Now that you've learned how to introduce yourself in Spanish, let's go over some basic questions and answers when telling others about ourselves or asking about them.
Asking someone where they are from might be a common introductory question when getting to know someone. Let's take a look at both the tú (informal "you") and usted (formal "you") forms of this question:
O, ¿de dónde eres? ¿De dónde es?
Or, where are you from? [with "tú"]. Where are you from? [with "usted"].
Captions 13-14, Karla e Isabel Tú y UstedPlay Caption
And, what if someone asks you this question? You might use the construction Yo soy de (I'm from) to say the city, country, etc. you come from. Let's see some examples:
Yo soy de San Fernando, Cádiz.
I am from San Fernando, Cádiz.
Caption 27, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 21Play Caption
Yo soy de Argentina, de la provincia de Córdoba, eh... exactamente de un pueblito que se llama Río Ceballos,
I'm from Argentina, from the province of Córdoba, um... precisely from a little town called Río Ceballos;
Captions 8-9, Luana y Fede ViajesPlay Caption
Alternatively, you might say your nationality, particularly when talking about yourself in a foreign country:
Yo soy argentina.
Caption 53, Carlos y Cyndy Uso del Voseo en ArgentinaPlay Caption
Caption 2, Madrid Un recorrido por la capital de EspañaPlay Caption
To learn more about how to talk about nationalities in Spanish, check out this lesson on Adjectives of Nationality in Spanish. Let's explore some additional common questions/answers when getting acquainted with someone in Spanish.
Another is common question you might ask or get asked is, "What do you do (for a living)"? Let's explore a few ways to ask this question:
Bueno, perdón. ¿Tú a qué te dedicas?
Well, sorry. What do you do?Play Caption
¿En qué trabajas tú, Inmaculada?
In what [field] do you work, Inmaculada?
Caption 31, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 12Play Caption
The usted versions would be "¿Usted a qué se dedica?" and "¿En qué trabaja usted?" Another possible way to ask this question is:
¿Cuál es tu/su trabajo?
What's your job?
Now, let's look at some possible responses.
Me dedico a vender la leche.
I sell milk for a living.
Caption 2, Milkman Milk Seller, NicaraguaPlay Caption
Yo trabajo en una tienda de ropa de segunda mano... -Ah...
I work at a second hand clothing store... -Oh...
Caption 69, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 14Play Caption
No, yo soy azafata.
No, I'm a flight attendant.Play Caption
Note that when talking about your profession in Spanish, the appropriate verb is ser ("to be" for fixed characteristics) rather than estar ("to be" for more temporary states) and that, in Spanish, unlike English, you don't include the article. For that reason, the aforementioned example reads soy azafata rather than soy una azafata.
The ways to say "How old are you?" in Spanish are "¿Cuántos años tienes?" when using tú and "¿Cuántos años tiene?" with addressing someone with usted. Let's hear the tú version in action:
¿Tú cuántos años tienes, Mariano?
How old are you, Mariano?
Caption 69, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 6Play Caption
To answer this question, we use the verb tener años, which literally means "to have years," inserting the correct number of years between these two words. This is the Spanish equivalent of "being (a certain number) of years old." Let's take a look:
Tengo dieciséis años.
I'm sixteen years old.
Caption 7, Cleer Entrevista a LilaPlay Caption
If you'd like to learn or refresh your Spanish numbers, check out the lesson The Numbers from One to One Hundred in Spanish.
In this caption, you will hear both the question and answer to this question.
¿Y eres casado o soltero? Estoy casado con una mujer italiana de Nápoles.
And are you married or single? I'm married to an Italian woman from Naples.
Captions 8-9, Carlos y Xavi Part 2 Ustedes y VosotrosPlay Caption
You might notice that in the example above, the first speaker uses the verb ser, saying "¿Y eres casado...?" instead of "¿Y estás casado?" while the second speaker uses the verb estar to answer. Although the adjective casado/a (married) is traditionally used with the verb estar, you might hear it used with ser in some Spanish-speaking regions. For more on the nuances of these two verbs, check out Ser vs. Estar- Yo Soy and Ser vs. Estar- Yo Estoy.
We ask both of these questions with the Spanish verb tener (to have), which is conjugated as tiene with usted and tienes with tú. Let's hear how to ask these two questions with tú:
¿Tienes hijos? -No.
Do you have children? -No.
Caption 87, Adícora, Venezuela El tatuaje de RosanaPlay Caption
¿Tienes hermanos o hermanas?
Do you have brothers or sisters?
Caption 5, Carlos y Xavi Part 2 Ustedes y VosotrosPlay Caption
It is worth noting that, as the plural masculine noun los hermanos could refer to either just "brothers" or to both "brothers and sisters" or "siblings," you could simply say "¿Tienes hermanos?" when asking if someone has brothers and/or sisters. Similarly, los hijos could specifically mean "sons" or include both male and female "children." The singular and plural feminine nouns la(s) hermana(s) and la(s) hijas, on the other hand, refer to specifically female "sister(s)" and "daughter(s)." With that in mind, let's look at some potential answers to these questions:
Yo tengo dos hijos pequeños y...
I have two small children, and...
Caption 66, El Aula Azul Un día de surfPlay Caption
Y, bueno, eh... tengo una hija de ocho años, ya sabéis.
And, well, um... I have an eight-year-old daughter, you already know.
Caption 26, Clase Aula Azul La segunda condicional - Part 1Play Caption
Sí, tengo una hermana más pequeña que tiene tres años menos.
Yes, I have a younger sister who is three years younger.
Caption 6, Carlos y Xavi Part 2 Ustedes y VosotrosPlay Caption
Let's move on to our last common question when getting to know someone in Spanish.
Here are some possible ways to broach the topic of what people like to do when they aren't working.
¿qué te gusta hacer?
what do you like to do?
Caption 24, Cleer Entrevista a LilaPlay Caption
¿Qué cosas te gusta hacer en tu tiempo libre?
What do you like to do in your free time?Play Caption
Or, you could simply say: "¿Qué te gusta hacer en tu tiempo libre?" A good formula for answering what you like to do is to say (a mí) me gusta (I like) or (a mí) me encanta (I love) plus a verb in the infinitive. Let's see some examples:
Me gusta salir a rumbear...
I like to go out dancing...
Caption 15, Zoraida Lo que gusta hacerPlay Caption
Pues, me gusta escuchar música, eh... pintar, y me gusta viajar mucho.
Well, I like to listen to music, um... paint, and I like to travel a lot.
Captions 25-26, Cleer Entrevista a LilaPlay Caption
y me encanta ir a la playa con mis amigos.
and I love going to the beach with my friends.
Caption 39, Clara y Cristina SaludarPlay Caption
We hope that this lesson has helped you learn some basic questions/answers for getting to know someone and telling them about yourself. Can you think of any other preliminary question you would like to learn to ask or answer in Spanish? Feel free to let us know with your suggestions and comments.
Let's learn some common expressions to talk about being hungry or thirsty in Spanish (or to say we're not)!
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 7Play Caption
Now, let's listen to this verb in question form, conjugated with tú (the single familiar "you"):
Are you hungry?Play Caption
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 restaurantePlay Caption
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 6Play Caption
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 5Play Caption
¿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 3Play Caption
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 tú:
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 1Play Caption
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 5Play Caption
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 3Play Caption
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?Play Caption
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."
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 6Play Caption
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,Play Caption
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 desayunoPlay Caption
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 1Play Caption
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.
Do you know how to introduce yourself in Spanish? With just a few key words and phrases, you can feel comfortable doing so in no time!
We can break up introducing yourself in Spanish into a few key categories that correspond to how we would introduce ourselves in English. Let's take a look:
Like in English, you would often begin introducing yourself in Spanish by saying hello to the person:
Caption 66, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 16Play Caption
This might stand alone or go with some other very common greetings in Spanish:
Caption 2, Amaya La historia de LukasPlay Caption
Note that in some countries, like Argentina, it is more common to hear the singular version, Buen día. If it's later in the day (from about noon to sunset), you'd more likely hear Buenas tardes (Good afternoon/evening):
Caption 31, Cita médica La cita médica de Cleer - Part 1Play Caption
And later than that, you might hear Buenas noches (literally "good night"). Note that in contrast to "Good night" in English, Buenas noches can be used as a greeting rather than just to send someone off to bed or say goodbye. That said, "Good evening" might be a more appropriate translation in that context.
Muy buenas noches, bienvenida. -Hola, buenas noches.
Good evening, welcome. -Hello, good evening.Play Caption
Again as in English, when introducing yourself in Spanish, it is common to ask the person with whom you are speaking how they are. As there are many ways to do this, we'll give you a just a few options.
¿Cómo está usted?
How are you?
Caption 25, Cleer y Lida Saludar en españolPlay Captio
Of course, because there are several ways to say "you" in Spanish (usted is the singular, more formal form), this phrase might be adjusted to "¿Cómo estás tú?" or "¿Cómo estás vos?" to address one person informally. And while there are additional ways to say "you" to more than one person in Spanish, for the purposes of today's lesson, we will stick to the singular forms. Let's see another way to say "How are you?"
¿Y cómo te va?
And how are you?
Caption 38, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 8 - Part 1Play Caption
The more formal alternative with usted would be: "¿Y cómo le va (a usted)?" However, regardless of the formality of the situation or to how many people you are speaking, you can always use the following simple phrase:
Hola, ¿qué tal?
Hello, how are you?
Caption 1, Amaya Apertura del refugioPlay Caption
As the person to whom you are speaking will most likely respond by asking you how you are, we should give you some common answers to the aforementioned questions. Let's start with an answer to "¿Cómo está(s)?"
Muy bien, ¿y tú?
Very well, and you?
Caption 17, Español para principiantes Saludos y encuentrosPlay Caption
If you are addressing one another with usted, you would instead say "¿y usted?"
In contrast, if someone asks you '¿Cómo te/le va?" you might answer: "Bien, ¿y a ti?" or "Bien, ¿y a usted?"
Although bien (well) or muy bien (very well) are by far the most common ways to answer the question of how you are, particularly when meeting someone for the first time, if you are interested in learning more about ways to say you are just OK, we recommend this lesson entitled ¿Qué tal? Ni bien ni mal (How Are You? Neither Good Nor Bad).
Now that we have gotten some formalities out of the way, it's time to say your name! Here are three common ways to do so:
Yo me llamo Lida.
My name is Lida.
Caption 12, Cleer y Lida Saludar en españolPlay Caption
Mi nombre es Diego Velázquez.
My name is Diego Velázquez.
Caption 9, Adícora, Venezuela Los fisioterapeutasPlay Caption
Hola, yo soy Cleer.
Hello, I'm Cleer.
Caption 1, Recetas de cocina Arepas colombianasPlay Caption
And now, the moment has arrived to ask the other person their name:
¿Y cómo te llamas tú?
And, what's your name?
Caption 11, Cleer y Lida Saludar en españolPlay Caption
¿Cómo se llama usted?
What is your name?
Caption 97, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 10Play Caption
¿Cuál es tu nombre?
What's your name?
Caption 10, Cleer y Lida Llegando a una nueva ciudadPlay Caption
The usted form is: "¿Cuál es su nombre?"
When introducing yourself in Spanish, as in English, you should probably say something along the lines of "Nice to meet you." Here are several options:
Mucho gusto, Samuel.
Nice to meet you, Samuel.Play Caption
Un placer, Mónica,
A pleasure, Monica,Play Caption
Hola, guapa. -Hola. -Encantada. -Encantada de conocerte.
Hello, beautiful. -Hello. -[A] pleasure. -[A] pleasure to meet you.
Caption 8, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 2Play Caption
And, if someone says one of those things to you, you might respond by saying "Igualmente" or "Yo también" (Me too).
Hola Cristóbal, encantada. -Igualmente.
Hello, Cristobal. Pleased [to meet you]. -Me too.
Caption 35, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 2Play Caption
If you'd like to hear many of these phrases in the context of both informal and formal conversations, we recommend the video Saludar en español (Greeting in Spanish). We hope you have enjoyed this lesson on how to introduce yourself in Spanish, and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
Last year, we chose the word pandemia (pandemic) as the Spanish Word of the Year. This year, our choice was a bit predictable. In fact, after reading our lesson about The Spanish Word of the Year 2020, one of our users sent us a message with a very accurate prediction. The following are his words:
"Dear friends from Yabla,
The Spanish Word of the Year 2020 is pandemia. And the Spanish Word for the Year 2021 will be vacuna!
Thanks for all the work, take care and stay safe."
And yes! He was totally right! The Word of the Year 2021 is vacuna (vaccine). Let's hear how that word sounds in Spanish:
Espero que pronto puedan conseguir una vacuna y dar fin a esta situación.
I hope they can get a vaccine soon and end this situation.
Captions 17-18, El coronavirus La cuarentena en Coro, Venezuela - Part 2Play Caption
The Spanish word vacuna comes from the English word "vaccine," which in turn comes from the Latin word "vaccīnus," meaning "of or from a cow." In fact, there was a cow involved in the first ever vaccine: the smallpox vaccine developed by British scientist Edward Jenner.
Vacuna, however, wasn't the only trendy word this year. Just like last year, most of the runner-up words were related to the coronavirus pandemic, this year, some of our runners-up are linked to the word vacuna. Let's take a look at some of the other terms that defined 2021.
BY THE WAY, HAVE YOU SEEN OUR SPECIAL SERIES ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS? CHECK IT OUT!
y también a disminuir las dosis necesarias de insulina
and also to reduce the necessary doses of insulin
Caption 55, Los médicos explican Beneficios del ozonoPlay Caption
Keep in mind that because the word dosis is a paroxytone noun ending in "s," it has the same form in singular and plural:
la dosis (the dose)
las dosis (the doses)
For more about this topic, please check out our lesson about the rules for forming the plurals of nouns in Spanish.
La verdad es que no tiene, pues, ningún síntoma, pues, por ejemplo que tenga poco apetito,
The truth is that he doesn't have, well, any symptoms, well, for example if he has lack of appetite,Play Caption
As in the Delta or Omnicron variants.
Just recently, The Economist stated this: "it is time to face the world’s predictable unpredictability." It seem like impredecible is going to stay trendy for a little while. In the meantime, let's see how to say it:
Llueve, hace frío... frío, hace frío, llueve, todo... ah... aquí... es impredecible.
It rains, it's cold... cold, it's cold, it rains, everything... uh... Here... it's unpredictable.
Caption 27, Peluquería La Percha FélixPlay Caption
If you have been following the conversation about how people are working nowadays, you know why this word is on this list. While some workers have gone back to the office, there are millions of people around the world whose work model is now a hybrid one that mixes on-site and off-site work. Along those lines, another trendy word is teletrabajo (telecommuting):
Por ejemplo, las compañías han tenido que acudir al teletrabajo para seguir con sus actividades productivas
For example, companies have had to resort to telecommuting to continue with their production activities,
Captions 35-36, El coronavirus Efectos y consecuenciasPlay Caption
And that wraps up Yabla's Spanish Word of the Year for 2021. Do you agree with our choice? Can you think of any other pertinent term(s) that we didn't mention? What is your prediction for next year's Word of the Year? Please feel free to share with us your comments and suggestions, and here's to hoping that 2022 is a better year!
Have you thought about your resoluciones de Año Nuevo (New Year's resolutions) yet? Let's go over ten of the most common propósitos de Año Nuevo (another Spanish term for "New Year's resolutions") and find out how to talk about them in Spanish.
After a season of comer de más (overeating), a lot of us feel we have put on a few libras (pounds) or kilos (kilograms, since much of the Spanish-speaking world uses the metric system) and wish to adelgazar (lose weight) in the New Year.
Entonces, en un sentido es, quiero bajar de peso,
So, in one sense it's, I want to lose weight,
Caption 22, Cuentas claras Sobreviviendo enero - Part 1Play Caption
Another way to say "to lose weight" in Spanish is perder peso.
Related to losing weight and ponerse en forma (getting in shape) or volver a estar en forma (getting back in shape) is exercising. Let's see how to say this in Spanish:
quiero hacer ejercicio,
I want to exercise,
Caption 23, Cuentas claras Sobreviviendo enero - Part 1Play Caption
One way to get in more physical activity might be to take up some new exercise-related hobby like el yoga (yoga), la natación (swimming), or pole dancing, to name a few, and, in fact, empezar un pasatiempo nuevo (starting a new hobby) is another common New Year's resolution.
Claro. Es muy importante romper con la rutina diaria y hacer cosas diferentes. Te hará sentirte mejor y desconectar del estrés.
Of course. It's very important to break the daily routine and do different things. It will make you feel better and disconnect from stress.
Captions 14-18, Karla e Isabel Nuestros hobbiesPlay Caption
Of course, hobbies range from physical activities to more cerebral pursuits, and for a plethora of hobby ideas and how to say them in Spanish, check out this lesson on Yabla's Top 40 Hobbies in Spanish.
Also related to such fitness/health metas (goals) are quitting smoking and drinking (either permanently or for a while):
Dejar de fumar, dejar de tomar alcohol. Por eso voy a dejar de tomar.
Give up smoking, give up drinking alcohol. That's why I am going to stop drinking.
Captions 52-53, Los médicos explican La hipertensiónPlay Caption
Another common resolution is to get in shape financieramente (fiscally) rather than físicamente (physically):
y en el lado financiero, quiero salir de deudas, quiero comenzar a ahorrar, quiero hacer un presupuesto.
and on the financial side, I want to get out of debt, I want to start to save, I want to create a budget.
Captions 25-26, Cuentas claras Sobreviviendo enero - Part 1Play Caption
Pasar tiempo (spending time) with our seres queridos (loved ones) might not seem like something we have to vow to do more of, but we all too often neglect it due to being ocupados (busy), estresados (stressed), or enfocados en nuestro trabajo (focused on our jobs). And, the pandemic has definitely made us value our ability to spend time with people more than ever before.
Eh... Tengo muchísimas ganas porque hace mucho tiempo que no veo a la familia y a los amigos.
Um... I really want to because it's been a long time since I've seen my family and friends.
Captions 8-9, El Aula Azul Conversación: Planes de fin de semanaPlay Caption
Having taken away our ability to travel for a time, the pandemic has also made many of us long to do so even more. A travel-related resolution might be hacer más viajes (to take more trips) generally or perhaps to finally take that special trip one has long been planning:
Quiero viajar a Japón este año.
I want to travel to Japan this year.
Caption 63, Clase Aula Azul Pedir deseos - Part 1Play Caption
Carlos puts it very simply:
Lea más libros.
"Lea más libros" [Read more books].Play Caption
Although the aforementioned stressors might make us feel like we don't have time for la lectura (reading), many set this as a resolution because they know it can enrich their vocabulary and/or language abilities while simultaneously providing a valuable escape.
Organizarse (getting organized) might entail cleaning up our clutter or picking up after ourselves more regularly:
Ahora sí, mi dormitorio está en orden.
At last, my bedroom is organized.
Caption 43, Ana Carolina Arreglando el dormitorioPlay Caption
Another aspect of organization might be writing things down to avoid forgetting them or overbooking:
Pues yo, Montse, me lo apunto en la agenda, ¿eh?
Well, I, Montse, am writing it down in my planner, huh?
Caption 78, Amaya Teatro romanoPlay Caption
This is a more general resolution that could include having el coraje (the courage) to tackle some or many of the previous resolutions we have mentioned, as well as simply learning to vivir y valorar el momento (live and appreciate the moment). It is the notion of making the most out of each day and doing things to work towards inner paz (peace), alegría (happiness), and equilibrio (balance), while not perder oportunidades (missing out on opportunities), the specifics of which are, of course, different for each person. Let's take a look at some clips that reflect this sentiment:
y que vivan una experiencia, que vivan realmente el momento,
and that they live an experience, that they really live the moment
Captions 25-26, Melany de Guatemala Su Método de ActuaciónPlay Caption
No tengas miedo. Debes ser fuerte y arriesgarte.
Don't be afraid. You should be strong and take risks.
Captions 44-45, De consumidor a persona Short Film - Part 1Play Caption
Entonces, vale la pena aprovechar la oportunidad.
So, it is worth it to take advantage of the opportunity.
Caption 29, Outward Bound FabrizioPlay Caption
Now that we have established them, ¿cómo cumplir con los propósitos de Año Nuevo (how do we keep our New Year's resolutions)? With a lot of enfoque (focus), disciplina (discipline), and determinación (determination), and by setting objetivos realistas (realistic goals) and working on them poco a poco (bit by bit). That said, les deseamos mucha suerte (we wish you a lot of luck) following through with your New Year's resolutions a largo plazo (in the long term)... and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments!
What are some differences between Castilian Spanish from Spain and Latin American Spanish? As with North American and British English, there are many more similarities than differences, and Spanish speakers from all countries can usually understand one another in spite of differences between continents, countries, and even regions. That said, this lesson will point out a few key differences between Castilian and Latin American Spanish that might aid your understanding of and/or communication with different Spanish speakers.
You may have noticed that the letters "c" and "z" are pronounced with a "th" sound in Castilian Spanish in order to distinguish them from the letter "s." Let's take a look:
Thank you very much.
Caption 88, Ana Teresa Canales energéticosPlay Caption
Although it sounds like Ana Teresa from Spain says "grathias," you will note that there is no difference in the pronunciation of the "c" and the "s" in Latin American Spanish. To confirm this, let's hear Ana Carolina from Ecuador pronounce this same word:
Muchas gracias por acompañarnos hoy;
Thank you very much for joining us today;
Caption 37, Ana Carolina El comedorPlay Caption
Yabla's Carlos and Xavi provide a lot more examples of this pronunciation difference in this video about the difference in pronunciation between Spain and Colombia.
Spanish speakers from both Spain and Latin America tend to address a single person formally with the pronoun usted and use tú (or vos in certain Latin American countries and/or regions) in more familiar circumstances. However, Castilian Spanish additionally makes this distinction for the second person plural forms: they formally address more than one person as ustedes and employ vosotros/as, along with its unique verb conjugations, in less formal ones. Let's look at an example with this unique-to-Spain pronoun.
Practicáis un poco vosotros ahora.
You guys practice a bit now.
Caption 105, Clase Aula Azul El verbo gustar - Part 5Play Caption
Most Latin American speakers, on the other hand, do not use vosotros/as and instead use ustedes to address more than one person, regardless of whether the situation is formal or informal.
O sea menos que los... -No, ustedes tienen que hacer dos acompañamientos
I mean less than the... -No, you guys have to make two side dishes
Caption 68, Misión Chef 2 - Pruebas - Part 8Play Caption
Although the teacher in this video, who is from Mexico, refers to his individual students with the informal prounoun tú, as a group, he refers to them as ustedes. For more information about the pronouns vosotros/as and ustedes, we recommend Carlos' video Ustedes y vosotros.
Another difference you might notice when speaking to someone from Spain is the more prevalent use of the present perfect tense (e.g. "I have spoken," "we have gone," etc.) to describe things that happened in the recent past in cases in which both Latin Americans and English speakers would more likely use the simple past/preterite. Let's first take a look at a clip from Spain:
Oye, ¿ya sabes lo que le ha pasado a Anastasia? No, ¿qué le ha pasado?
Hey, do you know what has happened to Anastasia? No, what has happened to her?
Captions 4-5, El Aula Azul Conversación: Un día de mala suertePlay Caption
Now, let's look at one from Argentina:
¿Pero qué le pasó?
But what happened to her?
Caption 92, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 5Play Caption
While the speakers in both videos use the same verb, pasar (to happen), to describe events that took place that same day, note that the speaker from Spain chooses the present perfect ha pasado (has happened), which would be less common in both Latin American Spanish and English, while the Argentinean speaker opts for the preterite pasó (happened).
There are many terms that are said one way in Spain and a totally different way in Latin America (with a lot of variation between countries, of course!). Although there are too many to name, Yabla has put together our top ten list of English nouns and verbs whose translations differ in Spain and Latin America.
Spanish speakers from Spain tend to use the word coche for "car":
Hoy vamos a repasar cómo alquilar un coche.
Today we are going to go over how to rent a car.
Caption 2, Raquel Alquiler de cochePlay Caption
Although the word carro would instead refer to a "cart" or "carriage" to Spaniards, this is the word most commonly used to say "car" in many countries in Latin America:
Recójalas allí en la puerta y tenga el carro listo, hermano.
Pick them up there at the door and have the car ready, brother.Play Caption
Auto is another common Latin American word for "car":
El auto amarillo está junto al dinosaurio.
The yellow car is next to the dinosaur.
Caption 18, Ana Carolina Preposiciones de lugarPlay Caption
And speaking of cars, while the verb conducir is the most typical way to say "to drive" in Spain, Latin Americans are more likely to utter manejar. Let's compare a clip from Spain to one from Colombia:
Ahora os vamos a dar algunos consejos que nos ayudarán a conocer mejor nuestro coche y a conducirlo.
Now we are going to give you some advice that will help us get to better know our car and how to drive it.
Captions 2-4, Raquel y Marisa Aprender a conducir - Part 2Play Caption
Usted sabe que para mí manejar de noche es muy difícil por mi problema de la vista.
You know that for me, driving at night is very difficult because of my vision problem.
Captions 50-51, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 3 - Part 2Play Caption
When listening to someone from Spain speak about "taking" or "grabbing" something, from the bus to an everyday object, you are likely to hear the verb coger:
Puedes coger el autobús.
You can take the bus.
Caption 6, Marta Los Modos de TransportePlay Caption
While you may occasionally hear coger in this context in some Latin American countries, it is less common and, in fact, even considered vulgar in some places. Hence the more common way to say this throughout Latin America is tomar.
Te vas a ir a tomar un taxi
You are going to go take a taxi
Caption 7, Yago 12 Fianza - Part 1Play Caption
Let's check out some captions from Spain to find out the word for "computer" there:
Puede hacer uso del ordenador con el nombre de usuario y la contraseña que he creado para usted.
You can make use of the computer with the username and the password that I have created for you.
Captions 23-24, Negocios Empezar en un nuevo trabajo - Part 2Play Caption
And now, let's see a video from Mexico to hear the most prevalent term for "computer" throughout Latin America:
El uso de las computadoras y el internet forman parte de la educación de los estudiantes
The use of computers and the internet are part of the students' education
Captions 38-39, Aprendiendo con Karen Útiles escolares - Part 2Play Caption
Not only can we hear the Castilian Spanish word for "juice" in this clip, but also the aforementioned "th" pronunciation of the "z":
Sí, un zumo de naranja.
Yes, an orange juice.
Caption 26, Raquel PresentacionesPlay Caption
Latin Americans, in contrast, usually call juice jugo:
Y jugo de naranja y jugo de manzana.
And orange juice and apple juice.
Caption 23, Cleer y Lida El regreso de LidaPlay Caption
Many fruits and vegetables have different names in different countries, and one such example is peaches, which are called melocotones in Spain and duraznos in Latin America. Let's hear these words in action in videos from Spain and Colombia:
Macedonia de frutas. -Sí. Por ejemplo con melocotón.
Fruit salad. -Yes. For example, with peach.
Captions 52-53, Recetas TortillaPlay Caption
Me volvió a gustar la compota de durazno
I started liking peach baby food again,
Caption 4, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 7 - Part 1Play Caption
Another set of words that differ significantly are the words for "apartment": piso in Spain and departamento or apartamento in Latin America, as we can see below in these videos from Spain and Argentina:
Vender un piso se ha puesto muy difícil,
Selling an apartment has become very difficult,
Caption 39, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 1Play Caption
Tienes un lindo departamento, realmente. -Gracias.
You have a nice apartment, really. -Thank you.
Caption 27, Yago 10 Enfrentamientos - Part 3Play Caption
In Spain, you'll hear people talking about their moviles, or cell phones:
mi móvil funciona, normalmente.
my cell phone works, usually.
Caption 22, Clase Aula Azul Se involuntario - Part 1Play Caption
As we can hear in the following clip, Mexicans and other Latin Americans instead say celular:
¡Eh! ¿Tienes tu celular?
Hey! Do you have your cell phone?Play Caption
Many articles of clothing are called different things in different countries, and "glasses" are no exception, as we see via examples from Spain and Mexico:
Tiene el pelo gris y lleva gafas.
He has gray hair and wears glasses.
Caption 30, El Aula Azul Adivina personajes famosos - Part 1Play Caption
También tienes unos lentes.
You also have some glasses.Play Caption
Let's conclude with the words for "socks" in Spain vs. Latin America, with videos from Spain and Venezuela:
Una chaqueta y unos calcetines también... calientes.
A jacket and some socks, too... warm ones.
Caption 25, Un Viaje a Mallorca Planificando el viajePlay Caption
Además, esos animales huelen peor que mis medias después de una patinata.
Besides, those animals smell worse than my socks after a skating spree.
Captions 10-11, NPS No puede ser 1 - El concurso - Part 11Play Caption
To hear even more examples of vocabulary that differs from Spain to Latin America, we recommend Carlos and Xavi's video on some differences in vocabulary between Spain and Colombia. We hope you've enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
Let's take a look at some holiday-themed videos to get in a festive mood! We'll also point out some similarities and differences between the ways in which this December//January época de fiestas (holiday season) is celebrated in the United States versus various Spanish-speaking countries.
As much of Spain and Latin America is Catholic or Protestant, most of the Spanish-speaking world celebrates la Navidad (Christmas):
Al fin y al cabo, la Navidad es una época en que los sueños se hacen realidad,
After all, Christmas is a time when dreams come true,
Caption 32, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 10 - Part 2Play Caption
That said, different Spanish-speaking countries have different ways of kicking off the Christmas season. In Colombia, it starts quite early:
Pero oficialmente celebramos la Navidad el siete de diciembre que es El día de las velitas o del alumbrado.
But we officially celebrate Christmas on December seventh, which is the Day of the Little Candles or Lighting [Day].
Captions 20-21, Cleer y Lida La Navidad en ColombiaPlay Caption
This clip is from the video La Navidad en Colombia (Christmas in Colombia), which we recommend you tune into to learn more about Colombian Christmas traditions. Las novenas is another festivity celebrated during this season in Colombia and other countries, and it marks the kickoff of Ecuador's Christmas celebrations:
Novena significa "nueve", de "nueve días". Por eso se le ora y se le canta del dieciésis de diciembre al veinticuatro.
"Novena" means "nine," from "nine days." That's why it's prayed and sung to on December sixteenth to the twenty-fourth.
Captions 29-31, Cleer y Lida La Navidad en ColombiaPlay Caption
In this clip, Cleer and Lida describe the tradition of praying to a pesebre (Nativity scene), which Ana Carolina explains more in detail in her video Símbolos de Navidad (Symbols of Christmas). Let's now move on to the Basque Country in Spain, where the La Feria de Santo Tomás inaugurates the Christmas season:
Esta feria es la que marca el inicio de la Navidad en varias ciudades del País Vasco,
This fair is the one that marks the beginning of Christmas in several cities in the Basque Country,
Captions 8-9, Viajando con Fermín La Feria de Santo TomásPlay Caption
Although people from the United States tend to celebrate el 25 de diciembre (December 25th), or Christmas, as the season's main day, el 24 de diciembre (December 24th), or la Nochebuena (Christmas Eve), is the most important day in many Latin American countries, and often the day when los regalos se intercambian (presents are exchanged):
Solo un día y sería Nochebuena. Y siempre había que hacer una compra de última hora.
Just one more day and it would be Christmas Eve. And there was always a last-minute purchase to make.
Captions 40-41, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 10 - Part 5Play Caption
On the topic of presents, many people receive presents from their families, of course, but also from other popular characters that differ from country to country. One such character is Papá Noel (Santa Claus), who is also known as Viejito Pasquero in countries like Chile. And speaking of Santa, we invite you to see this video on a jolly Santa from Venezuela:
ho ho ho, los quiero muchísimo.
ho, ho, ho, I love you guys very much.
Caption 42, Víctor en Caracas Santa ClausPlay Caption
In Colombia, it is El Niño Dios or El Niño Jesús (Baby Jesus) who leaves presents under the tree for children, whereas Spanish children receive most of their gifts after Christmas on a holiday called el Día de los Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day) on el seis de enero (January sixth).
Y... ¿qué les vas a pedir a los Reyes Magos después de Navidad?
And.... what are you going to ask the Three Wise Men for after Christmas?
Caption 56, El Aula Azul Ester y PaulaPlay Caption
Many costumbres navideñas (Christmas traditions) and símbolos (symbols) overlap in the United States and Spanish-speaking countries. These include, of course, los árboles de Navidad (Christmas trees)!
Este es mi árbol de Navidad, el símbolo más popular alrededor del mundo de esta festividad.
This is my Christmas tree, the most popular symbol of this celebration around the world.
Captions 21-22, Ana Carolina Símbolos de NavidadPlay Caption
These also include la nieve (snow)... even in the tropics (which is probably because Santa lives at el Polo Norte (the North Pole)!
Sin embargo, la nieve y los muñecos de nieve se han convertido en uno de los temas principales con los que festejamos la Navidad,
However, snow and snowmen have become one of the main themes with which we celebrate Christmas,
Captions 38-40, Ana Carolina Símbolos de NavidadPlay Caption
Charitable activities are also popular during Christmas in both North and Latin America and Spain, as Diana Quintana tells us in her video En Navidad regalamos una sonrisa (At Christmas, We Give the Gift of A Smile).
Of course, food is part of the Christmas celebration everywhere, although what is eaten varies from country to country. While many North Americans eat a meal very similar to the Thanksgiving feast for Christmas, each country gives la cena de Navidad (Christmas dinner) its own unique twist.
The same is true of traditional holiday fare, and to get a few ideas, we invite you to watch Ana Carolina make her version of eggnog, el ponche navideño (Christmas Punch), while Luis is eager to show you Venezuela's traditional Christmas pan de jamón (ham bread). You can also learn to make buñuelos, a popular Colombian holiday dessert, which Lida and Cleer prepare while singing a villancico (Christmas carol).
And, on the topic of Christmas carols, Yabla has quite a few for you, including the Spanish versions of Jingle Bells, Silent Night, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town (by none other than Luis Miguel!), as well as A la Nanita Nana and Campana sobre campana (Bell Over Bell). You might also want to check out Christmas pop hits like Estoy buscando a Santa Claus (I'm Looking for Santa Claus) and the classic Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas) by La Oreja de Van Gogh.
While traditions like food and carols overlap, other traditions are more specific to the Spanish-speaking world, and to learn more about them, we invite you to read this lesson on Christmas Vocabulary in Spanish.
Of course, a significant portion of the Spanish-speaking world is Jewish and thus celebrates Hanukkah rather than Christmas, a holiday that shares the gift-giving tradition as well:
Y aunque no es la versión hebrea de la Navidad, los niños reciben regalos, y la comunidad celebra en hermandad.
And, although it's not the Jewish version of Christmas, the children receive gifts, and the community celebrates in brotherhood.
Captions 5-7, Días festivos HanukkahPlay Caption
To learn more about this celebration, Yabla recommends this video on the meaning behind Hanukkah.
In closing, whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or anything else, we'll leave you with the following:
¡Feliz Navidad, Felices Fiestas, Feliz Año!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year!
Caption 68, Ana Carolina Símbolos de NavidadPlay Caption
And don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
How do you translate expressions with words like "whatever," "whenever," and "however" to Spanish? Today, we will explore some simple manners of doing so using the Spanish subjunctive along with certain key words and/or phrases.
It is fitting that the Spanish subjunctive is employed to express the notion of "whatever" because, in contrast to the more objective indicative, this mood describes things that are subjective, vague, or unknown. That said, the third person singular of the present subjunctive form of the verb ser (to be) appears in the Spanish equivalent of "whatever," lo que sea, which literally means "what it may be." With this in mind, we can use the formula lo que plus a subjunctive verb to convey the idea of "whatever" one may do, think, etc., when what that is not specifically known by the speaker. Let's look at some examples:
Tú puedes hacer lo que tú quieras porque es tu libro,
You can do whatever you want because it's your book,Play Caption
Had this speaker said "Tú puedes hacer lo que tú quieres" ("You can do what you want"), in the indicative, he would probably be referring to something specific that this author wanted to do. However, the subjunctive form quieras makes it clear that her possibilities are endless. This is particularly interesting because the English equivalents of these Spanish sentences ("you can do what you want" vs. "whatever you want") do not necessarily make this distinction. Let's see another example:
haré lo que usted me diga.
I'll do whatever you tell me to.
Caption 83, Muñeca Brava 48 - Soluciones - Part 3Play Caption
Similarly, had this gentleman said, haré lo que usted me dices, the idea would be "I'll do what you're telling me (specifically) to do" rather than "I'll do absolutely any (perhaps crazy!) thing you might tell me."
The idea of "whenever" in Spanish is very similar, and the words cuando (when) and siempre que ("as long as" or literally "always that") can be paired with verbs in the Spanish subjunctive to say "whenever" as in the following caption:
y con eso ya puedes mudarte cuando quieras.
and with that you can then move in whenever you want.
Caption 43, Ricardo La compañera de casa - Part 2Play Caption
Again, had the speaker said to his perspective tenant "puedes mudarte cuando quieres" (you can move in when you want), he would most likely be referring to a specific date, perhaps one that she had previously mentioned. However, the subjunctive form cuando quieras lets her know that whatever date she might choose will work fine. Here is one more example:
Estos ejercicios los puedes realizar en la mañana, tarde o noche, siempre que necesites mover tu cuerpo.
You can do these exercises in the morning, afternoon, or night, whenever you need to move your body.
Captions 7-8, Bienestar con Elizabeth Activar las articulacionesPlay Caption
Literally meaning "always that you need," siempre que necesites means "whenever you need" or "whenever you might need to move your body," rather than at any specific moment.
You might have guessed by now that the word donde (where) plus a verb in the Spanish subjunctive can mean "wherever." Let's take a look:
Tú dejas las cosas, donde sea, da igual.
You leave your things, wherever, it's all the same.
Caption 5, Arume BarcelonaPlay Caption
Here, we can see that donde sea is a popular way of saying simply "wherever," although the literal translation would be "wherever it might be." Let's check out an example with a different verb:
en el restaurante, en el punto de información o donde estés.
at the restaurant, at the information point or wherever you are.
Caption 26, Natalia de Ecuador Palabras de uso básicoPlay Caption
Like the other expressions we have examined in this lesson, the speaker's intention in this caption is to explain that she would like to help people with basic expressions they might use, not in any specific place, but anywhere at all.
To say "whichever," we can use formulas such as a noun plus que plus a verb in the Spanish subjunctive or a relative pronoun (e.g. el que, la que, los que, or las que, which mean "the one(s)") plus que plus a verb in the Spanish subjunctive. Let's take a look:
Podéis utilizar el verbo que queráis.
You can use whichever verb you want.
Caption 58, Clase Aula Azul Pedir deseos - Part 2Play Caption
No pasa nada. Vamos a hacer los que tengamos,
No problem. Let's do whichever ones we have,Play Caption
In the first example, the teacher uses the formula to emphasize the students choice among all of the available verbs, while the second caption communicates that they can practice with any of the possible examples they might have gotten, even if they differ from student to student.
By "however," we don't mean sin embargo as in the conjunctive adverb, but rather "in whichever way" as in English expressions like "Do it however you see fit." For this purpose, Let's look at some examples in Spanish:
El destino hay que aceptarlo como venga. -¿Qué?
One has to accept destiny however it comes. -What?
Caption 56, Club 10 Capítulo 2 - Part 5Play Caption
Of course, we never know "how" destiny will unfold, so it is apt to use the subjunctive to talk about it! Another possible translation for this sentence could be "however it may come." Let's see one more example of this formula:
lo que tienen que hacer es aguantar como puedan las... los golpes de los de la red,
what they have to do is to withstand however they can, the... the hits from the ones by the net,
Caption 46, Escuela de Pádel Albacete Hablamos con José LuisPlay Caption
Once again, as the ways they might withstand the hits from the players by the net are innumerable, the Spanish subjunctive comes into play.
We bet you're getting the hang of this by now, but we'd better show you some examples of how to say "whoever" and "whomever" in Spanish:
No sé, pero quien sea la tiene difícil
I don't know, but whoever it is has got it rough
Captions 7-8, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 8 - Part 2Play Caption
An alternative translation could be "whoever it may be."
Nosotras les hacemos la sugerencia a las personas que escuchen el programa
We make the suggestion to whomever listens to the program
Caption 19, Protección ambiental Ni una bolsa másPlay Caption
These examples demonstrate that the formulas quien(es) or la(s) persona(s) plus que plus a subjunctive verb are the Spanish equivalents of expressions with "whoever" and/or "whomever," which are frequently confused in English ("whoever" is a subject pronoun, while "whomever" is an object pronoun). That said, the manner in which those formulas are translated will depend upon which function they fulfill within the grammatical context.
Sometimes, repetition of the Spanish subjunctive verb is used to emphasize this idea of non-specificity, which we can see in many popular Spanish expressions. You will note that the repetition is not translated, and that another possible translation for such cases is "no matter":
pase lo que pase, yo siempre voy a estar contigo,
no matter what happens, I'm always going to be with you,
Captions 30-31, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 1 - Part 13Play Caption
An alternative translation here could be: "Whatever happens, I'm always going to be with you."
Haga lo que haga este tipo, este delincuente, aquí en el país es responsabilidad mía...
Whatever this guy might do, this criminal, here in the country it's my responsibility...
Captions 26-27, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 1 - Part 10Play Caption
Here, one might also say "No matter what this guy does." Let's conclude today's lesson with an excerpt from a song by our friend Luis Guitarra, which includes a plethora of similar cases:
Vivan como vivan Hagan lo que hagan Sueñen con quien sueñen Sean como sean Vayan donde vayan Cuenten o no cuenten Digan lo que digan Salgan con quien salgan Piensen como piensen
No matter how they live No matter what they do No matter who they dream of No matter how they are No matter where they go No matter whether they tell No matter what they say No matter who they go out with No matter how they think
Captions 63-71, Luis Guitarra Somos transparentesPlay Caption
We hope you've enjoyed this lesson on how to say things like "whatever," "however," "whichever," etc. in Spanish, and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
What is the imperfect subjunctive tense in Spanish? It is basically the past version of the Spanish present subjunctive! That said, let's begin this lesson with a bit of background on the subjunctive, which is one of the three Spanish moods.
Most simply put, Spanish uses different verb tenses to distinguish between objective states and actions and subjective, uncertain, or emotional ones, for example, things we merely "hope" will happen. So, while there's no difference in verb form between "you come" and "I hope you come" in English, in the equivalent statement in Spanish, (usted) viene (you come) changes to the present subjunctive venga as we see here:
Espero que venga a ver nuestros productos,
I hope you come see our products,
Caption 70, Otavalo ArtesanosPlay Caption
To get a tad more technical, as we see in the example above, in Spanish sentences with a subjunctive verb, we often (but not always) see the following structure:
1. An independent clause with a verb in the indicative that "triggers" the use of the subjunctive (we'll learn more about these later!)
2. A conjunction, or connecting word, like que
3. A dependent clause with a subjunctive verb
And while a "triggering" present tense verb provokes the present subjunctive, a "triggering" verb in some form of the past tense (e.g. preterite, imperfect, or past perfect) will be followed by a verb in the Spanish imperfect subjunctive, as we see here:
La verdad esperaba que usted viniera con su apoderada.
Truthfully I was hoping that you'd come with your client.Play Caption
Now that you know a little bit about the Spanish imperfect subjunctive, let's learn how to conjugate it. If you know how to conjugate the third person plural of the preterite in Spanish, conjugating the imperfect subjunctive is relatively easy. You simply remove the -ron ending to get the imperfect subjunctive stem, then add one of two sets of endings (there are two distinct forms of the imperfect subjunctive in Spanish that are used interchangeably). Let's first take a look at these two ending sets:
|Subject Pronoun:||Ending 1:||Ending 2:|
Now, let's remove the -ron endings to come up with the imperfect stems for several common Spanish verbs:
|Verb||3rd Person Plural Preterite||Stem|
Now that we have the stems, let's add the endings to come up with the two versions of the Spanish imperfect subjunctive for all of these verbs, noting the addition of the accent in the nosotros/as (we) forms to maintain pronunciation. Although the first ending set is more commonly heard, while the second is the more "classic" form, there is no difference in meaning whatsoever.
And the good news is... there are no irregular verbs in the Spanish imperfect subjunctive!
So, what are some examples of Spanish verbs that trigger the subjunctive? The acronym W.E.I.R.D.O., which stands for Wishes, Emotions, Impersonal Expressions, Recommendations, Doubt/Denial, and Ojalá, can help you to remember many of them. Keep in mind that because today's lesson focuses on the imperfect subjunctive, all of said verbs will appear in one of the Spanish past tenses.
As you read the English translations, you might notice that while all of the Spanish sentences meet our aforementioned criteria for using the imperfect subjunctive, there is no "one size fits all" formula for translating this verb tense because it is used in a variety of different circumstances that call for varying verb tenses in English.
Verbs that describe our wishes, hopes, or desires call for the Spanish subjunctive and include desear (to want/wish/desire), esperar (to hope), exigir (to demand/require), insistir (to insist), mandar (to order), necesitar (to need), ordenar (to order), pedir (to ask), preferir (to prefer), and querer (to want). Let's take a look at two examples where said verbs in the Spanish imperfect tense prompt the use of the Spanish imperfect subjunctive:
que lo único que esperaba era que su madre pudiera acompañarlo a una presentación del colegio.
as the only thing he was hoping for was for his mother to be able to go with him to a school performance.
Captions 2-3, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 2 - Part 11Play Caption
Pero dijo que quería que fueran amigos.
But she said she wanted you guys to be friends.
Caption 55, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 11 - Part 4Play Caption
In these two examples, the English infinitives "to be" and "to be able" were used to translate the Spanish imperfect subjunctive because in English, we often say that we what we hoped was for something "to happen." However, in the first example "the only thing he was hoping for was that his mother could accompany him to a school performance" could be another viable/equivalent translation.
Emotional verbs like alegrarse (to be happy/glad), enojarse (to be/get angry), encantar (to delight), lamentar (to regret/be sorry), molestar (to bother), sentir (to be sorry), and sorprender (to surprise) also provoke the subjunctive. Let's see two examples of the imperfect subjunctive sparked by the imperfect and preterite tenses:
¿Y por eso te preocupaba tanto que él viniera a verme, que me contara algo?
And that's why it worried you so much that he'd come to see me, that he'd tell me something?
Caption 54, Yago 12 Fianza - Part 2Play Caption
No, me encantó que me llamaras, escucháme, eh...
No, I loved it that you called me; listen to me, um...
Caption 63, Muñeca Brava 2 Venganza - Part 3Play Caption
The first example describes one's past worry about what might happen (whether or not it did), and since in English, we often say we were worried about what "would happen," it was translated in this fashion. The second example, on the other hand, describes an action that actually took place: "you called". And yet, despite the necessary differences in the English translations, we see that in both cases, the use of an "emotional" verb in the first clause triggered the use of the Spanish imperfect subjunctive in the second.
Impersonal expressions are constructions that don't involve any particular person and typically begin with the third person singular of some form of ser (to be) plus almost any adjective. Examples include bueno (good), curioso (interesting), dudoso (doubtful), extraño (strange), importante (important), necesario (necessary), probable (probable), raro (strange), urgente (urgent), and many more (the exception being adjectives that indicate certainty, such as cierto (certain) or seguro (sure). Let's see some examples of impersonal expressions in the imperfect tense that call for an imperfect subjunctive verb in the second clause:
Es que era muy raro que no abrieran la puerta.
It's just that it was very strange that they weren't opening the door.
Caption 20, Tu Voz Estéreo Embalsamado - Part 10Play Caption
Y para mí era bien importante que el grupo tuviera letras...
And it was really important to me that the band had lyrics...
Caption 61, La Gusana Ciega Entrevista - Part 1Play Caption
Again, the first caption describes an action that was actually happening (they weren't opening the door), while the second describes someone's past preference (which may or may not have come to fruition). Regardless, an impersonal expression in the imperfect tense triggered the use of the imperfect subjunctive. Note that an alternative translation for the second example might be: "And it was really important to me for the band to have lyrics."
Verbs that either recommend or don't recommend other actions, such as aconsejar (to advise), decir (to tell), dejar (to allow), exigir (to demand), hacer (to make/force), insistir (to insist), mandar (to order), ordenar (to order), prohibir (to forbid), proponer (to suggest), recomendar (to recommend), rogar (to beg), sugerir (to suggest), and suplicar (to beg) call for the subjunctive mood. Let's look at some examples in the preterite:
Le propuse que hiciéramos un pequeño taller de artesanía,
I suggested to him that we open a small craft studio,
Caption 40, Playa Adícora Francisco - Part 2Play Caption
Yo sé que les dijimos que no vinieran por acá pero
I know we told them not to come here, butPlay Caption
Although we might find out later whether or not someone's advice was actually taken, in the moment it was given, the aforementioned "advising" verbs always trigger the Spanish imperfect subjunctive.
When conjugated in some form of the past, doubt verbs like dudar (to doubt), no creer (to not believe) or no poder creer (to not be able to believe), no parecer (to not seem), no pensar (to not think), and no suponer (to not suppose) call for the imperfect subjunctive:
Bueno, por un instante llegué a dudar de que estuvieras.
Well, for a moment, I even began to doubt that you would be [here].
Caption 41, Yago 4 El secreto - Part 11Play Caption
Yo no podía creer que me pasara que una chica así se me acercara
I couldn't believe this was happening to me that such a girl would approach me
Captions 7-8, Enanitos Verdes Cuánto PoderPlay Caption
In these examples, past "doubt" causes the Spanish imperfect subjunctive, regardless of whether the situations were actually unfolding. The second example is interesting because it has been translated with both the past progressive "was happening" and the conditional "would approach" in English to represent that the speaker still can't believe such a situation "would happen" to him, even as it was.
Although ojalá and ojalá que aren't technically verbs but rather conjunctions, they are roughly equivalent to such English expressions as "I hope," "let's hope," or "God willing" and require the subjunctive. When used with the imperfect subjunctive, these expressions are often to describe hypothetical situations that one wishes "were" true (interestingly, the change from "was" to "were" to represent a hypothetical situation is the only time we see a verb change in the subjunctive mood in English). Let's look at some examples:
No es crucial. Ojalá todos los problemas fueran estos.
It's not crucial. If only all problems were [like] these.
Caption 19, Cómetelo Crema de brócoli - Part 9Play Caption
Y ojalá todo el mundo estuviera lo suficientemente entusiasmado.
And I wish everyone were excited enough.
Caption 8, Club 10 Capítulo 1 - Part 1Play Caption
We hope that these examples have helped you to understand how to conjugate the Spanish imperfect subjunctive tense, some scenarios in which to use it, and some of the many ways in which it might be translated to English. In future lessons, we hope to focus on some additional, common uses of this tense, but in the meantime... don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
The present subjunctive in Spanish is one of the many verb tenses in the Spanish subjunctive mood. The subjunctive mood is one of three moods in Spanish (the indicative, the imperative, and the subjunctive) that indicates the presence of doubt, emotion, or subjectivity, in contrast to the indicative, which states facts. The focus of today's lesson will be the conjugation of the Spanish present subjunctive tense.
Before going on to conjugation, let's see an example of the present subjunctive in Spanish, which typically appears after the present indicative in dependent clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction such as que (that). As a simple example, if you say, "I hope [that] you practice at home" with ustedes (plural you) in Spanish, the correct manner of doing so would be:
espero que practiquen en su casa
I hope you guys practice at home
Caption 60, Lecciones de guitarra Con Cristhian - Part 3Play Caption
Rather than espero que practican en su casa because the verb tense changes from the indicative (practican) to the subjunctive (practiquen) due to the "hope" regarding whether the action will take place. In another lesson, we will explore the many scenarios in which the Spanish subjunctive mood comes into play.
The first step in conjugating most verbs in the present subjunctive is to recall the present indicative yo (I) form of the verb. We then remove the -o in order to get the stem and add the corresponding endings for -ar and -er/-ir verbs, which we can think of as the "opposite" of the endings for each verb class in the present indicative.
Let's use the aforementioned formula to get the stems for three of the most common regular verbs:
|hablar (to speak)||hablo||habl-|
|comer (to eat)||como||com-|
|subir (to go up)||subo||sub-|
Now, let's look at the present subjunctive endings for -ar vs. -er/-ir verbs:
|Personal Pronoun:||-ar Verbs:||-er/-ir Verbs:|
Armed with this information, we can easily conjugate these verbs in the present subjunctive in Spanish. You will note that in the present subjunctive, the yo form and the él/ella/usted form are exactly the same.
Now, let's see these Spanish present subjunctive verbs in action:
Porque quiero que hablemos de negocios.
Because I want us to talk about business.
Caption 3, Muñeca Brava 8 Trampas - Part 6Play Caption
¿'tas listo? -¿Qué querés que yo coma lo mismo?
You ready? -What, do you want me to eat the same thing?
Caption 43, Factor Fobia Cucarachas - Part 1Play Caption
Dígale que no suba.
Tell him not to come up.
Caption 43, Muñeca Brava 33 El partido - Part 6Play Caption
Note that the in the vast majority of cases, even verbs with spelling changes in the yo form will follow this very same formula for obtaining their stems/conjugations. Let's see several examples:
Present Subjunctive Conjugations:
caber (to fit): quepa, quepas, quepa, quepamos, quepáis, quepan
coger (to take): coja, cojas, coja, cojamos, cojáis, cojan
conocer (to know): conozca, conozcas, conozca, conozcamos, conozcáis, conozcan
decir (to say): diga, digas, diga, digamos, digáis, digan
hacer (to make/do): haga, hagas, haga, hagamos, hagáis, hagan
poner (to put): ponga, pongas, ponga, pongamos, pongáis, pongan
salir (to go out): salga, salgas, salga, salgamos, salgáis, salgan
tener (to have): tenga, tengas, tenga, tengamos, tengáis, tengan
traer (to bring): traiga, traigas, traiga, traigamos, traigáis, traigan
ver (to see): vea, veas, vea, veamos, veáis, vean
We will now hear a couple of these in context:
Lo mejor es que tengan sala de estudio
The best thing is for them to have a study room
Caption 45, Club de las ideas La bibliotecaPlay Caption
Bueno, te invito ahora a que conozcas el teatro.
Well, now I invite you to see the theater.
Caption 24, El teatro. Conversación con un doble de acción.Play Caption
Let's examine several categories of stem-changing verbs that behave slightly differently in the present subjunctive in Spanish:
An example of this category is querer (to want), for which the yo form is quiero. While the stem for this verb is indeed quier- as usual, the stem change does not take place in the nosotros/as and vosotros/as forms, which use the stem of the infinitive (removing the -ar or -er) as follows:
quiera, quieras, quiera, queramos, queráis, quieran.
Additional verbs that fall into this category include: cerrar (to close), entender (to understand), and perder (to lose).
One example is volver (to return), and the yo form is vuelvo. The stem for this verb is vuelv-, but as with the previous category, there is no stem change in the nosotros/as and vosotros/as forms, which also take the stem from the infinitive:
vuelva, vuelvas, vuelva, volvamos, volváis, vuelvan
Some other verbs in this category are: poder (to be able), contar (to tell), volver (to return), and encontrar (to find).
An example would be sentir (to feel). As in the first category, these verbs change stems in all forms except for nosotros/as and vosotros/as. With -ir verbs, however, the -ie changes to an -i, as follows:
sienta, sientas, sienta, sintamos, sintáis, sientan
Verbs that work similarly include repetir (to repeat) and preferir (to prefer).
The verb dormir (to sleep) falls into this category in which verbs change stems in all forms except nosotros/as and vosotros/as, where the -o changes to a -u:
duerma, duermas, duerma, durmamos, durmáis, duerman
The verb morir (to die) also belongs to this class of verbs.
Let's listen to a couple of examples of such stem-changing verbs in the present subjunctive in Spanish:
lo mejor sería que vuelvas al convento.
the best thing would be for you to return to the convent.
Caption 15, Muñeca Brava 33 El partido - Part 7Play Caption
Espero que ahora entiendan mejor
I hope that you now understand betterPlay Caption
To make matters a bit more complicated, some verbs in the Spanish present subjunctive change spelling in order to maintain their pronunciation, and some verbs change both stems and spelling! Let's take a look at these additional verb categories.
It is worth noting that the g in verbs ending in -ger and -gir changes to a j in the Spanish present subjunctive, for example, in the aforementioned verb coger (to get). However, this doesn't really deviate from our formula since the present indicative yo form of coger is cojo. Other verbs that follow this pattern in Spanish include corregir (to correct), elegir (to choose), and recoger (to pick up).
corregir: corrija, corrijas, corrija, corrijamos, corrijáis, corrijan
elegir: elija, elijas, elija, elijamos, elijáis, elijan
recoger: recoja, recojas, recoja, recojamos, recojáis, recojan
In the Spanish present subjunctive, verbs ending in -car change their final consonant to -qu, verbs ending in -gar change to -gu, and -zar verbs' z changes to a c. Let's take a look at verbs in each of these categories:
sacar (to take out): saque, saques, saque, saquemos, saquéis, saquen
tocar (to take): toque, toques, toque, toquemos, toquéis, toquen
cargar (to charge): cargue, cargues, cargue, carguemos, carguéis, carguen
pagar (to pay): pague, pagues, pague, paguemos, paguéis, paguen
lanzar (to throw): lance, lances, lance, lancemos, lancéis, lancen
empezar (to start): empiece, empieces, empiece, empecemos, empecéis, empiecen
Let's hear some examples of verbs with spelling changes in the Spanish present subjunctive:
Es que no necesito que me recojas hoy.
It's just that I don't need you to pick me up today.
Caption 52, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 9 - Part 6Play Caption
Bueno, ¿tú me aconsejas que comience a escribir ya con todas estas inquietudes que tengo?
Well, do you advise me to start writing now with all these concerns that I have?Play Caption
Although you have seen that there are a lot of nuances to conjugating verbs in the present subjunctive in Spanish, there are only six verbs that are considered truly irregular. We have provided their conjugations here:
Note that the yo and él/ella/usted conjugations of the verb dar, dé, has an accent on the e to distinguish it from the preposition de (of/from).
Let's conclude by hearing a couple of these irregular verbs in the Spanish present subjunctive in action:
Espero que sea una bonita sorpresa.
I hope that it's a nice surprise.
Caption 11, NPS No puede ser 1 - El concurso - Part 8Play Caption
Dígame algo que no sepa.
Tell me something I don't know.
Caption 3, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 7 - Part 4Play Caption
And speaking of learning new things, we hope you've found this lesson on conjugating verbs in the Spanish present subjunctive helpful! To hear a bunch more verbs conjugated in the Spanish present subjunctive, we recommend this video on Subjunctivo y sentimientos (Subjuntive and Feelings), and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
In preparation for El Día de San Valentín (Valentine's Day), let's listen to several pertinent clips from the Yabla Spanish video library... and learn some vocabulary in the process!
Aunque no crean, existe el amor a primera vista.
Believe it or not, love at first sight does exist.
Cupido vuelve a apuntar con su flecha
Cupid aims with his arrow again
Caption 5, Tito El Bambino Llueve el amor
Mande a pedir un ramo de doce rosas rojas,
Order a bouquet of twelve red roses,
Caption 45, Programación de oficina El dictado del jefe
Chocolate Perfección: el chocolate para enamorados.
"Chocolate Perfección": the chocolate for lovers.
Captions 43-44, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 5: Ha nacido una estrella - Part 2
The captions above include some common themes and traditions of Valentine's Day in North America, which is meant to festejar el amor (celebrate love) for romantic partners and family members, and, increasingly, to show appreciation for friends. Typical ways of doing so include intercambiar regalos (exchanging gifts) and tarjetas de San Valentín (valentines), mandar flores (sending flowers), most typically rosas rojas (red roses), giving cajas de chocolate en forma de corazón (heart-shaped boxes of chocolate), and planning special citas (dates), such as salir a cenar (going out to dinner). Valentine's Day in North America is celebrated on el catorce de febrero (February fourteenth).
Valentine's Day is celebrated in a similar fashion on the same day in many Spanish speaking countries, with varying degrees of popularity. In addition to El Día de San Valentín, many countries refer to this holiday as El Día del Amor y la Amistad (Love and Friendship Day) or El Día de los Enamorados (Lovers' Day), while some use these terms interchangeably. And Guatemala has a unique name: El Día del Cariño (Affection Day).
Many Valentine's costumbres (traditions) in the Spanish-speaking world overlap with North American ones:
La floristería. ¿Sí? Es una tienda donde la gente compra flores, plantas, ¿sí? Por ejemplo, para cumpleaños, o para... en... en primavera, o para el Día de los Enamorados, por ejemplo.
The florist. Right? It's a store where people buy flowers, plants, right? For example, for birthdays, or for... in... in spring, or for Valentine's Day, for example.Play Caption
However, there are some differences. In Chile, las orquídeas (orchids) are the flowers of love rather than roses. And some countries, like the Dominican Republic, have the tradition of a game called Amigo secreto (Secret Friend) or Angelito (Little Angel) among friends or colleagues, which is similar to the idea of Secret Santa.
Some countries celebrate their Valentine's Day on a different date, while others commemorate both February 14th and additional love and friendship holidays.
Colombia's El Día del Amor y la Amistad falls on the third Saturday in September, while Argentina's La Semana de la Dulzura (Sweetness Week), where amigos (friends) and amantes (lovers) exchange chocolate and other dulces (sweets), lasts from June 1st through 7th. Argentinians also recognize El Día del Amigo (Friend Day) on July 20th, whereas Mexico has its El Día Internacional de la Amistad (International Friendship Day) on August 30th. Additional romantic holidays include El Día del Estudiante, de la Juventud, de la Primavera, y del Amor (The Day of the Student, Youth, Spring, and Love) on September 21st in Bolivia and El Día de San Jorge (Saint George's Day) in Catalonia on April 23rd, where red roses are traditionally gifted to women and books to men. On El Día de San Dionisio (Saint Dionysius Day) in Valencia on October 9th, the gift of choice is the Spanish sweet mazapán (marzipan) wrapped in a pañuelo (handkerchief).
Now that we know about various international Valentine's-like festivities, let's learn some romantic Spanish vocabulary, starting with some verbs:
abrazar: to hug/embrace
acurrucar: to cuddle
adorar: to adore/love
amar: to love
besar: to kiss
coquetear: to flirt
casarse: to marry/get married
enamorarse: to fall in love
encantar: to [cause] love
gustar: to [cause someone to] like
querer: to like/love
Related to these words are, of course, essential Valentine's Day nouns like el beso (the kiss) and el abrazo (the hug) and adjectives like enamorado/a (in love). Let's hear a few of these words in action:
Me quiero casar con ella. Estoy enamorado, ¿eh?
I want to marry her. I'm in love, huh?
Caption 59, Muñeca Brava 2 Venganza - Part 9Play Caption
¿Y no te alcanza el tiempo para coquetear con cierto chico... rubio, guapo, encantador?
And don't you have enough time to flirt with a certain guy... blond, handsome, charming?
Captions 116-117, NPS No puede ser 1 - El concurso - Part 10Play Caption
Siento que cada día te quiero más
I feel that each day I love you more
Caption 27, Alberto Barros Mano a manoPlay Caption
Since the subtle differences between the different "love" verbs can seem a bit confusing for English speakers, we recommend our lessons on three different ways to express love in Spanish and Amar y Querer. And, since the way that verbs like gustar and encantar work can feel a bit counterintuitive, we recommend this two-part lesson on Querer vs. "To Like": A Difference in Perception.
Let's conclude today's lesson with some ways to refer affectionately to your romantic partner, although you might additionally hear many of them used among friends. While we will provide their literal translations below, many of them can be used similarly to the way that the terms "honey," "dear" or "sweetie" are used in English.
Mi cielo: my sky
Mi rey/reina: my king/queen
Mi vida: my life
Let's hear a few of these in action:
y te mando un beso, corazón.
and I send you a kiss, sweetheart.Play Caption
Dame un beso. -¿De verdad, mi cielo?
Give me a kiss. -Really, my dear?Play Caption
¡Mi reina! Mi amor, cómo te extrañé. -Hola, yo también.
My queen! My love, how I missed you. -Hello, me too.
Captions 1-2, Yago 6 Mentiras - Part 2Play Caption
And remember that while gordo/a literally means "fat" or "fatty," it is also used as a term of endearment in some Latin American countries (although we definitely don't recommend employing it's English equivalent!).
Ay, gordo, muchísimas gracias por haber estado aquí. -A ti por invitarme.
Oh, honey, thank you very much for having been here. -To you for inviting me.
Caption 13, Club 10 Capítulo 2 - Part 4Play Caption
We hope that this lesson rife with Valentine's Day vocabulary has been useful to you, and ¡Feliz Día de San Valentín (Happy Valentine's Day)! And don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
What is the present perfect tense in Spanish? Despite its name in English, the Spanish present perfect tense is actually one of the past tenses in Spanish, which indicates that one "has done" some action within some specific period of time. This lesson will examine how to conjugate this useful Spanish tense as well as providing examples of when to use it.
The present perfect tense in Spanish is relatively easy to conjugate. To do so, we should remember a simple formula: haber in present tense + participle. Let's first take a look at the present conjugation of the verb haber, which corresponds to the English "has" or "have" in the present perfect:
|Personal Pronoun:||Conjugation of Haber:|
Now, let's examine how to conjugate the participle form of verbs in Spanish, which corresponds to English words with endings like -ed or -en, such as "taken," "looked," "baked," etc.
Conjugating the participle with -ar verbs:
Take the infinitive, remove the -ar, and add the suffix -ado:
hablar: hablado (to talk/speak: talked/spoken)
mirar: mirado (to watch: watched)
comenzar: comenzado (to start/begin: started/begun)
bailar: bailado (to dance: danced)
Conjugating the participle with -er and -ir verbs:
Take the infinitive, remove the -er or -ir, and add the suffix -ido:
comer: comido (to eat: eaten)
aprender: aprendido (to learn: learned)
recibir: recibido (to receive: received)
subir: subido (to rise/go up: risen/gone up)
Ahora que hemos aprendido (Now that we've learned) how to conjugate verbs in the present perfect tense in Spanish, we should think about when to use it. Just like the present perfect in English, we use the Spanish present perfect to describe actions that have been completed within a certain period of time. As previously mentioned, because these actions were completed in the past, however recent, the present perfect is considered a past tense in Spanish, in which it is known as el pretérito perfecto (literally the "past" or "preterite perfect"). With this in mind, let's take a look at some examples:
Ya hemos visto que reciclar contribuye de forma importante,
We have already seen that recycling contributes in an important way,
Caption 23, 3R Campaña de reciclaje - Part 3Play Caption
¿Pero se han preguntado alguna vez cómo se cultivan y se comercializan?
But have you ever wondered how they are grown and sold?
Captions 75-76, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 16Play Caption
Hoy ha llovido todo el día.
"Hoy ha llovido todo el día" [Today it has rained the whole day].Play Caption
Sometimes, Spanish speakers from Spain in particular use the present perfect to talk about actions in the recent past in situations in which English speakers would most likely use the past tense and Latin Americans would probably use the Spanish preterite. Let's look at an example:
Hola, soy Ariana Moreno y he dormido fatal. He pasado una mala noche.
Hello, I'm Ariana Moreno, and I've slept horribly. I've had a bad night.
Captions 1-3, Ariana Cita médicaPlay Caption
Pues nada, que ha empezado el día superbién, se ha levantado a las ocho, ha desayunado en la cafetería al lado de la escuela como siempre, ha venido a clase, hemos tenido la clase como todos los lunes.
Well, she's started the day very well, she's gotten up at eight, she's had breakfast in the cafeteria next to the school as always, she's come to class, we've had the class like every Monday.
Captions 6-10, El Aula Azul Conversación: Un día de mala suertePlay Caption
What are grammatical "moods"? Many definitions of grammatical moods in linguistics explain them as features of verbs that describe "modality." But, what is "modality"?
In a nutshell, "modality" refers to a speaker's attitude toward what he or she is saying, which might entail such concepts as possibility, probability, certainty or doubt. "Moods" are not the same as tenses, which convey when things happen, and each of the sixteen Spanish tenses fall into one of the three mood categories. That said, let's delve deeper into the three grammatical moods in Spanish: the indicative, the subjunctive, and the imperative.
Most simply put, the indicative mood describes facts, things about which the speaker is certain, or "the objective truth." Let's take a look at some examples of sentences with verbs in the indicative mood.
Estoy seguro que voy a poder ayudarla en algo.
I'm sure that I am going to be able to help you with something.
Caption 7, Yago 9 Recuperación - Part 7Play Caption
This speaker says in the Spanish present indicative tense that he's seguro (sure) that he will be able to help the person to whom he's speaking. Such phrases referring to certainty like Estoy seguro que (I'm sure that) or even Yo creo que (I believe that) are tip-offs that the verb(s) that follow(s) will be in the indicative because they indicate conviction. However, many examples of verbs in the indicative mood in Spanish won't be quite so straightforward.
Hablaremos sobre el candombe.
We'll talk about candombe.
Caption 11, Sonido Babel El candombe de UruguayPlay Caption
In this example of the future indicative tense in Spanish, the speaker states (with certainty) what it is he will talk about. Let's take a look at an additional example.
¡Sí! Fuimos a buscar conchas pero no fue fácil encontrarlas.
Yes! We went to look for shells but it wasn't easy to find them.
Caption 13, Guillermina y Candelario El ManglarPlay Caption
In this final example in the Spanish preterite tense, the speaker clearly states the objective truth about what happened in the past: Fuimos a buscar (We went to look for) seashells, and no fue (it wasn't) easy. Although whether or not something is easy is a subjective concept, it is important to remember that it is the speaker's attitude or belief about what he or she is stating that determines the mood.
There are ten verb tenses in the Spanish indicative mood: the present, the imperfect, the preterite, the future, the simple conditional, the present perfect, the pluperfect, the past anterior, the conditional perfect, and the future perfect. For a closer look at each of these tenses with examples, we recommend this lesson on the Spanish indicative tenses.
While the indicative conveys certainty and objectivity, the subjunctive conveys such opposing concepts as subjectivity, doubt, wishful thinking, hypothetical situations, and more. Let's take a look at some examples:
No, no, no. No creo que sea muy peligroso
No, no, no. I don't think he's very dangerous,Play Caption
Just like the expression Creo que (I believe that) lets you know that the following verb will be conjugated in the indicative, the phrase No creo que (I don't believe that) is an indicator for the subjunctive. Although we won't enter into verb conjugation in this lesson, we will say that verbs in the subjunctive mood are conjugated differently than in the indicative: for example, sea is the subjunctive conjugation of ser (to be) in third person singular and is thus used in place of the indicative form es. Let's take a look at another example:
de verdad, esperamos que te hayamos podido devolver la alegría.
we really hope that we've been able to give you back your joy.
Caption 58, Tu Voz Estéreo Laura - Part 17Play Caption
Here, the indicative present perfect form hemos podido (we've been able) has been replaced with the subjunctive present perfect, hayamos podido, because the speaker is expressing a hope that something has happened rather than stating that it actually has. Let's look at another example of the subjunctive mood in Spanish:
Si yo fuera un hombre, yo pensaría que las mujeres son complicadas.
If I were a man, I would think that women are complicated.
Caption 28, Conjugación El verbo 'pensar'Play Caption
This sentence employs a common construction that combines the imperfect subjunctive with the Spanish conditional tense to talk about what "would" happen "were" a hypothetical situation in place.
Learning all of the situations and/or constructions that require the subjunctive mood in Spanish can be quite challenging for native English speakers since verbs in the subjunctive mood in English rarely change. As a guideline, statements in which the second verb in a construction changes to the subjunctive include wishes like deseo que (I wish that...), emotions like me alegro de que (I'm happy that...), impersonal expressions like es importante que (it's important that...), recommendations like sugiero que (I suggest that...), and doubts like dudo que (I doubt that...), just to name a few.
The Spanish subjunctive mood encompasses six tenses: the present subjunctive, the imperfect subjunctive, the future subjunctive, the present perfect subjunctive, the pluperfect subjunctive, and the future perfect subjunctive, which are explained in greater detail in this lesson on the subjunctive tenses in Spanish that also touches on our third and final Spanish mood.
Understanding the speaker's "attitude" in the imperative mood is less nuanced: one is "ordering" or "commanding" someone else to do something:
¡Hazlo todo de nuevo!
Do it all over again!
Caption 32, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 3 - Part 7Play Caption
This is an example of a positive, informal command (with tú, or the singular, informal "you") in Spanish. Let's see another example:
Chicos, no me hagan esta broma tan pesada.
Guys, don't play this very annoying joke on me.
Caption 49, Club 10 Capítulo 1 - Part 1Play Caption
Here, we see the negative command that corresponds to the pronoun ustedes (plural "you"). Let's check out one more:
Empecemos por la forma, luego iremos al contenido.
Let's start with the form, then we'll go on to the content.
Caption 6, Ana Carolina CondicionalesPlay Caption
This "less commanding" sentence reflects the imperative form that goes with nosotros/as, or "we," which you can learn more about in the lesson Let's Learn Spanish Commands with Nosotros/as.
We can group Spanish commands into eight categories: positive commands with tú, negative commands with tú, (positive or negative) commands with usted (formal "you"), (positive or negative) commands with ustedes (plural "you"), positive commands with vos (informal "you" in certain regions), positive commands with vosotros/as (informal plural "you" in Spain), negative commands with vosotros/as, and (positive or negative) commands with nosotros/as (we). For a more in-depth look at the various types of commands in Spanish, we recommend the following four-part series on El modo imperativo.
We hope that this lesson has shed some light on the concept of the three grammatical "moods" in Spanish and would like to conclude it with an imperative sentence: No te olvides de dejarnos tus sugerencias y comentarios (Don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments).
Sometimes, various languages use very different idiomatic expressions to communicate exactly the same idea! As an example, the English expression "It was the straw that broke the camel's back," which refers to the last of a series of unpleasant events that causes some more extreme consequence, is conveyed with a Spanish saying with a totally different literal meaning: Fue la gota que derramó el vaso (It was the drop that spilled the glass). The purpose of today's lesson will be to bring to your attention several such idioms.
As you may have noticed, Yabla sometimes includes brackets that indicate what a word or phrase means "literally" as opposed to how it has been translated. This is because, while we want our subscribers to learn the literal meaning of the words they are reading, we also want them to glean the intention behind a particular expression (which is more obvious in some cases than in others) and/or depict what a native English speaker would say in the same context. With that in mind, let's take a look at Yabla's Top Ten Spanish Idioms from our Yabla Spanish library.
This Spanish equivalent of "Practice makes perfect" literally means "Practice makes the master":
Es así de sencillo: La práctica hace al maestro.
It's that simple: Practice makes perfect [literally "Practice makes the master"].
Caption 7, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 13 - Part 4Play Caption
Who knows why the concept of jokingly deceiving someone is expressed with "to take" or "pull one's hair" in one language and "to pull one's leg" in another?
¿Qué tango, me estás tomando el pelo?
What tango, are you pulling my leg [literally: Are you pulling my hair]?
Caption 46, Muñeca Brava 30 Revelaciones - Part 3Play Caption
The Spanish idiom andarse por las ramas and its variants mean "to walk around/between the branches" and have the same meaning as the English saying "to beat around the bush," or avoid getting straight to the point.
Mi abu también dice que yo ando entre las ramas,
My grams also says that I beat around the bush [literally "I walk between the branches"],
Caption 20, X6 1 - La banda - Part 1Play Caption
Literally translated, Al que madruga Dios lo ayuda means "God helps he who gets up early." Meant to tout the benefits of early rising, similar sayings in English include "The early bird catches the worm" and "Early to bed, early to rise makes the man healthy, wealthy, and wise."
Además, yo siempre madrugo, ¿vio? Porque, "Al que madruga..." "Dios lo ayuda".
Besides, I always get up early, you know? Because, "The early bird..." "Catches the worm" [literally "God helps him"].
Captions 33-34, Muñeca Brava 47 Esperanzas - Part 6Play Caption
Spanish-speakers use the expression "Speaking of the King of Rome" instead of "Speak of the devil" in circumstances where one is, for example, talking about someone when that person appears.
Miren, hablando del Rey de Roma.
Look, speak of the devil [literally "the King of Rome"].Play Caption
For insight into even more idiomatic expressions from the intriguing Colombian series Confidencial: El rey de la estafa (Confidential: The King of Cons), we recommend the video Carlos Comenta- Confidencial- Vocabulario y expresiones (Carlos Comments- Confidential- Vocabulary and Expressions).
Word for word, hacer el oso means "to play" or "act like a bear"! However, this oft-used Spanish expresion, employed frequently in countries like Colombia, is used to say that someone is "making a fool of him or herself."
Hermano, deje de hacer el oso.
Brother, stop making a fool of yourself [literally "playing the bear"].Play Caption
To learn more such "Colombianisms," we suggest the lesson Colombian Slang: 100 Words and Phrases to Sound like a True Colombian.
The word "darn" in English is an exclamation of disappointment, for example, when something goes wrong, while "not to give a darn" means "not to care." The Spanish equivalent importar un pepino, on the other hand, translates to "mattering as much as a cucumber" to the party in question:
¡Y el peor de todos es Pepino Pérez, que le importa un pepino todo!
And the worst of all of them is Pepino Pérez, who doesn't give a darn [literally "a cucumber"] about anything!
Caption 14, Kikirikí Agua - Part 1Play Caption
The image of getting "caught with one's hands in the dough," as the expression (atrapado) con las manos en la masa describes, seems like the perfect way to convey the notion of "getting caught red-handed" (in the act of doing some bad deed).
Con las manos en la masa atraparon al ladrón
Red-handed [literally "with his hands in the dough"], they caught the thief
Caption 1, Eljuri Un fósforoPlay Caption
The expression la mosquita muerta, or "small dead fly," describes a person who appears nice or innocent but is actually evil or untrustworthy. Similar English expressions include "a wolf in sheep's clothing" or a "snake in the grass."
Como se equivocó la mosquita muerta esa.
What a big mistake that wolf in sheep's clothing [literally "small dead fly"] made.
Caption 11, Tu Voz Estéreo Embalsamado - Part 4Play Caption
Although the literal meaning of the Argentinian saying Listo el pollo, pelada la gallina is "The chicken's ready, the hen's plucked," it is used to announce the completion of some goal or task, making it similar to the more straightforward English expression, "Mission accomplished." Here, Mili from the popular Argentinian soap opera Muñeca Brava utters the second part of this expression to make this point:
¡Listo el último! -Va, ¡pelada la gallina!
The last one's ready! -Come on, mission accomplished [literally "the hen's plucked"]!
Caption 73, Muñeca Brava 47 Esperanzas - Part 3Play Caption
If Argentinean Spanish particularly interests you, you might read this lesson on the Top Ten Argentinian Slang Words You Need to Know.
We hope you've enjoyed this lesson on Yabla's Top Ten Spanish Idioms and their English equivalents. If you are interested in learning more about what goes into translating idiomatic expressions and more, we recommend the lesson The Art of Translation, and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
The use of the Spanish subjunctive can be a source of confusion for native English speakers. However, the easy-to-recall acronym W.E.I.R.D.O. can help you to understand when to use subjunctive in Spanish.
The subjunctive is one of the three "moods" in Spanish: the indicative, the subjunctive, and the imperative. Most simply put, the imperative encompasses commands, the indicative describes objective or certain actions, and verbs in the subjunctive reflect subjectivity, a lack of certainty, or emotion.
You can tell a Spanish verb is subjunctive because it is conjugated differently than "normal." For example, while Tú hablas means "You speak" in the indicative, if you wish to say, "I hope you speak," the verb changes to hables in the translation Espero que tú hables because the concept of "hoping" something happens is subjunctive. In contrast, while the English language is perfectly capable of expressing these same ideas, there is no difference in the form of the verbs in the equivalent sentences "You speak" and "I hope you speak."
Because the subjunctive is a mood rather than a tense, it might depict actions in the past, present, or future. For this reason, just like in the indicative mood, there are many subjunctive tenses in Spanish. That said, the examples in today's lesson will be in the present subjunctive, which you can learn how to formulate in this lesson on conjugating the present subjunctive in Spanish.
The Spanish subjunctive is used in dependent clauses that are often introduced by que or another conjunction. Subjunctive sentences typically involve more than one subject and more than one verb. For example, in our aforementioned sentence: Yo espero que tú hables, there are two subjects, Yo (I) and tú (you), and two verbs, espero (I hope) and hables (you speak), with the subjunctive verb hables appearing in the dependent clause that follows the word que.
The amusing acronym W.E.I.R.D.O., which stands for Wishes, Emotions, Impersonal Expressions, Recommendations, Doubt/Denial, and Ojalá, can help you to remember several contexts that require the subjunctive. In each subcategory, we will introduce you to several verbs that "trigger" the use of the subjunctive.
Just because one wishes or hopes things will happen doesn't mean they will, not to mention those actions we ask (or even order!) others to perform. Spanish employs the subjunctive mood to talk about such situations, often using the common formula of a "wishing" verb plus que plus a verb in the present subjunctive. Let's take a look at some examples:
Si queremos que nuestro café sea más dulce podemos añadir azúcar, nata, leche condensada, miel.
If we want for our coffee to be sweeter we can add sugar, cream, condensed milk, honey.
Captions 25-26, Karla e Isabel Como pedir un caféPlay Caption
Así que, esperamos que lo disfruten, que lo sepan gozar, pero eso sí de una manera muy sana.
So, we hope you enjoy it, that you know how to enjoy it, but mind you in a very healthy way.
Captions 25-26, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 6 - Part 1Play Caption
Solo te pido que me digas cuál de ellos es Triskas:
I'll just ask for you to tell me which of them is Triskas:
Captions 11-12, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 5: Ha nacido una estrella - Part 4Play Caption
Verbs that fall into this category of describing wishes or desires include desear (to want/wish/desire), esperar (to hope), exigir (to demand/require), insistir (to insist), mandar (to order), necesitar (to need), ordenar (to order), pedir (to ask), preferir (to prefer), and querer (to want).
Spanish also utilizes the subjunctive mood to talk about one's feeling regarding some action or state, even if it's objectively true. As an example, if you wanted to say "I'm very happy you have a new job," you might use the formula emotion verb plus a conjunction (e.g. que or de que) plus a subjunctive verb to get: Me alegro mucho de que tengas un trabajo nuevo. Let's see some more examples:
Me alegro de que le guste.
I'm glad you like it.Play Caption
A mí lo que me molesta es que tú tengas la verdad de todo. -Loca...
What bothers me is that you have the truth about everything. -Girl...
Caption 54, Yago 9 Recuperación - Part 4Play Caption
Encantada [de] que estés aquí, Carolina, bienvenida. -Muchas gracias.
[I'm] delighted you're here, Carolina, welcome. -Thank you very much.Play Caption
Note that in this last example, the speaker omits the implied verb estar (to be), using only the adjective encantada to convey her delight as is often done in spoken Spanish.
Some common emotion verbs that invoke the subjunctive include alegrarse (to be happy/glad), enojarse (to be/get angry), encantar (to delight), lamentar (to regret), molestar (to bother), sentir (to be sorry), and sorpender (to surprise), among others. For more ways to talk about feelings in Spanish, we recommend this lesson on expressing emotions in Spanish.
Impersonal expressions in both Spanish and English are constructions that do not involve a particular person, for example, Hace viento (It's windy). Impersonal expressions in Spanish that involve the word Es (It's) plus almost any adjective plus the word que are indicators that the verb that follows should be conjugated in the Spanish subjunctive.
Although the adjectives in such impersonal expressions are innumerable, several popular ones include: agradable (nice), bueno (good), curioso (interesting), dudoso (doubtful), estupendo (great), extraño (strange), importante (important), increíble (amazing), necesario (necessary), probable (probable), raro (strange), urgente (urgent), and vergonzoso (embarrassing). Here are a few examples:
y es raro que todavía no haya nadie.
and it's strange that there's nobody [here] still.
Caption 38, Raquel Avisos de MegafoníaPlay Caption
Señor Di Carlo, es importante que hable con usted.
Mister DiCarlo, it's important that I talk to you.
Caption 78, Muñeca Brava 41 La Fiesta - Part 6Play Caption
No es necesario que mientas.
It's not necessary for you to lie.
Caption 17, Muñeca Brava 18 - La Apuesta - Part 12Play Caption
Although impersonal expressions can typically be positive or negative and still require the subjunctive, as in this last example (no es necesario in lieu of es necesario), the exception is when they state facts. Examples include es verdad que (it's true that), es cierto que (it's certain that), es seguro que (it's sure that) and es un hecho que (it's a fact that). However, the negative versions of these phrases do require the Spanish subjunctive, as we see in the following examples in which only the second sentence calls for the subjunctive switch:
Es un hecho que él está enfermo (It's a fact that he's sick) = INDICATIVE.
No es un hecho que él esté enfermo (It's not a fact that he's sick) = SUBJUNCTIVE.
As with wishes, the fact we can't be sure if the actions we suggest or recommend will come to fruition is expressed with the subjunctive in Spanish. Our formula would thus consist of a "recommending verb" plus que plus a verb in subjunctive. Such "recommending" verbs include but aren't limited to aconsejar (to advise), decir (to tell), dejar (to allow), exigir (to demand), hacer (to make/force), insistir (to insist), mandar (to order), ordenar (to order), prohibir (to forbid), proponer (to propose), recomendar (to recommend), rogar (to beg), sugerir (to suggest), and suplicar (to beg), some of which overlap with the "wishes" category. Let's see some examples:
les sugiero que visiten el sugestivo Museo del oro,
I suggest that you visit the intriguing Gold Museum,Play Caption
te recomiendo que muevas algunos muebles del salón a la cocina.
I recommend that you move some pieces of furniture from the living room to the kitchen.
Captions 32-33, Karla e Isabel Preparar una fiestaPlay Caption
les aconsejo que vayan a Zipaquirá,
I advise you to go to Zipaquira,Play Caption
The Yabla video Escuela Don Quijote- En el aula- Part 1 can teach you even more about using the Spanish subjunctive to give advice.
Sentences that express doubt and denial also call for the Spanish subjunctive via a similar formula: a doubt/denial verb plus que plus a verb in the subjunctive. Interestingly, although this includes the verb dudar (to doubt) in sentences like Dudo que venga (I doubt he'll come), most of the other verbs in this category are negative, in other words, consist of a verb with "no" in front of it. Examples include: no creer (to not believe), no estar seguro (to not be sure), no parecer (to not seem), no pensar (to not think), and no suponer (to not suppose). Let's see some of these in action:
No, no. No creo que haga falta; eso ya está aclarado.
No, no. I don't think it's necessary; that's already cleared up.Play Caption
No, no me parece que queden bien.
No, it doesn't seem like you fit together well to me.
Caption 41, Misión Chef 2 - Pruebas - Part 5Play Caption
On the other hand, the positive versions of these very same verbs (without no) trigger the indicative rather than the subjunctive:
Me parece que es la hora de terminar, ¿eh?
I think it's time to finish, huh?Play Caption
Creo que necesito ir al médico.
I think I need to go to the doctor.
Caption 4, Ariana Cita médicaPlay Caption
Another construction that always goes with the subjunctive is ojalá que (or sometimes just ojalá), which can be translated with such expressions as "I hope," "Let's hope," "If only," and even "God willing." This can be seen in the title of the famous (and very catchy!) tune by Juan Luis Guerra, Ojalá que llueva café en el campo (I Hope it Rains Coffee on the Countryside). Let's watch another couple of examples from our Yabla video library:
Pues, ojalá que tengáis siempre abiertas las puertas de vuestras casas y de vuestros corazones
Well, I hope that you always have open the doors to your homes and your hearts
Captions 56-57, Luis Guitarra Llegaste túPlay Caption
Ojalá que todo siga así.
I hope everything keeps going like that.Play Caption
Bueno, muchas gracias y... y ojalá nos veamos pronto.
Well, thank you very much and... and I hope we see each other soon.
Caption 36, Los Juegos Olímpicos Mario MolaPlay Caption
Our sentiments exactly! On that note, we hope you've enjoyed this lesson on when to use the subjunctive in Spanish, and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
In past lessons, we have spoken about informal commands and formal commands in Spanish when addressed to one or more people. But, what if we want to give a command to a group of people of which we are a part? That's where the imperative form for nosotros/as ("we") comes in.
While the meaning of positive and negative commands with tú, usted, ustedes, and vosotros can feel more, well... "commanding" ("Do this!" or "Don't do that!"), the translation for commands with nosotros/as sounds more like a suggestion: "Let's..." do such and such a thing. That said, "let's take a look at" (veamos) a few examples:
Miremos quién era Pablo Escobar.
Let's look at who Pablo Escobar was.Play Caption
Comamos una pasta.
Let's eat some pasta.
Caption 74, Sofy y Caro Comida en un restaurantePlay Caption
y abramos nuestro corazón a otras culturas,
and let's open our hearts to other cultures,
Caption 79, Silvina Una entrevista con la artistaPlay Caption
Now that we know the meaning of nosotros commands, let's learn how to conjugate them. In order to do so, we should revisit (or learn) how to conjugate verbs in the present subjunctive because the nosotros/as imperative form is the same as the nosotros/as present subjunctive.
To summarize briefly, to conjugate the present subjunctive, we take a verb's stem (most typically the yo form of the verb minus the -o), and add the appropriate endings (-e, -es, -e, -emos, -éis, and -en for -ar verbs and -a, -as, -a, -amos, -áis, and -an for -er and -ir verbs). Let's take a look:
|Personal Pronoun:||-ar Verbs||-er Verbs||-ir Verbs|
Although these are simple examples with regular verbs, other verbs are a bit more complex. For example, stem-changing verbs like perder (to lose), which changes to pierdo in the present, change stems in the subjunctive in all forms except nosotros/as and vosotros/as, making the conjugation in the nosotros form perdamos (rather than pierdamos). However, the important thing to remember is that the present subjunctive "we" form is the exact same as the nosotros/as command form! So, if you know one, you know the other.
So, how do we tell someone "let's not" (do something)? As Carlos explains to us in the following clip, constructing a negative command with nosostros in Spanish is as easy as adding "no" in front of the affirmative form:
imperativo afirmativo: "Hablemos de este tema", imperativo negativo: "No hablemos de esto con tu mamá".
affirmative imperative: "Hablemos de este tema" [Let's talk about this subject], negative imperative: "No hablemos de esto con tu mamá" [Let's not talk about this with your mom].
Captions 30-32, Carlos explica El modo imperativo 4: Nosotros + reflexivosPlay Caption
Let's see one more example:
Así que no perdamos más tiempo
So let's not waste any more time
Caption 11, NPS No puede ser 1 - El concurso - Part 2Play Caption
Of course, verbs that have an irregular form in the present subjunctive also have an irregular form in the nosotros/as imperative form, for example, sepamos for saber, seamos for ser, estemos for estar, etc. So, when we talk about irregular verbs in the nosotros command form, we are talking about verbs whose form deviates from the present subjunctive form. This is only the case for the verb ir (to go) because, to say "Let's go" in Spanish, the present indicative conjugation of nosotros is used rather than the present subjunctive conjugation:
Let's go, Merycita.
Caption 39, Club 10 Capítulo 1 - Part 3Play Caption
On the other hand, when we want to say "Let's not go," we do use the subjunctive form, vayamos:
No vayamos al evento.
Let's not go to the event.
An alternative way to say "Let's" in Spanish is with the following formula:
Let's take a look at some examples:
¡Vamos a bailar!
Let's dance!Play Caption
Bueno, vamos a ver.
Well, let's see.Play Caption
¡Vamos a empezar!
Caption 10, Ana Carolina GérmenesPlay Caption
Note that while this very same construction can also mean "we are going to" (do something), you will often be able to tell one's intended meaning from context. For example, in the caption above, ¡Vamos a bailar! has been translated as "Let's dance!" However, if a dance teacher said, Hoy vamos a bailar la cumbia as an explanation of the class's daily agenda, the more likely translation would be "Today, we're going to dance cumbia." That said, there are cases in which the intention of such a statement may be difficult to discern.
Let's talk about hobbies in Spanish! Hobbies, or pursuits in which one engages in his or her tiempo libre (free time), can range from things you do, to things you study, to things you collect... and more!
There are three main ways to say "hobby" in Spanish, one of which is the English word "hobby":
Pues, a mí me encanta bailar. Ese es mi hobby favorito. -OK,
Well, I love to dance. That is my favorite hobby. -OK,
Captions 7-8, Cleer HobbiesPlay Caption
The Spanish word pasatiempo is another way to say "hobby." You might remember it as being similar to the English word "pastime":
Ya ustedes... Todo mundo sabe qué es béisbol. Pero no el profesional, solamente como pasatiempo.
You already... Everybody knows what baseball is. But, not the professional [kind], just as a hobby.
Captions 50-51, Peluquería La Percha FélixPlay Caption
La afición is yet another way to say "hobby" in Spanish:
Vale... o sea que habéis conseguido transformar vuestra afición en vuestra profesión, ¿no?
OK... in other words, you guys have managed to transform your hobby into your profession, right?
Caption 72, Novalima Entrevista - Part 2Play Caption
Now that you know how to say "hobby" in Spanish, we'll introduce you to the Spanish words for a multitude of different pastimes you might take up with examples from our Spanish video library. Since some internet hobby lists include as many as 1,001 hobbies, we narrowed it down to Yabla's Top 40 Hobbies in Spanish.
Also known as el teatro (theater), la actuación (acting) could be a fun thing to study, perhaps culminating in participation in una obra de teatro (a play). The verb associated with la actuación is actuar (to act).
En esta universidad afortunadamente tenemos grandes talleres de teatro, de actuación, de música
At this university, fortunately, we have big workshops for theater, acting, music,
Captions 14-15, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana AnaPlay Caption
Estudiar astrología (studying astrology) involves the observation of celestial bodies like the sun (el sol), the moon (la luna), the stars (las estrellas), and the planets (los planetas) for the purpose of predicting traits or events.
porque el fin último de la astrología es ser una herramienta de autoconocimiento.
because the ultimate goal of astrology is to be a tool for self-knowledge.
Caption 18, Conversaciones con Luis AstrologíaPlay Caption
La panadería (baking) might be a fun (and tasty) pursuit! Alternative Spanish words for "baking" in Spanish include la repostería and el horneado, while the verb hornear means "to bake."
Estudié panadería profesional y pastelería moderna en dos universidades de allá.
I studied professional baking and modern pastry making in two universities there.
Caption 6, Misión Chef 2 - Pruebas - Part 3Play Caption
If you love baking, Yabla videos about baking such delectable dishes as Colombian buñuelos, Leche asada (also from Colombia), Ecuadorian Chaqui Tanda, or even a good old chocolate cake, might be right up your alley.
Who doesn't love a good ganga (bargain)? If you find them particularly intriguing, la búsqueda de gangas (or "bargain hunting," which could also be conveyed with the verb buscar gangas) might be right for you!
Los ricos también buscan gangas
Rich people also hunt for bargains
Caption 13, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 1Play Caption
The above-cited caption is from a series entitled Gangas para ricos (Bargains for Rich People).
Many people find realizar observación de aves (the verb for "birdwatching") to be an interesting and educational activity to do al aire libre (outdoors).
La Unidad Operativa de Punta Norte, que es por excelencia, bueno, un punto de observación de aves
The Operational Unit of Punta Norte, which is, par excellence, well, a birdwatching point
Captions 24-25, Perdidos en la Patagonia Península ValdésPlay Caption
Popular mundialmente (worldwide), el ajedrez (chess) is both a fun and cerebral pastime. You can describe the action of "playing chess" with the verb jugar al ajedrez.
Este... mis pasatiempos, me fascina lo que es el ajedrez.
Um... my hobbies, I love chess.Play Caption
The verbs reunir and coleccionar both mean "to collect" while una colección refers to "a collection" of some artículo (item). Popular items to collect include las camisetas (t-shirts), los sellos (stamps), las tazas (mugs), los postales (postcards), las tarjetas de beisbol (baseball cards), and even los coches (cars), although, unless they are carros de juguete (toy cars), the latter is most probably less accessible to the masses!
Él ha conseguido reunir una gran variedad de modelos de las grandes marcas de automóvil:
He has managed to collect a great variety of models from the big automobile brands:
Captions 11-12, Málaga Museo del automóvilPlay Caption
A "cocktail" hobby might include simply tasting (probar) exotic drinks at various coctelerías (cocktail bars) or, alternatively, practicing la coctelería (which also means "bartending") or la mixología (mixology), the art of making alcoholic beverages oneself!
Mezclamos el hielo en todos nuestros cócteles y mucha azúcar.
We mix the ice in all our cocktails and a lot of sugar.
Caption 36, Otavalo Restaurante 'Carbón de Palo'Play Caption
You might kick off your cocktail hobby by making this simple recipe for Ponche Navideño (eggnog, or literally "Christmas Punch").
La cocina is the noun for "cooking" while the verb cocinar means "to cook."
Y también me gusta mucho cocinar. Ahora mismo, voy a un curso de cocina,
And also I really like to cook. Right now, I'm going to a cooking class,
Captions 37-38, Marta Se presentaPlay Caption
For cooking aficionados, Yabla has many tasty recipe ideas, including Spanish crema de broccoli, Colombian pollo sudado, and Venezuelan arepas, just to name a few. You can also delve deeper into Spanish cuisine with the series La Cocina de María (María's Kitchen), while Misión Chef (Mission Chef) takes you behind the scenes of a Mexican cooking competition for underprivileged kids.
"Cycling" or "biking" are known as el ciclismo in Spanish, while the verbs to describe this action range from practicar ciclismo (literally "to practice cycling") to andar/montar en bici ("to bike" or "ride a bike"). Bici is, of course, short for la bicicleta (the bicycle).
De por sí el ciclismo es un... es un deporte de.... del pueblo,
In itself, cycling is a... is a sport of... of the people,
Caption 34, Semilleros Escarabajos Chapter 2 - Part 1Play Caption
To glean more insight into the world of professional cycling, we recommend the above-referenced series entitled Semilleros Escarabajos from Colombia, where cycling is considered by many to be the national sport.
El baile is the noun for "dance," and bailar (to dance) is probably one of the first verbs you learned when studying Spanish. Dancing provides a creative outlet as well as buen ejercicio (good exercise).
Me encanta bailar,
I love to dance,Play Caption
Verbs like salir a comer, salir a cenar, or comer afuera describe the popular hobby of "dining out" or "going out to eat" at restaurants, enabling one to try una variedad (a variety) of cocinas (cuisines).
¿Vamos a salir a comer, señor Urrutia?
Are we going to go out to eat, Mister Urrutia?Play Caption
The hobby known as el dibujo (drawing/sketching) has been associated with improved self-confidence and mental health. The verb dibujar means "to draw," while the verbs bosquejar and bocetar mean "to sketch."
eh... primero que todo le doy gracias a Dios por haberme dado esta capacidad de expresión que es el dibujo.
um... first of all, I give thanks to God for having given me this capacity for expression, which is drawing.
Captions 75-77, Bucaramanga, Colombia Pintor callejeroPlay Caption
If drawing interests you, you might try this video about Mexican illustrator Antonio Vargas.
This hobby might entail the frequent viewing of películas (movies/films) at el cine (the movie theater), studying la historia del cine (the history of film/cinema), or perhaps even "filmmaking" (which can also be known as el cine or el rodaje) yourself.
y me encanta ver películas en el cine.
and I love watching movies at the movie theater.Play Caption
Many people are passionate about estudiar geografía (studying geography), which examines both physical locations on la Tierra (Earth) and the relationship between people and their sociedades (societies).
Pero me di cuenta que cuando uno estudia geografía y estudia el mundo, en realidad eso es un reflejo de nuestra mente.
But I realized that when one studies geography and studies the world, that is actually a reflection of our minds.
Captions 50-51, Outward Bound DannyPlay Caption
"Gardening" can be known as la jardinería or el cuidado de un jardín (literally "the care of a garden"). Verbs for "to garden" include cuidar un jardín, cultivar, or plantar.
Seguro que a muchas de vosotras y vosotros os gusta la jardinería
Surely many of you like gardening
Caption 2, Fermín La plumeria - Part 1Play Caption
Gardening fans might enjoy Yabla host Fermín's video on an interesting flower called la plumeria.
We don't think you'll have a hard time remembering how to say "golf" in Spanish: el golf. Jugar al golf, on the other hand, means "to play golf."
son alumnos del instituto José Cadalzo de San Roque y son unos apasionados por el golf.
they are students from the José Cadalzo de San Roque Institute and they are golf enthusiasts.
Captions 4-5, Club de las ideas Biodiesel - Part 1Play Caption
If golfing is your cup of tea, try the video Pasión por el golf (Passion for Golf).
While the nouns la equitación and la cabalgata mean "horseback riding," the verb montar a caballo means "to ride a horse."
Recuerda también que tenemos cursos de música y cursos de equitación,
Also remember that we have music courses and horseback riding courses,
Captions 27-28, El Aula Azul Conversación: Los cursos de español - Part 1Play Caption
This clip references horseback riding as one of the many activities available in addition to learning Spanish at El Aula Azul language school in San Sebastián, Spain.
"Hiking" in Spanish is known as el senderismo or el excursionismo. "To hike" or "take a hike" might be described with verbs like practicar senderismo/excursionismo, hacer una caminata or simply subir.
justo aquí encima de mí, está el Monte Ulía, que es perfecto para practicar senderismo,
right here above me, is Monte Ulía [Mount Ulía], which is perfect for hiking
Captions 15-17, El Aula Azul Barrio de GrosPlay Caption
If you are looking for a more exotic hobby, el malabar (a.k.a. malabarismo, or "juggling") could be your thing! Verbs that mean "to juggle" include hacer malabares and hacer juegos malabares.
y ya entramos en el malabar.
and then we get into juggling.
Caption 16, Juan Sánchez Clase de circoPlay Caption
"Kitesurfing" is often known as el kitesurfing, el kitesurf, or simply el kite in Spanish, and the action is hacer kitesurf, etc.
Estamos en una escuela de kite.
We're at a kitesurfing school.Play Caption
Kitesurfing may not be available everywhere, but Yabla has had the opportunity to travel to a prime kitsurfing location, Adícora, Venezuela, and made a lot of videos related to this topic! You might take a look at Darío y el kitesurfing, La Posada Sea Club, and Adícora Kite Club, just to name a few.
We're sure your friends will be delighted with all of the prendas (garments) and other manualidades (crafts) you make them when you take up "knitting," which can be known in Spanish by names such as el tejido, el punto, and la calceta. The action of knitting is commonly called tejer or hacer punto.
Nosotros no hacemos solamente un tejido sino hacemos en varias formas de tejido.
We don't just do one [kind of] knitting, but rather do various types of knitting.
Caption 23, Otavalo Jorge, creador de atrapasueñosPlay Caption
As you already know, aprender un idioma (the verb for "learning a language," while el aprendizaje is the noun) can be both challenging and rewarding!
Hola, y bienvenido a Yabla español, el programa revolucionario para el aprendizaje de español.
Hello, and welcome to Yabla Spanish, the revolutionary program for the learning of Spanish.
Captions 1-2, Spanish INTRO KarolaPlay Caption
We hope that Yabla is helping your own language journey, and also recommend our sister site Go Spanish by Yabla to reinforce what you are learning with small group or private classes.
El maquillaje is also an increasingly popular hobby for which one can find many online tutorials. The action of applying makeup or "making (someone) up" is called maquillar while applying makeup to oneself is expressed with the reflexive verb maquillarse.
y hoy voy a maquillar a mi amiga, Catalina, que necesita un maquillaje para una entrevista.
and today I am going to make up my friend, Catalina, who needs a makeup application for an interview.
Captions 9-10, Maquillaje Con Cata y CleerPlay Caption
There are a variety of different técnicas (techniques) with which one can meditar (to meditate), some of which are done in conjunction with movement such as yoga or tai chi, which is known as "meditation in motion."
Con la meditación, ejercitamos nuestra capacidad de permanecer abiertos,
With meditation, we exercise our capacity to remain open,
Captions 21-23, Ana Carolina La meditaciónPlay Caption
Get your creative juices flowing with la pintura, which can refer generally to the art of "painting" or the "paint" itself. The verb pintar means "to paint."
Entonces, este... yo estaba pintando en esa época
So, then... I was painting at that time
Caption 8, Arturo Vega Entrevista - Part 3Play Caption
With the advent of smart phones that take higher quality photos all the time and the opportunity to filter and display photos on popular social media sites, it seems that more and more people are becoming interested in la fotografía (photography). The people who take photos are known as fogógrafos/as (photographers), and the action of taking photos is expressed with sacar or tomar fotos.
Si te gusta la fotografía, estoy seguro de que disfrutarás adentrándote por sus callejuelas estrechas,
If you like photography, I'm sure you'll enjoy losing yourself in its narrow streets,
Captions 30-31, Viajando con Fermín Sevilla - Part 1Play Caption
La poesía (poetry) fascinates many people, whether it entails simply reading it (leer poesía) or writing it oneself (escribir poesía).
¿Escribes poesía? -Sí.
You write poetry? -Yes.
Caption 69, Karla e Isabel PalabrasPlay Caption
El pole dance (pole dancing) is an incredibly aerobic activity that is no longer limited to just strip clubs!
Vengo a compartir con ustedes hoy un tema sumamente interesante: los beneficios del pole dance.
I've come to share with you today an extremely interesting topic: the benefits of pole dancing.
Captions 2-4, Melyna Pole dancePlay Caption
Apparently, pole dancing has enjoyed particular popularity in Ecuador in recent days, as Melyna shares with us in her video entitled Pole dance.
In the popular series Los Años Maravillosos (the Colombian version of The Wonder Years), Kevin's mom finds an escape from her everyday life by signing up for una clase de cerámica (a pottery class), and maybe you can too!
Es que me inscribí en el curso de cerámica de la parroquia.
It's just that I enrolled in the church's pottery class.
Caption 20, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 12 - Part 3Play Caption
Tocar un instrumento means "to play" or "playing an instrument."
y que quería aprender a tocar la guitarra
and that I wanted to learn to play the guitar
Caption 18, Luis Guitarra Influencias musicales - Part 1Play Caption
To learn the names of musical instruments you might play in Spanish, try Spanish singer-songwriter Luis Guitarra's Instrumentos musicales or Karla e Isabel- Instrumentos musicales. Alternatively, the Curso de guitarra (Guitar Course) series can teach you how to play some simple chords and tunes.
The pastime "reading" is most typically described by the verb leer (to read). Reading is, of course, a great hobby for improving one's vocabulario (vocabulary) as well as opening one's mente (mind).
Sobre mis "hobbies", por ejemplo, me gusta mucho leer.
About my hobbies, for example, I love reading.
Caption 17, Burgos María de los ÁngelesPlay Caption
Interestingly, the word correr can be both a noun meaning "running" and a verb meaning "to run." Taken straight from English, el jogging is also used to talk about this hobby that relieves stress and builds endurance.
En el próximo febrero quince, voy a correr la maratón de Austin, Texas,
Next February fifteenth, I'm going to run the marathon in Austin, Texas,
Captions 28-29, Cerro de Ancón EntrenamientoPlay Caption
El fútbol is an internationally popular deporte (sport) with very enthusiastic fanáticos (fans), whether they prefer to simply watch los partidos de fútbol (soccer matches) or jugar al fútbol (play soccer) themselves.
Los viernes, juego al fútbol con mis amigas.
On Fridays, I play soccer with my friends.
Caption 21, Ariana Mi SemanaPlay Caption
"Surfing" is called el surf in Spanish, and the verb for "to surf" is surfear.
Una de mis grandes aficiones desde niña es el surf,
One of my big hobbies since I was a little girl is surfing,
Caption 4, Ana Teresa Yoga y surfPlay Caption
La natación is an excellent, low-impact way to get exercise, which many find muy relajante (very relaxing). The verb nadar means to "swim."
Para nosotros, que amamos este deporte, la natación es nuestro estilo de vida.
For us, who love this sport, swimming is our lifestyle.
Captions 24-25, Víctor en Caracas La nataciónPlay Caption
El tenis (tennis) could be an exhilarating and physically-challenging deporte (sport) to try. Jugar al tenis means "to play tennis."
Me gusta mucho jugar al tenis.
I really like to play tennis.
Caption 21, Marta Se presentaPlay Caption
Traveling is known by the verb that means "to travel," viajar, whereas the noun los viajes refers to one's "travels" or "trips." We agree with the sentiment expressed in the following clip:
y obviamente que viajar siempre viene bien
and obviously traveling always does one good
Caption 47, GoSpanish Entrevista con María SolPlay Caption
The wine tasting hobby is often described with the verbs catar vinos or probar vinos. A wine tasting event, on the other hand, is known as una cata de vinos or una degustación de vinos.
Lo primero que vamos a hacer cuando vamos a probar un vino, es mirar el color.
The first thing we're going to do when we're going to taste a wine is to look at the color.
Captions 32-33, Montserrat Cata de vinos - Part 1Play Caption
We doubt you'll have trouble remembering the name for "yoga" in Spanish since it is the same as in English with a masculine article: el yoga. Practicar yoga (to practice yoga) is the action.
y mucha gente no sabe todo lo que hay detrás del yoga, que no es solamente un ejercicio físico,
and many people don't know everything there is behind yoga, which isn't just a physical exercise,
Captions 9-11, Ana Teresa Introducción al yogaPlay Caption
To learn more about the many beneficios (benefits) of this practice, tanto físicos como espirituales (both physical and spiritual), we offer you this yoga series with Ana Teresa as well as the series Bienestar con Elizabeth (Well-being with Elizabeth) with whom you can practice along! Meanwhile, Rosa introduces to a type of yoga you may or may not be familiar with: Yoga con burros (Yoga with Donkeys)!
We hope you've enjoyed this lesson on Yabla's Top 40 Hobbies in Spanish, and perhaps gotten inspired to take up something new! For more on the general topic of hobbies, check out Hobbies by Cleer or Nuestros hobbies (Our Hobbies) by Karla and Isabel, and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments!
Let's learn some vocabulary to talk about the North American holiday el Día de Acción de Gracias (Thanksgiving) in Spanish!
Thanksgiving takes place cada año (each year) on el cuarto jueves de noviembre (the fourth Thursday in November), which is, of course, la estación de otoño (the fall season). For a plethora of fall-related words, check out this lesson on Spanish Vocabulary for the Autumn Season.
La historia (the history) of Thanksgiving is polémica (controversial). Although many of us learned about a harmonious festín (feast) between los peregrinos (the pilgrims) and los nativos de América del Norte (the Native Americans), the previous and subsequent bloodshed have led many to rethink the way Thanksgiving is taught or whether they should celebrate it. In fact, many Native American tribes observe Thanksgiving as a day of luto (mourning).
That said, the idea of dar las gracias (giving thanks) is una costumbre (a tradition) that predates the so-called first Thanksgiving in mil seiscientos veintiuno, or 1621 (See this lesson on saying the years in Spanish!). It is a federal holiday in the United States that is cherished by many for the purpose of juntarse (getting together) with one's seres queridos (loved ones) to darse un banquete (feast) and festejar (celebrate) the things for which they feel agradecidos (grateful).
Although the pilgrims probably didn't eat Turkey at the first Thanksgiving, it has become the staple of many Thanksgiving meals:
Un pavo real como los peregrinos.
A real turkey like the pilgrims.
Caption 60, Calle 13 Cumbia de los AburridosPlay Caption
de puré de patata suave, entonces... eso es lo que vamos a perseguir.
smooth mashed potatoes, so... that's what we are going to seek.
Caption 14, Cómetelo Crema de brócoli - Part 4Play Caption
Es solomillo ibérico, relleno.
It's Iberian tenderloin with stuffing.
Caption 72, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 6Play Caption
Podéis utilizar también cualquier otra verdura que os guste, como calabaza o judías verdes.
You can also use any other vegetable that you like, such as pumpkin or green beans.
Captions 16-17, La cocina de María Cocido MalagueñoPlay Caption
Here are some additional Thanksgiving food words that might come in handy:
Apple pie: el pastel de manzana, la torta de manzana
Brussels sprouts: los coles de Bruselas, los repollitos de Bruselas
Dinner rolls: los pancitos, los panecillos, los rollos
Corn: el maíz
Gravy: la salsa de carne, la salsa espesa, la salsa
Pecan pie: la tarta de nuez pecana, la tarta de pecana
Pumpkin pie: el pastel de calabaza
Yams: los ñames
In addition to comer (eating), many people congregate to watch fútbol americano (football) or view the famous desfile (parade) the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, be it on TV or en persona (in person).
They might also decorate their homes with such Thanksgiving símbolos (symbols) as las velas (candles), el maíz criollo (Indian corn), las calabazas (gourds), and los cuernos de la abundancia (cornucopias or horns of plenty).
However, the most important Thanksgiving activity (and indeed every day!) is giving thanks, which we think Claudia Montoya sings quite nicely about this in this clip:
Por eso cada día quiero dar las gracias Por todo lo que yo tengo, también lo que no tengo
That's why I want to give thanks every day For everything I have, what I don't have as well
Captions 12-13, Claudia Montoya Volverte a abrazarPlay Caption
Some other ways to talk about being grateful and giving thanks in Spanish include:
agradecer: to thank, to express gratitude/thanks
estar agradecido/a por: to be grateful for
sentirse afortunado/a: to feel fortunate/blessed
sentirse bendecido/a: to feel blessed
sentirse agradecido/a por lo que uno tiene: to count one's blessings (literally "to be grateful for what one has")
las bendiciones: the blessings
On that note, les agradecemos mucho (We thank you very much) for reading this lesson on Thanksgiving terms in Spanish. We hope you've enjoyed it, and don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.