1001 Most Useful Spanish Words

Indispensable learning aid includes definitions of common Spanish words arranged by such categories as foods, numbers, days of the week, months, colors, seasons and family. The heart of the book is a dictionary, from a to zapato, in which each word is used in a Spanish sentence (with English translation) demonstrating its proper use.

Editor’s Note: now available for only $2. Hat tip to Ramses at … [ Read more ]

Easy Spanish Phrase Book: Over 770 Basic Phrases for Everyday Use

More than 770 basic phrases for everyday use enable you to communicate instantly on a host of topics: health and medical situations; essential services; boat, plane, and train travel; much more.

Editor’s Note: now available for only $2. Hat tip to Ramses at Spanish Only.

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Selected vocabulary/phrases

  • afuera – outside
  • almacén – department store
  • alrededor de – around (physical proximity only?)
  • añada – add
  • antiguo – old
  • a propósito – by the way
  • a su vez – at the same time
  • a ver – let’s see

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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? – 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? – 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.

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – La Fecha

¿Cuál es la fecha de hoy? What is today’s date?
(Hoy) Es el primero de abril. (Today) It is the first of April.
(Hoy) Es el cinco de febrero. (Today) It is the fifth of February.

  • The ordinal number primero is used to express the first day of the month. Cardinal numbers (dos, ties, and so on) are used for other days.
  • The

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Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Asking Questions

There is no Spanish equivalent to English do or does in questions. (e.g., Ud. trabaja acquí todos los dias. – You work here every day; ¿Ud. trabaja acquí todos los dias? – Do you work here every day?)

Another way to form yes/no questions is to invert the order of the subject and verb, in addition to making your voice rise at the end … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – g, gu, j

In Spanish, the letter g followed by e or i has the same sound as the letter j followed by any vowel: [x]. It is similar to the English h, although in some dialects is pronounced with a harder sound.

 
jamón, jota, jugo

general
jersey

gigante
jirafa

As you know, the letter g has another … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Ser

Here are some basic language functions of set.

  • To identify people and things
  • Yo soy estudiante.
    La doctora Ramos es profesora.
    Alicia y yo somos amigas.
    Esto es un libro.

  • To describe people and things*
  • Soy sentimental. – I’m sentimental (a sentimental person).
    El coche es muy viejo. – The car is very

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Notes from ¿Qué tal? – ¿Donde está? Más Preposiciones

cerca de – close to

lejos de – far from

delante de – in front of

detrás de – behind

debajo de – below

encima de – on top of

al lado de – alongside of

entre – between, among

al este/oestenorte/sur de – to the east/west/north/south of

In Spanish, the pronouns that serve as object of prepositions are identical to the subject pronouns, … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Los números de teléfono

Note that telephone numbers in many Hispanic countries are written and said slightly differently than in the United States. Here is one model for asking for and giving phone numbers.

MODELO

El: ¿Cual es tu (número de) telefono?
E2: Es el cuatro, treinta y tres, veintiocho, veintiuno.