How do we convey this sense in Spanish? Consider the following examples:

  1. He was only too happy to oblige.
  2. Do tell me...I'm only too curious to find out!

I am sure solo is not relevant in this case.


Correct me any English speaker if I'm wrong about the meaning of "only too (sth) to (do sth)"

The "only too" can't be translated directly, it is like a "quite".

The translations would be these:

Estaba encantado de ayudar.
Dímelo... tengo demasiada curiosidad para averiguarlo!

The last one has no sense to me, I'm not sure if I understand it. Should that sentence be Do tell me... I'm only too curious NOT to find out! the translation would be easy:

Dímelo... ¡me muero de curiosidad!
Dímelo... ¡necesito saberlo!

Or, on a more literal form, although a bit weird (but still correct) would be:

Dímelo... ¡tengo demasiada curiosidad como para que no me lo digas!





As far as I know, the idiom only too means

As a matter of fact; extremely: I am only too glad to go.

Unfortunately; very: It is only too likely to happen.

So you are right, solo doesn't convey this meaning. I would go with the use of adverbs like muy, extremadamente, increiblemnente (algo) and the like or expression similar to entusiamado de/por (algo), ansioso por/de, supercontento, etc.

  1. Estaba entusiamando/ encantado/ contentisimo/ de ayudar (o ansioso de ser de utilidad). Se moria de ganas por ayudar.

  2. Dimelo, me muero de curiosidad/ tengo muchisimas ganas de saberlo / no puedo aguantar la curiosidad/ estoy ansioso por saberlo.


only too is a rather curious English idiom. Of course, a word-by-word translation would be inappropriate, and there is no exact direct replacement. A general recipe in these cases would be: replace the English idiom by some approximate equivalent expression, and translate that. Then, we'd get most of the answers already posted, as well as some other ones:

[él] estaba completamente feliz de ser de ayuda (or: `totalmente`, `enteramente`)

Dímelo. Tengo, de verdad, demasiada curiosidad por saberlo.
  • What if one has to say something like, "It only gets better."?
    – TheLearner
    Sep 24 '14 at 8:30

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