“Pedir peras al olmo” is a lovely Spanish idiom, do you know it?

If you heard someone using the idiomatic expression “pedir peras al olmo“, you must be very curious about the meaning.

The Spanish language is always surprising when it comes to idioms.

Sometimes it is very figurative and can express abstract concepts in simple ways.

The big challenge is interpreting them and giving them the right meaning.

In this case, if you pay attention to what it actually says you are just a step away from understanding it!

So the literal meaning gives you a good idea of what it wants to say.

We just need to translate it correcty!

Let’s see what “pedir peras al olmo” mean!

Literally it means “ask for pears to the elm tree”…which is something impossible!

An elm tree will never give you pears, so we can use it every time that someone asks for something impossible.

Therefore it is very similar to the English “get blood from a stone”.

Have a look at these examples!

Spanish English
La Unión debe apoyar a los partidos de la oposición e intentar poner en marcha un diálogo. Esto es pedir peras al olmo. The Union must support the opposition parties and try to establish a dialogue. This is asking the impossible.
Pedirle a nuestro gobierno transparencia total es como pedirle peras al olmo. Asking our government for total transparency is like getting blood from a stone.
No se pueden pedir peras al olmo.   No one can achieve the impossible.


Now it’s your turn!

When could you use this lovely idiomatic expression?

Try to make some examples to practice!

And if you want to learn more Spanish idioms have a look at our online resources or go to our Pinterest board!

There are some really lovely to learn!