‘Sale vale’ – Meaning / In English

Sale vale‘ is a common Mexican expression meaning ‘ok‘ or ‘got it‘; it’s normally used to express agreement or to check understanding.

Sale vale‘ is likely to have evolved from the Latin term valeo, meaning to “have strength and good health”. It later became a synonym for the English ‘ok‘.

At some point ‘sale‘ was added (‘sale y vale‘ was the original expression), most probably because it slips off the tongue so easily – give it a go!

¡Ojo! (watch out!) –Sale vale‘ shouldn’t be confused with the the verbs ‘valer‘ and ‘salir‘.

Uses / meanings of ‘sale vale‘ in Spanish

This useful little phrase is used in quite a similar way to the English ‘ok‘, so it has quite a few different meanings!

By the way, if you’d like to find out more about the various words for ok‘ in Spanish, be sure to check out our article on the subject (trust me, it’s super useful!).

Although considered to be colloquial Mexican Spanish, ‘sale vale‘ is a “family-friendly” phrase and is heard in offices, schools and on the metro in equal measure!

It can be used in the following ways –

  • As a synonym of ‘ok‘ (when expressing agreement)

  • To check understanding, kind of like ‘got it?‘ in English

  • As a way of asking if something is correct

As a synonym of ‘ok(when expressing agreement)

Perhaps the most common use of ‘sale vale‘ is as a synonym of ‘ok‘ (when expressing agreement).

It can often be used as a direct replacement for words like ‘ok‘ or ‘vale‘.

Gonzalo – ¿Entonces nos quedamos de ver el sábado, verdad?

Evelia – ¡Sale vale!

Gonzalo – Va*, súper. ¡Ya estoy emocionado!

Gonzalo – So we’re meeting on Saturday, right?

Evelia – Ok, sure thing!

Gonzalo – Ok, great. I´m excited already!

*Erika´s note – va‘ is the third person singular conjugation of ‘ir‘ in the present tense and can be translated to ‘he goes‘, but it can also be used to mean (yeah, you guessed it!) ‘ok‘!

Check out our article on the various meanings of va‘ in Spanish to find out more!

To check understanding

This use is again similar to a way in which we use ‘ok‘ in English, but this time in the sense of checking understanding.

Creo que ya casi nos quedó listo el trabajo. ¿Sale vale?

I think we’ve almost finished the job. Don’t you reckon?

Mira, se hace así. ¿Sale vale?

Look, that’s how you do it. ¿You got it?

As a way of asking if something is correct

The English equivalent of ‘sale vale‘ in this context would be ‘right?‘.

In Spanish one of the most common ways to ask if something is correct is by appending ´verdad´ to the end of a sentence, but you’ll also hear ‘sale vale‘ quite frequently!

¡Estamos ganando 5-0! ¿Sale vale?

We’re winning 5-0! Right?

Ya estamos listos. ¿Sale vale?

We’re ready, right?

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"

Sale‘ in spanish slang

Sale‘ is used very similarly to ‘sale vale‘; it can also be used to express agreement AND to check that someone has understood what you’re saying.

Voy al parque con mis amigos. ¿Sale?

I’m going to the park with my friends. Ok?

In short, ‘sale vale‘ and ‘sale‘ can be used pretty much interchangeably!

Sale, pues‘ meaning

This useful little phrase is yet another way to say ‘ok‘. Adding ‘pues‘ to the end of an interjection is extremely common in Mexican spanish and you’re sure to hear it everywhere you go!

Particularly common are the following phrases –

órale pues (commonly used to express agreement or as a way of ending a conversation)

sale, pues

ándale pues (check out our article on ándale pues if you want to know more!)

Erika’s top tip – sale‘ and ‘ándale‘ have very different meanings from the similar sounding verbs ‘salir‘ and ‘andar‘.

Sale vale‘ pronunciation

SaleISN´T pronounced like ‘sale‘ (of the Black Friday variety) in English; it’s a short ‘a‘ sound as opposed to the long one used in the English word (think the ‘sa‘ in ‘sand‘, NOT the ‘sa‘ in ‘sale‘).

The ‘le‘ is said like ‘lay‘.

// sa lay //

Similarly, ‘vale‘ is pronounced with a short ‘a‘ sound (like the ‘va‘ in ‘van‘). The ‘le‘ is again said like ‘lay‘.

The stress is always on the second two letters of each word, ‘saLE vaLE‘.

Final thoughts

Just think of ‘sale vale‘ and ‘sale‘ as synonyms of ok in the context of expressing agreement and you’ll be good to go!

You’re sure to be using them down your local cantina in no time!

¡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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