caer mal

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  • IPA(key): /ka̠ˈe̞r - ˈma̠l/, /ka̠.e̞rˈma̠l/


caer mal (first-person singular present caigo mal, first-person singular preterite caí mal, past participle caído mal)

  1. (transitive) to be disagreeable, make a bad (or not so good) impression (a person)
    Arnoldo siempre ha caído mal = "Arnoldo always has been unpleasant (to people)"
    Les caigo mal a tus padres = "I do not please your parents"
  2. (transitive) to make for or cause a bad digestion (food)
    La sandía me cae mal en la noche = "watermelon results in a bad digestion for me by night"
  3. (transitive) to make unhappy or sad, to anger, to dissatisfy (news, advice, announcement)
    La noticia le cayó mal al jefe, y está de mal humor = "The advice made the boss unhappy, and he is in a bad mood"

Usage notes[edit]

Caer bien and caer mal can be used to show whether a person likes or dislikes another person. In this sense, caer mal is used like gustar, with the person being disliked as the subject of the sentence instead of the object. Therefore, the verb is conjugated to reflect the subject.

Me cae mal tu amiga. ("Tu amiga" is the subject, so the verb is conjugated in the third person and not the first person.)
I do not like your friend.
Me caen mal tus amigas. ("Tus amigas" is the subject, so the verb must be plural.)
I do not like your friends.
A Juan le cae mal mi amigo. (The prepositional phrase "a Juan" is used because it is not possible to write "Juan cae mal mi amigo." Whenever a person's name is used instead of a personal pronoun, the person's name must be preceded by the preposition "a." A redundant pronoun such as "le" is also needed. This sentence can also be written as "Mi amigo le cae mal a Juan.")
John does not like my friend.



See also[edit]