Let's enhance our vocabulary today! As you know, nouns in Spanish are defined by number and gender. However, there are some nouns that can be both masculine and feminine. Moreover, depending on the gender they have, these nouns change their meanings completely. With that being said, let's take a look at some Spanish words that change meaning with gender.
Feminine: la capital (a capital city)
Está ubicada a ciento diez kilómetros de Quito, la capital del Ecuador.
It is located one hundred and ten kilometers from Quito, the capital of Ecuador.
Caption 6, Otavalo El mercado de artesanías de OtavaloPlay Caption
Masculine: el capital (capital: money)
No buscar la acumulación de capital sino buscar la satisfacción de necesidades sociales.
It's not seeking the accumulation of capital, but seeking the satisfaction of social necessities.
Captions 74-75, De consumidor a persona Short Film - Part 7Play Caption
Feminine: la cólera (anger, rage)
Masculine: el cólera (cholera - the illness)
Feminine: la coma (a comma - punctuation)
Masculine: el coma (a coma - medicine)
Feminine: la cometa (a kite)
Pero la cometa estaba muy alta para cogerla.
But the kite was too high to grab.
Caption 22, Guillermina y Candelario El Gran DescubrimientoPlay Caption
Masculine: el cometa (a comet - astronomy)
Feminine: la corte (a court of law OR the royal court of a king)
Creo que voy a apelar esta decisión a la Corte Suprema.
I think I'm going to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court.Play Caption
que le habían sido cedidos para recreo de la corte.
that had been handed over to him for the court's recreation.
Caption 59, Marisa en Madrid Parque de El RetiroPlay Caption
Masculine: el corte (a cut - injury OR the cut of hair or a suit)
Y ahora voy a hacer el corte aquí.
And now I am going to make the cut here.
Caption 42, Instrumentos musicales OcarinasPlay Caption
Feminine: la cura (the cure)
Tu madre no tiene cura.
Your mom has no cure.
Caption 45, Muñeca Brava 44 El encuentro - Part 5Play Caption
Masculine: el cura (a priest)
Aquí no habrá noche de bodas mientras no vayan con un cura.
Here, there will be no wedding night until you go to a priest.
Caption 23, El Ausente Acto 4 - Part 3Play Caption
Feminine: la final (the sports final, the playoffs)
Jueguen como si fuera la final.
Play as if it were the finals.Play Caption
Masculine: el final (the end)
Al final le he pedido disculpas y todo.
In the end, I apologized to him and everything.
Caption 55, Cortometraje FlechazosPlay Caption
Feminine: la frente (the forehead)
"María le tocó la frente a su hijo para ver si tenía fiebre".
"Maria touched her son's forehead to see if he had a fever."
Caption 17, Carlos explica Vocabulario: El verbo “tocar”Play Caption
Masculine: el frente (the front - military)
Los soldados están en el frente de batalla.
The soldiers are on the battle front.
Feminine: la guía (a guide book OR a female guide OR a telephone book OR guidance)
todo bajo la guía de un profesor de educación física.
all with the guidance of a P.E. teacher.
Caption 7, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 6Play Caption
¡Pippo, traé una guía!
Pippo, bring me a phone directory.
Caption 55, Yago 5 La ciudad - Part 3Play Caption
Masculine: el guía (a male guide)
Mi nombre es Mauricio y soy un guía turístico.
My name is Mauricio and I'm a tour guide.
Caption 27, Pipo Un paseo por la playa de AtacamesPlay Caption
Feminine: la orden (a command OR a restaurant order)
Normalmente, cuando estás haciendo una orden,
Usually, when you're placing an order,
Caption 28, Natalia de Ecuador Ordenar en un restaurantePlay Caption
Masculine: el orden (order)
Listo, señor Rolleri; todo en orden.
Done, Mister Rolleri; everything's in order.Play Caption
That's if for today. Do you know more Spanish words that change meaning with gender? We challenge you to find more and don't forget to send us your questions and comments.
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.
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 - Part 4Play Caption
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,Play Caption
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 - Part 2Play Caption
Cuando los cuatro compañeros nos fuimos a estudiar fuera,
When we four friends went to study abroad,Play Caption
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 - Part 4Play Caption
me doy una buena ducha aquí fuera,
I take a good shower here outside,
Caption 31, Amaya "Mi camper van"Play Caption
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 - Part 6Play Caption
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.Play Caption
Su ropa está fuera de moda.
His clothes are out of fashion.Play Caption
No hay nada fuera de lo normal,
There isn't anything out of the ordinary,
Caption 38, Negocios Empezar en un nuevo trabajo - Part 1Play Caption
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.
Let's talk about family! Do you know how to say words like "father" or "cousin" in Spanish? Today, we will learn how to say the names of the most important family members in Spanish. In particular, we will see how to write and pronounce those names. Let's take a look.
Familia is the Spanish word for family. It is important to say that this is a feminine collective noun. Collective nouns are words that we use for particular groups. However, these nouns are treated as singular words. Let's see how this works:
Mi familia es pequeña y cálida. Considerando que "familia" es un sustantivo colectivo femenino, conjugamos el verbo en tercera persona del singular y utilizamos adjetivos femeninos, "pequeña" y "cálida", para elaborar la concordancia de manera correcta.
My family is small and warm. Considering that "familia" is a feminine collective noun, we conjugate the verb in third person singular and use feminine adjectives, "pequeña" [small] and "cálida" [warm], to create agreement in the correct way.
Captions 16-20, Carlos explica Sustantivos colectivosPlay Caption
The following are the names of the most important family member in Spanish.
Comes bastante verdura, tu madre que te quiere.
Eat enough vegetables, your mother who loves you.Play Caption
Very often, however, people refer to their mothers using the following terms:
Mamá, quería preguntarte algo.
Mom, I wanted to ask you something.
Caption 2, Yago 10 Enfrentamientos - Part 7Play Caption
¿Haciendo la tarea con mami? -Sí.
Doing your homework with Mommy? -Yes.
Caption 24, Yago 11 Prisión - Part 5Play Caption
"A mi padre siempre le toca trabajar mucho todos los viernes".
"My father always has to work a lot every Friday."
Caption 53, Carlos explica Vocabulario: El verbo “tocar”Play Caption
However, just like for the word "mother", there are some other terms people use when talking with or about their fathers:
Fue cuando me di cuenta no tenía ni idea de lo que hacía mi papá.
It was then that I realized I had no idea what my dad did.
Caption 30, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 3 - Part 3Play Caption
Papi, cualquier hora es buena.
Daddy, any hour is good.
Caption 5, X6 1 - La banda - Part 3Play Caption
Quiero presentarles a mi hijo; Kevin, él es Felipe,
I want to introduce you to my son; Kevin, this is Felipe,
Caption 16, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 3 - Part 6Play Caption
Y muy feliz de tener a mi lado a mi hija,
And very happy to have my daughter by my side,
Caption 38, Yolimar Gimón sobre el concurso Mrs. VenezuelaPlay Caption
Después aquí tengo a mi hermano, José.
Then here I have my brother, Jose.
Caption 11, Curso de español Vamos a hablar de la familiaPlay Caption
pero que estaba alejando a mi hermana de nosotros.
but which was taking my sister away from us.
Caption 21, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 4 - Part 2Play Caption
Grandpa, Grandpa!Play Caption
Abuela, podemos hablar dos minutos por favor.
Grandmother, can we talk for two minutes, please.
Caption 4, Muñeca Brava 18 - La Apuesta - Part 6Play Caption
Mi nieto no existe.
My grandson does not exist.
Caption 53, Muñeca Brava 33 El partido - Part 7Play Caption
La nieta de María.
Caption 30, Zoraida en Coro El pintor YepezPlay Caption
Y su tío Aldo cree que está muerto, su tío Lucio confía en que esté vivo.
And his Uncle Aldo believes that he's dead, his Uncle Lucio has faith that he's alive.
Caption 22, Yago 8 Descubrimiento - Part 3Play Caption
Esa es mi tía Silvia.
That is my Aunt Silvia.
Caption 24, Español para principiantes DemostrativosPlay Caption
¿Hace cuánto tiempo que dejó de ver a su sobrino?
How long ago did you stop seeing your nephew?
Caption 69, Yago 8 Descubrimiento - Part 1Play Caption
Sobrina. Muy bien.
Niece. Very good.
Caption 43, Curso de español Vamos a hablar de la familiaPlay Caption
Sí, me gusta mucho mi primo Pedro.
Yes, I like my cousin Pedro very much.
Caption 40, El Aula Azul Mis PrimosPlay Caption
Esta mañana mi prima se ha roto la pierna jugando al fútbol.
This morning my cousin has broken her leg playing soccer.Play Caption
Finally, keep in mind that when using the plural forms of these nouns, you should use the male form when the group is made of both male and female members:
Two cousins (both male): Dos primos
Two cousins (both female): Dos primas
Two cousing (one male and one female): Dos primos
That's it for today. We invite you to take a piece of paper and design your family tree with the names of the family members in Spanish. And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.
Let's talk about the time! Are you ready to learn how to tell time in Spanish?
Well, first, for the purposes of this lesson, we invite you to review the following components:
- The verb ser (to be)
- The definite articles for feminine nouns
- The numbers from one to fifty-nine
In addition to these, we will examine some useful expressions and vocabulary that will help you to learn how to tell time in Spanish. Let's get started.
There are two common ways to ask for the time in Spanish. Let's take a look:
¿Cómo preguntamos la hora? Excelente pregunta. Diremos, "¿Qué hora es?"
How do we ask what time it is? Excellent question. We'll say, "What time is it?"
Captions 47-49, Español para principiantes La horaPlay Caption
¿Me podría decir qué horas son?
Could you tell me what time it is?Play Caption
As you can see, the difference between these two questions is that the first is singular while the second is plural. It is important to note that the singular form (¿Qué hora es?) is preferred, and we thus encourage you to choose it when asking for the time in Spanish.
Now that you know how to say "What time is it?" it is time (no pun intended!) to learn how to tell time in Spanish! The formula is quite simple:
To be + article + hour + additional information
Let's focus on each of these variables.
Just as we say "It's one o'clock" or "It is seven forty-three" in English, we must also use the verb ser (to be) when telling time in Spanish. Interestingly, although the third person singular form es would be the Spanish equivalent of "it's" or "it is," due to the fact that we are referring to the plural noun horas (hours), Spanish almost always utilizes the plural form of ser, or son. As you see below, the only exception to this rule is when talking about one o'clock, in which case the singular form es is indeed applied.
Son las doce. Es la una. Son las dos.
It's twelve o'clock. It's one o'clock. It's two o'clock.
Captions 16-18, Español para principiantes La horaPlay Caption
Similarly, since horas is feminine and plural, the feminine plural definite article las must accompany it. Once again, one o'clock is the only exception with which we use the singular feminine definite article la. Looking once more at the previous example, let's focus on these definite articles:
Son las doce. Es la una. Son las dos.
It's twelve o'clock. It's one o'clock. It's two o'clock.
Captions 16-18, Español para principiantes La horaPlay Caption
We've arrived at the point in our Spanish time-telling formula where "it's time" to insert a number! In case you haven't learned the numbers in Spanish or need some brushing up on them, we would like to refer you to this very useful, past Yabla lesson (noting again that for telling time in Spanish, it would only be necessary to know the numbers up through fifty-nine).
Applying the principles we've just spoken about, let's take a look at some very straightforward examples of telling time in Spanish, prior to getting to that "additional information" we spoke about:
Son las diez.
It's ten o'clock.
Es la una.
It's one o'clock.
Son las veinte.
It's eight p.m.
Wait... what?! Doesn't Son las veinte mean "It's twenty o'clock?" Some Spanish-speaking countries employ military time in which the numbers from one to twelve are utilized for the hours from one a.m. to twelve p.m., and the numbers thirteen through twenty-four are used to refer to the hours from one p.m. to twelve a.m. So, you might hear, “Son las trece” (literally "It’s thirteen") in lieu of “Es la una” to say that it’s one p.m., whereas “Son las veinte” (It’s twenty) would mean, “It’s eight p.m.”
When not speaking in military time, expressions like de la mañana (in the morning), de la tarde (in the afternoon/evening), or de la noche (at night) are sometimes included to help one distinguish the exact time. Alternatively, “a.m.” and “p.m.” can be used just like in English. Let's look at some examples:
Son las diez de la manana.
It's ten in the morning.
Son las diez de la noche.
It's ten at night.
Son las cinco a.m.
It's five a.m.
Son las cinco p.m.
It's five p.m.
Up until now, all of the times we have spoken about have been very simple and straightforward, including only the hours without any minutes. So, how do we talk about more complex times in Spanish?
One of the simplest ways to express the minutes after an hour in Spanish is by adding the word y (and). Then, just like in English, we would insert the particular number of minutes, as follows:
Son las once y cinco.
It's five after eleven (or It's eleven o-five).
Son las cinco y cincuenta y siete.
It's five fifty-seven.
Sometimes, the y before the minutes is omitted. So, you might hear simply Son las cinco cincuenta y siete. In yet another alternative construction, con (with) might take the place of y to get: Son las siete con cincuenta y siete.
In addition to saying the specific minutes, there are a few, extremely useful Spanish expressions that one should memorize in order to effectively talk about time in Spanish, which are as follows: y cuarto ("quarter past/after" or "fifteen"), y media ("half past" or "thirty"), menos cuarto ("quarter to/till" or "forty-five") and para ("to/till"). Let's take a look at some examples:
¿Sabe qué hora es? Ehm... Son las nueve menos cuarto.
Do you know what time is it? Um... It's quarter to nine.
Captions 9-10, Español para principiantes Saludos y encuentrosPlay Caption
Although the literal translation for Son las nueve menos cuarto would be "It's nine minus fifteen," this would typically be expressed in English with either "It's quarter to nine" or "It's eight forty-five." That said, just as there are different ways of describing the same time in English, the same holds true in Spanish. Alternatives include: Son las ocho y cuarenta y cinco (literally "it's eight forty-five") and falta un cuarto para las nueve (another manner of saying "it's quarter to nine"). Let's look at these additional possibilities in action in the following Yabla clip:
Nueve cuarenta y cinco. Otra manera de decir esta hora sería: Cuarto para las diez.
Nine forty-five. Another way to say this time would be: Quarter to ten.
Captions 32-34, Aprendiendo con Karen El tiempoPlay Caption
Let's take a look at a couple of additional examples of the aforementioned phrases:
Y practico Tae Bo todas las tardes, de siete y media a ocho y media
And I do Tae Bo every afternoon from seven thirty to eight thirty
Caption 21, Patricia Marti Diversión y EjercicioPlay Caption
Seis quince. Otra manera de decir esta hora sería: Seis y cuarto.
Six fifteen. Another way of saying this time would be: Quarter after six.
Captions 26-28, Aprendiendo con Karen El tiempoPlay Caption
You will notice that in the second example, seis quince is another, more literal way to say "quarter after six," and the literal equivalent of the English "six fifteen." And, as we spoke about earlier, although one could say seis y quince, the y has been omitted.
As you can see, there are numerous ways of talking about time in Spanish, some of which might be preferred in specific regions or with specific individuals. We invite you to review these concepts and terminology in order to find your favorite way of telling time in Spanish.
We hope you've enjoyed this lesson, see you next "time"! And please don't forget to leave us your comments and suggestions.
Do you want to know how to form 'if clauses' in Spanish? The first thing you need to know is that the word "si" is the Spanish term we use for the English word "if". So, from now on, think of 'si clauses' as 'if clauses'. Let's dive into some of the grammar rules and different uses that define 'si clauses' in Spanish.
We use 'si clauses' when we want to form conditional sentences. In fact, all conditional sentences in Spanish have the following two parts:
1. The condition, expressed (in a subordinate or dependant clause) with the conditional "si" (the actual si clause/if clause), and
2. The main clause, which is the sentence that tells us what the result or consequence will be if the condition expressed by the si clause occurs.
Let's see an example:
Si llueve, nos mojamos.
If it rains, we get wet.
Caption 47, Ana Carolina CondicionalesPlay Caption
In we take this example, we can easily see the two parts of that conditional sentence:
1. The condition with the si clause: Si llueve (If it rains)
2. The result clause: nos mojamos (we get wet)
Just like with 'if clauses' in English, we use 'si clauses' in Spanish to talk about possibilities. Moreover, in Spanish, we have three different kinds of conditional sentences.
We use these sentences to express things that are very likely to happen. In other words, if the condition occurs, the result will also occur. Let's see an example:
Si trabajas, tendrás dinero.
If you work, you'll have money.
Caption 56, Ana Carolina CondicionalesPlay Caption
We use this kind of 'si clauses' when the speaker has serious doubts about the condition and its potential result. Let's see an example:
Si me tocara la lotería, viajaría por todo el mundo, y me alojaría en los hoteles más lujosos.
If I won the lottery, I'd travel around the whole world, and I'd stay at the most luxurious hotels.
Captions 26-27, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: La segunda condicionalPlay Caption
Finally, we use these conditional sentences when we talk about a condition in the past that didn't occur, which means that it is impossible for the result to happen. Let's see an example:
Si hubiera estado sobrio, no me hubiera animado,
If I had been sober, I wouldn't have dared,
Caption 5, Yago 12 Fianza - Part 1Play Caption
Now that we know the three main types of 'if clauses' in Spanish, let's see how to form each one of these types of conditional clauses.
Condition: Si + present indicative
Result: present indicative OR future OR imperative
Let's look at an example:
Si sales, regresa temprano.
If you go out, come back early.
Caption 61, Ana Carolina CondicionalesPlay Caption
Notice that the result is expressed using the imperative form regresa (come back).
Condition: Si + past (imperfect) subjunctive
Result: Simple conditional
Let's see the following example:
Si me encontrara un sobre con cincuenta mil euros, lo cogería, claro. Y me compraría un coche descapotable.
If I found an envelope with fifty thousand euros, I'd take it, of course. And I'd buy a convertible car.
Captions 21-23, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: La segunda condicionalPlay Caption
Notice that in this caption the result is expressed with the conditional forms cogería (I'd take it) and compraría (I'd buy).
Condition: Si + pluperfect subjunctive
Result: Past conditional
Let's see an example:
Si hubiera leído más, habría terminado el libro
If I had read more, I would have finished the book.
However, sometimes when the result clause refers to something that is still valid in the present, you can use the simple conditional instead of the past conditional. Let's see an example:
Es una pena; si hubiéramos firmado el contrato la semana pasada, todo seguiría igual.
It's a shame; If we had signed the contract last week, everything would stay the same.
Captions 22-23, Negocios Problemas laborales - Part 2Play Caption
Furthermore, in spoken Spanish it is common to use the pluperfect subjunctive in the result clause just like in the example we previously mentioned:
Si hubiera estado sobrio, no me hubiera animado,
If I had been sober, I wouldn't have dared,
Caption 5, Yago 12 Fianza - Part 1Play Caption
That's it for today. Are you ready to write some 'si clauses' in Spanish? We encourage you to write a couple of sentences for each one of the three types of conditional sentences we have covered in this lesson. And don't forget to send us your comments and questions.
Today, we'll share with you the meaning of the interjection hala, a short slang term that's typical of the kind of Spanish people speak in Spain. Let's look at the meaning, uses, and spelling of this interjection.
When it comes to its various meanings, hala can be used in the following ways:
1. To express encouragement or disbelief. It works like the English expression "come on":
Bueno, y si no puedes... ten cuidado. Oh... No importa. ¡Hala!, ¡hasta luego! -OK.
Well, and if you can't... be careful. Oh... It doesn't matter. Come on! See you later! -OK.
Captions 55-58, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 2 - Sam va de compras - Part 3Play Caption
2. To express surprise, sort of like "Wow".
3. To get someone's attention, just like the English "Hey".
4. To express the regular, repetitive beat of a march. In this case, you need to repeat the interjection (hala, hala)
One of the easy things about this interjection is its spelling. In fact, the only thing you need to know is that you can use either hala, ala, or alá to express the things we mentioned above.
As you know, soccer/football is a big thing in Spain. Even if you aren't a soccer/football fan, you are probably familiar with the Real Madrid and Barcelona teams. But why are we mentioning this? Well, because one of the most common expressions you'll hear from Real Madrid fans is "hala Madrid," which means "let's go Madrid". In this case, hala conveys its meaning as an expression of encouragement.
Finally, it is worth saying that some people in Bogota, Colombia, tend to use the interjection ala when they want to get the attention of someone in a very nice way.
It can also be used to express surprise. In fact, one of the most typical expressions you can use in Bogota for indicating surprise is "Ala carachas," which is sort of saying "Wow". If you ever go to Bogota and use that expression among locals, you'll be sure to blow everyone away.
And that's it for this lesson. We hope you liked it and don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.
Let's start this lesson with a little question. Let's take the following sentence:
Me gusta Caravaggio, porque bueno, estudié en Italia,
I like Caravaggio, because well, I studied in Italy,
Caption 88, María Marí Su pasión por su arte - Part 1Play Caption
In Spanish, what do you call the little diagonal line above the final "é" in the word estudié? Do you call it acento? Or, do you call it tilde? Do you know what is the difference between tilde and acento?
If you are an English speaker, the first thing to know is that the word tilde in English doesn't have the same exact meaning as the word tilde in Spanish. In fact, in English the definition is quite clear:
1 : a mark ˜ placed especially over the letter n (as in Spanish señor sir) to denote the sound \nʸ\ or over vowels (as in Portuguese irmã sister) to indicate nasality (Merriam-Webster).
However, the definition of tilde in Spanish is kind of ambiguous and creates a bit of confusion. According to the Diccionario de la lengua española, tilde can be referred to the following:
1. acento (accent) as in the sentence Raúl se escribe con tilde en la u (Raúl is written with accent on the "u").
2. sign in the shape of a line, sometimes wavy, that is part of some letters such as the letter "ñ".
If we take that definition, we can see that the term tilde in Spanish can be used for both the tilde over the ñ as well as accent marks over vowels:
However, it is worth to say that the symbol over the letter "ñ" is also known as virgulilla.
As we previously saw, the Diccionario de la lengua española uses the term acento (accent) as the first definition for the word tilde. However, that brings even more ambiguity since the word acento has various meanings in Spanish. In fact, it can refer to the following:
1. The stress you put on the syllable of a given word
2. The graphic sign you put on some vowels
3. The diagonal line that you place on the vowels of stressed syllables in words such as cámara (camera) or útil (useful)
4. The way of speaking of certain people
As you can see, the definition of tilde and acento can be confusing. However, it is best to use the word acento when you are referring to the stress or emphasis you give to a particular syllable. On the other hand, if you want to refer to the graphic accent you put on top of some vowels, it is better to use the word tilde. Let's see some examples:
Ratón (mouse): Acento (in the last syllable 'tón'), tilde (on the 'ó' of the last syllable)
Amor (love): Acento (in the last syllable 'mor'), tilde (it doesn't have a tilde)
That's it for today. We hope you enjoy this lesson. If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to hear back from you.
Generally speaking, one-syllable words in Spanish don't need a graphic accent (tilde) even if they are tonic (words that are stressed when pronounced). Some examples of tonic one-syllable words include the following nouns:
Besides nouns, there are several one-syllable words that come from the conjugations of some verbs. Just as the nouns we mentioned before, these words don't need a graphic accent either. Let's see some examples:
Él los vio a los ladrones. ¿Usted vio a los ladrones?
He saw the thieves. Did you see the thieves?
Captions 16-17, Yago 6 Mentiras - Part 7Play Caption
No sabemos si fue el lunes o si fue el martes.
We don't know if it was on Monday or it was on Tuesday.
Caption 5, El Aula Azul Dos historiasPlay Caption
With that being said, there are some important exceptions of one-syllable words in Spanish that do need a graphic accent. This kind of accent is called in Spanish tilde diacrítica and we use it to avoid confusion between one-syllable words that have the same spelling but different meanings. Let's take a look.
Los niños y los adultos se ríen mucho con él.
Kids and adults laugh a lot with him.
Caption 54, El Aula Azul Las Profesiones - Part 2Play Caption
tenemos el brazo.
we have the arm.
Caption 9, Marta de Madrid El cuerpo - El troncoPlay Caption
Except when it acts as a conjunction of contrast (just like the word pero (but)), the one-syllable word más always has a graphic accent.
empecé más o menos a los diecisiete años a tocar instrumentos y a cantar a un nivel más avanzado.
I started to play instruments at about seventeen years old and to sing at a more advanced level.
Captions 18-19, Cleer Entrevista con JackyPlay Caption
When it works as a personal pronoun, you need to put the graphic accent.
Pueden confiar en mí.
You can trust me.
Caption 11, Guillermina y Candelario Mi Primer TesoroPlay Caption
However, when it works as a possessive adjective, it doesn't need a graphic accent.
En mi barrio hay una farmacia.
In my neighborhood there is a pharmacy.
Caption 4, El Aula Azul Mi BarrioPlay Caption
Form of the verbs ser (to be) and saber (to know)
Que sí, mamá, que ya sé que siempre se olvida de mi cumpleaños,
Yes, Mom, I know that he always forgets my birthday,
Caption 1, Cortometraje Beta - Part 1Play Caption
Personal pronoun and reflexive
El martes se me perdieron las llaves de casa,
On Tuesday, my house keys got lost,Play Caption
Ella no quería acostarse con Ivo Di Carlo,
She didn't want to sleep with Ivo Di Carlo,
Caption 61, Muñeca Brava 48 - Soluciones - Part 1Play Caption
Reflexive pronoun and adverb of affirmation
Sí, vine porque Aldo me había hecho una propuesta
Yes, I came because Aldo had made a suggestion
Caption 3, Yago 14 La peruana - Part 9Play Caption
Si me dejan en la calle me arreglo
If they leave me on the street I manage
Caption 2, Jorge Celedón, Vicentico Si Me DejanPlay Caption
¿Quién no se despierta con una taza de café o de un buen té?
Who doesn't wake up with a cup of coffee or good tea?
Caption 39, Aprendiendo con Karen Utensilios de cocinaPlay Caption
Personal pronoun and reflexive
La que yo guardo donde te escribí, que te sueño y que te quiero tanto
The one I keep where I wrote to you, that I dream of you and that I love you so much
Caption 9, Carlos Vives, Shakira La BicicletaPlay Caption
Rachel, ¿qué quieres tú?
Rachel, what do you want?
Caption 2, Clase Aula Azul Pedir deseos - Part 3Play Caption
para tu salud, tan importante para tu estilo de vida
for your health, as important for your lifestyle
Caption 52, Natalia de Ecuador Alimentos para el desayunoPlay Caption
That's it for today. We encourage you to learn all these one-syllable words as they are used quite often in Spanish. If you master them, you will be able to avoid common writing mistakes. If you have any comments or questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Let's talk about gender. If you have been studying Spanish, you probably know that nouns in Spanish have gender. For example, the word libro (book) is a masculine noun. On the contrary, the noun pelota (ball) is feminine. If you want to use those nouns with their corresponding definite articles, you will say el libro (the book) and la pelota (the ball). Now, what about the noun agua (water)? Is agua masculine or feminine? Do you say el agua or la agua?
Let's take a look at some clips:
Cuando uno tiene sed Pero el agua no está cerca
When one is thirsty But the water's not close by
Captions 17-18, Jarabe de Palo AguaPlay Caption
Y como para completar la historia, desperdiciaban el agua todo el tiempo.
And, as if to make matters worse, they wasted water all the time.
Caption 15, Salvando el planeta Palabra Llegada - Part 7Play Caption
y apenas sus pies tocaron el agua, se convirtieron en dos grandes serpientes
and as soon as their feet touched the water, they turned into two big snakesPlay Caption
Can you answer now our question? According to the above clips, is agua masculine or feminine? In all the previous clips, the word agua is placed right after the masculine definite article "el" so the noun agua must be masculine, right? Not too fast! Let's take a look at the following clips:
limonadas, refrescos o simplemente agua fresca.
lemonades, sodas or just cold water.
Caption 42, Aprendiendo con Karen Utensilios de cocinaPlay Caption
Las formas de presentación incluyen el agua ozonizada y el aceite ozonizado,
The formulations include ozonized water and ozonized oil,
Caption 35, Los médicos explican Beneficios del ozonoPlay Caption
Un día, los vientos del páramo agitaron las aguas de la laguna
One day, the winds from the tundra shook up the waters of the lakePlay Caption
Did you see that? If you look at the first two clips, you can see that the adjectives that go after the noun agua are feminine adjectives that end with the vowel "a" (fresca and ionizada). Also, in the third clip, you can see that the term aguas (plural form of agua) is preceded by the feminine definite article "las". So, is agua masculine or feminine?
The answer is very simple: the noun agua is always feminine. However, if you are wondering why we say "el agua" and not "la agua" there is a simple rule you need to keep in mind: If a feminine noun starts with a stressed "a", you need to use the masculine definite article "el". Let's see more feminine nouns that start with a stressed "a":
el águila (the eagle)
el alma (the soul)
Nevertheless, it is important to say that for plural feminine nouns, you need to use the plural feminine definitive article "las":
las aguas (the waters)
las águilas (the eagles)
las almas (the souls)
Finally, keep in mind that if the noun is feminine the adjective needs to be feminine too. For example, let's say that we want to say "the water is dirty." Since water is feminine in Spanish, you need to use the feminine version of the adjective (sucia):
RIGHT - El agua está sucia
WRONG - El agua está sucio
So, there you have it. We hope you learned something useful today and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.
¡Hasta la próxima!
There are many words that have defined the year that just ended. However, we believe there is a word that was crucial in 2019, not only in Spanish but in all languages! With that being said, the Spanish word of the year 2019 was... "protesta" (protest)! Let's dive into the meaning and use of this word.
If you followed the news in 2019, you probably won't need an explanation. From the ongoing protests in Hong Kong to the more recent protests throughout South America, it looks like the whole world was protesting in 2019. The following are some of the headlines that dominated the news in 2019:
Continúa represión en Chile tras nueve semanas de protestas
Repression continues in Chile after nine weeks of protests
5 rostros que simbolizan las protestas en Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Irak y Líbano
5 faces that symbolize the protests in Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Iraq and Lebanon
De Chile a Hong Kong: el virus de la protesta se extiende por el mundo
From Chile to Hong Kong: the protest virus spreads throughout the world
Protesta has the same meaning that the English word "protest." However, this word doesn't only refer to "a usually organized public demonstration of disapproval" (Merriam-Webster). For instance, the word protesta in Spanish also refers to the oath taken by a President during his/her inaugural ceremony. Also, generally speaking, protesta can be simply understood as a complaint or objection:
Ahí se oye un poco el... la protesta del leopardo.
There you can hear a bit the... the leopard's protest.Play Caption
Check out the following video clips so you can practice the pronunciation of the word protesta and its plural protestas (protests).
Y es un lugar donde normalmente mucha gente que quiere venir a expresar sus ideas o protestas
And it's a place where usually many people who want to come and express their ideas, their protests,
Captions 4-5, Yabla en Buenos Aires Plaza Mayo - Part 2Play Caption
Tú hazme el favor, dámele una pequeña razón a ese señor. Mamá, ninguna razón, reclamo, ni protesta.
Do me a favor, deliver a little message to that man. Mom, no message, complaint or protest.
Captions 77-78, X6 1 - La banda - Part 8Play Caption
Also, check out the following clips where you can hear the pronunciation of the verb protestar (to protest).
porque el veintiocho de diciembre lo que hacemos nosotros aquí es protestar...
because on December twenty eighth what we do here is to protest...
Caption 30, Estado Falcón Locos de la Vela - Part 1Play Caption
Esa no es la forma de protestar.
That is not the way to protest.
Caption 27, Kikirikí Agua - Part 3Play Caption
So, there you have it. What do you think of protesta as the word of the year 2019? Can you think of any other word worth this title? What do you think of all these protests around the world, anyway? Please, send us your feedback, comments and questions. We will be happy to hear from you!
Do you know how to use a punto as opposed to apunto? Do you know the meaning of the expression "estar a punto de"? Let's start this lesson with a little quiz. Which term would you use in the following sentences, a punto or apunto?:
Te ______ en la lista de pacientes.
I'll write you down on the patient list.
What about this one?:
En 1985, Colombia estuvo ______ de conseguir la paz.
In 1985, Colombia was about to achieve peace.
Let's review the meaning of a punto and apunto.
A punto is an adverbial phrase that can be used in the following two ways:
1. To indicate that something is ready for the end it has been prepared for.
2. As a synonym of "timely" or "on time".
Here's one example:
¿Esto lo hago hasta que quede a punto de nieve? -Has'... Ah, no, eh... -Claro.
Shall I do this until it forms peaks [literally "until it looks like snow"]? -Unt'... Oh, no, um... -Of course.
Caption 9, Ricardo La compañera de casa - Part 3Play Caption
While the adverbial phrase a punto is used fairly often, the most common use of a punto is when it's part of the prepositional phrase a punto de + infinitive verb. In terms of its meaning, we use a punto de + infinitive verb when we want to say that something is or was about to happen. In fact, you can think of a punto de as the English equivalent "about to". Let's look at a couple of examples:
La señora pulpo me contó que tenía muchos hijitos a punto de nacer,
Lady octopus told me that she had many children about to be born,
Captions 21-22, Guillermina y Candelario La Señora PulpoPlay Caption
Estoy súper emocionada, pues estoy a punto de ingresar a uno de los lugares más emblemáticos
I'm super excited because I'm about to enter one of the most symbolic places
Captions 10-12, Paseando con Karen Barrio AntiguoPlay Caption
Cuando estaba a punto de huir y regresar a mi casa, hubo un milagro que salvó mi bachillerato.
When I was about to flee and go back home, there was a miracle that saved my high school diploma.
Captions 18-19, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 5Play Caption
If you keep in mind the last two sentences, it is worth mentioning that most of the time in Spanish we use the verb estar (to be) before a punto de + infinitive verb. As we mentioned previously, we use this formula for sentences in the past as well as the present.
Now that you know how to use a punto and a punto de, we can say that apunto (one word) corresponds to the first person singular of the verb apuntar in the present tense. Apuntar can mean:
To point out something
To take notes or write down something
To subscribe to something
Let's see an example:
A cogerlos con la mano, me apunto. -Cógelo con las manos.
For taking them with my hand, I'll sign up. -Take it with your hands.
Caption 25, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 17Play Caption
So, now that we have revealed the meanings and uses of both a punto and apunto, it's time to see the answers to the quiz we used to introduce this lesson:
Te apunto en la lista de pacientes.
I'll write you down on the patient list.
Caption 27, Ariana Cita médicaPlay Caption
En mil novecientos ochenta y cinco, sucedieron muchas cosas buenas. Colombia estuvo a punto de conseguir la paz.
In nineteen eighty-five, many good things happened. Colombia was about to achieve peace.
Captions 2-3, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 2Play Caption
And that's it for now. We hope you enjoyed this lesson and don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.
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.
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
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:
Let's hear the following sentences so you can practice the pronunciation of the 12 months in Spanish.
Estos son los meses del año. Enero.
These are the months of the year. January.
Captions 1-2, El Aula Azul Estaciones y MesesPlay Caption
diecinueve de febrero. -¡Oh! ¿Diecinueve de febrero?
February nineteenth. -Oh! February nineteenth?
Captions 13-14, Extr@: Extra en español Ep 01 La llegada de Sam - Part 2Play Caption
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 EspañaPlay Caption
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 habitaciónPlay Caption
En mayo, salen las flores.
In May, the flowers come out.
Caption 18, El Aula Azul Estaciones y MesesPlay Caption
En junio, empieza el verano.
In June, the summer starts.
Caption 19, El Aula Azul Estaciones y MesesPlay Caption
En julio. Vendría el mes de julio entero.
In July. He'd come for the whole month of July.Play Caption
en agosto, miles de voluntarios vienen a este sitio
in August, thousands of volunteers come to this site
Caption 53, Rosa Laguna Fuente de PiedraPlay Caption
Por ejemplo, durante el Festival de Cine que se celebra en San Sebastián en el mes de septiembre.
For example, during the Film Festival that is held in San Sebastian in the month of September.
Captions 13-14, San Sebastián Palacio de MiramarPlay Caption
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 ViejoPlay Caption
Fue inaugurado el treinta de noviembre de mil novecientos noventa y cuatro.
It was opened on November thirtieth nineteen ninety-four.Play Caption
Normalmente, suele nevar en diciembre,
Normally, it typically snows in December,
Caption 69, Clara y Cristina Hablan de actividadesPlay Caption
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.
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.
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:
El libro (the book)
El baño (the bathroom)
El piano (the piano)
El diccionario (the dictionary)
El asiento (the seat)
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.
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,Play Caption
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 - Part 8Play Caption
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 vestirPlay Caption
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 FemeninoPlay Caption
¿Y pudieron conocer el planeta de su amigo?
And were you able to see your friend's planet?Play Caption
cuando utilizamos el idioma español. Entonces, vamos a hablar entonces ya.
when we use the Spanish language. So, then we are going to talk now.
Captions 5-6, Lecciones con Carolina Errores comunes - Part 5Play Caption
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 pesar la leche para ver la cantidad que produce cada una
um... the milkers go on to weigh the milk to check the quantity that each one produces
Captions 54-55, Gustavo Adolfo Su finca lecheraPlay Caption
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 BuñuelosPlay Caption
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 - Part 3Play Caption
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 ordenPlay Caption
Cuando me llega el dolor yo me arreglo
When pain hits me I manage
Caption 6, Jorge Celedón, Vicentico Si Me DejanPlay Caption
¿Puedo ver el menú por favor?
Can I see the menu please?
Caption 12, Cata y Cleer En el restaurantePlay Caption
La ciencia nunca falla, caballero.
Science never fails, sir.Play Caption
la acentuación es la acción y efecto de acentuar,
accentuation is the action and effect of accenting,Play Caption
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 disyuntivasPlay Caption
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 PrimaveraPlay Caption
El martes, también salí por la noche.
On Tuesday, I also went out at night.
Caption 11, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: El pasadoPlay Caption
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 - Part 7Play Caption
el azul, donde echamos el papel, cartón, revistas,
the blue one, where we throw away paper, cardboard, magazines,
Caption 4, Rosa ReciclarPlay Caption
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 archipiélagoPlay Caption
que queda ubicado sobre la Avenida Jiménez,
which is located on Jiminez Avenue,
Caption 47, Bogotá Chorro de QuevedoPlay Caption
Me gustaría referirme a la pronunciación de dos letras, la "elle" y la "ye".
I'd like to refer to the pronunciation of two letters, the "double l" and the "y."
Captions 6-8, Carlos y Cyndy La pronunciación en Colombia y ArgentinaPlay Caption
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.
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.
¡Hasta la próxima!
In this lesson, we will talk about Spanish subject pronouns. Let’s first review what subject pronouns are and enumerate the subject pronouns in English.
Since the definition of a subject pronoun is "a word that takes the place of a noun acting as the subject of a clause or sentence," we must first understand what a subject is.
Most simply stated, the subject of a sentence is what it's about, the noun that is being or doing something. Here are some examples of sentences with their subjects indicated beneath them:
Samantha is studying Spanish.
The tango is a beautiful dance.
Marina, Liam and I went to the movies.
Subject: Marina, Liam and I
Edison is from the Dominican Republic.
The chocolates taste amazing.
Subject: The chocolates
In order to avoid, for instance, repeating “the chocolates” over and over in a paragraph where we wish to thoroughly describe them, we could replace the subject, “the chocolates,” with the subject pronoun, “they.” Below, within the structures of the previous sentences, the subjects have been replaced with their equivalent subject pronouns:
She is studying Spanish.
It is a beautiful dance.
We went to the movies.
He is from the Dominican Republic.
They taste amazing.
A complete list of the English subject pronouns is as follows: I, we, you, he, she, it, they.
Now, let’s take a look at how the English subject pronouns correspond to their Spanish counterparts:
- First person (singular / plural): EN: I / we | SP: yo / nosotros, nosotras
- Second person (singular / plural): EN: you / you | SP: tú, usted, vos / vosotros, vosotras, ustedes
- Third person (singular / plural): EN: he, she, it / they | SP: él, ella / ellos, ellas
Looking at them side by side, you may notice that there are far more Spanish subject pronouns than English ones due to the many nuances they express when compared to their less specific English equivalents. Some differences you may notice between the English subject pronouns and the Spanish ones are as follows:
1. The first person plural (“we” in English) in Spanish distinguishes between masculine and feminine in the sense that, if the “we” refers to a group of only males or a mixed group of males and females, nosotros is used, whereas if the group is all female, nosotras is employed. Since English does not make this distinction, nothing can be told about the gender of the group upon simply hearing a sentence beginning with “we.”
2. The second person singular (“you” in English) has three different Spanish translations: tú, usted, and vos. So, what’s the difference between them? Generally speaking, tú and vos are employed similarly to address people with whom one is more familiar — a less formal “you” — whereas usted is a more formal and respectful “you,” typically reserved for people we don’t know as well or, for example, for our elders.
Keep in mind that while tú is more commonly employed as the informal “you” in many Spanish-speaking countries, vos is typically used in other countries or regions. In contrast, the English subject pronoun “you” can be employed regardless of the relationship we have with the person we are addressing, their age, or the formality of the situation.
3. The second person plural also has several distinctions in Spanish not present in English. Whereas “you” is both singular and plural in English, Spanish requires a different subject pronoun to indicate that more than one person is being spoken to. Ustedes, vosotros and vosotras are the three second-person plural subject pronouns in Spanish, which take both gender and formality/familiarity into account.
In most Spanish-speaking countries, ustedes is the only second person plural subject pronoun utilized and can thus be used regardless of the formality of the situation or the gender of the people being addressed. Things are different in Spain, where usted would be used to address a single person in a more formal situation. Ustedes would then be its extension when addressing more than one person.
Speaking familiarly, with tú, the plural used in Spain would be vosotros and vosotras. These second person plural pronouns work the same way as the first person plural pronouns, nosotros and nosotras: Vosotros is used to address more than one male or a mixed group, familiarly, while vosotras will refer to more than one female.
4. The same kind of situation presents itself in the third person plural. The English “they” does not consider gender, but its Spanish equivalents ellos and ellas, do take gender into account, just as nosotros/nosotras and vosotros/vosotras do. Ellos is used for an all-male or mixed group, while ellas is used for more than one female.
The English subject pronoun “it” generally replaces a subject that isn't a person or animal. Since there is no such subject pronoun in Spanish, how is the idea of “it” expressed? Let’s look at an example from a Yabla Spanish video:
¿El favorito mío? Y el dulce de leche bombón. Es mi debilidad.
My favorite? "Dulce de leche bombon." It's my weakness.
Captions 35-36, Buenos Aires Heladería CumelenPlay Caption
You can see that, although we would say “It’s my weakness” in English when referring to the yummy dulce de leche ice cream, “it’s” being a contraction of “it is,” in Spanish, the “it” is simply omitted, and the verb, “es” (the third person singular conjugation of ser, or “to be”) is sufficient.
Because of this, a common error for Spanish speakers learning English is to try to replicate this structure in English by saying or writing something like, “Is my weakness.” However, this is not grammatically sound and, although it is often acceptable to omit a subject pronoun in Spanish, the same is not so in English, where the “it” is indeed necessary.
Let’s look at one more example:
Pero cuando llueve no hay otro remedio
But, when it rains, there isn't any other choice
Caption 86, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 13Play Caption
Note that in English, since “it” in this example does not actually refer to anything concrete (does not replace a particular word), it is known as a “dummy” (or expletive or pleonastic) pronoun, which is still necessary to express this idea correctly. In contrast, in Spanish, the verb “llueve” (the third person singular conjugation of llover, or “to rain”) can simply be used without a pronoun to express the idea of “it.”
Even in cases which don’t involve “it,” due to the more specific manner in which Spanish verbs are conjugated according to their subject pronouns, it is not always necessary to write out the subject pronoun:
Mientras leo el diario, respondo los correos electrónicos.
While I read the newspaper, I respond to emails.
Caption 9, GoSpanish La rutina diaria de MaruPlay Caption
Although this could also be written as Mientras yo leo el diario, yo respondo los correos electrónicos, the first-person singular verb conjugations leo and respondo let us know that the subject pronoun is yo, and thus, it's not necessary to include it.
This is not the case in English, as the subject pronoun “I” is indeed necessary in order for the sentence to make sense (“While read the newspaper, respond to e-mails” would definitely not fly). One reason for this is that verb tenses in English tend to be much less specific to their subject pronouns.
To reiterate this idea, let’s contrast the English present and past verb tenses with their Spanish equivalents:
ENGLISH (present / past):
I speak / spoke
You speak / spoke
He speaks / spoke
She speaks / spoke
It speaks / spoke
We speak / spoke
You speak / spoke
They speak / spoke
SPANISH (present / preterite):
Yo hablo / hablé
Tú hablas / hablaste
Vos hablás / hablaste
Él, ella, usted habla / habló
Nosotros/as hablamos / hablamos
Vosotros/as habláis / hablasteis
Ellos/as, ustedes haban / hablaron
You may notice that the English present tense conjugations are limited to just “speak” (for “I,” “you,” “we” and “they”) and “speaks” (for “he,” “she” and “it”), while there is no variation whatsoever for the past tense, which regardless of the subject pronoun, is “spoke.”
In Spanish, on the other hand, we see a total of seven different conjugations in the present tense and six in the preterite, a revelation which may seem daunting to many English-speaking students of Spanish! And those are just two out of the fourteen Spanish verb tenses.
To conclude, let’s look at one last example:
Y, ¿va a pedirle a Lisa Bernal que sea su pareja en la fiesta?
And, are you going to ask Lisa Bernal to be your date at the party?
Caption 1, Los Años Maravillosos Capitulo 6 - Part 2Play Caption
Unlike the previous case in which the verb conjugations leo and respondo were specific to the Spanish subject pronoun, yo, this one is a bit more ambiguous, as the verb conjugation va (of the verb ir, or “to go”) could correspond to the Spanish subject pronouns él, ella, or usted. So, if this sentence were encountered in isolation, the possible translations could be as follows:
- And, is he going to ask Lisa Bernal to be his date at the party?
- And, are you going to ask Lisa Bernal to be your date at the party?
- And, is she going to ask Lisa Bernal to be her date at the party?
- And, is it going to ask Lisa Bernal to be its date at the party?
Although the last option does not seem logically plausible, how do we know which one of the others is correct in the absence of a subject pronoun? Context. Often in print or video media or even in conversation, the subject is introduced in a previous sentence.
However, since this is the first sentence in this video, we are left to infer from the characters’ subsequent dialogue that the correct translation is, “And, are you going to ask Lisa Bernal to be your date at the party?” where Kevin’s friend, Fede, is addressing him as “usted” (as a side note, even close friends and family members often address one another as “usted” in certain parts of Colombia).
Although many beginning Spanish students might feel overwhelmed by the multitude of Spanish subject pronouns and the task of having to conjugate verbs based upon them, we hope that this lesson has shed some light on some of the many fascinating differences between subject pronouns in English and Spanish. And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.
Spanish punctuation may seem difficult if you are just learning the language. However, if you keep in mind the following rules, you will definitely improve your writing and the use of punctuation in Spanish.
In Spanish, you always need to use opening and closing punctuation. Keep this in mind especially for question marks and exclamation points.
¿Qué más cosas hay en el sueño?
What other things are there in the dream?
Caption 15, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: Hay y estarPlay Caption
¡Todo el mundo paga para que lo escuchen!
Everyone pays for them to listen to you!
Caption 45, Yago 14 La peruana - Part 7Play Caption
D.A.S. [Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad].
A.D.S [Administrative Department of Security].Play Caption
After a question mark or exclamation point, you can put any punctuation mark except a period.
¡Acompáñame! Este recorrido inicia en la Calle Doctor Coss,
Join me! This tour begins at Doctor Coss Street,
Captions 5-6, Paseando con Karen Canal Santa LucíaPlay Caption
Don't put a comma or semicolon before an opening parenthesis. However, feel free to put those marks after the closing parenthesis.
If you want to put a period at the end of a sentence that is between quotations marks, you need to put the period after the closing quotation mark.
La cita de hoy es de Aldous Huxley y dice así: "Todos los hombres son dioses para su perro".
Today's quote is by Aldous Huxley and goes like this: "To his dog, every man is Napoleon" [literally "To their dog, all men are gods].
Captions 8-10, Los casos de Yabla El perrito malcriado - Part 1Play Caption
Unless you are quoting something (as in the example we mentioned for rule 6) or writing a particular document (e.g. a letter), you always need to use lower case after a colon.
Luego tendrá usted que rellenar un formulario con las siguientes cuestiones: país de recogida, ciudad de recogida,
Then you will have to fill out a form with the following questions: country of pickup, city of pickup,
Captions 14-16, Raquel Alquiler de cochePlay Caption
Sí, Zárate, ¿qué pasó?
Yes, Zarate, what happened?Play Caption
There are many more rules regarding punctuation in Spanish. However, we invite you to keep in mind the rules we just mentioned here because that way you'll certainly improve your writing in Spanish. And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.
Generally speaking, we use the conditional tense in Spanish to talk about hypothetical things. However, we also use the conditional tense for polite requests or when we want to express wishes and desires. Let's take a look at some simple rules that will help you to master the conditional tense in Spanish.
Before talking about the uses of the conditinal tense, it is important to review how to conjugate it. Let's start with the regular verbs. For these verbs, you just need to take the infinitive form and add the conditional ending.
Let's take the verb hablar (to speak)
Yo hablaría (I would speak)
Tú hablarías (You would speak)
Él/Ella hablaría (He/She would speak)
Nosotros hablaríamos (We would speak)
Vosotros hablaríais (You would speak)
Ellos hablarían (They would speak)
Let's take the verb comer (to eat)
Yo comería (I would eat)
Tú comerías (You would eat)
Él/Ella comería (He/She would eat)
Nosotros comeríamos (We would eat)
Vosotros comeríais (You would eat)
Ellos comerían (They would eat)
Let's take the verb abrir (to open)
Yo abriría (I would open)
Tú abrirías (You would open)
Él/Ella abriría (He/She would open)
Nosotros abriríamos (We would open)
Vosotros abriríais (You would open)
Ellos abrirían (They would open)
There are several irregular verbs that are used all the time in the conditional tense. For these verbs, you need to keep in mind that they maintain the same stem that they have in the future tense. Let's see the conjugation for the verbs decir (to say) and hacer (to make).
Yo diría (I would say)
Tú dirías (You would say)
Él/Ella diría (He/She would say)
Nosotros diríamos (We would say)
Vosotros diríais (You would say)
Ellos dirían (They would say)
Yo haría (I would make)
Tú harías (You would make)
Él/Ella haría (He/She would make)
Nosotros haríamos (We would make)
Vosotros haríais (You would make)
Ellos harían (They would make)
In Spanish, it is quite common to use the conditional tense when you want to do any of the following:
¿Podrías por favor decirnos a los... a nuestros amigos de Yabla en qué lugar están ustedes?
Could you please tell us to the... to our friends from Yabla where you guys are?
Captions 66-67, Monsieur Periné EntrevistaPlay Caption
¿Te gustaría volver a tu ciudad? Pues la verdad es que me encantaría volver a Málaga.
Would you like to return to your city? Well the truth is that I would love to go back to Málaga.
Captions 33-34, Clara y Cristina SaludarPlay Caption
Bueno, si yo fuera tú, hablaría con él.
Well, if I were you, I would speak with him.Play Caption
Cuatro horas es demasiado. Creo que no llegaría a tiempo a la reunión.
Four hours is too much. I think that I would not arrive in time for the meeting.
Captions 30-31, Raquel La Compra de un Billete de TrenPlay Caption
Y que nos juramos que esto nunca iría a pasar
And we vowed to each other that this would never happenPlay Caption
That's it for this lesson. We encourage you to write some sentences for the 5 different uses we mentioned for the conditional tense. And don't forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.
Si no or sino? That is the question of today's lesson. Do you know when to write one or the other? Both expressions seem very similar but they don’t necessarily mean the same thing. Although even native speakers make mistakes when writing these words, the truth is they are used in specific cases that are easily recognizable. Let's start this lesson with a little quiz:
Which one would you use in the following sentence?:
Amalia no ha llegado al apartamento; ____ ya me hubiera llamado.
Amalia hasn't arrived at the apartment; otherwise she would have called me already.
What about in this one?:
no solamente cubre la ciudad de Bogotá, ____ varios municipios alrededor de... de Bogotá,
it doesn't just cover the city of Bogota, but rather several municipalities around... Bogota,
We will unveil the answers at the end of this lesson. Now, let's dive into the difference between si no and sino.
Si no is made of two parts. The conditinal conjunction 'si' and the negation 'no'. We use si no to introduce a negative conditional sentence. In particular, we use si no when it works as "otherwise" to imply the idea of "on the contrary". Let's see a couple of examples:
porque todos son amantes de los animales, si no, no vendrían a vernos,
because they are all animal lovers, otherwise, they wouldn't come to see us,
Captions 45-46, Santuario para burros VoluntariosPlay Caption
¿Grabó esto sin su permiso? Claro que sí. Si no, no la habría descubierto.
Did you record this without her permission? Of course. Otherwise, I wouldn't have discovered it.
Captions 52-54, Los casos de Yabla El perrito malcriado - Part 1Play Caption
In Spanish, the word sino is a conjunction that usually works as the English equivalent "but" or "but rather". Generally speaking, we use it to create a contrast between and affirmative statement that is placed right after a negative one. Let's see a couple of examples:
Que no es una chica, sino un chico. -Oh...
That's it's not a girl, but rather a boy. -Oh...Play Caption
Por esta razón, no decimos "uno libro", sino "un libro".
For this reason, we don't say "uno libro," but rather "un libro" ["a book"].
Caption 39, Carlos explica Los Números: Números CardinalesPlay Caption
Sometimes, we also use sino when we want to state an exception:
Nadie lo sabe sino tu padre.
Nobody except your father knows it.
And finally, we use sino when we want to add more elements to a single statement, usually with the formula 'no solo... sino también' (not only... but also):
unas de las bandas más importantes de Latinoamérica, este... no sólo por su trabajo musical, sino también por su trabajo social y activismo ambiental.
one the most important bands in Latin America, um... not only because of their musical work, but also because of their social work and environmental activism.
Captions 10-12, Doctor Krápula EntrevistaPlay Caption
Considering all of the above, it is time to solve the questions we posed at the beginning of this lesson. Let's unveil the answers:
Amalia no ha llegado al apartamento; si no ya me hubiera llamado.
Amalia hasn't arrived at the apartment; otherwise she would have called me already.Play Caption
no solamente cubre la ciudad de Bogotá, sino varios municipios alrededor de... de Bogotá,
it doesn't just cover the city of Bogota, but rather several municipalities around... Bogota,
Captions 57-58, Bogotá Chorro de QuevedoPlay Caption
That's it for today. We hope this lesson helped you to understand when to write sino and si no. And don't forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.
Do you know how to say the names of professions in Spanish? Do you know the Spanish words for professions such as 'lawyer' or 'journalist'? Today, we will talk about job titles and professions in Spanish so get ready to see how to write and pronounce some of the most common occupations out there. However, before we jump into the list of professions, let's see how to ask a very basic question when it comes to jobs.
When we want to find out what someone does for a living, we usually use questions like: what do you do for work?, what do you do for a living? or simply, what do you do? There are also different options in Spanish:
¿A qué te dedicas? Soy profesor de fotografía.
What do you do? I'm a photography teacher.
Captions 12-13, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 5Play Caption
Oye, y ¿en qué trabajas? Estoy trabajando actualmente en una firma de abogados.
Hey, and what do you do [for a living]? I'm working currently at a law firm.
Captions 82-83, Ricardo La compañera de casa - Part 1Play Caption
Ahora, ¿y qué haces tú? Bueno, yo soy mecánico.
Now, what do you do? Well, I'm a mechanic.
Captions 18-19, Encuentro Volkswagen en Adícora Escarabajos en la playa - Part 1Play Caption
You can also use that kind of question even if you are a student:
Bueno, Cristina, ¿tú a qué te dedicas? Estoy estudiando en Sevilla.
Well, Cristina, what do you do for a living? I am studying in Seville.
Captions 60-62, Clara y Cristina SaludarPlay Caption
Now, let's take a look at some of the most common professions in Spanish. Remember to listen to the audioclips so you can hear how to pronounce the word. Also, keep in mind that the names of most professions change with the gender so make sure to take a look at the rules that we will mention about that.
When the masculine noun ends in o, the feminine noun ends in a. There are several professions in Spanish that fall into this group:
1. El abogado | La abogada (The lawyer)
Es un abogado joven que recién se está metiendo en la política.
He's a young lawyer who has recently been getting involved in politics.
Caption 57, Muñeca Brava 45 El secreto - Part 5Play Caption
2. El arquitecto | La arquitecta (The architect)
Bueno, yo soy Leif, eh... soy arquitecto y llevo trabajando en Londres cuatro años.
Well, I am Leif, um... I am an architect and have been working in London for four years.
Captions 2-3, Leif El Arquitecto Español y su Arte - Part 1Play Caption
3. El cajero | La cajera (The cashier)
4. El carpintero | La carpintera (The carpenter)
5. El ingeniero | La ingeniera (The engineer)6
6. El psicólogo | La piscóloga (The psychologist)
When the noun ends in a consonant, you just need to add an a at the end to form the feminine noun.
7. El administrador | La administradora (The administrator)
pero si quiere, yo con mucho gusto hablo con el administrador para que nos ayude.
but if you want, I'll gladly talk to the administrator so he can help us.
Captions 16-17, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 3 - Part 3Play Caption
8. El director | La directora (The director)
9. El editor | La editora (The editor)
10. El doctor | La doctora (The doctor)
Consultorio de la doctora Castaño, buenos días.
Doctor Castaño's office, good morning.Play Caption
If you take the previous 3 nouns, you can see that there are various nouns ending in 'or' that are identical in English and Spanish.
11. El escritor | La escritora (The writer)
12. El profesor | La profesora (The teacher)
Yo soy profesora de español,
I am a Spanish teacher,
Caption 12, El Aula Azul Actividades DiariasPlay Caption
There are also some nouns that end in -ista, -ia and -e, that stay them same for both male and female. However, in order to make the distinction, you need to change the article accordingly. Let's see some examples:
13. El estudiante | La estudiante (The student)
14. El dentista | la dentista (The dentist)
Por ejemplo: el estudiante, la estudiante. El dentista, la dentista.
For example: the male student, the female student. The male dentist, the female dentist.
Captions 32-33, Isabel El Género Gramatical - Masculino y FemeninoPlay Caption
15. El periodista | La periodista (The journalist)
"El periodista escribe el artículo para el periódico".
"The journalist writes the article for the newspaper."
Caption 22, Lecciones con Carolina La voz pasiva - Part 3Play Caption
That's it for today. We know there are hundreds of more occupations and job titles out there. However, we hope this lesson will help you to remember the names of some of the most well-known occupations in Spanish. Try to find 10 professions more and don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.