De plano

How would you translate the first word of Seriously, you need to get a job? In the examples below, you can see that de plano expresses the speaker’s attitude of certainty towards the proposition at hand.

  • De plano es muy, pero muy, malo. Seriously, that guy is pure evil. (The speaker is being emphatic here, sensing that the listener is unconvinced.)
  • Hablé con la gerente y de plano veo muy difícil que puedas regresar a trabajar aquí. In her strongly felt opinion, there’s no way the listener will able to get her job back. (telenovela dialogue)
  • Estos no sirven y estos de plano no sirven. The first headphones I’m pointing to have a minor cosmetic defect, but the second ones I’m pointing to are badly damaged. I’m strongly asserting they are unacceptable or that they don’t work at all.

In other constructions, de plano can express the speaker’s doubt about the proposition at hand.

  • ¿De plano no me quieres acompañar? Last chance, are you sure you don’t want to come with me? I’m surprised or disappointed.
  • ¿De plano? Really? ¿En serio? This is probably an expression of surprise rather than genuine doubt.
  • Si de plano quieres mejorar tu inglés …. If you’re serious about improving your English …. If you actually want to improve your English …. Here de plano suggests that the speaker has doubts that that listener is serious about the matter.

My favorite is: De plano, ¿te cae? Seriously, are you serious?