How do we talk about our emotions in Spanish? Although there are many different ways, this lesson will focus on three main categories of words that are typically used to express the whole range of emotions in Spanish while covering some of the major emotions in Spanish we might wish to talk about.
The three main word categories for talking about our emotions in Spanish are adjectives, reflexive verbs, and nouns. Let's take a closer look at some tendencies of each of these three parts of speech when describing emotions in Spanish.
Remember that adjectives modify, or describe, nouns, and to name a few simple ones in Spanish, we could take contento/a(s) (happy), triste(s) (sad), and enojado/a(s) (angry). As always, such emotional adjectives must agree with the noun they modify in terms of number and gender. You will note that the adjectives that describe emotions in Spanish are commonly used in conjunction with particular verbs, such as estar (to be), sentir (to feel), ponerse (to become/get), or quedarse (to become/get), to name a few. So, "Estoy contento," for example, would mean: "I'm happy."
Reflexive verbs in Spanish actually convey the action of feeling a certain emotion in and of themselves. As an example, since enojarse means "to get angry," one could say simply "Me enojé" (I got angry) in lieu of using an adjective/verb combination like "Me puse enojado," which conveys the same thing.
As a third option, nouns like tristeza (sadness) are additionally employed to talk about emotions in Spanish. Among others, one common manner of doing so is with the word "Qué..." in fixed expressions like, "¡Qué tristeza!" which literally means, "What sadness!" (but would be more commonly expressed in English with an expression like "How sad!"). Verbs like sentir (to feel) or tener (to have) are also commonly used with such emotional nouns in sentences such as "Siento mucha alegría" ("I feel really happy," or, more literally, "I feel a lot of happiness").
Adjectives that mean "happy" include feliz/felices, contento/a(s), and alegre(s). Let's take a look at some examples of these words in context along with some of the aforementioned verbs:
pues, que yo creo que él sí quiere formalizar algo conmigo y yo estoy muy feliz.
well, I think that he does want to formalize something with me, and I'm very happy.
Captions 40-41, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 5 - Part 9Play Caption
y, pues, me siento muy contento de que lo... lo pude lograr.
and well, I feel very happy that I... I was able to achieve it.
Caption 27, Rueda de la muerte Parte 1Play Caption
Y estoy alegre, alegre de que no sea cierto.
And I'm happy, happy it's not true.
Caption 31, Chus recita poemas Neruda y PizarnikPlay Caption
Remember that the verb estar is used to talk about emotions in Spanish rather than the verb ser because emotions tend to be temporary rather than permanent. That said, if someone (or something) permanently embodies a particular emotional attribute (e.g. a "happy person"), the verb ser can be used because this emotion becomes a trait, as in the following example:
La Vela se caracteriza además por ser un pueblo alegre,
La Vela is also characterized as being a happy town,
Captions 16-17, Estado Falcón Locos de la Vela - Part 1Play Caption
Moving on to the verb category, a common reflexive verb that expresses the idea of "cheering up" or "getting" or "being happy" or "glad" is alegrarse. Let's see some examples of this verb:
Qué bien; me alegro de que estén aquí.
How great; I'm glad you're here.
Caption 42, Club 10 Capítulo 1 - Part 2Play Caption
A tal punto que yo me alegré mucho, mucho, cuando supe que ibas a pasar veinticinco años en la cárcel.
To the point that I felt very happy, very, when I found out you were going to spend twenty-five years in prison.
Captions 56-57, Yago 14 La peruana - Part 1Play Caption
Lastly, we will deal with the corresponding nouns that mean "happiness" or "joy": (la) alegría and (la) felicidad.
Ay, bueno, Don Ramiro, de verdad, qué alegría escuchar eso.
Oh, well, Mister Ramiro, really, what a joy to hear that.
Caption 33, Tu Voz Estéreo Laura - Part 10Play Caption
While "what a joy" was translated a bit more literally here, it could also be a rough equivalent of "how great" (to hear that) or, of course, "I'm so happy" (to hear that). Let's look at one more example:
Hasta el sábado, amiga. ¡Qué felicidad!
See you Saturday, my friend. [I'm] so happy!
Caption 83, Cleer y Lida Conversación telefónica - Part 1Play Caption
Again, while "What happiness!" would be the literal translation of "¡Qué felicidad!" in English, you will note that this and many of our other examples of expressions with the word "Qué" plus an emotional noun have been translated slightly differently to reflect what an English speaker might say in a similar situation.
"Excitement" might be looked upon as an extension of happiness, and adjectives like emocionado/a(s) (excited) or entusiasmado/a(s) (excited/enthusiastic) express this in Spanish:
Estoy tan emocionado de volver a verte.
I am so excited to see you again.
Caption 53, Yago 11 Prisión - Part 3Play Caption
Ehm... Mi amor, estás muy entusiasmado con todo esto. -Mmm.
Um... My love, you're very enthusiastic about all this. -Mmm.
Caption 7, Yago 10 Enfrentamientos - Part 4Play Caption
As you might have guessed, the verbs for "to be/get excited" are emocionarse and entusiasmarse:
Ya me emocioné.
I already got excited.Play Caption
¿Por qué no entusiasmarnos más?
Why not get more excited?Play Caption
Although the noun (la) emoción can indeed mean "emotion," it can also mean "excitement":
Entonces... -¡Qué emoción! Qué emoción, y después... ¡oh!, ¿sí?
So... -How exciting! How exciting, and afterward... oh, really?
Captions 31-32, Clase Aula Azul La segunda condicional - Part 2Play Caption
That said, while emocionado/a(s), emocionarse, and "¡Qué emoción!" can also be used to talk about "being moved" with emotion, context should usually let you know the speaker's intention.
Triste(s) is undoubtedly the most common adjective that means "sad" in Spanish:
nos dimos cuenta [de] que mi barco estaba partido. Candelario se puso triste.
we realized my boat was split. Candelario got sad.
Captions 43-44, Guillermina y Candelario El Gran RescatePlay Caption
The reflexive verb entristecerse, on the other hand, means "to get" (or "feel" or "be" or "become," etc.) "sad":
La alumna se entristeció mucho al saber que se había fallecido su maestro.
The student became really sad when she found out that her teacher had passed away.
The noun (la) tristeza literally means "sadness," but is utilized along with "Qué" to say, "How sad":
Qué tristeza, ¿no? Terrible.
How sad, right? Terrible.
Caption 5, Tu Voz Estéreo Feliz Navidad - Part 19Play Caption
While there are a lot of adjectives that mean "angry" or "mad" in Spanish, the two most common standard (rather than slang) ones are probably enojado/a(s) and enfadado/a(s). Let's take a look:
¿Qué te pasa? ¿Estás enojado conmigo? No, no estoy enojado, estoy cansado. Estoy cansado, ¿OK?
What's going on with you? Are you mad at me? No, I'm not mad, I'm tired. I'm tired, OK?
Captions 42-43, Muñeca Brava 48 - Soluciones - Part 3Play Caption
Estamos muy enfadadas. Estoy muy enfadada.
We are very angry. I am very angry.
Captions 30-31, El Aula Azul Estados de ánimoPlay Caption
By extension, verbs that mean "to get mad" or "angry" include enojarse and enfadarse, although there are many more:
Se enojó muchísimo con el viejo
She got really angry with my old man
Caption 86, Muñeca Brava 2 Venganza - Part 6Play Caption
No me enfadé con él, ni le insulté,
I didn't get mad at him, nor did I insult him,
Captions 78-79, Cortometraje Beta - Part 1Play Caption
There are a lot of nouns that refer to anger in Spanish, and we bet you guessed two of them: (el) enojo and (el) enfado. Others include (la) ira, (la) rabia, and (la) bronca. Although it is not as common to hear these words in expressions with "Qué..." as some of the other nouns we have talked about, we can give you some examples of how a couple of these words are used to express anger in captions from our Yabla Spanish library:
Lo que yo sentía en ese momento era algo mucho más profundo que un enfado.
What I felt at that moment was something way deeper than anger.
Caption 81, Cortometraje Beta - Part 1Play Caption
porque claro, alguna vez siento mucha rabia y no me gusta sentir tanta rabia
because of course, sometimes I feel a lot of rage and I don't like feeling so much ragePlay Caption
For a lot of additional standard and slangy manners of talking about anger, feel free to refer to this lesson on expressing feelings of tiredness or anger in Spanish.
Let's start with the adjective that means "surprised": sorprendido/a(s).
Profesores, la verdad es que me he quedado sorprendida;
Professors, the truth is that I have been surprised;
Caption 19, Alumnos extranjeros del Tec de MonterreyPlay Caption
The reflexive verb that means "to be" or "to get surprised" is sorprenderse:
Es que... me sorprendí, querida. -¿Por qué?
It's just that... I was surprised, dear. -Why?
Caption 65, Muñeca Brava 18 - La Apuesta - Part 11Play Caption
And finally, the noun (la) sorpresa can be used with "Qué" to say "How surprising" or "What a surprise":
Qué sorpresa. -Qué... Vale, qué lindo verte.
What a surprise. -What... Vale, how nice to see you.
Caption 15, Español para principiantes Saludos y encuentrosPlay Caption
The common Spanish adjectives decepcionado/a(s) and desilusionado/s(s) both mean "disappointed":
Mi novia está desilusionado conmigo por haberle mentido.
My girlfriend is disappointed in me for having lied to her.
No. Estoy decepcionada. ¿De mí? ¿Y por qué estás decepcionada?
No. I'm disappointed. In me? And why are you disappointed?
Captions 61-63, Muñeca Brava 41 La Fiesta - Part 6Play Caption
Naturally, the verbs decepcionarse and desilusionarse mean "to get" or "be disappointed." Let's take a look at them in context:
Me decepcioné mucho cuando suspendí el examen.
I was really disappointed when I failed the test.
Nada. Tengo qué sé yo, miedo a desilusionarme, va.
Nothing. I have, I don't know, a fear of being disappointed, well.
Caption 38, Muñeca Brava 39 Verdades - Part 5Play Caption
So, of course, "Qué desilusión" or "Qué decepción" would be "How disappointing" or "What a disappointment":
What a disappointment.Play Caption
Digo, personalmente no, no, no fue una desilusión porque viste, que cuando sos chico las pérdidas son diferentes.
I mean, personally it wasn't a disappointment because you know, when you are a kid, losses are different.
Captions 48-49, Biografía Natalia Oreiro - Part 2Play Caption
Let's conclude today's lesson by talking about some more of what might be considered sentimientos negativos (negative feelings) in Spanish: worry, anxiety, and stress.
Adjectives like preocupado/a(s)(worried), estresado/a(s) ("stressed" or "stressed out"), ansioso/a(s) (anxious), or nervioso/a(s), which often means "restless," "anxious," etc. in addition to "nervous," can be used to describe those unpleasant sensations in Spanish. Let's look at some examples:
Entonces, cuando usted sufra una infección fuerte o esté preocupado o estresado,
So, when you get a strong infection or are worried or stressed,
Captions 35-36, Los médicos explican Consulta con el médico: herpesPlay Caption
Le noto un poco nervioso, ¿le pasa algo? -No, no, no...
I notice you're a bit on edge, is something wrong with you? -No, no, no...
Caption 9, Muñeca Brava 33 El partido - Part 6Play Caption
¿Hay algún pensamiento o algo que le mantenga a usted ansioso o desde cuándo... o algo que haya desencadenado todos estos problemas?
Is there some thought or something that keeps you anxious or from which... or something that has triggered all these problems?
Captions 32-33, Los médicos explican Diagnóstico: nervios y estrésPlay Caption
The reflexive verb preocuparse means "to worry," while estresarse means "to stress" or "get stressed out," etc.:
¿De verdad se preocupa por mi seguridad? Claro que sí me preocupo.
Do you really worry about my safety? Of course I worry.
Captions 36-37, Muñeca Brava 48 - Soluciones - Part 3Play Caption
un día tengo que pagar uno, otro día otro, y eso, la... la gente se estresa.
one day I have to pay one, another day another one, and that... people get stressed out.
Caption 67, Cuentas claras Sobreviviendo enero - Part 2Play Caption
The corresponding nouns for the verbs and adjectives we have talked about are: (la) preocupación (worry), (el) estrés (stress), (los) nervios (nerves), and (la) ansiedad (anxiety), which can be used in sentences in infinite ways to describe these nerve-wracking sensations. For example, we might say "¡Qué nervios!" or "¡Qué estrés!" to say something like "I'm so nervous/anxious!" or "How stressful!"/"I'm so stressed out!" Let's look at some additional examples of these nouns with the verbs tener (to have) and sentir (to feel):
Últimamente tengo mucho estrés y estar un poco en la naturaleza es muy bueno.
Lately, I've been really stressed out, and it's great to be in nature a bit.
Captions 68-69, Cleer y Lida PicnicPlay Caption
Siento ansiedad, la necesidad de contar quién soy
I feel anxiety, the need to tell who I am
Caption 2, Monsieur Periné Mi libertadPlay Caption
You will note that while the literal translation of the first example would be "I have a lot of stress," "I've been really stressed out" may be the more likely equivalent for English speakers in this context. On the other hand, while the translator opted for the more literal "I feel anxiety" in the second example, "I feel anxious" would also be a viable option in English. For additional insight into how to discuss anxiety and stress in Spanish, we recommend the video Diagnóstico: nervios y estrés (Diagnosis: Nerves and Stress) from our series Los médicos explican (The Doctors Explain).
We have covered a multitude of emotions in Spanish, and videos like this one from our Curso de español [Spanish Course] series about Expresiones de sentimientos [Expressions of Feelings] and this one on Estados de Ánimo [Moods] by El Aula Azul can help you to express many more. And while most of the feelings we have talked about are pretty clearly negative or positive, the video Ni bien ni mal [Neither Good nor Bad] can help us to talk about some of those so-so emotions in Spanish. Are there any other feelings or emotions you'd like to learn to speak about in Spanish? Don't forget to let us know in your suggestions and comments.
In a previous lesson, we focused on the Spanish verb pretender (to hope, expect, try, etc.). Although this word closely resembles the English word "pretend," its meaning is totally different, putting it into the category of false cognates in Spanish. Also known as "faux amis" or "false friends," English-speakers often misuse these types of words for obvious reasons! Let's take a look at some of the most common false cognates in Spanish so we can be on the lookout for them in everyday speech.
While English speakers might be tempted to say Estoy embarazada when attempting to say "I'm embarrassed," this could lead to a very serious misunderstanding! Let's take a look:
Si estuviera embarazada, me hubiera dado cuenta. ¿No le parece?
If I were pregnant, I would have noticed! Don't you think?
Caption 71, Muñeca Brava - 44 El encuentroPlay Caption
While we can see that estar embarazada means "to be pregnant," there are many ways to express the idea of being embarrassed in Spanish, such as tener vergüenza or dar(le) pena (a alguien). Let's look at some examples:
Es que me da pena.
It's just that I'm embarrassed.
Caption 42, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 8Play Caption
En este momento, duda porque tiene vergüenza de ir a la escuela,
At this moment she hesitates because she's embarrassed to go to school,
Caption 49, Con ánimo de lucro - CortometrajePlay Caption
The Spanish adjective actual is very confusing since it is spelled exactly like the English word "actual." However, actual is a false cognate in Spanish that "actually" means "current," as in the following example:
Creo que realmente hay que buscar otra vía, otra solución a...
I think that you really need to find another road, another solution to...
la situación de ahora. -A la situación actual.
to the situation now. -To the current situation.
Captions 43-44, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricosPlay Caption
If you do want to speak about the "actual situation" in Spanish, you might say: la situación verdadera or la situación real. Let's check out these two words in action:
Pero esta es la verdadera isla
But this one is the actual island
Caption 26, Cholito - En la playa con CholitoPlay Caption
Nadie sabe el nombre real de esta ciudad,
Nobody knows the actual name of this city,
Caption 37, Querido México - TeotihuacánPlay Caption
The Spanish noun éxito might look like "exit," but its actual meaning is "success," while the Spanish verb tener éxito means "to be successful":
Bueno, ha sido un éxito, ¿no, Jesús?
Well, it has been a success, right, Jesus?Play Caption
El brut ha tenido mucho éxito.
The brut has been very successful.
Caption 51, Europa Abierta - Champagne en AndalucíaPlay Caption
On the other hand, in order to talk about an actual "exit" in Spanish, la salida is the way to go:
Tiene una salida al patio de atrás para su ventilación.
It has an exit to the back patio for your ventilation.
Caption 12, Ricardo - La compañera de casaPlay Caption
Although it might seem like la fábrica would mean "the fabric," its true translation is "the factory."
un tipo que tenía una fábrica de alcancías ¿no?
a guy who had a piggy bank factory, right?
Y la gente dejaba de ahorrar y el tipo se va a la quiebra.
And people stopped saving and the guy goes bankrupt.
Captions 32-33, Muñeca Brava - 47 EsperanzasPlay Caption
As we see in the following example, the Spanish word for "fabric" is tela:
Aquí, tengo un cárdigan liviano.
Here, I have a light knit sweater.
La tela no es muy gruesa,
The fabric isn't very thick,
Captions 30-31, Natalia de Ecuador - Vocabulario de prendas de vestirPlay Caption
As a side note, although the verb fabricar occasionally means "to fabricate" in the sense of lying or making things up, the more common verbs for describing those actions are mentir and inventar, whereas the most typical translation for fabricar is "to make" or "manufacture":
la cuarta generación de una empresa familiar
the fourth generation of a family business
que fabrica diferentes variedades de zumos,
that manufactures different kinds of juices,
sidras, sopas y mermeladas.
ciders, soups and jams.
Captions 28-29, Europa Abierta - Empuje para PymesPlay Caption
That said, let's take a look at some additional verbs that fall into the "false friend" category.
The Spanish verb molestar does not mean "to molest" (for which you might say abusar or acosar sexualmente), but rather "to annoy" or "bother":
Vine a decirte que te quedes tranquilo,
I came to tell you to not to worry,
que mi hijo no te va a molestar más.
that my son is not going to bother you anymore.
Captions 1-2, Muñeca Brava - 46 RecuperaciónPlay Caption
Once again, substitution of the word this verb sounds like in English could result in a very serious misunderstanding.
Just because it sounds like "envy," don't mix up the Spanish verb enviar, which means "to send," with envidiar (to envy). Let's take a look at examples of each of these verbs:
Como ya tengo su dirección de correo, le puedo enviar el contrato.
As I already have your e-mail address, I can send you the contract.
Caption 37, Negocios - Empezar en un nuevo trabajoPlay Caption
¡Ay, cómo envidio esa sartén! No sabe.
Oh, how I envy that frying pan! You don't know.
Caption 1, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poemaPlay Caption
The most common translations for the Spanish verb introducir are "to put" or "insert." Let's look:
Ahora lo que tenemos que hacer es introducir todo en la olla.
What we have to do now is put everything in the pot.
Caption 43, La cocina de María - Cocido MalagueñoPlay Caption
Ahora introduces la esquina izquierda en este doblez,
Now you insert the left corner into this fold,Play Caption
It is worth noting that the Spanish verb introducir can occasionally be translated as "to introduce," most often when speaking about the introduction of some item or concept. However, the most frequently employed verb to describe the idea of "introducing," say, people to one another, is presentar:
Les quiero presentar a Pedro, un experto en la Calle Ocho.
I want to introduce you guys to Pedro, an expert on Calle Ocho.
Caption 21, La Calle 8 - Un recorrido fascinantePlay Caption
Let's examine a typical use of the Spanish verb asistir:
y me fascinaba perderme entre sus calles
and it fascinated me to get lost in its streets
y asistir a la innumerable cantidad de eventos culturales
and attend the countless number of cultural events
que la ciudad tiene para ofrecerte.
that the city has to offer you.
Captions 11-13, Latinos por el mundo - Gio en BarcelonaPlay Caption
Although the Spanish verb asistir can indeed mean "to help" or "assist," this verb and its counterpart asistir a are included in the category of false cognates in Spanish due to their alternative meaning, "to attend."
Although the Spanish false cognate recordar certainly seems like it would mean "to record," it actually means "to remember" or "remind," as in the following captions:
empiezan a hacer su ritual de movimientos y sonidos, si hace falta,
they start to do their ritual of movements and sounds, if necessary,
para recordarte que es la hora de su comida.
to remind you that it's their mealtime.
Captions 58-59, Fermín y los gatos - Mis gatas vecinasPlay Caption
¿Recuerdas cuál era la copa para servir vino?
Do you remember which cup was the one for serving wine?
Caption 36, Ana Carolina - El comedorPlay Caption
"To record," in turn, is conveyed with the Spanish verb grabar:
Utiliza video o audio
Use video or audio
para grabarte mientras lees o improvisas un pequeño diálogo,
to record yourself while you read or improvise a little dialogue,
Captions 51-52, Ana Carolina - Mejorando la pronunciaciónPlay Caption
Rather than "to support," the Spanish verb soportar often means "to tolerate," "endure," or "bear":
No lo pude aguantar, no se puede soportar eso.
I couldn't stand it, that can't be tolerated.
Caption 50, Yago - 7 EncuentrosPlay Caption
Although "soportar" can also mean "support" in the sense of bearing weight, the more common verb for talking about the notion of "supporting" someone or something, especially in figurative senses such as emotionally, economically, etc., is apoyar:
La abuela estaba loca si pensaba que la íbamos a apoyar.
Grandma was crazy if she thought that we were going to support her.
Caption 9, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 3Play Caption
These are just a few examples of the many false cognates in Spanish. For additional examples of false cognates in Spanish, you might enjoy our lessons on the verbs realizar (to carry out) and falta (shortage, foul, offense, etc.). In the meantime, we hope our list of false cognates in Spanish will help you to identify and understand them when you run across them— and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
Haber is definitely on the list of tricky Spanish verbs. In fact, even native Spanish speakers sometimes struggle with this verb, which can be used in different ways and forms to mean different things. Even though haber is most often used as the auxiliary verb, "to have," in the imperfect tenses (e.g. Yo he comido, or "I have eaten"), it is also used in cases in which we say "there is" or "there are" in English and in other cases, can mean "to be" or "to exist."
Let's look at an example:
Hay muchos problemas.
There are a lot of problems.
Caption 6, Adícora, Venezuela - El tatuaje de RosanaPlay Caption
Along these lines, some speakers use habemos to make a reference to a group of people. In this case, you can think of habemos as something along the lines of "we are," "we have," "there are those of us who," etc. Let's take a look at the following sentence:
Entonces, que todavía no lo hay pero entonces,
So, it doesn't exist yet, but then,
habemos gente que queremos hacerlo y... y, eh...
there are those of us who want to do it, and... and, um...
Captions 90-91, Playa Adícora - ChoberPlay Caption
But, is it correct to use habemos in this manner? Let's find out.
As we noted in the example above, habemos seems to correspond to the first person plural in the simple present tense. But is that accurate? Let's take a look at how we conjugate haber in the simple present:
Yo he (I have)
Tú has (you have)
Él/Ella ha (he/she has)
Usted ha (you have)
Nosotros hemos (we have)
Vosotros habéis (you have)
Ellos/Ustedes han (they/you have)
As you can see, hemos appears, but not habemos. So, is habemos a sort of special, alternative manner of conjugating haber?
Long story short: No, we can't use habemos in this context. It's incorrect! Let's look at an example:
WRONG: Habemos pocos ingenieros en la empresa.
RIGHT: Somos pocos ingenieros en la compañía (There are just a few of us engineers at the company).
So, why do some people use habemos in error? The most likely reason is because habemos is the archaic conjugation of haber in the first person plural, which as we mentioned above, is now hemos. However, it shouldn't be used to mean "we are," "we have," "there are," etc. Let's take a look at this mistake in action in the following clips:
Aunque indiscutiblemente habemos [sic] más cubanos que nada.
Although undeniably, we have more Cubans than anything.
Caption 47, La Calle 8 - Un recorrido fascinantePlay Caption
Y donde no solo habemos [sic] cinco familias, sino hay...
And where there are not only five families, but rather there are...
Caption 25, Instinto de conservación - Parque TayronaPlay Caption
And of course, we can also see in action the first example mentioned in this lesson:
Entonces, que todavía no lo hay pero entonces,
So, it doesn't exist yet, but then,
habemos [sic] gente que queremos hacerlo y... y, eh...
there are those of us who want to do it, and... and, um...
Captions 90-91, Playa Adícora - ChoberPlay Caption
That's all for today. We hope you've enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.
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.
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 fascinantePlay Caption
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 PueblosPlay Caption
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 eneroPlay Caption
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.
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 2Play Caption
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.Play Caption
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.