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Languages & Cultures

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Conveying Uncertainty with the Spanish Subjunctive

The Spanish subjunctive mood doesn’t need to be positive. It simply needs to be uncertain, and uncertainty can take many forms, including doubt, impersonal opinion, and incomplete action. Use the subjunctive [more…]

Conjugating the Irregular Spanish Verb Hacer (to Do/Make)

Spanish verbs fall into different groups, and each group is conjugated a little differently. If you’re going to master Spanish verbs like hacer, you need to be able to identify which group a verb belongs [more…]

Pronouncing the Spanish Double Consonants ll and rr

Spanish has two double consonants, ll and rr. Each pair is considered a single letter, and each has a singular sound. Because these consonants are considered singular, they stick together when you separate [more…]

Expressing Uncertainty in Spanish with the Imperfect Subjunctive

You always use the Spanish imperfect subjunctive verb tense to express uncertainty about a past action, but several other key words and circumstances can also clue you in to the need for the imperfect [more…]

Singular or Plural: Making Spanish Adjectives Agree

Spanish adjectives must agree in gender and number with the nouns they describe so that they can accurately and precisely describe the noun or pronoun in question. What does “agree” mean exactly? When [more…]

Forming the Subjunctive of Spelling- and Stem-Changing Spanish Verbs

Forming the subjunctive mood of Spanish verbs is pretty easy, despite the subjunctive’s bad reputation among many Spanish students. The following sections show you how to turn stem- and spelling-changing [more…]

Good, Better, Best: Irregular Comparatives in Spanish

Spanish has a couple of adjectives and adverbs that are exceptions when it comes to forming the comparative and superlative.

As adjectives, bueno (good), [more…]

Conjugating the Spanish Verb Bailar (to Dance)

Spanish verbs fall into different groups, and each group is conjugated a little differently. If you’re going to master Spanish verbs like bailar, you need to be able to identify which group a verb belongs [more…]

Conjugating the Spanish Verb Hablar (to Speak)

Spanish verbs fall into different groups, and each group is conjugated a little differently. If you’re going to master Spanish verbs like hablar, you need to be able to identify which group a verb belongs [more…]

Making Superlatives in Spanish Is the Best!

The superlative shows that something (or someone) is the best or worst of its (or his or her) kind. In Spanish, the article (el, la, los, las) that comes before [more…]

Conjugating the Spanish Verb Subir (to Go Up/Ascend)

Spanish verbs fall into different groups, and each group is conjugated a little differently. If you’re going to master Spanish verbs like subir, you need to be able to identify which group a verb belongs [more…]

Understanding the Present Tense of Spanish Verbs

Most Spanish verbs are predictable, especially in the present tense, which makes them fairly easy to master. The regular Spanish verbs come in three flavors — [more…]

Forming the Spanish Imperfect Subjunctive

Every Spanish tense and mood has its own quirky procedure you must follow to conjugate the verb. In the case of the imperfect subjunctive, here’s what you do: [more…]

French Verbs: Watching Your Mood

Verbs are divided into various moods. Linguistically, the mood of a verb is a way of expressing oneself, or a way of speaking. A mood shows the speaker's attitude toward an event. The French language has [more…]

Mastering the Calendar and Dates in German

Thirty days has September, April, June, and November. You should be happy to know that this little rhyme translates easily into German. But don't get overly confident yet — you still have to figure out [more…]

Knowing Whether to Use Ser or Estar

Perhaps the most difficult part about using the Spanish verbs ser and estar correctly is choosing which one to use. When you encounter different types of being — unchanging essential being and being that [more…]

Grocery Shopping at a Spanish Supermarket

When you’re buying groceries at a Spanish supermarket, or supermercado(soo-pehr-mehr-kah-doh), it’s helpful to know some Spanish words and phrases related to shopping. [more…]

Detecting Diphthongs in Spanish

Diphthong means double sound. The Spanish word is diptongo (deep-tohn-goh). Diptongos are the combination of two vowels, from the Spanish-speaking point of view. For instance, the vowels [more…]

Explaining Medical Symptoms in Spanish

Accidents and ailments happen everywhere, even on a vacation to a Spanish-speaking country. If you can't explain your medical symptoms to a Spanish doctor, your minor ailment can become a major emergency [more…]

Talking About Time in American Sign Language

Half the fun of going to movies, plays, and museums lies in setting up a date and anticipating the treat. This article helps you make your plans by showing you how to sign not only what time you want to [more…]

Department Store Shopping: Spanish Vocabulary

When shopping in a Spanish department store, a few simple Spanish phrases can help you find what you’re looking for. Shopping in a Spanish department store is an experience you’re likely to be more accustomed [more…]

Pronouncing Consonants in Spanish

In general, consonants tend to sound the same in English and Spanish when they are spoken within a word. But you’ll find a few differences in how certain consonants are pronounced in Spanish. Sometimes [more…]

Useful Spanish Words and Phrases for Train Travel

Worried you’ll miss your train because you don’t know the right Spanish travel phrases? Train travel in a Spanish-speaking country is easy with these handy words and phrases. [more…]

Understanding When to Use the Spanish Pluperfect Subjunctive

Because Spanish uses the pluperfect subjunctive more than English does, you may wonder just when you’re supposed to use it instead of other verb tenses. Keep reading for an explanation of when to use the [more…]

Expressing Your Love for Espresso in Italian

You may have to order an espresso at your favorite coffee emporium in the United States to get the rich, dark brew you crave, but in Italy, you get the same drink by asking for [more…]

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