Have you ever heard someone saying “he empezado la casa por el tejado“? It can be translated in English as “I put the cart before the horse” and literally means “to start the house by the roof“, so it can also be referred to having things in the wrong order.

Let’s go through some examples!

Spanish English
Martina ha empezado la casa por el tejado, se ha comprado su traje de novia, pero aún no sabe con quién se casará. Martina put the cart before the horse, she bought her bridal gown but still doesn’t know who she will marry.
Si empezáramos la construcción sin los fondos, estaríamos empezando la casa por el tejado. If we started construction without the funds, we’d be putting the cart before the horse.
A Vicente, que este año quiere comenzar sus estudios en veterinaria, le ha comprado su padre todo lo necesario para que monte su propia clínica. ¡Éso es empezar la casa por el tejado! Vincente this year wants to start studying veterinary science and his father already bought him all the necessary to open his own clinic. This is starting the house by the roof!


Do you want to try making another example?