Do you know how to give advice in Spanish? Today's lesson will give you some advice... on ways to give advice in Spanish!
While the noun for "advice" in Spanish is consejo, in contrast to the English equivalent (an uncountable noun that does not change forms in the plural), the concept of general "advice" in Spanish can be conveyed with either the singular consejo or the plural form, consejos. Let's look at an example of each:
entonces como consejo sano, ¿verdad? Tú mismo decir,
so as sound advice, right? You yourself saying,
Caption 54, Cuentas claras Sobreviviendo enero - Part 3Play Caption
¿qué consejos le darías a un turista que viene a Barcelona?
what advice would you give to a tourist who's coming to Barcelona?
Caption 51, Carlos y Xavi Part 4 Tradiciones y comida de BarcelonaPlay Caption
That said, when a definite or indefinite article (el, un, unos or los) or quantifying term like a number appears before this noun to refer to specific advice, the word consejo can sometimes be interpreted as a "piece of advice" or "tip," as in the following captions:
Es como un consejo de sentido común de la vida
It's like a piece of common sense advice in life
Caption 49, Verónica "Reprogramación psicocorporal"Play Caption
Pues, hoy les traemos cuatro consejos muy sencillos
Well, today we bring you four very simple tips
Caption 6, Natalia de Ecuador Consejos: haciendo amigos como adultosPlay Caption
The verb that means "to give advice" in Spanish is aconsejar, which, when addressed to a specific person or people, can also mean "to advise" or "recommend":
Así que les aconsejo que aprendan los primeros diez ordinales ya que son muy útiles.
So, I advise you to learn the first ten ordinals, as they are very useful.
Caption 51, Carlos explica Los Números: Números OrdinalesPlay Caption
les sugiero que visiten el sugestivo Museo del oro,
I suggest that you visit the intriguing Gold Museum,
Caption 34, Aprendiendo con Carlos América precolombina - Mitos y leyendas MuiscasPlay Caption
Yo te recomiendo leer mucho en español para mejorar tu nivel.
I recommend you read a lot in Spanish to improve your level.
Captions 64-65, El Aula Azul Mis libros preferidos - Part 1Play Caption
os propongo que vengáis a visitar Genalguacil.
I suggest you come to visit Genalguacil.
Caption 67, Viajando con Fermín Genalguacil - Part 1Play Caption
Now that you are familiar with these terms, here are a few rules of thumb for "advice verbs" like the ones we have just seen:
Since giving advice in Spanish is all about telling someone your opinion about what they "should" (or shouldn't) or "must" (or mustn't) do, let's now examine a few additional "advice verbs" in Spanish that express just that! Keep in mind that while our initial "advice verbs" were conjugated in the first person, the conjugations in this group will correspond to the many Spanish ways to say "you."
The verb deber + the infinitive tells someone what they "must" or "have to" do and is thus useful for giving advice in Spanish.
ustedes deben permanecer juntos, felices.
you have to stay together, happy.
Caption 44, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 2 - Part 12Play Caption
Note that when the verb deber is conjugated in the Spanish conditional form, it is the equivalent of the English "should":
Adrián, deberías tomar las pastillas que te di.
Adrian, you should take the pills that I gave you.
Caption 40, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: Subjuntivo y condicionalPlay Caption
Since the Spanish verb tener que also means "to have to," it is often used along with the infinitive to give advice in Spanish:
Tienes que saber siempre muy bien cuál es tu límite,
You always have to know very well what your limit is,
Caption 56, Ana Teresa Yoga y surfPlay Caption
Yet another way to give advice in Spanish is through fixed expressions, whose English translations are the exact equivalents of some English advice-giving phrases with which you are probably familiar. Let's take a look!
"Por qué no aprendes a tocar guitarra?"
"Why don't you learn to play the guitar?"
Caption 67, Alberto Jiménez Causalidad - Part 1Play Caption
Bueno, si yo fuera tú, hablaría con él.
Well, if I were you, I would speak with him.
Caption 24, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: Subjuntivo y condicionalPlay Caption
By the way, this utterance falls into the category of the second conditional in Spanish that employs the imperfect subjunctive and conditional tenses to describe what "would" happen if some condition "were" in place.
¡Hay que probarla! No, yo creo que sí.
You have to try it! No, I think so.
Caption 22, Cleer y Lida El regreso de LidaPlay Caption
Por ahora lo mejor es que descanse.
For now, the best thing is for you to rest.
Caption 18, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 1 - Part 10Play Caption
Por eso es mejor evitar que la ira tome el control
That's why it's better to avoid [letting] anger take control
Caption 42, Aprendiendo con Silvia Las emociones - Part 3Play Caption
As with our first set of "advice verbs," the verb that follows these impersonal expressions in the last two examples will be either in the infinitive or subjunctive, depending upon whether or not it follows the conjunction que.
And finally, another method for giving advice in Spanish is simply telling someone what to do! For this purpose, we recommend that you learn or review the Spanish imperative mood, which includes both informal commands and formal commands. For now, let's take a look at a pair of examples of familiar commands in Spanish, one negative and one positive, that are used to give advice in Spanish in the following captions:
No tengas miedo de tomar la iniciativa.
Don't be afraid to take the initiative.
Caption 20, Natalia de Ecuador Consejos: haciendo amigos como adultosPlay Caption
Evita beber desde media tarde bebidas estimulantes como el café, el té o bebidas con cola. Mm-hm.
Avoid drinking, starting from mid-afternoon, stimulant drinks like coffee, tea, or cola drinks. Mm-hmm.
Captions 24-25, Aprendiendo con Silvia Consejos para dormir mejor - Part 1Play Caption
That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has given you a lot of ideas about how to give advice in Spanish. Can you think of any more? Don't forget to write us with your suggestions, comments... or advice!
Today's lesson will focus on the oft-used conjunction para que, which means "so that" or "in order for" in Spanish.
Beginning with a few sentences that contain the Spanish conjunction para que, see if you can identify elements that they all have in common.
y ahora colocaré esta mezcla en la refrigeradora, para que se enfríe un poco,
and now, I'll put this mixture in the refrigerator so that it cools down a bit,
Captions 33-34, Ana Carolina Ponche navideñoPlay Caption
¿Pueden dejar de llorar para que empecemos la competencia?
Can you stop crying so that we can start the competition?
Caption 53, NPS No puede ser 1 - El concurso - Part 5Play Caption
y los invito a que pongan en práctica todas estas reglas para que puedan usar correctamente estas preposiciones.
and I invite you to put all these rules into practice so that you can use these prepositions correctly.
Captions 70-71, Carlos explica Las preposiciones 'por' y 'para' - Part 3Play Caption
Did you come up with any commonalities? Let's lay down a couple of ground rules for using para que in Spanish.
In other words, one thing is done by one entity so that another entity "can" do something else.
Using the English translations, in the first example, "I" (the first subject) will put the mixture in the fridge so that "it" (the second subject) is able to cool down. In the second, "you guys" (the first subject) should stop crying so that "we" (the second subject) can commence the competition, and in the third, "I" (the first subject) am doing the inviting in order for you "you guys" (the second subject) to use the prepositions right.
* Note that in these Spanish sentences, the subjects are implied by their verb conjugations rather than explicitly stated (for example, as invito is the first person singular of the verb invitar (to invite), we know the subject is "I").
If we think of this in terms of our W.E.I.R.D.O. formula for when to use the subjunctive in Spanish, it makes sense since just because something "could" happen based on an initial action, we aren't sure if it will. You will note that two of three translations include the word "can," although this is not always the case, and there are often many ways to translate a Spanish that includes para que into English.
Although all of the examples we have seen thus far have included verbs in the present subjunctive tense, you might come across examples in other subjunctive tenses, such as the imperfect subjunctive when the action takes place in the past. Let's take a look at some examples:
Les dimos los juguetes, los bolígrafos, uno para cada uno para que pudieran escribir.
We gave them the toys, the pens, one for each one so that they could write.
Captions 8-9, Con ánimo de lucro Cortometraje - Part 4Play Caption
Lo que hice fue preparar todos los burros, para que estuviesen acostumbrados a recibir a visitas,
What I did was to prepare all the donkeys so they were used to getting visitors,
Captions 35-36, Amaya Apertura del refugioPlay Caption
Alternative translations for this second example might be "so that they would be used to getting visitors" or "so that they could get used to getting visitors."
Although you might hear it done occasionally in spoken Spanish, remember that you should not use para que to connect clauses when there is no change of subject. For example, what if you wanted to say, "I'm going to call the restaurant as soon as possible so that I can get a table"? You shouldn't say Yo voy a llamar el restaurante lo antes posible para que (yo) pueda conseguir una mesa" but instead use para + the infinitive as follows:
Yo voy a llamar el restaurante lo antes posible para poder conseguir una mesa.
I'm going to call the restaurant as soon as possible so I can get a table (literally "to be able to get a table").
Let's see some more examples:
mis toallitas desmaquillantes, y mi espejo, donde me miro todas las mañanas para saber que estoy bien.
my makeup remover towelettes, and my mirror, where I look at myself every morning in order to know I look OK.
Captions 55-56, Amaya "Mi camper van"Play Caption
An alternative translation could be "so that I know I look OK."
Siempre hemos de asistir personalmente a la entidad bancaria para poder realizar la firma de todos los documentos originales.
We should always go personally to the banking entity in order to be able to do the signing of all the original documents.
Captions 13-14, Raquel Abrir una cuenta bancariaPlay Caption
Another way to say this in English could be "so we can sign all of the original documents." In any case, because there is no change in subject in either of these examples (in the first one, it's yo/I and in the second one, it's nosotros/we), the formula para plus the infinitive was used in lieu of para que.
To conclude, remember that when para qué is used in question or implied question form, it has an accent and means "why?" or "what for?" Let's see some examples:
¿Y para qué lo necesito?
And what do I need it for?
Caption 6, Clase Aula Azul Planes para el futuro - Part 1Play Caption
¿Para qué fuiste al cine?
Why [for what purpose] did you go to the movies?
Caption 53, Carlos explica Las preposiciones 'por' y 'para' - Part 1Play Caption
Keep in mind that although para qué can also be translated as "why" in some contexts, it has a slightly different meaning than por qué (which also means "why") in that it focuses on goal or purpose rather than strictly reason. For more on this subtle distinction, check out this video on the Spanish prepositions por vs. para.
That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has made the expression para que more clear para que la puedan usar bien (so that you can use it correctly) and sound like a native speaker. And don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
How do you translate expressions with words like "whatever," "whenever," and "however" to Spanish? Today, we will explore some simple manners of doing so using the Spanish subjunctive along with certain key words and/or phrases.
It is fitting that the Spanish subjunctive is employed to express the notion of "whatever" because, in contrast to the more objective indicative, this mood describes things that are subjective, vague, or unknown. That said, the third person singular of the present subjunctive form of the verb ser (to be) appears in the Spanish equivalent of "whatever," lo que sea, which literally means "what it may be." With this in mind, we can use the formula lo que plus a subjunctive verb to convey the idea of "whatever" one may do, think, etc., when what that is not specifically known by the speaker. Let's look at some examples:
Tú puedes hacer lo que tú quieras porque es tu libro,
You can do whatever you want because it's your book,
Caption 2, Escribiendo un libro Algunos consejos sobre cómo comenzar - Part 3Play Caption
Had this speaker said "Tú puedes hacer lo que tú quieres" ("You can do what you want"), in the indicative, he would probably be referring to something specific that this author wanted to do. However, the subjunctive form quieras makes it clear that her possibilities are endless. This is particularly interesting because the English equivalents of these Spanish sentences ("you can do what you want" vs. "whatever you want") do not necessarily make this distinction. Let's see another example:
haré lo que usted me diga.
I'll do whatever you tell me to.
Caption 83, Muñeca Brava 48 - Soluciones - Part 3Play Caption
Similarly, had this gentleman said, haré lo que usted me dice, the idea would be "I'll do what you're telling me (specifically) to do" rather than "I'll do absolutely any (perhaps crazy!) thing you might tell me."
The idea of "whenever" in Spanish is very similar, and the words cuando (when) and siempre que ("as long as" or literally "always that") can be paired with verbs in the Spanish subjunctive to say "whenever" as in the following caption:
y con eso ya puedes mudarte cuando quieras.
and with that you can then move in whenever you want.
Caption 43, Ricardo La compañera de casa - Part 2Play Caption
Again, had the speaker said to his perspective tenant "puedes mudarte cuando quieres" (you can move in when you want), he would most likely be referring to a specific date, perhaps one that she had previously mentioned. However, the subjunctive form cuando quieras lets her know that whatever date she might choose will work fine. Here is one more example:
Estos ejercicios los puedes realizar en la mañana, tarde o noche, siempre que necesites mover tu cuerpo.
You can do these exercises in the morning, afternoon, or night, whenever you need to move your body.
Captions 7-8, Bienestar con Elizabeth Activar las articulacionesPlay Caption
Literally meaning "always that you need," siempre que necesites means "whenever you need" or "whenever you might need to move your body," rather than at any specific moment.
You might have guessed by now that the word donde (where) plus a verb in the Spanish subjunctive can mean "wherever." Let's take a look:
Tú dejas las cosas, donde sea, da igual.
You leave your things, wherever, it's all the same.
Caption 5, Arume BarcelonaPlay Caption
Here, we can see that donde sea is a popular way of saying simply "wherever," although the literal translation would be "wherever it might be." Let's check out an example with a different verb:
en el restaurante, en el punto de información o donde estés.
at the restaurant, at the information point or wherever you are.
Caption 26, Natalia de Ecuador Palabras de uso básicoPlay Caption
Like the other expressions we have examined in this lesson, the speaker's intention in this caption is to explain that she would like to help people with basic expressions they might use, not in any specific place, but anywhere at all.
To say "whichever," we can use formulas such as a noun plus que plus a verb in the Spanish subjunctive or a relative pronoun (e.g. el que, la que, los que, or las que, which mean "the one(s)") plus que plus a verb in the Spanish subjunctive. Let's take a look:
Podéis utilizar el verbo que queráis.
You can use whichever verb you want.
Caption 58, Clase Aula Azul Pedir deseos - Part 2Play Caption
No pasa nada. Vamos a hacer los que tengamos,
No problem. Let's do whichever ones we have,
Caption 49, Escuela BCNLIP Clase con Javi: el futuro - Part 19Play Caption
In the first example, the teacher uses the formula to emphasize the students choice among all of the available verbs, while the second caption communicates that they can practice with any of the possible examples they might have gotten, even if they differ from student to student.
By "however," we don't mean sin embargo as in the conjunctive adverb, but rather "in whichever way" as in English expressions like "Do it however you see fit." For this purpose, Let's look at some examples in Spanish:
El destino hay que aceptarlo como venga. -¿Qué?
One has to accept destiny however it comes. -What?
Caption 56, Club 10 Capítulo 2 - Part 5Play Caption
Of course, we never know "how" destiny will unfold, so it is apt to use the subjunctive to talk about it! Another possible translation for this sentence could be "however it may come." Let's see one more example of this formula:
lo que tienen que hacer es aguantar como puedan las... los golpes de los de la red,
what they have to do is to withstand however they can, the... the hits from the ones by the net,
Caption 46, Escuela de Pádel Albacete Hablamos con José LuisPlay Caption
Once again, as the ways they might withstand the hits from the players by the net are innumerable, the Spanish subjunctive comes into play.
We bet you're getting the hang of this by now, but we'd better show you some examples of how to say "whoever" and "whomever" in Spanish:
No sé, pero quien sea la tiene difícil
I don't know, but whoever it is has got it rough
Captions 7-8, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 8 - Part 2Play Caption
An alternative translation could be "whoever it may be."
Nosotras les hacemos la sugerencia a las personas que escuchen el programa
We make the suggestion to whomever listens to the program
Caption 19, Protección ambiental Ni una bolsa másPlay Caption
These examples demonstrate that the formulas quien(es) or la(s) persona(s) plus que plus a subjunctive verb are the Spanish equivalents of expressions with "whoever" and/or "whomever," which are frequently confused in English ("whoever" is a subject pronoun, while "whomever" is an object pronoun). That said, the manner in which those formulas are translated will depend upon which function they fulfill within the grammatical context.
Sometimes, repetition of the Spanish subjunctive verb is used to emphasize this idea of non-specificity, which we can see in many popular Spanish expressions. You will note that the repetition is not translated, and that another possible translation for such cases is "no matter":
pase lo que pase, yo siempre voy a estar contigo,
no matter what happens, I'm always going to be with you,
Captions 30-31, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 1 - Part 13Play Caption
An alternative translation here could be: "Whatever happens, I'm always going to be with you."
Haga lo que haga este tipo, este delincuente, aquí en el país es responsabilidad mía...
Whatever this guy might do, this criminal, here in the country it's my responsibility...
Captions 26-27, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 1 - Part 10Play Caption
Here, one might also say "No matter what this guy does." Let's conclude today's lesson with an excerpt from a song by our friend Luis Guitarra, which includes a plethora of similar cases:
Vivan como vivan Hagan lo que hagan Sueñen con quien sueñen Sean como sean Vayan donde vayan Cuenten o no cuenten Digan lo que digan Salgan con quien salgan Piensen como piensen
No matter how they live No matter what they do No matter who they dream of No matter how they are No matter where they go No matter whether they tell No matter what they say No matter who they go out with No matter how they think
Captions 63-71, Luis Guitarra Somos transparentesPlay Caption
We hope you've enjoyed this lesson on how to say things like "whatever," "however," "whichever," etc. in Spanish, and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
As with any other language, Spanish can be tricky sometimes. Do you know how to use the word entorno? What about the expression en torno? Which one would you use in the following sentence:
Fuengirola es un importante punto turístico. Su economía gira ________ a este sector.
Fuengirola is an important touristic spot. Its economy revolves around this sector.
Captions 12-13, Fuengirola - MercadoPlay Caption
What about this sentence:
Encontró en su _________ un atractivo natural para los amantes del ecoturismo.
Found in its environment a natural beauty for the lovers of ecotourism.
Caption 94, Tecnópolis - El CoronilPlay Caption
Let’s find out what the answer is.
To begin with, entorno is a noun and the meaning of this word is environment or surroundings. However, it is important to say that entorno encompasses the same broad meaning of the English word “environment,” meaning “the circumstances, objects, or conditions by which one is surrounded.” Let’s take a look at some examples:
... las calles, la gente... lo que es el entorno urbano.
... the streets, the people... what the urban environment is.
Captions 39-40, Leif - El Arquitecto Español y su ArtePlay Caption
Para modificar el entorno, desarrolló herramientas, ¿no?
In order to modify the environment, he developed tools, right?
Caption 50, Lo que no sabías - Arte electrónicoPlay Caption
Regarding the last example, the word entorno is very common in information and computer science, especially when talking about the features that define the execution and placement of a particular application.
As far as the expression en torno goes, we can use it to mean about, around or approximately. Let’s take a look:
que hay en torno a cincuenta millones, eh, hispanohablantes en Estados Unidos.
that there there are about fifty million, um, Spanish speakers in the United States.
Captions 42-43, El Instituto Cervantes - Director del InstitutoPlay Caption
Puede andar en torno a los dos mil seiscientos...
It could be around two thousand six hundred...
Caption 50, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricosPlay Caption
Finally, keep in mind that en torno is either followed by the preposition a or the preposition de:
That's it for this lesson. Now that you know the difference between entorno and en torno, you can answer the questions we posed at the beginning, right? And don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.
Learning how to combine prepositions such as a, ante, con, de, desde, en, para, por, and sin (among others) is key to being able to build complex ideas in Spanish. For example, you can use them to introduce a subordinate clause in a very simple sentence:
Voy al banco a cambiar un cheque (I go/I'm going to the bank to cash a check)
Voy al banco para cambiar un cheque (I go/I'm going to the bank to cash a check)
Voy al banco con María (I go/I'm going to the bank with Maria)
Voy al banco de la esquina (I go/I'm going to the bank on the corner of the street)
Voy al banco desde temprano (I go/I'm going to the bank early in the morning)
Voy al banco en carro (I go/I'm going to the bank by car)
Voy al banco por unos documentos (I go/I'm going to the bank to get some documents)
Voy al banco según me indicaste (I go/I'm going to the bank as you told me to)
Voy al banco sin mi paraguas (I go/I'm going to the bank without my umbrella)
You can also combine prepositions with other particles in Spanish. One interesting case is the combination of prepositions with the word que. Let's focus on the combination a que (entirely different from a qué), which is very useful! Here's an example:
Pues yo te invito a que lo pruebes.
Well, I invite you to try it.
Caption 87, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 6Play Caption
Another way to express the same idea in Spanish is te invito a probarlo (I invite you to try it). Do you notice the difference? The preposition a introduces a verb in the infinitive (probarlo) while the combination a que introduces a clause with a conjugated verb (pruebes).
Another example/meaning of a que is:
Mi padre era muy reacio a que [yo] las tocara.
My father was very reluctant for me to touch them.
Caption 57, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 10Play Caption
As you can see, English has a different, more convoluted way to express this idea of being reluctant about an action performed by a third person. But the Spanish a que construction can be combined with a conjugated verb in the subjunctive. If you were wondering, you can't express this precise idea in Spanish using the infinitive. But if the subjunctive is still hard for you, try something simple and depersonalized: Mi padre era muy reacio a tocarlas (My father was very reluctant to touch them).
The phrase a que can be used to answer someone who's asking an a qué question:
¿A qué viniste? -Vine a que me pagues.
What did you come for? - I came for you to pay me.
Finally, there's an expression using the combination a que that you will surely like. It's used to confirm that we are on the same page with somebody, that we agree about something:
¿Tú la cuidas bien a que sí?
You take good care of her, right?
Caption 23, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 16Play Caption
In Spanish this expression a que sí is equivalent and very similar to ¿verdad que sí? (literally "is it true that yes?"). It can also be used in the negative form:
¿A que no adivinas dónde estuvimos?
I bet you won't guess where we were?
Caption 9, Guillermina y Candelario - Carrera de RelevosPlay Caption
You can think of this expression as a short version of the phrase apuesto a que no (I bet that you don't...), which is also used in positive terms: apuesto a que sí (I bet you do...), by the way. It's just much more common to use the negative form to stress the daring nature of this expression. But it's perfectly correct to say: ¡A que sí puedes. Inténtalo! (I bet you can. Try!).
That's all for now! We'll explore more of these combinations in future lessons. Don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let's learn some useful Spanish expressions.
The expression total, para qué ( literally "total, what for") is used to express hopelessness if you think that something is likely to fail or is unpromising. The phrase is equivalent to the English expression "So, what's the use," as you can see in the following example:
¡Ay! Total para qué... ¡Ya olvídalo!
Oh! So what's the use... Forget it already!
Another interesting expression is tener en cuenta (to keep into account, to keep in mind):
Intentaré hacer todo lo que me has dicho y tener en cuenta tus recomendaciones.
I will try to do everything that you have told me and keep in mind your recommendations.
Captions 56-57, El Aula Azul - La Doctora Consejos - Subjuntivo y condicionalPlay Caption
Here's another example using teniendo (having, keeping) in a more formal context:
Teniendo en cuenta lo anterior, quisiera compartir con ustedes el siguiente mito muisca
Taking into account the foregoing, I would like to share with you the following Muisca myth
Captions 19-20, Aprendiendo con Carlos - América precolombina - El mito de BachuéPlay Caption
On the contrary, the expression hacer de cuenta, means "to pretend":
Entonces, haz de cuenta están hablando ellos...
So, pretend they are talking...
Caption 16, Amigos D.F. - Consejos para la callePlay Caption
As you can see, this expression is frequently used in the imperative mode:
Pero hagamos de cuenta que es profundísimo.
But let's pretend that it is very deep.
Caption 33, Salvando el planeta Palabra - Llegada - Part 8Play Caption
The Spanish verb llevar has many different meanings. It's also used in many idiomatic phrases. Let's study some examples since this is a very popular and useful verb.
The basic meanings of llevar is "to carry " or "to take":
Tengo que llevar a mi hijo al doctor - I have to take my kid to the doctor.
Ella lleva una carga muy pesada - She carries a very heavy burden.
Sometimes the verb llevar translates as "to bring":
No [te] olvides [de] llevar un regalo a la fiesta de Lucía / Don't forget to bring a gift to Lucia's party.
This can be a little confusing for English speakers, since traer and llevar actually mean opposite things in Spanish. The verb traer involves carrying something to the speaker's location, while llevar means to carry something from the speaker's location to a different place. So, to use the same example, if you are already at Lucía's party or, let's say, she is your roomie, you must say: No [te] olvides [de] traer un regalo a la fiesta de Lucía (Don't forget to bring a gift to Lucia's party).
But the verb llevar has many other interesting uses. For example, it's used to express the idea of having been doing something for a period of time. In this case, it's very common to combine llevar with the preposition ya (already):
Yo ya llevo veintitrés años aquí ya.
I have already been here for twenty-three years now.
Caption 65, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 18Play Caption
Llevar can also be used to express duration. This is easy to learn since English also uses "to take" for the same purpose:
tenemos que teñirlo, esto pues, nos lleva un ratito,
we have to dye it, this well, it takes us a little while,
Caption 68, Animales en familia - Un día en Bioparc: Microchip para Nacahué - Part 1Play Caption
As you can see, this use of llevar frequently involves using reflexive pronouns. But you don't always need them. Compare, for example:
Hacer la tarea lleva mucho tiempo / Doing homework takes a lot of time.
Hacer la tarea me lleva mucho tiempo / Doing homework takes me a lot of time.
Llevar also means"to wear":
¿Por qué lleváis guantes?
Why do you wear gloves?
Caption 46, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 5Play Caption
By the way, the verb traer (to bring) is sometimes used the same way:
por eso... traen pantalones
that's why... they wear pants
Captions 47-48, El Ausente - Acto 2 - Part 3Play Caption
And the verb llevar also means "to lead." For example: ¿Llevas una vida saludable? (Do you lead a healthy life?).
Finally, there's an expression used in Mexico that derives from this last meaning: ahí la llevas. It literally means something like "there, you are leading it" but it means that the person speaking is telling you that you are doing your work well. It's very common to use this expression as an ironic remark that means exactly the opposite, so be careful:
No te rindas, hijo. Ahí la llevas. / Don't give up, son. You are doing well.
¿Otra vez borracho? Bueno, tú síguele. Ahí la llevas. / Drunk again? Well, keep going. You are on the right track... not.
The keys to picking up a language quickly are constant exposure and practice. But practice is not always easy to obtain, either because you lack the opportunity or, more often, because you lack the confidence to engage in a conversation. So you lack learning because you lack practice, and you lack practice because you lack learning. How frustrating!
But there are always ways around this problem. One of them involves memorizing common phrases to be prepared for the next time you get the chance to engage in a conversation. For example, you can memorize entire phrases by topic; phrases to introduce yourself, to ask for directions, to order food, etc. Or you could memorize smaller, more specialized chunks of speech and use them as building blocks to create more complex ideas. For example, phrases like quiero que... (I want that), or no sé si (I don't know if). On this lesson we will focus on exploring one of these phrases: si fuera.
The phrase si fuera actually involves mastering an advanced skill in Spanish: the use of the verb ser (to be) in the subjunctive mood. But instead of learning rules and conjugation tables, you can memorize it as it is, and learn how speakers use it in everyday speech to build your own sentences.
Si fuera is usually combined with the preposition como (as) and followed by a noun phrase:
Así como si fuera una pinza.
Like this as if it were a clamp.
Caption 22, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 17Play Caption
Since fuera is used for both the first and third person singular, you can use the same expression to talk about yourself. You can add the pronoun yo (I) between si and fuera, or not:
¡Si fuera tu jefe te despediría!
If I were your boss, I'd have you fired!
Here's an example from our catalog:
Yo quiero amarte como si fuera tu único dueño.
I want to love you as if I were your only master.
Caption 63, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 3Play Caption
Look at this useful example that combines si fuera with a basic simple sentence like esto es(this is):
Esto es como si fuera el rastro de los móviles o el rastro de tu vida.
This is as if it were a cell phone trail or your life's trail.
Caption 31, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 4Play Caption
Si fuera can also be followed by a pronoun, it's used a lot in conditional sentences:
Bueno, si yo fuera tú, hablaría con él.
Well, if I were you, I would speak with him.
Caption 24, El Aula Azul - La Doctora Consejos: Subjuntivo y condicionalPlay Caption
And si fuera can also be followed by an adjective instead of a noun:
Si [yo] fuera rico me respetarías un poco - If I were rich you would respect me a little.
Si mi jefa fuera injusta conmigo yo renunciaría a mi trabajo - If my boss were unfair to me I would quit my job.
At this point you could also learn the expression como si fuera poco:
Y como si fuera poco, todo lo que hacen...
And, as if that weren't enough, everything that they do...
Caption 30, Salvando el planeta Palabra Llegada - Part 8Play Caption
How much you learn about the proper use of ser and estar (both meaning "to be") depends on your exposure to how real Spanish is spoken by real people. This lesson focuses on how a person can use estoy (“I'm” —the first-person singular form of estar in the present tense) to talk about himself or herself.
The present tense of the verb estar (to be) is estoy. You can use it combined with an adjective (or a participio—the -ado, -ido, -to, -so, -cho endings and their feminine and plural forms, used as an adjective) to express your current state of mind, body, or soul:
...Yo estoy listo ya... ¿Dónde está el perro?
...I'm ready now... Where's the dog?
Caption 108, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 5Play Caption
It's very common, for example, to use estar to talk about emotions, convictions, and beliefs:
Bueno, pero estoy muy contenta. Pasa.
Well, but I am very happy. Come in.
Caption 12, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 6Play Caption
Yo creo que sí. -Estoy convencido que poco a poco vamos a... a buscar alternativas.
I think so. -I am convinced that little by little we are going to... to look for alternatives.
Captions 64-65, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 5Play Caption
You can use any other regular adjective as well. Some examples are below:
Estoy limpio - I'm clean.
Estoy enferma - I'm sick.
Estoy sola - I'm lonely.
At this point it's useful to compare the possible meaning of similar phrases using ser instead of estar. Note how, by using ser instead of estar, the adjective becomes an intrinsic characteristic of the subject:
Soy limpio - I'm a clean person.
Soy enferma - Incorrect, it’s better to say soy una persona enferma "I'm a sick person," or even just estoy enferma (I’m sick), because this phrase can also mean “I’m a sick person” given the appropriate context.
Soy sola - Incorrect, it’s better to say soy una persona solitaria (I'm a lonely person).
You can combine estoy with the gerundio (-ando / -endo / -iendo endings) to talk about your actions, about what you are doing. The combination with haciendo, the gerundio of the verb hacer (to do) is very common:
Yo estoy haciendo el control de calidad del producto.
I'm doing the quality control of the product.
Caption 4, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 20Play Caption
But you can combine estoy with any other gerundio, for example cogiendo, the gerundio of coger (to grab, to pick):
Hasta que no palme estoy cogiendo castañas.
As long as I don't croak, I'm picking chestnuts.
Caption 6, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 5Play Caption
You can use estoy with a complement that denotes space to specify your location. The combination with an adverb of place is common:
Por eso estoy aquí, porque me han dicho...
That's why I am here because they have told me...
Caption 85, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 15Play Caption
And also with the preposition en (in):
Eh... Ahora mismo estoy en Málaga, estoy de vacaciones.
Um... Right now I'm in Malaga, I'm on vacation.
Caption 2, Arume - Málaga, España - Part 1Play Caption
The verb estoy can also be combined with certain prepositions to express a wide array of ideas. For example, you can use it with the preposition de to talk about your role or position in a certain context:
Eh, y... estoy de acuerdo con, con Denisse ahí,
Uh, and... I agree (literally, "I'm in accord") with, with Denisse there.
Caption 24, Belanova - Entrevista - Part 3Play Caption
No, luego, cuando acaba la campaña estoy de camarero.
No, after, once the season ends, I work as a waiter.
Caption 61, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 13Play Caption
Eh... Ahora mismo estoy en Málaga, estoy de vacaciones.
Um... Right now I'm in Malaga, I'm on vacation.
Caption 2, Arume - Málaga, España - Part 1Play Caption
You can combine the verb estoy with the preposition por and a verb in infinitive (-er, -ar, -irendings) to talk about what you are about to do:
Estoy por ganar el juego de scrabble.
I'm about to win the Scrabble match.
Estoy por terminar. Espérenme, por favor.
I'm about to finish. Please, wait for me.
You can use estar and the preposition para to talk about purpose, function, etc.
Aquí estoy para servir.
I'm here to serve.
Here's an interesting example from our catalog of videos:
o estoy para dirigir cine tal vez.
or maybe, I'm suited to direct a movie.
Caption 68, Arturo Vega - Entrevista - Part 1Play Caption
There are many other ways in which you can use the verb estoy; these are just some of the most common ones. For now, we recommend you practice these expressions, maybe try transforming them into the past or future tenses! Our next lesson in this series will focus on how soy (the first-person singular form of ser in the present tense) can be used to talk about oneself.
The Spanish verb atender ("to serve," "to see to," "to attend to," among other uses) is a common source of confusion since it doesn't always mean what it sounds like it should to English speakers. Let's see some examples.
The verb atender meaning “to serve” or “to attend” can be very useful in any context that involves providing or receiving a service:
Quisiera saber si la doctora Castaño me podría atender hoy.
I would like to know if Doctor Castaño could see me today.
Caption 9, Cita médica - La cita médica de Cleer - Part 1Play Caption
Most of the time this verb is accompanied by the preposition a, but not always. In the following example, the preposition a was omitted:
Por el momento ustedes se pueden ir un rato a hablar con sus amigos, a atender la visita...
For the moment you can go for a while to talk with your friends, to serve your guests...
Caption 40, Cocinando con Miguelito - Pollo sudado - Part 2Play Caption
This can be done because the expression la visita is depersonalized. But it's very different when the object of the verb atender is an individual or group of individuals, in which case you must always use the preposition a:
Mi ocupación es atender a la gente.
My job is to serve people.
Caption 67, Perdidos en la Patagonia - El Aeropuerto - La Sala de EsperasPlay Caption
The omission of the preposition a occurs more frequently when the verb atender means "to respond to," "to meet," "to answer to," or "to look after" something. For example:
Por ahí lo llamo, se da cuenta que soy yo, no atiende el teléfono.
I might call him, he realizes that it's me, he doesn't answer to the phone.
Caption 47, Yago - 10 Enfrentamientos - Part 6Play Caption
Y de pronto los que atienden [un] negocio...
And suddenly those who look after a business...
Caption 10, Festivaliando - Mono Núñez - Part 12Play Caption
You always need to use the preposition a before atender when it means "to pay attention.” In the following example, Raquel uses the contraction al (a + el):
No tendrás dudas si atiendes al contexto de lo que se dice.
You will have no doubt if you pay attention to the context of what is said.
Caption 14, Raquel - Diminutivos y aumentativosPlay Caption
The verb atender is also frequently combined with personal pronouns (used instead of direct and indirect objects):
Voy a tratar de dejarme que me atiendan, que me hagan lo que necesite.
I am going to try to let them take care of me, do to me whatever I need.
Caption 23, Transformación - EstéticaPlay Caption
It's also common to reiterate the object of the verb in these expressions, even when a pronoun has already been used. For example, it's not incorrect to say dejar que me atiendan a mí (let them take care of me). Saying Es mejor que el doctor la atienda a ella primero is as correct as saying Es mejor que el doctor la atienda primero (It's better if the doctor sees her first). Here's an interesting example:
No sé, como nervios [de] que lo atiendan a uno y sentirse tan bien atendido.
I don't know, like nerves that one is taken care of and to feel so well taken care of.
Caption 20, Transformación - EstéticaPlay Caption
¡Gracias por atender a esta lección!
Let's continue our lesson about the most common ways to say “I'm sorry” in Spanish. Thank you to everybody who sent us feedback and suggestions about this lesson!
We discussed the expression lo siento (I'm sorry) in our previous lesson. Let's now focus on the use and meaning of perdóna[me] and discúlpa[me]. As we mentioned before, these two words have a clear and very distinctive apologetic nature and both translate as "I'm sorry," given the appropriate context.
Ay... ¡perdón! ¡Perdón!
Oh... sorry! Sorry!
Caption 21, Amigos D.F. - Consejos para la callePlay Caption
Te recuerdo, no me digas así porque no lo soporto. Ay, disculpa.
I remind you, don't call me that because I can't deal with it. Oh, sorry.
Captions 30-31, NPS No puede ser - 1 - El concurso - Part 3Play Caption
Remember that perdón and disculpa are also nouns that mean "forgiveness" and "excuse" respectively. So you can say te pido perdón (I ask your forgiveness) or te pido disculpas (literally "I ask you to excuse me"):
Y si he fallado en algo, te pido perdón
And if I have failed in something, I ask your forgiveness
Caption 11, Enrique Iglesias - MentirosoPlay Caption
¿Ya, contento? Te pido disculpas.
Happy now? I beg your forgiveness.
Captions 67-68, Yago - 3 La foto - Part 8Play Caption
But by simply saying perdón or disculpa you are actually using these words as verbs in the imperative form, just like "forgive me" and "excuse me" in English. That's made more evident when you attach the personal pronoun me as a suffix to either perdón or disculpa, which is very common (and adds a personal touch to the expression):
¡Qué mala onda, perdóname!
Jeez, forgive me!
Caption 2, Verano Eterno - Fiesta Grande - Part 5Play Caption
Pero, discúlpame, amiga.
But, sorry, friend.
Caption 15, Sofy y Caro - Entrevistar para un trabajoPlay Caption
You may want to know that even though both perdóname and discúlpame can be translated as "I'm sorry," there are subtle differences between them. In general, perdón is seen as a more heartfelt apology, and more personal. So, thoughtful people who really value precision reserve it for occasions in which they made an actual mistake, personally hurt somebody, etc. Saying disculpa or discúlpame is seen as more casual. Perhaps that's why disculpa is preferred as a simple polite expression equivalent to "excuse me" or "pardon me," phrases that don't necessarily imply you've made a mistake. Remember that, depending on your personal preference and the context, you may want to address people politely by saying (usted) disculpe or discúlpeme:
Disculpe, ¿y usted quién es?
Excuse me, and who are you?
Caption 39, NPS No puede ser - 1 - El concurso - Part 4Play Caption
As long as we are human, we are bound to make mistakes—a simple rule that applies doubly if you are a human trying to learn a foreign language! But what distinguishes a successful learner from an intransigent one is whether one can admit to one’s mistakes and redress them, right? So, don't shy away from speaking if you make mistakes in your Spanish. Sweeten your friends up instead with a candid apology! Here's a lesson about the most common ways to say “I'm sorry” in Spanish.
One short and very common way to say "I'm sorry" in Spanish is lo siento (literally, "I feel it"). Using the proper intonation, this phrase can help you get out of almost any sticky situation or mistake, but, and this is very important, you have to really mean it! Why? Because, just like "I'm sorry," this little Spanish phrase can also be used in a dismissive way, for example:
Lo siento, pequeña, pero aquí las cosas hay que ganárselas.
I'm sorry, little one, but here things have to be earned.
Captions 30-31, NPS No puede ser 1 - El concurso - Part 5Play Caption
Perhaps that's why it's very common to add the adverb mucho (a lot) to this phrase, as in lo siento mucho (I'm very sorry) as a way to make sure that the apologetic nature of one's lo siento gets properly transmitted. Another alternative is to use repetition to stress the importance of what you are saying... You can never be too sorry, right?
Bueno, sí, sí, sí, lo siento mucho, Andrea, por favor. -Ay, mire, lo siento, lo siento.
Well, yes, yes, yes, I am very sorry, Andrea, please. -Oh, look, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
Caption 20, Confidencial - El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 2 - Part 3Play Caption
But even lo siento mucho is not exclusively used to offer apologies. You can say it as a sarcastic remark, for example, or you can use the phrase lo siento mucho pero to casually introduce an excuse:
Lo siento mucho Mateo pero tengo que irme.
I'm very sorry, Mateo, but I have to leave.
Caption 42, Yago - 3 La foto - Part 8Play Caption
You may also hear people (especially in Spain) using que (as, since, that) instead of pero (but), as in lo siento mucho que:
Mariona... lo siento que llego de la biblioteca.
Mariona... I'm sorry as I'm coming from the library.
Caption 1, Blanca y Mariona - Vida en generalPlay Caption
Note that the expression siento que (without the pronoun lo) is also used to express empathy about an unfortunate situation:
Siento que te hayan despedido, Tomás.
I'm sorry you got fired, Tomas.
It’s also a good option when offering condolences (besides using the classic phrase mis condolencias, which is more formal and more impersonal):
Siento que perdieras a tu mamá, Lucía.
I'm sorry you lost your mom, Lucia.
Perdóna[me] and Discúlpa[me]
Here are some truly apologetic words! The noun perdón (forgiveness) and the verb perdonar (to forgive) have heavy connotations in Spanish. The reason behind this is that these words are rooted in legislative or ecclesiastical contexts in which the notion of perdón is intrinsically linked to the notion of culpa (guilt, fault). The same is true of the noun disculpa (apology, forgiveness, literally "non-guilt") and the verb disculpar (to forgive, literally "to take away the guilt"). There are subtle differences between using perdón and disculpa though. We will tackle those in our next lesson, so stay tuned!
One of our latest videos includes an example of an interesting way to pose a question:
¿En qué le puedo ayudar?
How can I help you?
Caption 6, Cita médica - La cita médica de CleerPlay Caption
In this example, the combination of the preposition en (in, on) and the interrogative word qué (literally “in what”) means how (cómo). Even though the expression cómo puedo ayudarle (how can I help you) exists in Spanish, using en qué instead is a very common choice for native speakers, especially when the expression is meant to be a greeting. In fact, it can be argued that there's a subtle difference between saying ¿en qué puedo ayudarle? (literally "what can I help you with") and ¿cómo puedo ayudarle? (how can I help you): the first one is a polite greeting, while the second one is a general question. Compare the following examples:
Hola ¿en qué puedo ayudarle? - Quiero ordenar a domicilio.
Hi, how can I help you? -I want to order for delivery.
¿Cómo puedo ayudarle, tía? - Ayúdame a rebanar el pan.
How can I help you, Aunt? -Help me slice the bread.
But that’s not the only meaning of en qué. Here’s a notable example:
Oye, y ¿en qué trabajas?
Hey, and what do you do [for a living]?
Caption 82, Ricardo - La compañera de casaPlay Caption
En qué can also be used to ask about a location. It's roughly equivalent to dónde (where):
¿En qué lugar se enamoró de ti?
In what place did he fall in love with you?
Caption 7, Marc Anthony - Y cómo es élPlay Caption
En qué can also be used to talk about time. It's roughly equivalent to cuándo (when):
¿En qué momento sucedió?
When (in what moment) did it happen?
There are many fixed questions that use en qué. The question en qué consiste is worth learning:
¿En qué consiste tu trabajo, Paco?
What does your job consist of, Paco?
Caption 42, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesaPlay Caption
Finally, there are also idiomatic expressions that use en qué. For example, en qué quedamos (literally "in what we agreed”):
¿En qué quedamos? ¿Va a tener una herencia o no?
What did we settle on? Is he going to have an inheritance or not?
Caption 46, Muñeca Brava - 30 RevelacionesPlay Caption
Let's review some unique Spanish words that you may not have heard of before.
Spanish uses a specific word to describe the rheum (more commonly known as "sleep" in English) found in the corner of the eye after sleeping: lagaña (also legaña). This odd word has an uncertain origin, though some experts believe it to be inherited from a Paleohispanic language! It's important to note that lagaña is not a specialized term as "rheum" is in English, but a common word used in everyday conversations:
Esto es que una... una de las glándulas que se encarga de fabricar la lagaña...
This is because one... one of the glands that is in charge of producing rheum...
Caption 79, Animales en familia - La operación de YakiPlay Caption
Other unique Spanish words related to the body are entrecejo (the space between the eyebrows).
Y esta parte se llama entrecejo.
And this part is called "entrecejo" [the space between the eyebrows].
Caption 16, Marta de Madrid - El cuerpo - La cabezaPlay Caption
and chapas (blush, the pink tinge on the cheeks):
...para obtener las clásicas chapitas de Pikachu.
...to get the classic Pikachu rosy cheeks.
Caption 25, Manos a la obra - Separadores de libros: PikachuPlay Caption
Do you know any Spanish words or expressions used to describe different types of rain? The expressions está chispeando and está lloviznando both mean "it's drizzling." The verb chispear comes from the noun chispa (spark), while the verb lloviznar comes from the noun llovizna (drizzle). On the other end, when the rain is really heavy, people may use the noun tormenta (storm) to describe it, though aguacero (downpour) is also very common:
Aguacero de mayo, me lleva, papá
May downpour, it's taking me away, man
Caption 44, Kikirikí - AnimalesPlay Caption
Of course, people also use idiomatic expressions to talk about the rain. One example is llueve a cántaros (the equivalent of "it's raining cats and dogs," literally "it's raining as if pitchers were being poured from the sky"). Other words that you may want to explore on your own are: chubasco (a very intense, windy storm) and chaparrón (an intense, sudden, and short storm).
Another interesting set of unique Spanish words is the group used to talk about family in-laws, a list that is quite big, as you can imagine. It's not only suegro, suegra (father- and mother-in-law), but also yerno, nuera (son- and daughter-in-law), cuñado, cuñada (brother- or sister-in-law), and even concuño, concuña (brother, husband, sister, or wife of one's brother-in-law or sister-in-law)!
Es una champiñonera tradicional que estableció mi suegro.
It's a traditional mushroom farm that my father-in-law established.
Caption 6, La Champiñonera - El cultivo de champiñónPlay Caption
Estaba en la casa de mi suegra y mi cuñada,
I was in my mother-in-law's house, and my sister-in-law,
la hermana de mi marido...
my husband's sister...
Caption 52, Biografía - Natalia OreiroPlay Caption
Interesting tidbit: The equivalent of "in-law family" in Spanish is familia política. You can use the adjective político (political) to describe less close relatives such as primo político (in-law cousin).
In a previous lesson, we learned about how the verb volver can be used figuratively to express the idea of becoming:
Después se volvió más profesional
Afterwards, it became more professional
y me encantó más aún todavía, ¿no?
and I loved it even more still, right?
Caption 10, Los Juegos Olímpicos - Adrián GaviraPlay Caption
But other Spanish verbs also translate as "to become," for example the verbs transformarse and convertirse (to become, to turn into). These verbs are just as common as volverse but they work differently. That's why you can't just substitute se volvió with se transformó or se convirtió in the example above. When using these verbs you need to be more specific and always remember to use the preposition en (into) to introduce a complement that gives more information about the transformation in question. For example:
...pronto se convierte en una carrera de obstáculos.
...quickly becomes a highway of obstacles.
Caption 41, Animales en familia - La operación de YakiPlay Caption
El pergamino se transforma en "cisco" y en almendra.
The parchment is transformed into the leftover "cisco" and the bean.
Caption 41, Una Historia de Café - La BodegaPlay Caption
You can switch convertirse and transformarse in the examples above and obtain correct expressions:
...pronto se transforma en una carrera de obstáculos.
...quickly becomes a highway of obstacles.
El pergamino se convierte en "cisco" y en almendra.
The parchment is transformed into the leftover "cisco" and the bean.
But with the verb volverse you don’t need the preposition en (into), so you say:
...pronto se vuelve una carrera de obstáculos.
...quickly becomes a highway of obstacles.
El pergamino se vuelve "cisco" y almendra.
The parchment is transformed into the leftover "cisco" and the bean.
However, to use transformarse or convertirse instead of volverse in the first example you'll have to do more than that, because you can't just say that something or someone se transformó en más profesional (transformed into more professional), right? The expression is incomplete. “Transformed into a more professional what?” people would ask. So you have to say something like:
Después se transformó en una actividad más profesional...
Después se convirtió en una actividad más profesional...
Afterwards, it became a more professional activity...
Finally, an interesting tidbit: You can use both transformarse and convertirse alone as reflexive verbs to express the idea that a person transforms herself or himself, without the need of any complement or preposition, but you can't do the same with volverse:
Me transformo (I transform myself).
Me convierto (I transform myself).
Me vuelvo (This is incomplete; you have to state what you are turning into, for example: me vuelvo un vampiro, which means "I become a vampire").
Although the verb volver is most often translated as "to return," it can actually take on a variety of meanings. Let's take a look at some of the many ways native Spanish speakers might use it in real-life situations.
Typically, the verb volver means "to return" or "come back." Like other Spanish verbs, it is very commonly used in its infinitive form in combination with such verbs as querer (to want) or ir (to go). Learning how to use the infinitive form of verbs within such phrases is actually very useful— particuarly if you haven't yet mastered the conjugation of such irregular verbs. Let's first take a look at volver in the infinitive:
No quiero volver al hotel y
I don't want to go back to the hotel, and
el apartamento me gusta.
I like the apartment.
Captions 18-19, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 3Play Caption
Nada... voy a volver a última hora de la tarde, nada más.
None... I'm going to come back late in the afternoon, that's all.
Caption 54, Muñeca Brava - 9 EngañosPlay Caption
The verb volver can also be combined with other Spanish verbs to indicate the English concepts of "over" or "again."
Pues espero volver a verte pronto
Well, I hope to see you again soon
Caption 93, Blanca y Mariona - Vida en generalPlay Caption
The infinitive, volver, with the preposition a (literally "to," "at," etc.) can be linked with other Spanish verbs in phrases such as volver a vernos (to see each other again), volver a empezar (to start over), volver a entrar (to reenter), etc. Let's take a look at such examples of the formula, volver + a + infinitive, where volver has been conjugated:
Pero bueno, cuando pueda,
But well, when I can,
me vuelvo a inscribir en otro gimnasio y me meto.
I'll sign up at another gym again, and I'll go.
Caption 29, Patricia Marti - Diversión y EjercicioPlay Caption
Doblamos un pliego de papel china naranja a la mitad
We fold a sheet of orange tissue paper in half
y volvemos a doblar a la mitad.
and we fold it in half again.
Captions 65-66, Manos a la obra - Papel picado para Día de muertosPlay Caption
The verb, volver, also has a pronominal form: volverse, which can take on such diverse meanings as "to turn around," "to become," "to turn upside down," "to turn inside out," and "to go back," among others. Let's look at a few examples where volverse means "to become":
Porque nunca ha estudiado con niñas
Because he has never studied with girls
y como el colegio se volvió mixto, está temblando.
and since the school became mixed, he is shaking.
Caption 38, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 1Play Caption
Entonces, el asunto se vuelve más complicado.
So, the issue becomes more complicated.
Caption 32, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo eneroPlay Caption
La diferencia de edad también se puede apreciar en el pico,
The age difference can also be seen in the beak,
que también se vuelve de color más rosáceo con la edad.
which also becomes more pinkish with age.
Captions 50-51, Rosa - Laguna Fuente de PiedraPlay Caption
Finally, the expression volverse loco or loca is very often used when people want to say that someone went crazy:
¿Mi hija se volvió loca, Papá?
Did my daughter go crazy, Dad?
Caption 28, Yago - 6 MentirasPlay Caption
That's all for today. We hope you liked this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.
Quedar is a very useful and interesting Spanish verb because it has a great number of different meanings. Let's learn a few!
Quedar ("to stay" or "to remain") is commonly used alone (quedar) or accompanied with reflexive pronouns (quedarse). This verb can be followed by different complements and prepositions such as con (with), en (in, on), or de (of, from).
Quedarse con means "to stay with":
Y te quedas con los niños.
And you stay with the children.
Caption 29, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesaPlay Caption
It's useful to learn how to turn this expression into an order or request. All you have to do is use the reflexive pronoun as a suffix of the verb: quédate con los niños (stay with the kids). Here's another useful example:
Stay with me
Caption 42, Carlos Baute y Marta Sanchez - Colgando en tus manosPlay Caption
If you combine the verb quedar(se) with the preposition en (in, on), you can introduce an expression of place:
El azúcar se queda en la sangre.
Sugar stays in the blood.
Caption 5, Los médicos explican - La diabetesPlay Caption
You could also use it to express time using prepositions such as desde (since), or durante (during). For example: Elisa se quedará durante el verano (Elisa will stay during the summer); Nos quedaremos desde mayo hasta junio (We'll stay from May to June).
Do you remember how Spanish uses the word hay (there is, there are), the impersonal form of the verb haber (to have)? You can do something similar with queda or quedan (singular and plural third person of quedar) to express the idea "there is [something] left":
Pues ya no queda nada de qué hablar, nada...
For there is nothing left to talk about, nothing...
Caption 2, Bunbury - Entrevista Con Enrique BunburyPlay Caption
This combination of “queda + something” is very useful, and interesting too, because it uses the verb quedar as in a way similar to the impersonal verb hay (there's, there are). So, for example, you can say: ¿Queda café? (Is there any coffee left?), ¿Quedan plátanos en el refri? (Are there any bananas left in the fridge?).
Quedar can also mean "to end up," or "to result in." For example, in the question ¿En qué quedó eso? (How did that end up?). Or here:
Y así queda nuestro diseño.
And our design ends up looking like this.
Caption 71, Manos a la obra - Papel picado para Día de muertosPlay Caption
This can also be used with reflexive pronouns. You can say: Así nos queda nuestro diseño. Another example is:
...porque si no el brócoli sí que nos queda crudo.
...because if not the broccoli does end up raw for us.
Caption 17, Cómetelo - Crema de brócoliPlay Caption
The expressions quedar con and quedar en can be used figuratively to express that you have agreed about something with someone. For example, agreeing to meet in a certain place:
Quedamos en vernos aquí a las tres en punto.
We agreed we will meet here at three o'clock.
Or just agreeing with someone on something:
Quedé con Esther en que me quedaría a cuidar a los niños.
I agreed with Esther that I would stay to take care of the kids.
The verb quedar can also be used to express the idea that someone has changed or ended up in a certain position or state of mind. For example: Juliana se quedó sola tras la partida de Esther (Juliana was left alone after Esther's departure). Me quedé sorprendido con su actuación (I was [left] surprised by her performance). Translations vary, however. For example:
Bueno, mi papá se quedó sin trabajo
Well, my dad lost his job
Caption 15, Biografía - Natalia OreiroPlay Caption
You can also use the verb quedar to express the idea that a person has gained a certain reputation after an action. For example: quedé como un idiota (I looked like an idiot). As a result, the fixed expression quedar bien means then "to look good" or "get in good with," while quedar mal means the opposite.
No me quedes mal, papá.
Don't let me down, Dad.
Además es una manera de quedar bien con la empresa.
Additionally, it's a way to look good with the company.
Caption 84, Raquel y Marisa - Español Para Negocios - Nuestro perfil profesional en la redPlay Caption
Quedar can also be used to express the idea that you will keep something with you. For example:
-Me quedaré con tu pluma porque me gusta mucho. -No, no puedes quedártela.
-I will keep your pen because I really like it. -No, you can't keep it.
Can you think of a way to answer the previous question with a positive? It's Claro, quédatela ("Sure, keep it")!
You can also use the expression quedar por + a verb in the infinitive to express the idea that something is left to be done. Translations vary depending on the context. For example:
Sólo queda por hacer la tarea.
Only homework is left to be done.
No quiero ni pensar en todo lo que nos queda por alcanzar.
I don't even want to think about how much we still need to achieve.
Finally, the verb quedar also means "to fit" or "to suit":
¿Me queda bien? Sí, ¿no?
Does it look good on me? It does, right?
-Guapo, guapo, muy bien se ve.
-Handsome, handsome, it looks very good.
Caption 52, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricosPlay Caption
Figuratively speaking, it means "to be appropriate”:
¡No queda que fumes en una fiesta infantil!
It's not appropriate for you to smoke at a children's party!
Let's continue studying phrases that combine prepositions, articles, and pronouns since these can be a source of confusion for Spanish learners. Take a look at Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 here.
Check out the following quote from one of our most recent videos. In this clip teacher Carolina is discussing common mistakes that her students make, and says:
El primer caso del que les quiero hablar hoy es...
The first case I want to talk to you about today is...
Caption 7, Lecciones con Carolina - Errores comunesPlay Caption
The phrase del que les is used frequently in Spanish, and has no direct translation in English. If we break this phrase down, we find that it literally means "of the which to you:" the contraction del (preposition de + article el), plus the relative pronoun que (which), and the personal pronoun les (to you). But in English, we don't really say things like "of the which to you." Instead, English uses a very different structure that requires an additional word: "about."
In fact, a more literal translation of the example would be something like: "The first case about which I want to talk to you today is." In Spanish, by the way, there's a similar construction that uses the phrase acerca de, which literally means "about." So in fact, you can also say the following:
El primer caso acerca del que les quiero hablar hoy es...
The first case about which I want to talk to you today is...
However, these expressions are a bit over complicated, both in Spanish and in English. In Spanish, it's better and more straightforward to simply use the preposition de (of, from) combined with the appropriate articles and pronouns, which must agree with the nouns they refer to in both number and gender. For example:
El tipo del que les hablo nunca más apareció
The guy about whom I speak to you never again showed up
Caption 5, ChocQuibTown - OroPlay Caption
So, if you are talking about a noun that is both singular and masculine, like el caso (the case) or el tipo (the guy), you need to use del, that is de + el (the). Let's now see an example with a plural noun like artistas (artists), that needs de + los (or de + las if we were talking about female artists):
Pintó junto a grandes artistas de los que aprendió casi todo.
He painted alongside great artists from whom he learned almost everything.
Caption 15, Europa Abierta - Alejandro Hermann - El arte de pintarPlay Caption