I have heard the following sentence in the Narcos TV series:

Finalmente caímos en la cuenta de que teníamos que encontrar a alguien sin la ayuda de Suárez.

It was the first time I heard this expression. Is there any difference in meaning between "caer en la cuenta" and "darse cuenta" ? Is the former specific to any country?

1 Answer 1


Both expressions are similar.

However, "caer en la cuenta" is less usual than "darse cuenta", and this is because "caer en la cuenta" suggests a more extraordinary or less expected realization, one that is reached after a longer or more intricate process. Notice that the example uses the adverb "finalmente" (eventually).

I would translate "caer en la cuenta" as "it dawned on (sb)", while "darse cuenta" is just "realize".

  • Thanks for the answer! The creators of Narcos English subtitles translated "caer en la cuenta" in the same way you did. Dec 15, 2019 at 0:14

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