Using 'Meter'

Verb Usually Carries Idea of Placing or Interjecting

mensaje metido en una botella
Un mensaje metido en una botella. (A message put in a bottle.). Photo by Layrem Odacrem used under terms of Creative Commons license.

Meter is one of those verbs that can mean a wide variety of things depending on the context. Much like poner, with which its meanings overlap, it often carries the idea of interjecting someone or something into a place or situation.

Meter has no direct English equivalent, although it is a cousin of words such as "permit," "commit" and "mission." It has no apparent connection with the verb "to mete" nor the noun "meter." Meter comes from the Latin verb mittĕre, which meant "to let go" or "to send."

Meter is conjugated regularly, following the pattern of beber and many other verbs. It is frequently used reflexively.

The most common translations for meter are "to put" and "to place." Some examples:

  • El empresario metió el dinero en un banco suizo. The businessman put the money in a Swiss bank.
  • Yo metí la cabeza debajo de la almohada para no oírla. I placed my head underneath the pillow so I wouldn't hear her.
  • Cuando vamos a meter peces en el acuario, debemos seguir unas pautas. When we're going to put fish in the aquarium, we should follow some guidelines.
  • La chef metió una pizza encima de papel de aluminio en el horno. The chef placed a pizza on top of aluminum foil in the oven.
  • Van a la playa y meten los pies en el agua. They're going to the beach and putting their feet in the water.
  • A la edad de ocho años, su padre lo metió en la escuela jesuita. At the age of eight, his father put him in the Jesuit school.

    "Go into" or "enter" is a good translation in some situations:

    • Un intruso se metió en la casa de la cantante. An intruder entered the singer's house.
    • Se metieron en la oficina, cerrando la puerta. They went into the office, closing the door.

    In sports, meter can mean to score:

    • El otro día nos metieron dos goles ilegales. The other day they scored two illegal goals against us.

      Meter can be used to refer to getting involved with something, often in a negative sense such as meddling:

      • No es necesario meter a Dios en estas cosas. It isn't necessary to get God involved in these things.
      • No te debes meter en mi vida. You shouldn't involve yourself in my life.
      • Mis jefes se meten en mis asuntos privados. My bosses are meddling in my private affairs.

      In some circumstances, meter can mean "to give," so once in a while its meaning overlaps with dar:

      • Abrí un mensaje una vez y se me metió un virus. I opened a message one time and it gave me a virus.
      • La policía me metió cuatro multas por tirar papeles. The police gave me four tickets for littering.

      Sources: Sample sentences have been adapted from a variety of sources that include Periódico Santa Pola,, Interzoo, Wattpad, El País (Spain),,, and Compartir Tecnologias.

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      Your Citation
      Erichsen, Gerald. "Using 'Meter'." ThoughtCo, Mar. 2, 2017, Erichsen, Gerald. (2017, March 2). Using 'Meter'. Retrieved from Erichsen, Gerald. "Using 'Meter'." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 17, 2018).