Knowing grammar rules and conjugations is great. But what can you do when you need to express emotions such as surprise, excitement, or frustration? Don’t worry! A great way to get across those emotional states is by learning how to say ‘oh my god’ in Spanish.
So, in this article, you’ll learn 6 different ways to say ‘oh my god’ in Spanish and the contexts where you can apply these expressions. The objective is for you to sound more natural and be able to convey and express your emotions more accurately.
1. ¡Dios mío! – Oh my God!
The standard form of saying ‘oh my god’ is its direct translation ‘¡Dios mío! Since it’s a common phrase, people of all ages and all Spanish-speaking countries use it. However, this Spanish expression is a bit dramatic, so we don’t use it as freely as you would do in English.
We typically use ‘¡Dios mío!’ to emphasize an emotion, and because of this, you’re most likely to hear it in dubbed movies and tv shows.
¡Dios mío! + [complement]
¡Dios mío! ¡Qué película tan terrorífica!
Oh my God! What a scary movie!
¡Dios mío! Pudimos haber chocado.
Oh my God! We could have collided.
¡Dios mío! Qué hermosa voz tiene ese hombre.
My God! What a beautiful voice that man has.
A variation of this phrase is just ¡Dios!, which means ‘God!’.
¡Dios! Es un alivio saber que estás bien.
God! It’s a relief to know that you’re okay.
Take Note: The actual direct translation of ‘oh my god!’ is ‘oh Dios mío’, but since this expression doesn’t sound natural, you should avoid it.
2. ¡Ay, Dios! – Oh God!
A very common expression is ¡Ay, Dios!, the Spanish version of ‘Oh, God!’ or ‘oh my gosh’. Like in English, you can apply this expression to almost every situation, but it’s very common to use it when the context suggests that there could be something negative. As a result, people frequently use it when experiencing pain, fear, or nervousness.
¡Ay, Dios! + [complement]
¡Ay, Dios! ¡Me asustaste!
Oh, God! You scared me!
¡Ay, Dios! Esto duele mucho.
Oh, God! This hurts a lot.
Ay, Dios, espero que todo salga bien.
Oh, God, I hope everything goes well.
3. Por los clavos de Cristo – For Christ’s sake
Now, a funnier and more dramatic way to say ‘OMG’ in Spanish is Por los clavos de Cristo, which directly translates as ‘for Christ’s nails’. Of course, it sounds kind of weird, so it’s actually closer in meaning to ‘For Christ’s sake’ or ‘Jesus Christ’.
To be honest with you, we only use por los clavos de Cristo when we’re trying to give a comedic effect and exaggerate a reaction. So, yes, this is my favorite way to say ‘oh my god’.
Por los clavos de Cristo + [complement]
Por los clavos de Cristo, ya vámonos.
For Christ’s sake, let’s go already.
Por los clavos de Cristo, te dije que no agarraras mis cosas.
For Christ’s sake, I told you not to take my things.
Por los clavos de Cristo, olvidé mi cartera en el restaurante.
Jesus Christ, I forgot my wallet at the restaurant.
4. ¡Santo Dios! – Oh my goodness!
¡Santo Dios! is close in meaning to ‘oh my goodness!’ Like other expressions from this list, ‘Santo Dios’ is used to express surprise, astonishment, and disappointment. Unlike ‘oh my God’, this phrase can be a little bit dramatic.
¡Santo Dios! + [complement]
Santo Dios, cuánta basura tienes en tu cuarto.
Oh my goodness, there’s a lot of trash in your room.
¡Santo Dios! Qué cara está esta blusa.
Oh my goodness! This blouse is really expensive.
¡Santo Dios! Cuánto has crecido desde la última vez que te vi.
Oh my goodness! You have grown so much since the last time I saw you.
Here are two variations of ¡Santo Dios!:
- Dios santo is generally used by older people. Even though it can be used for a lot of situations, it’s common to use it in negative scenarios.
- Santos cielos is another kind of dramatic phrase that’s more commonly used in dubbing.
5. ¡Por Dios! – My God!
Spanish speakers also say ¡Por Dios! to express a wide range of emotions; however, it’s really suitable to show disbelief and surprise. This short and simple phrase can be translated as ‘my God!’ or ‘oh my gosh’.
¡Por Dios! + [complement]
¡Por Dios! ¡Ya son las once!
My God! It’s already eleven o’clock!
Por Dios, ¿de verdad me crees capaz de eso?
My God, do you really think I’m capable of that?
¡Por Dios! Júrame que lo que me dices es cierto.
My God! Promise me that what you tell me is true.
Take Note: This expression is also commonly used to convey impatience, frustration, and complaints. In these contexts, it’s closer in meaning to ‘for God’s sake!’ or ‘for goodness’ sake!’
¡Por Dios! Guarden silencio al menos un minuto.
For God’s sake! Be silent for at least a minute.
¡Por Dios! Hay muchísimo tráfico, vamos a llegar tarde.
For God’s sake! There’s a lot of traffic; we’re gonna be late.
6. ¡Ay mi Madre! – Oh my!
Maybe you won’t hear this phrase as often as the others, but adding it to your vocabulary won’t hurt you. ¡Ay mi Madre! also means ‘oh my God’ in Spanish, so it indicates shock or even annoyance. You can translate this expression as ‘oh my’ in this context.
‘Ay mi madre’ is mainly used in Latin American Spanish-speaking countries.
[¡Ay mi Madre!] + [complement]
¡Ay mi madre! Qué cansada estoy.
Oh my! I am so tired.
¡Ay mi Madre! Esta casa es un desastre.
Oh my! This house is a disaster.
- ¡Santa Madre de Dios! Can be translated as ‘Mother of God!’
- ¡Madre Santa!
- ¡Madre mía! is more common in Castilian Spanish.
So, now that you have learned multiple ways of saying Oh My God in Spanish, you are one step closer to sounding like a native.
You can now add intensity to everything you say when you’re feeling shocked, angry, or excited. By using these expressions, people will better understand your emotional state. And when you hear them use these phrases, you will too.