Generally speaking, we use the conditional tense in Spanish to talk about hypothetical facts. 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.
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.
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.
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.
- Casa (house) - Casas (houses)
- Estudiante (student) - Estudiantes (students)
- Perro (perro) - Perros (dogs)
Se escucha un perro.
You can hear a dog.Play Caption
Tus perros también son muy bonitos.
Your dogs are very beautiful too.Play Caption
- 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 BodegaPlay Caption
Cada uno de estos cafés tiene distintas cualidades tanto físicas como sensoriales
Each one of these coffees has different qualities both physically and sensorially.
Caption 14, Una Historia de Café La BodegaPlay Caption
- 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)
- 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.Play Caption
Actualmente es la residencia oficial de los reyes de España,
Currently, it's the official residence of the King and Queen of Spain,
Caption 23, Madrid Un recorrido por la capital de EspañaPlay Caption
Notice that the singular noun árbol has a graphic accent in the second-to-last syllable (palabra grave). However, when you form the plural, the graphic accent moves to the third-to-last-syllable becoming a proparoxytone word (palabra esdrújula). Similarly, singular nouns like profesor and universidad that are stressed in the last syllable (palabras agudas) become paroxytone words (palabras graves) in the plural form.
- Lápiz (pencil) - Lápices (pencils)
- Raíz (root) - Raíces (roots)
- Voz (voice) - Voces (voices)
Tengo muy buena voz,
I have a very good voice,Play Caption
vuelven esas voces a mi cabeza.
those voices come back to my head.Play Caption
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.Play Caption
para hacerle los análisis de sangre, de heces,
to do the blood tests, stool (tests),
Caption 54, Santuario para burros Santuario - Part 1Play Caption
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.
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:
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 LilaPlay 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,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.
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 5Play Caption
Que no es una chica, sino un chico. -Oh...
That's it's not a girl, but rather a boy. -Oh…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.
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 bibliotecaPlay 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 2Play Caption
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 email@example.com.
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: from, of, in, and even than. Let’s have a look.
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,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.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 bibliotecaPlay Caption
un profesor de español,
a Spanish teacher,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 seguraPlay 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.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 MillónPlay 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 CumelenPlay 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 eveningPlay 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 2Play 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)
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 1-100Play 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.
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:
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:
Aquí aprenden a diseñar y confeccionar decorados,
Here they learn to design and make decorations,Play Caption
Now, let’s take the regular verb comer (to eat) and see how the conjugation works in the simple past:
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 pasadoPlay Caption
Let’s use a different verb to see the conjugation of a regular ‘er’ verb in the simple future. Let’s take the verb vender (to sell):
Mañana venderé mi casa.
Tomorrow, I will sell my house.
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.Play Caption
2. Comprender (to comprehend / understand)
Ahora comprendo mejor la operación de mi padre
Now I understand my father's operation better
Caption 65, Club de las ideas - Lego Fest en SevillaPlay Caption
3. Correr (to run)
Corrió hacia la puerta y cuando el príncipe trató de seguirla,
She ran to the door and when the prince tried to follow her,
Caption 16, Cuentos de hadas - La Cenicienta - Part 2Play Caption
4. Prometer (to promise)
Ayer os prometí que estudiaríamos hoy "aconsejar,"
Yesterday I promised you that today we would learn "to advise,"
Caption 1, Escuela Don Quijote - En el aul - Part 1Play Caption
5. Temer (to fear / be afraid of)
Pero ellos no le temen a nada.
But they are not afraid of anything.
Caption 23, Salvando el planeta Palabra - Llegada - Part 8Play Caption
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.
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.
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 fascinantePlay Caption
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 PueblosPlay Caption
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 4Play Caption
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.
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 7Play Caption
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.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.
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 - MercadoPlay Caption
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 CoronilPlay Caption
Let’s find out what the answer is.
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 1Play Caption
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 2Play Caption
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.
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 InstitutoPlay Caption
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 13Play Caption
Finally, keep in mind that en torno is either followed by the preposition a or the preposition de:
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.
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.
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 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:
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:
Hoy tengo clase con los alumnos principiantes de español.
Today I have class with the beginner Spanish students.
Caption 5, Español para principiantes - La horaPlay 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.
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:
Let’s look at a couple of examples:
Compré un regalo para unos amigos.
I bought a gift for some friends.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 cenaPlay 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:
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.
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.
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 1Play Caption
Llegué a Londres hace tres meses.
I arrived in London three months ago.Play Caption
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.Play Caption
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.Play Caption
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 2Play Caption
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 BarcelonaPlay Caption
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 1Play Caption
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 coloresPlay Caption
Entonces, nosotros les compramos a las personas para que...
So, we buy from people so that...Play Caption
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 EstelarPlay Caption
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: LémuresPlay Caption
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.
Let’s start this lesson with a short quiz. Imagine that you want to say the following sentence in Spanish:
“There were many books in that apartment.” You have two options:
a. Había muchos libros en ese apartamento
b. Habían muchos libros en ese apartamento
Which one is the correct form? Había in singular or habían in plural?
To answer our question, we need to say that había and habían belong to the imperfect tense of the Spanish verb haber. Let’s take a look at that conjugation:
Now, very often, we use the verb haber as the auxiliary verb “to have”:
...todas las cosas que había estado buscando, ¿no?
...all the things that I had been looking for, right?
Caption 5, Belanova - Entrevista - Part 2Play Caption
However, in the sentence we are discussing here, we are not using haber as the auxiliary verb “to have,” but rather as an element that allows us to make a reference to the existence of many books in a particular place (the apartment). In other words, we are using haber as the equivalent of there is / there are in English.
When we use haber with that intention, we ALWAYS have to use its singular form even if what comes after it is a plural noun! Because of that, the correct answer to our opening question is the following:
a. Había muchos libros en ese apartamento
Now that we understand that we need to use the singular había and not the plural form habían, let’s look at a couple of examples of how to properly use había when talking about the presence or existence of things or people in a particular place:
Aquí había unas comidas para llevar.
There were some takeout places here.
Caption 8, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 10Play Caption
porque había diferentes explicaciones de…
because there were different explanations of…
Caption 31, El Aula Azul - Dos historiasPlay Caption
porque había muchos obstáculos para ese encuentro.
because there were many obstacles for that meeting.
Caption 34, La Sub30 - Familias - Part 4Play Caption
y había muchos seres extraños
and there were many strange beings.
Caption 43, Salvando el planeta Palabra - Llegada - Part 3Play Caption
no había máquinas de estas,
there were no machines like these,Play Caption
By the way, it is worth saying that many Spanish speakers make the mistake of using habían instead of había in the context we just discussed. In fact, many people think that what comes after the verb haber is the subject of the sentence, which is not the case.
That’s it for now. We hope this lesson will help you to avoid making this very common mistake in Spanish. And don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.
Likewise, each infinitive verb is formed using the following formula: verb stem + infinitive ending. Let’s look at some of the most common regular ‘AR’ 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 hablar (to speak) and see its conjugation in the simple present. Notice how the stem stays the same but the endings vary:
... o cuando mis alumnos hablan español.
... or when my students speak Spanish.Play Caption
Now, let’s take the regular verb comprar (to buy) and see how the conjugation works in the simple past:
¿Recuerdas el regalo que compré? -Mm-hm.
Do you remember the gift that I bought? -Mm-hm.
Caption 17, El Aula Azul - La Doctora Consejos - El pasadoPlay Caption
Let’s use a different verb to see the conjugation of a regular ‘AR’ verb in the simple future. Let’s take the verb estudiar (to study):
La Comisaría de Pesca dice que estudiará la forma de pagar esa indemnización.
The Fisheries Commissioner says that she will evaluate the way to pay that compensation.
Caption 50, Europa Abierta - Aguas en discordiaPlay Caption
Take a look at the following list featuring some of the most used 'AR' verbs in Spanish:
Now, a final challenge: take one of the verbs we just mentioned and try conjugating it in simple present, past and future. And don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions.
Let's talk about pronouns. In English, when we talk with someone we use the second person singular pronoun ‘you’. In Spanish, we have three different options for that same pronoun: tú, usted and vos. Which one we use depends on things like the relation that we have with the person we are talking to or the place where we are. Generally speaking, we use usted when we want to talk in a more respectful way with someone:
¿Usted qué... qué me recomienda, doctor?
What do you... what do you recommend to me, Doctor?Play Caption
However, if you are following the Colombian series Los Años Maravillosos, you have probably noticed that people usually use usted even when talking with family members or close friends. Why? That’s just how people speak in Bogota, Colombia:
¿Y a usted qué le pasa, mi hijito?
And what's going on with you, my little boy?
Caption 35, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 1 - Part 4Play Caption
Regardless of its use, there is something quite unique about using usted: we conjugate usted as we would conjugate él (he) or ella (she):
Él trabaja entre las nueve de la mañana
He works between nine in the morning
Caption 48, La casa - De ChusPlay Caption
¿Dónde trabaja usted?
Where do you work?
Caption 9, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 16Play Caption
As you can see in the captions above, the conjugation of the verb trabajar (to work) with él (he) and usted (you) is exactly the same (trabaja), something that doesn’t occur with tú and vos:
Tú trabajas | You work
Vos trabajás | You work
Él/Ella/Usted Trabaja | He/She/You work
To wrap things up, we use usted as a second person singular pronoun. However, we conjugate it as a third person singular pronoun!
And don’t forget that this also occurs with the plural form ustedes (you all), which we conjugate as the third person plural pronoun ellos/ellas (they). Notice how ustedes and ellos share the same conjugation of the verb saber (to know) in the following captions:
Toda la vida he estado en el PAN, como ustedes saben, y he estado muy contento.
All my life I have been in PAN, as you know, and I have been very happy.
Caption 37, Felipe Calderón - Publicidad - Part 2Play Caption
Ellos saben de los sitios que son hábitat de reproducción,
They know about the places that are reproduction habitats,Play Caption
That's it for now. If you want to learn more things about the use of tú, usted and vos make sure to check out our series about Tuteo, Ustedeo y Voseo. And don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.
Let's talk about prepositions! Today, we will discuss a very useful preposition that also has lots of meanings. Our guest today is the preposition sobre!
We usually use sobre as the equivalent of the English preposition about (with regard to):
Os voy a contar a... cosas sobre uno de los lugares más típicos de Barcelona
I'm going to tell you about... things about one of the most typical places in Barcelona
Caption 24, Blanca - Sobre la ciudad de BarcelonaPlay Caption
Te cité porque quiero escribir un libro sobre meditación,
I called you here because I want to write a book about meditation,Play Caption
The preposition sobre can also be used as the equivalent of the English adverb about (approximately) when we want to indicate an approximate time, quantity or number:
Perfecto. Y, ¿sobre qué hora te vendría bien?
Perfect. And, about what time would be good for you?Play Caption
Very often, the preposition sobre indicates the position of a particular person or object. In this case, sobre acts as the English prepositions over and on:
No quieras caminar sobre el dolor... descalza
Don't wish to walk over the pain... barefoot
Caption 6, Camila - Aléjate de miPlay Caption
Vamos a ponerlas sobre un papel aluminio.
We are going to put them on a piece of aluminum foil.Play Caption
While we usually use sobre as a preposition, this isn’t always the case. For instance, the preposition sobre is often used next to the word todo to form the adverbial phrase sobre todo, which means especially or particularly. You can see how the following sentence uses both sobre (about) and sobre todo (especially):
hay varios artículos sobre esto y sobre todo en dependencia a la edad del niño
there are several articles about this and especially depending on the age of the child,
Caption 85, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo enero - Part 4Play Caption
And finally, don’t forget that the word sobre can also be a noun, which means envelope in Spanish:
y que están en este sobre que se mandan a Claridad,
and which are in this envelope that are sent to Claridad
Caption 56, Seva Vive - 2. La coplaPlay Caption
de recoger todos esos sobres que repartió la Mojiganga...
of collecting all those envelopes that the Mojiganga gave out...
Caption 35, Estado Falcón - Locos de la Vela - Part 3Play Caption
That's all for now. Try to write some sentences with all the different uses that we mentioned for the word sobre. And don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.