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Cuatro gatos

 

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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  #1  
Old September 02, 2022, 07:02 AM
Tyrn Tyrn is offline
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Cuatro gatos

Hi,

I stumbled upon cuatro gatos mal contados. Is it there's pretty much nothing/nobody around?

Besides, I found an unexpected wealth of cuatro gatos idioms on Context Reverso.

Is there any system about cuatro gatos in Spanish?
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  #2  
Old September 05, 2022, 02:39 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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I don't know about system or origin, but it's a simple set phrase meaning "very few people". The number is big enough to be a plural and small enough to be counted with the fingers of one hand.

- En la conferencia había apenas cuatro gatos.
There were very few people at the conference.
- Yo nunca cocino cosas complicadas. Para cuatro gatos que somos en la casa, ni vale la pena.
In this case, probably four people is the exact number of people living in my place, but I still think four is not enough to bother cooking complicated dishes.
- A la fiesta no llegaron ni cuatro gatos.
There were far fewer people than were expected for the party.
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Old September 07, 2022, 01:16 AM
Tyrn Tyrn is offline
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Thanks! Does mal contados, in my case, have additional meaning? Or zero, for instance ?

En la conferencia había apenas cuatro gatos.

Can I say

En la conferencia había cuatro gatos mal contados.

?

Last edited by Tyrn; September 07, 2022 at 01:20 AM.
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Old September 08, 2022, 08:39 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrn View Post
Can I say

En la conferencia había cuatro gatos mal contados.

?
I guess "mal contados" is just a way to add an emphasis on the small number and a touch of contempt.
Yes, you can say that.
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