When we say “it is what it is”, it means that nothing can really be done in a frustrating situation: we simply have to make do with what we have! No doubt you’ve had to use this expression in many situations. These types of challenging moments happen just as often for Spanish speakers, so we have an equivalent expression we use in Spanish. The expression we use to mean “It is what it is” in Spanish is Es lo que es.
However there are many other variations of this expression and certain expressions may be more appropriate than others, depending on the context. Let’s take a look at all the ways to say it is what it is in Spanish.
It is What it is in Spanish at a Glance
All the Ways to Say It is what it is in Spanish
Es lo que es is the literal translation of “it is what it is”. The meaning of Es lo que es is identical to that of English. It can be used in the same contexts as “it is what it is” is used in English.
- El departamento es un poco pequeño, pero es lo que es.
- Me encantaría que mi televisor fuera más moderno, pero es lo que es.
- The apartment is a bit small, but it is what it is.
- I would love my TV to be more modern, but it is what it is.
Read next: 3 Ways to Say What in Spanish
Es lo que hay is a bit more conversational and sounds more natural than es lo que es. In this case, the verb used is hay is taken from the verb haber (“to have”).
- Quisiera demorar menos tiempo en el tráfico de camino al trabajo, pero es lo que hay.
- He reprobado el examen, pero es lo que hay.
- I wish I could spend less time in traffic on the way to work, but it is what it is.
- I failed the exam, but it is what it is.
A shorter, simpler way to say “It is what it is” in Spanish is es así . There’s no more decisive expression than es así in Spanish. It sounds like you really have been analyzed all the alternatives of a problem, and the conclusion is “this is the way it is!” Es así is the literal translation of “it is like this” or “it is so”. Next, let’s see an example:
La sequía es producto de la deforestación. ¡Es así!
Drought is a product of deforestation. It is so!
There is two more variants for es así that you can also use: las cosas son así and así son las cosas:
A mí tampoco me gusta viajar en avión, pero así son las cosas.
I don’t like traveling by plane either, but that’s the way it is.
Finally, we bring you a very typical expression of several Spanish-speaking countries, especially Spain: ¡Qué remedio! It means something like “What else can/could I do?”, and it’s used when you’re resigned about a situation:
Me tengo que levantar muy temprano mañana. ¡Qué remedio!
I have to get up very early tomorrow, but what else can I do?
Es así, las cosas son así, así son las cosas and even ¡Qué remedio! There certainly are a lot of ways to say “it is what it is” in Spanish. We encourage you to gradually incorporate them into your conversations in Spanish, and you’ll soon see how super fluent you sound. After all, qué remedio: Spanish is a great language!