In a previous lesson, we learned various ways to say "never" in Spanish. But what about "ever"? Find out in today's lesson!
To start, note that two of the very same formulas that were used to say "never" in Spanish can also be used to say "ever." This is due to the fact that sometimes an idea in English can be expressed with either of these two words. Let's take a look at these formulas to understand better.
Let's look at this formula where nunca has been translated as "never":
Oh... ¡Nunca voy a tener un novio!
Oh... I'm never going to have a boyfriend!Play Caption
However, this very same formula can also mean "ever" because an alternative translation of the sentence above into English would be:
Oh... ¡Nunca voy a tener un novio!
Oh... I'm not ever going to have a boyfriend!
The same can be said for the formula no + sentence + nunca, as in the following example:
No te has equivocado nunca.
You've never made a mistake.
Once again, this very same construction can also be used to convey the idea of "ever" since an alternative English translation for this sentence would be: "You haven't ever made a mistake." Let's view this same sentence in question form:
¿No te has equivocado nunca?
Haven't you ever made a mistake?
Caption 73, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesaPlay Caption
In addition, negative commands with the word nunca can be used to say the equivalent of "ever" in Spanish:
Y por favor, no me lo dejes solo nunca.
And please, for me, don't ever leave him alone.Play Caption
Let's examine some more ways to say the English word "ever" in Spanish in different contexts.
One of the most common and straightforward ways to say "ever" in Spanish in the sense of "at some point in time" is alguna vez, typically within a question with either the present perfect or preterite tense. Let's see some examples:
¿Se han preguntado alguna vez por qué es importante reír?
Have you ever wondered why it's important to laugh?
Caption 8, Mónica - La risaPlay Caption
¿Alguna vez te pasó?
Has it ever happened to you?
Caption 32, Verano Eterno - Fiesta GrandePlay Caption
De todos los tiempos is yet another way to say "ever" in Spanish when the meaning is "of all time," which is, in fact, the literal translation of this phrase and could replace "ever" in the following example:
Hoy tenemos la fortuna de tenerlo entre nosotros,
Today we have the fortune to have him amongst us,
al más grande exponente de todos los tiempos, ¡al Señor Gardel!
the greatest example ever, Mister Gardel!
Captions 44-45, Yago - 1 La llegadaPlay Caption
Finally, let's check out how many common English expressions with "ever" such as "more than ever," "never ever," etc. are said in Spanish.
Y yo te amé, como nunca jamás lo imaginé
And I loved you, as I never ever imagined it
Caption 8, Muñeca Brava - 9 EngañosPlay Caption
Ahora más que nunca, vas a hacer lo que yo te diga.
Now more than ever, you are going to do whatever I tell you.
Caption 10, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poemaPlay Caption
El tiempo ha estado mejor/peor que nunca.
The weather has been better/worse than ever.
In fact, any adjective or adverb can be used between más (more) and que nunca (than ever) to convey the equivalent of English phrases with "than ever." Let's see a few examples:
Hoy he corrido más rápido que nunca.
Today, I've run faster than ever.
En cambio vos no cambiaste nada;
On the other hand you haven't changed a bit;
estás más hermosa que nunca.
you're more beautiful than ever.
Caption 56, Yago - 11 PrisiónPlay Caption
¿No me quieres volver a ver nunca más?
You don't ever want to see me again?Play Caption
Another translation for this sentence could be "You never want to see me again?"
y desde entonces se nos quedó adentro.
and it has remained within us ever since.
Caption 8, Región mundo - Paso a pasoPlay Caption
And speaking of "ever since," did you know that, in addition to Vivieron felices para siempre, one of the manners of saying the popular storybook line "They lived happily ever after" in Spanish is Vivieron felices y comieron perdices ("They lived happily and ate partridges")? On that note, we'll conclude this lesson, hoping that you've learned a lot of useful phrases for translating the concept of "ever" into Spanish. And don't forget to write us with any questions or suggestions.
Whenever a person is the object of a sentence in Spanish, the word a (which can literally mean "to," "at," etc., depending upon the context) must be included prior to the person. This is called the "personal a" in English and the "a personal" in Spanish.
In both English and Spanish, the subject of a sentence is the person or thing that performs an action and the object is the person or thing that receives it. For example, in the English sentence "Edison ate cake," "Edison" is the subject and "cake" is the object. And in the sentence "Gonzalo hugged Eva," "Gonzalo" is the subject while "Eva" is the object. So, while the translation for the first example, Edison comió torta, would not require the personal a, the second one would since Eva is a person: Gonzalo abrazó a Eva.
Now that we understand a bit how the personal a works, let's see a few examples where the same verb in the same tense either has a personal a or doesn't, depending upon whether the object of the sentence is a person. You will note that there is no direct translation for the personal a in the English sentences.
Pero yo vi sombras.
But I saw shadows.
Caption 26, Tu Voz Estéreo Feliz Navidad - Part 4Play Caption
Yo vi a Pablo Escobar,
I saw Pablo Escobar
Caption 28, Los Tiempos de Pablo Escobar Capítulo 2 - Part 8Play Caption
me di cuenta que no entendía todos los conceptos
I realized that I didn't understand all the concepts
Caption 73, Guillermo el chamán La tecnología mayaPlay Caption
De verdad, en ese momento no entendía a las niñas.
Really, at that moment, I didn't understand girls.
Caption 53, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 11 - Part 6Play Caption
Conocí las islas Barú de... de Colombia
I visited the Barú Islands in... in ColombiaPlay Caption
Conocí a María ayer.
I met María yesterday.
Caption 22, Lecciones con Carolina Saber y conocerPlay Caption
When a pronoun like alguien (someone), nadie (no one/anyone), quien, alguno/a(s) (some/someobody/one), or ninguno/a(s) (none/no one/any) replace a person or people as the direct object in a sentence, the personal a is used as well:
No queremos alarmar a nadie.
We don't want to alarm anyone.Play Caption
Perdón, eh, ¿busca a alguien?
Excuse me, um, are you looking for someone?
Caption 1, Muñeca Brava 8 Trampas - Part 10Play Caption
Todos los años, tengo que reñir a alguno.
Every year, I have to tell someone off.
Caption 46, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 10Play Caption
The personal a is also used with animals or inanimate objects when the person speaking about them "personifies" them or has affection for them. One example is pets:
¿Federico te regaló a Zazén?
Did Federico give you Zazen?
Caption 9, Tu Voz Estéreo Laura - Part 6Play Caption
Generalmente acá se ven elefantes marinos
Generally, here you see elephant seals
Caption 37, Perdidos en la Patagonia La Punta CantorPlay Caption
Me fascina, quiero ayudar a mi país,
I love it. I want to help my countryPlay Caption
Yo amo a mi carro. -Se nota. -Único, bello.
I love my car. -You can see that. -Unique, beautiful.Play Caption
This is definitely the exception to the rule, though. In most cases, the personal a would not be used with such inanimate objects:
Vaya a lavar el auto, por favor!
Go to wash the car, please!
Caption 31, Muñeca Brava 30 Revelaciones - Part 5Play Caption
The personal a is not generally used with the verb tener:
¿Tienes hijos? -No.
Do you have children? -No.
Caption 87, Adícora, Venezuela El tatuaje de RosanaPlay Caption
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. One is when one has an emotional or close relationship with someone:
Tengo a Alejandrita que tiene diez y James que tiene diecinueve.
I have little Alejandra who is ten and James who is nineteen.
Captions 59-60, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 20Play Caption
Another is when someone is physically holding someone:
Él tenía a mi hija en sus brazos.
He had my daughter in his arms.
A third is when one "has" someone "somewhere":
Teníamos a los gemelos en una clase de baile.
We had the twins in a dance class.
The personal a is not used with the verb haber, either:
hay muchas personas que se oponen a que haya paz en Colombia.
there are many people who are opposed to there being peace in Colombia.
Caption 32, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 9 - Part 1Play Caption
había una mujer que podía ser la protagonista de mi canción.
there was a woman who could be the main character of my song.
Captions 48-49, Luis Guitarra Historia de Lucía - Part 2Play Caption
In conclusion, although the personal a in Spanish can be a bit counterintuitive for English speakers since we don't have anything like it, we hope that this lesson has helped you to understand what it is and when it is and isn't used, and... don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments,
Do you know how to introduce yourself in Spanish? With just a few key words and phrases, you can feel comfortable doing so in no time!
We can break up introducing yourself in Spanish into a few key categories that correspond to how we would introduce ourselves in English. Let's take a look:
Like in English, you would often begin introducing yourself in Spanish by saying hello to the person:
Caption 66, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 16Play Caption
This might stand alone or go with some other very common greetings in Spanish:
Caption 2, Amaya La historia de LukasPlay Caption
Note that in some countries, like Argentina, it is more common to hear the singular version, Buen día. If it's later in the day (from about noon to sunset), you'd more likely hear Buenas tardes (Good afternoon/evening):
Caption 31, Cita médica La cita médica de Cleer - Part 1Play Caption
And later than that, you might hear Buenas noches (literally "good night"). Note that in contrast to "Good night" in English, Buenas noches can be used as a greeting rather than just to send someone off to bed or say goodbye. That said, "Good evening" might be a more appropriate translation in that context.
Muy buenas noches, bienvenida. -Hola, buenas noches.
Good evening, welcome. -Hello, good evening.Play Caption
Again as in English, when introducing yourself in Spanish, it is common to ask the person with whom you are speaking how they are. As there are many ways to do this, we'll give you a just a few options.
¿Cómo está usted?
How are you?
Caption 25, Cleer y Lida Saludar en españolPlay Captio
Of course, because there are several ways to say "you" in Spanish (usted is the singular, more formal form), this phrase might be adjusted to "¿Cómo estás tú?" or "¿Cómo estás vos?" to address one person informally. And while there are additional ways to say "you" to more than one person in Spanish, for the purposes of today's lesson, we will stick to the singular forms. Let's see another way to say "How are you?"
¿Y cómo te va?
And how are you?
Caption 38, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 8 - Part 1Play Caption
The more formal alternative with usted would be: "¿Y cómo le va (a usted)?" However, regardless of the formality of the situation or to how many people you are speaking, you can always use the following simple phrase:
Hola, ¿qué tal?
Hello, how are you?
Caption 1, Amaya Apertura del refugioPlay Caption
As the person to whom you are speaking will most likely respond by asking you how you are, we should give you some common answers to the aforementioned questions. Let's start with an answer to "¿Cómo está(s)?"
Muy bien, ¿y tú?
Very well, and you?
Caption 17, Español para principiantes Saludos y encuentrosPlay Caption
If you are addressing one another with usted, you would instead say "¿y usted?"
In contrast, if someone asks you '¿Cómo te/le va?" you might answer: "Bien, ¿y a ti?" or "Bien, ¿y a usted?"
Although bien (well) or muy bien (very well) are by far the most common ways to answer the question of how you are, particularly when meeting someone for the first time, if you are interested in learning more about ways to say you are just OK, we recommend this lesson entitled ¿Qué tal? Ni bien ni mal (How Are You? Neither Good Nor Bad).
Now that we have gotten some formalities out of the way, it's time to say your name! Here are three common ways to do so:
Yo me llamo Lida.
My name is Lida.
Caption 12, Cleer y Lida Saludar en españolPlay Caption
Mi nombre es Diego Velázquez.
My name is Diego Velázquez.
Caption 9, Adícora, Venezuela Los fisioterapeutasPlay Caption
Hola, yo soy Cleer.
Hello, I'm Cleer.
Caption 1, Recetas de cocina Arepas colombianasPlay Caption
And now, the moment has arrived to ask the other person their name:
¿Y cómo te llamas tú?
And, what's your name?
Caption 11, Cleer y Lida Saludar en españolPlay Caption
¿Cómo se llama usted?
What is your name?
Caption 97, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 10Play Caption
¿Cuál es tu nombre?
What's your name?
Caption 10, Cleer y Lida Llegando a una nueva ciudadPlay Caption
The usted form is: "¿Cuál es su nombre?"
When introducing yourself in Spanish, as in English, you should probably say something along the lines of "Nice to meet you." Here are several options:
Mucho gusto, Samuel.
Nice to meet you, Samuel.Play Caption
Un placer, Mónica,
A pleasure, Monica,Play Caption
Hola, guapa. -Hola. -Encantada. -Encantada de conocerte.
Hello, beautiful. -Hello. -[A] pleasure. -[A] pleasure to meet you.
Caption 8, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 2Play Caption
And, if someone says one of those things to you, you might respond by saying "Igualmente" or "Yo también" (Me too).
Hola Cristóbal, encantada. -Igualmente.
Hello, Cristobal. Pleased [to meet you]. -Me too.
Caption 35, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 2Play Caption
If you'd like to hear many of these phrases in the context of both informal and formal conversations, we recommend the video Saludar en español (Greeting in Spanish). We hope you have enjoyed this lesson on how to introduce yourself in Spanish, and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
Today's lesson will examine Yabla's "Top 12" picks for the most useful verbs for having a conversation in Spanish. This time, we'll focus on the meanings of those verbs as well as giving you a lot of simple, conversational examples from Yabla's Spanish video library. Additionally, we'll provide you with conjugation tables for the "Top 3" most useful Spanish tenses: the simple present, the imperfect (which describes ongoing or continuous past actions), and the preterite (which describes completed past actions).
In addition to the aforementioned links, you can consult this lesson entitled Spanish Verb Tenses Explained if you need to brush up on those tenses and more! Although memorizing all of these conjugations might seem a bit intimidating, it could really help your ability to converse in Spanish.
The fact that there are two verbs that mean "to be" in Spanish, ser and estar, can feel quite confusing for non-native speakers. Generally speaking, the verb ser is employed to describe more permanent characteristics. The acronym DOCTOR (description, occupation, condition, time, origin, relationship) is very useful for helping us to remember some of the many situations in which this verb is used. Let's take a look at how this verb is conjugated as well as some examples:
|Él, ella, usted||es||era||fue|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||son||eran||fueron|
Soy profesor de fotografía.
I'm a photography teacher.
Caption 13, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 5Play Caption
Sus cuadros eran muy extraños.
His paintings were very strange.
Caption 25, El Aula Azul - Adivina personajes históricosPlay Caption
También fuimos parte de todas estas, eh... mega empresas, pero...
We were also part of all these, um... mega companies, but...
Caption 22, Doctor Krápula - EntrevistaPlay Caption
Notably, although ser usually denotes permanence, while the preterite tense denotes that something had a definite ending point, the verb ser is used in the preterite to describe something that "was" in the past, but did come to a conclusive end.
The verb estar also means "to be" for traits that are variable/less permanent. The acronym PLACE (position, location, action, condition, emotion) might help you to remember some contexts in which the verb estar should be chosen. Let's take a look:
|Él, ella, usted||está||estaba||estuvo|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||están||estaban||estuverion|
Sí... Vale, entonces, estamos aquí.
Yes... OK, then, we're here.Play Caption
Un poquito y ajá, y estaba triste porque
A little bit, and uh-huh, and I was sad because
dejaba mi familia y eso y ya.
I was leaving my family and all that and that's it.
Caption 70, Cleer - Entrevista a LilaPlay Caption
Los árabes estuvieron en España más de seiscientos años.
The Arabs were in Spain for more than six hundred years.
Caption 23, Rosa - Antequera, MálagaPlay Caption
Be sure to check out this lesson if you want to learn more about the difference between ser and estar.
The verb tener means "to have" in Spanish. Let's take a closer look:
|Él, ella, usted||tiene||tenía||tuvo|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||tienen||tenían||tuvieron|
¿Tienes plumones y tijeras?
You have markers and scissors?
Sí, tengo plumones y tijeras,
Yes, I have markers and scissors,
pero no tengo mi teléfono.
but I don't have my phone.
Captions 20-22, Conversaciones en el parque - Cap. 1: No tengo mi teléfono.Play Caption
Tenían mi mochila en la Oficina de Objetos Perdidos.
They had my backpack in the Lost and Found.
Caption 44, Raquel - Oficina de objetos perdidosPlay Caption
La noche anterior a la rumba, tuve otro sueño.
The night before going out on the town, I had another dream.
Caption 1, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 7Play Caption
Additionally, we invite you to explore some of the many idiomatic expressions with the verb tener.
And, we'll just take a second to mention that if you throw in the word que after the verb tener plus a verb's infinitive ("to" form), you'll have the very useful Spanish construction tener que that means, "to have to" (do something):
Hoy tengo que trabajar.
Today I have to work.
Caption 74, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 14Play Caption
Tuvimos que trasladarnos a esta nueva ciudad.
We had to move to this new city.
Caption 39, Ciudad de Panamá - Denisse introduce la ciudadPlay Caption
|Él, ella, usted||hace||hacía||hizo|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||hacen||hacían||hicieron|
Y ¿tú qué haces?
And what are you doing?
Caption 24, Guillermina y Candelario - Un pez mágicoPlay Caption
Y yo no hacía esto. Yo hago otro acto, que es con las motos.
And I didn't do this. I do another act, which is with motorcycles.
Caption 35, Rueda de la muerte - Parte 1Play Caption
También hizo alguna película.
He also made a movie.
Caption 28, El Aula Azul - Adivina personajes históricosPlay Caption
|Él, ella, usted||va||iba||fue|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||van||iban||fueron|
Voy a la piscina los lunes y los miércoles.
I go to the pool on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Caption 7, Ariana - Mi SemanaPlay Caption
Iba mucho con mi padre al campo.
I used to go with my father to the countryside a lot.
Caption 56, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 10Play Caption
¿Por qué fuiste al cine?
Why did you go to the movies?Play Caption
You might have noticed that the preterite form of the verb ir is conjugated in the exact same way as the verb ser. However, in most cases, context should help you to easily identify which verb is in use.
Another great "trick" to be aware of is that adding an a plus a verb's infinitive to the verb ir is a very simple way of expressing what we are "going to" do and is, thus, an alternative to the future tense. Let's take a look:
Vamos a hablar de mi familia, ¿sí?
We are going to talk about my family, OK?Play Caption
Porque las chicas iban a salir, para no dejarte sola.
Because the girls were going to go out, so you wouldn't be alone.
Caption 11, Muñeca Brava - 18 - La ApuestaPlay Caption
If we're going to talk about ir (to go), we'd better mention venir (to come)! Let's look:
|Él, ella, usted||viene||venía||vino|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||vienen||venían||vinieron|
Yo vengo del sur de España
I come from the South of Spain
Caption 10, Carolina - AcentosPlay Caption
¿Qué venía después?
What came next?
Caption 23, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 8Play Caption
Los otros cisnes vinieron hacia él.
The other swans came toward him.
Caption 50, Cleer - El patito feoPlay Caption
The Spanish verb decir means "to say" or "to tell."
|Él, ella, usted||dice||decía||dijo|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||dicen||decían||dijeron|
Yo digo que Playa Balandra es el paraíso oficial.
I say that Balandra Beach is the official paradise.
Caption 67, Alan x el mundo - Mi playa favorita de México!Play Caption
Pero siempre me decía: ¡Mira! Mira eso allá.
But he always used to tell me: Look! Look at that over there.
Caption 42, Federico Kauffman Doig - ArqueólogoPlay Caption
Y la señorita me dijo algo completamente diferente.
And the lady told me something totally different.
Caption 45, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 5Play Caption
Since we often say or tell things "to" others, you will notice that the verb decir is quite typically accompanied by indirect object pronouns like me (to me), te (to you), etc. to indicate the person to whom something is said or told. You can learn more about this and other aspects of this verb in our lesson entitled The Spanish Verb Decir.
The verb poder means "to be able." It can be used alone to say simply "I can," "you could," etc. but is often used in conjunction with an infinitive verb to express what it is one "is able" to do. Let see it in action:
|Él, ella, usted||puede||podía||pudo|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||pueden||podían||pudieron|
¿Puedo ver el menú por favor?
Can I see the menu please?
Caption 12, Cata y Cleer - En el restaurantePlay Caption
¿Por qué las cosas no podían ser sencillas?
Why couldn't things be easy?
Caption 31, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 10Play Caption
Gracias a su cola, pudieron volar.
Thanks to its tail, you were able to fly.
Caption 49, Guillermina y Candelario - Una aventura extremaPlay Caption
To learn more about the verb poder and how it is used, we recommend the following lesson: The Verb Poder - Common Expressions.
This word means "to know," but, in its preterite form, can mean "to find out."
|Él, ella, usted||sabe||sabía||supo|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||saben||sabían||supieron|
Pero no sé dónde!
But I don't know where!
Caption 28, NPS No puede ser - 1 - El concursoPlay Caption
No sabía qué decirle.
I didn't know what to say to her.
Caption 12, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 1Play Caption
Nunca supe la verdad
I never found out the truth
Caption 2, Aleks Syntek - IntocablePlay Caption
If we're going to converse in Spanish, we had better be able to say what we "want"! The verb querer can stand alone to express our desire for a particular thing or be used with an infinitive verb to say what we "want to do." Let's take a look:
|Él, ella, usted||quiere||quería||quiso|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||quieren||querían||quisieron|
Porque realmente quiero mi propio baño.
Because I really want my own bathroom.
Caption 37, Cleer y Lida - Reservando una habitaciónPlay Caption
Y algunos querían volver a su casa.
And some wanted to go back to their home.Play Caption
No me quiso decir su nombre.
She wouldn't tell me her name.
Caption 8, Yago - 14 La peruanaPlay Caption
Keep in mind that when the verb querer is used with no in the preterite, it can convey the idea that someone "wouldn't" do something or "refused to."
One more important aspect of the Spanish verb querer is that, when speaking about actions that we "want" others to do or that we "want" to happen, the subjunctive form of the verb that follows is required (vuelvas instead of vuelves in the following example):
Quiero que... que vuelvas a New York.
I want for... for you to come back to New York.
Caption 23, Yago - 11 PrisiónPlay Caption
|Él, ella, usted||da||daba||dio|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||dan||daban||dieron|
Yo doy agua a mi gato.
I give water to my cat.
Caption 14, Lecciones con Carolina - Verbo - darPlay Caption
Adriana Espinel siempre daba unas respuestas tan profundas.
Adriana Espinel always gave such deep answers.
Caption 72, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 4Play Caption
Eh... Mi asistente me dio sus datos.
Um... My assistant gave me your information.
Caption 39, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 1Play Caption
Like the verb decir, the verb dar is often accompanied by indirect object pronouns to highlight the person to whom something is given.
And, to conclude our list of the Top 12 Spanish verbs for carrying on a conversation, we thought it would be a good idea to give you a verb to describe the things you observe!
|Él, ella, usted||ve||veía||vio|
|Ellos, ellas, ustedes||ven||veían||vieron|
Eh... ¿Cómo veo la vida?
Um... How do I see life?
Caption 79, Adícora, Venezuela - El tatuaje de RosanaPlay Caption
¡Pero veíamos serpientes por todos lados!
But we saw snakes everywhere!Play Caption
Vimos una película.
We saw a movie.
Caption 14, Zulbani - Trip to MeridaPlay Caption
Although it was certainly tough to narrow down the top 12 useful verbs in Spanish for carrying on a conversation, we hope you've enjoyed this lesson and that it helps you to hold a lot of stimulating conversations! Let us know with your suggestions and comments if there are any other verbs or topics you'd like to learn more about.
Let's continue learning idiomatic expressions that use names of body parts. This lesson focuses on the word boca (mouth).
The expression llevarse algo a la boca (literally "to put something in one's mouth") means "to eat." You can see an example in the following quote from our catalog of videos:
que te lleves algo a la boca. -¡Hombre, algo a la barriga!
you put something in your mouth. -Man, something to put into my belly!
Caption 88, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 10Play Caption
Somewhat similar is the expression no tener nada que llevarse a la boca (literally, "to lack something to put in one's mouth"), which basically means "to be very poor."
Two very useful phrases using the word boca (mouth) are boca arriba (face up) and boca abajo (face down):
Túmbese, boca arriba.
Lay down, face up.Play Caption
The expression abrir la boca (to open one's mouth) means "to speak out," "to confess or reveal a secret," or "to spill a gossip," depending on the context:
Eso sí, miralo y no abras la boca hasta que volvamos a hablar vos y yo, ¿eh?
Mind you, watch it and don't open your mouth until we speak again, you and I, OK?
Caption 6, Muñeca Brava - 9 Engaños - Part 8Play Caption
Also similar is irse de boca (literally "to go mouth on"), that is "to run off at the mouth" or simply "to be indiscreet":
No te habrás ido de boca diciéndole la verdad a ese Sirenio, ¿no?
You wouldn't have been indiscreet by telling that Sirenio guy the truth, right?
Caption 52, Yago - 9 Recuperación - Part 12Play Caption
El presidente se fue de boca otra vez.
The president ran his mouth off again.
Finally, keep in mind that irse de boca is also a synonym phrase of caerse de boca (to go headlong, to fall flat on your face). This is a very colloquial expression that you probably won't use in a formal situation:
Se fue de boca y se fracturó la nariz.
He went headlong and fractured his nose.
That's all for now. We challenge you to try finding more expressions using the word boca in our catalog of videos! And don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions to email@example.com.
Learning how to combine prepositions such as a, ante, con, de, desde, en, para, por, and sin (among others) is key to being able to build complex ideas in Spanish. For example, you can use them to introduce a subordinate clause in a very simple sentence:
Voy al banco a cambiar un cheque (I go/I'm going to the bank to cash a check)
Voy al banco para cambiar un cheque (I go/I'm going to the bank to cash a check)
Voy al banco con María (I go/I'm going to the bank with Maria)
Voy al banco de la esquina (I go/I'm going to the bank on the corner of the street)
Voy al banco desde temprano (I go/I'm going to the bank early in the morning)
Voy al banco en carro (I go/I'm going to the bank by car)
Voy al banco por unos documentos (I go/I'm going to the bank to get some documents)
Voy al banco según me indicaste (I go/I'm going to the bank as you told me to)
Voy al banco sin mi paraguas (I go/I'm going to the bank without my umbrella)
You can also combine prepositions with other particles in Spanish. One interesting case is the combination of prepositions with the word que. Let's focus on the combination a que (entirely different from a qué), which is very useful! Here's an example:
Pues yo te invito a que lo pruebes.
Well, I invite you to try it.
Caption 87, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 6Play Caption
Another way to express the same idea in Spanish is te invito a probarlo (I invite you to try it). Do you notice the difference? The preposition a introduces a verb in the infinitive (probarlo) while the combination a que introduces a clause with a conjugated verb (pruebes).
Another example/meaning of a que is:
Mi padre era muy reacio a que [yo] las tocara.
My father was very reluctant for me to touch them.
Caption 57, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 10Play Caption
As you can see, English has a different, more convoluted way to express this idea of being reluctant about an action performed by a third person. But the Spanish a que construction can be combined with a conjugated verb in the subjunctive. If you were wondering, you can't express this precise idea in Spanish using the infinitive. But if the subjunctive is still hard for you, try something simple and depersonalized: Mi padre era muy reacio a tocarlas (My father was very reluctant to touch them).
The phrase a que can be used to answer someone who's asking an a qué question:
¿A qué viniste? -Vine a que me pagues.
What did you come for? - I came for you to pay me.
Finally, there's an expression using the combination a que that you will surely like. It's used to confirm that we are on the same page with somebody, that we agree about something:
¿Tú la cuidas bien a que sí?
You take good care of her, right?
Caption 23, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 16Play Caption
In Spanish this expression a que sí is equivalent and very similar to ¿verdad que sí? (literally "is it true that yes?"). It can also be used in the negative form:
¿A que no adivinas dónde estuvimos?
I bet you won't guess where we were?Play Caption
You can think of this expression as a short version of the phrase apuesto a que no (I bet that you don't...), which is also used in positive terms: apuesto a que sí (I bet you do...), by the way. It's just much more common to use the negative form to stress the daring nature of this expression. But it's perfectly correct to say: ¡A que sí puedes. Inténtalo! (I bet you can. Try!).
That's all for now! We'll explore more of these combinations in future lessons. Don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.