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Body Parts in Spanish from Head to Toe

Are you familiar with the body parts in Spanish? Do you know how to say words like "hands," "legs," or "face" in Spanish? Let's see how to write and pronounce las partes del cuerpo en español (the parts of the body in Spanish), from head to toe!

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Parts of the Head in Spanish

 

Head (cabeza)

Inclina tu cabeza hacia atrás,

Tilt your head back;

Caption 19, Bienestar con Elizabeth Rehabilitación vestibular

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Hair (pelo or cabello)

Pelo is a very common word for "hair." However, keep in mind that pelo can refer to any kind of body hair, while the word cabello only refers to the hair on one's head. 

 

Vale, pero los dos tenemos el pelo negro, vale, muy bien, perfecto.

OK, but we both have black hair, OK, very good, perfect.

Caption 12, Clase Aula Azul El verbo parecer - Part 7

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Para mi cabello, aquí tengo mi cepillo de cabello

For my hair, I have here my hair brush

Caption 27, Ana Carolina Artículos de aseo personal

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Ears (las orejas)

Keep in mind that the Spanish word for the inner ear is el oído while the external ear (what you actually see) is called la oreja.

 

Las orejas son partes del cuerpo que se encuentran en cada lateral de la cabeza y que forman la parte exterior del oído.

The ears are parts of the body that are found on each side of the head and that form the external part of the inner ear.

Captions 53-55, Clara explica El cuerpo

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Parts of the Face in Spanish

 

Face (la cara, el rostro)

There are two words for face in Spanish: la cara and el rostro. However, while cara is mostly used to talk about the physical part of the body, rostro is often used to talk in a sort of poetic, abstract way about someone's face. Let's see how to pronounce both words:

 

Esa mañana, al lavarse la cara,

That morning, while washing his face,

Caption 15, Aprendiendo con Carlos El microrrelato - Part 2

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Pinto mi rostro de mascarada

I paint my face in masquerade

Caption 20, Alejandra Guzmán Porque no estás aquí

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Forehead (la frente)

Dio un suspiro y un golpe en la frente,

She let out a sigh and banged her forehead,

Caption 55, Cleer Rafael Pombo y "Pastorcita"

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Eyes (los ojos)

Me encantaría tener los ojos azules.

I would love to have blue eyes.

Caption 34, Clara explica El cuerpo

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Eyebrows (las cejas)

Ahora voy a delinear las cejas con un lápiz color café.

Now I am going to line the eyebrows with a brown-colored pencil.

Caption 53, Maquillaje Con Cata y Cleer

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Eyelashes (las pestañas)

Después tenemos las pestañas.

Then we have the eyelashes.

Caption 21, Marta de Madrid El cuerpo - La cabeza

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Cheeks (las mejillas)

Cuando una mujer hablaba de mis mejillas,

When a woman talked about my cheeks,

Caption 23, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 3 - Part 6

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Nose (la nariz)

que podía tener sangre por la nariz.

that he might have a bloody nose.

Caption 15, Juan Sánchez Personajes

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Mouth (la boca)

Esta... esta boca quiere decir que está como un poco...

This... this mouth wants to say that it's like a bit...

Caption 67, Bucaramanga, Colombia Pintor callejero

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Lips (los labios)

Tanto te quise besar que me duelen los labios

I wanted to kiss you so much that my lips hurt

Caption 2, Shakira Sale el Sol

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Teeth (los dientes)

para que los dientes estén más fuertes

so that the teeth become stronger

Caption 61, Los médicos explican Consejos: dientes de niños

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Tongue (la lengua)

Esta letra la pronuncias poniendo la lengua junto al paladar

You pronounce this letter by putting the tongue next to the palate

Caption 61, Ana Carolina Mejorando la pronunciación

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Chin (la barbilla or el mentón)

Después tenemos la barbilla.

Then we have the chin.

Caption 70, Marta de Madrid El cuerpo - La cabeza

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Vas a bajar el mentón hacia tu cuello

You're going to lower your chin toward your neck,

Caption 28, Bienestar con Elizabeth Relajación

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Additional Spanish Body Parts

 

Neck (el cuello)

La cabeza es la parte superior del cuerpo que está situada sobre el cuello

The head is the top part of the body that is situated on the neck

Captions 49-50, Clara explica El cuerpo

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Shoulders (los hombros)

y a Chibchacum lo puso a cargar la Tierra en sus hombros.

and forced Chibchacum to carry the Earth on his shoulders.

Caption 57, Aprendiendo con Carlos América precolombina - El mito de Bochica

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Arms (los brazos)

Esta que tengo en mis brazos se llama Poeska.

This one I have in my arms is named Poeska.

Caption 21, Fermín y los gatos Mi gata Poeska

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Elbows (los codos)

Vamos a mover codos, que normalmente no movemos esta articulación.

We're going to move [our] elbows, as we don't normally move this joint.

Captions 15-16, Bienestar con Elizabeth Activar las articulaciones

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Wrists (las muñecas)

Of all the names of body parts in Spanish, this is probably the most unique. The word muñeca indeed means not only "wrist" but "doll" as well, so keep that in mind when you need to remember how to say "wrist" in Spanish.

 

sufren mucha lesión en codos, en muñecas y en hombros.

they suffer a lot of injuries on [their] elbows, wrists and shoulders.

Caption 28, Adícora, Venezuela Los fisioterapeutas

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Hands (las manos)

los voy a colocar en mis manos,

I'm going to place them in my hands,

Caption 30, Ana Carolina Gérmenes

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Fingers (los dedos de la mano)

Tiene agujeros donde se colocan los dedos,

It has holes where you place your fingers,

Caption 38, Karla e Isabel Instrumentos musicales

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Legs (las piernas)

Si tienes unas piernas fuertes y ganas de andar,

If you have some strong legs and feel like walking,

Caption 102, Blanca Cómo moverse en Barcelona

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Knees (las rodillas)

¡Vamos! Doble sus rodillas.

Let's go! Bend your knees.

Caption 24, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 3 - Sam aprende a ligar - Part 1

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Feet (los pies)

unos zapatos para los pies del bebé.

some shoes for the baby's feet.

Caption 35, Conversaciones en el parque Cap. 4: Regalos para un nuevo bebé

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Toes (los dedos del pie)

También, este... son frecuentes en lesionarse [sic] mucho las articulaciones metatarsianas que son los dedos del pie,

Also, um... they frequently hurt their metatarsal joints a lot, which are the toes,

Captions 25-26, Adícora, Venezuela Los fisioterapeutas

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And with this last term, we have come to the end of this lesson about body parts in Spanish. We encourage you to practice the names of all of these partes del cuerpo, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions¡Hasta la próxima!

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El Voseo: Not as Intimidating as It Seems

Let's start today's lesson with a quote from the Argentinean telenovela, Yago:

 

Pero si no te casás, no tenés nada para aportar a la sociedad. No sos nadie, Melina. No sos nada. 

But if you don't get married, you don't have anything to contribute to the company. You're nobody, Melina. You're nothing.

Captions 27-29, Yago 9 Recuperación - Part 9

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What's going on here (aside from a seemingly very dramatic situation)? Since the speaker is addressing this character as "you," shouldn't these verbs be conjugated as (te casastienes, and eres?

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What's going on here, grammatically speaking, is that in Argentina, Uruguay, and many other regions (including parts of Paraguay, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Mexico, and Venezuela) vos is used in place of  as the informal second person singular pronoun ("you"), causing some of the verb conjugations to vary slightly. 

 

The Good News About Vos

 

"Do I really have to learn another verb tense?!" you might be saying. However, even though el voseo (the use of vos instead of ) might seem intimidating at first, there is a lot of "good news" regarding vos, particularly if you are already familiar with el tuteo (the use of ):

 

1. The verb conjugations for vos only differ from those with  in two tenses: the present indicative and the informal imperative (command). All of the other verb tenses (preterite, imperfect, etc.) are exactly the same as with, as are many of its pronouns (e.g. direct object, indirect object, reflexive, and possessive). 

 

2. The formulas for conjugating verbs with vos in both present indicative and imperative are extremely simple.

 

3. With the voseo, there are a lot less irregular verbs than with . In fact, in the present indicative of vos, there are only three irregular verbs, while in the present indicative of , there are over one hundred irregular/stem changing verbs to memorize.

 

Conjugating Verbs with Vos in the Present Indicative 

 

Let's start with how to conjugate -ar, -er, and -ir verbs with vos in the present indicative: Simply take the infinitive, replace the "r" with an "s," and add an accent to the final vowel. Let's look at some examples with the infinitives escuchar (to listen), saber (to know), and subir (to go up). 

 

Qu'... Vos no me escuchás ni cuando yo te estoy contando una cosa que para mí es importante.

Wh'... You don't listen to me, not even when I'm telling you something that is important to me.

Caption 50, Yago 2 El puma - Part 3

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Si vos sabés muy bien que yo me sé adaptar.

You know very well that I know how to adapt.

Caption 43, Cuatro Amigas Piloto - Part 2

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En el segundo piso, de ahí subís y ahí es tu salón.

On the second floor, you go up there and there's your classroom.

Caption 49, La Sucursal del Cielo Capítulo 1 - Part 6

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In the case of these regular -ar and -er verbs, you will note that their conjugations with vos are virtually identical to their tú forms (escuchas and sabes) with the addition of their written (and spoken) accents. Howeber, regular -ir verbs like subir, which are typically conjugated with -es in their form (subes), retain their-i vowel plus an accent. 

 

As previously mentioned, verbs that are irregular or stem-changing with tú are regular with vos. To get an idea, let's take the common verbs comenzar (to begin), tener (to have), and  decir (to say), all of which have irregular forms when conjugated with tú. With vos, on the other hand, these verbs follow our regular pattern of replacing the "r" with "s" and adding an accent to the final noun: 

 

Verb in Infinitive: Present Indicative with : Present Indicative with Vos:
comenzar comienzas comenzás
tener tienes tenés​
decir dices decís

 

Let's look at a couple of these in action:

 

y decís: "Bueno, pará que mañana tenés que seguir

and you say, "Hey, hold on 'cause tomorrow you have to continue

Caption 66, Biografía Natalia Oreiro - Part 10

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Irregular Verbs with Vos

 

There are only three irregular verbs in the vos form of the present indicative, one of which we already saw (ser) and two of which share their forms with tú (haber and ir). All three of these appear in the following clip: 

 

Además, vos ni vas al colegio, has perdido un montón de años. Vos no sos nadie.

Besides, you don't even go to school, you have missed a ton of years. You're [a] nobody.

Captions 33-34, La Sucursal del Cielo Capítulo 1 - Part 3

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Now, let's take a look at these captions again, substituting the verb tú for vos:

 

Además, ni vas al colegio, has perdido un montón de años.  no eres nadie.

Besides, you don't even go to school, you have missed a ton of years. You're [a] nobody.

 

While the vos form of sersos, does differ from the form (eres), the verb conjugations for ir (vas) and haber (has) are exactly the same for both tú and vos.

 

Conjugating Verbs with Vos in the Imperative

 

Conjugating verbs with vos in the imperative (command) form is even easier: Simply take the infinitive, remove the r, and add an accent over the final vowel. Let's look at some examples of the vos command forms for each type of verb ending, utilizing the verbs tomar (to drink), tener (to have), and venir (to come).

 

Sabés que no tomo whisky. -¡Pero tomá!

You know that I don't drink whiskey. -But, drink it!

Caption 22, Muñeca Brava 2 Venganza - Part 3

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Este... tené un poquito de paciencia.

Umm... have a little bit of patience.

Caption 7, Muñeca Brava 45 El secreto - Part 9

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Vení, vamos a bailar.

Come, let's go dance.

Caption 33, Muñeca Brava 7 El poema - Part 6

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Once again, verbs like tener and venir that are irregular in the imperative form with  (ten and ven, respectively) are regular in the imperative form with vos. While ir (to go) is the only irregular verb in this category, its formal conjugations, id or ite, are almost never heard, and the command form of andar (to walk/go), andá, is often used in its place. 

 

Keep in mind that, due to the Spanish accent rules, the addition of a pronoun to a command form with vos may lead to the omission of the written accent:

 

Olvidate, divertite, hacé algo. -No quiero,

Forget about it, have fun, do something. -I don't want to,

Caption 8, Muñeca Brava 46 Recuperación - Part 7

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To conclude, remember that in all of the other tenses besides the present indicative and informal imperative, vos is conjugated in exactly the same way as tú. In the following example, we see the preterite form of ser (to be) fuiste as well as the imperfect form of estar (to be), taking into account that the indirect object pronoun te is also identical for both vos and tú:

 

porque a vos no te hice absolutamente nada. Todo lo contrario. Fuiste la protagonista de la fiesta, estabas maravillosa

because I've done absolutely nothing to you. On the contrary. You were the star of the party, you were looking wonderful

Captions 15-17, Muñeca Brava 41 La Fiesta - Part 7

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We hope that this lesson has made conjugating verbs with the informal second person pronoun vos seem a bit less daunting. For more information on this topic, we recommend this Yabla series on the Voseo, ustedeo, and tuteo as well as this video on the use of vos in Argentina and don't hesitate to contact us with your comments and suggestions.

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Making Comparisons in Spanish - Part 2

In the first part of our lesson on comparative structures, we covered comparisons of inequality. However, what if we would like to talk about similarity? Part two of this lesson will deal with comparisons of equality as well as superlatives, and considering that 2020 has been uno de los años más difíciles para muchos (one of the hardest years for many people), superlative structures could definitely come in handy. 

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Comparisons of Equality

 

1. tan + adjective/adverb + como 

 

Let's start by using the Spanish equivalent of as ___ as (as good as, as fast as, etc.). We can use this structure with both adjectives and adverbs.

 

Oye, no, no es tan fácil como tú lo ves, ¿eh? 

Hey, no, it's not as easy as you see it, huh?

Caption 21, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 17

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tampoco saliste con una mina tan finoli como ella. 

you haven't dated a woman as elegant as her either.

Caption 18, Yago 12 Fianza - Part 9

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Notice that we use tan rather than tanto before the adjective or adverb. Thus, in the previous examples, it would be a mistake to say tanto fácil or tanto finoli. We can, however, say tanto más or tanto menos fácil (as explained in part one of this lesson). 

 

On the other hand, the similar structure tanto como is the Spanish equivalent of "as much as." In the following example, note that because tanto is an adverb, it is unmarked for gender and number. 

 

Espero que hayáis disfrutado al menos tanto como yo disfruto estando todos los días con vosotros. 

I hope that you have enjoyed at least as much as I enjoy being here every day with you guys.

Captions 76-78, Cómetelo Crema de brócoli - Part 11

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2. tanto + noun + como

 

Unlike the examples with adjectives and adverbs above, tanto must be marked for gender when used with nouns. We will therefore use tanto/s before masculine nouns and tanta/s before feminine nouns as follows:

 

Tiene tanto dinero como su hijo. 

She has as much money as her son does. 

 

Tiene tanta paciencia como tú.

She has as much patience as you do. 

 

Tienes tantas hermanas como yo.

You have as many sisters as I do. 

 

3. parecido(s)/parecida(s)           

 

When talking about things (cosas) that are similar, we can employ this term as an adjective (marked for number and gender) to say that they are parecidas. On the other hand, to express that something is done in a similar way, we use the unmarked adverb: parecidoas in Juana y su hermana hablan parecido. And to top it all off, parecido is also a noun that indicates resemblance.  

 

La [cultura] gitana es muy parecida a la cultura árabe. 

Gypsy [culture] is very similar to Arab culture.

Caption 37, Europa Abierta Jassin Daudi - Con arte

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Notice the use of the preposition a following the adjective parecida to indicate "to."

 

Now, let's look at parecido as a noun as it appears in this caption from Clase Aula Azul, which explains the use of the verb parecer:

 

Hablamos de parecidos físicos, ¿sí? Se parece es como decir, es parecido, es similar, ¿mmm?

We're talking about physical similarities, right? "Se parece" [It looks like] is like saying, it's alike, it's similar, hmm?

Captions 37-38, Clase Aula Azul El verbo parecer - Part 6

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4. idéntico/igual/mismo 

 

While we can use parecido or similar to describe similarities, what if the items being compared are exactly the same? When items are virtually indistinguishable, idéntico, igual, or mismo are suitable terms. Remeber that these are adjectives and are therefore marked for number and gender, except for igual, which is gender neutral. It is worth mentioning that only el/la mismo/a or los/las mismos/as can come before the noun. Thus, if one has the same t-shirt someone is wearing, he or she might say the following:

 

Tengo la misma remera (I have the same t-shirt).

Tengo una remera igual (I have a t-shirt shirt just like that).

Tengo una remera idéntica (I have an identical t-shirt). 

 

Let's take a look at some additional examples: 

 

Porque uno idéntico a este embarcó en el Titanic en mil novecientos doce. 

Because one identical to this one embarked on the Titanic in nineteen twelve.

Captions 24-25, Málaga Museo del automóvil

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Si hay diez personas trabajando con los mismos medios y las mismas herramientas,

If there are ten people working with the same media and the same tools,

Caption 73, Lo que no sabías Arte electrónico - Part 5

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As a side note, the interesting expressions me da igual or me da lo mismo mean "it's all the same to me" or "I don´t really care":

 

Ya lo que digan me da igual 

What people say doesn't matter to me anymore

Caption 22, Alejandro Fernandez Eres

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5. Como 

 

Another keyword when it comes to making comparisons is como (like). 

 

Juli, vas a quedar como una cobarde, como si te diera miedo. 

Juli, you're going to look like a coward, as if it scared you.

Captions 44-45, Club 10 Capítulo 1 - Part 5

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And you will definitely remember this comparative structure after listening to the Calle 13 song in this clip:

 

No hay nadie como tú

There is no one like you

Caption 29, Calle 13 No hay nadie como tú

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Superlative Structures

 

Finally, we have the superlative forms with the following structures: el/los/la/las/lo + más + adjective:

 

La prueba de sonido es lo más importante quizás porque es la preparación, ¿no?

The sound check is the most important thing, maybe because it's the staging, right?

Caption 6, David Bisbal Haciendo Premonición Live - Part 2

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Este es el aguacate más caro que hay en el mercado. 

This is the most expensive avocado that there is on the market.

Caption 38, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 1

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Note that there are a few irregular superlatives:

 

el mejor   (the best)

el peor      (the worst)

el mayor    (the oldest) 

 

For "the oldest," el más grande can also be used. While this is very common in some regions and can also mean "the largest," "the greatest," or "the biggest," it is important to remember that, as is the case with all irregular superlatives, mayor cannot be used in conjunction with más. Thus the sentence "Paul is the oldest in his class" can be translated as Paul es el más grande de su clase or Paul es el mayor de su clase but NOT Paul es el más mayor. 

 

We hope that you have enjoyed our newsletter, y lo que es más importante (what matters most) is that you have learned a lot! Don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments

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Distinguishing Parecer vs. Parecerse (in the Presence of Pronouns!)

A recent Yabla video entitled La Doctora Consejos: parecer vs. parecerse demonstrated the difference between the verb parecer (to seem) and the reflexive verb parecerse ("to look like" or "be similar"). Although, at first glance, the difference between these two verbs might seem simple, this can be confusing when pronouns are thrown into the mix.

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When no pronouns are present, it will be quite obvious that the verb in question is parecer. Let's take a look:

 

La verdad es que pareces cansado.

To be honest, you seem tired.

Caption 11, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: parecer y parecerse

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Las cosas son más fáciles de lo que parecen.

Things are easier than what they seem.

Caption 25, Carlos explica Acentuación Cap. 3: La división en sílabas - Part 2

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On the other hand, when a sentence does involve pronouns, these two verbs become a bit harder to distinguish. One reason for this is that, although parecerse employs reflexive pronouns, while parecer is often accompanied by indirect object pronouns, there is some overlap in terms of the forms of these two pronoun types. Let's take a look:

 

Personal Pronoun Reflexive Pronoun Indirect Object Pronoun
yo  me me
te te
él, ella, usted se le
nosotros, nosotras nos nos
vosotros, vosotras os  os 
ellos, ellas, ustedes se les

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should we encounter se thenwe will know it is reflexive, while we will recognize le or les as indirect object pronouns. However, as you will notice that the reflexive and indirect object pronouns that correspond to four out of the six personal pronouns appear identical (me, te, nos, and os), how can we tell whether an instance of parecer accompanied by one of these pronouns is indeed parecer or its reflexive counterpart? 

 

Let's start with the verb parecerse. Keeping in mind that this is a reflexive verb, note that it is conjugated "as usual" to agree with its subject's corresponding personal pronoun: in other words, just like the verb parecer with the addition of the appropriate reflexive pronoun. With this in mind, let's take a look at the present indicative forms of parecer and parecerse:

 

Personal Pronoun: Present Indicative of Parecer: Present Indicative of Parecerse
yo parezco  me parezco 
pareces te pareces
él, ella, usted parece se parece 
nosotros, nosotras parecemos  nos parecemos 
vosotros, vosotras parecéis  os parecéis
ellos, ellas, ustedes parecen  se parecen

 

Now, let's look at some examples of the verb parecerse in action:

 

En eso me parezco mucho a mi madre. 

I'm a lot like my mother in that way.

Caption 38, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: parecer y parecerse

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¡Nos gustan las mismas cosas! Nos parecemos

We like the same things! We are similar.

Captions 40-41, Conversaciones en el parque Cap. 2: Cafe y bocadillos

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pero entonces tienes que decir, "Mis ojos se parecen a los ojos de mi madre", 

but then you have to say, "My eyes look like my mother's eyes,"

Caption 28, Clase Aula Azul El verbo parecer - Part 7

 Play Caption

 

Note that with the verb parecerse, the conjugations agree with the sentence's subjects, or who or what is performing the action of the sentence: in these cases yo (I), nosotros (we), and mis ojos (my eyes). In other words, we conjugate them in accordance with who or what "looks like" or "is similar to" something else.   

 

In contrast, when the verb parecer is accompanied by an indirect object pronoun, this verb falls into a class of verbs that function in a manner similar to the verb gustar. While we use the same conjugations of parecer (present indicative, etc.), the person or thing to whom or which something seems a certain way becomes the object of the sentence (receiver of the verb's action), while what seems that way to that entity is the subject. Let's take a look at some examples:

 

¿Qué cosas te parecen muy importantes en tu día a día? 

What things seem very important to you in your daily life?

Caption 25, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: parecer y parecerse

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Here, parecer is conjugated in accordance with las cosas (the things) that seem important rather than the person to whom they are, and the indirect object pronoun te tells us that the person they seem important to is (you). In addition, when parecer is accompanied by an indirect object pronoun, it entails an opinion, similar to the idea in English that someone "thinks" something. So, although, in the above example, parecer is translated as "to seem," an additional translation might be: "What things in your daily life do you think are important?" Let's look at another example:

 

A ti te parece bonita. 

You think it's pretty [literally "To you it seems pretty"].

Caption 11, Clase Aula Azul El verbo parecer - Part 2

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Were this the verb parecerse utilized with the reflexive pronoun te, the conjugation would instead be: te pareces (you look like). However, this is an instance of the verb parecer conjugated in the third person singular (parece) and accompanied by the indirect object pronoun te to indicate that what "seems" pretty to "you'" is "it'" (we know from the previous sentences that the "it" is the city of San Sebastian, Spain). And as with the verb gustar, adding a mí (to me), a ti (to you), a ellos (to them), etc. is optional but not essential for adding emphasis to this construction. 

 

Let's conclude with one last example:

 

y además podéis aprovechar para dar vuestra opinión sobre qué os parece este espacio y qué os parecen mis recetas.

and you can also take the opportunity to give your opinion about what you think of this space and what you think of my recipes.

Captions 36-37, La cocina de María Tortilla de patatas

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Again, remember that although os parece and os parecen have both been translated as "you think" here, which tends to be the more common way to express this idea colloquially, the more literal translations of sentences like this one (in this case, "and you can also take the opportunity to give your opinion about how this space seems to you and how my recipes seem to you") are useful to keep in mind when attempting to decipher or create such structures.

 

We hope this lesson has helped you to better differentiate the verbs parecer vs. parecerse when pronouns are present, particularly since many of the reflexive and indirect object se parecen (look alike). For an even more in-depth exploration of this topic, check out Clase Aula Azul's series entitled El verb parecer (The Verb Parecer).

 

That's all for today, and don't forget to send us your questions and comments

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"Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda" in Spanish

The colloquial expression "Woulda, coulda, shoulda" is often used to express regret about something that, in retrospect, one "would have," "could have," or "should have" done differently. As learners of Spanish are often anxious to find manners of expressing these same ideas in Spanish, today, we'll provide some simple formulas for doing so. 

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1. "Would have": Conditional form of haber + past participle 

 

When conjugated in the conditional tense, the auxiliary verb haber means "would have." Let's take a look at this conjugation:

 

Yo habría (I would have)

Tú habrías (You would have)

Él/Ella/Usted habría (He/She/You would have)

Nosotros/Nosotras habríamos (We would have)

Vosotros/Vosotras habríais (You all would have)

Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes habrían (They/You all would have)

 

Then, to express what one "would have" done under other circumstances, we use the past participle. Although certain verbs have irregular past participle forms, in the majority of cases, the past participle is formed by replacing the -ar of infinitive -ar verbs with -ado or the -er or -ir of -er and -ir verbs with -ido as follows:

 

Infinitive: comenzar   /   Past participle: comenzado

Infinitive: comer        /    Past participle: comido

Infinitive: subir         /     Past participle: subido

 

Aside from this simple formula for conjugating the past participle of verbs, irregular past participles must be memorized. Some of the most common irregular past participles include: decir: dicho (said), escribir: escrito (written), hacer: hecho (done), poner: puesto (put), romper: roto (broken), morir: muerto (dead), ver: visto (seen), volver: vuelto (returned), cubrir: cubierto (covered). Although it would be impossible to list all of the irregular past participles here, you will find that many of them follow similar patterns that should become increasingly familiar with additional exposure to Spanish. 

 

Now that we know the formula for expressing the idea of "would have" in Spanish, let's take a look at some examples: 

 

Ya habríais ahorrado... -Dos mil euros. 

You would have saved... -Two thousand euros.

Caption 72, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 8

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Sólo se trataba de cerrar los ojos y aguantar el dolor, como habría hecho Ricardo Mendoza. 

It was just about closing my eyes and dealing with the pain, like Ricardo Mendoza would have done.

Captions 47-48, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 8

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Y si lo hiciera, yo ya me habría dado cuenta. -¿Sí? 

And if he did, I would have realized it by now. -Really?

Caption 33, X6 1 - La banda - Part 10

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2. "Could have": Conditional form of poder + haber + past participle

 

The formula for talking about things we "could have" done, but didn't, involves the conditional conjugation of the verb poder (to be able), plus the infinitive haber, plus the past participle. The conditional of the verb poder is as follows:

 

Yo podría (I could)

Tú podrías (You could)

Él/Ella/Usted podría (He/She/You could)

Nosotros/Nosotras podríamos (We could)

Vosotros/Vosotras podríais (You all could)

Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes podrían (They/You all could)

 

Note that while the translation of the verb poder in its conditional form is "could," the addition of the infinitive haber creates a structure meaning "could have." For example, while Yo podría ir al circo means "I could go to the circus," Yo podría haber ido al circo (I could have gone to the circus) conveys the idea of an unfulfilled possibility. Let's take a look at some examples of this construction: 

 

¡Pero qué bien! ¡Lo mismo me podría haber contestado un policía! 

But how great! A policeman could have answered me the same way.

Caption 4, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 5

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Te la podrías haber traído más grande. ¿Cuántas has cogido?

You could have brought a bigger one. How many have you picked?

Caption 118, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 11

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Te podrías haber vestido un poco más de... con... no sé, de señorita, digo.

You could have dressed a little more like... with... I don't know, like a lady, I mean.

Captions 35-36, Muñeca Brava 2 Venganza - Part 4

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3. "Should have": Conditional form of deber + haber + past participle

 

As you can see, this formula is extremely similar to the previous one, except that it employs the conditional form of the verb deber. Although the verb deber frequently involves the idea of obligation, with such translations as "to have to" or the idea that one "must" do something, in its conditional form, it takes on the meaning "should." Let's take a look at its conditional conjugation:

 

Yo debería (I should)

Tú deberías (You should)

Él/Ella/Usted debería (He/She/You should)

Nosotros/Nosotras deberíamos (We should)

Vosotros/Vosotras deberíais (You all should)

Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes deberían (They/You all should)

 

As with our previous formula, the addition of the infinitive haber changes the meaning from "should" to "should have." Using the same example of the circus, while Yo  debería ir al circo means "I should go to the circus," Yo debería haber ido al circo (I should have gone to the circus) expresses regret about not having gone. Let's take a look at some additional examples: 

 

Le debería haber dado un trompazo en la boca nada más.

I should have punched her in the mouth and that's it.

Caption 16, Muñeca Brava 30 Revelaciones - Part 11

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Digo, debería haber confiado y...

I mean, I should have trusted and...

Caption 46, Club de las ideas Intuición - Part 1

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Of course, just as one might have the feeling that he, she, or someone else should have done something differently in the past, we can also find fault with things that we or others shouldn't have done:

 

No deberías haber salido de casa.

You shouldn't have left the house.

Caption 45, Muñeca Brava 46 Recuperación - Part 4

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We hope that these simple formulas help you to speak about what you "would have," "could have," or "should have" done in Spanish, and don't forget to leave us your questions and comments

 

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The Spanish Word of the Year 2020

 

Don't you just want 2020 to be over? Without a doubt, this year has been quite challenging, especially due to everything that has occurred as the result of the coronavirus. In fact, 2020's Spanish Word of the Year is one of the terms most associated with this awful virus. Let's reveal this year's tragic winner. 

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"Pandemia": The Spanish Word of the Year 2020

 

Yes, pandemia (pandemic) is 2020's Spanish Word of the Year. Do we really have to explain why? Our friend Fermin sums it all up in a very simple phrase:

 

esta maldita pandemia del coronavirus.

this damn coronavirus pandemic.

Caption 5, El coronavirus Confinamiento en España - Part 1

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It is important to say, however, that in contrast to the English word "pandemic," which can function as both an adjective and a noun, in the Spanish language, pandemia is only a noun, whereas the adjective is pandémico/pandémica.

 

Runners-up for 2020 Spanish Word of the Year

Most of the words on this list of runners-up for 2020 Spanish Word of the Year are associated with the coronavirus pandemic. However, at the end of this list, we have also included a word (a name, actually) that represents yet another of the many sad events that have occurred this year. Let's take a look.

 

Cuarentena (Quarantine)

 

Hoy les voy a contar sobre mi cuarentena en casa.

Today I'm going to tell you about my quarantine at home.

Caption 4, El coronavirus La cuarentena en Ecuador

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Confinamiento (Confinement)

 

Los tres primeros días del confinamiento tuvimos sensaciones muy extrañas.

The first three days of confinement, we felt very strange feelings.

Captions 7-8, El coronavirus Confinamiento en España - Part 2

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Desinfectante (Sanitizing/Sanitizer)

 

The Diccionario de la Lengua Española (DLE) states that the word desinfectante is an adjective. Let's see it in action:

 

La segunda tarea que realizo es rellenar el gel desinfectante, que se encuentra ubicado en tres posiciones distintas:

The second task I perform is refilling the sanitizing gel, which is found in three different locations:

Captions 16-17, Sergio Socorrismo y COVID-19

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However, throughout Latin America, the word desfinfectante is also used as a noun:

 

También recuerda ocupar desinfectante para mano, que tenga por lo menos unos [sic] sesenta por ciento de alcohol.

Also remember to use hand sanitizer that has at least sixty percent alcohol.

Captions 16-17, El coronavirus Cómo protegerse

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Mascarilla (Mask)

 

Las medidas sanitarias que utilizo son: la mascarilla y desinfectarme las manos.

The sanitary measures that I use are: the mask and sanitizing my hands.

Captions 12-13, Sergio Socorrismo y COVID-19

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Crisis (Crisis)

 

y una gran crisis a nivel sanitario, económico y social.

and a great health, economic and social crisis.

Caption 60, El coronavirus Introducción y vocabulario

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Maradona

 

From Kobe Bryant to Sean Connery, this year, the world has lost some of its most beloved people. In fact, the Spanish-speaking world has lost one of its most iconic figures: Diego Armando Maradona, and the death of the football/soccer superstar has been deeply felt throughout the world. 

 

Si yo fuera Maradona, nunca me equivocaría Si yo fuera Maradona, perdido en cualquier lugar La vida es una tómbola de noche y de día La vida es una tómbola y arriba y arriba

If I were Maradona, I would never make a mistake If I were Maradona, lost anywhere Life is a raffle [lottery] by night and day Life is a raffle and up and up

Captions 3-6, Manu Chao La Vida Tómbola

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That's all for today. What do you think of the Spanish Word of the Year 2020? Do you agree with this choice? Can you think of a better word? Please, feel free to share with us your comments and suggestions, and let's hope 2021 brings us less tragedy and more joy.  

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Making Comparisons in Spanish - Part 1

Despite the old saying that "Las comparaciones son odiosas" (Comparisons are odious), the truth is that they are often necessary. Whether you need to decide on a vacation destination, select a present for a loved one, or weigh the pros and cons of any situation, comparisons will be a part of your decision-making process. That said, let's learn some useful language for that purpose. 

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Unlike English, Spanish does not modify adjectives with the addition of suffixes (e.g. the English -er and -est) for comparative purposes. Instead, adjectives are accompanied by comparative structures to indicate equality, inequality, or difference in degree between one or more people, ideas, or things. Since there is plenty to learn on this topic, this lesson will deal with inequality, while part two will cover comparisons of equality and superlatives

 

Comparisons of Inequality

 

For comparisons of inequality, the word that specifies what the comparison is about will be preceded by más (more) or menos (less). One might compare qualities (adjectives), ways of doing something (adverbs), or even nouns as in the sentence: La canasta roja tiene más manzanas que la verde (The red basket has more apples than the green one). Let's take a look at some common comparative structures involving adjectives, adverbs, and nouns, and some examples of each:

 

1. más/menos + adjective + que

 

La vida a esta altitud se hace más difícil que en el frondoso pinsapar.

Life at this altitude becomes more difficult than in the dense Spanish fir forest.

Caption 64, Tecnópolis Sierra de las nieves

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Este libro es menos interesante que el otro.

This book is less interesting than the other one.

Caption 72, Karla e Isabel Comparativos

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As you may have inferred from these examples, the comparative particle que is the equivalent of than in English. In addition, the video in our second example above introduces several comparative structures with examples and is thus worth viewing in conjunction with this lesson. 

 

2. más/menos + adverb + que 

 

les inyectaba hormonas para que crecieran más rápido

she would inject them with hormones so that they would grow faster

Caption 45, Kikirikí Animales - Part 7

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Note that, in this case, the comparative particle que is not present since the second term of the comparison is not mentioned. In addition, remember that, although the adverb rápidamente does exist, we often use rápido as an adverb as well as an adjective in the same way as the English word fast, depending upon whether it modifies a noun or a verb in a sentence. 

 

3. más/menos + noun  + que

 

As we saw in the introduction, this structure can also be used with nouns. In this case, it is worth mentioning that while, according to traditional English usage rules, "fewer" should be used for countable objects while "less" should be employed with singular mass nouns (i.e. salt), this distinction does not exist in Spanish. That said, menos will be used for both countable and uncountable nouns in Spanish. 

 

Ten en cuenta que los productos en tamaño familiar, sean de lo que sean, generan menos residuos por unidad de producto.

Take into account that family-sized products, whatever they are, generate less waste per product unit.

Captions 51-53, 3R Campaña de reciclaje - Part 2

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Since the Spanish verb tener años (literally "to have years") is used to express the idea of someone being a certain age, the expression Tengo más años que mi hermana (literally "I have more years than my sister") is equivalent to saying "I am older than my sister." The following example is similar:

 

Yo tengo un año menos que tú.

I am a year younger than you.

Caption 12, Clara y Cristina Saludar

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Although the position of the noun in these examples is different, they demonstrate the additional point that prepositional object pronouns like and ti cannot be used in comparatives as the second object of comparison (immediately after que). For example, while in English, one can say either "My sister is younger than I am" or "My sister is younger than me," Mi hermana es más joven que mí is unacceptable in Spanish, while Mi hermana es más joven que yo is the correct way to express this. 

 

 

Intensifying or Mitigating Difference

 

Sometimes, the difference between the objects, people, or ideas being compared is so big or so small that formulas that include intensifiers such as mucho/muchísimo/tanto + más/menos or mitigators like un poco/poquito + más/menos can help to express this. 

 

Y eso también lo habéis comprado más barato de lo normal. Pero muchísimo más barato, ochenta por ciento más barato, una cosa así.

And that also you have bought cheaper than what's normal. But way cheaper, eighty percent cheaper, something like that.

Captions 14-15, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 3

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No es tanto más grande que yo.

She's not that much older than me.

Caption 31, Muñeca Brava 7 El poema - Part 10

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de Los Cabos sí queda un poquito más lejitos, un poquito más de dos horas,

from Los Cabos, it's a little bit further, a little bit over two hours,

Captions 73-74, Alan x el mundo Mi playa favorita de México! - Part 1

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Parallel Comparative Structure 

 

The parallel comparative structure, cuanto más + adjective/adverb, más/menos, is also useful in Spanish. The common English expression, "The sooner, the better," for example, translates as: Cuanto antes, mejor.  

 

Cuanto más sucia, menos le[s] pagáis. -Claro.

The dirtier it is, the less you pay them. -Of course.

Caption 81, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 13

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Irregular Adjectives/Adverbs

 

A few adjectives and adverbs have irregular comparative forms and don't fall into the typical patterns using más/menos + adjective/adverb + que:

 

Adjective: buen/a (good)      Comparative: mejor (better) 

Adjective: mal/a (bad)          Comparative: peor (worse)

 

Es una buena cantante (She's a good singer).

Es mejor cantante que Mariana (She is a better singer than Mariana).

 

Es un mal alumno (He is a bad student).

Es peor alumno que Juan (He is a worse student than Juan).

 

Interestingly, when the adjectives mejor/peor describe how good or bad one is at something, their forms are irregular. However, when referring to good and evil, their regular comparative forms come into play:

 

Es más malo que el diablo.

He is more evil than the devil.

 

The following adverbs, however, have only an irregular comparative:

 

Adverb: bien (well)           Comparative: mejor (better) 

Adverb: mal (badly)          Comparative: peor (worse)

 

María canta mejor que su hermana.     

María sings better than her sister.

 

Let's conclude with some additional examples of regular and irregular comparatives from our Yabla video library:

 

tres aspirinas. -Bueno, tomá algo más fuerte que te haga mejor.

three aspirins. -Well, take something stronger that makes you better.

Caption 61, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 5

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Mal. Peor que la semana pasada.

Bad. Worse than last week.

Caption 7, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: Subjuntivo y condicional

 Play Caption

 

That's all for this first part of our lesson on comparatives. We hope it has been clear, and don't forget to send us your questions, comments, and suggestions¡Hasta la próxima!

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Gustar vs. "to Like": A Difference in Perception - Part 2

In the first part of this lesson, we focused on the difference in perception in English versus Spanish when it comes to expressing the concept of "liking." Although in English, the subject of a sentence (the person, place, thing, or idea who performs the action of the sentence's verb) is perceived to "perform the action" of "liking" onto the object of the sentence (the receiver of the action, or "what is being liked"), in Spanish, the opposite is true. Let's review this concept with a simple example:

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Me gustan mucho las ciudades.

I really like cities.

Caption 58, Carlos y Cyndy Uso del Voseo en Argentina

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In English, "I" is the subject and "cities" is the object because "I" am the person who performs the action of liking upon "cities." In Spanish, on the other hand, las ciudades (the cities) are the subject that are thought to "cause" the implied object "yo" (I) to like them. As this functions similarly to the English verb "to please," it is useful to keep in mind the alternative translation "Cities really please me" when thinking about this and other sentences with gustar. 

 

Armed with this information, let's explore how to create and understand Spanish sentences with this verb. First off, how do we express in Spanish the English concept of who or what is "doing the liking"? In other words, how would one say, "I like" or "you like" or "they like," etc.? In order to do this, Spanish employs the following indirect object pronouns with the verb gustar as follows:

 

        -(A mí) me gusta/n: I like.

        -(A ti) te gusta/n: You like.

        -(A él/ella/usted) le gusta/n: He/She/You like(s).

        -(A nosotros/as) nos gusta/n: We like.

        -(A vosotros/as) os gusta/n: You (all) like.

        -(A ellos/ellas/ustedes) les gusta/n: They like/You (all) like.

 

Let's take a look at some examples:

 

y aquí tengo una blusa que me gusta.

and I have here a blouse that I like.

Caption 6, Ana Carolina Salir de compras

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Muy bien, ¿te gusta esa música?

Great, do you like that music?

Caption 63, Carlos y Cyndy Comentario sobre Muñeca Brava

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A nosotras nos gustan los colores del arcoíris.

We like the colors of the rainbow.

Caption 10, Español para principiantes Los colores

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Note that, while in the third example, A nosotras was included before nos gustan, this is completely optional, and we could have written simply, Nos gustan los colores del arcoíris (We like the colors of the rainbow) to mean exactly the same thing. In fact, all such "a phrases" (, a ti, a vosotros, etc.) indicated in parentheses above serve to add emphasis but do not change the meaning of sentences with gustar.

 

Now that we have learned how to indicate or know who or what is "doing the liking," let's focus on how to conjugate the verb gustar, which we will do in accordance with "what is being liked." Let's revisit the previous examples, as well as their alternative translations, to better understand this: 

 

aquí tengo una blusa que me gusta

and I have here a blouse that I like.

ALTERNATIVE TRANSLATION: and I have here a blouse that pleases me

 

Muy bien, ¿te gusta esa música

Great, do you like that music?

ALTERNATIVE TRANSLATION: Great, and does that music please you? 

 

A nosotras nos gustan los colores del arcoíris

We like the colors of the rainbow.

ALTERNATIVE TRANSLATION: The colors of the rainbow please us. 

 

Notice that, since "what is being liked" is the subject that performs the action in Spanish, in the aforementioned examples, we see gustar conjugated in the third person singular (gusta) in the cases where the subject is singular (esa música/"that music" and una blusa/"a blouse") and third person plural (gustan) in the cases where the subject is plural (los colores del arcoíris/"the colors of the rainbow"). Similarly, the verb "to please" is conjugated in accordance with said subjects in English. 

 

What if, on the other hand, "what's liked" comes in the form of a verb's infinitive? In that case, the third person singular form of gustar should be utilized:

 

Y... aparte de... de la música, me gusta patinar.

And... apart from... from music, I like to skate.

Caption 14, Zoraida Lo que gusta hacer

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While in all of the aforementioned examples, the verb gustar has been conjugated in either third person singular or plural, there are cases in which the subject calls for a diffrent conjugation. Let's take a look:

 

Me gustas. Porque sí. -Tú también me gustas mucho.

I like you. Just because. -I like you a lot too.

Captions 44-46, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 4 - Part 12

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ALTERNATIVE TRANSLATION: You please me. Just because. -You please me too. 

 

Since the subject "being liked" is tú (you), gustar is conjugated in the second person singular: gustas, and the alternative translation "You please me" can again help us to grasp this construction. Let's examine a couple of additional examples:

 

A este chico le gusto mucho.

That guy likes me a lot.

ALTERNATIVE TRANSLATION: I please that guy a lot. 

 

A ustedes les gustamos mucho. 

You guys like us a lot.

ALTERNATIVE TRANSLATION: We please you guys a lot. 

 

As always, the verb gustar is conjugated in agreement with the Spanish sentences' subjects: yo/"I" (in the first person singular gusto) and nosotros/"we" (in the first person plural gustamos). 

 

Let's conclude with one final example: 

 

y la directora de la biblioteca me dijo que el texto había gustado mucho.

and the director of the library told me that [people] had liked the text a lot.

Captions 48-49, Aprendiendo con Carlos El microrrelato - Part 3

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ALTERNATIVE TRANSLATION: and the director of the library told me that the text had pleased [people] a lot. 

 

Once again, gustar has been conjugated in the third person singular as había gustado (this time in the past perfect) in agreement with what is being liked: el texto (the text). However, the absence of an indirect object pronoun to specify who or what is "doing the liking" gives us the essence that the text is generally pleasing, in other words: people liked it. 

​We hope that these lessons have helped to shed some light on how to use/understand the verb gustar, which might initially seem daunting to English speakers. That's all for today, and don't forget to leave us your comments and suggestions.

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Writing Prefixes in Spanish: Three Rules to Know

Do you know how to write prefixes in Spanish? In this lesson, we will share three very useful rules that you should always keep in mind when using Spanish prefixes. Let's take a look.

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1. Connect the Prefix to the Word That Follows

A prefix should always be connected to the word that follows. Let's look at an example:

 

¿Han visto algunos actores que tienen la piel supertersa?

Have you seen some actors who have super smooth skin?

Caption 39, María Fernanda Mascarilla de aguacate

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In this example, you can see that the prefix super- is connected to the word tersa (smooth). For that reason, it would be incorrect to write this word with a space (super tersa) or hyphen (super-tersa).

 

This rule also applies when you have several prefixes before a word:

 

antiposmodernism (anti-postmodernism)

 

In this example, you have the word modernismo preceded by two prefixes (anti- and pos-).

 

2. Use a Hyphen When the Word Starts with a Capital Letter

If a prefix goes before a word that starts with a capital letter, a hyphen should be used between the prefix and the word. Let's take a look:

 

y que dentro tiene dos mini-DVDs,

and which inside has two miniDVDs,

Caption 6, Fiesta en Miami This is not a gallery

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Since the word "DVD" starts with a capital letter, a hyphen is necessary. Let's look at some additional examples:

 

anti-NAFTA (anti-NAFTA)

pro-Obama (pro-Obama)

pos-Gorbachov (post-Gorvachov)

 

A hyphen must also be employed if the prefix is followed by a number instead of a word:

 

Campeonato Sudamericano Sub-20 (South American U-20* Championship)

 

* Keep in mind that "under" is the English equivalent of the Spanish prefix sub-.

 

3. Leave a Space Before a Multi-Word Lexical Unit

A multi-word lexical unit is a term made of two or more words. Examples include terms like pena de muerte (death penalty) and derechos humanos (human rights). If a prefix precedes a multi-word lexical unit, there must be a space between the prefix and said unit as follows:

 

anti pena de muerta (anti-death penalty)

pro derechos humanos (pro-human rights)

 

Finally, keep in mind that, sometimes, with the addition of a prefix, a word's accentuation changes. For example, by itself, the word bien (well) doesn't require a graphic accent. However, when the prefix super- is added, it automatically becomes a three-syllable word with the stress on the last syllable. And, since the word ends in "n," you will need to indicate such with a graphic accent (see lesson on palabras agudas).

 

Pues nada, que ha empezado el día superbién,

Well, she's started the day very well,

Caption 6, El Aula Azul Conversación: Un día de mala suerte

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That's all for now. We invite you to keep these three rules in mind when using prefixes in Spanish. And, don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

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Useful Vocabulary for Election Times

As the U.S. elections are right around the corner, we think now is the perfect time to learn some useful election vocabulary. 

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In presidential elections, the citizens of a country votan por (vote for) the candidate of their choice. In a referendum, however, voters will votar a favor de / en contra de (for or against) a particular decision. 

 

No sé si voy a votar por Manuel u Oscar en las elecciones presidenciales.

I don't know if I am going to vote for Manuel or Oscar in the presidential elections.

Caption 33, Lecciones con Carolina Conjunciones disyuntivas

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As we all know, political parties run campaigns to persuade citizens to vote for them. We also know about the promises that politicians make when están en campaña (they are campaigning). 

 

"La mejor campaña" dijo, "es la del pueblo."

"The best campaign" he said, "is that of the people."

Caption 24, Andrés Manuel López Obrador En campaña

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Interestingly, there is an expression with the word campaña that is not related to presidential or marketing campaigns. Ponerse en campaña means "to start working on something" or "become active."

 

está todo claro. -Nos ponemos hoy mismo en campaña.

everything is clear. -We'll start working on that today.

Caption 69, Yago 10 Enfrentamientos - Part 5

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We can find some compelling examples of electoral promises in Felipe Calderon's Campaign cuando se postulaba como presidente de México (when he was running for president of Mexico) back in 2006.

 

igualdad de oportunidades para todos, una democracia efectiva, que le dé sentido a nuestra vida cotidiana y finalmente desarrollo sustentable.

equal opportunity for everyone, an effective democracy that gives meaning to our everyday lives, and finally, sustainable development.

Captions 59-61, Felipe Calderón Publicidad - Part 3

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Unsurprisingly, these promises are pretty much the same in each contienda electoral  (presidential race) and are often expressed at debates televisados (televised debates) before the veda electoral (election silence), the period in some countries prior to the election in which it is forbidden to show any sort of political propaganda.

 

Pero no sólo a los PANistas, como espero que sea el candidato de Acción Nacional en la próxima contienda presidencial de dos mil seis.

But not only the PANistas, since I hope he'll be the candidate for Acción Nacional in the next presidential race in two thousand six.

Captions 71-73, Felipe Calderón Publicidad - Part 3

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While in some countries, voting is mandatory (sufragio obligatorio), and a fine is imposed if one does not ejercer el derecho al voto (exercise one's right to vote), in countries like the U.S. or Mexico, it is optional (sufragio voluntario), and campaigns are thus conducted to encourage people to vote. Tu Rock es votar was a commercial created to persuade young people to participate in los comicios (the elections) in Mexico's 2006 presidential race. A similar campaign, as Armando explains, also enjoyed success in the U.S.:

 

Y lo habían hecho funcionar muy bien, y habían inscrito a más de millón y medio de jóvenes para votar en el proceso electoral norteamericano. Y ayudaron a, entre muchos otros esfuerzos,

And they had made it work very well, and they had registered more than one and a half million young people to vote in the American election process. And they helped to, among many other efforts,

Captions 20-23, Tu Rock es Votar Armando - Part 1

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The ways in which we cast our votes may also differ. Particularly in these times of COVID-19, some countries may opt for an electronic vote (voto electrónico) or mail-in voting over the traditional ballot box (urna), which brings us to the saying that el futuro del país se decidirá en las urnas (the future of the country will be decided at the ballot box). And, you may be surprised to hear Argentinians and Uruguayans speak about el cuarto oscuro (literally "the dark room"). Mind you, there is no connotation of darkness or dishonesty in this expression, which is simply the name of the voting booth in those nations.

 

Voting is a right and a responsibility, so we should always stay informed and carefully think it through before weighing in on who will be in charge, or, as Armando puts it: 

 

y es elegir a quien va a tomar las riendas de este país.

and that is to choose who is going to take the reins of this country.

Caption 84, Tu Rock es Votar Armando - Part 1

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We hope you've enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to vote! Oh, and leave us your comments and suggestions.

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"Tipo de Trabajo" or "Tipo de Trabajos"? That Is the Question!

To begin this lesson, let's take a look at a caption in a Yabla video that recently baffled one our subscribers:

 

Obviamente, la comunicación es la esencia de este tipo de trabajos.

Obviously, communication is the essence of this type of job.

Caption 40, Negocios La solicitud de empleo - Part 2

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Spanish sentences such as this one involving "tipo de" ["type" or "types of"] tend to confuse English speakers. After all, the literal translation of this sentence would read, "Obviously, communication is the essence of this type of jobs," which doesn’t work in English since “this” is singular and “jobs” is plural. In the vast majority of similar constructions in English involving countable nouns (nouns like "leaf/leaves," "cookie/cookies," etc. that can be physically counted), there must be singular/singular or plural/plural agreement, leaving one with the choice of either "this type of job" or "these types of jobs." 

 

However, this is not the case in Spanish since singular with plural is the most common construction, or occasionally singular with singular in the case of a single noun. Let’s look at some examples of each of these cases:

 

Singular with Plural with Countable Nouns: 

Si a todo esto añadimos otro tipo de problemas medio ambientales

If to all this we add another kind of environmental problem

Caption 16, 3R Campaña de reciclaje - Part 2

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yo sí tengo la esperanza que se reduzc'... se reduzcan este tipo de eventos, ¿no?

I do have the hope that these types of occurrences will be red'... will be reduced, right?

Caption 57, Amigos D.F. El secuestrar

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Singular with Singular (with a Single Countable Noun): 

¿Qué tipo de habitación desea?

What kind of room would you like?

Caption 10, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 1 - Part 7

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Note that in the case above, habitación is considered a single noun since the gentleman being addressed is only looking for one room; hence the singular with singular construction.

 

Uncountable Nouns: 

In both Spanish and English, uncountable nouns (nouns like "water," "coffee," "love," etc. that cannot be counted) go in singular with tipo de (or "type(s)" or "kind(s)") of as follows: 

 

y digamos que conforme se va fabricando ese tipo de líquido,

and let's say that just as that type of liquid is being produced,

Caption 92, Animales en familia La operación de Yaki - Part 2

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En ellos, recibió todo tipo de apoyo de sus simpatizantes.

In them, he got all kinds of support from his followers.

Caption 35, Andrés Manuel López Obrador Publicidad de Obrador

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To add further confusion for English speakers (sorry!), in most such cases with "partitive" (referring to part of a whole) constructions like "tipo de," the verb can be conjugated in either singular or plural! Let's take a look at a couple of examples:

 

En cuanto al tipo de... trabajos que me gusta ver

In terms of the types of... projects that I like to see,

Caption 22, Álvaro Arquitecto Español en Londres

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Note that the verb gustar is conjugated in first person in accordance with the singular noun el tipo. However, without changing the translation, it would be perfectly acceptable to instead conjugate gustar in accordance with the plural trabajos:

 

En cuanto al tipo de... trabajos que me gustan ver

In terms of the types of... projects that I like to see,

 

Let's look at one more example: 

 

Además, en la conjugación de los verbos, este tipo de sufijos nos indican

Also, in the conjugation of verbs, these types of suffixes tell us 

Captions 35-36, Carlos explica Diminutivos y Aumentativos Cap 1: Los sufijos

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While indicar is conjugated in accordace with the plural noun sufijos, it could alternatively be conjugated in accordance with the singular noun tipo

 

Además, en la conjugación de los verbos, este tipo de sufijos nos indica           

Also, in the conjugation of verbs, these types of suffixes tell us 

 

Finally, it is worth noting that, in the cases of particular Spanish linking verbs like ser (to be), estar (to be), or parecer (to seem), the verb is nearly always conjugated in plural when followed by a subject complement (most simply defined as an "attribute"), as follows: 

 

Este tipo de bicicletas están pensadas para desplazamientos cortos,

This type of bicycle is planned for short distances,

Captions 5-6, Raquel Alquilar una bicicleta

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To conclude, although we have focused on tipo de for the purpose of this lesson, other "partitive constructions" like el resto de (the rest of), la mayor parte de (most of), la mayoría de (most of), etc. function the same way.

 

We hope you've enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to leave us your comments and suggestions.

 

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The Preterite Conjugation of Regular Spanish Verbs

Let's talk about the Spanish conjugation of regular verbs. In particular, let's see how to form the preterite conjugation of regular verbs ending in -ar, -er, and -ir. But first, let's review the main idea behind the preterite tense in Spanish.

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The Preterite Tense in Spanish

In very simple terms, when we talk about the Spanish preterite tense, we are talking about the simple past, in other words, a completed action that took place at a determined point in the past. Let's look at an example from the series where our friend Carlos talks about this tense:

 

Ayer trabajé hasta las ocho de la noche.

Yesterday I worked until eight at night.

Caption 30, Carlos explica El pretérito Cap. 1: Perfecto simple o Indefinido

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In this example, trabajé is the preterite conjugation of the regular verb trabajar for the first-person singular yo (I). Note that the only change necessary to form the preterite in this example is removing the -ar ending of the infinitive verb and replacing it with the ending 

 

A Note About the Conjugations in This Lesson

There are a couple of things we want to mention about the conjugations you will find throughout this tutorial.

 

1. While usted (the formal, second-person singular "you") does not appear in our conjugation lists, keep in mind that when using that pronoun, the verb is conjugated in the exact same way as verbs in the third-person singular forms with él (he) and ella (she). Let's take a look at this in action with the preterite conjugation of the verb hablar (to speak/talk):

 

Usted habló de Fabio Sirenio.

You talked about Fabio Sirenio.

Caption 83, Yago 7 Encuentros - Part 14

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Entonces él habló con... con los pescadores y los pescadores aceptaron.

So, he spoke with... with the fishermen and the fishermen accepted.

Caption 17, Instinto de conservación Parque Tayrona - Part 6

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2. In order to offer a more simplistic verb conjugation snapshot, in this article, we only employ the masculine versions of the plural forms nosotros (we), vosotros (you), and ellos (they). That said, keep in mind that the conjugations are the same for the feminine forms nosotras, vosotras, and ellas.

 

3. Just like ustedustedes (the standard second person plural "you" in Latin America and the formal second person plural in Spain) does not appear among the conjugations shared here. However, keep in mind that the conjugations of verbs with "ustedes" are the exact same as the third-person plural forms utilized with ellos and ellas (they). Let's look at an example of this with the preterite conjugation of the verb cantar (to sing):

 

Ustedes cantaron muy bien (You guys sang very well).

Ellos/Ellas cantaron muy bien (They sang very well).

 

Having said all this, let's explore the preterite conjugations of some regular verbs in Spanish.

 

The Preterite Conjugations of -AR Verbs

 

The Preterite Endings of -AR Verbs: (-é / -aste / -ó / -amos / -asteis / -aron)

Let's take a look at the preterite conjugation of the verb hablar (to speak).

 

Yo hablé (I spoke).

Tú hablaste (You spoke).

Él/Ella habló (He/She spoke).

Nosotros hablamos (We spoke).*

Vosotros hablasteis (You spoke).

Ellos hablaron (They spoke).

 

* It's important to note that because the verb conjugation for the first person plural "nosotros" (we) is the same for both the simple present and simple past tenses, the speaker's intention must be determined by context as follows: 

 

Nosotros estudiamos mucho todos los días (We study a lot every day).

Ayer nosotros estudiamos mucho (Yesterday, we studied a lot).

 

Examples of Preterite Conjugations with -AR Verbs:

 

Example 1.: The verb comprar (to buy)

¡Y compraste melones en vez de limones!*

And you bought melons instead of lemons!

Caption 16, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 2 - Sam va de compras - Part 6

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* Remember that pronouns are frequently omitted in Spanish. Thus, in the example above and without changing the meaning, one could say: "¡Y  compraste melones en vez de limones!" However, despite the fact that the speaker does not use the pronoun here, the -aste verb ending lets the listener know that the person referred to is "" (you).

 

Example 2.: The verb escuchar (to listen/hear)

La canción que escuchamos introduce la quinta parte del primer episodio

The song that we heard introduces the fifth part of the first episode

Caption 54, Carlos comenta Los Años Maravillosos - La década de los 80 y música

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The Preterite Conjugations of -ER Verbs

 

The Preterite Endings of -ER Verbs: (-í / -iste / -ió / -imos / -isteis / -ieron).

Let's take a look at the preterite conjugation of the regular verb comer (to eat).

 

Yo comí (I ate).

Tú comiste (You ate).

Él/Ella com (He/She ate).

Nosotros comimos (We ate).

Vosotros comisteis (You ate).

Ellos comieron (They ate).

 

Examples of Preterite Conjugations with -ER Verbs:

 

Example 1.: The verb aprender (to learn)

y aprendí que los pulpos pueden cambiar de color.

and I learned that octopi can change color.

Caption 45, Guillermina y Candelario La Señora Pulpo

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Example 2.: The verb vender (to sell)

creo que vendimos unos quinientos dólares en unas... tres horas, dos horas.

I think we sold about five hundred dollars (worth) in about... three hours, two hours.

Captions 25-26, Un café con Julia Año nuevo

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The Preterite Conjugations of -IR Verbs

 

The Preterite Endings of -IR Verbs: (-í / -iste / -ió / -imos / -isteis / -ieron)

Let's take a look at the preterite conjugation of the verb vivir (to live).

 

Yo viví (I lived).

Tú viviste (You lived).

Él/Ella viv (He/She lived).

Nosotros vivimos (We lived).

Vosotros vivisteis (You lived).

Ellos vivieron (They lived).

 

Examples of Preterite Conjugations with -IR Verbs:

 

Example 1.: The verb escribir (to write)

¿Por qué dices eso? Porque una vez me escribiste contándome que te casabas en Nueva York.

Why do you say that? Because once you wrote to me telling me that you were getting married in New York.

Captions 61-62, Yago 6 Mentiras - Part 5

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Example 2.: The verb abrir (to open)

Primero, Lisa Bernal abrió la herida,

First, Lisa Bernal opened the wound,

Caption 61, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 6 - Part 4

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And with this example, we have reached the end of this lesson. But before we go, a little homework for you: go ahead and choose some other regular verbs and practice the Spanish conjugation of the preterite tense. Sooner or later, you will be able to master those preterite endings! We hope you enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to leave us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!

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Top 10 Ways to Say Goodbye in Spanish (Standard and Slang)

Do you know how to say goodbye in Spanish? Believe it or not, there are many different ways to say goodbye in Spanish. In this lesson, we will review some of the standard terms you can use as well as other alternative ways of saying goodbye in Spanish slang. Let's take a look.

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Adiós: The Top Choice for Saying Goodbye in Spanish

If you want to know the most standard way of saying goodbye in Spanish, adiós is your go-to term. Let's hear how to pronounce it:

 

Adiós. -Adiós.

Goodbye. -Goodbye.

Caption 50, Cita médica La cita médica de Cleer - Part 2

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Bueno, mucho gusto, Ana. -Mucho gusto. Adiós. -Adiós.

Well, nice to meet you, Ana. -Nice to meet you. Goodbye. -Goodbye.

Captions 67-68, Conversaciones en el parque Cap. 3: ¿De quién es esta mochila?

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How to Say Goodbye in Spanish Using the Preposition hasta 

The preposition hasta (usually translated as "until" or "even" in English) is quite useful when we want to say bye to someone. While the following expressions are not as literal as adiós, people use them often when they want to say goodbye in Spanish. The idea here is, "Let's meet at some point in the future." Let's take a look:

 

1. Hasta luego (See you later)

 

Así que, ¡nos vemos muy pronto! ¡Hasta luego!

So, see you very soon! See you later!

Captions 83-84, Amaya Mi burro Pepe

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2. Hasta pronto (See you soon)

 

¡Adiós, amigos de Yabla, hasta pronto!

Bye, friends of Yabla, see you soon!

Caption 51, Ariana España

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3. Hasta la próxima (See you next time)

 

Gracias por su atención y hasta la próxima. Hasta luego.

Thank you for your attention, and see you next time. See you later.

Captions 74-75, Carlos explica Las preposiciones 'por' y 'para' - Part 2

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4. Hasta mañana (See you tomorrow)

 

Hasta mañana, Ivo. -Chau, mi amor. -Chau. Chau, papá. -Chau.

See you tomorrow, Ivo. -Bye, my love. -Bye. Bye, dad. -Bye.

Captions 79-80, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 1

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5. Hasta la vista (So long)

 

Bueno, os esperamos por Madrid. ¡Hasta la vista!

Well, we await you in Madrid. So long!

Captions 91-92, Marisa en Madrid Parque de El Retiro

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Chao or Chau: Your Easiest Options for Saying Goodbye in Spanish Slang

Are you wondering how to say bye in Spanish in the shortest possible way? Look no further. These slang terms, taken from the standard Italian manner of saying goodbye (ciao), are the words you're looking for. Let's see how to pronounce chao and chau:

 

Bueno... Nos vemos en la casa, chao.

OK... See you at home, bye.

Caption 53, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 9 - Part 6

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porque ahora tengo un compromiso. Claro. Chau, Andrea. -Chau.

because now I have an appointment. [Is that] clear? Bye, Andrea. -Bye.

Captions 21-22, Muñeca Brava 2 Venganza - Part 9

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Three More Ways to Say Goodbye in Spanish

Instead of the previous choices, some people tend to use the following expressions when saying goodbye:
 

1. Nos vemos (See you)

 

Ha sido un placer estar con vosotros. Nos vemos. Un saludo.

It has been a pleasure being with you. See you. A greeting.

Captions 34-35, Azotea Del Círculo de Bellas Artes Andrés nos enseña una nueva perspectiva

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2. Cuídate (Take care)

 

Sobres, cuídate.

OK, take care.

Caption 7, El Puesto de Frutas de Javier Haciendo una ensalada de frutas

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3. Suerte (Good luck)

 

Solamente quería saber si usted estaba vivo todavía. Suerte, Magoo.

I just wanted to know if you were still alive. Good luck, Magoo.

Captions 36-37, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 1 - Part 1

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That's all for today. We invite you to use all the expressions we mentioned throughout this article, and don't forget to leave us your comments and suggestions
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The Many Meanings of the Verb Llegar

Since its straightforward translation is "to arrive," you might wonder if the Spanish verb llegar is worth a whole lesson. However, this is language, and we always find new meanings, uses, and/or idiomatic expressions. That said, let's take a few minutes to analyze this verb and see a qué conclusión podemos llegar ("what conclusion we can draw" or "come to").

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Llegar a(l) + Place

When we refer to a place, llegar means "to arrive." 

 

Soñé que llegaba al colegio y estaba sin ropa.

I dreamed that I arrived at school and I was [there] with no clothes.

Caption 27, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 4

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Llegar a Alguien

Llegar can additonally mean to reach someone, either physically or emotionally. If someone shuts you out, no hay forma de llegar a esa persona (there's no way to reach that person). On the other hand, in the example below, the team at Biopark had not been able to physically reach the leopards. 

 

No había forma de... de llegar a ellos.

There wasn't any way to... to get close to them.

Caption 27, Animales en familia Un día en Bioparc: Cachorro de leopardo - Part 1

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Llegar + Point or Amount

Again with this idea of reaching, llegar can also be used with an amount or specific point in space as we see in the following examples: 

 

Supongo que si están un poquito más chaparritos, les ha de llegar al pecho,

I guess if you're a little bit shorter, it should come up to your chest,

Caption 24, Alan x el mundo Mi playa favorita de México! - Part 2

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podremos estar llegando a los ochocientos mil euros aproximadamente.

we could be reaching eight hundred thousand euros approximately.

Caption 32, Los Reporteros Crecen los robos en tiendas - Part 2

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And speaking of money, there is a Spanish idiom that includes this verb: llegar a fin de mes (literally "to make it to the end of the month"), which is the Spanish equivalent of "making ends meet."

 

Llegar + Time References 

Llegar can be used with seasons, months, or times of day as well to indicate their beginning or arrival. In this context, it often translates as "to come": Cuando llega la noche / "When night comes" or "falls."

 

y lo tuvo con ella hasta que llegó la primavera.

and had him with her until spring came.

Caption 41, Cleer El patito feo

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Llegar to Express Achievement 

Another meaning of llegar is "to achieve." It is actually a verb that collocates with éxito (success), so if you become succesful, has llegado al éxito (you've achieved success). 

 

De las etapas por las que pasan los conjuntos en su desarrollo y a lo que pueden llegar.

Of the stages that groups go through in their development and what they can become.

Captions 74-75, Arturo Vega Entrevista - Part 3

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Another possible translation of llegar is "to manage to" since when you llegas a hacer algo, you've succedeed in doing it after some effort.  

 

de lo que yo quería como llegar a expresar, ¿sí?

to what I wanted to, like, manage to express, right?

Caption 13, Bogotá Fotógrafo José Segundo Quinche Pérez

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Llegar Preceded by si (to Introduce a Condition)

Sometimes, when llegar follows si to introduce a condition, it makes that condition a bit more remote since si llego a enterarme de algo is closer to if I happen to/manage to hear anything. 

 

Si llega a saber cualquier cosa que suceda entre Milagros y su hermano, hágamela saber.

If you come to find out anything that happens between Milagros and her brother, let me know about it.

Captions 21-22, Muñeca Brava 33 El partido - Part 5

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Si llega a pillarlos, me avisa y consigo la cámara.

If you manage to catch them, let me know and I'll get the camera.

Caption 72, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 4 - Part 4

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As you may notice, many of the meanings of the verb llegar are comparable to those of the English verb "to get" (e.g "to reach," "to arrive," "to manage," etc.).

 

We hope this lesson has been clear, but si llegan a tener dudas (if you happen to have any questions), don't forget to send us your questions, comments, and suggestions¡Hasta la próxima!

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All About the Verb Llevar and Its Many Uses

¿Cómo te llevas con el español? (How do you get along in Spanish?) Wait— didn't llevar mean "to take"? Well, yes... you're right! The verb llevar often translates as "to take," and not just in phrases like "take your umbrella" or "take your children to school," but also in collocations like "to take time." And these are just a few of the uses of the verb llevar that we'll examine in this lesson. Actually, llevaría más de una lección (it would take more than one lesson) to cover all of its uses. But let's try and do our best here!

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Llevar Meaning "To Take" Something or Someone Somewhere

 

We can llevar something from one place to another and also accompany or guide someone somewhere, as in the following examples:

 

Tengo la posibilidad de llevar todos los días al colegio a mi hijo.

I have the chance to take my son to school every day.

Caption 53, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 18

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Le voy a llevar de compras.

I'm going to take him shopping.

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

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It is no wonder, then, that the term for "takeout food" (comida para llevar) in Spanish can be literally translated as "food for taking":

 

Aquí había unas comidas para llevar. 

There were some takeout places here.

Caption 8, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 10

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Note that while the speaker uses the term for "takeout food" to refer to the location, it is more common to say casa de comidas para llevar to refer to a takeout restaurant. By the way, in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, these places are also called rotisería.

 

Llevar to Introduce Cause 

 

When this idea of direction goes beyond space to express cause, llevar means something closer to the verbs "to lead" or "to drive" in English, as in the following example:

 

una cosa llevó a la otra, ¿no?

one thing led to another, right?

Caption 13, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 3 - Part 8

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A person might llevarte a la desesperación, a la ruina o a la locura ("lead" or "drive you to despair, bankrutpcy, or madness"), or maybe you are lucky and end up being very successful, like in this Yabla video:

 

Muchas veces, incluso nos puede llevar al éxito profesional.

Many times, it can even lead us to professional success.

Caption 13, Club de las ideas Intuición - Part 1

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Llevar Used with Time

 

Llevar also resembles "to take" when used with time, work, or effort to express that it is necessary to invest such time or effort in something. For instance, in one of our videos, María Sol explains that learning Spanish is a long process by saying that:

 

de que puede llevar mucho tiempo,

that it can take a long time,

Caption 29, GoSpanish Entrevista con María Sol

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Yet, it can also be used to refer to the time that has gone by since the inception of something:

 

¿Cuánto tiempo llevas en Marbella? -En Marbella, cuarenta y un años.

How long have you been in Marbella? -In Marbella, forty-one years.

Caption 10, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 11

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Llevamos más de dos semanas sin agua

We've been without water for more than two weeks

Caption 24, Kikirikí Agua - Part 1

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Llevar Meaning "to Wear"

 

We also use llevar to refer to the clothing or glasses we "wear," or the way we have our hair, in sentences such as Llevaba lentes (He/She was wearing glasses) or María llevaba el cabello largo (María had long hair).

 

y me gusta llevar faldas normalmente,

and I like to wear skirts usually,

Caption 6, El Aula Azul Actividades Diarias

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Llevar a Cabo

 

Another instance in which llevar can be translated as "to take" is when we use the expression llevar a cabo (to take place), which might also mean "to carry out" or "conduct" depending on the case/collocation.

 

Aquí se va a llevar a cabo el Campeonato WK.

Here, the WK Championship is going to take place.

Caption 3, Adícora, Venezuela Víctor

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Dejarse Llevar

 

We'll often hear people inviting us to let go, relax, and enjoy the feeling of dejarse llevar (letting oneself go), another expression which incorporates this verb:

 

Hay que estar relajado y dejarse llevar, ¿no?

You should be relaxed and let yourself go, right?

Caption 12, Club de las ideas Intuición - Part 1

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Llevarse Bien/Mal 

 

Finally, we'll can state that nos llevamos bien/mal with a person or people to describe how well or poorly we "get along with" others.

 

Que la puedes llevar a una... a un sitio, y sabes que se va a llevar bien con todo el mundo...

That you can take her to a... to a place, and you know she'll get along with everyone...

Caption 61, Biografía Enrique Iglesias

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As you can tell, there are so many uses of llevar that se hace difícil llevar la cuenta (it's hard to keep track) of all of them. We hope you enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions¡Hasta la próxima!

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How to Use Prepositional Pronouns in Spanish

In an interview appearing in the Spanish series, 75 minutos, we can hear a beautiful gypsy voice singing the following:

 

Me dormí pensando en ti; pensando en ti, me desperté Soñé contigo, estoy sin ti y así llevo to' mi vi'a

I fell asleep thinking about you; thinking about you, I woke up I dreamed about you, I am without you, and I carry on like that all my life

Captions 10-11, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 13

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Do you see that "ti" in the example above? That's a prepositional pronoun, or pronoun that follows a preposition. As prepositional pronouns may have been outshone in your studies by the complexity of object pronouns (me, te, se, le, etc.), let’s focus on them for a change.

 

A Look at Prepositional Pronouns in Action

When pronouns follow prepositions, they take on a special form in the first and second person singular, as follows:

 

Tú sabes que una fiesta sin mí no es una fiesta porque yo soy el alma de las fiestas.

You know that a party without me is not a party because I am the soul of parties.

Caption 19, Club 10 Capítulo 1 - Part 2

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he sentido un flechazo por ti,

I felt love at first sight with you,

Caption 7, Cortometraje Flechazos

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Note that, unlike the possessive adjective mi (e.g. Mi nombre, or "My name"), the prepositional pronoun  has a graphic accent (tilde) whereas ti does not. 

 

In contrast to the first and second persons, the other persons utilize the same form as the subject pronoun (él, ella, nosotros, etc.) and do not require any special form:

 

es un poco estresante para nosotros

it's a bit stressful for us

Caption 6, Animales en familia Un día en Bioparc: Cachorro de leopardo - Part 1

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No, estoy hablando de ella.

No, I'm talking about her.

Caption 22, Muñeca Brava 41 La Fiesta - Part 6

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O en los brazos de ella.

Or in her arms.

Caption 21, El Ausente Acto 3 - Part 8

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Reflexive Use of the Third Person

The third person is the only grammatical person to employ a specific form exclusively for reflexive use: . Although this form does not indicate gender or number, these aspects are apparent (and the agreement with the subject achieved) with the words mismo(s) and misma(s), which often follow the prepositional pronoun sí when expressing the idea of "himself" or "herself." 

 

Agente, Pierre Bernard no habló mucho de sí mismo.

Agent, Pierre Bernard didn't talk much about himself.

Caption 24, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 4 - Part 5

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 can also come after the preposition entre in the third person plural to express the idea of "with each other," as follows:

 

Entonces, ellas son amigas entre sí, también.

So, they are friends with each other also.

Caption 48, Clase Aula Azul Información con subjuntivo e indicativo - Part 1

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However, entre can be also followed by the subject pronouns yo and :

Pues lo que está sucediendo es entre tú y yo

Because what's happening is between you and me

Captions 26-27, Vivanativa Si tú me quieres

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Conmigo, Contigo, and Consigo

 

Soñé contigo, estoy sin ti / I dreamed about you, I am without you

 

Considering the fact that pronouns do not often merge with the prepositions that preceed them, you may have wondered why conmigo, contigo and consigo are written as a single word. The fact is that the prepositional pronouns , ti, and have special forms when used with the preposition con.

 

Quédate conmigo

Stay with me

Caption 42, Carlos Baute y Marta Sanchez Colgando en tus manos

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Bailar contigo y perdernos esta noche

Dancing with you and losing ourselves tonight

Caption 9, Monsieur Periné Bailar Contigo

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Porque si no, muchas personas tienen conflictos consigo mismas

Because otherwise, many people have conflicts with themselves

Captions 2-3, Natalia de Ecuador Los tipos de temperamento

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Some years ago, a politician in Latin America gained notoriety after saying conmigo o sinmigo, an egregious error for a native speaker of Spanish, let alone a public figure! Now that you have read this lesson, you can rest assured that contigo no tendremos ese problema (we won’t have that problem with you). We hope you liked this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!

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The Preposition con in Spanish

Do you know how to use the preposition con (most commonly translated as "with") in Spanish? Let's explore some of the various ways of using this preposition correctly.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Con to Describe Accompaniment

Like its English counterpart, the first use of the preposition con that most likely comes to mind is to introduce the concept of accompaniment by someone or something. We can find this use in the name of some of our series such as Aprendiendo con Carlos, Paseando con Karen, and also in the words of Ester from El Aula Azul:

 

Quédate con nosotros hoy y aprende algo nuevo en nuestra clase.

Stay with us today, and learn something new in our class.

Captions 4-5, Clase Aula Azul Información con subjuntivo e indicativo - Part 1

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The way con is used here is no different from the way we use "with" to describe accompaniment in English. However, it is worth mentioning that stranded prepositions (prepositions separated from their objects and often placed at the end of the sentence) do not occur in Spanish. Thus, a question like the one below must place the preposition con next to its object quién at the beginning of the sentence, as opposed to the manner in which "who" and "with" can be separated in informal English. 

 

¿Y con quién vives en Alemania?

And who do you live with in Germany?

Caption 21, La rutina diaria La mañana

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Con Used to Indicate the Means or Tools Used to Do Something

The preposition con can also be employed to introduce the means or tools used to do an activity or achieve something. 

 

Hazlo primero con lápiz y después con plumón.

Do it first in pencil and then with a marker.

Caption 17, Manos a la obra Separadores de libros: Pikachu

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y os puedo asegurar que con paciencia y con disciplina se consigue todo.

and I can assure you that, with patience and discipline, one can achieve anything.

Caption 73, Fermín y los gatos Mi gata Bimba

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We also use the preposition con in Spanish to introduce the way something is done or how it should be done:

 

¡Por acá, Guillermina, con cuidado!

Through here, Guillermina, carefully!

Caption 30, Guillermina y Candelario Una película de terror - Part 2

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Notice that the word cuidado can also appear before con in phrases such as the following:

 

Cuidado con el perro.

Beware of the dog.

 

Or, as Karen warns us in her video:

 

Mucho cuidado con lo que escribes.

[Be] very careful with what you write.

Caption 38, Aprendiendo con Karen Útiles escolares - Part 1

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Using Con with Verbs

When the preposition con is followed by an infinitive, it can function as a gerund (the -ing form of a verb, which functions as a noun):

 

Con decir perdón es suficiente.

Saying you're sorry is enough.

Caption 20, Muñeca Brava 47 Esperanzas - Part 5

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Con is also the dependent preposition (preposition that depends upon or must follow a particular noun, verb, or adjective) after certain verbs such as terminar (to put an end to something), bastar (to be enough or suffice) or comparar (to compare), to name a few. 

 

Terminar con mi noviazgo no parecía tan complicado,

Ending my relationship didn't seem so complicated,

Caption 61, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 8 - Part 5

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Y me basta con saber que estás allí

And it's enough to know that you're there

Caption 19, Franco De Vita Mi sueño

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A pesar de que lo... la cultura azteca también tenía su preciosismo no se compara con los Mayas...

Although the... the Aztec culture also had its beauty, it can't be compared to the Mayans...

Captions 46-47, Antonio Vargas - Artista ilustración - Part 2

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Creating Contrast

Finally, the preposition con can additionally introduce a phrase that stands in contrast to the following clause, taking on a meaning similar to "although" or "despite."

 

Esta mujer aquí donde la ve, con lo simpática que parece, es como un general.

This woman who stands here before you, as nice as she seems, is like a general.

Captions 62-63, Los casos de Yabla El perrito malcriado - Part 1

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That's all for this lesson. We hope it has been clear for you and you can now use this preposition con más seguridad y precisión (with greater confidence and accuracy)! And, don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions

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Nada: Nothing or Anything?

Most of the time, we use the word nada in Spanish as an indefinite pronoun that can be translated as either "nothing" or "anything." In this lesson, we will examine how to use this word to mean one vs. the other. Let's take a look.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Using Nada with Adjectives

Before we jump into the "nothing" vs. "anything" uses of nada, it's important to state the following: When an adjective appears next to nada, the adjective must be masculine. Let's look at a few examples:

 

No es nada malo, es algo natural.

It's nothing bad, it's something natural.

Caption 12, La Cocaleros Personas y políticas - Part 1

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Tenemos que devolver a la madre y esperamos que la madre no encuentre nada raro en su cachorro.

We have to return it to the mother and hope that the mother doesn't find anything strange with her cub.

Captions 90-91, Animales en familia Un día en Bioparc: Cachorro de leopardo - Part 2

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Que haya jóvenes que realicen pequeños hurtos no es nada nuevo.

That there are young people who commit petty thefts is nothing new.

Caption 16, Los Reporteros Crecen los robos en tiendas - Part 4

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Nada as "Anything"

If nada comes after a verb, it must be expressed in a negative form with either no or some other negative element such as jamás/nunca (never) or nadie (nobody). Although such "double negatives" are incorrect in English (for example, you can't say "I don't have nothing"), in such cases in Spanish, nada becomes the positive "anything" in the English translation. Let's look at a couple of examples:

 

Juan no ha comido nada desde que llegó al aeropuerto.

Juan hasn't eaten anything since he arrived at the airport.

Caption 41, Carlos explica El pretérito Cap 3: Perfecto compuesto II

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No, no como nada frito.

No, I don't eat anything fried.

Caption 40, Cata y Cleer En el restaurante

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In the example above, you can see how the adjective frito is masculine (just to check whether you remember our aforementioned rule!). 

 

me encanta también cocinar. Nunca me has hecho nada, ni un plato.

I also love to cook. You have never made anything for me, not even one dish.

Captions 74-75, Cleer Hobbies

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Nada as "Nothing"

On the other hand, if nada goes before a verb, the verb does not need to be accompanied by a negative element. In this case, nada functions like the word "nothing" in English. Let's take a look:

 

Mi primo vive en una casucha en donde nada funciona bien.

My cousin lives in a "casucha" [awful house] where nothing works well.

Caption 54, Carlos explica Diminutivos y Aumentativos Cap 2: Definiciones generales

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Nada me detendrá

Nothing will stop me

Caption 32, Ednita Nazario Después De Ti

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Nada as a noun

Finally, keep in mind that when nada is used as a noun meaning "the void" or "nothingness," it is a feminine noun:

 

Era el frío de la nada

It was the cold of nothingness

Caption 41, Acercándonos a la Literatura José Asunción Silva - "Nocturno III"

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Notice how in this case, the word nada is preceded by the definite female article "la."

 

That's all for this lesson. We invite you to keep these rules in mind, and don't forget to send us your suggestions and comments

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