Puedes creer que se fueron sin pagar?

In addition, a very important advice, in Spanish you don't need to put the user explicitly in tenses: you can say something without the personal pronoun I, YOU, ..., etc., and everyone will understand you if you conjugate the verb properly, so, you don't need use

¿Te lo puedes creer?

Instead you can use

¿Puedes creer -lo?

Thin kind of sentences have a noun, pasive tenses, i can't remember good, but, using this you change te lo with verb + lo, for example.

  • 3
    I think this is the most neutral answer. Interrogative split object te lo seems to me like a modern-day, Spaniard-only, variant. As a side note, in Chile you would say colloquially ¿es broma? or even ¿me estás(ái) hueveando? (this last one being vulgar, of course).
    – Rafael
    May 31, 2016 at 15:41
  • BTW, is sujeto omitido the name you are looking for?
    – Rafael
    May 31, 2016 at 15:45
  • Eso es sujeto pasivo, oraciones en sujeto pasivo tienen un nombre, pero se me olvidó.
    – SalahAdDin
    May 31, 2016 at 15:51
  • 1
    Eso es Sujeto Tácito, ya me acordé.
    – SalahAdDin
    May 31, 2016 at 15:58
  • 1
    @Rafael "¿Te lo puedes creer?" is fairly common in Mexico, at least in and around the DF. Jun 3, 2016 at 18:13

@CarlosAlejo answer is correct.

I would like to add to his response that instead of saying ¿Te lo puedes creer? at the beginning, do it at last, like this:

¡Se han ido sin pagar! ¿Te lo puedes creer?

I guess this is more of a matter of preference.

Also, here is another option that could be more regional (in my case, from Puerto Rico):

¡Se fueron sin pagar! ¿Puedes creer semejante cosa?

Or less literal translation, but still carry the same message:

¡Se fueron sin pagar! ¡Qué sinvergüenza!

¡Se fueron sin pagar! ¡Qué desfachatez!

  • The same as my previous comments: past simple and present perfect are different things in English. You should convey your translation with the given tense.
    – Schwale
    May 31, 2016 at 16:22

You can use

¿Te lo puedes creer? ¡Se han ido sin pagar!

That is probably the most literal translation that does not sound funny for us (at least in Spain). Nevertheless, it probably is a sentence in Spanish that I could read in a book or hear in a movie that has been translated from English. If I were to say something similar, I would say something like

¡¿Pues no se han ido los tíos sin pagar?!

This sentence includes both the disbelief and the fact, but is quite adapted to my local way of speaking and is probably quite difficult to analise for the English speakers.

  • ¿Por qué ocupar se han ido en vez de se fueron? Esos dos tiempos no son iguales. :0
    – Schwale
    May 31, 2016 at 16:12

I think that "¡vaya!" is not the better option here.

"Vaya" express surprise but "¿te lo puedes creer?" adds a moral judgement about the action that causes the surprise.

For me sounds more natural

¿Te puedes creer que se fueron sin pagar?

  • 1
    Una expresión muy común (En España) es ¡No me lo puedo creer!, en primera persona.
    – Ra_
    May 31, 2016 at 15:26

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