I have this strange theory that there are certain words in another language that are crucial in order to truly learn how to speak it well. In French, these were expressions like par rapport à and à travers, and these words become invaluable when you're speaking French.
Well, I think I just learned the first great orphan of the Spanish language for me. It's the verb "echar." Echar is like the biggest playa of all time in Spanish. This word sleeps with, and socializes with, so many other words and meanings that's it's almost disgusting, if only it wasn't so fascinating to watch.
1. To throw, as in echala en la basura
2. To put, as in echa esos pantalones en la lavadora
3. To pour or add something, as in eché sal en la salsa
4. To give, to dish out, me echó una gran reprimenda
5. To mail, as in echo algo al correo
6. To sprout, as in las hojas han echado rápido
7. To throw somebody out, to expel somebody, as in le han echado del partido
8. To sack somebody, as in que lo echen!
9. To lock the door, as in echaste la llave?
10. To brake, as in echó el freno!
11. To calculate, as in cuántos años le echas?
--siempre me echan años de menos
12. To show something on the television.
13. To read someone's fortune, as in me estaba echando las cartas.
14. To pull down, to demolish, as in echaron abajo el edificio o el gobierno
15. To ruin plans or objects, as in echó a perder mi vestido.
Now, how in the hell could one verb mean so many things? I honestly have no fucking idea, but that just goes to show you how important and useful this word really is.
Now, if you'll excuse me, es hora buscar que echan esta noche en la tele.