Lo que se dé

Sometimes the hardest expressions to understand — and remember to use — are the ones composed of familiar words used in new ways. I was never taught in school that darse can mean happen but it does.

  • En la vida se dan muchas casualidades. Life is full of surprises. (telenovela dialogue)
  • ¿Qué buscas? — Lo que se dé. What are you looking for? — I’m up for whatever. (online dating hookup)
  • Y eso no se va a dar de la noche a la mañana. It (success) won’t happen overnight.

When the focus is on the result, work out is a good translation:

  • A ver cómo se van dando las cosas. Let’s see what happens. Let’s see how things work out.
  • Si las cosas se dan. If everything works out. If everything happens the way I hope it does.