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3 Ways to Use the Preposition ante in Spanish

Although the preposition ante is not as "popular" as some others, such as the preposition a or the preposition en, it is still very useful. In fact, this lesson will explain 3 different ideas that the preposition ante can express. Let's get started!

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1. "Before" or "In Front of"

One of the most common uses of the preposition ante is to mean "before" or "in front of." This includes physical position or location. Let's see a couple of examples from our library:

 

Hoy la luna pálida aparece ante mis ojos

Today the pale moon appears before my eyes

Caption 1, Festivaliando Mono Núñez - Part 17

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y ya a la edad de cinco años tocaba piano ante el público y daba conciertos.

and at the age of five was already playing piano in front of an audience and putting on concerts.

Captions 26-27, Hispanoamericanos en Berlín Mauricio y el maestro Arrau

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In addition to describing literal location, the preposition ante can also figuratively mean "before," particularly when used with nouns, verbs, and adjectives that entail a particular stance on something, or call to or withdrawal from action. In these cases, it is often translated with the less formal "to." Let's take a look:

 

Lo que usted tiene que hacer es quejarse ante una asociación protectora de animales. 

What you have to do is complain to an animal protective association.

Captions 26-27, Kikirikí Animales - Part 5

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Sus llamativos trajes y su manera de bailar reflejan la resistencia ante la conquista española.

Their striking costumes and their manner of dancing reflect the resistance to the Spanish conquest.

Captions 17-18, Música andina Ritmos andinos con violín

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De ceder ante tu llanto No pienso abrir las heridas de haberte querido tanto

Of giving in to your crying I do not plan to open the wounds of having loved you so much

Captions 21-22, No te va a gustar Chau

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2. "In the Face of"

The preposition ante can also be used as the equivalent of English expressions like "in the face of," "in the presence of," or "faced with." Let's take a look at two examples, including one from our popular series Confidencial: Asesino al Volante:

 

Sabias palabras del padre Sarmiento ante la inmisericorde caza de brujas que se ha desatado en contra del Señor Jorge Castellanos. 

Wise words from Father Sarmiento in the face of the merciless witch hunt that has been unleashed against Mister Jorge Castellanos.

Captions 60-62, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 4 - Part 1

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y, ante el temor de la mujer por un viaje tan largo a un lugar tan desconocido, la consoló con la promesa de regresar lo antes posible

and, faced with the wife's fear of such a long trip to such an unknown place, he consoled her with the promise of returning as soon as possible

Captions 11-13, Cleer El espejo de Matsuyama

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3. "As Compared to"

The preposition ante can also be used like the English "(as) compared to" or "next to," as in the following examples:

 

Ante la belleza de su hermana mayor, la chica se creía muy ordinaria. 

Compared to her older sister's beauty, the girl believed she was very ordinary. 

 

Ante la personalidad exigente de su jefe previo, su jefe nuevo parecía muy tranquilo. 

Next to her former boss' demanding personality, her new boss seemed very mellow. 

 

Idiomatic Uses of the Preposition ante

 You might also hear the Spanish preposition ante in idiomatic expressions, such as ante ello ("in light of that" or "considering that"), ante la duda ("in case of doubt" or "when in doubt"), ante todo ("above all" or "first of all"), and many more. Let's hear two of these in action:

 

Y ante todo sos una chica que tenés derecho a soñar con todo lo que quieras.

And above all you're a girl who has the right to dream about everything you want.

Caption 13, Muñeca Brava 44 El encuentro - Part 7

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Ante la duda... -Ninguna. -que no se coma.

In case of doubt... -None. -don't eat it.

Captions 85-86, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 11

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That's all for this lesson. As you can see, there are many ways to use the preposition ante, and we encourage you to try to write some additional sentences with each one of these uses. And, of course, don't forget to send us your questions and comments

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The Spanish "Near Future" Tense

The Spanish near future tense is an alternative to the traditional future tense in Spanish. If you haven't yet learned to conjugate the future tense in Spanish or find it difficult, we recommend using the near future tense in Spanish, which is expressed with a simple formula that we'll teach you today.

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Present Indicative Conjugation of Ir

Since the near future tense in Spanish is most commonly (but not always!) seen in the present indicative tense, it will behoove you to make sure you know the present indicative conjugation of the verb ir. Let's take a look:

 

Subject Pronoun Present Conjugation of Ir
yo voy
vas
él, ella, usted va
nosotros/as vamos
vosotros/as vais
ellos/as, ustedes van

 

Formula for the Spanish Near Future Tense

Now that we've recalled the present indicative conjugation of ir, let's take a look at the formula for the Spanish near future tense, which is ir + a + infinitive. As ir means "to go," and a can mean "to," you can think of the Spanish near future tense as "to be going to" do something. Let's see some examples:

 

¡Abuelo, no vas a creer lo que te voy a contar

Grandpa, you aren't going to believe what I'm going to tell you!

Caption 9, Guillermina y Candelario El Mejor Columpio

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y ellos nos van a dar un poco de información. 

and they are going to give us a bit of information.

Caption 4, El Aula Azul Los profesores de la escuela - Part 2

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Entonces, hoy vamos a hablar de la familia. 

So, today we are going to talk about family.

Caption 1, Curso de español Vamos a hablar de la familia

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Sidenote:

The first person plural form vamos a + infinitive can also be an alternative for the nosotros/as command form, which is the equivalent of "Let's" [do something] in English. We see this in the popular expression Vamos a ver (Let's see):

 

Así que, vamos a ver de qué se trata.

So, let's see what it is.

Caption 6, Ana Carolina Receta para una picada

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That said, although there may be some cases in which it is difficult to determine whether a Spanish sentence with vamos a + infinitive is intended to mean "we're going to" or "let's," in most cases, context should make this clear.  

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When to Use the Spanish Near Future Tense

Technically, the Spanish near future tense is intended for events that are imminent rather than in the distant future, and for that reason, it is quite often accompanied by words like ahora (now) or hoy (today), as in the following examples:

 

y hoy les voy a dar siete consejos prácticos para mejorar su pronunciación en español.

and today I'm going to give you seven practical tips to improve your pronunciation in Spanish.

Captions 4-5, Ana Carolina Mejorando la pronunciación

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Muy bien. Pues ahora, vais a practicar más.

Very good. Well, now you're going to practice more.

Caption 39, Clase Aula Azul La segunda condicional - Part 7

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Having said that, the near future tense is extremely common to hear in spoken Spanish (probably more so than the traditional future tense) and will often be heard describing events with a vaguer or more distant timeline:

 

Y algún día voy a ser la voz líder de mi banda, los Equis seis.

And someday, I'm going to be the lead singer of my band, the X6 [Ex Six].

Caption 11, X6 1 - La banda - Part 1

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For this reason, as the traditional future and near future tenses are virtually equivalent in terms of meaning, you should feel free to use this near future tense "hack" in virtually any situation in which you wish to describe an action in the future. 

 

Expressing the Near Future in the Past

So, what if, rather than saying you "are going to" do something, you wish to say that, at a certain moment in the past, you "were going to" perform an action? You would do so by using the near future tense, but conjugating the infinitive ir in the Spanish imperfect tense. Let's take a look at it:

 

Subject Pronoun Imperfect Conjugation of Ir
yo iba
ibas
él, ella, usted iba
nosotros/as íbamos
vosotros/as ibais
ellos/as, ustedes iban

 

Now, let's see some examples:

 

Llegué al examen muy contenta porque sabía que iba a aprobar.

I got to the exam very happy because I knew I was going to pass.

Captions 64-65, Los casos de Yabla El examen - Part 1

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Te dije que íbamos a hacer ejercicio.

I told you we were going to exercise.

Caption 67, Cleer y Lida Los números

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Sidenotes: 

1. Be aware that this same construction could be used to indicate something one "used to go do" in the past, for example, "En el verano, yo iba a nadar a la piscina" ("In summer, I'd go to swim at the pool"). Context will usually tell you which meaning is intended.

 

2. For the past version of the near future tense, remember to use the imperfect, or ongoing past tense, rather than the Spanish preterite tense, which would indicate that something already happened (E.g. Yo fui a nadar a la piscina = I went to swim at the pool). 

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Quiz on the Near Future Tense

Let's conclude today's lesson with a little quiz. Taking a few examples of the traditional future tense from our library, see if you can convert them to the present indicative form of the near future tense. Try to do them yourself prior to looking at the answers.

 

Future Tense:

No, abuelito. ¡Hoy haré el salto más alto del mundo! 

No, Grandpa. Today I'll do the world's highest jump!

Caption 12, Guillermina y Candelario Una Amiga muy Presumida - Part 1

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Near Future Tense: 

No, abuelito. ¡Hoy voy a hacer el salto más alto del mundo!

No, Grandpa. Today I'm going to do the world's highest jump!)

 

Future Tense: 

Sin embargo de esto hablaremos en la próxima lección. 

However, we will talk about this in the next lesson.

Caption 51, Carlos explica Diminutivos y Aumentativos Cap 1: Los sufijos

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Near Future Tense: 

Sin embargo de esto vamos a hablar en la próxima lección

However, we're going to talk about this in the next lesson.

 

Future Tense:

Verán que mañana el estadio estará lleno.

You guys will see that tomorrow the stadium will be full.

Caption 45, Carlos explica Tuteo, ustedeo y voseo: Ustedes y vosotros

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Near Future Tense: 

Van a ver que mañana el estadio va a estar lleno.

You guys are going to see that tomorrow the stadium is going to be full.

 

That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped you to feel more confident using the Spanish near future tense, which can come in quite handy when talking about your plans... and don't forget to write us with your suggestions and comments.

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The Spanish Verb Dejar: Its Many Meanings and Uses

In caption 8 of his electric press kit, Spanish artist Javier García uses the common Spanish verb dejar with the meaning "to leave": 

 

Tú me quieres dejar, y yo no quiero sufrir

You want to leave me, and I don't want to suffer

Caption 8, Javier García - EPK

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However, twelve captions later, we find the imperative form of the very same verb being sung to a different tune:

 

Deja de correr, tranquila 

Stop running, take it easy

Caption 20, Javier García - EPK

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How can the same verb mean such different things? Why, context, of course! Let's explore the many meanings and uses of the Spanish verb dejar.

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Dejar Meaning "To Leave"

One of the most common translations for the Spanish verb dejar is "to leave." However, just like the English verb "to leave," the Spanish verb dejar can describe many different types of "leaving." Let's take a look at several (ten, to be exact!) of the English meanings of the verb "to leave" and learn how to express these same ideas with dejar in Spanish.

 

"To Leave" as in "Abandon" or "Give Up"

The verb dejar in Spanish can mean "to abandon" or "give up" something. Let's take a look:

 

Si yo dejé mi departamento... -Ni se te ocurra.

If I left my apartment... -Don't even think about it.

Caption 14, Muñeca Brava 45 El secreto - Part 6

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"To Leave" as in "To Have an Effect"

Another meaning of the Spanish verb dejar is "to leave" something or someone in a particular state, for example, in the sentence La pelicula me dejó sin palabras (The movie left me speechless). Let's see another example: 

 

Esta rumba, yo te digo, que te deja por el suelo 

This rumba, I'm telling you, leaves you on the floor

Captions 1-2, Javier García - La Rumba

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"To Leave" as in "To Put" or "Place"

The verb dejar can additionally mean "to leave" in the sense of putting or placing something somewhere:

 

He dejado la bolsa enfrente a un niño. 

I have left the bag in front of a little boy.

Caption 52, María Marí Su pasión por su arte - Part 1

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"To Leave" as in "To Forget"

However, since we may not have "put" or "placed" that something in that particular place on purpose, the Spanish verb dejar is often used to say we "forgot" something:

 

¿Dónde dejé mi billetera? -No se preocupe. 

Where did I leave my wallet? -Don't worry about it.

Caption 19, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 3 - Part 5

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"To Leave" as in "Allow to Remain"

In English, we can "leave something" in a particular state or location, whether permanently or temporarily, and the Spanish verb dejar expresses this same idea. You might say, Yo voy a dejar mi pelo así (I'm going to leave my hair like this) or the following, both of which could be replaced with "to allow to remain":

 

Deja los garbanzos en el agua hirviendo aproximadamente media hora.

Leave the chickpeas in the boiling water for approximately half an hour.

Captions 65-66, El Aula Azul Receta de garbanzos

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To Leave as in "Drop Off"

Dejar in Spanish can also mean to "leave" someone or something somewhere in the sense of "dropping off" that person or thing:

 

¿Pero si me acabas de dejar, no? 

But you just dropped me off, right?

Caption 38, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 2 - Part 7

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"To Leave" as in "To Leave To"

Yet another meaning of the verb dejar in Spanish is "to leave" as in "bequeathing" someone to someone.

 

tú tenías como algún tipo de auxilio, ¿un... un tipo de pensión que tus padres te dejaron

you had like some kind of help, a... a kind of pension that your parents left you?

Captions 40-41, Tu Voz Estéreo Laura - Part 4

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"To Leave" as in "Leave Alone" or "Let Be"

On its own or within idioms, the verb dejar in Spanish can mean "to leave alone." Let's  start with an example with just the verb dejar:

 

Déjelo, ¿o le gustaría que le hiciera lo mismo?

Leave him alone, or would you like me to do the same thing to you?

Caption 48, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 2

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A couple of idioms that also mean to "leave alone" are dejar en paz (literally "leave in peace") or the more literal dejar solo. Let's hear them in context:

 

¿Por qué no me dejás en paz?

Why don't you leave me alone?

Caption 58, Muñeca Brava 8 Trampas - Part 12

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Dejame solo, tía. Por favor.

Leave me alone, Auntie. Please.

Caption 24, Muñeca Brava 2 Venganza - Part 5

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"To Leave" as in "To Break up With"

The Spanish verb dejar can also mean "to leave" in the sense of "breaking up with," or "walking out on" someone. Let's take a look:

 

¿Qué pasa si la dejo a Andrea? 

What if I leave Andrea?

Caption 104, Muñeca Brava 47 Esperanzas - Part 10

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"To Leave" as in "To Let Go" or "Say Goodbye"

And finally (in this section!), you might notice that on the phone, Spanish speakers often say, "Bueno, te dejo" or something similar, which corresponds to the English, "I'll let you go." You might also notice this in many videos from our Yabla Spanish library:

 

de momento aquí os dejo

for now, I'll leave you here.

Caption 54, Amaya La historia de Lukas

 Play Caption

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Additional Meanings of Dejar

In addition to the plethora of nuanced ways in which the Spanish verb dejar can be used to talk about "leaving," it can also have several additional translations. Let's explore some!

 

Dejar Meaning "To Let," "Permit," or "Allow"

If you wish to give someone permission to do something, you might use the Spanish verb dejar, which can also mean "to let," "permit" or "allow."

 

Siempre me dejaban hacer lo que quise. 

They always allowed me to do whatever I wanted.

Caption 8, Biografía Natalia Oreiro - Part 3

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Esperá, no me dejaste terminar.

Wait, you didn't let me finish.

Caption 37, Muñeca Brava 46 Recuperación - Part 7

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Dejar meaning "To Stop" or "Quit"

Dejar can additionally describe ceasing to do something temporarily or permanently, and the formula for using it in this context is dejar + de + infinitive. This gives us the equivalent of "stopping" or "quitting" an action depicted by the gerund, or "-ing," form in English. Let's take a look. 

 

Pues que este señor dejó de trabajar

Well, this gentleman stopped working.

Caption 17, Málaga Lourdes y la espartería en Mijas Pueblo

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Y tú, deja de sonreír, ¡que también es culpa tuya!

And you, quit smiling because it's your fault too!

Caption 37, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 6: El día de la Primitiva - Part 4

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Dejar Meaning "To Lend"

Perhaps a lesser-known meaning of the verb dejar in Spanish is "to lend":

 

Lola, ¿puedes dejarme algo de ropa? 

Lola, can you lend me some clothes?

Caption 9, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 7: La gemela - Part 3

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Dejar Meaning "To Drop"

And finally, the verb dejar in Spanish can also mean "to drop" as in a topic, as in the expression "Déjalo" (Drop it). This is sort of an intersection of dejar meaning "to stop" (talking about something) and "to leave" since "Dejémoslo ahí," for example, can sometimes be translated as "Let's leave it there," as in the following caption:

 

Dejémoslo ahí.

Let's leave it there.

Caption 62, Muñeca Brava 45 El secreto - Part 5

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The Reflexive Verb Dejarse

Let's conclude our lesson on the many uses of the Spanish verb dejar by mentioning its reflexive form, dejarse. The reflexive verb dejarse is used in two main ways. 

 

Dejarse Meaning "To Let Oneself Go" 

This not-very-flattering use of the Spanish verb dejar is used to describe someone who neglects their health or appearance.

 

Juan realmente se dejó después de casarse y ha subido más de cincuenta libras. 

Juan really let himself go after getting married and has gained more than fifty pounds. 

 

Dejarse Meaning "To Allow Oneself" (To Do Something)

The reflexive verb dejarse + infinitive is used to describe something one "allows him or herself" to experience, which could be negative or positive and is usually translated with "to be" or "to get" plus an English verb in the past participle (typically ending in -ed or -en). Let's see a couple of examples:

 

no se dejó influenciar por intereses personales, ni por presiones mediáticas en las que se ha visto envuelta últimamente.

she didn't allow herself to be influenced by personal interests or the media pressure she's been embroiled in lately.

Captions 7-8, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 3 - Part 4

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Mm... Déjate llevar al paraíso.

Mm... Let yourself get carried away to paradise.

Caption 40, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 5: Ha nacido una estrella - Part 2

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With all of that said, te dejamos por hoy (we'll leave you/say goodbye for today). We hope that this lesson te haya dejado (has left you) with a better understanding of the many meanings of the Spanish verb dejar, and for further explanation and examples, be sure to check out the videos Significados del verbo dejar (Meanings of the Verb Dejar)- Part 1 and Significados del verbo dejar- Part 2. And don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.

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How to Say and Write Big Numbers in Spanish

Are you good with big numbers? How many zeros do you need to write one billion? What about one trillion? In this lesson, we will talk about big numbers in Spanish. Do you know how to say one billion in Spanish? Un billón, right? Well... not so fast! Let's learn how to say and write big numbers in Spanish.

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Big Numbers in English

Before we talk about big numbers in Spanish, let's review some of the most common big numbers in English. Let's take a look:

 

One million (1,000,000)- Six zeros

One billion (1,000,000,000)- Nine zeros

One trillion (1,000,000,000,000)- Twelve zeros

One quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000)- Fifteen zeros

One quintillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000)- Eighteen zeros

 

Big Numbers in Spanish

Now that we have reviewed big numbers in English, it is time to talk about big numbers in Spanish. One important thing to keep in mind: According to the Real Academia Española (RAE), like in English, numbers with more than four digits must be written out in groups of three starting from the right. However, if you want to write 2,450 in Spanish, the appropriate manner to do so would be 2 450 since spaces are used in lieu of commas in big numbers in Spanish. Keep in mind, however, that there are some exceptions to this rule, such as years, page numbers, zip codes, laws/decrees, etc. With that said, let's see the Spanish equivalents of the numbers we previously covered:

 

Un millón (1 000 000)- Six zeros

Un millardo (1 000 000 000)- Nine zeros

Un billón (1 000 000 000 000)- Twelve zeros

Mil billones (1 000 000 000 000 000)- Fifteen zeros

Un trillón (1 000 000 000 000 000 000)- Eighteen zeros

 

Note that for some of these numbers, there is one more than one acceptable Spanish term you might opt for:

 

Un millardo = mil millones

Un billón = un millón de millones

Un trillón = un milllón de billones = un millón de millón de millones

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List of Big Numbers in English and Spanish

Did you notice anything unusual when comparing the Spanish and English lists? You may have realized that "one billion" in English is not un billón en Spanish, but rather un millardo, while the English "one trillion" is actually un billón in Spanish rather than un trillón. This is because the Spanish words billión and trillón come from the French words billion and trillion, which correspond to the numbers we indicated above (with 12 and 18 zeros, respectively). 

 

To further clarify this somewhat confusing point, let's take a look at the following list featuring big numbers in English and their Spanish equivalents:

 

One million in English is un millón in Spanish.

One billion in English is un millardo or mil millones in Spanish.

One trillion in English is un billón or un millón de millones in Spanish.

One quadrillion in English is mil billones in Spanish.

One quintillion in English is un trillón or un millón de billones or un millón de millón de millones in Spanish. 

 

Now that you've learned how to say and write big numbers in Spanish, we will leave you with a couple of examples from our Yabla Spanish library:
 
 

No necesito un millón de euros. 

I don't need a million euros.

Caption 38, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 5: Ha nacido una estrella - Part 6

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un millón de preguntas, ¡un billón

a million questions, a trillion!

Caption 19, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 10 - Part 3

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If you've been paying attention, you've realized that the second translation, which you may have previously thought was a mistake, is actually the correct way to say one billion in Spanish! On that note, we hope that this lesson has helped you to say and write big numbers in Spanish, and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.

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Saber vs. Conocer: Do You "Know" the Difference?

Do you "know" the difference between the Spanish verbs saber and conocer? Although they both mean "to know" in Spanish, there are subtle differences between them. Let's explore them!

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The Spanish Verb Saber

The Spanish verb saber describes "knowing" something concrete, such as a fact, information, or skill. Let's take a look at each of these subcategories with examples from our Yabla Spanish library. 

 

Facts

The verb saber in Spanish is used to talk about "knowing" (or not knowing!) specific facts:

 

¿Ya sabes que el pez globo es venenoso?

Do you know that the puffer fish is poisonous?

Caption 33, Guillermina y Candelario El paseo sobre el mar

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No sabía que estaba embarazada.

I didn't know she was pregnant.

Caption 75, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 2 - Part 11

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Note that the Spanish verb saber falls into the category of Spanish verbs that change meaning in the preterite tense, as its meaning changes in the preterite from "to know" to "to find out."

 

Así supe que su nombre era Lucía,

That's how I found out that her name was Lucía,

Caption 30, Luis Guitarra Historia de Lucía - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Information

The Spanish verb saber can also describe having knowledge of particular information:

 

¿Y sabes a qué hora abren?

And do you know what time they open?

Caption 25, Español para principiantes Hablando de ubicaciones

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¿Eh? Estoy seguro que ella sabe dónde está el Gringo.

Right? I am sure that she knows where the Gringo is.

Caption 44, Yago 3 La foto - Part 6

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Skills

When talking about skills, the formula saber + infinitive is used to say that someone "knows how" to do something. Let's take a look. 

 

Pues yo quería mostrarle que también sé hacer muchas cosas.

Well, I wanted to show her that I know how to do a lot of things too.

Caption 37, Guillermina y Candelario Una Amiga muy Presumida - Part 1

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En la vida hay que saber relajarse,

In life, you need to know how to relax,

Caption 44, Ana Teresa 5 principios del yoga

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The Spanish Verb Conocer

The Spanish verb conocer, on the other hand, refers to being familiar with or acquainted with something, which could be a person, place, or thing. Let's see some examples from each category.

 

People

The Spanish verb conocer is employed to talk about "knowing" people, in the sense of being acquainted with them.

 

Por ejemplo: Conozco a María.

For example: I know María.

Caption 11, Lecciones con Carolina Saber y conocer

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Y cuando pasó el tiempo conocí a Edgar, ¿no? Nos conocimos en la escuela.

And as time went by I met Edgar, right? We met at school.

Caption 14, Belanova Entrevista - Part 2

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Notice that, in both examples above, the Spanish pronoun a appears after the verb conocer and before the person. This so-called personal a is necessary when a person is the object of a Spanish sentence. Additionally, we see that the meaning of the verb conocer also changes meaning in the preterite from "to know" to "to meet."

 

Places

Although it is sometimes translated as "to know," when used in reference to places, the Spanish verb conocer usually denotes having actually been somewhere rather than just awareness of its existence. That said, let's take a look at some alternative translations:

 

¿Conoces las Islas Canarias?

Have you been to the Canary Islands?

Caption 89, Clase Aula Azul El verbo gustar - Part 5

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Conocí las islas Barú de... de Colombia

I visited the Barú Islands in... in Colombia

Caption 89, Cleer y Lida Juego de preguntas y respuestas - Part 2

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Things

The verb conocer in Spanish can also refer to familiarity with objects and might thus be translated with either "to know" or "to be familiar with":

 

Realmente son frases que vuestros compañeros no conocen, entonces es una información nueva para ellos.

They really are sentences that your classmates don't know, so it's new information for them.

Captions 45-46, Clase Aula Azul Información con subjuntivo e indicativo - Part 4

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¡Ah! Pues yo no conocía esta tablet.

Oh! Well, I wasn't familiar with this tablet.

Caption 74, El Aula Azul Ester y Paula

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Having seen these parameters and examples, we hope you now "know" the difference between saber and conocer in Spanish! To further explore this topic, check out Lecciones con Carolina: Saber y conocer. And, don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments

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How Do You Say "Good Luck" in Spanish?

According to Holden Caulfield in J.D Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye: "I'd never yell, 'Good luck!' at anybody. It sounds terrible, when you think about it." Well... whether or not you agree with this somewhat cynical viewpoint, most of us can concur that everyone could use a little extra luck, and every culture employs different expressions to wish others well. In fact, Spanish-speakers are very likely to use many of these daily! So... how do you say "good luck" in Spanish? Today's lesson will teach you a plethora of ways.

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Buena suerte

The most literal translation for "good luck" in Spanish is buena suerte. Let's hear it in action:

 

¡Buena suerte!

Good luck!

Caption 91, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 2: Sam va de compras - Part 6

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There are many variations of (buena) suerte, including mucha suerte (lots of luck), which are often used with the subjunctive form of the verb tener (to have) in expressions like Que tengas mucha suerte (I hope you have a lot of luck) or the verb desear (to wish) as in Te deseo mucha/buena suerte (I wish you a lot of/good luck). 

 

Suerte

Another way to say "good luck" in Spanish is to say simply "Suerte," which literally means just "Luck." 

 

Suerte, Fernando. 

Good luck, Fernando.

Caption 23, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 3 - Part 8

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In Latin America, you might notice that both people you know well and people you just met, such as store clerks and taxi drivers, will often say this to you when you depart. 
 

La mejor de las suertes

Another common expression to wish someone "the best of luck" in Spanish is La mejor de las suertes, which could be said alone or with the verb desear :

 

te deseamos la mejor de las suertes, ¿oís? 

we wish you the best of luck, you hear?

Caption 47, La Sucursal del Cielo Capítulo 1 - Part 5

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Éxito(s)

Saying ¡É​xito! (Success!) to someone in the singular or plural is another way of wishing someone "good luck" in Spanish, which could also be used with the verb desear:

 

Les deseamos muchos éxitos, ehm... 

We wish you a lot of success, um...

Caption 68, Doctor Krápula Entrevista

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Así que les deseo lo mejor, éxito en todo

So I wish you the best, [I wish you] success with everything

Caption 66, Outward Bound Danny

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Note that this second example contains yet another way of wishing someone well in Spanish: desear(le a alguien) lo mejor, or "wishing (someone) the best." Another alternative to this manner of wishing someone good luck and best wishes in Spanish is to say simply Mis mejores deseos (My best wishes). 

 

Que te vaya bien

Que te vaya bien is yet another expression that friends and strangers alike often utter to wish you good luck and best wishes in Spanish. It's literal meaning is "(I hope) everything goes well for you," but it might sometimes be translated with the similarly well-wishing English phrase "Take care":

 

¡Qué te vaya bien! -¡Qué te vaya bien! ¡Qué tengas suerte! -¡Chao! -¡Chao! ¡Suerte! ¡Chao! 

Take care! -Take care! Good luck! -Bye! -Bye! Good luck! Bye!

Captions 67-69, Salvando el planeta Palabra Llegada - Part 5

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Cruzar los dedos 

Just like English-speakers, Spanish speakers sometimes use the phrase cruzar los dedos (to cross one's fingers) to describe a superstitious action thought to promote good luck.

 

Bueno pues, crucemos los dedos para que todo salga bien

Well then, let's cross our fingers for everything to go well

Caption 17, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 4 - Part 12

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(Mucha) mierda

Yep, you read that right! Although it literally means "crap" or "shit," telling someone ¡Mierda! or ¡Mucha mierda! (A lot of crap) is one to say "good luck" in Spanish slang and can be thought of as an equivalent expression to the English "Break a leg!" Interestingly, in the theater world, Spanish speakers often use the French version, merde.

 

Now that you know how to say "Good luck" in Spanish, we'd like to leave you with the following:

 

OK, buena suerte al aprender español.

Okay, good luck learning Spanish.

Caption 29, Cabarete Escuela de trapecio

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And don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments!

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Talking About Fun and Enjoyment in Spanish

How do you talk about having fun and enjoying yourself in Spanish? Today's lesson will cover several ways!

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"Fun" Spanish Verbs

There are several Spanish verbs that mean "to have fun," "have a good time," "enjoy oneself," etc. Let's take look. 

 

​Pasarlo bien 

The Spanish verb pasarlo bien can be translated as "to have fun" or "to have a good time." By extension, pasarlo muy bien is "to have a lot of fun" or "a great" or "really good time." Let's see these in action:

 

Mucho calor, pero lo pasamos muy bien

Very hot, but we had a really good time.

Caption 24, Blanca y Mariona Proyectos para el verano

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Sometimes we hear the reflexive version:

 

Nos lo pasamos muy bien. -Ah. 

We have a great time. -Oh.

Caption 31, Karla e Isabel Alquilar una habitación - Part 2

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Other times, we might hear the alternative version pasarla bien:

 

la pasamos bien y pudimos avanzar. 

we had a good time and we were able to move forward.

Caption 56, Eduardo y Luciana de Argentina Historia del Rio

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While all of our examples thus far have been in the preterite tense, now, let's see how we can use this verb to tell one or more people to "Have fun!" using either the command form or the present subjunctive form with que, as in the following captions:

 

pásenlo bien, hagan del mundo un mundo más bonito y

have a good time, make the world a nicer world, and

Caption 41, Víctor en Caracas Santa Claus

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Por supuesto que no. ¡Qué lo paséis bien! 

Of course not. Have fun!

Caption 38, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 7: La gemela - Part 6

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By the way, there are many, more slangy verbs to say you had a lot of fun in Spanish that involve the verb pasar and might be thought of as similar to the English expression "to have a blast." These include, but probably aren't limited to: pasarlo re bienpasarlo super (bien)pasarlo bomba, and pasarlo de diez

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Divertirse 

The Spanish verb divertirse also means "to have fun" or "have a good time." Let's see a couple of examples, one in the infinitive and another in the preterite:

 

Recuerda que lo importante es divertirse

Remember that the important thing is to have fun.

Caption 79, Isabel Lavesa Dibujo en acuarela

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¡Nosotros nos divertimos un montón!

We had a ton of fun!

Caption 6, Guillermina y Candelario La Peluqueria del Mar - Part 1

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Now, let's see the informal singular command form of this verb:

 

Eso es: Diviértete

That is: Have fun.

Caption 39, De consumidor a persona Short Film - Part 1

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Disfrutar

The Spanish verb disfrutar means "to enjoy." Let's take a look at it in action in its present indicative and subjunctive forms:

 

Disfruto tanto dibujando en acuarela o bocetando,

I enjoy watercolor painting or sketching so much

Caption 8, Isabel Lavesa Dibujo en acuarela

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Pues, que disfruten su estancia,

Well, [I hope] that you enjoy your stay,

Caption 68, Yabla en Yucatán Vicente

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Note that the Spanish verb disfrutar will often be accompanied by the preposition de to indicate what's being enjoyed:

 

nos vamos a disfrutar de la fiesta.

we are going to enjoy the party.

Caption 19, Marta Vocabulario de Cumpleaños

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Gozar 

The Spanish verb gozar also means "to enjoy" or "have a good time." Let's take a look at an example in the present indicative:

 

Lloran, se ríen, gozan;

They cry, they laugh, they enjoy;

Caption 34, Mariachi El amor de la música mexicana

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Like disfrutar, the verb gozar in Spanish is often accompanied by the preposition de to indicate what's being enjoyed, as in the sentence "Gozamos mucho del tiempo que pasamos en la costa" (We really enjoyed the time we spent on the coast). 

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"Fun" Spanish Nouns

Now, let's look at a couple of nouns that mean "fun" in Spanish. Note their similarity to some aforementioned Spanish verbs.

 

la diversión (the fun)

 

Pero a veces, la diversión no les dura ni diez minutos. 

But sometimes, the fun doesn't last even ten minutes for them.

Caption 34, Ana Carolina Bebés y medio ambiente

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el goce (the enjoyment, the pleasure)

 

El placer es una sensación de goce o satisfacción

Pleasure is a feeling of enjoyment or satisfaction

Caption 10, Aprendiendo con Silvia Pequeños grandes placeres - Part 1

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"Fun" Spanish Adjectives

Let's conclude with some Spanish adjectives that mean "fun" or "entertaining." Remember that adjectives must agree in terms of number and gender with the nouns they modify.

 

Divertido/a(s) (fun/enjoyable/amusing)

 

¡Guau! Eso sí que era divertido

Wow! That really was fun,

Caption 36, Aprendiendo con Silvia Recuerdos de infancia - Part 2

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Entretenido/a(s) (fun/entertaining/enjoyable)

 

pero en los libros vas a encontrar palabras nuevas en historias muy divertidas y entretenidas.

but in books, you're going to find new words in very amusing and entertaining stories.

Captions 5-6, El Aula Azul Mis libros preferidos - Part 1

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On that note, esperamos que hayan disfrutado de esta lección (we hope you've enjoyed this lesson), and don't forget to leave us your comments and suggestions

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The Many Uses of the Spanish Verb Echar

The Spanish verb echar can be used in many different ways and appears in a host of different Spanish idiomatic expressions. Let's explore the many meanings and uses of the Spanish verb echar.

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Standard Meanings of the Verb Echar

While the first definition of echar in dictionaries is typically "to throw," it can refer to any literal or figurative movement from one point to another and can thus be translated in many fashions depending upon the context. Let's take a look at several of its most common meanings with examples from our Yabla Spanish library.

 

To Throw:

Although the Spanish verb echar can literally mean "to throw," "toss," or "hurl" something, it is probably more common to hear verbs like tirar, lanzar, or arrojar used with this meaning. That said, let's take a look at an example where echar means to physically throw something:

 

y le echas harina y se lo pones en el pelo y... ¡Chwak!

and you throw flour on her and you put it in her hair and... Bam!

Caption 17, Club 10 Capítulo 1 - Part 1

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To Throw Out/Away:

The Spanish verb echar can also be used in the way we use the verbs "to throw" something "out" or "away," whether literally or figuratively. Let's look at an example of each: 

 

Por lo general, tenemos cuatro contenedores: el azul, donde echamos el papel, cartón, revistas, 

Generally, we have four trash bins: the blue one, where we throw away paper, cardboard, magazines,

Captions 3-4, Rosa Reciclar

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Todo estaba tranquilo y lo echaste a la basura

Everything was calm and you threw it in the garbage

Caption 3, Sondulo Que te vaya mal

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To Add/Put in:

The verb echar in Spanish often appears in recipes and other contexts when talking about "adding" or "putting in" some ingredient, etc. Let's take a look:

 

Le voy a echar un poco de nata...

I'm going to add a bit of cream to it...

Caption 47, Cómetelo Crema de brócoli - Part 9

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Bueno, también le podemos echar diferentes clases de condimentos.

Well, we can also put in different kinds of seasoning.

Caption 24, Cocinando con Miguelito Pollo sudado - Part 2

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To Pour:

Along these same lines, echar can also be used to mean to pour something into something else: 

 

Solo falta echarla en el molde 

We just need to pour it into the mold

Caption 38, Cleer y Lía El día de la madre

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To Kick Out/Throw Out/Expel/Fire: 

The verb echar in Spanish may also refer to getting rid of someone in the sense of throwing or kicking them out, temporarily or permanently:

 

No sé qué hace este señor todavía acá, lo eché esta misma tarde.

I don't know what this gentleman is still doing here. I threw him out this very afternoon.

Caption 33, Muñeca Brava 3 Nueva Casa - Part 4

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Se mueren por saber por qué echó a la chirusa.

They're dying to know why she fired the vulgar girl.

Caption 42, Carlos y Cyndy Comentario sobre Muñeca Brava

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To Expel/Emit/Give Off: 

And speaking of "expelling" and "fire," the verb echar in Spanish can also mean to "expel," "emit," "give off," or "spew" fire or smoke, for example: 

 

Pero eso no lo iba a entender un dragón al que solo le interesaba rugir y echar fuego por la boca.

But a dragon who was only interested in roaring and spewing fire from his mouth wasn't going to get it.

Caption 49, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 7

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To Start:

And, to conclude with our more standard uses of the Spanish verb echar, the formula echar + infinitive means "to start" [doing something]:

 

y ven la batidora, echan a correr.

and they see the blender, they start to run.

Caption 31, Cómetelo Crema de brócoli - Part 8

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This meaning might also be seen with the reflexive version of the verb, echarse.

 

Pero ya las lágrimas se echaban a correr

But the tears were starting to fall

Caption 8, Jeremías Uno y uno igual a tres

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More Meanings of the Reflexive Verb Echarse

Let's take a look at some additional uses of the reflexive verb echarse. 

 

 

To Lie Down/Get Down/Throw Oneself

The reflexive verb echarse can be used to talk about "lying down" as in Me voy a echar en la cama (I'm going to lie down in bed) or generally "throwing oneself" or "getting down":

 

Los hombres que cuando se les dicen de echarse al suelo es que no quieren ninguno.

When men are told to get down on the ground, the thing is that no one wants to.

Captions 52-53, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 8

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To Move

The reflexive verb echarse can additionally have the connotation of moving from one place to another, as in the first example, and is therefore heard often in songs, as in the second, with various translations to tell people how they should move.

 

donde el pueblo se echa a la calle junto a miles de visitantes

where the town goes out onto the street along with thousands of visitors

Caption 57, Viajando con Fermín Frigiliana, Málaga

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Échate pa' un lado

Move aside

Caption 8, Javier García EPK - Part 2

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Idiomatic Expressions with the Spanish Verb Echar

Now, let's look at several Spanish idioms that involve the Spanish verbs echar or echarse with examples in context:

 

Echar la culpa (to blame)

 

¡Y me echó la culpa de todo!

And she blamed everything on me!

Caption 13, Guillermina y Candelario La Peluqueria del Mar - Part 1

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Echarse a reír/llorar (to burst out laughing/crying)

 

El marido se echó a reír al ver la cara de sorpresa de su esposa.

The husband burst out laughing when he saw his wife's surprised face.

Caption 32, Cleer El espejo de Matsuyama

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Después de haberse marchado todos, estaba sola en casa y se echó a llorar.

After everyone had left, she was alone in the house and burst out crying.

Captions 29-30, Cuentos de hadas Cenicienta - Part 1

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Echar la/una siesta (to take a nap/siesta)

 

Después de comer, solemos echar la siesta

After eating, we usually take a nap

Caption 20, El Aula Azul Actividades Diarias

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Echar la llave (to lock)

 

Ahora cerramos la puerta, echamos la llave

Now we close the door, we lock it,

Caption 12, Escuela BCNLIP Clase con Javi: el futuro - Part 1

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Echar de menos (to miss)

 

De España echo mucho de menos el clima,

From Spain, I really miss the weather,

Caption 39, Álvaro Arquitecto Español en Londres

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Echar la/una mano (to lend a hand)

 

para que nos eche una mano y les vamos a dar

so that he can lend us a hand and we are going to give them

Caption 50, Club de las ideas Bioparc

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Echar(le) un vistazo (to take a look)

 

De acuerdo, deje que eche un vistazo.

OK, let me take a look.

Caption 63, Negocios Empezar en un nuevo trabajo - Part 2

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Echarle ganas (to work hard)

 

Así es y pues aquí mira, trabajando, echándole ganas y...

It's so, and well, [we] are here, [you] see, working, giving it my all and...

Caption 17, Edificio en Construcción Hablando con los trabajadores - Part 2

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Echar a perder (to mess up/spoil/ruin or bankrupt)

 

No puedo, negrita, ya eché a perder como diez laburo'.

I can't, honey. I already messed up like ten jobs.

Caption 3, Muñeca Brava 3 Nueva Casa - Part 5

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Echar (más) leña al fuego (to add (more) fuel to the fire)

 

¡Callate, Rufino! No eches más leña al fuego, ¿querés?

Shut up, Rufino! Don't put more wood into the fire [don't add fuel to the fire], will you?

Caption 23, Yago 8 Descubrimiento - Part 2

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Echar las campanas al vuelo (to vehemently celebrate prematurely)

 

Todavía no ha jugado el partido de fútbol y ya está "echando las campanas al vuelo", 

He hasn't played the soccer match yet, and he's already "throwing the bells in the air,"

Captions 45-46, Aprendiendo con Silvia Campanas - Part 2

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Although the literal meaning is totally different, this Spanish expression is comparable to the English idiom about "counting one's chickens before they are hatched." For more such examples, check out this lesson on Spanish idioms and their (very different) English equivalents.

 

As there are so many standard and idiomatic ways to use the Spanish verb echar that it would be impossible to name them all, we've provided just a smattering! Don't hesitate to write to us with any more you come across, or with any ideas for future lessons. ¡Hasta la próxima!

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How Do You Say "No" in Spanish?

How do you say "no" in Spanish? Today's lesson will teach you a multitude of ways!

 

Saying "No" in Spanish

If you are wondering how to say "no" in Spanish, like in English, there are many different ways. For starters, we could just say "no" like we do in English (with a slightly different pronunciation, of course)!

 

Elena, por favor, ¿te sentís bien? No.

Elena, please, do you feel alright? No.

Captions 1-2, Yago 13 La verdad - Part 5

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How Do You Say "No, Thank You" in Spanish?

For a more polite choice, use the Spanish equivalent of "No, thank you":

 

¿Quieres? No, gracias. Tengo unas galletas aquí.

Do you want [some]? No, thank you. I have some cookies here.

Captions 12-13, Conversaciones en el parque Cap. 2: Cafe y bocadillos

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How Do You Say "No Way" in Spanish?

To answer with a more emphatic "no," try one of the many expressions that mean "No way" in Spanish. The first one can be translated quite literally:

 

No, de ninguna manera. 

No, no way.

Caption 45, Muñeca Brava 18 - La Apuesta - Part 6

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Now, let's look at some additional options. Qué va is another way to say "no way" in Spanish:
 

¿No muerde, no, Suso? -No, qué va

He doesn't bite, right, Suso? -Right, no way.

Caption 22, Animales en familia Un día en Bioparc: Coatís

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Yet another equivalent of "no way" in Spanish is ni hablar, which literally means that the person answering "doesn't even" want "to talk" about something:
 

Eh... Entonces de hablar, ni hablar

Um... Then about talking, no way.

Caption 85, Muñeca Brava 47 Esperanzas - Part 10

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And finally, ni de broma literally means "Not even as a joke," as in the following examples:
 

¿Quieres salir conmigo? -¡Ni de broma!

Do you want to go out with me? -No way!

 

¡No te escapas ni de broma! -¡El arma secreta del grupo! -¡Hombre! 

There's no way you'll get out of this! -The secret weapon of the band! -Man!

Caption 56, Orishas Entrevista Canal Plus

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How Do You Say "Of Course Not" in Spanish?

To remember how to say "Of course not" in Spanish, let's first recall two ways to say "Of course," claro and por supuesto, then look at their negative versions:

 

¡Por supuesto que no! ¡No! ¿Mm? 

Of course not! No! Hmm?

Caption 44, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 4: Sam busca un trabajo - Part 3

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No, no, no, claro que no. Además... 

No, no, no, of course not. Besides...

Caption 37, NPS No puede ser 1 - El concurso - Part 11

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How Do You Say "Don't Even Think About It" in Spanish?

While the first, most literal way to say "Don't even think about it" in Spanish is Ni lo pienses, there are several others, such as Ni se te ocurra, which literally means "Don't even let it occur to you":

 

Si yo dejé mi departamento... -Ni se te ocurra

If I left my apartment... -Don't even think about it.

Caption 14, Muñeca Brava 45 El secreto - Part 6

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Let's see one more:

 

¡Ni lo sueñes!

Don't even think about it [literally "Don't even dream about it"]!

Caption 19, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 7: La gemela - Part 5

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An alternative variation would be: ¡Ni en tus sueños! In English, of course, we would merely say "In your dreams" (as opposed to the literal translation "Not in your dreams").   

 

How Do You Say "I Don't Feel Like It" in Spanish?

In Spanish, a common way to say you're just not in the mood (to do something) is no tener ganas de + infinitive, as follows

 

Dale. -Sí. -Sí. -Te toca. Gracias, Merycita, pero no tengo ganas de jugar.

Go ahead. -Yes. -Yes. -It's your turn. Thank you, Merycita, but I don't feel like playing.

Captions 57-58, Club 10 Capítulo 1 - Part 3

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To say simply "I don't feel like it," you might choose No tengo ganas or the alternative expression No me da la gana.

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More Dramatic Ways to Say "No" in Spanish

Let's look at a few more common Spanish expressions that make abundantly clear that one's answer is negative: 

 

No, no, no, para nada, no, ¿cómo se te ocurre?

No, no, no, not at all, no, how can you think that?

Caption 12, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 4 - Part 8

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De eso nada. ¡Es mía, sólo mía!

None of that. It's mine, just mine!

Caption 21, Los casos de Yabla Problemas de convivencia - Part 1

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No, en absoluto.

No, absolutely not.

Caption 76, Muñeca Brava 7 El poema - Part 8

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And, let's conclude with the most dramatic option of all:

 

¡¿Estás loco o qué?! 

Are you crazy or what?!

Caption 34, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 4: Sam busca un trabajo - Part 1

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We hope you've enjoyed this lesson on how to say "no" in Spanish. Can you think of any additional Spanish ways to say "no"? Don't forget to let us know!

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15 Spanish Words that Start with W

There are many words in English that start with the letter W. But, what about Spanish? How many Spanish words that start with W do you know? If you can't think of any, we would like to invite you to read this lesson, where we will unveil some of the most commonly used words that start with W in Spanish.

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A Couple of Things about the Letter W in Spanish

To begin with, the letter W is one of the letters of the Spanish alphabet. However, since this letter wasn't part of the Latin language, its adoption into the Spanish language came from terms and words that are original to other languages (extranjerismos).

 

In terms of the name and pronunciation of this consonant, as there are many ways of referring to the letter W in Spanish, you can use any the following four options:

 

1. uve doble

2. ve doble

3. doble ve

4. doble u

 

Let's hear the pronunciation of the recommended option uve doble:

 

te, u, uve, uve doble,

t, u, v, w,

Caption 23, Fundamentos del Español 1 - El Alfabeto

 Play Caption

 

And let's see how to pronounce the alternative option doble ve:

 

ve, doble ve, equis, ye, zeta.

v, w, x, y, z.

Caption 11, Graciela Alfabeto y formación de sílabas

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Now that we know the various names for this letter and the type of words that contain it, let's take a look at some of the most common words that start with the letter W in Spanish.

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Technology-Related Spanish Words That Start with W

There are several technology-related words in Spanish that start with W. Please keep in mind that most of them are terms that have been borrowed from the English language with the same spelling. Let's look at a few:

 

1. walkie-talkie (walkie-talkie)

 

2. walkman (walkman)

 

3. watt (watt)

Even though the Spanish term vatio is the recommended one for its English equivalent, the word watt is also accepted. 

 

4. web (web)

The word "web" is used in Spanish in the same way as in English. However, this term can also be employed when talking about a single website or web page:

 

Más información en esta web.

More information on this website.

Caption 9, Tecnópolis Viaje por la red

 Play Caption

 

5. webinario (webinar)

Keep in mind that you can also use the term seminario web when talking about a webinar in Spanish.

 

6. wifi (Wi-Fi)

 

Tenemos también wifi y hay ordenadores disponibles.

We also have Wi-Fi and there are computers available.

Caption 20, El Aula Azul Las actividades de la escuela - Part 1

 Play Caption

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Spanish Words That Start with W That Come from English 

As we saw in the previous section, there are many Spanish W words that come from the English language. Let's see some more:

 

7. windsurf (wind surf)

 

8. whisky (whisky)

 

9. washingtoniano/na (Washingtonian)

 

10. waterpolo (water polo)

You might also see the term waterpolista to describe a water polo player. 

 

Additional Words That Start with W in Spanish

English is not the only language that has given Spanish some of its W words. There are numerous words in Spanish that start with W that come from other languages. Let's take a look.

 

11. wagneriano/na (Wagnerian)- from German

 

12. wahabismo (Wahhabism)- from Arabic

 

13. wantán (wonton)- from Chinese

 

14. wasabi (wasabi)- from Japanese

 

de salsa de soja o wasabi

with soy sauce or wasabi,

Caption 32, El Aula Azul Adivinanzas de comidas - Part 2

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15. westfaliano/na (Westphalian)- from German

 

 

As you can see, there are some easy Spanish words that start with W as well as some more challenging ones. Can you think of any additional words that start with W in Spanish? Be sure to let us know, and don't forget to leave us your questions and comments

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El Zodiaco 101

What is el Zodiaco (the zodiac)? In la astronomía (astronomy) and la astrología (astrology), this word (or its alternative spelling, Zodíaco) refers to a band in el cielo (the sky) that los cuerpos celestes (celestial bodies) like el Sol (the Sun), la Luna (the Moon), and los planetas (the planets) appear to move through when viewed from la Tierra (the Earth). This band includes twelve constelaciones (constellations) named for los signos del Zodiaco (the zodiac signs), which said celestial bodies are said to be "in" when moving into the portion of this band that includes them. One's zodiac sign is thus determined by the constellation the sun was in on his or her fecha de nacimiento (birthdate in Spanish).

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Signos y fechas (Signs and Dates)

Armed with this understanding, let's take a look at the Spanish names for the twelve signs of the zodiac, as well as the date ranges for each (you might want to review this lesson on the months in Spanish):

 

Aries21 de marzo al 19 de abril

                (Aries: March 21st to April 19th)

 

Tauro: 20 de abril al 20 de mayo

                (Taurus: April 20th to May 20th)

 

Géminis:  21 de mayo al 20 de junio

                (Gemini: May 21st to June 20th)

 

Cáncer:  21 de junio al 22 de julio

                (Cancer: June 21st to July 22nd)

 

Leo: 23 de julio al 22 de agosto 

                (Leo: July 23rd to August 22nd)

 

Virgo: 23 de agosto al 22 de septiembre

                (Virgo: August 23rd to September 22nd)

 

Libra: 23 de septiembre al 22 de octubre 

                (Libra: September 23rd to October 22nd)

 

Escorpio/Escorpión23 de octubre al 21 de noviembre 

                (Scorpio: October 23rd to November 21st)

 

Sagitario: 22 de noviembre al 21 de diciembre 

                (Sagittarius: November 21st to December 19th)

 

Capricornio: 22 de diciembre al 19 de enero 

                (Capricorn: December 22nd to January 19th)

 

Acuario: 20 de enero al 18 de febrero 

                (Aquarius: January 20th to February 18th)

 

Piscis19 de febrero al 20 de marzo 

                (Pisces: February 19th to March 20th)

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Types of Signs

The twelve zodiac signs are furthermore grouped into four elementos (elements): aire (air), agua (water), fuego (fire), and tierra (earth). Let's take a look at which signs fall into each of these categories:

 

Los signos de fuego (The Fire Signs): Aries, Leo, Sagitario

 

Los signos de aire (The Air Signs): Géminis, Libra, Acuario

 

Los signos de agua (The Water Signs):  Cáncer, Escorpio, Piscis

 

Los signos de tierra (The Earth Signs): Tauro, Virgo, Capricornio

 

What's Your Sign?

So, how do you ask someone what his or her sign is in Spanish? The most common way is "¿Qué signo eres/es?" or "What sign are you?" with tú (informal "you") or usted (formal "you"). The answer might be Yo soy Tauro (I'm a Taurus), etc. However, you might notice that in some countries like Argentina, they tend to use the preposition de (of/from) to ask and answer this question, as in the following examples:

 

¿Y de qué signo sos? Yo, de Sagitario

And what is your sign? Me, Sagittarius.

Captions 82-83, Muñeca Brava 3 Nueva Casa - Part 8

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Sí, la madre superiora es de Aries ¡y la verdad que tiene un humor! Es re agreta. 

Yes, the Mother Superior is Aries and the truth is that she has a temper! She is so grumpy.

Captions 80-81, Muñeca Brava 36 La pesquisa - Part 10

 Play Caption

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Horoscopes and Astrological Charts

As we can see from the second quote above, specific astrological signs and elements tend to be associated with certain rasgos de personalidad (character traits). Of course, as not all members of a particular sign can be exactly alike, a tool for predecir (predicting) a person's personality in a more detailed fashion is una carta astral (astrological chart):

 

Nos valemos de la carta astral, que es la fotografía que se toma del cielo en el momento en que alguien nace, para ver la ubicación que tenían los planetas en ese momento 

We use the astrological chart, which is the photograph that is taken of the sky at the moment in which someone is born, to see the location that the planets had at that moment

Captions 5-7, Conversaciones con Luis Astrología

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And, in addition to predicting a person's character, one's future is thought, by proponents of astrology, to be predecible (predictable) based on his or her chart. Said predictions are called los horóscopos (horoscopes), and more generalized versions for the twelve signs can often be seen in newspapers and magazines:  

 
 

Cáncer: Hoy habrá problemas en casa. 

Cancer: Today there will be problems at home.

Caption 1, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 6: El día de la Primitiva - Part 5

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However, just like you can't generalize about personalities, you certainly can't predict con exactitud (accurately) what's in store for each sign: 

 

Los horóscopos son una aproximación a una predicción signo por signo pero no son tan precisos puesto que no hay una carta específica de una persona, sino es en general para los signos

Horoscopes are an approximation of a prediction sign-by-sign, but they are not so accurate since there isn't a chart specific to a person, but rather it is in general for the signs.

Captions 30-32, Conversaciones con Luis Astrología

 Play Caption

 

All that said, whether you view astrology as a reliable science or a fun hobby, we hope you've learned some useful vocabulary to be able to converse about it in Spanish. And don't forget leave us your suggestions and comments

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Para que: Saying "So That" in Spanish

Today's lesson will focus on the oft-used conjunction para que, which means "so that" or "in order for" in Spanish. 

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Examples of para que in Spanish Sentences

Beginning with a few sentences that contain the Spanish conjunction para que, see if you can identify elements that they all have in common.

 

y ahora colocaré esta mezcla en la refrigeradora, para que se enfríe un poco,

and now, I'll put this mixture in the refrigerator so that it cools down a bit,

Captions 33-34, Ana Carolina Ponche navideño

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¿Pueden dejar de llorar para que empecemos la competencia?

Can you stop crying so that we can start the competition?

Caption 53, NPS No puede ser 1 - El concurso - Part 5

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y los invito a que pongan en práctica todas estas reglas para que puedan usar correctamente estas preposiciones.

and I invite you to put all these rules into practice so that you can use these prepositions correctly.

Captions 70-71, Carlos explica Las preposiciones 'por' y 'para' - Part 3

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Para que Parameters

Did you come up with any commonalities? Let's lay down a couple of ground rules for using para que in Spanish.

 

1. Para que should only be used when there is a change of subject.  

In other words, one thing is done by one entity so that another entity "can" do something else.  

 

Using the English translations, in the first example, "I" (the first subject) will put the mixture in the fridge so that "it" (the second subject) is able to cool down. In the second, "you guys" (the first subject) should stop crying so that "we" (the second subject) can commence the competition, and in the third, "I" (the first subject) am doing the inviting in order for you "you guys" (the second subject) to use the prepositions right.

 

* Note that in these Spanish sentences, the subjects are implied by their verb conjugations rather than explicitly stated (for example, as invito is the first person singular of the verb invitar (to invite), we know the subject is "I").

 

2. Para que is always followed by a subjunctive tense.

If we think of this in terms of our W.E.I.R.D.O. formula for when to use the subjunctive in Spanish, it makes sense since just because something "could" happen based on an initial action, we aren't sure if it will. You will note that two of three translations include the word "can," although this is not always the case, and there are often many ways to translate a Spanish that includes para que into English. 

 

Although all of the examples we have seen thus far have included verbs in the present subjunctive tense, you might come across examples in other subjunctive tenses, such as the imperfect subjunctive when the action takes place in the past. Let's take a look at some examples: 

 

Les dimos los juguetes, los bolígrafos, uno para cada uno para que pudieran escribir.

We gave them the toys, the pens, one for each one so that they could write.

Captions 8-9, Con ánimo de lucro Cortometraje - Part 4

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Lo que hice fue preparar todos los burros, para que estuviesen acostumbrados a recibir a visitas,

What I did was to prepare all the donkeys so they were used to getting visitors,

Captions 35-36, Amaya Apertura del refugio

 Play Caption

 

Alternative translations for this second example might be "so that they would be used to getting visitors" or "so that they could get used to getting visitors."

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Expressing "So That" With No Subject Change

Although you might hear it done occasionally in spoken Spanish, remember that you should not use para que to connect clauses when there is no change of subject. For example, what if you wanted to say, "I'm going to call the restaurant as soon as possible so that I can get a table"? You shouldn't say Yo voy a llamar el restaurante lo antes posible para que (yo) pueda conseguir una mesa" but instead use para + the infinitive as follows:

 

Yo voy a llamar el restaurante lo antes posible para poder conseguir una mesa.

I'm going to call the restaurant as soon as possible so I can get a table (literally "to be able to get a table"). 

 

Let's see some more examples:

 

mis toallitas desmaquillantes, y mi espejo, donde me miro todas las mañanas para saber que estoy bien.

my makeup remover towelettes, and my mirror, where I look at myself every morning in order to know I look OK.

Captions 55-56, Amaya "Mi camper van"

 Play Caption

 

An alternative translation could be "so that I know I look OK."

 

Siempre hemos de asistir personalmente a la entidad bancaria para poder realizar la firma de todos los documentos originales.

We should always go personally to the banking entity in order to be able to do the signing of all the original documents.

Captions 13-14, Raquel Abrir una cuenta bancaria

 Play Caption

 

Another way to say this in English could be "so we can sign all of the original documents." In any case, because there is no change in subject in either of these examples (in the first one, it's yo/I and in the second one, it's nosotros/we), the formula para plus the infinitive was used in lieu of para que

 

¿Para qué?

To conclude, remember that when para qué is used in question or implied question form, it has an accent and means "why?" or "what for?" Let's see some examples:

 

¿Y para qué lo necesito?

And what do I need it for?

Caption 6, Clase Aula Azul Planes para el futuro - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

¿Para qué fuiste al cine?

Why [for what purpose] did you go to the movies?

Caption 53, Carlos explica Las preposiciones 'por' y 'para' - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Keep in mind that although para qué can also be translated as "why" in some contexts, it has a slightly different meaning than por qué (which also means "why") in that it focuses on goal or purpose rather than strictly reason. For more on this subtle distinction, check out this video on the Spanish prepositions por vs. para.

 

That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has made the expression para que more clear para que la puedan usar bien (so that you can use it correctly) and sound like a native speaker. And don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments

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The Preposition desde in Spanish

Are you familiar with the preposition desde in Spanish? In this lesson, we'll learn many of the various ways to use it. Let's take a look. 

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Indicating an origin or starting point

This is one of the most common uses of desde and includes three subcategories:

 

1. Describing movement or direction

 

El autobús que va desde el aeropuerto a la Plaza de España

The bus that goes from the airport to the Plaza de España

Caption 10, Raquel Oficina de Turismo

 Play Caption

 

2. Referring to a particular time period

 

desde la Época Prehispánica hasta el siglo veinte.

from the Pre-Hispanic Era to the twentieth century.

Caption 11, Paseando con Karen Monterrey - Museo de Historia Mexicana

 Play Caption

 

3. Referencing a particular fact or situation

 

Desde que llegué a Misiones, lo único que has hecho es estar encima mío.

Since I arrived at Misiones, all you have done is breathe down my neck.

Caption 12, Yago 6 Mentiras - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Providing a point of reference

This is another very common use of the Spanish preposition desde. Just like with the previous category, there are three different ways to use it to give a reference point.

 

1. Measurement

 

Su interior mide, desde la pared interior hasta fuera, diecinueve con cinco metros,

Its inside measures, from the inside wall to the outside, nineteen point five meters,

Captions 22-23, Rosa Los Dólmenes de Antequera

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2. Perception

 

pero desde aquí, desde Hotel Kivir, vemos Triana. Triana es el barrio más conocido de Sevilla.

but from here, from the Hotel Kivir, we see Triana. Triana is the best-known neighborhood in Seville.

Captions 30-31, Sevilla, España Hotel Kivir - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

3. Location

 

Los saludo desde Popayán, Colombia.

I greet you from Popayan, Colombia.

Caption 2, Viajando con Carlos Popayán - Colombia - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

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Expressing a personal viewpoint or opinion

One's opinion or point of view can be relayed by combining the preposition desde with terms like punto de vista (point of view), perspectiva (perspective), ángulo (angle), or enfoque (approach).

 

El arquitecto, eh... desde mi punto de vista, nace.

The architect, um... from my point of view, is born.

Caption 16, Leif El Arquitecto Español y su Arte - Part 1

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¿En qué marco describiría usted, desde la perspectiva del gobierno nicaragüense... el trabajo del desminado?

In what framework would you describe, from the perspective of the Nicaraguan government... mine-clearing work?

Captions 34-35, Tierra Envenenada Desminando - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

Indicating cause

In rare cases, the preposition desde in Spanish can be used to express something's cause. Let's see an example:

 

Algo tan absurdo solo se puede decir desde la ignorancia.

Something so absurd can only be said from ignorance.

 

Expressing correlation with the prepositions a and hasta

The Spanish preposition desde can be used with both a and hasta.

 

Quiero que recorramos juntos esa zona, desde Santa Marta hasta La Arenosa

I want to traverse that area together, from Santa Marta to La Arenosa

Caption 28, Carlos Vives, Shakira La Bicicleta

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desde la nota aguda a la nota grave

from the high note to the low note,

Caption 23, Música andina La zampoña

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On this note, we've reached the end of this lesson. We hope you learned something new today, and don't forget to send us your suggestions and comments.

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Feliz Día de las Madres (Happy Mother's Day)!

What holiday falls on el segundo domingo de mayo (the second Sunday in May) in the United States?

 

Es el Día de las Madres.

It's Mother's Day.

Caption 3, Cleer y Lía El día de la madre

 Play Caption

 

Although the day on which se festeja (it is celebrated) varies from country to country in the Spanish-speaking world, many of las costumbres  (the customs) overlap. That said, let's talk about some ideas for celebrating your mother while learning some pertinent vocabulary in Spanish! 

 

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Ways to Say "Mother" in Spanish

Just like in English, there are many ways to refer to one's mother in Spanish! Let's take a look: 

 

madre: mother 

 

Tenía que comprar un regalo para mi madre

I had to buy a gift for my mother.

Caption 9, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: Por y para

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mamá: mom 

 

Es que eran unas flores muy bonitas, y se las quería regalar a mi mamá.

It's just that they were some very beautiful flowers, and I wanted to give them to my mom.

Captions 12-13, Guillermina y Candelario El Rey de la Selva

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ma: ma/mom/mommy

 

Aquí estoy, ma.

Here I am, Mom.

Caption 45, X6 1 - La banda - Part 11

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mami: mommy

 

Ah. -Tú le diste el teléfono, ¿no, mami?

Oh. -You gave him the phone number, right, Mommy?

Caption 26, Yago 11 Prisión - Part 8

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However, note that in certain contexts, "mami" is a slang term for "baby":

 

Mami, te prometo que esto se va a arreglar

Baby, I promise you that this is going to get fixed

Caption 19, DJ Bitman El Diablo

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Another word that could be used to say either "mommy" or "baby" in Spanish is mamita (whereas mamacita would always refer to an attractive female rather than an actual mom).

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Mother's Day Gifts 

You may have noticed in the examples above the Mother's Day-appropriate vocabulary words regalar (to give, as in a gift), el regalo (the present), and las flores (the flowers). What might be another typical item to give to your mother on Mother's Day?

 

Estoy leyendo mi tarjeta de felicitación.

I am reading my greeting card.

Caption 9, Marta Vocabulario de Cumpleaños

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While the speaker in this caption is referring to a birthday card, la tarjeta de felicitación could refer to any type of "greeting card" (if you'd like to brush up on your birthday vocabulary, check out this lesson on Todo sobre los cumpleaños (All About Birthdays) in Spanish). Other typical Mother's Day gifts, like una caja de chocolates (a box of chocolates) might overlap with your Spanish vocabulary for Valentine's Day

 

Additional Gift Ideas 

What might be another way to  sorprender (surprise) your mom (the noun for "a surprise" in Spanish is una sorpresa)?

 

Mi mamá es muy buena conmigo siempre y por eso decidí sorprenderla con una torta de chocolate

My mom is always very good to me, and that's why I decided to surprise her with a chocolate cake

Captions 5-6, Cleer y Lía El día de la madre

 Play Caption

 

As Cleer mentions, cocinar (cooking) or hornear (baking) something for her could be nice, as would servirle un desayuno en la cama (serving her breakfast in bed). And, if you want to include a scrumptious beverage in the equation, we recommend this tutorial on how to make mimosas

 

Alternatively, you could invite your mom to salir a... (go out to...) desauynar (breakfast/brunch), almorzar (lunch/brunch), or the anglicism, brunchear (brunch).

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How About a Spa Day?

A day at the spa or un tratamiento de belleza (beauty treatment) might be just what mom needs to relajarse (relax) and sentirse valorada (feel appreciated). Let's take a look at the names for some services she might enjoy: 

 

Tenemos, eh... la facial de una hora que es la clásica

We have, um... the one-hour facial, which is the classic one,

Caption 10, Cleer y Lida Conversación telefónica - Part 2

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un largo y tierno masaje,

a long and tender massage,

Caption 23, Aprendiendo con Silvia Pequeños grandes placeres - Part 2

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También ofrecemos manicure y pedicure.

We also offer manicures and pedicures.

Caption 13, Cleer y Lida Conversación telefónica - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

Manicures and pedicures might also be referred to as la manicura/la pedicura in Spanish. 

 

Spending Time with Mom

In addition to the aforementioned suggestions, pasar tiempo (spending time) with your mom in any capacity is bound to go over well. You could opt for the previously suggested meal together, or perhaps some outing to hacer senderismo (go hiking), ir al cine (go to the movies), or in the best of cases, ir de vacaciones (go on vacation). And, if you don't live near your mother, llamarla (calling her) would certainly make her day. 

 

Sweet Things to Say to Mom

We'll conclude this lesson with a few nice things you might say to your mom on el Día de la Madre (another way to say "Mother's Day" in Spanish), or any day! 

 

Te quiero/Te amo: I love you (Note that in some countries, the verb amar (to love) refers to only romantic love, while in others, it is appropriate for family members).

 

Eres la mejor mamá del mundo: You're the best mom in the world. 

 

Gracias por todo lo que has hecho por mí: Thank you for everything you've done for me. 

 

Estoy muy agradecido/a: I'm very grateful. 

 

Another way to direct some kind words to your mother might be reciting a poem, such as this suitable one entitled A mamá (To Mom).

 

For more Mother's Day vocabulary (and a great chocolate cake recipe!), watch Cleer y Lía- El día de la madre, and don't forget to recognize your mom, grandma, or any other great mom you know on el Día de las Madres... and to leave us your suggestions and comments!

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"Hasta que" vs. "Hasta que no"? What's the Difference?!

The Spanish adverbial phrases  hasta que and hasta que no are both useful to describe situations in which one action depends upon another, in other words, what will or won't be done or happen "until" something else happens. However, because the literal translations for phrases involving the latter construction don't make sense in English, the hasta que no construction can be confusing for English speakers. We hope this lesson will clarify this confusion.

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Hasta que 

The adverbial phrase hasta que means "until" and can be used with many different verb tenses. However, in the sentences we will be talking about today, the verb that follows hasta que refers to something that might happen in the future but has not yet happened and must thus be conjugated in a subjunctive tense. Let's take a look at several examples in the present subjunctive

 

y lo dejaremos ahí hasta que hierva.

and we'll leave it there until it boils.

Caption 19, Ana Carolina Ponche navideño

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y el jarabe se lo toma tres veces al día hasta que lo termine.

and you take the syrup three times a day until you finish it.

Caption 28, Cita médica La cita médica de Cleer - Part 2

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Note that these first two examples talk about what someone is going to do until something else happens. Now let's look at some examples of things one won't do until something else happens:

 

De momento no las saco fuera y las dejo que estén tranquilas, hasta que se sientan seguras 

For now, I don't take them out, and I leave them alone until they feel safe

Captions 9-10, Amaya Mis burras Lola y Canija

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¿Ya? Y no voy a descansar hasta que atrape a esa rata.

OK? And I'm not going to rest until I catch that rat.

Caption 30, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 1 - Part 10

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Hasta que no

Hasta que no functions in almost the exact same way as hasta que in such sentences. However, note that in contrast to hasta que, sentences with hasta que no always involve a double negative (i.e. what can't happen until something else does). Let's take a look:

 

pero de momento no puedo darle una respuesta hasta que no hayamos entrevistado al resto de candidatos.

but at the moment I can't give you an answer until we have interviewed the rest of the candidates.

Captions 61-62, Negocios La solicitud de empleo - Part 2

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Note that while the literal translation of "hasta que no hayamos entrevistado al resto de candidatos" would be "until we haven't interviewed the rest of the candidates," which wouldn't make sense, the actual meaning is "until we have interviewed the rest of the candidates." The word "no" is therefore an "expletive," which, in grammar, means an "empty word" that might add emphasis but doesn't add meaning. And interestingly, the form of this sentence with merely hasta que would work just as well with no difference in meaning, as follows:

 

pero de momento no puedo darle una respuesta hasta que hayamos entrevistado al resto de candidatos.

but at the moment I can't give you an answer until we have interviewed the rest of the candidates.

 

Let's see two more examples:

 

Pero vamos, eso nadie lo sabe hasta que no estemos en el terreno.

But come on, nobody knows that until we're in the area.

Caption 27, Los Reporteros Caza con Galgo - Part 2

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Sí. -...con él no podemos hacer nada... Ajá. -hasta que no desarrolle bien.

Yes. -...we can't do anything with him... Uh-huh. -until he develops well.

Captions 38-39, Animales en familia Un día en Bioparc: Coatís

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Once again, the literal translations "until we're not" and "until he doesn't develop" would be nonsensical, and hence the sentences have been translated in the same fashion as they would be if the word "no" weren't present since hasta que estemos/hasta que no estemos (until we're) and hasta que desarrolle/hasta que no desarrolle (until he develops) are synonymous. 

 

In conclusion, although there has been some debate among linguists about the legitimacy of hasta que no, which is more likely to be heard in Spain (to learn more such differences, check out this lesson on A Few Outstanding Differences Between Castilian and Latin American Spanish), the constructions hasta que and hasta que no have been deemed interchangeable when talking about what can't or won't happen until something else takes place. That said, we hope that this lesson has brought some clarity regarding the somewhat confusing hasta que no construction... and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments

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"To Meet," "Meeting(s)," and More in Spanish

In English, we use the verb "to meet" and the nouns "meet" and "meeting" in a plethora of nuanced ways. Let's explore the various manners in which these different types of meetings are expressed in Spanish. 

 

"To Meet" Someone (For the First Time) 

The English verb "to meet" can mean "to make acquaintance" with someone. Although the Spanish verb for "to meet" in this sense is conocer, remember that in the present and other tenses, this verb can also mean "to know" or "be familiar with":

 

Por ejemplo: Conozco a María.

For example: I know María.

Caption 11, Lecciones con Carolina Saber y conocer

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In the preterite tense, however, the meaning of the verb conocer typically changes to "meet" in the sense of having "met" someone for the first time: 

 

Conocí a mi marido, Carlos, hace unos dieciocho años.

I met my husband, Carlos, about eighteen years ago.

Caption 9, Burgos María de los Ángeles

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To find out more similarly-evolving verbs, check out this lesson on verbs that change meaning in the preterite tense

 

In other tenses, conocer can mean "to know," "to meet," or even to "have been" somewhere, and context will typically tell you which meaning is meant. But, since "meeting" is the topic at hand, let's take a look at a couple more examples where the verb conocer means just that:

 

Le gusta mucho conocer personas nuevas.

She likes very much to meet new people.

Caption 21, El Aula Azul Mis Primos

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Encantadísima de conocerte.

Very nice to meet you.

Caption 39, Yago 4 El secreto - Part 11

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For more things to say upon meeting someone for the first time, check out this lesson on introducing yourself in Spanish.

 

"To Meet" as in "Get Together" 

There are several verbs that mean "to meet" as in "get together" with someone in terms of some outing, for coffee, or even a more formal "meeting" in Spanish. Let's take a look at some of them in action:

 

Reunirse (con)

 

y ahí nos reunimos varias personas

and several of us get together there

Caption 41, Cleer Entrevista con Jacky

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Espero que esta situación pase rápido para poder reunirme con mis amigos, familiares

I hope this situation gets over soon so I can meet with my friends, relatives,

Captions 34-35, El coronavirus La cuarentena en Coro, Venezuela - Part 2

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Encontrarse (con)

 

Nos vamos a encontrar a las cuatro. -Ajá.

We're going to meet at four. -Uh-huh.

Caption 53, Yago 12 Fianza - Part 6

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Sí, me voy a encontrar con una amiga.

Yes, I'm going to meet a friend.

Caption 4, Muñeca Brava 46 Recuperación - Part 4

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To see more uses of the verb encontrar(se), be sure to look at this lesson on The Many Facets of the Verb Encontrar.

 

Quedar

 

y quedamos en la escuela por la mañana.

and we met at the school in the morning.

Caption 25, El Aula Azul Dos historias

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In Spain, where they often use the present perfect  more than in Latin America, the verb quedar is often heard in that tense to talk about "meeting" or "having made plans with" someone, as follows:

 

Hemos quedado a las ocho

We've made plans for eight o'clock/We're meeting at eight o'clock.

 

He quedado con Juan para ir al cine.

I've made plans with Juan to go to the movies. 

 

To learn more about this verb, check out this lesson on the various meanings of the verb quedar

 

Verse (con)

 

¿Usted cree que pueda verse con usted y con Amalia?

Do you think that he can meet with you and with Amalia?

Caption 43, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 1 - Part 5

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Juntarse (con)

 

A ver si nos juntamos,

Let's see if we can get together,

Caption 31, Festivaliando Mono Núñez - Part 13

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Asking Someone "To Meet"

If you want to ask a new (or old) friend, "Do you want to meet/hang out/get together"? you could use any of these verbs. Here are some examples of people asking other people to "meet" or get together: 

 

¿Nos podemos encontrar ahora?

Can we meet now?

Caption 51, Cuatro Amigas Piloto - Part 5

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Pero ¿en dónde nos podemos ver?

But where can we meet?

Caption 41, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 3 - Part 13

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You can also use the verb salir to ask someone "to go out" with you, which, like in English, might often (but not always) have a romantic connotation:

 

¿Te gustaría salir conmigo alguna vez? 

Would you like to go out with me sometime? 

 

"Meetings" in Spanish

So, how do you say "meeting" in Spanish, for example, a business or some other type of meeting? Let's take a look:

 

La junta

 

si acaso tengo alguna junta

if perhaps I have some meeting,

Caption 12, Yo estudio en el Tec de Monterrey

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La reunión

 

Yo sé pero entiéndame, tengo una reunión con mi jefe.

I know, but understand me, I have a meeting with my boss.

Caption 25, Tu Voz Estéreo Embalsamado - Part 6

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Note that when the noun la reunión means "the meeting" in Spanish, it can be thought of as a "false cognate," or word that sounds like an English word but actually means something different. However, along with el reencuentro and even el encuentro in some contexts, la reunión can also mean "reunion" as in "una reunión familiar" (a family reunion) or, alternatively, a social "meeting" or "gathering":

 

Usted me acaba de confirmar que ese tipo sí está aquí en esta reunión

You just confirmed to me that that guy really is here at this gathering,

Caption 30, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 5 - Part 10

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The noun el encuentro can additionally be used to talk about such a "gathering":

 

se crea un ambiente propicio para el encuentro familiar.

a favorable environment is created for family gatherings.

Caption 30, Coro, Venezuela La Zona Colonial

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Or, it might describe something on a larger scale, which might additionally be translated as something like a "conference":

 

vinimos a este encuentro nacional y... 

we came to this national meeting and...

Caption 25, Encuentro Volkswagen en Adícora Escarabajos en la playa - Part 2

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Chance "Meetings" (or "Encounters")

Note that you can also use el encuentro to describe an incident of "running into" someone, as in a chance "meeting" or "encounter," or even an "encounter" in terms of a "meetup" or "hookup" with a friend or more than a friend: 

 

Era Pablo Echarri, y luego de ese encuentro ya nada sería igual en la vida de ambos

It was Pablo Echarri, and after that encounter, nothing would be the same in their lives.

Captions 64-65, Biografía Natalia Oreiro - Part 6

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Bueno, yo creo que necesitaba un encuentro más personal.

Well, I think that I needed a more personal encounter.

Caption 3, Muñeca Brava 18 - La Apuesta - Part 12

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Note that the word "meeting" could be substituted for "encounter" in either one of these sentences.

 

Still More Ways "To Meet"

Although there are many more ways in which the verb and noun forms of "meet" can be used in English with different Spanish equivalents, let's conclude with a few additional examples:

 

Track Meets, etc.:

So, what if we are talking about a sports "meet"? This type of event is often referred to as una competencia (literally "a competition") or un campeonato (a championship), e.g. una competencia de atletismo (a track meet) or un campeonato de natación (a swim meet). And, although the noun el encuentro can sometimes refer to such events as well, in the context of sports, el encuentro might also be translated as "match" or "game":

 

el encuentro dura noventa minutos en total,

the game lasts for a total of ninety minutes,

Caption 17, Sergio El fútbol en España

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And, when two sports teams "meet" one another, the verb that is used is enfrentarse (literally "to face"), as in: Los dos equipos se enfrentaron (The two teams "met" or "faced off"). 

 

To Meet (As in "An Obligation"):

The verb used to talk about "meeting" or "fulfilling" a requirement or obligation is cumplir con:

 

El primer paso importante para ello es cumplir con todos los requisitos.

The first important step for it is to meet all of the requirements.

Caption 4, Raquel Abrir una cuenta bancaria

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Hence the noun for not fulfilling or "meeting" such duties, etc. is incumplimiento (nonfulfillment). 

 

To Meet (As in "Converge")

For our final example, the verbs that mean "to meet" in the sense of things "converging" or "coming together" include confluir and unirse. Let's look at an example with the latter (although the former could be substituted with the same meaning):

 

mucho movimiento, mucho tráfico porque se unen muchas calles importantes de la ciudad.

a lot of movement, a lot of traffic because many important streets of the city meet.

Captions 38-39, El Trip Madrid

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We hope that this lesson has taught you how to talk about the many forms of "meeting(s)" in Spanish. There are, of course, a lot more Spanish nouns and verbs that could be translated as "meet" or "meeting" in English in different contexts. Can you think of any more? Let us know with your suggestions and comments.

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The Personal a in Spanish

Whenever a person is the object of a sentence in Spanish, the word a (which can literally mean "to," "at," etc., depending upon the context) must be included prior to the person. This is called the "personal a" in English and the "a personal" in Spanish.

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What is an Object?

In both English and Spanish, the subject of a sentence is the person or thing that performs an action and the object is the person or thing that receives it. For example, in the English sentence "Edison ate cake," "Edison" is the subject and "cake" is the object. And in the sentence "Gonzalo hugged Eva," "Gonzalo" is the subject while "Eva" is the object. So, while the translation for the first example, Edison comió torta, would not require the personal a, the second one would since Eva is a person: Gonzalo abrazó a Eva​.

 

Examples of the Personal a

Now that we understand a bit how the personal works, let's see a few examples where the same verb in the same tense either has a personal or doesn't, depending upon whether the object of the sentence is a person. You will note that there is no direct translation for the personal a in the English sentences. 

 

Ver:

 

Pero yo vi sombras.

But I saw shadows.

Caption 26, Tu Voz Estéreo Feliz Navidad - Part 4

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Yo vi a Pablo Escobar,

I saw Pablo Escobar

Caption 28, Los Tiempos de Pablo Escobar Capítulo 2 - Part 8

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Entender:

 

me di cuenta que no entendía todos los conceptos

I realized that I didn't understand all the concepts

Caption 73, Guillermo el chamán La tecnología maya

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De verdad, en ese momento no entendía a las niñas.

Really, at that moment, I didn't understand girls.

Caption 53, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 11 - Part 6

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Conocer:

 

Conocí las islas Barú de... de Colombia

I visited the Barú Islands in... in Colombia

Caption 89, Cleer y Lida Juego de preguntas y respuestas - Part 2

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Conocí a María ayer.

I met María yesterday.

Caption 22, Lecciones con Carolina Saber y conocer

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Using the Personal a with Pronouns

When a pronoun like alguien (someone), nadie (no one/anyone), quien, alguno/a(s) (some/someobody/one),  or ninguno/a(s) (none/no one/any) replace a person or people as the direct object in a sentence, the personal is used as well:

 

No queremos alarmar a nadie.

We don't want to alarm anyone.

Caption 52, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 5 - Part 8

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Perdón, eh, ¿busca a alguien?

Excuse me, um, are you looking for someone?

Caption 1, Muñeca Brava 8 Trampas - Part 10

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Todos los años, tengo que reñir a alguno.

Every year, I have to tell someone off.

Caption 46, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 10

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Additional Uses of the Personal a

The personal a is also used with animals or inanimate objects when the person speaking about them "personifies" them or has affection for them. One example is pets:

 

¿Federico te regaló a Zazén? 

Did Federico give you Zazen?

Caption 9, Tu Voz Estéreo Laura - Part 6

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However, if an animal is not a pet, the personal a is not used:
 

Generalmente acá se ven elefantes marinos 

Generally, here you see elephant seals

Caption 37, Perdidos en la Patagonia La Punta Cantor

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Another example could be one's country:
 

Me fascina, quiero ayudar a mi país,

I love it. I want to help my country

Caption 24, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Manuel Orozco Sánchez - Part 1

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And someone might even have a particular affection for some other inanimate object:

 

Yo amo a mi carro. -Se nota. -Único, bello.

I love my car. -You can see that. -Unique, beautiful.

Caption 97, Encuentro Volkswagen en Adícora Escarabajos en la playa - Part 2

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This is definitely the exception to the rule, though. In most cases, the personal a would not be used with such inanimate objects:

 

Vaya a lavar el auto, por favor!

Go to wash the car, please!

Caption 31, Muñeca Brava 30 Revelaciones - Part 5

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When Not to Use the Personal a

The Verb Tener

The personal a is not generally used with the verb tener:

 

¿Tienes hijos? -No.

Do you have children? -No.

Caption 87, Adícora, Venezuela El tatuaje de Rosana

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However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. One is when one has an emotional or close relationship with someone:

 

Tengo a Alejandrita que tiene diez y James que tiene diecinueve.

I have little Alejandra who is ten and James who is nineteen.

Captions 59-60, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 20

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Another is when someone is physically holding someone:

 

Él tenía a mi hija en sus brazos

He had my daughter in his arms.

 

A third is when one "has" someone "somewhere":

 

Teníamos a los gemelos en una clase de baile

We had the twins in a dance class. 

 

The Verb Haber

The personal a is not used with the verb haber, either:

 

hay muchas personas que se oponen a que haya paz en Colombia.

there are many people who are opposed to there being peace in Colombia.

Caption 32, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 9 - Part 1

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había una mujer que podía ser la protagonista de mi canción.

there was a woman who could be the main character of my song.

Captions 48-49, Luis Guitarra Historia de Lucía - Part 2

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In conclusion, although the personal a in Spanish can be a bit counterintuitive for English speakers since we don't have anything like it, we hope that this lesson has helped you to understand what it is and when it is and isn't used, and... don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments,

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Yabla's Top 10 Verbs Like Gustar

The focus of today's lesson will be "verbs like gustar." But... what is gustar like?! 

 

The Verb Gustar 

The Spanish verb  gustar describes the concept of "liking" someone or something. In contrast to English, where we'd say "We" (the subject) "like cheese" (the object), in Spanish, whatever "we like" becomes the subject that projects the action "onto us." This is similar to how the English verb "to please" functions, e.g., "Cheese pleases us," where "the cheese" carries out the action of "pleasing" (us). For an in-depth exploration of this topic, we recommend this two-part lesson on Gustar vs. "To Like": A Difference in Perception. In the meantime, we'll give you a few tips regarding conjugating the verb gustar and verbs that act in a similar fashion. 

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1. An indirect object pronoun (me (to me), te (to you), le (to him/her/formal "you"), nos (to us), os (informal plural "to you"), and les ("to them" or plural "to you")) is used to indicate who is "being pleased," or, in English, the person who "likes" someone or something. 

 

2. Regardless of tense, the verb gustar is conjugated in accordance with the Spanish subject (what is "being liked" or "pleasing").

 

3. If the subject is a noun, the definite article is used (el, la, los, las, which mean "the").

 

4. Optionally, a phrase with a (to) + a prepositional pronoun ( (me), ti (you), él (him), ella (her), usted (formal "you"), nosotros (we), vosotros (informal plural "you"), or ustedes (plural "you")) can be added before or after the verb for emphasis. A direct object may also be introduced with a.

 

Armed with this information, let's look at a few examples:

 

A mí me gustan las hamburguesas.

I like hamburgers.

Caption 11, Español para principiantes Los colores

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Me gustas. 

I like you.

Caption 44, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 4 - Part 12

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¡A las niñas grandes les gustan los coches deportivos, les gusta el dinero, les gusta bailar!

Big girls like sports cars, they like money, they like "bailar"!

Captions 22-23, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 3 - Sam aprende a ligar - Part 3

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In accordance with our tips, in all of these examples, the indirect object pronoun indicates or agrees with who is "liking"/"being pleased," with me being "I" and les agreeing with the direct object, las niñas grande. The verb gustar, on the other hand, agrees with who or what "pleases"/"is liked" in English: the plural gustan with las hamburguesas and los coches deportivosgustas with the implied tú (you), and gusta with el dinero and the infinitive bailar.

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Yabla's Top 10 Verbs that Function Like Gustar

Now that we've recalled how gustar functions, we bet you're dying to know Yabla's Top Ten Verbs Like Gustar in the sense of the "reversal" of the roles of the traditional subject and object. Let's take a look.

 

1. Doler (to hurt)

Although this verb is most often translated as just "hurt(s)," it might help you to think of the more literal translations for the examples below: "My legs hurt (me)" and "your head hurts (you)," respectively. 

 

¡Me duelen las piernas!

My legs hurt!

Caption 45, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 3 - Sam aprende a ligar - Part 1

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Cuando tú estás enfermo, te duele la cabeza,

When you're ill, your head hurts,

Captions 32-33, El Aula Azul Las Profesiones - Part 2

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2. Encantar (to love)

Note that as gustar can be translated as "to like," encantar is most often translated as "to love." However, it might behoove you to think of the English word "enchant(s)" to help remember the Spanish structure, e.g.  "Feathers enchant me." 

 

Me encantan las plumas.

I love feathers.

Caption 33, Ariana Cena especial

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Aquí, a los alemanes les encanta sentarse afuera

Here, Germans love to sit outside

Caption 21, Venezolanos por el mundo Zoraida en Alemania - Part 2

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3. Fascinar (to fascinate/be fascinated)

Interestingly, although fascinar can be translated as "to fascinate," it is more commonly used in Spanish than its English equivalent and can often mean something comparable to the verb encantar, or "to love." 

 

Es una ciudad que me fascina,

It's a city that fascinates me

Caption 16, Venezolanos por el mundo Gio en Barcelona

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y me fascinaba perderme entre sus calles

and it fascinated me to get lost in its streets

Caption 11, Venezolanos por el mundo Gio en Barcelona

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An alternative translation for this second caption might be: "and I loved getting lost in its streets."

 

4. Hacer falta (to need/be necessary)

While "need" is the most often-heard translation for the verb hacer falta, you can think of the following examples with "to be necessary for" to more closely imitate their Spanish structure, i.e., "the only thing that's necessary for us" and "Those songs are necessary for me."

 

lo único que nos hace falta es una voz líder.

the only thing we need is a lead singer.

Caption 31, X6 1 - La banda - Part 3

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Me hacen falta esas cantadas

I need those songs

Caption 66, Félix Carlos Hello Chamo

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5. Importar (to matter/be important to)

While the English verbs "to matter (to)" and "be important (to)" work much like the Spanish verb gustar, importar plus an indirect object pronoun can also occasionally be translated as "to care about."

 

Me importás vos.

You matter to me.

Caption 23, Yago 6 Mentiras - Part 2

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¡Mis hijos me importan!

I care about my children!

Caption 60, Yago 3 La foto - Part 6

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This second example could also be translated more literally as "My children matter to me!"

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6. Interesar (to interest/be interested in)

The verb interesar can be translated as either "to interest" or "be interested." For example, if you say, Me gusta la ciencia, either the more literal "science interests me" or "I'm interested in science" suffice as possible translations. Let's see a couple of examples, noting the inclusion of the word atraer (to attract), which also functions like gustar.

 

no me atraen ni me interesan...

they neither attract me nor interest me...

Caption 8, Enanitos Verdes Amores Lejanos

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si les interesa saber cómo es la cumbia, en Yabla pueden encontrar un video

if you're interested in knowing what cumbia is like, you can find a video on Yabla

Captions 90-91, Cleer y Lida El Carnaval de Barranquilla - Part 2

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7. Molestar (to bother)

Since the English verb "to bother" works much like the Spanish molestar, the translations for sentences with the verb molestar plus an indirect object pronoun should seem pretty straightforward for English speakers. 

 

¿Por qué te molestan tanto?

Why do they bother you so much?

Caption 3, Guillermina y Candelario La Peluqueria del Mar - Part 2

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¡No, no me molestas para nada! -Adiós.

No, you don't bother me at all! -Goodbye.

Caption 48, Yago 9 Recuperación - Part 1

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8. Parecer (to seem/seem like/think)

In our first example below, a more literal translation would be "it seems cool to them." However, "to think" is a very common translation for parecer(le) a alguien (to seem to someone). For more on the verb parecer, check out Clase Aula Azul's seven-part series on El verbo parecer as well as Doctora Consejo's video on Parecer y parecerse.

 

Están muy interesados en la música, les parece chévere.

They're very interested in the music, they think it's cool.

Caption 54, Cleer Entrevista a Lila

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¿Te parezco una mujer?

Do I seem like a woman to you?

Caption 29, Muñeca Brava 8 Trampas - Part 1

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9. Preocupar (to worry)

When you want to talk about "being worried" or "worrying" yourself, the reflexive verb preocuparse (to worry) is the one to choose. But in the case that something worries you, the verb preocupar plus an indirect object pronoun can help you to describe this. 

 

Sí, te preocupa. -¿A mí qué me preocupa? -¿Morena?

Yes, it worries you. -What worries me? -Morena?

Caption 32, Yago 9 Recuperación - Part 4

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para hablarles de un tema que parece del pasado pero que nos preocupa a todos en el presente.

to talk to you about a topic that seems [to be] from the past but which concerns us all in the present.

Captions 28-29, La Sub30 Familias - Part 1

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10. Quedar (to have left)

In literal terms, quedar plus an indirect object pronoun can be thought of as "what remains" or "is left for" someone or something. Let's take a look at this verb in action:

 

Como: Todavía me queda tiempo.

Like: I still have time.

Caption 110, Escuela BCNLIP Clase con Javi: el futuro - Part 10

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todavía nos quedan muchos más prefijos para ver.

we still have a lot more prefixes left to look at.

Caption 52, Carlos explica Los prefijos en español - Part 4

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Note that this very same verb can also refer to how something "looks on" or "fits" someone when accompanied by adjectives such as bien, mal, grande, etc. 

 

Que me pasa a mí es que los guantes siempre me quedan grandes.

What happens to me is that the gloves are always too big for me.

Caption 78, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 5

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With this final example, we conclude our list of Yabla's Top Ten Verbs Like Gustar. While these are just a handful of the many verbs that function like gustar in Spanish, we hope that this lesson has aided your understanding of how they work and look forward to your suggestions and comments.

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