Spanish Lessons


Yabla's Top 10 Verbs Like Gustar

The focus of today's lesson will be "verbs like gustar." But... what is gustar like?! 


The Verb Gustar 

The Spanish verb  gustar describes the concept of "liking" someone or something. In contrast to English, where we'd say "We" (the subject) "like cheese" (the object), in Spanish, whatever "we like" becomes the subject that projects the action "onto us." This is similar to how the English verb "to please" functions, e.g., "Cheese pleases us," where "the cheese" carries out the action of "pleasing" (us). For an in-depth exploration of this topic, we recommend this two-part lesson on Gustar vs. "To Like": A Difference in Perception. In the meantime, we'll give you a few tips regarding conjugating the verb gustar and verbs that act in a similar fashion. 


1. An indirect object pronoun (me (to me), te (to you), le (to him/her/formal "you"), nos (to us), os (informal plural "to you"), and les ("to them" or plural "to you")) is used to indicate who is "being pleased," or, in English, the person who "likes" someone or something. 


2. Regardless of tense, the verb gustar is conjugated in accordance with the Spanish subject (what is "being liked" or "pleasing").


3. If the subject is a noun, the definite article is used (el, la, los, las, which mean "the").


4. Optionally, a phrase with a (to) + a prepositional pronoun ( (me), ti (you), él (him), ella (her), usted (formal "you"), nosotros (we), vosotros (informal plural "you"), or ustedes (plural "you")) can be added before or after the verb for emphasis. A direct object may also be introduced with a.


Armed with this information, let's look at a few examples:


A mí me gustan las hamburguesas.

I like hamburgers.

Caption 11, Español para principiantes Los colores

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Me gustas. 

I like you.

Caption 44, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 4 - Part 12

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¡A las niñas grandes les gustan los coches deportivos, les gusta el dinero, les gusta bailar!

Big girls like sports cars, they like money, they like "bailar"!

Captions 22-23, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 3 - Sam aprende a ligar - Part 3

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In accordance with our tips, in all of these examples, the indirect object pronoun indicates or agrees with who is "liking"/"being pleased," with me being "I" and les agreeing with the direct object, las niñas grande. The verb gustar, on the other hand, agrees with who or what "pleases"/"is liked" in English: the plural gustan with las hamburguesas and los coches deportivosgustas with the implied tú (you), and gusta with el dinero and the infinitive bailar.


Yabla's Top 10 Verbs that Function Like Gustar

Now that we've recalled how gustar functions, we bet you're dying to know Yabla's Top Ten Verbs Like Gustar in the sense of the "reversal" of the roles of the traditional subject and object. Let's take a look.


1. Doler (to hurt)

Although this verb is most often translated as just "hurt(s)," it might help you to think of the more literal translations for the examples below: "My legs hurt (me)" and "your head hurts (you)," respectively. 


¡Me duelen las piernas!

My legs hurt!

Caption 45, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 3 - Sam aprende a ligar - Part 1

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Cuando tú estás enfermo, te duele la cabeza,

When you're ill, your head hurts,

Captions 32-33, El Aula Azul Las Profesiones - Part 2

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2. Encantar (to love)

Note that as gustar can be translated as "to like," encantar is most often translated as "to love." However, it might behoove you to think of the English word "enchant(s)" to help remember the Spanish structure, e.g.  "Feathers enchant me." 


Me encantan las plumas.

I love feathers.

Caption 33, Ariana Cena especial

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Aquí, a los alemanes les encanta sentarse afuera

Here, Germans love to sit outside

Caption 21, Venezolanos por el mundo Zoraida en Alemania - Part 2

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3. Fascinar (to fascinate/be fascinated)

Interestingly, although fascinar can be translated as "to fascinate," it is more commonly used in Spanish than its English equivalent and can often mean something comparable to the verb encantar, or "to love." 


Es una ciudad que me fascina,

It's a city that fascinates me

Caption 16, Venezolanos por el mundo Gio en Barcelona

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y me fascinaba perderme entre sus calles

and it fascinated me to get lost in its streets

Caption 11, Venezolanos por el mundo Gio en Barcelona

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An alternative translation for this second caption might be: "and I loved getting lost in its streets."


4. Hacer falta (to need/be necessary)

While "need" is the most often-heard translation for the verb hacer falta, you can think of the following examples with "to be necessary for" to more closely imitate their Spanish structure, i.e., "the only thing that's necessary for us" and "Those songs are necessary for me."


lo único que nos hace falta es una voz líder.

the only thing we need is a lead singer.

Caption 31, X6 1 - La banda - Part 3

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Me hacen falta esas cantadas

I need those songs

Caption 66, Félix Carlos Hello Chamo

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5. Importar (to matter/be important to)

While the English verbs "to matter (to)" and "be important (to)" work much like the Spanish verb gustar, importar plus an indirect object pronoun can also occasionally be translated as "to care about."


Me importás vos.

You matter to me.

Caption 23, Yago 6 Mentiras - Part 2

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¡Mis hijos me importan!

I care about my children!

Caption 60, Yago 3 La foto - Part 6

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This second example could also be translated more literally as "My children matter to me!"


6. Interesar (to interest/be interested in)

The verb interesar can be translated as either "to interest" or "be interested." For example, if you say, Me gusta la ciencia, either the more literal "science interests me" or "I'm interested in science" suffice as possible translations. Let's see a couple of examples, noting the inclusion of the word atraer (to attract), which also functions like gustar.


no me atraen ni me interesan...

they neither attract me nor interest me...

Caption 8, Enanitos Verdes Amores Lejanos

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si les interesa saber cómo es la cumbia, en Yabla pueden encontrar un video

if you're interested in knowing what cumbia is like, you can find a video on Yabla

Captions 90-91, Cleer y Lida El Carnaval de Barranquilla - Part 2

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7. Molestar (to bother)

Since the English verb "to bother" works much like the Spanish molestar, the translations for sentences with the verb molestar plus an indirect object pronoun should seem pretty straightforward for English speakers. 


¿Por qué te molestan tanto?

Why do they bother you so much?

Caption 3, Guillermina y Candelario La Peluqueria del Mar - Part 2

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¡No, no me molestas para nada! -Adiós.

No, you don't bother me at all! -Goodbye.

Caption 48, Yago 9 Recuperación - Part 1

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8. Parecer (to seem/seem like/think)

In our first example below, a more literal translation would be "it seems cool to them." However, "to think" is a very common translation for parecer(le) a alguien (to seem to someone). For more on the verb parecer, check out Clase Aula Azul's seven-part series on El verbo parecer as well as Doctora Consejo's video on Parecer y parecerse.


Están muy interesados en la música, les parece chévere.

They're very interested in the music, they think it's cool.

Caption 54, Cleer Entrevista a Lila

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¿Te parezco una mujer?

Do I seem like a woman to you?

Caption 29, Muñeca Brava 8 Trampas - Part 1

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9. Preocupar (to worry)

When you want to talk about "being worried" or "worrying" yourself, the reflexive verb preocuparse (to worry) is the one to choose. But in the case that something worries you, the verb preocupar plus an indirect object pronoun can help you to describe this. 


Sí, te preocupa. -¿A mí qué me preocupa? -¿Morena?

Yes, it worries you. -What worries me? -Morena?

Caption 32, Yago 9 Recuperación - Part 4

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para hablarles de un tema que parece del pasado pero que nos preocupa a todos en el presente.

to talk to you about a topic that seems [to be] from the past but which concerns us all in the present.

Captions 28-29, La Sub30 Familias - Part 1

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10. Quedar (to have left)

In literal terms, quedar plus an indirect object pronoun can be thought of as "what remains" or "is left for" someone or something. Let's take a look at this verb in action:


Como: Todavía me queda tiempo.

Like: I still have time.

Caption 110, Escuela BCNLIP Clase con Javi: el futuro - Part 10

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todavía nos quedan muchos más prefijos para ver.

we still have a lot more prefixes left to look at.

Caption 52, Carlos explica Los prefijos en español - Part 4

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Note that this very same verb can also refer to how something "looks on" or "fits" someone when accompanied by adjectives such as bien, mal, grande, etc. 


Que me pasa a mí es que los guantes siempre me quedan grandes.

What happens to me is that the gloves are always too big for me.

Caption 78, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 5

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With this final example, we conclude our list of Yabla's Top Ten Verbs Like Gustar. While these are just a handful of the many verbs that function like gustar in Spanish, we hope that this lesson has aided your understanding of how they work and look forward to your suggestions and comments.


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How Do You Say "How Much" in Spanish (And So Much More!)?

How do you say "how much" in Spanish? In this lesson, you will learn to say "how much" in Spanish in both questions and statements as well to formulate some more specific "how much" questions and answers that you might be eager to learn!


How Do You Say "How Much" in Spanish? 

The simplest answer to this question is that, while there may be additional ways of saying "how much" in Spanish in particular contexts, the word cuánto is the most common way to say "how much" in Spanish and the one we will focus on today. Let's take a look at this word in action:


Ay, papá, para que se dé cuenta cuánto

Oh, dude, so that you realize how much

vamos a ganar con este negocio;

we are going to earn with this business;

Caption 11, Tu Voz Estéreo - Laura

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While, in the example above, the word cuánto functions as a adverb meaning "how much" in Spanish, the word cuánto can also act as an adjective. In such cases, it will need to agree with the noun it modifies in terms of number and gender. Let's take a look at some examples of the word cuánto in its singular/plural and masculine/feminine forms:


Quiero, quiero, quiero ver cuánto amor a ti te cabe

I want, I want, I want to see how much love fits in you

Caption 40, Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee - Despacito

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Escúchame, ¿cuántos frigoríficos necesitáis?

Listen to me, how many refrigerators do you guys need?

Caption 46, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 2

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¿Cuánta harina le agrego?

How much flour shall I add to it?

Caption 72, Ricardo - La compañera de casa

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¿Cuántas palabras sabes en español?

How many words do you know in Spanish?

Caption 1, El Aula Azul - Adivina qué es

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Notice that the translation for the plural forms of the word cuántocuántos and cuántas, is "how many."

Common Expressions with "How Much" in Spanish

Now that you know how to say "how much" in Spanish, let's look at some of the most searched-for English phrases including the words "how much" that many people want to learn how to say in Spanish:


1. "How much money" in Spanish


As one of the most common things one might associate with the words "how much" is money. You might be curious about how to say "how much money" in Spanish, which is simple: Add the singular masculine form of the adjective cuánto to the word for money, dinero, which is masculine and singular as well:


¿Cuánto dinero se puede sacar? Perras.

How much money can one get? Coins [colloquial].

Caption 48, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 5

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2. "How much does it cost?" in Spanish


Now that we're talking about money, the abilty to ask the question, "How much does it cost?" in Spanish might come in extremely handy when traveling to a Spanish-speaking country. So, how do you say "How much does it cost?" in Spanish?


As it turns out, there are a number of ways to say "How much does it cost?" in Spanish. Most literally, as the verb costar means "to cost" in Spanish, "¿Cuánto cuesta?" and "¿Cuánto cuestan?" mean "How much does it cost?" or "How much do they cost?" respectively, with the verb conjugated in the third person singular or plural depending upon whether what is being asked about is singular or plural. In these cases, the word cuánto functions as an adverb meaning "how much" in Spanish and is thus always masculine and singular. 


¿Cuánto cuesta esta billetera?

How much does this wallet cost?

¿Cuánto cuesta esta cartera?

How much does this purse cost?

Captions 32-33, Ana Carolina - Salir de compras

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¿Y cuánto cuestan las lecciones?

And how much do the lessons cost?

Caption 21, Costa Azul Surf Shop - Hablando con los Empleados Del Surf

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The Spanish expression "¿Cuánto vale?" (literally "How much is it worth?") can also mean "How much does it cost?" in Spanish, with the verb conjugated in singular or plural once again depending on the sentence's subject, which is singular (este coche, or "this car") in this sentence:


¿Cuánto vale este coche?

How much does this car cost?

Este coche vale nuevo treinta y seis mil euros. 

This car costs new thirty-six thousand euros.

Captions 60-61, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 18

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Yet another expression meaning "How much does it cost?" in Spanish is: "¿A cuánto sale?" which might be literally translated as "What does it come out to?" The plural form salen would, of course, be used to ask about more than one noun.


¿A cuánto sale más o menos el botecito?

How much does the little jar cost, more or less?

Caption 29, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 6

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4. "How much is it?" in Spanish 

Just like "How much is it?" is an alternative manner of asking "How much does it cost?" in English, "¿Cuánto es?"  is another way of asking "¿Cuánto cuesta?" in Spanish. As an example, you could say "¿Cuánto es esto?" if you want to ask "How much is this?" in Spanish (or "¿Cuánto son estos?" to say "How much are these?").  Let's take a look at this expression in the past imperfect tense:

¿Cuánto era, dos zoquitos? Eh. -No sé si...

How much was it, two zoquitos? Yeah. -I don't know if...

Caption 26, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 5

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5. "How much do I owe you?" in Spanish 


To continue on our money theme, you might need to ask a waiter, for example, "How much do I owe you?" in Spanish. The Spanish verb for "to owe" is deber, as illustrated in the following sentence:


si debés más, pues, multiplicado,

if you owe more, well, multiplied,

te daría una deuda mucho mayor.

it would give you a much bigger debt.

Caption 47, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo enero

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Hence the way to ask "How much do I owe you?" in Spanish would be "¿Cuánto te debo?" or "¿Cuánto le debo?" where deber is conjugated in the first person (yo, or "I") and te or le are the indirect object pronouns representing "you" with either tú or usted.


6. "How much do you weigh?" in Spanish 


Even though this might be an unpopular question in some circles, many people are curious to know how to say "How much do you weigh?" in Spanish. Since the verb pesar means "to weigh," it can be paired with cuánto to ask about a person's weight as follows:


¿La madre, cuánto puede pesar, Jesús?

The mother, how much can she weigh, Jesus?

Caption 81, Animales en familia - Un día en Bioparc: Cachorro de leopardo

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"¿Cuánto pesas?" (with ) or "¿Cuánto pesa?" (with usted) would thus be manners of asking someone "How much do you weigh?" in Spanish. 


Additional Expressions with Cuánto/s with Different English Translations 

Although our focus today has been how to translate English questions with "how much" into Spanish using the word cuánto and its variants, we should take a moment to mention that two of the most common Spanish questions that employ this word are not literally translated as "how much" or "how" many" in English. Let's take a look:


1. ¿Cuántos años tienes? 


You have probably heard the very common Spanish questions: "¿Cuántos años tienes?" or "¿Cuántos años tiene?"


¿Tú cuántos años tienes, Mariano?

How old are you, Mariano?

Yo, treinta y cinco. -¿Estás casado, tienes niños?

Me, thirty-five. -Are you married; do you have kids?

Captions 69-70, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 6

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Although "¿Cuántos años tienes?" literally means "How many years do you have?" this is the English equivalent of "How old are you?" since the Spanish "tener años" (to have years) refers to being a certain age. 

2. ¿Cuánto tiempo? 


Although the Spanish phrase "cuánto tiempo" literally means "how much time," this is most commonly expressed in English as "how long."


Para ese momento ¿ustedes cuánto tiempo llevaban de novios?

At that time, how long had you been girlfriend and boyfriend?

Caption 27, Tu Voz Estéreo - Feliz Navidad

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A Couple of Answers to Questions with "How Much" in Spanish

Now that you know a multitude of questions that include the concept of "how much" in Spanish, it might be useful know a couple of answers! Since one possible response to "How much?" might be "Too much," let's learn how to say "too much" in Spanish, which is most often expressed with the Spanish word demasiado.

¿Tu marido trabaja

Your husband works

de domingo a domingo. ¿Cuánto? -Demasiado trabaja.

from Sunday to Sunday. How much? -He works too much.

Captions 29-30, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 19

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Another common English response to the question of "How much?" in English could be "Not much"! So, how do you say "not much" in Spanish? This one is pretty literal and simple! Let's take a look:


Bueno, sé un poquito pero no mucho.

Well, I know a little bit but not much.

Caption 3, Arume - La Vida Escolar

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In Conclusion...

To wrap up today's lesson on "how much" in Spanish, allow us to ask: ¿Cuánto aprendiste? (How much did you learn?). We hope that the answer is "very much" and look forward to your suggestions and comments

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Idiomatic Expressions with The Verb Tener

In this lesson, we will review some very useful idioms and expressions with the verb tener (to have).


Very often, we use idiomatic expressions with tener in the present so let’s review the conjugation of this verb in the present tense:
Yo tengo | I have
Tú tienes | You have
Él/Ella tiene | He/She has
Nosotros tenemos | We have
Vosotros tenéis | You have
Ellos tienen | They have
There are many idiomatic expressions with the verb tener that Spanish speakers use to express physical sensations. These include expressions like tener frío/calor (to be cold/hot), tener hambre (to be hungry) and tener sueño (to be sleepy):


Bueno, pero tengo frío.

Well, but I'm cold.

Caption 31, Natalia de Ecuador - Palabras de uso básico

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Y más que tenemos hambre ya a esta hora.

And plus, we're already hungry at this hour.

Caption 106, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa

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Tenemos sueño.

We are sleepy.

Caption 38, El Aula Azul - Estados de ánimo

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Apart from physical sensations, we can also use the verb tener to express other more psychological states such as tener miedo (to be afraid), tener ganas (to want/to desire), tener prisa (to be in a hurry) and tener vergüenza (to be ashamed):


¡Tengo miedo, tengo miedo, tengo miedo!

I'm afraid, I'm afraid, I'm afraid!

Caption 42, Muñeca Brava - 43 La reunión

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Siento que te cansaste y tienes ganas

I feel that you got tired and you want

Caption 4, Circo - Velocidades luz

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La gente parece que siempre tiene prisa...

People seem to always be in a hurry...

Caption 38, Maestra en Madrid - Nuria y amigo

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En este momento duda porque tiene vergüenza de ir a la escuela.

At this moment she hesitates because she's ashamed to go to school.

Caption 49, Con ánimo de lucro - Cortometraje

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And finally, don’t forget that you also need to use an idiomatic expression with the verb tener when you talk about age:

Tengo veintiún años y soy estudiante de negocios internacionales.

I'm twenty-one years old and I'm a student of international business.

Caption 2, Amigos D.F. - Consejos para la calle

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That's all for now. We challenge you to try finding more idiomatic expressions with the verb tener in our catalog of videos! And don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions to

The Verb Llevar

The Spanish verb llevar has many different meanings. It's also used in many idiomatic phrases. Let's study some examples since this is a very popular and useful verb.
The basic meanings of llevar is "to carry " or "to take": 
Tengo que llevar a mi hijo al doctor - I have to take my kid to the doctor.
Ella lleva una carga muy pesada - She carries a very heavy burden.
Sometimes the verb llevar translates as "to bring": 
No [te] olvides [de] llevar un regalo a la fiesta de Lucía / Don't forget to bring a gift to Lucia's party.
This can be a little confusing for English speakers, since traer and llevar actually mean opposite things in Spanish. The verb traer involves carrying something to the speaker's location, while llevar means to carry something from the speaker's location to a different place. So, to use the same example, if you are already at Lucía's party or, let's say, she is your roomie, you must say: No [te] olvides [de] traer un regalo a la fiesta de Lucía (Don't forget to bring a gift to Lucia's party).


But the verb llevar has many other interesting uses. For example, it's used to express the idea of having been doing something for a period of time. In this case, it's very common to combine llevar with the preposition ya (already):


Yo ya llevo veintitrés años aquí ya.

I have already been here for twenty-three years now.

Caption 65, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 18

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Llevar can also be used to express duration. This is easy to learn since English also uses "to take" for the same purpose:

tenemos que teñirlo, esto pues, nos lleva un ratito,

we have to dye it, this well, it takes us a little while,

Caption 68, Animales en familia - Un día en Bioparc: Microchip para Nacahué - Part 1

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As you can see, this use of llevar frequently involves using reflexive pronouns. But you don't always need them. Compare, for example: 
Hacer la tarea lleva mucho tiempo / Doing homework takes a lot of time.
Hacer la tarea me lleva mucho tiempo / Doing homework takes me a lot of time.
Llevar also means"to wear":

¿Por qué lleváis guantes?

Why do you wear gloves?

Caption 46, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 5

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By the way, the verb traer (to bring) is sometimes used the same way:

por eso... traen pantalones

that's why... they wear pants

Captions 47-48, El Ausente - Acto 2 - Part 3

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And the verb llevar also means "to lead." For example: ¿Llevas una vida saludable? (Do you lead a healthy life?). 
Finally, there's an expression used in Mexico that derives from this last meaning: ahí la llevas. It literally means something like "there, you are leading it" but it means that the person speaking is telling you that you are doing your work well. It's very common to use this expression as an ironic remark that means exactly the opposite, so be careful: 
No te rindas, hijo. Ahí la llevas. / Don't give up, son. You are doing well.
¿Otra vez borracho? Bueno, tú síguele. Ahí la llevas. / Drunk again? Well, keep going. You are on the right track... not.




Ser vs Estar - Yo estoy

How much you learn about the proper use of ser and estar (both meaning "to be") depends on your exposure to how real Spanish is spoken by real people. This lesson focuses on how a person can use estoy (“I'm” —the first-person singular form of estar in the present tense) to talk about himself or herself.


The present tense of the verb estar (to be) is estoy. You can use it combined with an adjective (or a participiothe -ado, -ido, -to, -so, -cho endings and their feminine and plural forms, used as an adjective) to express your current state of mind, body, or soul:


...Yo estoy listo ya... ¿Dónde está el perro?

...I'm ready now... Where's the dog?

Caption 108, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 5

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It's very common, for example, to use estar to talk about emotions, convictions, and beliefs:

Bueno, pero estoy muy contenta. Pasa.

Well, but I am very happy. Come in.

Caption 12, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 6

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Yo creo que sí. -Estoy convencido que poco a poco vamos a... a buscar alternativas.

I think so. -I am convinced that little by little we are going to... to look for alternatives.

Captions 64-65, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 5

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You can use any other regular adjective as well. Some examples are below:
Estoy limpio - I'm clean.
Estoy enferma - I'm sick.
Estoy sola - I'm lonely.
At this point it's useful to compare the possible meaning of similar phrases using ser instead of estar. Note how, by using ser instead of estar, the adjective becomes an intrinsic characteristic of the subject:
Soy limpio - I'm a clean person.
Soy enferma - Incorrect, it’s better to say soy una persona enferma "I'm a sick person," or even just estoy enferma (I’m sick), because this phrase can also mean “I’m a sick person” given the appropriate context.
Soy sola - Incorrect, it’s better to say soy una persona solitaria (I'm a lonely person).
You can combine estoy with the gerundio (-ando / -endo / -iendo endings) to talk about your actions, about what you are doing. The combination with haciendo, the gerundio of the verb hacer (to do) is very common:

Yo estoy haciendo el control de calidad del producto.

I'm doing the quality control of the product.

Caption 4, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 20

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But you can combine estoy with any other gerundio, for example cogiendo, the gerundio of coger (to grab, to pick):

Hasta que no palme estoy cogiendo castañas.

As long as I don't croak, I'm picking chestnuts.

Caption 6, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 5

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You can use estoy with a complement that denotes space to specify your location. The combination with an adverb of place is common:

Por eso estoy aquí, porque me han dicho...

That's why I am here because they have told me...

Caption 85, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 15

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And also with the preposition en (in):

Eh... Ahora mismo estoy en Málaga, estoy de vacaciones.

Um... Right now I'm in Malaga, I'm on vacation.

Caption 2, Arume - Málaga, España - Part 1

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The verb estoy can also be combined with certain prepositions to express a wide array of ideas. For example, you can use it with the preposition de to talk about your role or position in a certain context:

Eh, y... estoy de acuerdo con, con Denisse ahí,

Uh, and... I agree (literally, "I'm in accord") with, with Denisse there.

Caption 24, Belanova - Entrevista - Part 3

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No, luego, cuando acaba la campaña estoy de camarero.

No, after, once the season ends, I work as a waiter.

Caption 61, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 13

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Eh... Ahora mismo estoy en Málaga, estoy de vacaciones.

Um... Right now I'm in Malaga, I'm on vacation.

Caption 2, Arume - Málaga, España - Part 1

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You can combine the verb estoy with the preposition por  and a verb in infinitive (-er, -ar, -irendings) to talk about what you are about to do:
Estoy por ganar el juego de scrabble. 
I'm about to win the Scrabble match.
Estoy por terminar. Espérenme, por favor.
I'm about to finish. Please, wait for me.
You can use estar and the preposition para to talk about purpose, function, etc.
Aquí estoy para servir
I'm here to serve.
Here's an interesting example from our catalog of videos:

o estoy para dirigir cine tal vez.

or maybe, I'm suited to direct a movie.

Caption 68, Arturo Vega - Entrevista - Part 1

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There are many other ways in which you can use the verb estoy; these are just some of the most common ones. For now, we recommend you practice these expressions, maybe try transforming them into the past or future tenses!  Our next lesson in this series will focus on how soy (the first-person singular form of ser in the present tense) can be used to talk about oneself.

How to Express Support in Spanish

The word in Spanish for empathy is empatía, and the word for sympathy is simpatía. You can combine either noun with verbs like tener (to have), mostrar (to show), or expresar (to express), among others:


La gente le tendría simpatía y admiración al mismo tiempo. Y hasta lástima.

People would feel sympathy and admiration for you at the same time. And even pity.

Captions 72-73, Muñeca Brava - 43 La reunión - Part 3

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To use the verbs mostrar and expresar instead of tener, you might say:

La gente le mostraría simpatía | People would show sympathy for you.

La gente le expresaría simpatía People would express sympathy to you.


But how can you directly express your sympathy to a person? The expressions te tengo simpatía ("I sympathize with you" but also "I like you" in some contexts) and soy empático contigo (I'm empathetic toward you) are correct but not very colloquial. You can use other expressions instead, for example, estoy contigo (I'm with you):
¿Confías en mí? -Sí. Yo estoy contigo.
Do you trust me? -Yes. I'm with you.

Another good way to show support is by simply saying te apoyo (I support you):

Ay, amigui, yo te apoyo.

Oh, friend, I support you.

Caption 8, NPS No puede ser - 1 - El concurso - Part 11

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In the case of more serious situations, for example, when receiving bad news about something, the most common way to show your support is by saying lo siento mucho (I'm very sorry), or the more emphatic cuánto lo siento (literally "how sorry I am"). There are different ways to use these phrases, depending on what you want to say. For example:
Mi papá está muy enfermo. -Oh, lo siento mucho.
My dad is very sick. -Oh, I'm so sorry.
Siento mucho que no puedas visitar a tu familia ahora.
I'm very sorry that you can't visit your family right now.
¡Cuánto lo siento que tuvieras que pasar por eso tú sola!
I'm so, so sorry that you had to go through that all by yourself.

Just pay close attention to the context and tone because, like in English, lo siento is also used commonly in less serious situations:


Lo siento, pequeña, pero aquí las cosas hay que ganárselas.

I'm sorry, little one, but here things have to be earned.

Captions 30-31, NPS No puede ser 1 - El concurso - Part 5

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You can also use lo siento mucho to offer your condolences. Altenatives include te ofrezco mis condolencias (I offer you my condolences) or recibe mis condolencias (receive my condolences), expressions that many people shorten to just mis condolencias (my condolences), or mis más sentidas condolencias (my heartfelt condolences):
Mis condolencias, Sr. Gutiérrez. -Gracias. 
My condolences, Mr. Gutierrez. -Thank you.


Finally, showing support is also about extending a helping hand, right? In Spanish you can use expressions such as ¿en qué te puedo ayudar? (how can I help you?), ¿te puedo ayudar en algo? (can I help you with something?), cuenta conmigo (you can count on me), estoy para lo que necesites (I'm here for whatever you need), among others. A very colloquial expression is echar una mano (to lend a hand):


...para echarle una mano a la familia. lend a hand to the family.

Caption 61, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 5

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We hope you've enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to leave us your comments and suggestions.

Expressing Progression with the Verb ir

The verb ir (to go) is used in many idiomatic expressions in Spanish. One of the most interesting uses of this verb is to indicate the beginning and progression of an action, for example:


¡Excelente! Voy planeando el evento.
Excellent! I'm starting to plan the event (right now).

It's not easy to translate the expression voy planeando el evento with precision. In the same situation, an English speaker would often use the future tense, "I will start planning the event," which has an exact equivalent in Spanish: comenzaré a planear el evento. But voy planeando (literally, "I go planning") is in the present tense, and the expression means that I'm starting the action of planning at a certain point (the present in this case) and that it will continue for some time in the future until its completion. It also implies that I will be planning while other actions are taking place simultaneously. This may be something obvious that could be inferred by context or mere logic in English, but there is no special verbal form to express it.

Now, this expression has many variations and, since the verb ir (to go) is an important irregular verb, it's worth studying different examples. The basic structure of the expression is as follows: a conjugated form of the verb ir (to go) + a verb in gerundio (-ando, -iendo endings in Spanish). In the previous example we used voy, the conjugated form of the verb ir in the present, and planeando, the gerundio of the verb planear (to plan). Let's see variations with different persons and tenses:

Iré planeando el evento.
I will start planning the event.

Lucía irá planeando el evento.
Lucia will start planning the event.

The verb ir in this expression can also be conjugated in the past tense. For example:

Fuimos planeando el evento.
We went about planning the event.

Did you notice that we adjusted our translation to better express the meaning of the sentence? The same happens when we use other verbs different from planear (to plan):

Voy cancelando el evento.
I start by cancelling the event.
(Though Spanish also has an exact equivalent for this translation: empiezo por cancelar el evento.)

But let's see some examples in real context. In the following examples, try to analyze the construction and meaning of the sentence in Spanish but also the translation we used for each. Maybe you can come up with a better one!


Te pones de rodillas o vas cambiando de postura.

You get on your knees or you go around changing postures.

Caption 75, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 5

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Y ahora, una vez que tenemos el aceite,

And now, once we have the oil,

lo vamos clasificando por calidades.

we're going to classify it by traits.

Caption 66, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 14

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Tienen un olfato muy desarrollado,

They have a very developed sense of smell,

enseguida te huelen el trocito de manzana, galleta, lo que sea,

right away they smell the little piece of apple, cookie, whatever,

y te van siguiendo.

and they start following you.

Captions 54-56, Animales en familia - Un día en Bioparc: Coatís

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Poco a poco la iremos consiguiendo.

Step by step, we are going to achieve it.

Caption 16, ¡Tierra, Sí! - Atenco

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Poco a poco los irás descubriendo todos.

Little by little you'll go along discovering all of them.

Caption 40, Fundamentos del Español - 9 - Verbos Reflexivos

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Hasta después fui aprendiendo

Until later [when] I started learning

conforme se fue haciendo el cómic.

as the comic was being made.

Captions 40-41, Antonio Vargas - Artista ilustración

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Finally, here's an interesting example that uses the verb ir not only as the auxiliary conjugated verb but also for the gerundio, which is yendo (going). The expression is then voy yendo (literally "I go going").  

Bueno, voy yendo que... -Sí, sí. -...deben de estar por llegar.

Well, I'm going since... -Yes, yes. -...they are bound to arrive soon.

Caption 24, Muñeca Brava - 33 El partido

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That's it. Mejor nos vamos despidiendo (We better start saying goodbye)!

Negation in Spanish



Did you watch our video about Spanish negation? In it, Marta explains that to make a negative sentence in Spanish, you basically need to place the word no before the verb in any given sentence, like this one from our animated friend Guillermina:

No quería que jugáramos con nuestros juguetes.

She didn't want us to play with our toys.

Caption 49, Guillermina y Candelario - El mundo de los juguetes perdidos

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By combining the word no with the word ni (nor) you can negate more than one idea:

Porque sin ti no me importan los minutos ni los días

Because without you I don't care about minutes or days

Caption 8, Belinda - Bella Traición

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As in English, you can use ni (nor) as many times as you want:

No te conoce el toro ni la higuera,

The bull does not know you, nor the fig tree,

ni caballos ni hormigas de tu casa.

nor the horses, nor the ants at your house.

Captions 4-5, Acercándonos a la Literatura - García Lorca - Alma ausente

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There are some other negative words in Spanish: nada (nothing), nadie (nobody), jamás (never), nunca (never), and tampoco (neither). How are these negative words used in Spanish? You place them right before the verb:

Mira, nunca me vayas a olvidar

Look, never forget me

Caption 24, Alberto Barros - Mano a mano

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You can also combine these words with the word no. In this case you should use no before the verb and the additional negative after it:

Porque en el campo no hay nadie. -Claro.

Because there is nobody in the field. -Of course.

Caption 19, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa

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As you can see, this leads us to probably the most interesting thing about negation in Spanish: the fact that double and triple negatives are very common:

No me gusta deberle nada a nadie.

I don't like to owe anything to anyone.

Caption 12, El Ausente - Acto 2

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Notice how in the previous quote the English translation uses the negative “don’t” first, and then the affirmative “anything” and “anyone” instead of “nothing” and “nobody” (which are the literal equivalent to nada and nadie). This is so because formal written English doesn’t use double negation. By contrast, the general rule in Spanish is not to mix negative and affirmative words in the same sentence. See for example:


Yo no pido nada más

I don't ask for anything else

Caption 14, Enrique Iglesias - Alguien soy yo

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Where Spanish uses two consecutive negatives (no and nada), English uses one negative (don't) and one affirmative (anything). Saying "Yo no pido algo más" or "Yo pido nada más" in Spanish is similar to saying “I don’t ask for nothing else” in English.


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