How Do You Say “Put Your Hands Up” In Spanish?

As a language enthusiast, it’s always fascinating to learn new words and phrases in different languages. Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and learning it can open up a whole new world of opportunities. Imagine being able to communicate with millions of people in their native tongue, isn’t that amazing? In this article, we’ll be exploring how to say “put your hands up” in Spanish, a phrase that might come in handy in different situations.

The Spanish translation for “put your hands up” is “levanta las manos”. It’s a simple yet powerful phrase that can be used in various contexts, from commanding someone to surrender to getting a crowd to participate in a dance or exercise routine. “Levanta” means “lift” or “raise”, while “las manos” means “the hands”. So, when you say “levanta las manos” in Spanish, you’re literally telling someone to lift their hands.

How Do You Pronounce The Spanish Word For “Put Your Hands Up”?

Learning to properly pronounce Spanish words can be challenging, especially if you are new to the language. However, with the right tools and techniques, you can quickly master the correct pronunciation of the phrase “put your hands up” in Spanish, which is “levanta las manos.”

To help you learn how to pronounce this phrase correctly, here is a breakdown of the phonetics:

  • The first word, “levanta,” is pronounced “leh-VAHN-tah.” The accent is on the second syllable, and the “v” sound is pronounced like a “b” sound in English.
  • The second word, “las,” is pronounced “lahs.” The “a” sound is short and crisp.
  • The final word, “manos,” is pronounced “MAH-nohs.” The accent is on the first syllable, and the “a” sound is again short and crisp.

To further help you with your pronunciation, here are some tips:

  • Practice speaking slowly and clearly, focusing on each syllable of the phrase.
  • Listen to native Spanish speakers and try to mimic their pronunciation.
  • Use online resources, such as pronunciation guides or language learning apps, to help you master the correct pronunciation.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask a native Spanish speaker for help or feedback on your pronunciation.

By following these tips and practicing regularly, you can quickly become confident in your ability to pronounce the phrase “levanta las manos” correctly in Spanish.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The Spanish Word For “Put Your Hands Up”

Correct grammar is essential when using the phrase “put your hands up” in Spanish. This phrase is commonly used in various contexts, including law enforcement, dance parties, and concerts. Improper grammar can cause confusion and misunderstandings, which can lead to unpleasant situations.

Placement In Sentences

The correct placement of “put your hands up” in a sentence depends on the context. In most cases, the phrase is used as a command or an instruction. Therefore, it is usually placed at the beginning of the sentence. For example:

  • Pon las manos arriba. (Put your hands up.)
  • Levanta las manos. (Raise your hands.)

However, in some cases, the phrase can be used in the middle or at the end of a sentence. For instance:

  • La policía le ordenó al sospechoso que pusiera las manos arriba. (The police ordered the suspect to put his hands up.)
  • Si no pones las manos arriba, no podrás entrar a la fiesta. (If you don’t put your hands up, you won’t be able to enter the party.)

Verb Conjugations And Tenses

The verb used in the phrase “put your hands up” is “poner,” which means “to put.” The correct conjugation of this verb depends on the subject of the sentence and the tense being used. For example:

Subject Pronoun Present Tense Command Form
Yo Pongo Pon
Pones Pon
Él/Ella/Usted Pone Ponga
Nosotros/Nosotras Ponemos Pongamos
Vosotros/Vosotras Ponéis Poned
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes Ponen Pongan

It is essential to use the correct tense when using the phrase “put your hands up.” In most cases, the present tense or the command form is used. However, in some contexts, other tenses may be appropriate.

Agreement With Gender And Number

The phrase “put your hands up” does not change regarding gender or number. It remains the same regardless of whether you are addressing a male or female or a singular or plural audience. For example:

  • Pon tus manos arriba. (Put your hands up.)
  • Pongan sus manos arriba. (Put your hands up.)

Common Exceptions

There are no significant exceptions to the grammatical rules governing the phrase “put your hands up” in Spanish. However, it’s worth noting that some regions or countries may use different phrases or slang terms to convey the same meaning. Therefore, it’s essential to research and understand the local dialect and slang when communicating with Spanish speakers.

Examples Of Phrases Using The Spanish Word For “Put Your Hands Up”

When it comes to learning a new language, one of the most important things to master is basic commands and phrases. In Spanish, “put your hands up” is a common phrase used in a variety of situations, from dance parties to law enforcement encounters. Here are some examples of phrases that include “put your hands up” in Spanish:


  • “¡Manos arriba!” – This is a direct translation of “put your hands up” and is commonly used in situations where someone is being robbed or held at gunpoint.
  • “Baila con las manos en el aire” – This phrase means “dance with your hands in the air” and is often heard at dance parties or clubs.
  • “Alto, manos arriba” – This is a phrase commonly used by law enforcement officers, which means “stop, put your hands up.”
  • “Levanta las manos” – This phrase is a bit more general and can mean “raise your hands” or “put your hands up” depending on the context.

Now that we’ve gone over some common phrases that include “put your hands up” in Spanish, let’s take a look at how they might be used in sentences:

Sentence Examples:

  • “Cuando el ladrón entró en la tienda, el dependiente gritó ‘¡Manos arriba!'” – When the thief entered the store, the clerk shouted “put your hands up!”
  • “La música era tan buena que todos bailaban con las manos en el aire” – The music was so good that everyone was dancing with their hands in the air.
  • “El oficial de policía le ordenó al sospechoso que se detuviera y pusiera las manos en alto” – The police officer ordered the suspect to stop and put his hands up.
  • “El entrenador gritó ‘levanta las manos’ para indicar que el equipo había ganado” – The coach shouted “raise your hands” to indicate that the team had won.

Finally, let’s take a look at some example Spanish dialogue that includes the phrase “put your hands up” and its variations:

Dialogue Example:

Person A: “¡Alto, manos arriba! ¿Qué estás haciendo en mi propiedad?”
Person B: “Lo siento, señor. Estaba buscando a mi perro que se escapó.”
Person A: “Bueno, asegúrate de que no vuelva a pasar. Ahora, ¿puedes bajar las manos?”


Person A: “Stop, put your hands up! What are you doing on my property?”
Person B: “I’m sorry, sir. I was looking for my dog who ran away.”
Person A: “Well, make sure it doesn’t happen again. Now, can you put your hands down?”

More Contextual Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Put Your Hands Up”

When it comes to learning a new language, it’s not just about memorizing individual words and phrases. Understanding the context in which certain words are used can be just as important as knowing their literal translations. This is especially true when it comes to phrases like “put your hands up,” which can be used in a variety of situations and with different levels of formality. In this section, we’ll explore some of the different contexts in which the Spanish phrase for “put your hands up” might be used.

Formal Usage Of “Put Your Hands Up”

In formal settings, such as courtrooms or during police interactions, the phrase “put your hands up” might be used in a more literal sense. In these situations, the speaker is likely looking for a clear and unambiguous response from the listener, and may use more formal language to convey this expectation. For example, a police officer might say, “Levante las manos” (literally, “raise your hands”) to a suspect who they believe may be armed or dangerous.

Informal Usage Of “Put Your Hands Up”

On the other hand, in more casual or informal settings, the phrase “put your hands up” might take on a different meaning. For example, at a concert or music festival, a performer might say “¡Manos arriba!” (literally, “hands up!”) as a way to get the crowd excited and engaged. In this context, the phrase is less about a literal physical action and more about creating a sense of energy and enthusiasm.

Other Contexts For “Put Your Hands Up”

Of course, there are many other ways in which the phrase “put your hands up” might be used in Spanish. For example, it could be part of a slang expression that means something entirely different from its literal translation. Or it could be used in an idiomatic way that requires a deeper understanding of Spanish culture and history. Some possible examples might include:

  • “Manos arriba, esto es un atraco!” (Hands up, this is a robbery!) – a common phrase in heist or crime movies.
  • “Manos arriba, cerveza en la mano!” (Hands up, beer in hand!) – a playful expression used to encourage drinking and partying.
  • “Manos arriba, esto es un control de seguridad” (Hands up, this is a security check) – a phrase that might be used in an airport or other security checkpoint.

Popular Cultural Usage Of “Put Your Hands Up”

In addition to these more specific contexts, the phrase “put your hands up” has also become a popular cultural reference in its own right. For example, there are many songs and music videos that use the phrase in their lyrics or choreography, such as the song “Las Manos Arriba” by Pitbull. In these cases, the phrase may not have any specific meaning beyond its use in the song or video, but it can still be a fun and memorable way to engage with Spanish language and culture.

Regional Variations Of The Spanish Word For “Put Your Hands Up”

Spanish is a language that has many variations and dialects depending on the region. As such, it is no surprise that the Spanish word for “put your hands up” has different variations across various Spanish-speaking countries.

Usage Of The Spanish Word For “Put Your Hands Up” In Different Countries

The Spanish word for “put your hands up” is commonly used in different Spanish-speaking countries to instruct someone to raise their hands. However, the variations of the phrase differ depending on the country. In Mexico, the phrase “manos arriba” is commonly used, while in Spain, “manos arriba” is also used, but “levanten las manos” is also a common phrase.

In South American countries, the phrase “manos arriba” is also used, but in some countries, such as Argentina and Uruguay, the phrase “al techo” is added to the end of the phrase to indicate that the person should raise their hands to the ceiling.

It is important to note that there are also variations of the phrase depending on the context in which it is used. For example, in some countries, the phrase “manos en alto” is used by law enforcement officials to instruct suspects to raise their hands during an arrest.

Regional Pronunciations

Aside from the variations in the phrase itself, there are also regional pronunciations of the phrase. For example, in Spain, the “s” sound in “manos arriba” is pronounced with a lisp, while in Latin American countries, the “s” sound is pronounced as it would be in English.

Other variations in pronunciation include differences in stress and intonation. For example, in some South American countries, the stress is placed on the first syllable of “manos arriba,” while in others, it is placed on the second syllable.

Overall, the Spanish word for “put your hands up” has various regional variations and pronunciations depending on the country. It is important to understand these differences when communicating with Spanish speakers from different regions to ensure effective communication.

Other Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Put Your Hands Up” In Speaking & Writing

While the phrase “put your hands up” may seem straightforward, it can actually have various meanings in different contexts. Understanding these uses is crucial for effective communication in Spanish.

Use In Law Enforcement

One common use of “put your hands up” in Spanish is in law enforcement situations, where it is used as a command to surrender or submit to authority. This is similar to the English usage of the phrase. However, it is important to note that the phrase can also be modified with other words to indicate different levels of urgency or forcefulness. For example:

  • “Levanta las manos lentamente” – Raise your hands slowly
  • “Manos arriba” – Hands up (more forceful command)
  • “Alto, manos arriba” – Stop, hands up (used when suspect is fleeing)

Use In Celebrations And Performances

Another use of “put your hands up” in Spanish is in celebratory or performative contexts, such as at a concert or party. In these situations, the phrase is more of an invitation or instruction to participate in the festivities. It can also be modified with other words to convey different emotions or intentions. For example:

  • “Levanten las manos” – Raise your hands (more neutral invitation)
  • “Manos arriba, griten” – Hands up, scream (used to hype up the crowd)
  • “Manos arriba, esto es un atraco” – Hands up, this is a robbery (used jokingly to start a dance party)

Use In Writing

Finally, the phrase “put your hands up” can also be used figuratively in writing to indicate surrender or defeat. This usage is less common than the previous two, but it can still be useful to know. For example:

  • “Me rindo, manos arriba” – I surrender, hands up
  • “No puedo más, manos arriba” – I can’t take it anymore, hands up

Overall, understanding the various uses of “put your hands up” in Spanish can help you communicate more effectively and avoid confusion in different contexts.

Common Words And Phrases Similar To The Spanish Word For “Put Your Hands Up”

Synonyms And Related Terms

When it comes to words and phrases similar to “put your hands up” in Spanish, there are several options to choose from. Some of the most common synonyms and related terms include:

  • Levanta las manos
  • Alza las manos
  • Levanten las manos
  • Manos arriba
  • Alto

Each of these phrases essentially means the same thing as “put your hands up” in English. They are all commands that instruct someone to lift their hands in the air, typically as a sign of surrender or compliance.

While these phrases are similar in meaning and can generally be used interchangeably, there may be slight nuances in how they are used. For example, “manos arriba” is a more informal and casual way of saying “put your hands up,” while “levanta las manos” is a more formal and direct command.


Antonyms for “put your hands up” in Spanish would be phrases that instruct someone to lower their hands or keep them down. These might include:

  • Baja las manos
  • Deja las manos abajo
  • Mantén las manos abajo

While these phrases are technically antonyms of “put your hands up,” they are not typically used in situations where someone is being instructed to surrender or comply with law enforcement. Instead, they might be used in other contexts, such as when someone is being told to keep their hands out of a particular area or to avoid making sudden movements.

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The Spanish Word For “Put Your Hands Up”

When learning a new language, it’s easy to make mistakes. However, some mistakes can be more embarrassing than others. One common mistake made by non-native speakers of Spanish is using the wrong word or phrase when trying to say “put your hands up.” This mistake can be especially problematic in situations where clear communication is crucial, such as during a police encounter or in a self-defense situation.

Highlighting These Mistakes And Providing Tips To Avoid Them

To avoid making mistakes when using the Spanish word for “put your hands up,” it’s important to understand the correct word or phrase to use. Here are some common mistakes made by non-native speakers and tips to avoid them:

  • Mistake #1: Using the wrong verb. Many non-native speakers mistakenly use the verb “poner” when trying to say “put your hands up.” However, the correct verb to use is “levantar.”
  • Tips to Avoid Mistake #1: Practice using the correct verb in context, such as in role-playing scenarios or by watching videos of native speakers using the correct verb.
  • Mistake #2: Using the wrong preposition. Some non-native speakers use the preposition “en” when trying to say “put your hands up.” However, the correct preposition to use is “arriba.”
  • Tips to Avoid Mistake #2: Again, practice using the correct preposition in context. You can also try memorizing common phrases that use the correct preposition, such as “manos arriba” (hands up).
  • Mistake #3: Using the wrong word order. Some non-native speakers may try to translate the English phrase “put your hands up” word-for-word into Spanish. However, the correct word order in Spanish is “levantar las manos.”
  • Tips to Avoid Mistake #3: Memorize the correct word order and practice using it in context. You can also try using flashcards or other memory aids to help reinforce the correct word order.

By understanding these common mistakes and following these tips to avoid them, non-native speakers of Spanish can communicate more effectively and avoid potentially embarrassing or dangerous situations.


In this blog post, we have explored the various ways to say “put your hands up” in Spanish. We have learned that the phrase “pon tus manos arriba” is the most common and widely used translation for this phrase. Additionally, we have delved into the cultural significance of this phrase and how it is commonly used in Spanish-speaking countries. We have also discussed some alternative phrases that can be used depending on the context and the level of formality required.

Encouragement To Practice

Learning a new language can be challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding. As you continue to practice your Spanish skills, we encourage you to use the phrases and expressions you have learned in real-life conversations. Whether you are traveling to a Spanish-speaking country or conversing with Spanish-speaking friends and colleagues, using these phrases will not only improve your language skills but also help you connect with others on a deeper level.

Remember, language learning is a journey, not a destination. It takes time, patience, and dedication to become fluent in a new language. But with practice and perseverance, you can achieve your language goals and expand your cultural horizons.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority and He’s a seasoned innovator, harnessing the power of technology to connect cultures through language. His worse translation though is when he refers to “pancakes” as “flat waffles”.