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No hay mal que por bien no venga


An idiom is an expression whose meaning is not readily apparent based on the individual words in the expression. This forum is dedicated to discussing idioms and other sayings.

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Old August 11, 2009, 08:14 AM
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DeanQuest DeanQuest is offline
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No hay mal que por bien no venga

Can someone please literally translate the title to English? I know that figuratively it means "Every dark cloud has a silver lining" or something to that effect.

I've searched this site and the web but have not found a literal translation.

My translation is: "There is no bad that comes from good."


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Old August 11, 2009, 09:38 AM
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Tomisimo Tomisimo is offline
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Here's an explanation I gave in another thread. I've copied it here for you.

Let's walk through the meaning.

No hay mal que por bien no venga.
Grammatically, we can change this to:

No hay mal que no venga por bien.
Now let's make it a bit more explicit:

No hay cosa mala que no venga sino por tu bien.
Now, if we try to translate that literally into English, it'll look kinda funny since we wouldn't normally use double negatives like that:

There is no bad thing that comes(that happens to you), that didn't come (or happen to you) for your benefit
We might normally turn that around and make it an affirmative sentence:

All bad things come/happen to your for your benefit/for a reason
Hope this explanation somehow helps you a bit
If you find something wrong with my Spanish, please correct it!
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Old August 12, 2009, 11:37 AM
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But every cloud .......etc... sería algo así como todo incluso lo malo, tiene su lado bueno. Bueno es difícil buscar el exacto, porque hablamos de diferentes culturas.
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Old August 16, 2009, 06:14 AM
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DeanQuest DeanQuest is offline
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Thank you, Tomisimo, for your derivation of the idiom. Your example is in the precise format I was hoping to find. Very thoughtful of you to take the time to generate your derivation in such a way as to easily satisfy the curiosity of early Spanish students like myself. Sorry I didn't discover your earlier post in a previous search of this site. I will search the subject again with different criteria.

Thank you also, RobinDesBois. I haven't learned enough Spanish at this time to fully understand your post, but hopefully, I soon will.

Thanks again,

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no hay mal


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