Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 109
L L e e a a r r n n S S p p a

LLeeaarrnn SSppaanniisshh

L L e e a a r r n n S S p p a a
L L e e a a r r n n S S p p a a

Published by Discs Direct


Language note




Pronunciation Guide


Stress & Accent Marks


Basic Phrases








Grammar basics


F alse Friends


Spanish - English Dictionary


English - Spanish Dictionary


Food Glossary


Check bookmarks on the left for more detailed contents info.

Learn Spanish E-book

Published and distributed by Discs Direct. You can print the book for academic r easons. All rights reserved. Copyright 2004 Discs Direct.

E spañol - Language note

Spanish is the third most popular language of the world.

It belongs to the Ibero-Romance family of languages and is most closely related to Catalan,


T here are around 40 million Spanish speakers within Spain and many more in other

c ountries (see below).

Spanish is the official language in Spain, incl uding the Balearic and Canary Islands and the

Northern African enclaves of Ceuta and Me lilla. There are Spanish-speaking communities in the UK, France and Germany. It is one o f the official languages of the European Union and of the United Na tions.


n and


Spanish uses the Latin a lphabet and the acute accent on vowels to indicate stressed

syllables. Ñ and ñ are ex clusive to Spanish and represent a single letter and not a modification of n. It's also the only language to use the opening question and exclamation

marks ¿ ¡

Country - Number of Spanish Speakers:

Mexico - 91 million

Colombia - 41.9 mill ion

Argentina - 35.6 million

Spain - 39.9 million


enezuela - 23.3 million


SA - 20.7 million


eru - 20.4 million


hile - 13.6 million

Ecuador - 11.8 million

D ominican Republic - 8.2 million

The Alphabet

The Spanish alphabet consists of 2 9 letters:

a, b, c, ch, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, ll, m, n, ñ, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z

Below you can see the capital letter s along with name of each letter and one word starting with that letter.

A: a

azul (adj) - blue

B: be

bandera (nf) - flag

C: ce

cerdo (nm) - pig, hog

CH: che

chico (nm) - boy

D: de

dedo (nm) - finger



escarabajo (nm) - beetle

F: efe

fruta (nf) - fruit

G: ge

gatito (nm) - kitten

H: hache

hombre (nm) - m an

I: i

insecto (nm) - insect

J: jota

joya (nf) - jewel

K: ka

kilómetro (nm) - kilom etre

L: ele

lago (nm) -lake

LL: elle

llover (v) rain

M: eme

mar (nf, nm) sea

N: ene

noche (nf) - night

Ñ: eñe

ñame (nm) - yam

O: o

océano (nm) - oc ean

P pe

Q cu

: papá (nm) - dad

: quizá - maybe

R: ere

reina (nf) - queen

S ese


silla (nf) - chair

T tiburón (nm) - shark




U u

uva (nf) - grape

V ve


vaca (nf) - cow

W : doble u wok (nm) - wok

X : equis

Y: i griega Z: zeta

xilófono (nm) - xylophone y (conj) - and

zorro (nm) - fox

Pronounciation Guide


All vowels in Spanish make only one sound each:


sounds like

ah as in "father"

The Spanish "a" is a short sharp sound like "hat" in English

Examples: pato - apio - loca


The Spanish "e" is like the ehh in "bet" in English

Examples: elegir - éxito - sed


sounds like

ee as in "bee"

The Spanish "i" is like the "ee" in "seen", but a bit shorter

Examples: sin - miércoles - idiota


sounds like

oh as in "go"

The Spanish "o" can have two sounds. When it is at the end of a word it is like the "o" in note e.g. "pato"

When it is before a consonant it is shorter, like "pot" or "cot" e.g. "boda". This difference is very subtle

Examples: pato - apio - loca


sounds like

oo as in "to"

The Spanish "u" is like the "oo" in "food"

Note: It is silent after "q" and in "gue" and "gui"

The exceptions are marked with a diaere sis eg: antigüedad. The "ü" is quite rare.

Examples: luna - puro - mudo


ai ay

The Spanish "ai" is like the "i" in "side"

Examples: aislar - paisaje - vaina - haya


The Spanish "au" is like the "ou" in "sound"

Examples: causa - pausa - audio - audiencia

ei ey

The Sp anish "ei" and "ey" sound like the "ay" in say

Examples: rey - peine - seis



he Spanish "eu" has no English equivalent and is difficult to define.


is just the sounds of "e" and "u" together. It is not very common.

Exam ples: deuda - neutral - reumatismo

oi oy

The Spanish "oi" and "oy" are like the "oy" in boy

Examples: soy - doy - boicot - sois - coyote


ie y

The Spanish "y" and "ie" have the "y" sound in "yes" .

N ote that the word "y" meaning "and" sounds like the Spanish "i"

Examples: hielo - y erno - yeso - tierno - miedo


The Spanish "u + vowel" sounds like the "w" in "win"

Note that when "u" is followed by a vowel it normally has the "w" sound

Ex amples: fuente - huevo - agua - fui - fuimos - cuota


Most consonants are the same as in English,

except: c g h j ll r rr v z


The Spanish "b" is almost exactly the same as an English "b"

(Note: Both "b" and "v" have the "b" sound in Spanish)

Examples: bomba - enviar - voy - Córdoba

c (hard c)

The Spanish "c" has the English "k" sound except when it comes before "e" and "i"

Examples: academia - con - Ecuador - cola

c (soft c)

Before "e" and "i" it has a "th" sound as in "thin"

(Note: c is an "s" sound in Latin America, or a "th" sound in Spain)

Examples: sociedad - recibir - receta


The Spanish "ch" is the same as the "ch" in church

Examples: bochorno - champán - champiñón - champú


The Spanish "d" is very similar to the English

"d" when it comes at the end of a word it can have a "th" like sound eg. Madrid, verdad

Examples: del - definir - ciudad - domingo


The Spanish "f" is the same as the English "f"

Examples: freír - difícil - afeitar - foro

g (hard g)

The Spanish "g" is like the English "g" unless it comes before "i" and "e".

Examples: Galicia - golpe - guante - iglesia

g (soft g)

The Spanish "g" is like the Spanish "j" when it comes before "i" and "e".

It makes the soft "h" sound, like the "ch" in the Scottish "loch"

Some other words which have this soun d are: gemelo - geranio - gimnasio - gitano


The Spanish "h" is always silent

Examples: honor - Alhambra - rehacer


The Spanish "j" is a strong guttural (throaty) so und similar to the "ch" in the Scottish "loch"

Examples: jota - jabón - lenguaje - e je


The Spanish "k" is the same as the English "k". It is very unco mmon in Spanish

Examples: kilo - kilovatio - kiosco - kiwi


The Spanish "l" is the same as the English "l"

Examples: lobo - lámpara - ladrón


The Spanish "ll" makes a drawn-out sound like t he "y" in yes

Examples: taller - valle - llamar - llover - llen o- Mallorca


The Spanish "m" is the same as the English "m"

Ex amples: mama - tomar - malo - mixta - mano


The Spanish "n" is the same as the En glish "n"

Ex amples: nadar - nadie - no - uno - nada


The Spanish "ñ" is like the "ni" in "onion" in English

Examples: baño - caña - riñón - teñir


The Spanish "p" is the same as the "p" in English

Examples: pato - apio - lápiz


The Spanish "q" is pronounced like the English "k" in "kick"

Examples: queso - qué - querer - quince

(Please note that the u after q is silent unlike in English, so qu makes a "k" sound not "kw")


The Spanish "r" is a similar to the English "r" but it is stronger (is rolled)

Examples: rabo - radio - mar


The Spanish "rr" does not exist in English. It is a very strong "r" with a trill (it's rolled emphatically).

Many English speakers find this sound very difficult to pronounce .

Examples: puerro - berro - carro - g uerra - parra - barrio


The Spanish "s" has two sounds.

It is pronounced the same as "s" sound in "sit" except when it comes before b, d , g, l, m, n

Examples: saber - sobre - cosas - asun to

It c an have a "zzz" sound when it comes before b, d, g, l, m, n

Examples: mismo - de sde - asno


Th e Spanish "t" is very similar to the "t" in English.

In Spanish the tongue is placed closer to the teeth and there is less aspiration.

Examples: trigo - tomar- todo - patata


makes the "b" sound


The Spanish "x" is similar to the English pronunciation and it has a "ks" sound.

Examples: extra - sexto- exacto - éxito


The Spanish "z" has the "th" sound in the English thin.

Examples: zona - cazar - zorro - luz

Please note: Z

is an "Z" sound in Latin America, or a "TH" sound in Spain

Stress and Accent Marks

Knowing how letters are pronounced is only one aspect of learning Spanish pronunciation.

Another key aspect is knowing which syllable should be stressed.

Fortunately, in Spanish the rules for stress (also known as accent) a re simple.

In fact, there are only three basic rules that cover nearly every word:

1. If a word ends in a vowel, n or s, the stress is on the next to last syllable. For example,

toro, computadora, joven and zapatos all have their accent on the next-to-last syllable. Mos t words fit this category.

2. Words than end in other letters have the stress on the last syllable. For example, hotel,

hablar, madador and virtud all have the accent on the final syllable.

3. If a word isn't pronounced according to the above two rules, an accent is placed over the

vo wel of the syllable that gets the stress. For example, común, lápiz, médico, inglés, and o jalá all have the stress on the indicated syllable.

The only exceptions to the above words are some words of foreign origin, generally words adopted from English, tha t retain their original spelling and pronunciation. Also personal names and place names of foreign origin usually are written without accents.

Note that some publications and signs do not us e accent marks over capital letters, although it is normally best to use them when possible.

C apital letters

In Spanish, days, months, languages and nationalities do not use a capital letter. Only names o f people and places do.

Basic Phrases (Spanish – English)

Hola - Hi

Me llamo

- My name is

Encantado, -a - Nice to meet you

Sí - Yes

No - No

Hablo un poco - I speak a little

en español - in Spanish

en inglés - in English

Adiós - Goodbye

Gracias - Thank you

por favor - please

el hotel - the hotel



- Have you got


una habitación - a room

doble - double

individual - single

el baño - the bathroom

¿Para cuántos días? - For how many days?

Tengo una reserva - I have a reservation

¿Su nombre? - Your name?

¿Su pasaporte? - Your passport?

¿Qué va a tomar? - What would you like?

un bocadillo - a filled roll

una tortilla española - a Spanish omelette

unas patatas fritas - chips

de primero - as first course

de segundo - as second course

el menú - the menu

¿Para beber? - And to drink?

una cerveza - a beer

un vino tinto - a glass of red wine

un vaso de agua - a glass of water

la cuenta - the bill


por aquí? - Is there

a round here?

un supermercado - a super market

una farmacia - a chemist's

abierto - open

cerrado - closed



- Have you got


¿Qué talla? - What siz e?

grande - big

pequeño - small

¿Cuánto cuesta? - H ow much does it cost?

¿Algo más? - Anything else ?

Perdón - Excuse me

¿Dónde está? - Where is ?

todo recto - straight ahead

enfrente - opposite

a la izquierda - on the left

a la derecha - on the righ t

Está cerca - It's nearby

Está lejos - It's far away

u n billete para

- a ticket to

d e ida - one way

de ida y vuelta - return

S oy principiante. - I’m a beginner.

T engo un nivel


- I'm intermediate/advanced.

Common phrases (English –Spanish)

Can you help me? - ¿Me puede ayuda r?; ¿Me ayuda por favor?

Do you speak English? - ¿Hablas

Do you understand English? - ¿Entiende

Good afternoon - B uenas tardes Good-bye. - Adiós. Good evening - Buenas noches Good morning - Buenos dias Good night - Buenas noches Happy birthday! - Feliz cumpleaños! Happy New Year! - Feliz Año Nuevo! Hello - ¡hola!

Help me please. - Ayúde me por favor. How? - ¿Cómo? How are you? - ¿Cómo estás?

How do you say

How much does it cost? - ¿Cuánto es?

How old are you? - ¿Cuántos años tienes?

I am

inglés? el inglés?


- ¿Cóm o se dice


- Estoy

I (My

am called

name is


- Me llamo

I - Soy de

am from

I am fine. - Estoy bie n.

I am happy. - Estoy alegre.

I am hungry. - Tengo hambre.

I am lost. - Estoy per dido.

I am sad. - Estoy triste .

I am sick. - Estoy enfermo.

I don't know. - No lo sé.

I don't like it. - N o me gusta.

I don't speak Spanish. - No h ablo español.

I don't understand. No entien do. - No comprendo.

I have

I like it. - Me gusta.

I love you. - Te amo.

I need a doctor. - Necesito un médico.

I would like

maybe - quizá My name is

Nice to meet you. - Encantado de conocer le. Mucho gusto.

no - no please - por favo r Pleased to meet you. - Encantado de conocerle. Please help m e. - Ayúdeme, por favor. Please repeat that. - ¿Podria repetir, por fa vor? See you later. - Hasta luego. Thank you. - Gr acias. what - qué

- Tengo

- Me gustaria

- Me llamo

What is your name? - ¿Cómo te llamas? What time is it? - ¿Que hora e s? ?? w hen - cuándo w here - dónde w hich - cuál W here are you from? - ¿De dónde eres? W here is the bathroom? - ¿Donde esta el baño? ?? w ho - quién ?? why - por qué yes - si Y ou're welcome. - De nada.

Conversation practice

Who's there? - ¿Quién es?

What is your name? - ¿Cómo te llamas?

What is your mother's name? - ¿Cóm o se llama tu madre?

What is your father's name? - ¿Cómo se llama t u padre?

How do you spell your name? - ¿Cómo se es cribe tu nombre?

How are you? - ¿Cómo está?

Where are you from? - ¿De dónde viene?

Where do you live? - ¿Dónde vives?

Where were you born? - ¿Dónde nació usted?

How old are you? - ¿Cuántos año s tienes?

Do you have brothers or sisters? - ¿Tienes tú hermanos o hermanas?

Do you have any pets (animals) at home? - ¿Tie ne usted mascotas en casa?

How many people are in your family? - ¿Cuántas personas hay en tu familia?

What is your telephone number? - ¿Cuál es su número de teléfono?

What time is it? - ¿Qué hora es?

What day is it today? - ¿Qué día es hoy?

What day was yesterday? - ¿Qué día fu e ayer?

What day is tomorrow? - ¿Qué día es mañana?

What is the date? - ¿Cuál es la fecha de hoy?

When do you eat lunch? - ¿A qué hora comes tú el almuerzo?

What's the weather like? - ¿Qué tiempo hace?

How many are there? - ¿Cuánto hay?

How much is that? - ¿Cuánto cuesta eso? or ¿Cuánt o es?

What color is this? - ¿Qué color es?

What is your favorite color? - ¿Cuál es tu co lor favorito?

What is this? - ¿Qué es esto?

Do you have any questions? - ¿Tiene alguna s preguntas?

Do you understand? - ¿Entiende ? or ¿Comprende?

Can you repeat that, please ? - ¿Me lo repite, por favor?

Do you speak English? - ¿Hablas ing lés?

Where is it? - ¿Dónde está?

Where are you going? - ¿Adónde va usted?

Why is that? - Y eso ¿por qué?

W hy not? - ¿Por qué no?

Whose is that? - ¿ De quién es eso?

W hat would you like? - ¿Qué desea?

Can you help me p lease? - ¿Puede usted ayudarme, por favor? Where is the bathroom? - ¿Dónde esta el baño?


Hola - Hello, hi

Hola, aló, jaló, bueno, al, diga - Hello (on the telephone). - varies with location.

Adiós - Goodbye (An informal alternative in some areas is chau from Italian).

¿Cómo estás? ¿Cómo está? - How are you?

Muy bien, gracias - Very well, thank you

Buenos días - Good day, good morning (sometimes a shortened form, buen día, is used .)

Buenas tardes - Good afternoon (also used in the early evening)

Buenas noches - Good night

(can be used as a greeting as well as a farewell).

¿Cómo te va? ¿Cómo le va? ¿Qué tal? ¿Qué hay? - How's it going? What's happening?

¿Qué pasa? - What's happening?

¿Qué hubo? ¿Qué onda? - How is it going? What's happening? (common in Mexi co).

¿Cómo te llamas? ¿Cómo s e llama usted? - What's your name?

M e llamo … - My name is

Mucho gusto. E ncantado. - It's a pleasure to meet you.

Bienvenido, bie nvenida, bienvenidos, bienvenidas – Welcome

(Note the difference in number and gender. Bienvenido would be used with a man, bienvenida with a woman, bienvenidas with a group of a ll females, and bienvenidos with males or a mixed group).

Numb ers

There ar e two kinds of numbers: cardinal and ordinal.

Cardinal numbers are the numbers used for counting:

0 cero

1 uno/a

2 dos

3 tres

4 cuatro

5 cinco

6 seis

7 siete

8 ocho

9 nueve

1 0 diez 1 1 once

12 doce

13 trece

1 4 catorce

1 5 quince












veintiuno /a






treinta y u no/a
















ciento uno


doscie ntos/as




cuatrocien tos/as



6 00 seiscientos/as





9 00 novecientos/as

1.000 mil 1.500 mil quinientos 2 .000 dos mil 1.000.000 un millón

U no in compound numbers loses the -o before masculine nouns, whether singular or plural:

tr einta y un días (thirty-one days).

D ates (months and years) are cardinal numbers in Spanish, except for the first of the month:

E l 9 (nueve) de marzo de 1995 (mil novecientos noventa y cinco) (the ninth of October, 1 995); BUT Hoy es el primero de octubre (Today is October first).

Note that Spanish reverses the English usage of commas and periods in numbers: 1.250 kilómetros = 1,250 kilometers; 1,25 litros = 1.25 liters.

Ordinal Num bers

primer(o)/a - first s egundo/a - second te rcer(o)/a - third cuarto/a - fourth quinto/a - fifth sexto/a - sixth séptimo/a - seventh o ctavo/a - eighth n oveno/a - ninth décimo/a - tenth

After ten, cardinal numbers are generally used to indicate the ordinals: Alfonso Trece (A lfonso the Thirteenth); el siglo veinte (the twentieth century).

V ocabulary (grouped by topics)

Days of the week

Sunday - domingo Monday - lunes T uesday - martes Wednesday – miercoles Thursday - jueves Friday - viernes Saturday - sabado

Months of the year

January - enero February – febrero March - marzo April - abril M ay - mayo J une - junio July - julio August - agosto S eptember - septiembre October - octubr e November - novie mbre December - diciemb re

Shapes - Las Formas

- block - el cubo circle - el círculo cone - el cono crescent - crecie nte cube - el cubo cylinder - el cilindro diamond - rombo ellipse - la elipse


el arco

hemisphere - el hemisferio hexagon - el hexágono octagon - el octágono orb - el orbe oval - el óvalo pentagon - el pentágon o polygons - polígo nos pyramid - la pirámide . point - el punto rectangle - el rectá ngulo semicircle - semicir culo s hapes - las formas s phere - esfera spiral - el espiral square - el cuadrad o st ar - la estrella trapezoid - trapezo ide triangle - el triángulo wedge - la cuña zigzag - el zigzag

Adjective s

afraid - asustado alike - parecido/p arecida all - todo angry - enojado asleep - dormido beautiful - bell a (female), bello (male) big - grande black - negro blue - azul bright - lumino so brown - marrón clean - limpio closed - cerrado cute - linda ( female), lindo (male) dirty - sucio early - temprano empty - vacío/vacía every - cada fast - rápido fat - gordo/gorda frightened - asustad o full - lleno/lle na gray - gris green - verde happy - contenta/contento healthy - salud able hot - caliente hungry - hambrie nto large - grande last - último/última late - tarde

left - izquierda loud - fuerte little - pequeñita/pequeñito lost - perdido less - menos mad - enojado many - mu chos more - más narrow - estr echo, angosto open - abierto orange - anaranjad o outdoors - al aire libre over - sobre pink - rosa, rosado purple - morad o quiet - callado/c allada red - rojo sad - triste scared - asustado, teme roso slow - lenta/lent o small - pequeña /pequeño sick - enferma/ enfermo short - baja/bajo tall - alta/alto th in - delgado u gly - feo u nhappy - infeliz upside dow n - a revés violet - vio leta white - bl anco wide - ancho yellow - amarillo young - joven


to be afraid - ten er miedo break - romper burn - quemarse clap - aplau dir cry - llorar dance - bai lar draw - dibuja r drink - beber, tomar eat - comer erase - borrar exercise - e jercicio to fish - pesc ar fly - volar give - dar hear - oír jog - trotar juggle - hacer juegos malabares jump - saltar

kneel - arrodillarse knit - tejer laugh - reír

leak - tener g oteras learn - aprender to love - ama r

(to send by) mail

paint - pintar play - juga r pull - tirar push - empuja r rake - rastrillar read - leer receive - recibir run - correr scare - susto scream - grita r see - ver sew - coser sing - cantar sit - sentarse sleep - dormir smile - la sonrisa speak - hablar staple - sujetar con grap a stop - parar talk - hablar teach - enseñar thank - agradecer, dar las gracias think - pensar throw - tirar, ave ntar, echar tickle - hacer cosquillas u nderstand - comprender w alk - caminar, andar w ave - saludar a alguien con la mano w eep - llorar w iggle - contonear, menear (make a) wish - pedir u n deseo work - trabajar w rite - escribir yell - gritar

- enviar par correo

Prepositio ns

above - arriba de, s obre a round - alrededor de b ehind - detrás de b etween - entre -

in front of - delante de

inside - dentro



on top of - enc ima de o ver - sobre under - debajo de


alligator - el caimán animals - los an imales ant - la hormig a antelope - el antílop e antler - el asta ape - el mono aquarium - el ac uario barn - el establo bat - el murciélago beak - el pico bear - el oso beaver - el castor bee - la abeja beetle - el esc arabajo bird - el pájaro blackbird - el mirlo bluebird - azulejo buffalo - el bú falo bug - bicho bunny - el conejit o butterfly - la maripo sa bull - el toro cage - la jaula camel - el camello canary - el canario cat - el gato caterpillar - la oruga chick - el pollito chicken - el pol lo chimpanzee - el chi mpancé chipmunk - la ardilla listada cicada - la cigarra claw - la zarpa, la garra cobweb - la telara ña cocoon - el capullo coral - coralino cow - la vaca coyote - el coyote crab - el cangrejo crane - la grulla crocodile - el cocod rilo crow - el cuervo deer - el venado dinosaur - el din osaurio dog - el perro

doghouse - perrera dolphin - el delfín donkey - el burro dove - la paloma dragon - el dragón

dragonfly -

duck - el pato duckling - el patito eagle - el águ ila earthworm - lombriz de tie rra eel - la anguila egg - el huevo elephant - el elefante elk - alce farm - la granja /la finca feather - la plu ma fin - la aleta fish - el pez, el pesca do fish bowl - la pece ra to fish - pescar fishing rod - caña d e pescar flamingo - el flame nco fly - la mosca fox - el zorro frog - la rana gazelle - la gace la giraffe - la jirafa goat - la cabra goose - el gans o gorilla - el gorila grasshopper - el s altamontes hamster - la marm ota, la rata del trigo hedgehog - el erizo hen - la gallina hippopotamus - el hipopó tamo hive - la colmena hog - el cerdo honeycomb - el pan al de miel horn - el cuerno hornet - avispón horse - el caballo horseshoe - la herradura hummingbird - el colibrí hyena - la hiena hoof - el casco insect - el insecto jaguar - el jagu ar jay - el arrendajo jellyfish - la medu sa kangaroo - el canguro kitten - el gatito koala - el koala ladybug - la mariquita lamb - el cordero lion - el león lizard - la lagartija

la libélula

llama - la llama lobster - la langosta macaw - el guacamayo mammal - el mamífero mammoth - el m amut marsupial - el marsupial mermaid - la sir ena monkey - el mon o monster - el mo nstruo moose - el a lce mosquito - el mo squito, el zancudo moth - la polilla/la m ariposa nocturna mouse el ratón muskrat el ratón almiz clero mutt - el bobo nandu - ñandú nest - el nido net - la red newt - el tritón octopus - el pulpo orangutan - el o rangután ostrich - el avestruz otter - la nutria owl - el búho, la lechu za parrot - el loro, el pa pagayo peacock - el pavo rea l penguin - el pingüi no pet - el animal doméstic o pig - el cerdo pigeon la paloma/p ichón pupa - la crisálida puppy - el cachorro quail - la codorniz quetzal - el quetzal rabbit - el conejo raccoon - el mapache rat - la rata reindeer - el reno rhinoceros - el rinoceronte roach - la cucarach a roadrunner - el correcamin o robin - el petirro jo rooster - el gallo scorpion - el alacrán sea gull - la gavio ta seahorse - caballit o de mar seal - la foca shark - el tiburón sheep - la oveja, ca rnero shell - concha shrimp - el camaron skeleton - el esquel eto skull - el cráneo snail - el caracol snake - la culebra/la se rpiente spider - la ara ña

squid - el calamar sponge - la esp onja squirrel - la ardi lla stable - el establo stingray - raya swan - el cisne tadpole - el renacuajo tail - la cola tern - golondrina tiger - el tigre toad - el sapo toucan - el toucan trunk - la trompa turtle - la tortug a unicorn - el unicornio vulture - el buitre walrus - el walrus wasp - la avispa weasel - comadreja web - telaraña, tela d e araña whale - la ballena wolf - el lobo woodpecker - el pájaro carpintero worm - el gusano yak - yac zebra - la cebra zoo - el parque zoológico zoologist - zoólogo

Family - Familia

father - papá mother - mamá father - el padre mother - la madre fathers or parents - los padres son - hijo daughter - hija s ons, sons and daughters, or children - los hijos b rother - hermano s ister - hermana brothers, or brothers and sisters - los hermanos godfather - padrino godmother - madrina husband - esposo w ife - esposa


Estoy enamorado/estoy enamorada - I am in love Tengo novio - I have a boyfriend, sweethear t Tengo novia - I have a girlfriend, swe etheart Te mando una carta - I send a c ard to you Le mando una carta - I send a card to her/him Querido Juan - Dear John Querida María - Dear Mary ¿Por qué no me escribes? - Why don't you write to me? Te echo de menos - I miss you ¿Me echas de menos? - Do you miss me? ¿Estás enfadada? - Are you angry? Te quiero. Te amo - I love you ¿Me quieres? ¿Me ama s? - Do you love me? Estoy celoso - I am jealous Te adoro apasiona damente - I adore you passionately T e quiero con toda mi alma - I love you with all my soul ¡Q uiéreme o me muero! - Love me or I shall die! E res mi héroe/heroína - You are my hero/heroine Con cariño - With a ffection Cariñosamente - Af fectionately C on amor - With love B esos - Kisses Abrazos - Hugs


ambitious - ambicioso annoying - pesado argumentative, quarrelsome - discutidor bad-tempered - malhumo rado big-headed - creído, engr eído bitchy - de mala leche, venenoso; brave - valiente cantankerous - cascarrabias carefree - despreocu pado careless - descuidado, poco cuidadoso cautious - pru dente, cauteloso, cauto; charming - encantador cheerful - alegre, jovi al; conceited, full of oneself - presumido conservative - conserv ador conventional - convenciona l cowardly - cobarde crazy, nuts - loc o, chiflado

cruel - cruel dull, boring - soso, aburrido flirtatious - c oqueta friendly - amigab le, simpático, agradable generous - generoso hard-working - trabajador honest - honesto kind - amable laid-back - tranquilo, relajado lazy - perezoso, vago loyal - fiel mean - tacaño modest - modesto moody - de humor cambiante naive - ingenuo, inocentón naughty - (children ) malo, travieso (niños) narrow-minded - de mentalidad cerrada, intolerante open-minded - de ac titud abierta, sin prejuicios pious - piadoso polite - cortés, educado

proud - orgulloso reliable - fiable, confiable: es una persona en la que se puede confiar

self-confident: to be self-confident

selfish - egoísta sensible - sensato, prude nte; sensitive - sensible shy, introverted - tímido, vergonzoso - introvertido strict - estricto, severo, riguroso

s tubborn - terco, testarudo, tozudo s ympathetic (understanding) - comprensivo ta lkative - conversador, hablador tr ustworthy - digno de confianza two-faced, false - fals o weird - raro, ex traño

seguro de sí mismo: tener confianza en sí mismo


amarillo - yellow

anaranjado - orange

azul - blue

blanco - white

dorado - golden

gris - gray

marrón - brown

negro - black

púrpura - purple

rojo - red

rosado - pink

verde - green

beige, beis - beige

cereza - cherry-colored

chocolate - chocolate-colored

esmerelda - eme rald

grana - dark red

humo - smoky

lila - lilac

malva - mauve

mostaza - m ustard-colored

naranja - orange

oro - gold

p aja - straw-colored

rosa - pink

tu rquesa - turquoise

violeta – violet

What color is it? - ¿Que color es este? What is your favorite colour? - ¿Cuál es tu color favorito?

Note that the form ch anges depending on the number and gender of what's being described:

Tengo un coche ama rillo. (I have one yellow car.) Tiene dos coches amarillos. (He has two y ellow cars.) Tienes una flor amarilla. (You have a yellow flower.) Tenemos diez flores amarillas. (We have ten yellow flowers.)

Body parts

arm - el brazo

back - la espalda

backbone - la columna vertebral

brain - el cerebro, el s eso

breast, chest - e l pecho

buttocks - la s nalgas

calf - la pantorrill a

ear - el oído, la oreja

elbow - el cod o

eye - el ojo

finger - el dedo

foot - el pie

hair - el pelo

hand - la mano

head - la cabez a

heart - el corazón

hip - la cadera

intestine - el intestino

leg - la pierna

liver - el hígado

mouth - la boca

muscle - el músculo

neck - el cuell o

nose - la nariz

penis - el pene

shoulder - el hom bro

skin - la piel

knee - la rodilla

stomach (abd omen) - el vientre

stomach (internal or gan) - el estómago

thigh - el muslo

throat - la garganta

toe - el dedo

tongue - la lengua

tooth - el diente, la muela

vagina - la vagina

Physical appearance

He has blue eyes = tiene los ojos azules He is bald = Es calvo face - la cara/el rostro facial features - rasgos she has a thin face - tiene la/una cara delgada an oval face - una cara ovalada round face - una cara redonda clean-shaven - bien afeitado bloated face - una cara hinchada/abotagada /abotargada cherubic face - una cara angelical chubby face - una cara r egordete chubby-cheeked - mofletudo chubby/podgy face - una cara rechoncha, regordete, gordinflona he had a weather-beaten face - tení a un rostro curtido face lift - un lifting, un estiramiento fa cial she has freckles - tiene pecas, es pecosa spots/pimples - granos blackheads - espinillas moles - lunares warts - verrugas wrinkles - arugas rosy cheeks - mejillas sonrosadas acne - acne birthmark - un antojo/una man cha de nacimiento double chin - una papada hollow cheeks - las mejillas hundida s dimple - un hoyuelo smooth-cheeked/smooth-faced - lampiño deadpan face - una cara de póquer/de palo doleful face - una cara compungida sad face - una cara triste serious face - una cara s eria smiling face - una cara s onriente happy face - una car a alegre smooth-cheeked/smooth -faced - lampiño go red in the face (with a nger/heat) - ponerse colorado/rojo go red/to blush (with embarassment) - s onrojarse/ruborizarse he looks worried parece preocupado frightened asustado surprised sorprendido smile una sonrisa smirk una sonrisita frown el ceño fruncido nose = la nariz

bulbous nose - una nariz protuberante


ooked nose - una nariz aguileña


ig nose - una nariz grande

tu rned-up/snub nose - una nariz respingona

a pointed nose - una nariz puntiaguda

a flat nose/a pug nose - una nariz chata

a lopsided nose - una nariz ladeada/torcida

a hooter/conk (f am) - una napia

flare your nostril s/to snort - resoplar/bufar


When talking about the weath er in Spanish use "hace" and "hay"instead of English "to be"


is sunny - Hace sol


is hot - Hace calor


is very windy - Hace / Hay mucho viento

Talking about weather

what’s the weather like? - "¿qué tiempo hace?" or "¿cómo está el tiempo?" tomorrow will be dry - mañana hará tiempo seco there’s been a change in the weather - ha cambiado el tiempo let’s hope the weather ho lds out - esperemos que no nos falle el tiempo the weather spoiled our plans - el tiempo nos estropeó los planes


looks like it's going to rain - parece que va a llover


e bad weather is still with us - seguimos con mal tiempo

the garden could do with a bit of rain - al jardín le vendría bien que lloviera un poco

you get better weather on the south coast - en la costa sur hace mejor tiempo; weather permitting - si hace buen tiempo we’re hoping for good weather while we ’re on holiday - esperamos tener buen tiempo durante las vacacion es

I don’t like the look of the weather - no me gusta cómo se está poniendo el tiempo

breeze - una brisa clap of thunder, a thunderclap - un trueno clear sky/day - u n cielo/día despejado clear up - despejar climate - el clima cloud - una nube cloudburst - un chaparrón cloudburst - un chaparrón, un agu acero cold front - un frente frío damp - húmedo

degree - grado depression - una depresión atmosférica, una borrasca dew - el rocío , el sereno downpour - un chaparrón, un tur bión drizzle / to drizzle (nm) - llovizna / lloviznar flash of lightning - un relámpago flashes of lightning - un relampague o flood - una inundación flood (v) - inundar fog -la niebla force nine gale - v ientos de fuerza nueve forked lightning - una culebrina frost - escarcha frost (v) - helar frosty night - una noche de helada gale - un viento fuerte, una ven daval gale-force w inds - los vientos de tormenta gust of wind - una racha hail (v) - granizar hailstones - los granizos , las piedras de granizo hailstorm - una granizada haziness - la nebulosidad, lo neblinoso he was struck by lightning - le c ayó un rayo heat wave - una ola de calor hot - cálido humid - húmedo humidity - la humedad hurricane - un huracán instability/changeability - ine stabilidad it’s cloudy - hace nubes or es tá nublado it’s drizzling - está lloviznan do it’s foggy - hay niebla it’s frosty - está helado it’s hot - hace calor it’s misty - hay neblina it’s muggy / clammy / close - está abochornad o it’s raining - está lloviendo it’s sleeting - ca e aguanieve it’s snowing - está nevado it’s sunny - hace sol it’s windy - hace viento, está ven toso It's chilly today - hac e fresquito hoy light covering of snow - una fina capa de nieve low/high-pressure - d e bajas/altas presiones mist - la neblina rain (v) - llover rain -la lluvia scattered showers - chubasco s aislados sea breeze - una brisa marina sea mist - la bruma shower - un chaparrón, un ch ubasco sleet - aguan ieve f. sleet showers - chubascos d e aguanieve snow - la nieve snow (v) - nevar snowball - una bola de nieve

storm - una tormenta, un temporal stormy day - un día tormentoso streak of lightning - un rayo sun - el sol sunny day - un día soleado sunny spell - un claro sunstroke - insolación temperature - la temperatur a thaw - un deshielo thaw (v) - deshelar thunder - los truenos thundercloud - un nubarrón to become mugg y - abochornarse to rain cats and dogs - llover a cántaros to ride out the storm - capear el temporal turbulence - la turbulen cia unsettled weather - un tiempo revuelto we ather - el tiempo we ather forecast - la previsión del tiempo para mañana weather vane - una veleta wind - el viento


Regular Verbs

In spanish there are three different kinds of regular verbs, these can be characterized by the ending of the infinitive.




An infinative is represented in the english langua ge by the word to: to be, to have, to learn, to speak, and to buy. These are all infinitive form s of english verbs. The following table lists the conjugation for these Regular Verbs, with exam ples for each.

l lamar



yo llamo



tu llamas



el/ella llama



nosotros llamam os



vosotros llamáis




ellos/ellas llaman




Irregular Verbs

Present Tense





y o








el / ella




n osotros

va mos

hacemos estamos

vo sotros


hacéis estáis

ellos / ellas van

hacen están

N ote: For more info about verbs look under: Tenses

A rticles

T he definite article (artículo definido) agrees in gender and number with the noun it modifies and has four forms:


el (singular)

los (plural)


la (singular)

las (plural)

Examples: el río (the river); los refrescos (the refreshments); la guitarra (the guitar); las fal tas (the mistakes).

Definite articles are often used in Spanish where English would omit them, for example:

1) with abstract nouns:

2 ) with nouns used in a general sense: Prefiero los caballos (I prefer horses) 3) with parts of the body and articles of clothing: Tengo el brazo roto (I have a broken arm) 4) with titles, except in direct address: El s eñor García está aquí (Mr. Garcia is here) but B uenos días, señor García (Hello, Mr. Garcia)

El amor es una fuerza irresistible (Love is an irresistible force)

Neuter article (artículo neutro) lo can be used before an adjective (or a past participle used adjectivally) to make it function as a noun: lo humano (that which is human); lo dicho (that which has been said).

N ote: Do not confuse the neuter article lo with the masculine singular direct object pronoun lo: Lo vi en la calle (I saw it in the street).

The indefinite article (artículo indefinido): un for the masculine singular a nd una for the fe minine singular. It agrees with the noun it modifies: un médico bueno (a good doctor); una le ngua bella (a beautiful language). The plural forms unos and unas mean some or a few:

T engo unos libros buenos (I have some good books); Dénos unas naranjas, por favor (Give u s some oranges, please).

Note:For femi nine nouns beginning with a stressed a sound use the masculine definite article in the singular e.g.: El alma es un fin, no un medio (The soul is an end, not a means); but Las almas quieren hacerse inmortales (Souls long to become immortal).


T he nouns in Spanish can have either of 2 genders (género): masculine (masculino) or feminine (femenino).

The gender of many nouns can be determined by their meaning or their ending. The g ender

of other nouns must be learned individually. The best way to memorize the gender of words is to memorize the article when learning a new word.

la chica (the girl) feminine e l hombre (the man) masculine

In general masculine nouns end in -o and feminine nouns end in -a; but watch out for e xceptions:

el día (the day), la mano (the hand), and masculine nouns ending in -ma (of Greek d erivation): el idioma (the language); el poema (the poem); el clima (the climate).

E l policía mató a tiros al ladrón (The policeman gunned down the thief); La actriz se veía p obre y sin amigos (The actress found herself poor and friendless).

Nouns ending in -ista are masculine, unless referring to a woman: un com unista (a c ommunist); un pianista ( pianist).

N ouns ending in -ad, -ud, -ión are feminine: la ciudad (the city); la juventud (youth); la dirección (the address).

In Spanish, nouns, pronouns, adjectives and articles are gender-related.

E lla compró una casa bonita (She bought a pretty house).

P lural nouns of mixed gender take the masculine: Los niños están enfermos (The children are ill).

Knowing the gender of every noun is important not only for the noun itself, but for the sp elling and pronunciation of the words it influences in a sentence: adjectives, articles, participles, and pronouns. They agree in the gender and in the number with the noun.


T he plural of nouns and adjectives is regularly formed by adding -s to words ending in a vowel and -es to words ending in a consonant: Tiene los ojos negros (He has dark eyes); Prefiero las canciones d e cuna (I prefer lullabies).

Words ending with z change to c in the plural: Encienda la luz (Turn on th e light); Desde aquí podemos ver las luces de la ciudad (From here we can see the lights of the city).


T here are only two contractions (contracciones) in Spanish: al and del. Al = a (to, for, at by) + el (masculine article)

Vamos al mercado (Let's go to the store); Al entrar en la clase, la profesora comenzó a h ablar (Upon entering the classroom, the professor began to speak).

Del = de (of, from, w ith) + el (masculine article): ¿Qué piensas del nuevo profesor? (What do you think of the new teacher?).

Note: The preposition a and de does not contract with the personal pronoun él: Se lo doy a


(I give it to him).


A n adjective (adjetivo) agrees in gender and number with the noun it describes. Like nouns, adjectives generally end in -o for the masculine (plural -os) and -a for the feminine (plural -as): un libro bueno (a good book); muchos estudiantes (many students); una costumbre francesa (a French custom); otras habitaciones (other room s).

Some adjectives whose masculine singular ends in a consonant form the feminine by addin g -a: un much acho francés (a French boy); una muchacha francesa (a French girl); un baile encantador (a charming dance); una canción encantadora (a charming song).

Other adjectives ending in a consonant have the same form for both masculin e and feminine:

u n hombre joven (a young man), una mujer joven (a young woman); unos bailes populares (some popular dances), unas canciones populares (some p opular songs).

In Spanish adjectives are used usually after the nouns t(unlike English): un día llu vioso (a rainy day). When used before the noun, such adjectives change meaning, acquiring a less lit eral sense:

Hay que dar limosna a un hombre pobre (One must give alms to a poor man); but El pobre h ombre está con un pie en la fosa (The poor guy has one foot in the grave).

Adjectives precede the nouns they modify whenever they:

1) express an essential or characteristic quality: la dulce miel (the sweet honey; la s verdes hojas (the green leaves); 2 ) point out, limit or quantify: este hombre (this man); su marido (her husband); menos caliente (less hot); dos lecciones (two lessons).

Adjectives can be used as nouns, in which case they take a definite article: Los ricos también tienen sus problemas (Rich people have their problems, too). Adjectives are occasionally used adverbially: Vive feliz en la ciudad (He lives happily in the city).


M any adverbs (adverbios) are formed from adjectives, by adding the suffix -mente to the fe minine singular form: Ella es muy rica (She is very rich); Está ricamente vestida (She is ri chly dressed).

In a series of adverbs, only the last one takes the -mente suffix, while the other adverbs

have the form of femin ine adjectives: Escribe clara, rápida y correctamente (She writes c learly, quickly and co rrectly).


The comparative (comparativo) of an adjective or adverb is formed by preceding it with m ás (more) or menos (less): Esta lección es más fácil (This lesson is easier); Lo puedo hacer más fácilmente (I can do it more eas ily).

The superlative (superlativo) of an adjective is formed by adding the definite article to the comparative form: Esta lección es la más fácil (This lesson is the easiest one).

The superlative of an adverb is expressed by adding the neuter article lo to the comparat ive

form: lo más fácilmente (the most easily).

The superl ative of a noun is expressed by mejor (best) and peor (worst) preceded by the a ppropriate definite article: la mejor respuesta (the best answer).

T he absolute sperlative (superlativo absoluto) of an adjective indicates a high degree of s ome quality, rather than a comparison. It is formed by adding the suffix -ísimo/a to the adjective or adverb: Es una mujer riquísima (She is an extremely wea lthy woman); Esta riquísimamente vestida (She is very richly dressed).

Ser and Estar

S er and estar both mean to be. Ser is used to express what something is, while estar e xpresses where or how it is: Nosotros éramos buenos amigos (We were good friends); Miguel está en la oficina (Michael is in the office); Pablo está enfermo (Paul is sick).

Estar is also used with the present participle to form the progressive tenses, present and past. Examples: Juan está estudiando (John is studying); Ellos estaban bailando el tango (They were dancing the Tango).

Tú and Usted

(the plural vosotros/as is used exclusively in Spain) is the second person pronoun (English "you"). It is used for the familiar form of address when speaking to family members,

close friends, children and pet animals:

¿Te sientes bien? (Do you feel okay?).

T he polite form of the second person pronoun is usted (plural ustedes for both masculine a nd feminine). It derives from the phrase Vuestra Merced (Your Grace), and is therefore a bbreviated either Vd. or Ud. (plural Vds. or Uds.). Although it indicates the second person mode of address, usted is conjugated with third person verb forms (English "he/she/it"). This

lends a respectful sense of distance to the conversation: ¿Sigue Ud. estudiando el español? (D o you continue studying Spanish?).


Prepositions (prepos iciones) are the connecting words that show the relationships between words in the sentenc e. Nouns, pronouns, noun phrases, gerunds or noun clauses can be the complement of the prepo sitions:

Simple preposition s in Spanish include the following:


to, at






of, from


from, since




in, on



h acia





for, in order to


for, by



s obre


tr as


V amos a Madrid. We are going to Madrid. V iene con su hermano. - She's coming with her brother. Q uiero gasolina sin plomo. - I want unleaded gasoline.


Conjunctions (conjunciones) join word s, phrases and clauses together.

The most commonly u sed conjunction in Spanish is y (and). con su espa da y con su pluma (with his sword and his pen)

Other commonly used c onjunctions:










An interjection (interjección) is a word or expression. Interjections are rarely used in formal or business writing. I n print interjection is usually followed by exclamation mark or a coma:

Note that in Spanis h each interjection uses ¡ in front and ! at the end of the word:

¡a y! -oh!, ouch!


¡por Dios! -for goodness sakes!

A sentence consists of the subject (the topic of the sentence) and the predicate (what is said

about the subject).

Y o compro suéteres en el Rastro. (I buy sweaters in the Rastro.)

Yo (I) is the subject of the sentence and compro suéteres (buy sweaters) is the predicate.

The most common forms of subject are nouns and pronouns Noun phrase and noun clause may be the subject of a sentence:

L os niños en la escuela reciclan las latas. (noun phrase) (The children in the sch ool recycle the cans.) Los toros de Pamplona y los muchachos de Pamplona corren rapidamente. (noun clauses) (The bulls of Pamplone and th e boys of Pamplona run fast.)

The most common form of predicate is one consisting o f the verb of action and direct or

in direct object:

La niña ve el elefante. (The girl sees the elephant.)

E lefante is a direct object of the present tense verb ve.

Possessive Adjectives

The possessive a djectives (adjetivos posesivos) are:


or mío/a - my


or tuyo/a - your


or suyo/a -his, her, its

nuestro/a - our vuestro/a - your s u or suyo/a - their

Possessive adjectives have a short form when they precede the noun and a longer form when they follow it: mis amigos (my friends); una amiga mía (a female friend of mine).

A ll these forms add -s to form the plural. They agree in gender and number with the noun:

m is libros (my books); nuestras cosas (our things).

Note: When referring to clothing, parts of the body, and so o n, a definite article is regularly u sed instead of a possessive adjective: Tiene algo en la mano (He has something in his h and); Póngase Ud. los zapatos (Put on your shoes).

The possessive pronouns (pronom bres posesivos) are formed by adding the appropriate definite article to the long form of th e possessive adjective:

e l mío, la mía, los míos, las mías (mine)

e l tuyo, la tuya, los tuyos, las tuyas (yours)

el suyo, la suya, los suyos, las suyas (his, hers its)

el nuestro, la nuestra, etc. (ours)

el vuestro, la vues tra, etc. (yours)

e l suyo, la suya, etc. (theirs)

P ossessive pronouns, like possessive adjectives, agree with the thing possessed rather than

with the possessor: tus cartas y las mías (your letters and mine); su c asa y la nuestra (their house and ours).

Demonstrative Adjectives

The DEMONSTRATIVE ADJECTIVES (adjetivos demostrativos) are:

Masculine Feminine







e ste















Demonstrative adjectives agree in gender and number with the noun they modify: estos lib ros (these books); esa bicicleta (that bicycle); aquellos edificios (those buildings).

Este refers to something near the speaker; ese refers to something at a distance from the

speaker but in the vicinity of the person spoken to; aquel refers to something at a distance from both the speaker and the listener.

The demonstrative pronouns (pronombres demostrativos) are formed by adding a written accent to the demonstrative adjectives. They agree in gender and number with the nouns the represent: No prefiero esta mesa; quiero aquélla (I d on't like this table; I want that one o ver there).

The neuter demons trative pronouns esto, eso and aquello do not have written accents since there are no neuter demonstrative adjectives with which they might be confused. They a lways refer to a general idea, a situation, or an indefinite thing, and never have a specific noun antecedent: ¿Qué es esto? (What's this?); La casa es muy pequeña, y él no quiere eso (The house is very little, and he doesn't want that).

Pronou ns

The personal p ronouns (pronombres personales) have different forms depending on whether th ey are the subject (sujeto), direct object (objeto directo) or indirect object (


ind ecto).



First perso n:

Y o - I nosotros/as - we

Second perso n (familiar)

vosotros/as – you (plural)

- you

Second pe rson (polite)

usted - you Udstedes – y ou (plural)

Third Person

él - he, it ellos - they ella -she e llas – they

N ote: Subject pronouns (with the exception of Ud.) are regularly omitted, since they can be d educed from the conjugated verb forms: Traigo los refrescos (I'm bringing the soft drinks); T ienes razón (You're right). When the subject pronouns are used, it is in order to emphasize o r clarify: Yo quiero hacer eso (I want to do that myself); Ella cantaba mientras él tocaba la guitarra (She sang w hile he played the guitar).


First person:

me (me) nos (us)

S econd person (familiar)


(you) os (you)

Second pe rson (polite)

le , la (you)

los, las (you)

Third Person

lo (him, it)

los (them)

la (her, it)

las (them)

N ote: in parts of Spain, le is often used instead of lo for the direct object pronoun meaning him.


F irst person:

m e (me) nos (us)

S econd person (familiar)


(you) os (you)

S econd person (polite)

le (you)

les (you)

Third Person

le (him, her, it)

les (them)

Object pronouns (direct and indirect) usually precede the verb, but can be attached to infinitive s and present participles, and must be attached to affirmative commands: Lo escribo e n español (I'm writing it in Spanish); Quiero escribirlo en español or Lo quiero escribir en e spañol (I want to write it in Spanish); Estoy escribiéndolo en español or Lo estoy e scribiendo en español (I'm writing it in Spanish); Escríbalo Ud. en inglés (Write it in English). When a verb has two object pronouns, the indirect object is given first. The indirect object pronouns le and les change (for reasons of eup hony) to se before lo, la, los and las:

Deseo dárselo a ellos (I want to give it to them); Se lo quiero enviar a ella (I want to send it to her).

R eflexive Pronouns and Verbs

The reflexive pronouns (p ronombres reflexivos) are:

First person:


me (myself)

nos (ourselves)

Second perso n (familiar)



os (yourselves)

Second person (poli te)

se (yourself)

se (yourselves)

Third Person

se (him, her, itself)

se (themselves)

Reflexive pronouns are always used with reflexive verbs (verbs expressing an action whose subject is also its object, i.e. where the doer acts upon himself). Sometimes the literal meaning of the reflexive pronouns (myself, etc.) can be translated into English, but usually th ey cannot be translated in isolation from the verb: Me lavo (I wash myself); Me acuesto muy tarde (I go to bed very late); Me quejo del trabajo (I complain about the work); Me acuerdo de eso (I remember that); Ya me voy (I'm going away now).

R eflexive pronouns normally precede the conjugated verb, but are attached to the infinitive, the present participle, and affirmative com mands: Quiero lavarme (I want to wash up); Estoy lavándome (I am washing myself); Lávens e Uds. (Wash yourselves).

The reflexive pronouns can also b e used in a reciprocal sense, meaning each other: Nos amamos (we love each other); Se escriben todos los días (They write each other every day).

P repositional Pronouns

The prepositional pronoun s are:

First person:

m í (me)

nosotros/as (us)

Second person (familiar)


Second per son (polite)

vosotros/as (you)

U d. (you)


Third Person

él (him, it)

ellos (them)


(him/her/it/yourself, themselves/yourselves)



Prepositional pronouns are the object of the preposition that they follow: Es demasiado difíci l para mí (It's too difficult for me); No podemos hacerlo sin ella (We can't do it without her).

T he neuter pronoun ello is used instead of lo after a preposition, when reference is being m ade to a general idea that has already been expressed: Tendrás buen éxito; no hay n inguna duda de ello (You'll be successful; there's no doubt about it).

The prepositional pronouns mí, tí and sí combine with the preposition con (with) to become c onmigo, contigo and consigo: ¿Quieres ir conmigo? (Do you want to come with me?); Lo trae consigo (He's bringing it with him).

Relative Pronouns

R elative pronouns (pronombres relativos) introduce a subordinate clause and replace something mentioned earlier in the sentence. They can function as either subject or ob ject pronouns without any change in form.

The most co mmon relative pronoun is que: El hombre que está hablando es un amigo mío ( The man who is talking is a friend of mine); La lección que estudias es muy fácil (The lesson that you're studying is quite simple).

After a preposition, que is used as the relative pronoun for things, quien or quienes for persons: La habitación en que vivo es muy cómoda (The room in which I live is very cosy); La mujer de quien hablabas es extranjera (The woman about whom you were speaking is a fo reigner).

The compound relative pronouns el/la que (plural los/las que) or el/la cual (pl. los/las cuales)

are used interchangeably after prepositions of more than one syllable, or to avoid confusion a nd ambiguity: Estos son mis libros, entre los que hay un diccionario de bolsillo (These are my books, among which there is a pocket dictionary); Ayer fuí al cine con la madre de Jua n,

la cual es francesa (Yesterday I went to the cinema with John's mother, who is French).

The neuter forms lo que and lo cual are used when the antecedent is a general idea:

Siempre dice lo que piensa (He always says what he thinks); Me habló de sus problemas, lo c ual no me gustó (He spoke to me about his troubles, which didn't please me).

The relative pronou n cuyo/a (plural cuyos/as) usually functions as an adjective meaning

whose or of which.

n umber with the thing possessed rather than with the possessor: ¿Te acuerdas de la niña

cuyos padres la abandonaron? (Do you remember the little girl whose parents abandoned her?).

It can refer to both persons and things, and always agrees in gender and


Interrogatives (interrogativos) ask a question, and ar e distinguished by their written accents. The most common interrogatives are:

¿Quién? (Who?)


(How many?)







¿Por qué?


¿Cómo? (How?)

¿Para qué?


¿Cuánto?(How much?)



Qué asks for a definition or description (what?), while cuál (plural cuáles) asks for a choice o r distinction (which?): ¿Qué es el alma? (What is the soul?); ¿Cuáles son tus libros favoritos? (W hich are your favorite books?). Used in that way, qué and cuál are interrogative pronouns.

W hen an interrogative adjective is required, qué is used for both senses (what? and which?):

¿ Qué días vas al hipódromo? (Which days do you go to the racetrack?).

N ote: Interrogatives are also used in indirect questions, where a question is referred to w ithout being directly asked: No sé quién es (I don't know who she is). The direct question w as ¿Quién es esa mujer? (Who is that woman?).


Exclamator y words (exclamaciones) also have written accents. The most common one is


d elicioso! (How delicious!); ¡Qué fácilmente lo haces tú! (How easily you do it!). In literary


used in front of an adjective, adverb or noun: ¡Qué casa! (What a house!); ¡Qué

usage, ¡Cuán


may replace ¡Qué


¡Cuán fácilmente lo haces tú!

When an adjectiv e follows a noun in this construction, it is preceded by más (most) or tan (s o): ¡Qué casa más bonita! (What a pretty house!); ¡Qué niños tan alegres! (What happy children!).


The most common negatives (negativos) are:

no (no, not) n ada (nothing) nadie (nobody) ninguno/a (not any)

nunca (never) jamás (never) tampoco (neither)





A verb is negated by placing no in front of it: No sé (I don't know). When there is an object p ronoun in front of the verb, no is placed before the object pronoun: No lo veo (I don't see it).

Double negatives ar e standard in Spanish: No veo a nadie en la calle (I don't see anybody in the street); No teng o ni papel ni pluma (I don't have either paper or pen). Negatives are a lso used in comparisons: Ella escribe mejor que nadie (She writes better than anybody); Ahora lo necesito más que nunca (Now I need it more than ever).

Personal A

W hen the direct object of a verb is a person or a domestic animal, it is preceded by the personal a (la preposición personal a) which has no English equivalent: Veo a mi amigo (I see my friend); Hay que buscar al perro (We mu st look for the dog); No invito a nadie (I'm n ot inviting anyone).

The personal a is not used, however, with the verb tener: Tengo un amigo (I have a friend).

Verb Conju


ons: Tenses

S panish verbs belong to one of three conjugations (conjugaciones) which can be d istinguished by the endings of the infinitive forms.

First Conjugation S econd Conjugation T hird Conjugation

-ar: hab lar (to talk) -er: comer (to eat) -ir: vivir (to live)

The form of a verb depends on:

1) its conjugation group 2) its tense (time reference) and mood (intent) 3) the person and number of its subject

Spanish has four sim ple tenses (tiempos simples):

1 . Present - presente:

h ablo (I talk)

2 . Future - futuro:

h ablarás (you will talk)

3 . Imperfect - pretérito imperfecto:

h ablaba (she used to talk)

4 . Preterite - pretérito indefinido:

hablaron (they talked)

There are also four compound tenses (tiempos compuestos):

1 . Present perfect - préterito perfecto:

hemos comido (we have eaten)

2. Future perfect - futuro perfect o:

habréis comido (you all will have eaten)

3 . Plusperfect or past perfect - pretérito pluscuamperfecto:

habían comido (they had eaten)

4.Preterite perfect or past anterior - pretérito anterior:

h ube comido (I had eaten)

There are four moods (modos ) in Spanish:

1 . Indicative - indicativo:

To express a fact:

Está en el banco (It's in the bank)

2. Subjanctive - subjuntivo:

To express a wish, an emotional attitude, or a doubt:

Quiero que Ud. venga (I want you to come) S iento que no venga Ud. (I'm sorry you're not coming) Dudo que venga Ud. (I doub t that you'll come)

3 . Conditional - potencial or condicional:

expressing the idea o f would:

J uan no lo haría así (John wouldn't do it that way)

4. Imperative - imperativo:

expressing a direct command:

V enga Ud. (Come!)

Verb Conjugati ons: Person and Number

A finite verb agrees in person (persona) and number (número) with its subject (the doer of the action), even when the subject is und erstood without being expressed by a noun or pronoun.

There are two numbers:

1 . Singular:

(Y o) veo a Juan (I see John) (Tú) debes hacerlo (You must do it) Ud. tiene razón (You're right) (Ella) quiere a su gato (She loves her cat)

2 . Plural :

(Nosotros) vemos el cielo (We see the sky) (Vosotros) debéis trabajar (You all should w ork) ¿ Tienen Uds. dinero? (Do you all have money?) (Ellos) quieren co mer (They want to eat)

There are three persons: First person is the speaker, second person is the one spoken to, and third person is the one spoken about.

1. First person

(Yo) soy maestro (I'm a teacher)

(Nosotros) somos alumnos (We are pupils)

2 . Second person

(Tú) eres guapo (You are good-looking) - singular

(Vosotros) sois feos (You all are ugly) - plural

Ud. es muy amable (You are very kind) – singular, polite form

Uds. son muy amables (You all are very kind) – plural, polite form

N OTE: The usted/ustedes (polite you) form of address is second person but uses third person verb forms, which lends an air of res pectful distance on the part of the speaker.

3. Third person

(Ella) es trabajadora (She is hard-working)

(Ellos) son perezosos (They are lazy)

Present Tense

The present tense

-ar, -er or -ir) and a

p ersonal endings for each of the three conjugations:



nte) of regular verbs personal endings to

is formed by removing the infinitive ending ( the verb stem. There is a different set of

F irst conjugation (habl-ar)

h abl-o (I talk) habl-as (you ta

habl-a (she talks)


habl-amos (we talk) habl-áis (you talk) habl-an (they talk)

Second conjugation (com -er)

com-o (I eat) com-es (you eat) com-e (she eats)

Third conjugation (viv-ir)

viv-o (I live) v iv-es (you live) v iv-e (she lives)

com-emos (we eat) com-éis (you all eat) com-en (they eat )

viv-imos (we live) viv-ís (you live) viv-en (they live)

The present tense is commonly used in conversation to refer to actions which will take place

in the immediate future:

to replace the preterite, le nding a sense of immediacy to historical narrative: Cortés admira la

b ondad y liberalidad del gran Montezuma (Cortez admired the goodness and generosity of the great Montezuma). This is called the vivid present.

Vengo más tarde (I'll come later). It is sometimes used in literature

Future Tense

The future ten

infinitive. T

se (futuro)

of regular verb

e the same for all

s is formed by adding personal endings to the

three conjugations.

he endings ar

hablar-é (I will talk) hablar-ás(you will talk) hablar-á (she will talk

comeré, viviré, etc.



(we will talk)



(you all will talk)



(they will talk)

In addition to expressing futu re time, the future tense can express uncertainty or probability in th e present: Serán las cinco ( It must be about five o'clock).

Imperfect Tense

The imperfect tense (pretérito imperfecto) of regular verbs is formed by removing the infinitive ending (-AR, -ER or -IR) and adding personal endings to the verb stem. Th ere is one set of endings for the first (-AR) conjugation and a second set of endings share d by the second ( -ER) and third (-IR) conjugations.

FIRST CONJUGATION (habl-ar) habl-aba (I was talking) habl-áb habl-abas (you were talking) habl-aba (she was talking)


com-ía (I was eating) com-ías (you were eating)

amos (w


habl-abais ( you all were talking) habl-aban (th ey were talking)

were talking)

com-íamos (we were eating) com-íais (you all were eating)

com-ía (she was eating) com-ían (they were eating)


v iv-ía (I used to live)

viv-ías (you used to live) viv -íais (you all used to live)

viv-ía (she used to live)

T he imperfect tense is used to describe a situation in the past, or an action which was ongoing or repeated: Eran las once (it was eleven o'clock); Queríamos comer bien (We wanted to eat well); Todos los días llegá bamos tarde (We used to arrive late every day).

viv-íamos (we used to live)

viv -ían (they used to live)

Preterite Tense

The Preterite tense (pretérito indefinido) of regular verbs is formed by removing the infinitive ending (-AR, -ER or -IR) and adding personal endings to the verb stem. As with the imperfect tense, there is one set of endings for the fir st (-AR) conjugation and a second set of endings shared by the second (-ER) and third (-IR ) conjugations.


habl-é (I talked) habl-aste (you talked) habl-ó (she talked)


com-í (I ate) com-iste (you ate) com-ió (she ate)


v iv-í (I lived) viv-iste (you lived) viv-ió (she lived)

The preterite tense narrates an action with a definite beginnning or ending in the past:

C omenzó a llover (It began to rain); Juan cenó conmigo ayer (John ate supper with me y esterday).

habl-amos (we talked )

habl-asteis (you all ta lked) habl-aron (they talked)

com-imos (we ate) com-isteis (you all ate) com-ieron (they ate)

viv-imos (we lived) viv-isteis (you all lived) viv-ieron (they lived)

T he preterite is also used to indicate an event which took place while another action (in the im perfect tense) was ongoing: Dormía cuando llegué (He was sleeping when I arrived).

Perfect Tenses

T he COMPOUND TENSES (tiempos compuestos) are formed with the AUXILIARY VERB ( verbo auxiliar) haber and th e PAST PARTICIPLE (participio pasivo) of the main verb. The past participle in compound ten ses is invariable in form.

The PRESENT PERFECT (pretér ito perfecto) uses the present tense of the auxiliary verb haber:

he comido (I have eaten) has comido (you have eaten) h a comido (she has eaten) hemos comido (we have eaten) habéis comido (you all have eaten) han comido (they have eaten)

The FUTURE PERFECT (futuro perfecto ) uses the future tense of the auxiliary verb haber:

habré comido (I will have eaten ) habrás comido (you will have eaten) habrá comido ( she will have eaten)

habremos comido (we will have eaten)

h abréis comido (you all will have eaten) habrán comido (they will hav e eaten)

The PLUPERFECT or PAST PE RFECT (pretérito pluscuamperfecto) uses the imperfect tense of haber:

h abía comido (I had eaten)

habías comido (you had eaten) había com ido (she had eaten)

h abíamos comido (we had eaten)

habíais comido (you all had eaten) habían comido (they had eaten)

The PRETERITE PERFECT or P AST ANTERIOR (pretérito anterior) uses the preterite tense of haber:

h ube comido (I had eaten)

hubiste comido (you had eaten)

hubo comido (she had eaten) hubimos comido (we had eaten)

hubisteis comido (you all had e aten)

h ubieron comido (they had eaten)

NOTE: This is strictly a literary tense; in conversation, the prete rite or pluperfect is used. The

p reterite perfect is only found after conjunctions of time, such as cuando (when), después

que (after), apenas (scarcely) or luego que (as soon as):

(After I had eaten, I went out).

Después que hube comido, salí

T he PERFECT INFINITIVE (infinitivo compuesto) is composed of the infinitive of haber and

th e past participle of the verb: haber comido (to have eaten).

The PERFECT PARTICIPLE (g erundio compuesto) is composed of the present participle of

h aber and the past participle of the verb: habiendo comido (having eaten).

Conditional Mood

The CONDITIONAL MOOD (modo potencial) expresses the idea of would (contingent

possibility): Lo haría hoy, pero no tendré tiempo (I would do it today, but I won't have time);

L o habría hecho ayer, pero no tenía tiempo (I would have done it yesterday, but I didn't have time); Elena dijo que vendría (Elena said that she would come).

It can also be used to express wonderment or doubt in the past, just as the future tense can be used in the present: ¿Qué hora sería cuando desayuné ayer? (I wonder what time was it

w hen I ate breakfast yesterday?).

The conditi

infinitives o

of second and

rather than to the entire infinitive form.)

onal is formed

f all three con

third conju

(like the future) b jugations. (The en

gation verbs; the

y adding a single set of personal endings to the dings are identical to those of the imperfect tense

only difference is that those are added to the stem,

hablar-ía (I would talk) hablar-ías hablar-ía

comería, viviría, etc. (you would talk) (she would talk)



(we would talk)


(you all would talk)


(they would talk)

The CONDITIONAL PERFECT (potencial perfecto ) is a compound tense using the

conditional of the au


y verb haber and the pas

t participle of the main verb:

habría comido

(I would have eaten)

habrías comido

(you would have eaten)

habría comido

(she would have eaten)

habríamos comido

(we would have eaten)


abríais comido

(you would have eaten)


abrían comido

(they would have eaten)

NOTE: The conditional is often tr eated as though it were a tense rather than a mood; strictly speaking, however, the conditiona l is a mood which has two tenses: a simple tense used

w hen referring to present possibilities, and a compound tense used when referring to

possibilities in the past.

Subjunctive Mood

The SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD (modo subjuntivo) is used in independent clauses intro duced by que (that) when the main clause expresses a wish, a strong emotional attitude, or an uncertainty: Te ruego que escribas en español (I beg you to write in Spanish); Tenían miedo de que ella no volviera (They were afraid that she might not come back); Dudo que sea la verdad (I doubt that it's the truth ).

The subjunctive is also used for FORMAL COMMANDS, for the negative (only) of


IM PERSONAL EXPRESSIONS like es necesario (it is necessary): Tenga Ud. (Here, have

th is); No hables (Don't talk!); Comamos (Let's eat); Es una lástima que no quiera venir (It's

a pity that he doesn't want to come ).

!) and after


the stem of -AR verbs



CTIVE is regularly fo d a second set of en

rmed by adding one set of personal endings to

dings to verbs of the -ER and -IR conjugations:


habl-e (I talk) habl-es (you talk)

habl-e (she ta lks)


com-a (I eat) com-as (you eat) com-a (she eat)



habl-emos (we talk) habl-éis (you talk) habl-en (they talk)


com-amos (we ea t) com-áis (you eat)



viv-a (I live)

viv-amos (we live)

v iv-as (you live) viv-a (she lives)

viv-áis (you live) viv-an (they live)

T he IMPERFECT SUBJUNCTIVE is formed by adding a set of endings terminating in either -

RA or -SE (with no difference in usage or meaning) to the verb stem, with one set of endings for first conjugation (-AR) verbs and another set of end ings for second (-ER) and third (-IR) conjugation verbs: Esperaba que él llegara/llegase tarde (I was expecting him to arrive late).


habl-ara OR


(I talked)




(you talked)

h abl-ara OR


(she talked)



habl-ás emos

(we talked)




(you all tal ked)



(they talke d)



com-iera OR



(I ate)





(you ate)

c om-iera OR


(she ate)



com-iésem os

(we ate)




(you all ate)




(they ate)






(I lived)

viv-ieras OR


(you lived)





(she lived)





(we lived)

viv-ierais OR


(you all lived)

viv-ieran OR


(th ey lived)



und tense formed by the present subjunctive of

haber and the pas

t partic

CTIVE is a compo iple of the main ve



haya comido hayas comido h aya comido h ayamos comido hayáis comido hayan comido

(I have eaten) (you have eaten) (she has eaten) (we have eaten) (you all have e aten) (they have eaten)

The PLUPERFECT SUBJUNCTIVE is a compou nd tense formed by the imperfect

subjunctive of haber and the past


le of the main ve


h ubiera/hubiese comido (I had eaten) h ubieras/hubieses comido

(you had eaten)

hubiera/hubiese com ido (she had have eaten)

hubiéramos/hubiésem os comido h ubierais/hubieseis comido hubieran/hubiesen comido

(we had eaten) (you had eaten) (they had eaten)


Familiar COMMANDS (mandatos), when positive, are expressed by means of the imper ative mood. The second person singular (tú) forms are id entical to the third person singular of the p resent tense: El niño duerme (The child is sleeping); ¡Duerme tú! (Go to sleep!). The second person plural (vosotros) forms are based on the infinitive, with a -d substituted for the final -r: ¡Dormid vosotros! (Go to sleep, all of you!).

N EGATIVE familiar commands, both singular and plural, are expressed by the present

subjunctive: ¡No duermas tú! (Don't go to sleep!).

The present subjunctive is used for FORMAL COMMANDS, both positive and negative:

Duerma Ud. (Please go to sleep). It is also used for indirect commands (introduced by the conjunction que): Está cansado; que se acueste (He's tired; let him go to bed).

For impersonal commands given in a general sense (directions on a bottle or an examin ation

paper, for instance) the impersonal pronoun se is attached to the subjunctive: Agítese an tes de usar (Shake before using); Escríbase en español (Write in Spanish). Hortatory commands c an be expressed either with the subjunctive or with the phrase vamos a and an infinitive:

D urmamos (Let's go to sleep); Vamos a dormir (Let's go to sleep).

Object pronouns are attached to affirmative commands, but they pre cede negative and

indirect commands: Tráigamelo Ud. (Bring it to me); No me lo traiga Ud. (Don't bring it to

m e); Que lo traiga Juan (Let John bring it).

Passive and Impersonal Construc tions

In the PASSIVE VOICE (voz pasiva), the subject is acted upon by an outside agent. When the agen t is specified, the passive voice is expressed by:

SUBJECT + ser + past participle + por + AGENT

for example: Esta carta fue escrita por un amigo mío (This letter was written by a friend of mine).

Since the past participle acts as an adjective, it agrees in gender and number with the subject. If the passive subject is a thing and the agent is not mentioned, then a PASSIVE REFLEXIVE ( pasiva reflexiva) construction is used, with the reflexive pronoun se preceding the verb and the passive subject following it: Aquí se venden cigarrillos (Cigarettes are sold here).

Se is also used to form IMPERSONAL CONSTRUCTIONS, with se used as an indefinite

subject pronoun similar to the English one or the impersonal you and they. This construction


often difficult-- if not impossible-- to distinguish from the passive reflexive (textbooks differ


their classification of common phrases like Se habla español (Spanish is spoken / One

speaks Spanish). There are two main criteria to be met: the ve rb must be in the singular, since se is singular when used as a subject pronoun, and se s hould be easily translated as o ne or you: ¿Cómo se va al teatro? (How does one get to the theater?); ¿Cómo se dice eso en español? (How do you say that in Spanish?).

Participles and Progressive Tense s

The PRESENT PARTICIPLE (gerundio) is formed by adding the suffix -ando to the stem of

first co

co njugation verbs (or -yendo if the stem ends in a vowel).


gation (-

AR) ve

rbs and -iendo to

the stem of second (-ER) and third (-IR)


(to talk)

hablando (talking)


(to eat)

comiendo (eating)


(to live)

viviendo (living)


(to read)

leyendo (reading)

The pres ent participle is used with the verb estar to form the PROGRESSIVE TENSES ( ti empos progresivos), which express an ongoing action: Estoy estudiando español (I am studying Spanish); Estabas leyendo el periódico (You were reading the ne wspaper). The s ame construction is used with seguir and continuar: Sigue llorando (She keeps on crying); Continuan estudiando (They continue studying). The present participle is also used with the verb ir to express an action which is gradual or incremental: Va mejorando (It is gettin g