Do you know the Spanish idiom “Echar leña al fuego”?

Echar leña al fuego” is a common Spanish expression you might have heard many times.

As usual, Spanish idioms are often more effective than any other explanations.

So if you use this idiom you can communicate what you mean in a straightforward way, without need of many words.

Can you guess its meaning?

If you think of the literal meaning, it is enough to have an idea of its use.

Literally, it means “to throw wood to the fire”.

If you do that, you fuel the fire which keeps burning.

The same thing happens when you stir up a complicated situation saying or doing something that make it even worse.

That is exactly what this idiom means.

In English we would say “to add fuel to the fire”.

Here you have some useful examples!

Spanish English
Jorge se lleva muy mal con su mamá. Si le cuentas que lo viste bebiendo y fumando, no harás más que echar leña al fuego. Jorge doesn’t get along well with his mum. If you tell her that you saw him drinking and smoking, you’ll only add fuel to the fire.
La situación ya es de por sí muy mala. No deberíamos echar más leña al fuego. The situation is bad enough as it is. We shouldn’t add fuel to the fire.
El otro día, mientras discutía con Felipe, Paco no hacía más que echar leña al fuego. The other day, while I was arguing with Felipe, Paco did nothing but add fuel to the fire.

It’s not difficult as you would use a similar expression in English!

So try to make a similar sentence now!

You can learn more Spanish idioms on our Pinterest board.

In addition, check our online resources.