Saying, “Shut up!” to someone is sometimes necessary. Learning how to tell someone to stop up is an excellent first step toward fluency in the language.
It’s important to keep in mind that the word “shut up” has multiple meanings and can be used in a variety of contexts, including fun and conversational ones. The precise wording is subject to change based on the intended meaning.
Here are the six most popular ways to tell someone to shut up in Spanish, so that the next time you need to, you may absolutely stun them with your eloquence.
A Quick Guide to “Shut Up” in Spanish
If you were to ask a native Spanish speaker how to pronounce “shut up” in their language, they would probably respond with the word cállate. In any case, cállate isn’t quite simple.
The imperative form, cáltate, is used to issue commands. Cállate’s te is the singular version of “you,” which is why it is used in this sentence. Therefore, this command is only appropriate for usage in one-on-one situations.
With a minor adjustment, this word can also be used to tell a group of people in Spanish to shut up. The Spanish word for “people” is “callaos,” while the Latin American word is “cállense.”
2. Cállate La Boca
The Spanish phrase Cállate la boca can be literally translated as “close your mouth,” which is another way of saying “shut up” in Spanish. It’s very similar to the Spanish verb cállate in that the last -ar or -ate element of the verb should be conjugated differently depending on the addressee or addressees.
|You (singular informal)
|cállate la boca
|You (singular formal)
|cállese la boca
|callaos la boca, or cállense la boca.
You shouldn’t use this phrase around strangers or people in authoritative positions like your professor because it’s too casual and informal.
It’s not always used in a derogatory or offensive way, though. Playfully, amongst close friends and family. Nonetheless, this expression can also be used to convey scepticism, but in a different context and tone.
Spanish- ¿En serio tienes 60 años? No te creo, ¡cállate la boca!
English- You are really 60? I can’t believe it, shut your mouth!
Cierra La Boca is an Example of Such a Phrase.
To’shut up’ in Spanish is to ‘cierra la boca. You will also frequently encounter this fairly casual version. In other words, it implies to stop talking. You shouldn’t use such an angry expression towards elders or persons in authoritative positions.
Like the imperative cállate, cierra la boca is used to demand compliance. In the same vein as cierra la boca, we can also use the term cierra el pico, which literally means “shut your beak.”
The Spanish word for “shut up” is far more polite and formal: silencio. As a noun, silencio can be used to directly request silence from another person.
Thankfully, you never have to change the term you use to mean “quiet” or “silence” because silencio is a noun and doesn’t need to be conjugated.
As a courteous expression, it finds frequent usage in lecture halls and business gatherings. Of course, you can use it in any formal setting. At tennis matches, for instance, the umpire may request silence by saying Silencio, por favour.
Unlike the previous examples, in which silencio was used as a command, here it is used as a request.
Teacher’s requests for silence in the classroom may be phrased more casually than at a tennis match in some countries, using phrases like “guarda silencio” (‘be silent’).
guarda silencio is “very quiet” and “quiet” in Spanish. Stay silent or be quiet would be literal translations of the phrase in this circumstance. It is used in more formal situations since it is even more professional and polite than silencio on its own.
Spanish- Estamos en examen, chicos. Silencio.
English- We’re in the middle of an exam, kids. Silence.
Undoubtedly, the most colloquial way to say “shut up” here is chitón. Common in many but not all Spanish-speaking nations, this term meaning “shush” or something similar. Such a phrase would be used in a relaxed setting, such as amongst close friends or family.
Spanish- Chitón, Juana, que quiero escuchar la televisión
English- Shush, Juana, I want to hear the TV
As an illustration of the use of this expression, consider the following: “Since it’s an expression, there’s no need to conjugate it in person and number; just say “chitón.”
Several variations on the phrase “shut up” have been provided here for your Spanish language learning pleasure. Chitón, cállate, and cierra la boca are examples of less formal expressions, while silencio and guarda silencio are examples of more formal expressions.
No matter how formally or casually we use these terms, we should always be aware of how our tone might make them more forceful, calm, or amusing. Finally, we can urge someone to “please, shut up” by adding por favour at the end of each of these phrases.