“Cook” you will know. A cook is a person that works in a kitchen and “to cook” is the verb. So a cook (or chef) cooks a meal, or cooks vegetables, fish and meat.

There is also a phrasal verb, to “cook up”. A person can “cook up” (preparar) a dish or a meal, and a person can also “cook up” (inventar) something. You can “cook up” (tramar) a plan and an excuse. For example:

  • Mr. Sanchez is cooking up reasons why the Spanish economy is slowing down.

“Cook” also has some other uses. Examine these:

  • Mr. Sanchez wants to “cook the books”.

This means that he wants to falsify (falsificar) or manipulate (amañar las cuentas) the accounts. The “books” is another term for the accounts for a company (las cuentas, la contabilidad).

  • What is cooking?

This is figurative, and a way of asking “what is happening?” or “what is going on?” Perhaps in Spanish you say “¿qué se guisa”? or “¿que pasa?

  • Sometimes a person “cooks someone´s goose”. To “cook somebody`s goose” is an idiom that means that somebody´s plan has been spoilt or prevented.

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