spanish vocabulary


Three verbs to talk about length time in Spanish: “tardar”, “llevar” and “durar” 6

Do you know how to use the verbs “tardar”, “llevar” and “durar” in time expressions? Their use is fairly common to express how long it takes to do something, how long something goes on for or how long something has been going on. Let’s see the best way to use them:

  •  Durar: ‘to go on, to last’

durarWe use durar+ length of time to express how long something lasts.

– La película dura dos horas.
The movie lasts (for) two hours.

– ¿Cuánto dura el vuelo?
– How long is the flight? / How long does the flight take?

– La conferencia durará cuatro días.
– The conference will last four days.

  • Tardar: ‘to take (time)’

tardarWe use ‘tardar’ + amount of time + en  + infinitive to say how long it takes for someone (person, animal or thing) to do something.

Tardamos tres horas en llegar al pueblo.
– We took three hours to get to the village.

– ¿Cuánto se tarda en llegar de Madrid a Burgos en autobús?
– How long does it take to go from Madrid to Burgos by bus?

Tardar‘ also means to take too much time, as in delaying.

– Pedro tarda en llegar.
– Pedro is late in arriving.

  • Llevar

llevar– ‘Llevar‘ + time + gerund: ‘to be, to take’

We use this expression to refer to how long an action has been going on.

Llevo media hora esperando.
– I’ve been waiting for half an hour.

– ¿Cuánto tiempo llevas buscando a tus padres biológicos?
– How long have you been looking for your biological parents?

– ‘Llevar’ + time + sin + infinitive: ‘to go / to be for + length of time + without’

Lleva dos días sin comer.
– He hasn’t eaten for two days.

– ‘Llevar’ + amount of time (+ en) + place

We use this expression to say how long someone or something has been somewhere.

– La estatua lleva tres años en la plaza.
– The statue has been here for three years.

– ¿Cuánto tiempo llevas aquí?
– How long have you been here?


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). 😉


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'

One verb, multiple uses ¿Vale?

This verb, valer, has different meanings in Spanish.

1. It’s used to ask for the price. It’s is accorded with the item whose price we want to know. Valer = ‘To cost’

– ¿Cuánto vale este bolso?
How much is this bag?

– ¿Cuánto valen estos zapatos?
How much are these shoes?

2. We use it to express agreement. Vale = Ok.

– ¿Te apetece ir al cine? – ¡Vale!
-Do you feel like going to the cinema? -Ok!

– Vienes con nosotros, ¿vale?
– You come with us, alright?

3.  It appears in the construction “valer la pena” with the meaning of ‘to be worth‘.

No vale la pena ir tan lejos para estar sólo un fin de semana.
– It’s not worth going that far to stay only a weekend.

– Vale la pena leer este libro.
– This book is worth reading.

4. It’s used to express if something is fit, useful or allowed.

– Estos pantalones no me valen.
– This trousers don’t fit me.

– Esta bolsa vale para guardar la ropa.
– This bag is useful to keep the clothes.

– ¡No vale mirar! 
– Looking is not allowed.

5. It appears in the expression “Ya te vale” in order to reproach or censure a behavior. Ya te vale = shame on you.

– Ayer bebiste demasiado alcohol y fuiste grosero con mis padres. Ya te vale.
– Yesterday you drank too much alcohol and you were rude with my parents. Shame on you.


Bien or Bueno? Muy or Mucho? Erase any doubt! 8

 

This is a common question between the Spanish students and a great source of confusion so in this article you will learn to differentiate the two pair of terms and use them correctly.

The simple answer is that one is an adjective and the other is an adverb, but that doesn’t help much of you don’t have a clear understanding of the function of adjectives and adverbs themselves.

ADJECTIVE vs. ADVERB: THE GRAMMATICAL ANSWER

So, let’s make a quick explanation about these two concepts.

  • An adjective always modifies a noun, which means that an adjective talks about or is referred to a noun and therefore will accord always with the noun in genre and number. Look at the example:

– El perro mojado corre.
– The wet dog runs.

Here “mojado” is an adjective that talks about the noun, “perro“.

  • Whereas adverbs always modifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb or phrase, which means that an adverb talks about or is referred to a verb or other adverb / adjective but not a noun.

– El perro mojado corre rápidamente.
– The  wet dog runs quickly.

In this example “rápidamente” is an adverb that talks about the verb, “corre“, and answers the question: “how the action (verb) is done?”.

It’s easy to see the difference between the adjectives and verbs with these kind of words: “mojado” is a participle and they work as adjectives, whereas the words that end in “-mente“, the equivalent of “-ly” in English, are adverbs and always talk about how the action is done.

Well, the problem arrives with the 2 pairs of words I presented you at the beginning of the post.

 CLEAR DOUBTS: THE DEFINITE ANSWER

The previous answer is helpful but if you still have doubts about when to use bien or bueno, muy or mucho, keep reading this article and you won’t have any doubt left once you finish reading this article.

  • BIEN or BUENO (BUEN)

Bien is an adverb, so it will be referred to the verb, the action, of the sentence. So, as an adverb, the word “bien” won’t appear close to a noun but close to a verb and it will answer the question “How…?”. Look at the examples:

– No he dormido bien.
– I didn’t sleep well. (¿How did you sleep?)

– Desde que hago ejercicio estoy muy bien.
– Since I do exercise I am very well. (How are you?)

Bueno, on the other hand, is and adjective, so it will accord with the noun it goes with.

– La película buena.
– The good film.

– El libro bueno.
– The good book.

When “bueno” is used before the noun it becomes “buen” but only in the masculine.

– El libro bueno > El buen libro.

So basically bien is translated by well and bueno by good.

So far so good but… when to use “bien” or “bueno” with “ser” and “estar“?

I think that’s the most complicated part to understand but here is my attempt to make you finally understand this. “Ser” express a quality and “estar” a temporary thing or the result of something. Having this in mind, look at these examples:

– Yo estoy bien.
– I am well, fine, ok.

Yo soy bueno.
– I am a good person.

But:

Yo estoy bueno.
– I am good looking. So careful with this if you don’t want to sound cocky 😀

Oh, and remember we never use “bien” with “ser” . So, “Esto es bien is wrong, you either say “Esto está bien“, which means that ‘this is right, correct or good’,  or “Esto es bueno”, meaning ‘This is good, beneficial’ depending on what you actually want to express.

  • MUY vs. MUCHO

This is the last pair of words that cause some headache to my students.

First thing: “muy” is an adverb and is referred to other adjectives and adverbs while  “mucho” an adjective referred to a noun.

Ese chico es muy alto.
– This guy is very tall.

–  Hay muchos libros encima de la mesa.
– There are a lot of books on the table.

 However, sometimes “mucho” works as an adverb and then you can find it referred to the verb / action.

– Estoy muy cansado porque he trabajado mucho.
– I’m very tired because I worked a lot.

As you see here, “mucho” is not talking about any noun but the verb “trabajar”.

So here is the rule:

– Muy + adjective

– Mi novio es muy listo.
– My boyfriend is very smart.

– Muy + adverb

– Hemos terminado el proyecto muy rapidamente.
– We have finished the project very quickly.

– Mucho + noun

– Tenemos mucho trabajo.
– We have a lot of work.

  • Verb + mucho

– Llueve mucho.
– It rains a lot.

・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

If you liked this post, you might be interested in reading as well:
– “Ser bueno” and “estar bueno”: not the same thing?
“Ser” or “Estar”: the answer

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!).

Spill the Beans (1)