Generally speaking, one-syllable words in Spanish don't need a graphic accent (tilde) even if they are tonic (words that are stressed when pronounced). Some examples of tonic one-syllable words include the following nouns:
Besides nouns, there are several one-syllable words that come from the conjugations of some verbs. Just as the nouns we mentioned before, these words don't need a graphic accent either. Let's see some examples:
Él los vio a los ladrones. ¿Usted vio a los ladrones?
He saw the thieves. Did you see the thieves?
Captions 16-17, Yago 6 Mentiras - Part 7Play Caption
No sabemos si fue el lunes o si fue el martes.
We don't know if it was on Monday or it was on Tuesday.
Caption 5, El Aula Azul Dos historiasPlay Caption
With that being said, there are some important exceptions of one-syllable words in Spanish that do need a graphic accent. This kind of accent is called in Spanish tilde diacrítica and we use it to avoid confusion between one-syllable words that have the same spelling but different meanings. Let's take a look.
Los niños y los adultos se ríen mucho con él.
Kids and adults laugh a lot with him.
Caption 54, El Aula Azul Las Profesiones - Part 2Play Caption
tenemos el brazo.
we have the arm.
Caption 9, Marta de Madrid El cuerpo - El troncoPlay Caption
Except when it acts as a conjunction of contrast (just like the word pero (but)), the one-syllable word más always has a graphic accent.
empecé más o menos a los diecisiete años a tocar instrumentos y a cantar a un nivel más avanzado.
I started to play instruments at about seventeen years old and to sing at a more advanced level.
Captions 18-19, Cleer Entrevista con JackyPlay Caption
When it works as a personal pronoun, you need to put the graphic accent.
Pueden confiar en mí.
You can trust me.
Caption 11, Guillermina y Candelario Mi Primer TesoroPlay Caption
However, when it works as a possessive adjective, it doesn't need a graphic accent.
En mi barrio hay una farmacia.
In my neighborhood there is a pharmacy.
Caption 4, El Aula Azul Mi BarrioPlay Caption
Form of the verbs ser (to be) and saber (to know)
Que sí, mamá, que ya sé que siempre se olvida de mi cumpleaños,
Yes, Mom, I know that he always forgets my birthday,
Caption 1, Cortometraje Beta - Part 1Play Caption
Personal pronoun and reflexive
El martes se me perdieron las llaves de casa,
On Tuesday, my house keys got lost,Play Caption
Ella no quería acostarse con Ivo Di Carlo,
She didn't want to sleep with Ivo Di Carlo,
Caption 61, Muñeca Brava 48 - Soluciones - Part 1Play Caption
Reflexive pronoun and adverb of affirmation
Sí, vine porque Aldo me había hecho una propuesta
Yes, I came because Aldo had made a suggestion
Caption 3, Yago 14 La peruana - Part 9Play Caption
Si me dejan en la calle me arreglo
If they leave me on the street I manage
Caption 2, Jorge Celedón, Vicentico Si Me DejanPlay Caption
¿Quién no se despierta con una taza de café o de un buen té?
Who doesn't wake up with a cup of coffee or good tea?
Caption 39, Aprendiendo con Karen Utensilios de cocinaPlay Caption
Personal pronoun and reflexive
La que yo guardo donde te escribí, que te sueño y que te quiero tanto
The one I keep where I wrote to you, that I dream of you and that I love you so much
Caption 9, Carlos Vives, Shakira La BicicletaPlay Caption
Rachel, ¿qué quieres tú?
Rachel, what do you want?
Caption 2, Clase Aula Azul Pedir deseos - Part 3Play Caption
para tu salud, tan importante para tu estilo de vida
for your health, as important for your lifestyle
Caption 52, Natalia de Ecuador Alimentos para el desayunoPlay Caption
That's it for today. We encourage you to learn all these one-syllable words as they are used quite often in Spanish. If you master them, you will be able to avoid common writing mistakes. If you have any comments or questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Let's talk about gender. If you have been studying Spanish, you probably know that nouns in Spanish have gender. For example, the word libro (book) is a masculine noun. On the contrary, the noun pelota (ball) is feminine. If you want to use those nouns with their corresponding definite articles, you will say el libro (the book) and la pelota (the ball). Now, what about the noun agua (water)? Is agua masculine or feminine? Do you say el agua or la agua?
Let's take a look at some clips:
Cuando uno tiene sed Pero el agua no está cerca
When one is thirsty But the water's not close by
Captions 17-18, Jarabe de Palo AguaPlay Caption
Y como para completar la historia, desperdiciaban el agua todo el tiempo.
And, as if to make matters worse, they wasted water all the time.
Caption 15, Salvando el planeta Palabra Llegada - Part 7Play Caption
y apenas sus pies tocaron el agua, se convirtieron en dos grandes serpientes
and as soon as their feet touched the water, they turned into two big snakesPlay Caption
Can you answer now our question? According to the above clips, is agua masculine or feminine? In all the previous clips, the word agua is placed right after the masculine definite article "el" so the noun agua must be masculine, right? Not too fast! Let's take a look at the following clips:
limonadas, refrescos o simplemente agua fresca.
lemonades, sodas or just cold water.
Caption 42, Aprendiendo con Karen Utensilios de cocinaPlay Caption
Las formas de presentación incluyen el agua ozonizada y el aceite ozonizado,
The formulations include ozonized water and ozonized oil,
Caption 35, Los médicos explican Beneficios del ozonoPlay Caption
Un día, los vientos del páramo agitaron las aguas de la laguna
One day, the winds from the tundra shook up the waters of the lakePlay Caption
Did you see that? If you look at the first two clips, you can see that the adjectives that go after the noun agua are feminine adjectives that end with the vowel "a" (fresca and ionizada). Also, in the third clip, you can see that the term aguas (plural form of agua) is preceded by the feminine definite article "las". So, is agua masculine or feminine?
The answer is very simple: the noun agua is always feminine. However, if you are wondering why we say "el agua" and not "la agua" there is a simple rule you need to keep in mind: If a feminine noun starts with a stressed "a", you need to use the masculine definite article "el". Let's see more feminine nouns that start with a stressed "a":
el águila (the eagle)
el alma (the soul)
Nevertheless, it is important to say that for plural feminine nouns, you need to use the plural feminine definitive article "las":
las aguas (the waters)
las águilas (the eagles)
las almas (the souls)
Finally, keep in mind that if the noun is feminine the adjective needs to be feminine too. For example, let's say that we want to say "the water is dirty." Since water is feminine in Spanish, you need to use the feminine version of the adjective (sucia):
RIGHT - El agua está sucia
WRONG - El agua está sucio
So, there you have it. We hope you learned something useful today and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.
¡Hasta la próxima!
There are many words that have defined the year that just ended. However, we believe there is a word that was crucial in 2019, not only in Spanish but in all languages! With that being said, the Spanish word of the year 2019 was... "protesta" (protest)! Let's dive into the meaning and use of this word.
If you followed the news in 2019, you probably won't need an explanation. From the ongoing protests in Hong Kong to the more recent protests throughout South America, it looks like the whole world was protesting in 2019. The following are some of the headlines that dominated the news in 2019:
Continúa represión en Chile tras nueve semanas de protestas
Repression continues in Chile after nine weeks of protests
5 rostros que simbolizan las protestas en Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Irak y Líbano
5 faces that symbolize the protests in Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Iraq and Lebanon
De Chile a Hong Kong: el virus de la protesta se extiende por el mundo
From Chile to Hong Kong: the protest virus spreads throughout the world
Protesta has the same meaning that the English word "protest." However, this word doesn't only refer to "a usually organized public demonstration of disapproval" (Merriam-Webster). For instance, the word protesta in Spanish also refers to the oath taken by a President during his/her inaugural ceremony. Also, generally speaking, protesta can be simply understood as a complaint or objection:
Ahí se oye un poco el... la protesta del leopardo.
There you can hear a bit the... the leopard's protest.Play Caption
Check out the following video clips so you can practice the pronunciation of the word protesta and its plural protestas (protests).
Y es un lugar donde normalmente mucha gente que quiere venir a expresar sus ideas o protestas
And it's a place where usually many people who want to come and express their ideas, their protests,
Captions 4-5, Yabla en Buenos Aires Plaza Mayo - Part 2Play Caption
Tú hazme el favor, dámele una pequeña razón a ese señor. Mamá, ninguna razón, reclamo, ni protesta.
Do me a favor, deliver a little message to that man. Mom, no message, complaint or protest.
Captions 77-78, X6 1 - La banda - Part 8Play Caption
Also, check out the following clips where you can hear the pronunciation of the verb protestar (to protest).
porque el veintiocho de diciembre lo que hacemos nosotros aquí es protestar...
because on December twenty eighth what we do here is to protest...
Caption 30, Estado Falcón Locos de la Vela - Part 1Play Caption
Esa no es la forma de protestar.
That is not the way to protest.
Caption 27, Kikirikí Agua - Part 3Play Caption
So, there you have it. What do you think of protesta as the word of the year 2019? Can you think of any other word worth this title? What do you think of all these protests around the world, anyway? Please, send us your feedback, comments and questions. We will be happy to hear from you!
Do you know how to use a punto as opposed to apunto? Do you know the meaning of the expression "estar a punto de"? Let's start this lesson with a little quiz. Which term would you use in the following sentences, a punto or apunto?:
Te ______ en la lista de pacientes.
I'll write you down on the patient list.
What about this one?:
En 1985, Colombia estuvo ______ de conseguir la paz.
In 1985, Colombia was about to achieve peace.
Let's review the meaning of a punto and apunto.
A punto is an adverbial phrase that can be used in the following two ways:
1. To indicate that something is ready for the end it has been prepared for.
2. As a synonym of "timely" or "on time".
Here's one example:
¿Esto lo hago hasta que quede a punto de nieve? -Has'... Ah, no, eh... -Claro.
Shall I do this until it forms peaks [literally "until it looks like snow"]? -Unt'... Oh, no, um... -Of course.
Caption 9, Ricardo La compañera de casa - Part 3Play Caption
While the adverbial phrase a punto is used fairly often, the most common use of a punto is when it's part of the prepositional phrase a punto de + infinitive verb. In terms of its meaning, we use a punto de + infinitive verb when we want to say that something is or was about to happen. In fact, you can think of a punto de as the English equivalent "about to". Let's look at a couple of examples:
La señora pulpo me contó que tenía muchos hijitos a punto de nacer,
Lady octopus told me that she had many children about to be born,
Captions 21-22, Guillermina y Candelario La Señora PulpoPlay Caption
Estoy súper emocionada, pues estoy a punto de ingresar a uno de los lugares más emblemáticos
I'm super excited because I'm about to enter one of the most symbolic places
Captions 10-12, Paseando con Karen Barrio AntiguoPlay Caption
Cuando estaba a punto de huir y regresar a mi casa, hubo un milagro que salvó mi bachillerato.
When I was about to flee and go back home, there was a miracle that saved my high school diploma.
Captions 18-19, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 5Play Caption
If you keep in mind the last two sentences, it is worth mentioning that most of the time in Spanish we use the verb estar (to be) before a punto de + infinitive verb. As we mentioned previously, we use this formula for sentences in the past as well as the present.
Now that you know how to use a punto and a punto de, we can say that apunto (one word) corresponds to the first person singular of the verb apuntar in the present tense. Apuntar can mean:
To point out something
To take notes or write down something
To subscribe to something
Let's see an example:
A cogerlos con la mano, me apunto. -Cógelo con las manos.
For taking them with my hand, I'll sign up. -Take it with your hands.
Caption 25, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 17Play Caption
So, now that we have revealed the meanings and uses of both a punto and apunto, it's time to see the answers to the quiz we used to introduce this lesson:
Te apunto en la lista de pacientes.
I'll write you down on the patient list.
Caption 27, Ariana Cita médicaPlay Caption
En mil novecientos ochenta y cinco, sucedieron muchas cosas buenas. Colombia estuvo a punto de conseguir la paz.
In nineteen eighty-five, many good things happened. Colombia was about to achieve peace.
Captions 2-3, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 2Play Caption
And that's it for now. We hope you enjoyed this lesson and don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.
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.
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
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:
Let's hear the following sentences so you can practice the pronunciation of the 12 months in Spanish.
Estos son los meses del año. Enero.
These are the months of the year. January.
Captions 1-2, El Aula Azul Estaciones y MesesPlay Caption
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 2Play Caption
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 EspañaPlay Caption
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 habitaciónPlay Caption
En mayo, salen las flores.
In May, the flowers come out.
Caption 18, El Aula Azul Estaciones y MesesPlay Caption
En junio, empieza el verano.
In June, the summer starts.
Caption 19, El Aula Azul Estaciones y MesesPlay Caption
En julio. Vendría el mes de julio entero.
In July. He'd come for the whole month of July.Play Caption
en agosto, miles de voluntarios vienen a este sitio
in August, thousands of volunteers come to this site
Caption 53, Rosa Laguna Fuente de PiedraPlay Caption
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 MiramarPlay Caption
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 ViejoPlay Caption
Fue inaugurado el treinta de noviembre de mil novecientos noventa y cuatro.
It was opened on November thirtieth nineteen ninety-four.Play Caption
Normalmente, suele nevar en diciembre,
Normally, it typically snows in December,
Caption 69, Clara y Cristina Hablan de actividadesPlay Caption
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.
Let's talk about gender. How do you know if a word like leche (milk) or mapa (map) is feminine or masculine? Let's explore some rules (and exceptions) that will help you to identify the gender of inanimate objects in Spanish. Please, keep in mind that we will use the definite articles el (masculine) and la (feminine) in order to better recognize the gender of the nouns we are mentioning throughout this article.
Generally speaking, nouns that end in -o are masculine while those ending in -a are feminine. Let's see some of the most common objects that follow this rule:
El libro (the book)
El baño (the bathroom)
El piano (the piano)
El diccionario (the dictionary)
El asiento (the seat)
La casa (the house)
La cama (the bed)
La lámpara (the lamp)
La cocina (the kitchen)
La caja (the box)
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Let's look at some of the most common ones.
La mano derecha se colocará en esta posición llamada acorde de LA mayor,
The right hand will be placed in this position called A major chord,Play Caption
Es la foto de mis abuelos, es mi familia.
It's a photo of my grandparents. It's my family.
Caption 5, Yago 3 La foto - Part 8Play Caption
Y bueno, el día llega a su fin, y llegas a casa a relajarte,
And well, the day comes to an end, and you get home to relax,
Captions 80-81, Natalia de Ecuador Vocabulario de prendas de vestirPlay Caption
Por ejemplo: problema, el problema, mapa, el mapa.
For example: problem, the problem, map, the map.
Captions 16-17, Isabel El Género Gramatical - Masculino y FemeninoPlay Caption
¿Y pudieron conocer el planeta de su amigo?
And were you able to see your friend's planet?Play Caption
cuando utilizamos el idioma español. Entonces, vamos a hablar entonces ya.
when we use the Spanish language. So, then we are going to talk now.
Captions 5-6, Lecciones con Carolina Errores comunes - Part 5Play Caption
There is no particular rule for this group. Some of the nouns here are masculine while others are feminine. Some examples:
eh... los ordeñadores pasan a pesar la leche para ver la cantidad que produce cada una
um... the milkers go on to weigh the milk to check the quantity that each one produces
Captions 54-55, Gustavo Adolfo Su finca lecheraPlay Caption
Se arma el árbol, el pesebre, los niños llevan sus instrumentos musicales.
The tree is set up, the manger, the children carry their musical instruments.
Caption 40, Lida y Cleer BuñuelosPlay Caption
La India Catalina era la líder de la tribu indígena
India Catalina was the leader of the indigenous tribe
Caption 26, Viajando en Colombia Cartagena en coche - Part 3Play Caption
Let's look at some examples in this group:
Me relajo y contemplo el paisaje.
I relax and I look at the landscape.
Captions 30-31, Natalia de Ecuador Los adverbios de ordenPlay Caption
Cuando me llega el dolor yo me arreglo
When pain hits me I manage
Caption 6, Jorge Celedón, Vicentico Si Me DejanPlay Caption
¿Puedo ver el menú por favor?
Can I see the menu please?
Caption 12, Cata y Cleer En el restaurantePlay Caption
La ciencia nunca falla, caballero.
Science never fails, sir.Play Caption
la acentuación es la acción y efecto de acentuar,
accentuation is the action and effect of accenting,Play Caption
Mi hijo quiere estudiar inglés o japonés el próximo año en la universidad.
My son wants to study English or Japanese next year in college.
Caption 25, Lecciones con Carolina Conjunciones disyuntivasPlay Caption
Tenemos el océano Pacífico y el océano Atlántico
We have the Pacific ocean and the Atlantic ocean
Caption 24, Melany de Guatemala País de la Eterna PrimaveraPlay Caption
El martes, también salí por la noche.
On Tuesday, I also went out at night.
Caption 11, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: El pasadoPlay Caption
y que el cien por cien de las ganancias pues iban destinadas a la coalición española
and one hundred percent of the profits were going to the Spanish coalition
Caption 45, David Bisbal Haciendo Premonición Live - Part 7Play Caption
el azul, donde echamos el papel, cartón, revistas,
the blue one, where we throw away paper, cardboard, magazines,
Caption 4, Rosa ReciclarPlay Caption
Eh... Les recomiendo que vengan a visitar las islas Galápagos.
Um... I recommend that you come to visit the Galapagos Islands.
Caption 1, Galápagos Una visita a este archipiélagoPlay Caption
que queda ubicado sobre la Avenida Jiménez,
which is located on Jiminez Avenue,
Caption 47, Bogotá Chorro de QuevedoPlay Caption
Me gustaría referirme a la pronunciación de dos letras, la "elle" y la "ye".
I'd like to refer to the pronunciation of two letters, the "double l" and the "y."
Captions 6-8, Carlos y Cyndy La pronunciación en Colombia y ArgentinaPlay Caption
There are some inanimate nouns that can be either feminine or masculine, which means both forms are accepted.
El mar / la mar (the sea). For this noun, the masculine form is used more often.
El maratón / la maratón (the marathon). Both forms are accepted.
El arte / las artes (the arts). Usually the masculine form is used in the singular and the feminine one in the plural.
El sartén / la sartén (the pan). While the masculine noun is the most frequently used, some countries in the Americas tend to favor the feminine form.
There are various words that are almost identical but they differ in meaning. Very often, indeed, you can fully grasp that difference by bringing the gender variable into it. Let's see some examples:
El cuchillo (the knife) / La cuchilla (the blade)
El barco (the ship) / La barca (the boat)
El bolso (the purse) / La bolsa (the bag)
El puerto (the port) / la puerta (the door)
El cuadro (the painting) / La cuadra (the block)
El manzano (the apple tree) / La manzana (the apple)
That's it for today. We hope you find this lesson useful and we invite you to send us your comments and suggestions.
¡Hasta la próxima!
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.
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.
The tango is a beautiful dance.
Marina, Liam and I went to the movies.
Subject: Marina, Liam and I
Edison is from the Dominican Republic.
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.
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: tú, usted, and vos. So, what’s the difference between them? Generally speaking, tú 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 tú 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 tú, 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.
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 CumelenPlay 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 13Play 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.”
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 MaruPlay 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 2Play 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.
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.
In Spanish, you always need to use opening and closing punctuation. Keep this in mind especially for question marks and exclamation points.
¿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 estarPlay Caption
¡Todo el mundo paga para que lo escuchen!
Everyone pays for them to listen to you!
Caption 45, Yago 14 La peruana - Part 7Play Caption
D.A.S. [Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad].
A.D.S [Administrative Department of Security].Play Caption
After a question mark or exclamation point, you can put any punctuation mark except a period.
¡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 LucíaPlay Caption
Don't put a comma or semicolon before an opening parenthesis. However, feel free to put those marks after the closing parenthesis.
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 1Play Caption
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 cochePlay Caption
Sí, Zárate, ¿qué pasó?
Yes, Zarate, what happened?Play Caption
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.
Generally speaking, we use the conditional tense in Spanish to talk about hypothetical things. However, we also use the conditional tense for polite requests or when we want to express wishes and desires. Let's take a look at some simple rules that will help you to master the conditional tense in Spanish.
Before talking about the uses of the conditinal tense, it is important to review how to conjugate it. Let's start with the regular verbs. For these verbs, you just need to take the infinitive form and add the conditional ending.
Let's take the verb hablar (to speak)
Yo hablaría (I would speak)
Tú hablarías (You would speak)
Él/Ella hablaría (He/She would speak)
Nosotros hablaríamos (We would speak)
Vosotros hablaríais (You would speak)
Ellos hablarían (They would speak)
Let's take the verb comer (to eat)
Yo comería (I would eat)
Tú comerías (You would eat)
Él/Ella comería (He/She would eat)
Nosotros comeríamos (We would eat)
Vosotros comeríais (You would eat)
Ellos comerían (They would eat)
Let's take the verb abrir (to open)
Yo abriría (I would open)
Tú abrirías (You would open)
Él/Ella abriría (He/She would open)
Nosotros abriríamos (We would open)
Vosotros abriríais (You would open)
Ellos abrirían (They would open)
There are several irregular verbs that are used all the time in the conditional tense. For these verbs, you need to keep in mind that they maintain the same stem that they have in the future tense. Let's see the conjugation for the verbs decir (to say) and hacer (to make).
Yo diría (I would say)
Tú dirías (You would say)
Él/Ella diría (He/She would say)
Nosotros diríamos (We would say)
Vosotros diríais (You would say)
Ellos dirían (They would say)
Yo haría (I would make)
Tú harías (You would make)
Él/Ella haría (He/She would make)
Nosotros haríamos (We would make)
Vosotros haríais (You would make)
Ellos harían (They would make)
In Spanish, it is quite common to use the conditional tense when you want to do any of the following:
¿Podrías por favor decirnos a los... a nuestros amigos de Yabla en qué lugar están ustedes?
Could you please tell us to the... to our friends from Yabla where you guys are?
Captions 66-67, Monsieur Periné EntrevistaPlay Caption
¿Te gustaría volver a tu ciudad? Pues la verdad es que me encantaría volver a Málaga.
Would you like to return to your city? Well the truth is that I would love to go back to Málaga.
Captions 33-34, Clara y Cristina SaludarPlay Caption
Bueno, si yo fuera tú, hablaría con él.
Well, if I were you, I would speak with him.Play Caption
Cuatro horas es demasiado. Creo que no llegaría a tiempo a la reunión.
Four hours is too much. I think that I would not arrive in time for the meeting.
Captions 30-31, Raquel La Compra de un Billete de TrenPlay Caption
Y que nos juramos que esto nunca iría a pasar
And we vowed to each other that this would never happenPlay Caption
That's it for this lesson. We encourage you to write some sentences for the 5 different uses we mentioned for the conditional tense. And don't forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.
Si no or sino? That is the question of today's lesson. Do you know when to write one or the other? Both expressions seem very similar but they don’t necessarily mean the same thing. Although even native speakers make mistakes when writing these words, the truth is they are used in specific cases that are easily recognizable. Let's start this lesson with a little quiz:
Which one would you use in the following sentence?:
Amalia no ha llegado al apartamento; ____ ya me hubiera llamado.
Amalia hasn't arrived at the apartment; otherwise she would have called me already.
What about in this one?:
no solamente cubre la ciudad de Bogotá, ____ varios municipios alrededor de... de Bogotá,
it doesn't just cover the city of Bogota, but rather several municipalities around... Bogota,
We will unveil the answers at the end of this lesson. Now, let's dive into the difference between si no and sino.
Si no is made of two parts. The conditinal conjunction 'si' and the negation 'no'. We use si no to introduce a negative conditional sentence. In particular, we use si no when it works as "otherwise" to imply the idea of "on the contrary". Let's see a couple of examples:
porque todos son amantes de los animales, si no, no vendrían a vernos,
because they are all animal lovers, otherwise, they wouldn't come to see us,
Captions 45-46, Santuario para burros VoluntariosPlay Caption
¿Grabó esto sin su permiso? Claro que sí. Si no, no la habría descubierto.
Did you record this without her permission? Of course. Otherwise, I wouldn't have discovered it.
Captions 52-54, Los casos de Yabla El perrito malcriado - Part 1Play Caption
In Spanish, the word sino is a conjunction that usually works as the English equivalent "but" or "but rather". Generally speaking, we use it to create a contrast between and affirmative statement that is placed right after a negative one. Let's see a couple of examples:
Que no es una chica, sino un chico. -Oh...
That's it's not a girl, but rather a boy. -Oh...Play Caption
Por esta razón, no decimos "uno libro", sino "un libro".
For this reason, we don't say "uno libro," but rather "un libro" ["a book"].
Caption 39, Carlos explica Los Números: Números CardinalesPlay Caption
Sometimes, we also use sino when we want to state an exception:
Nadie lo sabe sino tu padre.
Nobody except your father knows it.
And finally, we use sino when we want to add more elements to a single statement, usually with the formula 'no solo... sino también' (not only... but also):
unas de las bandas más importantes de Latinoamérica, este... no sólo por su trabajo musical, sino también por su trabajo social y activismo ambiental.
one the most important bands in Latin America, um... not only because of their musical work, but also because of their social work and environmental activism.
Captions 10-12, Doctor Krápula EntrevistaPlay Caption
Considering all of the above, it is time to solve the questions we posed at the beginning of this lesson. Let's unveil the answers:
Amalia no ha llegado al apartamento; si no ya me hubiera llamado.
Amalia hasn't arrived at the apartment; otherwise she would have called me already.Play Caption
no solamente cubre la ciudad de Bogotá, sino varios municipios alrededor de... de Bogotá,
it doesn't just cover the city of Bogota, but rather several municipalities around... Bogota,
Captions 57-58, Bogotá Chorro de QuevedoPlay Caption
That's it for today. We hope this lesson helped you to understand when to write sino and si no. And don't forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.
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.
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 5Play 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 1Play 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 1Play 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 SaludarPlay Caption
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.
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 5Play 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 1Play 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)
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 3Play 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.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 DiariasPlay Caption
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 FemeninoPlay 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 3Play Caption
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.
Argentina shares borders with Brazil, Chile, Bolivia and Paraguay, which means that, geographically speaking, it is separated from many of the other Spanish-speaking countries. This is important for understanding why Spanish from Argentina is a bit different from that of other countries and how the influence of Portuguese and Italian (from the massive immigration at the beginning of the 20th century) shaped Argentine Spanish.
With that being said, let's take a look at some of the most popular Argentine slang words and terms:
It’s a term that seems to come from wakcha in Quechua, the language spoken by the indigenous people in Cuzco, Perú. In Argentina and many other countries, it’s a derogatory word used to describe someone who has lost both their parents.
No, no, no, no tiene padres, es guacha. -¡Padre!
No no, no, she hasn't got parents, she's a bastard. -Father!
Caption 11, Muñeca Brava 1 Piloto - Part 1Play Caption
The term comes from the old lunfardo [criminal slang tango composers used in many of their lyrics] and contrary to what most people think it’s not a derogatory term although it’s not a word you’d use in environments of respect such as your workplace, university or at a doctor’s office.
¿No viste esa mina?
Did you see that chick?
Caption 35, Muñeca Brava 1 Piloto - Part 6Play Caption
The origin of the expression is unclear. The most widely accepted story is that comes from the 1920s in Argentina, when students playing hookey would go to the bars to play pool. Since most of them were new players, and the risk of them tearing the green felt surface of the pool table increased with every kid who arrived, the waiters were given the order “not to give them balls” which was also a way to “ignore” them. So today, used in its negative form, it means “to ignore” and used in its affirmative form it means just the opposite “to pay attention”.
Pero si a vos no te dio bola. ¿Qué te importa?
But she didn't even look at you. What do you care?
Caption 7, Muñeca Brava 1 Piloto - Part 7Play Caption
Boludo is a former insult that has been misused so much that it has become something else. The origin of this word (that can be used as an adjective or noun) lies in the term bolas (balls) and yes, someone boludo is someone with big balls. It’s not clear why it has been used to describe a fool, though. However, in Argentina almost every informal sentence has the word boludo or boluda in it. It has become a way to address someone you are very, very familiar with.
Sí, pero a veces se cae uno a la tierra, boludo, y camina.
Yes, but sometimes one falls to the earth, idiot, and walks.
Caption 39, Muñeca Brava 48 - Soluciones - Part 4Play Caption
It’s an old term that has its origins in the 1920s. It's a derogative way to call women of lower classes and/or those women whose lack of manners make them look like someone from a lower class. There’s a Tango song called “Chirusa” about a poor woman who fell in love with a rich man who was only toying with her. In Muñeca Brava, Milagros is considered a chirusa because of her status as a maid at a manor full of rich people.
¿Qué es chirusa? Y, se podría considerar una mujer vulgar.
What is chirusa? And, it could be considered a vulgar woman.
Captions 45-46, Carlos y Cyndy Comentario sobre Muñeca BravaPlay Caption
The bailanta is a discotheque where they play cumbia, and other kinds of tropical music. In Argentina, people who go to the bailanta are considered of a lower class. As it happens in the episodes of Muñeca Brava, Mili goes to the bailanta because she likes the kind of popular music they play there and also the social environment of the place.
You can see that Ivo is disgusted by it because he comes from a wealthy family and probably goes dancing at other discotheques where they play electronic music or other kinds of tunes associated with a higher socio-cultural level.
Tranquilizate. Vamos a la bailanta, loco.
Calm down. Let's go the club, man.
Caption 71, Muñeca Brava 18 - La Apuesta - Part 2Play Caption
The origin of the word colectivo comes from the early days of taxicabs. When, because of the economy, taxis became too expensive for a large portion of the population, they put in place a sort of carpooling service where two or more strangers would share the ride and split the cost. As more and more people began sharing the same taxi, transportation companies saw this trend as an opportunity and built larger taxicabs which they called colectivo coming from the word “collective” since they transported a group of people in them.
In Argentine slang, another way to refer to the colectivo is bondi. Since the colectivo is one of the least expensive ways to travel, a recently founded airline in Argentina named themselves “flybondi” and offer low-cost flights within Argentina.
No crea, ¿eh? En bondi, eh... en colectivo, llego al toque.
Not really, huh? By bondi [slang for "bus"], um... by bus, I get here in a jiffy.
Caption 32, Muñeca Brava 47 Esperanzas - Part 6Play Caption
Argentinians use the word che in almost every sentence. It's an interjection with no specific meaning, used to get someone's attention. It is unclear where the word comes from, although there are several theories. Some people say it comes from the Mapuches indigenous people, in whose language che means “person”.
Another theory suggests it comes from the sound someone makes when they want to be heard, very similar to the “pstt” but more like “chh”. Che is used during conversations (never in formal speech) the same way you would use the word “hey!” or at the end of the sentence, as a tag, in a conversation.
Che boluda... ¿qué te pasa? Estás como loca hoy.
Hey silly [potentially insulting, not amongst close friends]... what's up? Today you're like crazy.
Caption 3, Cuatro Amigas Piloto - Part 3Play Caption
Rajar connotes urgency. When people use rajar at the moment of firing an employee or when they ask somebody to leave, the idea is to do it “immediately.” Let's see an example:
"La voy a hacer rajar". "Rajar", ¿qué significa? Significa "la voy a hacer echar". -Mmm.
"La voy a hacer rajar." "Rajar," what does it mean? It means "I'm going to get her fired." -Mmm.
Captions 72-74, Carlos y Cyndy Comentario sobre Muñeca BravaPlay Caption
The term arrugar literally means “to wrinkle”. In the context of physical combat, when one of the fighters gets scared, insecure or for any reason doesn’t want to fight, you can easily compare their body language to the action of wrinkling. Today in Argentina the term is used for any situation, not only physical combat. It’s mostly used when somebody dares another person to do something and they agree at the beginning but change their minds at the last minute.
Vine porque tengo muchísimas ganas de cobrar mi apuesta. ¿Qué apuesta? ¿No me digas que arrugaste?
I came because I'm eager to collect my bet. What bet? Don't tell me you're backing out?
Captions 10-12, Verano Eterno Fiesta Grande - Part 8Play Caption
Wiht this last term, we have arrived to the end of this lesson about top Argentinian slang and idiomatic expressions. Now that you’re ready to walk around the streets of Buenos Aires we want to leave you with a final challenge. Do you understand the meaning of the following sentence?:
¡Che, boludo, ese colectivo nos lleva a la bailanta! No arrugues ahora, que vamos a conocer muchas minas.
We hope you enjoy this lesson and don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.
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!
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.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 InmortalPlay 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 AndalucíaPlay 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 18Play 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 8Play 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 PrimosPlay Caption
Desde chiquito el bajo mundo conocía
Since he was a child, he knew the underworld
Caption 4, La Secta ConsejoPlay 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 4Play 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 2Play 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 2Play 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 6Play Caption
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.
Let's start this lesson with a little quiz. Do you know how to write superhero in Spanish? Choose one of the following:
a. Super héroe
c. Súper héroe
If you don't know the answer, this lesson will help you to find out which one is the proper spelling.
When it works as a prefix, the word super has different meanings. Sometimes, it means 'above' like in the word superestructura (superstructure). It can also mean 'excellence' or 'superiority':
¿Con el superagente, Jaime Suárez?
With the super-agent, Jaime Suarez?Play Caption
In some words, the prefix super expresses the 'highest degree' of something:
Eh... La iglesia es superhermosa.
Um... The church is super beautiful.
Caption 14, Bogotá Una visita a la ciudadPlay Caption
And finally, the prefix super can also indicate the 'excess' of something:
Ehm... Tenemos la... la... la... la... la superpoblación,
Um... We have (the... the... the... the... the) overpopulation,Play Caption
Have you ever seen the word súper with an accent? If you think that súper is the same as super (with no accent), you are wrong. The word súper needs the accent only in the following situations:
1. When it is used as a noun for the short form of the word supermercado (supermarket) or the type of gasoline:
Roberto fue al súper a comprar naranjas.
Roberto went to the supermarket to buy oranges.
2. When it works as an adjective or adverb to express that someone or something is/was great:
Súper, y ¿qué le dijeron de Gastón Almanza?
Super, and what did they tell you about Gaston Almanza?Play Caption
The simplest thing to remember here is that the prefix super doesn't have a graphic accent.
Believe it or not, there are many native Spanish speakers who don't know how to properly write words that are formed with the prefix super. The main rule, however, is quite simple: When writing, the prefix super should be connected to the word that follows. With that simple rule, we can answer the question we posed at the beggining of this lesson:
Y tengo de superhéroe lo que Juanes de vallenato
And I've got from a superhero what Juanes [has] from vallenato
Caption 30, Juanes La PlataPlay Caption
However, every rule has its exception and this rule has the following one:
When the word that follows super starts with a capital letter or when this prefix is followed by a number, you need to add a hyphen:
super-Obama or super-10
You need to leave a space after super when it goes before a series of words that have their own meaning:
Yo siempre me he sentido super a gusto cantando al lado de ese grandísimo músico...
I have always felt pretty at home singing along this great musician...
Caption 50, David Bisbal Haciendo Premonición Live - Part 5Play Caption
That's it for today. We invite you to write 10 words with the prefix super. And don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.
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.
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 pasadoPlay Caption
Los martes, además, tenemos las "Tardes de Intercambio".
On Tuesdays, additionally, we have the "Exchange Afternoons."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 SemanaPlay 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 IPlay 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 MisaelPlay 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 6Play 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
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 semanaPlay Caption
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.
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.
Bravo/brava is an adjective with various meanings in Spanish. We use it when we want to say someone is brave or courageous. In some Spanish-speaking countries, however, bravo/brava is also used as a synonym for angry, mad or upset. This adjective can also help us describe the world around us by meaning rough or fierce. Finally, we also use bravo when we want to acknowledge someone's work in a positive way.
As mentioned above, bravo is synonym for brave or courageous. Let's take a look at the following sentence:
Siendo el más bravo de todos, Miguel fue el primero que saltó del trampolín.
Being the bravest of all, Miguel was the first to jump off the diving board.
In some countries such as, for example, Colombia, bravo/brava is used when we want to say that someone is angry or upset:
Kevin, su novia está muy brava. Deb'... En este contexto, "brava" es sinónimo de enojada o enfadada.
Kevin, your girlfriend is very mad. You nee'... In this context, "brava," is a synonym of mad or angry.
Captions 17-18, Carlos comenta Los Años Maravillosos - Forma de hablarPlay Caption
Bravo is also a very useful word for describing nature. For instance, bravo is a very common adjective when talking about a rough or choppy sea or river. Similarly, when talking about animals, bravo/brava can describe an animal that is fierce.
El agua estaba muy brava, y soplaba un viento muy fuerte.
The water was very choppy, and a very strong wind was blowing.
Captions 30-31, Guillermina y Candelario Capitan CandelarioPlay Caption
Have you ever been in a theater where people shout "bravo" at the end of a play? Well, in Spanish we also use bravo the same way. However, we also say bravo/brava when we want to tell to someone they did something good, or did a good job. In other words, we use bravo/brava to say "well done" or "good for you."
Apart from that, we also use bravo/brava in various specific situations. For example, when you have to do something you don't want to do, you can say you did it "a la brava" (by force). We also use brava/bravo to express a very strong desire:
¡Oiga, que sed tan brava!
Hey, what a strong thirst!
Caption 52, Kikirikí Agua - Part 1Play Caption
Bravo/brava is also used in the context of sports:
- Barra brava or barrabrava (a group of hooligans in football/soccer)
- "Hacer barra" (to cheer up someone or a team)
That's all for today. We hope this lesson helped you to expand your vocabulary. And don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.
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':
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:
Abres el rombo,
You open the diamond,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):
Gabriel García Márquez escribió muchos libros.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote a lot of books.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,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:
y que viviremos en un hogar agradable,
and that we will live in a nice home,
Caption 55, Negocios La solicitud de empleo - Part 2Play 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.
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 troncoPlay 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,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 2Play 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 2Play 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 motivaciónPlay Caption
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.
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.
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-ninePlay Caption
Y en invierno suele hacer mucho frío.
And in winter it tends to be very cold.
Caption 15, Clara explica El tiempo - Part 1Play Caption
En abril, llueve mucho.
In April, it rains a lot.
Caption 17, El Aula Azul Estaciones y MesesPlay 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 5Play 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 EstarPlay Caption
El perro de Ana duerme en el horno.
Ana's dog sleeps in the oven.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 veranoPlay 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 habitaciónPlay 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 ImposiblesPlay 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.
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?
Acuérdate que tenemos muchos amigos en común.
Remember that we have a lot of friends in common.Play Caption
En realidad, sólo con la práctica podemos entender mejor.
Actually, only with practice can we better understand.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
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.