Fancy (apetecer, gustar)

Do you fancy going to the cinema tonight? ¿Te apetece ir al cine esta noche?
He fancies you. A él le gustas, le molas.

Dos frases que anoté en mis clases de inglés. Confieso que no conocía “fancy” y que este verbo y este tipo de frases son totalmente nuevos para mí. Mi profesor, británico, dice que “fancy” lo usa mucho así, pero es un hecho que él ya tiene sus años y que lleva bastante en España, entonces me planteo si los jóvenes británicos lo hacen en la actualidad.

Ya sé que no se usa de esta manera en América, pero, ¿en otros países de habla inglesa? Y la última pregunta: ¿se utiliza de alguna otra forma el verbo “fancy” en América?

¡Gracias de antemano!

Autor: |2017-08-14T20:12:20+00:0014/08/17|Vocabulary|14 Comentarios


  1. nibbles 14/08/2017 en 20:32

    Hola Monic:
    Para mí, las dos frases son totalmente normales, corrientes y naturales. Pero soy británica, llevo muchos años en España y también tengo mis añitos (soy baby-boomer).
    Sigo leyendo con frecuencia fancy en el sentido de “apetecer” y como sinónimo aproximado de feel like, así que supongo que su uso sigue vigente.
    En el sentido de sentir atracción por alguien, la verdad es que no sé si se usará tanto ya.
    Siento no haber sido de más ayuda.
    Un saludo cordial.

  2. Blasita
    Blasita 15/08/2017 en 13:32

    Hola, Monic, Nibbles y todos:

    Poco más puedo yo añadir a lo que ha dicho Nibbles. Mis colegas y conocidos británicos lo usaban y usan, aunque ninguno de ellos es ya un veinteañero. En Australia cantarías como británico.

    Un cordial saludo.

  3. bill 15/08/2017 en 14:59

    “He fancies you”: Sí que los jóvenes británicos lo emplean, y mucho.
    “Do you fancy going to the cinema tonight?”: Lo digo yo, pero deconozco si la gente joven de aquí hace lo mismo.
    Un saludo

  4. monic 15/08/2017 en 17:28

    ¡Agradezco mucho vuestra ayuda, Nibbles, Blasita y Bill!

    Saludos cordiales

  5. Gerardo 28/08/2017 en 15:06


    This usage sounds typically British to my ear, and others have already stated. This is not said in American English.

    Here, we would generally say: Do you feel like going to the movies tonight? (as mentioned above) or simply: Do you want to go to the movies tonight?
    I suppose you could also say/hear something like: Do you have any desire to go to the movies? but this sounds a bit more formal or stilted to me somehow.

    • nibbles 28/08/2017 en 19:10

      Hi, Gerardo. I’m curious. Do Americans use the word “fancy” as an adjective – in the sense of decorative, ornate, showy or in the sense of posh, over-expensive? And what about the expression “to tickle someone’s fancy”? That sounds soooo British, even to me!

      • Gerardo 28/08/2017 en 22:29

        Both of these are fine in American English.

        “Fancy” is the correct term/adjective for decorative, ornate, etc.

        “To tickle one’s fancy” is also the correct American English idiom but I think it is a bit dated, especially among the younger generation.

  6. monic 29/08/2017 en 11:57

    Hello! Thank you very much, Gerardo!

    (of foodstuffs)
    US Grade Fancy — de primera calidad

    Oxford Dictionaries online

    Please can you explain me this meaning of “fancy”? Do you really use it? There are many meanings of fancy in the Oxford Dictionary and the following is the one which surprises me more because it is very varied:

    (hotel/school) de campanillas
    (car) lujoso
    (ideas) extravagante
    (ideas) estrambótico
    (price) exorbitante
    they gave us some fancy foreign dish — nos sirvieron un plato de esos

    And do you use “fancy” as “imagine”? They say that the verb is British use (“Just fancy! ¡Imagínate!), then I supose that Nibbles used it, but at the end of the dictionary entry they do not say if the noun “fancy” with the meaning “imagination” is used or not used in British or American English.

    Have a good day!

    • Gerardo 29/08/2017 en 16:57

      I have never heard “fancy” used to mean “high/top quality” in terms of grades of food/foodstuffs. It is possible that it is used in the food industry/business among those in the know. I know of other terms (particularly with meat/steak) which are commonly used in the supermarkets and restaurants and I can give you those if you wish.

      Having said that, the last entry about a meal is correct and common. (They served us a fancy foreign dish called xxx.) This implies the meal was rather complicated in the way it was prepared and served. It probably contained many different seasonings/spices and ingredients.

      Fancy will also work for cars, clothing, schools/buildings, etc.

      This would imply the item was expensive, ornate, etc. as the list you gave states.

      His brother went to some fancy prep-school on the East Coast. (It was expensive and had a good reputation.)

      He crashed his fancy car into the building. (The car was expensive and sharp looking.)

      She has some fancy ideas on how to end hunger around the globe. (The ideas are unconventional and complicated.)

      I can not imagine any native American English speaker using “fancy” with the meaning of imagine (verb) except in the following instances/expressions:

      (Well), fancy that!
      Fancy meeting you here!

      I must admit that this is probably something the younger generation would never say. I am in my early 60s and these were common in my day. “Fancy meeting you here” might still be used by the younger set. The first one most likely not.

      I don’t think I have ever heard “fancy” used with the meaning of “imagination” (noun). [I might use “fantasy” with the meaning of “idea” or “imagination” but this is another topic.]

      Hope this helps. If you have further questions, please ask.


  7. nibbles 29/08/2017 en 19:11

    To Gerardo’s very complete explanation and useful examples, I would like to add that when we Brits use “fancy” as an adjective, it often has a slightly critical undertone. This may only be caused by envy but the connotation is that the school is too posh, the clothes are outlandish, that you’ve overspent on your latest piece of technology etc. This idea is refelected by the some of the translations given in the Oxford Dictionary and which Monic mentioned. Would you say this is true in AmE, Gerardo, or is it more neutral? I’m asking because it doesn’t seem to me a very good term to use in a marketing context.

    • Gerardo 29/08/2017 en 22:44

      I think the majority of people here would use “fancy shmancy” in this context. This is a concocted, rhyming term.

      An example is found here:

      Fancy Shmancy
      Adjective. Describes an extraordinarily fancy thing, event, or person that your jealousy causes you to play down.
      “Get a load of Miss fancy shmancy flaunting her Movados and her Escalade!”

      “I ate alone last night because my jerk friends all went to that fancy shmancy party uptown.”

  8. monic 30/08/2017 en 14:56

    Hello. Thank you again, Gerardo and Nibbles!

    Your explanations and examples are extremely good and very useful for me, Gerardo. It would be a little separation from the first topic of the thread, but I would thank you if you can give me some terms which people use to say that a restaurant or a supermarket is high quality.


  9. Gerardo 30/08/2017 en 18:26

    Perhaps I was not clear on what I said previously. The terms I alluded to have to do with quality ratings of meat, specifically steak.

    In general, where I shop they are: select, choice and prime. (That is: good, better, best.)

    Prime grade is what is found in fancy (hehe), upscale restaurants/steakhouses. This is generally not found in supermarkets because of its high cost.

    Choice is what you find in supermarkets. This is a flavorful, decent cut of meat. It still is expensive, in my opinion.

    Select is also sold in supermarkets. This is cheaper and less tender.

    Much of this grading has to do with the age of the beef and ‘marbling’ in the cut of meat.

    In terms of the description of a supermarket, I would never use ‘fancy’. I would say something like: This is a very upscale supermarket. (That is, classy, probably expensive and one that has a wide variety of merchandise.)

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