No caberle a alguien en la cabeza

Language Level: advanced
Swearing Degree: none, you can say it in front of your boss
Structure: no + me/te/le/nos/os/les + caber (conjugated) + en la cabeza que + subjuntive

caber means to fit, in the sense of to fit inside of something else. The verb is so irregular that sometimes natives have problems with the conjugation. A conversation with caber in the preterit is uncommon.

presente p. indefinidop.imperfecto
yoquepocupecabía
cabescupistecabías
ellacabecupocabía
nos.cabemoscupimoscabíamos
vos.cabéiscupistescabiais
elloscabencupieroncabían

Este pantalón no me cabe, necesito un talle más grandeI don’t fit inside of this pant, I need a bigger size. It doesn’t mean that the fit is bad, or it doesn’t suit you: it means that the waist of the pant won’t go up your hips.

Somos nueve, no cabemos todos en el coche’ we are nine people, we don’t fit all inside the car.

When we say ‘no me cabe en la cabeza’ (it doesn’t fit in my head) we are talking about a concept so foreign to us that is unacceptable. We don’t understand.

Examples:
No me cabe en la cabeza que me haya dejado por ese idiota. I don’t understand that she has left me for that idiot.
No me cabe en la cabeza que los guiris separen la cuenta. I don’t understand that foreigners separate the bill (instead of sharing it).
No me cabe en la cabeza que a ella le guste Nickelback. I don’t understand that she likes Nickelback.

guiri: in Spain, foreigner that is not a Spanish-speaker native. Does it have negative connotations? It depends on the intention of the speaker, like everything.

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