"Fish" in Spanish

Quick Answer

Fish in Spanish can be el pez, el pescado, pescar (en), rebuscar, or tratar de conseguir, depending on the context. Read on to find out more about how to say fish in Spanish, as well as more fish-related vocabulary and phrases!

fish

Fish in Spanish: Fish as a Noun

As a noun, fish in Spanish can be el pezor el pescado.

Pez Versus Pescado

Don’t let these two words fool you! They both mean fish, but they describe the animal in very different contexts.

  • Pez refers to the animal, alive or dead.
  • Pescado refers to fish in the culinary context, i.e., fish as food.

For example:

examples
Si llevas gafas cuando nadas en el río, puedes ver todos los peces. Son truchas jóvenes; las truchas más grandes van a zonas más profundas del río.
If you wear goggles when you swim in the river, you can see all the fish. They’re young trout; the bigger trout go to deeper areas of the river.
¿Vieron el pez que había en el museo? Dijeron que era el bonito más grande que habían pescado por la zona.
Did you see the fish in the museum? They said it was the biggest bonito they had captured in the area.
¿Qué te apetece para cenar? Tengo dos tipos de pescado: lenguado o merluza.
What would you like for dinner? I have two types of fish: sole or hake.

Pez changes to pecesin the plural. Why? Pez ends in z. To pluralize Spanish nouns that end in z, you change the z to a c and add -es.

You can read more about Spanish plural nouns in this article.

fishing

Fish in Spanish: Fish as a Verb

Fish in Spanish can also be a verb. In this case, we’d translate it as:

SpanishFish as in…
tratar de conseguir
to try to get indirectly; used with “for”
pescar
to (try to) catch fish
rebuscar
to search for something

For example:

examples
Alejandro es muy inseguro y siempre está tratando de conseguir que halaguen su trabajo.
Alejandro’s really insecure. He’s always fishing for compliments about his work.
Jasmín va a pescar cada fin de semana. Dice que es muy relajante, y le gusta mucho estar en la naturaleza.
Jasmin goes fishing every weekend. She says it’s very relaxing, and she really likes to be in nature.
Siempre tengo que rebuscar en la cartera cuando necesito sacar las llaves. Quizás necesite una cartera más pequeña.
I always have to fish around in my purse when I need to take out my keys. Maybe I need a smaller purse.

Note that if we want to say go fishing we say ir a pescaror ir de pesca.

Fish in Spanish: Fishy Phrases

We have a few phrases in English that use the term fish. How can we say them in Spanish? Take a look:

SpanishEnglish
como un pez fuera del agua, más perdido que un pulpo en un garaje(Spain)like a fish out of water
harina de otro costal
a different kettle of fish
ni lo uno, ni lo otro
neither fish nor fowl
la pecera
fishbowl
la persona antipática
cold fish
el pez gordo
big fish
tener cosas más importantes que hacer
have other fish to fry

Let’s see how we can use these phrases in context:

examples
Jaime dijo que estaba más perdido que un pulpo en un garaje cuando llegó a su nueva universidad.
Jaime said he was like a fish out of water when he arrived at his new university.
Muchos dicen que Lorena es una persona antipática, pero eso no es verdad. ¡Es muy tímida!
Many people say that Lorena is a cold fish, but that’s not true. She’s really shy!
Rodolfo me pidió que lo ayudara a elegir una correa para su perro, pero yo tengo cosas más importantes que hacer.
Rodolfo asked me to help him choose a new leash for his dog, but I have other fish to fry.

We hope that after reading this article, you’re not feeling como un pez fuera del agua when it comes to translating fish!

These articles may be harina de otro costal, but take some time to check them out to keep improving your Spanish skills!