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Is Sugar Masculine or Feminine in Spanish?

In order to answer the question asked in the title of this lesson, the first thing we need to know is how to say "sugar" in Spanish. Do you know how to say "sugar" in Spanish? Let's listen to the answer in the following clip:

 

Con media taza de azúcar

With half a cup of sugar

Caption 25, Ana Carolina - Ponche navideño

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Now that we know how to say "sugar" in Spanish, let's go back to our initial question: Is the word for "sugar" masculine or feminine in Spanish? Do you say el azúcar or la azúcar? Let's find out.

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Azúcar: An Ambiguous Noun in Spanish

When it comes to gender, the word azúcar is an ambiguous Spanish noun, which means that it can be either masculine or feminine. Both are valid! Let's look at a couple of examples:

 

Masculine

Los ingredientes principales de la torta son la piña y el azúcar moreno de caña.

The main ingredients of the cake are pineapple and brown cane sugar.

 

Notice how, in the example above, the word azúcar is preceded by the masculine article el and followed by the masculine adjective moreno.

 

Feminine

La industria de la azúcar morena juega un papel muy importante en este país.

The brown sugar industry plays a very important role in this country.

 

In this case, the word azúcar is preceded by the feminine article la and followed by the feminine adjective morena.

 

Taking this ambiguity into account, it should be mentioned that if there isn't any adjective next to the word azúcar, it is more often employed as a masculine noun. Let's take a look: 

 

Lía, por favor, cuando yo te diga

Lia, please, when I tell you,

me echas el azúcar poco a poco. -Sí.

add the sugar for me little by little. -OK.

Captions 22-23, Cleer y Lía - El día de la madre

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However, if there is an adjective next to the word, the feminine form tends to prevail, as we can see in the following clip from our friend María Fernanda:

 

Una vez mezclado, colocamos dos cucharadas de azúcar,

Once mixed, we add two tablespoons of sugar,

blanca o morena; en este caso yo conseguí azúcar morena.

white or brown; in this case I got brown sugar.

Captions 30-32, María Fernanda - Mascarilla de aguacate

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Ambiguous Nouns in Spanish

Azúcar isn't the only word in Spanish that is ambiguous in terms of gender. In fact, there are several additional ambiguous Spanish nouns, such as the following:

 

el armazón / la armazón (the frame)

el cochambre / la cochambre (the grime)

el enzima / la enzima (the enzyme)

el mar / la mar (the sea)

el vodka / la vodka (the vodka)

 

Unlike nouns that change meaning with gender, the unusual thing about ambiguous nouns is that they maintain the same meaning in both their masculine and feminine forms. In other words, both el azúcar and la azúcar mean "sugar."

 

With this final explanation, we've reached the end of this lesson. We hope that you've learned something new today, and don't forget to send us your questions and comments.

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Infinitive Verbs in Spanish

Let's start this lesson off with a quote that refers to a very important and oft-mentioned concept in Spanish: 

 

Veamos el verbo en infinitivo

Let's look at the verb in infinitive

Caption 13, Carlos explica El modo imperativo 2: Irregulares, Usted + plurales

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Most simply put, the infinitive is the impersonal, unconjugated, or "to" form of a verb, such as "to swim," "to see," or "to dance" in English. Let's take a closer look at Spanish infinitives and learn many of their potential uses.

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Types of Infinitives in Spanish 

Do you know how many types of infinitive verbs there are in Spanish? Let's hear the answer from Yabla's popular teacher Carolina:

 

Con infinitivo tenemos tres tipos de verbos: verbos que terminan en "ar", como "cantar", verbos que terminan en "er", como "comer" y verbos que terminan en "ir", como "salir".

With infinitive we have three types of verbs: verbs that end in "ar," like "cantar" [to sing], verbs that end in "er," like "comer" [to eat] and verbs that end in "ir," like "salir" [to leave].

Captions 11-14, Lecciones con Carolina El gerundio - Part 1

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These three categories of infinitive verbs determine the patterns according to which regular verbs are conjugated in all of the various verb tenses in Spanish. Although there are far too many to name, we have provided below ten of the most common Spanish infinitives in each category. The bold print indicates some irregular or stem-changing verbs whose conjugations deviate from the norm.

 

-AR Verbs -ER Verbs -IR Verbs
dar (to give) aprender (to learn) abrir (to open)
estar (to be) comer (to eat) decir (to tell)
hablar (to talk) creer (to believe) describir (to describe)
llamar (to call) hacer (to make/do) escribir (to write)
llegar (to arrive) poder (to be able) pedir (to ask)
llevar (to take/carry) querer (to want) recibir (to receive)
pasar (to spend) saber (to know) salir (to leave)
quedar (to remain) ser (to be) sentir (to feel)
tomar (to take) tener (to have) venir (to come)
trabajar (to work) vender (to sell) vivir (to live)

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Uses of Spanish Infinitives 

Now that we understand what an infinitive verb is, let's learn some of the ways in which these non-conjugated verbs can be employed in Spanish. 

 

Spanish Infinitives After Certain Conjugated Verbs

Many specific conjugated verbs in Spanish can be followed immediately by an infinitive verb. In this case, the infinitive may be translated into English with either the "to" or present participle (-ing) form, depending upon the specific verb and context. Let's see a couple of examples with querer (to want) and evitar (to avoid), which are often followed by infinitive verbs:

 

Perfecto. Yo quiero viajar a Japón. ¿Sí?

Perfect. I want to travel to Japan. Right?

Caption 77, Clase Aula Azul Pedir deseos - Part 1

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"Evita beber desde media tarde bebidas estimulantes

"Avoid drinking, starting from mid-afternoon, stimulant drinks

Caption 24, Aprendiendo con Silvia Consejos para dormir mejor - Part 1

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Although the list of these tverbs that are frequently followed by the infinitive is quite long, some additional common ones include buscar (to seek), deber (to have to/must), esperar (to hope), intentar (to try), necesitar (to need), soler (to usually), tener que (to have to), and temer (to fear).

 

Spanish Infinitives Following Prepositions

When a verb follows a preposition in Spanish, it should be in the infinitive form. In these cases, Spanish infinitive verbs will be translated with the -ing form of the verb. Let's look at some examples:

 

Antes de empezar, necesito mis anteojos.

Before starting, I need my glasses.

Caption 19, Natalia de Ecuador Los adverbios de orden

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¡Perdónalo! Lo dijo sin pensar.

Forgive him! He said it without thinking.

Caption 34, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 10 - Part 4

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Some other prepositions after which infinitive Spanish verbs are often found include, but aren't limited to: a (to, at), con (with), de (from, of), después de (after), and en (at/in/on).

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Spanish Infinitives After Fixed Expressions

There are many common fixed expressions in Spanish that include prepositions and thus require the infinitive, including the near future tense, ir a + infinitive ("to be going to" do something), pensar en + infinitive ("to think about" doing something), dejar de + infinitive ("to stop" or "quit" doing something), tener ganas de + infinitive ("to feel like" doing something), haber que + infinitive (for some action "to be necessary"), estar por + infinitive ("to be about to" do something), and countless more! Let's see a few of these in action:  

 

que tengo ganas de saltar y bailar.

that I feel like jumping and dancing.

Caption 4, Aprendiendo con Silvia Las emociones - Part 6

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Había que pagar el precio.

One had to pay the price.

Caption 2, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 5 - Part 5

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¡Ya deje de hablar de esa niña!

Stop talking about that girl already!

Caption 7, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 6 - Part 2

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Spanish Infinitives as Nouns

Sometimes, like in English, Spanish infinitive verbs can function like nouns, as in the following excerpt: 

 

Me encanta comprar.

I love shopping.

Caption 40, Ariana Mi Semana

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Note that in such cases, while the article is not required, it may be added for emphasis as follows:

 

Ahora hasta de hablar,

Now even about talking,

los muchachos les da pena el hablar maya.

the young kids are embarrassed about speaking Maya.

Caption 54, Yabla en Yucatán - Don Salo - Part 1

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Spanish Infinitives as Commands

In certain situations, such as explaining how to do something step by step in a manual, cookbook, show, etc., or telling the public on a sign or some other medium what they can and cannot do, Spanish verbs in the infinitive can be construed as commands. Let's take a look: 

 

"No fumar. Esto produce la muerte".

"Don't smoke. This causes death."

Caption 56, Los médicos explican - Las migrañas

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An alternative translation on a sign might be: "No smoking." 

 

That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped you to understand what infinitive verbs are and many of their possible uses. Can you think of any more? Don't forget to write us with your suggestions and comments.

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How to Write Famous Foreign Names in Spanish

Do you know how to write the names of famous people such as Michelangelo or Jules Verne in Spanish? While keeping the name in its original language is today's rule of thumb, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule. Let's take a look.

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Well-established Spanish Equivalent Names

Even if today, the preferred choice is to simply transfer the original name, there are several names of famous historical figures that are usually translated. The following is a list of some of them:

 

Thomas Moore - Tomás Moro

Albrecht Dürer - Alberto Durero

Hieronymus Bosch - Jerónimo Bosco; el Bosco

Michelangelo Buonarotti - Miguel Ángel

 

Miguel Ángel, el gran artista italiano.

Michelangelo, the great Italian artist.

Caption 19, Aprendiendo con Carlos - El microrrelato

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Jeanne d’Arc - Juana de Arco

Karl Marx - Carlos Marx

Niccolo Machiavelli - Nicolás Maquiavelo

Jules Verne - Julio Verne

Johann Sebastian Bach - Juan Sebastián Bach

Alexandre Dumas - Alejandro Dumas

Martin Luther - Martín Lutero

 

Names of Saints, Popes, and Royalty

This is another exception to the rule. Let's see a couple of examples:

 

Queen Elizabeth II - reina Isabel II

Prince Philip - príncipe Felipe

 

Su marido es el príncipe Felipe, duque de Edimburgo.

Her husband is Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Captions 25-26, El Aula Azul - Adivina personajes famosos

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Pope Ioannes Paulus II (Latin); John Paul II (English) - Juan Pablo II

 

Fuimos a la beatificación del Papa Juan Pablo Segundo.

We went to the beatification of Pope John Paul the Second.

Caption 9, Latinos por el mundo - Chilenas en Venecia

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Nicknames of Famous Historical Figures

In order to preserve their semantic connotations, the nicknames of famous historical figures are also translated into Spanish:

 

Ivan Vasilyevich; Ivan the Terrible (English) - Iván el Terrible

Pépin le Bref (French); Pepin the Short (English) - Pepino el Breve

 

Considering all of the above, the important thing to keep in mind is this: Although the current trend is in favor of the original form, there are some famous names that currently alternate the use of the transferred form and its translation. For example, instead of using the original Catalan name Antoni Gaudí, you could use its Spanish version (Antonio Gaudí), just as our friend Víctor does in his series about this famous architect:

 

Antonio Gaudí era catalán y lo decía con mucho orgullo.

Antoni Gaudí was Catalan, and he said it with great pride.

Caption 16, Víctor en España - Vida y legado de Antonio Gaudí

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And that's all for today. By the way, do you know what the Spanish equivalent of your name is? Find out and let us know, and don't forget to send us your questions and comments

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Giving Advice in Spanish

Do you know how to give advice in Spanish? Today's lesson will give you some advice... on ways to give advice in Spanish!

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How Do You Say "Advice" in Spanish?

While the noun for "advice" in Spanish is consejo, in contrast to the English equivalent (an uncountable noun that does not change forms in the plural), the concept of general "advice" in Spanish can be conveyed with either the singular consejo or the plural form, consejos. Let's look at an example of each:

 

Entonces como consejo sano, ¿verdad? Tú mismo decir...

So as sound advice, right? You yourself saying...

Caption 54, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo enero

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¿Qué consejos le darías a un turista que viene a Barcelona?

What advice would you give to a tourist who's coming to Barcelona?

Caption 51, Carlos y Xavi - Part 4 Tradiciones y comida de Barcelona

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That said, when a definite or indefinite article (el, un, unos or los) or quantifying term like a number appears before this noun to refer to specific advice, the word consejo can sometimes be interpreted as a "piece of advice" or "tip," as in the following captions:

 

Es como un consejo de sentido común de la vida. 

It's like a piece of common sense advice in life.

Caption 49, Verónica - "Reprogramación psicocorporal"

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Pues, hoy les traemos cuatro consejos muy sencillos.

Well, today we bring you four very simple tips.

Caption 6, Natalia de Ecuador - Consejos: haciendo amigos como adultos

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Verbs for Giving Advice in Spanish

The verb that means "to give advice" in Spanish is aconsejar, which, when addressed to a specific person or people, can also mean "to advise" or "recommend":

 

Así que les aconsejo que aprendan los primeros diez ordinales

So, I advise you to learn the first ten ordinals,

ya que son muy útiles. 

as they are very useful.

Caption 51, Carlos explica - Los Números: Números Ordinales

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Now, let's look at some additional "advice verbs" in Spanish:
 

Sugerir (to suggest)

 

les sugiero que visiten el sugestivo Museo del oro. 

I suggest that you visit the intriguing Gold Museum.

Caption 34, Aprendiendo con Carlos - América precolombina - Mitos y leyendas Muiscas

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Recomendar (to recommend)

 

Yo te recomiendo leer mucho en español para mejorar tu nivel. 

recommend you read a lot in Spanish to improve your level.

Captions 64-65, El Aula Azul - Mis libros preferidos

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Proponer (to suggest)

 

os propongo que vengáis a visitar Genalguacil. 

suggest you come to visit Genalguacil.

Caption 67, Viajando con Fermín - Genalguacil

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Now that you are familiar with these terms, here are a few rules of thumb for "advice verbs" like the ones we have just seen:

 
1. An indirect object pronoun (like leste, etc.) will often but not always be present to indicate "to whom" the advice is being given. 
 
2. "Advice verbs" are often followed by the conjunction que + a verb in the subjunctive mood.
 
3. In the absence of the word que, the "advice verb" is typically followed by a verb in the infinitive.
 
 

"Should" or "Must" Verbs in Spanish

Since giving advice in Spanish is all about telling someone your opinion about what they "should" (or shouldn't) or "must" (or mustn't) do, let's now examine a few additional "advice verbs" in Spanish that express just that! Keep in mind that while our initial "advice verbs" were conjugated in the first person, the conjugations in this group will correspond to the many Spanish ways to say "you." 

 

Deber + infinitive

The verb deber + the infinitive tells someone what they "must" or "have to" do and is thus useful for giving advice in Spanish. 

 

Ustedes deben permanecer juntos, felices. 

You have to stay together, happy.

Caption 44, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante - Capítulo 2

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Note that when the verb deber is conjugated in the Spanish conditional form, it is the equivalent of the English "should":

 

Adrián, deberías tomar las pastillas que te di. 

Adrian, you should take the pills that I gave you.

Caption 40, El Aula Azul - La Doctora Consejos: Subjuntivo y condicional

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Tener que + infinitive 

Since the Spanish verb tener que also means "to have to," it is often used along with the infinitive to give advice in Spanish:

 

Tienes que saber siempre muy bien cuál es tu límite. 

You always have to know very well what your limit is.

Caption 56, Ana Teresa - Yoga y surf

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Phrases for Giving Advice in Spanish

Yet another way to give advice in Spanish is through fixed expressions, whose English translations are the exact equivalents of some English advice-giving phrases with which you are probably familiar. Let's take a look!

 

¿Por qué no...? (Why don't you...?)

 

"Por qué no aprendes a tocar guitarra?"

"Why don't you learn to play the guitar?"

Caption 67, Alberto Jiménez - Causalidad

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Si yo fuera tú + conditional (If I were you, I would...)

 

Bueno, si yo fuera tú, hablaría con él.

Well, if I were you, I would speak with him.

Caption 24, El Aula Azul - La Doctora Consejos: Subjuntivo y condicional

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By the way, this utterance falls into the category of the second conditional in Spanish that employs the imperfect subjunctive and conditional tenses to describe what "would" happen if some condition "were" in place. 

 

Hay Que + infinitive (It's necessary to... (do some action))

 

¡Hay que probarla! No, yo creo que sí. 

You have to try it! No, I think so.

Caption 22, Cleer y Lida - El regreso de Lida

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Although hay que is an impersonal expression that means "it's necessary," it takes on the meaning of "you have to" in the context of giving advice in Spanish.
 

Lo mejor es... (The best thing is...)

 

Por ahora lo mejor es que descanse.

For now, the best thing is for you to rest.

Caption 18, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante - Capítulo 1

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Es mejor... (It's better...)

 

Por eso es mejor evitar que la ira tome el control.

That's why it's better to avoid [letting] anger take control.

Caption 42, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Las emociones

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As with our first set of "advice verbs," the verb that follows these impersonal expressions in the last two examples will be either in the infinitive or subjunctive, depending upon whether or not it follows the conjunction que

 

Using Commands to Give Advice in Spanish

And finally, another method for giving advice in Spanish is simply telling someone what to do! For this purpose, we recommend that you learn or review the Spanish imperative mood, which includes both informal commands and formal commands. For now, let's take a look at a pair of examples of familiar commands in Spanish, one negative and one positive, that are used to give advice in Spanish in the following captions:

 

No tengas miedo de tomar la iniciativa.

Don't be afraid to take the initiative.

Caption 20, Natalia de Ecuador - Consejos: haciendo amigos como adultos

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Evita beber desde media tarde bebidas estimulantes

Avoid drinking, starting from mid-afternoon, stimulant drinks

como el café, el té o bebidas con cola. Mm-hm.

like coffee, tea, or cola drinks. Mm-hmm.

Captions 24-25, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Consejos para dormir mejor

 Play Caption

 

That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has given you a lot of ideas about how to give advice in Spanish. Can you think of any more? Don't forget to write us with your suggestions, comments... or advice!

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The Future Perfect in Spanish

Do you know when to use the future perfect in Spanish? Known in Spanish as the futuro compuesto or antefuturo, the future perfect tense in Spanish works very similarly to its English counterpart to speak about things that "will have" happened at a given point of time in the future. However, despite its name, it can also be used to describe or ask about things that "must" or "would have" happened in the past! Let's take a look at how to conjugate the future perfect in Spanish as well examples of these usages.

 

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How to Conjugate the Future Perfect Tense in Spanish

Just like the Spanish present perfect tense, which is used to express things one "has done" in utterances like Yo he comido (I have eaten), the future perfect in Spanish employs the verb haber (an auxiliary, or helping, verb that means "have") plus the past participle (whose regular forms end in -ado or -ido and correspond to English participles ending in -ed or -en such as "danced," "taken," etc.). However, in contrast to the present perfect, where haber is conjugated in the present tense, the future perfect in Spanish employs the future tense of this verb. With this in mind, let's see the formula for conjugating the future perfect in Spanish:

 

Future tense of haber + past participle 

 

Now, let's look at the future tense conjugations of the verb haber then hear how they are pronounced: 

Personal Pronoun: Future Conjugation of Haber:
yo  habré (I will have)
tú  habrás (you will have)
él/ella/usted  habrá (he/she/you will have)
nosotros/as habremos (we will have)
vosotros/as  habréis (you will have)
ellos/ellas/ustedes habrán (they/you will have)

 

Habré, habrás, habrá, habremos, habréis, habrán.

I will haveyou will havehe/she/you will havewe will have, you all will havethey/you all will have.

Caption 81, Escuela BCNLIP - Clase con Javi: el futuro

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And finally, we will examine some examples of this formula in action:

 

ya que entonces el hechizo habrá terminado.

because then the spell will have finished.

Caption 56, Cuentos de hadas - Cenicienta

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Habréis visto que sobre la mesa tengo también un trozo de limón.

You'll have seen that on the table, I also have a piece of lemon.

Captions 33-34, Soledad - Ensalada de alcachofa

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You may have noticed that, as we indicated in the introduction, while the first example refers to something that "will happen" in the future, the second describes something that the speaker's audience probably saw in the past! Let's examine more closely these two different ways to employ the future perfect tense in Spanish. 

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Using the Future Perfect in Spanish to Talk About the Future

The following examples illustrate the use of the Spanish future perfect tense to describe what "will have" happened in the future, which the context indicates quite clearly:

 

todavía estará más bueno,

it will be even better

ya que habrá cogido más cuerpo y más sabor.

since it will have gotten more body and more flavor.

Captions 69-70, Fermín - Ensalada de tomate

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Dentro de cinco años, los ingenieros habrán terminado de construir el puente. 

Within five years, the engineers will have finished building the bridge. 

 

Para el año 2030, yo habré ahorrado mucho dinero. 

By the year 2030, I will have saved a lot of money. 

 

Using the Future Perfect in Spanish to Talk About the Past

Let's conclude by looking at examples of the future perfect tense in Spanish that depict what "will" or "must" have happened in the past or speculate about what "would" or "could have" taken place:

 

Si pusieron atención,

If you paid attention,

se habrán dado cuenta que Kevin y Leo, que son hermanos,

you will have noticed that Kevin and Leo, who are brothers,

Captions 50-51, Carlos comenta - Los Años Maravillosos - Forma de hablar

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Bueno, querido, pero algo habrás hecho.

Well, dear, but you must have done something.

Caption 25, Muñeca Brava - 39 Verdades - Part 4

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¿Lo buscó bien?

Did you look for him well?

Lo buscó... -¿Pero dónde se habrá ido?

You looked for him... -But where would he have gone?

Caption 36, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante - Capítulo 3

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Although the translations for each of these examples vary slightly, what they all have in common is the fact that the action being described requires an educated guess about something that has already happened. 

 

That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped you to understand when to use future perfect in Spanish, and don't forget to write us with your questions and comments

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Words That Start with Y in Spanish

Although there aren't many words that start with the letter Y in Spanish, this letter is quite important, particularly if we think in terms of the conjunction and pronoun that are formed with it. Let's hear some clips from our popular beginner series Conversaciones en el parque:

 

The conjunction y (and) 

 

Sí, a mí me gustan las plantas y las flores y los árboles.

Yes, I like the plants and the flowers and the trees.

Captions 12-13, Conversaciones en el parque - Cap. 5: Me gusta mucho este parque.

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The pronoun yo (I)

 

Yo tengo dos naranjas.

I have two oranges.

Caption 29, Conversaciones en el parque - Cap. 5: Me gusta mucho este parque.

 Play Caption

 

Aside from these two important uses, there are a few additional words in Spanish that start with Y, and we will mention some of the most common. First, however, let's learn a couple of things about the letter Y in Spanish.

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Names for and Pronunciation of the Letter Y in Spanish

The letter Y is the 26th letter of the Spanish alphabet and has two names: "i griega," which literally means "Greek i," and "ye."

 

In terms of pronunciation, the letter "Y" in Spanish has the same sound as the vowel "I" when it stands alone, as in the conjunction y, or at the end of a word, following another vowel. Let's hear this in a few clips:

 

Como veis, estoy rodeada de paja, ¿vale?

As you can see, I'm surrounded by straw, right?

Caption 5, Amaya - Donkey Dreamland

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se siente muy enfadada, muy enojada,

they feel very angry, very mad,

Caption 25, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Frases hechas

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o a la palabra "Uruguay".

or in the word "Uruguay."

En ese caso, la "i griega" del final hace las veces de una vocal "i".

In that case, the letter "y" at the end acts as an "i" vowel.

Captions 27-28, Carlos explica - Acentuación Cap. 5: Diptongo, triptongo, hiato

 Play Caption

 

For all other instances, the letter Y adopts the consonant sound you can hear in the following words:

 

cuando el ciclista cayó al asfalto.

when the cyclist fell on the asphalt.

Caption 72, Carlos explica - Vocabulario de las matemáticas

 Play Caption

 

la papaya,

papaya,

Caption 40, El Aula Azul - Adivinanzas de colores

 Play Caption

 

¿Estás de acuerdo con Susana

Do you agree with Susana

en que el video apoya las conversaciones de paz?

that the video supports the peace talks?

Caption 27, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 9

 Play Caption

 

Now that we know its names and pronunciation, let's dive into our list of words in Spanish that start with the letter Y.

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Common Words in Spanish that Start with Y

 

ya (already)

Right behind the conjunction y and the pronoun yo, this adverb is probably one of the most frequently used words that start with Y in Spanish. 

 

ya es un gran logro personal.

it's already a great personal achievement.

Caption 52, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Las emociones

 Play Caption

 

yacimiento (site)

 

empezaron a excavar y encontraron este gran yacimiento.

they began to excavate and found this great site.

Caption 59, Amaya - Teatro romano

 Play Caption

 

yanqui (Yankee)

 

contra siglos de explotación por el imperialismo yanqui.

against centuries of exploitation by Yankee imperialism.

Caption 2, Los Tiempos de Pablo Escobar - Capítulo 1

 Play Caption

 

yate (yatch)

 

Me he comprado un yate.

I've bought myself a yacht.

Caption 23, Clase Aula Azul - La segunda condicional

 Play Caption

 

yegua (mare)

 

también una yegua

a mare as well,

Caption 34, Quito - Zoológico de Guayllabamba

 Play Caption

 

yema (yolk)

 

Así separamos la clara de la yema.

This is how we separate the white from the yolk.

Caption 52, El Aula Azul - Receta de natillas

 Play Caption

 

yerba (herb, grass)

Keep in mind that this word can also be written with "h" (hierba).

 

Y me pidió mate de bombilla

And he asked me for mate with a bombilla

y no tengo yerba.

and I don't have the [mate] herb.

Caption 50, Yago - 5 La ciudad

 Play Caption

 

yerno (son-in-law)

 

Es el yerno de mi abuelo Juan.

He's my Grandpa Juan's son-in-law.

Caption 15, Curso de español - ¿Qué relación hay entre ellos?

 Play Caption

 

yeso (cast or plaster)

 

sin tener que poner un yeso

without having to put on a cast

o algo que le limite mucho más.

or something that would limit him much more.

Caption 46, Los médicos explican - El tratamiento de las fracturas

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cuatro ladrillos de esos estuvieran pegados con yeso.

four of those bricks were glued with plaster.

Caption 55, Los Tiempos de Pablo Escobar - Capítulo 2

 Play Caption

 

yoyó or yoyo (yo-yo)

 

Me creen. Me creen. Me creen un yoyó.

They believe me. They believe me. They believe I am a yo-yo.

Me tienen pa'rriba y pa'bajo.

They've got me [going] up and down.

Captions 68-69, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poema

 Play Caption

 

yoga (yoga)

 

Cuando trabajamos en yoga las posturas,

When we work in yoga, on the postures,

Caption 5, Ana Teresa - El yoga y la columna vertebral

 Play Caption

 

yogur (yogurt)

 

Me encanta comer cereal con yogur de cerezas. -OK.

I love to eat cereal with cherry yogurt. -OK.

Caption 15, Carlos y Xavi - Diferencia de pronunciación entre España y Colombia

 Play Caption

 

yuca (yucca)

 

La yuca es una raíz... que crece en la selva,

Yucca is a root... that grows in the jungle,

Caption 66, Otavalo - Julia nos muestra las verduras

 Play Caption

 

In addition to these words, there are other Spanish words of foreign origin that start with the letter Y, such as yen (yen), yudo (judo), and yihad (jihad), just to name a few. And let's not forget one word that is hopefully helping you a lot with your Spanish: Yabla!

 

With this last familiar word, we have come to the end of this lesson. Did we leave out any important Spanish words that start with the letter Y? If so, please let us know so we can add them to this list... and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.

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Articles of Clothing in Spanish

Do you know the names of articles of clothing in Spanish? Knowing what clothing items in Spanish are called might help you on your next Spanish quiz or, better yet, on that shopping spree on your next vacation to a Spanish-speaking country! Let's explore some clothing vocabulary in Spanish with lots of examples from our Yabla Spanish library.

 

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How Do You Say "Clothing" in Spanish?

First, let's note that the most common way to talk about clothing in English is with the less formal noun "clothes," which is always plural. That said, the Spanish equivalent for "clothes" or "clothing" in Spanish is the noun la ropa, which is almost always used in the singular! Let's take a look:

 

Bueno, si tienes mucha ropa.

Well, if you have a lot of clothes.

Me encanta la ropa y soy adicta a los zapatos.

I love clothes and, I'm a shoe addict.

Captions 19-20, Ricardo - La compañera de casa

 Play Caption

 

However, on some, less formal occasions, primarily in Latin America, you may come across the plural form las ropas: 

 

vestidos básicamente con ropas de seda,

dressed basically in silk clothing,

Caption 33, Días festivos - La diablada pillareña

 Play Caption

 

Additional nouns for saying "the clothes" or "clothing" in Spanish in a general fashion include both la vestimenta and la indumentaria, whereas the noun la prenda (de vestir) describes an individual clothing "item" or "garment":

 

a esta prenda la llamamos "chompa",

we call this garment a "chompa" [jacket],

Caption 18, Ana Carolina - Lavandería

 Play Caption
 

Clothing Vocabulary in Spanish

Now, let's learn the names of some of the most common articles of clothing in Spanish, hearing most of them pronounced via clips from our Yabla Spanish library. For some items, we will provide several Spanish names since there is a lot of variation in how these items are said from country to country. 

 

Bathing suit: el traje de baño, el vestido de baño, el bañador, la malla

 

A mí, el vestido de baño porque ya saben, me gusta la playa.

For me, my bathing suit because, you already know, I like the beach.

Caption 41, Cleer y Lida - Juego de preguntas y respuestas

 Play Caption

 

Note that the term la malla refers to a women's swimsuit and is most commonly heard in Argentina:

 

Ay, Mili, pará, no tengo malla.

Oh Mili stop, I don't have a swimsuit.

Caption 35, Muñeca Brava - 9 Engaños

 Play Caption

 

Of course, the word "bikini" remains the same in Spanish:

 

Si hace calor... el bikini.

If it's warm... the bikini.

Caption 14, Un Viaje a Mallorca - Planificando el viaje

 Play Caption

 

Blouse: la blusa

 

Esta es una blusa que tiene estampado. 

This is a blouse that has a print.

Captions 36-37, Natalia de Ecuador - Vocabulario de prendas de vestir

 Play Caption
 

Cap: el gorro, la gorra

Both the masculine form el gorro and the feminine form la gorra can be used to describe a "cap" such as a baseball cap or snow hat/cap.

 

Esta parte de la gorra es azul.

This part of the cap is blue.

Caption 16, Luana explica - Los colores

 Play Caption
 

Un gorro de lana de color blanco.

A white wool hat.

Caption 16, Ana Carolina - Lavandería

 Play Caption

 

Dress: el vestido

 

Este vestido puede salir sobre unos cincuenta, sesenta euros. 

This dress could go for about fifty, sixty euros.

Caption 84, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 15

 Play Caption

 

Gloves: los guantes

 

Los guantes, unos guantes rosaditos... -Sí.

The gloves, some pink gloves... -Yes.

Caption 52, Cleer y Carolina - De compras

 Play Caption

 

Hat: el sombrero

El sombrero is a more general term for all types of hats.

 

¡Mira qué bonito este sombrero!

Look how pretty this hat is!

Caption 46, Ariana - Mi Semana

 Play Caption

 

Jeans: el pantaló​n vaquerolos vaqueros, el jean/los jeans

 

unos vaqueros grises. 

and some grey jeans.

Caption 41, El Aula Azul - Conversaciones sobre fotos

 Play Caption

 

que cuando te mides un jean en un almacén dicen,

that when you try on some jeans at a store they say,

Caption 28, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 8

 Play Caption

 

Pajamas: el/la piyama, el/la pijama

Notice the alternative spellings for the nouns for "pajamas" in Spanish (one with a y and one with a j), and while both versions are used with the masculine article in Spain and South America, the feminine article is employed in the rest of Latin America. Furthermore, although it is prevalent to see them in singular, you may also run into their plural forms (pijamas/piyamas).

 

A la ropa de dormir en Latinoamérica la llamamos con el anglicismo piyama

In Latin America, we call sleepwear the anglicism "piyama" [pajamas],

Caption 11, Ana Carolina - Arreglando el dormitorio

 Play Caption

 

Pants: el pantalón, los pantalones

Interestingly, either the singular plural form of this noun can be used to refer to a pair of pants or simply "pants," as in the following two examples:

 

Necesito un pantalón negro. -OK.

I need some black pants. -OK.

Caption 8, Cleer y Carolina - De compras

 Play Caption

 

"Se me han roto los pantalones", por ejemplo.

"Se me han roto los pantalones" [My pants have ripped], for example.

Caption 69, Clase Aula Azul - Se involuntario

 Play Caption

 

Scarf: la bufanda, el pañuelo

While la bufanda usually describes the type of scarf one might wear to keep warm in the snow, el pañuelo refers to more of a bandana-type scarf:

 

Menos mal que llevaba una bufanda

Thank God I was wearing a scarf.

Caption 21, Aprendiendo con Zulbany - Piensa rápido

 Play Caption
 

¡Oh! ¿Y este pañuelo tan bonito?

Oh! And this really beautiful scarf?

Caption 66, Clase Aula Azul - La posesión

 Play Caption

 

Shirt: la camisa

 

Me gusta la camisa.

I like the shirt.

Caption 4, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 2: Sam va de compras - Part 6

 Play Caption

 

Shorts: los pantalones cortos

 

Algunos clubs permiten el uso de pantalones cortos o bermudas. 

Some clubs allow the use of shorts or bermudas.

Caption 64, Montserrat - El golf

 Play Caption
 

Skirt: la falda

 

Esta falda está muy larga. 

This skirt is too long.

Caption 46, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 3

 Play Caption

 

As you may have guessed, the Spanish word for "miniskirt" is la minifalda:

 

Ya admití suficiente con que se pusiera la corrompisiña esa de la minifalda.

I permitted enough with you putting on that corrupt miniskirt.

Caption 15, La Sucursal del Cielo - Capítulo 1 - Part 10

 Play Caption

 

Socks: las medias, los calcetínes

Let's hear the terms for "socks" in Colombia and other parts of Latin America vs. Spain:

 

Lo que acabamos de ver, en Colombia

What we just saw, in Colombia,

lo llamamos "medias", las "medias".

we call "medias" [socks], "medias."

¿En España? Son los "calcetines". -Los "calcetines". 

In Spain? They're "calcetines" [socks]. -"Calcetines."

Captions 39-41, Carlos y Xavi - Part 3 Diferencias de vocabulario entre España y Colombia

 Play Caption
 

If you are interested in more such differences, check out this series on pronunciation and vocabulary differences between Spain and Colombia

 

Sweatsuit: el chándal, el buzo, el jogging

 

Entonces no podemos olvidar el chándal tampoco.

Then we can't forget a tracksuit either.

Caption 62, Un Viaje a Mallorca - Planificando el viaje

 Play Caption

 

T-shirt: la camiseta, la remera

 

Andrea lleva una camiseta de manga corta de color blanco 

Andrea is wearing a white short-sleeved t-shirt

Caption 40, El Aula Azul - Conversaciones sobre fotos

 Play Caption

 

Suit: el traje

 

se vistió con su mejor traje

put on his best suit,

Caption 34, Aprendiendo con Carlos - El microrrelato

 Play Caption

 

Tank Top: la camiseta sin mangas, la camiseta de tirantesla musculosa

 

Te creo. -Bueno, me dio la musculosa para salir. 

I believe you. -Well, he gave me the tank top to go out.

Caption 51, Yago - 1 La llegada - Part 5

 Play Caption

 

Tie: la corbata

 

Qué linda corbata.

What a nice tie.

Caption 2, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 5 - Part 5

 Play Caption

 

Although the term la corbata typically refers to a necktie, there are many words to describe a bow tie in Spanish, including el moño, el corbatín, la pajarita, la lacita, la corbata de moño, and la corbata de lazo

 

Vest: el chaleco

 

tenemos que llevar siempre un chaleco reflectante 

we must always wear a reflective vest

Caption 56, Raquel y Marisa - Aprender a conducir

 Play Caption

 

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Outerwear in Spanish

There are so many different Spanish words for "sweaters," "sweatshirts,"  "jackets," "coats," and other outerwear, and every country has their own way to talk about these articles of clothing in Spanish. In fact, some of the same Spanish terms are used to describe different items in different countries. Let's take a look.

 

Jacket: la chaqueta, la chamarra, la campera, la cazadora, la chompa

Even within the English language, it is sometimes a fine line between what constitutes a "jacket" vs. a "coat," which some people view as synonymous. That said, the above-referenced Spanish terms generally refer to something more sporty, casual, and/or lighter weight.

 

¡Una chaqueta de cuero! 

A leather jacket!

Caption 48, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 2: Sam va de compras - Part 2

 Play Caption
 

Coat: el abrigo, el chaqetón, la chamarra

The Spanish terms for "coat" might generally be thought of as describing a heavier/warmer garment:

 

Después me voy a poner el abrigo porque va a hacer frío. 

Later, I'm going to put on my coat because it's going to be cold.

Captions 22-23, Cristina - Naturaleza

 Play Caption
 

Blazer: el saco, la americana, la chaqueta

 

y así con, con saco y con corbata, ¿te imaginás el calor? 

and like that with, with a blazer and tie, can you imagine the heat?

Caption 37, La Sucursal del Cielo - Capítulo 2 - Part 2

 Play Caption
 

Raincoat: el chubasquero, el impermeable, el piloto, el sobretodo

 

Los días de lluvia llevábamos un chubasquero y botas de agua. 

On rainy days, we wore a raincoat and rain boots.

Captions 54-55, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Recuerdos de infancia

 Play Caption
 

Sweater: el jerseyel sué​ter, el pulóver, la chompa

Let's hear how to say "sweater" in both Spain and Colombia:

 

Eh... Se llama "jersey". -"Jersey".

Um... It's called a "jersey" [sweater]. -"Jersey."

Nosotros le decimos "suéter". 

We call it "suéter" [sweater].

Captions 44-45, Carlos y Xavi - Part 3 Diferencias de vocabulario entre España y Colombia

 Play Caption

 

Sweatshirt: la sudadera, el jersey, el sué​ter, el pulóver

 

mandé a hacer uniformes, sudadera y todo; ¿qué tal? 

I got uniforms made, a sweatshirt and everything; what do you think?

Caption 114, Club 10 - Capítulo 1 - Part 3

 Play Caption
 
 

Undergarments in Spanish

Now, let's hear how to say the general term for "underwear" or "undergarments" in Spanish before moving on to the many words for the more specific articles of clothing in Spanish in this category:

 

No, no es bombachitas. En todo caso es ropa interior.

No, it's not panties. In any case, it's underwear.

Caption 68, Muñeca Brava - 43 La reunión

 Play Caption

 

Bra: el brasierel corpiñoel sosténel sujetador

 

¿Van a dejar de usar brasier, ah? 

Are you going to stop wearing a bra, huh?

Caption 18, La Sucursal del Cielo - Capítulo 1 - Part 10

 Play Caption
 

Briefs: los calzoncillos, los calzones

 

entonces, ahí estaba yo, de nuevo en la clase de matemáticas,

[and] then, there I was, in math class again,

¡y esta vez en calzoncillos

 and this time, in my underwear!

Captions 48-51, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 7

 Play Caption
 

Panties: los calzoneslas bragas, las braguitas, la bombacha, los pantis

 

Así que ya te veo desfilando, en cualquier momento, con bombacha y corpiño.

So I see you modeling, any minute now, in panties and bra.

Caption 43, Muñeca Brava - 18 La Apuesta

 Play Caption

 

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Footwear in Spanish

To conclude this lesson, we'll examine how to say the words for the more general "footwear" and "shoes" in Spanish prior to learning some more specific vocabulary:

 

Yo me dedicaba a vender calzado; tenía un almacén.

My job was selling footwear; I had a shop.

Captions 55-56, Imbabura - Paramédicos

 Play Caption
 

se convirtieron en un par de zapatos nuevos y relucientes. 

changed into a new, shiny pair of shoes.

Caption 29, Cleer - El cuento de los cuatro hermanos

 Play Caption

 

Boots: las botas

 

Y unas botas altas. -Sí. 

And some tall boots. -Yes.

Caption 23, Un Viaje a Mallorca - Planificando el viaje

 Play Caption

 

Flip-Flops: las chanclas

 

unas chanclas,

some flip flops,

Caption 12, Ariana - Mi Semana

 Play Caption

 

High Heels: los tacones

 

Me encantan los tacones

I love high heels.

Caption 57, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 14

 Play Caption

 

Slippers: las pantuflas, las zapatillas

 

Y por aquí, no pueden faltar las pantuflas o babuchas,

And over here, you can't do without slippers or house shoes,

Caption 88, Natalia de Ecuador - Vocabulario de prendas de vestir

 Play Caption

 

Sneakers: las zapatillas, los tenis, los zapatos deportivos

Interestingly, the word for "slippers" in many Spanish-speaking countries, las zapatillas, means "the sneakers" in Spain. Now, let's listen to another word for "sneakers" or "athletic shoes" in Spanish:

 

los tenis

and tennis shoes.

Caption 38, Cleer y Lida - Juego de preguntas y respuestas

 Play Caption
 

That's all for today. To review clothing terms in Spanish, we recommend videos like Marta de Madrid - Prendas de ropa, Natalia de Ecuador - Vocabulario de prendas de vestir, and Ana Carolina's Lavandería and Salir de compras. We hope that this lesson has helped you to learn a lot of articles of clothing in Spanish, and don't forget to write us with your questions and comments.

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Animals in Spanish from A to Z

Are you familiar with the names of animals in Spanish? Do you know the Spanish equivalents of nouns like "dog," "lion," or "chicken"? Do you know the words for farm animals in Spanish? What about the names of wild animals in Spanish? If you need to improve your vocabulary on these topics, please feel free to explore the following list of animals in Spanish!

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As you read along, keep in mind that while this list is in alphabetical order, not all of the letters appear since they don't all correspond with the names of the well-known animals in Spanish that we opted to include. We have additionally added some video clips that will help you to hear how to say the names of most of the animals on this list.

 

Animals That Start with A in Spanish

 

abeja (bee)

Las abejas reinas vuelan,

The queen bees fly around,

Caption 34, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 6

 Play Caption

 

águila (eagle)

Veamos un ejemplo más

Let's see another example

utilizando otra palabra femenina singular

using another feminine singular word

que inicia con "a" tónica:

that begins with a stressed "a":

"águila".

"águila" [eagle].

Captions 38-41, Carlos explica - Los artículos en español

 Play Caption

 

anaconda (anaconda)

Una boa, una anaconda, ¡ay no!

A boa, an anaconda, oh, no!

Caption 49, Cleer y Lida - Juego de preguntas y respuestas

 Play Caption

 

araña (spider)

Llegó la araña que el idioma daña

It's arrived, the spider that damages the language

Caption 53, Calle 13 - Tango del pecado

 Play Caption

 

ardilla (squirrel)

Y la pobre ardilla cayó muerta.

And the poor squirrel dropped dead.

Caption 48, Cleer - El cuento de los cuatro hermanos

 Play Caption

 

Although there are many more animals in Spanish that start with the letter a, we would like to stop here with two more animals: armadillo (armadillo) and avestruz (ostrich).

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Animals That Start with B in Spanish

 

ballena (whale)

¡La ballena! -¡La ballena!

The whale! -The whale!

Caption 9, Guillermina y Candelario - La competencia de baile

 Play Caption

 

búfalo (buffalo)

el búfalo,

the buffalo,

Caption 20, Graciela - Los animales

 Play Caption

 

buitre (vulture)

El Quebrantahuesos

The Bearded Vulture [the name in Spanish means "shatter bones"]

es un buitre excepcionalmente distinto

is an exceptionally distinct vulture

Caption 20, Club de las ideas - Batería de breves

 Play Caption

 

búho (owl)

también tienen hiato palabras como "cohete" o "búho".

words like "cohete" [rocket] or "búho" [owl] also have a hiatus.

Caption 42, Carlos explica - Acentuación Cap. 5: Diptongo, triptongo, hiato

 Play Caption

 

burro (donkey)

porque es el burro más simpático

because he's the nicest donkey

que os vais a encontrar en vuestra vida.

that you're going to encounter in your life.

Captions 38-39, Amaya - El burrito Luz

 Play Caption

 

buey (ox)

Que el buey solo bien se lava.

That the ox alone washes itself well.

Caption 49, Yago - 12 Fianza

 Play Caption

 

Animals That Start with C in Spanish

 

The letter c is quite generous in terms of names of animals in Spanish. Let's look at several of them.

 

caballo (horse)

Algunos ejemplos de palabras con dígrafos

Some examples of words with digraphs

incluyen las palabras "caballo".

include the words "caballo" [horse].

Caption 39, Carlos explica - Acentuación Cap. 3: La división en sílabas

 Play Caption

 

cabra (goat)

Productos típicos de la zona

Typical products of the area

son el queso de cabra y el aceite de oliva.

are goat cheese and olive oil.

Captions 74-76, Rosa - Antequera, Málaga

 Play Caption

 

cachorro (puppy)

que ha sido seleccionada desde cachorro

who has been selected since she was a puppy

para ayudar a personas que lo necesitan.

to help people who need it.

Captions 52-53, Isabel Lavesa - Terapia asistida con animales

 Play Caption

 

cangrejo (crab)

¿Es un cangrejo?

Is it a crab?

Caption 29, Guillermina y Candelario - Un marciano en la playa

 Play Caption

 

camello (camel)

¡Nuestro continente con forma de camello!

Our continent in the shape of a camel!

Caption 25, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 12

 Play Caption

 

canguro (kangaroo)

Y... Es muy famoso porque tiene canguros

And... It's very famous because it has kangaroos

Caption 27, El Aula Azul - Piensa rápido - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

caracol (snail)

Es que el caracol se mueve como un gusanito

It's just that the snail moves like a worm

Caption 25, Guillermina y Candelario - La Casa de Muñecas

 Play Caption

 

cebra (zebra)

La cebra.

The zebra.

Caption 17, El Aula Azul - Adivinanzas de animales - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

cerdo (pig)

el cerdo,

the pig,

Caption 13, Graciela - Los animales

 Play Caption

 

There are multiple names for some animals in Spanish, which is the case of the pig. Some alternative terms include chancho, puerco and marrano.

 

ciervo (deer)

pero puede cazar incluso un ciervo.

but it can even hunt a deer.

Caption 68, El Aula Azul - Adivinanzas de animales - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

cocodrilo (crocodile)

Sí! El cocodrilo.

Yes! The crocodile.

Caption 39, El Aula Azul - Adivinanzas de animales - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

colibrí (hummingbird)

"compás" o "colibrí".

"compás" [compass] or "colibrí" [hummingbird].

Caption 30, Carlos explica - Acentuación Cap. 4: Clasificación de las palabras según el acento

 Play Caption

 

cóndor (condor)

Ustedes saben que el cóndor

You know that the condor

Caption 33, Hispanoamericanos en Berlín - Virginia y el cóndor

 Play Caption

 

conejo (rabbit)

tengo a otro perro y un conejo.

I have another dog, and a rabbit.

Caption 8, Amaya - Apertura del refugio

 Play Caption

 

cucaracha (cockroach)

Esa cucaracha, la aplasto yo.

I'll crush that cockroach.

Caption 27, Muñeca Brava - 2 Venganza

 Play Caption

 

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Animals That Start with D in Spanish

 

dragón de Komodo (Komodo dragon)

 

delfín (dolphin)

Es que el delfín era muy fuerte.

It's just that the dolphin was very strong.

Caption 25, Guillermina y Candelario - El Festival de Verano

 Play Caption

 

dromedario (dromedary)

 

Animals That Start with E in Spanish

 

elefante (elephant)

un elefante,

an elephant,

Caption 29, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Las emociones

 Play Caption

 

estrella de mar (starfish)

y dejaría de ser una estrella de mar.

and it wouldn't be a starfish anymore.

Caption 42, Guillermina y Candelario - Un regalo de Estrellas

 Play Caption

 

Animals That Start with F in Spanish

 

flamenco (flamingo)

un flamenco,

a flamingo,

Caption 30, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Las emociones

 Play Caption

 

foca (seal)

siete, la foca,

seven, the seal,

Caption 17, Luis Guitarra - Aprendiendo a contar

 Play Caption

 

Animals That Start with G in Spanish

 

gallina (hen)

la gallina,

the hen,

Caption 11, Graciela - Los animales

 Play Caption

 

ganso (goose)

 

gato (cat)

"...el gato,..."

"...el gato" [the cat]...

Caption 8, Clase Aula Azul - Se involuntario - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

By the way, if you like cats, we would like to invite you to take a look at one of our more popular series: Fermín y los gatos!

 

gorila (gorilla)

uno, el gorila,

one, the gorilla,

Caption 11, Luis Guitarra - Aprendiendo a contar

 Play Caption

 

gusano (worm)

No matamos a ningún gusano.

We didn't kill any worm.

Caption 48, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Frases hechas

 Play Caption

 

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Animals That Start with H in Spanish

 

hámster (hamster)

Por ejemplo, no el hámster,

For example, not "el hámster" [the hamster],

Caption 51, Clase Aula Azul - Se involuntario - Part 4

 Play Caption

 

hiena (hyena)

la hiena,

the hyena,

Caption 24, Graciela - Los animales

 Play Caption

 

hipopótamo (hippopotamus)

un hipopótamo,

a hippopotamus,

Caption 27, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Las emociones - Part 6

 Play Caption

 

Animals That Start with I in Spanish

 

iguana (iguana)

Iguana.

"Iguana" [Iguana].

Caption 17, Español para principiantes - Las vocales

 Play Caption

 

Animals That Start with J in Spanish

 

jabalí (boar)

Y un día nos sorprendió un jabalí.

And one day, a wild boar surprised us.

Caption 53, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Recuerdos de infancia

 Play Caption

 

jirafa (giraffe)

y una jirafa.

and a giraffe.

Caption 31, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Las emociones - Part 6

 Play Caption

 

Animals That Start with K in Spanish

 

koala (koala)

 

Animals That Start with L in Spanish

 

león (lion)

El león.

The lion.

Caption 31, El Aula Azul - Adivinanzas de animales - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

leopardo (leopard)

el cachorrito de leopardo

the leopard cub

Caption 31, Animales en familia - Un día en Bioparc: Cachorro de leopardo

 Play Caption

 

lobo (wolf)

Yo quiero un lobo domesticado

I want a domesticated wolf

Caption 8, Shakira - Loba

 Play Caption

 

loro (parrot)

el loro,

the parrot,

Caption 7, Graciela - Los animales

 Play Caption

 

Animals That Start with M in Spanish

 

mapache (racoon)

Ya a continuación tenemos el mapache sudamericano.

Next, we have the South American raccoon.

Caption 23, Quito - Zoológico de Guayllabamba

 Play Caption

 

mariposa (butterfly)

Mariposa de sueño, te pareces a mi alma,

Dream butterfly, you look like my soul,

Caption 18, Chus recita poemas - Neruda y Pizarnik

 Play Caption

 

medusa (jellyfish)

La Medusa.

The Jellyfish.

Caption 18, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 8: La prima de la dueña - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

mono (monkey)

un mono,

a monkey,

Caption 28, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Las emociones - Part 6

 Play Caption

 

mosca (fly)

podría ser la mosca verde de la carne

could be the green flesh fly

Caption 34, Estepona - Orquidario

 Play Caption

 

murciélago (bat)

La palabra más larga es murciélago.

The longest word is bat.

¿Por qué?

Why?

Pues porque tiene las cinco vocales dentro de la palabra.

Well because it has the five vowels within the word.

Captions 43-45, Karla e Isabel - Palabras

 Play Caption

 

 

Animals That Start with N in Spanish

 

narval​ (narwhal)

 

nutria (otter)

 

Animals That Start with Ñ in Spanish

 

ñandú (rheas)

 

Animals That Start with in Spanish

 

oso (bear)

cuatro, el oso gris,

four, the grey bear,

Caption 14, Luis Guitarra - Aprendiendo a contar

 Play Caption

 

oveja (sheep)

¿Qué crees que pasaba antes de que la oveja empezara a tejer?

What do you think was happening before the sheep began to knit?

Caption 42, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Las emociones

 Play Caption

 

Animals That Start with P in Spanish

 

pájaro (bird)

el pájaro,

the bird,

Caption 16, Graciela - Los animales

 Play Caption

 

pavo (turkey)

el pavo,

the turkey,

Caption 10, Graciela - Los animales

 Play Caption

 

pato (duck)

el pato,

the duck,

Caption 9, Graciela - Los animales

 Play Caption

 

perro (dog)

tres, el perro,

three, the dog,

Caption 13, Luis Guitarra - Aprendiendo a contar

 Play Caption

 

pez (fish)

¡Es un pez! -¡Un pez mágico!

It's a fish! -A magic fish!

Caption 37, Guillermina y Candelario - Un pez mágico

 Play Caption

 

pingüino (pinguin)

¿Un pingüino?

A penguin?

Caption 19, Guillermina y Candelario - Nuestro Amigo Pinguino

 Play Caption

 

pollo (chicken)

el pollo,

the chicken,

Caption 12, Graciela - Los animales

 Play Caption

 

pulpo (octopus)

¡El pulpo!

The Octopus!

Caption 26, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 4: Sam busca un trabajo

 Play Caption

 

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Animals That Start with R in Spanish

 

rana (frog)

Seguro que canta como una rana.

I'm sure she sings like a frog.

Caption 20, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 8: La prima de la dueña - Part 5

 Play Caption

 

rata (rat)

¡Eso es para que aprenda a respetar a mi hermana,

That is for you to learn to respect my sister,

rata de alcantarilla!

sewer rat!

Caption 11, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 4

 Play Caption

 

ratón (mouse)

¡Un ratón!

A mouse!

Caption 76, NPS No puede ser - 1 - El concurso

 Play Caption

 

rinoceronte (rhinoceros)

el rinoceronte,

the rhinoceros,

Caption 19, Graciela - Los animales

 Play Caption

 

Animals That Start with S in Spanish

 

sapo (toad)

¿Por qué el sapo va agarrado a un globo?

Why is the toad holding on to a balloon?

Caption 14, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Las emociones

 Play Caption

 

serpiente (snake)

y una serpiente alrededor del cuerpo.

and a snake around my body.

Caption 30, Aprendiendo con Carlos - El microrrelato

 Play Caption

 

Animals That Start with T in Spanish

 

tiburón (shark)

El tiburón ballena, que es el más grande de todos,

The whale shark, which is the biggest of them all,

sólo come plancton.

only eats plankton.

Caption 25, Guillermina y Candelario - La Lleva

 Play Caption

 

tigre (tiger)

el tigre,

the tiger,

Caption 23, Graciela - Los animales

 Play Caption

 

toro (bull)

el toro,

the bull,

Caption 8, Graciela - Los animales

 Play Caption

 

tortuga (turtle)

Yo estaba cansada y me senté en la tortuga de mar.

I was tired and sat down on the sea turtle.

Caption 13, Guillermina y Candelario - La Abuela Marina

 Play Caption

 

tucán (toucan)

un tucán,

a toucan,

Caption 26, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Las emociones - Part 6

 Play Caption

 

Animals That Start with V in Spanish

 

vaca (cow)

y diez, la vaca.

and ten, the cow.

Caption 20, Luis Guitarra - Aprendiendo a contar

 Play Caption

 

Animals That Start with Y in Spanish

 

yegua (mare)

también una yegua

a mare as well,

Caption 34, Quito - Zoológico de Guayllabamba

 Play Caption

 

Animals That Start with Z in Spanish

 

zorro (fox)

Observa detenidamente al zorro

Observe carefully the fox

Caption 37, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Las emociones - Part 5

 Play Caption

 

And that's all for our list of animals in Spanish. Do you know more animals in Spanish that you think we should include in this list? If so, don't hesitate to send us your suggestions and comments!

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Ser vs. Estar Quiz

Do you know the difference between the Spanish verbs ser and estar? Although both mean "to be," the two verbs have different uses in Spanish. In very general terms, ser is used for more permanent characteristics while estar is used for fleeting conditions. If you need to learn or review the uses of these verbs in more detail, we recommend this lesson from the Yabla Spanish archives entitled Ser and Estar: An Easy Trick for Using These Verbs. Then, when you feel prepared, test yourself out with this quiz!

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Ser vs. Estar: Fill in the Blank

In the following sentences, choose the correct conjugation of ser or estar to fill in the blank. 

 

1. Diego ____ una persona amable y inteligente. 

a. es

b. está

 

2.   _____ las diez y media de la mañana.  

a. son

b. están

 

3. Mi vecino _____ en Colombia ahora.

a. es

b. está

 

4. Mi vecino _____ de Colombia. 

a. es

b. está

 

5. Yo ______ hablando por teléfono en este momento. 

a. soy

b. estoy

 

6. Nosotros _______ sentados en el auditorio. 

a. somos

b. estamos

 

7.  Yo ______ muy contenta porque mi amiga me viene a visitar. 

a. estoy

b. soy

 

8. Vosotros _____ altos y flacos. 

a. sois

b. estáis

 

9. Casi todos los alumnos _____ enfermos.

a. son

b. están

 

10. _____ maestro de inglés.

a. eres

b. estás

 

11. Francisco y Eliana _____ primos.

a. son

b. están

 

12. ¿Cómo ______ vosotros hoy?

a. sois

b. estáis

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Ser vs. Estar Quiz: The Answers

The following are the answers to all of the questions in this Ser vs. Estar Quiz as well as the translations and grammatical reasons for each. 

 

Ser vs. Estar Quiz: Fill in the Blank

 

1. Correct Answer: a. es (ser)

 Diego es una persona amable y inteligente. 

Diego is a kind and intelligent person. 

REASON: The Spanish verb ser is used to describe fixed characteristics of a person, place, or thing.

 

2.  Correct Answer: a. son (ser)

Son las diez y media de la mañana. 

It's ten thirty in the morning. 

REASON: Always use the verb ser when talking about time. Let's look at another example from Yabla's video library:

 

Hoy es viernes. Son las siete de la tarde

Today is Friday. It's seven in the evening

Caption 4, Los Reporteros - Crecen los robos en tiendas

 Play Caption

 

3. Correct Answer: b. está (estar)

Mi vecino está en Colombia ahora.

My neighbor is in Colombia now. 

REASON: When referring to something or someone's location, choose the verb estar. 

 

4. Correct Answer: a. es (ser)

Mi vecino es de Colombia. 

My neighbor is from Colombia. 

REASON: Although this example might initially seem similar to the previous one, the word de (from) in this one tips us off that it is referring to origin, which requires the verb ser. Let's see another example:

 

Eh... Soy argentino y español; mi madre es catalana.

Um... I'm Argentinean and Spanish; my mother is Catalonian.

Caption 3, World Travel Market en Londres - Raúl nos habla de México

 Play Caption

 

5. Correct Answer: b. estoy (estar)

Yo estoy hablando por teléfono en este momento

I'm talking on the phone right now. 

REASON: The key word to remember this use of the verb estar is action. In fact, the verb estar is an integral part of the Spanish present progressive tense, which consists of the verb estar plus the present participle form (equivalent to -ing verbs in English). This tense describes actions unfolding in the present moment, as in the following example:

 

"¿Qué estás pensando, Aminata?"

"What are you thinking about, Aminata?"

Caption 58, Aprendiendo con Carlos - El microrrelato

 Play Caption

 

6. Correct Answer: b. estamos (estar)

Nosotros estamos sentados en el auditorio. 

We're seated in the auditorium. 

REASON: Employ the verb estar to talk about position

 

7. Correct Answer: aestoy (estar)

Yo estoy muy contenta porque mi amiga me viene a visitar. 

I'm very happy because my friend is coming to visit me. 

REASON: When talking about emotions, which tend to be fleeting, it's necessary to use the verb estar.

 

8. Correct Answer: a. sois (ser) 

Vosotros sois altos y flacos. 

You guys are tall and thin.

REASON: To provide descriptions, utilize the verb ser along with the pertinent adjectives. 

 

9. Correct Answer: b. están

Casi todos los alumnos están enfermos.

Almost all of the students are sick. 

REASON: When describing temporary conditions, such as illness, stress, business, etc., pick the veb estar.

 

10. Correct Answer: a. eres (ser)

 eres maestro de inglés.

You're an English teacher. 

REASON: Occupations should be spoken about with the verb ser

 

11. Correct Answer: ason (ser)

Francisco y Eliana son primos.

Francisco and Eliana are cousins. 

REASON: The verb ser is the correct choice when describing relationships

 

12. Correct answer: b. estáis (estar)

¿Cómo estáis vosotros hoy?

How are you today?

REASON: Since how one "is" changes from moment to moment, this common question might evoke answers that include conditions or emotions. It thus employs the verb estar, as do its potential responses:

 

Yo estoy bien,

I'm well,

Caption 8, Cleer y Lida - Llegando a una nueva ciudad

 Play Caption

 

Estoy muy enfadada.

I am very angry.

Caption 31, El Aula Azul - Estados de ánimo

 Play Caption

 

That's all for this quiz on the Spanish verbs ser vs. estar. We hope you did well, and don't forget to write us with your questions and comments.

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Present Indicative vs. Subjunctive Quiz

Do you know the difference between the present indicative and the present subjunctive moods in Spanish? Most simply put, the indicative depicts certainty and objectivity while the subjunctive describes doubt and subjectivity. If you would like to learn about or brush up on these concepts, we suggest lessons from Yabla's Spanish lesson archives on how to use the Spanish present indicative and when to use the Spanish subjunctive, and when you feel ready, test your knowledge with this quiz!

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Present Indicative vs. Subjunctive: Fill in the Blank

In the following sentences, choose the correct present indicative or subjunctive verb to fill in the blank. 

 

1. David ____ al gimnasio todos los días.

a. va

b. vaya

 

2.  Espero que María ______ a la fiesta; hace mucho que no la veo. 

a. viene

b. venga

 

3. Nos alegra mucho de que ____ aquí.

a. estás

b. estés

 

4. Juan _____ ahora mismo. 

a. viene 

b. venga

 

5. Juan estudió muy poco para el examen. Dudo que _____ una buena nota. 

a. saca

b. saque

 

6. Todos nos vemos afectados por la sequía. Ojalá que ______ pronto. 

a. llueve

b. llueva

 

7.  Yo te _____ mañana. 

a. llamo

b. llame

 

8. Los planetas _____ alrededor del sol.

a. giran

b. giren

 

9. Si quieres ser músico profesional, es muy importante que __________ mucho. 

a. practicas

b. practiques 

 

10. Recomiendo que _________ Barcelona durante nuestro viaje a España.

a. visitamos

b. visitemos 

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Bonus Round

These tougher bonus round questions include more than one verb in the present indicative and/or subjunctive mood(s), as well more options. Are you ready?! 

 

11. Yo ______ que Manuel me ______ a la fiesta.

a. quiero, invita

b. quiera, invite

c. quiero, invite

d. quiera, invita

 

12. Mariela _____ muchas ganas de conocer Brazil. Es seguro que _____ ahí este verano. 

a. tiene, viaja

b. tenga, viaje

c. tiene, viaje

d. tenga, viaja

 

13. No creo que _______ al evento. Todos ________ muy enfermos. 

a. asistimos, estamos

b. asistamos, estemos

c. asistimos, estemos

d. asistamos, estamos

 

14. _______ en contacto. Nos _____ pronto. 

a. Estamos, vemos

b. Estemos, veamos

c. Estamos, veamos

d. Estemos, vemos

 

15. Te ____ que me _____ la verdad, que siempre ____ sincero conmigo. 

a. pido, dices, eres

b. pida, digas, seas

c. pido, digas, seas

d. pida, dices, seas

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Present Indicative vs. Subjunctive Quiz: The Answers

The following are the answers to all of the questions in this Present Indicative vs. Subjunctive Quiz as well as the translations and grammatical justifications for each. 

 

1. Correct Answer: a. va (indicative)

David va al gimnasio todos los días.

David goes to the gym every day. 

REASON: The indicative mood is used to describe routines and repetitive actions in the present. 

 

2.  Correct Answer: b. venga (subjunctive)

Espero que María venga a la fiesta; hace mucho que no la veo.

I hope that Maria comes to the party; I haven't seen her for a long time. 

REASON: The subjunctive mood should be employed in a sentence's dependent clause following que (that) or some other subordinating conjunction when the main clause, in this case espero que (I hope that), expresses some wish, hope, or desire. In other words, although the speaker "hopes" that Maria will come to the party, we don't know if she will. 

 

3. Correct Answer: b. estés (subjunctive)

Nos alegra mucho de que estés aquí.

We're really happy that you're here. 

REASON: Although the speaker is certain of the person to whom they are speaking's presence, the subjunctive is utilized in dependent clauses that follow a subject's emotional or subjective reaction. Let's take a look at a similar example where emotion in the main clause triggers the subjunctive in the dependent one:

 

me da miedo que mis seres queridos sufran

it scares me for my loved ones to [potentially] suffer

o que les pasen cosas malas.

or for bad things to happen to them.

Caption 41, El Aula Azul - La Doctora Consejos: Subjuntivo y sentimientos

 Play Caption

 

4. Correct Answer: a. viene 

Juan viene ahora mismo. 

Juan is coming right now. 

REASON: The present indicative is used to portray actions that are unfolding at the present moment. 

 

5. Correct Answer: b. saque (subjunctive)

Juan estudió muy poco para el examen. Dudo que saque una buena nota. 

Juan studied very little for the exam. I doubt that he'll get a good grade. 

REASON: When doubt or disbelief is expressed in a Spanish sentence's main clause, the verb in the dependent clause must be in the subjunctive

 

6. Correct Answer: b. llueva (subjunctive)

Todos nos vemos afectados por la sequía. Ojalá que llueva pronto. 

We're all affected by the drought. Hopefully it will rain soon. 

REASON: When a verb follows the word Ojalá, which means roughly "hopefully," it will be always be conjugated in the subjunctive. Let's see another example:

 

y ojalá disfruten del aprendizaje de nuestro idioma.

and I hope you enjoy learning our language.

Caption 56, Hispanoamericanos en Berlín - Manuel y El barrilito

 Play Caption

 

7. Correct Answer: a. llamo

Yo te llamo mañana. 

I'll call you tomorrow.

REASON: Sometimes, actions that will happen in the near future are expressed with the present indicative in Spanish. 

 

8. Correct Answer: a. giran

Los planetas giran alrededor del sol.

The planets revolve around the sun.  

REASON: Facts and universal truths are described with the Spanish present indicative, as in the following caption:

 

Ámsterdam cuenta con setenta y cinco kilómetros de canales

Amsterdam has seventy-five kilometers of canals

y tiene más de mil puentes.

and has more than a thousand bridges.

Captions 60-61, Viajando con Fermín - Ámsterdam

 Play Caption

 

9. Correct Answer: b. practiques (subjunctive)

Si quieres ser músico profesional, es muy importante que practiques mucho. 

If you want to be a professional musician, it's very important that you practice a lot. 

REASON: Unless they express certainty, impersonal expressions such as es importante que (it's important that), es raro que (it's strange that), es bueno/malo que (it's good/bad that), etc. are followed by a verb in the subjunctive

 

10. Correct Answer: b. visitemos (subjunctive)

Recomiendo que visitemos Barcelona durante nuestro viaje a España.

I recommend that we visit Barcelona during our trip tp Spain.

REASON: When making recommendations to others, the verb that follows must be in subjunctive, like in the following clip:

 

les aconsejo que vayan a Zipaquirá,

I advise you to go to Zipaquira,

Caption 29, Aprendiendo con Carlos - América precolombina - Mitos y leyendas Muiscas

 Play Caption

 

Bonus Round

11. Correct Answer: c. quiero (indicative)invite (subjunctive)

Yo quiero que Manuel me invite a la fiesta.

I want Manuel to invite me to the party. 

REASON: The indicative verb in the main clause (quiero) expresses a wish or desire, which triggers the subjunctive in the dependent clause.

 

12. Correct Answer: a. tiene (indicative), viaja (indicative)

Mariela tiene muchas ganas de conocer Brazil. Es seguro que viaja allá este verano. 

Mariela really wants to go to Brazil. She'll surely travel there this summer. 

REASON: Since it's a fact that Mariela wants to go to Brazil, the first verb (tiene) is in the indicative. The second verb (viaja) is also in the indicative because it follows an impersonal expression that expresses certainty

 

13. Correct Answer: d. asistamos (subjunctive), estamos (indicative)

No creo que asistamos al evento. Todos estamos muy enfermos. 

I don't think we'll attend the event. We're all really sick. 

REASON: In the first sentence, the main clause No creo que (I don't think that) expresses disbelief, triggering the subjunctive in the dependent clause. In the second sentence, estamos (we're) is in the indicative because it's a fact that "we're all sick."

 

14. Correct Answer: a. Estamos (indicative), vemos (indicative)

Estamos en contacto. Nos vemos pronto. 

We'll be in touch. See you soon.  

REASON: These common expressions are examples of how the Spanish present indicative can be used to talk about actions to take place in the near future

 

15. Correct Answer: c. pido (indicative), digas (subjunctive), seas (subjunctive)

Te pido que me digas la verdad, que siempre seas sincero conmigo. 

I ask you to tell me the truth, to always be honest with me. 

REASON: Once again, the verb in the main clause, pido (I ask), is in the indicative, and since it indicates a desire, the following verbs in the dependent clause, digas (to tell) and seas (to be), are in the subjunctive

 

That's all for this quiz. How did you do?! To better understand the various uses of the Spanish present indicative and subjunctive, we have a plethora of lessons and videos in our archives to assist you! For starters, try Clase Aula Azul's series Pedir deseos (Making Wishes) and Información con subjuntivo e indicativo (Information with Subjunctive and Indicative), Ana Carolina's El modo subjuntivo (The Subjunctive Mood), and Doctora Consejos (Doctor Advice) videos like Subjuntivo y sentimientos (Subjunctive and Feelings) and Subjuntivo y persona ideal (Subjunctive and Ideal Person). In the meantime, we hope you've enjoyed this Present Indicative vs. Subjunctive Quiz, and don't forget to write us with your questions and comments.

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Preterite vs. Imperfect Quiz

Do you know the difference between the Spanish preterite and imperfect tenses? In a nutshell, the preterite describes completed past actions, while the imperfect describes conditions or qualities, or actions that were not yet completed or in progress at a specific moment in the past. Can you insert the correct choices in different contexts, and do you know the grammatical reasons for doing so? Test your knowledge of these two different Spanish past tenses with the following quiz!

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Preterite vs. Imperfect: Fill in the Blank

In the following sentences, choose the correct preterite or imperfect verb(s) to fill in the blank(s). 

 

1. Yo _____ en Madrid en el año mil novecientos ochenta y cuatro.

a. nacía

b. nací

 

2. Ella todavía ________ la cena cuando los invitados llegaron.

a. preparaba

b. preparó

 

3. ____ las cuatro de la tarde y ya se oscurecía.

a. Eran

b. Fueron

 

4. David estaba en la ducha cuando su esposa _____ de la casa para ir a trabajar. 

a. salía

b. salió

 

5. El chico ___ muy alto. _____ el pelo negro y los ojos verdes. 

a. era, Tenía

b. fue, Tuvo

 

6. Los hermanos _________ a sus abuelos en New Hampshire todos los veranos. 

a. visitaban

b. visitaron

 

7. La gimnasta rumana Nadia Comaneci _______ siete veces una calificacción perfecta durante su carrera. 

a. obtenía

b. obtuvo

 

8. Los gemelos empezaron la escuela cuando _____ tres años.

a. tenían

b. tuvieron

 

9. ________________ por la mañana, ________________ y nos _________ a trabajar

a. Nos levantamos, nos arreglamos, nos fuimos

b. Nos levantábamos, nos arreglábamos, nos íbamos

 

10. _________ muy emocionados porque nuestra tía nos venía a visitar.

a. Estuvimos

b. Estábamos 

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Bonus Round

All of our trickier bonus round questions will involve more than one verb in the preterite and/or imperfect tense(s), as well more choices. Are you up for the challenge?! 

 

11. Carla _______ su solo en el recital cuando de repente ____________.

a. bailó, se tropezó

b. bailaba, se tropezaba 

c. bailó, se tropezaba

d. bailaba, se tropezó

 

12. Diego ______ muy emocionado porque ___ el once de enero: el día de su cumpleaños. 

a. estuvo, fue

b. estaba, era 

c. estuvo, era

d. estaba, fue

 

13. Aunque ya _______ a algunas personas en mi escuela, no _______ a mi mejor amigo hasta mi segundo año.

a. conocí, conocí

b. conocía, conocía

c. conocíconocía

d. conocía, conocí

 

14. En el momento en que ________ a nevar, _________ en camino a la playa. 

a. empezó, estuvimos

b. empezaba, estábamos

c. empezóestábamos

d. empezaba, estuvimos

 

15. La chica, que ___ muy guapa y joven, _______ con su novio el día tres de septiembre en una boda que ______ más de cinco horas.

a. fue, se casó, duró

b. era, se casaba, duraba

c. era, se casó, duraba

d. era, se casó, duró

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Preterite vs. Imperfect Quiz: The Answers

The following are the answers to all of the questions in this Preterite vs. Imperfect Quiz, as well as the translations and grammatical reasons for each. 

 

Preterite vs. Imperfect: Fill in the Blank

1. Correct Answer: b. nací (preterite)

Yo nací en Madrid en el año mil novecientos ochenta y cuatro.

I was born in Madrid in nineteen eighty-four. 

REASON: The preterite is used for actions that took place at a determined moment in the past. Certain verbs, such as nacer (to be born), are most commonly seen in the preterite.

 

2.  Correct Answer: a. preparaba (imperfect)

Ella todavía preparaba la cena cuando los invitados llegaron. 

She was still making dinner when the guests arrived. 

REASON: Use the imperfect tense to describe past actions in progress that were interrupted by another action. Interrupting actions, on the other hand, should be in the preterite, as is llegaron in this example. 

 

3. Correct Answer: a. Eran (imperfect)

Eran las cuatro de la tarde y ya se oscurecía.

It was four in the afternoon, and it was already getting dark. 

REASON: Past dates and times in Spanish are described with the imperfect tense. Let's see an example:

 

aunque todavía era el mes de junio,

despite the fact that it was still the month of June,

Caption 39, Fermín y los gatos - Mi gata Poeska

 Play Caption

 

4. Correct Answer: b. salió (preterite)

David estaba en la ducha cuando su esposa salió de la casa para ir a trabajar. 

David was in the shower when his wife left the house to go to work. 

REASON: The verb salir (to leave) is conjugated in the preterite in this sentence because it interrupts an action in progress. The action in progress, estaba (was), is in the imperfect. 

 

5. Correct Answer: a. era, Tenía (imperfect)

El chico era muy alto. Tenía el pelo negro y los ojos verdes. 

The boy was very tall. He had black hair and green eyes.

REASON: Both verbs in this sentence are in the imperfect tense, which is used to describe past conditions and characteristics. Let's hear this use of the imperfect in action:

 

En lugar de plumas amarillas,

Instead of yellow feathers,

las suyas eran grises

his were grey,

y respecto a sus patas

and regarding his legs,

ellas eran increíblemente grandes y feas.

they were incredibly big and ugly.

Captions 22-25, Cleer - El patito feo

 Play Caption

 

6. Correct Answer: a. visitaban (imperfect)

Los hermanos visitaban a sus abuelos en New Hampshire todos los veranos. 

The brothers used to visit their grandparents in New Hampshire every summer.

REASON: The imperfect visitaban is used here because habitual past actions are described with the imperfect. 

 

7. Correct Answer: b. obtuvo (preterite)

La gimnasta rumana Nadia Comaneci obtuvo siete veces una calificacción perfecta durante su carrera. 

Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci earned a perfect score seven times during her career.

REASON: Actions that are completed a specific number of times in the past are conveyed with the preterite.

 

8. Correct Answer: a. tenían (imperfect)

Los gemelos empezaron la escuela cuando tenían tres años.

The twins started school when they were three years old. 

REASON: When talking about age in the past, choose the imperfect tense

 

9. Correct Answer: a. Nos levantamos, nos arreglamos, nos fuimos (preterite)

Nos levantamos por la mañana, nos arreglamos y nos fuimos a trabajar

We got up in the morning, we got ready, and we went to work. 

REASON: The preterite tense in Spanish should be used to relay a series of completed actions in the past, like in the following caption:

 

Un día el sol volvió a salir,

One day the sun came out again,

se oyó un ruido atronador

a thunderous noise was heard

y apareció un bello arco de colores en el cielo.

and a beautiful colorful arch appeared in the sky.

Captions 42-44, Aprendiendo con Carlos - América precolombina - El mito de Bochica

 Play Caption

 

10. Correct Answer: b. Estábamos (imperfect)

Estábamos muy emocionados porque nuestra tía nos venía a visitar.

We were very excited because our aunt was coming to visit us. 

REASON: When speaking about past emotional states, the imperfect is most often employed. An exception to this rule might be when one suddenly feels an emotion in a particular moment. 

 

Bonus Round

11. Correct answer: d. bailaba (imperfect), se tropezó (preterite)

Carla bailaba su solo en el recital cuando de repente se tropezó.

Carla was dancing her solo in the recital when she suddenly tripped.

REASON: The first verb (bailaba) is in the imperfect because it was the action that was interrupted by the second, interrupting action, in the preterite (tropezó). We hope you are getting the hang of this concept!

 

12. Correct Answer: b. estaba (imperfect), era (imperfect)

Diego estaba muy emocionado porque era el once de enero: el día de su cumpleaños. 

Diego was very excited because it was January eleventh: his birthday. 

REASON: Both verbs are in the imperfect, the first because it describes a past emotional state, and the second because it refers to a date.

 

13. Correct Answer: d. conocía (imperfect), conocí (preterite)

Aunque ya conocía a algunas personas en mi escuela, no conocí a mi mejor amigo hasta mi segundo año.

Although I already knew some people at my new school, I didn't meet my best friend until my sophomore year. 

REASON: This one is tricky! While both are conjugations of the verb conocer (to meet), the first one is imperfect since it talks about "knowing" people over an extended period of time in the past, whereas the second incidence, in preterite, refers to "meeting" someone at a particular past moment. To learn more such verbs, check out this lesson on verbs that change meaning in the preterite

 

14. Correct Answer: c. empezó (preterite), estábamos (imperfect)

En el momento en que empezó a nevar, estábamos en camino a la playa. 

At the moment it started to snow, we were on our way to the beach. 

REASON: While this is yet another example of a verb in preterite (empezó) that interrupts a past action in progress in the imperfect (estábamos), note that in contrast with the previous examples, the interrupting verb comes first in this example. 

 

15. Correct Answer: d. era (imperfect)se casó (preterite), duró (preterite)

La chica, que era muy guapa y joven, se casó con su novio el día tres de septiembre en una boda que duró más de cinco horas.

The girl, who was very pretty and young, married her boyfriend on September third in a wedding that lasted more than five hours.

REASON: In this example, era (was) is in the imperfect because it describes past traits/characteristics, while se casó (married) and duró are in the preterite because they describe actions with concrete starts/finishes in the past. The verb casarse (to get married) is yet another example of a verb that, when in the past, is most typically seen in the preterite tense, as in the following caption:

 

Cuando mis papás se casaron, estaba de moda Lucho Bermúdez,

When my parents got married, Lucho Bermudez was in fashion,

Caption 2, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 4

 Play Caption

 

That's all for this lesson. How many answers did you get right?! To better understand these verbs tenses, we recommend the videos from our popular series Carlos Explica (Carlos Explains) on the Spanish preterite tense as well as the Spanish imperfect. In the meantime, we hope you've enjoyed this Preterite vs. Imperfect Quiz, and don't forget to leave us your questions and comments.

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The Preposition contra in Spanish

Are you familiar with the Spanish preposition contra? In most cases, the Spanish preposition contra can be translated as "against" and functions very similarly to many uses of its English counterpart. Occasionally, however, this Spanish preposition can be used to depict situations in which a different English preposition could be utilized. Let's explore some uses and nuances of this Spanish preposition. 

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1. Opposition of Two or More Things

The first meaning of the Spanish preposition contra refers to the opposition of two or more things, in which case it is typically translated as "against." Let's take a look at a couple of examples that describe entities facing off "against" one another:

 

una batalla ocurrida en mil setecientos dos que enfrentó a ingleses y holandeses contra españoles y franceses,

a battle that took place in seventeen oh two, which pitted the English and Dutch against the Spanish and French,

Captions 56-57, Adrián en Galicia Vigo

 Play Caption

 

¿Cómo ves el Mundial? ¿Cómo ves esto? -Yo lo veo que vamos a ser España contra Argentina.

How do you see the World Cup? How do you see this? -I see it as we're going to be Spain against Argentina.

Captions 55-56, Víctor en España El Mundial de Catar 2022 - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Similarly, the Spanish preposition contra can reference the literal or figurative fight "against" something specific, such as a disease or cause:

 

pero la lucha contra el narcotráfico continúa

but the fight against narco-trafficking continues,

Caption 41, Los Tiempos de Pablo Escobar Capítulo 1 - Part 11

 Play Caption

 

Busco un remedio contra el dolor de cabeza.

I'm looking for some headache medicine. 

 

Note that in this last example, while the word "contra" implies combatting pain, it is not explicitly translated into English. 

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2. A Contrary Position 

Like the English word "against," the Spanish preposition contra can indicate a sentiment of disagreement, disapproval, or opposition, for example, to a particular cause, notion, or person. Let's examine some examples of this meaning of contra:

 

¡Y contra eso estamos!

And we're against that!

Caption 58, Los Tiempos de Pablo Escobar Capítulo 1 - Part 13

 Play Caption

 

In this context, the word contra often appears within the construction en contra de, which means "against" or "in opposition to":

 

Los diferentes sistemas o soluciones constructivas, eh... No estoy a favor o en contra de ninguno.

The different systems or constructive solutions, um... I'm not in favor of or against any one.

Captions 7-8, Leif El Arquitecto Español y su Arte - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

3. Towards

This third use of the Spanish preposition contra denotes the direction of a movement "towards" something or someone. Although the word "against" can sometimes act as an English equivalent of this usage, in other cases, different English prepositions may be more common translations. For example, if you said "Reboté mi pelota contra la pared," a common translation would be "I bounced my ball off the wall." Let's see a few more examples:

 

El coche chocó contra la pared

The car crashed into the wall 

 

Bochica lanzó su báculo contra la montaña,

Bochica threw his staff at the mountain,

Caption 51, Aprendiendo con Carlos América precolombina - El mito de Bochica

 Play Caption

 

se percuten contra el piso. Otras veces, esos instrumentos se percuten... madera contra madera.

are struck against the floor. Other times, those instruments are struck... reed to reed.

Captions 29-31, Sonido Babel Los quitiplás

 Play Caption

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4. In Front of

This meaning of the Spanish preposition contra typically describes things that are leaning "on" or "(up) against" something else, or facing it, as in the following examples:

 

El niño apoyó su patinete contra la pared.

The child leaned his scooter on/against the wall. 

 

Arrimaron los tablones contra el muro. 

They put the boards up against the wall. 

 

5. In Exchange for

In common expressions like "entrega contra reembolso" (delivery on/upon payment) or "pago contra entrega" (payment on/upon receipt), the Spanish preposition contra conveys that one thing happens in exchange for another and/or cannot happen until something else has occurred:

 

Recibirán el dinero contra entrega de la factura. 

You'll receive the money when you submit the invoice.

 

Interestingly, the securities industry uses a similar term, versus, in expressions like Delivery Versus Payment (DVP) to say that payment must take place in order for the delivery to happen. However, most of the time, the English words "on," "upon," or "when" convey this notion. 

 

That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has clarified for you the different uses of the Spanish preposition contra. Can you think of any additional examples and/or their English translations? We'd love for you to write us with you insights and questions.

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Spanish Vocabulary for the End of the Year

Let's get ready for the end of the year with the following five tips regarding some of this period's most commonly used Spanish words and phrases.

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1. How to Say "Happy New Year" in Spanish

While the most standard way to say "Happy New Year" in Spanish is simply Feliz Año Nuevo, you may also hear the following alternatives:

 

Feliz Año (short for Happy New Year)

Próspero Año Nuevo (Prosperous New Year)

Feliz 2023 (Happy 2023)

 

2. Año Nuevo vs. año nuevo

If you're writing to someone, there's a difference between writing Feliz Año Nuevo (with all three words capitalized) and Feliz año nuevo (with the second two words in lowercase). In fact, while the former is a good wish for the New Year's Eve and New Year's Day holidays, the latter is a more general good wish for the new year ahead.

 

3. Nochevieja: Better Than Noche Vieja

Nochevieja (literally "old night") is the last night of the year, or New Year's Eve. Just keep in mind that it is preferable to write the name of this special day as one single word (Nochevieja), rather than as two words (Noche Vieja).

 

4. A Traditional Año Viejo

In some parts of Latin America, people burn human-size dolls called años viejos (literally "old years") stuffed with old clothes, newspaper, and firecrackers as a symbolic act to cast off the old year and welcome the new one, as we can see and hear about in the following clip (check out the full video to learn more)!

 

Un saludo para todos los fabricantes de años viejos y los compradores

A greeting to all the makers of "años viejos" [dolls] and the buyers

Captions 74-75, Otavalo Artesano de monigotes de Año Viejo

 Play Caption

 

5. Fireworks in Spanish

It is difficult to imagine the end of the year in many Spanish-speaking countries without fireworks. But do you know how to say "fireworks" in Spanish? The following are the two acceptable terms:

 

Fuegos artificiales

Juegos pirotécnicos

 

Regarding the second term, be careful not to mix it with the first and say "fuegos pirotécnicos" instead of "juegos pirotécnicos." This mistake is quite common, even among native Spanish speakers! Let's hear how to pronounce the first term:

 

Sí,  fuegos artificiales con un fondo de violines, me encanta, ¿eh?

Yes, fireworks with a background of violin [music]; I love it, huh?

Caption 39, Yago 6 Mentiras - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

And that's all for this year! We wish you a stellar 2023, and don't hesitate to write us with your questions and comments. ¡Feliz año!

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Cualidad vs. Calidad in Spanish: The Difference and Uses

One of our Yabla Spanish users recently asked us about the difference between the words cualidad and calidad in Spanish. Since both of these words can be translated as "quality," they are, indeed, a bit confusing for English speakers. That said, we would like to share with you the following explanation about how to use cualidad vs. calidad in Spanish. Let's take a look!

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Meaning and Uses of Cualidad in Spanish

Generally, speaking, the word cualidad means "quality" in the sense of an inherent feature of something. You can therefore treat cualidad in Spanish as a synonym of words like "feature," "trait," "characteristic," or "property." Let's look at a few examples:

 

Hay ocasiones en las que el adjetivo se coloca delante del sustantivo para enfatizar una cualidad

There are times when the adjective is placed before the noun to emphasize a quality

Captions 21-22, Ana Carolina El uso correcto de los adjetivos

 Play Caption

 

Una de las cualidades de nuestro café es que, eh, cada semana estamos tostando; es café fresco cada vez. 

One of the qualities of our coffee is that, um, every week we're roasting; it's fresh coffee every time.

Captions 8-10, Baja Beans Café 3- Los granos de café y la máquina tostadora

 Play Caption
 

Tiene grandes cualidades sanadoras.

It has great healing properties.

Caption 18, Melyna El aguacate

 Play Caption

 

Sometimes, the word cualidad can refer more specifically to someone's positive trait(s). In this context, the word cualidad can be used as a synonym of words such as "strength" or "attribute." Let's see that use in action:

 

Eso es normal, Guillermina. Cada persona tiene una cualidad. Si no corres muy rápido, con seguridad bailas muy bien.

That's normal, Guillermina. Every person has a strength. If you don't run very fast, you surely dance very well.

Captions 36-37, Guillermina y Candelario La Ciudad de los Cangrejos

 Play Caption

 

Casas saca músculos de aquí, y tiene una fila de niñas suspirando por él. ¡Suficiente! ¡A mí, las cualidades de Casas me tienen sin cuidado!

Casas has got muscles here, and he's got girls lined up yearning for him. Enough! I couldn't care less about Casas' attributes!

Captions 7-10, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 11 - Part 3

 Play Caption

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Meaning and Uses of Calidad in Spanish

Even though the word calidad in Spanish can also be translated as "quality," its meaning is a totally different. In fact, calidad can be used to convey the following two things:

 

1. The standard or relative level of excellence of something when compared to other, similar things

This use of the word calidad is a synonym for "standard," as you can see in the following examples:

 

Al principio, la guitarra la fabricaban con materiales de madera de muy baja calidad

At first, they made the guitar with very low-quality wood materials,

Captions 7-8, Música andina Los orígenes de la guitarra

 Play Caption

 

y así seguramente mejoraremos nuestra calidad de vida

and in that way surely we will improve our quality of life

Caption 59, Los médicos explican Consejos para dormir

 Play Caption
 

Así, nuestro cliente podrá comparar empresas, diferentes servicios, diferentes calidades y diferentes precios. 

In that way, our customer will be able to compare businesses, different services, different qualities and different prices.

Captions 54-55, Raquel y Marisa Español Para Negocios - Nuestra tienda online

 Play Caption
 

 

2. General excellence or superiority 

Whether used with an adjective such as alta (high) or on its own, this meaning of calidad denotes high quality.

 

Estos productos tienen una calidad y frescura inmejorable.

These products have unbeatable quality and freshness.

Caption 20, Fermín Mercado ecológico

 Play Caption

 

para ofrecer un programa de estudio de alta calidad

to offer a high-quality study program

Caption 20, Europa Abierta Bruselas impulsa estudios en el extranjero

 Play Caption

 

A mí me gusta trabajar con calidad.

I like to work with quality.

Caption 32, Otavalo Dea Flor

 Play Caption

 

Cualidad vs Calidad: Final Tip

Before we go, we would like to share with you a little tip. One of the best manners to choose between either cualidad or calidad in a sentence is by trying both options. For instance, if you tried to exchange these two words in the examples we used throughout this lesson, you will see that replacing one term with the other would be nonsensical.

 

With this final tip, we have arrived at the end of this lesson. Are you now clear about when to use cualidad vs. calidad? We hope so, but don't hesitate to send us your comments and questions about any remaining doubts!

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Qatar 2022 in Spanish

Are you a football/soccer fan? Are you enjoying the World Cup Qatar 2022? In this lesson, we'll share with you some of the most important Qatar 2022-related Spanish vocabulary!

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Is It Qatar in Spanish?

First things first: Do you know how to say the name of the host country of the 2022 World Cup in Spanish? If you think it's Qatar, think again! As in Spanish, the name of this country is spelled with the letter c, the correct spelling is Catar. Now, let's see how to say it:

 

estamos en pleno Mundial de Fútbol de Catar,

we're in the middle of the Qatar soccer World Cup,

Caption 3, Víctor en España El Mundial de Catar 2022 - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

However, it's important to mention that when talking about this year's tournament in any language, including Spanish, you will need to spell it with the official name of the tournament, which is Qatar 2022.

 

Another interesting thing to mention about the name of this country is that it's also a Spanish verb! Do you know what the verb catar means in Spanish? If you don't, let's find out by listening to the following clip:

 

Lo primero que hacemos cuando catamos un vino es mirar el color.

The first thing we do when we taste a wine is to look at the color.

Captions 37-38, Montserrat Cata de vinos - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Now that we know that Qatar is Catar in Spanish, can you guess what adjectives you should use when talking about people or things from Catar? The answer is simple: catarí in singular and cataríes in plural (for both masculine and feminine nouns) .

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Key Terms of the Competition

If you're familiar with the World Cup, you know that this tournament is played in different fases (stages). Let's learn how to say their names in Spanish:

 

la fase de grupos (the Group Stage)

los octavos de final (the Round of 16)

los cuartos de final (the Quarter-finals)

la semifinal (the Semi-finals)

el tercer puesto (the Third Place Playoff)

la final (the Final) 

 

During the group stage, each team plays three games. Afterwards, however, all matches are played in the so-called knockout stage (la fase de eliminación directa), which means that the losing team is immediately out of the competition. Let's learn some additional terms:

 

el campeón (the winner)

la copa (the cup)

el equipo (the team)

el mejor jugador (the best player)

el Mundial (the World Cup)

el partido (the match/game)

el primer tiempo (the first half)

el segundo tiempo (the second half)

el VAR, videoarbitraje (the VAR, video assistant referee)

 

If you wish to familiarize yourself with a lot of additional terms from this sport, we'd like to invite you to check out our lesson about football/soccer vocabulary words in Spanish.

 

That's all for now. Who do you think will be the winner of the World Cup 2022? Don't forget to write us with your predictions and questions!

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When Le(s) becomes Se in Spanish

Although the Spanish pronoun se is most typically associated with reflexive verbs or passive or impersonal constructions, there is a case in which the indirect object pronoun le actually converts to a se! Let's find out what it is. 

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Direct/Indirect Object Prounouns: A Quick Overview

While a lot can be said about the topic of direct and indirect object pronouns, we'll provide you with a very brief overview.

 

Direct Object Pronouns

Direct object pronouns (me, te, lo, la, nos, os, los, las) replace a direct object to convey the idea of "me, "you," "it," "we," and "them." Their form depends upon whether what is being replaced is masculine or feminine and singular or plural. For example, if instead of saying "I have the apples" (Tengo las manzanas), you wanted to say simply "I have them," you'd use the feminine plural las to agree with las manzanas to say, "Yo las tengo."

 

Indirect Object Pronouns

Indirect object pronouns let us know "to whom" an action happens. If you wished to say, for example, "I gave the apple to him," you'd say Yo le di la manzana since le is the indirect object pronoun that corresponds to the subject pronoun él (he). The indirect object pronouns and their corresponding subject pronouns are: me (yo), te (), le (él, ella, usted), nos (nosotros/as), os (vosotros/as), and les (ellos/as, ustedes).

 

Combining Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns

So, what if you want to both replace a direct object and indicate "to whom" something happens? You'd then use both a direct and an indirect object pronoun, starting with the latter. Let's see a couple of examples from our Yabla Spanish library: 

 

Y tengo acá las revistas. Si quieres te las enseño después. Y...

And I have the magazines here. If you want I'll show them to you later. And...

Captions 77-78, Gonzalo el Pintor Vida - Part 2

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Here, Gonzalo uses las to replace the feminine plural noun las revistas (the magazines) and te to indicate that he will show them "to you." Let's see one more example. 

 

Y yo voy a la huerta a buscar los tomatitos ya que nadie me los trae.

And I'm going to go to the garden to look for the tomatoes since no one's bringing them to me.

Caption 32, Muñeca Brava 41 La Fiesta - Part 5

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In this case, the speaker uses the masculine plural los to replace the masculine plural los tomatitos (the tomatoes), and the indirect object pronoun me (to me) to reflect that "no one's bringing them to me."

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When Le(s) Becomes Se

It seems pretty simple, right? The "problem" arises when the required indirect object pronoun is le or les. For example, if you wish to say, "I'm giving it to them," referring to el lapiz (the pencil), would you say: "Yo les lo doy"? The rules of the Spanish language state that whenever the indirect object pronoun in question is le or les, those words change to se to avoid the awkwardness of having two words that begin with "l" in a row. The correct manner of saying this would thus be Yo se lo doy. Let's look at a few more examples from our Yabla Spanish library. 

 

Voy a escribirle una carta y se la mando con el Señor Viento.

I'm going to write her a letter and I'll send it to her with Mister Wind.

Captions 56-58, Guillermina y Candelario El Mar enamorado

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Él... él se los dio a mi marido

He... he gave them to my husband,

Caption 76, Málaga Lourdes y la talabartería en Mijas Pueblo

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La quiero ver... con moñito y todo se lo regalo. -Bueno...

I want to see you... with a bow and everything, I'll give him to you. -Well...

Caption 14, Muñeca Brava 18 - La Apuesta - Part 7

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Pronoun Placement With Infinitives

Remember that, as with all direct and indirect object pronouns, se lo, etc. are typically placed directly before the verb. However, in the case of infinitive verbs, they are attached to the end of the infinitive to form a new word (with the appropriate placement of a written tilde according to the Spanish accent rules). Let's see a couple of examples:

 

Señor, esa información no puedo dársela yo.

Sir, I can't give you that information.

Caption 60, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 1 - Part 8

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El problema es que no era capaz de decírselo.

The problem is that I wasn't capable of telling it to him.

Caption 44, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 13 - Part 5

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We hope that this lesson has shed a bit of light on those cases in which the indirect object pronouns le and les change to se. Don't forget to write us with your questions and suggestions.

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The Spanish Word of the Year 2022

Unfortunately, this year that is about to end wasn't the brightest. From the Ukraine war and the never-ending COVID-19 pandemic to global economic woes and the ongoing climate change crisis, this year's Word of the Year summarizes, in just six letters, all of these unfortunate events. With that being said, let's reveal Yabla's Spanish Word of the Year 2022.

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"Crisis": The Spanish Word of the Year 2022

The word crisis (with the same spelling as in English) is our Spanish Word of the Year 2022. Let's see how to pronounce this word in Spanish with a sentence we could easily apply to the present times:

 

Vivimos en tiempos de crisis.

We live in times of crisis.

Caption 3, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 2 - Part 1

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By the way, the word crisis in Spanish doesn't necessarily mean something negative, but rather a drastic change in a particular situation. However, for the context of this lesson, we are using the following definition from the Diccionario de la lengua española:

 

Situación mala o difícil (Bad or difficult situation)  

 

Do you know what the plural of the word crisis is in Spanish? Let's find out with the following clip:

 

por las crisis que genera,

for the crises it generates,

Caption 40, De consumidor a persona Short Film - Part 6

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Yes, the plural of the Spanish word crisis is... crisis! Why? Because words that have the accent on the second-to-last syllable and end in "s" don't change in the plural. In addition to crisis, words like virus and apocalipsis also follow this rule. For more information about this topic, check out our lesson about Rules for Forming the Plural of Nouns in Spanish.

 

Runners-up for 2022 Spanish Word of the Year

Considering the coverage that the war in Ukraine received this year, we were tempted to choose the word guerra (war) as our Spanish Word of the Year 2022. However, we opted for a word that takes into consideration all of the other problems affecting our world. Let's take a look at some of this year's runner-up terms.

 

guerra (war)

 

Yo soy "antiguerra", no me gusta la guerra.

I'm "antiguerra" [antiwar], I don't like war.

Captions 52-53, Ana Carolina Prefijos y sufijos - Part 1

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incertidumbre (uncertainty)

 

creo que debido a la incertidumbre que teníamos todas las personas,

due, I think, to all of our uncertainty

Caption 46, El coronavirus Confinamiento en España - Part 1

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inflación (inflation)

 

La inflación en América Latina será más alta que la media.

Inflation in Latin America will be higher than average

 

invasión (invasion)

 

Durante la invasión francesa en mil ochocientos ocho,

During the French invasion in eighteen o-eight,

Caption 60, Marisa en Madrid Parque de El Retiro

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Did you notice anything? That was a lot of words that start with the letter i, which even appears twice in the word crisis! That said, is definitely the Spanish letter of the year!

 

And that wraps up Yabla's Spanish Word of the Year for 2022. What do you think of our choice? Please feel free to share your comments and suggestions with us, and here's to hoping that 2023 will be a better year!

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Sinnúmero and Sin Número: Similar but Not Equal

Do you know the difference between sinnúmero (one word) and sin número (two separate words)? Do you know how to use them? While sinnúmero and sin número are somewhat similar, they're not quite the same. In this lesson, we'll give you a brief explanation of each, as well as some practical advice for using them. 

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Sinnúmero and Sin Número: The Grammatical Difference

From a grammatical standpoint, there's a big difference between sinnúmero and sin número. On one hand, sinnúmero is a masculine noun that, on its own, is used to refer to a "myriad," "plethora," or "abundance" of something. Most often, however, it is employed within the following formula to refer to something "countless" or "endless."

 

the indefinite article un + the noun sinnúmero + the preposition de

 

Let's see a couple of examples. 

 

Hay un sinnúmero de especies de aves

There are countless bird species

Caption 48, Bogotá El cerro de Monserrate

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Cuando nosotros utilizamos este objeto, podemos crear un sinnúmero de movimientos

When we use this object, we can create an endless array of movements

Captions 15-16, Melyna Los beneficios de hula

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As you may have noticed, while the formula un sinnúmero de is sometimes translated with an English noun phrase like "a countless number" or "an endless array," other times, this formula is instead conveyed with an English adjective like "countless," as in the first example. 

 

Let's now move on to sin número, which is an adjective phrase that is generally placed after a noun to mean "numerous" or "abundant. Let's look at an example:

 

Los soldados temían que las decisiones del capitán pudieran generar desgracias sin número.

The soldiers feared that the captain's decisions might generate numerous difficulties. 

 

Finally, we should also say that sin número can be intended more literally when talking about something that has no number, as in the following sentence:

 

Marco vivió por mucho tiempo en una casa sin número.

Marco lived for a long time in a house without a number.

 

Sinnúmero vs. Sin Número: The Safest Bet

Although there's a fine line between sinnúmero and sin número, when you want to convey ideas like "countless," "innumerable," or "numerous," the one-word option sinnúmero is your safest bet since the adjective phrase sin número is only rarely used in that context.

 

Before we go, let's look at one more example of the Spanish noun sinnúmero within the formula we've learned today:

 

y un sinnúmero de rituales donde se adoraba al sol.

and countless rituals where the sun was worshiped.

Caption 42, Viajando con Priscilla Turismo en Quito

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

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