prenderse el foco – to have an idea
prayn-DAYR-say ayl FOE-koe
Después de estudiar el problema, se me prendió el foco.
After studying the problem, I had an idea.
After studying the problem, an idea came to me.
A ella se le prendió el foco, y en fin ganó el premio.
She had an idea, and in the end she won the prize.
Se me prendió el foco esta mañana, pero ya era demasiado tarde.
I had a brilliant idea this morning, but it was already too late.
A foco is a light bulb, and related expressions in English might be some variation of “a light bulb came on in my head,” or the humorous but opposite “the lights are on, but no one’s at home.” A lighted light bulb symbolizes enlightenment, understanding, or idea generation. Some other Spanish words for a physical light bulb include: ampolleta, bombilla, bombillo, and bombita.
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