Spanish Lessons


The Many Ways To Say "To Get" in Spanish

Do you know how to say "to get" in Spanish? Due to the numerous ways in which this word can be used in English, there is no "one size fits all" translation for this term. That said, let's explore the many meanings of the verb "to get" in English and learn their Spanish equivalents.


Meanings of "To Get" and Their Spanish Equivalents

Breaking down the verb "to get" in English into many of its possible definitions, let's find out which verbs are used to express these ideas in Spanish and hear them in context. 


1. To obtain or acquire: obtener, conseguir


"Efectivamente. Acaba de conseguir otro trabajo".

"Indeed. He just got another job."

Caption 60, Carlos explica 20 formas de decir sí sin decir sí

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2. To receive: recibir, tener


"Hoy recibí la carta".

"Today, I got the letter."

Caption 46, Carlos explica Los artículos en español - Part 2

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Note that while the verb tener typically means "to have," it is a word that sometimes changes meaning in the preterite tense. Hence "Tuve una noticia" could be translated as "I got some news."


3. To achieve, win, or earn: sacar, ganar, obtener


lograr obtener un buen resultado en el examen. 

to manage to get a good grade on the exam.

Caption 42, Carlos explica Las preposiciones 'por' y 'para' - Part 1

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Este... Saqué el bachillerato 

Um... I got my high school diploma,

Caption 50, Cleer Entrevista a Giluancar

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4. To fetch or bring: traer


voy y te traigo la cerveza. 

I'll go, and I'll get you the beer.

Caption 39, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 12 - Part 6

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5. To buy: comprar


es en el caso que se nos termine la pasta dental y no podamos salir a la tienda a comprar otra. 

is in case we run out of toothpaste and we can't go to the store to get another one.

Captions 50-51, Otavalo Consejos de salud bucal

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6. To understand: comprender, entender


Yo no entiendo por qué quieres actuar en esa obra. 

I don't get why you want to act in that play.

Caption 32, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 9 - Part 3

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7. To become: ponerse


Candelario se puso triste.

Candelario got sad.

Caption 44, Guillermina y Candelario El Gran Rescate

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Keep in mind that a number of Spanish verbs intrinsically contain the idea of "to get" in the sense of "becoming." For example, the verb entristecerse also means "to get sad." Additional examples include mejorar (to get better), empeorar (to get worse), molestarse (to get annoyed), alegrarse (to get happy), and many more. 


8. To catch: agarrar, coger, agarrar


Todos pillamos el COVID y tuvimos que quedarnos en casa durante casi dos semanas.

We all got COVID and had to stay home for almost two weeks. 


Regarding the use of the verb coger in this context, be aware that while it is extremely common in Spain, in many Latin American countries like Mexico, it has a vulgar connotation and should thus be exercised with caution. 


9. To reach a destination: llegar


El cuarto significado señala cuánto tiempo falta para llegar a un destino 

The fourth meaning indicates how much time is left to get to a destination

Captions 3-4, Aprendiendo con Silvia Significados, usos y expresiones con "quedar" - Part 2

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Translations for Additional Common Expressions With "To Get"


10: To get to: tener la oportunidad de, tener la ocasión de, poder hacer


Incluso tuve la oportunidad de jugar a nivel competitivo.

I even got to play at a competitive level.

Caption 28, Club 10 Capítulo 2 - Part 2

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11: To get [someone] to [do something]: lograr que, conseguir que, convencer a 


y logré que para este caso nombraran a una juez que es amiga mía.

and, for this case, I got them to appoint a judge who's a friend of mine.

Caption 19, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 2 - Part 11

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Remember that with all of these expressions, verbs that follow the conjunction que in Spanish should be conjugated in the subjunctive


12. To get [something done]: mandar + infinitive, hacer que + verb in subjunctive 


dónde la pueden mandar hacer o...

where you can get it made, or...

Caption 57, Rueda de la muerte Parte 1

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An alternative way to express this would be: dónde pueden hacer que la hagan.


That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped you to realize the numerous ways in which the English verb "to get" is used and that you now know which Spanish verbs to choose for similar situations. Don't forget to write us with your questions and suggestions

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Grammatical Agreement in Spanish

Are you familiar with the concept of grammatical agreement in Spanish? There are two main types of agreement in Spanish: noun agreement and verb agreement. Today's lesson will provide an introduction to each. 


Noun Agreement in Spanish 

The concept of noun agreement is the following: Since Spanish nouns are either masculine or feminine and singular or plural, their definite or indefinite articles, adjectives, and other grammatical elements must correspond in terms of these attributes. Let's take a look at a chart that demonstrates this concept with masculine and feminine singular and plural nouns and their corresponding definite and indefinite articles. 


  Singular: Plural:  
Masculine: el chico (the boy) los chicos (the boys)  
  un chic(a boy) unos chicos (some boys)  
Feminine: la chic(the girl) las chicas (the girls)  
  una chica (a girl) unas chicas (some girls)  






The chart shows us the various ways to say "the" (el, los, la, las) and "a/an" (un, unos, una, unas), depending upon whether a noun is masculine or feminine and singular or plural. That said, let's keep a couple of additional points in mind regarding recognizing the number and gender of Spanish nouns and/or modifying them to achieve noun agreement.


1. Although many Spanish masculine singular nouns end in -o and many Spanish feminine nouns end in -a, this is not always the case. Therefore, less obvious nouns (e.g. el avión (the airplane) or la nube (the cloud)) require simply memorizing the gender of the noun, especially nouns that refer to inanimate objects. For this reason, Spanish students typically learn new nouns and their respective masculine or feminine definite articles simultaneously. 


2. As a general rule, many nouns that end in a vowel require the addition of an -s to make them plural, while many nouns that end in a consonant become plural by adding -es. Applying this to the abovementioned nouns, el avión becomes los aviones while la nube changes to las nubes.


Adjective Noun Agreement in Spanish


In addition to their articles, Spanish adjectives must also agree in terms of number and gender with the nouns they modify, with the same general spelling guidelines that we mentioned for pluralizing nouns. Let's hear how this works via some examples from our Yabla Spanish library:


Un coche bonito, unos coches bonitos. Una casa roja, las casas rojas.

A nice car, some nice cars. A red house, the red houses.

Captions 28-29, Fundamentos del Español 3 - Le Estructura de las Frases

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unos ojos azules, inmensos...

some huge, blue eyes...

Caption 24, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 6: El día de la Primitiva - Part 2

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As you delve further into more complex Spanish grammar such as direct object pronouns, you will see how the number and gender of Spanish nouns continue to exert their influence. 


Verb Agreement in Spanish 

Verb agreement in Spanish refers to the fact that Spanish verbs need to be conjugated in accordance with their respective subjects or subject pronouns, agreeing in number (singular or plural) and person (first, second, or third). Although this concept exists in English, it is much simpler due to the fact that there are less subject pronouns in English (seven vs. thirteen in Spanish) and far less verb forms. For example, for all of the seven English subject pronouns, there are only two verb forms, as we see below:


Subject Pronoun:

I: speak

you: speak

he: speaks

she: speaks

we: speak

they: speak

it: speaks 


In Spanish, on the other hand, there are thirteen subject pronouns and many corresponding conjugations. Additionally, the manner in which each verb is conjugated depends upon which of the three common verb categories (-ar, -er, and -ir) it falls into, and many verbs are irregular, making verb agreement in Spanish significantly more complex. With this in mind, let's take a look at a chart with the conjugations of three common regular verbs, one from each category, in the present indicative tense:


Subject Pronoun: hablar: comer: subir:
yo hablo como subo
hablas comes subes
vos hablás comés subís
él/ella/usted habla come sube
vosotros/vosotras habláis coméis subís
nosotros/nosotras hablamos comemos subimos
ellos/ellas/ustedes hablan comen suben









If that doesn't seem nuanced enough, keep in mind that that was just one of the sixteen Spanish verb tenses, each of which has its own specific manner of conjugating verbs in order to ensure verb agreement. 


We hope that these explanations have given you a better idea about the concept of noun and verb agreement in Spanish, which are essential to understanding Spanish sentences and constructing your own. Don't forget to write us with your questions and comments


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Ir + Gerund to Emphasize Progression in Spanish

Are you familiar with the Spanish present progressive tense that utilizes the formula estar (to be) + gerund (the equivalent of the -ing form in English) to talk about an action in progress? Let's see an example:


¡Lo estás haciendo genial!

You're doing it great!

Caption 47, Aprendiendo con Zulbany Piensa rápido - Part 1

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Now let's look at an example where the verb ir (to go) is used with the gerund in lieu of the verb estar:


tú vas haciendo y pasan dos horas y te dicen vale ya está.

you're doing it and two hours go by and they tell you OK, that's it.

Caption 55, Blanca y Mariona Proyectos para el verano

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What's the difference? Although both estás haciendo and vas haciendo are translated as "you're doing" in these examples, the construction ir + gerund is often employed to emphasize the fact that an action is, was, or will be evolving over time, gradually, or as part of a process. Let's explore this notion a bit further. 


How to Form Ir + Gerund in Spanish

As the formula suggests, this construction is created by combining a conjugated form of the verb ir (to go) in any tense with the gerund, for example, cambiando (changing), aprendiendo (learning), or diciendo (saying), which you can learn to conjugate in the aforementioned lesson on the present perfect. Let's see some examples in the present, imperfect, and future tenses.


Vamos cocinando (We're cooking) 

Iban creando (They were creating)

Iremos entendiendo (We'll be understanding)


How Does Ir + Gerund Differ From the Present Progressive? 

As we mentioned in the introduction, ir + gerund typically describes actions that take place over time, bit by bit, or as part of a process. Therefore, while their translations are sometimes the exact same as they would be if the verb estar were to replace the verb ir, this implication is present within this structure. With this in mind, let's see a few examples of this construction. 


y... fuimos creciendo juntos en ese momento.

and...we were growing together at that moment,

Caption 77, Biografía Natalia Oreiro - Part 6

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In this caption, the preterite tense of the verb ir is used to describe something that happened in the distant past. However, the formula ir + gerund was chosen to demonstrate that the "growing" being talked about was a process that was unfolding at that moment in time. Let's see another example:


Mientras la cebolla está pochando, en otra sartén vamos a ir haciendo la patata.

While the onion is sauteing, in another frying pan, we're going to be making the potato.

Captions 42-43, La cocina de María Tortilla de patatas

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Here, the formula ir + gerund is once again used to talk about the process of making the potato over time. For this reason, you will often find this construction in sentences that contain the word mientras (while) to talk about an action that is evolving while something else happens. Let's look at one more example:


"Y el consciente..." ¿Viste como tú misma vas cambiando en la medida que vas trabajando?

"And the Conscious"... Did you see how you yourself are changing as you are working?

Captions 18-19, Escribiendo un libro Algunos consejos sobre cómo comenzar - Part 3

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Once again, ir + gerund is utilized because "changing" and "working" are actions that aren't just in progress at some moment but are rather part of a bigger picture of evolution over time. So, the implication here is "Did you see how you yourself are (gradually) changing as you are working (over time)? In fact, words like "gradually" or "over time" may or may not be added to the translations of some instances of the ir + gerund construction, which is sometimes difficult to translate precisely. 


That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped you to better understand the often seen but seldom talked about ir + gerund construction, and don't forget to write us with your questions and comments


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Epicene Nouns: Gender Neutral Words in Spanish

In Spanish, nouns are categorized into two grammatical genders: masculine and feminine. While the grammatical gender of a noun that describes a living being sometimes gives away that being's real life gender, there is a special category of nouns known as "epicene nouns" where this is not the case. In this lesson, we will explore the concept of epicene nouns in Spanish and provide you with several examples to better understand them. 


Epicene Nouns: The Basic Rules

When indicating real life gender in Spanish, for some living beings, there are different words for the male and female versions, for example, la vaca (the cow) vs. el toro (the bull). Others nouns indicate real life gender with changes to their endings and/or articles, such as the fact that el maestro refers to a male teacher, while la maestra is a female teacher. 


Grammatically speaking, epicene nouns, like all nouns, are either masculine or feminine. However, what makes Spanish epicene nouns unique is that they are used for both the males and females of the beings they describe. For example, the noun la hormiga (ant) is a feminine noun that can be used to talk about either a male or female insect. Considering this, if you wish to say that a male ant was defending the queen ant, you would need to add the word macho (male) after it for clarification:


La hormiga macho estaba defendiendo a la reina.

The male ant was defending the queen.


Therefore, if you wish to provide this type of precise information regarding the real life gender of the noun about which you are speaking, the following terms should be used to talk about animals and people.


ANIMALS macho (male) hembra (female)
PEOPLE varón (male) mujer (female)
masculino (masculine) femenino (feminine)



Agreement With Epicene Nouns

It is important to keep in mind that grammatical agreement in terms of number and gender with epicene nouns is determined by a noun's grammatical gender rather than the sex of the entity it refers to. Let's see what we mean in the following example:


Correct: El tiburón hembra es muy peligroso (The female shark is very dangerous).


Incorrect: El tiburón hembra es muy peligrosa (The female shark is very dangerous).


As you can see, the masculine singular adjective peligroso (dangerous) is used to modify the masculine singular noun el tiburón (the shark), despite the fact that the shark is female. It would be wrong to choose the feminine singular form peligrosa in attempts to correspond to the feminine adjective hembra (female). Now that we know these rules, let's take a look at some of the most common epicene nouns in the Spanish language.


Epicene Nouns for Animals

The majority of Spanish epicene nouns are words for animals. In the following list, you can see several:


el búho (the owl)

el camaleón (the chameleon)

la cebra (the zebra)

la hiena (the hyena)

la hormiga (the ant)

la jirafa (the giraffe)

la mosca (the fly)

el tiburón (the shark)


Interestingly, some other nouns like el perro (the dog) and el gato (the cat) may also be considered epicene as they could refer to either gender of these animals. However, in some circles, words like la perra and la gata could be chosen to describe male or female cats. 


Epicene Nouns for People

Now let's look at some epicene nouns for people:


la persona (the person)

la autoridad (the authority)

el personaje (the character)

la víctima (the victim)

el especialista (the specialist)


Some additional epicene nouns for people such as el estudiante (the student), el dentista (the dentist), or el cliente (the customer) can also refer to either men or women. Over time, however, their feminine versions (la estudiante, la dentista, la clienta) have come to be used by some people when referring to females who fit these descriptions.


Now that you understand the concept of epicene nouns, let's see a couple of examples from the Yabla Spanish video library. In the first one, you can see how the feminine epicene noun la víctima (the victim) is used to talk about a male victim, while in the second, the masculine noun el personaje describes a female "character":


¡él no es un asesino! Él, ante todo, es una víctima,

he's not a murderer! He, first and foremost, is a victim,

Captions 12-13, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 5 - Part 8

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el nombre del personaje mitológico mexicano de 'la Llorona'.

the name of the Mexican mythological character 'La Llorona' [The Weeping Woman].

Caption 51, Carlos explica Recursos para consultas del español - Part 8

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That's all for this lesson. We hope that you learned something new today, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!


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Por vs. Para: How and When to Use These Spanish Prepositions

The por vs. para dilemma is one of the biggest headaches for English speakers learning Spanish, especially since both are sometimes translated as "for." If you are still confused about the Spanish prepositions por and para, this lesson will explain how and when to use each. We hope that by the end of it, you will understand the difference between these two words and be able to use them with confidence. 


Por vs. Para: The Key Difference

Before we examine some specific uses of por and para in Spanish, we would like to invite you to think about these prepositions as opposites in the following terms:


Por: Indicates a cause, reason, or motive.

Para: Indicates a purpose, objective, or goal.


In a video from his series about the prepositions por and para, Carlos explains this difference by contrasting two sentences. Let's hear the first:


Estoy preocupado por el examen.

I'm worried about the exam.

Caption 35, Carlos explica Las preposiciones 'por' y 'para' - Part 1

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In this sentence, the preposition por indicates that the exam is the cause or reason for Carlos' concern. Now, let's look at the other sentence:


María estudió tres días para el examen.

Maria studied for the exam for three days.

Caption 39, Carlos explica Las preposiciones 'por' y 'para' - Part 1

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In this case, the preposition para indicates that the exam was María's goal and/or purpose for studying, most likely to try to achieve the best possible grade. 


Now that we have highlighted this overarching difference between the prepositions por and para, let's explore a variety of more nuanced uses of each of these Spanish words.  


How and When to Use the Preposition Por in Spanish

Let's take a look at many of the most common uses of the preposition por in Spanish.


To Indicate the Reason for Something


Si ese tipo vino aquí por dinero, pues... eso es lo único que quiere.

If that guy came here for money, well... that's the only thing he wants.

Captions 49-50, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 3 - Part 8

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Before Place Names to Denote a Course of Movement Within That Location


Pero ¿sabéis lo que le gusta hacer a Lukas? Ir a correr por la playa.

But, do you know what does Lukas like to do? Go running on the beach.

Captions 58-59, Amaya Mi camper van

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To Indicate Approximate Location 


Hoy he decidido hacer unas compras por el centro de la ciudad.

Today I've decided to do some shopping in the city's downtown.

Caption 2, Raquel Haciendo compras

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To Talk About the Time of Day


Las clases son normalmente por la tarde;

The classes are usually in the afternoon;

Caption 6, El Aula Azul Las actividades de la escuela - Part 2

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To Express Duration


Fui jugador amateur por mucho tiempo,

I was an amateur player for a long time,

Caption 22, Víctor en Caracas El fútbol con Tony Carrasco

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To Indicate the Frequency of an Action


Es de vital importancia que la tienda online se actualice. Deberíamos actualizar al menos dos veces por semana.

It's of vital importance that the online store is updated. We should update at least twice a week.

Captions 6-7, Raquel y Marisa Español Para Negocios - Nuestra tienda online

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To Indicate the Means Used To Do Something


Ayer llamé a mi cuñada por teléfono

Yesterday, I called my sister-in-law on the phone

Caption 5, Aprendiendo con Silvia Frases hechas - Part 3

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To Talk About Purchases and Transactions


¿Por cuánto lo has comprado?

For how much have you bought it?

Caption 17, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 16

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In Passive Sentences to Indicate Who or What Performs the Action


O: "El edificio ha sido diseñado por la arquitecta".

Or: "The building has been designed by the [female] architect."

Caption 34, Lecciones con Carolina La voz pasiva - Part 3

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To Provide Evidence Used To Form a Conclusion


Por lo que se ve, pues, no está quemado, no está dañado,

From what you [can] see, well, it's not burned, it's not damaged,

Captions 39-40, Aprendiendo con Priscilla Vocabulario de taller mecánico

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How and When to Use the Preposition Para in Spanish

Now that we know how to use the preposition por in Spanish, let's see how to use the preposition para.


To Express the Purpose for Something


El veterinario vino ayer para comprobar que el bebé que lleva dentro está en buen estado,

The veterinarian came yesterday to check that the baby she's carrying is in good shape,

Captions 66-67, Amaya Apertura del refugio

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To Name a Recipient


Este libro es para ti.

This book is for you.

Caption 47, Carlos y Cyndy Uso del Voseo en Argentina

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To Indicate a Time Limit or Point in the Future 


Tengo que terminar el trabajo para mañana.

I have to finish this work by tomorrow.

Caption 39, Carlos explica Las preposiciones 'por' y 'para' - Part 2

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To Indicate the Direction or Destination of a Movement


Eh... voy para la casa. Si quiere, vamos juntos.

Um... I'm going home. If you want, we can go together.

Captions 7-8, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 14 - Part 9

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To Indicate the Use of Something


Tengo que tomar un medicamento para el dolor y otro para bajar la fiebre.

I have to take a medication for the pain and another one to lower the fever.

Captions 30-31, Ariana Cita médica

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To Talk About Employment


Trabajo para una empresa francesa de electrónica

I work for a French electronics company

Caption 13, Carlos y Xavi Part 2 Ustedes y Vosotros

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To Express Personal Opinions


porque es una ciudad que, para mí, lo tiene todo.

because it's a city that, for me, has it all.

Caption 7, San Sebastián El rompeolas

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Por vs Para: Understanding the Main Differences

Now that we have learned how to use the Spanish prepositions por and para, we would like to take a moment to summarize the main differences between them in the following chart.


Key Difference: Cause/Reason Purpose/Goal
Ana estudia japonés por placer (Ana studies Japanese for pleasure). Ana estudia japonés para poder visitar Japón algún día (Ana is studying Japanese in order to be able to visit Japan someday).
Place: Movement Destination/Direction
Juan camina por la playa (Juan walks on/along the beach). Juan va para la playa (Juan is going to the beach).
Approximate Location  
Claudia vive por el centro (Claudia lives in the downtown area).  
Time: Time of Day Time Limit
Me gusta correr por la mañana (I like to run in the morning). Tengo que terminar el informe para el jueves (I have to finish the report by Thursday).
Duration  Future Point in Time
Luis habló por dos horas (Luis spoke for two hours). Necesito un billete del metro para mañana (I need a subway ticket for tomorrow).
  Susana va a la piscina tres veces por semana (Susana goes to the pool three times a/per week).  


Conclusions Opinions
Por la cara que tenía, yo creo que Pedro estaba triste (From the look on his face, I think Pedro was sad). Para mí, esta es la mejor pizza (To me, this is the best pizza).
Agents of Passive Sentences Recipients
El Coliseo fue construido por los romanos (The Colosseum was built by the Romans). El regalo es para María (The gift is for Maria).
Means/Tools Employment
Juan habla por teléfono (Juan is talking on the phone). Mario trabaja para una multinacional (Mario works for a multinational company).
Compré la cámara por 200 dólares (I bought the camera for 200 dollars).  


Before we go, we would like to highlight a very common mistake among non-native Spanish speakers. Although your inclination might be to use the word para, remember that in order to express gratitude in Spanish, the preposition por should always be used, as in the sentence "Gracias por el regalo" (Thanks for the gift).


That's all for today. Although we know that this lesson did not touch on all of the possible uses of the prepositions por and para, we hope that it has helped you to better understand how and when to use each of them, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!


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Contractions in Spanish

Surely "you're" familiar with "contractions" in English, or shorter words formed by combining two or more words, dropping one or more letter, and adding an apostrophe (for example, "you're" from "you are" in this sentence). But do you know about contractions in Spanish? Interestingly, while there are close to 100 contractions in English, in Spanish, there are only two (and no apostrophes are required!). Let's learn what they are and how to use them. 


The Spanish Contraction Al

In short, the Spanish contraction al is used whenever the preposition a (at, to, etc.) is followed by the masculine definite article el (the). While the scenarios in which this takes place are too numerous to name, let's take a look at several of the most common ones with examples from our Yabla Spanish video library. 


When Heading Toward a Place

Al in this case is usually translated as "to the" in English. 


Siempre voy al mercado cuando no tengo ingredientes.

I always go to the market when I don't have ingredients.

Caption 10, Ariana Cena especial

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When Describing Location

This is the equivalent of the English "at the."


Puede tomar el ascensor que está al final del pasillo a la izquierda

You can take the elevator that is at the end of the hall on the left

Caption 57, Cleer y Lida Recepción de hotel

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With Certain Verbs That Require the Preposition a

Since the preposition a is an essential part of certain verbs such as acostumbrarse a (to get used to), asistir a (to attend), jugar a ("to play" something), and many more, a becomes al when a masculine definite article follows.


Los viernes, juego al fútbol con mis amigas. 

On Fridays, I play soccer with my friends.

Caption 21, Ariana Mi Semana

 Play Caption

Following the Personal a

As the preposition a is required prior to people who function as the objects of sentences in Spanish, a likewise becomes al in the presence of the masculine definite article. 


y ya le pedí al chef que la comida fuese vegetariana

and I already asked the chef for the food to be vegetarian

Caption 55, Programación de oficina El dictado del jefe

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When Describing a Limit 

In this usage, al is typically employed with the other Spanish contraction del (from the) to describe the end point of something, for example, a range.


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

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The Spanish Contraction Del 

This second Spanish contraction is formed by combining the preposition de (of, from, about, by, etc.) with the masculine singular definite article el when one follows another in a sentence. Let's see some of the many common situations in which you might find it.


When Heading Away From a Place

This describes the point of origin from which something leaves.


También para cuando salimos del agua, eh...

[It's] also for when we come out of the water, um...

Caption 36, Ana Teresa Yoga y surf

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When Describing Origin

This describes where someone or something originates or comes from.


La mayoría de la gente viene del Pacífico

Most of the people come from the Pacific,

Caption 2, La Sucursal del Cielo Capítulo 2 - Part 4

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When Describing Possession

This is used like 's in English to indicate ownership when what is owned is preceded by el


Yago, pero ese caballo es del patrón. Se va a calentar, ¡Yago!

Yago, but that's the master's horse. He's going to get mad, Yago!

Caption 35, Yago 1 La llegada - Part 1

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With Certain Verbs That Include the Preposition De

Like a, de is a part of certain Spanish verbs like acordarse de (to remember), olvidarse de (to forget), and depender de (to depend on) and thus changes to del when el is present.


¿Te acuerdas del atraco en el banco?

Do you remember the stickup at the bank?

Caption 54, Los casos de Yabla El examen - Part 1

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With Prepositional Phrases That Contain De

The contraction del might be used when el follows any of the numerous prepositional phrases that contain the word de (e.g. después de, antes de, a partir de, etc.).


El contrato empieza a correr a partir del próximo mes.

The lease starts to run starting from next month.

Caption 26, Ricardo La compañera de casa - Part 2

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When Indicating the Beginning of a Range

As we mentioned in the section regarding al, al and del are often used together when describing a range, with del indicating its beginning. 


Cogí unos días libres del veinte al veintiséis de abril".

I took a few days off from April twentieth to twenty-sixth."

Caption 26, Aprendiendo con Silvia Horas, fechas y períodos de tiempo - Part 3

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When Not to Use Contractions in Spanish 

Now that you have learned a plethora of situations in which you should employ the Spanish contractions al and del, you should be aware of some others in which you should not use them.


1. With Definite Articles Other Than El

Note that when any other definite article (la, las, or los) comes after the word a or de, no contraction is formed.


el corazón envía más sangre a las piernas

the heart sends more blood to the legs

Caption 31, Aprendiendo con Silvia Las emociones - Part 12

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2. When El Is Part of a Proper Noun

Don't use a Spanish contraction when the word el is part of a proper noun. Carlos sums this up perfectly:


No decimos "el Presidente del Salvador", sino "el Presidente de El Salvador".

We don't say "el Presidente del Salvador," but rather "el Presidente de El Salvador" [the President of El Salvador].

Captions 46-47, Carlos explica Geografía y gentilicios

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3. With the Word él (with an accent)

The Spanish contractions al and del must not be used when what follows a or de is the accented form, or Spanish subject pronoun él (which means "he," "him," or "it" rather than "the").


Ahora, Lukas, todo el mundo se enamora de él.

Now, Lukas, everybody falls in love with him.

Caption 51, Amaya La historia de Lukas

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That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped you to know when and when not to use the two Spanish contractions al and del, and don't forget to write us with your questions and comments


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Spanish Vocabulary for Bedtime

Are you familiar with the word sueño in Spanish, whose meaning can change from "dream" to "sleepiness" depending upon whether it is used as a noun or within the verb tener sueño (to be sleepy)? Today's lesson will cover these terms as well as additional pertinent vocabulary for la hora de dormir or de acostarse (bedtime).


Spanish Bedtime Verbs

Let's explore some Spanish bedtime verbs, which we've broken down into several categories.


Feeling Bedtime Verbs

First, we'll look at some Spanish verb phrases that describe how you might feel at bedtime, listening to their pronunciation in clips from our Yabla Spanish video library.


Estar cansado/ato be tired

Bueno, yo también me voy a la cama, estoy muy cansado.

Well, I'm also going to bed, I'm very tired.

Caption 87, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 1

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Tener sueño: to be sleepy

siento que todavía tengo sueño,

I feel that I'm still sleepy,

Caption 40, Aprendiendo con Silvia Significados, usos y expresiones con "quedar" - Part 6

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Estar agotado/a: to be exhausted

Tengo... Estoy agotado.

I have... I'm exhausted.

Caption 22, Yago 11 Prisión - Part 6

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Now, let's learn a couple of more colloquial ways to convey the idea of being exhausted:


Estar muerto/a (literally "to be dead"):

Te juro, Mili, que estoy muerta.

I swear to you, Mili, that I'm exhausted.

Caption 2, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 2

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Estar hecho polvo (literally "to be made into dust"):

"yo ya estoy hecho polvo.

"I'm exhausted already.

Caption 24, Pigueldito y Federico El cielo

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Pre-Bedtime Verbs

Next, let's take a look at several Spanish reflexive verbs for actions from many people's bedtime routines. 


Bañarse: to bathe/take a bath 

Cepillarse los dientes/lavarse los dientes: to brush your teeth

Ducharse: to take a shower

Lavarse la cara: to wash your face 


Let's hear a couple of these in action:


Ehm... Suelo ducharme con agua caliente. Después, ehm... suelo lavarme los dientes en el baño,

Um... I usually take a hot shower. After that, um... I usually brush my teeth in the bathroom,

Captions 2-3, El Aula Azul Actividades Diarias

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Sleep-related verbs

To top off the bedtime verbs, let's check out these sleep-related verbs:


Acostar: to put to bed

Acostarse: to go to bed

Descansar: to rest

Despertarse: to wake up

Dormir: to sleep 

Dormirse: to fall asleep 

Levantarse: to get up

Relajarse: to relax

Soñar: to dream

Soñar con: to dream about 

Roncar: to snore


It's worth noting that the concept of dreaming "about" something is expressed instead with the Spanish equivalent of "with," or the preposition con. Let's hear this construction in a clip from our library:


¿Sabés que anoche soñé con vos?

Do you know that last night I dreamt about you?

Caption 39, Muñeca Brava 41 La Fiesta - Part 7

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Spanish Bedtime Nouns

Let's move on to some categories of sleepytime related nouns!


Articles of Clothing for Bedtime

Since there are various ways to say or spell all of the Spanish articles of clothing for bedtime, let's start with the English terms and give you some alternatives in Spanish:


Bathrobe: la batala bata de bañoel albornoz

Nightgown: el vestido de dormirel camisón de noche

Pajamas: las pijamas, las piyamas, la pijama, la piyama

Slippers: las zapatillaslas pantuflas


A couple of things to keep in mind:

1. As you may know, the term zapatillas can also refer to "sneakers" in some regions.


2.  The many words for "pajamas" in Spanish are similar but differ slightly due to being extranjerismos, or adaptations of a foreign word to another  language. Therefore, you may encounter spellings of this word with either a "j" or a "y" as well as both the singular and plural versions as equivalents for the always plural English term "pajamas." Let's listen to two variations:


Usa piyama lo más flojita posible 

Wear pajamas [that are] as loose as possible,

Caption 13, Los médicos explican Consejos para dormir

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A mí me gusta ponerme enseguida la pijama o ropa de cama.

I like to put on pajamas or sleepwear right away.

Caption 83, Natalia de Ecuador Vocabulario de prendas de vestir

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Beds, Bedrooms, and Bedclothes in Spanish

Now let's cover another type of "bedclothes" and some additional nouns in our bedtime environments with a couple of video examples. Note that the use of particular terms for items like a "bedroom," "blanket," etc. varies widely from region to region. 


Bed: la cama

Bedroom: la alcoba, el cuarto, el dormitorio, la habitación, la pieza, la recámara

Bedspread: la colchael cobertorla cubrecama, la sobrecama

Blanket: la cobija, la manta, la frazada

Mattress: el colchón

Nightstand/Night table: la mesita de luz, la mesita de noche, la mesilla de noche, la mesa de noche

Pillow: la almohada

Sheet: la sábana


A mí me gusta cambiar las sábanas cada semana.

I like to change the sheets every week.

Caption 21, Ana Carolina Arreglando el dormitorio

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Y aquí tienes una almohada, ¿mm?

And here you have a pillow, hmm?

Caption 57, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam - Part 3

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A Very Special Bedtime Noun

We'll conclude our section on Spanish bedtime nouns by hearing the noun el sueño used as the equivalent of three different English words:


Llevo toda la semana teniendo todas las noches el mismo sueño.

All week, I've been having the same dream every night.

Caption 6, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: Hay y estar

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va a mejorar tu sueño.

it's going to improve your sleep.

Caption 17, Bienestar con Elizabeth Introducción al yoga

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Por tu culpa estoy muerta de sueño.

It's your fault I'm dying of sleepiness.

Caption 3, Muñeca Brava 46 Recuperación - Part 3

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Bedtime Sayings

Lastly, let's learn the Spanish versions of some common English phrases you might say to someone at bedtime:


Good night: Buenas noches

Sleep well: Que duermas bien, Que descanses (literally "I hope you rest")

Sweet dreams: Dulces sueños, Felices sueños (literally "Happy dreams")

 Que duermas/sueñes con los angelitos (literally I hope you sleep with/dream about the angels)


We encounter two of these phrases in the following clip:


Buenas noches. -Buenas noches. Buenas noches. -Que descanses, mi amor.

Good night. -Good night. Good night. -Sleep well, my love.

Captions 73-74, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 1

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Remember that, in addition to meaning "Good night," Spanish-speakers also use the expression Buenas noches in contexts other than bedtime when English speakers would say "Good evening," for example, as a greeting at a restaurant in the late evening or at night. 


That's all for today. If all of these sleep-related terms have got you thinking about your own sleep, you might want to check out Silvia's Consejos para dormir mejor (Advice to Sleep Better), Los Médicos' (The Doctors') Consejos para dormir (Sleep Advice) or Soledad's series on El insomnio (Insomnia). In the meantime, we wish you excellent sleep, and don't forget to write us with your questions and comments.



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Beyond "Nothing": 7 Additional Meanings of the Spanish Word Nada

You are surely familiar with the Spanish pronoun nada with the meaning of "nothing." But are you aware that it can have several additional meanings and translations? Let's explore many of them!


Nada Meaning "Nothing"

Before we learn several of the lesser-known meanings of the Spanish word nada, let's look at its most common usage. Like "nothing" in English, the pronoun nada in Spanish can mean an absence or lack of anything, as we see here:


Es una palabra que define todo y nada al mismo tiempo

It's a word that defines everything and nothing at the same time

Caption 55, Carlos comenta Confidencial - Jerga típica colombiana

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Alternative Meanings of Nada

Now, let's move on to our 7 additional meanings of the Spanish word nada that may not initially come to mind. 


1. Anything:

When used with a double negative, the English equivalent of the pronoun nada in Spanish changes to "anything":


No, hoy no tengo nada qué hacer.

No, today I don't have anything to do.

Caption 42, Conversaciones en el parque Cap. 5: Me gusta mucho este parque.

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For a more in depth explanation of this topic, check out Yabla's lesson entitled Nada: Nothing or Anything?


2. None:

When the pronoun nada in Spanish is used to mean "none," it is typically accompanied by the preposition de, as we see below:


¿Por qué hace como si nada de esto estuviera pasando?

Why are you acting as if none of this were happening?

Caption 25, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 4 - Part 8

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3. Any:

Similarly to the manner in which nada can mean either "nothing," or "anything," its meaning also changes from "none" to "any" when used with the preposition de in a double negative sentence:


¡No, no... no! -No tiene que hacer nada de esto. -¡No, no, no, no, no!

No, no... no! -You don't have to do any of this. -No, no, no, no, no!

Caption 16, Tu Voz Estéreo Embalsamado - Part 17

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4. At All:

In this usage, nada functions as an adverb that can be translated with the English phrase "at all":


pero como no lo hago nada bien,

but since I don't do it well at all,

Caption 5, Beatriz Expresiones con colores

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5. Nowhere:

Moving on to some uses of the Spanish word nada as a noun, let's see how la nada can mean "nowhere":


"¿La gente cómo puede vivir en medio de la nada, no?",

"How can people live in the middle of nowhere, right?"

Caption 3, Hispanoamericanos en Berlín Irwin y la acuarela - Part 3

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6. Nothingness:

Like the pronoun nada, the noun la nada can describe a complete lack of anything:


Era el frío de la nada

It was the cold of nothingness

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

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7. Void:

The Spanish noun la nada can additionally be translated as "the void" when referring either to empty space in a physical sense or one's feeling of emptiness:


Y mi papá miraba hacia la nada con una rabia feroz de la que no era muy consciente.

And my dad stared into the void with a ferocious rage he wasn't very conscious.

Caption 54, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 2 - Part 1

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Expressions With Nada in Spanish

Now that you have learned 7 alternative English translations for the Spanish word nada, let's look at some common Spanish fixed expressions that include it, noting their English equivalents:


1. Antes de nada:


Antes de nada, vamos a repasar algunos conceptos e información necesaria

Before anything else, we're going to review some concepts and necessary information

Caption 1, Raquel y Marisa Aprender a conducir - Part 1

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2. Antes que nada:


Pero antes que nada, lo básico:

But first of all, the basics:

Caption 2, Conversaciones con Luis Astrología

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3. Como si nada:


y que anda por ahí como si nada, entonces.

and that he's out there as if it were nothing then.

Caption 20, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 2 - Part 4

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4. De nada:


De nada. Estoy para servirle. Permiso.

You're welcome. I'm at your service. Excuse me.

Caption 61, Programación de oficina El dictado del jefe

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5. Más que nada:


Bueno, ahora estoy haciendo, más que nada, un trabajo con los niños

Well, now, I'm doing, above all else, a project with children

Caption 28, Cleer Entrevista con Jacky

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6. Nada más:


no le importa nada más.

nothing else matters to them.

Caption 34, Aprendiendo con Silvia Frases hechas - Part 1

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7. No tener nada que ver con:


pero que no tiene nada que ver con temas religiosos.

but which has nothing to do with religious themes.

Caption 25, Viajando con Fermín La Feria de Santo Tomás

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8. Para nada:


¿Entonces no importa si la llamo? Para nada. -¡Para nada

Then it doesn't matter if I call her? Not at all. -Not at all!

Captions 43-44, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 5 - Part 7

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9. Primero que nada:


Primero que nada, pedirte perdón por lo de ayer.

First of all, to apologize for yesterday.

Caption 12, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 5 - Part 4

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10. Pues nada:


Pues nada, espero que... hayáis conocido un poquito este deporte, esta escuela, a mí,

Anyway, I hope that... you've learned a little bit about this sport, this school, myself,

Captions 80-81, Escuela de Pádel Albacete Hablamos con José Luis

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That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped you to understand many of the meanings of the Spanish word nada beyond simply "nothing," and don't forget to write us with your questions and suggestions


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The Spanish Word Entonces

Are you familiar with the word entonces in Spanish? While the common Spanish word entonces is often translated with equivalent English words like "then" or "so," the numerous meanings of this word are actually quite nuanced. Let's take a look at several of them.


1. At That Time, Moment, or Occasion

Like the English word "then," in this usage, the Spanish word entonces could generally be replaced with the English phrase "at that moment" to refer to an occurrence at a specific point in time. Let's see some examples.


At a Specific Point in the Past


entonces se escaparon. 

And then you guys escaped.

Caption 35, Guillermina y Candelario El mundo de los juguetes perdidos - Part 2

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When talking about the past, it is common to use some of the following expressions, which are usually translated as "at that time" or  "back then":


en aquel entonces

por aquel entonces

en ese entonces

por ese entonces 


Let's listen to some of these in context:


Lo que vivió Colombia en aquel entonces era realmente aterrador. 

What Colombia experienced at that time was really terrifying.

Caption 50, Los Tiempos de Pablo Escobar Capítulo 1 - Part 14

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En aquel entonces los niños todavía podían salir solos 

Back then children could still go out alone

Caption 2, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 9

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En mi urbanización, junto a la piscina, vive una amiga que por aquel entonces tenía una gata totalmente blanca y con un pelo precioso. 

In my housing complex, next to the pool, a female friend lives who back then, had a totally white cat with beautiful fur.

Captions 26-27, Fermín y los gatos Mi gata Poeska

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At a Specific Point in the Future


entonces sabremos que hemos hecho un buen trabajo. 

then we'll know that we've done a good job.

Caption 77, Ana Carolina La meditación

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Notably, entonces may be used along with the preposition solo (only) to describe a moment in time as the equivalent of the English expression "only then":


Solo entonces se sabrá quiénes son los mejores. 

Only then it will be known who are the best ones.

Caption 76, Región mundo Paso a paso - Part 5

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2. That Time, Moment, or Occasion

In this second usage, entonces is placed right after some preposition to refer to a period of time in the past. Let's examine how entonces can be used with a couple of prepositions. 


"Back Then"


In the following example, we see the preposition de  combined with entonces to mean "(from) back then":


Yo me imagino que los artistas de entonces 

I imagine that the artists back then

Caption 40, Leonardo Rodriguez Sirtori Una vida como pintor - Part 5

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"Ever Since"


The preposition desde can be combined with entonces to form the expression desde entonces, or "ever since" in English:


y esa es la razón por la cual resido aquí desde entonces

and that's the reason I've been living here ever since.

Caption 19, Adriana Mi historia con el café

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3. In That Case, Therefore, or Being So

Let's explore how the Spanish word entonces can also be used similarly to the English words "then" and "so" with various, more specific meanings.


With Conditional Sentences


In this scenario, entonces is used to describe what might happen if something else takes place first. 


Si vienes, entonces te invito a comer. 

If you come, then I'll treat you to a meal.

Caption 22, Ana Carolina Condicionales

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To Conclude What Was Previously Said


Eh... No tenía muchos órganos, no estaban desarrollados, porque había tenido poco espacio en el útero de la madre. Entonces, fue un bebé prematuro, 

Um... He didn't have a lot of organs, they weren't developed because he had had little space in the mother's womb. So, he was a premature baby,

Captions 46-48, Amaya El burrito Luz - Part 2

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To Elaborate on Something That Was Previously Introduced


Yo voy a decir unas frases, y... utilizando ustedes, y tú vas a decir la misma frase utilizando vosotros. ¿OK? Entonces comenzamos con la primera frase. 

I'm going to say some sentences, and... using "ustedes," and you are going to say the same sentence using "vosotros." OK? So, let's start with the first sentence.

Captions 52-54, Carlos y Xavi Part 2 Ustedes y Vosotros

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To Introduce a Question That Asks for Clarification


¿no es cierto? -No, tampoco es lugar para mí. Entonces ¿por qué vas? Porque estoy loco. 

isn't that right? -No, it's not a place for me either. Then, why do you go? Because I'm crazy.

Captions 63-65, Muñeca Brava 47 Esperanzas - Part 1

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To Make an Obvious Conclusion 


In this usage, the word entonces often appears within the expression pues entonces (well then). 


"¡Esto está superfrío y de todas formas no sé nadar". "Pues entonces no podemos ir allí, donde comienza el cielo", 

"This is super cold, and anyway, I don't know how to swim." "Well then, we can't go there, where the sky begins,"

Captions 40-42, Pigueldito y Federico El cielo

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With this use of the Spanish word entonces, we have reached the end of this lesson. We hope that you now feel more confident about using the word entonces in Spanish, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions¡Hasta la próxima!


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10 Spanish Words That Change Meaning With an Accent

What a difference an accent makes! Did you know that the meanings of several Spanish words vary depending upon whether or not they have a written accent? Today, we'll learn ten such pairs of words, providing examples of each in context. Are you ready?!


1. Aun vs. Aún 


The adverb aun in Spanish, without an accent, is the equivalent of the English word "even":


Aun así, me hubiera gustado tener algo más de luz.

Even so, I'd have liked to have had a bit more light.

Caption 63, Viajando con Fermín La Cueva de Nerja - Part 2

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The adverb aún, on the other hand, with an accent, means "yet" or "still" in Spanish:


Aún no tengo hijos, eh...

I don't have kids yet, um...

Caption 29, La Sub30 Familias - Part 9

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2. De vs. Dé​


The preposition de in Spanish is an extremely common word that can mean "of" or "from":


Yo soy de Barcelona, nací aquí,

I'm from Barcelona, I was born here,

Caption 23, Carlos y Xavi Diferencia de pronunciación entre España y Colombia - Part 1

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The word with an accent, however, is a conjugated form of the verb dar (to give) in Spanish. It could be either the present subjunctive form that corresponds to the subject pronouns él (he), ella (she), or usted (formal "you") or the formal imperative. Let's look at an example of each:


Present Subjunctive:

que me una explicación.

for him to give me an explanation.

Caption 60, Yago 13 La verdad - Part 5

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Formal Imperative:

mela, no se va a dar cuenta.

Give it to me, she won't realize.

Caption 42, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 7 - Part 2

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3. Esta vs. Está


Without an accent, esta is the singular feminine demonstrative adjective that means "this":


Esta pasión empezó cuando yo era muy pequeña

This passion started when I was really little,

Caption 5, Adriana La lectura

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With an accent, está is the third person singular and formal second person singular conjugation of the verb estar (to be).


y el mar está muy agitado.

and the sea is very choppy.

Caption 40, Aprendiendo con Silvia Las emociones - Part 8

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4. El vs. Él


The word el in Spanish is the masculine singular definite article that means "the":


En el parque hay árboles,

At the park there are trees,

Caption 15, El Aula Azul Mi Barrio

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Él with an accent is a subject pronoun that means "he" or "it": 


Él tiene una responsabilidad con ustedes,

He has a responsibility to you guys,

Caption 41, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 13 - Part 4

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5. Mas vs. Más


The Spanish word mas without an accent is a conjunction that is used similarly to the word pero in Spanish and also means "but":


"Te dije que me hicieras caso, mas no escuchaste".

"I told you to pay attention to me, but you didn't listen."

Caption 21, Aprendiendo con Priscilla La palabra "más"

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Meanwhile, the word más with an accent is the Spanish equivalent of the word "more":


"Necesito comprar más carros".

"I need to buy more cars."

Caption 15, Aprendiendo con Priscilla La palabra "más"

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For more on the difference between these two words, take a look the video from which these two examples were taken: Aprendiendo con Priscilla- La palabra "más."


6. Mi vs. Mí


The non-accented word mi in Spanish is a short form possessive adjective that means "my" when referring to singular nouns:


Mi casa es pequeña.

My house is small.

Caption 10, Ariana Mi Casa

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The accented version of this word is a prepositional pronoun that can be used after any  preposition (except the preposition con) to mean "me":


Para , el mejor jugador de fútbol es Leo Messi.

For me, the best soccer player is Leo Messi.

Caption 52, Carlos explica Las preposiciones 'por' y 'para' - Part 3

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7. Se vs.


The pronoun se in Spanish has many uses, including in impersonal and passive se constructions, in the no fault construction, to say "each other" in phrases like se abrazaron (they hugged each other), and as the reflexive pronoun that accompanies reflexive verbs with él, ella, usted, and ustedes. The following example includes se in both an impersonal and a reflexive construction.


y, como se dice en España: "Hay que saberse bañar

and, as they say in Spain: "You have to know how to bathe yourself

Caption 77, Soledad Amistades

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The accented version of the word sé is the first person conjugation of the verb saber (to know) in the present indicative:


yoque Ríos está aquí, hermano.

I know that Rios is here, brother.

Caption 58, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 4 - Part 6

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8. Si vs. Sí​


Si without an accent in Spanish means "if":


Si vienes, entonces te invito a comer.

If you come, then I'll treat you to a meal.

Caption 22, Ana Carolina Condicionales

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And, as you surely already know, with an accent in Spanish means "yes":


. -, señor.

Yes. -Yes, sir.

Caption 94, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 1

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Carolina sums up this difference well:


Entonces, "" es una palabra afirmativa cuando queremos algo, mientras que "si" es una palabra condicional.

So, "" is an affirmative word when we want something, while "si" is a conditional word.

Captions 38-40, Lecciones con Carolina Haber vs. A Ver / Si vs. Sí

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9. Te vs.


Te with no accent can be either a direct or indirect object pronoun or a reflexive pronoun that corresponds to the informal second person singular subject pronoun . Let's see it in use as a direct object pronoun:


Te voy a llevar a los mejores restaurantes.

I am going to take you to the best restaurants.

Caption 23, Clara y Cristina Hablan de actividades

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The accented version of té refers to the beverage "tea":


Si querés tomar tomalo en tu escritorio... -Ah, está bien...

If you want to have tea, have it at your desk... -Oh, OK...

Caption 29, Muñeca Brava 3 Nueva Casa - Part 7

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10. Tu vs.


Tu (no accent!) is the informal second person singular possessive adjective that means "your":


¿Cómo se llama tu mamá?

What's your mom's name?

Caption 26, Ana Carolina Preguntas básicas con su hijo

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As we mentioned previously, with an accent is a subject pronoun that informally means "you" in Spanish


¿Y ? Que tampoco me has vuelto a llamar.

And you? You haven't called me again either.

Caption 18, Cleer y Lida Conversación telefónica - Part 1

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That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has clarified the difference between words in Spanish that, while pronounced identically, have different meanings depending upon whether or not they have an accent. Don't hesitate to write us with any questions, suggestions, or comments.


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Beer, Wine, and More in Spanish!

When traveling in a foreign country, you might want to order a glass of wine with dinner or have a beer with friends. But do you know how to say "wine" and "beer" in Spanish? In this lesson, we will teach you the words for those bebidas (beverages) as well as the names for several of the most popular liquors... just in case you want to have a trago (alcoholic beverage) instead!



The standard word for beer in Spanish is cerveza:


"Llevo tres cervezas y todavía tengo sed", 

"I've had three beers, and I'm still thirsty,"

Caption 34, Aprendiendo con Silvia Significados, usos y expresiones con "quedar" - Part 6

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However, you might hear such colloquial words for beer in different countries such as chop (Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay), chela (Mexico), caña (Spain), or pola (in Colombian slang). 



The word for wine in Spanish is vino. Let's hear it in action:


hay vino blanco.

there's white wine.

Caption 24, Ariana Cena especial

 Play Caption


As we just heard, vino blanco is "white wine" in Spanish. Now, let's find out how to say "red wine," which might be different than you thought!


Vino tinto es como se refiere al vino rojo en el resto del mundo, aquí en España. 

"Vino tinto"  is the name here in Spain for what's called "red wine" in the rest of the world.

Caption 50, Amaya Cata de vinos

 Play Caption
And, for fans of rosé, let's learn how to say it!

El vino rosado puede venir de variedades blancas mezcladas con tintas

Rosé wine can come from white varieties mixed with red ones

Caption 14, Feria de Vinos Españoles en Londres Bodegas Quiroga de Pablo

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Rosé wine can also be referred to in Spanish as rose, rosé, or simply rosado


Sparkling Wine

"Sparkling wine" is the more general category for bubbly wines like champagne, cava, and prosecco. Let's learn how to say a few of these terms in Spanish:


El cava es el vino espumoso de España que sigue el mismo método que... que el champán,

Cava is the sparkling wine from Spain that follows the same method as... as champagne,

Captions 13-14, Feria de Vinos Españoles en Londres Bodegas Castell D'Age

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Alternatively, the words champaña or champagne itself may be used for "champagne."



Let's hear the names for many of the world's most popular types of liquor in the context of videos from our Spanish library.



Está Elisa elaborando unas trufitas de coñac 

Elisa is making some little cognac truffles

Caption 9, Horno San Onofre El Chocolate

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Su mujer era Ginebra

His wife was Guinevere,

Caption 42, El Aula Azul Adivina personajes históricos - Part 1

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Although in this clip, Ginebra is the translation for the name Guinevere, the word ginebra in Spanish also means "gin."



de Tequila su mezcal 

from Tequila, its mezcal

Caption 45, El Ausente Acto 2 - Part 3

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Lo que no puedes dejar de probar si vas a Cuba es el Ron Santiago,

What you can't miss trying if you go to Cuba is Ron Santiago [Santiago Rum],

Caption 24, Viajando con Fermín La Feria Internacional de los Países de Fuengirola - Part 3

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Con un... -Claro, claro, sí. -la botella de tequila.

With a... -Of course, of course, yes. -the bottle of tequila.

Caption 40, Hispanoamericanos en Berlín Karla y Fernando hablan de música

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Mis pensamientos son tan puros como vodka caro 

My thoughts are as pure as expensive vodka

Caption 5, Joselo Sobriedad

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¡No tomo whisky! -¡Pero hacete hombre de una vez, che!

I don't drink whiskey! -But become a man once and for all!

Caption 23, Muñeca Brava 2 Venganza - Part 3

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And, as subcategories of whiskey, we have "Scotch," which can be known as whisky/güisgui escosés, or simply escosés and "bourbon" (bourbon, borbón, whisky/güisgui americano or borbónico).


Local Liquors:

Of course, in addition to these internationally renowned liquors, it might be interesting to try local favorites like fernet in Argentina, pisco in Peru, cocuy in Venezuela or aguardiente in Colombia, just to name a few, either alone or in the context of cócteles (cocktails).


Armed with this information, we hope you now feel equipped to order your favorite alcoholic beverage in Spanish, should you choose to. 
Just remember to do so in moderation (so as not to have to describe your hangover in Spanish), and write us with any of your comments, questions, or suggestions¡Salud (Cheers)!


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6 Different Ways to Say Hangover in Spanish

Drinking in excess is just bad, especially if you have to deal with a horrible hangover the next day. But do you know how to say "hangover" in Spanish? Let's find out!


1. Resaca in Spain and Argentina

Generally speaking, the word resaca is probably the most standard term you can use to refer to a hangover. In other words, if you use this term throughout the Spanish-speaking world, people will understand what you are saying. Let's hear how this word is pronounced:


Me duele la cabeza. Creo que tengo resaca.

My head hurts. I think that I have a hangover.

Captions 13-14, Raquel Expresiones para un festival de música.

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2. Cruda in Mexico

If you go to Mexico, the word to use is cruda. Just like food that is cruda (raw) is not ready for eating, someone with a cruda is not ready to be at his or her best. Note that in some Spanish-speaking countries, crudo/a can also be used as an adjective with the verb estar (to be) to say that one has a hangover, or "is hungover."


3. Goma in Central America

In many Central American countries, the Spanish word for hangover is goma (literally "rubber band"). This is probably because someone with a hangover resembles a rubber band that can't stay straight!


4. Guayabo in Colombia

Literally speaking, un guayabo is a guava tree. Although the origin of this slang term is unclear, some believe that it refers to this tree's fruit, la guayaba (guava), which can still look good on the outside when it is rotten on the inside. Let's hear how to say this term:


¡No, bueno, bueno! ¡Ni anginas ni nada! Para mí era un guayabo y punto.

No, well, well! No tonsils or anything! For me, it was a hangover, period.

Captions 16-17, Confidencial: Broma pesada Capítulo 1 - Part 3

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5. Ratón in Venezuela

The word for "mouse," ratón, is used by Venezuelans to refer to a hangover. 


6. Chuchaqui in Ecuador

One of the most unique ways of saying "hangover" in Spanish is chuchaqui. This word comes from the Quichua word chaqui, which refers to the nauseous feeling that one might experience after chewing coca leaves. Let's listen to this word in action:


Como a chuchaqui, quiero que tome agua,

Like for a hangover, I want you to drink water,

Caption 44, Los médicos explican Consulta con el médico: herpes

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That's all for today. Now that you know how to say "hangover" in Spanish, we hope you won't have to use that word for yourself! Do you know any other terms for" hangover" in Spanish? Please let us know, and don't forget to send us your suggestions and comments.


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The Meals of the Day in Spanish

Generally speaking, there are three main meals that many people eat each day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Do you know how to say the names of those three meals in Spanish? Let's see how the answer to that question depends upon where you happen to be in the Spanish-speaking world.


The Meals of the Day in Spain and Mexico

If you are in Spain or Mexico, the following are the names of the three main daily meals:


el desayuno (breakfast)


es la hora del desayuno

it's breakfast time,

Caption 7, Clase Aula Azul Acciones habituales y en este momento - Part 1

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la comida (lunch)


Todos los días, hago la comida a mediodía

Every day, I make lunch at midday

Caption 24, Ariana Mi Casa

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la cena (dinner)


y normalmente cuando llego a casa, me hago la cena,

and usually when I get home, I make myself dinner,

Caption 30, El Aula Azul Actividades Diarias

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In the following clip, our Mexican friend Karla mentions all three of these daily meals as she tells us how, in her country, tacos can be eaten at any time of the day!


Eh... Puedes encontrar tacos en todas las esquinas, en todas las ciudades de todo México y puedes comerlo, en realidad, de desayuno, de comida o de cena,

Um... You can find tacos on every corner, in every city throughout Mexico, and you can eat it, actually, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner,

Captions 37-39, Hispanoamericanos en Berlín Karla y los tacos - Part 2

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The Meals of the Day in Other Latin American Countries

In contrast, in most Latin American countries, the names of the three main meals are as follows:


el desayuno (breakfast)


Hoy es domingo y vamos a hacer el desayuno.

Today is Sunday, and we're going to make breakfast.

Captions 6-7, Quito Desayuno con Julia

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el almuerzo (lunch)


Al mediodía, preparo el almuerzo.

At noon, I make lunch.

Caption 14, GoSpanish La rutina diaria de Maru

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la comida or la cena (dinner)

While some places use the word comida (e.g. Colombia), others use the term cena (e.g. Argentina). Let's hear a couple of clips:


¿Qué es la comida?

What's for dinner?

Caption 9, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 3

 Play Caption


Bueno, espero que lleguemos justo para la cena porque tengo un hambre que me muero.

Well, I hope that we are arriving just [in time] for dinner because I am dying of hunger.

Caption 49, Muñeca Brava 44 El encuentro - Part 6

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The Word Almuerzo in Spain

As we have just seen, the main difference between the meals of the day in Spain and Mexico vs. other Latin American countries is the term people use to talk about lunch. However, if you happen to hear the word almuerzo in Spain, you should be aware that, in that country, almuerzo refers to a mid-morning snack. In addition, it is very common for Spanish people to enjoy an afternoon snack called la merienda. Let's hear Raquel and Marisa explain this in detail:


El almuerzo es lo que tomamos entre el desayuno y la comida. Pero además tenemos la merienda y la cena. La merienda suele ser a las seis de la tarde. Y la cena es la última comida del día.

The mid-morning snack is what we have between breakfast and lunch. But in addition, we have the afternoon snack and dinner. The afternoon snack is usually at six in the afternoon. And dinner is the last meal of the day.

Captions 30-33, Raquel Presentaciones

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That's all for this lesson. We hope you learned some new words today, and don't forget to send us your suggestions and comments.


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How to Say "Here" in Spanish: Aquí vs. Acá

There are two Spanish equivalents of the word "here" in Spanish: aquí and acá. So, is there a difference between them? Let's find out!



The Royal Spanish Academy's initial definitions for the word aquí in Spanish are "at" or "to this place." Let's hear a couple of examples from Mexico and Spain:


No, gracias. Tengo unas galletas aquí.

No, thank you. I have some cookies here.

Caption 13, Conversaciones en el parque Cap. 2: Cafe y bocadillos

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Hoy estamos aquí en la costa de Málaga.

Today we're here on the coast of Malaga.

Caption 2, Amaya Cata de vinos

 Play Caption



On the other hand, the Dictionary of the Spanish language defines acá as "at" or "to this place or nearby." Let's look at another example from Mexico and one from Argentina:


y eso es lo que trato de hacer mayormente acá en Alemania,

and that's what I try to do mostly here in Germany

Caption 9, Hispanoamericanos en Berlín Karla y el pozole - Part 1

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Acá es donde trabaja el alcalde de Buenos Aires.

Here is where the mayor of Buenos Aires works.

Caption 10, Yabla en Buenos Aires Plaza Mayo - Part 2

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Aquí vs. Acá

Did you pick up on any difference? As you may have noted, the official definition for acá could entail a larger scope or distance from the speaker. That said, there are a few things to keep in mind regarding this nuance: 


1. Certain regions, like Mexico, seem to observe this slight difference between the words aquí and acá more than others, which view the terms as completely interchangeable. 


2. Even in regions that consider the terms to be slightly different, it is often diffcult to determine the exact scope that defines each one, and individual use varies widely. 


3. Some regions use one term or another almost exclusively. For example, in Spain, aquí is almost always used to say "here," whereas it would be rare to hear it in Argentina, where acá is prevalent.


That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has brought to light how the Spanish words aquí and acá can be different... or exactly the same, depending upon the country, context, or person. Don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments!


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How to Use Hay, Ahí, and Ay in Spanish

Are you confused about the similar-sounding Spanish words hay, ahí, and ay? If that's the case, this brief lesson will help you to know how and when to use each of them. Let's take a look!


The Meaning of Hay

The word hay, an impersonal form of the Spanish verb haber, is used to express existence. In other words, hay is the Spanish equivalent of "there is" and "there are." Let's see a couple of clips that include it:


Encima de ella, hay una lámpara negra.

Above her, there's a black lamp.

Caption 18, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: Hay y estar

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hay cosas muy interesantes,

there are very interesting things,

Caption 61, Aprendiendo con Silvia Campanas - Part 2

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The Meaning of Ahí

Ahí, on the other hand, is an adverb meaning "in that place." It is one of the Spanish equivalents of the English word "there." Let's see some examples:


y lo dejaremos ahí hasta que hierva.

and we'll leave it there until it boils.

Caption 19, Ana Carolina Ponche navideño

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y Minos, con una cara que no era la suya, se quedó ahí para siempre.

and Minos, with a face that wasn't his own, stayed there forever.

Captions 43-44, Aprendiendo con Carlos El microrrelato - Part 3

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The Meaning of Ay

Last but not least, the Spanish word ay, which is often translated with the English interjection "oh," is used to express a range of different emotions like the following:




Ay, lentejas al almuerzo, lentejas a la comida... Ay, mamá, -Lentejitas. -¡qué pobreza tan asquerosa! -¡Mm!

Oh, lentils for lunch, lentils for dinner... Oh, Mom, -Lentils. -what revolting poverty! -Hmm!

Captions 17-18, Confidencial: Broma pesada Capítulo 1 - Part 6

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¡Ay! ¡Estoy horrible!

Oh! I look horrible!

Caption 44, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 7: La gemela - Part 4

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Es por ahí. ¡Ahí es! Ay... ¡ay!

It's around there. There it is! Oh... oh!

Caption 8, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 1 - Part 10

 Play Caption


You can also use the word ay to introduce a comment or response about something. Let's look at a couple of examples of this usage:


¿Qué? Ay, Kevin, nosotros no podemos esperarlo durante cuatro años.

What? Oh, Kevin, we can't wait for you for four years.

Captions 2-3, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 13 - Part 7

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Ay, mijo, hacele caso a tu mamá, ¿sí?

Oh, my son, listen to your mom, OK?

Caption 39, Carlos comenta La sucursal del cielo - Part 4

 Play Caption


Now that we know how to use these three words, we would like to invite you to remember the following sentence, which some teachers use to teach the difference between the aforementioned terms:


Ahí hay un hombre que dice ay.

There, there's a man who says oh.


That's all for this lesson. Do you now feel confident about using the words hay, ahí, and ay? We hope so, and don't forget to send us your suggestions and comments.


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20 Spanish Words That Start With K

How many Spanish words do you know that start with the letter K? Probably not many since there are few Spanish words that start with K, and most of them are not native to Spanish. Having said that, let's find out a bit more about the letter K in Spanish as well as learning some Spanish words that begin with it.


Some Facts about the Spanish Letter K 

The name for the Spanish letter K is ka, which sounds a bit like the English word "caw." Let's hear it pronounced:


hache, i, jota, ka,

h, i, j, k,

Caption 7, Graciela Alfabeto y formación de sílabas

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Although the letter K is indeed a letter in the Spanish alphabet, it was only used rarely in the Latin language from which Spanish evolved. For that reason, the equivalent of the K sound in Spanish is more commonly made with the letters C or Q, as in the following examples:


la corté!

I broke up with her!

Caption 4, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 7 - Part 7

 Play Caption


queso y aceitunas.

cheese and olives.

Caption 6, Ariana Cena especial

 Play Caption


That said, like Spanish words that start with W, most Spanish words that start with K are extranjerismos, or words that come from other languages. Today, we'll highlight 20... then mention a few more!


Spanish Words That Start with K

Below, you'll find 20 Spanish words that start with K. You will note that many of them are spelled exactly the same as or very similarly to their English counterparts. 


1. el kaleidoscopio (noun): kaleidoscope


2. el kamikaze (noun/adjective): kamikaze

Note that this word can have all of the meanings of the English noun (e.g. a suicidal pilot or driver or a kamikaze aircraft) but can also informally refer to a "speed demon." As an adjective, kamikaze can additionally be used to describe someone "reckless."


3. el kárate/karate (noun): karate

While both are valid, the accented version of the word for this Japanese martial art in Spanish is used more frequently in Spain, while the spelling/pronunciation without an accent, which we hear in the following clip, is heard more in Latin America.


Estoy haciendo unas tomas de karate

I'm doing some karate kicks.

Caption 59, Disputas La Extraña Dama - Part 9

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4. el karma (noun): karma


Ten cuidado con el karma 

Be careful with karma

Caption 17, Yátu Tú la quieres aplicar

 Play Caption


5. el karaoke (noun): karaoke


Una tarde de karaoke con amigos 

An afternoon of karaoke with friends

Caption 33, Ana Carolina Mejorando la pronunciación

 Play Caption


6. el kayak (noun): kayak/kayaking

El kayak in Spanish might refer to the boat or the sport. Let's see an example where it means the latter:


deportes como el velero, el kayak

sports such as sailing, kayaking,

Caption 27, Otavalo Un día en la ciudad de los lagos

 Play Caption


7. el kebab (noun): kebab


8. el kilogramo (noun): kilogram

You will note that many Spanish measurement terms start with K since they are equivalents of words from other languages from the metric system, which the vast majority of the world uses. In the metric system, weight is measured with kilograms, and, for reference, one kilogram is equal to two point two pounds. While the official name for kilograms in Spanish is kilogramos, in everyday speech, many people say simply kilos. Let's hear both versions:


lo que equivale a dos kilogramos diarios por persona y día.

which is equivalent to two kilograms daily per person per day.

Caption 17, 3R Campaña de reciclaje - Part 1

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pero puede pesar hasta cuatrocientos cincuenta kilos.

but it can weigh up to four hundred and fifty kilos.

Caption 11, El Aula Azul Adivinanzas de animales - Part 1

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9. el kilómetro (noun): kilometer

The metric system measures distance in kilometers. One kilometer is just over half a mile, or 0.62 miles, to be exact. Let's hear how the word for "kilometer" is pronounced in Spanish:


ya que hubiera destruido más de un kilómetro de franja dunar. 

since it would have destroyed more than a kilometer of the stretch of dunes.

Caption 13, Viajando con Fermín Asociación ProDunas Marbella

 Play Caption


10. el kilometraje (noun): mileage

Kilometraje would be the distance traveled... in kilometers, of course!


aunque con muy poco kilometraje

although with very low mileage,

Caption 27, Raquel y Marisa Agente del concesionario

 Play Caption


11. kilometrar (verb): to measure in kilometers


12. el kilovatio (noun): kilowatt


13. la kinesiología (noun): kinesiology/physical therapy

In addition to this word, several related Spanish words start with K, such as the nouns el/la kinesiólogo/a (kinesiologist) and la kinesioterapia (kinesiotherapy) and the adjectives kinesiológico/a (pertaining to kinesiology) and kinesioterápico (related to kinesiotherapy).


14. el kimono (noun): kimono

Like kamikaze, the word kimono was adopted from Japanese by both Spanish and English. 


15. el kiosco (noun): the kiosk 

While the alternative spelling quiosco is preferable in more formal circles, the spelling that maintains its K etymology is also accepted, as we see here:


Ya está por allí en la calle en ocho estados en su kiosco favorito. 

It's already out there on the street in eight states at your favorite magazine stand.

Caption 90, En la radio Falcón Total

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By the way, a person who works in a kiosk can sometimes be called un/a kiosquero/a... yet another Spanish word that can start with K! 


16. el kit (noun): kit

Like the English term, el kit in Spanish can refer to a set of items, for example, un kit de maquillaje (a makeup kit) or un kit de útiles escolares (a school supply set). 


17. el kitesurf (noun): kitesurfing


Nosotros tenemos una escuela de kitesurf,

We have a kitesurfing school,

Caption 46, Adícora, Venezuela La Posada Sea Club - Part 2

 Play Caption


18. el kiwi (noun): kiwi

Although it's obvious what el kiwi means, be sure to check out our lesson on the names of fruits in Spanish in order to learn other Spanish fruit names that are totally different from their names in English.  


19. el koala (noun): koala

While the name of this furry creature is also the same in Spanish and English, we highly recommend learning some of the other names for animals in Spanish


20. kosher (adjective): kosher


Spanish Adjectives That Start With K

You may have noticed that most of the 20 words that we have mentioned are nouns, with just one verb and a couple of adjectives. There are, however, quite a few more Spanish adjectives that start with K, most of which are related to either specific historical figures or regions. As a bonus, let's take a look at several of these. While we have provided their masculine forms, remember that Spanish adjectives must always agree in terms of number and gender with the nouns they modify.


kafkiano: related to or supporting the novelist Kafka 

kantiano: related to or supporting the philosopher Kant

kárstico: karstic, related to karst, or a type of limestone landscape

kawaití: Kawaiti (from or pertaining to Kawait)

kazajo: Kazakh (from or pertaining to Kazakhstan)

keniano: Kenyan (from or pertaining to Kenya)

kieveño: from or pertaining to Kiev, Ukraine

kirguís: Kyrgyz (from or pertaining to Kyrgyzstan)

kiribatiano: from or pertaining to Kiribati

kurdo: Kurdish (pertaining to Kurds or their language)


Interestingly, all of these adjectives above except kárstico can also function as nouns, for example, los kenianos can mean "the Kenyans" or "the Kenyan people." 

That's all for today. Can you think of any more Spanish words that begin with K? Write us with your suggestions and comments!


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14 Common Spanish Words That Contain All 5 Vowels

Can you think of any Spanish word that contains all five vowels? Believe it or not, there are many words in Spanish that have all five vowels. In this brief lesson, we will list some of the most common ones. However, before you go through our list, we would like to invite you to do the following:


1. Read this lesson about the vowels in Spanish.

2. Try to come up with some word in Spanish that has all 5 vowels.


If nothing comes to mind, get ready to check out the following list of words, which we have classified into 3 big groups: Nouns, Adjectives, and Conjugated Verbs. If you have been studying Spanish, we are sure you are already familiar with several of the words we have included in this list. Are you ready to unveil these words and hear how to say them?  Let's get started!




1. abuelito (grandpa)


El abuelito merece la mejor fiesta

Grandpa deserves the best party

Caption 10, Cleer y Carolina Organizando la fiesta del abuelo

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2. comunidades (communities)


España está dividida en diecisiete comunidades autónomas.

Spain is divided into seventeen autonomous communities.

Caption 11, Ariana España

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3. ecuación (equation)


Mi escultura es la solución a una ecuación

My sculpture is the solution to an equation

Caption 25, San Sebastián Peine del viento

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4. educación (education)


El uso de las computadoras y el internet forman parte de la educación de los estudiantes

The use of computers and the internet are part of the students' education

Captions 38-39, Aprendiendo con Karen Útiles escolares - Part 2

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5. euforia (euphoria)


¿Qué es eso de la euforia?

What is that [whole] euphoria [thing]?

Caption 5, Aprendiendo con Silvia Las emociones - Part 6

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6. menstruación (period)


dice que si tú tienes tu menstruación,

says that if you're on your period,

Caption 37, Melyna El aguacate

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7. murciélago (bat)


Los murciélagos se llaman "morciguillos",

Bats are called "morciguillos,"

Caption 73, Soledad El argot

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8. orquídea (orchid)


O sea... que esa imagen que tenemos de la orquídea,

In other words... that image that we have of the orchid

Captions 29-30, Estepona Orquidario - Part 1

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9. riachuelo (stream)


A veces era una fuente, otras un riachuelo,

Sometimes, it was a fountain, other times, a stream,

Captions 50-51, Aprendiendo con Silvia Recuerdos de infancia - Part 3

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10. auténtico (authentic)


para un taco auténtico:

for an authentic taco:

Caption 23, Hispanoamericanos en Berlín Karla y los tacos - Part 2

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11. cuestionable (questionable)


o algo que puede ser cuestionable.

or something that could be questionable.

Caption 17, Carlos explica 20 formas de decir no sin decir no

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12. funerario (funeral)


y servían como necrópolis para los enterramientos funerarios.

and were used as a necropolis for funeral burials.

Caption 7, Rosa Los Dólmenes de Antequera

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Conjugated Verbs


13. averiguo (find out)


Pero claro, muñeca. No te preocupes que averiguo todo y te cuento, ¿listo?

But of course, doll. Don't worry as I'll find out everything and I'll tell you, alright?

Caption 32, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 1 - Part 5

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14. comunicarte (communicate to you)


Sí, querida, te llamé porque quería comunicarte

Yes, dear, I called you because I wanted to communicate to you

Caption 12, Muñeca Brava 39 Verdades - Part 10

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And those were the words with all five vowels in Spanish! How many did you know? While there are, of course, many more words Spanish words containing all five vowels, we have limited this list to some of the more common ones. Is there any word that you think we should have included? Do let us know, and don't forget to send us your suggestions and comments.


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Beyond "During": The Preposition Durante in Spanish

As you might imagine, the Spanish preposition durante can often mean "during." However, in different contexts, it is also the equivalent of the English words "for" and "over." This lesson will explore some of the meanings and peculiarities of the Spanish preposition durante


When Durante Functions Like "During"

The Spanish preposition durante should be translated as "during" when it refers to when something took place. Let's explore two subcategories of this usage.


Throughout the Course of

Like the English preposition "during," the Spanish word durante can mean "throughout the duration or course of." Let's see an example:


el calor en Sevilla es bastante fuerte durante los meses de verano

the heat in Seville is quite intense during the summer months,

Caption 21, Viajando con Fermín Sevilla - Part 2

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A Specific Point 

Also like "during," durante can refer to a specific point within some time period, as this caption illustrates:


Durante nuestra visita hemos tenido la ocasión de charlar con Mikel,

During our visit, we've had the opportunity to chat with Mikel,

Captions 65-66, Viajando con Fermín Restaurante La Viña - Part 1

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When Durante Means "For"

When the Spanish preposition durante is used to talk about something's duration, or how long it lasted, it works like the English preposition "for." Let's see an example:


tenemos que hacer muchos ejercicios seguidos durante un minuto.

we have to do a lot of exercises in a row for a minute.

Caption 26, Ariana Crossfit - Part 1

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Notice that, unlike the English preposition "during," the Spanish preposition durante can also come before plural periods of time, as we see in the following clip:


Ay, Kevin, nosotros no podemos esperarlo durante cuatro años.

Oh, Kevin, we can't wait for you for four years.

Caption 3, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 13 - Part 7

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In other words, while it would be unusual to say "we can't wait for you during four years" in English, it is common to see the Spanish preposition durante used in this fashion as the equivalent of the English word "for."


When Durante Works Like "Over"

Sometimes, durante describes an action that took place gradually, repetitively, or continuously within a particular timespan, in which case it is advisable to translate it as "over." Let's take a look:


han surgido durante los últimos diez años unas cincuenta escuelas de baile de salsa

some fifty salsa dance schools have sprung up over the last ten years,

Caption 2, Región mundo Paso a paso - Part 2

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In the same vein, note that, when paired with todo/a (all/whole), the Spanish preposition durante means "throughout":


Los burros, durante toda la historia, han sido infravalorados, ¿no?

Donkeys, throughout history, have been undervalued, right?

Caption 25, Santuario para burros Santuario - Part 1

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That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has clarified many of the different meanings and translations of the Spanish preposition durante... and don't forget to write us with your suggestions and comments.


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