Spanish Blog


Get your official Spanish diploma!

dele_mayo_2013_ingles_70

First of all, what is DELE? 

DELE means Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera (Diploma in Spanish as a Foreign Language).

These diplomas offer the only internationally accredited official titles which confirm a command of the Spanish Language and are awarded by the Spanish Ministry for Education, Culture and Sport.

The exams to obtain DELE are done every year in May, August and November, in many countries around the world (find where your closest examination centre in your city or country is here).

Get your official Spanish diploma! I help you!

I offer you an exam preparation course, online, intense and guided to help you to pass this Spanish exam. Learn online with a tailor-made program and receive your tutor’s individual feedback and explanations.

Prepare for this official diploma from home, at your own pace with a personalized training designed in this Preparation for DELE course.

About the course

Levels: A1 to C2.

Duration / Length: That depends on the student needs and time he can invest in the training. So contact me to get a tailor-made course.

This course includes all the materials to prepare the exam so that you don’t need to spend any more in getting a text book.

Teacher:

  • Certified teacher by Instituto Cervantes and with an ample experience in preparation courses and creation of materials.

Structure of the course:

  • Intensive training in each of the four tasks (written task, conversation, listening comprehension, reading comprehension, integrated skills…)
  • Correction and feedback of every task done (via email and Skype).
  • Weekly mock exam of the conversation task with material created based on the real exam.

Included:

  • Online interactive material (audio recordings, videos, quizzes…)
  • Access to different text books (grammar, vocabulary, exam preparation books …)
  • Self-evaluation tests.
  • Written tasks corrected by tutor
  • 2h (guided)  to 4h (intensive) tutoring sessions  per week (via Skype).

Students who have already done this course and passed their exam or are doing it:

  1. Jane Roberts (Ireland) C1
  2. Mi Zheng (USA) C2
  3. Ann Sandoval (USA) C2 (in progress)
  4. Sylvie Chieu (France) C1 (in progress)
  5. Asa Tyler (USA) C1
  6. Declan O’Connor B1 (in progress)

Enroll in a DELE exam for the May 2013 sitting, you still have time!


Deal with computers and the Internet in Spanish

In this post we will see very useful vocabulary about Internet, social networks, computers…

Ordendores (‘computers’)

Portátil (‘laptop’)

Ordenador de mesa (‘desktop computer’)

Este es un ordenador de mesa.

Este es un ordenador de mesa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activities

  • Clicar, hacer clic, cliquear, pinchar (‘to click’). We have different options, all valid, for this verb.

– Haz clic en el enlace. (Click on the link).
– Pincha en el icono. (Click on the icon).

  • Navegar, explorar (‘to browse’)

– Paso horas enteras navegando por internet. (I spend hours browsing the Internet)

  • Subir, colgar (‘upload’)

– He colgado mis fotos del viaje a Paris en Facebook. (I have posted the pictures of my trip to Paris in Facebook).
– Tengo que subir mi trabajo de historia a la página web del profesor. (I have to upload my assignment of history into my teachers website).

  • Bajar, descargar (‘download’)

– Me he bajado el pdf con los ejercicios de inglés. (I have downloaded the pdf with English exercises).

  • Adjuntar (‘attach’)

– Te adjunto un archivo en el correo electrónico. (I attach a file in the email).

Words

  • Enlace (‘link)
  • Icono (‘icon’)
  • Archivo (‘file’)

Redes sociales (‘social networks’)

The reality is that we use many English words when we talk about all these things related with computers and the networks, but little by little we are creating our own words and expressions in Spanish, resulting an interesting mix of Spanish and English terms in the same sentence.

  • Actualizar, poner al día (‘update’)

– Acabo de poner al día my estatus en Facebook. (I’ve just updated my status in Facebook).

  • Tuitear (‘to twitter’)  and tuit (‘tweet’) These are one of my favorites new born Spanish words.

– Ahora no puedo escucharte, estoy tuiteando. (Wait, I can’t listen to you now, I’m twitting).

– Me encanta el último tuit de Pedro, es muy gracioso. (I love Pedro’s last tweet, it’s very funny).

  •  Perfil (‘profile’)
  • Contacto (‘contact’)
  • Chatear (‘to chat’)
  • Compartir (‘to share’)

– El profesor ha compartido el video publicamente en su página web. (The teacher has shared publicly the video in his webpage).

  • Agreagar (‘to add’)

– My ex me ha agregado como amiga en su lista de contactos. Es muy raro. (My ex has added my as a friend in his contact list. It’s very weird).

    • Ventana (‘window’)

ventana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Navegador,  buscador (‘browser’)

barra

  • Barra de direcciones (‘address bar’)
  • Pestaña (‘tab’)
  • Teclear (‘to tap’)

 

And now, a practical test that you understand the content in this post:

Abrid una ventana en vuestro navegador y teclead la dirección “www.mariaortegagarcia.com” en la barra de direcciones para ir a la página de vuestra profesora de español. 

(Open a window in your browser and tap the address “www.mariaortegagarcia.com” in the adress bar to go to your Spanish teacher’s website). 😉


Uses of a nightmarish couple: “quedar” and “quedarse” 8

 

Today I’m determined to solve one of my students’ worst nightmare. (*cheers and applauses…*)

When do we use “quedar” and when “quedarse”? What does it mean “quedar”? and “quedarse”?

These two verbs have completely different meanings and uses, let’s take a look at them:

Quedar

Quedar has a few meanings:

1. To be left, remain. (= haber, hay)

– No queda leche. Voy al super a comprar un par de cartones.
– There isn’t any milk left. I’ll go to the supermarket to buy a couple of bricks.

2. To be away from (= faltar + tiempo / espacio)

– Quedan 2 meses para Navidad.
– Christmas is two months away.

– Quedan 70km para llegar a la ciudad.
– The city is 70km away.

3. To arrange to meet (= citar)

– Hemos quedado en la puerta del cine a las 5, ¿te vienes?
– We have arranged to meet outside the cinema at 5 ¿are you coming? 

4. To be, in this sense, “quedar” describes a location, where something is (= estar).

– Mi casa queda en el centro, al final de la calle Elwood.
– My house is in downtown, at the end of Elwood Street.

5. To suit, fit clothing, hairstyle… (= sentar una ropa, un peinado…)

– Estos pantalones me quedan bien.
– This trousers fit me.

Quedarse

1. To remain, stay  (= permanecer en un lugar o estado).

– Ella se quedó en casa en lugar de ir a la clase .
– She stayed at home instead of going to class.

– Me quedé triste cuando se fue.
– I was sad when she left.

2. To keep something.

– Me quedé con el libro de mi profesor.
– I kept my teacher’s book.

– No te quedes con lo que no es tuyo. Devuélvelo.
– Don’t keep what’s not yours. Give it back.

3. To run out of something.

– Me he quedado sin dinero.
– I’ve run out of money.

 

Note: 

Much of the above type and style of clarifications, grammar, and other tricky elements are now covered in Compass Spanish (a new course comprised of daily mini-lessons delivered straight to your inbox). If you struggle to find the time or have a busy schedule, try out a free week (no strings attached and no credit card required!).


Lover’s day: useful vocabulary and expressions in Spanish for Valentine’s Day

Spanish VocabularyThe 14th of February is Valentine’s Day so in today’s post I will show you some useful vocabulary and expressions related with this “loving” subject.

We call this day El Día de los Enamorados or San Valentín in Spanish.

What do we do in this day when we are love someone or we have a crush on someone? Well, we mainly offer a present, like chocolates, or send a card.

♥ Hacer un regalo

♥ Bombones

♥ Mandar una tarjeta

Our heart (‘corazón’) beats fast when we are close to our sweetheart (‘cariño’), doesn’t it?

We get romantic and we show our love with kisses and hugs and we might even whisper “I love you!” to our sweetheart’s ear.

♥ Ponerse romántico

♥ Beso

♥ Abrazo

♥ ¡Te quiero! ♥

Ah, love! What a wonderful thing! I’ll write down some verbs about this great emotion:

♥ El amor

♥ Estar enamorado (‘to be in love’)

♥ Enamorarse (‘to fall in love’)

♥ Gustar alguien / estar colado por alguien (‘to have a crush on someone’)

Let’s talk about relationships and the steps in the process of starting a relationship with someone:

1. First, one gathers all their courage and ask the person one like out.☞ Pedir a alguien que salga contigo.

– ¡Juan me ha pedido que salga con él!!!
– Juan asked me out!!!

2. If everything goes well and we get a yes, we start going out with that person. ☞ Salir con alguien.

– Estoy saliendo con Juan desde hace dos años.
– I’m going out with Juan for two years.

3. We like to hold hands when we go for a walk. ☞ Darse la mano / Ir de la mano.

– Me encanta ir de la mano con mi novio.
– I love holding hands with my boyfriend.

4. Sometimes, for some reason, we like to play hard to get. ☞ Hacerse el duro / la dura, hacerse desear por la otra persona.

– Ana todavía no ha aceptado mi invitación a cenar, creo que se está haciendo la dura.
– Ana hasn’t accepted my invitation to dinner yet, I think she’s playing hard to get.

5. Once we are in the relationship we go through different stages:

– Ir en serio (‘go steady’)

– Irse a vivir con alguien (‘move in with someone’), vivir juntos (live together).

6. However, love not always lasts and sometimes the relationships end. Here there are some expressions:

Dejar a alguien (‘to leave someone’)

–  Romper (‘to break up)

Darse un tiempo (‘to be on a break)

– Engañar a alguien / poner los cuernos (‘to cheat on someone’)

– Superar (‘to get over someone’)

– Romper el corazón / Tener el corazón roto (‘to break your heart / to be broken hearted’)

 

♥ ¡Feliz Día de los Enamorados! ♥

 

 

 

 


Describing personality in Spanish 2

We will learn some vocabulary related to describing someone’s personality in Spanish.

When we want to ask about the physical aspect and the personality of someone we don’t know, we ask a general question:

¿Cómo es? (How is he / she?)

But if we are just curious about the personality we ask:

¿Cuál es su carácter / personalidad?

To answer this question we use the verb “ser” (to be) or “parecer” (to seem).

– El profesor de matemáticas parece muy simpático.
– Maths teacher seems very agreeable.

– La novia de Esteban es encantadora.
– Esteban’s girlfriend is charming.

Gender of the adjectives

Remember that almost all adjectives in Spanish have a masculine and a feminine form which agrees with the subject of the sentence, so you need to be aware of  that and put the adjective into the right gender. In general, masculine adjectives end in “o” and feminine in “a”.

– Juan es encantador y Ana encantadora.
– Su padre es cariñoso pero su madre no es cariñosa.

However, not all the adjectives have a different form for masculine and feminine, some of them don’t change. These adjectives end in “e” and have the same form for the masculine and feminine.

– Ella es muy inteligente y él es muy inteligente.
– Mi profesor de inglés es paciente pero mi profesora de historia no es nada paciente.

Finally, I am going to show you some words that express the degree. For instance:

– Mi profesor es muy tranquilo.
– My teacher is very calm.

– Mi profesor es bastante tranquilo.
– My teacher is quite calm.

– Mi profesor es un poco tranquilo.
– My teacher is a bit calm.

They are quite different, aren’t they?

Here you have a list of adjectives to describe someone’s personality:

alegre'happy'triste'sad'
animado'lively'melancólico'gloomy'
activo'active'pasivo'passive'
cariñoso'affectionate'frío'cold'
conflictivo'troublesome'pacífico'peaceable'
desprendido / desinteresado'disinterested'agarrado'stingy'
divertido'amusing'aburrido'boring'
fiel / leal'faithful / loyal'infiel'unfaithful'
generoso'generous'egoísta / tacaño
hábil'skillful'torpe'clumsy'
hablador'chatty'callado'quiet'
mentiroso'liar'sincero'sincere'
paciente'patient'impaciente'impatient'
persistente / tenaz'persistent / tenacious'inconstante / cambiante'inconstant / fickle'
racional'rational'irracional'irrational'
responsable'responsible'irresponsable'irresponsible'
sensato'sensible'insensato'foolish'
sociable'sociable'insociable'unsociable'
timido'shy'extrovertido'extroverted'
tranquilo'calm'nervioso'restless'

Describe in the past (Pretérito Imperfecto de Indicativo) 1

The Imperfect – Pretérito Imperfecto – is used to talk about the past in Spanish. In the majority of situations, when we use the imperfecto is not to give the main information but to give the context that surrounds the main information.

– El pasado fin de semana estuve tomando el sol en la playa, hacía mucho calor y brillaba el sol.
– Last weekend I was sunbathing on the beach, it was very warm and the sun shone.

The main information is that I was sunbathing on the beach and the secondary information, the context of the situation, is that the weather was warm and sunny.

Form

To conjugate a regular verb in the imperfect you just need to drop the ending -ar, -er, or -ir from the infinitive form and add the endings.

Imperfecto Regular

Imperfecto Regular

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are only 3 irregular imperfect verbs forms, “ser” (to be), “ir” (to go) and “ver” (to see).

Imperfecto Irregular

Imperfecto Irregular

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use

  • The main use of the imperfecto is for describing things, people, animals or situations in the past:
  1. Describe qualities, characteristics or attributes.
  2. Describe habitual actions in the past. It’s the equivalent of “used to…
  3. Describe specific situations in the past.

Examples:

1.

– Mi casa era pequeña y oscura.
– Mi house was small and dark.

– Mi padre era rubio y llevaba bigote.
– Mi father was blond and wore a moustache.

2.

– Iba a la piscina todas las mañanas el año pasado.
– I used to go to swimming pool every morning last year.

– Cuando era joven podía tocarme los dedos de los pies con la mano.
– When I was young I could touch my toes with my fingers.

3.

– Estaba en casa de mi novio y comimos una pizza.
– I was at my boyfriend’s house and we ate a pizza. 

  • We also use the imperfect for actions happening in the past that are not seen as completed (the past action did not have a definite beginning or end).

– Cuando estudiaba en la universidad, salía de fiesta todas las noches.
– When I studied in college, I went out partying every night.

– Hacía mucho frío y llovía a menudo.
– It was very cold and it rained often.

  • It’s used to tell the time and stating one’s age.

– Eran las 3 de la tarde cuando sonó el teléfono.
– It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon when the telephone rang.

– Tenía 25 años aquel verano.
– I was 25 that summer.

  • When we want to tell a story we can combine the imperfecto and the indefinido.

– Era de noche y la calle estaba vacía. Yo volvía a casa sola cuando que alguien me llamaba. Me di la vuelta y no vi a nadie. Estaba muy asustada, así que eché a correr.
– It was dark and the street was empty. I was coming back home when I heard someone calling my name. I turned around and I didn’t see anybody. I was very scared so I started running.

Timer markers used with the imperfecto:

antes                                   a veces                               a menudo
muchas veces                       de vez en cuando                frecuentemente
cada día/semana                   cada mes/año                      cada verano
todos los días                      todas las semanas                 en aquellos días
generalmente                      normalmente                      mucho
nunca                                  siempre                              de joven