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Talking About Hunger and Thirst in Spanish

Let's learn some common expressions to talk about being hungry or thirsty in Spanish (or to say we're not)!

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Saying "I'm Hungry" in Spanish 

The most common way to talk about "being hungry" in Spanish is with an idiomatic expression with the verb tener, which is tener hambre (literally "to have hunger"). So, if you wanted to say "I'm hungry," in Spanish, you'd say "Tengo hambre."

 

Fede, tengo hambre. Tengo hambre, Fede.

Fede, I'm hungry. I'm hungry, Fede.

Captions 34-35, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 7

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Now, let's listen to this verb in question form, conjugated with (the single familiar "you"):

 

¿Tienes hambre? 

Are you hungry?

Caption 39, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam - Part 4

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The more formal usted version would, of course, be "¿Tiene (usted) hambre?

 

An alternative way to talk about hunger in Spanish is with the verb estar (to be) plus the adjective hambriento/a(s). Remember that in the case of adjectives, they must agree in terms of both gender (masculine or feminine) and number (singular or plural) with the subject in question. Let's take a look at an example with a single, female speaker:

 

Y yo estoy hambrienta.

And I am hungry.

Caption 7, Cata y Cleer En el restaurante

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Now, let's look at some more dramatic ways to say "I'm hungry" in Spanish (something more akin to "I'm starving"). 

 

Sí, ¿y viene la comida o no? Pues yo estoy muerto de hambre.

Yes, and is the food coming or not? I am dying of hunger.

Caption 35, Muñeca Brava 44 El encuentro - Part 6

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The adjective muerto/a(s) literally means "dead," of course, but the expression estar muerto/a(s) de hambre is roughly equivalent to the English "dying of hunger." Let's see a couple more:

 

¿por qué no me invita a desayunar algo que estoy que me muero de hambre?

why don't you serve me something for breakfast since I'm dying of hunger?

Captions 37-38, Tu Voz Estéreo Embalsamado - Part 5

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¿Pero será que podemos comer ya, por favor, que me estoy desmayando de hambre?

But could we please start eating since I'm passing out from hunger?

Caption 45, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 12 - Part 3

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Saying "I'm Thirsty" in Spanish 

Tener sed (literally "to have thirst") is probably the most common way to say "I'm thirsty" in Spanish. In the first person this would be: "Tengo sed(I'm thirsty). Now, let's look at an example with :

 

Es muy útil si tienes sed y necesitas beber agua.

It's very useful if you're thirsty and need to drink water.

Caption 29, El Aula Azul Adivina qué es - Part 1

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And, in the same way you could say you are "dying with hunger," you could also use estar muerto/a(s) de sed to say you are "dying of thirst":

 

¡Estabas muerta de sed!

You were dying of thirst!

Caption 1, Muñeca Brava 47 Esperanzas - Part 5

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Another way to say "to be thirsty" in Spanish is estar sediento/a(s):

 

y yo... yo estoy muy, muy sedienta.

and I... I'm very, very thirsty.

Caption 42, Kikirikí Agua - Part 3

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To ask you if you're thirsty, someone might say "¿Tiene(s) sed?(Are you thirsty?) or simply ask:

 

¿Quieres tomar algo, Pablo?

Do you want something to drink, Pablo?

Caption 28, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam - Part 2

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Although this might initially sound like "Do you want to take something?" to a non-native speaker, remember that the verb tomar additionally means "to drink" in Spanish. The common expression "¿Quiere(s) tomar algo?" is thus used to ask someone in Spanish if he or she would "like something to drink."

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Saying "I'm Not Hungry/Full" in Spanish

So, what if you want to say you're not hungry in Spanish? You can simply use the verb tener hambre with the word "no" in front of it:

 

Pero igual no tengo hambre.

But anyway, I'm not hungry.

Caption 58, Muñeca Brava 3 Nueva Casa - Part 6

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Another option would be the verb llenarse (to be full). So, if someone asks you if you're hungry, you might use this verb in the preterite (simple past) tense to say:

 

No, gracias. Ya me llené.

No, thank you. I'm full (literally: "I already got full"). 

 

Now let's listen to this verb in the present:

 

Se infla, como que se llena,

You get bloated, like, you get full,

Caption 44, Los médicos explican Consulta con el médico: la diarrea

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An additional way to say you are full in Spanish is with the verb estar (to be) plus an adjective. Although you might hear satisfecho/a(s) (literally "satisfied") or, in some regions, repleto/a(s)lleno/a(s) is the most common adjective that means "full" in Spanish, as we see in the following example:

 

Estoy lleno. No puedo comer más.

I'm full. I can't eat any more. 

 

This adjective might also be used with the verb sentirse (to feel):

 

y para mantenerte y sentirte lleno.

and to stay and feel full.

Caption 29, Natalia de Ecuador Alimentos para el desayuno

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This brings us to a popular Spanish saying that is reminiscent of the English idiom "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach": 

 

Barriga llena, corazón contento.

Full belly, happy heart.

Caption 36, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 2 - Part 1

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To learn a lot more fun Spanish phrases, check out this lesson on Yabla's Top 10 Spanish Idioms and Their (Very Different!) English equivalents

 

We hope that this lesson has helped you to learn several ways to talk about hunger and thirst in Spanish, and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments

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Spanish Cognates for English Words That End in -ation

In the course of your Spanish studies, you may have noticed certain patterns that make "predicting" words you may never have even heard before possible in many cases. The focus of today's lesson is one such group of words.

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The -ation/-ación Connection

Due to their shared roots in the Latin language, many English words that end with the suffix -ation are cognates (words in different languages that share similar meanings, spellings, and pronunciations) along with their Spanish equivalents that end in a very similar suffix: -ación. Let's look at several, very common examples that you may have heard:

 

Justo el día de hoy le ha dado un mensaje a la nación 

Just today he's given a message to the nation

Caption 23, Yabla en Lima El Centro - Part 2

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y tenía mucha imaginación.

and he had a lot of imagination.

Caption 9, El Aula Azul Adivina personajes históricos - Part 2

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Ehm... ¿Tiene alguna recomendación como de pollo o de pescado?

Um... Do you have any recommendation, like, for chicken or fish?

Captions 32-33, Cata y Cleer En el restaurante

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y, por suerte, casi siempre hay mucha participación.

and, luckily, there is almost always a lot of participation.

Caption 78, Viajando con Fermín Asociación ProDunas Marbella

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What can we notice about these words? First off, most of them share virtually identical spellings in English and Spanish but for the replacement of the English suffix -ation with the Spanish -ación. The only minor exception in these examples is the inclusion of a double consonant (m) in the English word "recommendation" that does not appear in la recomendación (this is due to an English spelling rule that we won't delve into in this lesson). 

 

Another noteworthy feature of this class of -ation/-ación cognates (and, in fact, all words that end in -ación in Spanish) is that these nouns' gender in Spanish is feminine. 

 

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Applying the Formula to More Complex Words

That said, what if we were at a party, and we wanted to talk about more complex concepts such as "industrialization," "globalization," or "commercialization," and we weren't familiar with the correct Spanish terms? We might try to substitute the Spanish suffix -ación for -ation, just to see what we came up with:  

 

tenemos la... lógicamente, la industrialización,

we have the... logically, industrialization,

Caption 51, Los médicos explican Entrevista con el Doctor Suarez

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Y no te quiero hablar de la globalización

And I don't want to talk about globalization

Caption 47, Yago 6 Mentiras - Part 6

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Es una ruta a nivel turístico bastante joven que está en pleno proceso de comercialización.

It's a rather young route at the touristic level that is in the middle of the process of commercialization.

Captions 30-31, Europa Abierta Taller de escenografía en Olivares

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It worked! You will note that, once again, the spellings and meanings of these terms in Spanish and English are virtually identical except for the slight difference in their suffixes and the addition of the double "m" in "commercialization," again due to English spelling norms. That said, we suggest applying this formula to English words ending in -ation to make an educated guess about their Spanish translations since chances are you'll be right!

 

Exceptions to the -ation/-ación Rule 

Of course, as with all things in life, no formula is perfect, and there are always exceptions. Let's take a look at couple of them:

 

En los meses de verano, su población llega a multiplicarse por cuatro.

In the summer months, its population gets multiplied by four.

Caption 14, Fuengirola Mercado

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Although our formula would take us to the not-quite-correct word populación, we'd venture to guess that a native Spanish speaker would understand perfectly well what you meant by "En los meses de verano, su populación [sic] llega a multiplicarse por cuatro" and just might gently edify you as to the correct term. Let's look at another example:

 

porque justo salir del aeropuerto ya te encuentras con la estación de autobús.

because just leaving from the airport you come across the bus station right away.

Caption 28, Blanca Cómo moverse en Barcelona

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In this case, the word estación is extremely similar to the English word "station" except for the suffix and the "e" at the beginning, which is due, this time, to a Spanish norm whereby almost all words with an  "s" and a consonant at the beginning are preceded by an "e." And again, we're pretty sure that were you to inquire about the whereabouts of la stación de tren, someone would still direct you to the train station! 

 

Although there are some words that end in -ation in English whose translations are even less similar than the aforementioned examples (e.g. translation/traducción, explanation/explicación, etc.), we still suggest that our formula is a great place to start because, even if you aren't perfectly correct in your attempt to morph an -ation word in English into an -ación word in Spanish, chances are you'll be understood and/or corrected, which is how we learn. And, in many, many cases, as we've shown you... you'll be correct!

 

That's all for today. Have you noticed any other patterns that have helped you to make educated guesses about words in Spanish? Let us know with your suggestions and comments

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Nada: Nothing or Anything?

Most of the time, we use the word nada in Spanish as an indefinite pronoun that can be translated as either "nothing" or "anything." In this lesson, we will examine how to use this word to mean one vs. the other. Let's take a look.

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Using Nada  with Adjectives

Before we jump into the "nothing" vs. "anything" uses of nada, it's important to state the following: When an adjective appears next to nada, the adjective must be masculine. Let's look at a few examples:

 

No es nada malo, es algo natural.

It's nothing bad, it's something natural.

Caption 12, La Cocaleros - Personas y políticas

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Tenemos que devolver a la madre y esperamos

We have to return it to the mother and hope

que la madre no encuentre nada raro en su cachorro.

that the mother doesn't find anything strange with her cub.

Captions 90-91, Animales en familia - Un día en Bioparc: Cachorro de leopardo

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Que haya jóvenes que realicen pequeños hurtos no es nada nuevo.

That there are young people who commit petty thefts is nothing new.

Caption 16, Los Reporteros - Crecen los robos en tiendas

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Nada as "Anything"

If nada comes after a verb, it must be expressed in a negative form with either no or some other negative element such as jamás/nunca (never) or nadie (nobody). Although such "double negatives" are incorrect in English (for example, you can't say "I don't have nothing"), in such cases in Spanish, nada becomes the positive "anything" in the English translation. Let's look at a couple of examples:

 

Juan no ha comido nada desde que llegó al aeropuerto.

Juan hasn't eaten anything since he arrived at the airport.

Caption 41, Carlos explica - El pretérito Cap 3: Perfecto compuesto II

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No, no como nada frito.

No, I don't eat anything fried.

Caption 40, Cata y Cleer - En el restaurante

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In the example above, you can see how the adjective frito is masculine (just to check whether you remember our aforementioned rule!). 

 

Me encanta también cocinar.

I also love to cook.

Nunca me has hecho nada, ni un plato.

You have never made anything for me, not even one dish.

Captions 74-75, Cleer - Hobbies

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Nada as "Nothing"

On the other hand, if nada goes before a verb, the verb does not need to be accompanied by a negative element. In this case, nada functions like the word "nothing" in English. Let's take a look:

 

Mi primo vive en una casucha en donde nada funciona bien.

My cousin lives in a "casucha" [awful house] where nothing works well.

Caption 54, Carlos explica - Diminutivos y Aumentativos Cap 2: Definiciones generales

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Nada me detendrá

Nothing will stop me

Caption 32, Ednita Nazario - Después De Ti

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Nada as a noun

Finally, keep in mind that when nada is used as a noun meaning "the void" or "nothingness," it is a feminine noun:

 

Era el frío de la nada

It was the cold of nothingness

Caption 41, Acercándonos a la Literatura - José Asunción Silva - "Nocturno III"

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Notice how in this case, the word nada is preceded by the definite female article "la."

 

That's all for this lesson. We invite you to keep these rules in mind, and don't forget to send us your suggestions and comments

Yabla's Top 12 Spanish Verbs for Carrying on a Conversation

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.

 

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1. Ser (to be) 

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: 

 

Personal Pronoun Present Imperfect Preterite
Yo  soy era fui
Tú  eres eras fuiste
Él, ella, usted es era fue
Nosotros, nosotras somos éramos fuimos
Vosotros, vosotras sois erais fuisteis
Ellos, ellas, ustedes son eran fueron

 

Soy profesor de fotografía.

I'm a photography teacher.

Caption 13, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos - Part 5

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Sus cuadros eran muy extraños.

His paintings were very strange.

Caption 25, El Aula Azul - Adivina personajes históricos

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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 - Entrevista

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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. 

 

2. Estar (to be)

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: 

 

Personal Pronoun Present Imperfect Preterite
Yo  estoy estaba estuve
Tú  estás estabas estuviste
Él, ella, usted está estaba estuvo
Nosotros, nosotras estamos estábamos estuvimos
Vosotros, vosotras estáis estabais estuvisteis
Ellos, ellas, ustedes están estaban estuverion

 

Sí... Vale, entonces, estamos aquí.

Yes... OK, then, we're here.

Caption 6, Curso de español - Disculpe, ¿hay un cine por aquí?

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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 Lila

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Los árabes estuvieron en España más de seiscientos años.

The Arabs were in Spain for more than six hundred years.

Caption 23, Rosa - Antequera, Málaga

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Be sure to check out this lesson if you want to learn more about the difference between ser and estar

 

3. Tener (to have)

The verb tener means "to have" in Spanish. Let's take a closer look: 

 

Personal Pronoun Present Imperfect Preterite
Yo  tengo tenía tuve
Tú  tienes tenías tuviste
Él, ella, usted tiene tenía tuvo
Nosotros, nosotras tenemos teníamos tuvimos
Vosotros, vosotras tenéis teníais tuvisteis
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.

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Tenían mi mochila en la Oficina de Objetos Perdidos.

They had my backpack in the Lost and Found.

Caption 44, Raquel - Oficina de objetos perdidos

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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 7

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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 14

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Tuvimos que trasladarnos a esta nueva ciudad.

We had to move to this new city.

Caption 39, Ciudad de Panamá - Denisse introduce la ciudad

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4. Hacer (to make/to do)

The Spanish verb hacer can mean either "to make" or "to do." But, not to fear— typically, the context will let you know quite clearly which meaning is intended.

 

Personal Pronoun Present Imperfect Preterite
Yo  hago hacía hice
Tú  haces hacías hiciste
Él, ella, usted hace hacía hizo
Nosotros, nosotras hacemos hacíamos hicimos
Vosotros, vosotras hacéis hacíais hicisteis
Ellos, ellas, ustedes hacen hacían hicieron

 

Y ¿tú qué haces?

And what are you doing?

Caption 24, Guillermina y Candelario - Un pez mágico

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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 1

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También hizo alguna película.

He also made a movie.

Caption 28, El Aula Azul - Adivina personajes históricos

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5. Ir (to go)

The Spanish verb ir means "to go." Let's check out some of its conjugations and uses:

 

Personal Pronoun Present Imperfect Preterite
Yo  voy iba fui
Tú  vas ibas fuiste
Él, ella, usted va iba fue
Nosotros, nosotras vamos íbamos fuimos
Vosotros, vosotras vais ibais fuisteis
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 Semana

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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 10

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¿Por qué fuiste al cine?

Why did you go to the movies?

Caption 48, Carlos explica - Las preposiciones 'por' y 'para'

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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?

Caption 2, Curso de español - Vamos a hablar de la familia

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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 Apuesta

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6. Venir (to come)

If we're going to talk about ir (to go), we'd better mention venir (to come)! Let's look:

 

Personal Pronoun Present Imperfect Preterite
Yo  vengo venía vine
Tú  vienes venías viniste
Él, ella, usted viene venía vino
Nosotros, nosotras venimos veníamos vinimos
Vosotros, vosotras venís veníais vinisteis
Ellos, ellas, ustedes vienen venían vinieron

 

Yo vengo del sur de España

I come from the South of Spain

Caption 10, Carolina - Acentos

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¿Qué venía después?

What came next?

Caption 23, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 8

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Los otros cisnes vinieron hacia él.

The other swans came toward him.

Caption 50, Cleer - El patito feo

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7. Decir (to say)

The Spanish verb decir means "to say" or "to tell."

 

Personal Pronoun Present Imperfect Preterite
Yo  digo decía dije
Tú  dices decías dijiste
Él, ella, usted dice decía dijo
Nosotros, nosotras decimos decíamos dijimos
Vosotros, vosotras decís decíais dijisteis
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!

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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 - Arqueólogo

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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 5

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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.

 

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8. Poder (to be able)

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:

 

Personal Pronoun Present Imperfect Preterite
Yo  puedo podía pude
Tú  puedes podías pudiste
Él, ella, usted puede podía pudo
Nosotros, nosotras podemos podíamos pudimos
Vosotros, vosotras podéis podíais pudisteis
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 restaurante

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¿Por qué las cosas no podían ser sencillas?

Why couldn't things be easy?

Caption 31, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 10

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Gracias a su cola, pudieron volar.

Thanks to its tail, you were able to fly.

Caption 49, Guillermina y Candelario - Una aventura extrema

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To learn more about the verb poder and how it is used, we recommend the following lesson: The Verb Poder - Common Expressions.

 

9. Saber (to know)

This word means "to know," but, in its preterite form, can mean "to find out." 

 

Personal Pronoun Present Imperfect Preterite
Yo  sabía supe
Tú  sabes sabías supiste
Él, ella, usted sabe sabía supo
Nosotros, nosotras sabemos sabíamos supimos
Vosotros, vosotras sabéis sabíais supisteis
Ellos, ellas, ustedes saben sabían supieron

 

Pero no sé dónde!

But I don't know where!

Caption 28, NPS No puede ser - 1 - El concurso

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No sabía qué decirle.

I didn't know what to say to her.

Caption 12, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 1

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Nunca supe la verdad

I never found out the truth

Caption 2, Aleks Syntek - Intocable

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10.  Querer (to want)

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:

 

Personal Pronoun Present Imperfect Preterite
Yo  quiero quería quise
Tú  quieres querías quisiste
Él, ella, usted quiere quería quiso
Nosotros, nosotras queremos queríamos quisimos
Vosotros, vosotras queréis queríais quisisteis
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 habitación

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Y algunos querían volver a su casa.

And some wanted to go back to their home.

Caption 13, Guillermina y Candelario - El mundo de los juguetes perdidos

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No me quiso decir su nombre.

She wouldn't tell me her name.

Caption 8, Yago - 14 La peruana

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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 Prisión

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11. Dar (to give)

The Spanish verb dar means "to give." Let's look at some of its forms and examples:

 

Personal Pronoun Present Imperfect Preterite
Yo  doy daba di
Tú  das dabas diste
Él, ella, usted da daba dio
Nosotros, nosotras damos dábamos dimos
Vosotros, vosotras dais dabais disteis
Ellos, ellas, ustedes dan daban dieron

 

Yo doy agua a mi gato.

I give water to my cat.

Caption 14, Lecciones con Carolina - Verbo - dar

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Adriana Espinel siempre daba unas respuestas tan profundas.

Adriana Espinel always gave such deep answers.

Caption 72, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 4

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Eh... Mi asistente me dio sus datos.

Um... My assistant gave me your information.

Caption 39, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 1

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Like the verb decir, the verb dar is often accompanied by indirect object pronouns to highlight the person to whom something is given. 

 

12. Ver (to see)

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! 

 

Personal Pronoun Present Imperfect Preterite
Yo  veo veía vi
Tú  ves veías viste
Él, ella, usted ve veía vio
Nosotros, nosotras vemos veíamos vimos
Vosotros, vosotras veis veíais visteis
Ellos, ellas, ustedes ven veían vieron

 

Eh... ¿Cómo veo la vida?

Um... How do I see life?

Caption 79, Adícora, Venezuela - El tatuaje de Rosana

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¡Pero veíamos serpientes por todos lados!

But we saw snakes everywhere!

Caption 41, Guillermina y Candelario - La Isla de las Serpientes

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Vimos una película.

We saw a movie.

Caption 14, Zulbani - Trip to Merida

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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. 

 

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Math in Spanish: The Words You Need

How do you say "math" in Spanish? This is a question even native speakers ask themselves. The reason is that there are two terms that people use to say "mathematics" in Spanish. Let's find out which term you should use and explore some of the most basic math terms in Spanish. 

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How do you say "mathematics" in Spanish?

Matemática and its plural form matemáticas are the two valid terms you can use when talking about the noun that refers to "the science of numbers, forms, amounts, and their relationships." Let's see a couple of examples:

 

matemática

 

Vos te puedes equivocar en la matemática también.

You can make mistakes in math too.

Caption 19, Yago - 11 Prisión

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matemáticas

 

Esta mañana he resuelto el problema de matemáticas.

This morning I solved the math problem.

Caption 55, Lecciones con Carolina - Participios irregulares

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Yo tenía que responder exámenes de matemáticas.

I had to answer math tests.

Caption 34, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 7

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There are a couple of things worth mentioning. First of all, keep in mind that the plural form matemáticas tends to be used more frequently than the singular form. Second of all, you don't need to use capital letters for any of these two terms. Now, let's review some useful vocabulary related to math in Spanish.

 

Basic math terms in Spanish

 

Basic mathematical operations

 

Let's see how to say the most basic math operations in Spanish:

 

Addition (Adición or suma)

Substraction (Sustracción or resta)

Multiplication (Multiplicación)

Division (División)

 

And how about the verbs that you use to indicate those basic operations? Let's listen to our friend Ester from El Aula Azul:

 

Tienes números, tienes que sumar,

You have numbers, you have to add,

tienes que restar, multiplicar, dividir.

you have to subtract, to multiply, to divide.

Captions 4-5, El Aula Azul - Piensa rápido

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Now, let's see how to express these operations with some examples:

 

1 +1 = one plus one (uno más uno)

2 - 1 = two minus one (dos menos uno)

2 x 2 = two times two (dos por dos)

4 ÷ 2 = four divided by two (cuatro dividido dos)

 

Math terms we use in everyday life

There are many math terms we use every day even when we are not talking about mathematics. Let's look at some of these terms:

 

Mi escultura es la solución a una ecuación.

My sculpture is the solution to an equation.

Caption 25, San Sebastián - Peine del viento

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Y ¿cuál es la temperatura promedio en tu pueblo?

And what's the average temperature in your town?

Caption 39, Cleer - Entrevista a Lila

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Producimos un doce coma seis por ciento más de residuos que la media Europea.

We produce twelve-point-six percent more waste than the average of Europe.

Caption 29, 3R - Campaña de reciclaje

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Ya ven uno y uno es igual a tres

Now you see one and one equals three

Caption 10, Jeremías - Uno y uno igual a tres

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Otra cosa im'... importante que tienes que calcular

Another im'... important thing that you have to calculate

además de todo ese movimiento.

in addition to all that movement.

Captions 64-65, El teatro. - Conversación con un doble de acción.

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Los números cardinales pueden ser simples o compuestos.

Cardinal numbers can be simple or compound.

Caption 11, Carlos explica - Los Números: Números Cardinales

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And that's it for today. If you want to learn more math in Spanish, we invite you to check out this useful English-Spanish glossary of terms and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

Vocabulary

Gender of Inanimate Objects in Spanish

Let's talk about gender. How do you know if a word like leche (milk) or mapa (map) is feminine or masculine? Let's explore some rules (and exceptions) that will help you to identify the gender of inanimate objects in Spanish. Please, keep in mind that we will use the definite articles el (masculine) and la (feminine) in order to better recognize the gender of the nouns we are mentioning throughout this article. 

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Nouns ending in -o and -a

Generally speaking, nouns that end in -o are masculine while those ending in -a are feminine. Let's see some of the most common objects that follow this rule:

 

Masculine nouns ending in -o:

El libro (the book)

El baño (the bathroom)

El piano (the piano)

El diccionario (the dictionary)

El asiento (the seat)

 

Feminine nouns ending in -a:

La casa (the house)

La cama (the bed)

La lámpara (the lamp)

La cocina (the kitchen)

La caja (the box)

 

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Let's look at some of the most common ones.

 

Feminine nouns ending in -o:

 

La mano derecha se colocará en esta posición llamada acorde de LA mayor.

The right hand will be placed in this position called A major chord.

Caption 1, Curso de guitarra - Para los que empiezan desde cero

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Es la foto de mis abuelos, es mi familia.

It's a photo of my grandparents. It's my family.

Caption 5, Yago - 3 La foto

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Masculine nouns ending in -a:

 

Y bueno, el día llega a su fin, y llegas a casa a relajarte.

And well, the day comes to an end, and you get home to relax.

Captions 80-81, Natalia de Ecuador - Vocabulario de prendas de vestir

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Por ejemplo: problema, el problema, mapa, el mapa.

For example: problem, the problem, map, the map.

Captions 16-17, Isabel - El Género Gramatical - Masculino y Femenino

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¿Y pudieron conocer el planeta de su amigo?

And were you able to see your friend's planet?

Caption 31, Guillermina y Candelario - Un marciano en la playa

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Cuando utilizamos el idioma español.

When we use the Spanish language.

Entonces, vamos a hablar entonces ya.

So, then we are going to talk now.

Captions 5-6, Lecciones con Carolina - Errores comunes

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Nouns ending in -e, -i, -u or a consonant

There is no particular rule for this group. Some of the nouns here are masculine while others are feminine. Some examples:

 

Eh... los ordeñadores pasan a

Um... the milkers go on to

pesar la leche para ver la cantidad que produce cada una.

weigh the milk to check the quantity that each one produces.

Captions 54-55, Gustavo Adolfo - Su finca lechera

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Se arma el árbol, el pesebre, los niños llevan sus instrumentos musicales.

The tree is set up, the manger, the children carry their musical instruments.

Caption 40, Lida y Cleer - Buñuelos

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La India Catalina era la líder de la tribu indígena.

India Catalina was the leader of the indigenous tribe.

Caption 26, Viajando en Colombia - Cartagena en coche

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Most nouns ending in -aje, -ambre, -án, -or or in a stressed vowel tend to be masculine

Let's look at some examples in this group:

 

Me relajo y contemplo el paisaje.

I relax and I look at the landscape.

Captions 30-31, Natalia de Ecuador - Los adverbios de orden

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Cuando me llega el dolor yo me arreglo

When pain hits me I manage

Caption 6, Jorge Celedón, Vicentico - Si Me Dejan

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¿Puedo ver el menú por favor?

Can I see the menu please?

Caption 12, Cata y Cleer - En el restaurante

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Most nouns ending in -cia, -ción, -dad, -eza, -ie, -itis, -nza, -sión, -tad, -tud and -umbre are feminine

 

La ciencia nunca falla, caballero.

Science never fails, sir.

Caption 39, Los casos de Yabla - Problemas de convivencia

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La acentuación es la acción y efecto de acentuar.

Accentuation is the action and effect of accenting.

Caption 13, Carlos explica - Acentuación Cap. 1: Conceptos básicos

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Mi hijo quiere estudiar inglés o japonés el próximo año en la universidad.

My son wants to study English or Japanese next year in college.

Caption 25, Lecciones con Carolina - Conjunciones disyuntivas

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Nouns that belong to the following categories are masculine

 

1. Oceans, lakes and rivers

 

Tenemos el océano Pacífico y el océano Atlántico.

We have the Pacific ocean and the Atlantic ocean.

Caption 24, Melany de Guatemala - País de la Eterna Primavera

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2. Days of the week

 

El martes, también salí por la noche.

On Tuesday, I also went out at night.

Caption 11, El Aula Azul - La Doctora Consejos: El pasado

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3. Numbers

 

Y que el cien por cien de las ganancias pues iban destinadas a la coalición española.

And one hundred percent of the profits were going to the Spanish coalition.

Caption 45, David Bisbal - Haciendo Premonición Live

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4. Colors

 

El azul, donde echamos el papel, cartón, revistas.

The blue one, where we throw away paper, cardboard, magazines.

Caption 4, Rosa - Reciclar

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Nouns that belong to the following categories are feminine

 

1. Names of islands

 

Eh... Les recomiendo que vengan a visitar las islas Galápagos.

Um... I recommend that you come to visit the Galapagos Islands.

Caption 1, Galápagos - Una visita a este archipiélago

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2. Names of roads

 

Que queda ubicado sobre la Avenida Jiménez.

Which is located on Jiminez Avenue.

Caption 47, Bogotá - Chorro de Quevedo

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3. Names of letters

 

Me gustaría referirme a la pronunciación de dos letras,

I'd like to refer to the pronunciation of two letters,

la "elle" y la "ye".

the "double l" and the "y."

Captions 6-8, Carlos y Cyndy - La pronunciación en Colombia y Argentina

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Nouns with gender ambiguity

There are some inanimate nouns that can be either feminine or masculine, which means both forms are accepted.

 

El mar / la mar (the sea). For this noun, the masculine form is used more often.

El maratón / la maratón (the marathon). Both forms are accepted.

El arte / las artes (the arts). Usually the masculine form is used in the singular and the feminine one in the plural.

El sartén / la sartén (the pan). While the masculine noun is the most frequently used, some countries in the Americas tend to favor the feminine form.

 

Gender of 'almost' identical nouns

There are various words that are almost identical but they differ in meaning. Very often, indeed, you can fully grasp that difference by bringing the gender variable into it. Let's see some examples:

 

El cuchillo (the knife) / La cuchilla (the blade)

El barco (the ship) / La barca (the boat)

El bolso (the purse) / La bolsa (the bag)

El puerto (the port) / la puerta (the door)

El cuadro (the painting) / La cuadra (the block)

El manzano (the apple tree) / La manzana (the apple)

 

That's it for today. We hope you find this lesson useful and we invite you to send us your comments and suggestions.

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A Word Set Apart

Cognates are words in two languages that share a similar meaning, spelling, and pronunciation and are a great tool for expanding your vocabulary. However when learning cognates, you must also learn how to use them correctly. Take for example the word aparte (apart). In one of our newest videos we hear Cleer using it:

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¿Puedo ordenarla sin cebolla y con el aderezo aparte?

Can I order it without onions and with the dressing on the side?

Caption 44, Cata y Cleer - En el restaurante

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In this case, English generally uses the expression "on the side" and not the cognate "apart" to translate aparte, even though expressions such as "can I have the dressing apart" or "serve the dressing apart" are not necessarily incorrect. On the other hand, Spanish does have an equivalent expression to "on the side": a un lado, which, in this case, you can certainly use instead of aparte¿Puedo ordenarla sin cebolla y con el aderezo a un lado? 

The word aparte is used a lot in Spanish. It could mean "besides, apart from, aside, as well, other than that" etcetera. For example:
 

...pero en lugar de ponerle nada más el caldito del piloncillo, aparte, se le va poniendo una leche, evaporada.

...but instead of putting into it only the little brown sugar cone broth, besides, one starts putting into it some milk, evaporated [milk].

Captions 46-48, Recetas - Capirotada

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It's very common to combine the word aparte with the preposition de. 

 

Pues, pero aparte de eso, para mí lo más importante es la seguridad.

Well, but besides that, for me, the most important thing is safety.

Caption 33, La Sub30 - Familias - Part 13

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So you can use the expression aparte de as an equivalent of "apart from" meaning "besides" or "other than that":

 

Y... aparte de la música, me gusta patinar.

And... apart from music, I like to skate.

Caption 14, Zoraida - Lo que gusta hacer

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Sometimes you would need the verbs separar (to separate) or apartar (to put or get apart) for expressions that in English require the word "apart." For example, while in English you say "I'm never apart from you," you can't really say nunca estoy aparte de ti in Spanish. Spanish speakers would rather say nunca me aparto de ti or nunca me separo de ti.

 

Tiene un valor muy importante para mí... jamás me separo de esa foto.

It has a very important value for me... I'm never apart from that photo.

Caption 6, Yago - 3 La foto - Part 8

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Spanish doesn't use aparte in the same way English uses "apart" to talk about difference or separation in time, for example:

 

Como se llevan cuatro años de diferencia.

Since they are four years apart.

Caption 26, Biografía - Natalia Oreiro - Part 1

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So if you want to express the idea "they were born four years apart" you would say nacieron con cuatro años de diferencia [or separación]. 
Spanish also uses the verb separar (to separate) in cases where English uses expressions such as "put apart," "drive apart," "come apart," etc.:

 

Nos separa tu temor

Your fear tears us apart

Caption 5, Ha*Ash - Lo que yo sé de ti

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Or even verbs like deshacer (to undo):
 

Evidentemente, al cocer, se va a deshacer, se va a desmenuzar.

Evidently, upon cooking, it is going to come apart, it's going to crumble.

Caption 20, Cómetelo - Crema de brócoli - Part 6

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Instead of the dramatic "tear apart" Spanish would use the prosaic abrir (to open):

 

Nos abrimos el pecho

We tear our chest apart

Caption 15, San Pascualito Rey - Hoy no es mi día

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