Quedar often expresses the idea of place. Let’s look at some examples where quedar is used to talk about what is left or remaining in a place after everything else has gone.
No te queda de otra
No te queda de otra means: you have no choice. There’s only one option left. Whatever additional options you may have had in the past are gone now.
- No te queda de otra. You have to buy take that job. Beggars can’t be choosers.
- Pues no te queda de otra que buscarla. You have to look for her. There’s no other solution.
Another way to say this is No hay de otra. In either case, otra here refers to the opción under discussion, the only way out of this mess.
Post-election flyer, Mexico City
Quedar + number
In the following examples, quedar tells us how many of something are left or are still available.
- Queda una. There’s one bicycle left. All the others are in use.
- Quedan tres. We have sold all of them but three.
- Quedan cinco minutos. There are five minutes left (until something ends). Time is up in five minutes. Five minutes to go.
Quedar or faltar?
Whereas quedar focuses on what is left after something has been taken away, faltar focuses on the other part: on what is missing or on what was once there but now is gone.
- Falta una. There’s a bicycle missing. All the other bikes are accounted for.
- Faltan tres. Three of the people who should be here are missing.
- Faltan cinco minutos. There are five minutes left (until something starts). It’s five minutes to starting time. Five minutes to go.