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Lessons for topic Spanish 101

Demonstrative Adjectives in Spanish

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

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What Is a Demonstrative Adjective?

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

 

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

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

 

The Gender Factor and Greater Number of Demonstrative Adjectives in Spanish

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

How to Pronounce Demonstrative Adjectives in Spanish

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

 

Near the speaker: este, esta, estos, estas

 

Me gusta mucho este parque.

I really like this park.

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

 Play Caption

 

Esta mochila es de Lucas.

This backpack is Lucas'.

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

 Play Caption

 

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

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

Caption 20, Ana Carolina El comedor

 Play Caption

 

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

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

Caption 19, Comercio Camisas tradicionales

 Play Caption

 

 

Near the listener: ese, esa, esos, esas

 

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

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

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

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

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

Caption 67, Adícora - Venezuela El tatuaje de Rosana

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

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

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

 Play Caption

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Captions 27-29, Rosa Los dólmenes de Antequera

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

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

Captions 35-36, Lecciones con Carolina Adjetivos demostrativos

 Play Caption

 

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

 

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

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

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

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The easy conjugation of gustar

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

 

A mí me gusta el acento de las colombianas.

I like the Colombian women's accent.

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

 Play Caption

 

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

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

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

 Play Caption

 

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

 

When to use gusta or gustan?

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

 

Using gusta

 

Use the third person singular gusta for the following cases:

 

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

Me gusta la camisa.

I like the shirt.

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

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

 

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

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

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

Captions 6-7, El Aula Azul Actividades Diarias

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

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

Pedro likes to read, play guitar and exercise.

 

Using gustan

 

Use the third person plural gustan for the following cases:

 

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

A Lola le gustan los hombres fuertes

Lola likes strong men

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

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

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

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

 

Gusta vs gustan with questions and negative sentences

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

 

¿Te gusta la ciencia?

Do you like science?

Caption 42, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 2 - Part 5

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A mí no me gusta tu camiseta.

I don't like your shirt.

Caption 12, Español para principiantes Los colores

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¿No te gustan las velas?

You don't like candles?

Caption 38, Muñeca Brava 7 El poema - Part 11

 Play Caption

 

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

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Ser and Estar: An Easy Trick for Using These Verbs

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

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Two words for learning the difference between ser and estar

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

 

DOCTOR for ser

 

The word DOCTOR stands for the following: 

 

Description

Occupation

Characteristic

Time

Origin

Relationship.

 

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

 

Description

"El coronavirus es un virus contagioso".

"The coronavirus is a contagious virus."

Caption 27, El Coronavirus Introducción y vocabulario

 Play Caption

 

Occupation

Tu papá es jefe de cartera, mi amor.

Your dad is a portfolio manager, my love.

Caption 52, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 3 - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

Characteristic

Él es un chico... Es muy simpático,

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

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

 Play Caption

 

Time

Diremos, "¿Qué hora es?"

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

Caption 49, Español para principiantes La hora

 Play Caption

 

Origin

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

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

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

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Relationship

Esa es mi tía Silvia.

That is my Aunt Silvia.

Caption 24, Español para principiantes Demostrativos

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PLACE for estar

 

The word PLACE stands for the following:

 

Position

Location

Action

Condition

Emotion

 

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

 

Position

Ahora, estoy en el centro.

Now, I'm in the center.

Caption 25, Raquel Las direcciones

 Play Caption

 

Location

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

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

Captions 31-32, Viajando con Fermín Dunas de Marbella

 Play Caption

 

Action

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

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

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

 Play Caption

 

Condition

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

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

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

 Play Caption

 

Emotion

Estoy triste. Estoy triste.

I am sad. I am sad.

Captions 9-10, El Aula Azul Estados de ánimo

 Play Caption

 

 

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

 

For how you feel and where you are,

always use the verb ESTAR. 

 

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

 

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

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How to Write and Say The Colors in Spanish

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

 

The primary colors in Spanish

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

 

Amarillo (Yellow)

Azul (Blue)

Rojo (Red)

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Spanish colors in alphabetical order

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

 

- amarillo (yellow)

- anaranjado or naranja (orange)

- añil or índigo (indigo)

- azul (blue)

- blanco (white)

- dorado (golden)

- escarlata (scarlet)

- fucsia (fuchsia)

- gris (gray)

- marrón or café (brown)

- morado (purple)

- negro (black)

- plateado (silver)

- rojo (red)

- rosa or rosado (pink)

- violeta (violet)

 

The pronunciation of the most important colors in Spanish

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

 

How do you say "yellow" in Spanish?

amarillo

 

Recorta un cuadro de papel amarillo de cinco centímetros

Cut out a five centimeter yellow square from yellow paper

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

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

anaranjado or naranja

Adentro, son de color anaranjado.

Inside, they are orange-colored.

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

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

 

 

How do you say "blue" in Spanish?

azul

Ay, me encanta tu camiseta azul.

Oh, I love your blue shirt.

Caption 3, Español para principiantes Los colores

 Play Caption

 

 

How do you say "white" in Spanish?

blanco

Mi perro pequeño es blanco.

My small dog is white.

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

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How do you say "black" in Spanish?

negro

y el negro, donde se tira lo orgánico

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

Caption 7, Rosa Reciclar

 Play Caption

 

 

How do you say "green" in Spanish?

verde

el verde, donde va el vidrio,

the green one, where the glass goes,

Caption 5, Rosa Reciclar

 Play Caption

 

 

How do you say "brown" in Spanish?

marrón

Mi cocina es de madera de color marrón.

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

Caption 23, Ariana Mi Casa

 Play Caption

 

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

 

 

How do you say "purple" in Spanish?

morado

Predominan los colores verde, morado,

The colors green, purple, predominate,

Caption 46, Viajando con Fermín Dunas de Marbella

 Play Caption

 

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

 

 

How do you say "red" in Spanish?

rojo

el rojo carmesí, que es un rojo frío,

the Crimson Red, which is a cool red,

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

 Play Caption

 

 

The colors of the rainbow in Spanish 

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

 

1. rojo = ???

2. naranja or anaranjado = ??? 

3. amarillo = ???

4. verde = ???

5. azul = ???

6. añil = ???

7. violeta = ???

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Kevin, la pregunta es:

Kevin, the question is:

Caption 13, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 8

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Los voy a dejar con cuatro preguntas.

I am going to leave you with four questions.

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

 Play Caption

 

Spanish question structure

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

 

Punctuation and question marks

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

 

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

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

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

 Play Caption

 

Yes/No questions

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 Play Caption

 

¿Necesitas ayuda? -Mmm... Sí.

Do you need help? -Mmm... Yes.

Captions 9-10, Español para principiantes La hora

 Play Caption

 

¿No conoces Manhattan?

You don't know Manhattan?

Caption 37, Yago 2 El puma - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

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

 

Questions that ask for specific information

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

 

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

 

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

 

¡Oh! ¿Dónde está el cajero automático?

Oh! Where's the ATM?

Caption 36, Natalia de Ecuador Palabras de uso básico

 Play Caption

 

In the example above, we have the following structure: 

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

 

Let's listen to another clip:

 

¿Desde cuándo tienes este piso?

Since when have you had this apartment?

Caption 35, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 13

 Play Caption

 

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

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

 

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

 

Top Spanish question words

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

 

Top question words in Spanish

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

 

What / Which (Qué / Cuál)

When (Cuándo)

Where (Dónde)

Who (Quién)

Why (Por qué)

How (Cómo)

 

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

 

Basic questions to ask in Spanish using WH questions

And now, let's dive into our list.

 

What / Which (Qué / Cuál)

 

Diremos, "¿Qué hora es?"

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

Caption 49, Español para principiantes La hora

 Play Caption

 

O, ¿A qué te dedicas?

Or, What do you do? [with "tú"].

Caption 17, Karla e Isabel Tú y Usted

 Play Caption

 

Oye, y ¿en qué trabajas?

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

Caption 82, Ricardo La compañera de casa - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Por supuesto; ¿cuál es su dirección de correo?

Of course; what is your e-mail address?

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

 Play Caption

 

¿Recuerdas cuál era la copa para servir vino?

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

Caption 36, Ana Carolina El comedor

 Play Caption

 

When (Cuándo)

 

¿Y cuándo hizo el "check-in"?

And when did he check-in?

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

 Play Caption

 

¿Cuándo terminas de estudiar?

When do you finish studying?

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

 Play Caption

 

Where (Dónde)

 

¿De dónde eres?

Where are you from?

Caption 36, Curso de español ¿De dónde eres?

 Play Caption

 

Y ¿en dónde vives?

And where do you live?

Caption 8, Cleer Entrevista a Lila

 Play Caption

 

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

 

¿Me podrías decir dónde está el baño?

Could you tell me where the bathroom is?

Caption 7, Raquel Expresiones para un festival de música.

 Play Caption

 

¿Sabes dónde hay alguna farmacia?

Do you know where there's a pharmacy?

Caption 24, Raquel Expresiones para un festival de música.

 Play Caption

 

Who (Quién)

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

 

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

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

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

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¿Usted quién es? Roberto. Un amigo.

Who are you? Roberto. A friend.

Captions 24-25, Yago 9 Recuperación - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Why (Por qué)

 

¿Por qué dices eso? -No...

Why are you saying that? -No...

Caption 14, Cortometraje Beta - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

How (Cómo)

 

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

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

Caption 7, Español en las calles Varias expresiones

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

 

Buenos días, ¿cómo te llamas?

Good morning, what's your name?

Caption 8, La rutina diaria La mañana

 Play Caption

 

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

 

Ah, lindo. ¿Cuánto cuesta?

Oh, nice. How much does it cost?

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

 Play Caption

 

¿Cuántos años tienes?

How old are you?

Caption 6, Cleer Entrevista a Lila

 Play Caption

 

Ah, vale. ¿Cuántos hijos tienes?

Oh, OK. How many sons do you have?

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

 Play Caption

 

¿Y cuántas botellas de agua hay aquí?

And how many bottles of water are there here?

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

 Play Caption

 

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

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Family members in Spanish

Let's talk about family! Do you know how to say words like "father" or "cousin" in Spanish? Today, we will learn how to say the names of the most important family members in Spanish. In particular, we will see how to write and pronounce those names. Let's take a look.

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How do you say family in Spanish?

Familia is the Spanish word for family. It is important to say that this is a feminine collective noun. Collective nouns are words that we use for particular groups. However, these nouns are treated as singular words. Let's see how this works:

 

Mi familia es pequeña y cálida. Considerando que "familia" es un sustantivo colectivo femenino, conjugamos el verbo en tercera persona del singular y utilizamos adjetivos femeninos, "pequeña" y "cálida", para elaborar la concordancia de manera correcta.

My family is small and warm. Considering that "familia" is a feminine collective noun, we conjugate the verb in third person singular and use feminine adjectives, "pequeña" [small] and "cálida" [warm], to create agreement in the correct way.

Captions 16-20, Carlos explica Sustantivos colectivos

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List of family members in Spanish

The following are the names of the most important family member in Spanish.

 

Madre (Mother)

Comes bastante verdura, tu madre que te quiere.

Eat enough vegetables, your mother who loves you.

Caption 38, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Very often, however, people refer to their mothers using the following terms:

Mamá, quería preguntarte algo.

Mom, I wanted to ask you something.

Caption 2, Yago 10 Enfrentamientos - Part 7

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OR

 

¿Haciendo la tarea con mami? -Sí.

Doing your homework with Mommy? -Yes.

Caption 24, Yago 11 Prisión - Part 5

 Play Caption

 

 

Padre (Father)

 

"A mi padre siempre le toca trabajar mucho todos los viernes".

"My father always has to work a lot every Friday."

Caption 53, Carlos explica Vocabulario: El verbo “tocar”

 Play Caption

 

However, just like for the word "mother", there are some other terms people use when talking with or about their fathers:

 

Fue cuando me di cuenta no tenía ni idea de lo que hacía mi papá.

It was then that I realized I had no idea what my dad did.

Caption 30, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 3 - Part 3

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OR

 

Papi, cualquier hora es buena.

Daddy, any hour is good.

Caption 5, X6 1 - La banda - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

 

Hijo (Son)

Quiero presentarles a mi hijo; Kevin, él es Felipe,

I want to introduce you to my son; Kevin, this is Felipe,

Caption 16, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 3 - Part 6

 Play Caption

 

 

Hija (Daughter)

 

Y muy feliz de tener a mi lado a mi hija,

And very happy to have my daughter by my side,

Caption 38, Yolimar Gimón sobre el concurso Mrs. Venezuela

 Play Caption

 

 

Hermano (Brother)

 

Después aquí tengo a mi hermano, José.

Then here I have my brother, Jose.

Caption 11, Curso de español Vamos a hablar de la familia

 Play Caption

 

 

Hermana (Sister)

 

pero que estaba alejando a mi hermana de nosotros.

but which was taking my sister away from us.

Caption 21, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 4 - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

 

Abuelo (Grandfather)

 

¡Abuelo, abuelo!

Grandpa, Grandpa!

Caption 9, Guillermina y Candelario Un regalo de Estrellas

 Play Caption

 

 

Abuela (Grandmother)

 

Abuela, podemos hablar dos minutos por favor.

Grandmother, can we talk for two minutes, please.

Caption 4, Muñeca Brava 18 - La Apuesta - Part 6

 Play Caption

 

 

Nieto (Grandson)

 

Mi nieto no existe.

My grandson does not exist.

Caption 53, Muñeca Brava 33 El partido - Part 7

 Play Caption

 

 

Nieta (Granddaughter)

 

La nieta de María.

Maria's granddaughter.

Caption 30, Zoraida en Coro El pintor Yepez

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Tío (Uncle)

 

Y su tío Aldo cree que está muerto, su tío Lucio confía en que esté vivo.

And his Uncle Aldo believes that he's dead, his Uncle Lucio has faith that he's alive.

Caption 22, Yago 8 Descubrimiento - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

 

Tía (Aunt)

 

Esa es mi tía Silvia.

That is my Aunt Silvia.

Caption 24, Español para principiantes Demostrativos

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Sobrino (Nephew)

 

¿Hace cuánto tiempo que dejó de ver a su sobrino?

How long ago did you stop seeing your nephew?

Caption 69, Yago 8 Descubrimiento - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

 

Sobrina (Niece)

 

Sobrina. Muy bien.

Niece. Very good.

Caption 43, Curso de español Vamos a hablar de la familia

 Play Caption

 

 

Primo (Male cousin)

 

Sí, me gusta mucho mi primo Pedro.

Yes, I like my cousin Pedro very much.

Caption 40, El Aula Azul Mis Primos

 Play Caption

 

 

Prima (Female cousin)

 

Esta mañana mi prima se ha roto la pierna jugando al fútbol.

This morning my cousin has broken her leg playing soccer.

Caption 15, Lecciones con Carolina Participios - Ejemplos de uso

 Play Caption

 

 

Finally, keep in mind that when using the plural forms of these nouns, you should use the male form when the group is made of both male and female members:

 

Two cousins (both male):  Dos primos

Two cousins (both female): Dos primas 

Two cousing (one male and one female): Dos primos

 

That's it for today. We invite you to take a piece of paper and design your family tree with the names of the family members in Spanish. And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

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How to Write and Say the Months in Spanish

Do you know the names of the months in Spanish? Believe it or not, the names of the months in Spanish are quite similar to their English equivalents. Let's look at how to write and pronounce the months of the year in Spanish language.

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How do you say "month" in Spanish?

The answer is mes. If you want to use the plural form, you need to use the term meses. Also, when talking about months in Spanish keep in mind the following:

 

One month: Un mes

Two months: Dos meses

Last month: El mes pasado

Next month: El próximo mes

 

List of months in Spanish and English

Before we hear how to pronounce the names of the 12 months in Spanish, let's take a look at the following list featuring the months in Spanish and English:

 

January: enero

February: febrero

March: marzo

April: abril

May: mayo

June: junio

July: julio

August: agosto

September: septiembre

October: octubre

November: noviembre

December: diciembre

 

12 sentences with the months in Spanish

 

Let's hear the following sentences so you can practice the pronunciation of the 12 months in Spanish.

 

January: Enero

Estos son los meses del año. Enero.

These are the months of the year. January.

Captions 1-2, El Aula Azul Estaciones y Meses

 Play Caption

 

February: Febrero

diecinueve de febrero. -¡Oh! ¿Diecinueve de febrero?

February nineteenth. -Oh! February nineteenth?

Captions 13-14, Extr@: Extra en español Ep 01 La llegada de Sam - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

March: Marzo

Las Fallas son unas fiestas que se celebran en Valencia durante el mes de marzo.

The Fallas is a festival celebrated in Valencia during the month of March.

Caption 25, Raquel Fiestas de España

 Play Caption

 

April: Abril

Me gustaría reservar una cabaña para la primera semana de abril.

I would like to reserve a cabin for the first week of April.

Caption 4, Cleer y Lida Reservando una habitación

 Play Caption

 

May: Mayo

En mayo, salen las flores.

In May, the flowers come out.

Caption 18, El Aula Azul Estaciones y Meses

 Play Caption

 

June: Junio

En junio, empieza el verano.

In June, the summer starts.

Caption 19, El Aula Azul Estaciones y Meses

 Play Caption

 

July: Julio

En julio. Vendría el mes de julio entero.

In July. He'd come for the whole month of July.

Caption 27, El Aula Azul Conversación: Los cursos de español - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

August: Agosto

en agosto, miles de voluntarios vienen a este sitio

in August, thousands of volunteers come to this site

Caption 53, Rosa Laguna Fuente de Piedra

 Play Caption

 

September: Septiembre

Por ejemplo, durante el Festival de Cine que se celebra en San Sebastián en el mes de septiembre.

For example, during the Film Festival that is held in San Sebastian in the month of September.

Captions 13-14, San Sebastián Palacio de Miramar

 Play Caption

 

October: Octubre

Desde octubre se comienza la venta de los monigotes.

From October the selling of the dolls begins.

Caption 55, Otavalo Artesano de monigotes de Año Viejo

 Play Caption

 

November: Noviembre

Fue inaugurado el treinta de noviembre de mil novecientos noventa y cuatro.

It was opened on November thirtieth nineteen ninety-four.

Caption 5, Paseando con Karen Monterrey - Museo de Historia Mexicana

 Play Caption

 

December: Diciembre

Normalmente, suele nevar en diciembre,

Normally, it typically snows in December,

Caption 69, Clara y Cristina Hablan de actividades

 Play Caption

 

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Finally, did you notice anything in particular in the previous sentences regarding the spelling of the names of the months in Spanish? Unlike English, in Spanish the names of the months don't have to be capitalized.

 

That's it for today. Try to write a couple of sentences with the months in Spanish and read them aloud so you can practice their pronunciation. And don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

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The Many Nuances of Spanish Subject Pronouns

In this lesson, we will talk about Spanish subject pronouns. Let’s first review what subject pronouns are and enumerate the subject pronouns in English.

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What is a subject pronoun in Spanish?

Since the definition of a subject pronoun is "a word that takes the place of a noun acting as the subject of a clause or sentence," we must first understand what a subject is.

 

Most simply stated, the subject of a sentence is what it's about, the noun that is being or doing something. Here are some examples of sentences with their subjects indicated beneath them: 

 

Samantha is studying Spanish.         

Subject:  Samantha 

    

The tango is a beautiful dance.        

Subject: Tango

 

Marina, Liam and I went to the movies.    

Subject: Marina, Liam and I

 

Edison is from the Dominican Republic.    

Subject: Edison

 

The chocolates taste amazing.

Subject: The chocolates

 

In order to avoid, for instance, repeating “the chocolates” over and over in a paragraph where we wish to thoroughly describe them, we could replace the subject, “the chocolates,” with the subject pronoun, “they.” Below, within the structures of the previous sentences, the subjects have been replaced with their equivalent subject pronouns:

    

She is studying Spanish.

 

It is a beautiful dance. 

 

We went to the movies.

 

He is from the Dominican Republic.

 

They taste amazing. 

 

Subject pronouns in English and Spanish

A complete list of the English subject pronouns is as follows: I, we, you, he, she, it, they. 

Now, let’s take a look at how the English subject pronouns correspond to their Spanish counterparts:

 

- First person (singular / plural): EN: I / we | SP: yo / nosotros, nosotras

- Second person (singular / plural): EN: you / you | SP: tú, usted, vos / vosotros, vosotras, ustedes

- Third person (singular / plural): EN: he, she, it / they | SP: él, ella / ellos, ellas

 

Looking at them side by side, you may notice that there are far more Spanish subject pronouns than English ones due to the many nuances they express when compared to their less specific English equivalents. Some differences you may notice between the English subject pronouns and the Spanish ones are as follows: 

 

1. The first person plural (“we” in English) in Spanish distinguishes between masculine and feminine in the sense that, if the “we” refers to a group of only males or a mixed group of males and females, nosotros is used, whereas if the group is all female, nosotras is employed. Since English does not make this distinction, nothing can be told about the gender of the group upon simply hearing a sentence beginning with “we.”

 

2. The second person singular (“you” in English) has three different Spanish translations: , usted, and vos. So, what’s the difference between them? Generally speaking, and vos are employed similarly to address people with whom one is more familiar —  a less formal “you”  — whereas usted is a more formal and respectful “you,” typically reserved for people we don’t know as well or, for example, for our elders.

 

Keep in mind that while is more commonly employed as the informal “you” in many Spanish-speaking countries, vos is typically used in other countries or regions. In contrast, the English subject pronoun “you” can be employed regardless of the relationship we have with the person we are addressing, their age, or the formality of the situation.

 

3. The second person plural also has several distinctions in Spanish not present in English. Whereas “you” is both singular and plural in English, Spanish requires a different subject pronoun to indicate that more than one person is being spoken to. Ustedes, vosotros and vosotras are the three second-person plural subject pronouns in Spanish, which take both gender and formality/familiarity into account.

 

In most Spanish-speaking countries, ustedes is the only second person plural subject pronoun utilized and can thus be used regardless of the formality of the situation or the gender of the people being addressed. Things are different in Spain, where usted would be used to address a single person in a more formal situation. Ustedes would then be its extension when addressing more than one person.

 

Speaking familiarly, with , the plural used in Spain would be vosotros and vosotras. These second person plural pronouns work the same way as the first person plural pronouns, nosotros and nosotras: ​​Vosotros ​is used to address more than one male or a mixed group, familiarly,​ while vosotras will refer to more than one female. 

 

4. The same kind of situation presents itself in the third person plural. The English “they” does not consider gender, but its Spanish equivalents ellos and ellas, do take gender into account, just as nosotros/nosotras and vosotros/vosotras do. Ellos is used for an all-male or mixed group, while ellas is used for more than one female. 

 

What about "it" in Spanish?

The English subject pronoun “it” generally replaces a subject that isn't a person or animal. Since there is no such subject pronoun in Spanish, how is the idea of “it” expressed? Let’s look at an example from a Yabla Spanish video: 

 

¿El favorito mío? Y el dulce de leche bombón. Es mi debilidad.

My favorite? "Dulce de leche bombon." It's my weakness.

Captions 35-36, Buenos Aires Heladería Cumelen

 Play Caption

    

You can see that, although we would say “It’s my weakness” in English when referring to the yummy dulce de leche ice cream, “it’s” being a contraction of “it is,” in Spanish, the “it” is simply omitted, and the verb, “es” (the third person singular conjugation of ser, or “to be”) is sufficient.

 

Because of this, a common error for Spanish speakers learning English is to try to replicate this structure in English by saying or writing something like, “Is my weakness.” However, this is not grammatically sound and, although it is often acceptable to omit a subject pronoun in Spanish, the same is not so in English, where the “it” is indeed necessary. 

 

Let’s look at one more example:

 

Pero cuando llueve no hay otro remedio

But, when it rains, there isn't any other choice

Caption 86, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 13

 Play Caption

 

Note that in English, since “it” in this example does not actually refer to anything concrete (does not replace a particular word), it is known as a “dummy” (or expletive or pleonastic) pronoun, which is still necessary to express this idea correctly. In contrast, in Spanish, the verb “llueve” (the third person singular conjugation of llover, or “to rain”) can simply be used without a pronoun to express the idea of “it.”

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Omitting the subject pronoun

Even in cases which don’t involve “it,” due to the more specific manner in which Spanish verbs are conjugated according to their subject pronouns, it is not always necessary to write out the subject pronoun:

 

Mientras leo el diario, respondo los correos electrónicos.

While I read the newspaper, I respond to emails.

Caption 9, GoSpanish La rutina diaria de Maru

 Play Caption

 

Although this could also be written as Mientras yo leo el diario, yo respondo los correos electrónicos, the first-person singular verb conjugations leo and respondo let us know that the subject pronoun is yo, and thus, it's not necessary to include it.

 

This is not the case in English, as the subject pronoun “I” is indeed necessary in order for the sentence to make sense (“While read the newspaper, respond to e-mails” would definitely not fly). One reason for this is that verb tenses in English tend to be much less specific to their subject pronouns. 

 

To reiterate this idea, let’s contrast the English present and past verb tenses with their Spanish equivalents:

 

ENGLISH (present / past):

I speak / spoke

You speak / spoke

He speaks / spoke

She speaks / spoke

It speaks / spoke

We speak / spoke

You speak / spoke

They speak / spoke

 

SPANISH (present / preterite):

Yo hablo / hablé

Tú hablas / hablaste

Vos hablás / hablaste 

Él, ella, usted habla / habló

Nosotros/as hablamos / hablamos

Vosotros/as habláis / hablasteis

Ellos/as, ustedes haban / hablaron

 

You may notice that the English present tense conjugations are limited to just “speak” (for “I,” “you,” “we” and “they”) and “speaks” (for “he,” “she” and “it”), while there is no variation whatsoever for the past tense, which regardless of the subject pronoun, is “spoke.”

 

In Spanish, on the other hand, we see a total of seven different conjugations in the present tense and six in the preterite, a revelation which may seem daunting to many English-speaking students of Spanish! And those are just two out of the fourteen Spanish verb tenses.

 

To conclude, let’s look at one last example:

 

Y, ¿va a pedirle a Lisa Bernal que sea su pareja en la fiesta?

And, are you going to ask Lisa Bernal to be your date at the party?

Caption 1, Los Años Maravillosos Capitulo 6 - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Unlike the previous case in which the verb conjugations leo and respondo were specific to the Spanish subject pronoun, yo, this one is a bit more ambiguous, as the verb conjugation va (of the verb ir, or “to go”) could correspond to the Spanish subject pronouns él, ella, or usted. So, if this sentence were encountered in isolation, the possible translations could be as follows: 

   

- And, is he going to ask Lisa Bernal to be his date at the party?

- And, are you going to ask Lisa Bernal to be your date at the party?

- And, is she going to ask Lisa Bernal to be her date at the party?

- And, is it going to ask Lisa Bernal to be its date at the party?

 

Although the last option does not seem logically plausible, how do we know which one of the others is correct in the absence of a subject pronoun? Context. Often in print or video media or even in conversation, the subject is introduced in a previous sentence.

 

However, since this is the first sentence in this video, we are left to infer from the characters’ subsequent dialogue that the correct translation is, “And, are you going to ask Lisa Bernal to be your date at the party?” where Kevin’s friend, Fede, is addressing him as “usted” (as a side note, even close friends and family members often address one another as “usted” in certain parts of Colombia). 

 

Although many beginning Spanish students might feel overwhelmed by the multitude of Spanish subject pronouns and the task of having to conjugate verbs based upon them, we hope that this lesson has shed some light on some of the many fascinating differences between subject pronouns in English and Spanish. And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

 
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Spanish punctuation: 8 simple rules for writing better

Spanish punctuation may seem difficult if you are just learning the language. However, if you keep in mind the following rules, you will definitely improve your writing and the use of punctuation in Spanish.

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1. Learn the names of the basic punctuation signs in Spanish

 

  1. Punto (Period)
  2. Coma (Comma)
  3. Punto y coma (Semicolon)
  4. Dos puntos (Colon)
  5. Comillas (Quotation marks)
  6. Signo de interrogación (Question mark)
  7. Signo de exclamación (Exclamation point)
  8. Paréntesis (Parentheses)
  9. Corchetes (Square brackets)

 

2. Remember that question marks and exclamation points are always double-sided

In Spanish, you always need to use opening and closing punctuation. Keep this in mind especially for question marks and exclamation points.

 

a. Question marks ¿?

¿Qué más cosas hay en el sueño?

What other things are there in the dream?

Caption 15, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: Hay y estar

 Play Caption

 

b. Exclamation points ¡!

¡Todo el mundo paga para que lo escuchen!

Everyone pays for them to listen to you!

Caption 45, Yago 14 La peruana - Part 7

 Play Caption

 

c. Parentheses () 

d. Square brackets []

D.A.S. [Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad].

A.D.S [Administrative Department of Security].

Caption 28, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capitulo 4 - Part 10

 Play Caption

 

e. Quotation marks " "

 

3. Never put a period after a question mark or an exclamation point

After a question mark or exclamation point, you can put any punctuation mark except a period.

 

4. Use capital letters after a closing punctuation mark that's at the end of a statement

¡Acompáñame! Este recorrido inicia en la Calle Doctor Coss,

Join me! This tour begins at Doctor Coss Street,

Captions 5-6, Paseando con Karen Canal Santa Lucía

 Play Caption

 

5. Avoid punctuation marks before an opening parenthesis

Don't put a comma or semicolon before an opening parenthesis. However, feel free to put those marks after the closing parenthesis.

 

6. Put a period after a closing quotation mark

If you want to put a period at the end of a sentence that is between quotations marks, you need to put the period after the closing quotation mark.

La cita de hoy es de Aldous Huxley y dice así: "Todos los hombres son dioses para su perro".

Today's quote is by Aldous Huxley and goes like this: "To his dog, every man is Napoleon" [literally "To their dog, all men are gods].

Captions 8-10, Los casos de Yabla El perrito malcriado - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

7. Use lower case after a colon

Unless you are quoting something (as in the example we mentioned for rule 6) or writing a particular document (e.g. a letter), you always need to use lower case after a colon.

Luego tendrá usted que rellenar un formulario con las siguientes cuestiones: país de recogida, ciudad de recogida,

Then you will have to fill out a form with the following questions: country of pickup, city of pickup,

Captions 14-16, Raquel Alquiler de coche

 Play Caption

 

8. Use lower case if there is a comma or semicolon before an opening question mark or exclamation point

Sí, Zárate, ¿qué pasó?

Yes, Zarate, what happened?

Caption 20, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capitulo 4 - Part 12

 Play Caption

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There are many more rules regarding punctuation in Spanish. However, we invite you to keep in mind the rules we just mentioned here because that way you'll certainly improve your writing in Spanish. And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

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How to say professions in Spanish

Do you know how to say professions in Spanish? Do you know the Spanish words for professions such as 'lawyer' or 'journalist'? Today, we will talk about job titles and professions in Spanish so get ready to see how to write and pronounce some of the most common occupations out there. However, before we jump into the list of professions, let's see how to ask a very basic question when it comes to jobs. 

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"What do you do?" in Spanish

When we want to find out what someone does for a living, we usually use questions like: what do you do for work?, what do you do for a living? or simply, what do you do? There are also different options in Spanish:

 

¿A qué te dedicas? Soy profesor de fotografía.

What do you do? I'm a photography teacher.

Captions 12-13, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 5

 Play Caption

 

Oye, y ¿en qué trabajas? Estoy trabajando actualmente en una firma de abogados.

Hey, and what do you do [for a living]? I'm working currently at a law firm.

Captions 82-83, Ricardo La compañera de casa - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Ahora, ¿y qué haces tú? Bueno, yo soy mecánico.

Now, what do you do? Well, I'm a mechanic.

Captions 18-19, Encuentro Volkswagen en Adícora Escarabajos en la playa - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

You can also use that kind of question even if you are a student:

 

Bueno, Cristina, ¿tú a qué te dedicas? Estoy estudiando en Sevilla.

Well, Cristina, what do you do for a living? I am studying in Seville.

Captions 60-62, Clara y Cristina Saludar

 Play Caption

 

Common professions in Spanish (masculine and feminine)

Now, let's take a look at some of the most common professions in Spanish. Remember to listen to the audioclips so you can hear how to pronounce the word. Also, keep in mind that the names of most professions change with the gender so make sure to take a look at the rules that we will mention about that.

 

Rule 1 - Professions ending in o and a

When the masculine noun ends in o, the feminine noun ends in a. There are several professions in Spanish that fall into this group:

 

1. El abogado | La abogada (The lawyer)

Es un abogado joven que recién se está metiendo en la política.

He's a young lawyer who has recently been getting involved in politics.

Caption 57, Muñeca Brava 45 El secreto - Part 5

 Play Caption

 

2. El arquitecto | La arquitecta (The architect)

Bueno, yo soy Leif, eh... soy arquitecto y llevo trabajando en Londres cuatro años.

Well, I am Leif, um... I am an architect and have been working in London for four years.

Captions 2-3, Leif El Arquitecto Español y su Arte - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

3. El cajero | La cajera (The cashier)

4. El carpintero | La carpintera (The carpenter)

5. El ingeniero | La ingeniera (The engineer)6

6. El psicólogo | La piscóloga (The psychologist)

 

Rule 2 - Professions ending in a consonant

When the noun ends in a consonant, you just need to add an a at the end to form the feminine noun.

 

7. El administrador | La administradora (The administrator)

pero si quiere, yo con mucho gusto hablo con el administrador para que nos ayude.

but if you want, I'll gladly talk to the administrator so he can help us.

Captions 16-17, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 3 - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

8. El director | La directora (The director)

9. El editor | La editora (The editor)

 

10. El doctor | La doctora (The doctor)

Consultorio de la doctora Castaño, buenos días.

Doctor Castaño's office, good morning.

Caption 5, Cita médica La cita médica de Cleer - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

If you take the previous 3 nouns, you can see that there are various nouns ending in 'or' that are identical in English and Spanish.

 

11. El escritor | La escritora (The writer)

 

12. El profesor | La profesora (The teacher)

Yo soy profesora de español,

I am a Spanish teacher,

Caption 12, El Aula Azul Actividades Diarias

 Play Caption

 

Rule 3 - Professions ending in -ista, -ia and -e

There are also some nouns that end in -ista, -ia and -e, that stay them same for both male and female. However, in order to make the distinction, you need to change the article accordingly. Let's see some examples:

 

13. El estudiante | La estudiante (The student)

 

14. El dentista | la dentista (The dentist)

Por ejemplo: el estudiante, la estudiante. El dentista, la dentista.

For example: the male student, the female student. The male dentist, the female dentist.

Captions 32-33, Isabel El Género Gramatical - Masculino y Femenino

 Play Caption

 

15. El periodista | La periodista (The journalist)

"El periodista escribe el artículo para el periódico".

"The journalist writes the article for the newspaper."

Caption 22, Lecciones con Carolina La voz pasiva - Part 3

 Play Caption

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That's it for today. We know there are hundreds of more occupations and job titles out there. However, we hope this lesson will help you to remember the names of some of the most well-known occupations in Spanish. Try to find 10 professions more and don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

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The word bajo as a preposition (And so much more)!

As a beginner Spanish student, the word bajo may well be among the first words one learns, typically as an adjective meaning “short.” However, like many words in Spanish, this word has a whole plethora of meanings and can additionally function as a preposition, adverb, noun, and even a verb!

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Let’s start by examining the use of the word bajo as a preposition. Although its translation is almost always “under” or “below,” like its English equivalent, this could refer not only to physical location, but also to the state of being subject to some influence. Let’s take a look at the following examples from our Yabla Spanish library.

 

One possible meaning of the preposition bajo is "in a position below something else":

 

pero no entiendo qué hace mi amiga un día de semana bajo este árbol tan maravilloso.

but I don't understand what is my friend doing on a weekday under this wonderful tree.

Captions 4-5, Escribiendo un libro Algunos consejos sobre cómo comenzar - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Another, similar meaning of “bajo,” which also involves location, suggests that something is beneath the surface or covered by something: 

 

Tengo aquí bajo mi almohada tu fotografía

I have your picture here under my pillow

Caption 20, La Oreja de Van Gogh Inmortal

 Play Caption

 

Moving on to uses of the preposition bajo not involving location, like “under” in English, bajo could also express the concept of being less than:

 

congelando lo que es la punta de la botella en una solución que está a diez o quince grados bajo cero.

freezing the tip of the bottle in a solution that is ten or fifteen degrees below zero.

Captions 33-34, Europa Abierta Champagne en Andalucía

 Play Caption

 

The Spanish preposition bajo could additionally mean "in accordance with" or "subject to the terms of," for example, some agreement:

 

Algunos clientes bajo contrato, le pre-maduramos la fruta

[For] some customers under contract, we pre-ripen the fruit

Caption 99, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 18

 Play Caption

 

And finally, although we have only touched on some of its many nuanced meanings, we’ll take a look at an example in which the preposition bajo entails being managed or governed by something:

 

Para su información, todo el personal de servicio está bajo mi mando, ¿sí?

For your information, all the service staff is under my authority, right?

Caption 49, Muñeca Brava 3 Nueva Casa - Part 8

 Play Caption

 

Now, let’s look at bajo as an adjective. Its most common translations are “short” or “low,” both in terms of height or level and in reference to intensity or morality. Here are some examples from the Yabla Spanish video library: 

 

Y es muy gracioso porque Pedro es todo lo contrario de Carolina. Es bajo, es gordo,

And it's very funny because Pedro is totally the opposite of Carolina. He's short, he's fat,

Captions 32-33, El Aula Azul Mis Primos

 Play Caption

 

Desde chiquito el bajo mundo conocía

Since he was a child, he knew the underworld

Caption 4, La Secta Consejo

 Play Caption

 

Se manifestaban porque el sueldo era muy bajo,

They were on strike because their salary was very low,

Caption 33, Con ánimo de lucro Cortometraje - Part 4

 Play Caption

 

As an adverb, bajo could also be translated as “low” in some cases (for example, when describing a helicopter flying “low”) or “softly” or “quietly” when referring to one’s speech:

 

¡Que le quede claro! -¡Shhhhh, habla bajo!

Let that be clear to you! -Shhhhh, speak quietly!

Caption 42, Yago 7 Encuentros - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Much more straightforwardly, as a noun, the word bajo refers to the musical instrument, the bass: 

 

Entonces yo dije: "Yo... yo puedo tocar... Yo puedo tocar el bajo."

So, I said, "I... I can play... I can play the bass."

Caption 50, Carli Muñoz Niñez - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

And finally, it is worth noting that bajo is the first person singular, present tense conjugation of the verb “bajar” (to go or come down or get off or out).

 

Ya está, la comida... -Sí, sí, sí, ya, yo ya bajo.

It's ready, the food... -Yes, yes, yes, now, I'm coming down now.

Caption 72, Muñeca Brava 44 El encuentro - Part 6

 Play Caption

 

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We hope that this lesson has shed light on some of the ways the word bajo can function as a preposition - in addition to a noun, verb, adjective or adverb! If you would like to see many additional examples in context, simply enter the word bajo in the search bar at the top of the Videos page to find matches in the transcripts of the Yabla Spanish library. And don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

 

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The 7 days of the week in Spanish

Do you know the days of the week in Spanish? Do words like lunes or domingo sound familiar to you? In this lesson, we will review the days of the week in Spanish in three different ways. First, you can listen to some random sentences containing the days of the week. Then, you will have the chance to listen to a short clip that shows you how to pronounce each day of the week. Finally, we will leave you with a list of the days of the week in Spanish and English. We hope this repetition helps you to memorize the names of the 7 days of the week in Spanish.

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7 sentences with the days of the week in Spanish

 

We use the days of the week all the time! The following sentences will help us to get familiar with the sound of the days of the week.

 

El lunes, por ejemplo, fui a trabajar.

On Monday for example, I went to work.

Caption 6, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: El pasado

 Play Caption

 

Los martes, además, tenemos las "Tardes de Intercambio".

On Tuesdays, additionally, we have the "Exchange Afternoons."

Caption 24, El Aula Azul Las actividades de la escuela - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Todos los miércoles, voy con mi mejor amiga al cine.

Every Wednesday, I go with my best friend to the movies.

Caption 18, Ariana Mi Semana

 Play Caption

 

"Todos los jueves, aprendía nuevas canciones en mi clase de guitarra".

"Every Thursday, I used to learn new songs in my guitar class."

Caption 57, Carlos explica El pretérito Cap 4: Imperfecto I

 Play Caption

 

Pensaré cada día en Daniel cuando él vuele a Guatemala el próximo viernes.

I will think about Daniel every day when he flies to Guatemala next Friday.

Caption 36, Conjugación El verbo 'pensar'

 Play Caption

 

El día más fuerte, o sea, de mayor afluencia de personal sería el sábado.

The busiest day, I mean, the one with the largest influx of people would be Saturday.

Caption 25, Mercado de San Miguel Misael

 Play Caption

 

Estaba pensando, el domingo me gustaría invitar a los Mendoza a tomar onces para que se animen un poquito, ¿hmm?

I was thinking, on Sunday I would like to invite the Mendozas to have an afternoon snack so that they can cheer up a little but, hmm?

Captions 11-12, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 4 - Part 6

 Play Caption

 

Let's take these sentences to mention something important. The plural form of the days of the week that end in 's'  (lunes, martes, miércoles, jueves and viernes) is the same as their singular form. However, if you want to say the plural form of the days of the week that end in vowels (sábado and domingo), you need to add the letter 's' at the end. Here is a list of the singular and plural forms of the days of the week in Spanish:

 

el lunes - los lunes

el martes - los martes

el miércoles - los miércoles

el jueves - los jueves

el viernes - los viernes

el sábado - los sábados

el domingo - los domingos

 

How do you say the days of the week in Spanish?

 

Are you ready to practice the pronunciation of the 7 days of the week in Spanish? Let's take a look at the following clip from our friends Maru and Sol from GoSpanish.

 

Lunes, martes, miércoles, jueves. ¿Me ayudas, Sol? Sí. Viernes, sábado, y domingo.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Can you help me, Sol? Yes. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Captions 24-32, Español para principiantes Los días de la semana

 Play Caption

 

Days of the week in Spanish and English

 

In order to help you remember the names of the week in Spanish, the following list contains the days of the week in Spanish and English:

 

Lunes - Monday

Martes - Tuesday

Miércoles - Wednesday

Jueves - Thursday

Viernes - Friday

Sábado - Saturday

Domingo - Sunday

 

There is something important to remember: Unlike English, the days of the week in Spanish are not capitalized. They are capitalized only if they appear at the beginning of a sentence.

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That's it for today. Try to write a couple of sentences with the days of the week in Spanish and read them aloud so you can practice their pronunciation. And don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

 

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Regular IR verbs in Spanish

How many regular '-ir' verbs do you know in Spanish? Now that we have already talked about verbs ending in ‘-ar and verbs ending in '-er', it's time to take a look at the last main group of regular verbs. Again, keep in mind that we form regular verbs when we put together a verb stem and an infinitive ending. For example, the verb describir (to describe) is made with the verb stem 'describ' plus the infinitive ending '-ir'. With that being said, let's take a look at the following regular verbs ending in '-ir':

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  • Abrir (to open) = Abr + ir
  • Escribir (to write) = Escrib + ir
  • Vivir  (to live) = Viv + ir

 

Conjugation of ir verbs in simple present, past and future

We know we have a regular verb when the verb stem doesn't change once it is conjugated. Do you want to see how that works in the simple present? Let’s use the verb abrir (to open) for this: 

 

  • Yo abro (I open)
  • Tú abres (you open)
  • Él/Ella abre (he/she opens)
  • Nosotros/as abrimos (we open)
  • Vosotros/as abrís (you open)
  • Ellos/as abren (they open)

 

Abres el rombo,

You open the diamond,

Caption 46, Manos a la obra Separadores de libros: Charmander

 Play Caption

 

Now, let’s see how to conjugate a regular '-ir' verb in the simple past. Let's take the verb escribir (to write): 

 

  • Yo escribí (I wrote)
  • Tú escribiste (you wrote)
  • Él/Ella escrib (he/she wrote)
  • Nosotros/as escribimos (we wrote)
  • Vosotros/as escribisteis (you wrote)
  • Ellos/as escribieron (they wrote)

 

Gabriel García Márquez escribió muchos libros.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote a lot of books.

Caption 50, Carlos explica El pretérito Cap. 1: Perfecto simple o Indefinido

 Play Caption

 

It is worth noting that for the first person plural (nosotros), the conjugation of the verb is exactly the same in both the simple present and the simple past:

 

pero cuando escribimos estas dos palabras,

but when we write these two words,

Caption 45, Lecciones con Carolina Haber vs. A Ver /Si vs. Sí

 Play Caption

 

Now, let’s take one of the most common verbs in Spanish in order to see the conjugation of a regular ‘ir’ verb in the simple future:

 

  • Yo viviré (I will live)
  • Tú vivirás (you will live)
  • Él/Ella vivirá (he/she will live)
  • Nosotros/as viviremos (we will live)
  • Vosotros/as viviréis (you will live)
  • Ellos/as vivirán (they will live) 

 

y que viviremos en un hogar agradable,

and that we will live in a nice home,

Caption 55, Negocios La solicitud de empleo - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Unlike the simple present and past, the conjugation in the simple future leaves the verb as it is (vivir) only adding a different ending.

 

5 sentences using regular ir verbs in Spanish

 

Let’s learn some more regular -ir verbs with the following sentences:

 

1. Aplaudir (to clap)

 

o por ejemplo, en el flamenco se aplaude así.

or for example, in flamenco one claps like this.

Caption 46, Marta de Madrid El cuerpo - El tronco

 Play Caption

 

2. Decidir (to decide)

 

De un momento a otro, decidió quedarse en Bogotá,

From one minute to another, she decided to stay in Bogota,

Caption 22, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capitulo 4 - Part 6

 Play Caption

 

3. Discutir (to discuss/argue)

 

Chica, sabes que yo no discuto con novatas después del mediodía.

Girl, you know that I don't argue with rookies after noon.

Caption 57, NPS No puede ser 1 - El concurso - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

4. Subir (to climb/go up/increase)

 

Subimos la temperatura del depósito a ochenta grados.

We increase the temperature of the tank to eighty degrees.

Caption 25, Club de las ideas Biodiesel - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

5. Sufrir (to suffer)

 

sufres, gritas, nadie te da nada

you suffer, you scream, nobody gives you anything

Caption 21, Club de las ideas La motivación

 Play Caption

 

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That’s it for this lesson. Now that we have covered all the three groups of regular verbs, go ahead and try to write some sentences with verbs ending in -ar, -er and -ir. And don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

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The preposition en in Spanish

Are you familiar with prepositions in Spanish? Today, we will talk about the preposition en, which is one of the most commonly used prepositions in the Spanish language. In fact, this preposition works like the English prepositions “in,” “on” and “at.” Let's take a look. 

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How to use the preposition en in Spanish

 

We use the preposition en when we want to state that something ocurred in a particular year or when we want to make a reference to a particular season or month of the year. In other words, we use the preposition en when talking about time.

 

Esa institución dejó de existir en mil novecientos noventa y nueve

That institution ceased to exist in nineteen ninety-nine

Caption 60, Carlos comenta Los Años Maravillosos - Costumbres alimenticias y conflicto

 Play Caption

 

Y en invierno suele hacer mucho frío.

And in winter it tends to be very cold.

Caption 15, Clara explica El tiempo - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

En abril, llueve mucho.

In April, it rains a lot.

Caption 17, El Aula Azul Estaciones y Meses

 Play Caption

 

When it comes to time, we also use the preposition en when we want to express a particular amount of time:

 

En veinte minutos se va a servir la cena.

In twenty minutes dinner is going to be served.

Caption 3, Muñeca Brava 36 La pesquisa - Part 5

 Play Caption

 

The preposition en in Spanish is also used when we want to indicate the location of a person or object.

 

Estoy en la escuela, El Aula Azul.

I am at the school, The Blue Classroom.

Caption 4, El Aula Azul Ser y Estar

 Play Caption

 

El perro de Ana duerme en el horno.

Ana's dog sleeps in the oven.

Caption 5, Extr@: Extra en español Ep 01 La llegada de Sam - Part 5

 Play Caption

 

 

One of the most common uses of the preposition en is when we use it to talk about means of transportation.

 

Me fui a Bélgica con mi novio en avión.

I went to Belgium with my boyfriend on a plane.

Caption 2, Blanca y Mariona Proyectos para el verano

 Play Caption

 

The preposition en is also used to express the value of something.

 

y las cabañas sin baño están en ochenta mil pesos.

and the cabins without a bathroom go for eighty thousand pesos.

Caption 35, Cleer y Lida Reservando una habitación

 Play Caption

 

Finally, the preposition en is also used to indicate how something is carried out.

 

En silencio pensaré tan sólo en ti

In silence I will think only of you

Caption 34, La Oreja de Van Gogh Deseos De Cosas Imposibles

 Play Caption

 

In this example, notice how we can use the preposition en along with the verb pensar (to think) when we want to express "thinking of" someone or something.

 

Common expressions that use the preposition en in Spanish

Apart from the uses we have mentioned above, the preposition en can be found in various expressions that are quite common in Spanish. Let's look at some of them:

 

¿Es en serio?

Seriously?

Caption 50, Conversaciones en el parque Cap. 2: Cafe y bocadillos

 Play Caption

 

Acuérdate que tenemos muchos amigos en común.

Remember that we have a lot of friends in common.

Caption 14, Los casos de Yabla Problemas de convivencia - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

En realidad, sólo con la práctica podemos entender mejor.

Actually, only with practice can we better understand.

Caption 64, Carlos explica Tuteo, ustedeo y voseo: Conjugación

 Play Caption

 

To summarize, the following are the most common uses of the preposition en in Spanish:

 

- When talking about time (years, month, seasons or amount of time)

- To indicate the location of a person or an object

- To indicate the means of transportation

- To express the value of something

- To indicate how something is carried out.

- In some very common expressions

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

That's it for today. Now that you know how to use the preposition en in Spanish, try to write some sentences with all the different uses we mentioned throughout this lesson. And don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions.

 

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6 rules for forming the plural of nouns in Spanish

Today, we will talk about the plural in Spanish. In particular, we will talk about the plural when referred to nouns. Let's start this lesson with a little quiz. Do you know what is the plural form of the following nouns?:

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1. Casa (house)

2. Perro (dog)

3. Universidad (university)

4. Lápiz (pencil)

5. Jabalí (wild boar)

6. Análisis (analysis)

 

If you are not sure about how to make a singular noun plural in Spanish, we invite you to take a look at the following simple rules. While going through these rules, we will be unveiling the plural form of the 6 nouns we included in our quiz. Let's take a look.

 

Rule 1: Add an 'S' to form the plural of nouns ending in unstressed vowels

 

- Casa (house) - Casas (houses)

- Estudiante (student) - Estudiantes (students)

- Perro (perro) - Perros (dogs)

 

Se escucha un perro.

You can hear a dog.

Caption 43, Conversaciones en el parque Cap. 2: Cafe y bocadillos

 Play Caption

 

Tus perros también son muy bonitos.

Your dogs are very beautiful too.

Caption 58, Conversaciones en el parque Cap. 2: Cafe y bocadillos

 Play Caption

 

 

Rule 2: Add an 'S' to form the plural of nouns ending in stressed 'a,' 'e' and 'o'

 

- Papá (dad) - Papás (dads)

- Dominó (domino) - Dominós (dominoes)

- Café (coffee) - Cafés (coffees)

 

y les voy a mostrar el proceso de control de calidad de café de Colombia.

and I'm going to show you the quality-control process for coffee from Colombia.

Caption 5, Una Historia de Café La Bodega

 Play Caption

 

Cada uno de estos cafés tiene distintas cualidades tanto físicas como sensoriales

Each one of these coffees has different qualities both physically and sensorially.

Caption 14, Una Historia de Café La Bodega

 Play Caption

 

 

Rule 3: Add 'ES' or 'S' to form the plural of nouns ending in stressed 'i' and 'u'

 

- Bisturí (scalpel) - Bisturíes or bisturís (scalpels)

- Jabalí (wild boar) - Jabalíes or jabalís (wild boars)

- Tabú (taboo) - Tabúes or tabús (taboos)

 

Generally speaking, however, it is preferred to use the plural formed with 'ES'.

Also, this rule is very common when you are dealing with adjectives of nationality:

 

- Iraní (Iranian) - Iraníes or iranís (Iranians)

 

Rule 4: Add 'ES' to form the plural of nouns ending in consonant

 

- Árbol (tree) - Árboles (trees)

- Profesor (teacher) - Profesores (teachers)

- Universidad (university) - Universidades (universities)

- Rey (king) - Reyes (kings)

 

La rata esta es el rey de la estafa por allá en Europa.

This rat is the king con artist over there in Europe.

Caption 45, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 1 - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Actualmente es la residencia oficial de los reyes de España,

Currently, it's the official residence of the King and Queen of Spain,

Caption 23, Madrid Un recorrido por la capital de España

 Play Caption

 

Notice that the singular noun árbol has a graphic accent in the second-to-last syllable (palabra grave). However, when you form the plural, the graphic accent moves to the third-to-last-syllable becoming a proparoxytone word (palabra esdrújula). Similarly, singular nouns like profesor and universidad that are stressed in the last syllable (palabras agudas) become paroxytone words (palabras graves) in the plural form. 

 

Rule 5: When a noun ends in 'Z,' the plural form switches the 'Z' for a 'C'

 

- Lápiz (pencil) - Lápices (pencils) 

- Raíz (root) - Raíces (roots)

- Voz (voice) - Voces (voices)

 

Tengo muy buena voz,

I have a very good voice,

Caption 91, Los casos de Yabla Problemas de convivencia - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

vuelven esas voces a mi cabeza.

those voices come back to my head.

Caption 37, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos - Subjuntivo y condicional

 Play Caption

 

Rule 6: Nouns ending in 'S' or 'X' that are the same in singular and plural in Spanish.

Paroxytone or proparoxytone nouns ending in 's' or 'x' keep the same form in plural. Let's see some examples:

 

- Cactus (cactus) - Cactus (cactuses/cacti)

- Tórax (thorax) - Tórax (thoraxes/thoraces)

Análisis (analysis) - Análisis (analyses/tests)

 

y en un análisis de nuestras debilidades, oportunidades, fortalezas y amenazas.

and an analysis of our weaknesses, opportunities, strengths and threats.

Caption 37, Raquel y Marisa Español Para Negocios - Crear una empresa

 Play Caption

 

para hacerle los análisis de sangre, de heces,

to do the blood tests, stool (tests),

Caption 54, Santuario para burros Santuario - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

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That's it for now. We hope these rules help you to use the plural in Spanish. If you feel like practicing a little bit more, take 20 nouns and try to form their plural forms. And of course, don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Spanish Alphabet: Letters and Pronunciation

How well do you know the Spanish alphabet? Do you know how many letters are in the Spanish alphabet? What about the number of consonants and vowels that are part of it? This lesson answers these questions and provides a series of audio clips that will help you to learn the letters and improve the pronunciation of the Spanish alphabet. Let's take a look.

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How to say alphabet in Spanish?

Believe it or not, there are actually two words in Spanish that we use to talk about the alphabet. While the most literal translation would be the word alfabeto, you can also use the word abecedario when referring to the Spanish alphabet. In fact, and according to the Real Academia Española (RAE), these two words are synonyms. 

 

How many letters are in the Spanish alphabet?

There are 27 letters in the Spanish alphabet. But do you know how many of those letters are consonants and how many vowels are in the Spanish alphabet? The answer is very simple. In the Spanish alphabet there are 22 consonants and 5 vowels (a, e, i, o, u). Let’s go over all the Spanish alphabet letters with the following 27 words:

 

A as in agua (water)

¿También tienes agua?

Do you have water too?

Caption 35, Conversaciones en el parque - Cap. 2: Cafe y bocadillos

 Play Caption

 

B as in burro (donkey)

El burro es un animal ideal para este tipo de actividades

The donkey is an ideal animal for this kind of activity

Caption 71, Rosa - Yoga con burros

 Play Caption

 

C as in coche (car)

Hoy, voy en coche porque hace mucho frío.

Today, I'm going by car because it's very cold.

Caption 16, Ariana - Cena especial

 Play Caption

 

D as in difícil (difficult)

Es muy difícil. -Muy complicado.

It's very difficult. -Very complicated.

Caption 31, Blanca y Mariona - Planificación de cena

 Play Caption

 

E as in ellos (they)

Ellos se llevan muy bien.

They get along very well.

Caption 41, El Aula Azul - Mis Primos

 Play Caption

 

F as in fácil (easy)

Basta, es muy fácil.

Enough, it's very easy.

Caption 72, Español para principiantes - Los números del 1 al 100

 Play Caption

 

G as in gente (people)

Barcelona se llena de gente,

Barcelona fills up with people,

Caption 17, Blanca - Sobre la ciudad de Barcelona

 Play Caption

 

H as in hotel (hotel)

El hotel también cuenta con un bar.

The hotel also has a bar.

Caption 73, Cleer y Lida - Recepción de hotel

 Play Caption

 

I as in iglesia (church)

Esta iglesia fue construida en mil seiscientos ochenta y uno.

This church was built in sixteen eighty one.

Caption 14, Viajando con Carlos - Popayán - Colombia - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

J as in jamón (ham)

Fíjate: jamón, Javier.

Check it out: ham, Javier.

Caption 27, Fundamentos del Español - 10 - La Pronunciación

 Play Caption

 

K as in kilo (kilo)

Reciclando un kilo de vidrio...

[By] recycling a kilo of glass...

Caption 70, 3R - Campaña de reciclaje - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

L as in lago (lake)

Hay un lago.

There is a lake.

Caption 11, Natalia de Ecuador - Los adverbios de orden

 Play Caption

 

M as in mercado (market)

y están presentes en el mercado internacional.

and are present in the international market.

Caption 73, Europa Abierta - Champagne en Andalucía

 Play Caption

 

N as in nunca (never)

Nadie, nada, nunca,

Nobody, nothing, never,

Caption 21, Fundamentos del Español - 5 - La Negación

 Play Caption

 

Ñ as in the middle of the word niño (boy)

La frase, el niño quiere el juguete,

The sentence, "the boy wants the toy,"

Caption 17, Raquel - Diminutivos y aumentativos

 Play Caption

 

O as in objeto (object)

Y "tendedero" es un objeto para la ropa

And "tendedero" is an object for clothes

Caption 27, Karla e Isabel - Palabras

 Play Caption

 

P as in parque (park)

aquí en Parque Fundidora.

here in Fundidora Park.

Caption 38, Paseando con Karen - Sitios Culturales en Parque Fundidora

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Q as in queso (cheese)

un vaso de leche y queso,

a glass of milk and cheese,

Caption 16, Recetas de Clara - Los aborrajados - Part 1

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R as in rápidamente (quickly)

Vamos a ver rápidamente una frase

We are going to look quickly at a phrase

Caption 2, Lecciones con Carolina - Esta noche vs anoche

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S as in sal (salt)

Muchos mercaderes venían a recoger la sal,

Many merchants came to get the salt,

Caption 14, Rosa - Fuente de Piedra

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T as in trabajo (job)

¿Qué trabajo es?

What job is it?

Caption 23, Sofy y Caro - Entrevistar para un trabajo

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U as in universidad (university)

¿La biblioteca de la universidad?

The university library?

Caption 21, Español para principiantes - Hablando de ubicaciones

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V as in viento (wind)

y un viento muy fuerte nos arrastró a mar abierto.

and a very strong wind dragged us out to the open sea.

Caption 21, Guillermina y Candelario - La Isla de las Serpientes - Part 1

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W as in wifi (wifi)

Tenemos también wifi y hay ordenadores disponibles.

We also have wifi and there are computers available.

Caption 20, El Aula Azul - Cursos y actividades de la escuela - Part 1

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X as in xilófono (xylophone)

Entonces, había una persona contando un cuento y él tocando un xilófono.

So, there was a person telling a story and he [was] playing a xylophone.

Caption 28, La Sub30 - Familias - Part 4

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Y as in yuca (yucca)

Aquí tenemos la yuca,

Here we have the yucca,

Caption 7, Recetas de cocina - Carimañolas

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Z as in zona (zone)

Es la primera vez que vengo a esta zona de la ciudad

It's the first time I've come to this area of the city

Caption 8, Karla e Isabel - Alquilar una habitación - Part 2

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Spanish alphabet pronunciation

If you want to improve your pronunciation of the Spanish alphabet, please take a look at the following audio clips where Marta, one of our Spanish teachers, will teach you how to properly pronounce the Spanis alphabet letters:

 

A, B, C, D, E

A, be, ce, de, e,

A, b, c, d, e,

Caption 19, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

 Play Caption

 

F, G, H, I, J

efe, ge, hache, i, jota,

f, g, h, i, j,

Caption 20, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

 Play Caption

 

K, L, M, N, Ñ

ka, ele, eme, ene, eñe,

k, l, m, n, ñ,

Caption 21, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

 Play Caption

 

O, P, Q, R, S

o, pe, cu, erre, ese,

o, p, q, r, s,

Caption 22, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

 Play Caption

 

T, U, V, W,

te, u, uve, uve doble,

t, u, v, w,

Caption 23, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

 Play Caption

 

X, Y

equis, i griega

x, y [literally: "Greek i"]

Caption 24, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

 Play Caption

 

Z

y zeta.

and z.

Caption 25, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

 Play Caption

 

Keep in mind that you can also refer to the letter W as doble ve (double v) or doble u (double u). Similarly, you can also call the letter Y ye instead of i griega (Greek i).

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

That's it for now. If you feel like practicing a little bit more, try to write one word with each one of the 27 Spanish alphabet letters. And of course, don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

 
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The Preposition de in Spanish

Let’s talk about prepositions in Spanish! Today, we will discuss the very often used and common preposition de. This preposition has lots of uses in Spanish and because of that, we can use it like the following English prepositions: fromofin, and even than. Let’s have a look.

 

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How to use the preposition de in Spanish​

 

There are several ways we can use the preposition de in Spanish. For example, we use the preposition de when we want to indicate the nationality or origin of someone or something:

¿De dónde eres? -Soy de Alemania

Where are you from? -I am from Germany.

Captions 36-37, Curso de español - ¿De dónde eres?

 Play Caption

 

We also use the preposition de when we want to indicate the material that something is made of.

El lápiz está hecho de madera,

The pencil is made of wood,

Caption 40, Aprendiendo con Karen - Útiles escolares - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Similarly, we use the preposition de when we want to describe the features or characteristics of someone or something, in other words, when we want to describe a noun with another noun.

Se toma mucho el jugo de naranja que tiene mucha vitamina C.

Orange juice is consumed a lot as it has a lot of vitamin C.

Caption 74, Otavalo, Ecuador - Conozcamos el Mundo de las Frutas con Julia

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Eh, sobre todo aquí tenemos libros de historia de, eh…

Um, most of all, here we have history books about, um…

Caption 60, El Instituto Cervantes - Jefa de biblioteca

 Play Caption 

 

un profesor de español,

Spanish teacher,

Caption 22, El Aula Azul - Cursos y actividades de la escuela - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

One of the most common uses of the preposition de is when we use it to talk about possession. Let’s look at an example.

Es una empresa de tradición familiar, de mis abuelos,

It's a company with a family tradition from my grandparents,

Caption 50, Europa Abierta - Carne ecológica y segura

 Play Caption

 

In the example above, you can see that the first de is used to describe the company, while the second de is used to indicate possession (the company belongs to the grandparents). We can also use the preposition de in terms of “possession” when we want to indicate the relation that connects people

El novio de Claudia es un tipo muy pinta.

Claudia's boyfriend is a very "pinta" [handsome] guy.

Caption 27, Carlos comenta - Confidencial - Jerga típica colombiana

 Play Caption

 

The preposition de also helps us to indicate a cause when it is placed after an adjective and before a verb.

Estoy ya cansado de estar endeudado

I am tired of being in debt (I’m tired because I’m always in debt)

Caption 3, Bacilos - Mi Primer Millón

 Play Caption

 

We can also use the preposition de when we want to express something using a comparison or a point of reference with the expressions más de (more than) or menos de (less than):

Sí, un poquito menos de quinientos mil habitantes.

Yes, a little less than five hundred thousand inhabitants.

Caption 47, Buenos Aires - Heladería Cumelen

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Besides the uses we mentioned above, we also use the preposition de when talking about expressions of time. Let’s see how:

Supongamos que son las cinco de la tarde

Let's suppose that it's five in the evening

Caption 66, Carlos explica - El pretérito Cap. 2: Perfecto compuesto I

 Play Caption

 

And finally, we use the preposition de along with the preposition a to indicate a particular range or period. Like in the following example:

El horario es de lunes a viernes

The schedule is from Monday to Friday

Caption 69, Negocios - La solicitud de empleo - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

To summarize, the following are the most common uses of the preposition de in Spanish:

- To indicate nationality or origin

- To indicate the material that something is made of

- To describe the features or characteristics of someone or something (to describe a noun with another noun)

- To indicate possession

- To indicate a cause (after an adjective and before a verb)

- To express a comparison or point of reference (with más de or menos de)

- To talk about expressions of time

- To indicate a particular range (with the preposition a)

 

The contraction del in Spanish

 

When the preposition de goes before the definite article el, you need to combine the two words using the contraction del (de + el). Just as it happens with the contraction al (a + el), when you have the preposition de next to the article el, the contraction del is mandatory!

Estos son los números del uno al cien.

These are the numbers from one to a hundred.

Caption 44, El Aula Azul - Los Números del 1-100

 Play Caption

 

In this example, we can see both contractions (del and al) in action. Also, in this sentence, the speaker is using the preposition de and the preposition a together because she is indicating a range. Remember that it would be wrong to say that sentence in the following way: Estos son los números de el uno a el cien.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

That's all for now. If you feel like it, try writing sentences with all the different uses we have mentioned for the preposition de. And don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions.

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Regular ER verbs in Spanish

Let’s talk about verbs. As we mentioned before, in Spanish language, all regular verbs belong to one of the following groups: verbs ending in ‘-ar, verbs ending in ‘-er’ and verbs ending in ‘-ir’. Today, we will take a look at those verbs ending in ‘-er’.

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Before that, however, let’s keep in mind that regular verbs are formed using the following formula: verb stem + infinitive ending. Let’s look at some of the most common regular ‘ER’ verbs in Spanish:

 

  • Aprender (to learn) = Aprend + er
  • Comer (to eat) = Com + er
  • Vender  (to sell) = Vend + er

 

Conjugation of er verbs in Spanish

A verb is considered regular when the verb stem doesn’t change from the infinitive form to the conjugated form of the verb. Let’s take the regular verb aprender (to learn) and see its conjugation in the simple present. Notice how the stem stays the same but the endings vary:

 

  • Yo aprendo (I learn)
  • Tú aprendes (you learn)
  • Él/Ella aprende (he/she learns)
  • Nosotros/as aprendemos (we learn)
  • Vosotros/as aprendéis (you learn)
  • Ellos/as aprenden (they learn)

 

Aquí aprenden a diseñar y confeccionar decorados,

Here they learn to design and make decorations,

Caption 26, Europa Abierta - Taller de escenografía en Olivares

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Now, let’s take the regular verb comer (to eat) and see how the conjugation works in the simple past:

 

  • Yo comí (I ate)
  • Tú comiste (you ate)
  • Él/Ella com (he/she ate)
  • Nosotros/as comimos (we ate)
  • Vosotros/as comisteis (you ate)
  • Ellos/as comieron (they ate)

 

Fuimos a pasear, comimos un helado,

We went for a walk, we ate an ice cream,

Caption 29, El Aula Azul - La Doctora Consejos - El pasado

 Play Caption

 

Let’s use a different verb to see the conjugation of a regular ‘er’ verb in the simple future. Let’s take the verb vender (to sell):

 

  • Yo venderé (I will sell)
  • Tú venderás (you will sell)
  • Él/Ella venderá (he/she will sell)
  • Nosotros/as venderemos (we will sell)
  • Vosotros/as venderéis (you will sell)
  • Ellos/as venderán (they will sell)

 

Mañana venderé mi casa.

Tomorrow, I will sell my house.

 

5 sentences using er verbs in Spanish

Let’s finish this lesson by learning more verbs with these 5 sentences using er verbs in Spanish:

 

1. Beber (to drink)

Yo bebo agua.

I drink water.

Caption 27, El Aula Azul - Actividades diarias - En casa con Silvia

 Play Caption

 

2. Comprender (to comprehend / understand)

Ahora comprendo mejor la operación de mi padre

Now I understand my father's operation better

Caption 65, Club de las ideas - Lego Fest en Sevilla

 Play Caption

 

3. Correr (to run)

Corrió hacia la puerta y cuando el príncipe trató de seguirla,

She ran to the door and when the prince tried to follow her,

Caption 16, Cuentos de hadas - La Cenicienta - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

4. Prometer (to promise)

Ayer os prometí que estudiaríamos hoy "aconsejar,"

Yesterday I promised you that today we would learn "to advise,"

Caption 1, Escuela Don Quijote - En el aul - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

5. Temer (to fear / be afraid of)

Pero ellos no le temen a nada.

But they are not afraid of anything.

Caption 23, Salvando el planeta Palabra - Llegada - Part 8

 Play Caption

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

That’s it for this lesson. Now, a final challenge: Take one of the sentences we just mentioned and try to change it using a different person and a different verb tense. And don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions.

 

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