Spanish Lessons

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Körperteile auf Spanisch von Kopf bis Fuß

Weißt du, was „Hände“, „Beine“ oder „Gesicht“ auf Spanisch heißt? Hier schauen wir uns mal an, wie man „las partes del cuerpo en español“ (die Körperteile auf Spanisch) ausspricht und schreibt.

 

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Die Teile des Kopfs auf Spanisch

 

Der Kopf (la cabeza)

 

Inclina tu cabeza hacia atrás,

Neige deinen Kopf nach hinten;

Caption 19, Bienestar con Elizabeth - Rehabilitación vestibular

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Die Haare (el pelo / el cabello)

„Pelo“ ist ein sehr verbreitetes Wort für „Haare“. Es ist jedoch zu beachten, dass sich pelo auf jede Art von Körperhaar beziehen kann. Nur mit dem Wort „cabello“  spricht man eindeutig vom Kopfhaar. 

 

Vale, pero los dos tenemos el pelo negro, vale, muy bien, perfecto.

Ok, aber wir haben beide schwarze Haare. OK, sehr gut, perfekt.

Caption 12, Clase Aula Azul - El verbo parecer

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Para mi cabello, aquí tengo mi cepillo de cabello

Für meine Haare habe ich hier meine Haarbürste

Caption 27, Ana Carolina - Artículos de aseo personal

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Die Ohren (las orejas)

Denk daran, dass das spanische Wort für das Innenohr „el oído“ ist. Das Außenohr (was man tatsächlich sehen kann) heißt „la oreja“.

 

Las orejas son partes del cuerpo

Die Ohren sind Körperteile,

que se encuentran en cada lateral de la cabeza

die sich auf jeder Seite des Kopfes befinden

y que forman la parte exterior del oído.

und den äußeren Teil des Innenohrs bilden

Captions 53-55, Clara explica - El cuerpo

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Teile des Gesichts auf Spanisch

Das Gesicht (la cara, el rostro)

Es gibt zwei Wörter für Gesicht auf Spanisch: „la cara“ und „el rostro“. Während „cara“ meistens verwendet wird, um über den physischen (konkreten) Teil des Körpers zu sprechen, wird „rostro“ oft verwendet, um auf eine poetische oder abstrakte Weise über das Gesicht eines Menschen zu sprechen. Und so werden sie ausgesprochen:

 

Esa mañana, al lavarse la cara,

An diesem Morgen, während er sein Gesicht wusch,

Caption 15, Aprendiendo con Carlos - El microrrelato

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Pinto mi rostro de mascarada

Ich bemale mein Gesicht für die Maskerade

Caption 20, Alejandra Guzmán - Porque no estás aquí

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Die Stirn (la frente)

 

Dio un suspiro y un golpe en la frente,

Sie seufzte und schlug sich gegen die Stirn.

Caption 55, Cleer - Rafael Pombo y "Pastorcita"

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Die Augen (los ojos)

 

Me encantaría tener los ojos azules.

Ich hätte gerne blaue Augen.

Caption 34, Clara explica - El cuerpo

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Die Augenbrauen (las cejas)

 

Ahora voy a delinear las cejas con un lápiz color café.

Jetzt werde ich die Augenbrauen mit einem kaffeefarbenen Augenbrauenstift nachziehen.

Caption 53, Maquillaje - Con Cata y Cleer

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Die Wimpern (las pestañas)

 

Después tenemos las pestañas.

Dann haben wir die Wimpern.

Caption 21, Marta de Madrid - El cuerpo - La cabeza

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Die Wangen (las mejillas)

 

Cuando una mujer hablaba de mis mejillas,

Wenn eine Frau über meine Wangen sprach,

Caption 23, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 3

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Die Nase (la nariz)

 

que podía tener sangre por la nariz.

dass er eine blutige Nase haben könnte.

Caption 15, Juan Sánchez - Personajes

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Der Mund (la boca)

 

Esta... esta boca quiere decir que está como un poco...

Dieser ... dieser Mund will sagen, dass es so ein bisschen ...

Caption 67, Bucaramanga, Colombia - Pintor callejero

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Die Lippen (los labios)

 

Tanto te quise besar que me duelen los labios

Ich wollte dich so sehr küssen, dass meine Lippen wehtaten

Caption 2, Shakira - Sale el Sol

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Die Zähne (los dientes)

 

para que los dientes estén más fuertes

damit die Zähne fester werden

Caption 61, Los médicos explican - Consejos: dientes de niños

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Die Zunge (la lengua)

 

Esta letra la pronuncias poniendo la lengua junto al paladar

Man spricht diesen Buchstaben aus, indem man die Zunge an den Gaumen legt

Caption 61, Ana Carolina - Mejorando la pronunciación

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Das Kinn (la barbilla / el mentón)

 

Después tenemos la barbilla.

Dann haben wir das Kinn.

Caption 70, Marta de Madrid - El cuerpo - La cabeza

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Vas a bajar el mentón hacia tu cuello

Du wirst dein Kinn in Richtung Nacken senken,

Caption 28, Bienestar con Elizabeth - Relajación

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Weitere Körperteile auf Spanisch

 

Der Hals (el cuello)

 

La cabeza es la parte superior del cuerpo

Der Kopf ist der obere Teil des Körpers,

que está situada sobre el cuello

der sich auf dem Hals befindet

Captions 49-50, Clara explica - El cuerpo

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Die Schultern (los hombros)

 

y a Chibchacum lo puso a cargar la Tierra en sus hombros.

und zwang Chibchacum, die Erde auf seinen Schultern zu tragen.

Caption 57, Aprendiendo con Carlos - América precolombina - El mito de Bochica

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Die Arme (los brazos)

 

Esta que tengo en mis brazos se llama Poeska.

Dieser, den ich in meinen Armen habe, heißt Poeska.

Caption 21, Fermín y los gatos - Mi gata Poeska

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Die Ellbogen (los codos)

 

Vamos a mover codos,

Wir werden die Ellbogen bewegen,

que normalmente no movemos esta articulación.

da wir dieses Gelenk normalerweise nicht bewegen.

Captions 15-16, Bienestar con Elizabeth - Activar las articulaciones

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Die Handgelenke (las muñecas)

Von allen Bezeichnungen für Körperteile auf Spanisch ist diese wahrscheinlich die ungewöhnlichste. Das Wort „muñeca“ bedeutet nämlich nicht nur „Handgelenk“, sondern auch „Puppe“.

 

 

sufren mucha lesión en codos, en muñecas y en hombros.

sie erleiden viele Verletzungen an Ellbogen, Handgelenken und Schultern.

Caption 28, Adícora, Venezuela - Los fisioterapeutas

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Die Hände (las manos)

 

los voy a colocar en mis manos,

Ich werde sie in meine Hände legen,

Caption 30, Ana Carolina - Gérmenes

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Die Finger (los dedos de la mano)

 

Tiene agujeros donde se colocan los dedos,

Es hat Löcher, wo Sie Ihre Finger platzieren,

Caption 38, Karla e Isabel - Instrumentos musicales

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Die Beine (las piernas)

 

Si tienes unas piernas fuertes y ganas de andar,

Wenn du starke Beine hast und gerne läufst,

Caption 102, Blanca - Cómo moverse en Barcelona

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Die Knie (las rodillas)

 

¡Vamos! Doble sus rodillas.

Also los! Beugen Sie die Knie.

Caption 24, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 3 - Sam aprende a ligar

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Die Füße (los pies)

 

unos zapatos para los pies del bebé.

Schuhe für die Füße des Babys.

Caption 35, Conversaciones en el parque - Cap. 4: Regalos para un nuevo bebé

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Die Zehen (los dedos del pie)

 

También, este... son frecuentes en lesionarse [sic] mucho las articulaciones metatarsianas

Außerdem verletzen sie sich häufig an den Mittelfußgelenken,

que son los dedos del pie,

also an den Zehen.

Captions 25-26, Adícora, Venezuela - Los fisioterapeutas

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Und hiermit sind wir am Ende der Lektion über Körperteile auf Spanisch angelangt. Versuche doch, sie ein bisschen zu üben, und vergiss nicht, uns deine Kommentare und Vorschläge zu senden. ¡Hasta la próxima! Bis zum nächsten Mal!

 

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Caption 55, 54, 53, 50, 49, 34
Beginner

The Spanish "Second Conditional": A Simple Hypothetical Formula

What would you do if you won the lottery? Spanish uses a type of conditional sentence known as the segunda condicional (second conditional) to describe these types of scenarios, which is formed with a simple formula that we will cover today. 

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The Second Conditional in Spanish

There are many different types of Spanish conditionals, or conditional sentences. These are sentences that describe the result "if" a certain condition were in place. They are formed with a conditional si, or "if" clause, plus a main clause, and are classified according to the likelihood of the hypothetical situation. The second conditional typically focuses on scenarios that are unlikely or hypothetical, but can also be used to make an utterance extra polite

 

The Spanish Second Conditional Formula

Let's take a look at the formula for the second conditional in Spanish:

 

Si + imperfect subjunctive verb + conditional verb 

 

If you need to learn or review these tenses or how to conjugate them, we recommend these lessons on the Spanish imperfect subjunctive tense, which describes the unlikely or hypothetical action, and the Spanish conditional tense which conveys the action(s) that "would" happen if some other condition "were" in place.

 

Examples of the Spanish Second Conditional 

Let's take a look at several examples of the Spanish second conditional and some situations in which it could be employed. We'll start with some sentences that describe very unlikely situations:

 

Si me tocara la lotería, viajaría por todo el mundo, y me alojaría en los hoteles más lujosos. 

If I won the lottery, I'd travel around the whole world, and I'd stay at the most luxurious hotels.

Captions 26-27, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: La segunda condicional

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Si tuvieras que morir, no podrías dejarme aquí

If you had to die, you couldn't leave me here

Caption 8, La Gusana Ciega No Me Tientes

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Si pudiera bajarte una estrella del cielo Lo haría sin pensarlo dos veces

If I could lower you down a star from the sky I'd do it without thinking twice 

Captions 5-6, Enrique Iglesias Cuando me enamoro

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Now, let's take a look at some situations that are hypothetical but less outlandish, including the equivalent for the common English expression, "if I were you":
 

Y si tuvieras hijos, ¿te gustaría que practicaran el surf también?

And if you had kids, would you like them to surf as well?

Captions 63-64, El Aula Azul Un día de surf

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Si tuviera que definirla en una sola palabra, sería amor.

If I had to define her in just one word, it would be love.

Caption 22, Fermín y los gatos Mi gata Poeska

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Bueno, si yo fuera tú, hablaría con él. 

Well, if I were you, I would speak with him.

Caption 24, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: Subjuntivo y condicional

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And finally, let's see an example where the second conditional is used in a likely scenario for the sake of politeness:

 

Pues, si pudiera venir a la oficina mañana a las nueve, la ubicaríamos en su puesto enseguida. 

Well, if you could come to the office tomorrow at nine, we would get you acquainted with your position right away.

Captions 28-29, Negocios Empezar en un nuevo trabajo - Part 1

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Note that while the first conditional si puede venir a la oficina mañana a las nueve, la ubicaremos en su puesto enseguida (if you can come to the office tomorrow at nine, we will get you acquainted with your position right away) could also have been used in this situation, the second conditional in Spanish is sometimes chosen to infuse a sentence with extra formality. 

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Reversing the Formula

In some cases, the order of the imperfect subjunctive and the conditional verbs can be flipped. Let's take a look at a couple of examples:

 

Pero, por eso, estamos imaginando qué pasaría si nos tocara la lotería,

But that's why we're imagining what would happen if we won the lottery,

Captions 34-35, Clase Aula Azul La segunda condicional - Part 2

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¿Qué harías si te encontraras un sobre con cincuenta mil euros?

What would you do if you found an envelope with fifty thousand euros?

Caption 19, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: La segunda condicional

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That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped you to understand a very common formula for talking about hypothetical situations in Spanish. For further information on this topic, we recommend this entertaining video entitled La Doctora Consejos: La segunda condicional (Doctor Advice: The Second Conditional) by El Aula Azul, or this more in-depth lesson called La Segunda Condicional by Clase El Aula Azul. And as always... don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments

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Spanish Verbs That Change Meaning in the Preterite Tense

Just when you thought you'd memorized the meanings of a bunch of infinitive verbs (their "to" forms, like saber (to know), poder (to be able), etc.), you find out that there are some verbs that actually change meanings from one tense to another! Verbs that mean one thing in tenses like the Spanish present indicative tense and the imperfect tense in Spanish but change meaning in the Spanish preterite tense will be the focus of today's lesson. 

 

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What Is the Spanish Preterite Tense?

In a nutshell, there are two "main" past tenses in Spanish: the imperfect tense in Spanish, which is used to describe past actions that were ongoing, in progress, or interrupted, and the Spanish preterite tense, which describes completed past actions. As we mentioned, as the meaning of some Spanish verbs actually changes in the preterite tense in Spanish, let's take a look at some examples of several of these verbs and their translations in the present, the imperfect, and, finally, the preterite, via examples from Yabla Spanish's video library. 

 

Spanish Verbs That Change Meaning in the Preterite Tense 

 

1. Conocer (to know)

Let's take a look at some examples of the Spanish verb conocer in the present and imperfect tenses:

 

Present Tense:

porque conozco un sitio muy bueno y podemos ir.

because I know a very good place and we can go.

Caption 67, Cleer Entrevista a Giluancar

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Imperfect Tense:

Pablo Escobar conocía La Catedral como la palma de la mano,

Pablo Escobar knew La Cathedral like the back of his hand

Caption 42, Los Tiempos de Pablo Escobar Capítulo 2 - Part 6

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In both the Spanish present indicative and the imperfect tense, the Spanish verb conocer means "to know" in the sense of "being familiar with." However, in the preterite tense, the Spanish verb conocer has a different meaning. Let's take a look:

 

Preterite Tense:

Cuando yo conocí a mi esposa, hace nueve años, la primera cosa yo le dije a ella, te... tú vas a ser la mamá de mis hijas.

When I met my wife, nine years ago, the first thing I said to her, you... you are going to be the mom of my daughters.

Captions 52-54, La Sub30 Familias - Part 4

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As you can see in this example, as the preterite tense in Spanish limits an action to a specific moment in time, the meaning of the Spanish verb conocer changes to "to meet" in the Spanish preterite tense. 

 

2. Poder (to be able)

The Spanish verb poder means "to be able," in the sense of "can" in the present or "could" in the past. Let's see some examples:

 

Present Tense:

Detrás de mí podemos observar la ciudad antigua

Behind me, we can observe the old city

Caption 11, Ciudad de Panamá Denisse introduce la ciudad

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Imperfect Tense:

Yo pensé que podía saltar muy alto.

I thought I could jump really high.

Caption 14, Guillermina y Candelario Una Amiga muy Presumida - Part 2

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So, how does the meaning of the Spanish verb poder transform in the preterite?

 

Preterite Tense:

Es que no entiendo cómo pudo entrar aquí.

It's just that I don't understand how he managed to get in here.

Caption 20, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 2 - Part 8

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Although "It's just that I don't understand how he was able to get in here" could also be a viable translation, in some contexts, this English rendition would not make it clear whether someone actually did something or merely had the ability to do so. Hence, the important thing to remember when the Spanish verb poder is conjugated in the Spanish preterite tense is that it ceases to describe merely the potential for something to happen and states that it actually did. "To manage" (to do something) is thus a common translation for the Spanish verb poder in the preterite tense that makes this distinction clear. 

 

3. No poder (to not be able)

The meaning of no poder in both the present and imperfect tenses in Spanish is pretty straightforward: "to not be able to," in other words, "can't" in the present and "couldn't" in the (imperfect) past:

 

Present Tense:

¿Cómo que no pueden hacer nada? ¿Cómo que no pueden hacer nada más?

What do you mean you can't do anything? What do you mean you can't do anything else?

Caption 17, Yago 3 La foto - Part 2

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Imperfect Tense:

Y no podía estudiar.

And I couldn't study.

Caption 1, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 5 - Part 3

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So, what about the preterite? If we know that the preterite form of the Spanish verb poder means "to manage to" do something, it follows that the preterite form of no poder can mean "to not manage to," or, better yet, "to fail to" to do something.

 

Preterite Tense:

Si usted no pudo controlar su matrimonio ¿cómo va a controlar y dirigir y manejar el interés público?

If you failed to control your marriage, how are you going to control and direct and manage public interest?

Captions 58-59, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 3

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While we might alternatively translate "si usted no pudo controlar su matrimonio" as "you couldn't control your marriage" or "you weren't able to control your marriage," the important thing to remember is that the verb poder in the preterite means that something in the past was attempted but did not come to fruition.

 

4. Saber (to know)

The Spanish verb saber typically means "to know" (in the sense of facts or information) in the present, imperfect, etc.:

 

Present Tense:

No es información nueva, y ellas lo saben.

It's not new information, and they know it.

Caption 7, Clase Aula Azul Información con subjuntivo e indicativo - Part 3

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Imperfect Tense:

Sí. Si algo sabíamos era que la plata no crece en los árboles.

Yes. If we knew anything, it was that money didn't grow on trees.

Caption 28, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 10 - Part 2

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However, because the preterite tense in Spanish narrows the timeline of such "knowing" down to a specific moment, the meaning of the Spanish verb saber transforms, in the preterite tense, from "to know" to "to find out":

 

Preterite Tense:

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 was 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 1

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5. Tener (to have)

The verb tener in Spanish means "to have" in most tenses, as in the following excerpts:

 

Present Tense:

Todas las estaciones tienen sus ventajas.

All of the seasons have their advantages.

Caption 42, Clara explica El tiempo - Part 2

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Imperfect Tense:

Tenía una casa pues, amueblada de cuatrocientos metros

I had a, well, furnished, four-hundred meter house,

Caption 79, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 8

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And, although the meaning of the Spanish verb tener doesn't always change in the preterite, it sometimes takes on the meaning of "to receive" or "to get," as in the case of: Tuve una carta (I got a letter). Let's look at an additional example:

 

Preterite Tense:

Y bueno, ahí tuve otras proposiciones, que no eran tampoco un sueño, pero eran mucho más interesantes que lo que tenía en Cuba,

And well, there, I got other proposals, which weren't a dream either, but they were much more interesting than what I had in Cuba,

Captions 49-51, Orishas Entrevista Canal Plus

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6. Querer (to want) 

The verb querer in Spanish most often means "to want." Let's see it in action:

 

Present Tense:

Amigos de Yabla, hoy los queremos invitar a aprender español

Friends of Yabla, today we want to invite you to learn Spanish

Captions 1-2, El Hatillo, Caracas, Venezuela El cuatro

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Imperfect Tense:

Yo de niña pensaba que quería ser bailarina. ¿Qué pensabas tú?

As a little girl I thought that I wanted to be a dancer. What did you think?

Caption 20, Conjugación El verbo 'pensar'

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In the preterite tense, however, the Spanish verb querer "puts a limit" on this past "wanting" and becomes a manner of saying that someone "tried" to do something:

 

Preterite Tense:

Yo quise ser su amiga, pero no me dejó.

I tried to be his friend, but he didn't let me.

Caption 38, Guillermina y Candelario Un marciano en la playa - Part 1

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7. No querer (to not want) 

In our first two tenses, the Spanish verb phrase no querer means exactly what it sounds like: "to not want." Let's examine some clips that demonstrate this construction in the present and imperfect:

 

Present Tense:

 

Es que yo no quiero vivir en el centro.

The thing is, I don't want to live in the downtown area.

Caption 71, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: Subjuntivo y persona ideal

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Imperfect Tense:

 

y en un principio le dije que no quería tener un gato en casa.

and at first, I told her I didn't want to have a cat in my home.

Caption 32, Fermín y los gatos Mi gata Poeska

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The preterite form of the Spanish verb querer, on the other hand, means that someone not only "didn't want" to do something at a specific point in the past, they actually didn't (or "wouldn't"):

 

mi otra hermana, Zoraida Zárraga, mi sobrino, Harold Blanco, que no quisieron presentarse por temor a cámara.

my other sister, Zoraida Zarraga, my nephew, Harold Blanco, who refused to appear due to camera shyness.

Captions 11-13, Coro, Venezuela Relaciones familiares

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So, we see that the meaning of the verb no querer in Spanish can sometimes become to "to refuse" in the preterite tense. 

 

We hope that this lesson has edified you regarding the alternative meanings of some Spanish verbs when they are conjugated in the preterite tense. Can you think of any we missed?  Don't forget to tell us with your suggestions and comments

 

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Caption 13, 12, 11, 59, 58
Adv-Intermediate

The Imperfect Tense in Spanish: The Past That Just Won't Quit

What is the imperfect tense in Spanish? In contrast to the Spanish preterite, or simple past tense, which typically describes completed actions in the past, the imperfect tense in Spanish depicts past actions that were carried out regularly, over a longer period of time, or were in progress at a specified point. In addition to these uses of the imperfect tense in Spanish, there are other specific contexts in which it is necessary to use this tense, many of which we hope to illuminate for you today. 

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When Do You Use Imperfect Tense in Spanish? 

Let's take a look at some situations in which it is necessary to use the Spanish imperfect tense.

 

1. To Describe Habitual Actions in the Past

 

The imperfect tense in Spanish distinguishes actions that occurred on a habitual basis in the past from isolated incidents. Let's begin to understand this by examining how this idea might be expressed in English:

 

When I was young, I used to visit my grandparents every summer.

 

When I was young, I would visit my grandparents every summer.

 

When I was young, I visited my grandparents every summer. 

 

Interestingly, all of these English sentences could be translated to Spanish using the same sentence in the imperfect tense: "Cuando yo era joven, visitaba a mis abuelos todos los veranos." This is because, despite their structural differences, they all mean the same thing: that the speaker would regularly visit his or her grandparents in the past. 

 

Armed with this idea that the imperfect tense in Spanish can encompass various English constructions, let's take a look at some additional examples of sentences with verbs in the imperfect tense:

 

Cuentan los cronistas que veían desfilar a las tropas

The chroniclers tell that they would see the troops parading,

bajando desde lo que era el Cuartel de San Telmo

coming down from what used to be the San Telmo Barracks

hasta lo que hoy es conocido como el Bulevar donostiarra, 

to what is known today as the "Bulevar donostiarra"

Captions 26-28, Días festivos - La Tamborrada de San Sebastián

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eh... -Sí. -... practicaba fútbol.

um... -Yes. -...I used to play soccer.

Caption 27, Club 10 - Capítulo 2

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In this second example, although an English speaker might say either, "Oh! I used to play soccer too!" or "Oh! I played soccer too!" to talk about something he or she did regularly at a previous juncture, the Spanish language would always employ the imperfect tense to distinguish this as a habitual action in the past. In contrast, if the speaker had just completed a game of soccer yesterday, he would instead use the preterite tense:

 

Ayer practiqué fútbol.

I played soccer yesterday. 

 

All that said, at the moment of constructing a sentence, in order to decide when to use the imperfect tense in Spanish, an English speaker must consider whether a past action took place just once or over an extended period, in which case it will be necessary to choose the imperfect tense. 

 

 

2. To Describe Incomplete or Interrupted Actions in the Past 

 

The imperfect tense in Spanish is also used to describe past actions that were incomplete or interrupted at the depicted moment. Let's take a look:

 

Vi que me acompañaba, mientras yo cantaba. -Sí.

I saw that you were accompanying me while I was singing. -Yes.

Caption 28, Yago - 1 La llegada

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Notice that imperfect verbs that describe past actions in progress are most commonly (but again, not always) expressed in English in the past progressive tense, e.g., "You were accompanying," "I was singing," etc. The same can be said of interrupted past actions, where the action in progress is conjugated in the imperfect tense in Spanish, while the interrupting action is in the preterite tense:

 

OK, o sea que vos pensás

OK, in other words, you think

que yo iba por la calle y de repente

that I was going down the street and suddenly,

conocí a una chica y la llevé a una obra en construcción

I met a girl and took her to a construction site

para seducirla.

to seduce her.

Captions 22-23, Muñeca Brava - 45 El secreto

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Me sentía perdido hasta que un día me llegó un email.

I was feeling lost until, one day, I got an email.

Caption 24, Con ánimo de lucro - Cortometraje

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Notably, although the Spanish past progressive tense can also be used to describe incomplete or interrupted actions in some cases (e.g. Yo cocinaba cuando mi marido llegó a casa and Yo estaba cocinando cuando mi marido llegó a casa both mean "I was cooking when my husband got home"), in our examples above, the imperfect tense in Spanish would be the more likely choice. 

 

3. To Describe Conditions and Characteristics

 

Since they tend to be ongoing, rather than having a definite beginning or end, the imperfect tense in Spanish is additionally used to describe physical and other characteristics of people or things in the past.

 

Tenía una barba blanca que le llegaba hasta la cintura

He had a white beard that went down to his waist

y una larga cabellera.

and long hair.

Tenía además una corona dorada y vestía un manto blanco.

He also had a golden crown and wore a white robe.

Captions 12-14, Aprendiendo con Carlos - América precolombina - El mito de Bochica

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Pero no era la... mi... la Connie, mi esposa,

But it wasn't the... my... Connie, my wife,

sino era la otra, la rubia,

but rather it was the other one, the blonde,

que era muy bonita de ojos azules. 

who was very pretty with blue eyes.

Captions 29-30, Gonzalo el Pintor - Vida

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In this second example, it is notable that, even though the third person singular form of the verb ser (to be) in its preterite form (fue) can also be translated as "was" in some cases, the imperfect tense in Spanish is the correct manner of talking about traits in the past. The imperfect is also the preferred tense for describing past states of being, as in the following example:
 

Tenía su pata rota.

His leg was broken.

Esta pata de aquí, la tenía rota.

This leg here, it was broken.

Captions 17-18, Amaya - La historia de Lukas

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This descriptive nature of the imperfect tense in Spanish makes it ideal for explaining "how things were," or "setting the scene" in literature, which is the focus of this additional Yabla lesson on the imperfect tense. 
 

4. To Talk About Age

 
Since age can also be thought of as characteristic rather than something that "occurs" in a given moment, the imperfect tense in Spanish is used to talk about it in past tense: 
 

Desde cuando tenía doce años, más o menos. 

Since I was twelve years old, more or less.

Caption 13, Encuentro Volkswagen en Adícora - Escarabajos en la playa

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4. To Talk About Dates and Time

 

Additionally, since "setting the scene" might entail recounting what day or time it "was," dates and times must be described in the Spanish imperfect tense:

 

Eran las cinco de la tarde.

It was five o'clock in the evening. 

 

ya que recuerdo que hacía un calor terrible,

as I remember that it was terribly hot,

aunque todavía era el mes de junio

despite the fact that it was still the month of June,

Captions 38-39, Fermín y los gatos - Mi gata Poeska

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5. To Talk About Feelings

 

The imperfect tense in Spanish is also utilized to speak about emotions in the past:

 

Un poquito y ajá, y estaba triste porque dejaba

A little bit, and uh-huh, and I was sad because I was leaving

mi familia y eso y ya.

my family and all that and that's it.

Caption 70, Cleer - Entrevista a Lila

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Todos en la casa estaban muy emocionados

Everyone in the house was very excited,

Caption 17, Cuentos de hadas - Cenicienta

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The Imperfect Tense in Spanish: Final Thoughts 

So... when do you use the imperfect tense in Spanish? We hope that this lesson has made it more clear that, in contrast to the Spanish preterite tense, the Spanish imperfect is reserved for past events that "kept on going" for an extended period. For more examples of imperfect tense in Spanish, we recommend Carlos' video on this topic, where he explores not only when to use imperfect tense in Spanish, but also how to conjugate its regular and some of its most common irregular forms.

 

That's all for today, and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments

 

Verb tenses

Spanish Body Parts from Head to Toe

Are you familiar with the body parts in Spanish? Do you know how to say words like "hands," "legs," or "face" in Spanish? Let's see how to write and pronounce las partes del cuerpo en español (the parts of the body in Spanish), from head to toe!

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Parts of the Head in Spanish

 

Head (cabeza)

 

Inclina tu cabeza hacia atrás,

Tilt your head back;

Caption 19, Bienestar con Elizabeth - Rehabilitación vestibular

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Hair (pelo or cabello)

Pelo is a very common word for "hair." However, keep in mind that pelo can refer to any kind of body hair, while the word cabello only refers to the hair on one's head. 

 

Vale, pero los dos tenemos el pelo negro, vale, muy bien, perfecto.

OK, but we both have black hair, OK, very good, perfect.

Caption 12, Clase Aula Azul - El verbo parecer

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Para mi cabello, aquí tengo mi cepillo de cabello

For my hair, I have here my hair brush

Caption 27, Ana Carolina - Artículos de aseo personal

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Ears (las orejas)

Keep in mind that the Spanish word for the inner ear is el oído while the external ear (what you actually see) is called la oreja.

 

Las orejas son partes del cuerpo

The ears are parts of the body

que se encuentran en cada lateral de la cabeza

that are found on each side of the head

y que forman la parte exterior del oído.

and that form the external part of the inner ear.

Captions 53-55, Clara explica - El cuerpo

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Parts of the Face in Spanish

Some of the most often used parts of the body in Spanish are placed in our face. Let's take a look.

 

Face (la cara, el rostro)

There are two words for face in Spanish: la cara and el rostro. However, while cara is mostly used to talk about the physical part of the body, rostro is often used to talk in a sort of poetic, abstract way about someone's face. Let's see how to pronounce both words:

 

Esa mañana, al lavarse la cara,

That morning, while washing his face,

Caption 15, Aprendiendo con Carlos - El microrrelato

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Pinto mi rostro de mascarada

I paint my face in masquerade

Caption 20, Alejandra Guzmán - Porque no estás aquí

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Forehead (la frente)

 

Dio un suspiro y un golpe en la frente,

She let out a sigh and banged her forehead,

Caption 55, Cleer - Rafael Pombo y "Pastorcita"

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Eyes (los ojos)

 

Me encantaría tener los ojos azules.

I would love to have blue eyes.

Caption 34, Clara explica - El cuerpo

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Eyebrows (las cejas)

 

Ahora voy a delinear las cejas con un lápiz color café.

Now I am going to line the eyebrows with a brown-colored pencil.

Caption 53, Maquillaje - Con Cata y Cleer

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Eyelashes (las pestañas)

 

Después tenemos las pestañas.

Then we have the eyelashes.

Caption 21, Marta de Madrid - El cuerpo - La cabeza

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Cheeks (las mejillas)

 

Cuando una mujer hablaba de mis mejillas,

When a woman talked about my cheeks,

Caption 23, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 3

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Nose (la nariz)

 

que podía tener sangre por la nariz.

that he might have a bloody nose.

Caption 15, Juan Sánchez - Personajes

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Mouth (la boca)

 

Esta... esta boca quiere decir que está como un poco...

This... this mouth wants to say that it's like a bit...

Caption 67, Bucaramanga, Colombia - Pintor callejero

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Lips (los labios)

 

Tanto te quise besar que me duelen los labios

I wanted to kiss you so much that my lips hurt

Caption 2, Shakira - Sale el Sol

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Teeth (los dientes)

 

para que los dientes estén más fuertes

so that the teeth become stronger

Caption 61, Los médicos explican - Consejos: dientes de niños

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Tongue (la lengua)

 

Esta letra la pronuncias poniendo la lengua junto al paladar

You pronounce this letter by putting the tongue next to the palate

Caption 61, Ana Carolina - Mejorando la pronunciación

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Chin (la barbilla or el mentón)

 

Después tenemos la barbilla.

Then we have the chin.

Caption 70, Marta de Madrid - El cuerpo - La cabeza

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Vas a bajar el mentón hacia tu cuello

You're going to lower your chin toward your neck,

Caption 28, Bienestar con Elizabeth - Relajación

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Additional Spanish Body Parts

 

Neck (el cuello)

 

La cabeza es la parte superior del cuerpo

The head is the top part of the body

que está situada sobre el cuello

that is situated on the neck

Captions 49-50, Clara explica - El cuerpo

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Shoulders (los hombros)

 

y a Chibchacum lo puso a cargar la Tierra en sus hombros.

and forced Chibchacum to carry the Earth on his shoulders.

Caption 57, Aprendiendo con Carlos - América precolombina - El mito de Bochica

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Arms (los brazos)

 

Esta que tengo en mis brazos se llama Poeska.

This one I have in my arms is named Poeska.

Caption 21, Fermín y los gatos - Mi gata Poeska

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Elbows (los codos)

 

Vamos a mover codos,

We're going to move [our] elbows,

que normalmente no movemos esta articulación.

as we don't normally move this joint.

Captions 15-16, Bienestar con Elizabeth - Activar las articulaciones

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Wrists (las muñecas)

Of all the names of body parts in Spanish, this is probably the most unique. The word muñeca indeed means not only "wrist" but "doll" as well, so keep that in mind when you need to remember how to say "wrist" in Spanish.

 

sufren mucha lesión en codos, en muñecas y en hombros.

they suffer a lot of injuries on [their] elbows, wrists and shoulders.

Caption 28, Adícora, Venezuela - Los fisioterapeutas

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Hands (las manos)

 

los voy a colocar en mis manos,

I'm going to place them in my hands,

Caption 30, Ana Carolina - Gérmenes

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Fingers (los dedos de la mano)

 

Tiene agujeros donde se colocan los dedos,

It has holes where you place your fingers,

Caption 38, Karla e Isabel - Instrumentos musicales

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Legs (las piernas)

 

Si tienes unas piernas fuertes y ganas de andar,

If you have some strong legs and feel like walking,

Caption 102, Blanca - Cómo moverse en Barcelona

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Knees (las rodillas)

 

¡Vamos! Doble sus rodillas.

Let's go! Bend your knees.

Caption 24, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 3 - Sam aprende a ligar

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Feet (los pies)

 

unos zapatos para los pies del bebé.

some shoes for the baby's feet.

Caption 35, Conversaciones en el parque - Cap. 4: Regalos para un nuevo bebé

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Toes (los dedos del pie)

 

También, este... son frecuentes en lesionarse [sic] mucho las articulaciones metatarsianas

Also, um... they frequently hurt their metatarsal joints a lot,

que son los dedos del pie,

which are the toes,

Captions 25-26, Adícora, Venezuela - Los fisioterapeutas

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And with this last term, we have come to the end of this lesson about Spanish body parts. We encourage you to practice the names of all of these partes del cuerpo, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions¡Hasta la próxima!

 

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Caption 55, 54, 53, 50, 49, 34
Beginner

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