Yesterday listening to a podcast I heard the expression "No compro ese argumento" something that I think I have heard before from the person in that video, but I don't think I have heard it only from him.

This person was from Spain. If he had been from an American Spanish-speaking country I would had assumed that "(No) compar ese/un argumento" was a literal translation of "(I don't) Buy that argument" and thus an anglicism. But I keep hearing that expression more and more and there is something slightly odd about it.

I don't recall using "comprar ese/un argumento" at all while I was living in Spain. I would have favored "no me lo creo", "no creo que sea cierto" o even the more plain "No estoy de acuerdo". Nevertheless, I see Spaniards using more and more this expression and I wonder if it's due to the influence of the English "I don't buy that argument" or if it actually has been widely used and I never noticed (or even used before, though not widely).

Is "comprar un/ese argumento" and anglicism derived from "I (don't) buy that argument"? Can we see it being used in old texts or the like, to prove it was used in Spanish since long ago, though maybe not often?

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    Yo lo uso con cierta frecuencia y desde hace el suficiente tiempo como para no recordar cuándo lo oí por primera vez. Es una forma de hablar normalizada en mi entorno. Lo que no sé es a cuándo se remonta (de ahí que no responda más que comentario).
    – fedorqui
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 14:13
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    Eso sí, no he encontrado entradas de te lo compro con este sentido ni en el CORPES, CREA ni CORDE (hacía tiempo que no buscaba allí, lo mismo no busqué bien).
    – fedorqui
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 14:13
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    In Argentina we use it a lot, even alone. Somebody proposes a solution and you just say "Compro".
    – Gustavson
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 14:37
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    "Compro", sí, lo del argumento ya no. Es más frecuente hablar de alguien que quiere "vender" alguna idea.
    – pablodf76
    Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 1:48
  • No creo que sea un anglicismo, es mas como una evolución del lenguaje. Piensa en que te venden algo que no vale la pena y respondes "no te lo compro", puede que en algun punto se halla extendido el uso de esa expresión a contextos donde te tratan de inducir una idea y a ti no te convence. Commented Aug 7, 2020 at 18:24

1 Answer 1


I can't say for certain where they got it. In Chile, however, we've always used no lo compro or no compro eso; saying no compro ese argumento sounds unidiomatic and we're unlikely to use it. The main use of comprar, with this sense, is to believe.

Literally speaking, on the other hand, we can say that it's taken from buy, used informally in this case. In addition, Spanish-speaking people are used to taking English words and translating them deliberately, so it doesn't come as a surprise they use it in this way.

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