‘Eso’: Must-Know Mexican Slang!

In its “standard” form, ‘eso‘ is a neuter demonstrative pronoun and generally translates to ‘that’ or ‘that one’. However, it’s also a super common interjection in Mexican Spanish, so it’s used to express sudden bursts of emotion.

As a colloquial expression, it can have a variety of different meanings, such as ‘exactly’, ‘right on’, ‘great idea’, and ‘come on’, depending on the context!

Read on if you wanna know more 😉

Uses / Meanings of ‘eso

‘Eso’ can be used in the following ways –

  • As a neuter demonstrative pronoun

  • To agree with someone

  • To cheer someone on

  • To show contempt for something

As a neuter demonstrative pronoun

‘Eso’ as a neuter demonstrative pronoun often translates to ‘that‘ or ‘that one’ and serves to indicate an undetermined thing that’s close to the person being addressed and far away from the speaker.

Cactus saying, "¿Qué es eso?"

María Elena – Quita eso de la cama.

José – ¿Qué, la ropa?

María Elena – Sí, se ve todo desordenado.

María Elena – Get that off the bed.

José – What, the clothes?

María Elena – Yeah, it looks messy.

Antonio – Pásame eso que tienes ahí.

Fátima – ¿Los cheetos?

Antonio – Sí, ya me dio hambre.

Antonio – Pass me that thing you’ve got.

Fátima – The cheetos?

Antonio – Yeah, I’m getting hungry.

Expert tip – for a detailed look at the “standard” use of ‘eso’, check out our article on ‘ESO’ AND ‘AQUELLO’.

To agree with someone

In Mexican slang, ‘eso’ is also a synonym of ‘exactly’ or ‘right on’; it’s basically used to express agreement!

Oftentimes you’ll find it as part of a longer expression, such as ‘¡eso es!’ and ‘¡eso mero!’.

Erika – Entonces, ¿todos los lados de un triángulo equilátero son iguales?

Melina – ¡Eso mero!

Erika – So, all the sides of an equilateral triangle are equal?

Melina – Exactly!

Paula – Mañana le voy a decir a Pablo que ya no quiero ser su novia.

Eduardo – ¡Eso es!

Paula – Tomorrow I’m gonna tell Pablo that I don’t want to be his girlfriend anymore.

Eduardo – Right on!

Rupert’s pro tip – context and intonation are obviously key when understanding what exactly ‘eso‘ means. I remember that in one of my first-ever Spanish classes, my teacher congratulated me with an enthusiastic ‘eso‘ and I actually spun around in my chair thinking that there was something behind me!

Needless to say, I quickly learned that if ‘eso‘ is accompanied by a clap and a warm smile, it’s normally NOT a demonstrative pronoun!

To cheer someone on

‘¡Eso!’ can also be used to applaud someone’s actions or to show support.

It’s commonly heard when playing a sport, for example.

Football playing cactus being cheered on with an "eso"

Luis – A ganar equipo, ¡Eso!

Luis – Let’s win this, come on!

Hijo – Ganamos el último partido y vamos a jugar la final la próxima semana.

Madre – ¡Eso! Échale ganas*; pueden ser campeones.

Son – We won the last game and we’re going to play the final next week.

Mother – Well done! Give it your all; you can be champions.

Expert tip – ‘ÉCHALE GANAS’ is a super common Mexican phrase meaning something along the lines of ‘put your back into it’ or ‘give it your all’.

To show contempt for something (demonstrative pronoun)

Conversely, when used as a demonstrative pronoun, ‘eso’ can also sometimes show contempt for a thing or situation that we find unpleasant.

In this context, it’s being used ironically/sarcastically.

Mateo – ¡Mira lo que te traje!

Gabriel – ¿Eso? Está todo corriente.

Mateo – Look what I brought you!

Gabriel – That thing? It’s crappy.

Luna – ¿Qué es eso?

Diego – Un auto clásico.

Luna – Está horrible, parece una pesadilla.

Luna – What’s that?

Diego – A classic car.

Luna – It’s horrible; it looks like somebody’s nightmare.

Eso’ pronunciation

‘Eso’ is very simple to pronounce, it’s said as follows-

/ eh – soh /

Useful chunks with ‘eso

Por eso

If you hear someone yell ‘¡por eso!‘ in Mexico, they’re likely in the middle of a heated conversation or simply annoyed by the obviousness of something.

Fed up cactus saying, "¡Por eso!"

It’s usually said when someone’s feeling exasperated because the person they’re speaking to doesn’t quite understand an explanation/instruction.

¡Por eso! Ya te dije que no vas a ir a la fiesta y hazle como quieras.

Whatever! I already told you that you’re not going to the party and that’s that.

Juan – Mamá, ¿me compras el nuevo PlayStation?

Mamá – No, está muy caro.

Juan – Pero tú dijiste que si me portaba bien, me lo ibas a regalar de cumpleaños.

Mamá – ¡Por eso! Ya te dije que no tengo dinero, deja de insistir.

Juan – Mom, will you buy me the new PlayStation?

Mamá – No, it’s too expensive.

Juan – But you said that if I behaved well, you were going to give it to me for my birthday.

Mamá – Enough already! I told you I don’t have any money.

Eso es

Eso es‘ literally translates to ‘that’s a’, and it’s usually followed by a compliment –

Eso es un perro.

That’s a dog.

María – ¡Qué bicho tan extraño!

Joaco – Eso es un escarabajo pelotero.

María – What a strange creature!

Joaco – That’s a dung beetle.

However, it can also mean ‘exactly’ OR be used to cheer someone on –

Óscar – Entonces tenemos que estar ahí antes de las tres, ¿cierto?

Ana – Eso es.

Óscar – So, we have to be there before three, right?

Ana – Exactly.

Y eso

This is another VERY common colloquial expression.

If you ask an inquisitive ‘¿y eso?’, it normally means that you’re interested in knowing more about a situation!

Cactus looking confused and saying "¿Y eso?"

Santiago – (…) Y el viernes ni siquiera fui al cine con Alejandra.

Ana – ¿Y eso?

Santiago – Me enojé con mis papás y me castigaron.

Santiago – (…) And I didn’t even go to the movies with Alejandra on Friday.

Ana – How come?

Santiago – I argued with my parents, and they grounded me.

Sara – Ayer andaba bien triste.

Adriana – ¿Y eso?

Sara – Me corrieron del trabajo.

Sara – I was really upset yesterday.

Adriana – How come?

Sara – I got fired from my job.

Eso sí

This one’s akin to ‘yes indeed’ or ‘that’s for sure‘ and, as you may have guessed, it’s also used to express agreement.

Uriel – Tienes que admitir que corrimos con suerte a pesar de las circunstancias.

Hilda – ¡Eso sí!

Uriel – You have to admit that we were lucky given the circumstances.

Hilda – That’s for sure!

Eso, eso, eso

The famous Mexican TV show “El Chavo del 8” actually popularized the use of ‘eso’ as a way of expressing agreement.

The main character (“El Chavo”) is known for blurting out a profuse ‘eso, eso, eso’ whenever he agrees with something!

“Eso, Eso, Eso”: Una canción de “El Chavo”

Eso, eso, eso, eso, eso

Solo el amor

Eso, eso, eso, eso, eso

Siempre el amor

By the way, if you wanna top up on your Mexican slang, you NEED to check out our “Master Guide” … it’s everything you need to know all in one place 👇🌵🇲🇽

Erika pointing to the word "Mexican Slang Master Guide"

Similar expressions to ‘eso


‘École’ is another colloquial word used to express approval; it normally translates to ‘exactly’ or ‘right on’.

Gustavo – ¿Entonces para que salga bien el platillo, por cada taza de arroz, hay que colocar dos tazas de agua?

Bianca – ¡École!

Gustavo – So, for the dish to come out right, you have to put in two cups of water for every cup of rice?

Bianca – Exactly!

Before you go …

¡Eso! (or ‘well done!’) for making it to the end of the article 🙂

Keep practicing your Spanish and don’t forget to check out another SUPER USEFUL Mexican interjection (and one of my personal faves!): HÍJOLE!

¡Hasta pronto!

Rupert's lived in Mexico for nearly a decade and has been working as a Spanish teacher for even longer (over 10 years now, wow!). He specializes in simple (yet effective) explanations and is a veritable grammar-whizz.

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