I can't find the translation of this expression anywhere, please help!

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MarianoM
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I can't find the translation of this expression anywhere, please help!

Postby MarianoM » Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:32 am

How do you say in English "cualquier cosa", not in the "anything" sense, but in the negative sense like saying "totally wrong" some examples:

Te pedí que hagas esto, e hiciste cualquier cosa! (otra cosa totalmente distinta a la que te pedí)

Tenias que comprar pan, y trajiste cualquier cosa! (trajiste de todo menos lo que tenias que traer)

If there isn't an exact translation, I hope you can give me some ideas!

Thanks
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eido
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Re: I can't find the translation of this expression anywhere, please help!

Postby eido » Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:15 am

MarianoM wrote:Te pedí que hagas esto, e hiciste cualquier cosa! (otra cosa totalmente distinta a la que te pedí)

Tenias que comprar pan, y trajiste cualquier cosa! (trajiste de todo menos lo que tenias que traer)

1) I asked you to do this, and you did something completely different! / I asked you to do this *gestures at the thing*, and you did this! *gestures at the mess the person made*
2) All you had to do was buy bread, and you brought me this! / You were supposed to buy bread, and you bought this instead?!

Haha, that was fun. That's my interpretation. Take it with a grain of salt.
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Re: I can't find the translation of this expression anywhere, please help!

Postby Brun Ugle » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:48 am

I would normally say, “everything but (that).”

I asked you to do X and you did everything but.

I asked you to buy bread and you brought everything but.

My mother said that kind of thing a lot.
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Re: I can't find the translation of this expression anywhere, please help!

Postby Neurotip » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:39 pm

What @eido said. 'Something completely different', 'something entirely different', maybe, but this isn't really something for which there's a specific idiom in English. If I was saying it in exasperation, I might say 'I asked you to buy bread and you go and buy that instead!' (or 'went and bought', either is possible). But that only works when you did something else; if you simply omitted to do X, I'd have to say 'and you went and forgot', 'and you couldn't even be bothered', etc. I daresay if you watch a couple of episodes of an English-language soap opera you'll come across an example pretty quickly. :)
Brun Ugle wrote:I asked you to do X and you did everything but.
I asked you to buy bread and you brought everything but.

Interesting, I would say 'anything but' - I haven't heard 'everything but' before. Was your mother a native English speaker?
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Re: I can't find the translation of this expression anywhere, please help!

Postby lavengro » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:02 am

Interesting! I have heard "anything but", "everything but", "all but" from time to time. Attached is a link to an article that may be of interest:

https://jakubmarian.com/all-but-vs-anything-but-vs-everything-but-in-english/
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Re: I can't find the translation of this expression anywhere, please help!

Postby Brun Ugle » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:01 am

Neurotip wrote:What @eido said. 'Something completely different', 'something entirely different', maybe, but this isn't really something for which there's a specific idiom in English. If I was saying it in exasperation, I might say 'I asked you to buy bread and you go and buy that instead!' (or 'went and bought', either is possible). But that only works when you did something else; if you simply omitted to do X, I'd have to say 'and you went and forgot', 'and you couldn't even be bothered', etc. I daresay if you watch a couple of episodes of an English-language soap opera you'll come across an example pretty quickly. :)
Brun Ugle wrote:I asked you to do X and you did everything but.
I asked you to buy bread and you brought everything but.

Interesting, I would say 'anything but' - I haven't heard 'everything but' before. Was your mother a native English speaker?

Actually, I wrote “anything but” at first, then changed it to “everything but” for some reason. Probably because I was tired and started second-guessing myself. I’m sure I’ve heard both, but I haven’t lived in an English speaking country for about 20 years, so my English is a bit rusty. And I think you’re right. Now that I’m more rested, I think my mother probably said “anything but” more than “everything but”.

My mother was born in the US to English parents and we have rather long generations in my family, so sometimes our expressions seems a bit old-fashioned and mixed British/American. But with any British bits being usually a century or so old.
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Re: I can't find the translation of this expression anywhere, please help!

Postby Iversen » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:44 pm

We have got something slightly similar in Danish. You can say: "Når han er fuld kan han finde på hvad som helst" (when he is drunk he can come up with (or do) everything/anything) - and then we don't expect that to imply the next relativity theory or a method to cure cancer.

But in the example of the OP we would have to somehow add the notion 'different from the intended' - "Te pedí que hagas esto, e hiciste cualquier cosa!" --> 'Jeg bad dig gøre dette, og det var sådan omtrent det eneste du ikke gjorde' (I asked you to do this, and that was just about the only thing you didn't do). I suppose the difference between the two situations is that in the first one there isn't an obligation to do something specific - just the possibility that just about anything might happen (but probably not something desirable).
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Re: I can't find the translation of this expression anywhere, please help!

Postby Ser » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:28 pm

I like the translations "something entirely different" and "anything but (that)". I think "whatever you felt like [verb-ing]" would also work.

I asked you to do this, but you did anything but that!
I asked you to do this, but you did something entirely different!
I asked you to do this, but you did whatever you felt like doing!

You had to buy bread, but you brought anything but that!
You had to buy bread, but you brought something entirely different!
You were supposed to buy bread, but in the end you brought whatever you felt like bringing!


By the way, I find your Spanish sentence "Te pedí que hagas esto, e hiciste cualquier cosa!" a bit funny because of hagas. I would say "Te pedí que hicieras esto". I'm not from Argentina of course but from El Salvador, and your sentence would be considered wrong where I'm from (and "wrong" in the sense of "nobody says this"). I'm just noticing you curiously use the same construction the French use (je t'ai demandé que tu fasses ça, where fasses = hagas).
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