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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.

 

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

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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

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"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

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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'

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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

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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

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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.

 

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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The meaning of bravo in Spanish

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

 

Using bravo/brava to describe someone

 

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 hablar

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Bravo for describing the world around us

 

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 Candelario

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¡Bravo! Well done!

 

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 1

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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.

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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':

 

  • 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

 

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. 

 

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

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Y en invierno suele hacer mucho frío.

And in winter it tends to be very cold.

Caption 15, Clara explica El tiempo - Part 1

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En abril, llueve mucho.

In April, it rains a lot.

Caption 17, El Aula Azul Estaciones y Meses

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

 

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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?:

 

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

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Tus perros también son muy bonitos.

Your dogs are very beautiful too.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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vuelven esas voces a mi cabeza.

those voices come back to my head.

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

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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

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para hacerle los análisis de sangre, de heces,

to do the blood tests, stool (tests),

Caption 54, Santuario para burros Santuario - Part 1

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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.

 

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

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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

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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

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E as in ellos (they)

Ellos se llevan muy bien.

They get along very well.

Caption 41, El Aula Azul - Mis Primos

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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

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G as in gente (people)

Barcelona se llena de gente,

Barcelona fills up with people,

Caption 17, Blanca - Sobre la ciudad de Barcelona

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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

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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

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J as in jamón (ham)

Fíjate: jamón, Javier.

Check it out: ham, Javier.

Caption 27, Fundamentos del Español - 10 - La Pronunciación

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K as in kilo (kilo)

Reciclando un kilo de vidrio...

[By] recycling a kilo of glass...

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

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L as in lago (lake)

Hay un lago.

There is a lake.

Caption 11, Natalia de Ecuador - Los adverbios de orden

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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

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N as in nunca (never)

Nadie, nada, nunca,

Nobody, nothing, never,

Caption 21, Fundamentos del Español - 5 - La Negación

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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

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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

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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

 Play Caption

 

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

 Play Caption

 

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).

 

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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Palabras esdrújulas: Accent on the third-to-last syllable

Let’s talk about accentuation and pronunciation. Today, we’ll discuss the so-called palabras esdrújulas (proparoxytone words). That’s a weird name, isn’t? Before we talk about palabras esdrújulas, we need to remember something important.

 

As we previously mentioned, all words in Spanish are stressed on one syllable. Depending on where that stress falls, words are divided into the following groups:

 

Palabras agudas (oxytone words) | accent on the last syllable

Palabras graves (paroxytone words) | accent on the second-to-last syllable

Palabras esdrújulas (proparoxytone words) | accent on the third-to-last syllable

Palabras sobresdrújulas (over-proparoxytone words) | accent on any syllable before the third-to-last syllable

 

Let’s get into palabras esdrújulas with the following example:

 

Palabras como micrófono, pirámide

Words like "micrófono," [microphone], "pirámide" [pyramid]

Caption 44, Carlos explica Acentuación Cap. 4: Clasificación de las palabras según el acento

 Play Caption

 

The word micrófono has four syllables (mi | cró | fo | no) and the stress goes on the third-to-last syllable “cró.” Similarly, the word pirámide has four syllables (pi | | mi |de) and the stress also goes on the third-to-last syllable “.”

 

If you noticed it, the two proparoxytone words that we just mentioned bear a graphic accent (tilde) on their stressed syllables. And that’s exactly the beauty of the palabras esdrújulas. Unlike palabras agudas and palabras graves, which follow complex rules regarding the use of the graphic accent, the esdrújulas ALWAYS need to have a graphic accent. Let’s see more examples:

 

También nos dedicamos a música clásica.

Also, we do classical music.

Caption 13, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Paty

 Play Caption

 

ya construimos la cámara para grabar la película.

we already built the camera to film the movie.

Caption 16, Guillermina y Candelario Una película de terror - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Yo realmente prefiero no dar mi número de mi tarjeta de crédito por teléfono.

I really prefer not to give my credit card number on the phone.

Caption 50, Cleer y Lida Reservando una habitación

 Play Caption

 

As you can see from the examples above, there are lots of palabras esdrújulas in the Spanish language and some of them are quite common. Before we go, one last curious thing to remember: 

 

The word esdrújula is also a esdrújula word!

 

That's it for now. If you feel like practicing a little bit more, take one of our videos and try to find all the proparoxytone words in it. And of course, don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions to newsletter@yabla.com.

 
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100 hard Spanish words to say correctly

Are you ready to learn some hard Spanish words? Don’t worry! We don’t want to scare you but rather we would like to highlight some of the issues that transform even simple words into difficult ones. Let’s review the following list featuring 100 of the most difficult Spanish words for English speakers

 

Hard Spanish words to pronounce

 

Pronunciation is definitely the issue to keep in mind when we talk about hard Spanish words. In fact, if you are a native English speaker, there are several sounds that are quite challenging. Let’s start with some of the most difficult words to pronounce in Spanish for English speakers. We have divided these words in groups according to the pronunciation challenge they represent.

 

That J sound

 

For many foreigners, words with the letter “j” are some of the most difficult Spanish words to say. If you are an English speaker, you can try to say the “j” in Spanish as a very strong “h” in English. Think of how you pronounce the letter “h” in the word ham. Let’s take a look: 

 

1. Ají (chili or bell pepper)

¿Ají?

"Ají" [chili pepper]?

Caption 37, Ricardo - La compañera de casa - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

2. Bajo (short)

Es bajo, es gordo,

He's short, he's fat,

Caption 33, El Aula Azul Mis Primos

 Play Caption

 

3. Caja (box)

y ellos también mandaron una caja grandísima

and they also sent a huge box

Caption 25, Diana Quintana - En Navidad regalemos una sonrisa

 Play Caption

 

4. Anaranjado (orange)

Adentro, son de color anaranjado.

Inside, they are orange-colored.

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

 Play Caption

 

5. Empujar (to push)

 

6. Equipaje (luggage)

¿Puedo dejar aquí mi equipaje?

Can I leave my luggage here?

Caption 59, Cleer y Lida - Recepción de hotel

 Play Caption

 

7. Espantapájaros (scarecrow)

8. Cojear (to limp)

9. Injusticia (injustice)

 

10. Jamón (ham)

Fíjate: jamón, Javier.

Check it out: ham, Javier.

Caption 27, Fundamentos del Español - 10 - La Pronunciación

 Play Caption

 

11. Jirafa (giraffe)

12. Jornada (day)

13. Jota (J - the sound of the letter J in Spanish)

 

14. Jugar (to play)

También podemos jugar a las cartas,

We can also play cards,

Caption 12, Clara y Cristina - Hablan de actividades

 Play Caption

 

15. Junio (June)

16. Lujoso (luxurious)

 

17. Lejano (far, far away)

Érase una vez en un lejano reino, ahí vivía una joven niña.

Once upon a time in a faraway kingdom, there lived a young girl.

Caption 2, Cuentos de hadas - La Cenicienta - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

18. Majo (nice)

19. Mojado (wet)

20. Pájaro (bird)

21. Sonrojar (to blush)

22. Tajada (slice)

 

That G sound

 

Just as it happens with the letter “j,”, there are several tricky words in Spanish with the letter “g”. What’s hard about this consonant is that there is a soft and a hard way to pronounce it. For example, you have a soft “g” in the word gato (cat). Think about the pronunciation of the syllable “ga” in the word gather. On the other hand, you have a hard “g” in the word gente (people), which is kind of similar to how you pronounce the “h” in the word helmet. Let’s see some tough Spanish words with the letter “g”:

 

23. Acogedor (cozy, welcoming)

Perfecto, porque es un barco muy marinero, muy acogedor para la gente,

Perfect, because it's a very seaworthy boat, very welcoming for the people,

Caption 16, La Gala - El bote de Dalí

 Play Caption

 

24. Agente (agent)

25. Agitar (shake)

26. Aguja (needle)

 

27. Agujero (hole)

Tiene un cuerpo con un agujero en el centro

It has a body with a hole in the center

Caption 45, Karla e Isabel - Instrumentos musicales

 Play Caption

 

28. Apagar (to turn off)

 

29. Coger (to take, to get)

El segundo paso es coger la cebolla,

The second step is to get the onion,

Caption 25, Clara cocina - Una tortilla española

 Play Caption

 

30. Garganta (throat)

Me duele la garganta,

My throat hurts,

Caption 11, Ariana - Cita médica

 Play Caption

 

31. General (general)

En general, los nombres acabados en "a" son femeninos

In general, nouns ending in "a" are feminine

Caption 10, Fundamentos del Español - 2 - Nombres y Género

 Play Caption

 

32. Geneaología (genealogy)

33. Geología (geology)

 

34. Gigante (giant, gigantic)

Una de las piezas más llamativas es este ajedrez gigante.

One of the most appealing pieces is this gigantic chess board.

Caption 35, Europa Abierta - Taller de escenografía en Olivares

 Play Caption

 

35. Ginecólogo (gynecologist)

36. Girasol (sunflower)

37. Guapo (handsome)

38. Juguetón (playful)

39. Tangible (tangible)

40. Tigre (tiger)

41. Zoológico (zoo)

 

That double RR sound

 

There are plenty of tricky words in Spanish with the strong sound of the double “rr”. The following are some of them: 

 

42. Aburrido (bored)

Ah, esto está muy aburrido, ni siquiera se entiende.

Oh, this is very boring, you can't even understand it.

Caption 24, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 2 - Part 4

 Play Caption

 

43. Carrera (career)

El presidente empezó su carrera política...

The president began his political career...

Caption 29, Lecciones con Carolina - El gerundio - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

44. Carretera (road)

 

45. Carro (car)

¿Ha venido en carro?

Have you come in a car?

Caption 64, Cleer y Lida - Recepción de hotel

 Play Caption

 

46. Correr (to run)

 

47. Desarrollar (Develop)

Pero el reto era desarrollar proyectos de biomedicina,

But the challenge was to develop biomedical projects,

Caption 10, Club de las ideas - Lego Fest en Sevilla

 Play Caption

 

48. Error (mistake)

Esto es un error

This is a mistake

Caption 21, Lecciones con Carolina - Errores comunes - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

49. Ferrocarril (railroad, train)

en un carrito tipo ferrocarril tirado por un caballo

in a little train-like car pulled by a horse

Caption 8, Mérida y sus alrededores - Haciendas de Cuzamá

 Play Caption

 

50. Garrote (club)

 

51. Guerra (war)

La palabra más fea es guerra.

The ugliest word is war.

Caption 61, Karla e Isabel - Palabras

 Play Caption

 

52. Guitarra (guitar)

53. Herradura (horseshoe)

54. Irresponsable (irresponsible)

55. Morral (backpack)

56. Ornitorrinco (platypus)

 

57. Perro (dog)

Se escucha un perro.

You can hear a dog.

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

 Play Caption

 

58. Puertorriqueño (Puerto Rican)

 

That TR sound

 

Without any doubt, words that have a syllable where the consonant “t” is followed by the consonant “r,” are some of the most difficult words for English speakers to pronounce in Spanish. If you want to improve this sound, please listen carefully to some of the audio clips we have included for the next set of words.

 

59. Abstracto (abstract)

60. Astronomía (astronomy)

 

61. Astrología (astrology)

y voy a entender lo que es la astrología.

and I am going to understand what astrology is.

Caption 60, Conversaciones con Luis - Astrología

 Play Caption

 

62. Atracción (atraction)

Porque es en el centro... el sitio donde hay mayor atracción

Because it's at the center... the place where there are more attractions

Caption 21, Yabla en Lima - Miraflores

 Play Caption

 

63. Cuatro (four)

Número cuatro: microscopio.

Number four: microscope.

Caption 19, Aprendiendo con Karen - Útiles escolares - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

64. Entretener (to entertain)

65. Entretenido (entertaining)

66. Patrón (patron)

67. Patrulla (patrol)

68. Petróleo (oil)

69. Poltrona (easy chair)

70. Potro (colt)

 

71. Tradicion (tradition)

uno de los mitos más conocidos de la tradición indígena colombiana,

one of the best known myths of the indigenous Colombian tradition,

Caption 13, Aprendiendo con Carlos - América precolombina - Mitos y leyendas Muiscas

 Play Caption

 

72. Traicionar (to betray)

 

73. Trampa (trap)

No, no, me tendió una trampa y yo caí.

No, no, she set a trap for me and I fell into it.

Caption 29, Muñeca Brava - 44 El encuentro - Part 7

 Play Caption

 

74. Treinta y tres (thirty-three)

treinta y tres,

thirty-three,

Caption 49, Español para principiantes - Los números del 1 al 100

 Play Caption

 

75. Tres (three)

76. Trilogía (trilogy)

 

77. Triste

Estoy triste.

I am sad.

Caption 10, El Aula Azul - Estados de ánimo

 Play Caption

 

78. Tronco (trunk)

 

All those vowels

 

Unlike English, Spanish vowels are very clearly defined. Five vowels equals five sounds, period. While that may sound simple, the problem is that English speakers are used to pronouncing vowels in many more different ways. Here are some hard Spanish words that highlight this challenge.

 

79. Aguacate (avocado)

Este es guacamole hecho con aguacate...

This is guacamole made ​​with avocado...

Caption 33, Tacos Emmanuel - Cómo hacer tacos de pescado

 Play Caption

 

80. Estadounidense (American)

Paul es estadounidense, de los Estados Unidos.

Paul is American, from the United States.

Caption 16, Carlos explica - Geografía y gentilicios

 Play Caption

 

81. Eucalipto (eucalyptus)

82. Euforia (euphoria)

83. Idiosincrasia (idiosyncrasy)

84. Licuadora (blender)

 

85. Paraguas (umbrella)

Voy a coger un paraguas, por si acaso.

I am going to grab an umbrella, just in case.

Caption 42, Clara explica - El tiempo - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

86. Triángulo (triangle)

Después pones este triángulo con la base hacia abajo.

Afterwards you put this triangle with the base toward the bottom.

Caption 42, Manos a la obra - Separadores de libros: Charmander

 Play Caption

 

87. Vergüenza (shame)

 

Longest Spanish words

 

There is a ‘cute’ joke in Spanish that goes like this: 

 

- Do you know what the longest word in Spanish is?

- No. What is it?

- Arroz (rice)! 

- Arroz? That’s a very short word.

- No, arroz is the longest word in Spanish because it starts with ‘a’ and ends with ‘z’!

 

Of course, that’s only a joke! Arroz is one of the easiest words in Spanish. However, the following are some of the most challenging and longest Spanish words:

 

88. Electroencefalograma (electroencephalogram)

89. Esternocleidomastoideo (sternocleidomastoid)

90. Contrarrevolucionario (counter-revolutionary)

91. Constitucionalidad (constitutionality)

92. Internacionalización (internalization)

93. Otorrinolaringólogo (otolaryngologist)

 

Apart from these very complicated words, all those adverbs that end in -mente are also some of the longest Spanish words. Let’s look at a few:

 

94. Constitucionalmente (constitutionally)

 

95. Desafortunadamente (unfortunately)

Cuando tú creces, desafortunadamente te das cuenta que

When you grow up, unfortunately, you realize that

Caption 23, La Sub30 - Familias - Part 9

 Play Caption

 

96. Desconsoladamente (inconsolably)

97. Fuertemente (heavily)

 

 

98. Tradicionalmente (traditionally)

Y nos dedicamos al cultivo del champiñón tradicionalmente.

And we are dedicated to the cultivation of the mushroom traditionally.

Caption 4, La Champiñonera - El cultivo de champiñón - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

99. Tristemente (sadly)

 

And finally, can you think of any Spanish word that has all the vowels on it? We have a long word for you, which is actually quite short in English:

 

100. Murciélago (bat)

La palabra más larga es murciélago.

The longest word is bat.

Caption 43, Karla e Isabel - Palabras

 Play Caption

 

That's it for now. We know that there are many more hard Spanish words that we should include in this list. If you feel like it, please share some additional difficult Spanish words with us, and we’ll be happy to add them to this lesson. And don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!

 

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How to say "but" in Spanish: Pero, sino and sino que

Do you know how to say “but” in Spanish? If you are wondering why we need a lesson to answer such a simple question, there’s a reason for that. In fact, we have three options to express the conjunction “but” in Spanish: pero, sino and sino que. Let’s look at each one:

 

Pero in Spanish

 

As a conjunction, the Spanish word pero works like the English conjunction “but.” Let’s look at some examples:

 

Pues, fue muy estresante y agotador pero a la vez divertido porque…

Well, it was really stressful and exhausting but at the same time fun because…

Caption 62, Cleer - Entrevista a Lila

 Play Caption

 

llegó al país de los Muiscas una bella pero mala mujer llamada Huitaca,

a beautiful but evil woman named Huitaca arrived in the country of the Muiscas,

Caption 28, Aprendiendo con Carlos - América precolombina - El mito de Bochica

 Play Caption

 

We use pero in Spanish to create contrast between two statements. This contrast helps us to expand the information provided by the first statement. While most of the time the first statement is a positive one, there are some cases in which that statement can be negative:

 

No podemos ver, pero podemos escuchar.

We can’t see, but we can listen. 

 

In this case, you could also replace pero with sin embargo (however):

 

No podemos ver. Sin embargo, podemos escuchar.

We can’t see. However, we can listen.

 

What does sino mean?

 

We use the conjunction sino to create a contrast between two statements where the first one is ALWAYS a negative one. Let’s take a look:

 

 

lo importante no es ganar, sino competir.

the important thing isn't winning, but competing.

Caption 41, Club 10 - Capítulo 1 - Part 5

 Play Caption

 

Que no es una chica, sino un chico. -Oh...

That's it's not a girl, but rather a boy. -Oh…

Caption 40, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep 01 La llegada de Sam - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

You can think of sino as something that we could replace with por el contrario (on the contrary). Also, keep in mind that when you have a verb after sino, you need to use its infinitive form.

 

Sino que

 

We use sino que exactly the same way as the conjunction sino. The difference is that we use sino que when both statements contain a conjugated verb. Let’s take a look:  

 

En general, la... la gente no es sólo respetuosa, sino que es súper amable con nosotros.

In general, the... the people are not only respectful but are super kind to us.

Captions 41-42, El Instituto Cervantes - Jefa de biblioteca

 Play Caption

 

O sea que no solamente era una cosa, sino que eran varias.

I mean that it was not only one thing, but rather there were many.

Caption 27, María Marí - Su pasión por su arte - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Simple rules for using “but” in Spanish

 

Considering the fact that you have three options, you might not always know which option to choose in order to say “but” in Spanish. Luckily, there are some simple rules that will help you to figure out whether you need to use pero, sino or sino que. Let’s have a look:

 

- If the first statement is positive you need to use pero.

- If the first statement is negative, you need to use either sino or sino que.

- If the first statement is negative and you have a conjugated verb in both statements you need to use sino que.

- If you can replace “but” with “however” (sin embargo), you need to use pero.

- If you can replace “but” with “on the contrary,” (por el contrario) you need to use sino.

 

That's all for now. Now that you know how to say “but” in Spanish, try to write 5 sentences with pero, 5 sentences with sino and 5 sentences with sino que. And don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions to newsletter@yabla.com.

 

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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.

 

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

 Play Caption

 

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

 Play Caption

 

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.

 

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’.

 

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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Football/Soccer Vocabulary Words in Spanish

These days, it feels like football or soccer (as it is known in the US) is everywhere! Are you enjoying the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France? What about the exciting Copa América? Are you following the Total Africa Cup of Nations? If you like the game and want to expand your Spanish vocabulary of football terms, this lesson introduces some of the most common football/soccer vocabulary words in Spanish.

 

First things first. The Spanish word for football or soccer is fútbol, a word whose stress goes on the second-to-last syllable:

 

Y este... y juego al fútbol también a veces.

And well... I also play soccer sometimes.

Caption 11, Bajofondo Tango Club - Mar Dulce - Part 1

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However, in Mexico and other places across Central America people usually say futbol, with the stress on the last syllable:

 

Antes también jugué al futbol.

Before, I also played football.

Caption 28, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana - Manuel Orozco Sánchez - Part 1

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By the way, if you are American and you are wondering how to say “football” in Spanish, the answer to that is fútbol americano.

 

Football positions in Spanish

 

From the word fútbol, we got the word futbolista (football player / soccer player). We can also use the term jugador as an alternative to futbolista. As a general rule, un equipo de fútbol (a soccer team) has eleven players (futbolistas / jugadores) on the field. Let’s see the names of the different kinds of players that you see in a typical partido de fútbol (soccer game / soccer match):

 

Portero, arquero, guardameta (goalkeeper)

Defensor (defender)

Mediocampista, centrocampista, volante (midfielder)

Delantero, atacante (forward)

 

You can also find various and more specific names for the different players in the field. For instance, in the defense you can hear names like the following:

 

Defensa central (central defender)

Lateral derecho (right back)

Lateral izquierdo (left back)

 

By the way, you can use the terms campo de juego, cancha de fútbol or terreno de juego to refer to the playing field.

 

Mirá a Carlitos. La ves en la cancha de fútbol y no te imaginás.

Look at Carlitos. You see her on the soccer field and you can't imagine.

Caption 27, Muñeca Brava - 8 Trampas - Part 10

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In terms of other people that are involved in the game, we also have the following:

 

Árbitro (referee)

Juez de línea (assistant referee)

Entrenador (coach)

Suplente (substitute player) 

El capitán del equipo (the captain of the team)

 

Keep in mind that substitute players sit on the banca or banquillo (bench). And let’s not forget about the fans who sit in the estadio (stadium). You can call them hinchas or aficionados or you can also use the corresponding collective nouns hinchada or afición (a group of fans).

 

How to say soccer ball in Spanish… and goal!

 

If you want to say soccer ball in Spanish, you can either use balón de fútbol or pelota de fútbol. Or simply, pelota or balón. Some people call the soccer ball esférico.

 

And what about that magical moment when the ball enters the goal (the netted structure behind the goalkeeper)? Of course, we are talking about the goal, which in Spanish is called gol… or as many Latin sportscasters would very loudly say: ¡GOOOOOOOOOOOOOL! Another option you may hear for the term goal is the word tanto.

 

By the way, there are many words you can use in Spanish to talk about the goal (the netted structure). You can refer to as la portería, el arco or la valla. Each one of the two vertical goal posts is called palo or poste while the horizontal crossbar is called travesaño or larguero. Also, the small area that the goalkeeper guards (the goal area) is known in Spanish as área chica or área de meta. The bigger area (the penalty area) is known as área de penal.

 

There are many more things that are connected to the game. Let’s learn some more words:

 

El pito (the whistle)

Las botas de fútbol, los guayos, los botines de fútbol (soccer shoes)

Los tacos (the studs)

Las canilleras or las espinilleras (shin guards)

La camiseta (the t-shirt)

La copa (the cup)

El Mundial (the World Cup)

 

Campeonato europeo de fútbol, Mundial en Sudáfrica

the European soccer championship, the World Cup in South Africa

Caption 26, Marta - Se presenta

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Tarjeta amarilla (yellow card)

Tarjeta roja (red card)

Bandera (flag)

El césped (the pitch / the grass)

Mediocampo or media cancha (midfield)

Los vestidores, los camerinos (locker rooms)

 

Playing the game

 

Now, when it comes to playing the game, there are many calls and moves that are part of a standard game. Let’s learn some of those football/soccer vocabulary words in Spanish:

 

Saque inicial (kickoff)

Saque lateral (throw-in)

Saque de meta (goal kick)

La asistencia (the assistance)

Un pase (a pass)

Un pase largo (a long pass)

Un cabezazo (a header)

Córner or tiro de esquina (corner)

Fuera de lugar or fuera de juego (offside)

Falta (foul)

Fútbol de toque (a passing game)

La jugada (the move)

La lesión (the injury)

El marcador (the score)

El medio tiempo or el descanso (halftime)

La ocasión (the chance)

Penalti (penalty)

La prórroga (the extra time)

Regate (dribble)

El tiro or el disparo (the shot)

Tiro libre (free throw)

Un error (a mistake)

Una remontada (a comeback)

Victoria (victory)

Empate (tie)

Derrota (defeat)

 

Soccer verbs in Spanish

Now, it is time to review some of those verbs you can easily hear if you watch a soccer/football game in Spanish.

 

Aprovechar (take advantage)

Arbitrar (to referee)

Atacar (to attack)

Buscar (to look for)

Caer (to fall)

Calentar (to warm up)

 

El entrenador nos ordena calentar antes de cada partido de fútbol.

The coach orders us to warm up before each soccer match.

Caption 44, Lecciones con Carolina - Pedir, preguntar, y ordenar

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Clasificar (to classify)

Correr (to run)

Defender (to defend)

Derrotar (to defeat)

Disputar (to play, to fight for)

Eliminar (to eliminate)

Empatar (to tie)

Ganar (to win)

Igualar (to even)

Imponerse (to prevail)

Intentar (to try)

Jugar (to play)

Marcar (to score or to defend)

Pelear (to fight)

Perder (to lose)

Recuperar (to recover)

Reponerse (to recover)

Romper (to break)

Seguir (to follow)

Sudar (to sweat)

 

En el campo de fútbol, empecé a sudar.

On the soccer field, I started to sweat.

Caption 11, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 2 - Part 7

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Toparse (to run/bump into)

Tirar, chutar (to shoot) 

 

That's it for this lesson. We hope you enjoy this brief guide to some of the most common football/soccer vocabulary words in Spanish. Are there any words/terms that we didn’t mention? Please, let us know and don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

 

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Spanish adverbs with mente

Let’s talk about adverbs. Adverbs are very important in Spanish grammar and many of them are closely connected to adjectives. In fact, there are a good number of adverbs that can be easily formed if we are familiar with adjectives. In this lesson, we will see how to use adjectives in order to form Spanish adverbs with the suffix mente.

 

Some examples of Spanish adverbs with mente

Let’s take a look at these very used adverbs in Spanish.

 

...pero principalmente cubanos que llegaron a este país hace cuarenta años.

...but mainly Cubans who arrived to this country forty years ago.

Caption 6, La Calle 8 - Un recorrido fascinante

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Además, este año hay una zona dedicada especialmente a la gastronomía.

Additionally, this year there is an area dedicated especially to gastronomy.

Caption 28, Fuengirola - Feria Internacional de los Pueblos

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nos criamos completamente ciegos, sordos, mudos con respecto al dinero

we grew up completely blind, deaf, dumb with respect to money

Caption 70, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo enero - Part 4

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As you can see, the suffix mente corresponds to the English suffix ‘ly’. But how do you form Spanish adverbs with mente? Let’s take a look.

 

How to form Spanish adverbs with mente

In order to build Spanish adverbs with mente, you just have to follow this very simple formula:

 

Feminine form of the adjective + mente

 

For example, if we want to form an adverb with the adjective último (last), we just need to take the feminine form of that adjective (última) and add the suffix mente, like this:

 

última  + mente = últimamente (lastly).

 

Let’s look at some more examples:

 

Claro (clear): clara + mente = claramente (clearly)

Lento (slow): lenta + mente = lentamente (slowly)

Honesto (honest): honesta + mente = honestamente (honestly)

 

However, if an adjective doesn’t end in ‘o’, it means that it has one form that is used for both masculine and feminine. In that case, you just need to add the suffix mente to the adjective in order to get the adverb. Let’s see some examples:

 

Alegre (happy):  alegre + mente = alegremente (happily)

Triste (sad): triste + mente = tristemente (sadly)

Frecuente (frequent): frecuente + mente = frecuentemente (frequently)

Normal (normal): normal + mente = normalmente (normally)

 

It is also important to mention that if you have a sentence with two adverbs in a series, only the last one will have the suffix mente at the end. The first one will keep the feminime form of the adjective:

 

Él camina rápida y alegremente

He walks quickly and happily

 

Ellos hablaron clara y concisamente

They spoke clearly and concisely

 

Finally, something important to keep in mind: If the original adjective has a graphic accent on it (tilde), the adverb will also have that accent. Some examples:

 

Creo que mi mamá comprendió su equivocación rápidamente.

I think that my mom understood her mistake quickly.

Caption 1, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 2 - Part 7

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Con un poco de práctica, podremos aprender estas reglas muy fácilmente.

With a bit of practice, we will be able to learn these rules very easily.

Caption 54, Carlos explica - Acentuación Cap. 3: La división en sílabas - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

That's it for this lesson. Now, here is your homework: Take 10 adjectives and try to form the corresponding adverbs using the suffix mente. Can you write some sentences too? Have fun and don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

 

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100 words that are identical in Spanish and English

Spanish may seem quite different from English and that could be very intimidating for people learning the language of Cervantes. However, if you are an English speaker, there are many words in Spanish that you already know! In this lesson, we will discover 100 words that are identical in Spanish and English.

 

Words ending in ‘or’

In English, many words ending in ‘or’ are exactly the same in Spanish. Let’s start with the first one:

 

con el actor Fred Savage.

with the actor Fred Savage.

Caption 8, Carlos comenta - Los Años Maravillosos - La década de los 80 y música

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In the example above, the spelling of the word “actor” is the same in English and Spanish. While the pronunciation is different, it is worth noting that the stress of the Spanish word goes on the last syllable while its English equivalent has the stress on the second-to-last syllable. Let’s see some words that follow the same pattern:

 

2. Color

3. Director

4. Editor

5. Error

6. Exterior

7. Favor

 

eh... para mí como un honor y también un... un reto poder hacer,

um... for me, like an honor and also a... a challenge to be able to make,

Caption 55, Leonardo Rodriguez Sirtori - Una vida como pintor - Part 2

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9. Horror

10. Humor

11. Inferior

12. Instructor

 

Y ¿prefieren habitación exterior o interior?

And do you prefer an interior room or an exterior room?

Caption 15, Raquel - Reservación de Hotel

 Play Caption

 

14. Motor

15. Rumor

16. Sector

17. Superior

18. Tenor

19. Tractor

20. Tumor

21. Tutor

 

We know that some words like color and favor are spelled differently in some English speaking countries (colour, favour) but if you remove the ‘u’ you will find the same words in Spanish.

 

Words ending in ‘al’

Now, let’s see some words that end in ‘al,’ which share the same spelling in both English and Spanish:

 

El estanque artificial es la primera imagen

The artificial pond is the first image

Caption 46, Marisa en Madrid - Parque de El Retiro

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23. Animal

24. Brutal

25. Capital

26. Central

27. Cereal

 

Esta ciudad se caracteriza por su arquitectura colonial.

This city is characterized by its colonial architecture.

Caption 7, Mérida y sus alrededores - Ciudad de Mérida

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29. Continental

30. Criminal

 

Luego tenemos proyectos de cooperación cultural,

Then we have cultural cooperation projects,

Caption 54, En el hub - Madrid

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32. Decimal

33. Dental

34. Editorial

35. Electoral

36. Elemental

37. Experimental

 

y una crema hidratante facial es netamente para tu rostro.

and a moisturizing facial lotion is purely for your face.

Caption 34, Los médicos explican - Consejos para la piel

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39. Fatal

40. Federal

41. Festival

42. Final

43. Formal

44. Fundamental

45. Funeral

46. General

47. Gradual

48. Horizontal

 

El hospital da hacia el mar.

The hospital faces the sea.

Caption 20, Lecciones con Carolina - Verbo - dar

 Play Caption

 

50. Ideal

51. Imperial

52. Industrial

53. Informal

54. Instrumental

55. Legal

56. Liberal

57. Literal

58. Local

59. Manual

 

Todo este material servirá para decorar los puestos y las calles de Olivares,

All this material will serve to decorate the stands and streets of Olivares

Caption 72, Europa Abierta - Taller de escenografía en Olivares

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61. Mental

62. Metal

63. Monumental

64. Moral

65. Mortal

66. Musical

67. Natural

68. Neutral

 

Yo tengo una familia que es una familia normal.

I have a family that is a normal family.

Caption 1, El Aula Azul - Mi familia

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70. Oral

71. Original

72. Personal

73. Plural

74. Radical

75. Regional

76. Rival

77. Rural

78. Social

79. Superficial

 

llegaréis a la terminal nueva.

you will arrive at the new terminal.

Caption 23, Blanca - Cómo moverse en Barcelona

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81. Total

82. Tropical

83. Universal

84. Vertical

85. Visual

86. Viral

87. Vital

 

Words ending in ‘ble’

Finally, there are many English words that end in ‘ble’ that are identical in Spanish. Let’s see some of them:

 

88. Adorable

89. Deplorable

90. Flexible

91. Honorable

92. Invisible

93. Irresistible

94. Miserable

 

porque él también es muy sociable, le encanta estar con la gente...

because he also is very sociable, he loves to be with people...

Caption 11, El Aula Azul - Mis Amigos

 Play Caption

 

96. Tangible

97. Terrible

98. Variable

99. Visible

100. Vulnerable

 

In English, most of these words are stressed on the third-to-last syllable. On the contrary, in Spanish these words are stressed on the second-to-last syllable.

 

That's it for this lesson. Isn’t it nice to see that you already know so many Spanish words without even trying? In fact, there are many more words ending in ‘or,’ ‘al’ and ‘ble’ that have the same meaning and spelling in English and Spanish. Can you find more words to add to these 100? Give it a try and don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

 

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Entorno vs. en torno

As with any other language, Spanish can be tricky sometimes. Do you know how to use the word entorno? What about the expression en torno? Which one would you use in the following sentence:

 

Fuengirola es un importante punto turístico. Su economía gira ________ a este sector.

Fuengirola is an important touristic spot. Its economy revolves around this sector.

Captions 12-13, Fuengirola - Mercado

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What about this sentence:

 

encontró en su _________ un atractivo natural para los amantes del ecoturismo

found in its environment a natural beauty for the lovers of ecotourism

Caption 94, Tecnópolis - El Coronil

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Let’s find out what the answer is.

 

What is the English meaning of entorno?

To begin with, entorno is a noun and the meaning of this word is environment or surroundings. However, it is important to say that entorno encompasses the same broad meaning of the English word “environment,” meaning “the circumstances, objects, or conditions by which one is surrounded.” Let’s take a look at some examples:

 

... las calles, la gente... lo que es el entorno urbano.

... the streets, the people... what the urban environment is.

Captions 39-40, Leif - El Arquitecto Español y su Arte - Part 1

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para modificar el entorno, desarrolló herramientas, ¿no?

in order to modify the environment, he developed tools, right?

Caption 50, Lo que no sabías - Arte electrónico - Part 2

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Regarding the last example, the word entorno is very common in information and computer science, especially when talking about the features that define the execution and placement of a particular application.

 

The meaning of the expression en torno

As far as the expression en torno goes, we can use it to mean about, around or approximately. Let’s take a look:

 

que hay en torno a cincuenta millones, eh, hispanohablantes en Estados Unidos.

that there there are about fifty million, um, Spanish speakers in the United States.

Captions 42-43, El Instituto Cervantes - Director del Instituto

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Puede andar en torno a los dos mil seiscientos...

It could be around two thousand six hundred...

Caption 50, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 13

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Finally, keep in mind that en torno is either followed by the preposition a or the preposition de:

 

  • Ella llegó en torno a la medianoche.
  • She arrived around midnight.

 

  • Las esculturas en torno de la iglesia.
  • The sculptures around the church.

 

That's it for this lesson. Now that you know the difference between entorno and en torno, you can answer the questions we posed at the beginning, right? And don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

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The Articles in Spanish Grammar

Let’s talk about articles. Today, we will review this basic but very important ingredient of the Spanish language. We'll begin this lesson by discussing what an article is, and then look at the two main groups of articles we have in Spanish.

 

What is an article in Spanish?

An article is a word that we use in Spanish to specify the gender and number of a noun. Articles also tell us how specific a noun is and that’s why they can be definite or indefinite. Finally, we always put articles before a noun.

 

If that sounds too complicated, let’s see how the Cambridge Dictionary defines the word article: “Any of the English words "a," "an," and "the," or words in other languages that are used in a similar way as these.” With that being said, let’s take a look at definite and indefinite articles in Spanish.

 

Definite articles in Spanish

Definite articles in English are easy. In fact, we only have one definite article: the. To the contrary, in Spanish we have four different definite articles: el, la, los, las. Let’s see that in action:

 

  • El niño (the boy) - We use ‘el’ to indicate that the noun is singular and masculine.
  • La niña (the girl) - We use ‘la’ to indicate that the noun is singular and feminine.
  • Los niños (the boys) - We use ‘los’ to indicate that the noun is plural and masculine.
  • Las niñas (the girls) - We use ‘las’ to indicate that the noun is plural and feminine.

 

Keep in mind, however, that if you are referring to a group where you have both male and female elements, we need to use the masculine article ‘los’. In fact, in those cases we need to use the plural form of the masculine noun:

 

  • A group of 4 male friends: los amigos (the friends)
  • A group of 4 female friends: las amigas (the friends)
  • A group of 2 male friends and 2 female friends: los amigos (the friends)

 

Hoy tengo clase con los alumnos principiantes de español.

Today I have class with the beginner Spanish students.

Caption 5, Español para principiantes - La hora

 Play Caption

 

In the example above, we use the article los with the word alumnos (students) but the speaker is very likely referring to a group of both male and female students.

We also have the neuter definite article lo but if you want a further explanation about this very particular article, please check the lesson about this topic HERE.

 

Indefinite articles in Spanish

In English, we have the indefinite articles “a” and “an.” In Spanish, we have four indefinite articles that we use to specify the gender and number of the noun they precede. These articles are un, una, unos and unas:

 

  • Un perro (a dog) - We use ‘un’ to indicate that the noun is singular and masculine.
  • Una serpiente (a snake) - We use ‘una’ to indicate that the noun is singular and feminine.
  • Unos perros (some dogs) - We use ‘unos’ to indicate that the noun is plural and masculine.
  • Unas serpientes (some snakes) - We use ‘unas’ to indicate that the noun is plural and feminine.

 

Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Compré un regalo para unos amigos.

I bought a gift for some friends.

Caption 9, Conversaciones en el parque - Cap. 4: Regalos para un nuevo bebé

 Play Caption

 

In this sentence, we use the article unos with the noun amigos (friends). However, just as it happens with the definite article los, we use the indefinite article unos when referring to groups that may include both male and female elements. In this case, some friends could easily include both male and female friends.

 

¿Unas entradas para ver un musical?

Some tickets to see a musical?

Caption 35, Blanca y Mariona - Planificación de cena

 Play Caption

 

In this example, both nouns are indefinite so the girls use the corresponding indefinite articles. If the girls had known some specific information about the tickets and the musical, they would have used definite articles:

 

  • ¿Las entradas para ver el musical?
  • ¿The tickets to see the musical?

 

That's it for now. If you are aware of the gender and number variables that nouns have in Spanish, you will be on your way to using articles like a pro. We hope you find this lesson useful and don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

 

Explore more lessons:

Lo: the Neuter Article

Irse de boca

A Common Past: ser and ir

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Palabras graves: Accent on the second-to-last syllable

In this lesson we’ll talk about Spanish words that have the accent on the second-to last syllable. We call these words palabras graves. In a previous lesson, we talked about palabras agudas, which are words with the accent on the last syllable. 

 

Before we talk about palabras graves, let’s briefly discuss the meaning of the word “accent” in Spanish.

 

When we pronounce words in Spanish, the accent is the emphasis we give to a particular syllable of a word. We create that emphasis by giving the syllable a greater intensity, a longer duration, or a higher pitch. With that in mind, let’s review the way we categorize words in Spanish, according to their accent:

 

  • Palabras agudas (oxytone words) | accent on the last syllable
  • Palabras graves (paroxytone words) | accent on the second-to-last syllable
  • Palabras esdrújulas (proparoxytone words) | accent on the third-to-last syllable
  • Palabras sobresdrújulas (over-proparoxytone words) | accent on any syllable before the third-to-last syllable

 

Now we can focus on palabras graves, which are also known as palabras llanas. Let’s look at a couple of words:

 

Palabras como "lápiz" o "cereza" son palabras graves.

Words like "lápiz" [pencil] or "cereza" [cherry] are paroxytone words.

Caption 33, Carlos explica - Acentuación Cap. 4: Clasificación de las palabras según el acento

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The word lápiz has two syllables (lá | piz) and the accent goes on the second-to-last syllable “.” Similarly, the word cereza has three syllables (ce | re | za) and the accent also goes on the second-to-last syllable “re.”

 

We note that the word lápiz has a graphic accent (tilde) on the “á,” while the “e” in the second-to-last syllable of cereza doesn’t have that accent.

Why not? It’s because paroxytone words need that graphic accent ONLY if they DO NOT end with “n,” “s,” or a vowel: Cereza ends in a vowel, so we don’t need the tilde.

 

y luego pasa en botella, donde se añade azúcar y eh... levadura.

and then goes into the bottle, where sugar is added and um... yeast.

Caption 26, Feria de Vinos Españoles en Londres - Bodegas Castell D'Age

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The word azúcar has three syllables (a | zú | car) and the accent goes on the second-to-last syllable “”. Since this word doesn’t end in “n,” “s” or a vowel, we need to put a tilde on the vowel of the second-to-last syllable.

 

La vida de músico es muy difícil, Kevin, es muy sacrificada.

The musician's life is very difficult, Kevin, it's very demanding.

Caption 16, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 3 - Part 8

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Likewise, the word difícil (di | fí | cil) has the accent on the second-to-last syllable “” and we need to put the graphic accent on the “í” since this word ends in a consonant (“l”), which is neither an “n,” an “s” nor a vowel.

 

There are, however, many palabras graves in Spanish that don’t need a graphic accent. Let’s take a look:

 

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

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Both lunes ( lu | nes) and ejemplo (e | jem | plo) have the accent on the second-to-last syllable. However, since lunes ends in “s” and ejemplo ends in a vowel, neither word needs the tilde.

 

One last thing: There are many words that are agudas in the singular and graves in the plural. Take a look at the following list (stressed syllable are in boldface):

 

  • Organización [organization] | organizaciones [organizations]
  • Nación [nation] | naciones [nations]
  • Doctor [doctor] | doctores [doctors]
  • Pared [wall] | paredes [walls]


That's it for now. If you feel like practicing a little bit more, take one of our videos and try to find all the paroxytone words with and without a tilde. And of course, don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions.

 

Explore more lessons:

Palabras agudas: Stress at the end

Some Unique Words and Expressions

Too Fast? Blame the Sinalefas - Part 1

 

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The preposition a in Spanish

Today, we will discuss a very common and useful preposition. Just like most prepositions, the preposition a in Spanish can be used in various different ways. While we usually think of the preposition a as the English equivalent of to, this preposition can also work as in, on, from, by and at. Let’s take a look.

 

Uses of the preposition a in Spanish

To begin with, we use the preposition a to indicate motion to a particular place:

Por ejemplo, yo quiero viajar a Noruega la próxima semana…

For example, I want to travel to Norway next week…

Caption 10, Escuela Don Quijote - En el aula - Part 1

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Llegué a Londres hace tres meses.

I arrived in London three months ago.

Caption 7, Lydia de Barcelona - Lydia y el festival de cine "Women Mujeres"

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We also use the preposition a when we want to connect a main verb with a verb in the infinitive. For example, when we are referring to the moment a particular action started:

En poco tiempo, la gente comenzó a hacer el mal.

After a short period of time, people began to do evil.

Caption 32, Aprendiendo con Carlos - América precolombina - El mito de Bochica

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In this context, however, one of the most common uses of the preposition a is when we want to express a future action using the following formula: ir (to go) + a (to) + infinitive verb:

Entonces el día de hoy, a petición de Chuy, vamos a hacer una carne asada.

So today, at Chuy's request, we're going to make grilled meat.

Caption 9, [Bears in the Kitchen] Osos en la cocina - Carne asada

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We also use the preposition a in Spanish when we want to indicate the end of a particular period of time:

El horario es de lunes a viernes

The schedule is from Monday to Friday

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

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Another very common use of this preposition is when we want to indicate a particular point in a scale (time, distance, speed, temperature, etc.):

Estamos situados a cuarenta kilómetros de Barcelona

We are located forty kilometers from Barcelona

Caption 3, Feria de Vinos Españoles en Londres - Bodegas Castell D'Age

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Me levanto todas las mañanas a las siete

I get up every morning at seven o'clock

Caption 28, Club de las ideas - Pasión por el golf - Part 1

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Finally, we use the preposition a before a direct object when that object is a person. Similarly, we also use this preposition when we want to introduce an indirect object:

A mi hermana le gusta el color rojo.

My sister likes the color red.

Caption 7, Español para principiantes - Los colores

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Entonces, nosotros les compramos a las personas para que...

So, we buy from people so that...

Caption 7, Fruteria "Los Mangos" - Vendiendo Frutas - Part 2

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The contraction al  in Spanish

When the preposition a goes before the definite article el, you need to combine the two words using the contraction al (a + el):

No quiero viajar al mundo espacial

I don't want to travel to the space world

Caption 20, La Gusana Ciega - Invasión Estelar

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pero sí os recomiendo que vengáis aquí al parque

but I do recommend that you come here to the park

Caption 80, Animales en familia - Un día en Bioparc: Lémures

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Please keep in mind that when you have the preposition a next to the article el, the contraction al is mandatory! For this reason, and considering the examples we just mentioned, it would have been wrong to say the following:

No quiero viajar a el mundo

… que vengáis aquí a el parque

In both cases, you need to use the contraction al.

 

That's all for now. Try writing sentences with all the different uses we have mentioned for the preposition a. And don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions.

 

Explore more lessons:

The preposition sobre

A que sí / A que no

Ser vs Estar - Yo estoy

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