Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Expressing Likes and Dislikes: gustar

–¿Que les parece este restaurante? ¿Les gusta?
— ¡A mí me gusta mucho!
–Y a mí me gustan los postres que sirven.
–Bueno, ¿quién va a pagar hoy?
–¿Nadie contesta?
–Bueno, nos gusta mucho el restaurante… no nos gustan nada las cuentas,

You have been using the verb gustar to express likes and dislikes. However, gustar does not literally mean to like, but to … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Miscellaneous

  • To suggest activities to a friend: ¿Qué tal si nosotros verb form?
  • Descriptive adjectives are frequently used by Spanish speakers with ¡Qué ___!, to express English how + adjective.
  • ¿El bebé? ¡Que mono!
    ¿Michael Jordan? ¡Qué alto! ¡Y qué bárbaro!

  • Beginning with 31, Spanish numbers are not written in a combined form: treinta y uno, cuarenta y dos, sesenta y tres,

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Notes from ¿Qué tal? – ¿Por or Para?

Just as there are two Spanish verbs that mean to be (ser and estar), there are two Spanish words that often express English for: por and para. These prepositions (words that express the relationship between other words) have other English equivalents as well.

In the following questions, you will use por in one of its most important meanings: in, during.

  • Estudio por la

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Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Tener Idioms

  • tener miedo (de) – to be afraid of
  • tener prisa – to be in a hurry
  • tener razon – to be right
  • tener ganas de – to feel like
  • tener que – to have to
  • tener (mucho) calor – to be (very) warm
  • tener (mucho) frio – to be (very) cold
    These expressions are used to describe people or animals only.

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Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Expressing Negation: Indefinite and Negative Words

Here is a list of the most common indefinite and negative words in Spanish.

algo – something, anything
alguien – someone, anyone
algún (alguno/a/os/as) – some, any
siempre – always
también – also
nada – nothing, not anything
nadie – no one, nobody, not anybody
nunca, jamás – never
ningún (ninguno/a) – no, none, not any
tampoco – neither, not either

Pay particular … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Saber and Conocer

Two Spanish verbs express to know: saber and conocer.

  • Saber means to know facts or pieces of information. When followed by an infinitive, saber means to know how to do something (or to be able to do something).
  • No sabemos el telefono de Alejandro. ¿Saben Uds. dónde vive Alejandro? ¿Saben llegar alli? – We don’t know Alejandros phone number Do

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Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Direct Objects and Personal a

In English and in Spanish, the direct object (el complemento directo) of a sentence is the first recipient of the action of the verb.

I see the car; but I don’t see the dog.
George is preparing dinner for the family

In Spanish, the word a immediately precedes the direct object of a sentence when the direct object refers to a specific person … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Indirect Object Pronouns

me – to/for me
te – to/for you (fam. sing.)
le – to/for you (form. sing.), him, her it
nos – to/for us
os – to/for you (fam. pl.)
les – to/for you (form. pl.), them

  • Indirect object nouns and pronouns are the second recipient of the action of the verb. They usually answer the questions to whom? or for whom? in relation

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Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Basic Rules

Use ¿qué? to mean what? when you are asking for a definition or an explanation. Use ¿cual? To mean what? in all other circumstances.

Que without an accent mark means that or which.

Nouns that refer to male beings and most nouns that end in -o are masculine (masculino) in gender: hombre, libro.
Nouns that refer to female beings and most nouns that … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Stress and Written Accent Marks

Although all Spanish words of more than one syllable have a stressed vowel, most words do not have a written accent mark. Most words have the spoken stress exactly where native speakers of Spanish would predict it. These two simple rules tell you which syllable is accented when a word does not have a written accent.

  • Words that end in a vowel, -n,

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Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Prepositions

Prepositions express relationships in time and space. Some common prepositions include a, con, de, en, para, and por. Here are some prepositions that express time relationships:

antes de – before

después de – after

durante – during

hasta – until

The infinitive is the only verb form that can follow a preposition in Spanish.

¿Adónde vas después de estudiar? Where … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Subject Pronouns

The plural of usted is ustedes. In Latin America, as well as in the United States, ustedes also serves as the plural of . In Spain (and other parts of the Spanish-speaking world), however, there are two different plural forms for you: ustedes and vosotros/vosotras. Ustedes is used when speaking with two or more persons whom you address individually as usted. Vosotros/vosotras is used when … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Los números 100 y más

Continúe la secuencia: noventa y nueve, cien, ciento uno, …; mil, dos mil, …; un millón, dos millones, …
100 – cien, ciento
101 – ciento uno/una
200 – doscientos/as
300 – trescientos/as
400 – cuatrocientos/as
500 – quinient os/as
600 – seiscientos/as
700 – setecientos/as
800 – ochocientos/as
900 – noveciento s/as
1.000 – mil
2.000 – dos mil
1.000.000 – un millón … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Infinitives and Personal Endings

  • The infinitive (el infinitivo) of a verb indicates the action or state of being, with no reference to who or what performs the action or when it is done (present, past, future) – In English the infinitive is indicated by t-ar, -er, or -ir.
  • To conjugate (conjugar) a verb means to give the various forms of the verb with their corresponding subjects: I speak,

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Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Expressing Actions

  • When used with an infinitive, empezar (to begin) is followed by a.
  • Uds. empiezan a hablar muy bien el español. – You’re beginning to speak Spanish very well.

  • When used with an infinitive, volver (to return) is also followed by a. The phrase then means to do (something) again.
  • ¿Cuando vuelves a jugar al tenis? – When are you going

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Notes from ¿Qué tal? – English Equivalents for the Present Tense

In both English and Spanish, conjugated verb forms also indicate the time or tense (el tiempo) of the action: I speak (present), I spoke (past).

The present tense forms of Spanish verbs correspond to three English equivalents.

Hablo: I speak (simple present tense); I am speaking (present progressive to indicate an action in progress); I will speak (near future action)

Note that another … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Weather/Seasons

¿Qué tiempo hace hoy?

Here are some colorful expressions for commenting on the weather.

  • Llueve a cãntaros. It’s raining cats and dogs (lit., raining jugfuls).
  • Estoy calado/a hasta los huesos. I’m soaking wet (lit., soaked to the bones).
  • Hace un frio/calor de morirse. It’s extremely cold/hot (lit., so cold/hot you could die).
  • Hace un frio/calor espantoso. It’s awfully (frightfully) cold/hot.


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Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Negation

A Spanish sentence is made negative by placing the word no before the conjugated verb. There is no Spanish equivalent for the English words do or does in negative sentences.

El señor no habla inglés. The man doesn’t speak English.
No, no necesitamos dinero. No, we don’t need money.