Is this the best / only expression for:

on the fly - sobre la marcha

What about "al vuelo" ??

Meaning to do something without proper preparation or immediately.

The Phrasebook suggests "improvisadamente"

But I don't think that is a good interpretation.

Example "We are going to do this test of English grammar on the fly. (No preparation)


4 Answers



All of these are done fast and without a pause:

a la carrera = a todo correr (=at maximum speed or energy)

sobre la marcha (=improvising, as you go along)

atropelladamente (=rushly)

a la desbandada (=in the middle of a confusion)

  • Apr 26, 2011
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"Sin antelación" means "without preparation". "de buenas a primeras" means "on the spur of the moment". Also, "a tontas y a locas" means "helter skelter" or "frantically hasty". These are great idiomatic expressions to convey what you are trying to say.

  • Apr 26, 2011
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  • Great expressions - gracias. Did you put them in the Phrasebook? - ian-hill Apr 26, 2011
  • Good idea! Thanks :) - GuitarWarrio Apr 26, 2011


on the fly

  1. On the run; in a hurry: took lunch on the fly.
  2. While in the air; in flight: caught the ball on the fly.

al vuelo

al vuelo, o a vuelo. [RAE]

locs. advs. Con prontitud.

on the fly contexts



Mmm, yes I think that's the best translation and certainly no other comes to my mind right now although I would like to see an example of how do you use it in English,


Yes, "sobre la marcha" makes sense in that context, improvisadamente too but that's a word, not a phrase so you can use either. smile

  • Apr 26, 2011
  • | Edited by Dakie Apr 26, 2011
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  • btw, send me a PM to talk about the thread we were planning, - Dakie Apr 26, 2011
  • ;) - Dakie Apr 26, 2011
  • PM sent amigo - ian-hill Apr 26, 2011
  • I get that = "improvisedly" but I have never heard that word used in English. - ian-hill Apr 26, 2011