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Afuera vs Fuera

Let's talk about adverbs! In this lesson, we have a big match: afuera vs. fuera. Do you know the meaning of these two words? Let's explore how to use and pronounce these frequently used Spanish adverbs.

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The meaning of afuera and fuera

As an adverb, afuera refers to a place that is outside of where you are:

 

Todo lo malo me pasa dentro de esta casa, no afuera.

All the bad things happen to me inside this house, not outside.

Caption 20, Muñeca Brava - 18 - La Apuesta

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Similarly, the adverb fuera is used to talk about the exterior part of something:

 

Puedes ir a tomar café a una cafetería fuera de la escuela.

You can go to drink coffee at a cafe outside of the school.

Caption 17, El Aula Azul - Las actividades de la escuela

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Using afuera and fuera to indicate movement

If you want to indicate that someone is going outside, toward the exterior, or even abroad (with verbs of movement), you can use either afuera or fuera. Both forms are correct and are used indistinctly in both Spain and Latin America. Let's see some sentences:

 

Vení, vamos afuera.

Come, let's go outside.

Caption 28, Yago - 9 Recuperación

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Cuando los cuatro compañeros nos fuimos a estudiar fuera.

When we four friends went to study abroad.

Caption 7, Escuela de Pádel Albacete - Hablamos con José Luis

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Using afuera and fuera to indicate a condition or state

When you want to indicate that someone or something is outside, or when you want to make a reference to the outside world, you use fuera in both Spain and Latin America. However, it is also very common to use afuera throughout the Americas. Let's hear the pronunciation of these two words one more time:

 

¡Qué lindo que está afuera! ¿No? El clima está divino.

How nice it is outside! No? The weather is divine.

Caption 15, Muñeca Brava - 1 Piloto

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Me doy una buena ducha aquí fuera.

I take a good shower here outside.

Caption 31, Amaya - "Mi camper van"

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The interjections afuera and fuera

Both afuera and fuera can be used as interjections. Generally speaking, you use these interjections when you ask someone to leave a place. 

 

¡Suficiente, fuera de mi casa!

Enough, out of my house!

Caption 61, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 4

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Idiomatic expressions with fuera

There are several useful idiomatic expressions with the word fuera. Let's see some of them:

 

Este hombre vive fuera de la realidad, Señoría.

This man lives outside of reality, Your Honor.

Caption 36, Los casos de Yabla - Problemas de convivencia

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Su ropa está fuera de moda.

His clothes are out of fashion.

Caption 8, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam

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No hay nada fuera de lo normal.

There isn't anything out of the ordinary.

Caption 38, Negocios - Empezar en un nuevo trabajo

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That's it for today. We hope this review helps you to use correctly the adverbs fuera and afuera. As you could see throughout this lesson, more than talking about afuera vs fuera, we should really treat this subject as afuera = fuera! Keep that in mind and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions

Combining the Subjunctive with the Imperative

Can you give orders or express requests using the subjunctive? In this lesson, we are going to answer that question. Let's analyze some model sentences to learn how to combine the subjunctive with other moods and tenses. You can read our previous lesson on subjunctive and indicative here.

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You can combine the imperative (which is only conjugated in the present tense) with two different tenses of the subjunctive. The easiest and the most common case is when you use the imperative with the present subjunctive. Here are two examples (remember we're using bold for the subjunctive):

 

Tú haz lo que quieras y yo también.

You do whatever you want and so do I.

Caption 74, Jugando a la Brisca En la calle

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Y decile a tu amigo que deje de llamarme Vicky.

And tell your friend to quit calling me Vicky.

Caption 19, Muñeca Brava 1 Piloto - Part 4

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Keep in mind that decí (tell) is typically Argentinian. In other countries, you would hear di (tell): dile a tu amigo (tell your friend).

 

But going back to the subjunctive, let's analyze the meaning of the expression in the last example. Spanish uses the subjunctive here because what has been said is in the realm of possibilities (in this case, it is the expression of a desire) not in the realm of facts. So you can't say dile que me deja de llamarme Vickythis is incorrect because the indicative deja (he quits) is reserved to state facts, as in tu amigo deja de llamarme Vicky (your friend quits calling me Vicky).

 

Another way to phrase the same request could be dile a tu amigo que no me llame Vicky (tell your friend not to call me Vicky). Note that instead of using the verb dejar (to quit) we use a negation plus the verb llamar (to call) in present subjunctive (llame). Again, you could not possibly use the indicative mood here and say dile a tu amigo que no me llama Vicky. This is incorrect— well, at least if what you want to express is a desire or a request.

 

For the pure pleasure of curiosity, consider an expression in which this last construction could happen, for example: dile a tu amigo que no me llama Vicky que venga a mi fiesta (tell your friend who doesn't call me Vicky to come to my party). See? We use the indicative llama (he calls) to express that it's a fact that he doesn't call Victoria "Vicky," and then we use the subjunctive venga (to come) because it states Victoria's desire for him to come to her party. 


But let's not torture ourselves with games and let's see the second case of imperative combined with subjunctive, this time the pretérito perfecto (equivalent to present perfect subjunctive) which is a compound tense that uses the auxiliary verb haber (to have):

Haz lo que te hayan dicho los doctores.
Do whatever the doctors have told you. 

 

Dame lo que hayas cocinado.
Give me whatever you have cooked.

 

Dime lo que María te haya contado.
Tell me whatever Maria has told you.
 

This is not exactly an easy tense, right? Compare these sentences with the following ones that use the imperative with the present subjunctive (reviewed first in this lesson):

Haz lo que te digan los doctores.
Do whatever the doctors tell you. 


Dame algo de lo que cocines mañana.
Give me some of what you cook tomorrow.


Dime lo que María quiera.
Tell me whatever Maria wants.
 

The good news is that you can find ways to get away without using the pretérito perfecto del subjuntivo. For example, you can just use the simple past indicative. It's much less... let's say sophisticated, because the subtle meaning of indeterminacy that the subjunctive gives to the expression (which in English is expressed using the word "whatever") gets lost. Still, the past indicative gets the job done:

Haz lo que te dijeron los doctores.
Do what the doctors told you


Dame lo que cocinaste.
Give me what you cooked.


Dime lo que María te contó.
Tell me what Maria told you.

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That's it for today. We hope you liked this lesson and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

 

¡Hasta la próxima!

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Spring Vocabulary

La Primavera (springtime) is in the air (or at least it should be). So let's learn a few Spanish words related to Persephone's season. 

Flores means "flowers" and florecer means "to flower" or "to bloom." But there are also other words such as the verb aflorar (to bloom), which is also used figuratively meaning "to pop up," "to emerge" or "to appear." You can even use it say something as un-spring-like as: Su instinto asesino afloró de pronto (His killing instinct suddenly emerged).

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Spanish also has the poetic adjective florido (full of flowers, flowery):

 

Luz y sonido, grande y florido

Light and sound, big and flowery

Caption 1, Aterciopelados - Al parque

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And the participle adjective florecido, also "full of flowers:"

 

Por la senda florecida que atraviesa la llanura

Along the flowered path that crosses the plain

Caption 9, Acercándonos a la Literatura - José Asunción Silva - "Nocturno III"

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There is also the verb florear (literally, "to adorn with flowers" or "to make look like a flower") with many, many different uses. For example, florear means "to compliment" or "to say beautiful things." From that come the expressions echar floresdecir flores, tirar flores (literally, to throw or say flowers):

 

Gracias, te agradezco mucho las flores que me estás tirando.

Thanks, I thank you very much for your compliments [literally "the flowers that you are throwing me"].

Caption 18, Muñeca Brava - 45 El secreto

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Enough of flores. The verb aparear (to mate or reproduce, literally "to pair") is a pertinent choice:

 

Las ballenas vienen a Gorgona a aparearse y tener sus crías.

The whales come to Gorgona to mate and to have their offspring.

Caption 52, Instinto de conservación - Gorgona - Part 5

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Anidar means "to nest," and by extension "to shelter." You can use it figuratively as in: En su corazón anida la amargura (His heart harbors bitterness). The corresponding noun is nido (nest), a word that you can learn, along with many other palabras primaverales (spring words), by watching the trippy song Jardín (Garden) by Liquits:

 

De pronto una cigüeña me lleva de paquete bebé al nido

Suddenly a stork takes me as a baby package to the nest

Captions 14-15, Liquits - Jardín

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Now, Spanish doesn't have words as short and cute as rainy, sunny, windy, etc. to describe the weather. Instead, Spanish speakers may describe a sunny day as soleado and a rainy day as lluvioso. These adjectives must be used altogether with the verbs ser/estar (to be). To describe the way the weather is in a place, you use ser (because that's the way the weather typically is most of the time):

 

Es su clima muy... muy húmedo, muy lluvioso también.

Its climate is very... very humid, very rainy too.

Caption 19, Vender Plantas - Juan

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To describe the way the weather is at a certain moment, you use estar (because that's the way the weather is at that particular time in that particular context):

 

¡Qué lindo que está afuera! ¿No? El clima está divino.

How nice it is outside! No? The weather is divine.

Caption 15, Muñeca Brava - 1 Piloto - Part 4

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Don't get confused, however, if you hear a Spanish speaker using the verb estar to describe a general condition of the weather. It's correct to use estar if you're also giving and indicator that you are talking in a broad sense. In the following case, for example, Clara indicates so by using the verb soler (to tend to):

 

Así que llueve un poco, pero los días suelen estar soleados.

So it rains a bit, but the days tend to be sunny.

Captions 19-20, Clara explica - El tiempo - Part 1

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On the other hand, Spanish also combines verbs and nouns to describe the weather. Some expressions use the verb hacer (to make), as in hace sol/frío/calor/viento (literally, "it's making sun/cold/heat/wind"):

 

Hace mucho frío, hace mucho viento.

It's very cold, it's very windy.

Captions 5-6, Clara explica - El tiempo - Part 1

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Some others use hay, the impersonal form of the verb haber (to have), as in hay sol/nieve/viento/lluvia
(there's sun/snow/wind/rain). And, of course, you can use the verb caer (to fall) for lluvia (rain), nieve (snow), granizo (hail) as in: ayer cayó granizo (yesterday hail fell). Or you can use the verbs llover (to rain), nevar (to snow), and granizar (to hail), which are conjugated in the third person only:

 

En invierno, nieva algunas veces, aunque en España, no nieva mucho.

In winter, it sometimes snows, although in Spain, it doesn't snow much.

Captions 1-2, Clara explica - El tiempo - Part 2

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To finish this lesson, let's learn a figurative use of the word primavera (spring). Reyli gives us an example in his song Qué nos pasó (What happened to us), where the word primavera, as "springtime" in English, is used to denote the earliest, usually the most attractive, period of the existence of something. In Spanish, by extension, the word is used as a common synonym of "youth," or even "years" in expressions such as hoy ella cumple sus veinte primaveras (she is celebrating her twentieth anniversary). Here's the example from Reyli's song:

 

¿Quién te llenó de primaveras esos ojos que no me saben mentir?

Who filled with springtimes those eyes of yours which don't know how to lie to me?

Captions 12-13, Reyli - Qué nos pasó

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Vocabulary

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