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Todos los Significados (All the Meanings) of the Word Todo in Spanish

In today's lesson, we're going to look at todos los usos y signficados (all of the uses and meanings) of the word todo in Spanish. Well, maybe not all of them... but a lot!

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What Part of Speech is the Word Todo in Spanish?

Primero que todo (first of all), we'd like to say that the Spanish word todo and its feminine and plural equivalents have many meanings including "all," "whole," "every," "each," "everyone," and more, depending upon the context in which they are utilized. Actually, while todo and its alternate forms most commonly function as an adjective or a pronoun, they can also function as an adverb or even a noun. Let's examine how this word works in each of these cases, its various translations into English, and several idiomatic expressions that employ it. 

 

Todo as an Adjective

Let's recall that an adjective modifies, or describes, a noun. When the word todo functions as an adjective, it must agree in number and gender with the noun it modifies. We must thus choose between its masculine singular (todo), masculine plural (todos), feminine singular (toda) or feminine plural (todas) forms, placing it either directly in front of either a noun, a noun's direct article, or a possessive adjective. Let's look at some examples:

 

No, en España, el español se parece mucho en todo el país.

No, in Spain, Spanish is a lot alike in the whole country.

Captions 5-6, Carlos y Xavi Part 4 Tradiciones y comida de Barcelona

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Although the literal translation of todo el país would be "all the country," common ways to say todo el in English include "the whole" or "the entire." Thus, an alternative translation for this sentence might be: "No, in Spain, Spanish is a lot alike in the entire country." Let's look at an additional example:

 

La asistente le dará una tarjeta con toda la información

The assistant will give you a card with all the information

Caption 42, Cita médica La cita médica de Cleer - Part 2

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Note that in this example, the feminine singular form toda has the more straightforward translation "all." Let's move on to some plural examples:

 

Invitamos a todos sus amigos al karaoke

We invite all her friends to karaoke

Caption 44, Blanca y Mariona Planificación de cena

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Note that while, in the sentence above, the plural form is translated to "all," in other cases, it can be translated as "every":

 

Salimos todas las noches.

We go out every night.

Caption 20, Clara y Cristina Hablan de actividades

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In other cases, either translation could suffice:

 

Feliz tarde, amigos de Yabla de todos los países del mundo.

Happy afternoon, Yabla friends from every country in the world.

Caption 2, Adícora, Venezuela El tatuaje de Rosana

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An alternative translation could, of course, be: "Happy afternoon, Yabla friends from all the countries in the world."

 

Todo as a Pronoun

The definition of a pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. Hence, when the word todo is used a pronoun in Spanish, it must match the number/gender of the noun to which it refers. Let's look at a simple example: 

 

¿Cuá​nta torta comiste? -Me la comí toda.

How much cake did you eat? -I ate it all

But:

 

¿Cuá​ntos caramelos comiste? -Todos.

How much candies did you eat? -All of them. 

 

Let's take a look at an example from the Yabla video library where todas replaces a plural feminine noun (las estaciones/the seasons):

 

Creo que es la mejor estación de todas

I think that it's the best season of all.

Caption 22, Clara explica El tiempo - Part 1

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Todo on its own is also the equivalent of the English word "everything":

 

Sí, Lucio me cuenta todo.

Yes, Lucio tells me everything.

Caption 30, Yago 12 Fianza - Part 2

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The plural todos, on the other hand, means "everybody" or "everyone":

 

porque es información nueva para todos.

because it's new information for everyone.

Caption 60, Clase Aula Azul Información con subjuntivo e indicativo - Part 4

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In fact, the title of a recent Yabla video, Todo es de todos (Everything Belongs to Everyone) employs both of those terms. However, note the difference in translation for todos in the following example:

 

¿De ahí saldrá el aguacate que todos conocemos? -Claro. 

The avocado that we all know will come from there? -Sure.

Caption 57, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 17

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Although "The avocado that everyone knows will come from there?" could be a viable translation, the fact that the verb conocer (to know) has been translated in the first person plural (nosotros/"we") form makes "we all" a legitimate (and perhaps more explanatory) translation. 

 

Todo as an Adverb

When todo functions as an adverb, it is typically used to make emphatic statements. Possible translations include "really," "completely," "all," or "totally." For example, one might say: El chico se veía todo lindo (The guy looked really good) or Mi habitación está toda desordenada (My room is totally messy). Let's look at an example from the Yabla video library:

 

¡Yo te vi, yo te vi toda llena de barro!

I saw you! I saw you all covered in mud!

Caption 41, Yago 3 La foto - Part 5

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Todo as a Noun

As a noun, el todo means "the whole" and can be seen in the translation for Aristotle's famous sentence:

 

El todo es más que la suma de las partes.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 

 

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Top Ten Common Spanish Expressions with Forms of the WordTodo

And speaking of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, let's examine some common Spanish idioms that include forms of the word todo with meanings beyond their literal words.

 

1Todo el mundo

While todo el mundo literally means "all the world" or "the whole/entire world," this phrase is an extremely common way of expressing the idea of "everybody" or "everyone" in Spanish:

 

Todo el mundo puede tocar el tambor donde, cuando y como quiera- mayores, niños, mujeres,

Everybody can play the drum wherever, whenever, and however they want- older people, children, women,

Captions 47-49, Viernes Santo en Tobarra ¡La Cuna del Tambor! - Part 1

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2. Todo el día

Literally "all the day," the notion of "all day" is encompassed by the Spanish expression todo el día:

 

¿Todo el día? El tiempo que quieras.

All day? As long as you want.

Captions 103-104, Alan x el mundo Mi playa favorita de México! - Part 2

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3. Todos los días

The plural form todos los días ("all the days"), on the other hand, means "every day":

 

Además, la vemos todos los días.

Besides, we see it every day.

Caption 11, Guillermina y Candelario Una aventura extrema - Part 2

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4. Sobre todo

Like it sounds, the Spanish phrase sobre todo can indeed mean "above all" or "above everything." Additional, frequent translations include "mostly," "mainly," and "especially":

 

Primero, sobre todo si es tu primera tarjeta de crédito, eh... es recomendable que el... que el límite no sea mayor a tus ingresos. 

First, especially if it is your first credit card, um... it is recommendable for the... for the limit not to be greater than your income.

Captions 51-52, Cuentas claras Sobreviviendo enero - Part 3

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5. En todo caso 

Even though the literal meaning of en todo caso is "in all case," it is the Spanish equivalent of the English expression "in any case":
 

En todo caso, espero que a partir de hoy, se sientan más cómodos usando las redes sociales en español.

In any case, I hope that starting from today, you feel more comfortable using social networks in Spanish.

Captions 53-54, Carlos explica Internet y lenguaje digital: Redes sociales

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6. Por todos lados 

Por todos lados might seem to mean "around all sides," but it really means "everywhere": 

 

Mili, ¿Dónde estabas? Te estuve buscando por todos lados.

Mili, where were you? I was looking for you everywhere.

Caption 16, Muñeca Brava 45 El secreto - Part 10

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7. De todas formas

De todas formas in Spanish means not "of all shapes," but is rather a manner of saying "anyway":

 

Bueno, de todas formas, mire, el tipo se está haciendo pasar por Pierre Bernard.

Well, anyway, look, the guy is posing as Pierre Bernard.

Caption 7, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 1 - Part 8

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The similar Spanish expressions de todas maneras and de todos modos also mean "anyway," "anyhow," or "in any case." 

 

8. De todo

The phrase de todo ("of everything") is another way to say "everything" in Spanish:

 

Aquí tiene de todo, perro, oveja...

Here, they have everything: [a] dog, sheep...

Caption 1, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 6

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9. Del todo

Del todo ("of the whole"), on the other hand, means "completely" or "entirely"':

 

Quizás l'... la relación más equilibrada que yo he buscado no ha pasado del todo y ahora me siento un poquito sola

Maybe th'... the more balanced relationship that I've looked for hasn't completely happened, and now I feel a little bit lonely

Captions 19-20, El reencuentro Las amigas hablan del trabajo y el amor.

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For additional examples of this expression and more, we recommend the lesson En absoluto, de ninguna manera, del todo.

 

10. Todo recto

And finally, if you want to tell someone to go "straight ahead," todo recto (literally "all straight") is the way to go in Spanish:

 

Tiene que ir todo recto. -Sí.

You have to go straight ahead. -Yes.

Caption 17, Curso de español ¿Hay una escuela por aquí?

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These are just a smattering of the many Spanish expressions that incorporate forms of todo that can be heard in everyday Spanish. ¡Sería imposible nombrarlos todos (It would be imposible to name them all)! That said:

 

Eso es todo por hoy, amigos. 

That's all for today, friends.

Caption 56, Ana Carolina Símbolos de Navidad

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For additional information on expressions that include the Spanish word todo, we recommend the additional lesson When Nada (Nothing) is Todo (Everything). In the meantime, gracias por todo (thanks for everything), and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.

 

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How to Write and Say the Months in Spanish

Do you know the names of the months in Spanish? Believe it or not, the names of the months in Spanish are quite similar to their English equivalents. Let's look at how to write and pronounce the months of the year in Spanish language.

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How do you say "month" in Spanish?

The answer is mes. If you want to use the plural form, you need to use the term meses. Also, when talking about months in Spanish keep in mind the following:

 

One month: Un mes

Two months: Dos meses

Last month: El mes pasado

Next month: El próximo mes

 

List of months in Spanish and English

Before we hear how to pronounce the names of the 12 months in Spanish, let's take a look at the following list featuring the months in Spanish and English:

 

January: enero

February: febrero

March: marzo

April: abril

May: mayo

June: junio

July: julio

August: agosto

September: septiembre

October: octubre

November: noviembre

December: diciembre

 

12 sentences with the months in Spanish

 

Let's hear the following sentences so you can practice the pronunciation of the 12 months in Spanish.

 

January: Enero

 

Estos son los meses del año. Enero.

These are the months of the year. January.

Captions 1-2, El Aula Azul - Estaciones y Meses

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February: Febrero

 

Diecinueve de febrero.

February nineteenth.

-¡Oh! ¿Diecinueve de febrero?

-Oh! February nineteenth?

Captions 13-14, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam

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March: Marzo

 

Las Fallas son unas fiestas que se celebran en Valencia durante el mes de marzo.

The Fallas is a festival celebrated in Valencia during the month of March.

Caption 25, Raquel - Fiestas de España

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April: Abril

 

Me gustaría reservar una cabaña para la primera semana de abril.

I would like to reserve a cabin for the first week of April.

Caption 4, Cleer y Lida - Reservando una habitación

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May: Mayo

 

En mayo, salen las flores.

In May, the flowers come out.

Caption 18, El Aula Azul - Estaciones y Meses

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June: Junio

 

En junio, empieza el verano.

In June, the summer starts.

Caption 19, El Aula Azul - Estaciones y Meses

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July: Julio

 

En julio. Vendría el mes de julio entero.

In July. He'd come for the whole month of July.

Caption 27, El Aula Azul - Conversación: Los cursos de español

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August: Agosto

 

En agosto, miles de voluntarios vienen a este sitio.

In August, thousands of volunteers come to this site.

Caption 53, Rosa - Laguna Fuente de Piedra

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September: Septiembre

 

Por ejemplo, durante el Festival de Cine

For example, during the Film Festival

que se celebra en San Sebastián en el mes de septiembre.

that is held in San Sebastian in the month of September.

Captions 13-14, San Sebastián - Palacio de Miramar

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October: Octubre

 

Desde octubre se comienza la venta de los monigotes.

From October the selling of the dolls begins.

Caption 55, Otavalo - Artesano de monigotes de Año Viejo

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November: Noviembre

 

Fue inaugurado el treinta de noviembre de mil novecientos noventa y cuatro.

It was opened on November thirtieth nineteen ninety-four.

Caption 5, Paseando con Karen Monterrey - Museo de Historia Mexicana

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December: Diciembre

 

Normalmente, suele nevar en diciembre.

Normally, it typically snows in December.

Caption 69, Clara y Cristina - Hablan de actividades

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Finally, did you notice anything in particular in the previous sentences regarding the spelling of the names of the months in Spanish? Unlike English, in Spanish the names of the months don't have to be capitalized.

 

That's it for today. Try to write a couple of sentences with the months in Spanish and read them aloud so you can practice their pronunciation. And don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

Las Vacaciones

Summer is a good time to take some time off... or learn how to properly use the Spanish word for vacation: vacaciones.  Let’s do just that.
 

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For starters, even though the Dictionary of the Spanish Language of the Royal Spanish Academy or DRAE includes the singular vacación, the plural vacaciones (vacation) is the only form people use:

 

Sí, se ha ido hasta de vacaciones a Italia con el zoquito.

Yes, she has even gone on vacation to Italy with the zoquito.

Caption 74, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 4

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Spanish also has the verb vacacionar (to vacation), but it's much more common to use expressions that involve the use of another verb combined with the word vacaciones, for example: ir de vacaciones (to go on vacation). This expression requires the use of a reflexive pronoun (se, in this case) and the preposition de (on). You must also be careful to conjugate the verb ir (to go) properly. In the example above, for example, you see the perfect tense ha ido de vacaciones (has gone on vacation). But you can also use other tenses. The following example includes the reflexive pronoun me, the preposition de, and the first-person singular form of the verb ir (to go) in present tense, which is voy (I go):
 

...me voy de vacaciones, compro regalos, tengo la cena.

...I go on vacation, I buy gifts, I have dinner.

Caption 62, Cuentas claras - Sobreviviendo enero - Part 1

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But you can use other verbs too. You can use the verb estar (to be), for example, which doesn't need the use of reflexive pronouns:
 

Como todos sabemos, estamos de vacaciones.

As we all know, we're on vacation.

Caption 6, El bulevar - de Adícora

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Or the verb tomar (to take), which doesn't need the preposition de and can be used with or without a reflexive pronoun:
 

Tomó vacaciones de un mes. Regresó otra vez a Alemania.

She took a one-month vacation. Then she went back to Germany again.

Captions 24-25, Gonzalo el Pintor - Vida - Part 2

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Yes, it's also correct to say: se tomó vacaciones de un mes (she took a one-month vacation).
 
Also very common is the use of the verb andar (literally "to walk"):
 
Genaro anda de vacaciones.
Genaro is on vacation.

Or venir (to come), which needs the preposition de and could take a reflexive pronoun:
 

Qué bien que te has venido aquí de vacaciones.

How nice that you have come here on vacation.

Caption 2, Clara y Cristina - Hablan de actividades

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or not:
 
Qué bien que has venido aquí de vacaciones.
How nice that you have come here on vacation.
 
Can you think of more verbs that can be combined with the word vacaciones? We can. One example is the verb salir (to go out): salimos de vacaciones (we go out on vacation, we leave on vacation). Try to find some more examples in our catalog!

Vocabulary

Summer Vocabulary Expressions in Spanish

Let's learn some Spanish expressions related to the summer season.

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Hace, the impersonal form of the verb hacer (to do, to make) is essential to talk about the weather in Spanish. Do you want to know how to say "it's hot"?

 

Ferné, sopla esa gaita que hace calor.

Ferné, blow those bagpipes 'cuz it's hot.

Caption 75, Calle 13 - Cumbia de los Aburridos

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In Spanish you can talk about the sun as being caliente or caluroso (both words mean "hot") or fuerte (strong):
 

Y no es un sol tan fuerte y tan caluroso como en verano.

And it's not a sun as strong and as hot as during the summer.

Caption 23, Azotea Del Círculo de Bellas Artes - Andrés nos enseña una nueva perspectiva

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Of course, you can also talk about the sun as being radiante (radiant):
 

Como pueden ver es un sol radiante.

As you can see it's a radiant sun.

Caption 45, Cabarete - Charlie el taxista

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Check out how Spanish uses the verb tomar (to take) to express the action of getting sun:
 

Y también me alegra que esté tomando sol porque últimamente está muy pálida.

And it also makes me happy that she is getting sun because lately she's very pale.

Captions 24-25, Muñeca Brava - 33 El partido - Part 11

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If you get sun te bronceas (you get a tan), and having una piel bronceada (a tan skin, the verb is derived from the word bronce) is nice. 
 

Ir a tomar sol con ella y su bronceador

Go sunbathe with her and her suntan lotion

Caption 29, Enanitos Verdes - Cuánto Poder

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But if you get too much sun te quemas (you get sunburn)! Some people may even like this, but it's not really a healthy thing to do. You may hear some Spanish speakers use the expression estar quemado as a synonym of estar bronceado:
 

A mí me encanta estar quemada pero este sol me recalienta la cabeza, los sesos, así que me voy adentro.

I love being tan but this sun is overheating my head, my brains, so I'm going inside.

Captions 22-23, Muñeca Brava - 30 Revelaciones - Part 10

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We say it's better to use bloqueador solar (sunscreen), don't you think? Did you notice the verb recalentar (to overheat)?

By the way, the word calor (heat) is one of those Spanish nouns of indeterminate gender, like el sartén/la sartén (the pan), la azúcar/el azúcar (the sugar), etc. This means that both forms of the noun, masculine and feminine, are considered correct by the DRAE. However, the use of one form or the other can tell you a lot about who the speaker is. For example, the use of la calor is common in the coastal regions of Peru and many small town across all Latin America, but it's still considered incorrect (even a sign of lack of education) by many Spanish speakers, who don't necessarily (and why would they) catch up with the many updates and revisions done to the DRAE by the Real Academia Española. Here are two examples:
 

Pero la calor en verano es un poco mala.

But the heat in summer is a bit bad.

Caption 43, Clara y Cristina - Hablan de actividades

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A ti como que el calor te está afectando las neuronas, verdad

For you [it's] like the heat is affecting your brain cells, right?

Caption 26, NPS No puede ser - 1 - El concurso - Part 6

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What we do recommend is to stick to the use of only one form, whichever you prefer. If you like to say la calor always use the feminine, if you like to use el calor, well, stick to the masculine. Apply this advice to similar words like el sartén/la sartén (the pan), la azúcar/el azúcar (the sugar). As an exception, the noun la mar/el mar (the sea), a summer word for many indeed, comes to mind. Our take on this word is that you use el mar when talking about the sea in a very practical way, for example:

 

Bajando por todo el mar Mediterráneo

Going down along the whole Mediterranean Sea [coast]

Caption 49, Álvaro - Arquitecto Español en Londres

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and use la mar for when you want to get poetic:

 

Muchos son los talentos que se pierden en la mar

A lot of talents get lost in the sea.

Caption 16, La Mala Rodriguez - La Niña

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