Expresiones idiomáticas: A slap on the wrist


Hey this is Joel from http://www.InglesAvanzado.org. In this lesson, I’m going to talk about the expression, “a slap on the wrist.”

Figuratively, “a slap on the wrist” means “an easy punishment” or “a light punishment.” In Spanish, it could be, “un castigo suave.” So, literally, a slap is “bofetada.” And wrist is “muñeca” – this part of your body here. So a slap on the wrist literally would be like this...

So, it’s an easy punishment right? If you slap someone on the wrist or slap a child on the wrist, it’s not a very harsh punishment.

So, when we’re using this expression... We can use it for adults who go to prison or even for maybe teenagers who break the rules at home.

So, let’s say that someone committed murder. They should go to jail for, I don’t know, 15 years or for their whole life, or maybe receive the death penalty. But if somebody murders another person and they go to jail for just 1 year, then you could say they got a slap on the wrist.

“What? Just 1 year in prison? He got a slap on the wrist.”

“That’s a slap on the wrist.” – “That’s an easy punishment.” 

Well, I hope that you learned something from this lesson today. And if you want to see more lessons or download my mp3 conversational course, go to http://www.InglesAvanzado.org.

Have a good day and thanks for watching.


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