Spanish Lessons


I Am in Spanish: Soy vs. Estoy

If you are wondering how to say I am in Spanish, there are two possible options to choose from: yo soy and yo estoy. If that surprises you, the first thing you need to know is that the English verb "to be" has two equivalents in Spanish: ser and estar. Let's hear how to say I am in Spanish with these two verbs:


With the verb ser (yo soy):


Bueno, yo soy Amaya

Well, I'm Amaya

Caption 2, Amaya - Donkey Dreamland

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With the verb estar (yo estoy):


¿Cómo estás? Yo estoy bien.

How are you? I'm well.

Captions 7-8, Cleer y Lida - Llegando a una nueva ciudad

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Now that you are aware of the above, we would like to give you some simple tips to keep in mind when dealing with the soy vs. estoy dilemma.



Yo Soy: I Am in Spanish for Permanent Qualities

In Spanish, the verb ser is used to express permanent conditions such as the following:


To say your name:


Yo soy Karen, y en este momento.

I'm Karen, and right now.

Caption 3, Aprendiendo con Karen - El tiempo

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To indicate your nationality:


Yo soy argentina.

I'm Argentine.

Caption 53, Carlos y Cyndy - Uso del Voseo en Argentina

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You can also name your place of origin by using the preposition de plus the name of the place you come from:


Yo soy de Guatemala, tengo veintiséis años.

I'm from Guatemala, I'm twenty-six years old.

Caption 4, Hispanoamericanos en Berlín - Hilda y los volcanes

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To explain your relationship with someone else:


Yo soy la hermana de Ximena.

I'm Ximena's sister.

Caption 7, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante - Capítulo 2

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To relay your profession:


¡Ah! Yo soy profesora de niños.

Oh! I'm a children's teacher.

Caption 20, El Aula Azul - Los profesores de la escuela

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To describe personality traits or physical appearance:


Yo soy un tipo humanitario, te estoy escuchando.

I'm a humanitarian man, I'm listening to you.

Caption 26, Yago - 13 La verdad - Part 4

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Yo soy negro, y entonces, por ende a mí me gusta la música negra,

I'm black, and so, therefore I like black music,

y la música negra en esos años para mí era Michael Jackson.

and black music in those years for me was Michael Jackson.

Captions 56-58, Leonardo Rodriguez Sirtori - Una vida como pintor

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Yo estoy: I am in Spanish for Variable Conditions

On the other hand, you use the verb estar in Spanish when talking about variables, conditions, or states, such as the following:


To express a temporary emotion or condition:


Bueno, bueno, yo estoy encantada.

Well, well, I'm delighted.

Es que, no sabéis qué me ha pasado.

It's just that, you don't know what's happened to me.

Captions 8-9, Clase Aula Azul - La segunda condicional

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To indicate your location:


Ahora bien, yo estoy en el Departamento de Cundinamarca.

Having said that, I am in the Department of Cundinamarca.

Caption 20, Viajando con Carlos - Boyacá - Colombia

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To describe an action in progress:


Yo estoy meditando en este momento.

I'm meditating right now.

Caption 40, Dayana - La meditación

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To state a particular position or idea about something:


Quiero que sepas que yo estoy dispuesta a conceder entrevistas.

I want you to know that I'm willing to grant interviews.

Caption 37, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante - Capítulo 3

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Yo estoy segura que Mariana te va a volver a buscar.

I'm sure that Mariana is going to seek you out again.

Caption 21, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante - Capítulo 5

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That's all for this lesson. We hope you now feel confident about how to say I am in Spanish, whether with the verb ser or the verb estar. And don't forget to send us your suggestions and comments.


How Do You Say "No" in Spanish?

How do you say "no" in Spanish? Today's lesson will teach you a multitude of ways!


Saying "No" in Spanish

If you are wondering how to say "no" in Spanish, like in English, there are many different ways. For starters, we could just say "no" like we do in English (with a slightly different pronunciation, of course)!


Elena, por favor, ¿te sentís bien? No.

Elena, please, do you feel alright? No.

Captions 1-2, Yago 13 La verdad - Part 5

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How Do You Say "No, Thank You" in Spanish?

For a more polite choice, use the Spanish equivalent of "No, thank you":


¿Quieres? No, gracias. Tengo unas galletas aquí.

Do you want [some]? No, thank you. I have some cookies here.

Captions 12-13, Conversaciones en el parque Cap. 2: Cafe y bocadillos

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How Do You Say "No Way" in Spanish?

To answer with a more emphatic "no," try one of the many expressions that mean "No way" in Spanish. The first one can be translated quite literally:


No, de ninguna manera. 

No, no way.

Caption 45, Muñeca Brava 18 - La Apuesta - Part 6

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Now, let's look at some additional options. Qué va is another way to say "no way" in Spanish:

¿No muerde, no, Suso? -No, qué va

He doesn't bite, right, Suso? -Right, no way.

Caption 22, Animales en familia Un día en Bioparc: Coatís

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Yet another equivalent of "no way" in Spanish is ni hablar, which literally means that the person answering "doesn't even" want "to talk" about something:

Eh... Entonces de hablar, ni hablar

Um... Then about talking, no way.

Caption 85, Muñeca Brava 47 Esperanzas - Part 10

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And finally, ni de broma literally means "Not even as a joke," as in the following examples:

¿Quieres salir conmigo? -¡Ni de broma!

Do you want to go out with me? -No way!


¡No te escapas ni de broma! -¡El arma secreta del grupo! -¡Hombre! 

There's no way you'll get out of this! -The secret weapon of the band! -Man!

Caption 56, Orishas Entrevista Canal Plus

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How Do You Say "Of Course Not" in Spanish?

To remember how to say "Of course not" in Spanish, let's first recall two ways to say "Of course," claro and por supuesto, then look at their negative versions:


¡Por supuesto que no! ¡No! ¿Mm? 

Of course not! No! Hmm?

Caption 44, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 4: Sam busca un trabajo - Part 3

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No, no, no, claro que no. Además... 

No, no, no, of course not. Besides...

Caption 37, NPS No puede ser 1 - El concurso - Part 11

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How Do You Say "Don't Even Think About It" in Spanish?

While the first, most literal way to say "Don't even think about it" in Spanish is Ni lo pienses, there are several others, such as Ni se te ocurra, which literally means "Don't even let it occur to you":


Si yo dejé mi departamento... -Ni se te ocurra

If I left my apartment... -Don't even think about it.

Caption 14, Muñeca Brava 45 El secreto - Part 6

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Let's see one more:


¡Ni lo sueñes!

Don't even think about it [literally "Don't even dream about it"]!

Caption 19, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 7: La gemela - Part 5

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An alternative variation would be: ¡Ni en tus sueños! In English, of course, we would merely say "In your dreams" (as opposed to the literal translation "Not in your dreams").   


How Do You Say "I Don't Feel Like It" in Spanish?

In Spanish, a common way to say you're just not in the mood (to do something) is no tener ganas de + infinitive, as follows


Dale. -Sí. -Sí. -Te toca. Gracias, Merycita, pero no tengo ganas de jugar.

Go ahead. -Yes. -Yes. -It's your turn. Thank you, Merycita, but I don't feel like playing.

Captions 57-58, Club 10 Capítulo 1 - Part 3

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To say simply "I don't feel like it," you might choose No tengo ganas or the alternative expression No me da la gana.


More Dramatic Ways to Say "No" in Spanish

Let's look at a few more common Spanish expressions that make abundantly clear that one's answer is negative: 


No, no, no, para nada, no, ¿cómo se te ocurre?

No, no, no, not at all, no, how can you think that?

Caption 12, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 4 - Part 8

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De eso nada. ¡Es mía, sólo mía!

None of that. It's mine, just mine!

Caption 21, Los casos de Yabla Problemas de convivencia - Part 1

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No, en absoluto.

No, absolutely not.

Caption 76, Muñeca Brava 7 El poema - Part 8

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And, let's conclude with the most dramatic option of all:


¡¿Estás loco o qué?! 

Are you crazy or what?!

Caption 34, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 4: Sam busca un trabajo - Part 1

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We hope you've enjoyed this lesson on how to say "no" in Spanish. Can you think of any additional Spanish ways to say "no"? Don't forget to let us know!


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Telling Time in Spanish

Let's talk about the time! Are you ready to learn how to tell time in Spanish?


Well, first, for the purposes of this lesson, we invite you to review the following components:


- The verb ser (to be)

- The definite articles for feminine nouns

- The numbers from one to fifty-nine


In addition to these, we will examine some useful expressions and vocabulary that will help you to learn how to tell time in Spanish. Let's get started.


Asking the Time: How Do You Say "What Time Is It?" in Spanish?


There are two common ways to ask for the time in Spanish. Let's take a look:


¿Cómo preguntamos la hora?

How do we ask what time it is?

Excelente pregunta.

Excellent question.

Diremos, "¿Qué hora es?"

We'll say, "What time is it?"

Captions 47-49, Español para principiantes - La hora

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¿Me podría decir qué horas son?

Could you tell me what time it is?

Caption 74, Carlos explica - Tuteo, ustedeo y voseo: Conjugación

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As you can see, the difference between these two questions is that the first is singular while the second is plural. It is important to note that the singular form (¿Qué hora es?) is preferred, and we thus encourage you to choose it when asking for the time in Spanish.


Telling Time in Spanish


Now that you know how to say "What time is it?" it is time (no pun intended!) to learn how to tell time in Spanish! The formula is quite simple:


To be + article + hour + additional information


Let's focus on each of these variables.


How to Use the Verb Ser (to Be) for Telling Time in Spanish


Just as we say "It's one o'clock" or "It is seven forty-three" in English, we must also use the verb ser (to be) when telling time in Spanish. Interestingly, although the third person singular form es would be the Spanish equivalent of "it's" or "it is," due to the fact that we are referring to the plural noun horas (hours), Spanish almost always utilizes the plural form of ser, or son. As you see below, the only exception to this rule is when talking about one o'clock, in which case the singular form es is indeed applied. 


Son las doce.

It's twelve o'clock.

Es la una.

It's one o'clock.

Son las dos.

It's two o'clock.

Captions 16-18, Español para principiantes - La hora

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Using the Proper Article for Telling Time


Similarly, since horas is feminine and plural, the feminine plural definite article las must accompany it. Once again, one o'clock is the only exception with which we use the singular feminine definite article la. Looking once more at the previous example, let's focus on these definite articles:


Son las doce.

It's twelve o'clock.

Es la una.

It's one o'clock.

Son las dos.

It's two o'clock.

Captions 16-18, Español para principiantes - La hora

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Learning the Numbers


We've arrived at the point in our Spanish time-telling formula where "it's time" to insert a number! In case you haven't learned the numbers in Spanish or need some brushing up on them, we would like to refer you to this very useful, past Yabla lesson (noting again that for telling time in Spanish, it would only be necessary to know the numbers up through fifty-nine).


Let's Start with the Basics


Applying the principles we've just spoken about, let's take a look at some very straightforward examples of telling time in Spanish, prior to getting to that "additional information" we spoke about:


Son las diez.

It's ten o'clock. 


Es la una.

It's one o'clock. 


Son las veinte.

It's eight p.m. 


Wait... what?! Doesn't Son las veinte mean "It's twenty o'clock?" Some Spanish-speaking countries employ military time in which the numbers from one to twelve are utilized for the hours from one a.m. to twelve p.m., and the numbers thirteen through twenty-four are used to refer to the hours from one p.m. to twelve a.m. So, you might hear, “Son las trece” (literally "It’s thirteen") in lieu of “Es la una” to say that it’s one p.m., whereas “Son las veinte” (It’s twenty) would mean, “It’s eight p.m.” 


When not speaking in military time, expressions like de la mañana (in the morning), de la tarde (in the afternoon/evening), or de la noche (at night) are sometimes included to help one distinguish the exact time. Alternatively, “a.m.” and “p.m.” can be used just like in English. Let's look at some examples:


Son las diez de la manana.

It's ten in the morning.


Son las diez de la noche.

It's ten at night.


Son las cinco a.m. 

It's five a.m


Son las cinco p.m. 

It's five p.m


Additional Information for Telling Time in Spanish


Up until now, all of the times we have spoken about have been very simple and straightforward, including only the hours without any minutes. So, how do we talk about more complex times in Spanish? 


One of the simplest ways to express the minutes after an hour in Spanish is by adding the word (and). Then, just like in English, we would insert the particular number of minutes, as follows: 


Son las once y cinco.

It's five after eleven (or It's eleven o-five). 


Son las cinco y cincuenta y siete.

It's five fifty-seven.


Sometimes, the y before the minutes is omitted. So, you might hear simply Son las cinco cincuenta y siete. In yet another alternative construction, con (with) might take the place of y to get: Son las siete con cincuenta y siete.


In addition to saying the specific minutes, there are a few, extremely useful Spanish expressions that one should memorize in order to effectively talk about time in Spanish, which are as follows: y cuarto ("quarter past/after" or "fifteen"), y media ("half past" or "thirty"), menos cuarto ("quarter to/till" or "forty-five") and para ("to/till"). Let's take a look at some examples:


¿Sabe qué hora es?

Do you know what time is it?

Ehm... Son las nueve menos cuarto.

Um... It's quarter to nine.

Captions 9-10, Español para principiantes - Saludos y encuentros

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Although the literal translation for Son las nueve menos cuarto would be "It's nine minus fifteen," this would typically be expressed in English with either "It's quarter to nine" or "It's eight forty-five." That said, just as there are different ways of describing the same time in English, the same holds true in Spanish. Alternatives include: Son las ocho y cuarenta y cinco (literally "it's eight forty-five") and falta un cuarto para las nueve (another manner of saying "it's quarter to nine"). Let's look at these additional possibilities in action in the following Yabla clip:


Nueve cuarenta y cinco.

Nine forty-five.

Otra manera de decir esta hora sería:

Another way to say this time would be:

Cuarto para las diez.

Quarter to ten.

Captions 32-34, Aprendiendo con Karen - El tiempo

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Let's take a look at a couple of additional examples of the aforementioned phrases:


Y practico Tae Bo todas las tardes, de siete y media a ocho y media.

And I do Tae Bo every afternoon from seven thirty to eight thirty.

Caption 21, Patricia Marti - Diversión y Ejercicio

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Seis quince.

Six fifteen.

Otra manera de decir esta hora sería:

Another way of saying this time would be:

Seis y cuarto.

Quarter after six.

Captions 26-28, Aprendiendo con Karen - El tiempo

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You will notice that in the second example, seis quince is another, more literal way to say "quarter after six," and the literal equivalent of the English "six fifteen." And, as we spoke about earlier, although one could say seis y quince, the has been omitted.


As you can see, there are numerous ways of talking about time in Spanish, some of which might be preferred in specific regions or with specific individuals. We invite you to review these concepts and terminology in order to find your favorite way of telling time in Spanish. 


We hope you've enjoyed this lesson, see you next "time"! And please don't forget to leave us your comments and suggestions



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