A literal translation always falls flat, and confuses people (I've learned this the hard way).

I can't wait [to see the movie] => No puedo esperar [a ver la película]

This always leaves the listener with the impression that due to circumstances, I will be unable to see the movie unless I see it immediately. That's clearly not what I meant.

How can I convey the same meaning of eager anticipation?


10 Answers 10


My family is from Peru and suggested:

Me muero por ver la película.

  • 6
    Today a native Spanish speaker told me (in English) "I'm dead to drink some coffee!"
    – Flimzy
    Dec 3 '11 at 7:25
  • 2
    I guess that makes sense considering the translation. I hope you corrected them to 'dying' lol
    – McArthey
    Dec 4 '11 at 7:35

Maybe estoy ansioso would be a better translation. But no puedo esperar is used very often.

  • 4
    If that's used often, it must be regional, because every time I've used it here (Guadalajara, Mexico), I've gotten confused/concerned responses.
    – Flimzy
    Nov 15 '11 at 21:50
  • This is the case in Argentina too (it being correct to use I mean)
    – juan
    Nov 15 '11 at 21:55
  • 3
    Madrid, Spain. Sounds good "No puedo esperar a/para ver la película." "Estoy ansioso por" sounds great too.
    – Serabe
    Nov 15 '11 at 22:02
  • 2
    I have no idea about Guadalajara. But in central México, "No puedo esperar" sounds quite reasonable too. But yes, "estoy ansioso" is perhaps best and wouldn't confuse anyone. Nov 16 '11 at 13:39
  • i guess that if you are going to use "no puedo esperar" you should use very clear entonation, to make sure you're excited and not sad.
    – Brian H.
    Jul 18 '17 at 12:01

As simple as

¡Ya quiero ver la película!

If you are looking for some slang you could use:

  • Me estoy quemando por ver la película.
  • No aguanto por ver la película.
  • 1
    Which country are you or your Spanish from? I wouldn't use neither of them but the first, but moving ya from the beginning to the end.
    – Serabe
    Nov 15 '11 at 22:25
  • I'm from Mexico, and I lived on Guadalajara (the OP lives there)
    – isJustMe
    Nov 15 '11 at 22:26
  • 1
    Sounds very strange for me (Madrid, Spain).
    – Serabe
    Nov 15 '11 at 22:28
  • 1
    +1 This sounds just perfect.
    – razpeitia
    Nov 23 '11 at 5:33

I have no idea how widespread the usage is, but you can say No veo la hora en que.... It uses the subjunctive. For example

No veo la hora en que nos casemos. -- "I can't wait for us to get married."


I normally say

Tengo ganas...

This is more like "I really want to..." or "I have a desire to..." which is what I think you are implying with "I can't wait to...."


A friend just used this phrase with me, which works, at least in some situations:

No veo la hora en que termine la jornada laboral.

  • We use that a lot in Colombia, but we use the preposition "de". no veo la hora de que termine la jornada laboral
    – DGaleano
    Jul 16 '18 at 13:30

There's always "estoy deseoso de [ver la película]". But that's not much better than "estoy ansioso" (anxious) or "estoy impaciente" (impatient). There's also "estoy entusiasmado" (enthusiastic).

I'm not sure which would be best...


I would go with "Estoy esperando a [ver la película]." But that might not convey the proper level of eagerness.


I think the most idiomatic translation into Castillian Spanish would be:

Estoy deseando ver la película.

  • Needs to be de ver to be correct.
    – Noldorin
    May 3 '15 at 19:09
  • 1
    No, it doesn't. Using "de" here would be an instance of "dequeísmo", thus incorrect: lema.rae.es/dpd/srv/search?key=desear
    – david
    May 3 '15 at 19:55
  • Odd. I've always heard it used with "de"... must be a modernism / area where the language is changing, at least in some areas. Fair enough, you've proved it's certainly not correct in the traditional form though!
    – Noldorin
    May 4 '15 at 3:11
  • 1
    I've also heard it often, but it's clearly wrong. You "deseas algo", not "de algo". You would never hear "Deseo de un coche" or "Deseo de irme", so why would it be any different when you use the same verb in the present tense?
    – david
    May 4 '15 at 8:00
  • Perhaps because people think of it more as a gerundive / verbal adjective? In which case a preposition can appear. For example, in English, one says "he desires that", but "he is desirous of that". So I suppose it depends whether you go by the prescriptivist or pragmatist view of grammar. In any case, I'll take you advice, and try hard to use the "de" in formal writing at least!
    – Noldorin
    May 4 '15 at 23:50

No veo el día/la hora/ el momento de ver la película.

No me aguanto las ganas de ver la película.

¡Me muero por ver la película!

  • 1
    Hola Patricia, lo que explicas en esta respuesta ya estaba bastante presente en el resto de respuestas. ¿Podrías proporcionar algún tipo de explicación o motivos de uso que mejoren la comprensión? Suele ayudar decir qué forma se usa en tu zona, dar elementos históricos que lo expliquen, etc. Más info en How to Ask. Jul 12 '17 at 6:23
  • Lo siento mucho. Me encontré este sitio por accidente y andaba de prisa. Voy a leer mejor el reglamento y los demás comentarios para intervenir como se debe. Jul 12 '17 at 20:18
  • Y estamos encantados de que encontraras el sitio y deseosos de que entres con frecuencia :) Jul 12 '17 at 21:16

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