Spanish Lessons


Spanish Adverbs with -mente

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


Some examples of Spanish adverbs with -mente

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


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

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

Caption 6, La Calle 8 - Un recorrido fascinante

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

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

Caption 28, Fuengirola - Feria Internacional de los Pueblos

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

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

Caption 70, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo enero

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


How to form Spanish adverbs with -mente

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


Feminine form of the adjective + mente


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


última  + mente = últimamente (lastly).


Let’s look at some more examples:


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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


Él camina rápida y alegremente

He walks quickly and happily


Ellos hablaron clara y concisamente

They spoke clearly and concisely


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


Creo que mi mamá comprendió su equivocación rápidamente.

I think that my mom understood her mistake quickly.

Caption 1, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 2

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

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

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

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


The preposition sobre in Spanish

Let's talk about prepositions! Today, we will discuss a very useful preposition that also has lots of meanings. Our guest today is the preposition sobre!


How to use the preposition sobre in Spanish


We usually use sobre as the equivalent of the English preposition about (with regard to):


Os voy a contar a... cosas sobre uno de los lugares más típicos de Barcelona

I'm going to tell you about... things about one of the most typical places in Barcelona

Caption 24, Blanca - Sobre la ciudad de Barcelona

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Te cité porque quiero escribir un libro sobre meditación,

I called you here because I want to write a book about meditation,

Caption 6, Escribiendo un libro - Algunos consejos sobre cómo comenzar - Part 1

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The preposition sobre can also be used as the equivalent of the English adverb about (approximately) when we want to indicate an approximate time, quantity or number:


Perfecto. Y, ¿sobre qué hora te vendría bien?

Perfect. And, about what time would be good for you?

Caption 14, Raquel y Marisa - Español Para Negocios - Nuestro perfil profesional en la red

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Very often, the preposition sobre indicates the position of a particular person or object. In this case, sobre acts as the English prepositions over and on:


No quieras caminar sobre el dolor... descalza

Don't wish to walk over the pain... barefoot

Caption 6, Camila - Aléjate de mi

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Vamos a ponerlas sobre un papel aluminio.

We are going to put them on a piece of aluminum foil.

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

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While we usually use sobre as a preposition, this isn’t always the case. For instance, the preposition sobre is often used next to the word todo to form the adverbial phrase sobre todo, which means especially or particularly. You can see how the following sentence uses both sobre (about) and sobre todo (especially):

hay varios artículos sobre esto y sobre todo en dependencia a la edad del niño

there are several articles about this and especially depending on the age of the child,

Caption 85, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo enero - Part 4

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Don't get confused with envelope in Spanish


And finally, don’t forget that the word sobre can also be a noun, which means envelope in Spanish:


y que están en este sobre que se mandan a Claridad,

and which are in this envelope that are sent to Claridad

Caption 56, Seva Vive - 2. La copla

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de recoger todos esos sobres que repartió la Mojiganga...

of collecting all those envelopes that the Mojiganga gave out...

Caption 35, Estado Falcón - Locos de la Vela - Part 3

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That's all for now. Try to write some sentences with all the different uses that we mentioned for the word sobre. And don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions to

The Skinny Cows of January

Last week we published the last part in the Nicaraguan series Cuentas claras about how to survive the so-called cuesta de enero (Literally, "January's hill") in Spanish, and "hard January" or "post-holiday budget crunch” in English. Let's review some financial vocabulary that you can learn by watching this series.


The expression cuesta de enero is widely used in Spain, Mexico and many other Latin American countries. There are other expressions that are synonyms, for example, resaca de navidad (Christmas hangover) and resaca de Reyes (King's Day hangover). In Part 1 of the series, the guest of Cuentas claras says:


...una dolencia después cuando comienza enero ailment afterwards when January starts

porque estoy endeudado.

because I am in debt.

La resaca financiera.

The financial hangover.

Captions 65-66, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo enero - Part 1

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The show also shares different antidotes to cure a financial hangover. Making a budget is a key one:


Entonces, eh... siempre tu arma,

So, um... always your weapon,

tu aliado número uno, va a ser un presupuesto.

your number one ally, is going to be a budget.

Caption 34, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo enero - Part 1

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Making a budget helps people save money and get out of debt:


y en el lado financiero, quiero salir de deudas,

and on the financial side, I want to get out of debt,

quiero comenzar a ahorrar,

I want to start to save,

Caption 25, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo enero - Part 1

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The expressions estoy gastado and estoy endeudado are great additions to your vocabulary when trying to avoid excesos financieros (financial excesses):


Primero porque terminás bien gastado

First because you end up quite spent

y bien endeudado de diciembre.

and quite in debt from December.

Caption 31, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo enero - Part 1

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A little bit more dramatic is estar quebrado or estar en la quiebra (to be in bankruptcy):


...y encima llevo a la quiebra a la empresa.

...and on top of that bankrupt the company.

Caption 49, Muñeca Brava - 33 El partido

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If you are planning a visit to Mexico, maybe you can use something more colorful like ando bien bruja (“I'm broke,” I'm spent,” but literally means "to go by like a witch"!). Colombians use estoy vaciado (literally, "I'm empty"), and Argentinians no tengo ni un mango (literally, "I don't have a single mango").


No, tomá, tomá...

No, take it, take it...

guardá esto que no quiero que te quedes sin un mango.

put this away since I don't want you to end up penniless.

Caption 34, Yago - 5 La ciudad

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The word for “installment payment” in Spanish is abono. There's also a verb: abonar (to make installment payments). Note that abono is also a synonym of fertilizante (fertilizer).


¿...porque tenés que hacer abonos mensuales a todas las deudas?

...because you have to make monthly payments for all the debts?

Caption 7, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo enero - Part 2

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If you don't pay your debts on time you are una persona morosa (a delinquent payer, a slow payer), which comes from the noun mora (delay). Note that mora is also the name given in Spanish to different types of berries.

...manchás como dice la gente popularmente, stain as people say popularly,

tu record crediticio, caes en mora.

your credit record, you become delinquent.

Caption 24, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo enero - Part 2

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It's not ideal, but if you can't pay your debts maybe it's time for another préstamo (loan):

...en el caso de los préstamos personales the case of personal loans

o lo del extrafinanciamiento.

or extra financing.

Caption 17, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo enero - Part 2

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However, it's best to always have some ahorros (savings) to cover for unpredicted expenses:

...y básicamente

...and basically

consiste en ahorrar un dólar incremental cada semana del año.

it consists of saving an incremental dollar every week of the year.

Captions 6-7, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo enero - Part 4

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Finally, a curious Spanish expression that is not used in the show but you may still want to add to your lexicon. Spanish uses the phrases vacas gordas (fat cows) and vacas flacas (skinny cows) to refer to periods of material wealth and poverty respectively. It's a very common expression inspired by a famous biblical story. English also uses similar phrases that are probably inspired by the same source (“lean times”). Here's an example of how to use the Spanish expression:
Tenemos que ahorrar algo de dinero para tiempos de vacas flacas.
We have to save some money for leaner times.

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