In Spanish when you are explaining something practical you would first introduce the theme a bit theoretically, for example

In this essay I would like to show you how I solved the Harry Potter theorem based on the Lord of the Rings hypothesis with code and do it together step by step

And then you would start the practical steps of what you want to show. And to do that, you would say "Entonces, manos a la obra!"

Something like a call to start doing the thing

Entonces manos a la obra! First let's write the equation of Willie E Coyote which explains bla..bla..bla

How do you say something similar in English that doesn't sound like a "translation" but sounds natural?

4 Answers 4


Literally it would be something like "So, let's get to work". That is possible if the style of the report is sufficiently casual and conversational.

Generally, if you are writing a mathematical report, the usual style is to be rather terse. In English I would expect the next sentence to begin

First we will write the equation of Willie E Coyote which explains blablabla

I would not include any "call to action"


Google translate renders that as:

So get to work!

But one would not be likely to say that as an introduction to a lecture or an essay in English. One might say something like

  • Let us begin the demonstration.
  • Let's get started.
  • Now to get to the details.

Many other phrases might be used. There is no one standard phrase for this situation in English that I know of.

  • What if I am writing an informal essay. I have wrote "last week I was asked to write some code that used serialization. So I put myself down to work and I wrote some scripts". Is that understandable? Jan 29, 2023 at 2:18
  • 1
    @KansaiRobot Yes, thsat seems quite clear to me. Jan 29, 2023 at 2:21
  • @KansaiRobotk "... so I got down to work" sounds more natural to my ears.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 29, 2023 at 10:11
  • I'd say "so I sat myself down and got to work", (or "got going") although obviously only if I were actually sitting to do it! "Put down" doesn't sound right to me at all. Jan 29, 2023 at 10:44

There have been several interpretations/translation of the Spanish expression

Entonces, manos a la obra!

Here are two more

Let's get down to work!
Let's get our head down

However, I would not recommend using phrasal verbs or idioms in a formal or semi-formal paper or essay. Informal speech (chattiness) is fine for a blog, and face-to-face, as a way to encourage readers, coworkers, colleagues and peers but in print it does not equate with professionalism.


I would translate it (not literally, of course) as

All hands to the pump!

Which may be a bit old-fashioned.

From Oxford Languages (via Google):

An order to every member of a ship's crew to pump water from the ship in an emergency.

Used to indicate that the involvement of all members of a team is required.

It's normally a question of all hands to the pump — from sorting out a problem in Cambridge to helping Chef in the base kitchen

However, upon reflection, maybe this seems a bit too urgent, and a need for urgency isn't exactly implied by the OP.

Nevertheless, I feel that it could still be applied, in a friendly/jokey/informal way, to the OP's context.

  • 2
    I think that would sound and read as quite odd in the suggested context, myself. Jan 29, 2023 at 2:22

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