Spanish Lessons


Lessons for topic Vocabulary

Spanish Vocabulary for Bedtime

Are you familiar with the word sueño in Spanish, whose meaning can change from "dream" to "sleepiness" depending upon whether it is used as a noun or within the verb tener sueño (to be sleepy)? Today's lesson will cover these terms as well as additional pertinent vocabulary for la hora de dormir or de acostarse (bedtime).


Spanish Bedtime Verbs

Let's explore some Spanish bedtime verbs, which we've broken down into several categories.


Feeling Bedtime Verbs

First, we'll look at some Spanish verb phrases that describe how you might feel at bedtime, listening to their pronunciation in clips from our Yabla Spanish video library.


Estar cansado/ato be tired

Bueno, yo también me voy a la cama, estoy muy cansado.

Well, I'm also going to bed, I'm very tired.

Caption 87, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 1

 Play Caption


Tener sueño: to be sleepy

siento que todavía tengo sueño,

I feel that I'm still sleepy,

Caption 40, Aprendiendo con Silvia Significados, usos y expresiones con "quedar" - Part 6

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Estar agotado/a: to be exhausted

Tengo... Estoy agotado.

I have... I'm exhausted.

Caption 22, Yago 11 Prisión - Part 6

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Now, let's learn a couple of more colloquial ways to convey the idea of being exhausted:


Estar muerto/a (literally "to be dead"):

Te juro, Mili, que estoy muerta.

I swear to you, Mili, that I'm exhausted.

Caption 2, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 2

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Estar hecho polvo (literally "to be made into dust"):

"yo ya estoy hecho polvo.

"I'm exhausted already.

Caption 24, Pigueldito y Federico El cielo

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Pre-Bedtime Verbs

Next, let's take a look at several Spanish reflexive verbs for actions from many people's bedtime routines. 


Bañarse: to bathe/take a bath 

Cepillarse los dientes/lavarse los dientes: to brush your teeth

Ducharse: to take a shower

Lavarse la cara: to wash your face 


Let's hear a couple of these in action:


Ehm... Suelo ducharme con agua caliente. Después, ehm... suelo lavarme los dientes en el baño,

Um... I usually take a hot shower. After that, um... I usually brush my teeth in the bathroom,

Captions 2-3, El Aula Azul Actividades Diarias

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Sleep-related verbs

To top off the bedtime verbs, let's check out these sleep-related verbs:


Acostar: to put to bed

Acostarse: to go to bed

Descansar: to rest

Despertarse: to wake up

Dormir: to sleep 

Dormirse: to fall asleep 

Levantarse: to get up

Relajarse: to relax

Soñar: to dream

Soñar con: to dream about 

Roncar: to snore


It's worth noting that the concept of dreaming "about" something is expressed instead with the Spanish equivalent of "with," or the preposition con. Let's hear this construction in a clip from our library:


¿Sabés que anoche soñé con vos?

Do you know that last night I dreamt about you?

Caption 39, Muñeca Brava 41 La Fiesta - Part 7

 Play Caption


Spanish Bedtime Nouns

Let's move on to some categories of sleepytime related nouns!


Articles of Clothing for Bedtime

Since there are various ways to say or spell all of the Spanish articles of clothing for bedtime, let's start with the English terms and give you some alternatives in Spanish:


Bathrobe: la batala bata de bañoel albornoz

Nightgown: el vestido de dormirel camisón de noche

Pajamas: las pijamas, las piyamas, la pijama, la piyama

Slippers: las zapatillaslas pantuflas


A couple of things to keep in mind:

1. As you may know, the term zapatillas can also refer to "sneakers" in some regions.


2.  The many words for "pajamas" in Spanish are similar but differ slightly due to being extranjerismos, or adaptations of a foreign word to another  language. Therefore, you may encounter spellings of this word with either a "j" or a "y" as well as both the singular and plural versions as equivalents for the always plural English term "pajamas." Let's listen to two variations:


Usa piyama lo más flojita posible 

Wear pajamas [that are] as loose as possible,

Caption 13, Los médicos explican Consejos para dormir

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A mí me gusta ponerme enseguida la pijama o ropa de cama.

I like to put on pajamas or sleepwear right away.

Caption 83, Natalia de Ecuador Vocabulario de prendas de vestir

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Beds, Bedrooms, and Bedclothes in Spanish

Now let's cover another type of "bedclothes" and some additional nouns in our bedtime environments with a couple of video examples. Note that the use of particular terms for items like a "bedroom," "blanket," etc. varies widely from region to region. 


Bed: la cama

Bedroom: la alcoba, el cuarto, el dormitorio, la habitación, la pieza, la recámara

Bedspread: la colchael cobertorla cubrecama, la sobrecama

Blanket: la cobija, la manta, la frazada

Mattress: el colchón

Nightstand/Night table: la mesita de luz, la mesita de noche, la mesilla de noche, la mesa de noche

Pillow: la almohada

Sheet: la sábana


A mí me gusta cambiar las sábanas cada semana.

I like to change the sheets every week.

Caption 21, Ana Carolina Arreglando el dormitorio

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Y aquí tienes una almohada, ¿mm?

And here you have a pillow, hmm?

Caption 57, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam - Part 3

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A Very Special Bedtime Noun

We'll conclude our section on Spanish bedtime nouns by hearing the noun el sueño used as the equivalent of three different English words:


Llevo toda la semana teniendo todas las noches el mismo sueño.

All week, I've been having the same dream every night.

Caption 6, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: Hay y estar

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va a mejorar tu sueño.

it's going to improve your sleep.

Caption 17, Bienestar con Elizabeth Introducción al yoga

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Por tu culpa estoy muerta de sueño.

It's your fault I'm dying of sleepiness.

Caption 3, Muñeca Brava 46 Recuperación - Part 3

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Bedtime Sayings

Lastly, let's learn the Spanish versions of some common English phrases you might say to someone at bedtime:


Good night: Buenas noches

Sleep well: Que duermas bien, Que descanses (literally "I hope you rest")

Sweet dreams: Dulces sueños, Felices sueños (literally "Happy dreams")

 Que duermas/sueñes con los angelitos (literally I hope you sleep with/dream about the angels)


We encounter two of these phrases in the following clip:


Buenas noches. -Buenas noches. Buenas noches. -Que descanses, mi amor.

Good night. -Good night. Good night. -Sleep well, my love.

Captions 73-74, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 1

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Remember that, in addition to meaning "Good night," Spanish-speakers also use the expression Buenas noches in contexts other than bedtime when English speakers would say "Good evening," for example, as a greeting at a restaurant in the late evening or at night. 


That's all for today. If all of these sleep-related terms have got you thinking about your own sleep, you might want to check out Silvia's Consejos para dormir mejor (Advice to Sleep Better), Los Médicos' (The Doctors') Consejos para dormir (Sleep Advice) or Soledad's series on El insomnio (Insomnia). In the meantime, we wish you excellent sleep, and don't forget to write us with your questions and comments.



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10 Spanish Words That Change Meaning With an Accent

What a difference an accent makes! Did you know that the meanings of several Spanish words vary depending upon whether or not they have a written accent? Today, we'll learn ten such pairs of words, providing examples of each in context. Are you ready?!


1. Aun vs. Aún 


The adverb aun in Spanish, without an accent, is the equivalent of the English word "even":


Aun así, me hubiera gustado tener algo más de luz.

Even so, I'd have liked to have had a bit more light.

Caption 63, Viajando con Fermín La Cueva de Nerja - Part 2

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The adverb aún, on the other hand, with an accent, means "yet" or "still" in Spanish:


Aún no tengo hijos, eh...

I don't have kids yet, um...

Caption 29, La Sub30 Familias - Part 9

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2. De vs. Dé​


The preposition de in Spanish is an extremely common word that can mean "of" or "from":


Yo soy de Barcelona, nací aquí,

I'm from Barcelona, I was born here,

Caption 23, Carlos y Xavi Diferencia de pronunciación entre España y Colombia - Part 1

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The word with an accent, however, is a conjugated form of the verb dar (to give) in Spanish. It could be either the present subjunctive form that corresponds to the subject pronouns él (he), ella (she), or usted (formal "you") or the formal imperative. Let's look at an example of each:


Present Subjunctive:

que me una explicación.

for him to give me an explanation.

Caption 60, Yago 13 La verdad - Part 5

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Formal Imperative:

mela, no se va a dar cuenta.

Give it to me, she won't realize.

Caption 42, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 7 - Part 2

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3. Esta vs. Está


Without an accent, esta is the singular feminine demonstrative adjective that means "this":


Esta pasión empezó cuando yo era muy pequeña

This passion started when I was really little,

Caption 5, Adriana La lectura

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With an accent, está is the third person singular and formal second person singular conjugation of the verb estar (to be).


y el mar está muy agitado.

and the sea is very choppy.

Caption 40, Aprendiendo con Silvia Las emociones - Part 8

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4. El vs. Él


The word el in Spanish is the masculine singular definite article that means "the":


En el parque hay árboles,

At the park there are trees,

Caption 15, El Aula Azul Mi Barrio

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Él with an accent is a subject pronoun that means "he" or "it": 


Él tiene una responsabilidad con ustedes,

He has a responsibility to you guys,

Caption 41, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 13 - Part 4

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5. Mas vs. Más


The Spanish word mas without an accent is a conjunction that is used similarly to the word pero in Spanish and also means "but":


"Te dije que me hicieras caso, mas no escuchaste".

"I told you to pay attention to me, but you didn't listen."

Caption 21, Aprendiendo con Priscilla La palabra "más"

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Meanwhile, the word más with an accent is the Spanish equivalent of the word "more":


"Necesito comprar más carros".

"I need to buy more cars."

Caption 15, Aprendiendo con Priscilla La palabra "más"

 Play Caption


For more on the difference between these two words, take a look the video from which these two examples were taken: Aprendiendo con Priscilla- La palabra "más."


6. Mi vs. Mí


The non-accented word mi in Spanish is a short form possessive adjective that means "my" when referring to singular nouns:


Mi casa es pequeña.

My house is small.

Caption 10, Ariana Mi Casa

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The accented version of this word is a prepositional pronoun that can be used after any  preposition (except the preposition con) to mean "me":


Para , el mejor jugador de fútbol es Leo Messi.

For me, the best soccer player is Leo Messi.

Caption 52, Carlos explica Las preposiciones 'por' y 'para' - Part 3

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7. Se vs.


The pronoun se in Spanish has many uses, including in impersonal and passive se constructions, in the no fault construction, to say "each other" in phrases like se abrazaron (they hugged each other), and as the reflexive pronoun that accompanies reflexive verbs with él, ella, usted, and ustedes. The following example includes se in both an impersonal and a reflexive construction.


y, como se dice en España: "Hay que saberse bañar

and, as they say in Spain: "You have to know how to bathe yourself

Caption 77, Soledad Amistades

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The accented version of the word sé is the first person conjugation of the verb saber (to know) in the present indicative:


yoque Ríos está aquí, hermano.

I know that Rios is here, brother.

Caption 58, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 4 - Part 6

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8. Si vs. Sí​


Si without an accent in Spanish means "if":


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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And, as you surely already know, with an accent in Spanish means "yes":


. -, señor.

Yes. -Yes, sir.

Caption 94, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 1

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Carolina sums up this difference well:


Entonces, "" es una palabra afirmativa cuando queremos algo, mientras que "si" es una palabra condicional.

So, "" is an affirmative word when we want something, while "si" is a conditional word.

Captions 38-40, Lecciones con Carolina Haber vs. A Ver / Si vs. Sí

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9. Te vs.


Te with no accent can be either a direct or indirect object pronoun or a reflexive pronoun that corresponds to the informal second person singular subject pronoun . Let's see it in use as a direct object pronoun:


Te voy a llevar a los mejores restaurantes.

I am going to take you to the best restaurants.

Caption 23, Clara y Cristina Hablan de actividades

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The accented version of té refers to the beverage "tea":


Si querés tomar tomalo en tu escritorio... -Ah, está bien...

If you want to have tea, have it at your desk... -Oh, OK...

Caption 29, Muñeca Brava 3 Nueva Casa - Part 7

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10. Tu vs.


Tu (no accent!) is the informal second person singular possessive adjective that means "your":


¿Cómo se llama tu mamá?

What's your mom's name?

Caption 26, Ana Carolina Preguntas básicas con su hijo

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As we mentioned previously, with an accent is a subject pronoun that informally means "you" in Spanish


¿Y ? Que tampoco me has vuelto a llamar.

And you? You haven't called me again either.

Caption 18, Cleer y Lida Conversación telefónica - Part 1

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That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has clarified the difference between words in Spanish that, while pronounced identically, have different meanings depending upon whether or not they have an accent. Don't hesitate to write us with any questions, suggestions, or comments.


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Beer, Wine, and More in Spanish!

When traveling in a foreign country, you might want to order a glass of wine with dinner or have a beer with friends. But do you know how to say "wine" and "beer" in Spanish? In this lesson, we will teach you the words for those bebidas (beverages) as well as the names for several of the most popular liquors... just in case you want to have a trago (alcoholic beverage) instead!



The standard word for beer in Spanish is cerveza:


"Llevo tres cervezas y todavía tengo sed", 

"I've had three beers, and I'm still thirsty,"

Caption 34, Aprendiendo con Silvia Significados, usos y expresiones con "quedar" - Part 6

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However, you might hear such colloquial words for beer in different countries such as chop (Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay), chela (Mexico), caña (Spain), or pola (in Colombian slang). 



The word for wine in Spanish is vino. Let's hear it in action:


hay vino blanco.

there's white wine.

Caption 24, Ariana Cena especial

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As we just heard, vino blanco is "white wine" in Spanish. Now, let's find out how to say "red wine," which might be different than you thought!


Vino tinto es como se refiere al vino rojo en el resto del mundo, aquí en España. 

"Vino tinto"  is the name here in Spain for what's called "red wine" in the rest of the world.

Caption 50, Amaya Cata de vinos

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And, for fans of rosé, let's learn how to say it!

El vino rosado puede venir de variedades blancas mezcladas con tintas

Rosé wine can come from white varieties mixed with red ones

Caption 14, Feria de Vinos Españoles en Londres Bodegas Quiroga de Pablo

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Rosé wine can also be referred to in Spanish as rose, rosé, or simply rosado


Sparkling Wine

"Sparkling wine" is the more general category for bubbly wines like champagne, cava, and prosecco. Let's learn how to say a few of these terms in Spanish:


El cava es el vino espumoso de España que sigue el mismo método que... que el champán,

Cava is the sparkling wine from Spain that follows the same method as... as champagne,

Captions 13-14, Feria de Vinos Españoles en Londres Bodegas Castell D'Age

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Alternatively, the words champaña or champagne itself may be used for "champagne."



Let's hear the names for many of the world's most popular types of liquor in the context of videos from our Spanish library.



Está Elisa elaborando unas trufitas de coñac 

Elisa is making some little cognac truffles

Caption 9, Horno San Onofre El Chocolate

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Su mujer era Ginebra

His wife was Guinevere,

Caption 42, El Aula Azul Adivina personajes históricos - Part 1

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Although in this clip, Ginebra is the translation for the name Guinevere, the word ginebra in Spanish also means "gin."



de Tequila su mezcal 

from Tequila, its mezcal

Caption 45, El Ausente Acto 2 - Part 3

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Lo que no puedes dejar de probar si vas a Cuba es el Ron Santiago,

What you can't miss trying if you go to Cuba is Ron Santiago [Santiago Rum],

Caption 24, Viajando con Fermín La Feria Internacional de los Países de Fuengirola - Part 3

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Con un... -Claro, claro, sí. -la botella de tequila.

With a... -Of course, of course, yes. -the bottle of tequila.

Caption 40, Hispanoamericanos en Berlín Karla y Fernando hablan de música

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Mis pensamientos son tan puros como vodka caro 

My thoughts are as pure as expensive vodka

Caption 5, Joselo Sobriedad

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¡No tomo whisky! -¡Pero hacete hombre de una vez, che!

I don't drink whiskey! -But become a man once and for all!

Caption 23, Muñeca Brava 2 Venganza - Part 3

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And, as subcategories of whiskey, we have "Scotch," which can be known as whisky/güisgui escosés, or simply escosés and "bourbon" (bourbon, borbón, whisky/güisgui americano or borbónico).


Local Liquors:

Of course, in addition to these internationally renowned liquors, it might be interesting to try local favorites like fernet in Argentina, pisco in Peru, cocuy in Venezuela or aguardiente in Colombia, just to name a few, either alone or in the context of cócteles (cocktails).


Armed with this information, we hope you now feel equipped to order your favorite alcoholic beverage in Spanish, should you choose to. 
Just remember to do so in moderation (so as not to have to describe your hangover in Spanish), and write us with any of your comments, questions, or suggestions¡Salud (Cheers)!


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6 Different Ways to Say Hangover in Spanish

Drinking in excess is just bad, especially if you have to deal with a horrible hangover the next day. But do you know how to say "hangover" in Spanish? Let's find out!


1. Resaca in Spain and Argentina

Generally speaking, the word resaca is probably the most standard term you can use to refer to a hangover. In other words, if you use this term throughout the Spanish-speaking world, people will understand what you are saying. Let's hear how this word is pronounced:


Me duele la cabeza. Creo que tengo resaca.

My head hurts. I think that I have a hangover.

Captions 13-14, Raquel Expresiones para un festival de música.

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2. Cruda in Mexico

If you go to Mexico, the word to use is cruda. Just like food that is cruda (raw) is not ready for eating, someone with a cruda is not ready to be at his or her best. Note that in some Spanish-speaking countries, crudo/a can also be used as an adjective with the verb estar (to be) to say that one has a hangover, or "is hungover."


3. Goma in Central America

In many Central American countries, the Spanish word for hangover is goma (literally "rubber band"). This is probably because someone with a hangover resembles a rubber band that can't stay straight!


4. Guayabo in Colombia

Literally speaking, un guayabo is a guava tree. Although the origin of this slang term is unclear, some believe that it refers to this tree's fruit, la guayaba (guava), which can still look good on the outside when it is rotten on the inside. Let's hear how to say this term:


¡No, bueno, bueno! ¡Ni anginas ni nada! Para mí era un guayabo y punto.

No, well, well! No tonsils or anything! For me, it was a hangover, period.

Captions 16-17, Confidencial: Broma pesada Capítulo 1 - Part 3

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5. Ratón in Venezuela

The word for "mouse," ratón, is used by Venezuelans to refer to a hangover. 


6. Chuchaqui in Ecuador

One of the most unique ways of saying "hangover" in Spanish is chuchaqui. This word comes from the Quichua word chaqui, which refers to the nauseous feeling that one might experience after chewing coca leaves. Let's listen to this word in action:


Como a chuchaqui, quiero que tome agua,

Like for a hangover, I want you to drink water,

Caption 44, Los médicos explican Consulta con el médico: herpes

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That's all for today. Now that you know how to say "hangover" in Spanish, we hope you won't have to use that word for yourself! Do you know any other terms for" hangover" in Spanish? Please let us know, and don't forget to send us your suggestions and comments.


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The Meals of the Day in Spanish

Generally speaking, there are three main meals that many people eat each day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Do you know how to say the names of those three meals in Spanish? Let's see how the answer to that question depends upon where you happen to be in the Spanish-speaking world.


The Meals of the Day in Spain and Mexico

If you are in Spain or Mexico, the following are the names of the three main daily meals:


el desayuno (breakfast)


es la hora del desayuno

it's breakfast time,

Caption 7, Clase Aula Azul Acciones habituales y en este momento - Part 1

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la comida (lunch)


Todos los días, hago la comida a mediodía

Every day, I make lunch at midday

Caption 24, Ariana Mi Casa

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la cena (dinner)


y normalmente cuando llego a casa, me hago la cena,

and usually when I get home, I make myself dinner,

Caption 30, El Aula Azul Actividades Diarias

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In the following clip, our Mexican friend Karla mentions all three of these daily meals as she tells us how, in her country, tacos can be eaten at any time of the day!


Eh... Puedes encontrar tacos en todas las esquinas, en todas las ciudades de todo México y puedes comerlo, en realidad, de desayuno, de comida o de cena,

Um... You can find tacos on every corner, in every city throughout Mexico, and you can eat it, actually, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner,

Captions 37-39, Hispanoamericanos en Berlín Karla y los tacos - Part 2

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The Meals of the Day in Other Latin American Countries

In contrast, in most Latin American countries, the names of the three main meals are as follows:


el desayuno (breakfast)


Hoy es domingo y vamos a hacer el desayuno.

Today is Sunday, and we're going to make breakfast.

Captions 6-7, Quito Desayuno con Julia

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el almuerzo (lunch)


Al mediodía, preparo el almuerzo.

At noon, I make lunch.

Caption 14, GoSpanish La rutina diaria de Maru

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la comida or la cena (dinner)

While some places use the word comida (e.g. Colombia), others use the term cena (e.g. Argentina). Let's hear a couple of clips:


¿Qué es la comida?

What's for dinner?

Caption 9, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 3

 Play Caption


Bueno, espero que lleguemos justo para la cena porque tengo un hambre que me muero.

Well, I hope that we are arriving just [in time] for dinner because I am dying of hunger.

Caption 49, Muñeca Brava 44 El encuentro - Part 6

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The Word Almuerzo in Spain

As we have just seen, the main difference between the meals of the day in Spain and Mexico vs. other Latin American countries is the term people use to talk about lunch. However, if you happen to hear the word almuerzo in Spain, you should be aware that, in that country, almuerzo refers to a mid-morning snack. In addition, it is very common for Spanish people to enjoy an afternoon snack called la merienda. Let's hear Raquel and Marisa explain this in detail:


El almuerzo es lo que tomamos entre el desayuno y la comida. Pero además tenemos la merienda y la cena. La merienda suele ser a las seis de la tarde. Y la cena es la última comida del día.

The mid-morning snack is what we have between breakfast and lunch. But in addition, we have the afternoon snack and dinner. The afternoon snack is usually at six in the afternoon. And dinner is the last meal of the day.

Captions 30-33, Raquel Presentaciones

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That's all for this lesson. We hope you learned some new words today, and don't forget to send us your suggestions and comments.


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20 Spanish Words That Start With K

How many Spanish words do you know that start with the letter K? Probably not many since there are few Spanish words that start with K, and most of them are not native to Spanish. Having said that, let's find out a bit more about the letter K in Spanish as well as learning some Spanish words that begin with it.


Some Facts about the Spanish Letter K 

The name for the Spanish letter K is ka, which sounds a bit like the English word "caw." Let's hear it pronounced:


hache, i, jota, ka,

h, i, j, k,

Caption 7, Graciela Alfabeto y formación de sílabas

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Although the letter K is indeed a letter in the Spanish alphabet, it was only used rarely in the Latin language from which Spanish evolved. For that reason, the equivalent of the K sound in Spanish is more commonly made with the letters C or Q, as in the following examples:


la corté!

I broke up with her!

Caption 4, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 7 - Part 7

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queso y aceitunas.

cheese and olives.

Caption 6, Ariana Cena especial

 Play Caption


That said, like Spanish words that start with W, most Spanish words that start with K are extranjerismos, or words that come from other languages. Today, we'll highlight 20... then mention a few more!


Spanish Words That Start with K

Below, you'll find 20 Spanish words that start with K. You will note that many of them are spelled exactly the same as or very similarly to their English counterparts. 


1. el kaleidoscopio (noun): kaleidoscope


2. el kamikaze (noun/adjective): kamikaze

Note that this word can have all of the meanings of the English noun (e.g. a suicidal pilot or driver or a kamikaze aircraft) but can also informally refer to a "speed demon." As an adjective, kamikaze can additionally be used to describe someone "reckless."


3. el kárate/karate (noun): karate

While both are valid, the accented version of the word for this Japanese martial art in Spanish is used more frequently in Spain, while the spelling/pronunciation without an accent, which we hear in the following clip, is heard more in Latin America.


Estoy haciendo unas tomas de karate

I'm doing some karate kicks.

Caption 59, Disputas La Extraña Dama - Part 9

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4. el karma (noun): karma


Ten cuidado con el karma 

Be careful with karma

Caption 17, Yátu Tú la quieres aplicar

 Play Caption


5. el karaoke (noun): karaoke


Una tarde de karaoke con amigos 

An afternoon of karaoke with friends

Caption 33, Ana Carolina Mejorando la pronunciación

 Play Caption


6. el kayak (noun): kayak/kayaking

El kayak in Spanish might refer to the boat or the sport. Let's see an example where it means the latter:


deportes como el velero, el kayak

sports such as sailing, kayaking,

Caption 27, Otavalo Un día en la ciudad de los lagos

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7. el kebab (noun): kebab


8. el kilogramo (noun): kilogram

You will note that many Spanish measurement terms start with K since they are equivalents of words from other languages from the metric system, which the vast majority of the world uses. In the metric system, weight is measured with kilograms, and, for reference, one kilogram is equal to two point two pounds. While the official name for kilograms in Spanish is kilogramos, in everyday speech, many people say simply kilos. Let's hear both versions:


lo que equivale a dos kilogramos diarios por persona y día.

which is equivalent to two kilograms daily per person per day.

Caption 17, 3R Campaña de reciclaje - Part 1

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pero puede pesar hasta cuatrocientos cincuenta kilos.

but it can weigh up to four hundred and fifty kilos.

Caption 11, El Aula Azul Adivinanzas de animales - Part 1

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9. el kilómetro (noun): kilometer

The metric system measures distance in kilometers. One kilometer is just over half a mile, or 0.62 miles, to be exact. Let's hear how the word for "kilometer" is pronounced in Spanish:


ya que hubiera destruido más de un kilómetro de franja dunar. 

since it would have destroyed more than a kilometer of the stretch of dunes.

Caption 13, Viajando con Fermín Asociación ProDunas Marbella

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10. el kilometraje (noun): mileage

Kilometraje would be the distance traveled... in kilometers, of course!


aunque con muy poco kilometraje

although with very low mileage,

Caption 27, Raquel y Marisa Agente del concesionario

 Play Caption


11. kilometrar (verb): to measure in kilometers


12. el kilovatio (noun): kilowatt


13. la kinesiología (noun): kinesiology/physical therapy

In addition to this word, several related Spanish words start with K, such as the nouns el/la kinesiólogo/a (kinesiologist) and la kinesioterapia (kinesiotherapy) and the adjectives kinesiológico/a (pertaining to kinesiology) and kinesioterápico (related to kinesiotherapy).


14. el kimono (noun): kimono

Like kamikaze, the word kimono was adopted from Japanese by both Spanish and English. 


15. el kiosco (noun): the kiosk 

While the alternative spelling quiosco is preferable in more formal circles, the spelling that maintains its K etymology is also accepted, as we see here:


Ya está por allí en la calle en ocho estados en su kiosco favorito. 

It's already out there on the street in eight states at your favorite magazine stand.

Caption 90, En la radio Falcón Total

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By the way, a person who works in a kiosk can sometimes be called un/a kiosquero/a... yet another Spanish word that can start with K! 


16. el kit (noun): kit

Like the English term, el kit in Spanish can refer to a set of items, for example, un kit de maquillaje (a makeup kit) or un kit de útiles escolares (a school supply set). 


17. el kitesurf (noun): kitesurfing


Nosotros tenemos una escuela de kitesurf,

We have a kitesurfing school,

Caption 46, Adícora, Venezuela La Posada Sea Club - Part 2

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18. el kiwi (noun): kiwi

Although it's obvious what el kiwi means, be sure to check out our lesson on the names of fruits in Spanish in order to learn other Spanish fruit names that are totally different from their names in English.  


19. el koala (noun): koala

While the name of this furry creature is also the same in Spanish and English, we highly recommend learning some of the other names for animals in Spanish


20. kosher (adjective): kosher


Spanish Adjectives That Start With K

You may have noticed that most of the 20 words that we have mentioned are nouns, with just one verb and a couple of adjectives. There are, however, quite a few more Spanish adjectives that start with K, most of which are related to either specific historical figures or regions. As a bonus, let's take a look at several of these. While we have provided their masculine forms, remember that Spanish adjectives must always agree in terms of number and gender with the nouns they modify.


kafkiano: related to or supporting the novelist Kafka 

kantiano: related to or supporting the philosopher Kant

kárstico: karstic, related to karst, or a type of limestone landscape

kawaití: Kawaiti (from or pertaining to Kawait)

kazajo: Kazakh (from or pertaining to Kazakhstan)

keniano: Kenyan (from or pertaining to Kenya)

kieveño: from or pertaining to Kiev, Ukraine

kirguís: Kyrgyz (from or pertaining to Kyrgyzstan)

kiribatiano: from or pertaining to Kiribati

kurdo: Kurdish (pertaining to Kurds or their language)


Interestingly, all of these adjectives above except kárstico can also function as nouns, for example, los kenianos can mean "the Kenyans" or "the Kenyan people." 

That's all for today. Can you think of any more Spanish words that begin with K? Write us with your suggestions and comments!


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14 Common Spanish Words That Contain All 5 Vowels

Can you think of any Spanish word that contains all five vowels? Believe it or not, there are many words in Spanish that have all five vowels. In this brief lesson, we will list some of the most common ones. However, before you go through our list, we would like to invite you to do the following:


1. Read this lesson about the vowels in Spanish.

2. Try to come up with some word in Spanish that has all 5 vowels.


If nothing comes to mind, get ready to check out the following list of words, which we have classified into 3 big groups: Nouns, Adjectives, and Conjugated Verbs. If you have been studying Spanish, we are sure you are already familiar with several of the words we have included in this list. Are you ready to unveil these words and hear how to say them?  Let's get started!




1. abuelito (grandpa)


El abuelito merece la mejor fiesta

Grandpa deserves the best party

Caption 10, Cleer y Carolina Organizando la fiesta del abuelo

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2. comunidades (communities)


España está dividida en diecisiete comunidades autónomas.

Spain is divided into seventeen autonomous communities.

Caption 11, Ariana España

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3. ecuación (equation)


Mi escultura es la solución a una ecuación

My sculpture is the solution to an equation

Caption 25, San Sebastián Peine del viento

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4. educación (education)


El uso de las computadoras y el internet forman parte de la educación de los estudiantes

The use of computers and the internet are part of the students' education

Captions 38-39, Aprendiendo con Karen Útiles escolares - Part 2

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5. euforia (euphoria)


¿Qué es eso de la euforia?

What is that [whole] euphoria [thing]?

Caption 5, Aprendiendo con Silvia Las emociones - Part 6

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6. menstruación (period)


dice que si tú tienes tu menstruación,

says that if you're on your period,

Caption 37, Melyna El aguacate

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7. murciélago (bat)


Los murciélagos se llaman "morciguillos",

Bats are called "morciguillos,"

Caption 73, Soledad El argot

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8. orquídea (orchid)


O sea... que esa imagen que tenemos de la orquídea,

In other words... that image that we have of the orchid

Captions 29-30, Estepona Orquidario - Part 1

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9. riachuelo (stream)


A veces era una fuente, otras un riachuelo,

Sometimes, it was a fountain, other times, a stream,

Captions 50-51, Aprendiendo con Silvia Recuerdos de infancia - Part 3

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10. auténtico (authentic)


para un taco auténtico:

for an authentic taco:

Caption 23, Hispanoamericanos en Berlín Karla y los tacos - Part 2

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11. cuestionable (questionable)


o algo que puede ser cuestionable.

or something that could be questionable.

Caption 17, Carlos explica 20 formas de decir no sin decir no

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12. funerario (funeral)


y servían como necrópolis para los enterramientos funerarios.

and were used as a necropolis for funeral burials.

Caption 7, Rosa Los Dólmenes de Antequera

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Conjugated Verbs


13. averiguo (find out)


Pero claro, muñeca. No te preocupes que averiguo todo y te cuento, ¿listo?

But of course, doll. Don't worry as I'll find out everything and I'll tell you, alright?

Caption 32, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 1 - Part 5

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14. comunicarte (communicate to you)


Sí, querida, te llamé porque quería comunicarte

Yes, dear, I called you because I wanted to communicate to you

Caption 12, Muñeca Brava 39 Verdades - Part 10

 Play Caption


And those were the words with all five vowels in Spanish! How many did you know? While there are, of course, many more words Spanish words containing all five vowels, we have limited this list to some of the more common ones. Is there any word that you think we should have included? Do let us know, and don't forget to send us your suggestions and comments.


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The Word "Listo" in Spanish

You've probably learned the Spanish word listo as an adjective that means "ready." But did you know that the Spanish word listo can have different meanings and function as a noun or interjection as well? Let's explore the many meanings of the word listo in Spanish. ¿​Estás listo/a (Are you ready)?


1. Ready

The word listo in Spanish can be used as an adjective with the verb estar to describe the state of being mentally or physically complete or prepared for some situation, activity, or action. When employed as an adjective, the Spanish word listo must match the noun it modifies in terms of number and gender, as follows:


Masculine singular: listo

Feminine singular: lista

Masculine/mixed plural: listos

Feminine plural: listas


Let's see some examples:


El nuevo estadio estará listo para el próximo año.

The new stadium will be ready by next year.

Caption 41, Carlos explica - Las preposiciones 'por' y 'para'

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Estoy lista para mi entrevista.

I am ready for my interview.

Caption 66, Maquillaje Con Cata y Cleer

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When describing readiness for an action, the formula estar listo/a para + infinitive is often utilized:


Estamos listos para comer.

We're ready to eat.

Caption 30, Ana Carolina - El comedor

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"Hello", ya estoy lista para triunfar ante las cámaras.

Hello, now I am ready to triumph in front of the cameras.

Caption 45, NPS No puede ser - 1 - El concurso

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2. Smart/Clever

When used with the verb ser in lieu of estar, the Spanish adjective listo instead means "intelligent." Let's take a look:


un "lince" es un ser listo, muy inteligente.

a "lynx" is a smart, very intelligent being.

Caption 64, Beatriz - Palabras polisémicas

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Sam, eres listo. Hablas muy bien el español.

Sam, you're smart. You speak Spanish very well.

Caption 19, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 2: Sam va de compras

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3. Cunning/Crafty

As an extension of the "smart" meaning, the Spanish adjective listo can also be employed with ser to mean "cunning" or "sly," which sometimes has a negative connotation. The following caption describes un jornalero listo (a crafty day laborer) who is able to able to reap financial gain by tricking others:


Hay que ver qué listo era este jornalero. 

You've got to see how crafty this day laborer was.

Caption 54, Cleer - El cuento de las tres palabras

 Play Caption

4. Smarty Pants

As a noun, the Spanish word listo/a can refer to either a crafty person or a "smarty pants" (or the more vulgar English equivalent), in the sense of a person who thinks they know everything.


En cada clase, siempre hay un listo que cree saberlo todo. 

In every class, there's always a smarty pants who thinks they know everything. 


5. Done!/OK!/Great!/That's it!

Finally, you will often hear the Spanish word listo in its masculine singular form as an interjection to indicate agreement, acknowledgement, or completion. You might recognize this use from our lesson on Colombian slang, although it is used similarly in many Spanish-speaking countries. Let's see a few examples of the Spanish word listo as an interjection, with varying translations:


Entonces van: la tía Olga, el tío Juan, el tío Óscar y mi mamá.

So: Aunt Olga, Uncle Juan, Uncle Oscar, and my mom are going.

OK, listo.

OK, done.

Captions 17-18, Cleer y Carolina - Organizando la fiesta del abuelo

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Voy a ir a darle la buenas noches. -Bueno, listo.

I'm going to say good night to her. -OK, great.

Caption 48, X6 - 1 - La banda - Part 10

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Listo! Por hoy terminamos

That's it! We're done for the day.

Caption 23, Muñeca Brava - 48 - Soluciones

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And speaking of being done for the day, that's all for this lesson, which we hope has helped you to understand the many uses of the Spanish word listo. Don't forget to write us with your questions and comments.


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The Cardinal Directions in Spanish

Do you know how to say "east" or "southwest" in Spanish? In this lesson, we will learn how to spell and say the names of the four cardinal directions in Spanish as well as the intermediate, or ordinal directions. Let's take a look.



The 4 Cardinal Directions in Spanish

First things first: The cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are known in Spanish as los puntos cardinales. Let's learn the names and pronunciations of the four cardinal directions in Spanish:


North (el norte)


En el norte de España.

In the north of Spain.

Caption 48, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Deportes tradicionales canarios

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East (el este)


¡Ah! Y en el este lloverá. 

Oh! And, in the east, it will rain.

Caption 24, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 5: Ha nacido una estrella

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South (el sur)


En el sur, por ejemplo, existe la cultura maya.

In the south, for example, there's the Mayan culture.

Caption 13, Hispanoamericanos en Berlín - Manuel y El barrilito

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West (el oeste)


San Pedro está situado en el oeste del canal de entrada a la bahía.

San Pedro is located in the west of the entrance channel to the bay.

Caption 34, Viajando con Fermín - Pasajes (Pasaia)

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The 4 Ordinal Directions in Spanish

Now that we know how say the four cardinal directions in Spanish, it is time to find out the words for the four ordinal directions, which are known in Spanish as los puntos ordinales. By the way, because they are located between the cardinal directions, these are also known as las direcciones intercardinales (the intercardinal directions). 


Northeast (el noreste)


En el noreste de México.

In the northeast of Mexico.

Caption 34, Paseando con Karen - Bienvenidos a Parque Fundidora

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Southeast (el sudeste)


Eh... Son plantas, eh... la mayoría,

Um... They're plants [that are], um... the majority,

originarias todas del sudeste asiático.

all native to Southeast Asia.

Caption 88, Estepona - Orquídeas y plantas raras

 Play Caption


Southwest (el sudoeste)


Popayán es una ciudad que está ubicada

Popayan is a city that is located

en el sudoeste de Colombia.

in the southwest of Colombia.

Caption 3, Viajando con Carlos - Popayán - Colombia

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Northwest (el noroeste)


Caminaron un rato hacia el noroeste.

They walked northwest for a while.

Caption 8, Pigueldito y Federico - Ordenar

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When referring to "southeast" and "southwest," you can also use the terms sureste and suroeste (with the prefix sur-) instead of sudeste and sudoeste. However, the Real Academia Española prefers the variations with the prefix sud-


That's all for now. We hope you learned something useful today, 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!



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

 Play Caption


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

 Play Caption


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. 



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

 Play Caption


¿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

 Play Caption


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

 Play Caption


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

 Play Caption


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?



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

 Play Caption


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

 Play Caption


Juan nunca pone atención en clase.

Juan never pays attention in class.

Caption 20, Carlos explica - Los cinco sentidos

 Play Caption
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

 Play Caption


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

 Play Caption


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

 Play Caption


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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Is Sugar Masculine or Feminine in Spanish?

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


Con media taza de azúcar

With half a cup of sugar

Caption 25, Ana Carolina - Ponche navideño

 Play Caption


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



Azúcar: An Ambiguous Noun in Spanish

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



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

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


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



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

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


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


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


Lía, por favor, cuando yo te diga

Lia, please, when I tell you,

me echas el azúcar poco a poco. -Sí.

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

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

 Play Caption


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


Una vez mezclado, colocamos dos cucharadas de azúcar,

Once mixed, we add two tablespoons of sugar,

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

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

Captions 30-32, María Fernanda - Mascarilla de aguacate

 Play Caption


Ambiguous Nouns in Spanish

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


el armazón / la armazón (the frame)

el cochambre / la cochambre (the grime)

el enzima / la enzima (the enzyme)

el mar / la mar (the sea)

el vodka / la vodka (the vodka)


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


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



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Giving Advice in Spanish

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


How Do You Say "Advice" in Spanish?

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


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

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

Caption 54, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo enero

 Play 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 Barcelona

 Play 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 adultos

 Play Caption



Verbs for Giving Advice in Spanish

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


Así que les aconsejo que aprendan los primeros diez ordinales

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

ya que son muy útiles. 

as they are very useful.

Caption 51, Carlos explica - Los Números: Números Ordinales

 Play Caption


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

Sugerir (to suggest)


les sugiero que visiten el sugestivo Museo del oro. 

I suggest that you visit the intriguing Gold Museum.

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

 Play Caption


Recomendar (to recommend)


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

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

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

 Play Caption


Proponer (to suggest)


os propongo que vengáis a visitar Genalguacil. 

suggest you come to visit Genalguacil.

Caption 67, Viajando con Fermín - Genalguacil

 Play 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:

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

"Should" or "Must" Verbs in Spanish

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


Deber + infinitive

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


Ustedes deben permanecer juntos, felices. 

You have to stay together, happy.

Caption 44, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante - Capítulo 2

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


Adrián, deberías tomar las pastillas que te di. 

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

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

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Tener que + infinitive 

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


Tienes que saber siempre muy bien cuál es tu límite. 

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

Caption 56, Ana Teresa - Yoga y surf

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Phrases for Giving Advice in Spanish

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


¿Por qué no...? (Why don't you...?)


"Por qué no aprendes a tocar guitarra?"

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

Caption 67, Alberto Jiménez - Causalidad

 Play Caption


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


Bueno, si yo fuera tú, hablaría con él.

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

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

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


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

You have to try it! No, I think so.

Caption 22, Cleer y Lida - El regreso de Lida

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

Lo mejor es... (The best thing is...)


Por ahora lo mejor es que descanse.

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

Caption 18, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante - Capítulo 1

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Es mejor... (It's better...)


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

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

Caption 42, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Las emociones

 Play 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


Using Commands to Give Advice in Spanish

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


No tengas miedo de tomar la iniciativa.

Don't be afraid to take the initiative.

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

 Play Caption


Evita beber desde media tarde bebidas estimulantes

Avoid drinking, starting from mid-afternoon, stimulant drinks

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

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

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

 Play Caption


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


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Words That Start with Y in Spanish

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


The conjunction y (and) 


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

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

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

 Play Caption


The pronoun yo (I)


Yo tengo dos naranjas.

I have two oranges.

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

 Play Caption


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


Names for and Pronunciation of the Letter Y in Spanish

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


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


Como veis, estoy rodeada de paja, ¿vale?

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

Caption 5, Amaya - Donkey Dreamland

 Play Caption


se siente muy enfadada, muy enojada,

they feel very angry, very mad,

Caption 25, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Frases hechas

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o a la palabra "Uruguay".

or in the word "Uruguay."

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

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

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

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


cuando el ciclista cayó al asfalto.

when the cyclist fell on the asphalt.

Caption 72, Carlos explica - Vocabulario de las matemáticas

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la papaya,


Caption 40, El Aula Azul - Adivinanzas de colores

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¿Estás de acuerdo con Susana

Do you agree with Susana

en que el video apoya las conversaciones de paz?

that the video supports the peace talks?

Caption 27, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 9

 Play Caption


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


Common Words in Spanish that Start with Y


ya (already)

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


ya es un gran logro personal.

it's already a great personal achievement.

Caption 52, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Las emociones

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yacimiento (site)


empezaron a excavar y encontraron este gran yacimiento.

they began to excavate and found this great site.

Caption 59, Amaya - Teatro romano

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yanqui (Yankee)


contra siglos de explotación por el imperialismo yanqui.

against centuries of exploitation by Yankee imperialism.

Caption 2, Los Tiempos de Pablo Escobar - Capítulo 1

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yate (yatch)


Me he comprado un yate.

I've bought myself a yacht.

Caption 23, Clase Aula Azul - La segunda condicional

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yegua (mare)


también una yegua

a mare as well,

Caption 34, Quito - Zoológico de Guayllabamba

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yema (yolk)


Así separamos la clara de la yema.

This is how we separate the white from the yolk.

Caption 52, El Aula Azul - Receta de natillas

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yerba (herb, grass)

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


Y me pidió mate de bombilla

And he asked me for mate with a bombilla

y no tengo yerba.

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

Caption 50, Yago - 5 La ciudad

 Play Caption


yerno (son-in-law)


Es el yerno de mi abuelo Juan.

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

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

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yeso (cast or plaster)


sin tener que poner un yeso

without having to put on a cast

o algo que le limite mucho más.

or something that would limit him much more.

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

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cuatro ladrillos de esos estuvieran pegados con yeso.

four of those bricks were glued with plaster.

Caption 55, Los Tiempos de Pablo Escobar - Capítulo 2

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yoyó or yoyo (yo-yo)


Me creen. Me creen. Me creen un yoyó.

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

Me tienen pa'rriba y pa'bajo.

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

Captions 68-69, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poema

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yoga (yoga)


Cuando trabajamos en yoga las posturas,

When we work in yoga, on the postures,

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

 Play Caption


yogur (yogurt)


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

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

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

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yuca (yucca)


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

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

Caption 66, Otavalo - Julia nos muestra las verduras

 Play Caption


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


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


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Articles of Clothing in Spanish

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



How Do You Say "Clothing" in Spanish?

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


Bueno, si tienes mucha ropa.

Well, if you have a lot of clothes.

Me encanta la ropa y soy adicta a los zapatos.

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

Captions 19-20, Ricardo - La compañera de casa

 Play Caption


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


vestidos básicamente con ropas de seda,

dressed basically in silk clothing,

Caption 33, Días festivos - La diablada pillareña

 Play Caption


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


a esta prenda la llamamos "chompa",

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

Caption 18, Ana Carolina - Lavandería

 Play Caption

Clothing Vocabulary in Spanish

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


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


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

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

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

 Play Caption


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


Ay, Mili, pará, no tengo malla.

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

Caption 35, Muñeca Brava - 9 Engaños

 Play Caption


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


Si hace calor... el bikini.

If it's warm... the bikini.

Caption 14, Un Viaje a Mallorca - Planificando el viaje

 Play Caption


Blouse: la blusa


Esta es una blusa que tiene estampado. 

This is a blouse that has a print.

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

 Play Caption

Cap: el gorro, la gorra

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


Esta parte de la gorra es azul.

This part of the cap is blue.

Caption 16, Luana explica - Los colores

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Un gorro de lana de color blanco.

A white wool hat.

Caption 16, Ana Carolina - Lavandería

 Play Caption


Dress: el vestido


Este vestido puede salir sobre unos cincuenta, sesenta euros. 

This dress could go for about fifty, sixty euros.

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

 Play Caption


Gloves: los guantes


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

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

Caption 52, Cleer y Carolina - De compras

 Play Caption


Hat: el sombrero

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


¡Mira qué bonito este sombrero!

Look how pretty this hat is!

Caption 46, Ariana - Mi Semana

 Play Caption


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


unos vaqueros grises. 

and some grey jeans.

Caption 41, El Aula Azul - Conversaciones sobre fotos

 Play Caption


que cuando te mides un jean en un almacén dicen,

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

Caption 28, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 8

 Play Caption


Pajamas: el/la piyama, el/la pijama

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


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

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

Caption 11, Ana Carolina - Arreglando el dormitorio

 Play Caption


Pants: el pantalón, los pantalones

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


Necesito un pantalón negro. -OK.

I need some black pants. -OK.

Caption 8, Cleer y Carolina - De compras

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

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

Caption 69, Clase Aula Azul - Se involuntario

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Scarf: la bufanda, el pañuelo

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


Menos mal que llevaba una bufanda

Thank God I was wearing a scarf.

Caption 21, Aprendiendo con Zulbany - Piensa rápido

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¡Oh! ¿Y este pañuelo tan bonito?

Oh! And this really beautiful scarf?

Caption 66, Clase Aula Azul - La posesión

 Play Caption


Shirt: la camisa


Me gusta la camisa.

I like the shirt.

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

 Play Caption


Shorts: los pantalones cortos


Algunos clubs permiten el uso de pantalones cortos o bermudas. 

Some clubs allow the use of shorts or bermudas.

Caption 64, Montserrat - El golf

 Play Caption

Skirt: la falda


Esta falda está muy larga. 

This skirt is too long.

Caption 46, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 3

 Play Caption


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


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

I permitted enough with you putting on that corrupt miniskirt.

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

 Play Caption


Socks: las medias, los calcetínes

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


Lo que acabamos de ver, en Colombia

What we just saw, in Colombia,

lo llamamos "medias", las "medias".

we call "medias" [socks], "medias."

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

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

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

 Play Caption

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


Sweatsuit: el chándal, el buzo, el jogging


Entonces no podemos olvidar el chándal tampoco.

Then we can't forget a tracksuit either.

Caption 62, Un Viaje a Mallorca - Planificando el viaje

 Play Caption


T-shirt: la camiseta, la remera


Andrea lleva una camiseta de manga corta de color blanco 

Andrea is wearing a white short-sleeved t-shirt

Caption 40, El Aula Azul - Conversaciones sobre fotos

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Suit: el traje


se vistió con su mejor traje

put on his best suit,

Caption 34, Aprendiendo con Carlos - El microrrelato

 Play Caption


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


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

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

Caption 51, Yago - 1 La llegada - Part 5

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Tie: la corbata


Qué linda corbata.

What a nice tie.

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

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


Vest: el chaleco


tenemos que llevar siempre un chaleco reflectante 

we must always wear a reflective vest

Caption 56, Raquel y Marisa - Aprender a conducir

 Play Caption



Outerwear in Spanish

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


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

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


¡Una chaqueta de cuero! 

A leather jacket!

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

 Play Caption

Coat: el abrigo, el chaqetón, la chamarra

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


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

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

Captions 22-23, Cristina - Naturaleza

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Blazer: el saco, la americana, la chaqueta


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Nosotros le decimos "suéter". 

We call it "suéter" [sweater].

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

 Play Caption


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


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

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

Caption 114, Club 10 - Capítulo 1 - Part 3

 Play Caption

Undergarments in Spanish

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


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

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

Caption 68, Muñeca Brava - 43 La reunión

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Bra: el brasierel corpiñoel sosténel sujetador


¿Van a dejar de usar brasier, ah? 

Are you going to stop wearing a bra, huh?

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

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Briefs: los calzoncillos, los calzones


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

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

¡y esta vez en calzoncillos

 and this time, in my underwear!

Captions 48-51, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 7

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


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

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

Caption 43, Muñeca Brava - 18 La Apuesta

 Play Caption



Footwear in Spanish

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


Yo me dedicaba a vender calzado; tenía un almacén.

My job was selling footwear; I had a shop.

Captions 55-56, Imbabura - Paramédicos

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se convirtieron en un par de zapatos nuevos y relucientes. 

changed into a new, shiny pair of shoes.

Caption 29, Cleer - El cuento de los cuatro hermanos

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Boots: las botas


Y unas botas altas. -Sí. 

And some tall boots. -Yes.

Caption 23, Un Viaje a Mallorca - Planificando el viaje

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Flip-Flops: las chanclas


unas chanclas,

some flip flops,

Caption 12, Ariana - Mi Semana

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High Heels: los tacones


Me encantan los tacones

I love high heels.

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

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Slippers: las pantuflas, las zapatillas


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

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

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

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Sneakers: las zapatillas, los tenis, los zapatos deportivos

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


los tenis

and tennis shoes.

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

 Play Caption

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


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Animals in Spanish from A to Z

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


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


Animals That Start with A in Spanish


abeja (bee)

Las abejas reinas vuelan,

The queen bees fly around,

Caption 34, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 6

 Play Caption


águila (eagle)

Veamos un ejemplo más

Let's see another example

utilizando otra palabra femenina singular

using another feminine singular word

que inicia con "a" tónica:

that begins with a stressed "a":


"águila" [eagle].

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

 Play Caption


anaconda (anaconda)

Una boa, una anaconda, ¡ay no!

A boa, an anaconda, oh, no!

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

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araña (spider)

Llegó la araña que el idioma daña

It's arrived, the spider that damages the language

Caption 53, Calle 13 - Tango del pecado

 Play Caption


ardilla (squirrel)

Y la pobre ardilla cayó muerta.

And the poor squirrel dropped dead.

Caption 48, Cleer - El cuento de los cuatro hermanos

 Play Caption


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



Animals That Start with B in Spanish


ballena (whale)

¡La ballena! -¡La ballena!

The whale! -The whale!

Caption 9, Guillermina y Candelario - La competencia de baile

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búfalo (buffalo)

el búfalo,

the buffalo,

Caption 20, Graciela - Los animales

 Play Caption


buitre (vulture)

El Quebrantahuesos

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

es un buitre excepcionalmente distinto

is an exceptionally distinct vulture

Caption 20, Club de las ideas - Batería de breves

 Play Caption


búho (owl)

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

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

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

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burro (donkey)

porque es el burro más simpático

because he's the nicest donkey

que os vais a encontrar en vuestra vida.

that you're going to encounter in your life.

Captions 38-39, Amaya - El burrito Luz

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buey (ox)

Que el buey solo bien se lava.

That the ox alone washes itself well.

Caption 49, Yago - 12 Fianza

 Play Caption


Animals That Start with C in Spanish


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


caballo (horse)

Algunos ejemplos de palabras con dígrafos

Some examples of words with digraphs

incluyen las palabras "caballo".

include the words "caballo" [horse].

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

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cabra (goat)

Productos típicos de la zona

Typical products of the area

son el queso de cabra y el aceite de oliva.

are goat cheese and olive oil.

Captions 74-76, Rosa - Antequera, Málaga

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cachorro (puppy)

que ha sido seleccionada desde cachorro

who has been selected since she was a puppy

para ayudar a personas que lo necesitan.

to help people who need it.

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

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cangrejo (crab)

¿Es un cangrejo?

Is it a crab?

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

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camello (camel)

¡Nuestro continente con forma de camello!

Our continent in the shape of a camel!

Caption 25, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 12

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canguro (kangaroo)

Y... Es muy famoso porque tiene canguros

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

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

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caracol (snail)

Es que el caracol se mueve como un gusanito

It's just that the snail moves like a worm

Caption 25, Guillermina y Candelario - La Casa de Muñecas

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cebra (zebra)

La cebra.

The zebra.

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

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cerdo (pig)

el cerdo,

the pig,

Caption 13, Graciela - Los animales

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


ciervo (deer)

pero puede cazar incluso un ciervo.

but it can even hunt a deer.

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

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cocodrilo (crocodile)

Sí! El cocodrilo.

Yes! The crocodile.

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

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colibrí (hummingbird)

"compás" o "colibrí".

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

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

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cóndor (condor)

Ustedes saben que el cóndor

You know that the condor

Caption 33, Hispanoamericanos en Berlín - Virginia y el cóndor

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conejo (rabbit)

tengo a otro perro y un conejo.

I have another dog, and a rabbit.

Caption 8, Amaya - Apertura del refugio

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cucaracha (cockroach)

Esa cucaracha, la aplasto yo.

I'll crush that cockroach.

Caption 27, Muñeca Brava - 2 Venganza

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Animals That Start with D in Spanish


dragón de Komodo (Komodo dragon)


delfín (dolphin)

Es que el delfín era muy fuerte.

It's just that the dolphin was very strong.

Caption 25, Guillermina y Candelario - El Festival de Verano

 Play Caption


dromedario (dromedary)


Animals That Start with E in Spanish


elefante (elephant)

un elefante,

an elephant,

Caption 29, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Las emociones

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estrella de mar (starfish)

y dejaría de ser una estrella de mar.

and it wouldn't be a starfish anymore.

Caption 42, Guillermina y Candelario - Un regalo de Estrellas

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Animals That Start with F in Spanish


flamenco (flamingo)

un flamenco,

a flamingo,

Caption 30, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Las emociones

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foca (seal)

siete, la foca,

seven, the seal,

Caption 17, Luis Guitarra - Aprendiendo a contar

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Animals That Start with G in Spanish


gallina (hen)

la gallina,

the hen,

Caption 11, Graciela - Los animales

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ganso (goose)


gato (cat)

"...el gato,..."

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

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

 Play Caption


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


gorila (gorilla)

uno, el gorila,

one, the gorilla,

Caption 11, Luis Guitarra - Aprendiendo a contar

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gusano (worm)

No matamos a ningún gusano.

We didn't kill any worm.

Caption 48, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Frases hechas

 Play Caption



Animals That Start with H in Spanish


hámster (hamster)

Por ejemplo, no el hámster,

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

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

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hiena (hyena)

la hiena,

the hyena,

Caption 24, Graciela - Los animales

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hipopótamo (hippopotamus)

un hipopótamo,

a hippopotamus,

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

 Play Caption


Animals That Start with I in Spanish


iguana (iguana)


"Iguana" [Iguana].

Caption 17, Español para principiantes - Las vocales

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Animals That Start with J in Spanish


jabalí (boar)

Y un día nos sorprendió un jabalí.

And one day, a wild boar surprised us.

Caption 53, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Recuerdos de infancia

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jirafa (giraffe)

y una jirafa.

and a giraffe.

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

 Play Caption


Animals That Start with K in Spanish


koala (koala)


Animals That Start with L in Spanish


león (lion)

El león.

The lion.

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

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leopardo (leopard)

el cachorrito de leopardo

the leopard cub

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

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lobo (wolf)

Yo quiero un lobo domesticado

I want a domesticated wolf

Caption 8, Shakira - Loba

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loro (parrot)

el loro,

the parrot,

Caption 7, Graciela - Los animales

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Animals That Start with M in Spanish


mapache (racoon)

Ya a continuación tenemos el mapache sudamericano.

Next, we have the South American raccoon.

Caption 23, Quito - Zoológico de Guayllabamba

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mariposa (butterfly)

Mariposa de sueño, te pareces a mi alma,

Dream butterfly, you look like my soul,

Caption 18, Chus recita poemas - Neruda y Pizarnik

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medusa (jellyfish)

La Medusa.

The Jellyfish.

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

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mono (monkey)

un mono,

a monkey,

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

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mosca (fly)

podría ser la mosca verde de la carne

could be the green flesh fly

Caption 34, Estepona - Orquidario

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murciélago (bat)

La palabra más larga es murciélago.

The longest word is bat.

¿Por qué?


Pues porque tiene las cinco vocales dentro de la palabra.

Well because it has the five vowels within the word.

Captions 43-45, Karla e Isabel - Palabras

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Animals That Start with N in Spanish


narval​ (narwhal)


nutria (otter)


Animals That Start with Ñ in Spanish


ñandú (rheas)


Animals That Start with in Spanish


oso (bear)

cuatro, el oso gris,

four, the grey bear,

Caption 14, Luis Guitarra - Aprendiendo a contar

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oveja (sheep)

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

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

Caption 42, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Las emociones

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Animals That Start with P in Spanish


pájaro (bird)

el pájaro,

the bird,

Caption 16, Graciela - Los animales

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pavo (turkey)

el pavo,

the turkey,

Caption 10, Graciela - Los animales

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pato (duck)

el pato,

the duck,

Caption 9, Graciela - Los animales

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perro (dog)

tres, el perro,

three, the dog,

Caption 13, Luis Guitarra - Aprendiendo a contar

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pez (fish)

¡Es un pez! -¡Un pez mágico!

It's a fish! -A magic fish!

Caption 37, Guillermina y Candelario - Un pez mágico

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pingüino (pinguin)

¿Un pingüino?

A penguin?

Caption 19, Guillermina y Candelario - Nuestro Amigo Pinguino

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pollo (chicken)

el pollo,

the chicken,

Caption 12, Graciela - Los animales

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pulpo (octopus)

¡El pulpo!

The Octopus!

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

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Animals That Start with R in Spanish


rana (frog)

Seguro que canta como una rana.

I'm sure she sings like a frog.

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

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rata (rat)

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

That is for you to learn to respect my sister,

rata de alcantarilla!

sewer rat!

Caption 11, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 4

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ratón (mouse)

¡Un ratón!

A mouse!

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

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rinoceronte (rhinoceros)

el rinoceronte,

the rhinoceros,

Caption 19, Graciela - Los animales

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Animals That Start with S in Spanish


sapo (toad)

¿Por qué el sapo va agarrado a un globo?

Why is the toad holding on to a balloon?

Caption 14, Aprendiendo con Silvia - Las emociones

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serpiente (snake)

y una serpiente alrededor del cuerpo.

and a snake around my body.

Caption 30, Aprendiendo con Carlos - El microrrelato

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Animals That Start with T in Spanish


tiburón (shark)

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

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

sólo come plancton.

only eats plankton.

Caption 25, Guillermina y Candelario - La Lleva

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tigre (tiger)

el tigre,

the tiger,

Caption 23, Graciela - Los animales

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toro (bull)

el toro,

the bull,

Caption 8, Graciela - Los animales

 Play Caption


tortuga (turtle)

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

I was tired and sat down on the sea turtle.

Caption 13, Guillermina y Candelario - La Abuela Marina

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tucán (toucan)

un tucán,

a toucan,

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

 Play Caption


Animals That Start with V in Spanish


vaca (cow)

y diez, la vaca.

and ten, the cow.

Caption 20, Luis Guitarra - Aprendiendo a contar

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Animals That Start with Y in Spanish


yegua (mare)

también una yegua

a mare as well,

Caption 34, Quito - Zoológico de Guayllabamba

 Play Caption


Animals That Start with Z in Spanish


zorro (fox)

Observa detenidamente al zorro

Observe carefully the fox

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

 Play Caption


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


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Spanish Vocabulary for the End of the Year

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


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

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


Feliz Año (short for Happy New Year)

Próspero Año Nuevo (Prosperous New Year)

Feliz 2023 (Happy 2023)


2. Año Nuevo vs. año nuevo

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


3. Nochevieja: Better Than Noche Vieja

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


4. A Traditional Año Viejo

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


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

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

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

 Play Caption


5. Fireworks in Spanish

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


Fuegos artificiales

Juegos pirotécnicos


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


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

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

Caption 39, Yago 6 Mentiras - Part 2

 Play Caption


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


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Cualidad vs. Calidad in Spanish: The Difference and Uses

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


Meaning and Uses of Cualidad in Spanish

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tiene grandes cualidades sanadoras.

It has great healing properties.

Caption 18, Melyna El aguacate

 Play Caption


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Meaning and Uses of Calidad in Spanish

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


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

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


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

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

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

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y así seguramente mejoraremos nuestra calidad de vida

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

Caption 59, Los médicos explican Consejos para dormir

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

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

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

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2. General excellence or superiority 

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


Estos productos tienen una calidad y frescura inmejorable.

These products have unbeatable quality and freshness.

Caption 20, Fermín Mercado ecológico

 Play Caption


para ofrecer un programa de estudio de alta calidad

to offer a high-quality study program

Caption 20, Europa Abierta Bruselas impulsa estudios en el extranjero

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A mí me gusta trabajar con calidad.

I like to work with quality.

Caption 32, Otavalo Dea Flor

 Play Caption


Cualidad vs Calidad: Final Tip

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


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


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