I've come across the below sentence:

[...] todas han sucumbido a los encantos del espía con licencia para matar más famoso del cine.

  1. What does "los encantos" mean?
  2. What does "con licencia para matar" mean?
  3. What does "más famoso del cine" mean and what does it refer to?
  4. It seems quite odd for the order of "más famoso del cine", I mean, should it not follow "para matar" but elsewhere?

The original context is:

Miranda Frost, Elektra King, Irina, Valenka, Paris Carver... todas han sucumbido a los encantos del espía con licencia para matar más famoso del cine, casi siempre interpretadas por actrices igualmente espectaculares.


Isn't it more natural to say "el espía con licencia para matar QUE ES más famoso del cine"?


1 Answer 1


Your question is a little vague. You are asking for specific pieces of the translation but you seem not to understand the whole sentence. It is kind of missing the forest for the trees.

The whole phrase means, or could be translated as:

every woman has fallen for the most famous spy's charms with licence to kill in the movie industry. -- Obviously they are talking about James Bond. :)

So you can see what each piece means:

los encantos / the charms
con licencia para matar / with licence to kill
más famoso del cine / films'|movie industry's most famous.

I can understand your confusion about the ordering of the sentence. Remember that English and Spanish are quite different in that regard (to be honest I'm not even sure I got the order right in the English translation).

If you decompose the sentence into its parts it might make more sense:

Todas: is the subject.
han sucumbido: is the verb.
a los encantos: is the direct object.
del espía con licencia para matar: is the indirect object.
más famoso del cine: grammatically speaking I am not sure what this would be.


Based on your last update. If you add "... para matar QUE ES EL más famoso ..." then this is ALSO correct but, contrary to what you think, it is not more natural because this extra construct is somewhat implied on the original sentence. By all means you can say it like this and nobody will look at you funny, but it is not mandatory.

  • Thanks, I've edited my question. To be frankly, I don't understand the meaning of "with licence to kill in the movie industry".
    – user468
    Aug 9, 2012 at 16:29
  • 3
    @Cadenza: You know, James Bond is a secret agent with a licence to kill. And HE is the most famous one in the movie industry. Aug 9, 2012 at 17:34
  • 1
    I'm not a native English speaker, but wouldn't it be slightly more correct: either spy's with licence to kill charms or has fallen for the charms of the most famous spy with license to kill in the movie industry ? (just asking)
    – Savir
    Aug 9, 2012 at 17:53
  • @BorrajaX I'd also prefer your last translation
    – leonbloy
    Aug 9, 2012 at 19:28
  • 2
    @Cadenza: No, because it seems that the one who has the licence to kill is "el cine", instead of "el espía". It is a very common mistake that even native speakers do. Aug 10, 2012 at 17:22

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