Let's start today's lesson with a quote from the Argentinean telenovela, Yago:
Pero si no te casás, no tenés nada para aportar a la sociedad. No sos nadie, Melina. No sos nada.
But if you don't get married, you don't have anything to contribute to the company. You're nobody, Melina. You're nothing.
Captions 27-29, Yago 9 Recuperación - Part 9Play Caption
What's going on here (aside from a seemingly very dramatic situation)? Since the speaker is addressing this character as "you," shouldn't these verbs be conjugated as (tú) te casas, tienes, and eres?
What's going on here, grammatically speaking, is that in Argentina, Uruguay, and many other regions (including parts of Paraguay, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Mexico, and Venezuela) vos is used in place of tú as the informal second person singular pronoun ("you"), causing some of the verb conjugations to vary slightly.
"Do I really have to learn another verb tense?!" you might be saying. However, even though el voseo (the use of vos instead of tú) might seem intimidating at first, there is a lot of "good news" regarding vos, particularly if you are already familiar with el tuteo (the use of tú):
1. The verb conjugations for vos only differ from those with tú in two tenses: the present indicative and the informal imperative (command). All of the other verb tenses (preterite, imperfect, etc.) are exactly the same as with tú, as are many of its pronouns (e.g. direct object, indirect object, reflexive, and possessive).
2. The formulas for conjugating verbs with vos in both present indicative and imperative are extremely simple.
3. With the voseo, there are a lot less irregular verbs than with tú. In fact, in the present indicative of vos, there are only three irregular verbs, while in the present indicative of tú, there are over one hundred irregular/stem changing verbs to memorize.
Let's start with how to conjugate -ar, -er, and -ir verbs with vos in the present indicative: Simply take the infinitive, replace the "r" with an "s," and add an accent to the final vowel. Let's look at some examples with the infinitives escuchar (to listen), saber (to know), and subir (to go up).
Qu'... Vos no me escuchás ni cuando yo te estoy contando una cosa que para mí es importante.
Wh'... You don't listen to me, not even when I'm telling you something that is important to me.
Caption 50, Yago 2 El puma - Part 3Play Caption
Si vos sabés muy bien que yo me sé adaptar.
You know very well that I know how to adapt.
Caption 43, Cuatro Amigas Piloto - Part 2Play Caption
En el segundo piso, de ahí subís y ahí es tu salón.
On the second floor, you go up there and there's your classroom.
Caption 49, La Sucursal del Cielo Capítulo 1 - Part 6Play Caption
In the case of these regular -ar and -er verbs, you will note that their conjugations with vos are virtually identical to their tú forms (escuchas and sabes) with the addition of their written (and spoken) accents. Howeber, regular -ir verbs like subir, which are typically conjugated with -es in their tú form (subes), retain their-i vowel plus an accent.
As previously mentioned, verbs that are irregular or stem-changing with tú are regular with vos. To get an idea, let's take the common verbs comenzar (to begin), tener (to have), and decir (to say), all of which have irregular forms when conjugated with tú. With vos, on the other hand, these verbs follow our regular pattern of replacing the "r" with "s" and adding an accent to the final noun:
|Verb in Infinitive:||Present Indicative with Tú:||Present Indicative with Vos:|
Let's look at a couple of these in action:
y decís: "Bueno, pará que mañana tenés que seguir
and you say, "Hey, hold on 'cause tomorrow you have to continue
Caption 66, Biografía Natalia Oreiro - Part 10Play Caption
There are only three irregular verbs in the vos form of the present indicative, one of which we already saw (ser) and two of which share their forms with tú (haber and ir). All three of these appear in the following clip:
Además, vos ni vas al colegio, has perdido un montón de años. Vos no sos nadie.
Besides, you don't even go to school, you have missed a ton of years. You're [a] nobody.
Captions 33-34, La Sucursal del Cielo Capítulo 1 - Part 3Play Caption
Now, let's take a look at these captions again, substituting the verb tú for vos:
Además, tú ni vas al colegio, has perdido un montón de años. Tú no eres nadie.
Besides, you don't even go to school, you have missed a ton of years. You're [a] nobody.
While the vos form of ser, sos, does differ from the tú form (eres), the verb conjugations for ir (vas) and haber (has) are exactly the same for both tú and vos.
Conjugating verbs with vos in the imperative (command) form is even easier: Simply take the infinitive, remove the r, and add an accent over the final vowel. Let's look at some examples of the vos command forms for each type of verb ending, utilizing the verbs tomar (to drink), tener (to have), and venir (to come).
Sabés que no tomo whisky. -¡Pero tomá!
You know that I don't drink whiskey. -But, drink it!
Caption 22, Muñeca Brava 2 Venganza - Part 3Play Caption
Este... tené un poquito de paciencia.
Umm... have a little bit of patience.
Caption 7, Muñeca Brava 45 El secreto - Part 9Play Caption
Vení, vamos a bailar.
Come, let's go dance.
Caption 33, Muñeca Brava 7 El poema - Part 6Play Caption
Once again, verbs like tener and venir that are irregular in the imperative form with tú (ten and ven, respectively) are regular in the imperative form with vos. While ir (to go) is the only irregular verb in this category, its formal conjugations, id or ite, are almost never heard, and the command form of andar (to walk/go), andá, is often used in its place.
Keep in mind that, due to the Spanish accent rules, the addition of a pronoun to a command form with vos may lead to the omission of the written accent:
Olvidate, divertite, hacé algo. -No quiero,
Forget about it, have fun, do something. -I don't want to,
Caption 8, Muñeca Brava 46 Recuperación - Part 7Play Caption
To conclude, remember that in all of the other tenses besides the present indicative and informal imperative, vos is conjugated in exactly the same way as tú. In the following example, we see the preterite form of ser (to be) fuiste as well as the imperfect form of estar (to be), taking into account that the indirect object pronoun te is also identical for both vos and tú:
porque a vos no te hice absolutamente nada. Todo lo contrario. Fuiste la protagonista de la fiesta, estabas maravillosa
because I've done absolutely nothing to you. On the contrary. You were the star of the party, you were looking wonderful
Captions 15-17, Muñeca Brava 41 La Fiesta - Part 7Play Caption
We hope that this lesson has made conjugating verbs with the informal second person pronoun vos seem a bit less daunting. For more information on this topic, we recommend this Yabla series on the Voseo, ustedeo, and tuteo as well as this video on the use of vos in Argentina— and don't hesitate to contact us with your comments and suggestions.
In the first part of our lesson on comparative structures, we covered comparisons of inequality. However, what if we would like to talk about similarity? Part two of this lesson will deal with comparisons of equality as well as superlatives, and considering that 2020 has been uno de los años más difíciles para muchos (one of the hardest years for many people), superlative structures could definitely come in handy.
Let's start by using the Spanish equivalent of as ___ as (as good as, as fast as, etc.). We can use this structure with both adjectives and adverbs.
Oye, no, no es tan fácil como tú lo ves, ¿eh?
Hey, no, it's not as easy as you see it, huh?
Caption 21, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 17Play Caption
tampoco saliste con una mina tan finoli como ella.
you haven't dated a woman as elegant as her either.
Caption 18, Yago 12 Fianza - Part 9Play Caption
Notice that we use tan rather than tanto before the adjective or adverb. Thus, in the previous examples, it would be a mistake to say tanto fácil or tanto finoli. We can, however, say tanto más or tanto menos fácil (as explained in part one of this lesson).
On the other hand, the similar structure tanto como is the Spanish equivalent of "as much as." In the following example, note that because tanto is an adverb, it is unmarked for gender and number.
Espero que hayáis disfrutado al menos tanto como yo disfruto estando todos los días con vosotros.
I hope that you have enjoyed at least as much as I enjoy being here every day with you guys.
Captions 76-78, Cómetelo Crema de brócoli - Part 11Play Caption
Unlike the examples with adjectives and adverbs above, tanto must be marked for gender when used with nouns. We will therefore use tanto/s before masculine nouns and tanta/s before feminine nouns as follows:
Tiene tanto dinero como su hijo.
She has as much money as her son does.
Tiene tanta paciencia como tú.
She has as much patience as you do.
Tienes tantas hermanas como yo.
You have as many sisters as I do.
When talking about things (cosas) that are similar, we can employ this term as an adjective (marked for number and gender) to say that they are parecidas. On the other hand, to express that something is done in a similar way, we use the unmarked adverb: parecido, as in Juana y su hermana hablan parecido. And to top it all off, parecido is also a noun that indicates resemblance.
La [cultura] gitana es muy parecida a la cultura árabe.
Gypsy [culture] is very similar to Arab culture.
Caption 37, Europa Abierta Jassin Daudi - Con artePlay Caption
Notice the use of the preposition a following the adjective parecida to indicate "to."
Now, let's look at parecido as a noun as it appears in this caption from Clase Aula Azul, which explains the use of the verb parecer:
Hablamos de parecidos físicos, ¿sí? Se parece es como decir, es parecido, es similar, ¿mmm?
We're talking about physical similarities, right? "Se parece" [It looks like] is like saying, it's alike, it's similar, hmm?
Captions 37-38, Clase Aula Azul El verbo parecer - Part 6Play Caption
While we can use parecido or similar to describe similarities, what if the items being compared are exactly the same? When items are virtually indistinguishable, idéntico, igual, or mismo are suitable terms. Remeber that these are adjectives and are therefore marked for number and gender, except for igual, which is gender neutral. It is worth mentioning that only el/la mismo/a or los/las mismos/as can come before the noun. Thus, if one has the same t-shirt someone is wearing, he or she might say the following:
Tengo la misma remera (I have the same t-shirt).
Tengo una remera igual (I have a t-shirt shirt just like that).
Tengo una remera idéntica (I have an identical t-shirt).
Let's take a look at some additional examples:
Porque uno idéntico a este embarcó en el Titanic en mil novecientos doce.
Because one identical to this one embarked on the Titanic in nineteen twelve.
Captions 24-25, Málaga Museo del automóvilPlay Caption
Si hay diez personas trabajando con los mismos medios y las mismas herramientas,
If there are ten people working with the same media and the same tools,
Caption 73, Lo que no sabías Arte electrónico - Part 5Play Caption
As a side note, the interesting expressions me da igual or me da lo mismo mean "it's all the same to me" or "I don´t really care":
Ya lo que digan me da igual
What people say doesn't matter to me anymore
Caption 22, Alejandro Fernandez EresPlay Caption
Another keyword when it comes to making comparisons is como (like).
Juli, vas a quedar como una cobarde, como si te diera miedo.
Juli, you're going to look like a coward, as if it scared you.
Captions 44-45, Club 10 Capítulo 1 - Part 5Play Caption
And you will definitely remember this comparative structure after listening to the Calle 13 song in this clip:
No hay nadie como tú
There is no one like you
Caption 29, Calle 13 No hay nadie como túPlay Caption
Finally, we have the superlative forms with the following structures: el/los/la/las/lo + más + adjective:
La prueba de sonido es lo más importante quizás porque es la preparación, ¿no?
The sound check is the most important thing, maybe because it's the staging, right?Play Caption
Este es el aguacate más caro que hay en el mercado.
This is the most expensive avocado that there is on the market.
Caption 38, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 1Play Caption
Note that there are a few irregular superlatives:
el mejor (the best)
el peor (the worst)
el mayor (the oldest)
For "the oldest," el más grande can also be used. While this is very common in some regions and can also mean "the largest," "the greatest," or "the biggest," it is important to remember that, as is the case with all irregular superlatives, mayor cannot be used in conjunction with más. Thus the sentence "Paul is the oldest in his class" can be translated as Paul es el más grande de su clase or Paul es el mayor de su clase but NOT Paul es el más mayor.
We hope that you have enjoyed our newsletter, y lo que es más importante (what matters most) is that you have learned a lot! Don't forget to leave us your suggestions and comments.
A recent Yabla video entitled La Doctora Consejos: parecer vs. parecerse demonstrated the difference between the verb parecer (to seem) and the reflexive verb parecerse ("to look like" or "be similar"). Although, at first glance, the difference between these two verbs might seem simple, this can be confusing when pronouns are thrown into the mix.
When no pronouns are present, it will be quite obvious that the verb in question is parecer. Let's take a look:
La verdad es que pareces cansado.
To be honest, you seem tired.Play Caption
Las cosas son más fáciles de lo que parecen.
Things are easier than what they seem.Play Caption
On the other hand, when a sentence does involve pronouns, these two verbs become a bit harder to distinguish. One reason for this is that, although parecerse employs reflexive pronouns, while parecer is often accompanied by indirect object pronouns, there is some overlap in terms of the forms of these two pronoun types. Let's take a look:
|Personal Pronoun||Reflexive Pronoun||Indirect Object Pronoun|
|él, ella, usted||se||le|
|ellos, ellas, ustedes||se||les|
Should we encounter se then, we will know it is reflexive, while we will recognize le or les as indirect object pronouns. However, as you will notice that the reflexive and indirect object pronouns that correspond to four out of the six personal pronouns appear identical (me, te, nos, and os), how can we tell whether an instance of parecer accompanied by one of these pronouns is indeed parecer or its reflexive counterpart?
Let's start with the verb parecerse. Keeping in mind that this is a reflexive verb, note that it is conjugated "as usual" to agree with its subject's corresponding personal pronoun: in other words, just like the verb parecer with the addition of the appropriate reflexive pronoun. With this in mind, let's take a look at the present indicative forms of parecer and parecerse:
|Personal Pronoun:||Present Indicative of Parecer:||Present Indicative of Parecerse|
|él, ella, usted||parece||se parece|
|nosotros, nosotras||parecemos||nos parecemos|
|vosotros, vosotras||parecéis||os parecéis|
|ellos, ellas, ustedes||parecen||se parecen|
Now, let's look at some examples of the verb parecerse in action:
En eso me parezco mucho a mi madre.
I'm a lot like my mother in that way.Play Caption
¡Nos gustan las mismas cosas! Nos parecemos.
We like the same things! We are similar.
Captions 40-41, Conversaciones en el parque Cap. 2: Cafe y bocadillosPlay Caption
pero entonces tienes que decir, "Mis ojos se parecen a los ojos de mi madre",
but then you have to say, "My eyes look like my mother's eyes,"
Caption 28, Clase Aula Azul El verbo parecer - Part 7Play Caption
Note that with the verb parecerse, the conjugations agree with the sentence's subjects, or who or what is performing the action of the sentence: in these cases yo (I), nosotros (we), and mis ojos (my eyes). In other words, we conjugate them in accordance with who or what "looks like" or "is similar to" something else.
In contrast, when the verb parecer is accompanied by an indirect object pronoun, this verb falls into a class of verbs that function in a manner similar to the verb gustar. While we use the same conjugations of parecer (present indicative, etc.), the person or thing to whom or which something seems a certain way becomes the object of the sentence (receiver of the verb's action), while what seems that way to that entity is the subject. Let's take a look at some examples:
¿Qué cosas te parecen muy importantes en tu día a día?
What things seem very important to you in your daily life?Play Caption
Here, parecer is conjugated in accordance with las cosas (the things) that seem important rather than the person to whom they are, and the indirect object pronoun te tells us that the person they seem important to is tú (you). In addition, when parecer is accompanied by an indirect object pronoun, it entails an opinion, similar to the idea in English that someone "thinks" something. So, although, in the above example, parecer is translated as "to seem," an additional translation might be: "What things in your daily life do you think are important?" Let's look at another example:
A ti te parece bonita.
You think it's pretty [literally "To you it seems pretty"].
Caption 11, Clase Aula Azul El verbo parecer - Part 2Play Caption
Were this the verb parecerse utilized with the reflexive pronoun te, the conjugation would instead be: te pareces (you look like). However, this is an instance of the verb parecer conjugated in the third person singular (parece) and accompanied by the indirect object pronoun te to indicate that what "seems" pretty to "you'" is "it'" (we know from the previous sentences that the "it" is the city of San Sebastian, Spain). And as with the verb gustar, adding a mí (to me), a ti (to you), a ellos (to them), etc. is optional but not essential for adding emphasis to this construction.
Let's conclude with one last example:
y además podéis aprovechar para dar vuestra opinión sobre qué os parece este espacio y qué os parecen mis recetas.
and you can also take the opportunity to give your opinion about what you think of this space and what you think of my recipes.
Captions 36-37, La cocina de María Tortilla de patatasPlay Caption
Again, remember that although os parece and os parecen have both been translated as "you think" here, which tends to be the more common way to express this idea colloquially, the more literal translations of sentences like this one (in this case, "and you can also take the opportunity to give your opinion about how this space seems to you and how my recipes seem to you") are useful to keep in mind when attempting to decipher or create such structures.
We hope this lesson has helped you to better differentiate the verbs parecer vs. parecerse when pronouns are present, particularly since many of the reflexive and indirect object se parecen (look alike). For an even more in-depth exploration of this topic, check out Clase Aula Azul's series entitled El verb parecer (The Verb Parecer).
That's all for today, and don't forget to send us your questions and comments.
The colloquial expression "Woulda, coulda, shoulda" is often used to express regret about something that, in retrospect, one "would have," "could have," or "should have" done differently. As learners of Spanish are often anxious to find manners of expressing these same ideas in Spanish, today, we'll provide some simple formulas for doing so.
When conjugated in the conditional tense, the auxiliary verb haber means "would have." Let's take a look at this conjugation:
Yo habría (I would have)
Tú habrías (You would have)
Él/Ella/Usted habría (He/She/You would have)
Nosotros/Nosotras habríamos (We would have)
Vosotros/Vosotras habríais (You all would have)
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes habrían (They/You all would have)
Then, to express what one "would have" done under other circumstances, we use the past participle. Although certain verbs have irregular past participle forms, in the majority of cases, the past participle is formed by replacing the -ar of infinitive -ar verbs with -ado or the -er or -ir of -er and -ir verbs with -ido as follows:
Infinitive: comenzar / Past participle: comenzado
Infinitive: comer / Past participle: comido
Infinitive: subir / Past participle: subido
Aside from this simple formula for conjugating the past participle of verbs, irregular past participles must be memorized. Some of the most common irregular past participles include: decir: dicho (said), escribir: escrito (written), hacer: hecho (done), poner: puesto (put), romper: roto (broken), morir: muerto (dead), ver: visto (seen), volver: vuelto (returned), cubrir: cubierto (covered). Although it would be impossible to list all of the irregular past participles here, you will find that many of them follow similar patterns that should become increasingly familiar with additional exposure to Spanish.
Now that we know the formula for expressing the idea of "would have" in Spanish, let's take a look at some examples:
Ya habríais ahorrado... -Dos mil euros.
You would have saved... -Two thousand euros.
Caption 72, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 8Play Caption
Sólo se trataba de cerrar los ojos y aguantar el dolor, como habría hecho Ricardo Mendoza.
It was just about closing my eyes and dealing with the pain, like Ricardo Mendoza would have done.
Captions 47-48, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 8Play Caption
Y si lo hiciera, yo ya me habría dado cuenta. -¿Sí?
And if he did, I would have realized it by now. -Really?
Caption 33, X6 1 - La banda - Part 10Play Caption
The formula for talking about things we "could have" done, but didn't, involves the conditional conjugation of the verb poder (to be able), plus the infinitive haber, plus the past participle. The conditional of the verb poder is as follows:
Yo podría (I could)
Tú podrías (You could)
Él/Ella/Usted podría (He/She/You could)
Nosotros/Nosotras podríamos (We could)
Vosotros/Vosotras podríais (You all could)
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes podrían (They/You all could)
Note that while the translation of the verb poder in its conditional form is "could," the addition of the infinitive haber creates a structure meaning "could have." For example, while Yo podría ir al circo means "I could go to the circus," Yo podría haber ido al circo (I could have gone to the circus) conveys the idea of an unfulfilled possibility. Let's take a look at some examples of this construction:
¡Pero qué bien! ¡Lo mismo me podría haber contestado un policía!
But how great! A policeman could have answered me the same way.
Caption 4, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 5Play Caption
Te la podrías haber traído más grande. ¿Cuántas has cogido?
You could have brought a bigger one. How many have you picked?
Caption 118, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 11Play Caption
Te podrías haber vestido un poco más de... con... no sé, de señorita, digo.
You could have dressed a little more like... with... I don't know, like a lady, I mean.
Captions 35-36, Muñeca Brava 2 Venganza - Part 4Play Caption
As you can see, this formula is extremely similar to the previous one, except that it employs the conditional form of the verb deber. Although the verb deber frequently involves the idea of obligation, with such translations as "to have to" or the idea that one "must" do something, in its conditional form, it takes on the meaning "should." Let's take a look at its conditional conjugation:
Yo debería (I should)
Tú deberías (You should)
Él/Ella/Usted debería (He/She/You should)
Nosotros/Nosotras deberíamos (We should)
Vosotros/Vosotras deberíais (You all should)
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes deberían (They/You all should)
As with our previous formula, the addition of the infinitive haber changes the meaning from "should" to "should have." Using the same example of the circus, while Yo debería ir al circo means "I should go to the circus," Yo debería haber ido al circo (I should have gone to the circus) expresses regret about not having gone. Let's take a look at some additional examples:
Le debería haber dado un trompazo en la boca nada más.
I should have punched her in the mouth and that's it.
Caption 16, Muñeca Brava 30 Revelaciones - Part 11Play Caption
Digo, debería haber confiado y...
I mean, I should have trusted and...
Caption 46, Club de las ideas Intuición - Part 1Play Caption
Of course, just as one might have the feeling that he, she, or someone else should have done something differently in the past, we can also find fault with things that we or others shouldn't have done:
No deberías haber salido de casa.
You shouldn't have left the house.
Caption 45, Muñeca Brava 46 Recuperación - Part 4Play Caption
We hope that these simple formulas help you to speak about what you "would have," "could have," or "should have" done in Spanish, and don't forget to leave us your questions and comments.
Despite the old saying that "Las comparaciones son odiosas" (Comparisons are odious), the truth is that they are often necessary. Whether you need to decide on a vacation destination, select a present for a loved one, or weigh the pros and cons of any situation, comparisons will be a part of your decision-making process. That said, let's learn some useful language for that purpose.
Unlike English, Spanish does not modify adjectives with the addition of suffixes (e.g. the English -er and -est) for comparative purposes. Instead, adjectives are accompanied by comparative structures to indicate equality, inequality, or difference in degree between one or more people, ideas, or things. Since there is plenty to learn on this topic, this lesson will deal with inequality, while part two will cover comparisons of equality and superlatives.
For comparisons of inequality, the word that specifies what the comparison is about will be preceded by más (more) or menos (less). One might compare qualities (adjectives), ways of doing something (adverbs), or even nouns as in the sentence: La canasta roja tiene más manzanas que la verde (The red basket has more apples than the green one). Let's take a look at some common comparative structures involving adjectives, adverbs, and nouns, and some examples of each:
La vida a esta altitud se hace más difícil que en el frondoso pinsapar.
Life at this altitude becomes more difficult than in the dense Spanish fir forest.
Caption 64, Tecnópolis Sierra de las nievesPlay Caption
Este libro es menos interesante que el otro.
This book is less interesting than the other one.
Caption 72, Karla e Isabel ComparativosPlay Caption
As you may have inferred from these examples, the comparative particle que is the equivalent of than in English. In addition, the video in our second example above introduces several comparative structures with examples and is thus worth viewing in conjunction with this lesson.
les inyectaba hormonas para que crecieran más rápido
she would inject them with hormones so that they would grow faster
Caption 45, Kikirikí Animales - Part 7Play Caption
Note that, in this case, the comparative particle que is not present since the second term of the comparison is not mentioned. In addition, remember that, although the adverb rápidamente does exist, we often use rápido as an adverb as well as an adjective in the same way as the English word fast, depending upon whether it modifies a noun or a verb in a sentence.
As we saw in the introduction, this structure can also be used with nouns. In this case, it is worth mentioning that while, according to traditional English usage rules, "fewer" should be used for countable objects while "less" should be employed with singular mass nouns (i.e. salt), this distinction does not exist in Spanish. That said, menos will be used for both countable and uncountable nouns in Spanish.
Ten en cuenta que los productos en tamaño familiar, sean de lo que sean, generan menos residuos por unidad de producto.
Take into account that family-sized products, whatever they are, generate less waste per product unit.
Captions 51-53, 3R Campaña de reciclaje - Part 2Play Caption
Since the Spanish verb tener años (literally "to have years") is used to express the idea of someone being a certain age, the expression Tengo más años que mi hermana (literally "I have more years than my sister") is equivalent to saying "I am older than my sister." The following example is similar:
Yo tengo un año menos que tú.
I am a year younger than you.
Caption 12, Clara y Cristina SaludarPlay Caption
Although the position of the noun in these examples is different, they demonstrate the additional point that prepositional object pronouns like mí and ti cannot be used in comparatives as the second object of comparison (immediately after que). For example, while in English, one can say either "My sister is younger than I am" or "My sister is younger than me," Mi hermana es más joven que mí is unacceptable in Spanish, while Mi hermana es más joven que yo is the correct way to express this.
Sometimes, the difference between the objects, people, or ideas being compared is so big or so small that formulas that include intensifiers such as mucho/muchísimo/tanto + más/menos or mitigators like un poco/poquito + más/menos can help to express this.
Y eso también lo habéis comprado más barato de lo normal. Pero muchísimo más barato, ochenta por ciento más barato, una cosa así.
And that also you have bought cheaper than what's normal. But way cheaper, eighty percent cheaper, something like that.
Captions 14-15, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 3Play Caption
No es tanto más grande que yo.
She's not that much older than me.
Caption 31, Muñeca Brava 7 El poema - Part 10Play Caption
de Los Cabos sí queda un poquito más lejitos, un poquito más de dos horas,
from Los Cabos, it's a little bit further, a little bit over two hours,
Captions 73-74, Alan x el mundo Mi playa favorita de México! - Part 1Play Caption
The parallel comparative structure, cuanto más + adjective/adverb, más/menos, is also useful in Spanish. The common English expression, "The sooner, the better," for example, translates as: Cuanto antes, mejor.
Cuanto más sucia, menos le[s] pagáis. -Claro.
The dirtier it is, the less you pay them. -Of course.
Caption 81, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 13Play Caption
A few adjectives and adverbs have irregular comparative forms and don't fall into the typical patterns using más/menos + adjective/adverb + que:
Adjective: buen/a (good) Comparative: mejor (better)
Adjective: mal/a (bad) Comparative: peor (worse)
Es una buena cantante (She's a good singer).
Es mejor cantante que Mariana (She is a better singer than Mariana).
Es un mal alumno (He is a bad student).
Es peor alumno que Juan (He is a worse student than Juan).
Interestingly, when the adjectives mejor/peor describe how good or bad one is at something, their forms are irregular. However, when referring to good and evil, their regular comparative forms come into play:
Es más malo que el diablo.
He is more evil than the devil.
The following adverbs, however, have only an irregular comparative:
Adverb: bien (well) Comparative: mejor (better)
Adverb: mal (badly) Comparative: peor (worse)
María canta mejor que su hermana.
María sings better than her sister.
Let's conclude with some additional examples of regular and irregular comparatives from our Yabla video library:
tres aspirinas. -Bueno, tomá algo más fuerte que te haga mejor.
three aspirins. -Well, take something stronger that makes you better.
Caption 61, Muñeca Brava 43 La reunión - Part 5Play Caption
Mal. Peor que la semana pasada.
Bad. Worse than last week.Play Caption
That's all for this first part of our lesson on comparatives. We hope it has been clear, and don't forget to send us your questions, comments, and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!
To begin this lesson, let's take a look at a caption in a Yabla video that recently baffled one our subscribers:
Obviamente, la comunicación es la esencia de este tipo de trabajos.
Obviously, communication is the essence of this type of job.
Caption 40, Negocios La solicitud de empleo - Part 2Play Caption
Spanish sentences such as this one involving "tipo de" ["type" or "types of"] tend to confuse English speakers. After all, the literal translation of this sentence would read, "Obviously, communication is the essence of this type of jobs," which doesn’t work in English since “this” is singular and “jobs” is plural. In the vast majority of similar constructions in English involving countable nouns (nouns like "leaf/leaves," "cookie/cookies," etc. that can be physically counted), there must be singular/singular or plural/plural agreement, leaving one with the choice of either "this type of job" or "these types of jobs."
However, this is not the case in Spanish since singular with plural is the most common construction, or occasionally singular with singular in the case of a single noun. Let’s look at some examples of each of these cases:
Si a todo esto añadimos otro tipo de problemas medio ambientales
If to all this we add another kind of environmental problem
Caption 16, 3R Campaña de reciclaje - Part 2Play Caption
yo sí tengo la esperanza que se reduzc'... se reduzcan este tipo de eventos, ¿no?
I do have the hope that these types of occurrences will be red'... will be reduced, right?
Caption 57, Amigos D.F. El secuestrarPlay Caption
¿Qué tipo de habitación desea?
What kind of room would you like?Play Caption
Note that in the case above, habitación is considered a single noun since the gentleman being addressed is only looking for one room; hence the singular with singular construction.
In both Spanish and English, uncountable nouns (nouns like "water," "coffee," "love," etc. that cannot be counted) go in singular with tipo de (or "type(s)" or "kind(s)") of as follows:
y digamos que conforme se va fabricando ese tipo de líquido,
and let's say that just as that type of liquid is being produced,Play Caption
En ellos, recibió todo tipo de apoyo de sus simpatizantes.
In them, he got all kinds of support from his followers.Play Caption
To add further confusion for English speakers (sorry!), in most such cases with "partitive" (referring to part of a whole) constructions like "tipo de," the verb can be conjugated in either singular or plural! Let's take a look at a couple of examples:
En cuanto al tipo de... trabajos que me gusta ver
In terms of the types of... projects that I like to see,
Caption 22, Álvaro Arquitecto Español en LondresPlay Caption
Note that the verb gustar is conjugated in first person in accordance with the singular noun el tipo. However, without changing the translation, it would be perfectly acceptable to instead conjugate gustar in accordance with the plural trabajos:
En cuanto al tipo de... trabajos que me gustan ver
In terms of the types of... projects that I like to see,
Let's look at one more example:
Además, en la conjugación de los verbos, este tipo de sufijos nos indican
Also, in the conjugation of verbs, these types of suffixes tell us
Captions 35-36, Carlos explica Diminutivos y Aumentativos Cap 1: Los sufijosPlay Caption
While indicar is conjugated in accordace with the plural noun sufijos, it could alternatively be conjugated in accordance with the singular noun tipo:
Además, en la conjugación de los verbos, este tipo de sufijos nos indica
Also, in the conjugation of verbs, these types of suffixes tell us
Finally, it is worth noting that, in the cases of particular Spanish linking verbs like ser (to be), estar (to be), or parecer (to seem), the verb is nearly always conjugated in plural when followed by a subject complement (most simply defined as an "attribute"), as follows:
Este tipo de bicicletas están pensadas para desplazamientos cortos,
This type of bicycle is planned for short distances,
Captions 5-6, Raquel Alquilar una bicicletaPlay Caption
To conclude, although we have focused on tipo de for the purpose of this lesson, other "partitive constructions" like el resto de (the rest of), la mayor parte de (most of), la mayoría de (most of), etc. function the same way.
We hope you've enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to leave us your comments and suggestions.
Let's talk about the Spanish conjugation of regular verbs. In particular, let's see how to form the preterite conjugation of regular verbs ending in -ar, -er, and -ir. But first, let's review the main idea behind the preterite tense in Spanish.
In very simple terms, when we talk about the Spanish preterite tense, we are talking about the simple past, in other words, a completed action that took place at a determined point in the past. Let's look at an example from the series where our friend Carlos talks about this tense:
Ayer trabajé hasta las ocho de la noche.
Yesterday I worked until eight at night.Play Caption
In this example, trabajé is the preterite conjugation of the regular verb trabajar for the first-person singular yo (I). Note that the only change necessary to form the preterite in this example is removing the -ar ending of the infinitive verb and replacing it with the ending -é.
There are a couple of things we want to mention about the conjugations you will find throughout this tutorial.
1. While usted (the formal, second-person singular "you") does not appear in our conjugation lists, keep in mind that when using that pronoun, the verb is conjugated in the exact same way as verbs in the third-person singular forms with él (he) and ella (she). Let's take a look at this in action with the preterite conjugation of the verb hablar (to speak/talk):
Usted habló de Fabio Sirenio.
You talked about Fabio Sirenio.
Caption 83, Yago 7 Encuentros - Part 14Play Caption
Entonces él habló con... con los pescadores y los pescadores aceptaron.
So, he spoke with... with the fishermen and the fishermen accepted.
Caption 17, Instinto de conservación Parque Tayrona - Part 6Play Caption
2. In order to offer a more simplistic verb conjugation snapshot, in this article, we only employ the masculine versions of the plural forms nosotros (we), vosotros (you), and ellos (they). That said, keep in mind that the conjugations are the same for the feminine forms nosotras, vosotras, and ellas.
3. Just like usted, ustedes (the standard second person plural "you" in Latin America and the formal second person plural in Spain) does not appear among the conjugations shared here. However, keep in mind that the conjugations of verbs with "ustedes" are the exact same as the third-person plural forms utilized with ellos and ellas (they). Let's look at an example of this with the preterite conjugation of the verb cantar (to sing):
Ustedes cantaron muy bien (You guys sang very well).
Ellos/Ellas cantaron muy bien (They sang very well).
Having said all this, let's explore the preterite conjugations of some regular verbs in Spanish.
Let's take a look at the preterite conjugation of the verb hablar (to speak).
Yo hablé (I spoke).
Tú hablaste (You spoke).
Él/Ella habló (He/She spoke).
Nosotros hablamos (We spoke).*
Vosotros hablasteis (You spoke).
Ellos hablaron (They spoke).
* It's important to note that because the verb conjugation for the first person plural "nosotros" (we) is the same for both the simple present and simple past tenses, the speaker's intention must be determined by context as follows:
Nosotros estudiamos mucho todos los días (We study a lot every day).
Ayer nosotros estudiamos mucho (Yesterday, we studied a lot).
Example 1.: The verb comprar (to buy)
¡Y compraste melones en vez de limones!*
And you bought melons instead of lemons!Play Caption
* Remember that pronouns are frequently omitted in Spanish. Thus, in the example above and without changing the meaning, one could say: "¡Y tú compraste melones en vez de limones!" However, despite the fact that the speaker does not use the pronoun here, the -aste verb ending lets the listener know that the person referred to is "tú" (you).
Example 2.: The verb escuchar (to listen/hear)
La canción que escuchamos introduce la quinta parte del primer episodio
The song that we heard introduces the fifth part of the first episodePlay Caption
Let's take a look at the preterite conjugation of the regular verb comer (to eat).
Yo comí (I ate).
Tú comiste (You ate).
Él/Ella comió (He/She ate).
Nosotros comimos (We ate).
Vosotros comisteis (You ate).
Ellos comieron (They ate).
Example 1.: The verb aprender (to learn)
y aprendí que los pulpos pueden cambiar de color.
and I learned that octopi can change color.
Caption 45, Guillermina y Candelario La Señora PulpoPlay Caption
Example 2.: The verb vender (to sell)
creo que vendimos unos quinientos dólares en unas... tres horas, dos horas.
I think we sold about five hundred dollars (worth) in about... three hours, two hours.
Captions 25-26, Un café con Julia Año nuevoPlay Caption
Let's take a look at the preterite conjugation of the verb vivir (to live).
Yo viví (I lived).
Tú viviste (You lived).
Él/Ella vivió (He/She lived).
Nosotros vivimos (We lived).
Vosotros vivisteis (You lived).
Ellos vivieron (They lived).
Example 1.: The verb escribir (to write)
¿Por qué dices eso? Porque una vez me escribiste contándome que te casabas en Nueva York.
Why do you say that? Because once you wrote to me telling me that you were getting married in New York.
Captions 61-62, Yago 6 Mentiras - Part 5Play Caption
Example 2.: The verb abrir (to open)
Primero, Lisa Bernal abrió la herida,
First, Lisa Bernal opened the wound,
Caption 61, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 6 - Part 4Play Caption
And with this example, we have reached the end of this lesson. But before we go, a little homework for you: go ahead and choose some other regular verbs and practice the Spanish conjugation of the preterite tense. Sooner or later, you will be able to master those preterite endings! We hope you enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to leave us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!
Since its straightforward translation is "to arrive," you might wonder if the Spanish verb llegar is worth a whole lesson. However, this is language, and we always find new meanings, uses, and/or idiomatic expressions. That said, let's take a few minutes to analyze this verb and see a qué conclusión podemos llegar ("what conclusion we can draw" or "come to").
When we refer to a place, llegar means "to arrive."
Soñé que llegaba al colegio y estaba sin ropa.
I dreamed that I arrived at school and I was [there] with no clothes.
Caption 27, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 1 - Part 4Play Caption
Llegar can additonally mean to reach someone, either physically or emotionally. If someone shuts you out, no hay forma de llegar a esa persona (there's no way to reach that person). On the other hand, in the example below, the team at Biopark had not been able to physically reach the leopards.
No había forma de... de llegar a ellos.
There wasn't any way to... to get close to them.Play Caption
Again with this idea of reaching, llegar can also be used with an amount or specific point in space as we see in the following examples:
Supongo que si están un poquito más chaparritos, les ha de llegar al pecho,
I guess if you're a little bit shorter, it should come up to your chest,Play Caption
podremos estar llegando a los ochocientos mil euros aproximadamente.
we could be reaching eight hundred thousand euros approximately.Play Caption
And speaking of money, there is a Spanish idiom that includes this verb: llegar a fin de mes (literally "to make it to the end of the month"), which is the Spanish equivalent of "making ends meet."
Llegar can be used with seasons, months, or times of day as well to indicate their beginning or arrival. In this context, it often translates as "to come": Cuando llega la noche / "When night comes" or "falls."
y lo tuvo con ella hasta que llegó la primavera.
and had him with her until spring came.
Caption 41, Cleer El patito feoPlay Caption
Another meaning of llegar is "to achieve." It is actually a verb that collocates with éxito (success), so if you become succesful, has llegado al éxito (you've achieved success).
De las etapas por las que pasan los conjuntos en su desarrollo y a lo que pueden llegar.
Of the stages that groups go through in their development and what they can become.
Captions 74-75, Arturo Vega Entrevista - Part 3Play Caption
Another possible translation of llegar is "to manage to" since when you llegas a hacer algo, you've succedeed in doing it after some effort.
de lo que yo quería como llegar a expresar, ¿sí?
to what I wanted to, like, manage to express, right?
Caption 13, Bogotá Fotógrafo José Segundo Quinche PérezPlay Caption
Sometimes, when llegar follows si to introduce a condition, it makes that condition a bit more remote since si llego a enterarme de algo is closer to if I happen to/manage to hear anything.
Si llega a saber cualquier cosa que suceda entre Milagros y su hermano, hágamela saber.
If you come to find out anything that happens between Milagros and her brother, let me know about it.
Captions 21-22, Muñeca Brava 33 El partido - Part 5Play Caption
Si llega a pillarlos, me avisa y consigo la cámara.
If you manage to catch them, let me know and I'll get the camera.
Caption 72, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 4 - Part 4Play Caption
As you may notice, many of the meanings of the verb llegar are comparable to those of the English verb "to get" (e.g "to reach," "to arrive," "to manage," etc.).
We hope this lesson has been clear, but si llegan a tener dudas (if you happen to have any questions), don't forget to send us your questions, comments, and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!
¿Cómo te llevas con el español? (How do you get along in Spanish?) Wait— didn't llevar mean "to take"? Well, yes... you're right! The verb llevar often translates as "to take," and not just in phrases like "take your umbrella" or "take your children to school," but also in collocations like "to take time." And these are just a few of the uses of the verb llevar that we'll examine in this lesson. Actually, llevaría más de una lección (it would take more than one lesson) to cover all of its uses. But let's try and do our best here!
We can llevar something from one place to another and also accompany or guide someone somewhere, as in the following examples:
Tengo la posibilidad de llevar todos los días al colegio a mi hijo.
I have the chance to take my son to school every day.
Caption 53, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 18Play Caption
Le voy a llevar de compras.
I'm going to take him shopping.Play Caption
It is no wonder, then, that the term for "takeout food" (comida para llevar) in Spanish can be literally translated as "food for taking":
Aquí había unas comidas para llevar.
There were some takeout places here.
Caption 8, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 10Play Caption
Note that while the speaker uses the term for "takeout food" to refer to the location, it is more common to say casa de comidas para llevar to refer to a takeout restaurant. By the way, in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, these places are also called rotisería.
When this idea of direction goes beyond space to express cause, llevar means something closer to the verbs "to lead" or "to drive" in English, as in the following example:
una cosa llevó a la otra, ¿no?
one thing led to another, right?
Caption 13, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 3 - Part 8Play Caption
A person might llevarte a la desesperación, a la ruina o a la locura ("lead" or "drive you to despair, bankrutpcy, or madness"), or maybe you are lucky and end up being very successful, like in this Yabla video:
Muchas veces, incluso nos puede llevar al éxito profesional.
Many times, it can even lead us to professional success.
Caption 13, Club de las ideas Intuición - Part 1Play Caption
Llevar also resembles "to take" when used with time, work, or effort to express that it is necessary to invest such time or effort in something. For instance, in one of our videos, María Sol explains that learning Spanish is a long process by saying that:
de que puede llevar mucho tiempo,
that it can take a long time,
Caption 29, GoSpanish Entrevista con María SolPlay Caption
Yet, it can also be used to refer to the time that has gone by since the inception of something:
¿Cuánto tiempo llevas en Marbella? -En Marbella, cuarenta y un años.
How long have you been in Marbella? -In Marbella, forty-one years.
Caption 10, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 11Play Caption
Llevamos más de dos semanas sin agua
We've been without water for more than two weeks
Caption 24, Kikirikí Agua - Part 1Play Caption
We also use llevar to refer to the clothing or glasses we "wear," or the way we have our hair, in sentences such as Llevaba lentes (He/She was wearing glasses) or María llevaba el cabello largo (María had long hair).
y me gusta llevar faldas normalmente,
and I like to wear skirts usually,
Caption 6, El Aula Azul Actividades DiariasPlay Caption
Another instance in which llevar can be translated as "to take" is when we use the expression llevar a cabo (to take place), which might also mean "to carry out" or "conduct" depending on the case/collocation.
Aquí se va a llevar a cabo el Campeonato WK.
Here, the WK Championship is going to take place.
Caption 3, Adícora, Venezuela VíctorPlay Caption
We'll often hear people inviting us to let go, relax, and enjoy the feeling of dejarse llevar (letting oneself go), another expression which incorporates this verb:
Hay que estar relajado y dejarse llevar, ¿no?
You should be relaxed and let yourself go, right?
Caption 12, Club de las ideas Intuición - Part 1Play Caption
Finally, we'll can state that nos llevamos bien/mal with a person or people to describe how well or poorly we "get along with" others.
Que la puedes llevar a una... a un sitio, y sabes que se va a llevar bien con todo el mundo...
That you can take her to a... to a place, and you know she'll get along with everyone...
Caption 61, Biografía Enrique IglesiasPlay Caption
As you can tell, there are so many uses of llevar that se hace difícil llevar la cuenta (it's hard to keep track) of all of them. We hope you enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!
In an interview appearing in the Spanish series, 75 minutos, we can hear a beautiful gypsy voice singing the following:
Me dormí pensando en ti; pensando en ti, me desperté Soñé contigo, estoy sin ti y así llevo to' mi vi'a
I fell asleep thinking about you; thinking about you, I woke up I dreamed about you, I am without you, and I carry on like that all my life
Captions 10-11, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 13Play Caption
Do you see that "ti" in the example above? That's a prepositional pronoun, or pronoun that follows a preposition. As prepositional pronouns may have been outshone in your studies by the complexity of object pronouns (me, te, se, le, etc.), let’s focus on them for a change.
When pronouns follow prepositions, they take on a special form in the first and second person singular, as follows:
Tú sabes que una fiesta sin mí no es una fiesta porque yo soy el alma de las fiestas.
You know that a party without me is not a party because I am the soul of parties.
Caption 19, Club 10 Capítulo 1 - Part 2Play Caption
he sentido un flechazo por ti,
I felt love at first sight with you,
Caption 7, Cortometraje FlechazosPlay Caption
Note that, unlike the possessive adjective mi (e.g. Mi nombre, or "My name"), the prepositional pronoun mí has a graphic accent (tilde) whereas ti does not.
In contrast to the first and second persons, the other persons utilize the same form as the subject pronoun (él, ella, nosotros, etc.) and do not require any special form:
es un poco estresante para nosotros
it's a bit stressful for usPlay Caption
No, estoy hablando de ella.
No, I'm talking about her.
Caption 22, Muñeca Brava 41 La Fiesta - Part 6Play Caption
O en los brazos de ella.
Or in her arms.
Caption 21, El Ausente Acto 3 - Part 8Play Caption
The third person is the only grammatical person to employ a specific form exclusively for reflexive use: sí. Although this form does not indicate gender or number, these aspects are apparent (and the agreement with the subject achieved) with the words mismo(s) and misma(s), which often follow the prepositional pronoun sí when expressing the idea of "himself" or "herself."
Agente, Pierre Bernard no habló mucho de sí mismo.
Agent, Pierre Bernard didn't talk much about himself.Play Caption
Sí can also come after the preposition entre in the third person plural to express the idea of "with each other," as follows:
Entonces, ellas son amigas entre sí, también.
So, they are friends with each other also.Play Caption
However, entre can be also followed by the subject pronouns yo and tú:
Pues lo que está sucediendo es entre tú y yo
Because what's happening is between you and me
Captions 26-27, Vivanativa Si tú me quieresPlay Caption
Soñé contigo, estoy sin ti / I dreamed about you, I am without you
Considering the fact that pronouns do not often merge with the prepositions that preceed them, you may have wondered why conmigo, contigo and consigo are written as a single word. The fact is that the prepositional pronouns mí, ti, and sí have special forms when used with the preposition con.
Stay with mePlay Caption
Bailar contigo y perdernos esta noche
Dancing with you and losing ourselves tonight
Caption 9, Monsieur Periné Bailar ContigoPlay Caption
Porque si no, muchas personas tienen conflictos consigo mismas
Because otherwise, many people have conflicts with themselves
Captions 2-3, Natalia de Ecuador Los tipos de temperamentoPlay Caption
Some years ago, a politician in Latin America gained notoriety after saying conmigo o sinmigo, an egregious error for a native speaker of Spanish, let alone a public figure! Now that you have read this lesson, you can rest assured that contigo no tendremos ese problema (we won’t have that problem with you). We hope you liked this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!
Do you know how to use the preposition con (most commonly translated as "with") in Spanish? Let's explore some of the various ways of using this preposition correctly.
Like its English counterpart, the first use of the preposition con that most likely comes to mind is to introduce the concept of accompaniment by someone or something. We can find this use in the name of some of our series such as Aprendiendo con Carlos, Paseando con Karen, and also in the words of Ester from El Aula Azul:
Quédate con nosotros hoy y aprende algo nuevo en nuestra clase.
Stay with us today, and learn something new in our class.Play Caption
The way con is used here is no different from the way we use "with" to describe accompaniment in English. However, it is worth mentioning that stranded prepositions (prepositions separated from their objects and often placed at the end of the sentence) do not occur in Spanish. Thus, a question like the one below must place the preposition con next to its object quién at the beginning of the sentence, as opposed to the manner in which "who" and "with" can be separated in informal English.
¿Y con quién vives en Alemania?
And who do you live with in Germany?
Caption 21, La rutina diaria La mañanaPlay Caption
The preposition con can also be employed to introduce the means or tools used to do an activity or achieve something.
Hazlo primero con lápiz y después con plumón.
Do it first in pencil and then with a marker.
Caption 17, Manos a la obra Separadores de libros: PikachuPlay Caption
y os puedo asegurar que con paciencia y con disciplina se consigue todo.
and I can assure you that, with patience and discipline, one can achieve anything.
Caption 73, Fermín y los gatos Mi gata BimbaPlay Caption
We also use the preposition con in Spanish to introduce the way something is done or how it should be done:
¡Por acá, Guillermina, con cuidado!
Through here, Guillermina, carefully!Play Caption
Notice that the word cuidado can also appear before con in phrases such as the following:
Cuidado con el perro.
Beware of the dog.
Or, as Karen warns us in her video:
Mucho cuidado con lo que escribes.
[Be] very careful with what you write.
Caption 38, Aprendiendo con Karen Útiles escolares - Part 1Play Caption
When the preposition con is followed by an infinitive, it can function as a gerund (the -ing form of a verb, which functions as a noun):
Con decir perdón es suficiente.
Saying you're sorry is enough.
Caption 20, Muñeca Brava 47 Esperanzas - Part 5Play Caption
Con is also the dependent preposition (preposition that depends upon or must follow a particular noun, verb, or adjective) after certain verbs such as terminar (to put an end to something), bastar (to be enough or suffice) or comparar (to compare), to name a few.
Terminar con mi noviazgo no parecía tan complicado,
Ending my relationship didn't seem so complicated,
Caption 61, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 8 - Part 5Play Caption
Y me basta con saber que estás allí
And it's enough to know that you're there
Caption 19, Franco De Vita Mi sueñoPlay Caption
A pesar de que lo... la cultura azteca también tenía su preciosismo no se compara con los Mayas...
Although the... the Aztec culture also had its beauty, it can't be compared to the Mayans...
Captions 46-47, Antonio Vargas - Artista ilustración - Part 2Play Caption
Finally, the preposition con can additionally introduce a phrase that stands in contrast to the following clause, taking on a meaning similar to "although" or "despite."
Esta mujer aquí donde la ve, con lo simpática que parece, es como un general.
This woman who stands here before you, as nice as she seems, is like a general.
Captions 62-63, Los casos de Yabla El perrito malcriado - Part 1Play Caption
That's all for this lesson. We hope it has been clear for you and you can now use this preposition con más seguridad y precisión (with greater confidence and accuracy)! And, don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions!
Most of the time, we use the word nada in Spanish as an indefinite pronoun that can be translated as either "nothing" or "anything." In this lesson, we will examine how to use this word to mean one vs. the other. Let's take a look.
Before we jump into the "nothing" vs. "anything" uses of nada, it's important to state the following: When an adjective appears next to nada, the adjective must be masculine. Let's look at a few examples:
No es nada malo, es algo natural.
It's nothing bad, it's something natural.
Caption 12, La Cocaleros Personas y políticas - Part 1Play Caption
Tenemos que devolver a la madre y esperamos que la madre no encuentre nada raro en su cachorro.
We have to return it to the mother and hope that the mother doesn't find anything strange with her cub.Play Caption
Que haya jóvenes que realicen pequeños hurtos no es nada nuevo.
That there are young people who commit petty thefts is nothing new.Play Caption
If nada comes after a verb, it must be expressed in a negative form with either no or some other negative element such as jamás/nunca (never) or nadie (nobody). Although such "double negatives" are incorrect in English (for example, you can't say "I don't have nothing"), in such cases in Spanish, nada becomes the positive "anything" in the English translation. Let's look at a couple of examples:
Juan no ha comido nada desde que llegó al aeropuerto.
Juan hasn't eaten anything since he arrived at the airport.Play Caption
No, no como nada frito.
No, I don't eat anything fried.
Caption 40, Cata y Cleer En el restaurantePlay Caption
In the example above, you can see how the adjective frito is masculine (just to check whether you remember our aforementioned rule!).
me encanta también cocinar. Nunca me has hecho nada, ni un plato.
I also love to cook. You have never made anything for me, not even one dish.
Captions 74-75, Cleer HobbiesPlay Caption
On the other hand, if nada goes before a verb, the verb does not need to be accompanied by a negative element. In this case, nada functions like the word "nothing" in English. Let's take a look:
Mi primo vive en una casucha en donde nada funciona bien.
My cousin lives in a "casucha" [awful house] where nothing works well.Play Caption
Nada me detendrá
Nothing will stop me
Caption 32, Ednita Nazario Después De TiPlay Caption
Finally, keep in mind that when nada is used as a noun meaning "the void" or "nothingness," it is a feminine noun:
Era el frío de la nada
It was the cold of nothingnessPlay Caption
Notice how in this case, the word nada is preceded by the definite female article "la."
That's all for this lesson. We invite you to keep these rules in mind, and don't forget to send us your suggestions and comments.
In this lesson, we will learn how to describe people in Spanish using the verb ser (to be). In particular, we'll focus on five different uses of the verb ser that you can use to identify and describe people. Let's take a look.
Eh... Luis, ella es mi mamá, mamá, él es Luis. Y ella es mi abuela Carmen.
Um... Luis, this is my mom, Mom, this is Luis. And this is my Grandma Carmen.
Captions 18-19, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 4 - Part 4Play Caption
It's worth mentioning that the example above shows a very common way to introduce people in Spanish.
es un hombre que se dedica a lo que yo hago.
he's a man who devotes himself to what I do.Play Caption
Paul es estadounidense, de los Estados Unidos.
Paul is American, from the United States.
Caption 16, Carlos explica Geografía y gentiliciosPlay Caption
Mi padre es arquitecto
My father is an architect
Caption 25, Leif El Arquitecto Español y su Arte - Part 1Play Caption
In particular, when we refer to essential traits, such as height, weight, and physical appearance.
Es bajo, es gordo,
He's short, he's fat,
Caption 33, El Aula Azul Mis PrimosPlay Caption
Alguien que es delgado tiene poco peso
Someone who is skinny doesn't weigh muchPlay Caption
Carolina tiene treinta y cinco años pero parece que tiene veinte. Es muy guapa.
Carolina is thirty-five years old but she looks like she is twenty. She's very pretty.
Captions 2-4, El Aula Azul Mis PrimosPlay Caption
Ellos son muy majos. Mi prima Marta es muy simpática.
They are very nice. My cousin Marta is very nice.
Caption 8, El Aula Azul Mi familiaPlay Caption
Ricardo es muy... es muy tranquilo, ¿viste?
Ricardo is very... he's very calm, you know?
Caption 84, Biografía Natalia Oreiro - Part 10Play Caption
Porque mi mamá es una persona muy difícil. -Eso a mí no me importa.
Because my mom is a very difficult person. -That doesn't matter to me.
Caption 20, Yago 10 Enfrentamientos - Part 4Play Caption
That's it for today. Can you describe someone you know using the verb ser? We invite you to try it out and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!
Generally speaking, we use the present indicative in Spanish to talk about actions that are taking place at the moment (now). However, that's not the only use of it. Let's take a look at the following list so you can understand how to use the present indicative in Spanish.
Actions that are taking place right at the moment (now):
¿Dónde están las chicas? ¿Las chicas? -Ajá. Lola y Ana. -Uh... Lola y Ana viven aquí.
Where are the girls? The girls? -Uh-huh. Lola and Ana. -Uh... Lola and Ana live here.
Captions 26-29, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam - Part 4Play Caption
In the above sentence, you can see how the verbs estar (to be) and vivir (to live) are conjugated in the present indicative for the third person plural (las chicas/Lola y Ana/ellas... están/viven).
You can also talk about actions that take place over time:
Trabajo en un colegio. Soy maestra de música y de ciencias.
I work at a school. I'm a music and science teacher.
Captions 6-7, Ariana Mi CasaPlay Caption
In this example, you can see the verbs trabajar (to work) and ser (to be) conjugated in the present indicative for the first person singular (yo trabajo/soy).
IMPORTANT! Remember that in Spanish it is very common to drop the pronouns from the sentences. As you can see in the sentence above, Ariana doesn't say "yo trabajo" but rather only "trabajo".
En agosto, vamos a la playa. En septiembre, empieza el otoño.
In August, we go to the beach. In September, the fall begins.
Captions 21-22, El Aula Azul Estaciones y MesesPlay Caption
In the example above, we can see the present indicative of the verb ir (to go) in the first person plural (nosotros vamos) and the present indicative of the verb empezar (to begin) in the third person singular (el otoño empieza).
La Laguna de San Pablo está a los pies del imponente Volcán Imbabura.
The San Pablo Lagoon is at the foot of the imposing Imbabura Volcano.
Caption 13, Otavalo Un día en la ciudad de los lagosPlay Caption
In the example above, Natalia uses the present indicative of the verb estar for the third person singular (está) to state a fact.
You can talk about daily activities and habitual actions using the present indicative:
De lunes a viernes, me levanto a las siete de la mañana.
From Monday to Friday, I get up at seven in the morning.
Caption 2, GoSpanish La rutina diaria de SolPlay Caption
In the above clip, you can see how Sol uses the present indicative of the verb levantarse (yo me levanto) to express one of her habitual actions.
Dante y Mika vienen todos los días a trabajar conmigo aquí al Refugio del Burrito,
Dante and Mika come work with me every day here at the Little Donkey Shelter,
Caption 62, Rosa La perrita MikaPlay Caption
Similarly, Rosa uses the present indicative of the verb venir (to come) to describe something habitual. In this case, the verb is conjugated in the third person plural (Dante y Mika/ellos... vienen).
Did you know that the present indicative can be used for things happening in the near future? Let's see some examples.
Le prometo que termino de morfar y... y salgo a laburar. Va a ver.
I promise you that I'll finish eating and... and go out to work. You'll see.
Caption 63, Yago 8 Descubrimiento - Part 7Play Caption
In this sentence, the speaker is using the present indicative of the verb salir (to go out) in order to express an action that will take place in the near future. Once he's done with his lunch, he will go out to work. The verb is conjugated in the first person singular (yo salgo).
Bueno, pues entonces, no hay que pensarlo más. Mañana hablamos con el jefe y desde la oficina
OK, well then, we don't have to think about it anymore. Tomorrow we'll talk to the boss and from the office
Captions 11-12, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 2 - Part 6Play Caption
In the previous example, you can fully appreciate how the present indicative of the verb hablar (to talk) is used to indicate an action that will take place tomorrow! This may be a bit weird for English speakers but it is a very common formula used by Spanish speakers. The verb is conjugated in the second person plural (nosotros hablamos).
Finally, it is worth mention that in journalism and the academic field, some people like to use the present indicative when referring to historical facts. Let's see the following example:
El Imperio romano cae en el año 476
The Roman Empire falls in the year 476
And that's it for today. We hope this lesson helped you to understand how to use the present indicative in Spanish. And don't forget to send us your comments and questions.
Do you know how to say "those" or "that" in Spanish? Let's explore Spanish demonstrative adjectives. However, before doing that, let's start this lesson with an important definition.
Adjectives describe and modify nouns. We use demonstrative adjectives to determine which person or object, for example, we are referring to, taking its distance with respect to the speaker and/or listener into account. Let's first review our options in English:
- Near the speaker: "this" and "these."
- Near the listener OR far from both the speaker and the listener: "that" and "those."
While there are only four demonstrative adjectives in English, you will notice that there are many more in Spanish (twelve to be exact!). Why is that? One reason is that, because nouns in Spanish have a gender, demonstrative adjectives in Spanish are not only singular and plural but masculine and feminine as well.
In addition, Spanish has two different sets of demonstrative adjectives to differentiate between nouns that are close to the listener vs. nouns that are far from both the speaker and listener (roughly corresponding to the English concept of "over there" rather than just "there").
Let's take a closer look at the demonstrative adjectives in Spanish, using M to indicate "masculine" and F to indicate "feminine":
- Near the speaker: "this" (M: este, F: esta) and "these" (M: estos, F: estas).
- Near the listener: "that" (M: ese, F: esa) and "those" (M: esos, F: esas).
- Far from both the speaker and the listener: "that" (over there) (M: aquel, F: aquella) and "those" (over there) (M: aquellos, F: aquellas).
It is worth noting that, in addition to indicating further physical distance, aquel/aquella/aquellos/aquellas can also refer to metaphorical distance such as dates or events in the future or past.
Now that we know the demonstrative adjectives in Spanish, it's time to look at some examples. Let's watch and listen to the following clips:
Me gusta mucho este parque.
I really like this park.Play Caption
Esta mochila es de Lucas.
This backpack is Lucas'.Play Caption
En la noche, utilizaremos estos vasos bajos para servir licor.
At night, we'll use these short glasses to serve liquor.
Caption 20, Ana Carolina El comedorPlay Caption
Estas cintas son las que estamos sacando recientemente; son nuevos diseños.
These ribbons are the ones that we are coming out with recently; they are new designs.
Caption 19, Comercio Camisas tradicionalesPlay Caption
Oiga y ese carro, esa belleza ¿de dónde la sacó, hermano, ah?
Hey and that car, that beauty, where did you get it, brother, huh?Play Caption
¿Y esos otros tatuajes que tienes aquí, de qué son?
And those other tattoos you have here, what are they of?
Caption 67, Adícora - Venezuela El tatuaje de RosanaPlay Caption
Mire, Rubio, yo necesito que usted le ponga vigilancia inmediata a esas dos mujeres, hermano.
Look, Rubio, I need you to put those two women under immediate surveillance, brother.Play Caption
La terminación del piso sería, en el futuro, de roca... de roca rústrica [sic] a propósito traída de aquel cerro que está allá.
The last part of the floor would be, in the future, made out of rock... out of rustic rock brought specifically from that hill over there.
Captions 22-23, Edificio en Construcción Hablando con los trabajadores - Part 2Play Caption
Esas cifras ya nos dicen que aquellas civilizaciones prehistóricas ya sabían mucho de cálculo.
Those numbers tell us that those prehistoric civilizations already knew a lot about calculus.
Captions 27-29, Rosa Los dólmenes de AntequeraPlay Caption
sería, "Aquellos coches son de mi padre" o "Aquellas casas son de mi madre".
would be, "Those cars are my father's" or "Those houses are my mother's."
Captions 35-36, Lecciones con Carolina Adjetivos demostrativosPlay Caption
Keep in mind, however, that in less formal Spanish, we tend to use ese, esa, esos, and esas much more than aquel, aquella, aquellos, aquellas.
That's all for today. Although there are many more demonstrative adjectives in Spanish than in English, learning to use them is relatively simple. We hope you enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!
Are you familiar with the Spanish verb gustar (to like)? Have you ever been in a situation where you didn't know whether to use gusta or gustan when talking about something you like? If using gusta vs gustan is tricky for you, here are some simple rules to help you understand the difference between gusta and gustan.
Let's start with some good news. When you want to say that you like someone or something, the only thing you need to know is how to conjugate the verb gustar in the third person either in its singular (gusta) or plural (gustan) form. Let's take a look at a couple of simple sentences with gustar:
A mí me gusta el acento de las colombianas.
I like the Colombian women's accent.Play Caption
Sí, a mí me gustan las plantas y las flores y los árboles.
Yes, I like the plants and the flowers and the trees.
Captions 12-13, Conversaciones en el parque Cap. 5: Me gusta mucho este parque.Play Caption
That's it. You don't need anything else. Now, let's see when to use gusta or gustan.
The following simple rules will help you to master the gustan vs gusta battle.
Use the third person singular gusta for the following cases:
1. When the verb gustar is followed by a singular noun.
Me gusta la camisa.
I like the shirt.Play Caption
Keep in mind that most of the time, you will need to place a definite article before the noun.
2. When the verb gustar is followed by a verb in the infinitive.
y me gusta llevar faldas normalmente, sobre todo en... en invierno.
and I like to wear skirts usually, especially in... in winter.
Captions 6-7, El Aula Azul Actividades DiariasPlay Caption
3. When the verb gustar is followed by several infinitive verbs.
A Pedro le gusta leer, tocar guitarra y hacer ejercicio.
Pedro likes to read, play guitar and exercise.
Use the third person plural gustan for the following cases:
1. When the verb gustar is followed by a plural noun.
A Lola le gustan los hombres fuertes
Lola likes strong menPlay Caption
2. When the verb gustar is followed by multiple, independent nouns.
Me gustan el diseño, la decoración y la arquitectura de esa casa.
I like the design, decoration, and architecture of that house.
When asking questions or stating negative sentences, you need to stick to the same rules we mentioned before. Let's look at a couple of examples:
¿Te gusta la ciencia?
Do you like science?
Caption 42, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 2 - Part 5Play Caption
A mí no me gusta tu camiseta.
I don't like your shirt.
Caption 12, Español para principiantes Los coloresPlay Caption
¿No te gustan las velas?
You don't like candles?
Caption 38, Muñeca Brava 7 El poema - Part 11Play Caption
That's it for today. But before we leave you, we invite you to answer this very simple question so you can practice a little bit the difference between gusta and gustan: ¿Qué te gusta hacer en tu tiempo libre? And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.
Haber is definitely on the list of tricky Spanish verbs. In fact, even native Spanish speakers sometimes struggle with this verb, which can be used in different ways and forms to mean different things. Even though haber is most often used as the auxiliary verb, "to have," in the imperfect tenses (e.g. Yo he comido, or "I have eaten"), it is also used in cases in which we say "there is" or "there are" in English and in other cases, can mean "to be" or "to exist."
Let's look at an example:
Hay muchos problemas,
There are a lot of problems,
Caption 6, Adícora - Venezuela El tatuaje de Rosana
Along these lines, some speakers use habemos to make a reference to a group of people. In this case, you can think of habemos as something along the lines of "we are," "we have," "there are those of us who," etc. Let's take a look at the following sentence:
Entonces, que todavía no lo hay pero entonces, habemos gente que queremos hacerlo y... y, eh...
So, it doesn't exist yet, but then, there are those of us who want to do it, and... and, um...
Captions 90-91, Playa Adícora Chober - Part 2
But, is it correct to use habemos in this manner? Let's find out.
As we noted in the example above, habemos seems to correspond to the first person plural in the simple present tense. But is that accurate? Let's take a look at how we conjugate haber in the simple present:
Yo he (I have)
Tú has (you have)
Él/Ella ha (he/she has)
Usted ha (you have)
Nosotros hemos (we have)
Vosotros habéis (you have)
Ellos/Ustedes han (they/you have)
As you can see, hemos appears, but not habemos. So, is habemos a sort of special, alternative manner of conjugating haber?
Long story short: No, we can't use habemos in this context. It's incorrect! Let's look at an example:
WRONG: Habemos pocos ingenieros en la empresa.
RIGHT: Somos pocos ingenieros en la compañía (There are just a few of us engineers at the company).
So, why do some people use habemos in error? The most likely reason is because habemos is the archaic conjugation of haber in the first person plural, which as we mentioned above, is now hemos. However, it shouldn't be used to mean "we are," "we have," "there are," etc. Let's take a look at this mistake in action in the following clips:
aunque indiscutiblemente habemos [sic] más cubanos que nada.
although undeniably, we have more Cubans than anything.
Caption 47, La Calle 8 Un recorrido fascinantePlay Caption
Y donde no solo habemos [sic] cinco familias, sino hay...
And where there are not only five families, but rather there are...
Caption 25, Instinto de conservación Parque Tayrona - Part 5Play Caption
And of course, we can also see in action the first example mentioned in this lesson:
Entonces, que todavía no lo hay pero entonces, habemos [sic] gente que queremos hacerlo y... y, eh...
So, it doesn't exist yet, but then, there are those of us who want to do it, and... and, um...
Captions 90-91, Playa Adícora Chober - Part 2Play Caption
That's all for today. We hope you've enjoyed this lesson, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.
In this lesson, we will talk about adverbs and punctuation. Are you familiar with the word "aun" in Spanish? Do you know when to write that word with accent on the letter 'ú'? Let's start this lesson with a little quiz. Which word would you use in the following sentences, aun or aún?:
____ si te digo la verdad, no me crees
Even if I tell you the truth, you don't believe me
Estamos ____ en la fase de entrevistas.
We are still in the interview phase.
Let's read the following explanation to find out the answer.
The adverb aun (without graphic accent) refers to the English adverb 'even'. Let's see a couple of examples:
Aun estudiando mucho, no pasó el examen
Even studying hard, he did not pass the exam
Yo hice aun más de lo que quería
I did even more than I wanted
he vivido demasiado, aun con tanta historia
I have lived too much, even with so much history
Captions 7-8, Kany Garcia Estigma de amorPlay Caption
Also, keep in mind that when aun is followed by así to mean "even so," it doesn't need an accent. Le's take a look:
Revolvimos los planetas, y aun así te vas
We stirred the planets, and even so you leave
Captions 16-17, Belanova Y aun así te vasPlay Caption
When the word aun works as the English adverb 'still', you need to need to put the accent on the letter "ú". Let's see some examples:
Para los que aún no me conocen, mi nombre es Natalia.
For those who still don't know me, my name is Natalia.Play Caption
Así que aún queda la pequeña esperanza
So, there's still a little hope
Caption 44, Rosa Fuente de PiedraPlay Caption
Durante este período, México aún tenía el nombre de la Nueva España.
During this period, Mexico still had the name New Spain.Play Caption
Considering the above, let's unveil the answer to our quiz:
Aun si te digo la verdad, no me crees
Even if I tell you the truth, you don't believe me
Estamos aún en la fase de entrevistas.
We are still in the interview phase.
Caption 19, Negocios La solicitud de empleo - Part 1Play Caption
And that's it for today. We hope you enjoyed this lesson and don't forget to send us your comments and questions.