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Lessons for topic Adverbs

Cuando With Present Indicative vs. Subjunctive

To start this lesson, let's take a look at a couple of very similar sentences with the Spanish word cuando (when) plus the verb ir (to go) where one is conjugated in the present indicative and the other in the present subjunctive:

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Present Indicative:

Cuando voy a Barcelona, voy a la playa mucho

When I go to Barcelona, I go to the beach a lot.

 

Present Subjunctive:

Cuando vaya a Barcelona, pienso ir a la playa mucho. 

When I go to Barcelona, I plan to go to the beach a lot. 

 

Although the translation is the same for both Cuando voy and Cuando vaya (When I go), in the second Spanish sentence, the verb ir is conjugated in the present subjunctive for a specific reason. Let's find out what it is!

 

Cuando + Indicative

The word cuando is used in Spanish with verbs in the present indicative when speaking about habitual actions or general truths. Let's see a couple of examples:

 

Cuando están encendidos, dan luz.

When they're on, they give off light.

Caption 37, El Aula Azul Adivina qué es - Part 2

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Cuando lo hacemos con carne, podemos poner carne de cerdo, carne de ternera o pollo.

When we make it with meat, we can put in pork, beef, or chicken.

Captions 9-11, El Aula Azul Adivinanzas de comidas - Part 1

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The indicative is used in these examples because, in the first caption, it's a general fact that when the streetlights in question are turned on, they give off light. In the second example, the speaker describes the habitual action of preparing paella with different ingredients.

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Cuando + Subjunctive 

On the other hand, the word cuando is used with verbs in the present subjunctive when speaking about actions that will happen in the future, that may or may not happen, or that some other action depends upon. To illustrate this point, let's take a look at sentences with the same verbs used previously, this time conjugated in the present subjunctive.

 

Bueno, OK, eso lo hablamos cuando estés acá,

Well, OK, we'll talk about that when you're here,

Caption 3, Yago 11 Prisión - Part 3

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Cuando lo hagas correctamente, será verde.

When you do it correctly, it will be green.

Caption 26, Tutoriales de Yabla Consejos para usar Scribe

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The subjunctive is employed with cuando in these examples because they both describe future events that have not yet taken place and upon which other events depend. 

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When Cuando Can Be Used With Either Indicative or Subjunctive

It is worth noting that while the aforementioned examples quite clearly fall into the categories of habitual vs. future actions, there are some cases where either the indicative or the subjunctive could be used in the same sentence, giving it a slightly different nuance. Let's take an example where someone is teaching us to bake:

 

Present Indicative: 

Cuando las galletas están doradas, las saco del horno

When the cookies are golden brown, I take them out of the oven. 

Nuanced Meaning: Habitually, when the cookies are golden brown, I always take them out of the oven. 

 

Present Subjunctive: 

Cuando las galletas estén doradas, las saco del horno

When the cookies are golden brown, I'll take them out of the oven. 

Nuanced Meaning: At the moment when the cookies turn golden brown, I'll then take them out of the oven. 

 

Quite interestingly, while the English translations are nearly identical, the choice of the indicative vs. the subjunctive in Spanish gives the two sentences slightly different meanings. 

 

With this food for thought (pun intended!), we hope that you now know the reason for the different conjugations of the verb ir in the two introductory sentences and you understand when to choose the present indicative or subjunctive with the word cuando. Don't forget to write us with your questions or suggestions

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

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

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Nada Meaning "Nothing"

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

 

Es una palabra que define todo y nada al mismo tiempo

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

Caption 55, Carlos comenta Confidencial - Jerga típica colombiana

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Alternative Meanings of Nada

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

 

1. Anything:

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

 

No, hoy no tengo nada qué hacer.

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

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

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

 

2. None:

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

 

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

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

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

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3. Any:

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

 

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

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

Caption 16, Tu Voz Estéreo Embalsamado - Part 17

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4. At All:

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

 

pero como no lo hago nada bien,

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

Caption 5, Beatriz Expresiones con colores

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5. Nowhere:

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

 

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

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

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

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6. Nothingness:

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

 

Era el frío de la nada

It was the cold of nothingness

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

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7. Void:

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

 

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

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

Caption 54, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 2 - Part 1

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Expressions With Nada in Spanish

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

 

1. Antes de nada:

 

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

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

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

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2. Antes que nada:

 

Pero antes que nada, lo básico:

But first of all, the basics:

Caption 2, Conversaciones con Luis Astrología

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3. Como si nada:

 

y que anda por ahí como si nada, entonces.

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

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

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4. De nada:

 

De nada. Estoy para servirle. Permiso.

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

Caption 61, Programación de oficina El dictado del jefe

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5. Más que nada:

 

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

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

Caption 28, Cleer Entrevista con Jacky

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6. Nada más:

 

no le importa nada más.

nothing else matters to them.

Caption 34, Aprendiendo con Silvia Frases hechas - Part 1

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7. No tener nada que ver con:

 

pero que no tiene nada que ver con temas religiosos.

but which has nothing to do with religious themes.

Caption 25, Viajando con Fermín La Feria de Santo Tomás

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8. Para nada:

 

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

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

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

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9. Primero que nada:

 

Primero que nada, pedirte perdón por lo de ayer.

First of all, to apologize for yesterday.

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

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10. Pues nada:

 

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

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

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

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

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The Spanish Word Entonces

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

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1. At That Time, Moment, or Occasion

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

 

At a Specific Point in the Past

 

entonces se escaparon. 

And then you guys escaped.

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

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

 

en aquel entonces

por aquel entonces

en ese entonces

por ese entonces 

 

Let's listen to some of these in context:

 

Lo que vivió Colombia en aquel entonces era realmente aterrador. 

What Colombia experienced at that time was really terrifying.

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

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En aquel entonces los niños todavía podían salir solos 

Back then children could still go out alone

Caption 2, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 9

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

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

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

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At a Specific Point in the Future

 

entonces sabremos que hemos hecho un buen trabajo. 

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

Caption 77, Ana Carolina La meditación

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

 

Solo entonces se sabrá quiénes son los mejores. 

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

Caption 76, Región mundo Paso a paso - Part 5

 Play Caption

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2. That Time, Moment, or Occasion

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

 

"Back Then"

 

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

 

Yo me imagino que los artistas de entonces 

I imagine that the artists back then

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

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"Ever Since"

 

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

 

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

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

Caption 19, Adriana Mi historia con el café

 Play Caption

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3. In That Case, Therefore, or Being So

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

 

With Conditional Sentences

 

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

 

Si vienes, entonces te invito a comer. 

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

Caption 22, Ana Carolina Condicionales

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To Conclude What Was Previously Said

 

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

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

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

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To Elaborate on Something That Was Previously Introduced

 

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

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

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

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To Introduce a Question That Asks for Clarification

 

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

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

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

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To Make an Obvious Conclusion 

 

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

 

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

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

Captions 40-42, Pigueldito y Federico El cielo

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

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

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

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Aquí

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

 

No, gracias. Tengo unas galletas aquí.

No, thank you. I have some cookies here.

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

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Hoy estamos aquí en la costa de Málaga.

Today we're here on the coast of Malaga.

Caption 2, Amaya Cata de vinos

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Acá

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

 

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

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

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

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Acá es donde trabaja el alcalde de Buenos Aires.

Here is where the mayor of Buenos Aires works.

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

 Play Caption

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Aquí vs. Acá

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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How to Use Hay, Ahí, and Ay in Spanish

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

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The Meaning of Hay

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

 

Encima de ella, hay una lámpara negra.

Above her, there's a black lamp.

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

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hay cosas muy interesantes,

there are very interesting things,

Caption 61, Aprendiendo con Silvia Campanas - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

The Meaning of Ahí

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

 

y lo dejaremos ahí hasta que hierva.

and we'll leave it there until it boils.

Caption 19, Ana Carolina Ponche navideño

 Play Caption

 

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

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

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

 Play Caption

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The Meaning of Ay

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

 

Affliction

 

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

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

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

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Surprise

 

¡Ay! ¡Estoy horrible!

Oh! I look horrible!

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

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Pain

 

Es por ahí. ¡Ahí es! Ay... ¡ay!

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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Ay, mijo, hacele caso a tu mamá, ¿sí?

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

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

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

 

Ahí hay un hombre que dice ay.

There, there's a man who says oh.

 

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

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How to Say "Ever" in Spanish

In a previous lesson, we learned various ways to say "never" in Spanish. But what about "ever"? Find out in today's lesson!

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The Never/Ever Overlap 

To start, note that two of the very same formulas that were used to say "never" in Spanish can also be used to say "ever." This is due to the fact that sometimes an idea in English can be expressed with either of these two words. Let's take a look at these formulas to understand better.

 

 

1. Nunca + affirmative sentence 

Let's look at this formula where nunca has been translated as "never":

 

Oh... ¡Nunca voy a tener un novio!

Oh... I'm never going to have a boyfriend!

Caption 28, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 3 - Sam aprende a ligar

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However, this very same formula can also mean "ever" because an alternative translation of the sentence above into English would be:

 

Oh... ¡Nunca voy a tener un novio!

Oh... I'm not ever going to have a boyfriend!

 

2. No + sentence + nunca

The same can be said for the formula no + sentence + nunca, as in the following example:

 

No te has equivocado nunca.

You've never made a mistake.

 

Once again, this very same construction can also be used to convey the idea of "ever" since an alternative English translation for this sentence would be: "You haven't ever made a mistake." Let's view this same sentence in question form:

 

¿No te has equivocado nunca?

Haven't you ever made a mistake?

Caption 73, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa

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Negative commands with nunca

In addition, negative commands with the word nunca can be used to say the equivalent of "ever" in Spanish:

 

Y por favor, no me lo dejes solo nunca

And please, for me, don't ever leave him alone.

Caption 5, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante - Capítulo 1 - Part 14

 Play Caption
 
Of course, "never leave him alone" would be another way to express the meaning of this Spanish sentence. 

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Additional Ways to Say "Ever" in Spanish

Let's examine some more ways to say the English word "ever" in Spanish in different contexts. 

 

Alguna vez

One of the most common and straightforward ways to say "ever" in Spanish in the sense of "at some point in time" is alguna vez, typically within a question with either the present perfect or preterite tense. Let's see some examples: 

 

¿Se han preguntado alguna vez por qué es importante reír? 

Have you ever wondered why it's important to laugh?

Caption 8, Mónica - La risa

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¿Alguna vez te pasó? 

Has it ever happened to you?

Caption 32, Verano Eterno - Fiesta Grande

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De todos los tiempos

De todos los tiempos is yet another way to say "ever" in Spanish when the meaning is "of all time," which is, in fact, the literal translation of this phrase and could replace "ever" in the following example:

 

Hoy tenemos la fortuna de tenerlo entre nosotros,

Today we have the fortune to have him amongst us,

al más grande exponente de todos los tiempos, ¡al Señor Gardel!

the greatest example ever, Mister Gardel!

Captions 44-45, Yago - 1 La llegada

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English Expressions with "Ever" in Spanish

Finally, let's check out how many common English expressions with "ever" such as "more than ever," "never ever," etc. are said in Spanish. 

 

Nunca jamás (never ever)

 

Y yo te amé, como nunca jamás lo imaginé

And I loved you, as I never ever imagined it

Caption 8, Muñeca Brava - 9 Engaños

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Más que nunca (more than ever)

 

Ahora más que nunca, vas a hacer lo que yo te diga.

Now more than ever, you are going to do whatever I tell you.

Caption 10, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poema

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Mejor/peorque nunca (better/worse than ever)

 

El tiempo ha estado mejor/peor que nunca.

The weather has been better/worse than ever

 

Más + adjective/adverb + que nunca (more ... than ever, -er than ever)

In fact, any adjective or adverb can be used between más (more) and que nunca (than ever) to convey the equivalent of English phrases with "than ever." Let's see a few examples:

 

Hoy he corrido más rápido que nunca.

Today, I've run faster than ever

 

En cambio vos no cambiaste nada;

On the other hand you haven't changed a bit;

estás más hermosa que nunca

you're more beautiful than ever.

Caption 56, Yago - 11 Prisión

 Play Caption

 

Nunca más (ever again)

 

¿No me quieres volver a ver nunca más?

You don't ever want to see me again?

Caption 2, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante - Capítulo 1 - Part 2

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Another translation for this sentence could be "You never want to see me again?"

 

Desde entonces (ever since)

 

y desde entonces se nos quedó adentro.

and it has remained within us ever since.

Caption 8, Región mundo - Paso a paso

 Play Caption

 

And speaking of "ever since," did you know that, in addition to Vivieron felices para siempre, one of the manners of saying the popular storybook line "They lived happily ever after" in Spanish is Vivieron felices y comieron perdices ("They lived happily and ate partridges")? On that note, we'll conclude this lesson, hoping that you've learned a lot of useful phrases for translating the concept of "ever" into Spanish. And don't forget to write us with any questions or suggestions

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How to Say "Never" in Spanish

How do you say "never" in Spanish? Today's lesson will teach us a couple of different ways to say "never" in Spanish as well as some simple formulas and rules for using them. Are you ready?

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The Spanish Word Nunca

The most common way to say "never" in Spanish is with the word nunca. Let's hear it in action:

 

¿Pero pantaloncitos calientes? ¡No, nunca!

But hot pants? No, never!

Caption 16, La Sucursal del Cielo - Capítulo 1

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Rules for Using Nunca in Spanish

Now that we know that nunca is the most common word for "never" in Spanish, let's learn a couple of formulas for using it.

 

1. Nunca + affirmative sentence 

Let's see some examples of this construction from our Yabla Spanish library:

 

Nunca he estado en China.

I have never been in China.

Caption 27, Carlos explica - El pretérito Cap 3: Perfecto compuesto II

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Juan nunca pone atención en clase.

Juan never pays attention in class.

Caption 20, Carlos explica - Los cinco sentidos

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Note that if there is an explicitly stated subject like Juan in the second example, it must be placed before the word nunca.

 

2. No + sentence + nunca

This way of saying "never" in Spanish entails a "double negative," which, in contrast to English, in Spanish is grammatically correct. Taking our previous two examples, we will now convert them to this double negative formula to express exactly the same thing:

 

Nunca he estado en China.

No he estado en China nunca.

Both mean: "I have never been to China."

 

Juan nunca pone atención en clase.

Juan no pone atención en clase nunca

Both mean: "Juan never pays attention in class."

 

Now, let's look at a couple of additional examples of this double negative formula, noting that within this construction, the word nunca can go pretty much anywhere as long as it comes after the verb.

 

Creo que este momento no lo voy a olvidar nunca.

I think I'll never forget this moment.

Caption 10, Tu Voz Estéreo - Laura

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Él todavía no ha salido nunca afuera.

He has still never gone outside [of it].

Caption 39, Animales en familia - Un día en Bioparc: Cachorro de leopardo

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The Spanish Word Jamás

Just like nunca, the Spanish word jamás also means "never" in Spanish but is generally considered more emphatic. To remember how to use this word correctly, we can simply substitute the word jamás for nunca in our aforementioned formulas, utilizing the same parameters. Let's see some examples:

 

Yo jamás te mentiría.

I would never lie to you.

Caption 28, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 7

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No se me hubiera ocurrido jamás.

It never would have occurred to me.

Caption 21, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 12

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Nunca Jamás

If you want to be even more emphatic, you can combine nunca and jamás to get nunca jamás, which means something like "never ever" and is commonly seen in songs, telenovelas (Spanish soap operas), and other dramatic scenarios. Let's take a look:

 

Nunca jamás sentí tanto dolor. -No, no, no, no

I have never ever felt so much pain. -No, no, no, no

Es un puñal clavado aquí en mi corazón

It's a dagger stabbed here in my heart

Captions 15-16, Victor Manuelle - Nunca Habia Llorado Así

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Que quedaste embarazada y nunca jamás lo volviste a ver.

That you ended up pregnant and you never ever saw him again.

Caption 50, Yago - 10 Enfrentamientos

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With these melodramatic examples, we hope that this lesson has helped you feel more confident expressing the idea of "never" in Spanish, and don't forget to write us with your questions and comments.

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The Preposition hasta in Spanish

Although the most common English translation for the Spanish preposition hasta is "until," like most Spanish prepositions, its meaning can vary in different contexts. Today's lesson will explore the four main definitions of the Spanish word hasta provided by Royal Spanish Academy as well as its various English translations.

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1. A Final Limit in Space or Time

According to the first definition, the Spanish preposition hasta can denote "a final limit in a trajectory of space or time." Possible translations for this use of hasta include "until," "up until," "up to," and "to." Let's take a look at this use via several subcategories.

 

Time

The preposition hasta in Spanish can mean "up to" a certain point in time. Let's see some examples:

 

Eh... Trabajo hasta las dos 

Um... I work until two,

Caption 47, Cleer y Lida Juego de preguntas y respuestas - Part 2

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Hasta el momento, ella ha probado zanahoria, brócoli y papa.

Up until now, she has tried carrots, broccoli, and potatoes.

Captions 37-38, Ana Carolina Ejercicio de adverbios de tiempo

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Like the word "until" in English, when used in situations in the past, this takes on the meaning of "before" and sometimes has a slightly negative connotation:
 
 
No llegaron hasta el final de la fiesta.
They didn't arrive until the end of the party.  
 

Location

When used to talk about location, hasta means "up to that point" and might be translated with "up to" or simply "to":

 

Hay dos formas de llegar hasta Pasai Donibane: por mar o por tierra.

There are two ways to get to Pasai Donibane: by sea or by land.

Captions 29-30, Viajando con Fermín Pasajes (Pasaia) - Part 2

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Aquí lo que tenemos que hacer es meter un hisopo, pues hasta su buche.

Here what we have to do is to place a Q-tip, well up to his throat.

Captions 53-54, Animales en familia Un día en Bioparc: Microchip para Nacahué - Part 1

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Situation

The Spanish word hasta is often used along with que to form an adverbial phrase that means "until" (such moment as something else happens). Note that when the verb that follows hasta que refers to a habitual action or past event, it will be conjugated in an indicative tense. Let's see an example:

 

y lo tuvo con ella hasta que llegó la primavera.

and she had him with her until spring came.

Caption 41, Cleer El patito feo

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On the other hand, when the subordinate clause following hasta que refers to a potential future event or is a command, the verb that follows will be in the subjunctive

 

y tenemos que dejar que poche hasta que se quede bien blandita. 

and we have to let it saute until it gets very soft.

Caption 41, La cocina de María Tortilla de patatas

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For several more examples, check out Yabla's lesson on hasta que and hasta que no, which function similarly. 

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2. A Numerical Limit

According to definition two, the Spanish preposition hasta can also describe a maximum quantity. Let's view a couple of examples:

 

En el mes me puedo gastar hasta doscientos euros...

During the month I can spend up to two hundred euros...

Caption 69, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 15

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Pesan hasta siete kilos, ocho kilos los machos adultos.

They weigh up to seven kilograms, eight kilos for adult males.

Caption 95, Animales en familia Un día en Bioparc: Coatís

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3. Hasta Meaning "Not Before"

This third and less common use of the Spanish preposition hasta to mean "not before" is primarily heard in Mexico and Central America. Let's take a look:

 

Terminará hasta mediodía.

He won't finish before noon. 

 

4. Emphasis or Disbelief 

In the fourth definition, the Spanish word hasta instead functions as an adverb to add emphasis or a feeling of surprise or disbelief, much like the English word "even":

 

¿Hamburguesas de aguacate? -Sí... Hasta miel de aguacate.

Avocado burgers? -Yes... Even avocado honey.

Captions 44-45, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 1

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Hasta se cree la mega estrella.

She even thinks she's the megastar.

Caption 54, X6 1 - La banda - Part 1

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Idiomatic Expressions with hasta

Now that we know four different ways to use the Spanish word hasta, let's take a look at some of the many idiomatic expressions in which it appears, including at least five different ways to say goodbye in Spanish:

 

hasta luego: see you later

hasta pronto: see you soon

hasta la próxima: see you next time

hasta mañana: see you tomorrow

hasta la vista: until we meet again

 

A host of additional expressions with estar hasta mean "to be fed up":

 

estar hasta las narices (literally "to be up to one's noses")

estar hasta la gorra (literally "to be up to one's hat")

estar hasta arriba ("to have had it up to here")

estar hasta la coronilla (literally "to be up to one's crown")

 

Let's see this last one in context:

 

Muy bien, estaba hasta la coronilla.

Just great, I was fed up.

Caption 16, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 6 - Part 4

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Meanwhile, estar hasta el cuello (literally "to be up to one's neck") is equivalent to the English "to be up to one's eyeballs," or overwhelmed, while estar hasta en la sopa ("to be even in the soup") describes something or someone that seems omnipresent. And finally, let's look at a Spanish expression with hasta that can mean "that's all" or "that's it":

 

hasta aquí el vídeo de hoy.

that's all for today's video.

Caption 68, Aprendiendo con Silvia Recuerdos de infancia - Part 1

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On that note, we hope that this lesson has helped you to understand the different uses of the Spanish word hasta and some idioms that include it. Can you think of any more? We invite you to let us know with your suggestions and comments¡Hasta pronto!

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"Just" in Spanish

How do you say "just" in Spanish? To answer that question, we should first examine some of the many meanings of the word "just" in English. We could, for example, have "just" completed some action or might speak about something being "just" right... all while working for a "just" cause. With this in mind, let's explore many of the most common meanings of the English word "just," then find out how to express them in Spanish.

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1. Morally right or fair

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the English adjective "just" can mean "Based or behaving according to what is morally right or fair." One Spanish equivalent of this meaning of the word "just" sounds very much like its English counterpart: justo/a. Let's see an example:

 

Y una ciudad, un pueblo, una sociedad más sensible es una socied'... una sociedad mucho más justa.

And a city, a town, a more sensitive society is a societ'... a much more just society.

Captions 37-38, Otavalo Claudia y sus pinturas

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Other Spanish adjectives that share similar meanings and can sometimes be translated as "just" in different contexts include justificado/a, legítimo/a, razonado/alógico/a, exacto/a, and preciso/a.

 

2. Exactly

The English word "just" can also function as an adverb meaning "exactly" or "precisely." To convey this meaning, Spanish adverbs like justo, justamente, and precisamente can be utilized. Let's look at some examples:

 

Precisamente es lo que iba a mencionar.

That's just what I was going to mention.

Caption 80, Arturo Vega Entrevista - Part 1

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Justo lo que yo necesitaba,

Just what I needed,

Caption 27, X6 1 - La banda - Part 11

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By extension, like the English word "just," the aforementioned Spanish words can also mean "exactly" or "almost exactly at that moment," as in the following examples:

 

Precisamente le iba a contar a Amalia que por cierto, vaya novia más guapa tienes,

I was just about to tell Amalia that indeed, what a beautiful girlfriend you have;

Captions 56-57, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 5 - Part 10

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"Justo antes de ir a acostarte, 

"Just before you go to bed,

Caption 5, Aprendiendo con Silvia Consejos para dormir mejor - Part 2

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3. Very recently/in the immediate past

In English, we often use the word "just" to describe something that happened in the immediate past. One way to convey this meaning of the word "just" in Spanish is with the formula acabar de + infinitive. Let's look at two examples of this construction, one in the present tense and one in the preterite:

 

Acabo de llegar a Barcelona 

I just got to Barcelona

Caption 7, Raquel Oficina de Turismo

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La azafata acabó de salir del hotel y Zárate va tras ella. 

The flight attendant just left the hotel, and Zarate is behind her.

Caption 21, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 4 - Part 10

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An alternative way to get across this meaning of the English word "just" in Spanish is with the word recién:

 

¿Vos no estuviste en la oficina recién? 

Weren't you just at the office?

Caption 70, Muñeca Brava 2 Venganza - Part 6

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4. Barely/by a little

The word "just" can also communicate the idea of "barely" or "by a narrow margin," for which Spanish phrases like por poco or the colloquial por un pelo function similarly:

 

Perdimos el avión por poco/por un pelo.

We just missed the bus.

 

In certain cases, the Spanish phrase un poco may also communicate this idea of "just" as in a slim margin, as in the following example:

 

con un poco más de tres millones de habitantes.

with just over three million inhabitants.

Caption 7, Aprendiendo con Zulbany Visitando Madrid

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5. Simply/only/no more than

The English word "just" can also function like "simply" or "only," for which the Spanish words solo and solamente are viable translations:

 

No solo practico kitesurf, también tengo un hobby de ser DJ; 

I don't just do kitesurfing, I also have a hobby of being a DJ;

Caption 56, Adícora, Venezuela La Posada Sea Club - Part 1

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Es una oportunidad de entrenar no solamente en nuestro cuerpo, sino también en nuestra mente,

It's an opportunity to train, not just our bodies, but also our minds,

Captions 26-27, Víctor en Caracas La natación

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The Spanish word apenas, whose translations include "barely" and "scarcely," can also be used to say "just" in the sense of "only":

 

No tienes. ¿Y cuánto tiempo tienes con tu esposo o tu pareja? Un año. Un año apenas. -Apenas

You don't have. And how long have you have been with your husband or your boyfriend? A year. Just a year. -Just.

Captions 88-90, Adícora, Venezuela El tatuaje de Rosana

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6. Positively

And finally, Spanish adverbs like realmente and simplemente can get across the idea of the English word "just" with the meaning of "positively":

 

Realmente me encanta ser profesor, me encanta mi...

I just love being a teacher, I love my...

Caption 35, Profesor de matemática Entrevista

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No sé, mamá, simplemente me... me mató, me mató...

I don't know, Mom, it just... it killed me, it killed me...

Captions 5-6, Yago 11 Prisión - Part 8

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As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all translation for the English word "just" since it can mean so many different things, most of which are said in different ways in Spanish. Can you think of any additional meanings of the word "just" in English and/or ways to express them in Spanish? Let us know with your comments and suggestions

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Todos los Significados (All the Meanings) of the Word Todo in Spanish

In this lesson, we're going to look at todos los usos y significados (all of the uses and meanings) of the word todo in Spanish. Well, maybe not all of them... but a lot!

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What Part of Speech is the Word Todo in Spanish?

Primero que todo (first of all), we'd like to say that the Spanish word todo and its feminine and plural equivalents have many meanings including "all," "whole," "every," "each," "everyone," and more, depending upon the context in which they are utilized. Actually, while todo and its alternate forms most commonly function as an adjective or a pronoun, they can also function as an adverb or even a noun. Let's examine how this word works in each of these cases, its various translations into English, and several idiomatic expressions that employ it. 

 

Todo as an Adjective

Let's recall that an adjective modifies, or describes, a noun. When the word todo functions as an adjective, it must agree in number and gender with the noun it modifies. We must thus choose between its masculine singular (todo), masculine plural (todos), feminine singular (toda) or feminine plural (todas) forms, placing it either directly in front of either a noun, a noun's direct article, or a possessive adjective. Let's look at some examples:

 

No, en España, el español se parece mucho en todo el país.

No, in Spain, Spanish is a lot alike in the whole country.

Captions 5-6, Carlos y Xavi Part 4 Tradiciones y comida de Barcelona

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Although the literal translation of todo el país would be "all the country," common ways to say todo el in English include "the whole" or "the entire." Thus, an alternative translation for this sentence might be: "No, in Spain, Spanish is a lot alike in the entire country." Let's look at an additional example:

 

La asistente le dará una tarjeta con toda la información

The assistant will give you a card with all the information

Caption 42, Cita médica La cita médica de Cleer - Part 2

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Note that in this example, the feminine singular form toda has the more straightforward translation "all." Let's move on to some plural examples:

 

Invitamos a todos sus amigos al karaoke

We invite all her friends to karaoke

Caption 44, Blanca y Mariona Planificación de cena

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Note that while, in the sentence above, the plural form is translated to "all," in other cases, it can be translated as "every":

 

Salimos todas las noches.

We go out every night.

Caption 20, Clara y Cristina Hablan de actividades

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In other cases, either translation could suffice:

 

Feliz tarde, amigos de Yabla de todos los países del mundo.

Happy afternoon, Yabla friends from every country in the world.

Caption 2, Adícora, Venezuela El tatuaje de Rosana

 Play Caption

 

An alternative translation could, of course, be: "Happy afternoon, Yabla friends from all the countries in the world."

 

Todo as a Pronoun

The definition of a pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. Hence, when the word todo is used a pronoun in Spanish, it must match the number/gender of the noun to which it refers. Let's look at a simple example: 

 

¿Cuá​nta torta comiste? -Me la comí toda.

How much cake did you eat? -I ate it all

But:

 

¿Cuá​ntos caramelos comiste? -Todos.

How much candies did you eat? -All of them. 

 

Let's take a look at an example from the Yabla video library where todas replaces a plural feminine noun (las estaciones/the seasons):

 

Creo que es la mejor estación de todas

I think that it's the best season of all.

Caption 22, Clara explica El tiempo - Part 1

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Todo on its own is also the equivalent of the English word "everything":

 

Sí, Lucio me cuenta todo.

Yes, Lucio tells me everything.

Caption 30, Yago 12 Fianza - Part 2

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The plural todos, on the other hand, means "everybody" or "everyone":

 

porque es información nueva para todos.

because it's new information for everyone.

Caption 60, Clase Aula Azul Información con subjuntivo e indicativo - Part 4

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In fact, the title of a recent Yabla video, Todo es de todos (Everything Belongs to Everyone) employs both of those terms. However, note the difference in translation for todos in the following example:

 

¿De ahí saldrá el aguacate que todos conocemos? -Claro. 

The avocado that we all know will come from there? -Sure.

Caption 57, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 17

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Although "The avocado that everyone knows will come from there?" could be a viable translation, the fact that the verb conocer (to know) has been translated in the first person plural (nosotros/"we") form makes "we all" a legitimate (and perhaps more explanatory) translation. 

 

Todo as an Adverb

When todo functions as an adverb, it is typically used to make emphatic statements. Possible translations include "really," "completely," "all," or "totally." For example, one might say: El chico se veía todo lindo (The guy looked really good) or Mi habitación está toda desordenada (My room is totally messy). Let's look at an example from the Yabla video library:

 

¡Yo te vi, yo te vi toda llena de barro!

I saw you! I saw you all covered in mud!

Caption 41, Yago 3 La foto - Part 5

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Todo as a Noun

As a noun, el todo means "the whole" and can be seen in the translation for Aristotle's famous sentence:

 

El todo es más que la suma de las partes.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 

 

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Top Ten Common Spanish Expressions with Forms of the WordTodo

And speaking of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, let's examine some common Spanish idioms that include forms of the word todo with meanings beyond their literal words.

 

1Todo el mundo

While todo el mundo literally means "all the world" or "the whole/entire world," this phrase is an extremely common way of expressing the idea of "everybody" or "everyone" in Spanish:

 

Todo el mundo puede tocar el tambor donde, cuando y como quiera- mayores, niños, mujeres,

Everybody can play the drum wherever, whenever, and however they want- older people, children, women,

Captions 47-49, Viernes Santo en Tobarra ¡La Cuna del Tambor! - Part 1

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2. Todo el día

Literally "all the day," the notion of "all day" is encompassed by the Spanish expression todo el día:

 

¿Todo el día? El tiempo que quieras.

All day? As long as you want.

Captions 103-104, Alan x el mundo Mi playa favorita de México! - Part 2

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3. Todos los días

The plural form todos los días ("all the days"), on the other hand, means "every day":

 

Además, la vemos todos los días.

Besides, we see it every day.

Caption 11, Guillermina y Candelario Una aventura extrema - Part 2

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4. Sobre todo

Like it sounds, the Spanish phrase sobre todo can indeed mean "above all" or "above everything." Additional, frequent translations include "mostly," "mainly," and "especially":

 

Primero, sobre todo si es tu primera tarjeta de crédito, eh... es recomendable que el... que el límite no sea mayor a tus ingresos. 

First, especially if it is your first credit card, um... it is recommendable for the... for the limit not to be greater than your income.

Captions 51-52, Cuentas claras Sobreviviendo enero - Part 3

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5. En todo caso 

Even though the literal meaning of en todo caso is "in all case," it is the Spanish equivalent of the English expression "in any case":
 

En todo caso, espero que a partir de hoy, se sientan más cómodos usando las redes sociales en español.

In any case, I hope that starting from today, you feel more comfortable using social networks in Spanish.

Captions 53-54, Carlos explica Internet y lenguaje digital: Redes sociales

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6. Por todos lados 

Por todos lados might seem to mean "around all sides," but it really means "everywhere": 

 

Mili, ¿Dónde estabas? Te estuve buscando por todos lados.

Mili, where were you? I was looking for you everywhere.

Caption 16, Muñeca Brava 45 El secreto - Part 10

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7. De todas formas

De todas formas in Spanish means not "of all shapes," but is rather a manner of saying "anyway":

 

Bueno, de todas formas, mire, el tipo se está haciendo pasar por Pierre Bernard.

Well, anyway, look, the guy is posing as Pierre Bernard.

Caption 7, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 1 - Part 8

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The similar Spanish expressions de todas maneras and de todos modos also mean "anyway," "anyhow," or "in any case." 

 

8. De todo

The phrase de todo ("of everything") is another way to say "everything" in Spanish:

 

Aquí tiene de todo, perro, oveja...

Here, they have everything: [a] dog, sheep...

Caption 1, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 6

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9. Del todo

Del todo ("of the whole"), on the other hand, means "completely" or "entirely"':

 

Quizás l'... la relación más equilibrada que yo he buscado no ha pasado del todo y ahora me siento un poquito sola

Maybe th'... the more balanced relationship that I've looked for hasn't completely happened, and now I feel a little bit lonely

Captions 19-20, El reencuentro Las amigas hablan del trabajo y el amor.

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For additional examples of this expression and more, we recommend the lesson En absoluto, de ninguna manera, del todo.

 

10. Todo recto

And finally, if you want to tell someone to go "straight ahead," todo recto (literally "all straight") is the way to go in Spanish:

 

Tiene que ir todo recto. -Sí.

You have to go straight ahead. -Yes.

Caption 17, Curso de español ¿Hay una escuela por aquí?

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These are just a smattering of the many Spanish expressions that incorporate forms of todo that can be heard in everyday Spanish. ¡Sería imposible nombrarlos todos (It would be imposible to name them all)! That said:

 

Eso es todo por hoy, amigos. 

That's all for today, friends.

Caption 56, Ana Carolina Símbolos de Navidad

 Play Caption
 

For additional information on expressions that include the Spanish word todo, we recommend the additional lesson When Nada (Nothing) is Todo (Everything). In the meantime, gracias por todo (thanks for everything), and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.

 

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Muy vs. Mucho in Spanish

Should you use mucho or muyDo you know how to say the Spanish words muy and mucho in English? What is the difference between muy vs. mucho in Spanish? 

 

Definitions of Muy vs. Mucho

Simply put, muy in English would be "very" or "really," while mucho in English means "many," "much," or "a lot." However, as these words can wear muchos sombreros (a lot of hats), muy vs. mucho can be un concepto muy difícil (a very difficult concept) for many English speakers. 

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Muy + Adjective

When muy is accompanied by an adjective, the adjective that modifies the noun must agree with that noun in terms of gender and number. The "good news," however, is that the word muy itself always stays the same, regardless of whether the noun it modifies is singular or plural or masculine or feminine. Let's take a look:

 

es un artista plástico español muy reconocido.

is a very famous fine art artist.

Caption 14, Amaya - Vínculo: un mural muy especial

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¡estos plátanos son muy pequeños!

these bananas are very small!

Caption 30, Conversaciones en el parque - Cap. 2: Cafe y bocadillos

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Es una ciudad muy linda que tiene un cri'... clima primaveral.

It's a very beautiful city that has a spri'... spring-like climate.

Caption 47, Cleer - Entrevista con Jacky

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Las ranas son definitivamente las mejores maestras en salto.

Frogs are definitely the best jumping masters.

Pero son muy vanidosas.

But they're very full of themselves.

Captions 22-23, Guillermina y Candelario - Una Amiga muy Presumida

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Just to reiterate, although the adjectives are singular or plural and masculine or feminine, in agreement with their corresponding nouns, the word muy always remains the same. 

 

Muy + Adverb

The word muy in Spanish also remains the same when accompanying an adverb, which modifies a verb, as in the following examples:

 

Con un poco de práctica, podremos aprender estas reglas muy fácilmente

With a bit of practice, we will be able to learn these rules very easily.

Caption 55, Carlos explica - Acentuación Cap. 3: La división en sílabas

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Kristen, por ejemplo, tú has dicho, muy rápidamente,

Kristen, for example, you've said, very quickly,

Caption 11, Clase Aula Azul - Pedir deseos

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When constructing or understanding sentences with muy in Spanish, how will you know whether you are contending with an adjective or an adverb? When you see a word that ends with the suffix -mente (equivalent to -ly in English), as in the examples above, you can be sure you have an adverb. However, as not all adverbs take this form and some words can function as either adjectives or adverbs, depending upon the context, it can sometimes be tough to tell the difference. Let's take a look at an example with the word rápido, which may be used as an adverb in lieu of rápidamente:

 

porque lo hacen muy rápido

because they do it very quickly.

Caption 46, Animales en familia - Señales de calma y cosquillas en los perros

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Like the English word "fast," rápido can function as an adjective when describing a noun (e.g. un carro rápido/a fast car) or an adverb when describing an action (el carro va rápido/the car goes fast) to talk about something that happens "fast" or "quickly." The tricky aspect of this is that, while rápido would need to agree in terms of gender and number when employed as an adjective (e.g. unos carros rápidos), as an adverb, it remains the same (in its masculine singular form) regardless of the number of people or objects performing the action. Let's see one more example:

 

Vamos a trabajar muy fuerte.

We're going to work very hard.

Caption 29, Documental de Alejandro Fernandez - Viento A Favor

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Note that as always, the word muy is unchanging, and because fuerte (strong, hard, etc.) works as an adverb here, it remains unchanged, in its singular form, as well. Were it an adjective, on the other hand, gender and number would need to be taken into account, as in the example "Somos muy fuertes" (We are very strong). 

 

Mucho as an Adjective: Mucho + Noun

Moving on to the word mucho in Spanish, taking into account what we have learned thus far regarding adjectives and adverbs, let's examine how this word can function as either of these parts of speech. To start, when mucho functions as an adjective, it must agree in terms of number and gender with the noun it modifies. Let's look:

 

¿Sí? No tengo mucho tiempo libre ahora. 

Right? I don't have a lot of free time now.

Caption 20, Clase Aula Azul - Pedir deseos

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La verdad es que yo he tenido muchos perros,

The truth is that I've had many dogs,

Caption 50, Tu Voz Estéreo - Laura

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En Málaga, hay mucha gente con tus mismos síntomas. 

In Malaga, there are a lot of people with your same symptoms.

Caption 20, Ariana - Cita médica

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muchas personas les gusta ir de vacaciones allí 

A lot of people like to go on vacation there

Caption 22, El Aula Azul - Adivina el país

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As you can see in these examples that employ masculine singular/plural and feminine singular/plural nouns, the form mucho takes (mucho, muchos, mucha, or muchas) changes in accordance with the noun it modifies. 

 

Mucho as an Adverb: Mucho + Verb

In contrast, when mucho functions as an adverb, modifying a verb, it is always mucho in the singular/masculine form, and the gender/quantity of the noun or verb has no effect on it. Let's look at some examples:

 

¿Se utiliza mucho el ajo en los platos peruanos?

Is garlic used a lot in Peruvian dishes?

Caption 19, Recetas de cocina - Papa a la Huancaína

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Estos ejercicios ayudan mucho

These exercises really help

Caption 59, Bienestar con Elizabeth - Relajación

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Me gusta mucho este parque.

I really like this park.

Caption 9, Conversaciones en el parque - Cap. 5: Me gusta mucho este parque.

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Sí, me gustan mucho las uvas.

Yes, I like grapes a lot.

Caption 21, Conversaciones en el parque - Cap. 5: Me gusta mucho este parque.

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Mucho/os/a/as as a Pronoun

To conclude our discussion on muy vs. mucho, note that the word mucho and its corresponding feminine/plural alternatives can be used as pronouns to replace nouns that have been mentioned or implied. Notice that the pronoun forms of mucho must agree in gender and number with the nouns they replace, as follows:

 

¿Se encuentran aquí buenas cositas o no,

Can you find good stuff here or not,

buenas gangas? -Sí, sí, sí. -¿Sí? -Muchas

good bargains? -Yes, yes, yes. -Yes? -Many.

Captions 102-103, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 14

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Sí. -¿Que mucha más gente viene ahora?

Yes. -That a lot more people come now?

Sí, mucha. -Yo tengo un niño pequeño entonces...

Yes, a lot. -I have a small child so...

Captions 43-44, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 16

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Puedes ver que no tenemos muchos

You can see that we don't have many

porque hemos vendido últimamente bastantes.

because we have sold quite a few lately.

Captions 46-47, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 11

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While you can clearly see in the first two examples that the word mucho changes forms (to mucha and muchas) to agree with the feminine singular and plural nouns it replaces (cositas/gangas and gente), the third example is notable because the noun being replaced by the masculine plural form muchos is not immediately apparent. However, since the conversation in question, which began several captions earlier, involves cars (the masculine plural noun, los coches), the masculine plural form muchos must be utilized to express the idea of "many" in this context. 

 

We hope that this lesson has helped to clarify the difference between muy vs. mucho in Spanish since sus muchos usos y matices pueden resultar muy difíciles (their many uses and nuances can be very difficult) for English speakers. We welcome any insight you might have on mucho vs. muy in Spanish, and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments

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Aun vs Aún

In this lesson, we will talk about adverbs and punctuation. Are you familiar with the word "aun" in Spanish? Do you know when to write that word with accent on the letter "ú"? Let's start this lesson with a little quiz. Which word would you use in the following sentences, aun or aún?:

 

____ si te digo la verdad, no me crees

Even if I tell you the truth, you don't believe me

 

Estamos ____ en la fase de entrevistas.

We are still in the interview phase.

 

Let's read the following explanation to find out the answer.

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The meaning of "aun" in Spanish

The adverb aun (without graphic accent) refers to the English adverb "even." Let's see a couple of examples:

 

Aun estudiando mucho, no pasó el examen

Even studying hard, he did not pass the exam

 

Yo hice aun más de lo que quería

I did even more than I wanted

 

he vivido demasiado

I have lived too much

aun con tanta historia

even with so much history

Captions 7-8, Kany Garcia - Estigma de amor

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Also, keep in mind that when aun is followed by así to mean "even so," it doesn't need an accent. Let's take a look:

 

Revolvimos los planetas

We stirred the planets

aun así te vas

And even so you leave

Captions 16-17, Belanova - Y aun así te vas

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When to write aún with an accent

When the word aun works as the English adverb "still", you need to need to put the accent on the letter "ú". Let's see some examples:

 

Para los que aún no me conocen, mi nombre es Natalia.

For those who still don't know me, my name is Natalia.

Caption 3, Natalia de Ecuador - Consejos: haciendo amigos como adultos

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Así que aún queda la pequeña esperanza.

So, there's still a little hope.

Caption 44, Rosa - Fuente de Piedra

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Durante este período, México aún tenía el nombre de la Nueva España.

During this period, Mexico still had the name New Spain.

Caption 16, Paseando con Karen - Monterrey - Museo de Historia Mexicana

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Considering the above, let's unveil the answer to our quiz:

 

Aun si te digo la verdad, no me crees

Even if I tell you the truth, you don't believe me

 

Estamos aún en la fase de entrevistas.

We are still in the interview phase.

Caption 19, Negocios - La solicitud de empleo

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And that's it for today. We hope you enjoyed this lesson and don't forget to send us your comments and questions.

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Afuera vs Fuera

Let's talk about adverbs! In this lesson, we have a big match: afuera vs. fuera. Do you know the meaning of these two words? Let's explore how to use and pronounce these frequently used Spanish adverbs.

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The meaning of afuera and fuera

As an adverb, afuera refers to a place that is outside of where you are:

 

Todo lo malo me pasa dentro de esta casa, no afuera.

All the bad things happen to me inside this house, not outside.

Caption 20, Muñeca Brava - 18 - La Apuesta

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Similarly, the adverb fuera is used to talk about the exterior part of something:

 

Puedes ir a tomar café a una cafetería fuera de la escuela.

You can go to drink coffee at a cafe outside of the school.

Caption 17, El Aula Azul - Las actividades de la escuela

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Using afuera and fuera to indicate movement

If you want to indicate that someone is going outside, toward the exterior, or even abroad (with verbs of movement), you can use either afuera or fuera. Both forms are correct and are used indistinctly in both Spain and Latin America. Let's see some sentences:

 

Vení, vamos afuera.

Come, let's go outside.

Caption 28, Yago - 9 Recuperación

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Cuando los cuatro compañeros nos fuimos a estudiar fuera.

When we four friends went to study abroad.

Caption 7, Escuela de Pádel Albacete - Hablamos con José Luis

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Using afuera and fuera to indicate a condition or state

When you want to indicate that someone or something is outside, or when you want to make a reference to the outside world, you use fuera in both Spain and Latin America. However, it is also very common to use afuera throughout the Americas. Let's hear the pronunciation of these two words one more time:

 

¡Qué lindo que está afuera! ¿No? El clima está divino.

How nice it is outside! No? The weather is divine.

Caption 15, Muñeca Brava - 1 Piloto

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Me doy una buena ducha aquí fuera.

I take a good shower here outside.

Caption 31, Amaya - "Mi camper van"

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The interjections afuera and fuera

Both afuera and fuera can be used as interjections. Generally speaking, you use these interjections when you ask someone to leave a place. 

 

¡Suficiente, fuera de mi casa!

Enough, out of my house!

Caption 61, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 4

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Idiomatic expressions with fuera

There are several useful idiomatic expressions with the word fuera. Let's see some of them:

 

Este hombre vive fuera de la realidad, Señoría.

This man lives outside of reality, Your Honor.

Caption 36, Los casos de Yabla - Problemas de convivencia

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Su ropa está fuera de moda.

His clothes are out of fashion.

Caption 8, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam

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No hay nada fuera de lo normal.

There isn't anything out of the ordinary.

Caption 38, Negocios - Empezar en un nuevo trabajo

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That's it for today. We hope this review helps you to use correctly the adverbs fuera and afuera. As you could see throughout this lesson, more than talking about afuera vs fuera, we should really treat this subject as afuera = fuera! Keep that in mind and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions

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A punto vs. Apunto

Do you know how to use a punto as opposed to apunto? Do you know the meaning of the expression "estar a punto de"? Let's start this lesson with a little quiz. Which term would you use in the following sentences, a punto or apunto?:

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Te ______ en la lista de pacientes.

I'll write you down on the patient list.

 

What about this one?:

En 1985, Colombia estuvo ______ de conseguir la paz.

In 1985, Colombia was about to achieve peace.

 

Let's review the meaning of a punto and apunto.

 

The meaning of a punto

A punto is an adverbial phrase that can be used in the following two ways:

 

1. To indicate that something is ready for the end it has been prepared for.

2. As a synonym of "timely" or "on time". 

 

Here's one example:

 

¿Esto lo hago hasta que quede a punto de nieve?

Shall I do this until it forms peaks [literally "until it looks like snow"]?

-Has'... Ah, no, eh... -Claro.

-Unt'... Oh, no, um... -Of course.

Caption 9, Ricardo - La compañera de casa

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A punto de + infinitive

While the adverbial phrase a punto is used fairly often, the most common use of a punto is when it's part of the prepositional phrase a punto de + infinitive verb. In terms of its meaning, we use a punto de + infinitive verb when we want to say that something is or was about to happen. In fact, you can think of a punto de as the English equivalent "about to". Let's look at a couple of examples:

 

La señora pulpo me contó que tenía muchos hijitos a punto de nacer.

Lady octopus told me that she had many children about to be born.

Captions 21-22, Guillermina y Candelario - La Señora Pulpo

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Estoy súper emocionada, pues estoy a punto de ingresar

I'm super excited because I'm about to enter

a uno de los lugares más emblemáticos.

one of the most symbolic places.

Captions 10-12, Paseando con Karen - Barrio Antiguo

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Cuando estaba a punto de huir y regresar a mi casa,

When I was about to flee and go back home,

hubo un milagro que salvó mi bachillerato.

there was a miracle that saved my high school diploma.

Captions 18-19, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 1 - Part 5

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If you keep in mind the last two sentences, it is worth mentioning that most of the time in Spanish we use the verb estar (to be) before a punto de + infinitive verb. As we mentioned previously, we use this formula for sentences in the past as well as the present.

 

What about the meaning of apunto?

Now that you know how to use a punto and a punto de, we can say that apunto (one word) corresponds to the first person singular of the verb apuntar in the present tense. Apuntar can mean:

 

To point out something

To take notes or write down something

To subscribe to something

 

Let's see an example:

 

A cogerlos con la mano, me apunto.

For taking them with my hand, I'll sign up.

-Cógelo con las manos.

-Take it with your hands.

Caption 25, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa

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So, now that we have revealed the meanings and uses of both a punto and apunto, it's time to see the answers to the quiz we used to introduce this lesson:

 

Te apunto en la lista de pacientes.

I'll write you down on the patient list.

Caption 27, Ariana - Cita médica

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En mil novecientos ochenta y cinco, sucedieron muchas cosas buenas.

In nineteen eighty-five, many good things happened.

Colombia estuvo a punto de conseguir la paz.

Colombia was about to achieve peace.

Captions 2-3, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 1 - Part 2

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And that's it for now. We hope you enjoyed this lesson and don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

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Spanish Adverbs with -mente

Let’s talk about adverbs. Adverbs are very important in Spanish grammar and many of them are closely connected to adjectives. In fact, there are a good number of adverbs that can be easily formed if we are familiar with the original adjective. In this lesson, we will see how to use adjectives in order to form Spanish adverbs with the suffix -mente.

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Some examples of Spanish adverbs with -mente

Let’s take a look at these very used adverbs in Spanish.

 

...pero principalmente cubanos que llegaron a este país hace cuarenta años.

...but mainly Cubans who arrived to this country forty years ago.

Caption 6, La Calle 8 - Un recorrido fascinante

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Además, este año hay una zona dedicada especialmente a la gastronomía.

Additionally, this year there is an area dedicated especially to gastronomy.

Caption 28, Fuengirola - Feria Internacional de los Pueblos

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Nos criamos completamente ciegos, sordos, mudos con respecto al dinero.

We grew up completely blind, deaf, dumb with respect to money.

Caption 70, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo enero

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As you can see, the suffix mente corresponds to the English suffix ‘ly’. But how do you form Spanish adverbs with -mente? Let’s take a look.

 

How to form Spanish adverbs with -mente

In order to build Spanish adverbs with -mente, you just have to follow this very simple formula:

 

Feminine form of the adjective + mente

 

For example, if we want to form an adverb with the adjective último (last), we just need to take the feminine form of that adjective (última) and add the suffix -mente, like this:

 

última  + mente = últimamente (lastly).

 

Let’s look at some more examples:

 

Claro (clear): clara + mente = claramente (clearly)

Lento (slow): lenta + mente = lentamente (slowly)

Honesto (honest): honesta + mente = honestamente (honestly)

 

However, if an adjective doesn’t end in ‘o’, it means that it has one form that is used for both masculine and feminine. In that case, you just need to add the suffix -mente to the adjective in order to get the adverb. Let’s see some examples:

 

Alegre (happy):  alegre + mente = alegremente (happily)

Triste (sad): triste + mente = tristemente (sadly)

Frecuente (frequent): frecuente + mente = frecuentemente (frequently)

Normal (normal): normal + mente = normalmente (normally)

 

It is also important to mention that if you have a sentence with two adverbs in a series, only the last one will have the suffix -mente at the end. The first one will keep the feminime form of the adjective:

 

Él camina rápida y alegremente

He walks quickly and happily

 

Ellos hablaron clara y concisamente

They spoke clearly and concisely

 

Finally, something important to keep in mind: If the original adjective has a graphic accent on it (tilde), the adverb will also have that accent. Some examples:

 

Creo que mi mamá comprendió su equivocación rápidamente.

I think that my mom understood her mistake quickly.

Caption 1, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 2

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Con un poco de práctica, podremos aprender estas reglas muy fácilmente.

With a bit of practice, we will be able to learn these rules very easily.

Caption 54, Carlos explica - Acentuación Cap. 3: La división en sílabas

 Play Caption

 

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That's it for this lesson. Now, here is your homework: Take 10 adjectives and try to form the corresponding adverbs using the suffix -mente. Can you write some sentences too? Have fun and don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

 

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Different Ways to Use Como

The Spanish word como (an adverb but also a conjunction) has many different meanings. Let's explore a few examples to learn how to properly use it.
 
Generally speaking, the adverb como has a comparative meaning. You can use it with the verb ser (to be) to compare things, people, actions, etc. There are different ways in which this como can be used, but it usually translates as "as" or "like."

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Nadie como tú me llena

No one fulfills me like you

Caption 18, Michael Stuart - Me Siento Vivo

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Yo tenía cuidado de no pisarlas como tú me enseñaste.

I was careful not to step on them as you taught me.

Caption 33, Guillermina y Candelario - La Isla de las Serpientes

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But the adverb como can also mean “about” and be used to make an estimate, or approximation (which in a way is also a comparison).
For example, to estimate an amount of money:

 

Que esto ya cuesta como veinticinco soles.

This alone already costs about twenty-five soles.

Caption 41, Cocinas Peruanas - Short Film

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Or to estimate an amount of time:

 

Estos muslitos se van a tardar como unos quince, veinte minutos.

These little thighs are going to take about fifteen, twenty minutes.

Caption 15, [Bears in the Kitchen] Osos en la cocina - Pollo asiático

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On the other hand, as a conjunction, the word como has even more uses, equally interesting. For now, let's just study the most common ones: como meaning "as" or "since" and como meaning "if."
 
When the conjunction como is used to establish an antecedent condition it means "as" or "since:"

 

Como ya les dije,

As I already told you,

Caption 26, Lecciones de guitarra - Con Cristhian

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Y también como sos uruguaya,

And also since you are Uruguayan

Caption 62, Biografía - Natalia Oreiro

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The conjunction como can also be used in a conditional clause that translates as an "if" clause. It's used with the subjunctive, it's not very common, and it's typically used to make threats or prevent people from doing or not doing something:
 

Como no vengas le digo todo a mamá.
If you don't come I'd tell mom everything.


Como no me hagas caso, lo pasarás mal
if you don't listen to me, there will be trouble

 

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As you can see, this como is more commonly used in the negative form. And, by the way, it's just an alternative to using a si clause (which doesn't need the subjunctive):

 

Si no vienes le digo todo a mamá.
If you don't come I'll tell mom everything.
 
Si no me haces caso, lo pasarás mal
if you don't listen to me, there will be trouble

 

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Bien vs Bueno/Ser vs. Estar/Adjectives vs Adverbs

The proper use of the words bien (well) and bueno (good) seems to be specially challenging for English speakers. From a grammatical point of view the difference between these words is quite simple: bueno (good) is an adjective, and bien (well) an adverb. But that doesn’t help much, does it? Especially if you don't have a clear understanding of the function of adjectives and adverbs themselves. And even if you do, people who are really fluent don't usually go around wondering if a word is an adverb or an adjective in order to use it properly.

Is not that grammar isn't helpful, it's just that very often people try to use it as a rigid template that you can superimpose on any given portion of speech to determine its correctness. But trying to grammatically deconstruct a sentence in Spanish, or any language, can be a tricky and confusing exercise, one more suited to linguists than to language learners. Indeed, from a learner's perspective, grammar is more useful if you learn to see it as a set of very basic structures (think of Legos), that you learn how to combine and then use to build basic structures that may eventually be used to build more complex structures and so on. Imagine a foreign language is some kind of alien technology that you want to replicate and master. Would you prefer if you are given the blue print and some of its basic components, or would you rather try to do reverse engineering on it?

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For example, "adjectives modify nouns and only nouns" is a much simpler grammar "Lego piece" than "adverbs modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs." Right? So maybe we can start with that. The word bueno (good) is an adjective, like bonito (pretty), flaco (skinny), and malo (bad). Add another basic Lego piece such as "in Spanish, adjectives must agree in gender and number with the nouns they modify," and you can build:

El perro bonito /The pretty dog and Los perros bonitos /The pretty dogs
El gato flaco / The skinny cat and Los gatos flacos / The skinny cats
El lobo malo / The bad wolf and Los lobos malos / The bad wolves
La niña buena / The good girl and Las niñas buenas / The good girls

A classic example of the proper use of bueno is the expression buenos días:
 

¡Hola, buenos días! -Joaquín.

Hi, good morning! -Joaquín.

Caption 7, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa

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Now, what about bien (well)? Bien is an adverb, like rápidamente (fast) or mal (badly). Adverbs in Spanish are invariable, which means they have only one form and do not change according to gender or number. The main function of adverbs is to modify verbs:

Yo corro rápidamente / I ran fast
Ella baila mal / She dances badly
Yo lo hago bien / I do it well

Adverbs also modify other adverbs:

Yo corro bastante rápidamente / I ran quite fast
Ella baila muy mal / She dances very badly
Yo lo hago bien temprano / I do it very early (yes, bien can also mean "very")

Adverbs also modify adjectives:

El perro muy bonito / The very pretty dog 
El gato bastante flaco / The quite skinny cat
El lobo terriblemente malo / The terribly bad wolf
La niña tan buena / The so very good girl

So, if the adjective bueno can only be used to modify a noun, and bien can only be used to modify a verb, an adjective or another adverb, how can Spanish speakers say things like La sopa está buena (the soup is good) or Yo soy bueno (I'm good) all the time? Aren't estar and ser verbs? They are, but here we have to step up our game and remember that these two verbs are very special in Spanish—they are special Lego pieces with special rules. 

You use the verb ser with an adjective to describe something or someone by stating their characteristics as essential qualities that are an intrinsic part of who they are. In a way, you could say that this use of the verb ser +an adjective is redundant because, whether you use ser or not, you are essentially expressing the same thing about the object or person (noun) you are talking about. Another way to put it is that when you use the verb ser (to be) with an adjective you are just talking about a characteristic as if it were an action, in a verbal form. Compare our first set of examples:

El perro bonito / The pretty dog =  El perro es bonito / The dog is pretty
El gato flaco / The skinny cat = El gato es flaco / The cat is skinny
El lobo malo / The bad wolf = El lobo es malo / The wolf is bad
Las niñas buenas / The good girls = Las niñas son buenas / The girls are good

But if you use the verb estar (to be) with an adjective you are not talking about a characteristic as if it were an essential trait, you are talking about a characteristic of someone or something but not seeing it as intrinsically related to that someone or something. It may be a trait only present for the moment, for example. English doesn't usually makes this subtle distinction, so we have added some extra information to the translations so you can better grasp the difference of using estar instead or ser:

El perro es bonito / The dog is pretty ≠ El perro está bonito / The dog is pretty (right now but maybe not tomorrow). 
El gato es flaco / The cat is skinny  ≠ El gato está flaco / The cat is skinny (today, but it could get fat if we feed him). 

Now, since estar is not used to express an intrinsic quality, the following examples using estar can't be referring to moral or spiritual qualities (intrinsic by nature) such as being good or being bad, so malo (bad) and bueno (good) here can only refer to something different: 

El lobo es malo / The wolf is bad ≠ El lobo está malo / The wolf is sick (or tastes badly). 
Las niñas son buenas / The girls are good ≠ Las niñas están buenas / The girls are tasty (Something the Big Bad Wolf could say, for example (think buenas = sabrosas = tasty). As "tasty" in English buenas can also mean "good looking," which is a rather vulgar expression, by the way). 

That covers the use of ser and estar plus an adjective like bueno (good). Let's see what happens if you combine these verbs with an adverb, like bien (well). The first good news is that you never use the verb ser with and adverb. So you can never user bien (well) with the verb ser. Never. The following are all incorrect expressions: 

Yo soy bien
Nosotros somos tan bien
El carro es bien


You must use instead an adjective combined with the verb ser if you want to talk about ethical or intrinsic qualities:

Yo soy bueno / am good
Nosotros somos tan buenos /  We are so good 
El carro es bueno / The car is good (maybe it's a good brand, or a good model, or just a good one for some other reason)

If you want to talk about non-essential, non-intrinsic, non-ethical qualities, you need to use an adjective combined with the verb estar:

Yo estoy bueno / am tasty (If a good meal could talk, it could say something like that. The expression can also mean "I'm good looking" by extension, see above).  
Nosotros estamos tan buenos / We are so tasty (or "good looking," see above).  
El carro está bueno / The car is in good condition.

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Or, finally, an adverb with the verb estar:

Yo estoy bien / am well
Nosotros estamos tan bien /  We are so well
El carro está bien / The car is Ok (is doing well)

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Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps!

How can we express the idea of "maybe" or "perhaps" in Spanish? Although a lo mejor, quizá(s), and tal vez are often used interchangeably, let's take a look at some of the nuances of each as well as exploring some additional options. 

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A lo mejor

Despite its literal translation ("at the best"), the Spanish expression a lo mejor is used colloquially to express the idea of "perhaps" or "maybe." A lo mejor can fall anywhere in a sentence, and the verb that follows it is always conjugated in the indicative rather than the subjunctive. Let's take a look:

 

He pensado que como tú tienes más experiencia en estos temas,

I've thought that since you have more experience in these matters,

a lo mejor me puedes ayudar.

maybe you can help me.

Captions 7-8, Raquel y Marisa - Español Para Negocios - Nuestro perfil profesional en la red

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Quién sabe,

Who knows?

a lo mejor a partir de ahora confías un poquito más en ella.

Maybe from now on, you'll trust it a little bit more.

Caption 72, Club de las ideas - Intuición

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Tal vez

Tal vez is more typically (but not always) placed at the beginning of a sentence and can be used with either the indicative or the subjunctive

 

Tal vez cure el tiempo las heridas

Perhaps time will cure the wounds

que dejaste en mi vida y que marcaste en mi alma

that you left in my life and you marked on my soul

Captions 20-21, Reik - No desaparecerá

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Y ahora, en tiempos de pandemia,

And now, in this period of pandemic,

tal vez es mejor

perhaps it's better

tenerla tapada para cualquier tipo de contacto con otras personas.

to keep it covered for any type of contact with other people.

Captions 80-82, Ana Carolina - Gérmenes

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In the first example, the verb curar (to heal) has been conjugated in the subjunctive, while in the second passage, ser (to be) is in the indicative. Although the use of either the subjunctive or the indicative in a sentence may or may not affect its translation into English, the subjunctive gives the idea of additional doubt. For example, the substitution of the indicative form cura in the first example would convey greater hope on the part of the speaker about the prospect of time healing his wounds whereas the use of the subjunctive form, sea, in the second example would convey less certainty on Ana Carolina's part. 

 

Quizá(s)

Quizá(s) also tends to fall at the beginning of a sentence and can be used in either the indicative or subjunctive, also depending upon the degree of doubt. Let's look a couple of examples, with the first one in indicative and the second one in subjunctive:

 

Quizás esa persona ya sabe

Perhaps that person already knows

que en San Sebastián hay tres playas,

that there are three beaches in San Sebastian,

Captions 80-81, Clase Aula Azul - Información con subjuntivo e indicativo

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Este... y... y quizás me atropelle un carro, ¿verdad?

Um... and... and maybe I could be hit by a car, right?

Caption 13, Seva Vive - 5. La historia se da cuenta

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All that said, which of the aforementioned adverbs for "maybe" should we choose? As all three can be used to express the same thing, let's take a look at the previous example, substituting quizás with both tal vez and a lo mejor:
 
Y tal vez me atropelle un carro, ¿verdad?
And maybe I could be hit by a car, right?
 
a lo mejor me atropella un carro, ¿verdad?
And maybe I could be hit by a car, right?

 

Note that while the translations for all three sentences are identical, with the substitution of tal vez, the sentence is otherwise unaltered. In order to employ a lo mejor correctly, on the other hand, the sentence's verb must be changed to indicative

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Puede ser (que)

Yet another Spanish expression, puede ser, can also be used in lieu of quizá(s) and tal vez. While this literally means "it can be," alternative translations include "it could be," "it's possible" and even "perhaps" or "maybe."

 

Probablemente tengas gripe. Puede ser.

You probably have the flu. It's possible.

Captions 21-22, Ariana - Cita médica

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Alternatively, the construction puede ser que employs the subjunctive to introduce a possibility in a similar way to the English idea of "might":

 

Hasta puede ser que entonces podamos entender a Joan.

We might even be able to then understand Joan.

Caption 55, Con ánimo de lucro - Cortometraje

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Acaso

Acaso also means "perhaps" or "maybe" and can be used with either the indicative or the subjunctive. Let's see an example with the verb creer (to think) in the indicative mood:

 

¿O acaso usted cree que las azafatas somos millonarias?

Or maybe you think that we flight attendants are millionaires?

Caption 43, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 2

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Armed with these possibilities for expressing the idea of "maybe" in Spanish, a lo mejor (perhaps) it's time to say goodbye for the time being. Don't hesitate to contact us with your suggestions and comments.

 

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