In English, you can say:

  • I'm horrible with names.
  • I'm bad with faces.
  • I'm really bad with directions.

What is the most natural way in Spanish of expressing that you are bad at remembering something?

  • 1
    Actually we wouldn't even say "I'm bad with XYZing" in English. We would say "I'm bad at XYZing". Commented Nov 27, 2011 at 7:11
  • @hippietrail: Hmm, now there's a question for EL&U :) I'd say "I'm bad with names" not "I'm bad at names" (Western US). I would say "I'm bad at swimming" though.
    – jrdioko
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 3:25
  • For "names" both sound good to me (Australia) but anything I can think of with a verb ending in "-ing" I would only say "at". But sure why not ask on EL&U? (-: Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 11:46
  • Done.
    – jrdioko
    Commented Nov 28, 2011 at 17:31

3 Answers 3


There's two basic ways:

Se me da mal algo / algo se me da mal.

No se me da muy bien algo / algo se me da muy bien

You can modify the adverb (mal/*bien* in this case) to represent how bad you're at it, or for personal preference:

  • mal - muy mal - bastante mal - fatal - como el culo (very vulgar)
  • bien - muy bien - nada bien

The other ways is:

Soy bastante malo haciendo algo

No soy muy bueno haciendo algo

You can also change the adverb like so:

  • malo - bastante malo - realmente malo - malisimo - terrible
  • bueno - muy bueno - buenisimo - genial

These are just two ways, but I'm sure there are plenty more.



Tengo (muy) mala memoria para (whatever)


You can also say:

Soy muy malo con/para (whatever)

Soy fatal (affected/posh) para las caras/los nombres or recordar (idem)

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