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Wishing about the Past with the Spanish Pluperfect Subjunctive

Spanish uses the pluperfect subjunctive more than English does. If you’ve ever hoped or expected that something had happened, you probably hoped or expected in this verb tense and probably didn’t even [more…]

When Superlatives Fail: Exaggerating in Spanish

Spanish speakers love to exaggerate. What to non-Spanish speakers may seem an excessive way to talk to the Spanish-speaking mind simply adds a bit more emphasis. Not only can you compare things, but you [more…]

Knowing You Better: Vosotros and Ustedes

The pronoun vosotros(bvoh-soh-trohs) (plural you) is used in spoken Spanish in Spain only. Spaniards use vosotrosto informally address a group of people. In all other Spanish-speaking countries, [more…]

Traveling through Customs Painlessly

Traveling to a Spanish-speaking country usually requires a trip through Customs. Customs rules and regulations can be scary (especially when you’re dealing with an unfamiliar language), but following these [more…]

Ordinal Numbers in Spanish: The Big Countdown

Ordinal numbers tell you order and sequence. In English, you say, first, second, third, and so on. In Spanish, the corresponding ordinal numbers are primero [more…]

Expressing Near and Far in Spanish

Two Spanish words can help you express distance: cerca(sehr-kah; meaning near or close) and lejos (leh-Hohs;meaning far). When traveling in a Spanish-speaking country, be sure to use these two words when [more…]

Going Here, There, and Everywhere in Spanish

In Spanish, you can indicate here and there in two ways. Native Spanish speakers interchange here and there often, with no distinction between the two words. [more…]

What to Ask Before Driving in a Spanish-Speaking Nation

If you're vacationing in a Spanish-speaking country and decide to rent a car, you may want to ask, in Spanish, a few questions about driving conditions. It can save you much time and frustration. Save [more…]

Recognizing Spanish Possessive Pronouns

Dropping possessive pronouns into your Spanish sentences is a quick and easy way to stake a claim on something. Spanish possessive pronouns, which take the place of nouns, come in four forms: masculine [more…]

Ticket to Ride: Buying a Train Ticket in Spanish

If you’re going to ride the train in a Spanish-speaking country, you have to buy a train ticket first. To order your train ticket in Spanish, follow these easy steps: [more…]

Conjugating the Spanish Verb Tocar (to Play an Instrument/Touch)

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

Spanish Vocabulary for Plants and Animals

Some basic Spanish vocabulary as it relates to plants and animals can help you communicate your experiences as you enjoy the great outdoors. First, however, it’s helpful to understand that there are two [more…]

How to Handle Legal Situations in Spanish-Speaking Countries

When traveling in a Spanish-speaking country, you may find yourself accidentally breaking a law you knew nothing about. That’s why it helps to know how to handle legal situations when you’re in a Spanish-speaking [more…]

Spanish Idioms that Use Tener

Although the Spanish verb tener literally means “to have,” in some very commonly used Spanish idiomatic expressions, tener means “to be” or may have another, unexpected meaning. Be careful, when writing [more…]

Registering Computers, Cameras, and Other Electronics with Customs

If you're planning on doing some international travel, you may have to register your electronic equipment with Customs after you arrive. Registering computers and cameras may save you a hassle with Customs [more…]

When to Use the Spanish Pluperfect and Preterit Perfect Tenses

The pluperfect and preterit tenses in Spanish have identical translations in English. Go figure! So what’s the difference between the pluperfect and preterit tenses? The differences center less on conceptual [more…]

Paying with Credit Cards in Spanish Stores

Credit cards are a safe, clean way of handling your money in a Spanish-speaking country. Paying with your credit card has many advantages. You don’t have to carry cash, your expenses are registered in [more…]

Communicating with Immigration Officials in Spanish

Communicating with Spanish-speaking airport personnel can be intimidating, especially when you’re dealing with Immigration. Here are some Spanish airport-related phrases you may hear [more…]

Spanish Expressions of Home and Hearth

A house is not always a home, but in Spanish, la casa (lah kah-sah) is the word that can describe both a house and a home. The Spanish word el hogar (ehl-oh- [more…]

Speaking about Spanish Office Buildings

In larger Latin American cities, people often work in high-rise buildings and office towers, just like in New York or Chicago. In smaller cities or towns, the workplace may be built around an open-air [more…]

Mastering the Months in Spanish

When you look at the Spanish words for the months of the year (los meses del año; lohsmehs-es dehlahn-yoh), you may think that they look pretty familiar. The Spanish spellings for the months are similar [more…]

A Little about Diminutives in Spanish

When you want to make a diminutive in Spanish, a little change can make a big difference. To indicate that something is “small” or “little” in Spanish, you add a few letters, called a suffix, to the end [more…]

Getting Around a Spanish City on a Bus

Don’t want to rent a car or pay for a taxi? No problem! You can get around many Spanish cities by taking a bus. In fact, you may prefer riding a bus compared to the more expensive transportation alternatives [more…]

Getting Hotel Room Information in Spanish

Before checking in to a Spanish hotel, you’ll want to check it out to make sure it meets your needs and expectations. Seeing the hotel’s rooms before you check in is a particularly good idea if you’re [more…]

Asking for Directions to the Train Station in Spanish

Want to take a train in a Spanish-speaking country but are unsure of how to ask, in Spanish, for directions to the train station? The following steps can help you find a station with ease: [more…]

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Vocabulary & Phrases

Spanish Introductions (Video)

Introducing yourself or someone else in Spanish requires more than "Hola. Me llamo…" Spanish has informal and formal greetings and introductions. This video tutorial lets you hear pronunciation and explains the rules for using formal and informal greetings and introductions. [more…]

Spanish Vowels

Spanish Vowels (Video)

In Spanish, vowels don't change the way they are pronounced based on the other letters around them. Every vowel has a single pronunciation nearly every time. This video guides you through those vowels and how they are pronounced. Practice pronouncing the letters and example words as you hear them. [more…]

Spanish Consonants

Spanish Consonants (Video)

All but a handful of consonants sound the same in Spanish as they do in English. This video guides you through the consonants that are pronounced or used differently in Spanish. Practice pronouncing the letters as you hear them. [more…]