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"To Meet," "Meeting(s)," and More in Spanish

In English, we use the verb "to meet" and the nouns "meet" and "meeting" in a plethora of nuanced ways. Let's explore the various manners in which these different types of meetings are expressed in Spanish. 

 

"To Meet" Someone (For the First Time) 

The English verb "to meet" can mean "to make acquaintance" with someone. Although the Spanish verb for "to meet" in this sense is conocer, remember that in the present and other tenses, this verb can also mean "to know" or "be familiar with":

 

Por ejemplo: Conozco a María.

For example: I know María.

Caption 11, Lecciones con Carolina Saber y conocer

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In the preterite tense, however, the meaning of the verb conocer typically changes to "meet" in the sense of having "met" someone for the first time: 

 

Conocí a mi marido, Carlos, hace unos dieciocho años.

I met my husband, Carlos, about eighteen years ago.

Caption 9, Burgos María de los Ángeles

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To find out more similarly-evolving verbs, check out this lesson on verbs that change meaning in the preterite tense

 

In other tenses, conocer can mean "to know," "to meet," or even to "have been" somewhere, and context will typically tell you which meaning is meant. But, since "meeting" is the topic at hand, let's take a look at a couple more examples where the verb conocer means just that:

 

Le gusta mucho conocer personas nuevas.

She likes very much to meet new people.

Caption 21, El Aula Azul Mis Primos

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Encantadísima de conocerte.

Very nice to meet you.

Caption 39, Yago 4 El secreto - Part 11

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For more things to say upon meeting someone for the first time, check out this lesson on introducing yourself in Spanish.

 

"To Meet" as in "Get Together" 

There are several verbs that mean "to meet" as in "get together" with someone in terms of some outing, for coffee, or even a more formal "meeting" in Spanish. Let's take a look at some of them in action:

 

Reunirse (con)

 

y ahí nos reunimos varias personas

and several of us get together there

Caption 41, Cleer Entrevista con Jacky

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Espero que esta situación pase rápido para poder reunirme con mis amigos, familiares

I hope this situation gets over soon so I can meet with my friends, relatives,

Captions 34-35, El coronavirus La cuarentena en Coro, Venezuela - Part 2

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Encontrarse (con)

 

Nos vamos a encontrar a las cuatro. -Ajá.

We're going to meet at four. -Uh-huh.

Caption 53, Yago 12 Fianza - Part 6

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Sí, me voy a encontrar con una amiga.

Yes, I'm going to meet a friend.

Caption 4, Muñeca Brava 46 Recuperación - Part 4

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To see more uses of the verb encontrar(se), be sure to look at this lesson on The Many Facets of the Verb Encontrar.

 

Quedar

 

y quedamos en la escuela por la mañana.

and we met at the school in the morning.

Caption 25, El Aula Azul Dos historias

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In Spain, where they often use the present perfect  more than in Latin America, the verb quedar is often heard in that tense to talk about "meeting" or "having made plans with" someone, as follows:

 

Hemos quedado a las ocho

We've made plans for eight o'clock/We're meeting at eight o'clock.

 

He quedado con Juan para ir al cine.

I've made plans with Juan to go to the movies. 

 

To learn more about this verb, check out this lesson on the various meanings of the verb quedar

 

Verse (con)

 

¿Usted cree que pueda verse con usted y con Amalia?

Do you think that he can meet with you and with Amalia?

Caption 43, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 1 - Part 5

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Juntarse (con)

 

A ver si nos juntamos,

Let's see if we can get together,

Caption 31, Festivaliando Mono Núñez - Part 13

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Asking Someone "To Meet"

If you want to ask a new (or old) friend, "Do you want to meet/hang out/get together"? you could use any of these verbs. Here are some examples of people asking other people to "meet" or get together: 

 

¿Nos podemos encontrar ahora?

Can we meet now?

Caption 51, Cuatro Amigas Piloto - Part 5

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Pero ¿en dónde nos podemos ver?

But where can we meet?

Caption 41, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 3 - Part 13

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You can also use the verb salir to ask someone "to go out" with you, which, like in English, might often (but not always) have a romantic connotation:

 

¿Te gustaría salir conmigo alguna vez? 

Would you like to go out with me sometime? 

 

"Meetings" in Spanish

So, how do you say "meeting" in Spanish, for example, a business or some other type of meeting? Let's take a look:

 

La junta

 

si acaso tengo alguna junta

if perhaps I have some meeting,

Caption 12, Yo estudio en el Tec de Monterrey

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La reunión

 

Yo sé pero entiéndame, tengo una reunión con mi jefe.

I know, but understand me, I have a meeting with my boss.

Caption 25, Tu Voz Estéreo Embalsamado - Part 6

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Note that when the noun la reunión means "the meeting" in Spanish, it can be thought of as a "false cognate," or word that sounds like an English word but actually means something different. However, along with el reencuentro and even el encuentro in some contexts, la reunión can also mean "reunion" as in "una reunión familiar" (a family reunion) or, alternatively, a social "meeting" or "gathering":

 

Usted me acaba de confirmar que ese tipo sí está aquí en esta reunión

You just confirmed to me that that guy really is here at this gathering,

Caption 30, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 5 - Part 10

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The noun el encuentro can additionally be used to talk about such a "gathering":

 

se crea un ambiente propicio para el encuentro familiar.

a favorable environment is created for family gatherings.

Caption 30, Coro, Venezuela La Zona Colonial

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Or, it might describe something on a larger scale, which might additionally be translated as something like a "conference":

 

vinimos a este encuentro nacional y... 

we came to this national meeting and...

Caption 25, Encuentro Volkswagen en Adícora Escarabajos en la playa - Part 2

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Chance "Meetings" (or "Encounters")

Note that you can also use el encuentro to describe an incident of "running into" someone, as in a chance "meeting" or "encounter," or even an "encounter" in terms of a "meetup" or "hookup" with a friend or more than a friend: 

 

Era Pablo Echarri, y luego de ese encuentro ya nada sería igual en la vida de ambos

It was Pablo Echarri, and after that encounter, nothing would be the same in their lives.

Captions 64-65, Biografía Natalia Oreiro - Part 6

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Bueno, yo creo que necesitaba un encuentro más personal.

Well, I think that I needed a more personal encounter.

Caption 3, Muñeca Brava 18 - La Apuesta - Part 12

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Note that the word "meeting" could be substituted for "encounter" in either one of these sentences.

 

Still More Ways "To Meet"

Although there are many more ways in which the verb and noun forms of "meet" can be used in English with different Spanish equivalents, let's conclude with a few additional examples:

 

Track Meets, etc.:

So, what if we are talking about a sports "meet"? This type of event is often referred to as una competencia (literally "a competition") or un campeonato (a championship), e.g. una competencia de atletismo (a track meet) or un campeonato de natación (a swim meet). And, although the noun el encuentro can sometimes refer to such events as well, in the context of sports, el encuentro might also be translated as "match" or "game":

 

el encuentro dura noventa minutos en total,

the game lasts for a total of ninety minutes,

Caption 17, Sergio El fútbol en España

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And, when two sports teams "meet" one another, the verb that is used is enfrentarse (literally "to face"), as in: Los dos equipos se enfrentaron (The two teams "met" or "faced off"). 

 

To Meet (As in "An Obligation"):

The verb used to talk about "meeting" or "fulfilling" a requirement or obligation is cumplir con:

 

El primer paso importante para ello es cumplir con todos los requisitos.

The first important step for it is to meet all of the requirements.

Caption 4, Raquel Abrir una cuenta bancaria

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Hence the noun for not fulfilling or "meeting" such duties, etc. is incumplimiento (nonfulfillment). 

 

To Meet (As in "Converge")

For our final example, the verbs that mean "to meet" in the sense of things "converging" or "coming together" include confluir and unirse. Let's look at an example with the latter (although the former could be substituted with the same meaning):

 

mucho movimiento, mucho tráfico porque se unen muchas calles importantes de la ciudad.

a lot of movement, a lot of traffic because many important streets of the city meet.

Captions 38-39, El Trip Madrid

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We hope that this lesson has taught you how to talk about the many forms of "meeting(s)" in Spanish. There are, of course, a lot more Spanish nouns and verbs that could be translated as "meet" or "meeting" in English in different contexts. Can you think of any more? Let us know with your suggestions and comments.

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Caption 39, 38
Adv-Intermediate

Das spanische Alphabet: Buchstaben und Aussprache

Wie gut kennst Du das spanische Alphabet? Weisst Du, wie viele Buchstaben es enthält und kennst du die Anzahl der Vokale und Konsonanten? Diese Lektion beantwortet viele Fragen und bietet eine Reihe von Audioclips, die Dir helfen werden, die Buchstaben zu lernen und deine Aussprache zu verbessern. Schauen wir uns das mal genauer an.

 

Wie geht das Alphabet auf Spanisch?

Ob Du es glaubst oder nicht, es gibt tatsächlich zwei Wörter im Spanischen, mit denen wir über das Alphabet sprechen. Während die wörtlichste Übersetzung das Wort alfabeto ist, kannst du auch das Wort abecedario verwenden. Tatsächlich und laut der Real Academia Española (RAE) sind diese beiden Wörter Synonyme.

 

Wie viele Buchstaben hat das spanische Alphabet?

Das spanische Alphabet besteht aus 27 Buchstaben. Aber weißt Du, wie viele dieser Buchstaben Konsonanten sind und wie viele Vokale im spanischen Alphabet vorkommen? Die Antwort ist sehr einfach. Im spanischen Alphabet gibt es 22 Konsonanten und 5 Vokale (a, e, i, o, u).
Jetzt schauen wir uns mal alle Buchstaben des spanischen Alphabets in 27 Beispielwörtern an:

 

A wie in agua (Wasser)

¿También tienes agua?

Hast Du auch Wasser dabei?

Caption 35, Conversaciones en el parque - Cap. 2: Cafe y bocadillos

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B wie in burro (Esel)

El burro es un animal ideal para este tipo de actividades

Der Esel ist ein ideales Tier für diese Art von Aktivität

Caption 71, Rosa - Yoga con burros

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C wie in coche (Auto)

Hoy, voy en coche porque hace mucho frío.

Heute fahre ich mit dem Auto, weil es sehr kalt ist.

Caption 16, Ariana - Cena especial

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D wie in difícil (schwierig)

Es muy difícil. -Muy complicado.

Es ist sehr schwierig, – sehr kompliziert.

Caption 31, Blanca y Mariona - Planificación de cena

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E wie in ellos (sie)

Ellos se llevan muy bien.

Sie verstehen sich sehr gut.

Caption 41, El Aula Azul - Mis Primos

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F wie in fácil (einfach)

Basta, es muy fácil.

Schluss jetzt; es ist sehr einfach!

Caption 72, Español para principiantes - Los números del 1 al 100

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G wie in gente (Menschen)

Barcelona se llena de gente,

Barcelona ist voller Menschen,

Caption 17, Blanca - Sobre la ciudad de Barcelona

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H wie in hotel (Hotel)

El hotel también cuenta con un bar.

Das Hotel hat auch eine Bar.

Caption 73, Cleer y Lida - Recepción de hotel

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I wie in iglesia (Kirche)

Esta iglesia fue construida en mil seiscientos ochenta y uno

Diese Kirche wurde 1681 erbaut.

Caption 14, Viajando con Carlos - Popayán - Colombia

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J wie in jamón (Schinken)

Fíjate: jamón, Javier.

Schau dir das an: Schinken, Javier.

Caption 27, Fundamentos del Español - 10 - La Pronunciación

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K wie in kilo (Kilo)

Reciclando un kilo de vidrio,

Man recycelt 1 Kilo Glas …

Caption 70, 3R - Campaña de reciclaje

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L wie in lago (See)

hay un lago

Da ist ein See.

Caption 11, Natalia de Ecuador - Los adverbios de orden

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M wie in mercado (Markt)

y están presentes en el mercado internacional.

Sie sind auf dem internationalen Markt präsent

Caption 73, Europa Abierta - Champagne en Andalucía

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N wie in nunca (nie)

Nadie, nada, nunca,

Niemand, nichts, niemals,

Caption 21, Fundamentos del Español - 5 - La Negación

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Ñ wie in the middle of the word niño (Junge)

La frase, el niño quiere el juguete,

Der Satz: „Das Kind will das Spielzeug“,

Caption 17, Raquel - Diminutivos y aumentativos

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O wie in objeto (Objekt)

Y "tendedero" es un objeto para la ropa

Und „tendedero“ [Wäscheleine] ist ein Gegenstand für Kleidung

Caption 27, Karla e Isabel - Palabras

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P wie in parque (Park)

aquí en Parque Fundidora.

hier im Fundidora Park.

Caption 38, Paseando con Karen - Sitios Culturales en Parque Fundidora

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Q wie in queso (Käse)

un vaso de leche y queso,

ein Glas Milch und Käse,

Caption 16, Recetas de Clara - Los aborrajados

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R wie in rápidamente (schnell)

Vamos a ver rápidamente una frase

Schauen wir uns mal schnell einen Satz an

Caption 2, Lecciones con Carolina - Esta noche vs anoche

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S wie in sal (Salz)

Muchos mercaderes venían a recoger la sal,

Viele Händler kamen, um das Salz zu holen,

Caption 14, Rosa - Fuente de Piedra

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T wie in trabajo (Arbeit)

¿Qué trabajo es?

Was ist das für eine Arbeit?

Caption 23, Sofy y Caro - Entrevistar para un trabajo

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U wie in universidad (Universität)

¿La biblioteca de la universidad?

Die Universitätsbibliothek?

Caption 21, Español para principiantes - Hablando de ubicaciones

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V wie in viento (Wind)

y un viento muy fuerte nos arrastró a mar abierto.

und ein sehr starker Wind zog uns aufs Meer hinaus.

Caption 21, Guillermina y Candelario - La Isla de las Serpientes

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W wie in wifi (WLAN)

Tenemos también wifi y hay ordenadores disponibles.

Wir haben auch WLAN und es stehen Computer zur Verfügung.

Caption 20, El Aula Azul - Las actividades de la escuela

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X wie in xilófono (Xylofon)

Entonces, había una persona contando un cuento y él tocando un xilófono.

Also, da war eine Person, die eine Geschichte erzählte, und er spielte auf einem Xylophon.

Caption 28, La Sub30 - Familias

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Y wie in yuca (Yuccapalme)

Aquí tenemos la yuca,

Hier haben wie die Yuccapalme

Caption 7, Recetas de cocina - Carimañolas

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Z wie in zona (Zone)

Es la primera vez que vengo a esta zona de la ciudad

Ich komme zum ersten Mal in diesen Teil der Stadt

Caption 8, Karla e Isabel - Alquilar una habitación

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Aussprache des spanischen Alphabets
Wenn Du Deine Aussprache verbessern möchtest, schau Dir die folgenden Audioclips an, in denen Marta, eine unserer Spanischlehrerinnen, dir beibringt, wie man die Buchstaben des spanischen Alphabets richtig ausspricht:

 
A, B, C, D, E

A, be, ce, de, e,

A, b, c, d, e,

Caption 19, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

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F, G, H, I, J

efe, ge, hache, i, jota,

f, g, h, i, j,

Caption 20, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

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K, L, M, N, Ñ

ka, ele, eme, ene, eñe,

k, l, m, n, ñ,

Caption 21, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

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O, P, Q, R, S

o, pe, cu, erre, ese,

o, p, q, r, s,

Caption 22, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

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T, U, V, W,

te, u, uve, uve doble,

t, u, v, w,

Caption 23, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

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X, Y

equis, i griega

x, y [wörtlich: „griechisches i“]

Caption 24, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

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Z

y zeta.

und z.

Caption 25, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

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Denk dran, dass du den Buchstaben W als "doble ve" (Doppel-V) oder "doble u" (Doppel-U) bezeichnen kannst. In ähnlicher Weise kannst Du auch den Buchstaben Y "ye" anstatt "i griega" (griechisches i) nennen.

Das wär‘s fürs Erste. Wenn Du etwas mehr üben möchtest, versuche mit jedem der 27 Buchstaben des spanischen Alphabets ein Wort zu schreiben. Und vergiss natürlich nicht, uns Feedback und Vorschläge zukommen zu lassen.

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Describing People in Spanish with the Verb Ser

In this lesson, we will learn how to describe people in Spanish using the verb ser (to be). In particular, we'll focus on five different uses of the verb ser that you can use to identify and describe people. Let's take a look.

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To identify someone

 

Eh... Luis, ella es mi mamá, mamá, él es Luis.

Um... Luis, this is my mom, Mom, this is Luis.

Y ella es mi abuela Carmen.

And this is my Grandma Carmen.

Captions 18-19, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 4

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It's worth mentioning that the example above shows a very common way to introduce people in Spanish.

 

To indicate the gender of a person

 

Es un hombre que se dedica a lo que yo hago.

He's a man who devotes himself to what I do.

Caption 61, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 4

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To state someone's nationality

 

Paul es estadounidense, de los Estados Unidos.

Paul is American, from the United States.

Caption 16, Carlos explica - Geografía y gentilicios

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To indicate somebody's job

 

Mi padre es arquitecto

My father is an architect

Caption 25, Leif - El Arquitecto Español y su Arte

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To talk about physical traits

In particular, when we refer to essential traits, such as height, weight, and physical appearance.

 

Es bajo, es gordo.

He's short, he's fat.

Caption 33, El Aula Azul - Mis Primos

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Alguien que es delgado tiene poco peso.

Someone who is skinny doesn't weigh much.

Captions 32-33, Lecciones con Carolina - Adjetivos - Descripción de personas - Físico

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Carolina tiene treinta y cinco años

Carolina is thirty-five years old

pero parece que tiene veinte.

but she looks like she is twenty.

Es muy guapa.

She's very pretty.

Captions 2-4, El Aula Azul - Mis Primos

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To describe someone's personality

 

Ellos son muy majos. Mi prima Marta es muy simpática.

They are very nice. My cousin Marta is very nice.

Caption 8, El Aula Azul - Mi familia

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Ricardo es muy... es muy tranquilo, ¿viste?

Ricardo is very... he's very calm, you know?

Caption 84, Biografía - Natalia Oreiro

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Porque mi mamá es una persona muy difícil.

Because my mom is a very difficult person.

-Eso a mí no me importa.

-That doesn't matter to me.

Caption 20, Yago - 10 Enfrentamientos

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That's it for today. Can you describe someone you know using the verb ser? We invite you to try it out and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!

Family Members in Spanish

Let's talk about family! Do you know how to say words like "father" or "cousin" in Spanish? Today, we will learn how to say the names of the most important family members in Spanish. In particular, we will see how to write and pronounce those names. Let's take a look.

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How do you say family in Spanish?

Familia is the Spanish word for family. It is important to say that this is a feminine collective noun. Collective nouns are words that we use for particular groups. However, these nouns are treated as singular words. Let's see how this works:

 

Mi familia es pequeña y cálida.

My family is small and warm.

Considerando que "familia" es un sustantivo colectivo femenino,

Considering that "familia" is a feminine collective noun,

conjugamos el verbo en tercera persona del singular

we conjugate the verb in third person singular

y utilizamos adjetivos femeninos, "pequeña" y "cálida",

and use feminine adjectives, "pequeña" [small] and "cálida" [warm],

para elaborar la concordancia de manera correcta.

to create agreement in the correct way.

Captions 16-20, Carlos explica - Sustantivos colectivos

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List of family members in Spanish

The following are the names of the most important family member in Spanish.

 

Madre (Mother)

 

Comes bastante verdura, tu madre que te quiere.

Eat enough vegetables, your mother who loves you.

Caption 38, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam

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Very often, however, people refer to their mothers using the following terms:

 

Mamá, quería preguntarte algo.

Mom, I wanted to ask you something.

Caption 2, Yago - 10 Enfrentamientos - Part 7

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OR

 

¿Haciendo la tarea con mami? -Sí.

Doing your homework with Mommy? -Yes.

Caption 24, Yago - 11 Prisión - Part 5

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Padre (Father)

 

"A mi padre siempre le toca trabajar mucho todos los viernes".

"My father always has to work a lot every Friday."

Caption 53, Carlos explica - Vocabulario: El verbo “tocar”

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However, just like for the word "mother", there are some other terms people use when talking with or about their fathers:

 

Fue cuando me di cuenta no tenía ni idea de lo que hacía mi papá.

It was then that I realized I had no idea what my dad did.

Caption 30, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 3 - Part 3

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OR

 

Papi, cualquier hora es buena.

Daddy, any hour is good.

Caption 5, X6 1 - La banda

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Hijo (Son)

 

Quiero presentarles a mi hijo; Kevin, él es Felipe.

I want to introduce you to my son; Kevin, this is Felipe.

Caption 16, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 3 - Part 6

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Hija (Daughter)

 

Y muy feliz de tener a mi lado a mi hija.

And very happy to have my daughter by my side.

Caption 38, Yolimar Gimón - sobre el concurso Mrs. Venezuela

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Hermano (Brother)

 

Después aquí tengo a mi hermano, José.

Then here I have my brother, Jose.

Caption 11, Curso de español - Vamos a hablar de la familia

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Hermana (Sister)

 

...pero que estaba alejando a mi hermana de nosotros.

...but it was taking my sister away from us.

Caption 21, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 4

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Abuelo (Grandfather)

 

¡Abuelo, abuelo!

Grandpa, Grandpa!

Caption 9, Guillermina y Candelario - Un regalo de Estrellas

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Abuela (Grandmother)

 

Abuela, podemos hablar dos minutos por favor.

Grandmother, can we talk for two minutes, please.

Caption 4, Muñeca Brava - 18 - La Apuesta

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Nieto (Grandson)

 

Mi nieto no existe.

My grandson does not exist.

Caption 53, Muñeca Brava - 33 El partido

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Nieta (Granddaughter)

 

La nieta de María.

Maria's granddaughter.

Caption 30, Zoraida en Coro - El pintor Yepez

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Tío (Uncle)

 

Y su tío Aldo cree que está muerto, su tío Lucio confía en que esté vivo.

And his Uncle Aldo believes that he's dead, his Uncle Lucio has faith that he's alive.

Caption 22, Yago - 8 Descubrimiento - Part 3

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Tía (Aunt)

 

Esa es mi tía Silvia.

That is my Aunt Silvia.

Caption 24, Español para principiantes - Demostrativos

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Sobrino (Nephew)

 

¿Hace cuánto tiempo que dejó de ver a su sobrino?

How long ago did you stop seeing your nephew?

Caption 69, Yago - 8 Descubrimiento - Part 1

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Sobrina (Niece)

 

Sobrina. Muy bien.

Niece. Very good.

Caption 43, Curso de español - Vamos a hablar de la familia

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Primo (Male cousin)

 

Sí, me gusta mucho mi primo Pedro.

Yes, I like my cousin Pedro very much.

Caption 40, El Aula Azul - Mis Primos

 Play Caption

 

Prima (Female cousin)

 

Esta mañana mi prima se ha roto la pierna jugando al fútbol.

This morning my cousin has broken her leg playing soccer.

Caption 15, Lecciones con Carolina - Participios - Ejemplos de uso

 Play Caption

 

Finally, keep in mind that when using the plural forms of these nouns, you should use the male form when the group is made of both male and female members:

 

Two cousins (both male):  Dos primos

Two cousins (both female): Dos primas 

Two cousing (one male and one female): Dos primos

 

That's it for today. We invite you to take a piece of paper and design your family tree with the names of the family members in Spanish. And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

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The Word Bajo as a Preposition (and So Much More)!

As a beginner Spanish student, the word bajo may well be among the first words one learns, typically as an adjective meaning “short.” However, like many words in Spanish, this word has a whole plethora of meanings and can additionally function as a preposition, adverb, noun, and even a verb!

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Let’s start by examining the use of the word bajo as a preposition. Although its translation is almost always “under” or “below,” like its English equivalent, this could refer not only to physical location, but also to the state of being subject to some influence. Let’s take a look at the following examples from our Yabla Spanish library.

 

One possible meaning of the preposition bajo is "in a position below something else":

 

Pero no entiendo qué hace mi amiga un día de semana bajo este árbol tan maravilloso.

But I don't understand what is my friend doing on a weekday under this wonderful tree.

Captions 4-5, Escribiendo un libro - Algunos consejos sobre cómo comenzar

 Play Caption

 

Another, similar meaning of “bajo,” which also involves location, suggests that something is beneath the surface or covered by something: 

 

Tengo aquí bajo mi almohada tu fotografía

I have your picture here under my pillow

Caption 20, La Oreja de Van Gogh - Inmortal

 Play Caption

 

Moving on to uses of the preposition bajo not involving location, like “under” in English, bajo could also express the concept of being less than:

 

Congelando lo que es la punta de la botella en una solución que está a diez o quince grados bajo cero.

Freezing the tip of the bottle in a solution that is ten or fifteen degrees below zero.

Captions 33-34, Europa Abierta - Champagne en Andalucía

 Play Caption

 

The Spanish preposition bajo could additionally mean "in accordance with" or "subject to the terms of," for example, some agreement:

 

Algunos clientes bajo contrato, le pre-maduramos la fruta.

[For] some customers under contract, we pre-ripen the fruit.

Caption 99, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa

 Play Caption

 

And finally, although we have only touched on some of its many nuanced meanings, we’ll take a look at an example in which the preposition bajo entails being managed or governed by something:

 

Para su información, todo el personal de servicio está bajo mi mando, ¿sí?

For your information, all the service staff is under my authority, right?

Caption 49, Muñeca Brava - 3 Nueva Casa

 Play Caption

 

Now, let’s look at bajo as an adjective. Its most common translations are “short” or “low,” both in terms of height or level and in reference to intensity or morality. Here are some examples from the Yabla Spanish video library: 

 

Y es muy gracioso porque Pedro es todo lo contrario de Carolina.

And it's very funny because Pedro is totally the opposite of Carolina.

Es bajo, es gordo...

He's short, he's fat...

Captions 32-33, El Aula Azul - Mis Primos

 Play Caption

 

Desde chiquito el bajo mundo conocía

Since he was a child, he knew the underworld

Caption 4, La Secta - Consejo

 Play Caption

 

Se manifestaban porque el sueldo era muy bajo.

They were on strike because their salary was very low.

Caption 33, Con ánimo de lucro - Cortometraje

 Play Caption

 

As an adverb, bajo could also be translated as “low” in some cases (for example, when describing a helicopter flying “low”) or “softly” or “quietly” when referring to one’s speech:

 

¡Que le quede claro! -¡Shhhhh, habla bajo!

Let that be clear to you! -Shhhhh, speak quietly!

Caption 42, Yago - 7 Encuentros

 Play Caption

 

Much more straightforwardly, as a noun, the word bajo refers to the musical instrument, the bass: 

 

Entonces yo dije: "Yo... yo puedo tocar... Yo puedo tocar el bajo."

So, I said, "I... I can play... I can play the bass."

Caption 50, Carli Muñoz - Niñez

 Play Caption

 

And finally, it is worth noting that bajo is the first person singular, present tense conjugation of the verb “bajar” (to go or come down or get off or out).

 

Ya está, la comida... -Sí, sí, sí, ya, yo ya bajo.

It's ready, the food... -Yes, yes, yes, now, I'm coming down now.

Caption 72, Muñeca Brava - 44 El encuentro

 Play Caption

 

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We hope that this lesson has shed light on some of the ways the word bajo can function as a preposition - in addition to a noun, verb, adjective or adverb! If you would like to see many additional examples in context, simply enter the word bajo in the search bar at the top of the Videos page to find matches in the transcripts of the Yabla Spanish library. And don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

 

The Spanish Alphabet: Letters and Pronunciation

How well do you know the Spanish alphabet? Do you know how many letters are in the Spanish alphabet? What about the number of consonants and vowels that are part of it? This lesson answers these questions and provides a series of audio clips that will help you to learn the letters and improve the pronunciation of the Spanish alphabet. Let's take a look.

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How to say alphabet in Spanish?

Believe it or not, there are actually two words in Spanish that we use to talk about the alphabet. While the most literal translation would be the word alfabeto, you can also use the word abecedario when referring to the Spanish alphabet. In fact, and according to the Real Academia Española (RAE), these two words are synonyms. 

 

How many letters are in the Spanish alphabet?

There are 27 letters in the Spanish alphabet. But do you know how many of those letters are consonants and how many vowels are in the Spanish alphabet? The answer is very simple. In the Spanish alphabet there are 22 consonants and 5 vowels (a, e, i, o, u). Let’s go over all the Spanish alphabet letters with the following 27 words:

 

A as in agua (water)

¿También tienes agua?

Do you have water too?

Caption 35, Conversaciones en el parque - Cap. 2: Cafe y bocadillos

 Play Caption

 

B as in burro (donkey)

El burro es un animal ideal para este tipo de actividades.

The donkey is an ideal animal for this kind of activity.

Caption 71, Rosa - Yoga con burros

 Play Caption

 

C as in coche (car)

Hoy, voy en coche porque hace mucho frío.

Today, I'm going by car because it's very cold.

Caption 16, Ariana - Cena especial

 Play Caption

 

D as in difícil (difficult)

Es muy difícil. -Muy complicado.

It's very difficult. -Very complicated.

Caption 31, Blanca y Mariona - Planificación de cena

 Play Caption

 

E as in ellos (they)

Ellos se llevan muy bien.

They get along very well.

Caption 41, El Aula Azul - Mis Primos

 Play Caption

 

F as in fácil (easy)

Basta, es muy fácil.

Enough, it's very easy.

Caption 72, Español para principiantes - Los números del 1 al 100

 Play Caption

 

G as in gente (people)

Barcelona se llena de gente.

Barcelona fills up with people.

Caption 17, Blanca - Sobre la ciudad de Barcelona

 Play Caption

 

H as in hotel (hotel)

El hotel también cuenta con un bar.

The hotel also has a bar.

Caption 73, Cleer y Lida - Recepción de hotel

 Play Caption

 

I as in iglesia (church)

Esta iglesia fue construida en mil seiscientos ochenta y uno.

This church was built in sixteen eighty one.

Caption 14, Viajando con Carlos - Popayán - Colombia

 Play Caption

 

J as in jamón (ham)

Fíjate: jamón, Javier.

Check it out: ham, Javier.

Caption 27, Fundamentos del Español - 10 - La Pronunciación

 Play Caption

 

K as in kilo (kilo)

Reciclando un kilo de vidrio...

[By] recycling a kilo of glass...

Caption 70, 3R - Campaña de reciclaje - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

L as in lago (lake)

Hay un lago.

There is a lake.

Caption 11, Natalia de Ecuador - Los adverbios de orden

 Play Caption

 

M as in mercado (market)

...y están presentes en el mercado internacional.

...and are present in the international market.

Caption 73, Europa Abierta - Champagne en Andalucía

 Play Caption

 

N as in nunca (never)

Nadie, nada, nunca.

Nobody, nothing, never.

Caption 21, Fundamentos del Español - 5 - La Negación

 Play Caption

 

Ñ as in the middle of the word niño (boy)

La frase, el niño quiere el juguete.

The sentence, "the boy wants the toy."

Caption 17, Raquel - Diminutivos y aumentativos

 Play Caption

 

O as in objeto (object)

...y "tendedero" es un objeto para la ropa

...and "tendedero" is an object for clothes

Caption 27, Karla e Isabel - Palabras

 Play Caption

 

P as in parque (park)

Aquí en Parque Fundidora.

Here in Fundidora Park.

Caption 38, Paseando con Karen - Sitios Culturales en Parque Fundidora

 Play Caption

 

Q as in queso (cheese)

Un vaso de leche y queso.

A glass of milk and cheese.

Caption 16, Recetas de Clara - Los aborrajados

 Play Caption

 

R as in rápidamente (quickly)

Vamos a ver rápidamente una frase.

We are going to look quickly at a phrase.

Caption 2, Lecciones con Carolina - Esta noche vs anoche

 Play Caption

 

S as in sal (salt)

Muchos mercaderes venían a recoger la sal.

Many merchants came to get the salt.

Caption 14, Rosa - Fuente de Piedra

 Play Caption

 

T as in trabajo (job)

¿Qué trabajo es?

What job is it?

Caption 23, Sofy y Caro - Entrevistar para un trabajo

 Play Caption

 

U as in universidad (university)

¿La biblioteca de la universidad?

The university library?

Caption 21, Español para principiantes - Hablando de ubicaciones

 Play Caption

 

V as in viento (wind)

...y un viento muy fuerte nos arrastró a mar abierto.

...and a very strong wind dragged us out to the open sea.

Caption 21, Guillermina y Candelario - La Isla de las Serpientes

 Play Caption

 

W as in wifi (wifi)

Tenemos también wifi y hay ordenadores disponibles.

We also have wifi and there are computers available.

Caption 20, El Aula Azul - Cursos y actividades de la escuela

 Play Caption

 

X as in xilófono (xylophone)

Entonces, había una persona contando un cuento y él tocando un xilófono.

So, there was a person telling a story and he [was] playing a xylophone.

Caption 28, La Sub30 - Familias - Part 4

 Play Caption

 

Y as in yuca (yucca)

Aquí tenemos la yuca.

Here we have the yucca.

Caption 7, Recetas de cocina - Carimañolas

 Play Caption

 

Z as in zona (area)

Es la primera vez que vengo a esta zona de la ciudad.

It's the first time I've come to this area of the city.

Caption 8, Karla e Isabel - Alquilar una habitación

 Play Caption

 

Spanish alphabet pronunciation

If you want to improve your pronunciation of the Spanish alphabet, please take a look at the following audio clips where Marta, one of our Spanish teachers, will teach you how to properly pronounce the Spanis alphabet letters:

 

A, B, C, D, E

A, be, ce, de, e,

A, b, c, d, e,

Caption 19, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

 Play Caption

 

F, G, H, I, J

efe, ge, hache, i, jota,

f, g, h, i, j,

Caption 20, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

 Play Caption

 

K, L, M, N, Ñ

ka, ele, eme, ene, eñe,

k, l, m, n, ñ,

Caption 21, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

 Play Caption

 

O, P, Q, R, S

o, pe, cu, erre, ese,

o, p, q, r, s,

Caption 22, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

 Play Caption

 

T, U, V, W,

te, u, uve, uve doble,

t, u, v, w,

Caption 23, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

 Play Caption

 

X, Y

equis, i griega

x, y [literally: "Greek i"]

Caption 24, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

 Play Caption

 

Z

y zeta.

and z.

Caption 25, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

 Play Caption

 

Keep in mind that you can also refer to the letter W as doble ve (double v) or doble u (double u). Similarly, you can also call the letter Y ye instead of i griega (Greek i).

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That's it for now. If you feel like practicing a little bit more, try to write one word with each one of the 27 Spanish alphabet letters. And of course, don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

 

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100 Hard Spanish Words to Say Correctly

Are you ready to learn some hard Spanish words? Don’t worry! We don’t want to scare you but rather we would like to highlight some of the issues that transform even simple words into difficult ones. Let’s review the following list featuring 100 of the most difficult Spanish words for English speakers

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Hard Spanish words to pronounce

 

Pronunciation is definitely the issue to keep in mind when we talk about hard Spanish words. In fact, if you are a native English speaker, there are several sounds that are quite challenging. Let’s start with some of the most difficult words to pronounce in Spanish for English speakers. We have divided these words in groups according to the pronunciation challenge they represent.

 

That J sound

 

For many foreigners, words with the letter “j” are some of the most difficult Spanish words to say. If you are an English speaker, you can try to say the “j” in Spanish as a very strong “h” in English. Think of how you pronounce the letter “h” in the word ham. Let’s take a look: 

 

1. Ají (chili or bell pepper)

¿Ají?

"Ají" [chili pepper]?

Caption 37, Ricardo - La compañera de casa

 Play Caption

 

2. Bajo (short)

Es bajo, es gordo.

He's short, he's fat.

Caption 33, El Aula Azul - Mis Primos

 Play Caption

 

3. Caja (box)

...y ellos también mandaron una caja grandísima.

...and they also sent a huge box.

Caption 25, Diana Quintana - En Navidad regalemos una sonrisa

 Play Caption

 

4. Anaranjado (orange)

Adentro, son de color anaranjado.

Inside, they are orange-colored.

Caption 13, Otavalo - Conozcamos el Mundo de las Frutas con Julia

 Play Caption

 

5. Empujar (to push)

 

6. Equipaje (luggage)

¿Puedo dejar aquí mi equipaje?

Can I leave my luggage here?

Caption 59, Cleer y Lida - Recepción de hotel

 Play Caption

 

7. Espantapájaros (scarecrow)

8. Cojear (to limp)

9. Injusticia (injustice)

 

10. Jamón (ham)

Fíjate: jamón, Javier.

Check it out: ham, Javier.

Caption 27, Fundamentos del Español - 10 - La Pronunciación

 Play Caption

 

11. Jirafa (giraffe)

12. Jornada (day)

13. Jota (J - the sound of the letter J in Spanish)

 

14. Jugar (to play)

También podemos jugar a las cartas.

We can also play cards.

Caption 12, Clara y Cristina - Hablan de actividades

 Play Caption

 

15. Junio (June)

16. Lujoso (luxurious)

 

17. Lejano (far, far away)

Érase una vez en un lejano reino, ahí vivía una joven niña.

Once upon a time in a faraway kingdom, there lived a young girl.

Caption 2, Cuentos de hadas - La Cenicienta

 Play Caption

 

18. Majo (nice)

19. Mojado (wet)

20. Pájaro (bird)

21. Sonrojar (to blush)

22. Tajada (slice)

 

That G sound

 

Just as it happens with the letter “j,”, there are several tricky words in Spanish with the letter “g”. What’s hard about this consonant is that there is a soft and a hard way to pronounce it. For example, you have a soft “g” in the word gato (cat). Think about the pronunciation of the syllable “ga” in the word gather. On the other hand, you have a hard “g” in the word gente (people), which is kind of similar to how you pronounce the “h” in the word helmet. Let’s see some tough Spanish words with the letter “g”:

 

23. Acogedor (cozy, welcoming)

Perfecto, porque es un barco muy marinero, muy acogedor para la gente.

Perfect, because it's a very seaworthy boat, very welcoming for the people.

Caption 16, La Gala - El bote de Dalí

 Play Caption

 

24. Agente (agent)

25. Agitar (shake)

26. Aguja (needle)

 

27. Agujero (hole)

Tiene un cuerpo con un agujero en el centro.

It has a body with a hole in the center.

Caption 45, Karla e Isabel - Instrumentos musicales

 Play Caption

 

28. Apagar (to turn off)

 

29. Coger (to take, to get)

El segundo paso es coger la cebolla.

The second step is to get the onion.

Caption 25, Clara cocina - Una tortilla española

 Play Caption

 

30. Garganta (throat)

Me duele la garganta.

My throat hurts.

Caption 11, Ariana - Cita médica

 Play Caption

 

31. General (general)

En general, los nombres acabados en "a" son femeninos.

In general, nouns ending in "a" are feminine.

Caption 10, Fundamentos del Español - 2 - Nombres y Género

 Play Caption

 

32. Geneaología (genealogy)

33. Geología (geology)

 

34. Gigante (giant, gigantic)

Una de las piezas más llamativas es este ajedrez gigante.

One of the most appealing pieces is this gigantic chess board.

Caption 35, Europa Abierta - Taller de escenografía en Olivares

 Play Caption

 

35. Ginecólogo (gynecologist)

36. Girasol (sunflower)

37. Guapo (handsome)

38. Juguetón (playful)

39. Tangible (tangible)

40. Tigre (tiger)

41. Zoológico (zoo)

 

That double RR sound

 

There are plenty of tricky words in Spanish with the strong sound of the double “rr”. The following are some of them: 

 

42. Aburrido (bored)

Ah, esto está muy aburrido, ni siquiera se entiende.

Oh, this is very boring, you can't even understand it.

Caption 24, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 2

 Play Caption

 

43. Carrera (career)

El presidente empezó su carrera política...

The president began his political career...

Caption 29, Lecciones con Carolina - El gerundio

 Play Caption

 

44. Carretera (road)

 

45. Carro (car)

¿Ha venido en carro?

Have you come in a car?

Caption 64, Cleer y Lida - Recepción de hotel

 Play Caption

 

46. Correr (to run)

 

47. Desarrollar (Develop)

Pero el reto era desarrollar proyectos de biomedicina.

But the challenge was to develop biomedical projects.

Caption 10, Club de las ideas - Lego Fest en Sevilla

 Play Caption

 

48. Error (mistake)

Esto es un error.

This is a mistake.

Caption 21, Lecciones con Carolina - Errores comunes

 Play Caption

 

49. Ferrocarril (railroad, train)

...en un carrito tipo ferrocarril tirado por un caballo.

...in a little train-like car pulled by a horse.

Caption 8, Mérida y sus alrededores - Haciendas de Cuzamá

 Play Caption

 

50. Garrote (club)

 

51. Guerra (war)

La palabra más fea es guerra.

The ugliest word is war.

Caption 61, Karla e Isabel - Palabras

 Play Caption

 

52. Guitarra (guitar)

53. Herradura (horseshoe)

54. Irresponsable (irresponsible)

55. Morral (backpack)

56. Ornitorrinco (platypus)

 

57. Perro (dog)

Se escucha un perro.

You can hear a dog.

Caption 43, Conversaciones en el parque - Cap. 2: Cafe y bocadillos

 Play Caption

 

58. Puertorriqueño (Puerto Rican)

 

That TR sound

 

Without any doubt, words that have a syllable where the consonant “t” is followed by the consonant “r,” are some of the most difficult words for English speakers to pronounce in Spanish. If you want to improve this sound, please listen carefully to some of the audio clips we have included for the next set of words.

 

59. Abstracto (abstract)

60. Astronomía (astronomy)

 

61. Astrología (astrology)

...y voy a entender lo que es la astrología.

...and I am going to understand what astrology is.

Caption 60, Conversaciones con Luis - Astrología

 Play Caption

 

62. Atracción (atraction)

Porque es en el centro... el sitio donde hay mayor atracción.

Because it's at the center... the place where there are more attractions.

Caption 21, Yabla en Lima - Miraflores

 Play Caption

 

63. Cuatro (four)

Número cuatro: microscopio.

Number four: microscope.

Caption 19, Aprendiendo con Karen - Útiles escolares

 Play Caption

 

64. Entretener (to entertain)

65. Entretenido (entertaining)

66. Patrón (patron)

67. Patrulla (patrol)

68. Petróleo (oil)

69. Poltrona (easy chair)

70. Potro (colt)

 

71. Tradicion (tradition)

Uno de los mitos más conocidos de la tradición indígena colombiana.

One of the best known myths of the indigenous Colombian tradition.

Caption 13, Aprendiendo con Carlos - América precolombina - Mitos y leyendas Muiscas

 Play Caption

 

72. Traicionar (to betray)

 

73. Trampa (trap)

No, no, me tendió una trampa y yo caí.

No, no, she set a trap for me and I fell into it.

Caption 29, Muñeca Brava - 44 El encuentro

 Play Caption

 

74. Treinta y tres (thirty-three)

Treinta y tres

Thirty-three

Caption 49, Español para principiantes - Los números del 1 al 100

 Play Caption

 

75. Tres (three)

76. Trilogía (trilogy)

 

77. Triste

Estoy triste.

I am sad.

Caption 10, El Aula Azul - Estados de ánimo

 Play Caption

 

78. Tronco (trunk)

 

All those vowels

 

Unlike English, Spanish vowels are very clearly defined. Five vowels equals five sounds, period. While that may sound simple, the problem is that English speakers are used to pronouncing vowels in many more different ways. Here are some hard Spanish words that highlight this challenge.

 

79. Aguacate (avocado)

Este es guacamole hecho con aguacate...

This is guacamole made ​​with avocado...

Caption 33, Tacos Emmanuel - Cómo hacer tacos de pescado

 Play Caption

 

80. Estadounidense (American)

Paul es estadounidense, de los Estados Unidos.

Paul is American, from the United States.

Caption 16, Carlos explica - Geografía y gentilicios

 Play Caption

 

81. Eucalipto (eucalyptus)

82. Euforia (euphoria)

83. Idiosincrasia (idiosyncrasy)

84. Licuadora (blender)

 

85. Paraguas (umbrella)

Voy a coger un paraguas, por si acaso.

I am going to grab an umbrella, just in case.

Caption 42, Clara explica - El tiempo - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

86. Triángulo (triangle)

Después pones este triángulo con la base hacia abajo.

Afterwards you put this triangle with the base toward the bottom.

Caption 42, Manos a la obra - Separadores de libros: Charmander

 Play Caption

 

87. Vergüenza (shame)

 

Longest Spanish words

 

There is a ‘cute’ joke in Spanish that goes like this: 

 

- Do you know what the longest word in Spanish is?

- No. What is it?

- Arroz (rice)! 

- Arroz? That’s a very short word.

- No, arroz is the longest word in Spanish because it starts with ‘a’ and ends with ‘z’!

 

Of course, that’s only a joke! Arroz is one of the easiest words in Spanish. However, the following are some of the most challenging and longest Spanish words:

 

88. Electroencefalograma (electroencephalogram)

89. Esternocleidomastoideo (sternocleidomastoid)

90. Contrarrevolucionario (counter-revolutionary)

91. Constitucionalidad (constitutionality)

92. Internacionalización (internalization)

93. Otorrinolaringólogo (otolaryngologist)

 

Apart from these very complicated words, all those adverbs that end in -mente are also some of the longest Spanish words. Let’s look at a few:

 

94. Constitucionalmente (constitutionally)

 

95. Desafortunadamente (unfortunately)

Cuando tú creces, desafortunadamente te das cuenta que.

When you grow up, unfortunately, you realize that.

Caption 23, La Sub30 - Familias - Part 9

 Play Caption

 

96. Desconsoladamente (inconsolably)

97. Fuertemente (heavily)

 

 

98. Tradicionalmente (traditionally)

Y nos dedicamos al cultivo del champiñón tradicionalmente.

And we are dedicated to the cultivation of the mushroom traditionally.

Caption 4, La Champiñonera - El cultivo de champiñón

 Play Caption

 

99. Tristemente (sadly)

 

And finally, can you think of any Spanish word that has all the vowels on it? We have a long word for you, which is actually quite short in English:

 

100. Murciélago (bat)

La palabra más larga es murciélago.

The longest word is bat.

Caption 43, Karla e Isabel - Palabras

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BANNER PLACEHOLDER

That's it for now. We know that there are many more hard Spanish words that we should include in this list. If you feel like it, please share some additional difficult Spanish words with us, and we’ll be happy to add them to this lesson. And don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!

 

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