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How To Learn Useful Spanish with Free Quick Videos

Intro

 Do want to learn your first Spanish words and phrases in a matter of minutes?

Or maybe… You already speak a little Spanish, and want to refresh your memory and learn new things?

In both cases, you are at the right place! Here you will find Spanish material for English-speaking beginners. With these resources you will communicate much better in this beautiful language.

You do not need to have previous knowledge of Spanish to follow this language guide for beginners.

  • But you will enjoy it more if you know at least the pronunciation of Spanish. Here you will find a very practical video, where I teach you how to pronounce any word in Spanish.

In the videos I say the phrases first in Spanish and then in English.

  • You have subtitles if you want. You have the transcript in this post, too.

In these videos you will learn very useful, essential Spanish phrases, and you will see that you can use them straight away to communicate in real life, in your daily life and while traveling.

If you want to watch all the videos in a row, here you have them.

You will find the tables with the transcription of each video and an audio in which I pronounce in Spanish with the normal speed a native speaks.  In the video I speak a little slower, and you can slow down the YouTube watching speed if you prefer.

In addition, you will find in this post relevant comments on aspects of the Spanish grammar that appear in the videos. I indicate this with the symbol 🔎 .

You will also find interactive flashcards to practice what you learned in the videos. You can choose your favorite gaming or learning mode. And you have quizzes to practice the information.

And if you want to learn Spanish systematically and from the very beginning, you have a FREE ONLINE mini-course with explanations in English in which you will learn the basis of communication. Check it out here:

How To Speak Spanish: Guide For Beginners With Video and PDF

If you are curious to know where I have recorded the videos, they are all made in Palma de Mallorca. If you’ve ever been to the Mediterranean island, you will recognize some of the locations.

What you will learn in this free Spanish guide for beginners

In this guide, I will teach you in a summarized and useful way important features of the Spanish language for English speakers. The  aspects of the grammar that you will learn are the following:

  • The omission of the subject pronoun in the comment of video #2.
  • The verbs and prepositions to indicate the place in Spanish in the comment of video #4.
  • The adjectives in Spanish in the commentary of video #6.
  • The verb “GUSTAR” in Spanish in the commentary of video #7.
  • The difference between “MUY” and “MUCHO” in the comment of video #10.
  • The difference between the verbs “SER” and “ESTAR” in the comment of video #11.
  • The adjectives “BUENO” and “MALO” in the comment of video #11.
  • The verbs “IR”, “VENIR”, “LLEVAR” and “TRAER” in the comment of video #12.
  • The simple negative and the double negative  in the comment of video #12.
  • The preposition “A” placed before persons in the comment of video #12.
  • The most important expressions with the verb “TENER” in Spanish in the commentary of video #13.
  • The structures “TENER + QUE” + infinitive and “PODER” + infinitive in the comment of video #13.
  • The future with “IR + A” + infinitive (“VOY A COMER”) in Spanish in the commentary of video #16.
  • The verb “PEDIR” in Spanish in the commentary of video #16.

Click on the index  to go to the video that interests you the most .

Video #1. How to greet and how to say goodbye in Spanish

In this video you will learn the most frequent greetings and farewell expressions in Spanish

Hola. Hello.
Buenos días. Good morning. Good day.
Buenas tardes. Good afternoon.
Buenas noches. Good evening.  Good night.
Hasta luego. See you later.
Hasta pronto. See you soon.
Hasta la vista. Goodbye.
Hasta mañana. See you tomorrow.
Hasta la próxima. See you next time.
Chao. Bye.
Adiós. Goodbye.
how to greet and how to say goodbye in Spanish


”BUENOS DÍAS” is the greeting you can use throughout the day (as long as there is daylight). After lunch, you can use “BUENAS TARDES”, if you prefer.

”BUENOS DÍAS” is the right formula to wish someone a good morning/day. Saying *”BUENAS DÍAS” is incorrect.

We must say “BUENOS DÍAS” because “LOS DÍAS” is masculine and plural. “BUENOS” is the adjective that accompanies “DÍAS” and, therefore, must have the ending -OS (masculine, plural).

  • You will learn a little more about adjectives in the comments on videos #6 and #22 in this series.

You have a very practical guide on greetings, farewells and polite formulas in Spanish with video and material to download for free.

Many foreigners get confused when told that “EL DÍA” is a masculine noun because they assume that all Spanish nouns ending in -A are feminine.

This reasoning is logical, but languages are not always logical…

Most nouns ending in -A in Spanish are feminine, that is right. But “EL DÍA” is an exception: it ends in -A, but it is masculine.

Some nouns ending in -MA, -PA, and -TA are also masculine in Spanish, such as “EL PROBLEMA” or “EL IDIOMA” (“problem”, “foreign language”).  Some, but not all.

  • You will learn these nouns in the commentary of video #20 of this series.

I teach you  the most general rules about the gender of nouns in Spanish:

Most nouns ending in -A are feminine in Spanish. Exception “EL DÍA” and some nouns with the endings “-MA”, “-PA”, “-TA”.

Nouns ending in -D and -UMBRE are feminine in Spanish. There are no exceptions.

All nouns ending in -O, -OR and -AJE in Spanish are masculine in Spanish. Exceptions: “LA MANO” and “LA FLOR” (“hand”, “flower”).

When it gets dark, in Spanish you will switch to “BUENAS NOCHES”.

Observe that in Spanish we only have “LA NOCHE”, which in English corresponds to both “evening” and “night”. Therefore, you will say “BUENAS NOCHES”:

  • If you meet a friend to do something together in the evening.
  • If you say goodbye to that friend when the evening out is over.
  • If you are going to bed and want the other person to have a good night’s sleep.

Notice that many farewell formulas in Spanish begin with “HASTA” (“until”).  In Spain the farewell that is most heard is “HASTA LUEGO”, which people usually pronounce very quickly and in a not always very clearly.

  • However, it is also used for a final goodbye. That’s why, depending on the context, “ADIÓS” may sound a bit dramatic.

If you want to greet someone and to say goodbye to that person in a brief and informal way, in Spanish it will be enough to use “HOLA” and “CHAO”.

Do you want to learn 89+ ways to say hello, to say goodbye, and to ask and to answer “how are you?” in Spanish? You have a free guide with video and PDF material  to download here.
Downloadable PDF + MP3 | 89+ Spanish Conversation Starters

Video #2. How to solve communication difficulties in Spanish

Learning a language is also knowing how to solve problems that may arise with the communication. With the phrases that you will learn in this video, you will be able to deal with any misunderstanding – even if you speak very little Spanish.

No entiendo. I don’t understand.
Más despacio, por favor. Slowly please.
No sé. I don’t know.
¿Qué significa…? What does it mean?
¿Puede repetir, por favor? Can you please repeat?
¿Qué es esto? What is this?
Por ejemplo. For example.
how to solve communication difficulties in Spanish with simple phrases
😣If you do not understand, you can say in Spanish “NO ENTIENDO” or, what is the same, “NO COMPRENDO”.
NO ENTIENDO. I do not understand.
NO COMPRENDO. I do not understand.


🐌To ask the person to speak more slowly, you can say in Spanish “MÁS DESPACIO, POR FAVOR” or also “MÁS LENTO, POR FAVOR”.
MÁS DESPACIO, POR FAVOR. Slowly, please.
MÁS LENTO, POR FAVOR. Slowly, please.
how to say “slowly, please” in Spanish
 
🤷 To indicate that you do not know, you will say in Spanish “NO SÉ”. One variation is “NO LO SÉ”. 🔎Realize that in Spanish simple negation is very easy: just place “NO” in front of the verb.  That is why we say:
(YO) ENTIENDO. I understand.
(YO) NO ENTIENDO. I do not understand.
(YO) SÉ. I know.
(YO) NO SÉ. I do not know.
how to say “I don’t understand” in Spanish

🔎 Do you realize I added “(YO)” in parentheses? That is because personal pronouns (subject pronouns) in Spanish – especially “YO” (“I”) and “TÚ” (“you”) are often omitted.
  • These pronouns are not grammatically necessary and therefore we, native speakers, do not make them explicit when we speak.
  • That phenomenon is not standardized in the English language. But in Spanish omitting personal pronouns is very common and not necessarily colloquial.
  • If you do not feel comfortable doing so, you do not need to omit subject pronouns. But do not be surprised when natives do.
If you want the person to repeat what they said, the phrase is “¿PUEDE REPETIR, POR FAVOR?” In this case, we are addressing the person as “USTED”, that is, the situation is formal.
  • However, in Spanish-speaking culture we are quite informal. In many countries (Spain, for example) it is totally normal to address a stranger using “TÚ”, which is the most casual form of address.
  • If we use “TÚ,” the phrase changes to “¿PUEDES REPETIR, POR FAVOR?”
formal¿PUEDE REPETIR?Can you repeat?
informal¿PUEDES REPETIR?Can you repeat?
how to say “can you repeat?” in Spanish

However, you may not feel comfortable addressing a person you do not know using “TÚ”. That is why here I leave you the two options: “¿PUEDE REPETIR?” if we are more distant, “¿PUEDES REPETIR?” if we prefer to be informal.

In this video (in which I teach you the main travel phrases in Spanish), you will learn how to handle misunderstandings (starting on minute 17:35). You have in-depth explanations and a downloadable PDF phrasebook to speak Spanish during a trip here. 

Video #3. How to be polite in Spanish

The first few sentences you should learn in a foreign language include expressions of courtesy. Being friendly will open many doors for you, even if you do not speak much Spanish.

.

Por favor. Please.
Muchas gracias. Thank you very much.
De nada. You are welcome.
Perdón. Pardon me.
Disculpe. Pardon me.
Lo siento mucho. I am very sorry.
Lamento mucho. I am very sorry.
No pasa nada. It is ok.
Igualmente. The same to you.
Con permiso. May I?
useful politeness phrases in Spanish for English-speaking beginners

When you ask for something (by saying “POR FAVOR”) and get it, you will show gratitude by saying “GRACIAS”.

If you want to intensify, add “MUCHAS”: “MUCHAS GRACIAS”.

The way to react to “GRACIAS” is to say “DE NADA”.

 And how do we say we are sorry in Spanish? There are different ways to acknowledge that you did something wrong and to accept apologies. 👇 And below you have explanations in greater detail.

  • In this short immersive video (with subtitles in Spanish/English) you will learn useful phrases to ask for forgiveness. You can change the playback speed.

To apologize, you can say “PERDÓN” or “DISCULPE.”  Those words also serve to get the attention of a person in Spanish (for example, to call the waiter in the restaurant).

  • “DISCULPE” is formal. To use the informal variation, you will say “DISCULPA”.
  • In addition to “PERDÓN,” you can say “PERDONE” if the situation is formal, and “PERDONA” if it is informal.

If you want to vary a little the ways to ask for forgiveness in Spanish, here is a table with the formulas:

neutralPERDÓNPIDO DISCULPAS
formalPERDONEDISCULPE
informalPERDONADISCULPA
ways of asking for forgiveness in Spanish
There are two additional ways to say “I am sorry” in Spanish:
  • “LO SIENTO (MUCHO)”
  • “LO LAMENTO (MUCHO)”
These phrases are used if you have made a mistake (just like “PERDÓN” and “DISCULPE”). But you also use them if you are not responsible for an unfortunate situation, but you want to show empathy. If someone asks you for forgiveness, the most common  reaction in Spanish is “NO PASA NADA.” There is no harm in using “POR FAVOR” and “(MUCHAS) GRACIAS” in Spanish. Even if you speak little Spanish, these are short words that will make natives appreciate your kindness and they will be more willing to help you. It is really like that! For example, if you are traveling and want to buy something in a store, you can simply point to the object you want (if you do not know its name).
  • To ask the price, you will use the phrase “PERDÓN, ¿CUÁNTO CUESTA?” It is simple and polite.
Do you want a little more “survival Spanish”?  Here you have examples of basic and alternative  phrases, so you can place your order in a café or restaurant in Spanish, using basic polite phrases:
to call the waiter ¡POR FAVOR! / ¡PERDÓN! / ¡SEÑOR!
to call the waitress ¡POR FAVOR! / ¡PERDÓN! / ¡SEÑORA!
to ask for the menu (QUERÍA) LA CARTA, POR FAVOR.
to order a beverage PARA BEBER, (QUERÍA) … .
to order a meal PARA COMER, (QUERÍA) … .
to ask for the check (QUERÍA) LA CUENTA, POR FAVOR.
to ask if you can pay by card PERDÓN, ¿CON TARJETA?
useful phrases in Spanish to order food at the restaurant/café


Calling the waiter “SEÑOR” is something you will do in a fancy place. In a casual bar or restaurant, you can call him with a hand gesture. You may wonder… What is the difference between “CAMARERO” and “MESERO” in Spanish? The answer is: none! Both have the meaning of “waiter”, but:
  • you will hear more often “CAMARERO” in Spain
  • “MESERO” is spoken in most Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America
The feminine of “CAMARERO” is “CAMARERA” and the feminine of “MESERO” is “MESERA” 🙏”(YO) QUERÍA” is polite, but you do not need to use that verb if you do not want to. If you really speak almost no Spanish, you can use the phrases as you see them in the table. You can learn more useful phrases for shopping and eating out in the “Spanish for travelers” video above (in this post, in the comments of video 2).  You will find these phrases starting on minute 24:36.

Video #4. How to offer personal information in Spanish

In this video you will briefly learn how to ask personal questions and how to answer them.

¿Cómo te llamas? What is your name?
Me llamo Alicia. My name is Alicia.
¿De dónde eres? Where are you from?
Soy de España. I am from Spain.
¿Cuántos años tienes? How old are you?
Tengo 33 años. I am 33 years old.
¿Dónde vives? Where do you live?
Vivo en España. I live in Spain.
how to ask personal questions in Spanish and how to answer them


  ❓Observe that in Spanish the questions end with the symbol “?” and start with the same symbol – but upside down (“¿…?”). The same goes for exclamatory sentences. (“¡…!”).
When someone  asks you about your name, you can answer in Spanish in three different ways:
(YO) ME LLAMO … My name is …
(YO) SOY … I am ..
MI NOMBRE ES … My name is …
how to introduce yourself in Spanish


In the comment of video #17 you will learn different ways to indicate your name in Spanish. 🔎Do you realize that “(YO)” is in parentheses?  As I explained in video 2, personal pronouns (especially “YO”) can be omitted in Spanish and that does not hinder understanding. 🤝When you meet a new person, you can say in Spanish:
🧔💬ENCANTADO is what a man says
👩‍🦰💬ENCANTADA is what a woman says
🧔 MUCHO GUSTO a man or a woman can say that
IGUALMENTE. Likewise.
how to say “nice to meet you” in Spanish


  If you want to find out  a person’s place of origin, you will ask (if you address them as “TÚ”) “¿DE DÓNDE ERES?” .
  • The person will answer “SOY DE …” adding the name of the city or country. In Spanish it is not necessary to place an article before the city or country.
You can see that there is no article in this sentence: “VIVO EN ESPAÑA”.
  • The definite articles in Spanish are the following: “EL” (masculine, singular), “LA” (feminine, singular), “LOS” (masculine, plural), “LAS” (feminine, plural). You can quickly learn them in this video.**
Stick with that simple rule of Spanish:
verb preposition
how to indicate origin in Spanish SER DE
how to indicate place of residence in Spanish VIVIR EN
how to indicate location in Spanish ESTAR EN
example question (“TÚ”) example answer (“YO”) translation
¿DE DÓNDE ERES? YO SOY DE SEVILLA. Where are you from? I am from Seville.
¿DÓNDE VIVES? YO VIVO EN SEVILLA. Where do you live? I live in Seville.
¿DÓNDE ESTÁS? YO ESTOY EN SEVILLA. Where are you? I am in Seville.
verbs and prepositions in Spanish to talk about places


  You will see that I offer you phrases with “TÚ”, that is, they are phrases that you will use in an informal situation. If you want to say the same thing, but using “USTED”, you will change the phrases to:
¿CÓMO SE LLAMA USTED? What is your name?
¿DE DÓNDE ES USTED? Where are you from?
¿CUÁNTOS AÑOS TIENE USTED? How old are you?
¿DÓNDE VIVE USTED? Where do you live?
how to ask personal questions using the formal form of address “USTED” in Spanish


  You can ask someone’s age in Spanish very simply. “¿CUÁNTOS AÑOS TIENES?”: you need the verb “TENER” which is usually translated as “to have” (“TENGO 33 AÑOS”).

But in English we say “I am 33 years old”, not *”I have 33 years” like we do in Spanish. Different languages, different structures.
  • Be careful: do not forget the “little worm” 🐛 above the letter Ñ (a symbol that in Spanish is called “VIRGULILLA”)!
  • 🤭If, instead of “LOS AÑOS” (“the years”), you write “LOS ANOS” in Spanish, you are saying “the anuses” (plural of “anus”).
To start a conversation with someone in Spanish, you have a video with PDF material to download for free. You will learn the 81 most relevant questions and answers of Spanish for beginners.

Here are the interactive flashcards with the expressions from videos #XX to #XX for practice. You can choose your preferred study/gaming mode.

Video #5. How to say the numbers in Spanish

In this video you will learn the numbers up to 100 in Spanish.
0: cero
1: uno
2: dos
3: tres
4: cuatro
5: cinco
6: seis
7: siete
8: ocho
9: nueve
10: diez
20: veinte
30: treinta
40: cuarenta
50: cincuenta
60: sesenta
70: setenta
80: ochenta
90: noventa
100: cien
the numbers in Spanish for English-speaking beginners
  1. You must learn the numbers 0-9 because they are the basis for building the other numbers.
  2. Between 11 and 15, the numbers are irregular. You must learn them, too.
  3. Between 16 and the 19,
  4. we follow the same reasoning: first the ten, then the one.
  • 16: DIECISÉIS, i.e., DIEZ (10) and SEIS (6)
  • 19: DIECINUEVE, i.e., DIEZ (10) and NUEVE (9)
The tens in Spanish are:  
20: veinte
30: treinta
40: cuarenta
50: cincuenta
60: sesenta
70: setenta
80: ochenta
90: noventa
the tens in Spanish

We write the numbers 21-29 in a single word in Spanish.

  • 21: VEINTIUNO, i.e., VEINTE (20) and UNO (1)
  • 25: VEINTICINCO, i.e., VEINTE (20) and CINCO (5)

After the number 30, we separate the words.

  • 33: TREINTA Y TRES, i.e., TREINTA (30) and TRES (3)
  • 47: CUARENTA Y SIETE, i.e., CUARENTA (40) and SIETE (7)

📑Do you see? Everything is very logical. You must practice the numbers and, therefore, you have here interactive cards with all the numbers up to 100. You can choose the learning or gaming mode you prefer and you will see that it is very enjoyable to practice Spanish this way.

▶Learn all the numbers in Spanish (0-100) for FREE with audio and flashcards!

💯Here you have the table with the numbers written in Spanish (between 0 and 100). You can listen to the numbers in Spanish with the audio and practice them with the free interactive flashcards. You can choose your preferred learning/gaming mode.

 

 

 

0 cero
1 uno
2 dos
3 tres
4 cuatro
5 cinco
6 seis
7 siete
8 ocho
9 nueve
10 diez
11 once
12 doce
13 trece
14 catorce
15 quince
16 dieciséis
17 diecisiete
18 dieciocho
19 diecinueve
20 veinte
21 veintiuno
22 veintidós
23 veintitrés
24 veinticuatro
25 veinticinco
26 veintiséis
27 veintisiete
28 veintiocho
29 veintinueve
30 treinta
31 treinta y uno
32 treinta y dos
33 treinta y tres
34 treinta y cuatro
35 treinta y cinco
36 treinta y seis
37 treinta y siete
38 treinta y ocho
39 treinta y nueve
40 cuarenta
41 cuarenta y uno
42 cuarenta y dos
43 cuarenta y tres
44 cuarenta y cuatro
45 cuarenta y cinco
46 cuarenta y seis
47 cuarenta y siete
48 cuarenta y ocho
49 cuarenta y nueve
50 cincuenta
51 cincuenta y uno
52 cincuenta y dos
53 cincuenta y tres
54 cincuenta y cuatro
55 cincuenta y cinco
56 cincuenta y seis
57 cincuenta y siete
58 cincuenta y ocho
59 cincuenta y nueve
60 sesenta
61 sesenta y uno
62 sesenta y dos
63 sesenta y tres
64 sesenta y cuatro
65 sesenta y cinco
66 sesenta y seis
67 sesenta y siete
68 sesenta y ocho
69 sesenta y nueve
70 setenta
71 setenta y uno
72 setenta y dos
73 setenta y tres
74 setenta y cuatro
75 setenta y cinco
76 setenta y seis
77 setenta y siete
78 setenta y ocho
79 setenta y nueve
80 ochenta
81 ochenta y uno
82 ochenta y dos
83 ochenta y tres
84 ochenta y cuatro
85 ochenta y cinco
86 ochenta y seis
87 ochenta y siete
88 ochenta y ocho
89 ochenta y nueve
90 noventa
91 noventa y uno
92 noventa y dos
93 noventa y tres
94 noventa y cuatro
95 noventa y cinco
96 noventa y seis
97 noventa y siete
98 noventa y ocho
99 noventa y nueve
100 cien

Video #6. How to talk about time in Spanish

In this video you will learn useful phrases to indicate the date and time.

 

¿Qué día es hoy? What day is today?
Hoy es lunes, día 6 de julio. Today is Monday, the sixth of July.
¿Qué hora es? What time is it?
Son las once de la mañana. It is eleven in the morning.
¿Tienes tiempo para un café? Do you have time for a coffee?
Sí, tengo tiempo. Yes, I have time.
No, lo siento. Ahora estoy ocupada. No, I am sorry. Now I am busy.
simple phrases in Spanish to talk about time


You will learn that, to ask about the date, you will ask in Spanish “¿QUÉ DÍA ES HOY?”.

To ask for the time, the question in Spanish is “¿QUÉ HORA ES?”.

  • 01:00 AM or PM: we answer “ES LA UNA”
  • 02:00 AM or PM, 03:00 AM or PM, etc.: we answer “SON LAS …”

It is quite logical, isn’t it? Because the number 1 is singular, that is why the verb to indicate the time is “ES” (“it is”). If the clock strikes any other time, we will use the plural verb (“SON”, “they are”).

To ask someone if they want to do something with you, you can do it this way:

  • “¿TIENES TIEMPO PARA…?”: after “PARA” (“to”, “for”), you place the verb in infinitive.

 Do you want to learn the vocabulary of the most relevant verbs in Spanish? You have a video and PDF  material to download for free here.

Free Video Guide: Spanish Verbs for English Speakers

Notice how we conjugate the verb “TENER” (“to have”) in Spanish:

  TENER
YO TENGO
TIENES
USTED TIENE
the verb “tener” (“TO HAVE”) in Spanish, conjugated in singular

 

Realize that, if someone invites you to something, in Spanish it is considered rude to say “NO” without offering an explanation. That is why the example phrase I offer you is:

No, lo siento. Ahora estoy ocupada. No, I am sorry. Now I am busy.

You will see that this sentence includes the apology (“LO SIENTO”) and the reason for rejecting the invitation (“ESTOY OCUPADA”).

Notice that the adjective “OCUPADO/A” varies, depending on whether you are a male or a female. That is why I indicate “O/A”: “OCUPADO” is the  masculine (singular), “OCUPADA” is the feminine (singular).

In Spanish, many adjectives…

  • end with the letter -O if they refer to the masculine
  • end with the letter -A if they refer to the feminine

 

🧔❌JUAN ESTÁ OCUPADO. Juan is busy.
🧔💬❌JUAN DICE: “ESTOY OCUPADO.” Juan says: “I’m busy”
👩‍🦰❌ROSA ESTÁ OCUPADA. Rosa is busy.
👩‍🦰💬❌ROSA DICE: “ESTOY OCUPADA.” Rosa says: “I’m busy”
how to use endings for adjectives in Spanish


Adjectives in Spanish that end with the letter -E or with a consonant have no variation depending on masculine/feminine. They stay the same, it does not matter if they refer to a male or a female. “INTELIGENTE”, for example: “JUAN ES INTELIGENTE”, “ROSA ES INTELIGENTE”.

Do you want to learn how to make a proposal or invitation in Spanish and how to react to that offer? You have a video with free PDF  material to download that will help you communicate better.  You will learn to make invitations from the minute 49:36 of the video.

 

Here you can learn the Spanish days of the week and the months:

(notice that the days of the week and the months in Spanish are not capitalized and are all masculine, even though we do not use the article when naming them)

 

la semana the week
lunes Monday
martes Tuesday
miércoles Wednesday
jueves Thursday
viernes Friday
el fin de semana weekend
sábado Saturday
domingo Sunday
the days of the week in Spanish for English speakers

 

el año the year
los meses the monthes
enero January
febrero February
marzo March
abril April
mayo May
junio June
julio July
agosto August
septiembre September
octubre October
noviembre November
diciembre December
the months of the year in Spanish for English speakers

Free interactive flashcards with the days of the week and the months in Spanish. You can choose your preferred learning/gaming mode.

Free interactive flashcards with the expressions of videos 5 and 6. You can choose your preferred learning/gaming mode.

If you want to expand your vocabulary with words related to time, you can learn them starting on minute 09:32 of the video of the guide on basic nouns in Spanish for English speakers, which includes free material to practice and download. 

QUIZ

¿15 en español?

¿27 en español?

¿54 en español?

¿83 en español?

¿96 en español?

Video #7. How to talk about your spare time in Spanish

In this video you will learn simple phrases to talk about your leisure activities.  It is an enjoyable topic and suitable for chatting in Spanish with people you do not know very well.

¿Tienes aficiones? Do you have hobbies?
Mis aficiones son la música y el deporte. My hobbies are music and sport.
No tengo mucho tiempo libre. I do not have much spare time.
En el tiempo libre, prefiero descansar. In the spare time, I prefer to rest.
No me gusta mucho leer. I don’t really like reading.
Spanish phrases to chat about hobbies

First of all, notice the synonyms:

spare time TIEMPO LIBRE, OCIO
hobby AFICIÓN, HOBBY, PASATIEMPO
vocabulary to talk about hobbies in Spanish

 

To state your hobbies in Spanish…

  • If you want to mention a single hobby you have, you will say “MI AFICIÓN ES…”
  • If you have two or more hobbies you want to list, you will say “MIS AFICIONES SON… “
verb (infinitive) MIS AFICIONES SON BAILAR Y TOCAR LA GUITARRA.
noun MIS AFICIONES SON EL FLAMENCO Y LA GUITARRA.
how to mention your hobbies in Spanish

 

To indicate likes in Spanish with the verb “GUSTAR”:

structure example translation
GUSTAR + infinitive ME GUSTA BAILAR. I like to dance.
GUSTAR + noun(singular) ME GUSTA EL FLAMENCO. I like flamenco.
GUSTAR + noun (plural) ME GUSTAN LOS BAILES LATINOS. I like latin dances.
PREFERIR + infinitive PREFIERO BAILAR EN LA DISCOTECA. I prefer to dance at the disco.
PREFERIR + noun PREFIERO LA BACHATA. I prefer bachata.
the verb “GUSTAR” (“to like”) in Spanish

 

💜”ME GUSTA…”: this is what you say, when you like a noun in singular or a verb in infinitive.

💜💜”ME GUSTAN…”: this is what you say, when you like a noun in plural.

  • If you want to intensify how much you like something, you will say “ME GUSTA/N MUCHO… ”
  • For the negative form, you will say “NO ME GUSTA/N…”.

You can also use the verbs “GUSTAR” and “PREFERIR” to talk about likes and preferences. You have examples of these verbs in this video, starting on minute 44:57.

Video #8. How to talk about your home in Spanish

In this video you will learn how to describe your housing situation.

¿Dónde vives? Where you live?
Vivo en una ciudad grande. I live in a big city.
Vivo en la calle París, número 20, apartamento 4A. I live in the street Paris, number 20, apartment 4A.
Vivo en el centro de la ciudad. I live in the city center.
Vivo con mi familia. I live with my family.
how to talk about your home in Spanish

  This is another suitable topic to chat with people you do not know very well. To start the conversation, you will say:

¿DÓNDE VIVES?
USTED ¿DÓNDE VIVE USTED?
break the ice in Spanish by saying “where do you live?”

  🏘You will say “VIVO EN…” and you will add your city, neighborhood or even your address. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👧To indicate who you live with, you will simply say “VIVO CON…”.  Examples:  

VIVO SOLO. I live alone. (if you are a man)
VIVO SOLA. I live alone. (if you are a woman)
VIVO CON MI FAMILIA. I live with my family.
VIVO CON MIS PADRES. I live with my parents.
VIVO CON COMPAÑEROS. I live with friends (roomates)
VIVO CON MI PAREJA. / MI NOVIO. I live with my partner. / my boyfriend.
VIVO CON MI PAREJA. / MI NOVIA. I live with my partner. / my girlfriend.
how to describe your living situation in Spanish

Video #9. How to talk about daily habits in Spanish

In this video you will learn to narrate your routine.

Me levanto a las seis de la mañana. I wake up at six AM.
Trabajo de lunes a viernes. I work from Monday to Friday.
Hago deporte todos los días. I exercise every day.
Por la noche descanso. I rest in the evening.
Voy a la cama a las once de la noche. I go to bed at eleven PM.
useful phrases in Spanish to talk about your habits

 

💬Just like hobbies or the place where you live, your daily life is a suitable topic to chat in Spanish with a person you do not know very well.

The verbs you see in this video are:

LEVANTARSE to stand up
TRABAJAR to work
HACER DEPORTE to exercise
DESCANSAR to rest
IR A LA CAMA to go to bed
verbs in Spanish to talk about daily activities

 

Realize that “LEVANTARSE” in Spanish means “getting up from a chair” if you’re sitting 🪑as “getting out of bed” in the morning🛏.

  • “LEVANTARSE” is a reflexive verb. Reflexive verbs in Spanish have -SE at the end of the infinitive.
  • When you conjugate “LEVANTARSE” for the person “YO”, you will say “(YO) ME LEVANTO”.  “(YO)” is optional, but you need to say “ME”.

The expressions of time you learn in this video are:

A LA UNA (1:00) / A LAS DOS (2:00) at one o’clock (1:00) / at two o’clock (2:00)
DE LUNES A VIERNES Monday to Friday
TODOS LOS DÍAS every day
POR LA MAÑANA in the morning
POR LA TARDE in the afternoon
POR LA NOCHE in the evening
useful time expressions in Spanish for beginners


🔹You have more important time expressions in lesson 3 of the Spanish for English-speaking Beginners  mini-course that you can access here without needing to register for the course.

How To Learn Spanish Online & For Free – Sneak Peek

Video #10. How to talk about your hometown in Spanish

In this video you will learn how to give information about the city where you live. It is a way to continue the conversation you learned in video 8.

Vivo en una ciudad grande. I live in a big city.
La ciudad está tranquila ahora. The city is quiet now.
Es muy temprano. It is very early.
Hay poco tráfico y poco ruido. There is little traffic and little noise.
No hay mucha gente en la calle. There are not many people on the street.
how to talk about your hometown in Spanish

  🔎”TRANQUILO/A” is a very practical adjective in Spanish.  In the video I use it to define the city, but you can also use it to describe to a person, a situation… I already told you a little about adjectives in Spanish in the comment on video 6. Do not forget:

  • If the adjective refers to a singular masculine noun, we will use “TRANQUILO”: “MUCHACHO TRANQUILO”
  • If the adjective refers to a singular feminine noun, we will use “TRANQUILA”: “MUCHACHA TRANQUILA”

🔎”TRANQUILO/A” is an adjective that can be combined with both the verb “SER” and “ESTAR”. Both verbs in English translate as “to be”. Depending on the verb we use (“SER” or “ESTAR”) the adjective “TRANQUILO” has the same meaning (“quiet”, “calm”)… But in Spanish there is a difference:

  • If I say “LA CIUDAD ES TRANQUILA” (with the verb “SER”), I mean that in general it is a city where there is not much going on.
  • If I say “LA CIUDAD ESTÁ TRANQUILA” (with the verb “ESTAR”) there are two possible meanings. 1) The city is not quiet normally, but now it is; 2) The city is normally quiet, and now it is even quieter than normal.

🤯The nuances that an adjective acquires, according to whether we combine it with “SER” and with “ESTAR”, is a fascinating topic!  Many adjectives in Spanish work like this.  

JUAN ES UN MUCHACHO TRANQUILO. Juan is a quiet boy.
YO VIVO EN UNA CIUDAD TRANQUILA. I live in a quiet city.
HOY ES UN DÍA TRANQUILO. Today is a quiet day.
examples of the adjective “TRANQUILO/A” (“quiet”) in Spanish

😉I will delve into the difference between the verbs “SER” and “ESTAR” in the comment of video #11. 🔎Another aspect that you should notice in the video is the verbal form “HAY”, which is the equivalent in Spanish of “there is” / “there are”. You can combine “HAY” with a singular or plural noun. 💥Notice the difference between “MUY”  (invariable), “MUCHO” (invariable) und “MUCHO/A/OS/AS” (variable) in Spanish. 🔎 “MUY” in Spanish refers to an adjective (“MUY TRANQUILA”) or an adverb (“MUY TEMPRANO”). It is invariable. 🔎”MUCHO” is invariable if it refers to a verb: “LO SIENTO MUCHO”. 🔎 “MUCHO”, referring to a noun, agrees with it, so “MUCH-“ will have the endings “-O” (masculine, singular), “-A” (feminine, singular), “-OS” (masculine, plural), “-AS” (feminine, plural).

⏳masculino, singular MUCHO TIEMPO much time
☔femenino, singular MUCHA LLUVIA a lot of rain
📚📚masculino, plural MUCHOS LIBROS many books
👨‍👨‍👧‍👦👨‍👨‍👧‍👧femenino, plural MUCHAS FAMILIAS many families
how to use “MUCHO” in Spanish

Here are the interactive flashcards with the expressions from videos #XX to #XX for practice. You can choose your preferred study/gaming mode.

Quiz to test what you learned in videos 7 to 10:

Video #11. How to talk about sickness and health in Spanish

No one enjoys being ill, but sometimes it cannot be helped. In this video you learn some phrases to talk about this topic if necessary.

  • Hopefully you do not need to use these phrases on your next vacation in a Spanish-speaking country but, if it happens, you have this quick guide to help you.

In this comment I will also teach you the main differences between “SER” and “ESTAR” so that you better understand how the Spanish language works.

 

No estoy bien. Estoy enferma. I am not well. I am ill.
Necesito comprar medicamentos. I need to buy medicine.
Compro medicamentos en la farmacia. I buy medicine in the pharmacy.
Después, voy al hospital. Then, I go to the hospital.
Tengo una cita con el médico. I have a doctor’s appointment.
   

How we use “BIEN” and “MAL” in Spanish

To ask how a person is doing  – in general – you will say in Spanish “¿QUÉ TAL?” (= “how are you doing?”).
  • You can use this short phrase in any situation (formal / informal) and with anyone (man / woman).
In English, if someone asks “how are you doing?”, you can answer “(I am doing) well” or, casually, “(I am) good”. “Well” is an adverb and “good” an adjective, and both can be used in English in this situation.
  • But in Spanish things are different! To que question “¿QUÉ TAL?” the answer with the verb “ESTAR” (“I am”)  will always be an adverb – either “BIEN”, if you are doing well, or “MAL” if you are not well.
  • In Spanish you do not answer “YO SOY BUENO/A” or “YO SOY MALO/A” if someone asks you “¿QUÉ TAL?”. The grammar of these sentences is correct, but they are nod adequate in this situation.
“ESTOY BIEN” and “ESTOY MAL” are the most general responses to “¿QUÉ TAL?” in Spanish: you can use them if someone asks you “¿QUÉ TAL?”.  “ESTOY” is the first person of the singular of the verb “ESTAR”.
  • You can answer plainly “BIEN” and “MAL” (omitting the “(YO) ESTOY”).
”BIEN” and “MAL” are adverbs, so they are invariable. It does not matter if you are male or female, you will use “BIEN” and “MAL” referring to your current state without changing anything. But you will never say “SOY MAL” or “SOY BIEN.” They will understand you, but it is not correct in Spanish.  “BIEN” and “MAL” are incompatible with the verb “SER”. If you want to be more specific, to ask about someone’s health you will say “¿CÓMO ESTÁS DE SALUD?” or “¿QUÉ TAL DE SALUD?”. You have these phrases and some more, both in the form of “TÚ” and “USTED”:
INFORMAL FORMAL translation
¿QUÉ TAL DE SALUD? ¿QUÉ TAL DE SALUD? How are you doing (health-wise)?
¿CÓMO ESTÁS DE SALUD? ¿CÓMO ESTÁ USTED DE SALUD? How is your health?
¿CÓMO TE ENCUENTRAS DE SALUD? ¿CÓMO SE ENCUENTRA DE SALUD? How are you feeling?
¿CÓMO TE SIENTES? ¿CÓMO SE SIENTE? How do you feel (health-wise)?
 

To talk about how we are feeling (physically or mentally), we can use the verbs “SENTIRSE” and “ENCONTRARSE”. “ENCONTRARSE” also means “to be located” (in space).
  • They are synonyms and both are reflexive verbs – just like the verb “LLAMARSE”.
  • In Spanish, “YO ME LLAMO” is literally, “I call myself”, but English does not phrase “my name is” this way.
  • That is, when you conjugate reflexive verbs – such as “SENTIRSE” and “ENCONTRARSE” – do not forget to include the pronoun: “ME” for the person “YO”.
YO translation
YO ME ENCUENTRO I feel
YO ME SIENTO I feel
To indicate that you are not in good health, you have several ways to express that in Spanish:
ME SIENTO MAL. I am unwell.
NO ME SIENTO BIEN. I am not feeling good.
ME ENCUENTRO MAL. I am unwell.
NO ME ENCUENTRO BIEN. I am not feeling good.
ESTOY MALO / MALA. I am unwell.
ESTOY FATAL. I am not feeling good, at all.
NO PUEDO MÁS. I cannot stand it.
ME DUELE … . … is hurting.
TENGO DOLOR DE … . I have … ache.
 

Of course, the negative “NO” will be used if you want to use a negative sentence. To make the sentence positive, you remove “NO”: “ME SIENTO BIEN” (“I feel well”), for example. “ESTAR”, “ENCONTRARSE” and “SENTIRSE” are synonyms in this case. But since “ENCONTRARSE” and “SENTIRSE” are reflexive verbs, you will use a special structure with them.
INFINITIVO YO translation
ESTAR YO ESTOY I am
ENCONTRARSE YO ME ENCUENTRO I am feeling
SENTIRSE YO ME SIENTO I am feeling
 

What is the difference between “BIEN” and “BUENO/A” and “MAL” and “MALO/A” in Spanish?

”BIEN” and “MAL” have opposite meanings in Spanish.
  • “BIEN” is positive, and “MAL” is negative.
“BUENO/A” and “MALO/A” also have opposite meanings in Spanish.
  • “BUENO/A” is positive, “MALO/A” is negative.
If you mean that a person is evil, you can also say “MALVADO” (masculine) or “MALVADA” (feminine). This is, for example, the adjective you would use to descibe a villain in fiction.  
ADVERBIO ADJETIVO MASCULINO ADJETIVO FEMENINO
👍POSITIVO BIEN SUSTANTIVO + BUENO / BUEN + SU BUENA
👎NEGATIVO MAL SUSTANTIVO + MALO / MAL + SU MALA
These adjectives, as you can see, can be placed before the noun to which they refer, or after this noun. The difference between these two pairs is as follows: “BIEN” and “MAL” are adverbs.  They refer to verbs and are invariable:
MARCOS DUERME MAL. Marcos sleeps poorly.
JULIA HABLA BIEN INGLÉS. Julia speaks English well.
  • “MAL” is characterizing the action of “sleeping,” and “BIEN” positively describes the action of “speaking”.
  • We could change the phrases, but “BIEN” and “MAL” do not vary.
MARCOS DUERME BIEN. Marcos sleeps well.
JULIA HABLA MAL INGLÊS. Julia speaks English poorly.
BUENO/A” and “MALO/A” are adjectives. They refer to nouns.
MARCOS ES UN CHICO MALO. Marcos is a bad boy.
JULIA ES UNA BUENA ESTUDIANTE. Julia is a good student.
  • “MALO” (masculine, singular) refers to “(EL) CHICO” (masculine, singular).
  • “BUENA” (feminine, singular) refers to “(LA) ESTUDIANTE” (feminine, singular).
If we change the meaning, we must change the grammar, too:
MARCOS ES UN CHICO BUENO. Marcos is a good guy.
JULIA ES UNA MALA ESTUDIANTE. Julia is a bad student.
  • Now “BUENO” refers to “(EL) CHICO” and is therefore masculine and singular.
  • “MALA” refers to “(LA) ESTUDIANTE” and is therefore feminine and singular.
  In this audio you can listen to all these example phrases:



“BIEN” and “MAL” can refer to all sorts of verbs. Attention: both will be combined with the verb “ESTAR”,  but are never combined with the verb “SER”.
CORRECTO MARCOS ESTUDIA BIEN. Marcos studies well.
CORRECTO MARCOS ESTÁ BIEN. Marcos is well.
INCORRECTO MARCOS ES BIEN. wrong
Remark: to say, about a situation “ESTO ESTÁ BUENO” is colloquial. The standard thing is to say “ESTO ESTÁ BIEN”. 🔹 “BUENO/A” and “MALO/A” are, like many adjectives in Spanish, flexible. That is, we can combine those adjectives with “SER” and with “ESTAR”.
CORRECTO 😇MARCOS ES UN CHICO BUENO. Marcos is a good boy.
CORRECTO 😇MARCOS ES BUENO. Marcos is good.
CORRECTO 🔥MARCOS ESTÁ BUENO. Marcos is hot (= sexy).
Phrases 1 and 2 have the same meaning: “Marcos is a good person”. But there is a difference in meaning between “MARCOS ES BUENO” and “MARCOS ESTÁ BUENO”! I show it to you soon. Attention: “BUENO/A” and “MALO/A” can refer to persons, as you have just seen, but they are also used to describe situations, things, places, etc. If you talk about food, for example, you will say:
  • “LA FRUTA ES BUENA” (= fruit is good, it is healthy)
  • “LA FRUTA ESTÁ BUENA” (= the fruit tastes good)
To indicate that a meal tastes good in Spanish, you can use:
  • the adjective “BUENO/A” (with the verb “ESTAR”)
  • the adjective “RICO/A” (with the verb “ESTAR”)
  • “RICO/A” means – in general “rich”, and that is why “COSTA RICA”  and “PUERTO RICO” have such names (“Rich Coast” and “Rich Port”, literally).
  • But if we refer to food, “RICO/A” indicates that it tastes good.
➕Beware: to intensify, you can say “(ES/ESTÁ)” “MUY BUENO/A” and “MUY MALO/A”. The following phrases are wrong:
  • “MUCHO BIEN”
  • “MUCHO BUENO/A”
  • “NO BUENO”
  • “NO BIENO” . “BIENO” is not even a word in Spanish!
To say to a person “you are hot” (= sexy) in Spanish, you will say “ESTÁS BUENO/A”. “CALOR” in Spanish is “heat” and “CALIENTE” is “hot”, but be careful with these words.
  • Many English speakers believe that saying “you are hot” (= sexy) in Spanish is “¡MUY CALIENTE!”. It is not really a mistake, but it is not what a native would say to praise a person for their looks.
  • You can say “ESTÁS CALIENTE” if the person is sexually aroused. But do not use this phrase in another context.
Do not get confused:
  • If it is summer, you will say “TENGO CALOR”  (= “I am hot”) or “¡QUÉ CALOR!” (= “it is hot”).
  • If you indicate that the temperature of something (for example, coffee) is elevated, you will say “EL CAFÉ ESTÁ CALIENTE”.
  • If you want to tell a person that he/she is attractive, you will say “ESTÁ BUENO/A.”
You must be careful in what situation and to which person you say “ESTÁS BUENO/A”, since it is a compliment regarding solely their physique. In a work environment, for example, it is inadequate to use such compliments. Although you are saying something positive (the person has an amazing body), he or she may feel offended, feeling objectified. Since we talk about this topic, you should know that the adjective “CACHONDO/A” that we use in Spain has a very different meaning, depending on whether we use it with “SER” or with “ESTAR”.

You will learn more phrases to flirt in Spanish starting on minute 16:12 of this video where I teach you the most googled Spanish words and phrases.

What is the difference between “SER” and “ESTAR” in Spanish?

In Spanish, the verb “SER” is used for definitions.  The verb “SER” defines stable characteristics of something or someone.

  • “SER” is used to speak in a general manner about something that is always (or almost always) in a certain way. “SOY UNA PERSONA FELIZ.”
  • In English, “SER” is translated as “to be”. But “ESTAR” is “to be”, as well!

In Spanish, the verb “ESTAR” is used to describe the current status of something or someone, features that are this way, right now. The verb “ESTAR” is used to indicate  momentary situations, for example a state of mind or an emotional status. “¡ES VIERNES, ESTOY FELIZ! (“It is Friday, I am happy!”) Many adjectives can be combined with both verbs, “SER” and “ESTAR”. The context allows us to identify nuances of meaning of what is being said.

  • Native speakers have no difficulty interpreting those subtleties.
  • You, as a foreigner, will not have problems with that when you have a little more experience with Spanish. You only have to practice a little.

Realize the richness of nuances of Spanish.

VERBO how to use it USO EJEMPLO translation
SER general traits CARACTERÍSTICA GENERAL SOY UNA PERSONA FELIZ. I am a happy person.
ESTAR current situation SITUACIÓN MOMENTÁNEA ES VIERNES. ¡ESTOY FELIZ! It is Friday, I am happy!
ESTAR location (person) LOCALIZACIÓN (PERSONA) ESTOY EN CASA. I am at home.
ESTAR location (place) LOCALIZACIÓN (LUGAR) ESPAÑA ESTÁ EN EUROPA. Spain is in Europe.

  ”FELIZ” is an adjective meaning “happy”. It is compatible with the verbs “SER” and “ESTAR”. The meaning of “FELIZ” is the same if I say “SOY FELIZ” (verb “SER”) and “ESTOY FELIZ” (verb “ESTAR”). The difference is:

  • “SOY FELIZ” means that I am always happy, in general, in any circumstance.
  • “ESTOY FELIZ” has two possible interpretations:
    • Overall, I am not happy, but right now, I am happy.
    • Overall, I am happy, and right now, I am even happier than usual.
It will be easier with a couple of visual examples.

🦙🦙 “LAS LLAMAS SON FELICES.” It is a definition. Do you see them, frolicking, in sheer joy? That is the way they are, always: happy.

via GIPHY

🦙 “LA LLAMA ESTÁ FELIZ.” This is especially so right now. This llama is very happy today because it is its birthday.

via GIPHY

🤨There are adjectives that can only be used with “ESTAR” because, by definition, they are current statuses or situations.

For example: “ASUSTADO/A” (“scared”) or “SORPRENDIDO/A” (“surprised”) are adjective that describe a state. A situation leads us to that state, but when the circumstance changes, we leave that state.

🐇🐇 “LOS CONEJITOS ESTÁN ASUSTADOS.”

via GIPHY

quiz

The verb “ESTAR” is also used to talk about location. That is, it indicates the place where someone or something is placed – momentarily or definitely.

  • The verb “ESTAR” is used to mention the location of persons and objects with the preposition “EN”: “ESTOY EN CASA”.
    • “ESTAR” also indicates the location of things that cannot be placed somewhere else, such as a country: “ESPAÑA ESTÁ EN EUROPA”.
  • In English “ESTAR” translates mainly as “to be”. Depending on the context, “ESTAR” can also mean “to feel” or “to be located”.

What adjectives are used with “SER” and “ESTAR” in Spanish?

Most adjectives in Spanish admit both verbs: “SER” and “ESTAR”. The speaker is the one who decides whether to use the verb “SER” or the verb “ESTAR” depending on his/her intentions.
  • That is, almost all Spanish adjectives can be combined with “SER” and “ESTAR”, without there being a significant change in their meaning.
  • Only a nuance of its meaning changes:
    • With “SER”, we indicate that this feature is general and permanent.
    • With “ESTAR”, we indicate that this feature is momentary and specific.
Most adjectives do not change meaning depending on whether “SER” or “ESTAR” is used!  This verb change does not drastically affect the overall meaning  of the adjective.
  • If the speaker wants to highlight general features of something or someone, he/she will use the verb “SER”.
  • If the speaker wants to qualify that it is a specific and/or a temporary characteristic of something or  someone, he/she will prefer the verb “ESTAR”.
Exceptionally, there are adjectives whose meaning changes, depending on whether we use them with “SER” or “ESTAR”. This is the case of “BUENO/A” and “MALO/A”.
  • If my friend Pablo says “YO SOY BUENO”, it means that he is a good person.
  • If Pablo says “YO ESTOY BUENO,” he means that he is a good-looking fella, an Adonis.
  • If Pablo says “YO SOY MALO” he means that he is a “bad boy.”
  • If Pablo says “YO ESTOY MALO”, it means that he is ill.
Therefore:
  • To the doctor, Pablo will say “ESTOY MALO.”
  • To his girlfriend, Pablo will say “SOY BUENO.”
  • On his Tinder profile (which he keeps hidden from his girlfriend), Pablo will put “SOY UN CHICO MALO Y ESTOY MUY BUENO.”
Do you understand how it is important to know the verbs “SER” and “ESTAR” in Spanish? Normally in Spanish we place the adjective after the noun.
  • But “BUENO/A” and “MALO/A” are peculiar adjectives because they can also be placed before the noun.
If placed in front of the noun, “MALO” and “BUENO” (in masculine singular) are shortened:
CORRECTO PABLO ES UN CHICO MALO. = PABLO ES UN MAL CHICO. Pablo is a bad boy.
INCORRECTO PABLO ES UN MALO CHICO. incorrect
CORRECTO PABLO ES UN CHICO BUENO. = PABLO ES UN BUEN CHICO. Pablo is a good boy.
INCORRECTO PABLO ES UN BUENO CHICO. incorrect
The same applies to the ordinal numerals “PRIMERO” (1st) and “TERCERO” (3rd):
EL PISO PRIMERO = EL PRIMER PISO (1º)
EL PISO TERCERO = EL TERCER PISO (3º)

Talking about health in Spanish:  Vocabulary and useful phrases

Let us stop talking about Pablo, the womanizer (in Spanish: “MUJERIEGO”), and focus on your health. You learned above some expressions to indicate how you feel. We will analyze them a little.
ME DUELE + singular singular + is hurting
ME DUELEN + plural plural + are hurting
TENGO DOLOR DE + sustantivo I have (noun)-ache
 
  • “ME DUELE…” is the phrase you use to indicate that a part of the body hurts.
  • It is singular, and that is why you will say “ME DUELE LA CABEZA.” 🤕
  • In the plural, you will say “ME DUELEN…”.
    • For example, “ME DUELEN LAS MUELAS.” 🦷🦷
  • Another way to indicate pain is “TENGO DOLOR DE…”.
    • For example, “TENGO DOLOR DE CABEZA.”
  • To simplify, you can simply say “ME DUELE AQUÍ” and point your finger at which part of your body hurts.
💉Here you have a little more vocabulary to talk about health.
LOS DOLORES EN EL CUERPO body aches
EL DOLOR DE CABEZA headache
EL DOLOR DE BARRIGA stomach ache
EL DOLOR DE MUELAS toothache
EL MAREO dizziness
EL VÓMITO vomit
LA DIARREA diarrhea
EL RESFRIADO cold
LA GRIPE flu
LA FIEBRE fever
 

The vocabulary you may need if you get sick is as follows:
LA ENFERMEDAD illness
EL ACCIDENTE accident
LA AMBULANCIA ambulance
URGENCIAS emergency room
EL MEDICAMENTO medicine
CON/SIN RECETA with/without prescription
LA ALERGIA allergy
LA CONSULTA DEL MÉDICO doctor’s office
EL DENTISTA dentist
RECIBIR ALTA to be discharged
 

Be aware that in Spanish we only use “DROGAS” if we refer to recreative drugs. In the pharmacy you cannot buy “DROGAS”. Yes, there is a store called “DROGUERÍA”, but in it you buy toiletries and detergent (a drugstore).

In this video you will learn vocabulary of the human body and health (starting on minute 17:55). You have free  material to download and practice.

You will delve into the vocabulary of the human body and ailments in lesson 39 of the Spanish course.

The verb “NECESITAR” in Spanish

Observe that if you use…

 “NECESITO” + a verb in infinitive

“NECESITO” + a noun

… you are indicating something you must do or something you need. For example:

NECESITO AYUDA. I need help.
NECESITO UN MÉDICO. I need a doctor.
NECESITO UNA CITA CON EL DOCTOR. I need a doctor’s appointment.
NECESITO UNA AMBULANCIA. I need an ambulance.
NECESITO IR A URGENCIAS. I need to go to the ER.

”NECESITO” + infinitive or noun is useful to talk about your health, but also to talk about anything you need, really!

  • Therefore, you can recycle this structure to order something in the restaurant or in a store, as you will see in the following videos in this series.
YO NECESITO I need
YO QUERÍA I would like
YO QUIERO I want
YO QUISIERA I would like

Fun fact: the oldest store that is still on business in Madrid is precisely a  pharmacy, the Reina Madre (Calle Mayor, 59). It was originally an alchemy workshop and was founded in 1518 by a Venetian.  If you want to buy aspirin in the place where for decades the kings of Spain bought their medicines, this is the place!

Here are the interactive flashcards with the expressions from the video #11 to practice. You can choose your preferred learning or gaming mode.

Quiz to practice this content:

Video #12. How to shop in the market in Spanish

A very pleasant experience you can have while traveling to a Spanish-speaking country is to go to a market. You will see  products that are different from those you find in your country and you will be able to observe locals in their everyday lives.

You can even practice your Spanish if you decide to buy something!  To achieve this, I teach you some useful phrases to make purchases on the market.

Necesito comprar frutas y verduras. I need to buy fruits and vegetables.
Siempre compro en el mercado. I always shop at the market.
¿Cuánto cuesta el kilo de bananas? How much does a kilo of bananas cost?
Yo quería un kilo de tomates. I would like to have a kilo of tomatoes.
No necesito nada más. I do not need anything else.

😉I teach you more useful phrases that you can use in Spanish in any store, restaurant, or hotel in your daily life or on vacation. These phrases start on  minute 27:54 of the video. You have more explanations and free material to download here, with examples and audio.  

You have more communicative resources to make purchases in any Spanish market in lesson 23 of the Spanish course level A1.

“NUNCA” and “JAMÁS” in Spanish

👀Notice this sentence:

SIEMPRE COMPRO EN EL MERCADO.

The negative sentence will be “NUNCA COMPRO EN EL MERCADO.” But there are two ways to say “never” in Spanish: “NUNCA” and “JAMÁS”. What is the difference between “NUNCA” and “JAMÁS” in Spanish?  Both can be used to inform facts of the present, past and future in the negative form, but…
  • “NUNCA” is more common. It is most often used to deny something in the past.
  • “JAMÁS” is less common. It is most often used to deny something in the future.  “JAMÁS” sounds more dramatic than “NUNCA.”

How to indicate need and desire in Spanish

Do you see how useful the verb “NECESITAR” is?  I showed it to you in the comment to video #11 and here you see it once again.
  • To place your order in the market, you can say:
    • “NECESITO” + the product
    • “QUERÍA” + the product
”(YO) QUERÍA” is a polite way to order something in Spanish (for example, in a shop or café). You have two alternatives:
  • “(YO) QUIERO”: he is very direct and not very polite. But you will hear it quite often in Spain.
  • “(YO) QUISIERA “: this verb is very polite.
  • In either case, it is advisable to add “POR FAVOR” when placing your order.
Of course, you can vary these structures.  I indicate two options: 1️⃣You can add the subject pronoun “YO”, for example.
  • But, as you already learned in the comment of video #2, “YO” is optional in Spanish.
  • The subject pronoun “YO” is not required by grammar and is often omitted by native speakers to speed up communication.
2️⃣Another possibility is to add a verb in infinitive, for example: For your purchases, “LLEVAR” is an interesting verb. “LLEVAR”  means “to take” (for example, “LLEVO A MI HIJO A LA ESCUELA”), but it has many more possibilities.
  • For example, if you are in a store and you buy something, you can indicate that through the verb “LLEVAR,” because you take that product somewhere else (to your home).
  • “LLEVAR” in Spanish, in this case, can be a synonym for “COMPRAR”.
  • You can also say “ME LLEVO” if you buy something in a store (“I take with me”).

The verbs “IR” and “VENIR” / “TRAER” and “LLEVAR” in Spanish

The opposite meaning verb to “LLEVAR” in Spanish is “TRAER”. Many English speakers who learn Spanish find the pairs of verbs “LLEVAR” and “TRAER” and the pair “IR” and “VENIR” very confusing. But you should not worry, because they are quite simple and with examples everything will be crystal-clear.
IR VENIR LLEVAR TRAER
yo VOY VENGO LLEVO TRAIGO
VAS VIENES LLEVAS TRAES
usted VA VIENE LLEVA TRAE

The secret of these verbs is:
  • “IR” and “LLEVAR” always indicate a movement that starts from the speaker and goes in another direction, not towards him/her.
  • “VENIR” and “TRAER” always indicate a movement toward the speaker.
I explain them with an example: 🧔My friend Pablo is having a house party. I offer to bake a cake for the guests. 👩I call Pablo the day before the party.  I am the speaker. That is why I say:
  • 💬▶▶▶🧔🏠 “PABLO, VOY A TU CASA Y LLEVO UN PASTEL”
🧔💬Pablo is now the speaker, and so he replies:
  • 💬◀◀◀👩🍰 “¡QUÉ BIEN! ¡VIENES A MI CASA Y TRAES UN PASTEL!”
In short:
  • If I am the one who is going  to someone else’s home, I say “VOY” and “LLEVO” (“IR” / “LLEVAR”).
  • If it is my friend who invites me to his place, when he talks to me (referring to his own house) he will say “VIENES” and “TRAES” (“VENIR” / “TRAER”).

Shopping in Spanish: useful phrases for English speakers

Now that you know the verb “LLEVAR”, you may be wondering, “How do I ask the price of something in Spanish?”. 💲To ask the price of an item (in the market or in any store), you will say “¿CUÁNTO CUESTA?”.
¿CUÁNTO CUESTA + singular? How much does (singular) cost?
¿CUÁNTO CUESTAN + plural? How much do (plural) cost?


You can point to the object, and so you do not need to name it if you do not know its name.
  • If you want to name the object (unit), ask 🍉 “¿CUÁNTO CUESTA LA SANDÍA?”
To ask the price of several items, you will say “¿CUÁNTO CUESTAN?”.
  • If you know how to name the objects, you will say:  “¿CUÁNTO CUESTAN LAS CEREZAS”
A trick: do you want people to think you are a native, even if you only speak a little Spanish? Well, if you are traveling and do not know the name of something in the market or in a store, refer to the object as “ESTA VAINA”.  “¿CUÁNTO CUESTA ESTA VAINA?”
  • “LA VAINA” is no specific object: it can be anything, physical or not. Although it is an informal expression, like “thingy” in English.
  • Originally “VAINA” was used only in the Caribbean, but thanks to the internet and the success of Latin music it is known in almost the entire Spanish-speaking world.
Here is a fun video (in English and Spanish) about this amazing word “VAINA”:

  • The word “VAINA” is originally “pod”, and hence the pod of the orchid Vanilla planifolia is called that. ” VAINILLA” is the diminutive of “VAINA”, and from there, from the Spanish word, originates the sweet seasoner that we know internationally as “vanilla”.
  • “VAINILLA” came to Europe through the Spaniards. They found it in Mexico, because even before pre-colonial times vanilla was produced in Totonacapan, where the orchid is native. It was a medicine, a condiment and even a sacred product for the peoples of the region. In Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, it is called “tlilxochitl”, “black flower”.
  • Fun fact: while natural vanilla comes from a tropical orchid, the artificial vanilla flavor of many food products comes from the anal secretion produced by beavers, a chemical component called “castoreum”. That fact has nothing “fun” or has anything to do with Spanish, but I found it bizarre, and I wanted to share it with you.

To talk about weights and containers in Spanish, you will use the preposition “DE”:
CINCO KILOS DE BANANAS  = 5 kg
If you want to know the price per kilo of a product, you can ask in two different ways, with the same meaning:
¿CUÁNTO CUESTA EL KILO DE BANANAS? How much does a kilo of bananas cost?
¿CUÁNTO CUESTA UN KILO DE BANANAS? How much does a kilo of bananas cost?
If you want to limit your communication to a minimum when you are shopping on your next vacation in a Spanish-speaking country, you can say:
¿PRECIO, POR FAVOR? ask, after pointing to the object
UN KILO, POR FAVOR. to accept the offer
NO, GRACIAS. to decline the offer
   
You have the polite expressions in Spanish in video #3 of this series. The last sentence of the video is “NO NECESITO NADA MÁS”.
  • If you do not buy anything and you do not want to buy anything in a store in the market, you can say:
SOLO QUERÍA MIRAR, GRACIAS. I just wanted to look around, thank you.
NO NECESITO NADA, GRACIAS. I do not need anything, thank you.

Why is the negative placed before the conjugated verb form in Spanish?

The verb is the most important part of the sentence, right? After all, verbs indicate action and are the core of the sentence. But a negative radically changes the meaning of that verb! Consequently, in Spanish negative words such as “NO” and “NUNCA” have absolute priority.
  • Therefore, we place “NO” or “NUNCA” before the verb. These negative words radically modify the meaning of the verb and, logically, must be placed before it.
❗Therefore, negation in Spanish should always be placed before the conjugated verb form.

Simple negative and double negative in Spanish

Why do we have two negative words in the same sentence we just saw, “NO NECESITO NADA (MÁS)”?
  • “NO NECESITO” is the simple negative. You can add whatever you do not need, like “NO NECESITO BANANAS”.
  • “NO NECESITO NADA” is the double negative.
  • “NO NECESITO NADA MÁS” indicates that you have already bought something, but do not want anything else.
I explain to you now in a very succinct way the negatives in Spanish. In Spanish we make a simple negative.  As you know, we place “NO” or “NUNCA” before the conjugated verb of the sentence.
(YO) NO ENTIENDO. I do not understand.
(YO) NUNCA ENTIENDO (LA GRAMÁTICA). I never understand (the grammar).
In Spanish we also have a double negative. You must do the following:
  1. Place “NO” or “NUNCA” before the conjugated verb.
  2. Add a second negative word (“NADIE”, “NADA”, “NUNCA”) after the verb.
  • “NO”: “no”
  • “NUNCA” / “JAMÁS”: “never”
  • “NADIE”: “no one”
  • “NADA”: “nothing”
I offer you the literal translations in English with a didactic purpose, but keep in mind that there is no 1/1 equivalence in the two languages. Therefore, the phrases in English may not sound very natural, but I show them to you as literally as possible, so that you understand how we think in Spanish.
(YO) NO ENTIENDO A NADIE. I do not understand anyone.
(YO) NUNCA ENTIENDO A NADIE. I never understand anyone.
✖If there is a sequence of verbs:
  • We put the first negative before all verbs.
  • We place the second negative after the verbs.
(YO) NO PUEDO ENTENDER A NADIE. I never can understand anyone.
(YO) NUNCA QUIERO ENTENDER NADA. I never want to understand anything.
A trick: the double negative in Spanish is like a cheese sandwich (omnomnom!). Cheese  is the verb (or verbs), and negative words are slices of bread.
  • You can have a simple negative, then it is like toast. But that simple negative must always be before the verb.
We cannot just have a negative word after the verb. It is not correct in Spanish. For example, in this phrase “NO ENTIENDO NADA”:
INCORRECTO (YO) ENTIENDO NADA.
CORRECTO (YO) NO ENTIENDO NADA.

The preposition “A” before persons in Spanish

Let us analyze this sentence:
(YO) NO ENTIENDO A NADIE. I do not understand anyone.
Why do we place “A” in front of “NADIE”? In Spanish, if the object of a verb is a person, it is necessary to add the preposition “A”. 🐕That rule includes people and also beings that we consider having personality and feelings, such as fantastic creatures or pets.
VEO A GNOMOS. I see gnomes.
VEO A MI PERRO TOBY. I see my dog, Toby.
👀”YO VEO” in Spanish is the verb “VER”, conjugated in the present tense for the person “YO”. That rule also includes “NADIE” because it is the absence of persons. The exception is the verb “TENER”: we do not use “A” in front of the person with the verb “TENER”.
TENGO UN AMIGO MUY MAJO. I have a nice friend.

What does “MAJO” mean in Spanish? In Spain it is used informally as a synonym for “friendly”. It is always positive and can also be used in feminine, “MAJA”. Maybe that word sounds to you because of “LA MAJA DESNUDA”, the famous painting by Francisco de Goya that you can see in the Prado Museum (Madrid). The same painter has an alternative version, a painting that is identical to that Venus, but where the woman appears dressed, like a PG-13 version of this late-18th century  ”nude pic”. “MAJA” in that time had a different meaning from nowadays: it was a woman of lower class who used very fancy clothes for vanity and social prestige.

Finally, a couple of tips for your next trip to a Spanish-speaking country.

🍊”MERCADO” in Spanish is a word that refers to both the market hall and an outdoor market.

The most famous market in Barcelona is the Boquería, on the same Rambla, number 91. It is extremely touristy and a bit expensive, but it is worth the visit when it is quiet.

Still in the center is the Santa Caterina Market, with mosaics on the roof.

In Mallorca, the most famous market in Palma is the Olivar. But it is also quite touristy and it can be expensive, if you do not compare prices of products in different stalls.

If you want to see an authentic market, where locals do their shopping, you can go to Pere Garau, very close to the center. It is not fancy nor touristy, but the products are very fresh and cheap.  It is a great place to buy flowers and typical produce of the Balearics, such as almonds, cheese, and “EMPANADAS” (in comment of video #16 you will see, what it is). Apart from the market hall itself, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 8:00 to 14:00 there is an outdoor market.

Many tourists love to visit the weekly markets of the villages of the island of Mallorca, with local food and artisanal products. You can check the list and schedules here.

📸If you say “MERCADILLO”, “RASTRO” or “RASTRILLO”, you mean more specifically an open-air market. It is a market where you may find food, but where clothes and household items are mainly sold. It can also be a flea market, where antiques and second-hand objects are to be found.

In Spain there is not a great tradition of second-hand markets as it happens in other European countries. The most touristy is El Rastro de Madrid. You can find new and vintage items and haggle.

Be careful: in the most touristy markets in Spain there are usually pickpockets. There are no violent robbers, but if you get distracted, they can take your wallet. Just be wary and enjoy the market experience.

Video #13.  Shopping in Spanish.

If you are going on a trip to a country where Spanish is spoken, it is very likely that you need or want to buy souvenirs or things for yourself. In the comment of the previous video, you already learned some practical phrases to make purchases.
  • Here I show you some more expressions to improve your “survival Spanish”,  so you can enjoy your next vacation in a Spanish-speaking country even more.
Voy al bazar. Es una tienda. I go to the bazar. It is a store.
En la tienda venden muchos productos. In the store they sell many products.
Tengo que comprar cosas para la casa. I need to buy things for the house.
La tienda no es cara, es barata. The store is not expensive, it is cheap.
La tienda está abierta todos los días. The store is open every day.

Talking about places in Spanish: how to indicate the destination (“IR + A”)

As you already learned in the comment of video #4, to indicate where you are going in Spanish, you will say “VOY A”.
  • “YO VOY” is the verb “IR” and we combine it with the preposition “A” in Spanish to indicate the destination. “VOY AL BAZAR.”
What do “AL” and “DEL” mean in Spanish?
  • We combine the preposition “A” with the article “EL” and the result is “AL”.
  • We combine the preposition “DE” with the article “EL” and the result is “DEL”.
VOY AL TEATRO. I go to the theater.
VENGO DEL TRABAJO. I come from work.
You can learn the articles in this free Spanish guide. You can learn the motion verbs in Spanish and how to use them in this vocabulary guide with video (staring on minute 04:46) and free downloadable material.

Another way to indicate needs in Spanish: “TENER + QUE”

🔋You have seen in this guide the structure “NECESITO” + infinitive or noun. For example, if you need batteries, you can say:
NECESITO COMPRAR PILAS. I need to buy batteries.
NECESITO PILAS. I need batteries.
🔎Another structure you can use to indicate need in Spanish is “TENER QUE” + infinitive.
  • For the person “YO”, you will say: “TENGO QUE” + infinitive.
“NECESITO TRABAJAR” = “TENGO QUE TRABAJAR”
  • You will conjugate the verb “TENER” in the present tense and add “QUE” and the verb in infinitive.
  • Do not forget “QUE” when using this structure!
  • The verb in infinitive indicates the action to be performed.  You should not conjugate that verb.
❌The negative is placed in front of “TENER”. For example:
(YO) (NO) TENGO QUE ESTUDIAR. I do (not) need to study.
´(TÚ) (NO) TIENES QUE ESTUDIAR. You do (not) need to study.
🤷 What does “TENGO QUE” mean in Spanish? “NECESITO” and “TENGO QUE” in Spanish…
  • … indicate a physical or practical need (such as sleeping💤, for example).
  • … they may indicate a duty (such as working 🛠, for example). That is, something that does not need to be done, but if  we do not do it, negative consequences follow.
TENER + QUE + INFINITIVO NECESITAR + INFINITIVO
💤TENGO QUE DORMIR. 💤NECESITO DORMIR.
🛠TENGO QUE TRABAJAR. 🛠NECESITO TRABAJAR.
All these example phrases are in this audio:



”TENER + QUE” is used a lot in Spanish, but you cannot combine “TENGO QUE” with a noun.  Observe:
CORRECTO TENGO QUE COMPRAR (PILAS).
INCORRECTO TENGO QUE PILAS.
To use “TENER + QUE” + infinitive, you need to conjugate the verb “TENER”, which is one of the most basic in Spanish, but it is irregular.  This is the present conjugation of the verb “TENER”:
TENER
YO TENGO
TIENES
ÉL/ELLA/USTED TIENE
NOSOTROS/AS TENEMOS
VOSOTROS/AS TENÉIS
ELLOS/ELLAS/USTEDES TIENEN

What is the difference between “TENER” and “HABER” in Spanish?

What is the difference between “TENER” and “HABER” in Spanish?
  • The verb “TENER ” translates as “to have” in English.
  • But in Spanish there is a second verb, “HABER” (“YO HE”), which also translates to “to have” in English.
The difference between “TENER” and “HABER” is as follows:
  • “HABER” is the verb we use for some past tenses. For example: “HE COMIDO” = “I have eaten” or “I ate”.
  • “HABER” is only used as an auxiliary verb. It is never an independent verb.
  • “TENER” is not an auxiliary verb. It is used in the construction “TENER + QUE” + infinitive. “TENER” can also be used as an independent verb.
  • We do not build any past tense in Spanish with “TENER”, but with “HABER”.
TENER HABER
independent verb ✔ ✖
auxiliary verb ✖ ✔

Everyday expressions with the verb “TENER” in Spanish

You already know that the verb “TENER” in Spanish is used in the structure “TENER + QUE” + infinitive. But “TENER” can also be used as an independent verb, accompanying a noun.  The most common expressions with this verb are:
TENGO X AÑOS. I am X years old.
TENGO GANAS DE X. I feel like X.
TENGO RAZÓN. I am right.
TENGO PRISA. I am in a  hurry.
TENGO SUEÑO. I am sleepy.
TENGO HAMBRE. I am hungry.
TENGO SED. I am thirsty.
TENGO FRÍO. I am cold.
TENGO CALOR. I am hot.

“TENER GANAS DE” is what we say in Spanish to indicate a desire (“to feel like”). You can say “TENER GANAS DE” with a noun or an infinitive.

TENGO GANAS DE CHOCOLATE. TENGO GANAS DE COMER CHOCOLATE.

Notice that, to indicate how you feel (regarding temperature), you need the verb “TENER” in Spanish.  Contrast the wrong phrases and the right ones:
INCORRECTO CORRECTO translation
YO SOY CALIENTE. YO TENGO CALOR. I am hot.
YO SOY CALOR YO TENGO CALOR. I am hot.
YO SOY FRÍO. YO TENGO FRÍO. I am cold.
😏🔥In addition to what I told you before about the adjective “CALIENTE” in Spanish (comment from video #11) … What does “YO SOY CALIENTE” mean in Spanish? Beware! The grammar is not wrong, but you need to know when to use it. “YO SOY CALIENTE” does not mean “TENGO CALOR” (because the weather is hot), but is rather understood as “I am a very sexual person”. So, use this sentence knowingly!
A fun Spanish idiom: “HORCHATA EN LAS VENAS”
How do you say “I am tired” in Spanish? We have two ways to say it, and I will tell you what to do in each case.
TENGO SUEÑO. NECESITO DORMIR. I am drowsy. I need to sleep.
ESTOY CANSADO/A. NECESITO DESCANSAR. I am tired. I need to rest.

Observe that in Spanish “EL SUEÑO” also means “the dream”. That is, “EL SUEÑO” is “the sleep” and “the dream” itself.

The verb “PODER” in Spanish and the contrast with “SABER”

🔎Another essential verb in Spanish is “PODER”, which we conjugate and combine with a verb in infinitive.  “PODER” is not combined with a noun.  Look at the table:
INFINITIVO SUSTANTIVO
NECESITO (NECESITAR) ✔ ✔
TENGO QUE (TENER QUE) ✔ ✖
PUEDO (PODER) ✔ ✖
The verb “PODER” is conjugated as follows in Spanish:
PODER
YO PUEDO
PUEDES
ÉL/ELLA/USTED PUEDE
NOSOTROS/AS PODEMOS
VOSOTROS/AS PODÉIS
ELLOS/ELLAS/USTEDES PUEDEN

The negative will be “NO” placed in front of the verb “PODER”.
NO TENGO DINERO. NO PUEDO PAGAR. I do not have money. I cannot pay.
✅ “PODER” + infinitive indicates:
  • That something is possible because the conditions for its realization are given.
TENGO DINERO. PUEDO PAGAR. I have money. I can pay.
  • That something is not forbidden, that is, it is allowed.
TENGO PASAPORTE. PUEDO VIAJAR. I have a passport. I can travel.
  • That the person is capable to do something (for example, he or she has the necessary physical or mental abilities).
PUEDO HABLAR INGLÉS. I can speak English.
To indicate skills, you can also say:
SÉ HABLAR INGLÉS. I can speak English.
You already know this verb “SABER”. In the comment of video #2 you learned the phrase “NO SÉ”.
  • “YO SÉ ” means “I know.” It is the verb “SABER” in Spanish, which is only irregular in the present for the 1st person singular.
  • “SABER” is used to indicate knowledge.
SÉ LA VERDAD. I know the truth.
🔎But what is the difference in Spanish between “PODER” and “SABER”? For many skills you can use both verbs.
PUEDO HABLAR INGLÉS. I can speak English.
SÉ HABLAR INGLÉS. I can speak English.
If I say “YO PUEDO”, I am clarifying that I am (practically) capable to speak Spanish. I say “YO SÉ” to qualify that I can do something in practice because I learned the theory (I took a course, for example). You cannot use “YO SÉ” if it is a purely practical activity. But since many skills combine practice and theory, you can use “YO PUEDO” or “YO SÉ” to refer to them:
  • If you want to highlight that you learned (mostly) through experience, you will use “PODER”.
  • If you want to emphasize that you have some kind of education in this matter, you will use “SABER”.
I teach you these verbs and others that are also very important with examples and exercises in lesson number 5 of the mini-course for English speakers. Sign up, it is free!

The negative will be “NO” placed in front of the verb “PODER”.

NO TENGO DINERO. NO PUEDO PAGAR.I do not have money. I cannot pay.

 “PODER” + infinitive indicates:

  • That something is possible because the conditions for its realization are given.
TENGO DINERO. PUEDO PAGAR.I have money. I can pay.
  • That something is not forbidden, that is, it is allowed.
TENGO PASAPORTE. PUEDO VIAJAR.I have a passport. I can travel.
  • That the person is capable to do something (for example, he or she has the necessary physical or mental abilities).
PUEDO HABLAR INGLÉS.I can speak English.

To indicate skills, you can also say:

SÉ HABLAR INGLÉS.I can speak English.

💡You already know this verb “SABER”. In the comment of video #2 you learned the phrase “NO SÉ”.

  • “YO SÉ ” means “I know.” It is the verb “SABER” in Spanish, which is only irregular in the present for the 1st person singular.
  • “SABER” is used to indicate knowledge.
SÉ LA VERDAD.I know the truth.

🔎But what is the difference in Spanish between “PODER” and “SABER”? For many skills you can use both verbs.

PUEDO HABLAR INGLÉS.I can speak English.
SÉ HABLAR INGLÉS.I can speak English.

If I say “YO PUEDO”, I am clarifying that I am (practically) capable to speak Spanish.

I say “YO SÉ” to qualify that I can do something in practice because I learned the theory (I took a course, for example).

You cannot use “YO SÉ” if it is a purely practical activity. But since many skills combine practice and theory, you can use “YO PUEDO” or “YO SÉ” to refer to them:

  • If you want to highlight that you learned (mostly) through experience, you will use “PODER”.
  • If you want to emphasize that you have some kind of education in this matter, you will use “SABER”.

I teach you these verbs and others that are also very important with examples and exercises in lesson number 5 of the mini-course for English speakers. Sign up, it is free!

More adjectives in Spanish

💲Notice that the adjectives in the video, “CARO/A” and “BARATO/A”, are opposites.  You will change the ending, depending on whether you are referring to an object that has a masculine or a feminine (grammar) gender.

MASCULINOFEMENINO
📱💲💲💲UN CELULAR CARO👕💲💲💲UNA CAMISETA CARA
📱❌💲UN CELULAR BARATO📱❌💲UNA CAMISETA BARATA

 

 

🚪The adjectives “ABIERTO/A” and “CERRADO/A” are also opposite.

EL MUSEO ESTÁ ABIERTO / CERRADO.The museum is open/closed.
LA TIENDA ESTÁ ABIERTA / CERRADA.The store is open/closed.

You can listen to these examples here:  

The example of a store in the video is a “BAZAR”, which in Spain is a store of trinkets, household items, stationery and gifts.  When we still used pesetas in Spain, that store was called “TODO A 100” (“all for 100”) because everything cost 100 pesetas (€0.60).  If you are traveling on a budget, you can buy souvenirs in those stores because it is where they are sold the cheapest. Funnily enough, typical “made in Spain”  are actually made in China, it does not matter where you buy them, so you can find bargains in the “BAZARES”.

One of the advantages of the “BAZAR” is that it is usually open every day, even Sundays and holidays, and does not close at lunchtime. That is something very peculiar about Spain:  most of the shops in the neighborhoods are closed between 2pm and 5pm. That infuriates many tourists, but it is a “typical Spanish” custom. In the center of large cities, the shops stay open during “SIESTA” hours, but in small towns and neighborhoods you should forget about buying things in the early afternoon since it is time to take a nap, not to spend money!

Video #14. How to buy clothes in Spanish.

Maybe during your next trip to a Spanish-speaking country you want to buy some trendy new outfits. Here you will learn some phrases to use in this kind of store.

Yo quería comprar una camiseta.I would like to buy a T-shirt.
Necesito la talla M y el color azul.I need the size M and the color blue.
¿Cuánto cuesta?How much does it cost?
¿Puedo probar?Can I try it on?
¿Puedo cambiar?I can I exchange?
Necesito el tique.I need the receipt.

🪁 Do you see? You do not need to speak much Spanish to accomplish everyday tasks!

  • You can convey a lot of information using the following verbs that you already learned in this guide and that I list here again:
  INFINITIVOSUSTANTIVO
(YO) (NO) QUIERO X.I do (not) want X.✔✔
(YO) (NO) QUERÍA X.I would (not) like X.✔✔
(YO) (NO) QUISIERA X.I would (not) like X.✔✔
(YO) (NO) NECESITO X.I do (not) need X.✔✔
(YO) (NO) TENGO QUE  X.I do (not) have to X.✔✖
(YO) (NO) PUEDO X.I can(not) X.✔✖

 
🔎Do not forget: in Spanish “YO” is optional and simple negative is done by placing “NO” before the verb, as you see in parentheses in the table.

🎬You will be able to learn the vocabulary of clothing items from the minute 12:49 of the video and the colors, from the minute 23:36. You have here material to download and to practice for free.

 

 

🛍The vocabulary you need to shop in Spanish is as follows:

EL PRECIOthe price
EL CAMBIO / LA VUELTAthe change
PAGAR EN EFECTIVO / EN METÁLICOto pay in cash
PAGAR AL CONTADOto pay cash
PAGAR A PLAZOSto pay in installments
DEVOLVERto return
CAMBIARto change
EL TIQUEthe ticket
LA FACTURAthe invoice
LA BOLSAthe bag

 

💬To make purchases in Spanish, you can easily use these two structures:

TENGO QUE COMPRAR X. ¿TIENE X?I have to buy X. Do you have X?
¿CUÁNTO CUESTA?How much does it cost?
¿PUEDO PAGAR CON TARJETA?Can I pay with card?
¿PUEDO PAGAR EN EFECTIVO/EN METÁLICO?Can I pay in cash?
¿ME DA EL TIQUE?Cam I have the ticket?
¿PUEDE DARME UNA BOLSA?Can I have a bag?
¿PUEDO DEVOLVER?Can I return?
¿PUEDO CAMBIAR?I can change?
¡QUÉ CARO!That is expensive!
¡QUÉ BARATO!That is cheap!


I list all the sentences with the verb conjugated with “USTED”, which is formal. In some shops, like fancy boutiques, it is store policy to address the customer as “USTED”, but in most of the shops the casual “TÚ” is preferred. If you want to adapt these phrases to “TÚ”, just add -S to the verb conjugated with “USTED”:

  • USTED TIENE -> TÚ TIENES
  • USTED ME DA -> TÚ ME DAS
  • USTED PUEDE -> TÚ PUEDES

Fun fact: the richness of the Spanish language

Good to know: in some regions of South America, people do not say “BOLSA” to refer to a shopping bag (plastic or paper), but you will hear that this object is called “CHUSPA” or “TALEGO”. But “TALEGO” in Spain is (in outdated Slang) “DINERO” and even “CÁRCEL” (“jail”).

Interestingly, calling a person “BOLSA” has different meanings (colloquially). In Venezuela, it means “naïve.” In Costa Rica, it is the same as “coward”. In Mexico, you call a slow person is “BOLSA”.

What are the main colors in Spanish?

😮A color in Spanish – for example, “ROJO” – can be: a noun or an adjective. The meaning is the same (“red”), but from the grammatical point of view there are differences.

😉Let’s see this little by little. 🎬You also have a video where I explain it to you.

👉A color can work as a noun. For example: ❤ “EL ROJO ES BONITO.” The nouns that identify colors in Spanish are ALWAYS masculine: “EL BLANCO”, “EL VERDE”, “EL ROSA”, etc.

👉A color can work as an adjective.  As an adjective, the color refers to a noun and must agree with it in gender and number.

The example is “ROJO”. Notice how that adjective varies:

👗EL VESTIDO (MASCULINO, SINGULAR)EL VESTIDO ROJO
👠👠 LOS ZAPATOS (MASCULINO, PLURAL)LOS ZAPATOS ROJOS

(✨You can learn the vocabulary of clothing items in Spanish starting on minute 12:49 of the Spanish noun video below, which has free material to practice.)

I, as a teacher, indicate the adjective “red” in this way: “ROJO/A/OS/AS”.  So you know that:
  • The adjective “ROJO” refers to a masculine and singular noun.
  • The adjective “ROJA” refers to a feminine and singular noun.
  • The adjective “ROJOS” refers to a masculine and plural noun.
  • The adjective “ROJAS” refers to a feminine and plural noun.
You have just learned that adjectives that indicate colors in Spanish vary depending on the gender and number of the noun they refer to.  Most color adjectives are like that, but there are some simpler ones. There are colors that do not vary depending on whether they refer to a masculine or feminine noun. They only vary according to whether they refer to a singular or plural noun.
  • This is the case of “VERDE/S”. “VERDE/S” refers to a singular noun, no matter if it is masculine or feminine. We cannot say ❌🍏 *”LA MANZANA VERDA”, it is incorrect. We say  ✔🍏 “LA MANZANA VERDE”.
There are colors that never vary. That is, the adjective does not change depending on the gender and number of the noun to which it refers.
  • This is the case of “ROSA”, which always stays the same. “ROSA” refers to any noun, no matter whether it is masculine or feminine, singular or plural.
Do you find it complicated? Do not worry, with examples you will easily understand the adjectives of colors in Spanish: Type #1. Adjectives that vary depending on gender and number of the noun they refer to, such as “ROJO/A/OS/AS”,
❤ ROJO/A/OS/AS
MASCULINO, SINGULAR ❤🍅EL TOMATE ROJO
FEMENINO, SINGULAR ❤🍎LA MANZANA ROJA
MASCULINO, PLURAL ❤🍅🍅🍅 LOS TOMATES ROJOS
FEMENINO, PLURAL ❤🍎🍎🍎LAS MANZANAS ROJAS
▶Type #2. Adjectives that  vary depending on the number of the noun they refer to, but do not vary according to their gender, such as “VERDE/S”.
❤VERDE/S
MASCULINO, SINGULAR 💚🍅EL TOMATE VERDE
FEMENINO, SINGULAR ❤LA MANZANA VERDE
MASCULINO, PLURAL ❤🍅🍅🍅 LOS TOMATES VERDES
FEMENINO, PLURAL 💚🍏🍏🍏LAS MANZANAS VERDES
Type #3. Adjectives that do not vary depending on the gender and number of the noun they refer to, such as “ROSA”.
💗 ROSA
MASCULINO, SINGULAR 💗EL  CARRO ROSA
FEMENINO, SINGULAR 💗🏠 LA CASA ROSA
MASCULINO, PLURAL 💗🚗🚗🚗 LOS CARROS ROSA
FEMENINO, PLURAL 💗🏠🏠🏠 LAS CASAS ROSA
🎧Finally, here is the table with the three types of adjectives that indicate colors in Spanish. In this audio you can hear all the colors of the table.  
VARÍAN EN FUNCIÓN DEL GÉNERO Y DEL NÚMERO DEL SUSTANTIVO colors that vary, depending on gender and number of the noun they refer to VARÍAN EN FUNCIÓN DEL NÚMERO DEL SUSTANTIVO colors that vary, depending on the number of the noun they refer to NO VARÍAN colors that do not vary
BLANCO/A/OS/AS white VERDE/VERDES green ROSA pink
NEGRO/A/OS/AS black AZUL/AZULES blue NARANJA orange
ROJO/A/OS/AS red GRIS/GRISES grey VIOLETA/LILA purple
AMARILLO/A/OS/AS yellow MARRÓN/MARRONES brown BEIS / CÁQUI beige
ROSADO/A/OS/AS pink CELESTE/CELESTES light blue CAFÉ dark brown


Note that “ROSA” is the same color as “ROSADO/A/OS/AS”.
  • The difference is purely grammatical: “ROSADO” is type #1 and “ROSA” is type #3.
  • You may hear “ROSADO/A/OS/AS” more frequently in Latin America, while in Spain “ROSA” is more frequent.
That happens with “MARRÓN/MARRONES” and “CAFÉ”.
  • “MARRÓN/MARRONES” is type #2, while “CAFÉ” is an adjective of type #3. “COFFEE” is more frequent in Latin America, because in Spain it is usually said “MARRÓN/MARRONES”.
And these are the basics you must master to talk about colors in Spanish! Quite easy, right?  

QUIZ

Video #15.  How to take the public transport and how to ask for direction on the street in Spanish.

If you are travelling to a Spanish-speaking country, you will most likely need to use public transport. Here you will learn the most useful phrases to reach your destination.  Here are some “Survival Spanish” phrases you can use as a tourist: .
Tengo que ir al aeropuerto.I have to go to the airport.
Tengo que tomar la línea de bus 1 y bajar en la terminal.I have to take the bus line 1 and get off at the last stop.
El billete cuesta dos euros.The ticket costs two euros.
El trayecto dura media hora.The journey takes half an hour.
También puedo ir en coche, es más rápido.I can also go by car, it is faster.

Here are the interactive flashcards with the expressions from the video #15 to practice. You can choose your preferred learning or gaming mode.

You can learn the vocabulary of places and transport in the city. You fill find it starting on minute 13:47 of this video. You have free material to download, if you want.

🚶 Observe that you will use the preposition “EN” with transport (“EN BUS”). If you go on foot instead, you will say “A PIE”.

  • For example, if you are on the outskirts of a city and want to go downtown, you can ask directions with these phrases:
¿PUEDO IR EN BUS AL CENTRO?Can I go by bus to the center?
¿PUEDO IR A PIE AL CENTRO?Can I walk to the center?

You already learned the verb “PODER” in the comment of video #13.

As you can see in the video, you can say “TOMO LA LÍNEA 1 DE BUS” or “LA LÍNEA DE BUS 1”, there is not much difference.

You see that in the video I indicate the price of the ticket: “EL BILLETE CUESTA DOS EUROS”.

  • To find out the price of the ticket – or the price of anything else in Spanish – the question is “¿CUÁNTO CUESTA?”.
  • You learned this phrase in videos #12, #13 and #14 of this series.

People in Spanish-speaking countries are usually kind and patient when they talk to foreigner tourists. But how do you start a conversation with a complete stranger in Spanish?  I show you many options in this video.

The most basic way to get a stranger’s attention is to greet them with a “¡HOLA!” and to apologize for bothering them (you can say “PERDÓN”, for example).

When the person is already willing to help you, and you are not looking for a specific place, you will use the following structure:

NECESITO UN X. ¿DÓNDE HAY? I need a X. Where is one?
NECESITO UNA X. ¿DÓNDE HAY? I need a X. Where is one?
  • The first sentence is if you are looking for a place that is masculine (for example, any hotel).
  •  The second, if you are looking for a place that is feminine (for example, any church).
NECESITO UN HOTEL. ¿DÓNDE HAY? I need a hotel. Where is  one?
NECESITO UNA IGLESIA. ¿DÓNDE HAY? I need a church. Where is one?

If you know exactly where you want to go, you will ask the direction as follows:

TENGO QUE IR A X. ¿DÓNDE ESTÁ? I need to go to X. Where is it?

🧭You can also ask the person how to reach your destination. You have several alternatives:

TENGO QUE IR A X. ¿CÓMO VOY? I have to go to X. How do I get there?
TENGO QUE IR A X. ¿CÓMO PUEDO IR? I have to go to X. How can I get there?
TENGO QUE IR A X. ¿QUÉ AUTOBÚS TOMO? I have to go to X. What bus do I take?

Notice the verb “TOMAR”: it means “to take” in English. It is used, in this case, to indicate a transport. You will see it more thoroughly in video #16.

The main vocabulary for the public transport in Spanish is as follows:

LA LÍNEA line
LA DIRECCIÓN direction
LA PARADA stop
LA TERMINAL last stop
EL BILLETE = EL BOLETO ticket
EL TRAYECTO journey

Observe that in Spain we usually say “BILLETE” for the  transport ticket. In Latin America it is more common to say “BOLETO”.

The same difference exists between “COCHE” (mainly used in Spain) and “CARRO” or “AUTO” (in Latin America).

You can say “EL TRAYECTO” if you mean the “journey” in a transport.

  • You can also say “EL VIAJE”, but this word is more general.
  • “EL VIAJE” is any kind of trip – for example, a vacation abroad.

I included in the sentences of the video the verb “DURAR”, which refers to the duration of something (a trip, a show, a course, etc.).

¿CUÁNTO DURA EL CONCIERTO? How long is the concert?
EL CONCIERTO DURA DOS HORAS. The duration of the concert is two hours.

In Spanish we say “CONCIERTO” for any musical show – it does not matter if it is classical or popular music.

🚊Now you will see this vocabulary in context. It is very easy!  See the table below.  To give directions, you only have to use “TIENES QUE” and the verb in infinitive indicating what needs to be done.

  • If you prefer to be more formal, you will use “USTED”: “USTED TIENE QUE”.
TIENES QUE + … / TIENE QUE + … You have to …
TOMAR LA LÍNEA X You have to …
TOMAR LA LÍNEA X EN DIRECCIÓN X take the line X
CAMBIAR EN LA PARADA X change in the stop X

Of course, if you ask a local on the street, this person can use phrases that are slightly different from the ones I teach you here.

This is perfectly normal, since we have many ways to say the same thing – in any language! But that will not be a problem for you!

  • When we give directions on the street, we gesticulate a lot. Therefore, with a basic vocabulary and your ability to interpret gestures you will be able to reach your destination.
  • If you do not understand something, you can ask the person using the expressions in this guide. The person will understand you, for sure!

You have more useful phrases to ask for directions in Spanish during a your vacation in this video (from minute 27:12), with PDF and audios to download for free.

You can learn to ask for directions in Spanish starting on the minute 41:45 of this video, with free material to download.

QUIZ

Video #16. How to order something to eat and to drink in Spanish

Here you will quickly learn how to order in Spanish a beverage and a snack in a coffee shop, pub, or restaurant.
  • We continue with our phrases of “survival Spanish” that you can use comfortably on your next trip to a Spanish-speaking country:
Yo quería tomar un café.I would like to have a coffee.
Un café, por favor.A coffee, please.
Para mí, un café con leche y sin azúcar.For me, a coffee with milk and no sugar.
Tengo sed. Pido un zumo de naranja.I am thirsty. I order an orange juice.
Tengo hambre. Pido un trozo de pastel.I am hungry. I order a piece of cake.
La cuenta, por favor.The check, please.

Here are the interactive flashcards with the expressions from the video #16 to practice. You can choose your preferred learning or gaming mode.

Useful expressions to order food or beverages in Spanish

One of the best things to do abroad is to try different flavors. To order in a café,  I show you here the simplest expressions that a native would use. I already showed you  some very basic phrases for this situation in the comment of video #3.  You can use them because they are polite.

POR FAVOR. to order anything
GRACIAS. to accept anything and to thank
PARA MÍ, X. to order something for yourself

I showed you a series of verbs in the comments of videos #13 and #14 that are useful to ask for something in a store. You can also recycle them: use them in a bar, café, or restaurant!

  • With a bare minimum knowledge of Spanish grammar, you are already able to communicate enough not to starve!

To trigger your memory, these are the verbs you learned in the comment of video #14:

(YO) (NO) QUIERO X.
(YO) (NO) QUERÍA X.
(YO) (NO) QUISIERA X.
(YO) (NO) NECESITO X.
(YO) (NO) TENGO QUE  X.
(YO) (NO) PUEDO X.

✔With the first four structures, you can add a verb in infinitive or a noun. ✔With the last two structures, you can only add one verb in infinitive.

  • Notice that I include “(YO)” in parentheses because, as you learned in the comment of video #2, “YO” is optional in Spanish.
  • The negative (“NO”) is also in parentheses because you decide whether you want to use these phrases in affirmative or negative mode.

🤵The verbs you need to place an order in a café or restaurant in Spanish are:

BEBER to drink
COMER to eat
TOMAR to have
PEDIR to order
PAGAR to pay

🍹”TOMAR” (“to take”) is a very versatile verb in Spanish.

  • You learned it in video #15 because it can be used to refer to “TOMAR EL TRANSPORTE.”

🍨But “TOMAR” also means “COMER” (“to eat”) or “BEBER” (“to drink”) something. It is similar to “to have” in English. You can say “I will have a coffee and a piece of cake”, and in Spanish the equivalent would be “VOY A TOMAR UN CAFÉ Y UN TROZO DE PASTEL”.

  • “TOMAR” can be used with any food or drink… And also with products that are not exactly food or drink, such as soup or ice cream – or even a medicine.
  • If you want to invite a person to have a drink and / or eat something (as a romantic date, but not necessarily), you can make the following offer:
¿TOMAMOS ALGO? Shall we have a drink? / Shall we eat something?

🤵The waiter has many phrases he can say to ask the customer what he/she would like to have. Here are some examples.

  • You do not need to learn them all now if you do not want to because, even if you do not speak any Spanish, when the waiter approaches you, you know what he will say even if you do not understand his exact words.
  • I include the phrases with “TÚ” (informal) and with “USTED” (formal), but in countries where Spanish is spoken, in a casual coffee shop or eatery, it is usual to use “TÚ”.
INFORMAL FORMAL translation
¿QUÉ VAS A TOMAR? ¿QUÉ VA A TOMAR? What will you have?
¿QUÉ DESEAS? ¿QUÉ DESEA? What would you like to have?
¿QUÉ TE PONGO? ¿QUÉ LE PONGO? What can I bring you?
¿QUÉ TE SIRVO? ¿QUÉ LE SIRVO? What can I bring you?
¿QUÉ QUERÍAS? ¿QUÉ QUERÍA? What would you like to have?
¿QUÉ TE GUSTARÍA? ¿QUÉ LE GUSTARÍA? What would you like to have?
¿QUÉ TE APETECE? ¿QUÉ LE APETECE? What do you feel like having?
¿ALGO MÁS? ¿ALGO MÁS? Would you like anything else?
¿VA TODO BIEN? ¿VA TODO BIEN? Is everything alright?

👐Notice that it is common in Spanish for the waiter to use the future to make an offer:

  • “¿QUÉ TOMAS?” is the present tense, and it is correct, but it does not sound very polite.
  • “¿QUÉ VAS A TOMAR?” is the future tense, and it is right and kinder.

🤨I have translated you in a quite literal way, but do not be surprised: they are phrases that, yes, you will hear from the waiter in any Spanish bar or café. Maybe in your language they do not sound very polite, but in Spain they are normal. 💡The most common future in Spanish is to use the verb “IR” (that must be conjugated) + preposition “A” + infinitive.

YO VOY A BEBER CERVEZA. I am going to drink beer.
TÚ VAS A COMER PIZZA. You are going to eat pizza.
USTED VA A TOMAR HELADO. You are going to have an ice cream.

In Spain we usually say “ZUMO” (fruit), while in Latin America it is more common to say “JUGO”. 😍Alternative phrases to order a coffee in Spanish are:

INFORMAL FORMAL translation
¿ME DAS UN CAFÉ? ¿ME DA UN CAFÉ? Can you give me a coffee?
¿ME PONES UN CAFÉ? ¿ME PONE UN CAFÉ? Can you bring me a coffee?
¿ME SIRVES UN CAFÉ? ¿ME SIRVE UN CAFÉ? Can I have a coffee?

The verb “PEDIR” and other useful verbs for ordering food in Spanish

Notice that I mention a new verb in this video: “YO PIDO”.
  • The infinitive is “PEDIR” and has many meanings in Spanish, but the one you see here is “to order food”.
  • You will combine the verb “PEDIR” with nouns: “PIDO LA CUENTA”.
PEDIR
YO PIDO
PIDES
ÉL/ELLA/USTED PIDE
NOSOTROS/AS PEDIMOS
VOSOTROS/AS PEDÍS
ELLOS/ELLAS/USTEDES PIDEN

Therefore, in the video you have the example phrases:
TENGO SED, PIDO UM ZUMO DE NARANJA. I am thirsty. I order an orange juice.
TENGO HAMBRE, PIDO UM TROZO DE PASTEL. I am hungry. I order a piece of cake.
👏So far, in this guide, you learned the following verbs in Spanish. ⚠I offer you the form of the 1st person of the singular (“YO”) of these verbs (the irregular ones are marked with ⚠)
TENER to have YO TENGO⚠
QUERER to want YO QUIERO⚠
PODER to be able to (can) YO PUEDO⚠
PEDIR to order YO PIDO⚠
NECESITAR to need YO NECESITO
LLEVAR to take YO LLEVO
TRAER to bring YO TRAIGO⚠
IR to go YO VOY⚠
VENIR to come YO VENGO⚠
SABER to know YO SÉ⚠

🤔As you know, it is possible to say “YO QUIERO” (from the verb “QUERER”) when placing an order in a store or restaurant, but it is not very polite. It is better to say “YO QUERÍA”.
TENER QUERER QUERER (QUERÍA) PODER PEDIR
YO TENGO QUIERO QUERÍA PUEDO PIDO
TIENES QUIERES QUERÍAS PUEDES PIDES
USTED TIENE QUIERE QUERÍA PUEDE PIDE
📌Here you have flashcards to practice the conjugation of irregular verbs  in the singular.

More vocabulary to order snacks and beverages in Spanish

Observe that two important prepositions in Spanish are “CON” (“with”) and “SIN” (“without”).  Here is a little more vocabulary:

EL AZÚCAR sugar
EL EDULCORANTE / LA SACARINA sweetener
LA LECHE milk
LA LECHE VEGETAL plant-based milk alternative
EL HIELO ice (cubes)
EL LIMÓN lemon
LA CANELA cinammon


🍺You do not need to use articles if you say, for example:

PARA MÍ, UN CAFÉ SIN AZÚCAR, CON UN POCO DE LECHE. For me, a coffee without sugar, with a little milk.
POR FAVOR, UN TÉ CON BASTANTE LIMÓN. Please, a tea with plenty of lemon.

🤏Observe that, to indicate quantities, you can add “UN POCO DE” (small amount) and “BASTANTE” (a bigger amount). Both are invariable.

  • Following that logic, if you want to say that you do not speak much Spanish, you will say “HABLO UN POCO DE ESPAÑOL”.

🤩In Spain and Latin America, we drink a lot of coffee, and you will often hear people refer to coffee, affectionately, with the diminutive:

CAFECITO
CAFELITO
CAFETITO

🍰Here are some indications so that you can enjoy the food even more on your next trip to Spain:

  • In Spain there are many coffee shops. That kind of store can be called “CAFETERÍA”, “CAFÉ” or “BAR”. A bar is not necessarily a “pub” for drinking alcohol only, but has a family-friendly atmosphere in Spain.
  • “CAFETERÍA” in Spanish can be the school cafeteria, but more often “CAFETERÍA” is how we name a coffee shop that offers snacks and even alcoholic beverages.
  • Many people have breakfast at the bar in Spain. The typical breakfast is a coffee with a pastry or some toast. Spaniards do not have a hot meal, such as eggs and bacon, for breakfast. Some people have fruit, yogurt, or cereals, but normally breakfast is very frugal in Spain.
  • There are also people who have a snack at the bar in the afternoon. You will see that the bars have customers at all hours. You will even see locals having a beer in the morning in the “CAFETERÍAS”, in the tables placed in the sidewalk.
  • While restaurants serve two-course meals and are only open for lunch and dinner hours, bars and cafés in Spain are open all day.
  • Bars/coffee shops do not usually serve meals, but you can order drinks and “TAPAS”, i.e., appetizers.
  • If you are in Spain, you will see that many people ask for “CHURROS” for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. They are a batter of flour and water that is deep-fried, with no filling and not very sweet. They are a little different from Mexican “CHURROS”.
  • There are also bakeries and pastry shops in Spain. Like bars, they are usually open all day. You can order a coffee and something sweet or savory to eat there or to take away.

☕What can I order in Spain in a “CAFETERÍA”?  Espresso is the obvious choice. You can order:

CAFÉ SOLO espresso
CAFÉ CORTO ristretto (strong espresso)
CAFÉ CORTADO espresso with a few drops  of milk
CAFÉ CON LECHE latte
CAPUCHINO cappucino
CAFÉ AMERICANO black coffe, watered-down
LECHE MANCHADA milk with a few drops of espresso
CARAJILLO espresso with some liquor (normally cognac)
CAFÉ CON HIELO espresso in one cup, ice cubes in another, to mix it yourself
CAFÉ BOMBÓN coffe with sweet condensed milk
DESCAFEINADO decaf (normally Nescafé®)
LECHE FRÍA cold milk
LECHE TIBIA warm milk
LECHE CALIENTE hot milk
LECHE ENTERA full-fat milk
LECHE DESNATADA skimmed milk
COLA-CAO® cocoa
CHOCOLATE CALIENTE hot chocolate with pudding-like consistency
TÉ (NEGRO / VERDE / ROJO / BLANCO) tea (black / green / red / white)
MANZANILLA camomille tea
POLEO-MENTA peppermint tea

Be very careful with the coffee you can drink in Cuba or in Cuban restaurants around the world! It is a very strong coffee with loads of sugar. A colorful explanation of this beverage is offered to you (in English, with some words in Spanish) by the hilarious comedian Gabriel Iglesias.

By the way, to order a strong coffee, you can say “BIEN FUERTE, POR FAVOR” or “BIEN CARGADO, POR FAVOR”. If you prefer a watered-down coffee, you will say “BIEN FLOJO, POR FAVOR”.

Although in the commentary of video #11 you learned that “BIEN” means “well” in Spanish, it is also used to intensify an adjective.

  • For example, “UN CAFÉ FUERTE” is an intense coffee, and “UN CAFÉ BIEN FUERTE” is a very, very strong coffee.

”FLOJO” in Spanish means “weak”, that is, without strength. But in Mexico it has the sense of “lazy”.

How do you say “coffee to go” in Spanish? Well, precisely with the verb “LLEVAR” (which you learned in the comment of video #12). If you want a coffee to go, you will ask in Spanish “UN CAFÉ PARA LLEVAR, POR FAVOR”.

If, on the other hand, you want to have your drink right away, you will say “PARA TOMAR AQUÍ”. If you want to drink it at the bar, you will say “EN LA BARRA”. If you prefer to take it on the terrace, “EN LA TERRAZA”.

And what can you eat in Spanish in a coffee shop?

We all like to snack. “PICAR” or “PICOTEAR” is  colloquial Spanish to say “to snack” in Spain (but it may have other meanings in Latin America).

  • Those two words mean  “to peck” in  English.

What snacks can you have between meals in Spanish-speaking countries?

EL BOLLOcroissant-like pastry
EL PASTEL / LA TARTA / LA TORTAcake with icing  or pie
EL BIZCOCHOplain cake (biscuit, no icing)
LA GALLETAcookie
LA TORTA(Mexico) sandwich
EL EMPAREDADO / EL SÁNDWICHsandwich
EL BOCADILLOsandwich (baguette bread)
LA EMPANADA“empanadas”
LAS TAPASsnacks (Spain)
LOS MONTADITOSsnacks (Andalusia)
LOS PINTXOSsnacks (País Vasco)
LOS ANTOJITOSsnacks (Mexico)

🥟In Spain we have a good tradition of hot and cold appetizers that are taken before the meal (as an entrée) or as a meal (in individual portions, or in bigger portions).

  • This type of food is called “TAPA”.
  • “TAPAS” are individual portions or to be shared among all diners.
  • “TAPAS” are portions of savory bite-sized treats, often deep-fried. They are usually served in bars and restaurants as well.
  • This type of food is taken precisely so as not to drink alcohol on an empty stomach. In some Spanish regions, you get the “TAPA” for free when you order a drink.
  • There are “TAPAS” that you can find anywhere in Spain, and then there are regional specialties. In the south, you will find “MONTADITOS”, while in the north (Basque Country) “PINTXOS” are very common.

🍗There are several types of snacks of this type… Not only in Spain, but  throughout Latin America, like Mexico, where such snacks are called “ANTOJITOS“. I will not list you here because they deserve a post of their own. But on your next trip to a Spanish-speaking country you do not hesitate: try as much finger food as you can!

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