False friends (II)

¡Hola a todos!

Do you remember the false friends post some months ago? As I told you, they are very tricky, and there are a lot! We could even say it is an endless topic, so here we are again with some other false friends when English speakers learn Spanish!

 

English word: ONCE -> Spanish meaning: una vez

Spanish word: ONCE -> English meaning: eleven

 

English word: PIE -> Spanish meaning: tarta, pastel

Spanish word: PIE -> English meaning: foot

 

English word: SENSIBLE -> Spanish meaning: sensato

Spanish word: SENSIBLE -> English meaning: sensitive

 

English word: ULTIMATELY -> Spanish meaning: finalmente

Spanish word: ÚLTIMAMENTE -> English meaning: lately

 

English word: SOAP -> Spanish meaning: jabón

Spanish word: SOPA -> English meaning: soup

 

English word: SEVERAL -> Spanish meaning: various

Spanish word: SEVERO -> English meaning: strict

 

As you see, some false friends are written not only similar, but even the same in both languages, and they have absolutely nothing to do with each other! I already said this, but I will repeat it: false friends are very important to know! If you know other false friends, write them in the comments!

 

I hope that you liked it and that it’s been crystal clear. All week long you will find some pictures on my Instagram and Facebook profiles to review this, so if you don’t follow me yet, follow me now!

If you have any question about this, don’t hesitate to ask me. Remember that you can study Spanish online with me, you can ask for a 30 minutes free trial lesson, where we will get to know each other and start your Spanish adventure!

Also, if you like my job and you want to support me so I can keep sharing all this with you, kindly have a look to my Patreon page here.

¡Hasta la próxima!

Imperfecto de Indicativo

¡Hola a todos!

This week, I’m back with a grammar topic: Spanish tenses. Specifically, we’re talking this week about the Indicative Imperfect past.

Let’s start with the form for the regular verbs:

 

But, how about the irregular verbs? Well, in this chart you can see the first person of the main irregular verbs (but they’re not all!). If you want to get the complete chart, you can have it here together with the other past tenses in Spanish.

 

And, when should we use the Imperfect in Spanish? Well, here’s a small list:

  • Continuous past actions.

Cuando era pequeña, iba a clases de inglés.

  • Past actions whose end is not clear.

Mi hermana estaba enferma.

  • Intentions and courtesy.

Buscaba un traje negro, por favor.

  • Stories and past narrations.

Iba caminando por la calle mientras veía el paisaje.

 

These are the main uses for the Imperfect in Spanish, but eventually you can face other situations, like indirect style or some conditional tenses.

 

I hope that you liked this post and that it’s been clear. All week long you will find some pictures on my Instagram and Facebook profiles to review and practice this, so if you don’t follow me yet, follow me now!

If you have any question about this, don’t hesitate to ask me. Remember that you can study Spanish online with me, you can ask for a 30 minutes free trial lesson, where we will get to know each other and start your Spanish adventure!

Also, if you like my job and you want to support me so I can keep sharing all this with you, kindly have a look to my Patreon page here.

¡Hasta la próxima!

Forges en clase de ELE

¡Hola, colegas!

Escribo rápidamente este post para compartir (otra vez) el podcast del jueves del equipo de Faro de Lenguas Magazine. En esta ocasión, hemos decidido dedicárselo a nuestro querido Forges.

Como sabéis, Forges fue un gran ilustrador, una figura cultural. Para gustos, los colores, pero sus contenidos no dejan de ser un material interesantísimo para llevar a nuestra clase de ELE y mostrar a nuestros alumnos la sociedad de hoy día de una forma más divertida que en un mero artículo de periódico.

En el podcast, podéis escuchar un poco de todo: la vida de Forges, cómo nos ha influido... Pero también podéis encontrar ideas para una explotación didáctica de sus viñetas en nuestras clases (sección llevada a cabo por Manuela Aparicio y por mí). Si os gustan estas ideas, podéis descargar una planificación didáctica completa aquí.

Espero que lo disfrutéis. ¡Hasta pronto!

Sentence order in Spanish

¡Hola a todos!

This week’s post is about something that many people usually ask me about: how to deal with the sentence order in Spanish.

We all know that many languages have closed structures and you can’t modify that grammar, but Spanish language is very flexible when talking about this. We do have a regular order for the sentences, but sometimes it may change. How? Let’s see it!

 

In affirmative sentences, the order will be subject + verb + objects.

Yo tengo una videoconsola en mi casa.

However, we can modify this order if we need to emphasize a specific object in the sentence, for example:

En mi casa tengo una videoconsola.

 

If we talk about negative sentences, we have two possible scenarios:

  • Using no, without any other adverb: we add no before the main verb. For example: No quiero ir al cine.
  • Using other negative adverb, like nada, ninguno, nadie… In this case, we need to use a double negation, using the structure no + verbo + nada/nadie… For example: No necesito nada, gracias.

 

Now, let’s see the interrogative sentences. We have two main types of interrogative sentences in Spanish: total and partial questions.

Starting with the total questions, they are the easiest to make, as the order will be the same than a regular affirmative sentence. For example:

Vamos al cine à ¿Vamos al cine?

The partial questions are those interrogative sentences where you ask for a specific information, so you can’t answer with yes/no. In this case, we will use the interrogative words like qué, quién, cómo… substituting the missing information, always at the beginning of the sentence. For example:

¿Qué quieres? Quiero una cámara de fotos.

¿Cuándo vamos al cine? Vamos al cine el domingo.

 

I hope that you liked this post and that it’s been clear. All week long you will find some pictures on my Instagram and Facebook profiles to review and practice this, so if you don’t follow me yet, follow me now!

If you have any question about this, don’t hesitate to ask me. Remember that you can study Spanish online with me, you can ask for a 30 minutes free trial lesson, where we will get to know each other and start your Spanish adventure!

¡Hasta la próxima!

Spanish Idioms with colours

¡Hola a todos!

As you know, I really like idioms, so today I’m giving you some Spanish idioms related to colors.

Are you ready?

Let’s go!

 

Rojo como un tomate

“Red as a tomato”, we use it when somebody blushes because of embarrassment. It could be the equivalent to “go red as a beetroot”.

¡Nunca había pasado tanta vergüenza! Me puse roja como un tomate.

 

Príncipe azul

The “Blue Prince” is that man every girl dreams about when we were kids. Now we all know they aren’t the same than we saw in Disney films, but still…

Era todo lo que siempre había soñado: guapo, simpático, bueno… Era su Príncipe Azul.

 

Prensa amarilla

The “yellow press” is the one using sensationalist headlines in order to attract people’s attention. It is known in English as gutter press.

Mira este periódico: inundación, secuestro… ¡solo les interesa la prensa amarilla!

 

Estar verde en un tema

We say that somebody “is green about something” when he doesn’t know pretty much about a specific topic.

Está todavía un poco verde, acaba de llegar y está aprendiendo.

 

De color de rosa

We use the idiom “in pink color” when talking in a very optimistic way. We can also use it in a pessimistic way if we use it like this: no todo es de color de rosa.

Está muy feliz, últimamente le va muy bien y lo ve todo de color de rosa.

 

Ponerse morado

“To get purple” means in Spanish to get filled up, when you’ve eaten too much and you can’t get even one more bite.

¡Cuánta comida! Me he puesto morado, no puedo ni moverme.

 

Verlo muy negro

This one is the opposite to the pink one, “to see it very black” means to be very pessimistic about something.

No me gusta esta situación, lo veo muy negro.

 

Quedarse en blanco

When you are white in Spanish, it means that you went blank, that you have no ideas left.

Me he quedado completamente en blanco, no recuerdo lo que tenía en mente.

 

Tener/comerse un marrón

If you “have or eat a brown” in Spanish, run away because you have a problem. Tener un marrón is that you have a problem, but comerse un marrón means that you pay for the consequences of that problem.

Mi amigo salió corriendo y me comí yo todo el marrón.

 

Media naranja

Okay, this one makes reference to the fruit, but it’s also a color, so I include it here! When we talk in Spanish about our “half orange” we talk about our soulmate.

He salido con muchas personas, pero ninguna era mi media naranja.

 

Do you know other Spanish idioms with colors? Let me know if you want me to publish the second part of this post!

 

I hope that you liked it and that it’s been clear. All week long you will find some pictures on my Instagram and Facebook profiles to review this, so if you don’t follow me yet, follow me now!

If you have any question about this, don’t hesitate to ask me. Remember that you can study Spanish online with me, you can ask for a 30 minutes free trial lesson, where we will get to know each other and start your Spanish adventure!

¡Hasta la próxima!

Dieresis in Spanish

¡Hola a todos!

This week I’m talking about an orthographic topic: the diaeresis or dieresis. Let’s be a bit technical: in Linguistics, the dieresis is a diacritical mark consisting in two dots used over a vowel. The dieresis we have in Spanish will always be over the u, so: ü.

But it is a diacritical mark, as we said, so we don’t always need the dieresis over the letter u. Then, when do we use it?

In Spanish, we use the dieresis on the syllables gue, gui when the “u” must be pronounced, in words like ambigüedad or pingüino.

If we don’t use the dieresis, words will be pronounced in different ways, and this may cause a situation where we’ll be pronouncing a word that doesn’t exist.

 

Exercise: can you send me a message with words using dieresis in Spanish?

 

I hope that you liked this very short post and that it’s been clear. All week long you will find some pictures on my Instagram and Facebook profiles to review and practice this, so if you don’t follow me yet, follow me now!

If you have any question about this, don’t hesitate to ask me. Remember that you can study Spanish online with me, you can ask for a 30 minutes free trial lesson, where we will get to know each other and start your Spanish adventure!

¡Hasta la próxima!

Spanish Idioms With Spanish Cities (II)

¡Hola a todos!

Today I’m writing about the second part of Spanish idioms using Spanish locations. You can read the first part here if you didn’t!

  • Estar a la luna de Valencia / Quedarse a la luna de Valencia

Literally, it is “to be under Valencia’s moon”. And you may think: “but the moon is the same everywhere in the world”. Yes, but this idiom’s origin is about Valencia. Long time ago, Valencia was surrounded by a wall whose gates were shut all night long. People who didn’t reach the gates before they were closed, had to stay out of the city during the night, under the moonlight.

About its use, you may guess. Somebody who left behind or, according to our dictionary (RAE), to talk about the failed hopes (like sleeping in your bed instead of the ground out of the walls).

Fuente: valenciabonita.es

Fuente: elperiodico.com

 

  • Barcelona es buena si la bolsa suena

This is not an idiom itself, but it can work too. If we translate it into English, would be something like “Barcelona is good if your bag sounds”. Sounds like what? Well, we’re talking about money. Currently, it makes reference to the high prices you can find in Barcelona (although we all know there both are expensive and cheap deals everywhere).

It is said that, originally, this expression was about the businesses in Barcelona, where Italian people went trying to make big deals and said that it was a good place if you made it, that is, if you got the money in your bag.

 

  • De Madrid al cielo

This is also not an idiom, but a very popular expression that describes Madrid: “From Madrid to the sky”. But its origin is very confusing.

Some people say its due to the remodeling plan that Carlos III carried out in the city. Other people say there is a house in Garabitas’ Hill where souls of deceased people born in Madrid gather and ascend to the sky.

But the most reliable is the one related to Luis Quiñones de Benavente, a writer from the Spanish Golden Age. He wrote the following words in one of his dramas:

“Pues el inverno y el verano,

En Madrid solo son buenos,

Desde la cuna a Madrid,

Y desde Madrid al cielo.”

 

Fuente: telegtaph.co.uk

Fuente: lugaresconhistoria.com

  • Tomar las de Villadiego

Villadiego is a town located in Burgos, west of Spain. We say “to take the Villadiego ones” when running away from something.

Its origin is as follows. When Jewish were persecuted in Spain, Fernando III ordered that no Jewish in Villadiego could be caught. Then, when they felt threatened, they went to Villadiego seeking protection. Once there, they had to wear yellow tights as a sign of the King’s protection.

  • Salir de Málaga y meterse en Malagón

“Leave Málaga and get into Malagón”. Its literally meaning makes sense if you’re going for a trip from the Southern city to the town located in Ciudad Real, middle area of Spain. As an idiom, it has a different meaning: escaping from a bad situation and get into a worse one.

About its origin, I’m afraid to say that there are no kings involved here, it’s just a pun. As you may know, “mala” means “bad” (female form), hence using Málaga. The second part is about the augmentative suffix. We add “-ón” to some words to make them look bigger, for example: cabeza – cabezón (head – big head). So if we put this suffix into Málaga, it turns Malagón (I’m not saying this is the origin of the town’s name!), and we can make reference to the small problem (Málaga) and the bigger one (Malagón).

 

Fuente: tourinmalaga.com

Fuente: abc.es

  • Son como los amantes de Teruel, tonta ella, tonto él

“They are like the Teruel lovers, she’s a fool, he’s a fool”. This is used to people who match really good because… well, they’re just silly. We use it due to the rhyme, but there is a story behind it.

To sum up, it’s a typical tragedy (but you can read the whole story here): a man loves a woman, the woman loves the man, but her dad doesn’t want her to marry him, so he married her to a wealthy man. Once, the man asked her to kiss him, but she didn’t want, as she was married. Suddenly, he died of pity, and so she did. Finally, they were buried together.

 

  • Poner pies en Polvorosa

“To put the foot in Polvorosa”. It is an expression that we use when somebody runs away (literally or not) from a problem. The popular origin of the idiom is about the dust (“polvo”) that raises when we run on a dirt road.

But there is also a historic theory. When Alfonso III noticed the danger about the Moorish people conquering his Kingdom, he took the troops to Polvorosa (in Palencia) to settle the battle. Once there, they obtained the victory because the Moorish run away completely terrified… due to a moon eclipse that frightened them.

Fuente: abc.es

Fuente: alicanteturismo.com

  • Pa’lante como los de Alicante

This is only about the rhyme. Alicante is a Southern city in Spain, a coast one, and the whole sentence means “Forward like those from Alicante”. It is used when you have to go straight or go ahead with a plan.

It is a very colloquial sentence, and we can see that on the contraction. The correct way should be “para adelante”, but we cut it and say “pa’lante”. This is a very common linguistic resource in Southern Spain: shorter words in order to speak faster.

 

That’s all, folks! I hope you enjoyed reading these idioms as much as I enjoyed putting them together on this post. If you liked it, please let me know, and if you want more, I could write about more idioms with cities… from other parts of the world!

If you have any question about this, don’t hesitate to ask me. Remember that you can study Spanish online with me, you can ask for a 30 minutes free trial lesson, where we will get to know each other and start your Spanish adventure!

Also remember to follow me on Instagram and Facebook, where I publish daily contents.

Thank you! 😊

Faro de Lenguas Magazine – Alumnos que abandonan

¡Hola!

En esta ocasión, me dirijo a profesores, porque este número de Faro de Lenguas Magazine está dedicado a nosotros, profesionales de la enseñanza del español como lengua extranjera.

¿Que de qué hablamos en esta ocasión? Pues de algo que, por poco que nos guste, a todos nos ha pasado: alumnos que abandonan nuestras clases sin dar explicaciones.

¿Por qué lo hacen? ¿Cómo debemos tomarnos una acción de este tipo? ¿Es culpa nuestra?

Estas preguntas y muchas otras tienen respuesta en el podcast, pero no es una respuesta cerrada, por supuesto. Somos el equipo de Faro de Lenguas Magazine (Francisco, Isabel, Manuela, Janete y yo) con un invitado especial, Sergio Delgado.

¿Has pasado alguna vez por esta situación? ¿Cómo lo afrontaste?

Cuéntanoslo por correo electrónico, nos encantará tener testimonios para utilizar en nuestro próximo podcast.

¡Un abrazo!

Prepositions of place in Spanish

¡Hola a todos!

This week I’m talking about place prepositions. Yes, those words we always get confused with because they are kind of different in English. I’ve prepared a visual illustration about them, so you only need to have a look at it and you will know which preposition you need.

I hope that you liked this short post and that it’s been clear. All week long you will find some pictures on my Instagram and Facebook profiles to review and practice this, so if you don’t follow me yet, follow me now!

If you have any question about this, don’t hesitate to ask me. Remember that you can study Spanish online with me, you can ask for a 30 minutes free trial lesson, where we will get to know each other and start your Spanish adventure!

¡Hasta la próxima!

Culticultura – Marzo 2018 (los inventos)

¡Hola a todos!

Welcome once again to Culticultura, Culture section in Faro de Lenguas Magazine.

I'm giving to you today Monday's Edition of Faro de Lenguas Magazine, the Edition for Spanish learners. This month, I'm talking about inventions by Spanish speaking people. 

Do you want to know more? Listen to it! You can also download the transcription and some exercises here, and give them back to me so I can solve your questions.

And if you want more, you can listen to the whole podcast here.

¡Disfrutad!