As the U.S. elections are right around the corner, we think now is the perfect time to learn some useful election vocabulary.
In presidential elections, the citizens of a country votan por (vote for) the candidate of their choice. In a referendum, however, voters will votar a favor de / en contra de (for or against) a particular decision.
No sé si voy a votar por Manuel u Oscar en las elecciones presidenciales.
I don't know if I am going to vote for Manuel or Oscar in the presidential elections.
Caption 33, Lecciones con Carolina Conjunciones disyuntivasPlay Caption
As we all know, political parties run campaigns to persuade citizens to vote for them. We also know about the promises that politicians make when están en campaña (they are campaigning).
"La mejor campaña" dijo, "es la del pueblo."
"The best campaign" he said, "is that of the people."
Caption 24, Andrés Manuel López Obrador En campañaPlay Caption
Interestingly, there is an expression with the word campaña that is not related to presidential or marketing campaigns. Ponerse en campaña means "to start working on something" or "become active."
está todo claro. -Nos ponemos hoy mismo en campaña.
everything is clear. -We'll start working on that today.
Caption 69, Yago 10 Enfrentamientos - Part 5Play Caption
We can find some compelling examples of electoral promises in Felipe Calderon's Campaign cuando se postulaba como presidente de México (when he was running for president of Mexico) back in 2006.
igualdad de oportunidades para todos, una democracia efectiva, que le dé sentido a nuestra vida cotidiana y finalmente desarrollo sustentable.
equal opportunity for everyone, an effective democracy that gives meaning to our everyday lives, and finally, sustainable development.
Captions 59-61, Felipe Calderón Publicidad - Part 3Play Caption
Unsurprisingly, these promises are pretty much the same in each contienda electoral (presidential race) and are often expressed at debates televisados (televised debates) before the veda electoral (election silence), the period in some countries prior to the election in which it is forbidden to show any sort of political propaganda.
Pero no sólo a los PANistas, como espero que sea el candidato de Acción Nacional en la próxima contienda presidencial de dos mil seis.
But not only the PANistas, since I hope he'll be the candidate for Acción Nacional in the next presidential race in two thousand six.
Captions 71-73, Felipe Calderón Publicidad - Part 3Play Caption
While in some countries, voting is mandatory (sufragio obligatorio), and a fine is imposed if one does not ejercer el derecho al voto (exercise one's right to vote), in countries like the U.S. or Mexico, it is optional (sufragio voluntario), and campaigns are thus conducted to encourage people to vote. Tu Rock es votar was a commercial created to persuade young people to participate in los comicios (the elections) in Mexico's 2006 presidential race. A similar campaign, as Armando explains, also enjoyed success in the U.S.:
Y lo habían hecho funcionar muy bien, y habían inscrito a más de millón y medio de jóvenes para votar en el proceso electoral norteamericano. Y ayudaron a, entre muchos otros esfuerzos,
And they had made it work very well, and they had registered more than one and a half million young people to vote in the American election process. And they helped to, among many other efforts,
Captions 20-23, Tu Rock es Votar Armando - Part 1Play Caption
The ways in which we cast our votes may also differ. Particularly in these times of COVID-19, some countries may opt for an electronic vote (voto electrónico) or mail-in voting over the traditional ballot box (urna), which brings us to the saying that el futuro del país se decidirá en las urnas (the future of the country will be decided at the ballot box). And, you may be surprised to hear Argentinians and Uruguayans speak about el cuarto oscuro (literally "the dark room"). Mind you, there is no connotation of darkness or dishonesty in this expression, which is simply the name of the voting booth in those nations.
Voting is a right and a responsibility, so we should always stay informed and carefully think it through before weighing in on who will be in charge, or, as Armando puts it:
y es elegir a quien va a tomar las riendas de este país.
and that is to choose who is going to take the reins of this country.
Caption 84, Tu Rock es Votar Armando - Part 1Play Caption
We hope you've enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to vote! Oh, and leave us your comments and suggestions.
To begin this lesson, let's take a look at a caption in a Yabla video that recently baffled one our subscribers:
Obviamente, la comunicación es la esencia de este tipo de trabajos.
Obviously, communication is the essence of this type of job.
Caption 40, Negocios La solicitud de empleo - Part 2Play Caption
Spanish sentences such as this one involving "tipo de" ["type" or "types of"] tend to confuse English speakers. After all, the literal translation of this sentence would read, "Obviously, communication is the essence of this type of jobs," which doesn’t work in English since “this” is singular and “jobs” is plural. In the vast majority of similar constructions in English involving countable nouns (nouns like "leaf/leaves," "cookie/cookies," etc. that can be physically counted), there must be singular/singular or plural/plural agreement, leaving one with the choice of either "this type of job" or "these types of jobs."
However, this is not the case in Spanish since singular with plural is the most common construction, or occasionally singular with singular in the case of a single noun. Let’s look at some examples of each of these cases:
Si a todo esto añadimos otro tipo de problemas medio ambientales
If to all this we add another kind of environmental problem
Caption 16, 3R Campaña de reciclaje - Part 2Play Caption
yo sí tengo la esperanza que se reduzc'... se reduzcan este tipo de eventos, ¿no?
I do have the hope that these types of occurrences will be red'... will be reduced, right?
Caption 57, Amigos D.F. El secuestrarPlay Caption
¿Qué tipo de habitación desea?
What kind of room would you like?Play Caption
Note that in the case above, habitación is considered a single noun since the gentleman being addressed is only looking for one room; hence the singular with singular construction.
In both Spanish and English, uncountable nouns (nouns like "water," "coffee," "love," etc. that cannot be counted) go in singular with tipo de (or "type(s)" or "kind(s)") of as follows:
y digamos que conforme se va fabricando ese tipo de líquido,
and let's say that just as that type of liquid is being produced,Play Caption
En ellos, recibió todo tipo de apoyo de sus simpatizantes.
In them, he got all kinds of support from his followers.Play Caption
To add further confusion for English speakers (sorry!), in most such cases with "partitive" (referring to part of a whole) constructions like "tipo de," the verb can be conjugated in either singular or plural! Let's take a look at a couple of examples:
En cuanto al tipo de... trabajos que me gusta ver
In terms of the types of... projects that I like to see,
Caption 22, Álvaro Arquitecto Español en LondresPlay Caption
Note that the verb gustar is conjugated in first person in accordance with the singular noun el tipo. However, without changing the translation, it would be perfectly acceptable to instead conjugate gustar in accordance with the plural trabajos:
En cuanto al tipo de... trabajos que me gustan ver
In terms of the types of... projects that I like to see,
Let's look at one more example:
Además, en la conjugación de los verbos, este tipo de sufijos nos indican
Also, in the conjugation of verbs, these types of suffixes tell us
Captions 35-36, Carlos explica Diminutivos y Aumentativos Cap 1: Los sufijosPlay Caption
While indicar is conjugated in accordace with the plural noun sufijos, it could alternatively be conjugated in accordance with the singular noun tipo:
Además, en la conjugación de los verbos, este tipo de sufijos nos indica
Also, in the conjugation of verbs, these types of suffixes tell us
Finally, it is worth noting that, in the cases of particular Spanish linking verbs like ser (to be), estar (to be), or parecer (to seem), the verb is nearly always conjugated in plural when followed by a subject complement (most simply defined as an "attribute"), as follows:
Este tipo de bicicletas están pensadas para desplazamientos cortos,
This type of bicycle is planned for short distances,
Captions 5-6, Raquel Alquilar una bicicletaPlay Caption
To conclude, although we have focused on tipo de for the purpose of this lesson, other "partitive constructions" like el resto de (the rest of), la mayor parte de (most of), la mayoría de (most of), etc. function the same way.
We hope you've enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to leave us your comments and suggestions.
Let's talk about the Spanish conjugation of regular verbs. In particular, let's see how to form the preterite conjugation of regular verbs ending in -ar, -er, and -ir. But first, let's review the main idea behind the preterite tense in Spanish.
In very simple terms, when we talk about the Spanish preterite tense, we are talking about the simple past, in other words, a completed action that took place at a determined point in the past. Let's look at an example from the series where our friend Carlos talks about this tense:
Ayer trabajé hasta las ocho de la noche.
Yesterday I worked until eight at night.Play Caption
In this example, trabajé is the preterite conjugation of the regular verb trabajar for the first-person singular yo (I). Note that the only change necessary to form the preterite in this example is removing the -ar ending of the infinitive verb and replacing it with the ending -é.
There are a couple of things we want to mention about the conjugations you will find throughout this tutorial.
1. While usted (the formal, second-person singular "you") does not appear in our conjugation lists, keep in mind that when using that pronoun, the verb is conjugated in the exact same way as verbs in the third-person singular forms with él (he) and ella (she). Let's take a look at this in action with the preterite conjugation of the verb hablar (to speak/talk):
Usted habló de Fabio Sirenio.
You talked about Fabio Sirenio.
Caption 83, Yago - 7 Encuentros - Part 14Play Caption
Entonces él habló con...
So, he spoke with...
con los pescadores y los pescadores aceptaron.
with the fishermen and the fishermen accepted.
Caption 17, Instinto de conservación - Parque TayronaPlay Caption
2. In order to offer a more simplistic verb conjugation snapshot, in this article, we only employ the masculine versions of the plural forms nosotros (we), vosotros (you), and ellos (they). That said, keep in mind that the conjugations are the same for the feminine forms nosotras, vosotras, and ellas.
3. Just like usted, ustedes (the standard second person plural "you" in Latin America and the formal second person plural in Spain) does not appear among the conjugations shared here. However, keep in mind that the conjugations of verbs with "ustedes" are the exact same as the third-person plural forms utilized with ellos and ellas (they). Let's look at an example of this with the preterite conjugation of the verb cantar (to sing):
Ustedes cantaron muy bien (You guys sang very well).
Ellos/Ellas cantaron muy bien (They sang very well).
Having said all this, let's explore the preterite conjugations of some regular verbs in Spanish.
Let's take a look at the preterite conjugation of the verb hablar (to speak).
Yo hablé (I spoke).
Tú hablaste (You spoke).
Él/Ella habló (He/She spoke).
Nosotros hablamos (We spoke).*
Vosotros hablasteis (You spoke).
Ellos hablaron (They spoke).
* It's important to note that because the verb conjugation for the first person plural "nosotros" (we) is the same for both the simple present and simple past tenses, the speaker's intention must be determined by context as follows:
Nosotros estudiamos mucho todos los días (We study a lot every day).
Ayer nosotros estudiamos mucho (Yesterday, we studied a lot).
Example 1.: The verb comprar (to buy)
¡Y compraste melones en vez de limones!*
And you bought melons instead of lemons!Play Caption
* Remember that pronouns are frequently omitted in Spanish. Thus, in the example above and without changing the meaning, one could say: "¡Y tú compraste melones en vez de limones!" However, despite the fact that the speaker does not use the pronoun here, the -aste verb ending lets the listener know that the person referred to is "tú" (you).
Example 2.: The verb escuchar (to listen/hear)
La canción que escuchamos
The song that we heard
introduce la quinta parte del primer episodio.
introduces the fifth part of the first episode.Play Caption
Let's take a look at the preterite conjugation of the regular verb comer (to eat).
Yo comí (I ate).
Tú comiste (You ate).
Él/Ella comió (He/She ate).
Nosotros comimos (We ate).
Vosotros comisteis (You ate).
Ellos comieron (They ate).
Example 1.: The verb aprender (to learn)
...y aprendí que los pulpos pueden cambiar de color.
...and I learned that octopi can change color.
Caption 45, Guillermina y Candelario - La Señora PulpoPlay Caption
Example 2.: The verb vender (to sell)
Creo que vendimos unos quinientos dólares en unas...
I think we sold about five hundred dollars (worth) in about...
tres horas, dos horas.
three hours, two hours.
Captions 25-26, Un café con Julia - Año nuevoPlay Caption
Let's take a look at the preterite conjugation of the verb vivir (to live).
Yo viví (I lived).
Tú viviste (You lived).
Él/Ella vivió (He/She lived).
Nosotros vivimos (We lived).
Vosotros vivisteis (You lived).
Ellos vivieron (They lived).
Example 1.: The verb escribir (to write)
¿Por qué dices eso?
Why do you say that?
Porque una vez me escribiste
Because once you wrote to me
contándome que te casabas en Nueva York.
telling me that you were getting married in New York.
Captions 61-62, Yago - 6 Mentiras - Part 5Play Caption
Example 2.: The verb abrir (to open)
Primero, Lisa Bernal abrió la herida.
First, Lisa Bernal opened the wound.
Caption 61, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 6 - Part 4Play Caption
And with this example, we have reached the end of this lesson. But before we go, a little homework for you: go ahead and choose some other regular verbs and practice the Spanish conjugation of the preterite tense. Sooner or later, you will be able to master those preterite endings! We hope you enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to leave us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!
Do you know how to say goodbye in Spanish? Believe it or not, there are many different ways to say goodbye in Spanish. In this lesson, we will review some of the standard terms you can use as well as other alternative ways of saying goodbye in Spanish slang. Let's take a look.
If you want to know the most standard way of saying goodbye in Spanish, adiós is your go-to term. Let's hear how to pronounce it:
Caption 50, Cita médica - La cita médica de CleerPlay Caption
Bueno, mucho gusto, Ana. -Mucho gusto.
Well, nice to meet you, Ana. -Nice to meet you.
Captions 67-68, Conversaciones en el parque - Cap. 3: ¿De quién es esta mochila?Play Caption
The preposition hasta (usually translated as "until" or "even" in English) is quite useful when we want to say bye to someone. While the following expressions are not as literal as adiós, people use them often when they want to say goodbye in Spanish. The idea here is, "Let's meet at some point in the future." Let's take a look:
Así que, ¡nos vemos muy pronto!
So, see you very soon!
See you later!
Captions 83-84, Amaya - Mi burro PepePlay Caption
¡Adiós, amigos de Yabla, hasta pronto!
Bye, friends of Yabla, see you soon!
Caption 51, Ariana - EspañaPlay Caption
Gracias por su atención y hasta la próxima.
Thank you for your attention, and see you next time.
See you later.
Captions 74-75, Carlos explica - Las preposiciones 'por' y 'para'Play Caption
Hasta mañana, Ivo. -Chau, mi amor. -Chau.
See you tomorrow, Ivo. -Bye, my love. -Bye.
Chau, papá. -Chau.
Bye, dad. -Bye.
Captions 79-80, Muñeca Brava - 43 La reuniónPlay Caption
Bueno, os esperamos por Madrid.
Well, we await you in Madrid.
¡Hasta la vista!
Captions 91-92, Marisa en Madrid - Parque de El RetiroPlay Caption
Are you wondering how to say bye in Spanish in the shortest possible way? Look no further. These slang terms, taken from the standard Italian manner of saying goodbye (ciao), are the words you're looking for. Let's see how to pronounce chao and chau:
Bueno... Nos vemos en la casa, chao.
OK... See you at home, bye.
Caption 53, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 9Play Caption
...porque ahora tengo un compromiso. Claro.
...because now I have an appointment. [Is that] clear?
Chau, Andrea. -Chau.
Bye, Andrea. -Bye.
Captions 21-22, Muñeca Brava - 2 VenganzaPlay Caption
Ha sido un placer estar con vosotros.
It has been a pleasure being with you.
Nos vemos. Un saludo.
See you. A greeting.Play Caption
OK, take care.Play Caption
Solamente quería saber si usted estaba vivo todavía.
I just wanted to know if you were still alive.
Good luck, Magoo.
Captions 36-37, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 1Play Caption
Since its straightforward translation is "to arrive," you might wonder if the Spanish verb llegar is worth a whole lesson. However, this is language, and we always find new meanings, uses, and/or idiomatic expressions. That said, let's take a few minutes to analyze this verb and see a qué conclusión podemos llegar ("what conclusion we can draw" or "come to").
When we refer to a place, llegar means "to arrive."
Soñé que llegaba al colegio y estaba sin ropa.
I dreamed that I arrived at school and I was [there] with no clothes.
Caption 27, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 1Play Caption
Llegar can additonally mean to reach someone, either physically or emotionally. If someone shuts you out, no hay forma de llegar a esa persona (there's no way to reach that person). On the other hand, in the example below, the team at Biopark had not been able to physically reach the leopards.
No había forma de... de llegar a ellos.
There wasn't any way to... to get close to them.Play Caption
Again with this idea of reaching, llegar can also be used with an amount or specific point in space as we see in the following examples:
Supongo que si están un poquito más chaparritos,
I guess if you're a little bit shorter,
les ha de llegar al pecho.
it should come up to your chest.
Caption 24, Alan x el mundo - Mi playa favorita de México!Play Caption
Podremos estar llegando
We could be reaching
a los ochocientos mil euros aproximadamente.
eight hundred thousand euros approximately.
Caption 32, Los Reporteros - Crecen los robos en tiendasPlay Caption
And speaking of money, there is a Spanish idiom that includes this verb: llegar a fin de mes (literally "to make it to the end of the month"), which is the Spanish equivalent of "making ends meet."
Llegar can be used with seasons, months, or times of day as well to indicate their beginning or arrival. In this context, it often translates as "to come": Cuando llega la noche / "When night comes" or "falls."
...y lo tuvo con ella hasta que llegó la primavera.
...and had him with her until spring came.
Caption 41, Cleer - El patito feoPlay Caption
Another meaning of llegar is "to achieve." It is actually a verb that collocates with éxito (success), so if you become succesful, has llegado al éxito (you've achieved success).
De las etapas por las que pasan los conjuntos
Of the stages that groups go through
en su desarrollo y a lo que pueden llegar.
in their development and what they can become.
Captions 74-75, Arturo Vega - EntrevistaPlay Caption
Another possible translation of llegar is "to manage to" since when you llegas a hacer algo, you've succedeed in doing it after some effort.
...de lo que yo quería como llegar a expresar, ¿sí?
...to what I wanted to, like, manage to express, right?
Caption 13, Bogotá - Fotógrafo José Segundo Quinche PérezPlay Caption
Sometimes, when llegar follows si to introduce a condition, it makes that condition a bit more remote since si llego a enterarme de algo is closer to if I happen to/manage to hear anything.
Si llega a saber cualquier cosa que suceda
If you come to find out anything that happens
entre Milagros y su hermano, hágamela saber.
between Milagros and her brother, let me know about it.
Captions 21-22, Muñeca Brava - 33 El partidoPlay Caption
Si llega a pillarlos, me avisa y consigo la cámara.
If you manage to catch them, let me know and I'll get the camera.
Caption 72, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 4Play Caption
As you may notice, many of the meanings of the verb llegar are comparable to those of the English verb "to get" (e.g "to reach," "to arrive," "to manage," etc.).
We hope this lesson has been clear, but si llegan a tener dudas (if you happen to have any questions), don't forget to send us your questions, comments, and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!
¿Cómo te llevas con el español? (How do you get along in Spanish?) Wait— didn't llevar mean "to take"? Well, yes... you're right! The verb llevar often translates as "to take," and not just in phrases like "take your umbrella" or "take your children to school," but also in collocations like "to take time." And these are just a few of the uses of the verb llevar that we'll examine in this lesson. Actually, llevaría más de una lección (it would take more than one lesson) to cover all of its uses. But let's try and do our best here!
We can llevar something from one place to another and also accompany or guide someone somewhere, as in the following examples:
Tengo la posibilidad de llevar todos los días al colegio a mi hijo.
I have the chance to take my son to school every day.
Caption 53, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 18Play Caption
Le voy a llevar de compras.
I'm going to take him shopping.Play Caption
It is no wonder, then, that the term for "takeout food" (comida para llevar) in Spanish can be literally translated as "food for taking":
Aquí había unas comidas para llevar.
There were some takeout places here.
Caption 8, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 10Play Caption
Note that while the speaker uses the term for "takeout food" to refer to the location, it is more common to say casa de comidas para llevar to refer to a takeout restaurant. By the way, in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, these places are also called rotisería.
When this idea of direction goes beyond space to express cause, llevar means something closer to the verbs "to lead" or "to drive" in English, as in the following example:
Una cosa llevó a la otra, ¿no?
One thing led to another, right?
Caption 13, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 3Play Caption
A person might llevarte a la desesperación, a la ruina o a la locura ("lead" or "drive you to despair, bankrutpcy, or madness"), or maybe you are lucky and end up being very successful, like in this Yabla video:
Muchas veces, incluso nos puede llevar al éxito profesional.
Many times, it can even lead us to professional success.
Caption 13, Club de las ideas - IntuiciónPlay Caption
Llevar also resembles "to take" when used with time, work, or effort to express that it is necessary to invest such time or effort in something. For instance, in one of our videos, María Sol explains that learning Spanish is a long process by saying that:
...de que puede llevar mucho tiempo.
...that it can take a long time.
Caption 29, GoSpanish - Entrevista con María SolPlay Caption
Yet, it can also be used to refer to the time that has gone by since the inception of something:
¿Cuánto tiempo llevas en Marbella? -En Marbella, cuarenta y un años.
How long have you been in Marbella? -In Marbella, forty-one years.
Caption 10, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 11Play Caption
Llevamos más de dos semanas sin agua.
We've been without water for more than two weeks.
Caption 24, Kikirikí - AguaPlay Caption
We also use llevar to refer to the clothing or glasses we "wear," or the way we have our hair, in sentences such as Llevaba lentes (He/She was wearing glasses) or María llevaba el cabello largo (María had long hair).
...y me gusta llevar faldas normalmente.
...and I like to wear skirts usually.
Caption 6, El Aula Azul - Actividades DiariasPlay Caption
Another instance in which llevar can be translated as "to take" is when we use the expression llevar a cabo (to take place), which might also mean "to carry out" or "conduct" depending on the case/collocation.
Aquí se va a llevar a cabo el Campeonato WK.
Here, the WK Championship is going to take place.
Caption 3, Adícora, Venezuela - VíctorPlay Caption
We'll often hear people inviting us to let go, relax, and enjoy the feeling of dejarse llevar (letting oneself go), another expression which incorporates this verb:
Hay que estar relajado y dejarse llevar, ¿no?
You should be relaxed and let yourself go, right?
Caption 12, Club de las ideas - IntuiciónPlay Caption
Finally, we'll can state that nos llevamos bien/mal with a person or people to describe how well or poorly we "get along with" others.
Que la puedes llevar a una... a un sitio,
That you can take her to a... to a place,
y sabes que se va a llevar bien con todo el mundo...
and you know she'll get along with everyone...
Caption 61, Biografía - Enrique IglesiasPlay Caption
As you can tell, there are so many uses of llevar that se hace difícil llevar la cuenta (it's hard to keep track) of all of them. We hope you enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!
In an interview appearing in the Spanish series, 75 minutos, we can hear a beautiful gypsy voice singing the following:
Me dormí pensando en ti; pensando en ti, me desperté
I fell asleep thinking about you; thinking about you, I woke up
Soñé contigo, estoy sin ti y así llevo to' mi vi'a
I dreamed about you, I am without you, and I carry on like that all my life
Captions 10-11, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesaPlay Caption
Do you see that "ti" in the example above? That's a prepositional pronoun, or pronoun that follows a preposition. As prepositional pronouns may have been outshone in your studies by the complexity of object pronouns (me, te, se, le, etc.), let’s focus on them for a change.
When pronouns follow prepositions, they take on a special form in the first and second person singular, as follows:
Tú sabes que una fiesta sin mí no es una fiesta
You know that a party without me is not a party
porque yo soy el alma de las fiestas.
because I am the soul of parties.
Caption 19, Club 10 - Capítulo 1 - Part 2Play Caption
He sentido un flechazo por ti.
I felt love at first sight with you.
Caption 7, Cortometraje - FlechazosPlay Caption
Note that, unlike the possessive adjective mi (e.g. Mi nombre, or "My name"), the prepositional pronoun mí has a graphic accent (tilde) whereas ti does not.
In contrast to the first and second persons, the other persons utilize the same form as the subject pronoun (él, ella, nosotros, etc.) and do not require any special form:
Es un poco estresante para nosotros.
It's a bit stressful for us.Play Caption
No, estoy hablando de ella.
No, I'm talking about her.
Caption 22, Muñeca Brava - 41 La FiestaPlay Caption
O en los brazos de ella.
Or in her arms.
Caption 21, El Ausente - Acto 3 - Part 8Play Caption
The third person is the only grammatical person to employ a specific form exclusively for reflexive use: sí. Although this form does not indicate gender or number, these aspects are apparent (and the agreement with the subject achieved) with the words mismo(s) and misma(s), which often follow the prepositional pronoun sí when expressing the idea of "himself" or "herself."
Agente, Pierre Bernard no habló mucho de sí mismo.
Agent, Pierre Bernard didn't talk much about himself.
Caption 24, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 4Play Caption
Sí can also come after the preposition entre in the third person plural to express the idea of "with each other," as follows:
Entonces, ellas son amigas entre sí, también.
So, they are friends with each other also.Play Caption
However, entre can be also followed by the subject pronouns yo and tú:
Pues lo que está sucediendo
Because what's happening
es entre tú y yo
is between you and me
Captions 26-27, Vivanativa - Si tú me quieresPlay Caption
Soñé contigo, estoy sin ti / I dreamed about you, I am without you
Considering the fact that pronouns do not often merge with the prepositions that preceed them, you may have wondered why conmigo, contigo and consigo are written as a single word. The fact is that the prepositional pronouns mí, ti, and sí have special forms when used with the preposition con.
Stay with mePlay Caption
Bailar contigo y perdernos esta noche
Dancing with you and losing ourselves tonight
Caption 9, Monsieur Periné - Bailar ContigoPlay Caption
Porque si no, muchas personas
Because otherwise, many people
tienen conflictos consigo mismas.
have conflicts with themselves.
Captions 2-3, Natalia de Ecuador - Los tipos de temperamentoPlay Caption
Some years ago, a politician in Latin America gained notoriety after saying conmigo o sinmigo, an egregious error for a native speaker of Spanish, let alone a public figure! Now that you have read this lesson, you can rest assured that contigo no tendremos ese problema (we won’t have that problem with you). We hope you liked this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!
Do you know how to use the preposition con (most commonly translated as "with") in Spanish? Let's explore some of the various ways of using this preposition correctly.
Like its English counterpart, the first use of the preposition con that most likely comes to mind is to introduce the concept of accompaniment by someone or something. We can find this use in the name of some of our series such as Aprendiendo con Carlos, Paseando con Karen, and also in the words of Ester from El Aula Azul:
Quédate con nosotros hoy
Stay with us today,
y aprende algo nuevo en nuestra clase.
and learn something new in our class.Play Caption
The way con is used here is no different from the way we use "with" to describe accompaniment in English. However, it is worth mentioning that stranded prepositions (prepositions separated from their objects and often placed at the end of the sentence) do not occur in Spanish. Thus, a question like the one below must place the preposition con next to its object quién at the beginning of the sentence, as opposed to the manner in which "who" and "with" can be separated in informal English.
¿Y con quién vives en Alemania?
And who do you live with in Germany?
Caption 21, La rutina diaria - La mañanaPlay Caption
The preposition con can also be employed to introduce the means or tools used to do an activity or achieve something.
Hazlo primero con lápiz y después con plumón.
Do it first in pencil and then with a marker.
Caption 17, Manos a la obra - Separadores de libros: PikachuPlay Caption
Y os puedo asegurar que
And I can assure you that,
con paciencia y con disciplina se consigue todo.
with patience and discipline, one can achieve anything.
Caption 73, Fermín y los gatos - Mi gata BimbaPlay Caption
We also use the preposition con in Spanish to introduce the way something is done or how it should be done:
¡Por acá, Guillermina, con cuidado!
Through here, Guillermina, carefully!Play Caption
Notice that the word cuidado can also appear before con in phrases such as the following:
Cuidado con el perro.
Beware of the dog.
Or, as Karen warns us in her video:
Mucho cuidado con lo que escribes.
[Be] very careful with what you write.
Caption 38, Aprendiendo con Karen - Útiles escolaresPlay Caption
When the preposition con is followed by an infinitive, it can function as a gerund (the -ing form of a verb, which functions as a noun):
Con decir perdón es suficiente.
Saying you're sorry is enough.
Caption 20, Muñeca Brava - 47 EsperanzasPlay Caption
Con is also the dependent preposition (preposition that depends upon or must follow a particular noun, verb, or adjective) after certain verbs such as terminar (to put an end to something), bastar (to be enough or suffice) or comparar (to compare), to name a few.
Terminar con mi noviazgo no parecía tan complicado.
Ending my relationship didn't seem so complicated.
Caption 61, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 8Play Caption
Y me basta con saber que estás allí
And it's enough to know that you're there
Caption 19, Franco De Vita - Mi sueñoPlay Caption
A pesar de que lo... la cultura azteca también
Although the... the Aztec culture also
tenía su preciosismo no se compara con los Mayas...
had its beauty, it can't be compared to the Mayans...
Captions 46-47, Antonio Vargas - Artista - ilustraciónPlay Caption
Finally, the preposition con can additionally introduce a phrase that stands in contrast to the following clause, taking on a meaning similar to "although" or "despite."
Esta mujer aquí donde la ve,
This woman who stands here before you,
con lo simpática que parece, es como un general.
as nice as she seems, is like a general.
Captions 62-63, Los casos de Yabla - El perrito malcriadoPlay Caption
That's all for this lesson. We hope it has been clear for you and you can now use this preposition con más seguridad y precisión (with greater confidence and accuracy)! And, don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions!
Most of the time, we use the word nada in Spanish as an indefinite pronoun that can be translated as either "nothing" or "anything." In this lesson, we will examine how to use this word to mean one vs. the other. Let's take a look.
Before we jump into the "nothing" vs. "anything" uses of nada, it's important to state the following: When an adjective appears next to nada, the adjective must be masculine. Let's look at a few examples:
No es nada malo, es algo natural.
It's nothing bad, it's something natural.
Caption 12, La Cocaleros - Personas y políticasPlay Caption
Tenemos que devolver a la madre y esperamos
We have to return it to the mother and hope
que la madre no encuentre nada raro en su cachorro.
that the mother doesn't find anything strange with her cub.
Captions 90-91, Animales en familia - Un día en Bioparc: Cachorro de leopardoPlay Caption
Que haya jóvenes que realicen pequeños hurtos no es nada nuevo.
That there are young people who commit petty thefts is nothing new.
Caption 16, Los Reporteros - Crecen los robos en tiendasPlay Caption
If nada comes after a verb, it must be expressed in a negative form with either no or some other negative element such as jamás/nunca (never) or nadie (nobody). Although such "double negatives" are incorrect in English (for example, you can't say "I don't have nothing"), in such cases in Spanish, nada becomes the positive "anything" in the English translation. Let's look at a couple of examples:
Juan no ha comido nada desde que llegó al aeropuerto.
Juan hasn't eaten anything since he arrived at the airport.Play Caption
No, no como nada frito.
No, I don't eat anything fried.
Caption 40, Cata y Cleer - En el restaurantePlay Caption
In the example above, you can see how the adjective frito is masculine (just to check whether you remember our aforementioned rule!).
Me encanta también cocinar.
I also love to cook.
Nunca me has hecho nada, ni un plato.
You have never made anything for me, not even one dish.
Captions 74-75, Cleer - HobbiesPlay Caption
On the other hand, if nada goes before a verb, the verb does not need to be accompanied by a negative element. In this case, nada functions like the word "nothing" in English. Let's take a look:
Mi primo vive en una casucha en donde nada funciona bien.
My cousin lives in a "casucha" [awful house] where nothing works well.Play Caption
Nada me detendrá
Nothing will stop me
Caption 32, Ednita Nazario - Después De TiPlay Caption
Finally, keep in mind that when nada is used as a noun meaning "the void" or "nothingness," it is a feminine noun:
Era el frío de la nada
It was the cold of nothingnessPlay Caption
Notice how in this case, the word nada is preceded by the definite female article "la."
That's all for this lesson. We invite you to keep these rules in mind, and don't forget to send us your suggestions and comments.
Recently, one of our subscribers wrote into us, alarmed by the following translation:
Caption 7, Café Tacuba - MediodíaPlay Caption
As the literal meaning of Parece mentira is "It seems like a lie," he didn't understand how the translators at Yabla could have so terribly missed the mark. Long story short, translation is not always literal, and there are many occasions on which the same word, expression, or text could be translated in more than one fashion. There are many factors that come into play at the moment of translating, including idiomatic speech, differences in dialects, the format or genre of the translation, and even the audience for which it is intended.
Since much of the art of translation involves making actual choices, rather than simply translating each word literally, the audience for a translation and its intended purpose come into play. For example, someone might hire a translator to translate a legally binding contract into layperson's language if the purpose of the translation is simply for that client to be able to understand what is being said in everyday terms. On the other hand, were that same contract to be presented by a lawyer at a trial in a Spanish-speaking country, the translation would need to match the high register of the original document and contain exact equivalents of its complex legal terminology. This is further complicated by the fact that sometimes the laws of one country are so different from another's that there simply is no equivalent terminology.
On the other hand, literary translation can be quite complicated with genres like poetry or children's stories that employ rhyme. The translator is then faced with the choice between translating the literal meaning of the poem and completely losing this literary element or employing rhyme while inevitably altering the meaning (as little as possible, of course!). Again, either one of these translation styles could be legitimate, depending upon the audience for the translation and/or what the translator considers more important in terms of maintaining the essence of the original literature.
In the case of Yabla, our audience consists of language learners. As our goal is to translate in a way that facilitates language learning, we are basically left with two choices in our aforementioned example: to literally translate the phrase, Parece mentira, as "It seems like a lie," which sounds a bit awkward in English, or to translate the actual meaning of this idiomatic expression, which is indeed utilized to convey the idea that something is "unbelievable," "incredible," or "hard to believe." Over time, Yabla has transitioned from more literal translation to a style that expresses actual meaning and/or the way in which a native speaker would express him or herself whenever possible.
To illustrate a very simple example, the concept of "black and white" (movies, for example) in Spanish is expressed in reverse order as blanco y negro. While in the past, Yabla may have opted to translate this as “white and black” in order not to confuse learners (perhaps leading them to believe that Yabla's translators need to brush up on their colors!), these days, we would most likely go with the more common manner of expressing this in English. This can be seen in the following clip.
Son los vari blanco y negro.
They are the black and white ruffed lemurs.
Caption 34, Animales en familia - Un día en Bioparc: LémuresPlay Caption
Of course, as this is also a proper name, the translator should always choose the real name by which something is known in the target language (in our case, English) rather than the source language (Spanish), even when the literal translation would be completely different:
Bueno, en las costa se pueden, bueno, observar pingüinos, lobos marinos.
Well, at the shore you can see penguins, sea lions (literally "sea wolves").
Caption 49, Buenos Aires - Heladería CumelenPlay Caption
Interestingly, the very same animal, the sea lion, is literally referred to as a "sea wolf" in Spanish. However, translating it in this matter would only serve to confuse English speakers, perhaps causing them to wonder whether the speaker could be referring to some alternative species (or maybe a fantastical creature!). Whenever possible, Yabla also employs brackets to indicate the literal translation in such cases.
To further demonstrate the complex nature of translation, let's examine a few additional examples:
¿Qué te parece San Sebastián, Matías?
What do you think of San Sebastian (literally, "How does San Sebastian seem to you"), Matias?
Caption 29, Clase Aula Azul - El verbo parecerPlay Caption
The literal translation of ¿Qué te parece San Sebastián? is "How does San Sebastian seem to you?" However, although there is nothing grammatically incorrect about that English sentence, the translator must again put him or herself in the shoes of a speaker who, for example, is inquiring about the visitor to a particular city's opinion of it. In this case, "What do you think of San Sebastian?" would be a much more common utterance. Once again, since the intention of this video is to teach Yabla students grammar, you will note that the literal translation has additionally been provided in brackets.
Let's take a look at an example in which two completely different idioms are used to express the same idea in Spanish vs. English:
El arreglo, un ojo de la cara.
The repair, an arm and a leg (literally "an eye off my face").
Caption 19, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante - Capítulo 1Play Caption
Amusingly, to say something costs "an eye off my face" has the same meaning as the English expression, "to cost an arm and a leg," and the translator should thus choose the equivalent idiomatic expression in the target language.
Let's look at one last example:
Sí, gorda, ya lo sé.
Yes, honey, I know that already.
Caption 32, Muñeca Brava - 45 El secretoPlay Caption
As gorda literally means "fatty," the translation "honey" might initially seem off. However, terms such as gordo/a ("fatty"), flaco/a ("skinny'), and negro/negra ("blackie") are frequently employed in many Spanish-speaking countries (regardless of whether the person actually has these physical characteristics!) as terms of endearment equivalent to such English words as "dear," "honey," or "sweetie." This additionally demonstrates how a term deemed perfectly acceptable in one country could, in another, be misunderstood at best and offensive at worst. This becomes extremely important when translating, for example, advertisements targeted at specific audiences.
That's all for today. We hope that these examples have shed some light on a few of the countless challenges and choices that translators face regularly, and don't forget to leave us your comments and suggestions!
If you are learning Spanish, you know that the hard, rolled sound of the letter 'r' in Spanish is one of the most challenging sounds to master. In this lesson, we will review some of the rules you should keep in mind when writing that sound. Let's take a look.
When it comes to pronunciation, there are two types of 'r' sounds in Spanish: the soft, simple 'r' sound and the hard, rolled 'r' sound. Let's listen to these two sounds in the following clip from our friend, Amaya:
Viajo con mi perro, como habéis visto antes.
I travel with my dog, as you've seen before.
Pero además, lo que hago es que intento aprovechar...
But additionally, what I do is that I try to take advantage of...
Captions 16-17, Amaya - El Refugio del BurritoPlay Caption
As you can see, the word perro (dog) is pronounced with the hard, rolled 'r' sound, while the word pero (but) is pronounced with the soft 'r' sound. In order to indicate the pronunciation of that rolled ‘r’ sound between two vowels, the ‘rr’ (double ‘r’) must be utilized. Let's look at some more words that follow this rule:
Tras la guerra con Napoleón.
After the war with Napoleon.
Caption 64, Marisa en Madrid - Parque de El RetiroPlay Caption
¿Ha venido en carro?
Have you come in a car?
Caption 64, Cleer y Lida - Recepción de hotelPlay Caption
Mi barrio no es muy grande.
My neighborhood is not very big.
Caption 2, El Aula Azul - Mi BarrioPlay Caption
Furthermore, it is important to note that words that begin with "r" also have this hard, rolled 'r' sound despite being written with the regular (not double) 'r.' Let's listen to some examples:
Encima del río hay un puente.
Over the river there's a bridge.
Caption 20, El Aula Azul - Mi BarrioPlay Caption
Se oyó un ruido atronador.
A thunderous noise was heard.Play Caption
Miren, hablando del Rey de Roma.
Look, speak of the devil (literally "the King of Rome").
Caption 60, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 5Play Caption
An important rule of thumb is to double the regular ‘r’ to ‘rr’ in cases where an element ending in a vowel is combined with a word that begins with "r.” This occurs very often with words that are formed with prefixes. Let's look at an example:
...como es la contrarreloj y trabajos de intensidad.
...like the time trial and high intensity workouts.
Caption 20, Semilleros Escarabajos - Capítulo 1Play Caption
In the example above, we have a word that is comprised of the prefix contra- (counter-) and the noun reloj (clock). As you can see, the prefix ends in a vowel, and the noun starts with 'r'. Since we want to keep the hard 'r' sound of the word reloj, we must double the 'r', and our new word must thus be written as contrarreloj (rather than contrareloj). In summary, in order to keep the hard 'r' sound between the two vowels, the 'r' must be doubled to 'rr.'
Let's take a look at some additional words that follow this rule:
Contrarreforma (Counter-Reformation): contra- + reforma
microrrelato (flash fiction): micro- + relato
pararrayos (lightning rod): para + rayos
That's all for today. We invite you to keep these rules in mind when writing that hard, rolled 'r' sound in Spanish. And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!
In this lesson, we will learn how to describe people in Spanish using the verb ser (to be). In particular, we'll focus on five different uses of the verb ser that you can use to identify and describe people. Let's take a look.
Eh... Luis, ella es mi mamá, mamá, él es Luis.
Um... Luis, this is my mom, Mom, this is Luis.
Y ella es mi abuela Carmen.
And this is my Grandma Carmen.
Captions 18-19, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 4Play Caption
It's worth mentioning that the example above shows a very common way to introduce people in Spanish.
Es un hombre que se dedica a lo que yo hago.
He's a man who devotes himself to what I do.
Caption 61, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 4Play Caption
Paul es estadounidense, de los Estados Unidos.
Paul is American, from the United States.
Caption 16, Carlos explica - Geografía y gentiliciosPlay Caption
Mi padre es arquitecto
My father is an architect
Caption 25, Leif - El Arquitecto Español y su ArtePlay Caption
In particular, when we refer to essential traits, such as height, weight, and physical appearance.
Es bajo, es gordo.
He's short, he's fat.
Caption 33, El Aula Azul - Mis PrimosPlay Caption
Alguien que es delgado tiene poco peso.
Someone who is skinny doesn't weigh much.Play Caption
Carolina tiene treinta y cinco años
Carolina is thirty-five years old
pero parece que tiene veinte.
but she looks like she is twenty.
Es muy guapa.
She's very pretty.
Captions 2-4, El Aula Azul - Mis PrimosPlay Caption
Ellos son muy majos. Mi prima Marta es muy simpática.
They are very nice. My cousin Marta is very nice.
Caption 8, El Aula Azul - Mi familiaPlay Caption
Ricardo es muy... es muy tranquilo, ¿viste?
Ricardo is very... he's very calm, you know?
Caption 84, Biografía - Natalia OreiroPlay Caption
Porque mi mamá es una persona muy difícil.
Because my mom is a very difficult person.
-Eso a mí no me importa.
-That doesn't matter to me.
Caption 20, Yago - 10 EnfrentamientosPlay Caption
That's it for today. Can you describe someone you know using the verb ser? We invite you to try it out and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!
Generally speaking, we use the present indicative in Spanish to talk about actions that are taking place at the moment (now). However, that's not the only use of it. Let's take a look at the following list so you can understand how to use the present indicative in Spanish.
Actions that are taking place right at the moment (now):
¿Dónde están las chicas?
Where are the girls?
¿Las chicas? -Ajá.
The girls? -Uh-huh.
Lola y Ana. -Uh...
Lola and Ana. -Uh...
Lola y Ana viven aquí.
Lola and Ana live here.
Captions 26-29, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 1 - La llegada de SamPlay Caption
In the above sentence, you can see how the verbs estar (to be) and vivir (to live) are conjugated in the present indicative for the third person plural (las chicas/Lola y Ana/ellas... están/viven).
You can also talk about actions that take place over time:
Trabajo en un colegio.
I work at a school.
Soy maestra de música y de ciencias.
I'm a music and science teacher.
Captions 6-7, Ariana - Mi CasaPlay Caption
In this example, you can see the verbs trabajar (to work) and ser (to be) conjugated in the present indicative for the first person singular (yo trabajo/soy).
IMPORTANT! Remember that in Spanish it is very common to drop the pronouns from the sentences. As you can see in the sentence above, Ariana doesn't say "yo trabajo" but rather only "trabajo".
En agosto, vamos a la playa.
In August, we go to the beach.
En septiembre, empieza el otoño.
In September, the fall begins.
Captions 21-22, El Aula Azul - Estaciones y MesesPlay Caption
In the example above, we can see the present indicative of the verb ir (to go) in the first person plural (nosotros vamos) and the present indicative of the verb empezar (to begin) in the third person singular (el otoño empieza).
La Laguna de San Pablo está a los pies del imponente
The San Pablo Lagoon is at the foot of the imposing
Caption 13, Otavalo - Un día en la ciudad de los lagosPlay Caption
In the example above, Natalia uses the present indicative of the verb estar for the third person singular (está) to state a fact.
You can talk about daily activities and habitual actions using the present indicative:
De lunes a viernes, me levanto a las siete de la mañana.
From Monday to Friday, I get up at seven in the morning.
Caption 2, GoSpanish - La rutina diaria de SolPlay Caption
In the above clip, you can see how Sol uses the present indicative of the verb levantarse (yo me levanto) to express one of her habitual actions.
Dante y Mika vienen todos los días a trabajar conmigo
Dante and Mika come work with me every day
aquí al Refugio del Burrito.
here at the Little Donkey Shelter.
Caption 62, Rosa - La perrita MikaPlay Caption
Similarly, Rosa uses the present indicative of the verb venir (to come) to describe something habitual. In this case, the verb is conjugated in the third person plural (Dante y Mika/ellos... vienen).
Did you know that the present indicative can be used for things happening in the near future? Let's see some examples.
Le prometo que termino de morfar y... y salgo a laburar. Va a ver.
I promise you that I'll finish eating and... and go out to work. You'll see.
Caption 63, Yago - 8 DescubrimientoPlay Caption
In this sentence, the speaker is using the present indicative of the verb salir (to go out) in order to express an action that will take place in the near future. Once he's done with his lunch, he will go out to work. The verb is conjugated in the first person singular (yo salgo).
Bueno, pues entonces, no hay que pensarlo más.
OK, well then, we don't have to think about it anymore.
Mañana hablamos con el jefe y desde la oficina
Tomorrow we'll talk to the boss and from the office
Captions 11-12, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 2Play Caption
In the previous example, you can fully appreciate how the present indicative of the verb hablar (to talk) is used to indicate an action that will take place tomorrow! This may be a bit weird for English speakers but it is a very common formula used by Spanish speakers. The verb is conjugated in the second person plural (nosotros hablamos).
Finally, it is worth mentioning that in journalism and the academic field, some people like to use the present indicative when referring to historical facts. Let's see the following example:
El Imperio romano cae en el año 476
The Roman Empire falls in the year 476
And that's it for today. We hope this lesson helped you to understand how to use the present indicative in Spanish. And don't forget to send us your comments and questions.
Do you know how to say "those" or "that" in Spanish? Let's explore Spanish demonstrative adjectives. However, before doing that, let's start this lesson with an important definition.
Adjectives describe and modify nouns. We use demonstrative adjectives to determine which person or object, for example, we are referring to, taking its distance with respect to the speaker and/or listener into account. Let's first review our options in English:
- Near the speaker: "this" and "these."
- Near the listener OR far from both the speaker and the listener: "that" and "those."
While there are only four demonstrative adjectives in English, you will notice that there are many more in Spanish (twelve to be exact!). Why is that? One reason is that, because nouns in Spanish have a gender, demonstrative adjectives in Spanish are not only singular and plural but masculine and feminine as well.
In addition, Spanish has two different sets of demonstrative adjectives to differentiate between nouns that are close to the listener vs. nouns that are far from both the speaker and listener (roughly corresponding to the English concept of "over there" rather than just "there").
Let's take a closer look at the demonstrative adjectives in Spanish, using M to indicate "masculine" and F to indicate "feminine":
- Near the speaker: "this" (M: este, F: esta) and "these" (M: estos, F: estas).
- Near the listener: "that" (M: ese, F: esa) and "those" (M: esos, F: esas).
- Far from both the speaker and the listener: "that" (over there) (M: aquel, F: aquella) and "those" (over there) (M: aquellos, F: aquellas).
It is worth noting that, in addition to indicating further physical distance, aquel/aquella/aquellos/aquellas can also refer to metaphorical distance such as dates or events in the future or past.
Now that we know the demonstrative adjectives in Spanish, it's time to look at some examples. Let's watch and listen to the following clips:
Me gusta mucho este parque.
I really like this park.Play Caption
Esta mochila es de Lucas.
This backpack is Lucas'.Play Caption
En la noche, utilizaremos estos vasos bajos para servir licor.
At night, we'll use these short glasses to serve liquor.
Caption 20, Ana Carolina - El comedorPlay Caption
Estas cintas son las que estamos sacando recientemente;
These ribbons are the ones that we are coming out with recently;
son nuevos diseños.
they are new designs.
Caption 19, Comercio - Camisas tradicionalesPlay Caption
Oiga y ese carro, esa belleza ¿de dónde la sacó, hermano, ah?
Hey and that car, that beauty, where did you get it, brother, huh?
Caption 43, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 1Play Caption
¿Y esos otros tatuajes que tienes aquí, de qué son?
And those other tattoos you have here, what are they of?
Caption 67, Adícora, Venezuela - El tatuaje de RosanaPlay Caption
Mire, Rubio, yo necesito que usted
Look, Rubio, I need you
le ponga vigilancia inmediata a esas dos mujeres, hermano.
to put those two women under immediate surveillance, brother.
Caption 52, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 4Play Caption
La terminación del piso sería, en el futuro, de roca...
The last part of the floor would be, in the future, made out of rock...
de roca rústrica [sic] a propósito traída de aquel cerro que está allá.
out of rustic rock brought specifically from that hill over there.
Captions 22-23, Edificio en Construcción - Hablando con los trabajadoresPlay Caption
Esas cifras ya nos dicen
Those numbers tell us
que aquellas civilizaciones prehistóricas
that those prehistoric civilizations
ya sabían mucho de cálculo.
already knew a lot about calculus.
Captions 27-29, Rosa - Los dólmenes de AntequeraPlay Caption
Sería, "Aquellos coches son de mi padre"
Would be, "Those cars are my father's"
o "Aquellas casas son de mi madre".
or "Those houses are my mother's."
Captions 35-36, Lecciones con Carolina - Adjetivos demostrativosPlay Caption
Keep in mind, however, that in less formal Spanish, we tend to use ese, esa, esos, and esas much more than aquel, aquella, aquellos, aquellas.
That's all for today. Although there are many more demonstrative adjectives in Spanish than in English, learning to use them is relatively simple. We hope you enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!
If you have been studying Spanish, you probably know that the Spanish verbs, ser and estar, have a common translation in English: '"to be." With that in mind, let's start this lesson with a practical example. Your Spanish friend has just invited you to her wedding (boda) in Madrid, and you want to ask her (in Spanish, of course!) the following simple question: "Where is the wedding?" Which verb would you choose, ser or estar? Would you ask, Dónde está or Dónde es la boda? Let's find out.
Are you wondering about the meaning of dónde está in English? Generally speaking, we use the verb estar when we want to talk about the position or location of someone or something. Considering that dónde means "where," we use dónde está when we want to know where someone or something is located. Let's look at a couple of examples so that you can better understand the use of the verb estar when talking about position or location:
¿Sabes dónde está la biblioteca?
Do you know where the library is?Play Caption
El pulverizador, ss... ss... está en el baño.
The spray, ss... ss... is in the bathroom.Play Caption
Se llama Frigiliana, y está en la provincia de Málaga.
It's called Frigiliana, and it's in the province of Malaga.
Caption 6, Viajando con Fermín - Frigiliana, MálagaPlay Caption
According to the above logic, we could solve the question we posed at the beginning of this lesson by saying, ¿Dónde está la boda?, right? Well, not so fast!
When using dónde (where) for asking about the location of something, there is one case in which you should use the verb ser rather than estar: when asking about the location of an event. For that reason, the correct manner of asking the aforementioned question would be, ¿Dónde es la boda? Let's look at additional examples where the verb ser would be necessary:
¿Dónde es el funeral?
Where's the funeral?
Caption 1, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 3Play Caption
¿Dónde es la fiesta?
Where is the party?
Caption 11, Raquel - Expresiones para un festival de música.Play Caption
There are, however, some cases in which you can use either verb, depending upon what you wish to express. For example, if you want to ask someone about the executive breakfast your company is organizing, you would say, ¿Dónde es el desayuno? In this case, you use the verb ser because you are talking about an event. However, if you are referring to the breakfast as the food you are going to eat, you would say, ¿Dónde está el desayuno? In this case, you use the verb estar because you are asking about the location of something that is not an event. Let's take a look:
-¿Dónde es el desayuno? -El desayuno es en el hotel.
-Where is the breakfast? -The breakfast is at the hotel.
-¿Dónde está el desayuno? -El desayuno está en la nevera.
-Where's breakfast? -Breakfast is in the fridge.
Finally, a good rule of thumb to decide when it would be necessary to use ¿Dónde es...? rather than ¿Dónde está? is to ask oneself whether the verb could be subsituted with tiene lugar (takes place), in which case the verb, ser, should be utilized. For example: Since ¿Dónde tiene lugar la fiesta? (Where is the party taking place) makes perfect sense, ¿Dónde es la fiesta? would be the correct manner of asking where the party is.
That's all for today. We hope you enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!
Do you ever feel like practicing your Spanish over the phone? In this lesson, we would like to share with you the most important verbs you need to know when making or talking about a phone call. Also, we will show you the words you can use if you are wondering how to answer the phone in Spanish.
This is probably the most important verb when you want to indicate that you are making a call. Let's see some useful sentences.
When you are about to call someone:
Un momento, voy a llamar por teléfono.
One moment, I'm going to call [them].
Caption 6, Ariana - Cita médicaPlay Caption
When you want to say that you called someone:
Cuando llamé por teléfono, era para hablar con Lucio.
When I called on the phone, it was to talk to Lucio.
Caption 23, Yago - 14 La peruanaPlay Caption
When you want to indicate that someone called someone:
La primera vez que tu papá me llamó, no fue a la casa.
The first time your dad called me, it was not to the house.
Caption 42, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 5Play Caption
Of course, when you call someone, you expect an answer. Let's see this verb in action.
Disculpa, estaba en una reunión y no pude responder tu llamada.
Sorry, I was in a meeting and I couldn't answer your call.
You can also use the verb contestar (to answer) in this situation:
Que pena, discúlpame.
I'm sorry, excuse me.
Tengo que contestar esta llamada.
I have to answer this call.
Captions 8-9, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 3 - Part 1Play Caption
The example above also provides us with another very useful noun: llamada (a call).
By the way, do you know how to answer the phone in Spanish? In English, we say 'hello' but what's about in Spanish? There are several options:
Literally, bueno means 'fine' or 'well'. However, in this context, you can take bueno as a simple 'hello'. This way of answering the phone is very common in Mexico.
This is the Spanish equivalent of 'hello'.
Literally, this means 'yes'. It is also a very normal way of answering the phone in Spanish.
The translation of this is 'tell me'. A very common way of answering the phone in Spain.
This way of answering the phone is very popular in Colombia. It works as a simple 'hello'.
Some people prefer to answer the phone according to the time of the day so you can say buenos días (good morning), buenas tardes (good afternoon) or buenas noches (good night).
This is the verb you use when you need to get off the phone.
When you want to tell someone that you need to go:
Oye, tengo que colgar porque vamos a comer.
Listen, I have to hang up because we're going to eat.
Captions 56-57, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 8Play Caption
When you want to say that someone hung up on you or someone else:
Una mina llamó por teléfono a tu celular.
A girl called your cell phone.
Elena atendió, ella preguntó por vos y entonces Elena le dijo,
Elena answered, she asked for you and then Elena said to her,
"Who is it?"
Y la mina colgó.
And the girl hung up.
Captions 43-45, Yago - 11 PrisiónPlay Caption
From the example above, you can also see that the verb atender (to respond) is another verb you can use instead of responder (to answer). Also, keep in mind that when talking about a smartphone you use the word celular throughout Latin America and the word móvil in Spain. If you prefer, you can also use the word teléfono (telephone).
Of course, you talk over the phone so if you want to express that action, you can say it like our friend Silvia from El Aula Azul:
Estoy hablando por teléfono.
I'm talking on the telephone.
Yo hablo por teléfono.
I talk on the telephone.
Captions 49-50, El Aula Azul - Actividades diarias: En casa con SilviaPlay Caption
A phone call is about listening to someone else so this is a very important verb especially when you want to make sure the other person is able to listen to you.
Me puedes escuchar?
Can you hear me?
You can also use the verb oir (to hear) in this context:
How are you?
Y ahora que te oigo, de maravilla.
And now that I hear you, wonderful.
Captions 33-35, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 3 - Part 13Play Caption
And that's it for today. Are you ready to make a phone call in Spanish? We hope so. And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.
Today's lesson will examine Yabla's "Top 12" picks for the most useful verbs for having a conversation in Spanish. This time, we'll focus on the meanings of those verbs as well as giving you a lot of simple, conversational examples from Yabla's Spanish video library. Additionally, we'll provide you with conjugation tables for the "Top 3" most useful Spanish tenses: the simple present, the imperfect (which describes ongoing or continuous past actions), and the preterite (which describes completed past actions).
In addition to the aforementioned links, you can consult this lesson entitled Spanish Verb Tenses Explained if you need to brush up on those tenses and more! Although memorizing all of these conjugations might seem a bit intimidating, it could really help your ability to converse in Spanish.
The fact that there are two verbs that mean "to be" in Spanish, ser and estar, can feel quite confusing for non-native speakers. Generally speaking, the verb ser is employed to describe more permanent characteristics. The acronym DOCTOR (description, occupation, condition, time, origin, relationship) is very useful for helping us to remember some of the many situations in which this verb is used. Let's take a look at how this verb is conjugated as well as some examples:
|Él, ella, usted||es||era||fue|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||son||eran||fueron|
Soy profesor de fotografía.
I'm a photography teacher.
Caption 13, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 5Play Caption
Sus cuadros eran muy extraños.
His paintings were very strange.
Caption 25, El Aula Azul - Adivina personajes históricosPlay Caption
También fuimos parte de todas estas, eh... mega empresas, pero...
We were also part of all these, um... mega companies, but...
Caption 22, Doctor Krápula - EntrevistaPlay Caption
Notably, although ser usually denotes permanence, while the preterite tense denotes that something had a definite ending point, the verb ser is used in the preterite to describe something that "was" in the past, but did come to a conclusive end.
The verb estar also means "to be" for traits that are variable/less permanent. The acronym PLACE (position, location, action, condition, emotion) might help you to remember some contexts in which the verb estar should be chosen. Let's take a look:
|Él, ella, usted||está||estaba||estuvo|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||están||estaban||estuverion|
Sí... Vale, entonces, estamos aquí.
Yes... OK, then, we're here.Play Caption
Un poquito y ajá, y estaba triste porque
A little bit, and uh-huh, and I was sad because
dejaba mi familia y eso y ya.
I was leaving my family and all that and that's it.
Caption 70, Cleer - Entrevista a LilaPlay Caption
Los árabes estuvieron en España más de seiscientos años.
The Arabs were in Spain for more than six hundred years.
Caption 23, Rosa - Antequera, MálagaPlay Caption
Be sure to check out this lesson if you want to learn more about the difference between ser and estar.
The verb tener means "to have" in Spanish. Let's take a closer look:
|Él, ella, usted||tiene||tenía||tuvo|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||tienen||tenían||tuvieron|
¿Tienes plumones y tijeras?
You have markers and scissors?
Sí, tengo plumones y tijeras,
Yes, I have markers and scissors,
pero no tengo mi teléfono.
but I don't have my phone.
Captions 20-22, Conversaciones en el parque - Cap. 1: No tengo mi teléfono.Play Caption
Tenían mi mochila en la Oficina de Objetos Perdidos.
They had my backpack in the Lost and Found.
Caption 44, Raquel - Oficina de objetos perdidosPlay Caption
La noche anterior a la rumba, tuve otro sueño.
The night before going out on the town, I had another dream.
Caption 1, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 7Play Caption
Additionally, we invite you to explore some of the many idiomatic expressions with the verb tener.
And, we'll just take a second to mention that if you throw in the word que after the verb tener plus a verb's infinitive ("to" form), you'll have the very useful Spanish construction tener que that means, "to have to" (do something):
Hoy tengo que trabajar.
Today I have to work.
Caption 74, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 14Play Caption
Tuvimos que trasladarnos a esta nueva ciudad.
We had to move to this new city.
Caption 39, Ciudad de Panamá - Denisse introduce la ciudadPlay Caption
|Él, ella, usted||hace||hacía||hizo|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||hacen||hacían||hicieron|
Y ¿tú qué haces?
And what are you doing?
Caption 24, Guillermina y Candelario - Un pez mágicoPlay Caption
Y yo no hacía esto. Yo hago otro acto, que es con las motos.
And I didn't do this. I do another act, which is with motorcycles.
Caption 35, Rueda de la muerte - Parte 1Play Caption
También hizo alguna película.
He also made a movie.
Caption 28, El Aula Azul - Adivina personajes históricosPlay Caption
|Él, ella, usted||va||iba||fue|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||van||iban||fueron|
Voy a la piscina los lunes y los miércoles.
I go to the pool on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Caption 7, Ariana - Mi SemanaPlay Caption
Iba mucho con mi padre al campo.
I used to go with my father to the countryside a lot.
Caption 56, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 10Play Caption
¿Por qué fuiste al cine?
Why did you go to the movies?Play Caption
You might have noticed that the preterite form of the verb ir is conjugated in the exact same way as the verb ser. However, in most cases, context should help you to easily identify which verb is in use.
Another great "trick" to be aware of is that adding an a plus a verb's infinitive to the verb ir is a very simple way of expressing what we are "going to" do and is, thus, an alternative to the future tense. Let's take a look:
Vamos a hablar de mi familia, ¿sí?
We are going to talk about my family, OK?Play Caption
Porque las chicas iban a salir, para no dejarte sola.
Because the girls were going to go out, so you wouldn't be alone.
Caption 11, Muñeca Brava - 18 - La ApuestaPlay Caption
If we're going to talk about ir (to go), we'd better mention venir (to come)! Let's look:
|Él, ella, usted||viene||venía||vino|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||vienen||venían||vinieron|
Yo vengo del sur de España
I come from the South of Spain
Caption 10, Carolina - AcentosPlay Caption
¿Qué venía después?
What came next?
Caption 23, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 8Play Caption
Los otros cisnes vinieron hacia él.
The other swans came toward him.
Caption 50, Cleer - El patito feoPlay Caption
The Spanish verb decir means "to say" or "to tell."
|Él, ella, usted||dice||decía||dijo|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||dicen||decían||dijeron|
Yo digo que Playa Balandra es el paraíso oficial.
I say that Balandra Beach is the official paradise.
Caption 67, Alan x el mundo - Mi playa favorita de México!Play Caption
Pero siempre me decía: ¡Mira! Mira eso allá.
But he always used to tell me: Look! Look at that over there.
Caption 42, Federico Kauffman Doig - ArqueólogoPlay Caption
Y la señorita me dijo algo completamente diferente.
And the lady told me something totally different.
Caption 45, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 5Play Caption
Since we often say or tell things "to" others, you will notice that the verb decir is quite typically accompanied by indirect object pronouns like me (to me), te (to you), etc. to indicate the person to whom something is said or told. You can learn more about this and other aspects of this verb in our lesson entitled The Spanish Verb Decir.
The verb poder means "to be able." It can be used alone to say simply "I can," "you could," etc. but is often used in conjunction with an infinitive verb to express what it is one "is able" to do. Let see it in action:
|Él, ella, usted||puede||podía||pudo|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||pueden||podían||pudieron|
¿Puedo ver el menú por favor?
Can I see the menu please?
Caption 12, Cata y Cleer - En el restaurantePlay Caption
¿Por qué las cosas no podían ser sencillas?
Why couldn't things be easy?
Caption 31, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 10Play Caption
Gracias a su cola, pudieron volar.
Thanks to its tail, you were able to fly.
Caption 49, Guillermina y Candelario - Una aventura extremaPlay Caption
To learn more about the verb poder and how it is used, we recommend the following lesson: The Verb Poder - Common Expressions.
This word means "to know," but, in its preterite form, can mean "to find out."
|Él, ella, usted||sabe||sabía||supo|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||saben||sabían||supieron|
Pero no sé dónde!
But I don't know where!
Caption 28, NPS No puede ser - 1 - El concursoPlay Caption
No sabía qué decirle.
I didn't know what to say to her.
Caption 12, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 1Play Caption
Nunca supe la verdad
I never found out the truth
Caption 2, Aleks Syntek - IntocablePlay Caption
If we're going to converse in Spanish, we had better be able to say what we "want"! The verb querer can stand alone to express our desire for a particular thing or be used with an infinitive verb to say what we "want to do." Let's take a look:
|Él, ella, usted||quiere||quería||quiso|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||quieren||querían||quisieron|
Porque realmente quiero mi propio baño.
Because I really want my own bathroom.
Caption 37, Cleer y Lida - Reservando una habitaciónPlay Caption
Y algunos querían volver a su casa.
And some wanted to go back to their home.Play Caption
No me quiso decir su nombre.
She wouldn't tell me her name.
Caption 8, Yago - 14 La peruanaPlay Caption
Keep in mind that when the verb querer is used with no in the preterite, it can convey the idea that someone "wouldn't" do something or "refused to."
One more important aspect of the Spanish verb querer is that, when speaking about actions that we "want" others to do or that we "want" to happen, the subjunctive form of the verb that follows is required (vuelvas instead of vuelves in the following example):
Quiero que... que vuelvas a New York.
I want for... for you to come back to New York.
Caption 23, Yago - 11 PrisiónPlay Caption
|Él, ella, usted||da||daba||dio|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||dan||daban||dieron|
Yo doy agua a mi gato.
I give water to my cat.
Caption 14, Lecciones con Carolina - Verbo - darPlay Caption
Adriana Espinel siempre daba unas respuestas tan profundas.
Adriana Espinel always gave such deep answers.
Caption 72, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 4Play Caption
Eh... Mi asistente me dio sus datos.
Um... My assistant gave me your information.
Caption 39, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 1Play Caption
Like the verb decir, the verb dar is often accompanied by indirect object pronouns to highlight the person to whom something is given.
And, to conclude our list of the Top 12 Spanish verbs for carrying on a conversation, we thought it would be a good idea to give you a verb to describe the things you observe!
|Él, ella, usted||ve||veía||vio|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||ven||veían||vieron|
Eh... ¿Cómo veo la vida?
Um... How do I see life?
Caption 79, Adícora, Venezuela - El tatuaje de RosanaPlay Caption
¡Pero veíamos serpientes por todos lados!
But we saw snakes everywhere!Play Caption
Vimos una película.
We saw a movie.
Caption 14, Zulbani - Trip to MeridaPlay Caption
Although it was certainly tough to narrow down the top 12 useful verbs in Spanish for carrying on a conversation, we hope you've enjoyed this lesson and that it helps you to hold a lot of stimulating conversations! Let us know with your suggestions and comments if there are any other verbs or topics you'd like to learn more about.
Are you familiar with the Spanish verb gustar (to like)? Have you ever been in a situation where you didn't know whether to use gusta or gustan when talking about something you like? If using gusta vs gustan is tricky for you, here are some simple rules to help you understand the difference between gusta and gustan.
Let's start with some good news. When you want to say that you like someone or something, the only thing you need to know is how to conjugate the verb gustar in the third person either in its singular (gusta) or plural (gustan) form. Let's take a look at a couple of simple sentences with gustar:
A mí me gusta el acento de las colombianas.
I like the Colombian women's accent.
Caption 50, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 2Play Caption
Sí, a mí me gustan las plantas y las flores y los árboles.
Yes, I like the plants and the flowers and the trees.Play Caption
That's it. You don't need anything else. Now, let's see when to use gusta or gustan.
The following simple rules will help you to master the gustan vs gusta battle.
Use the third person singular gusta for the following cases:
1. When the verb gustar is followed by a singular noun.
Me gusta la camisa.
I like the shirt.Play Caption
Keep in mind that most of the time, you will need to place a definite article before the noun.
2. When the verb gustar is followed by a verb in the infinitive.
...y me gusta llevar faldas normalmente, sobre todo en... en invierno.
...and I like to wear skirts usually, especially in... in winter.
Captions 6-7, El Aula Azul - Actividades DiariasPlay Caption
3. When the verb gustar is followed by several infinitive verbs.
A Pedro le gusta leer, tocar guitarra y hacer ejercicio.
Pedro likes to read, play guitar and exercise.
Use the third person plural gustan for the following cases:
1. When the verb gustar is followed by a plural noun.
A Lola le gustan los hombres fuertes.
Lola likes strong men.Play Caption
2. When the verb gustar is followed by multiple, independent nouns.
Me gustan el diseño, la decoración y la arquitectura de esa casa.
I like the design, decoration, and architecture of that house.
When asking questions or stating negative sentences, you need to stick to the same rules we mentioned before. Let's look at a couple of examples:
¿Te gusta la ciencia?
Do you like science?
Caption 42, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 2Play Caption
A mí no me gusta tu camiseta.
I don't like your shirt.
Caption 12, Español para principiantes - Los coloresPlay Caption
¿No te gustan las velas?
You don't like candles?
Caption 38, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poemaPlay Caption
That's it for today. But before we leave you, we invite you to answer this very simple question so you can practice a little bit the difference between gusta and gustan: ¿Qué te gusta hacer en tu tiempo libre? And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.