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Describing People in Spanish with the Verb Ser

In this lesson, we will learn how to describe people in Spanish using the verb ser (to be). In particular, we'll focus on five different uses of the verb ser that you can use to identify and describe people. Let's take a look.

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To identify someone

 

Eh... Luis, ella es mi mamá, mamá, él es Luis. Y ella es mi abuela Carmen.

Um... Luis, this is my mom, Mom, this is Luis. And this is my Grandma Carmen.

Captions 18-19, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 4 - Part 4

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It's worth mentioning that the example above shows a very common way to introduce people in Spanish.

 

To describe the sex of a person

 

es un hombre que se dedica a lo que yo hago.

he's a man who devotes himself to what I do.

Caption 61, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 4 - Part 9

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To state someone's nationality

 

Paul es estadounidense, de los Estados Unidos.

Paul is American, from the United States.

Caption 16, Carlos explica Geografía y gentilicios

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To indicate somebody's job

 

Mi padre es arquitecto

My father is an architect

Caption 25, Leif El Arquitecto Español y su Arte - Part 1

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To talk about physical traits

In particular, when we refer to essential traits, such as height, weight, and physical appearance.

 

Es bajo, es gordo,

He's short, he's fat,

Caption 33, El Aula Azul Mis Primos

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Alguien que es delgado tiene poco peso

Someone who is skinny doesn't weigh much

Captions 32-33, Lecciones con Carolina Adjetivos - Descripción de personas - Físico

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Carolina tiene treinta y cinco años pero parece que tiene veinte. Es muy guapa.

Carolina is thirty-five years old but she looks like she is twenty. She's very pretty.

Captions 2-4, El Aula Azul Mis Primos

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To describe someone's personality

 

Ellos son muy majos. Mi prima Marta es muy simpática.

They are very nice. My cousin Marta is very nice.

Caption 8, El Aula Azul Mi familia

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Ricardo es muy... es muy tranquilo, ¿viste?

Ricardo is very... he's very calm, you know?

Caption 84, Biografía Natalia Oreiro - Part 10

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Porque mi mamá es una persona muy difícil. -Eso a mí no me importa.

Because my mom is a very difficult person. -That doesn't matter to me.

Caption 20, Yago 10 Enfrentamientos - Part 4

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That's it for today. Can you describe someone you know using the verb ser? We invite you to try it out and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!

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How to Use the Present Indicative in Spanish

Generally speaking, we use the present indicative in Spanish to talk about actions that are taking place at the moment (now). However, that's not the only use of it. Let's take a look at the following list so you can understand how to use the present indicative in Spanish.

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1. To talk about actions in the present

 

Actions that are taking place right at the moment (now):

¿Dónde están las chicas? ¿Las chicas? -Ajá. Lola y Ana. -Uh... Lola y Ana viven aquí.

Where are the girls? The girls? -Uh-huh. Lola and Ana. -Uh... Lola and Ana live here.

Captions 26-29, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam - Part 4

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In the above sentence, you can see how the verbs estar (to be) and vivir (to live) are conjugated in the present indicative for the third person plural (las chicas/Lola y Ana/ellas... están/viven).

 

You can also talk about actions that take place over time:

Trabajo en un colegio. Soy maestra de música y de ciencias.

I work at a school. I'm a music and science teacher.

Captions 6-7, Ariana Mi Casa

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In this example, you can see the verbs trabajar (to work) and ser (to be) conjugated in the present indicative for the first person singular (yo trabajo/soy).

 

IMPORTANT! Remember that in Spanish it is very common to drop the pronouns from the sentences. As you can see in the sentence above, Ariana doesn't say "yo trabajo" but rather only "trabajo".

 

2. To express absolute statements and facts as well as universal truths

 

En agosto, vamos a la playa. En septiembre, empieza el otoño.

In August, we go to the beach. In September, the fall begins.

Captions 21-22, El Aula Azul Estaciones y Meses

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In the example above, we can see the present indicative of the verb ir (to go) in the first person plural (nosotros vamos) and the present indicative of the verb empezar (to begin) in the third person singular (el otoño empieza).

 

La Laguna de San Pablo está a los pies del imponente Volcán Imbabura.

The San Pablo Lagoon is at the foot of the imposing Imbabura Volcano.

Caption 13, Otavalo Un día en la ciudad de los lagos

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In the example above, Natalia uses the present indicative of the verb estar for the third person singular (está) to state a fact.

 

3. To talk about routines and repetitive actions

You can talk about daily activities and habitual actions using the present indicative:

 

De lunes a viernes, me levanto a las siete de la mañana.

From Monday to Friday, I get up at seven in the morning.

Caption 2, GoSpanish La rutina diaria de Sol

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In the above clip, you can see how Sol uses the present indicative of the verb levantarse (yo me levanto) to express one of her habitual actions.

 

Dante y Mika vienen todos los días a trabajar conmigo aquí al Refugio del Burrito,

Dante and Mika come work with me every day here at the Little Donkey Shelter,

Caption 62, Rosa La perrita Mika

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Similarly, Rosa uses the present indicative of the verb venir (to come) to describe something habitual. In this case, the verb is conjugated in the third person plural (Dante y Mika/ellos... vienen).

 

4. To talk about actions that will take place in the near future

 

Did you know that the present indicative can be used for things happening in the near future? Let's see some examples.

Le prometo que termino de morfar y... y salgo a laburar. Va a ver.

I promise you that I'll finish eating and... and go out to work. You'll see.

Caption 63, Yago 8 Descubrimiento - Part 7

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In this sentence, the speaker is using the present indicative of the verb salir (to go out) in order to express an action that will take place in the near future. Once he's done with his lunch, he will go out to work. The verb is conjugated in the first person singular (yo salgo).

 

Bueno, pues entonces, no hay que pensarlo más. Mañana hablamos con el jefe y desde la oficina

OK, well then, we don't have to think about it anymore. Tomorrow we'll talk to the boss and from the office

Captions 11-12, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 2 - Part 6

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In the previous example, you can fully appreciate how the present indicative of the verb hablar (to talk) is used to indicate an action that will take place tomorrow! This may be a bit weird for English speakers but it is a very common formula used by Spanish speakers. The verb is conjugated in the second person plural (nosotros hablamos).

 

 

Finally, it is worth mention that in journalism and the academic field, some people like to use the present indicative when referring to historical facts. Let's see the following example:

 

El Imperio romano cae en el año 476

The Roman Empire falls in the year 476

 

And that's it for today. We hope this lesson helped you to understand how to use the present indicative in Spanish. And don't forget to send us your comments and questions.

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Demonstrative Adjectives in Spanish

Do you know how to say "those" or "that" in Spanish? Let's explore Spanish demonstrative adjectives. However, before doing that, let's start this lesson with an important definition.

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What Is a Demonstrative Adjective?

Adjectives describe and modify nouns. We use demonstrative adjectives to determine which person or object, for example, we are referring to, taking its distance with respect to the speaker and/or listener into account. Let's first review our options in English:

 

- Near the speaker: "this" and "these."

- Near the listener OR far from both the speaker and the listener: "that" and "those."

 

The Gender Factor and Greater Number of Demonstrative Adjectives in Spanish

While there are only four demonstrative adjectives in English, you will notice that there are many more in Spanish (twelve to be exact!). Why is that? One reason is that, because nouns in Spanish have a gender, demonstrative adjectives in Spanish are not only singular and plural but masculine and feminine as well.

 

In addition, Spanish has two different sets of demonstrative adjectives to differentiate between nouns that are close to the listener vs. nouns that are far from both the speaker and listener (roughly corresponding to the English concept of "over there" rather than just "there"). 

 

Let's take a closer look at the demonstrative adjectives in Spanish, using M to indicate "masculine" and F to indicate "feminine":

 

- Near the speaker: "this" (M: este, F: esta) and "these" (M: estos, F: estas).

- Near the listener: "that" (M: ese, F: esa) and "those" (M: esos, F: esas).

- Far from both the speaker and the listener: "that" (over there) (M: aquel, F: aquella) and "those" (over there) (M: aquellos, F: aquellas).

 

It is worth noting that, in addition to indicating further physical distance, aquel/aquella/aquellos/aquellas can also refer to metaphorical distance such as dates or events in the future or past. 

 

How to Pronounce Demonstrative Adjectives in Spanish

Now that we know the demonstrative adjectives in Spanish, it's time to look at some examples. Let's watch and listen to the following clips:

 

Near the speaker: este, esta, estos, estas

 

Me gusta mucho este parque.

I really like this park.

Caption 9, Conversaciones en el parque Cap. 5: Me gusta mucho este parque.

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Esta mochila es de Lucas.

This backpack is Lucas'.

Caption 59, Conversaciones en el parque Cap. 3: ¿De quién es esta mochila?

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En la noche, utilizaremos estos vasos bajos para servir licor.

At night, we'll use these short glasses to serve liquor.

Caption 20, Ana Carolina El comedor

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Estas cintas son las que estamos sacando recientemente; son nuevos diseños.

These ribbons are the ones that we are coming out with recently; they are new designs.

Caption 19, Comercio Camisas tradicionales

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Near the listener: ese, esa, esos, esas

 

Oiga y ese carro, esa belleza ¿de dónde la sacó, hermano, ah?

Hey and that car, that beauty, where did you get it, brother, huh?

Caption 43, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 1 - Part 3

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¿Y esos otros tatuajes que tienes aquí, de qué son?

And those other tattoos you have here, what are they of?

Caption 67, Adícora - Venezuela El tatuaje de Rosana

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Mire, Rubio, yo necesito que usted le ponga vigilancia inmediata a esas dos mujeres, hermano.

Look, Rubio, I need you to put those two women under immediate surveillance, brother.

Caption 52, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 4 - Part 6

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Far from both the speaker and the listener: aquel, aquella, aquellos, aquellas

 

La terminación del piso sería, en el futuro, de roca... de roca rústrica [sic] a propósito traída de aquel cerro que está allá.

The last part of the floor would be, in the future, made out of rock... out of rustic rock brought specifically from that hill over there.

Captions 22-23, Edificio en Construcción Hablando con los trabajadores - Part 2

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Esas cifras ya nos dicen que aquellas civilizaciones prehistóricas ya sabían mucho de cálculo. 

Those numbers tell us that those prehistoric civilizations already knew a lot about calculus.

Captions 27-29, Rosa Los dólmenes de Antequera

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sería, "Aquellos coches son de mi padre" o "Aquellas casas son de mi madre".

would be, "Those cars are my father's" or "Those houses are my mother's."

Captions 35-36, Lecciones con Carolina Adjetivos demostrativos

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Keep in mind, however, that in less formal Spanish, we tend to use ese, esa, esos, and esas much more than aquel, aquella, aquellos, aquellas.

 

That's all for today. Although there are many more demonstrative adjectives in Spanish than in English, learning to use them is relatively simple. We hope you enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!

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Dónde Está or Dónde Es?

If you have been studying Spanish, you probably know that the Spanish verbs, ser and estar, have a common translation in English: '"to be." With that in mind, let's start this lesson with a practical example. Your Spanish friend has just invited you to her wedding (boda) in Madrid, and you want to ask her (in Spanish, of course!) the following simple question: "Where is the wedding?" Which verb would you choose, ser or estar? Would you ask, Dónde está or Dónde es la boda? Let's find out.

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What Does Dónde Está Mean?

Are you wondering about the meaning of dónde está in English? Generally speaking, we use the verb estar when we want to talk about the position or location of someone or something. Considering that dónde means "where," we use dónde está when we want to know where someone or something is located. Let's look at a couple of examples so that you can better understand the use of the verb estar when talking about position or location:

 

¿Sabes dónde está la biblioteca?

Do you know where the library is?

Caption 20, Español para principiantes Hablando de ubicaciones

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El pulverizador, ss... ss... está en el baño.

The spray, ss... ss... is in the bathroom.

Caption 63, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 3 - Sam aprende a ligar - Part 2

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Se llama Frigiliana, y está en la provincia de Málaga.

It's called Frigiliana, and it's in the province of Malaga.

Caption 6, Viajando con Fermín Frigiliana, Málaga

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According to the above logic, we could solve the question we posed at the beginning of this lesson by saying, ¿Dónde está la boda?, right? Well, not so fast!

 

"Dónde Es" vs. "Dónde Está"

When using dónde (where) for asking about the location of something, there is one case in which you should use the verb ser rather than estar: when asking about the location of an event. For that reason, the correct manner of asking the aforementioned question would be, ¿Dónde es la boda? Let's look at additional examples where the verb ser would be necessary:

 

¿Dónde es el funeral?

Where's the funeral?

Caption 1, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 3 - Part 6

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¿Dónde es la fiesta?

Where is the party?

Caption 11, Raquel Expresiones para un festival de música.

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There are, however, some cases in which you can use either verb, depending upon what you wish to express. For example, if you want to ask someone about the executive breakfast your company is organizing, you would say, ¿Dónde es el desayuno? In this case, you use the verb ser because you are talking about an event. However, if you are referring to the breakfast as the food you are going to eat, you would say, ¿Dónde está el desayuno? In this case, you use the verb estar because you are asking about the location of something that is not an event. Let's take a look:

 

EVENT 

-¿Dónde es el desayuno? -El desayuno es en el hotel.

-Where is the breakfast? -The breakfast is at the hotel.

 

FOOD

-¿Dónde está el desayuno? -El desayuno está en la nevera. 

-Where's breakfast? -Breakfast is in the fridge.

 

Finally, a good rule of thumb to decide when it would be necessary to use ¿Dónde es...? rather than ¿Dónde está? is to ask oneself whether the verb could be subsituted with tiene lugar (takes place), in which case the verb, ser, should be utilized. For example: Since ¿Dónde tiene lugar la fiesta? (Where is the party taking place) makes perfect sense, ¿Dónde es la fiesta? would be the correct manner of asking where the party is.

 

That's all for today. We hope you enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!

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Making a Phone Call in Spanish: 5 Essential Verbs

Do you ever feel like practicing your Spanish over the phone? In this lesson, we would like to share with you the most important verbs you need to know when making or talking about a phone call. Also, we will show you the words you can use if you are wondering how to answer the phone in Spanish.

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1. Llamar (to call)

This is probably the most important verb when you want to indicate that you are making a call. Let's see some useful sentences.

 

When you are about to call someone:

Un momento, voy a llamar por teléfono.

One moment, I'm going to call [them].

Caption 6, Ariana Cita médica

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When you want to say that you called someone:

Cuando llamé por teléfono, era para hablar con Lucio.

When I called on the phone, it was to talk to Lucio.

Caption 23, Yago 14 La peruana - Part 5

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When you want to indicate that someone called someone:

La primera vez que tu papá me llamó, no fue a la casa.

The first time your dad called me, it was not to the house.

Caption 42, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 5 - Part 5

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2. Responder (to answer)

Of course, when you call someone, you expect an answer. Let's see this verb in action.

 

Disculpa, estaba en una reunión y no pude responder tu llamada.

Sorry, I was in a meeting and I couldn't answer your call.

 

You can also use the verb contestar (to answer) in this situation:

Que pena, discúlpame. Tengo que contestar esta llamada.

I'm sorry, excuse me. I have to answer this call.

Captions 8-9, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 3 - Part 1

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The example above also provides us with another very useful noun: llamada (a call).

 

By the way, do you know how to answer the phone in Spanish? In English, we say 'hello' but what's about in Spanish? There are several options:

 

Bueno

Literally, bueno means 'fine' or 'well'. However, in this context, you can take bueno as a simple 'hello'. This way of answering the phone is very common in Mexico.

 

Hola

This is the Spanish equivalent of 'hello'.

 

¿Sí?

Literally, this means 'yes'. It is also a very normal way of answering the phone in Spanish. 

 

Diga or dígame

The translation of this is 'tell me'. A very common way of answering the phone in Spain.

 

Aló

This way of answering the phone is very popular in Colombia. It works as a simple 'hello'.

 

Buenos días, buenas tardes or buenas noches

Some people prefer to answer the phone according to the time of the day so you can say buenos días (good morning), buenas tardes (good afternoon) or buenas noches (good night).

 

3. Colgar (to hang up)

This is the verb you use when you need to get off the phone.

 

When you want to tell someone that you need to go:

Oye, tengo que colgar porque vamos a comer.

Listen, I have to hang up because we're going to eat.

Captions 56-57, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 8 - Part 4

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When you want to say that someone hung up on you or someone else:

Una mina llamó por teléfono a tu celular. Elena atendió, ella preguntó por vos y entonces Elena le dijo, "¿Quién habla?" Y la mina colgó.

A girl called your cell phone. Elena answered, she asked for you and then Elena said to her, "Who is it?" And the girl hung up.

Captions 43-45, Yago 11 Prisión - Part 5

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From the example above, you can also see that the verb atender (to respond) is another verb you can use instead of responder (to answer). Also, keep in mind that when talking about a smartphone you use the word celular throughout Latin America and the word móvil in Spain. If you prefer, you can also use the word teléfono (telephone).

 

4. Hablar (to talk)

Of course, you talk over the phone so if you want to express that action, you can say it like our friend Silvia from El Aula Azul:

Estoy hablando por teléfono. Yo hablo por teléfono.

I'm talking on the telephone. I talk on the telephone.

Captions 49-50, El Aula Azul Actividades diarias: En casa con Silvia

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5. Escuchar (to hear, to listen)

A phone call is about listening to someone else so this is a very important verb especially when you want to make sure the other person is able to listen to you.

 

Me puedes escuchar?

Can you hear me?

 

You can also use the verb oir (to hear) in this context:

¿Qué tal? -Muy bien. Y ahora que te oigo, de maravilla.

How are you? -Very well. And now that I hear you, wonderful.

Captions 33-35, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 3 - Part 13

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And that's it for today. Are you ready to make a phone call in Spanish? We hope so. And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

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Gusta vs Gustan: How to Use Gustar in Singular and Plural

Are you familiar with the Spanish verb gustar (to like)? Have you ever been in a situation where you didn't know whether to use gusta or gustan when talking about something you like? If using gusta vs gustan is tricky for you, here are some simple rules to help you understand the difference between gusta and gustan.

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The easy conjugation of gustar

Let's start with some good news. When you want to say that you like someone or something, the only thing you need to know is how to conjugate the verb gustar in the third person either in its singular (gusta) or plural (gustan) form. Let's take a look at a couple of simple sentences with gustar:

 

A mí me gusta el acento de las colombianas.

I like the Colombian women's accent.

Caption 50, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 2 - Part 6

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Sí, a mí me gustan las plantas y las flores y los árboles.

Yes, I like the plants and the flowers and the trees.

Captions 12-13, Conversaciones en el parque Cap. 5: Me gusta mucho este parque.

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That's it. You don't need anything else. Now, let's see when to use gusta or gustan.

 

When to use gusta or gustan?

The following simple rules will help you to master the gustan vs gusta battle.

 

Using gusta

 

Use the third person singular gusta for the following cases:

 

1. When the verb gustar is followed by a singular noun.

Me gusta la camisa.

I like the shirt.

Caption 4, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 2 - Sam va de compras - Part 6

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Keep in mind that most of the time you will need to place a definite article before the noun.

 

2. When the verb gustar is followed by a verb in the infinitive.

y me gusta llevar faldas normalmente, sobre todo en... en invierno.

and I like to wear skirts usually, especially in... in winter.

Captions 6-7, El Aula Azul Actividades Diarias

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3. When the verb gustar is followed by several infinitive verbs.

A Pedro le gusta leer, tocar guitarra y hacer ejercicio.

Pedro likes to read, play guitar and exercise.

 

Using gustan

 

Use the third person plural gustan for the following cases:

 

1. When the verb gustar is followed by a plural noun.

A Lola le gustan los hombres fuertes

Lola likes strong men

Caption 14, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam - Part 5

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2. When the verb gustar is followed by multiple, independent nouns.

Me gustan el diseño, la decoración y la arquitectura de esa casa.

I like the design, decoration, and architecture of that house.

 

Gusta vs gustan with questions and negative sentences

When asking questions or stating negative sentences, you need to stick to the same rules we mentioned before. Let's look at a couple of examples:

 

¿Te gusta la ciencia?

Do you like science?

Caption 42, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 2 - Part 5

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A mí no me gusta tu camiseta.

I don't like your shirt.

Caption 12, Español para principiantes Los colores

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¿No te gustan las velas?

You don't like candles?

Caption 38, Muñeca Brava 7 El poema - Part 11

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That's it for today. But before we leave you, we invite you to answer this very simple question so you can practice a little bit the difference between gusta and gustan: ¿Qué te gusta hacer en tu tiempo libre? And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

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Habemos: A Valid Conjugation of "Haber"?

Haber is definitely on the list of tricky Spanish verbs. In fact, even native Spanish speakers sometimes struggle with this verb, which can be used in different ways and forms to mean different things. Even though haber is most often used as the auxiliary verb, "to have," in the imperfect tenses (e.g. Yo he comido, or "I have eaten"), it is also used in cases in which we say "there is" or "there are" in English and in other cases, can mean "to be" or "to exist." 

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Let's look at an example:

 

Hay muchos problemas,

There are a lot of problems,

Caption 6, Adícora - Venezuela El tatuaje de Rosana

 Play Caption

 

Along these lines, some speakers use habemos to make a reference to a group of people. In this case, you can think of habemos as something along the lines of "we are," "we have," "there are those of us who," etc. Let's take a look at the following sentence:

 

Entonces, que todavía no lo hay pero entonceshabemos gente que queremos hacerlo y... y, eh...

So, it doesn't exist yet, but then, there are those of us who want to do it, and... and, um...

Captions 90-91, Playa Adícora Chober - Part 2

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But, is it correct to use habemos in this manner? Let's find out.

 

The Simple Present Conjugation of the Verb Haber

As we noted in the example above, habemos seems to correspond to the first person plural in the simple present tense. But is that accurate? Let's take a look at how we conjugate haber in the simple present:

 

Yo he (I have)

has (you have)

Él/Ella ha (he/she has)

Usted ha (you have)

Nosotros hemos (we have)

Vosotros habéis (you have)

Ellos/Ustedes han (they/you have)

As you can see, hemos appears, but not habemos. So, is habemos a sort of special, alternative manner of conjugating haber?

 

So, What About Habemos

Long story short: No, we can't use habemos in this context. It's incorrect! Let's look at an example:

 

WRONG: Habemos pocos ingenieros en la empresa.

RIGHT: Somos pocos ingenieros en la compañía (There are just a few of us engineers at the company).

 

So, why do some people use habemos in error? The most likely reason is because habemos is the archaic conjugation of haber in the first person plural, which as we mentioned above, is now hemos. However, it shouldn't be used to mean "we are," "we have," "there are," etc. Let's take a look at this mistake in action in the following clips:

 

aunque indiscutiblemente habemos [sic] más cubanos que nada.

although undeniably, we have more Cubans than anything.

Caption 47, La Calle 8 Un recorrido fascinante

 Play Caption

 

Y donde no solo habemos [sic] cinco familias, sino hay...

And where there are not only five families, but rather there are...

Caption 25, Instinto de conservación Parque Tayrona - Part 5

 Play Caption

 

And of course, we can also see in action the first example mentioned in this lesson:

Entonces, que todavía no lo hay pero entonceshabemos [sic] gente que queremos hacerlo y... y, eh...

So, it doesn't exist yet, but then, there are those of us who want to do it, and... and, um...

Captions 90-91, Playa Adícora Chober - Part 2

Play Caption

 

That's all for today. We hope you've enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

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The Seasons in Spanish

Do you know how to say 'winter' or 'summer' in Spanish? Do you know how to pronounce the seasons in Spanish? Let's review the four seasons of the year in the language of Cervantes.

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The seasons in Spanish and English

Let's start this lesson with a quick overview of the Spanish seasons:

 

Las cuatro estaciones del año | The four seasons of the year

 

invierno | winter

primavera | spring

verano | summer

otoño | autumn or fall

 

Things to keep in mind

 

1. How do you say 'season' in Spanish? the answer is 'estación'. Its plural form is 'estaciones' (seasons).

 

2. All seasons except 'primavera' are masculine nouns. Also, keep in mind that you usually need definite articles next to the seasons. Let's take a look at the singular and plural forms of the Spanish seasons:

 

el invierno | los inviernos

la primavera | las primaveras

el verano | los veranos

el otoño | los otoños 

 

3. Lots of countries through the Americas don't have four seasons. Instead, they may have rainy and dry seasons. In this case, you may hear the word 'temporada' instead of 'estación':

 

si ya entramos en la temporada de lluvias,

if we already entered the rainy season,

Caption 58, Natalia de Ecuador Vocabulario de prendas de vestir

 Play Caption

 

How to pronounce the seasons in Spanish

Let's start with the following clip where you can listen to our friend Clara saying the four seasons in Spanish:

 

Un año tiene cuatro estaciones: primavera, verano, otoño e invierno.

A year has four seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter.

Captions 11-12, Clara explica El tiempo - Part 1

 Play Caption

  

 

Let's practice a little bit more with the following examples for every single season.

 

Winter in Spanish

 

En diciembre, empieza el invierno.

In December, the winter starts.

Caption 25, El Aula Azul Estaciones y Meses

 Play Caption

 

 

Spring in Spanish

 

en esta época que tenemos... que es primavera,

during this season that we have... which is spring,

Caption 22, Azotea Del Círculo de Bellas Artes Andrés nos enseña una nueva perspectiva

 Play Caption

 

By the way, we also have a lesson about spring vocabulary that you'll want to read.

 

 

Autumn in Spanish

 

Estaba precioso, en otoño con las hojas en el suelo.

It was beautiful in the fall with the leaves on the ground.

Caption 24, El Aula Azul Conversación: Vacaciones recientes

 Play Caption

 

 

Summer in Spanish

 

Un día dijimos, es verano, no hacemos nada, vamos, cogemos el coche y nos vamos.

One day we said, "It's summer, we're not doing anything, come on, let's take the car and go."

Captions 26-27, Blanca y Mariona Proyectos para el verano

 Play Caption

 

Also, make sure to check our lesson about summer vocabulary.

 

That's it for today. What's your favorite season? What about your favorite months of the year? Please, let us know, and don't forget to send us your questions and comments.

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Aun vs Aún

Today, we will talk about adverbs and punctuation. Are you familiar with the word aun in Spanish? Do you know when to write that word with accent on the letter 'ú'? Let's start this lesson with a little quiz. Which word would you use in the following sentences, aun or aún?:

 

____ si te digo la verdad, no me crees

Even if I tell you the truth, you don't believe me

 

Estamos ____ en la fase de entrevistas.

We are still in the interview phase.

 

Let's read the following explanation to find out the answer.

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The meaning of 'aun' in Spanish

The adverb aun (without graphic accent) refers to the English adverb 'even'. Let's see a couple of examples:

 

Aun estudiando mucho, no pasó el examen

Even studying hard, he did not pass the exam

 

Yo hice aun más de lo que quería

I did even more than I wanted

 

he vivido demasiado, aun con tanta historia

I have lived too much, even with so much history

Captions 7-8, Kany Garcia Estigma de amor

 Play Caption

 

Also, keep in mind that when aun is followed by así to mean "even so," it doesn't need an accent. Le's take a look:

 

Revolvimos los planetas, y aun así te vas

We stirred the planets, and even so you leave

Captions 16-17, Belanova Y aun así te vas

 Play Caption

 

 

When to write aún with an accent

When the word aun works as the English adverb 'still', you need to need to put the accent on the letter "ú". Let's see some examples:

 

Para los que aún no me conocen, mi nombre es Natalia.

For those who still don't know me, my name is Natalia.

Caption 3, Natalia de Ecuador Consejos: haciendo amigos como adultos

 Play Caption

 

Así que aún queda la pequeña esperanza

So, there's still a little hope

Caption 44, Rosa Fuente de Piedra

 Play Caption

 

Durante este período, México aún tenía el nombre de la Nueva España.

During this period, Mexico still had the name New Spain.

Caption 16, Paseando con Karen Monterrey - Museo de Historia Mexicana

 Play Caption

 

Considering the above, let's unveil the answer to our quiz:

 

Aun si te digo la verdad, no me crees

Even if I tell you the truth, you don't believe me

 

Estamos aún en la fase de entrevistas.

We are still in the interview phase.

Caption 19, Negocios La solicitud de empleo - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

And that's it for today. We hope you enjoyed this lesson and don't forget to send us your comments and questions.

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Ser and Estar: An Easy Trick for Using These Verbs

Do you know how to say the verb "to be" in Spanish? The answer to that question has two options: ser and estar. In fact, mastering the verbs ser and estar is one of the first challenges you need to tackle when learning Spanish. In order to help you out with this challenge, we're going to share a very simple trick with you. Hopefully, it will help you remember when to use ser and estar.  

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Two words for learning the difference between ser and estar

The trick is very simple. All you need to remember are these two words: DOCTOR and PLACE. Use the former for the verb ser and the latter for the verb estar.

 

DOCTOR for ser

 

The word DOCTOR stands for the following: 

 

Description

Occupation

Characteristic

Time

Origin

Relationship.

 

Let's see some examples using the third person singular of ser in the present tense:

 

Description

"El coronavirus es un virus contagioso".

"The coronavirus is a contagious virus."

Caption 27, El Coronavirus Introducción y vocabulario

 Play Caption

 

Occupation

Tu papá es jefe de cartera, mi amor.

Your dad is a portfolio manager, my love.

Caption 52, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 3 - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

Characteristic

Él es un chico... Es muy simpático,

He's a guy... He's very nice,

Caption 52, Clase Aula Azul Información con subjuntivo e indicativo - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Time

Diremos, "¿Qué hora es?"

We'll say, "What time is it?"

Caption 49, Español para principiantes La hora

 Play Caption

 

Origin

Mi... mi madre es libanesa, mi padre de España

My... my mother is Lebanese, my father [is] from Spain

Caption 67, Eljuri Hablamos Con La Artista Sobre Su Nuevo Álbum

 Play Caption

 

Relationship

Esa es mi tía Silvia.

That is my Aunt Silvia.

Caption 24, Español para principiantes Demostrativos

 Play Caption

 

 

PLACE for estar

 

The word PLACE stands for the following:

 

Position

Location

Action

Condition

Emotion

 

Let's see some examples using the first person singular of estar in the present tense:

 

Position

Ahora, estoy en el centro.

Now, I'm in the center.

Caption 25, Raquel Las direcciones

 Play Caption

 

Location

Ahora estoy en el Monumento Natural Dunas de Artola, en la Playa de Cabopino,

Now I'm at the Dunas of Artola [Artola Dunes] Natural Monument, on Cabopino Beach,

Captions 31-32, Viajando con Fermín Dunas de Marbella

 Play Caption

 

Action

Silvia, ¿qué estás haciendo? Estoy bebiendo un vaso de agua.

Silvia, what are you doing? I'm drinking a glass of water.

Captions 25-26, El Aula Azul Actividades diarias: En casa con Silvia

 Play Caption

 

Condition

Ay... ¿Y puedes llamar a mi trabajo y decir que estoy enferma?

Oh... And can you call my work and say I'm sick?

Caption 4, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 2 - Sam va de compras - Part 7

 Play Caption

 

Emotion

Estoy triste. Estoy triste.

I am sad. I am sad.

Captions 9-10, El Aula Azul Estados de ánimo

 Play Caption

 

 

Finally, we want to leave you with a little rhyme that will help you to choose the appropriate verb between ser and estar. This little rhyme, which is quite handy for the verb estar, goes like this:

 

For how you feel and where you are,

always use the verb ESTAR. 

 

In other words, keep in mind that when talking about emotions and location you should always use the verb estar.

 

That's it for today. We hope this little trick helps you to understand the difference between ser and estar, a little bit better. And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions

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How to Write and Say The Colors in Spanish

Do you know how to say "yellow" or "purple" in Spanish? Get ready to learn how to write and say the names of the colors in Spanish.

 

The primary colors in Spanish

Let's take a look at this list of the primary colors in Spanish.

 

Amarillo (Yellow)

Azul (Blue)

Rojo (Red)

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Spanish colors in alphabetical order

Even though there are millions of colors out there, most of the time we use only a limited number of colors in our daily life. The following list features the names of the most frequently used colors in Spanish and English.

 

- amarillo (yellow)

- anaranjado or naranja (orange)

- añil or índigo (indigo)

- azul (blue)

- blanco (white)

- dorado (golden)

- escarlata (scarlet)

- fucsia (fuchsia)

- gris (gray)

- marrón or café (brown)

- morado (purple)

- negro (black)

- plateado (silver)

- rojo (red)

- rosa or rosado (pink)

- violeta (violet)

 

The pronunciation of the most important colors in Spanish

Now, it's time to learn how to say the colors in Spanish.

 

How do you say "yellow" in Spanish?

amarillo

 

Recorta un cuadro de papel amarillo de cinco centímetros

Cut out a five centimeter yellow square from yellow paper

Caption 70, Manos a la obra Separadores de libros: Charmander

 Play Caption

 

 

How do you say the color "orange" in Spanish?

anaranjado or naranja

Adentro, son de color anaranjado.

Inside, they are orange-colored.

Caption 13, Otavalo Conozcamos el Mundo de las Frutas con Julia

 Play Caption

 

By the way, do you know how to say "orange" (the fruit) in Spanish? The answer is "naranja"!

 

 

How do you say "blue" in Spanish?

azul

Ay, me encanta tu camiseta azul.

Oh, I love your blue shirt.

Caption 3, Español para principiantes Los colores

 Play Caption

 

 

How do you say "white" in Spanish?

blanco

Mi perro pequeño es blanco.

My small dog is white.

Caption 52, Conversaciones en el parque Cap. 2: Cafe y bocadillos

 Play Caption

 

 

How do you say "black" in Spanish?

negro

y el negro, donde se tira lo orgánico

and the black one, where the organic [waste] is thrown away

Caption 7, Rosa Reciclar

 Play Caption

 

 

How do you say "green" in Spanish?

verde

el verde, donde va el vidrio,

the green one, where the glass goes,

Caption 5, Rosa Reciclar

 Play Caption

 

 

How do you say "brown" in Spanish?

marrón

Mi cocina es de madera de color marrón.

My kitchen is (made) of brown-colored wood.

Caption 23, Ariana Mi Casa

 Play Caption

 

Keep in mind that some people prefer to use to word "café" instead of "marrón" when referring to the color "brown."

 

 

How do you say "purple" in Spanish?

morado

Predominan los colores verde, morado,

The colors green, purple, predominate,

Caption 46, Viajando con Fermín Dunas de Marbella

 Play Caption

 

It is also quite common to use the adjective "púrpura" when talking about the color purple.

 

 

How do you say "red" in Spanish?

rojo

el rojo carmesí, que es un rojo frío,

the Crimson Red, which is a cool red,

Caption 30, Leonardo Rodriguez Sirtori Una vida como pintor - Part 6

 Play Caption

 

 

The colors of the rainbow in Spanish 

Let's finish this lesson with a little quiz. Can you provide the English word for each one of the seven colors of the rainbow in Spanish? Try it out!

 

1. rojo = ???

2. naranja or anaranjado = ??? 

3. amarillo = ???

4. verde = ???

5. azul = ???

6. añil = ???

7. violeta = ???

 

Did you get them all? If you didn't, you can always go back and check out the list we provided at the beginning of this lesson with the Spanish colors in alphabetical order.

 

That's it for today. We hope you enjoyed this lesson and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

 

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Coronavirus Vocabulary in Spanish

The coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges humankind has ever faced. Because of that, we are being bombarded with words such as "virus," "disease," "quarantine," and "pandemic." But, do you know how to say all those words in Spanish? In this lesson, we will review some of the most important nouns associated with the current coronavirus. But first, let's take a closer look at the word coronavirus in Spanish.

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The rules of the noun Coronavirus

In Spanish, the word coronavirus is a masculine noun made of two words: corona (crown) and virus (virus). However, keep in mind that coronavirus is just one word so there's no need for spaces or hyphens between the words that make up this noun.

 

Apart from that, it is worth mentioning that the word coronavirus in Spanish is the same in both the singular and the plural. Let's take a look:

 

El coronavirus es un virus contagioso

Coronavirus is a contagious virus

 

Los coronavirus son virus contagiosos

Coronaviruses are contagious viruses

 

From the example above, you can also see that the word virus in Spanish is the same in the singular and plural. In fact, this word belongs to a group of nouns ending in 'S' or 'X' that are the same in the singular and plural in Spanish.

 

With that being said, let's take a look at some of the words that you need to keep in mind in the context of the coronavirus.

 

Top nouns related to coronavirus

For talking about coronavirus, here are some of the most common nouns. Let's take a look.

 

Brote (outbreak)

 

Crisis (crisis)

 

Vivimos en tiempos de crisis.

We live in times of crisis.

Caption 3, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 2 - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Cuarentena (quarantine)

 

Desinfectante (disinfectant)

 

Mirá, ni siquiera uso el alcohol como desinfectante.

Look, I don't even use alcohol as a disinfectant.

Caption 81, Muñeca Brava 18 - La Apuesta - Part 11

 Play Caption

 

In this caption, we also highlighted another very used word nowadays: alcohol (alcohol).

 

Enfermedad (illness, disease)

 

por una enfermedad o por un trastorno.

due to an illness or due to an imbalance.

Caption 50, Raquel Visitar al Médico

 Play Caption

 

se controla que no tienen ninguna enfermedad.

they check [to make sure] that they don't have any disease.

Caption 60, Rosa Laguna Fuente de Piedra

 Play Caption

 

Jabón (soap)

 

aquí está nuestro mejor amigo: el jabón.

here's our best friend: soap.

Caption 18, Ana Carolina Artículos de aseo personal

 Play Caption

 

Mascarilla (mask)

Another term commonly used when talking about the masks people use to protect their mouths and noses is "tapaboca" or "tapabocas".

 

Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS)

This is the Spanish name for the World Health Organization (WHO)

 

Pandemia (pandemic)

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus a pandemic. The Spanish term for pandemic is pandemia. Keep in mind that there is a difference between epidemia (epidemic) and pandemia (pandemic). While the former relates to the spread of a disease in a country, the latter refers to the spread of a disease throughout the world.

 

el mundo se enfrenta ahora a una pandemia sin precedentes.

the world is now facing an unprecedented pandemic.

Caption 12, El Coronavirus Introducción y vocabulario

 Play Caption

 

Prueba (test)

The word "prueba" is probably the best one for the test that people take in order to find out if they have coronavirus. However, some people prefer to use similar terms such as "test" or "muestra".

 

Recesión (recession)

According to several experts, even in the most optimistic of scenarios, many economies will be heading to a recession after the coronavirus crisis is over.

 

que fue cuando en España entró la recesión en el sector de la construcción

which was when in Spain the recession in the construction sector began

Caption 5, Leif El Arquitecto Español y su Arte - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Teletrabajo (remote working)

 

Transmisión (transmission)

 

Virus (virus)

 

"El coronavirus es un virus contagioso".

"The coronavirus is a contagious virus."

Caption 27, El Coronavirus Introducción y vocabulario

 Play Caption

 

There are many more words that are used in the context of the coronavirus disease. However, if you want to follow the news in Spanish, there is a good chance of coming across some of the terms we just reviewed. Please, take the necessary protection during this difficult time and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

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Math in Spanish: The Words You Need

How do you say "math" in Spanish? This is a question even native speakers ask themselves. The reason is that there are two terms that people use to say "mathematics" in Spanish. Let's find out which term you should use and explore some of the most basic math terms in Spanish. 

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How do you say "mathematics" in Spanish?

Matemática and its plural form matemáticas are the two valid terms you can use when talking about the noun that refers to "the science of numbers, forms, amounts, and their relationships." Let's see a couple of examples:

 

matemática

 

Vos te puedes equivocar en la matemática también.

You can can make mistakes in math too.

Caption 19, Yago 11 Prisión - Part 5

 Play Caption

 

matemáticas

 

Esta mañana he resuelto el problema de matemáticas.

This morning I solved the math problem.

Caption 55, Lecciones con Carolina Participios irregulares

 Play Caption

 

yo tenía que responder exámenes de matemáticas.

I had to answer math tests.

Caption 34, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 7 - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

There are a couple of things worth mentioning. First of all, keep in mind that the plural form matemáticas tends to be used more frequently than the singular form. Second of all, you don't need to use capital letters for any of these two terms. Now, let's review some useful vocabulary related to math in Spanish.

 

Basic math terms in Spanish

 

Basic mathematical operations

 

Let's see how to say the most basic math operations in Spanish:

 

Addition (Adición or suma)

Substraction (Sustracción or resta)

Multiplication (Multiplicación)

Division (División)

 

And how about the verbs that you use to indicate those basic operations? Let's listen to our friend Ester from El Aula Azul:

 

Tienes números, tienes que sumar, tienes que restar, multiplicar, dividir

You have numbers, you have to add, you have to subtract, to multiply, to divide

Captions 4-5, El Aula Azul Piensa rápido - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Now, let's see how to express these operations with some examples:

 

1 +1 = one plus one (uno más uno)

2 - 1 = two minus one (dos menos uno)

2 x 2 = two times two (dos por dos)

4 ÷ 2 = Four divided by two (cuatro dividido dos)

 

Math terms we use in everyday life

There are many math terms we use every day even when we are not talking about mathematics. Let's look at some of these terms:

 

Mi escultura es la solución a una ecuación

My sculpture is the solution to an equation

Caption 25, San Sebastián Peine del viento

 Play Caption

 

Y ¿cuál es la temperatura promedio en tu pueblo?

And what's the average temperature in your town?

Caption 39, Cleer Entrevista a Lila

 Play Caption

 

Producimos un doce coma seis por ciento más de residuos que la media Europea

We produce twelve-point-six percent more waste than the average of Europe

Caption 29, 3R Campaña de reciclaje - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Ya ven uno y uno es igual a tres

Now you see one and one equals three

Caption 10, Jeremías Uno y uno igual a tres

 Play Caption

 

Otra cosa im'... importante que tienes que calcular además de todo ese movimiento,

Another im'... important thing that you have to calculate in addition to all that movement,

Captions 64-65, El teatro. Conversación con un doble de acción.

 Play Caption

 

Los números cardinales pueden ser simples o compuestos.

Cardinal numbers can be simple or compound.

Caption 11, Carlos explica Los Números: Números Cardinales

 Play Caption

 

And that's it for today. If you want to learn more math in Spanish, we invite you to check out this useful English-Spanish glossary of terms and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

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The Essential Spanish Question Words You Need to Know for Asking Questions in Spanish

How many question words in Spanish are you familiar with? Do you know how to write a question in Spanish? Asking questions is one of the most important skills you need to master in the language you are learning. In this lesson, we will learn the most important interrogative words in Spanish. However, before we explore those words, let's discuss a couple of things about asking questions in Spanish. 

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How do you say the word 'question' in Spanish?

'Pregunta' is how you say the word 'question' in Spanish. 'Pregunta' is a feminine noun and its plural form is 'preguntas'. Let's practice the pronunciation of this term:

 

Kevin, la pregunta es:

Kevin, the question is:

Caption 13, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 8

 Play Caption

 

Los voy a dejar con cuatro preguntas.

I am going to leave you with four questions.

Caption 48, Carlos explica Tuteo, ustedeo y voseo: Ustedes y vosotros

 Play Caption

 

Spanish question structure

Do you know how to write a question in Spanish? Let's take a look at the basic structure of a question in Spanish.

 

Punctuation and question marks

To begin with, you need to stick to the rules of Spanish punctuation. Because of that, when you write a question in Spanish you need to remember that question marks are always double-sided. In other words, you need to start the question with an opening question mark (¿) and end it with a closing one (?):

 

¿Cómo es Japón? ¿Qué te gusta de Japón?

What's Japan like? What do you like about Japan?

Captions 69-70, Clase Aula Azul Pedir deseos - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Yes/No questions

Let's start with simple questions. Believe it or not, for these kinds of questions your intonation is what matters the most. You basically make Yes/No questions by transforming a statement into a question. The Spanish question structure for these kinds of questions is the following:

 

¿ + (subject) + conjugated verb + (additional information) + ?

 

Please note that the terms in parenthesis are optional. Let's see a couple of examples:

 

A Pedro le gusta comer pizza (Pedro likes to eat pizza)

¿A Pedro le gusta comer pizza? (Does Pedro like to eat pizza?)

 

For negative questions, you just need to place a "no" before the conjugated verb.

 

No quieres estudiar (You don't want to study)

¿No quieres estudiar? (Don't you want to study?)

 

Go ahead and play the following clips so you can hear the intonation of the following Yes/No questions. Notice how the pitch of the speaker's voice gets higher at the end of the sentence when asking questions in Spanish:

 

Mmm... ¿Quieres ir al cine? -Sí, ¡buena idea!

Mmm... Do you want to go to the movies? -Yes, good idea!

Captions 45-46, Conversaciones en el parque Cap. 5: Me gusta mucho este parque.

 Play Caption

 

¿Necesitas ayuda? -Mmm... Sí.

Do you need help? -Mmm... Yes.

Captions 9-10, Español para principiantes La hora

 Play Caption

 

¿No conoces Manhattan?

You don't know Manhattan?

Caption 37, Yago 2 El puma - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

As you can see, it is very common to start Yes/No questions with a conjugated verb.

 

Questions that ask for specific information

The following is the Spanish question structure you need to keep mind when your question is aimed at getting some sort of information:

 

¿ + (preposition) + question word + conjugated verb + (additional information) + ?

 

Please note that the terms in parenthesis are optional. Let's see a couple of examples:

 

¡Oh! ¿Dónde está el cajero automático?

Oh! Where's the ATM?

Caption 36, Natalia de Ecuador Palabras de uso básico

 Play Caption

 

In the example above, we have the following structure: 

¿ + question word (dónde) + conjugated verb (está) + additional information (el cajero automático) + ?

 

Let's listen to another clip:

 

¿Desde cuándo tienes este piso?

Since when have you had this apartment?

Caption 35, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 13

 Play Caption

 

In this last example, the Spanish question structure is the following: 

¿ + preposition (desde) + question word (cuándo) + conjugated verb (tienes) + additional information (este piso) + ?

 

Now that we have seen the structure of a question, let's take a look at some Spanish question words in sentences.

 

Top Spanish question words

It's time to review the most important interrogative words in Spanish. If you are thinking about WH questions, you are right. Let's find out what the Spanish question words are for 'what', 'which', 'when', 'where', 'who', 'why' and 'how'.

 

Top question words in Spanish

For your reference, here's a list of the top question words in Spanish.

 

What / Which (Qué / Cuál)

When (Cuándo)

Where (Dónde)

Who (Quién)

Why (Por qué)

How (Cómo)

 

Now, let's see each one of these question words in action with a list of some of the most basic Spanish questions you can ask.

 

Basic questions to ask in Spanish using WH questions

And now, let's dive into our list.

 

What / Which (Qué / Cuál)

 

Diremos, "¿Qué hora es?"

We'll say, "What time is it?"

Caption 49, Español para principiantes La hora

 Play Caption

 

O, ¿A qué te dedicas?

Or, What do you do? [with "tú"].

Caption 17, Karla e Isabel Tú y Usted

 Play Caption

 

Oye, y ¿en qué trabajas?

Hey, and what do you do [for a living]?

Caption 82, Ricardo La compañera de casa - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Por supuesto; ¿cuál es su dirección de correo?

Of course; what is your e-mail address?

Caption 69, Negocios Empezar en un nuevo trabajo - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

¿Recuerdas cuál era la copa para servir vino?

Do you remember which cup was the one for serving wine?

Caption 36, Ana Carolina El comedor

 Play Caption

 

When (Cuándo)

 

¿Y cuándo hizo el "check-in"?

And when did he check-in?

Caption 13, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 3 - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

¿Cuándo terminas de estudiar?

When do you finish studying?

Caption 72, Carlos explica Tuteo, ustedeo y voseo: Conjugación

 Play Caption

 

Where (Dónde)

 

¿De dónde eres?

Where are you from?

Caption 36, Curso de español ¿De dónde eres?

 Play Caption

 

Y ¿en dónde vives?

And where do you live?

Caption 8, Cleer Entrevista a Lila

 Play Caption

 

Let's see a couple of clips from Raquel to see the kind of questions you ask when you want to find out where something is located:

 

¿Me podrías decir dónde está el baño?

Could you tell me where the bathroom is?

Caption 7, Raquel Expresiones para un festival de música.

 Play Caption

 

¿Sabes dónde hay alguna farmacia?

Do you know where there's a pharmacy?

Caption 24, Raquel Expresiones para un festival de música.

 Play Caption

 

Who (Quién)

We use 'who' when we want to find out someone's identity. Let's see a couple of examples:

 

Mi jugador favorito juega en el Real Madrid. ¿Quién es?

My favorite player plays for Real Madrid. Who is it?

Captions 19-20, El Aula Azul Las Profesiones - Part 1

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¿Usted quién es? Roberto. Un amigo.

Who are you? Roberto. A friend.

Captions 24-25, Yago 9 Recuperación - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Why (Por qué)

 

¿Por qué dices eso? -No...

Why are you saying that? -No...

Caption 14, Cortometraje Beta - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

How (Cómo)

 

Para saludar, podemos decir: "Hola. ¿Cómo estás? ¿Todo bien?"

To greet (people), we can say: "Hello. How are you? (Is) everything good?"

Caption 7, Español en las calles Varias expresiones

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Keep in mind that the word 'cómo' is not always translated as the English word 'how'. In fact, one of the most basic Spanish questions you can ask is a good example of that:

 

Buenos días, ¿cómo te llamas?

Good morning, what's your name?

Caption 8, La rutina diaria La mañana

 Play Caption

 

When we want to find out someone's age or the price of an object, we combine 'how' with other words such as 'old' or 'much'. When we want to get that kind of information, we use other interrogative words in Spanish. Let's take a look:

 

Ah, lindo. ¿Cuánto cuesta?

Oh, nice. How much does it cost?

Captions 33-34, Natalia de Ecuador Palabras de uso básico

 Play Caption

 

¿Cuántos años tienes?

How old are you?

Caption 6, Cleer Entrevista a Lila

 Play Caption

 

Ah, vale. ¿Cuántos hijos tienes?

Oh, OK. How many sons do you have?

Caption 39, Clase Aula Azul El verbo parecer - Part 7

 Play Caption

 

¿Y cuántas botellas de agua hay aquí?

And how many bottles of water are there here?

Caption 78, Español para principiantes Los números del 1 al 100

 Play Caption

 

And that's it for now. We hope you use this review of the most important Spanish question words as the perfect excuse to start asking questions in Spanish. Are you ready? We encourage you to do that and don't forget to send us your questions and comments.

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Vivir en vs Vivir a

Many Yabla users have been wondering about the difference between 'vivir en' and 'vivir a' when you are talking about a particular place. In this lesson, we will explain how to properly use the verb vivir (to live) with either of these two prepositions. Let's start this lesson with a little quiz. Put the missing preposition(s) in the following sentence:

 

Porque si te cansas de vivir ___ Cádiz, te puedes ir a vivir ___ Málaga.

Because if you get tired of living in Cadiz, you can go to live in Malaga.

 

Would you use the preposition a or the preposition en? Or both? Let's find out the answer.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

 

When to use vivir + en

We use 'vivir en' when we want to indicate a place. Let's see some examples:

 

hice mis amigos, tengo mi novia y me encanta vivir en Miami,

I made friends, I have my girlfriend, and I love to live in Miami,

Captions 35-36, Fiesta en Miami Antonio

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Siempre he tenido mi idea de vivir en Alemania.

I have always wanted to live in Germany.

Caption 82, Gonzalo el Pintor Vida - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

 

When to use vivir + a

We use 'vivir a' when we want to indicate that someone is moving towards a place: a destination. Because of that, 'vivir a' is preceded by verbs that indicate movement such as ir (to go) or venir (to come). In fact, the preposition 'a' before the destination is required by the verb that indicates movement and not by the verb vivir (to live). Let's take a look:

 

me voy a ir a vivir a Barcelona,

I'm going to go live in Barcelona,

Caption 23, Arume Málaga, España - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

¿Viene a vivir a Buenos Aires?

She's coming to live in Buenos Aires?

Caption 38, Yago 8 Descubrimiento - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Combining 'vivir en' and 'vivir a'

Now that we understand the difference, it is time to solve our quiz:

 

Porque si te cansas de vivir en Cádiz, te puedes ir a vivir a Málaga.

Because if you get tired of living in Cadiz, you can go to live in Malaga.

Captions 10-11, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 21

 Play Caption

 

 

That's it for now. We hope you like this lesson and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

 

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Compliments in Spanish

When it comes to bringing good vibes and positive energy, there's nothing better than a nice compliment. In fact, we use compliments when we want to express respect, approval, or admiration for someone. With that being said, let's learn some easy ways to express compliments in Spanish.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

How do you say 'compliment' in Spanish?

First things first. There are various terms you can use for the word compliment in Spanish. The following are your options:

- Cumplido

- Elogio

- Halago

- Piropo

 

Keep in mind, however, that the word piropo is mostly used to indicate a short sentence that is concerned with the beauty of a woman:

 

En cambio vos no cambiaste nada; estás más hermosa que nunca.

On the other hand you haven't changed a bit; you're more beautiful than ever.

Caption 56, Yago 11 Prisión - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

 

Expressing congratulations before compliments in Spanish

Very often, compliments are preceded by some form of congratulations. Let's see that in action:

 

Los felicito, muchachos; eso está muy bien.

I congratulate you, kids; that's great.

Caption 36, Tu Voz Estéreo Feliz Navidad - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Enhorabuena, Amaya... -Muchas gracias. -...por tu primera venta.

Congratulations, Amaya... -Thanks a lot. -...on your first sale.

Caption 77, Santuario para burros Tienda solidaria

 Play Caption

 

Good job!

Do you know how to say 'good job' in Spanish? Let's see how to express one of the most common compliments:

 

Te felicito; buen trabajo, ¿eh?

I congratulate you; good job, huh?

Caption 49, Muñeca Brava 47 Esperanzas - Part 8

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Debo admitir que hiciste un excelente trabajo, realmente.

I must admit that you did an excellent job, really.

Caption 4, Muñeca Brava 33 El partido - Part 11

 Play Caption

 

Hello beautiful in Spanish

There are many ways to compliment a woman on her looks. Let's see some examples of compliments for women in Spanish:

 

Hola, guapa.

Hello, beautiful.

Caption 30, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 3 - Part 13

 Play Caption

 

Pasa. -Qué bonita que estás, ¿eh?

Come in. -How pretty you look, huh?

Caption 1, Yago 12 Fianza - Part 9

 Play Caption

 

yo jamás dejaría plantada a una mujer tan guapa como esta.

I would never stand up a woman as beautiful as this one.

Caption 67, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capitulo 5 - Part 4

 Play Caption

 

Compliments with the verb gustar

The verb gustar (to like) is very useful when it comes to express compliments. Just like English, what you want to say is 'I like this of you':

 

Me gusta como sos. Me gusta tu pelo.

I like how you are. I like your hair.

Captions 80-81, Muñeca Brava 7 El poema - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

You can also use similar verbs to express compliments in Spanish:

 

Es que me encanta cómo hablas.

It's just that I love the way you speak.

Caption 49, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 2 - Part 6

 Play Caption

 

¡Hey! Adoro tu caminar

Hey! I adore your walking

Caption 34, Huecco Dame Vida

 Play Caption

 

Encouraging in Spanish with compliments

There are lots of compliments you can use when you want to encourage someone. Teachers, for example, use these kinds of compliments often with their students:

 

Perfecto, chicos. Muy bien.

Perfect, guys. Very good.

Caption 57, Clase Aula Azul El verbo parecer - Part 7

 Play Caption

 

Qué + positive word

A very common way of expressing compliments in Spanish consists of using the word qué (what) followed by a positive word (most of the time an adjective):

 

¡Qué buen observador eres!

What a good observer you are!

Caption 30, Guillermina y Candelario El Mar enamorado

 Play Caption

 

¡Pero qué lindo dibujito! ¡Mateo, qué bien está dibujado, che!

But what a nice little drawing! Mateo, how well it's drawn, wow!

Captions 41-42, Yago 4 El secreto - Part 4

 Play Caption

 

Quiero que todo el mundo sea feliz y contento. ¡Muy bien! Qué bonito, ¿mmm?

I want everyone to be happy and content. Very good! How nice, hmm?

Captions 34-35, Clase Aula Azul Pedir deseos - Part 5

 Play Caption

 

Indirect compliments

Sometimes, we can express compliments or flatter someone by saying good things about something that is connected to that person:

 

Ay, me encanta tu camiseta azul. Gracias.

Oh, I love your blue shirt. Thank you.

Captions 3-4, Español para principiantes Los colores

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Si, si lo criaste vos, tiene que ser un buen pibe.

If, if you raised him, he must be a good kid.

Caption 33, Yago 6 Mentiras - Part 8

 Play Caption

 

 

And that's it for today. Try practicing some of these compliments in Spanish and don't forget to send us your questions and comments.

 

¡Hasta la próxima!

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10 Spanish Words that Change Meaning with Gender

Let's enhance our vocabulary today! As you know, nouns in Spanish are defined by number and gender. However, there are some nouns that can be both masculine and feminine. Moreover, depending on the gender they have, these nouns change their meanings completely. With that being said, let's take a look at some Spanish words that change meaning with gender.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

1. Capital

Feminine: la capital (a capital city)

Está ubicada a ciento diez kilómetros de Quito, la capital del Ecuador.

It is located one hundred and ten kilometers from Quito, the capital of Ecuador.

Caption 6, Otavalo El mercado de artesanías de Otavalo

 Play Caption

 

Masculine: el capital (capital: money)

No buscar la acumulación de capital sino buscar la satisfacción de necesidades sociales.

It's not seeking the accumulation of capital, but seeking the satisfaction of social necessities.

Captions 74-75, De consumidor a persona Short Film - Part 7

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2. Cólera

Feminine: la cólera (anger, rage)

Masculine: el cólera (cholera - the illness)

 

3. Coma

Feminine: la coma (a comma - punctuation)

Masculine: el coma (a coma - medicine)

 

4. Cometa

Feminine: la cometa (a kite)

Pero la cometa estaba muy alta para cogerla.

But the kite was too high to grab.

Caption 22, Guillermina y Candelario El Gran Descubrimiento

 Play Caption

 

Masculine: el cometa (a comet - astronomy)

 

5. Corte

Feminine: la corte (a court of law OR the royal court of a king)

Creo que voy a apelar esta decisión a la Corte Suprema.

I think I'm going to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court.

Caption 83, Los casos de Yabla Problemas de convivencia - Part 3

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que le habían sido cedidos para recreo de la corte.

that had been handed over to him for the court's recreation.

Caption 59, Marisa en Madrid Parque de El Retiro

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Masculine: el corte (a cut - injury OR the cut of hair or a suit)

Y ahora voy a hacer el corte aquí.

And now I am going to make the cut here.

Caption 42, Instrumentos musicales Ocarinas

 Play Caption

 

6. Cura

Feminine: la cura (the cure)

Tu madre no tiene cura.

Your mom has no cure.

Caption 45, Muñeca Brava 44 El encuentro - Part 5

 Play Caption

 

Masculine: el cura (a priest)

Aquí no habrá noche de bodas mientras no vayan con un cura.

Here, there will be no wedding night until you go to a priest.

Caption 23, El Ausente Acto 4 - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

7. Final

Feminine: la final (the sports final, the playoffs)

Jueguen como si fuera la final.

Play as if it were the finals.

Caption 46, Carlos explica Tuteo, ustedeo y voseo: Ustedes y vosotros

 Play Caption

 

Masculine: el final (the end)

Al final le he pedido disculpas y todo.

In the end, I apologized to him and everything.

Caption 55, Cortometraje Flechazos

 Play Caption

 

8. Frente

Feminine: la frente (the forehead)

"María le tocó la frente a su hijo para ver si tenía fiebre".

"Maria touched her son's forehead to see if he had a fever."

Caption 17, Carlos explica Vocabulario: El verbo “tocar”

 Play Caption

 

Masculine: el frente (the front - military)

Los soldados están en el frente de batalla.

The soldiers are on the battle front.

 

9. Guía

Feminine: la guía (a guide book OR a female guide OR a telephone book OR guidance)

todo bajo la guía de un profesor de educación física.

all with the guidance of a P.E. teacher.

Caption 7, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 6

 Play Caption

 

¡Pippo, traé una guía!

Pippo, bring me a phone directory.

Caption 55, Yago 5 La ciudad - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

Masculine: el guía (a male guide)

Mi nombre es Mauricio y soy un guía turístico.

My name is Mauricio and I'm a tour guide.

Caption 27, Pipo Un paseo por la playa de Atacames

 Play Caption

 

10. Orden

Feminine: la orden (a command OR a restaurant order)

Normalmente, cuando estás haciendo una orden,

Usually, when you're placing an order,

Caption 28, Natalia de Ecuador Ordenar en un restaurante

 Play Caption

 

Masculine: el orden (order)

Listo, señor Rolleri; todo en orden.

Done, Mister Rolleri; everything's in order.

Caption 68, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 2 - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

That's if for today. Do you know more Spanish words that change meaning with gender? We challenge you to find more and don't forget to send us your questions and comments.

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Afuera vs Fuera

Let's talk about adverbs! Today, we have a big match: afuera vs. fuera. Do you know the meaning of these two words? Let's explore how to use and pronounce these very often used Spanish adverbs.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

The meaning of afuera and fuera

As an adverb, afuera refers to a place that is outside of where you are:

 

Todo lo malo me pasa dentro de esta casa, no afuera.

All the bad things happen to me inside this house, not outside.

Caption 20, Muñeca Brava 18 - La Apuesta - Part 4

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Similarly, the adverb fuera is used to talk about the exterior part of something:

 

puedes ir a tomar café a una cafetería fuera de la escuela,

you can go to drink coffee at a cafe outside of the school,

Caption 17, El Aula Azul Las actividades de la escuela - Part 1

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Using afuera and fuera to indicate movement

If you want to indicate that someone is going outside, toward the exterior, or even abroad (with verbs of movement), you can use either afuera or fuera. Both forms are correct and are used indistinctly in both Spain and Latin America. Let's see some sentences:

Vení, vamos afuera.

Come, let's go outside.

Caption 28, Yago 9 Recuperación - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Cuando los cuatro compañeros nos fuimos a estudiar fuera,

When we four friends went to study abroad,

Caption 7, Escuela de Pádel Albacete Hablamos con José Luis

 Play Caption

 

Using afuera and fuera to indicate a condition or state

When you want to indicate that someone or something is outside, or when you want to make a reference to the outside world, you use fuera in both Spain and Latin America. However, it is also very common to use afuera throughout the Americas. Let's hear the pronunciation of these two words one more time:

 

¡Qué lindo que está afuera! ¿No? El clima está divino.

How nice it is outside! No? The weather is divine.

Caption 15, Muñeca Brava 1 Piloto - Part 4

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me doy una buena ducha aquí fuera,

I take a good shower here outside,

Caption 31, Amaya "Mi camper van"

 Play Caption

 

The interjections afuera and fuera

Both afuera and fuera can be used as interjections. Generally speaking, you use these interjections when you ask someone to leave a place. 

 

¡Suficiente, fuera de mi casa!

Enough, out of my house!

Caption 61, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 4 - Part 6

 Play Caption

 

Idiomatic expressions with fuera

There are several useful idiomatic expressions with the word fuera. Let's see some of them:

 

Este hombre vive fuera de la realidad, Señoría.

This man lives outside of reality, Your Honor.

Caption 36, Los casos de Yabla Problemas de convivencia - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Su ropa está fuera de moda.

His clothes are out of fashion.

Caption 8, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam - Part 4

 Play Caption

 

No hay nada fuera de lo normal,

There isn't anything out of the ordinary,

Caption 38, Negocios Empezar en un nuevo trabajo - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

 

That's it for today. We hope this review helps you to use correctly the adverbs fuera and afuera. As you could see throughout this lesson, more than talking about afuera vs fuera, we should really treat this subject as afuera = fuera! Keep that in mind and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions

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