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Saying Years in Spanish

Do you know how to say years in Spanish? In English, we know that 1985 is written nineteen eighty-five. What about in Spanish? Let's take a look at some of the rules you need to know for writing years in Spanish correctly. In addition, make sure you listen carefully to the clips in this lesson so you know how to pronounce years in Spanish as well. 

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Cardinal Numbers from 1 to 1,000: The Secret for Saying Years in Spanish

If you want to know how to say years in Spanish, you will need to know how to say the cardinal numbers in Spanish from 1 to 1,000. There's just no way around this.

 

Do you want to refresh the numbers from 1 to 100? If you do, please check out the following lesson:

 

how to say years in spanish

 

Now, let's recall the hundreds. For the numbers from 1 to 199, you will need to use the word "ciento." Let's check out some examples:

 

135

 

Madrid AB ciento treinta y cinco con destino Nueva York, John F. Kennedy.

Madrid AB one hundred thirty-five to New York, John F. Kennedy."

Captions 32-33, Raquel Avisos de Megafonía

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180

 

Cuenta con una vista privilegiada de toda la ciudad de alrededor de ciento ochenta grados.

It has an extraordinary one-hundred-eighty-degree view of the whole city.

Caption 65, Quito El Panecillo

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Multiples of 100

For the numbers from 200 to 999, you will need to use the multiples of 100. Let's review them:

 

doscientos (two hundred)
trescientos (three hundred)
cuatrocientos (four hundred)
quinientos (five hundred)
seiscientos (six hundred)
setecientos (seven hundred)
ochocientos (eight hundred)
novecientos (nine hundred)

 

And, of course, let's not forget about mil (one thousand)!

 

Now that we have reviewed these numbers, let's see how to write and pronounce some historical years in Spanish.

 

1492

 

Cristóbal Colón descubrió América en mil cuatrocientos noventa y dos.

Christopher Columbus discovered America in fourteen ninety-two.

Caption 34, Carlos explica El pretérito Cap. 1: Perfecto simple o Indefinido

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1697

 

Mil seiscientos noventa y siete, invasión francesa a Cartagena,

Sixteen ninety-seven, French invasion of Cartagena,

Caption 12, Cartagena de Indias Fuerte de San Felipe de Barajas

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1728

 

El ingenio más antiguo de Europa, que data del año mil setecientos veintiocho,

The oldest factory in Europe, which dates back to the year seventeen hundred twenty-eight,

Captions 36-37, Viajando con Fermín Frigiliana, Málaga

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How to Say Years in Spanish after 1900

The twentieth century was one of the most defining centuries in the history of humankind. For this reason, we often refer to years that belong to that century. If you want to write and pronounce those years in Spanish, you will need to use the following formula:

 

mil + novecientos + the number

 

Let's take a look at some of them.

 

1900

 

y fue construida en el año mil novecientos.

and was built in nineteen hundred.

Caption 77, Viajando con Fermín Mijas Pueblo

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1922

 

Fue realizado en mil novecientos veintidós

It was made in nineteen twenty-two

Caption 37, Marisa en Madrid Parque de El Retiro

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1985

 

En mil novecientos ochenta y cinco, sucedieron muchas cosas buenas.

In nineteen eighty-five, many good things happened.

Caption 2, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 2

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The Years in Spanish after 2000 

If you want to know how to write years in Spanish after the year 2000, you need to use the following simple formula:

 

dos + mil + the number

 

Let's look at some nore examples to see just how easy it is to say these years in Spanish.

 

2002

 

y murió hace algunos años en el dos mil dos.

and died some years ago in two thousand two.

Caption 9, San Sebastián Peine del viento

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2013

 

En dos mil trece, recibió más de cuatro millones de visitantes,

In two thousand thirteen, it received more than four million visitors,

Captions 6-7, Marisa en Madrid Parque de El Retiro

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2020

 

Y este dos mil veinte, que es un año bisiesto,

And this two thousand twenty, which is a leap year,

Caption 7, El coronavirus Introducción y vocabulario

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As you can see, it is not too difficult to say years in Spanish, right? We hope you enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!

 

Lo: The Neuter Article

The word lo can either be used as a neuter article, or as a pronoun. In this lesson we will focus on its use as an article.

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Neuter articles are used to express abstract ideas or give extra emphasis to a certain adjective. As a neuter article, lo is the easiest of all the articles as there is only one form: lo. It can be placed in front of just about any adjective that expresses an abstraction or a quality (or extreme degree of quantity), something that's not a concrete object or person.

Here are some phrases that take lo before different types of adjectives:

lo bueno = "the good part, what's good"
lo fácil = "the easy part, what's easy"
lo mío = "(that which is) mine"
lo nuestro = "(that which is) ours"

Lo + adjective can be translated in English as "the" + adjective + the word "thing" or "part":
 

Y pues, es lo malo de vivir en un país así.

And well, it's the bad thing about living in a country like this.

Caption 68, Amigos D.F. - El secuestrar

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Eso es lo bonito de la gastronomía.

That is the nice thing about gastronomy.

Caption 29, Cómetelo - Crema de brócoli

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In fact, lo + adjective generates the syntactic equivalent of a noun phrase. That's why it's also common to translate it as "what is + adjective." In the previous examples, we would have:

Y pues, es lo malo de vivir en un país así / And well, it's what is bad about living in a country like this.
Eso es lo bonito de la gastronomía / That's what is nice about gastronomy.

The use of lo before a relative clause has a similar effect: 
 

Hay gente que rectifica lo que dice

There are people who correct what they say

Caption 39, Calle 13 - No hay nadie como tú

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Lucio, tengo que contarte que por lo que me adelantó Morena...

Lucio, I have to tell you that from what Morena told me in advance...

Caption 57, Yago - 7 Encuentros - Part 14

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In fact, lo can often be taken to mean roughly la cosa or las cosas

Hay gente que rectifica lo que dice →  There are people who correct what they say.
Hay gente que rectifica (las cosas) que dice. → There are people who correct (the things) they say.
...por lo que me adelantó Morena → ...from what Morena told me.
...por (las cosas) que me adelantó Morena → ...from (the things) that Morena told me.

By the way, lo can be used before a series of adjetives too:
 

Pero encontrar lo bueno, bonito y barato a veces es muy complicado.

But finding the good, [the] nice and [the] cheap is sometimes very complicated.

Captions 2-3, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 14

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Of course, in order to help our subscribers with their learning process, we have made the translation here as parallel as possible. But you already know what would make a more natural translation, right?

→ But finding what's good, nice, and cheap is sometimes complicated.
→ But finding the good, nice, and cheap things is sometimes complicated.

There is yet one more use of lo as a neuter article and it's rather interesting. Lo is used to express the extreme degree or nature of a given concept or idea. Here it's best to review some examples: 
 

¿Es que no eres todo lo feliz que desearías?

Is it that you are not as happy as you would like?

Caption 26, De consumidor a persona - Short Film

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Sometimes this lo equates to using the word “how”:
 

Si supieras lo mucho que te amo

If you knew how much I love you

Caption 15, Ozomatli - Jardinero

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Porque ves las gradas llenas, eh, la gente lo bien que se lo pasa con la música.

Because you see the packed bleachers, um, how much fun the people have with the music.

Captions 11-12, Los Juegos Olímpicos - Adrián Gavira

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¿Pero cómo voy a perder mis maletas de vista con lo grandes que son?

But how am I going to lose sight of my suitcases with how big they are?

Captions 29-30, Raquel - Avisos de Megafonía

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Read more about the use of the neuter gender here.

 

Llevar and Traer - Part 2

Llevar and Traer - Part 1

Let's continue our lesson on llevar (to take, to carry) and traer (to bring). 

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We have said that the verb llevar (to bring) expresses that something or someone has (or contains) something:
 

¿Quién es el que ha hecho el arroz? ¿Qué lleva el arroz, Manolo?

Who is the one who has made the rice? What does the rice have in it, Manolo?

Captions 21-22, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa - Part 12

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The previous example could have used the verb haber (to have): ¿Qué hay en el arroz, Manolo?, or the verb tener (to have, to be): ¿Qué tiene el arroz, Manolo?

This is not the only way llevar can be used instead of haber or tener. For example, it can replace tener when it's used to express the duration of time:

 

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

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Compare to: Yo ya he estado veintitrés años aquí and yo ya tengo veintitrés años (which mean exactly the same). 

The construction llevar + gerund is also very popular in Spanish. It's used to indicate how much time you are 'carrying' under your belt (so to speak) performing a given action:
 

¿Cuánto tiempo llevan intentando vender el piso?

How long have you been trying to sell the apartment?

Caption 51, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos

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Compare to: ¿Cuánto tiempo han estado intentando vender el piso? and ¿Cuánto tiempo tienen intentando vender el piso? (which mean exactly the same). 
 

El caso es que llevo esperando un rato en la puerta de embarque B siete.

The issue is that I have been waiting for a while at the boarding gate B seven.

Caption 37, Raquel - Avisos de Megafonía

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Equivalent expressions are: He estado esperando un rato, and Tengo esperando un rato.

Llevar is also used in the expression para llevar, which means "to go" or "takeout":
 

¿Y aquí, antes qué había? Aquí había unas comidas para llevar.

And here, what was there before? There were some takeout places here.

Captions 7-8, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos

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The expression llevarse con alguien means to get along with someone, either badly or well:
 

Mi amiga María se lleva muy bien con mi amigo Alberto.

My friend Maria gets along very well with my friend Alberto.

Caption 10, El Aula Azul - Mis Amigos

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No se lleva muy bien con Aldo, Lucio.

Lucio doesn't get along very well with Aldo.

Caption 7, Yago - 6 Mentiras

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Check out too: Me llevo mal con mi jefe | I get along badly with my boss.

In Mexico, the expression llevarse con alguien, means to treat someone in a overfamiliar, playful, usually disrespectful way. There is even a saying that goes, El que se lleva se aguanta. Literally, it means something like "One who plays the game must endure it," similar to the English expressions "If you play with fire, you will get burned," and "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen."

Curiously, the verb traer (to bring) is used in a similar expression: traerla con alguien, or traerla contra alguien, which means to "hold a grudge," or "to have a certain animosity toward somebody:"
 

¿Por qué la trae con nosotros?

Why does he hold a grudge against us?

Caption 23, El Ausente - Acto 3

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The expression ¿Qué te traes? (What's up with you?) could be used in different situations with different purposes:

He notado tu tristeza estos días. ¿Qué te traes?
I've noticed your sadness these days. What's up with you?

¿Tú qué te traes? ¿Quieres pelea?
What's up with you? Do you want a fight?

¿Qué se traen ustedes dos? ¿ Qué están tramado?
What are you two up to? What are you planning?

 

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