Monthly Archives: November 2012


Forms of address in Spanish – Uses of the pronouns “ustedes / vosotros” 1

 

As a petition from one of the followers of my Facebook page Online Spanish Tutor (Check it out to learn daily idioms and expressions and post questions or suggest topics you want to learn about in this blog) I am going to dispel all doubts about the use of the pronouns “tú, vosotros” versus “usted, ustedes“.

I am going to explain, in first place, how we use the politesse forms in Spanish.

is the standard form of the second person of the singular, whereas vosotros / vosotras is the standard form for the plural.

Usted is the courtesy form of the second person of the singular, and ustedes is the courtesy form of the second person of the plural.

So vosotros is the plural of (standard form) and ustedes is the plural of usted (courtesy).

That happens in the majority of Spain but it works differently in South América and some parts of Spain (mainly in the south: Andalucía and Isles Canaries).

Now look at these examples translated all by “what are you doing this weekend?”

¿Qué haces este fin de semana? <— Tú
¿Qué hacéis este fin de semana? <— Vosotros

¿Qué hace este fin de semana? <— Usted
¿Qué hacen este fin de semana? <— Ustedes

As you can see, is followed by the verb in the 2nd person of singular and vosotros by the 2nd person of plural, whereas usted is followed by the 3rd person of singular and ustedes by the 3rd person of plural.

However there are different uses in different parts of Spanish speaking countries. There is no standard form for the 2nd person, as they only use the form “usted / ustedes” with the verb in the 3rd person in Latin America, and the south of Spain prefer using “ustedes” (only in the plural)  but followed by the 2nd person instead of the 3rd!

Look at these examples:

(General Spain) Vosotros vais al cine. (familiar) / Ustedes van al cine. (courtesy)

(South of Spain) Ustedes vais al cine. (both familiar and courtesy forms)

(Latin America) Usted van al cine. (both familiar and courtesy forms)

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Remember! If you have any questions about Spanish language, vocabulary, grammar… that you would like me to solve here, in this blog, just follow my Facebook page and tell me all your doubts!!!

 


¿Qué tiempo hace? – Talking about the weather in Spanish 2

Talking about the weather is a very handy topic in every language when you don’t know what to say. Here, I am going to give you all the vocabulary necessary to solve this uncomfortable silences in the lift.

When you are talking with someone living in another city or country and you  want to ask what the weather is like over there, you can ask:

– ¿Qué tiempo hace (por allí)?
– What’s the weather like (over there)?

or

– ¿Cómo hace?
– How’s the weather?

And now, the answers.

  • Weather conditions:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To tinge the weather conditions, you can use “mucho” o “poco” for “hace” and “muy” for “está” right after the verb. Although if the word that follows “está” is a verb, then you can’t use “muy” but “mucho” and you will have to add it after the verb. Look ath the examples:

– Hace mucho frío.
– It’s very cold. 

– Hace poco calor.
– It’s a little hot. 

– Está muy despejado.
– It’s very clear. 

– Está lloviendo mucho.
– It’s raining a lot.

To express the negative of all these ideas, you just need to add “no” in front of the verb.

– No está nevando mucho.
– It’s not snowing a lot.

  • A bit of vocabulary:

– lloviznar > ‘to drizzle’

– granizar > ‘to hail’

– llover > ‘to rain’

– nevar > ‘to snow’ 

– bochorno > ‘muggy weather’

Remember than all this verbs are only in the 3rd person: llovizna (it drizzles), graniza (it hails), llueve (it rains) and nieva (it snows).

To talk about the existence of any weather condition, you can use the verb “hay”.

– Hay mucho viento.
– There is a lot of wind.

– Hay mucha nieve.
– There is a lot of snow.

– Hay niebla.
– It’s foggy.

  • Expressions about the weather.

– Llueve a cántaros = Jarrea (literally means: it’s raining jugs full).
– It’s pouring.

– Hace un frío que pela.
– It’s freezing.

– Hace un calor abrasador / achicharrante.
– It’s scorching.

– Hace un calor que se caen los pájaros (literally menas: it’s so hot that the birds fall down).
– It’s very, very hot.