Spanish Vocabulary & Phrases

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Expressing Spatial Directions in Spanish

Certain Spanish words allow you to describe where people or things are in relation to other people and things. Expressing these spatial directions in Spanish — and thus creating more accurate and engaging [more…]

Defining Family Relationships in Spanish

In Latin America, the family is the basic unit of Spanish society. People work, live, and function in consonance with their families. When visiting your Spanish-speaking neighbors, you’ll be more comfortable [more…]

Differentiating between Por and Para in Spanish

The prepositions por (pohr) and para (pah-rah) in Spanish cause a lot of problems when you’re trying to learn the language, because both words mean for [more…]

Paying the Bill at a Spanish-Speaking Restaurant

You’ve finished enjoying a meal at a Spanish or Latin American restaurant, and you’re ready for your check. Following is a typical conversation as restaurant patrons ask their server for the bill and pay [more…]

When Everything Counts: Using Spanish Numbers

After you know the Spanish numbers, you can sound like a native Spanish speaker by paying attention to the nuances of pronouncing and writing the numbers. Here are the rules to remember when using cardinal [more…]

Operating an ATM Using Spanish Instructions

Some ATMs are bilingual; they flash their signals in both Spanish and English. Others give you instructions only in Spanish. In case you happen upon a machine that displays its messages in Spanish, here [more…]

Knowing When to Use the Spanish Tú and Usted

Spanish speakers use (too) and usted (oos-tehd), which both mean “you,” to convey the formality of a relationship. is less formal than usted.

You use [more…]

Knowing the Names of Latin American Currencies

Some Latin American countries use the same name, peso(peh-soh), for their currency. However, other countries have their own Spanish word for the name of their money. Here are the names of many currencies [more…]

Identifying and Using Common Spanish Prepositions

Prepositions are useful tools for joining different words, clauses, or phrases. In Spanish, they can connect nouns to nouns, verbs to verbs, or verbs to nouns/pronouns. Spanish has dozens of commonly used [more…]

Traveling by Train: Passports and Customs Forms in Spanish

Having a Spanish-speaking train employee check your passport and Customs form can be confusing, but the following steps give you the Spanish you need to chug through the passport and Customs-form process [more…]

Spanish Vocabulary for the Workplace

From San Francisco to San Salvador to San Juan, conversations about jobs, workplaces, and offices don’t differ much from one place to another. Here are some Spanish words and phrases that will help you [more…]

Calling for Help in Spanish

You don’t want to think about worst-case scenarios when planning a vacation to a Spanish-speaking country, but you never know when you might find yourself in a situation where calling for help in Spanish [more…]

Checking into a Hotel in Spanish

If you're traveling abroad, knowing a few Spanish hotel words and phrases can help you find good hotel accommodations in a Spanish-speaking area. The following dialogue shows what could be a common dialogue [more…]

Common Driving Concerns in Spanish-Speaking Countries

Driving in a foreign country can be disconcerting. Addressing common driving concerns (like driver’s licenses and road signs) when planning your trip to a Spanish-speaking country is invaluable. That way [more…]

Using the Spanish Preposition Hasta Correctly

The Spanish preposition hasta(ahs-tah) can mean either until or to, depending on the context of a sentence. Although still considered a common Spanish preposition, [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…]

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…]

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…]

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