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How to Use the Present Indicative in Spanish

Generally speaking, we use the present indicative in Spanish to talk about actions that are taking place at the moment (now). However, that's not the only use of it. Let's take a look at the following list so you can understand how to use the present indicative in Spanish.

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1. To talk about actions in the present

 

Actions that are taking place right at the moment (now):

¿Dónde están las chicas? ¿Las chicas? -Ajá. Lola y Ana. -Uh... Lola y Ana viven aquí.

Where are the girls? The girls? -Uh-huh. Lola and Ana. -Uh... Lola and Ana live here.

Captions 26-29, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam - Part 4

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In the above sentence, you can see how the verbs estar (to be) and vivir (to live) are conjugated in the present indicative for the third person plural (las chicas/Lola y Ana/ellas... están/viven).

 

You can also talk about actions that take place over time:

Trabajo en un colegio. Soy maestra de música y de ciencias.

I work at a school. I'm a music and science teacher.

Captions 6-7, Ariana Mi Casa

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In this example, you can see the verbs trabajar (to work) and ser (to be) conjugated in the present indicative for the first person singular (yo trabajo/soy).

 

IMPORTANT! Remember that in Spanish it is very common to drop the pronouns from the sentences. As you can see in the sentence above, Ariana doesn't say "yo trabajo" but rather only "trabajo".

 

2. To express absolute statements and facts as well as universal truths

 

En agosto, vamos a la playa. En septiembre, empieza el otoño.

In August, we go to the beach. In September, the fall begins.

Captions 21-22, El Aula Azul Estaciones y Meses

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In the example above, we can see the present indicative of the verb ir (to go) in the first person plural (nosotros vamos) and the present indicative of the verb empezar (to begin) in the third person singular (el otoño empieza).

 

La Laguna de San Pablo está a los pies del imponente Volcán Imbabura.

The San Pablo Lagoon is at the foot of the imposing Imbabura Volcano.

Caption 13, Otavalo Un día en la ciudad de los lagos

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In the example above, Natalia uses the present indicative of the verb estar for the third person singular (está) to state a fact.

 

3. To talk about routines and repetitive actions

You can talk about daily activities and habitual actions using the present indicative:

 

De lunes a viernes, me levanto a las siete de la mañana.

From Monday to Friday, I get up at seven in the morning.

Caption 2, GoSpanish La rutina diaria de Sol

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In the above clip, you can see how Sol uses the present indicative of the verb levantarse (yo me levanto) to express one of her habitual actions.

 

Dante y Mika vienen todos los días a trabajar conmigo aquí al Refugio del Burrito,

Dante and Mika come work with me every day here at the Little Donkey Shelter,

Caption 62, Rosa La perrita Mika

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Similarly, Rosa uses the present indicative of the verb venir (to come) to describe something habitual. In this case, the verb is conjugated in the third person plural (Dante y Mika/ellos... vienen).

 

4. To talk about actions that will take place in the near future

 

Did you know that the present indicative can be used for things happening in the near future? Let's see some examples.

Le prometo que termino de morfar y... y salgo a laburar. Va a ver.

I promise you that I'll finish eating and... and go out to work. You'll see.

Caption 63, Yago 8 Descubrimiento - Part 7

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In this sentence, the speaker is using the present indicative of the verb salir (to go out) in order to express an action that will take place in the near future. Once he's done with his lunch, he will go out to work. The verb is conjugated in the first person singular (yo salgo).

 

Bueno, pues entonces, no hay que pensarlo más. Mañana hablamos con el jefe y desde la oficina

OK, well then, we don't have to think about it anymore. Tomorrow we'll talk to the boss and from the office

Captions 11-12, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 2 - Part 6

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In the previous example, you can fully appreciate how the present indicative of the verb hablar (to talk) is used to indicate an action that will take place tomorrow! This may be a bit weird for English speakers but it is a very common formula used by Spanish speakers. The verb is conjugated in the second person plural (nosotros hablamos).

 

 

Finally, it is worth mention that in journalism and the academic field, some people like to use the present indicative when referring to historical facts. Let's see the following example:

 

El Imperio romano cae en el año 476

The Roman Empire falls in the year 476

 

And that's it for today. We hope this lesson helped you to understand how to use the present indicative in Spanish. And don't forget to send us your comments and questions.

Gusta vs Gustan: How to Use Gustar in Singular and Plural

Are you familiar with the Spanish verb gustar (to like)? Have you ever been in a situation where you didn't know whether to use gusta or gustan when talking about something you like? If using gusta vs gustan is tricky for you, here are some simple rules to help you understand the difference between gusta and gustan.

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The easy conjugation of gustar

Let's start with some good news. When you want to say that you like someone or something, the only thing you need to know is how to conjugate the verb gustar in the third person either in its singular (gusta) or plural (gustan) form. Let's take a look at a couple of simple sentences with gustar:

 

A mí me gusta el acento de las colombianas.

I like the Colombian women's accent.

Caption 50, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 2

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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.

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That's it. You don't need anything else. Now, let's see when to use gusta or gustan.

 

When to use gusta or gustan?

The following simple rules will help you to master the gustan vs gusta battle.

 

Using gusta

 

Use the third person singular gusta for the following cases:

 

1. When the verb gustar is followed by a singular noun.

 

Me gusta la camisa.

I like the shirt.

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

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Keep in mind that most of the time, you will need to place a definite article before the noun.

 

2. When the verb gustar is followed by a verb in the infinitive.

 

...y me gusta llevar faldas normalmente, sobre todo en... en invierno.

...and I like to wear skirts usually, especially in... in winter.

Captions 6-7, El Aula Azul - Actividades Diarias

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3. When the verb gustar is followed by several infinitive verbs.

A Pedro le gusta leer, tocar guitarra y hacer ejercicio.

Pedro likes to read, play guitar and exercise.

 

Using gustan

 

Use the third person plural gustan for the following cases:

 

1. When the verb gustar is followed by a plural noun.

 

A Lola le gustan los hombres fuertes.

Lola likes strong men.

Caption 14, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam

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2. When the verb gustar is followed by multiple, independent nouns.

Me gustan el diseño, la decoración y la arquitectura de esa casa.

I like the design, decoration, and architecture of that house.

 

Gusta vs gustan with questions and negative sentences

When asking questions or stating negative sentences, you need to stick to the same rules we mentioned before. Let's look at a couple of examples:

 

¿Te gusta la ciencia?

Do you like science?

Caption 42, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 2

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A mí no me gusta tu camiseta.

I don't like your shirt.

Caption 12, Español para principiantes - Los colores

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¿No te gustan las velas?

You don't like candles?

Caption 38, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poema

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That's it for today. But before we leave you, we invite you to answer this very simple question so you can practice a little bit the difference between gusta and gustan: ¿Qué te gusta hacer en tu tiempo libre? And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

Compliments in Spanish

When it comes to bringing good vibes and positive energy, there's nothing better than a nice compliment. In fact, we use compliments when we want to express respect, approval, or admiration for someone. With that being said, let's learn some easy ways to express compliments in Spanish.

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How do you say 'compliment' in Spanish?

First things first. There are various terms you can use for the word compliment in Spanish. The following are your options:

- Cumplido

- Elogio

- Halago

- Piropo

 

Keep in mind, however, that the word piropo is mostly used to indicate a short sentence that is concerned with the beauty of a woman:

 

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

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Expressing congratulations before compliments in Spanish

Very often, compliments are preceded by some form of congratulations. Let's see that in action:

 

Los felicito, muchachos; eso está muy bien.

I congratulate you, kids; that's great.

Caption 36, Tu Voz Estéreo - Feliz Navidad

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Enhorabuena, Amaya... -Muchas gracias. -...por tu primera venta.

Congratulations, Amaya... -Thanks a lot. -...on your first sale.

Caption 77, Santuario para burros - Tienda solidaria

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Good job!

Do you know how to say 'good job' in Spanish? Let's see how to express one of the most common compliments:

 

Te felicito; buen trabajo, ¿eh?

I congratulate you; good job, huh?

Caption 49, Muñeca Brava - 47 Esperanzas

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Debo admitir que hiciste un excelente trabajo, realmente.

I must admit that you did an excellent job, really.

Caption 4, Muñeca Brava - 33 El partido

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Hello beautiful in Spanish

There are many ways to compliment a woman on her looks. Let's see some examples of compliments for women in Spanish:

 

Hola, guapa.

Hello, beautiful.

Caption 30, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 3

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Pasa. -Qué bonita que estás, ¿eh?

Come in. -How pretty you look, huh?

Caption 1, Yago - 12 Fianza

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Yo jamás dejaría plantada a una mujer tan guapa como esta.

I would never stand up a woman as beautiful as this one.

Caption 67, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capitulo 5

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Compliments with the verb gustar

The verb gustar (to like) is very useful when it comes to express compliments. Just like English, what you want to say is 'I like this of you':

 

Me gusta como sos. Me gusta tu pelo.

I like how you are. I like your hair.

Captions 80-81, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poema

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You can also use similar verbs to express compliments in Spanish:

 

Es que me encanta cómo hablas.

It's just that I love the way you speak.

Caption 49, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 2

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¡Hey! Adoro tu caminar

Hey! I adore your walking

Caption 34, Huecco - Dame Vida

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Encouraging in Spanish with compliments

There are lots of compliments you can use when you want to encourage someone. Teachers, for example, use these kinds of compliments often with their students:

 

Perfecto, chicos. Muy bien.

Perfect, guys. Very good.

Caption 57, Clase Aula Azul - El verbo parecer

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Qué + positive word

A very common way of expressing compliments in Spanish consists of using the word qué (what) followed by a positive word (most of the time an adjective):

 

¡Qué buen observador eres!

What a good observer you are!

Caption 30, Guillermina y Candelario - El Mar enamorado

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¡Pero qué lindo dibujito!

But what a nice little drawing!

¡Mateo, qué bien está dibujado, che!

Mateo, how well it's drawn, wow!

Captions 41-42, Yago - 4 El secreto

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Quiero que todo el mundo sea feliz y contento.

I want everyone to be happy and content.

¡Muy bien! Qué bonito, ¿mmm?

Very good! How nice, hmm?

Captions 34-35, Clase Aula Azul - Pedir deseos

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Indirect compliments

Sometimes, we can express compliments or flatter someone by saying good things about something that is connected to that person:

 

Ay, me encanta tu camiseta azul. Gracias.

Oh, I love your blue shirt. Thank you.

Captions 3-4, Español para principiantes - Los colores

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Si, si lo criaste vos, tiene que ser un buen pibe.

If, if you raised him, he must be a good kid.

Caption 33, Yago - 6 Mentiras

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And that's it for today. Try practicing some of these compliments in Spanish and don't forget to send us your questions and comments.

 

¡Hasta la próxima!

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