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Move to the Next Level with 100 Spanish Adverbs

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Can you spot adverbs in a novel? If your answer is no, don’t be embarrassed. We sometimes forget what adverbs do in a sentence—you may not even remember what “adverb” actually means.  

When learning a second language, it’s normal to forget this type of information. 

Spanish adverbs aren’t that different from those in English, but there are a few tricks about how to identify them and where to put them in a sentence. In this article, we’ll teach you all about Spanish adverbs, and we’ll also provide an excellent list of 100 Spanish adverbs and their meanings.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Spanish Table of Contents
  1. What are Spanish Adverbs?
  2. How Do You Form an Adverb in Spanish?
  3. The 100 Most Useful Spanish Adverbs
  4. Conclusion

1. What are Spanish Adverbs?

Top Verbs

Spanish adverbs are a very important part of your Spanish learning. They help you make a point clear, explain when something happened, and show how something was done, which are crucial elements when communicating in any language. 

Unlike Spanish nouns, Spanish adverbs have no gender, number, or person. But, occasionally, you can add a diminutive with a suffix.

  • Pronto >> Prontito >> “Very soon”
  • Poco >> Poquito >> “A little bit”
  • Cerca >> Cerquita >> “Very close”
  • Despacio >> Despacito  >> “Very slowly”

You can also add augmentative suffixes, such as:

  • Lejos >> Lejísimos  >> “Extremely far”
  • Despacio >> Despacísimo >> “Extremely slowly”

The main characteristic of Spanish adverbs is that they complement the point you’re trying to make. They represent the circumstances of time, place, and mode in which an action occurs. Let’s see how.

2. How Do You Form an Adverb in Spanish?

Spanish adverbs modify or go with:

  • Verbs: Corre rápidamente. (“Run quickly.”)
  • Adjectives: Más lento. (“Slower.”) You can spot these easily because they go before the adjective.
  • Other adverbs: Bastante lejos. (“Pretty far.”)

You can get a Spanish adverb from an adjective by adding the ending -mente. Here are a few examples of Spanish adverbs ending in -mente, and how they’re formed:

  • General (“General”) >> Generalmente (“Generally”)
  • Ocasional (“Occasional”) >> Ocasionalmente (“Occasionally”)
  • Frecuente (“Frequent”) >> Frecuentemente (“Frequently”)
  • Suave (“Soft”) >> Suavemente (“Softly”)
  • Rápido (“Quick”) >> Rápidamente (“Quickly”)

This is very common, and it’s very easy to understand Spanish adverbs. There’s a general rule attached to this kind of adverb, and you can see that the same rule applies to the English language, where you just add the suffix “-ly” to the adjectives. 

One more thing you need to keep in mind is that if you want to use two adverbs with the suffix -mente in the same sentence, the first one will be used as an adjective and the second one will have the -mente suffix. 

For example:

  • Hice el Camino de Santiago lenta y tranquilamente.
    “I did the Camino de Santiago slowly and calmly.”
  • Me dijo que me callara dulce y suavemente.
    “She told me to shut up sweetly and softly.”

3. The 100 Most Useful Spanish Adverbs

More Essential Verbs

In the following sections, you can find all of the most common Spanish adverbs for describing time, place, manner, degree, and more! 


1- Spanish Adverbs of Time

Woman Checking Her Watch

Spanish adverbs of time will help you provide information about when, how often, or for how long something happens. Here’s a short Spanish adverbs list, with examples of how each one is used.

  • Antes (“Before”)

Antes de comer aceitunas prefiero patatas fritas.
“Before eating olives, I’d prefer chips.”

  • Después (“After”)

Después de las cinco no suelo comer nada.
“After five p.m., I don’t usually eat.”

  • Hoy (“Today”)

Hoy es el día de la madre.
“Today is Mother’s Day.”

  • Mañana (“Tomorrow”)

Mañana tengo clase de ballet.
“I have ballet class tomorrow.”

  • Anoche (“Last night”)

Anoche soñé con mi padre.
“I dreamed about my father last night.”

  • Anteanoche (“The night before yesterday”)

Antenoche no pude dormir.
“I could not sleep the night before yesterday.”

  • Ayer (“Yesterday”)

Ayer fue el cumpleaños de mi hermano.
“It was my brother’s birthday yesterday.”

  • Anteayer (“The day before yesterday”)

Anteayer comí pasta.
“I had pasta the day before yesterday.”

  • Ya (“Already”)

Ya llegaron los pedidos pendientes.
“The pending orders have already arrived.”

  • Siempre (“Always”)

Siempre suelo quedarme dormida viendo la tele.
“I always fall asleep watching TV.”

  • Todavía (“Yet”)

Todavía no me han llegado los pedidos.
“My orders haven’t arrived yet.”

  • Ahora (“Now”)

Ahora voy al gimnasio.
“I am going to the gym now.”

  • Tarde (“Late”)

Maite siempre llega media hora tarde cuando quedamos.
“Maite always arrives half an hour late when we meet.”

  • Luego (“Later”)

¿Nos vemos luego?
“Will I see you later?”

  • Mientras (“While”)

Corrió hacia su coche mientras llovía.
“He ran toward his car while it was raining.”

  • Recién (“Freshly”)

¡No pases! El suelo está recién fregado.
“Do not pass over here! The floor is freshly scrubbed.”

Although in English, adverbs of frequency and adverbs of time are considered separate categories, in Spanish, they fall under the same category. 

The following Spanish adverbs of frequency will help you describe how frequently you do something. Whether you go to the gym very often (Voy a gimnasio a menudo) or everyday (Voy al gimnasio todos los días), you can tell people about it using these adverbs.

Once you’re through with this list, tell us how often you usually check up on our blog! 

A Man and Woman Working Out at the Gym
  • Semanalmente (“Weekly”)

Suelo ir a la piscina semanalmente.
“I usually go to the pool weekly.”

  • Siempre (“Always”)

Siempre voy al gimnasio los lunes.
“I always go to the gym on Mondays.”

  • Mucho (“A lot”)

Yo voy mucho al gimnasio.
“I go to the gym a lot.”

  • Actualmente (“Currently”)

Actualmente vivo del alquiler de mi casa.
“Currently, I live renting my house.”

  • Frecuentemente (“Frequently”)

Mi perro se pierde frecuentemente.
“My dog gets lost frequently.”

  • Recientemente (“Recently”)

He perdido a mi perro recientemente.
“I have lost my dog recently.”

  • Diariamente (“Daily”)

Suelo meditar diariamente.
“I meditate daily.”

  • Nunca (“Never”)

Nunca me llegan las cosas a tiempo.
“I never get my things on time.”

  • Raramente (“Rarely”)

Raramente me cuestiono sobre la vida.
“I rarely ask myself about life.”

  •  Usualmente (“Usually”)

Usualmente no bebo alcohol.
“I do not usually drink alcohol.”

  • Normalmente (“Normally”)

Normalmente mi padre tiene pan en casa.
“Normally, my dad has bread at home.”

  • Todo el tiempo (“All the time”)

Mi pareja suele quejarse todo el tiempo cuando ve la tele.
“My partner complains all the time while he watches TV.”

  • De vez en cuando (“From time to time”)

Suelo ir a jugar baloncesto de vez en cuando con mis amigas.
“I play basketball from time to time with my girlfriends.”

  • Anualmente (“Annually”)

Mi gato tiene sus vacunas anualmente.
“My cat has his vaccines annually.”

  • A veces (“Sometimes”)

A veces salgo a patinar por el paseo marítimo.
“Sometimes I go roller skating along the seaside.”

  • Poco (“A little”)

Salgo muy poco de fiesta.
“I go out very little.”

  • Apenas (“Hardly”)

Apenas puedo ir al teatro.
“I hardly ever go to the theater.”

  • Jamás (“Never”)

Jamás llego tarde a mis clases de ballet.
“I am never late to my ballet lessons.”

2- Spanish Adverbs of Place

A Lovely Scene with Water and Trees

Where is your phone? Is it here? Did you lose your glasses? Are they close or far away? These useful Spanish adverbs will help you answer questions about where things are. You should learn them because they’re very common and are used in everyday Spanish

  • Aquí (“Here”)

Aquí en España hay muchos extranjeros.
“Here in Spain, there are many foreigners.”

  • Allí (“There”)

Allí donde está Luis estudiando hay cursos para ti también.
“There, where Luis is studying, there are courses for you as well.”

  • Cerca (“Near”)

La biblioteca está cerca de mi casa.
“The library is near my place.”

  • Delante (“In front of”)

Hay un banco delante del gimnasio.
“There is a bank in front of my gym.”

  • Acá (“Here”)

Vamos a comer acá en mi casa.
“We are going to eat here at home.”

  • Allá (“There,” “Over there”)

El supermercado está allá.
“The supermarket is over there.”

  • Lejos (“Far”)

Vivo lejos de la estación de bus.
“I live far from the bus station.”

  • Detrás (“Behind”)

Hay una panadería detrás de mi casa.
“There is a bakery behind my place.”

  • Encima (“Above”)

Juan vive encima de la casa de su padre.
“Juan lives above his father’s house.”

  • Dentro (“Inside”)

Dentro del gimnasio hay aparcamiento disponible.
“There is parking available inside the gym.”

  • Arriba (“Upstairs”)

Esta casa es inusual porque la cocina está arriba.
“This house is unusual because the kitchen is upstairs.”

  • Adentro (“Inside”)

Adentro de la nevera están las cervezas.
“There are beers inside the fridge.”

  • Debajo (“Below”)

Debajo de los libros está mi agenda.
“My diary is below the books.”

  • Fuera (“Outside”)

Fuera del centro comercial hay una farmacia.
“Outside the shopping center, there is a pharmacy.”

  • Atrás (“At the back”)

Atrás de la farmacia hay un hotel.
“At the back of the hotel, there is a pharmacy.”

  • Abajo (“Down”)

Abajo tienes a Carmen esperándote.
“You have Carmen waiting for you down there.”

  • Al lado (“Next to”)

Encontrarás las instrucciones al lado de la caja.
“You’ll find the manual next to the box.”

3- Spanish Adverbs of Manner

Here, you’ll learn how to use adverbs in Spanish to answer questions about how something is being done. Check out this Spanish adverbs list:

  • Bien (“Well”)

Juan Luis canta bien.
“Juan Luis sings well.”

  • Mejor (“Better”)

Jose canta mejor que Luisa.
“Jose sings better than Luisa.”

  • Cuidadosamente (“Carefully”)

Susana siempre camina cuidadosamente.
“Susana always walks carefully.”

  • Rápido (“Quickly”)

En avión llegas más rápido.
“By plane, you arrive more quickly.”

  • Claramente (“Clearly”)

Santiago habla claramente.
“Santiago speaks clearly.”

  • Mal (“Bad”)

Esta comida puede oler mal.
“This food may smell bad.”

  • Peor (“Worse”)

Si no estudias para el examen será peor.
“If you don’t study for the exam, it will be worse.”

  • Despacio (“Slowly”)

Trata de conducir despacio.
“Try to drive slowly.”

  • Inteligentemente (“Intelligently”)

Habla con tu jefe inteligentemente.
“You have to speak to your boss intelligently.”

  • Voluntariamente (“Voluntarily”)

Jesús ha dejado la empresa voluntariamente.
“Jesús has left the company voluntarily.”

  • Fácilmente (“Easily”)

Mike ha pasado su examen práctico fácilmente.
“Mike has passed his practice exam easily.”

  • Dulcemente (“Sweetly”)

María cantó dulcemente.
“Maria sang sweetly.”

  • Seriamente (“Seriously”)

Debes tomarte tus estudios seriamente.
“You should take your studies seriously.”

  • Así (“This way”)

Es así como tienes que hacer los ejercicios.
“You should do the exercises this way.”

4- Spanish Adverbs of Degree

These Spanish adverbs of degree (also called Spanish adverbs of quantity), will help you answer questions about how much or to what degree something is done. They also add information to adjectives as well. 

Let’s show you how with this Spanish adverbs list.

  • Muy (“Very”)

La clase de ciclismo es muy temprano para mi.
“Cycling class is very early for me.”

  • Mucho (“Very much”)

Me gusta mucho el cine.
“I like the cinema very much.”

  • Demasiado (“Too much”)

Me gusta demasiado el chocolate.
“I like chocolate too much.”

Woman Biting into a Chocolate Bar
  • Un poco (“A little”)

Me gusta la comida picante un poco.
“I like spicy food a little.”

  • Mucho más (“A lot more”)

Me gusta mucho más la comida tailandesa.
“I like Thai food a lot more.”

  • Bastante (“Quite”)

Mi hermano canta bastante bien.
“My brother sings quite well.”

  • Nada (“At all”)

No me gusta nada la música clásica.
“I don’t like classical music at all.”

  • Menos (“Less”)

Las manzanas cuestan menos en el otro supermercado.
“Apples cost less in the other supermarket.”

  • Tanto (“So long,” “So much”)

No puedo esperar tanto por mi licencia de conducir.
“I can’t wait so much for my driver’s license.”

  • Algo; Un poco (“Some”)

Tatiana sabe un poco de Francés.
“Tatiana knows some French.”

5- Spanish Adverbs of Affirmation

Spanish adverbs of affirmation reinforce a statement. These Spanish adverbs also indicate that the action of the verb is fulfilled, or is intended to be fulfilled.

  • (“Yes”)

Sí, nos vemos a las siete.
“Yes, we’ll meet at seven.”

  • Seguramente (“Probably”)

Seguramente fue Juan el que más corrió.
“Juan was probably the one who ran the most.”

  • Obviamente (“Obviously”)

Obviamente tendrá repercusiones en su vida laboral.
“Obviously, there will be consequences in his working life.”

  • Exacto (“Correct,” “Right”)

Exacto, seremos 20 personas para la reserva.
“Correct, we will be 20 people for the reservation.”

  • Claro (“Right”)

Claro, tienes que estudiar una carrera antes de hacer un máster.
“Right, you have to study for a Bachelor’s Degree before you take a Master’s Degree.”

  • Cierto (“Certainly”)

Ciertamente, los resultados de este mes han sido muy exitosos.
“Certainly, this month’s results have been very successful.”

  • Efectivamente (“Indeed,” “Effectively”)

Efectivamente, fue un gran día.
“It was a great day indeed.”

6- Spanish Adverbs of Negation

We all know the adverbs of negation. It’s said that one of the first words that a baby learns is “no,” because people use it all the time. 

  • No (“No”)

No tengo ya la casa del campo.
“No, I don’t have the country house yet.”

  • En absoluto (“Not at all”)

He aparcado bien, así que no estoy en absoluto preocupada por el coche.
“I parked well, so I’m not at all worried about my car.”

  • Jamás (“Ever”)

Jamás soporté a tu hermano.
“I could never stand your brother.”

  • Nunca (“Never”)

Nunca olvidaré nuestro primer beso.
“I’ll never forget our first kiss.”

  • Tampoco (“Either,” “Neither”)

Nosotros tampoco sabemos la fecha del vuelo.
“We don’t know the flight’s date either.”

7- Spanish Adverbs of Doubt

These basic Spanish adverbs denote insecurity or uncertainty, so you can use them when you’re not sure about something. 

  • A lo mejor (“Perhaps,” “Maybe”)

A lo mejor comemos en casa de mis padres el domingo.
“Maybe we will have lunch at my parents’ house on Sunday.”

  • Quizá (“Perhaps,” “Maybe”)

Quizá se equivocaron al hacer la cuenta.
“Maybe they were wrong when they prepared the bill.”

  • Tal vez (“Perhaps,” “Maybe”)

Espero que tal vez muy pronto podamos cambiar el futuro.
“I hope that maybe soon, we can change the future.”

  • Posiblemente (“Possibly”)

Sobrepasan posiblemente el número de alumnos disponibles.
“They possibly exceed the available number of students.”

8- Spanish Exclamatory and Interrogative Adverbs 

As you likely guessed, Spanish interrogative adverbs are used to ask questions, and exclamatory adverbs are used in exclamatory sentences. These are very special and common, used at the beginning of a sentence. 

Keep in mind that you have to distinguish these from the relative adverbs. How can you do that? If a word has the accent mark, it’s interrogative or exclamatory; if not, it’s a relative adverb. 

  • Cuándo (“When”)

¿Cuándo nació tu hijo?
“When was your son born?”

  • Dónde (“Where?”)

¿Dónde está la cafetera?
“Where is the coffee maker?”

  • Cómo (“How”)

¡Cómo está de rica esta tarta!
“How good is this cake!”

  • Por qué (“Why”)

¿Por qué tienes sueño?
“Why are you sleepy?”

  • Cuánto (“How much,” “How many”)

¿Cuántos coches tienes?
“How many cars do you have?”

  • A dónde (“Where”)

¿A dónde fuiste con Paula?
“Where did you go with Paula?”

9- Spanish Relative Adverbs

Spanish relative adverbs are one of the most important types on our Spanish adverb list. These are almost the same as some of the words in the previous section, but they don’t have the accent marks. They add circumstantial information to the verb, and they can talk about time, manner, or place. 

For example:

  • Donde (“Where”)

Este es el chalet donde vivo.
“This is the house where I live.”

  • Cuando (“When”)

Haré los deberes cuando deje de llover.
“I’ll do my homework when it stops raining.”

  • Como (“As”)

Como tú mandes.
“As you wish.”

4. Conclusion

What do you think about our list? Was it useful? If you liked it, don’t miss our 100 Spanish nouns list! 

This article has provided you with 100 Spanish adverbs and plenty of information on how and when to use them. Do you remember what Spanish adverbs are now? Are you ready to impress your Spanish-speaking friends?

SpanishPod101.com has tons of vocabulary lists, videos, and free resources to help you improve your learning and keep your Spanish fresh. Create your free lifetime account today, and start learning Spanish like never before! We look forward to having you.

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Your Ultimate Guide to Spanish Conjugation

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Conjugation is a fundamental aspect of Spanish. Yes, we wish it was easier than it is, but it’s definitely one of the basic skills you need to gain when learning Spanish. Just so you know, you don’t need to learn all Spanish conjugations at once, so feel free to learn them at your own pace. We’re just going to guide you so that you have an easier time studying the Spanish conjugation basics.

When you start learning a new language, you’ll most likely start by studying the present tense first, right? The basics you need for introducing yourself. It’s all about going through them step-by-step instead of rushing it all at once and trying to memorize them all at the same time. 

To give you an example, we all know what happens when you memorize something only for an exam: you spit it all out in the exam and then forget about it. That’s the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve here! 

Even though we’re going to offer you some very useful tables that show absolutely all the conjugations of a verb, they’re not there for you to learn in one day, but rather to help you organize all of this information. Remember, this is not a competition!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Spanish Table of Contents
  1. What are Spanish Conjugations?
  2. Verb Groups
  3. Conjugation Examples
  4. Irregular Verbs and their Conjugations
  5. Spanish Conjugations Quiz
  6. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn Spanish

1. What are Spanish Conjugations?

Top Verbs

As we explained in our previous article about verbs, conjugation refers to all of the changes a verb goes through depending on a few factors. These factors include the person who does the action of that verb, or when the action happens, among others. One good thing about conjugation in Spanish is that it only affects verbs, so you don’t need to worry about other words changing to accommodate these factors.

In Spanish, conjugation affects mood, tense, the number of the subject, person, and sometimes the politeness level. We’ll look at all of these, one at a time.

1- Mood

If you look at a table with all the conjugations of any Spanish verb, such as the ones we’ve prepared for you below, you’ll find two main groups: indicativo (“indicative”) and subjuntivo (“subjunctive”). These two groups are two of the different moods in Spanish conjugation. The third mood is called imperativo (“imperative”) and it is, by far, not as broad as the other two. In fact, it only includes two different forms, which are singular and plural. 

In summary:

  • The indicative mood in Spanish refers to facts and beliefs. 
    Marta me ha contado un secreto. → “Marta has told me a secret.”
  • The subjunctive mood marks something that isn’t a fact, but something that’s hypothetical or something you wish had or hadn’t happened. 
    Ojalá Marta no me hubiera contado ese secreto. → “I wish Marta hadn’t told me that secret.”
  • The imperative mood indicates command. 
    ¡Cuéntame algo! → “Tell me something!”

When students in school are learning the Spanish subjunctive mood, it often helps them to put the word ojalá in front of the verb to tell if it’s subjunctive or indicative. This word doesn’t have an exact English translation, but we can translate it as “I wish” or “I hope.” 

If you can use it, it means the verb is in the subjunctive mood. To give you an example, the sentence Ojalá llueva means “I hope it rains,” so it’s in the subjunctive mood. But, if it was simply Llueve, which just means “It’s raining,” we know it’s in the indicative mood because it’s a fact.

Rain Falling on a puddle

2- Tense

Inside each of these moods, we’ll find several tenses. In both cases, the Spanish verb tenses are also divided into two more subgroups, but these are only here to help us divide conjugations in a simpler way and make things easier to understand. These are simple tenses and compound tenses. As you might have guessed, simple tenses are formed by a single word and compound tenses are formed by two words.

Tenses in Spanish conjugation might have some weird and long names that you absolutely do not need to remember. As long as you know which ones refer to the present, which ones refer to the past, and which ones refer to the future, you’ll be fine. Trust us.

A. Indicativo

Tiempos simples (“Simple tenses”)
  • Presente (“simple present”): canto → “I sing”
  • Pretérito imperfecto (“imperfect preterite”): cantaba →  “I sang”
  • Pretérito perfecto simple (“simple past”): canté →  “I sang”
  • Futuro simple (“simple future”): cantaré → “I will sing”
  • Condicional simple (“conditional”): cantaría → “I would sing”

As you can see, most of these tenses have a specific equivalent in English and do not need an explanation. However, you might have noticed that two of them translate to “I sang.” The pretérito imperfecto doesn’t exist in English, and instead it only uses the simple past tense. But in Spanish, this is quite important. 

Essentially, the pretérito imperfecto (cantaba) refers to a continuous action in the past, while the pretérito perfecto simple (canté) refers to a specific action in the past. This might sound a bit confusing, so we’re going to look at a couple of examples:

1.

Cuando era pequeño cantaba en un coro. (“When I was little, I sang in a choir.”)

In this example, both verbs are in the pretérito imperfecto and refer to continuous actions, or something that didn’t happen just once. Cuando era pequeño (“When I was little”) refers to a long period of time, because we were all little for years. Cantaba en un coro (“I sang in a choir”) means that I was in that choir for a while, even though I don’t specify for how long.

2.

Una vez, cuando era pequeño, canté una canción delante de mis amigos. (“Once, when I was little, I sang a song in front of my friends.”) 

In this case, the first verb is the same as in the previous example, but the second one, marked in bold, is in the pretérito perfecto simple, so it’s a specific action in the past. Una vez (…) canté una canción… (“Once (…) I sang a song…”) is talking about the one time this action happened. It doesn’t need to have happened only once: it could have happened more times. What’s important is that it wasn’t a continuous action.

Tiempos compuestos (“Compound tenses”)
  • Pretérito perfecto compuesto (“present perfect”): he cantado →  “I have sung”
  • Pretérito pluscuamperfecto (“past perfect”): había cantado → “I had sung”
  • Pretérito anterior (“past preterite”): hube cantado 
  • Futuro compuesto (“future perfect”): habré cantado → “I will have sung”
  • Condicional compuesto (“conditional”): hubiera or hubiese cantado → “I would have sung”

Once again, we find one tense that doesn’t have a direct translation in English: the pretérito anterior. This tense isn’t used very often in Spanish (only in literature), but we’re still going to explain it briefly. The pretérito anterior refers to an action that happens just before another one, which is also in a past tense. For example:

Tan pronto como hubo terminado el libro, lo devolvió a la biblioteca. (“As soon as he finished the book, he returned it to the library.” 

In this example, the man returned the book immediately after finishing it. However, as we explained, this tense isn’t used much anymore, so we would usually say Tan pronto como terminó el libro instead, in the simple past tense.

Returning Book to Library

B. Subjuntivo

Tiempos simples (“Simple tenses”)

The subjunctive tenses aren’t as easy to explain or translate as a single verb, so we’re going to give you examples of each tense.

  • Presente: cante Quiero que me cantes una canción. (“I want you to sing me a song.”)
  • Pretérito imperfecto: cantara or cantase → Ojalá cantase mejor. (“I wish I sang better.”)
  • Futuro simple: cantare
Tiempos compuestos (“Compound tenses”)
  • Pretérito perfecto compuesto: haya cantado → Espero que Carla haya cantado bien. (“I hope Carla has sung well.”)
  • Pretérito pluscuamperfecto: hubiera or hubiese cantado → Ojalá me hubiera cantado una canción. (“I wish she had sung me a song.”)
  • Futuro compuesto: hubiere cantado

Notice that all of these examples require an extra verb: “I want,” “I hope,” “I wish.” A verb in the subjunctive mood is never alone!

People Singing

Something you should also know is that, in the subjunctive mood, there are a couple of tenses that no one ever uses, which are the two future subjunctive tenses without examples in the previous list: futuro simple and futuro compuesto. We’ve included them on the tables anyway because they would have been incomplete if we hadn’t. But we promise that you don’t need to learn them!

C. Imperativo

As we explained before, the imperative mood refers exclusively to commands. There’s only one kind of imperative, but it can be in singular or plural, and it can be formal or informal. Here, the formal conjugation is different from the informal one.

  • Singular, informal: canta
  • Plural, informal: cantad
  • Singular, formal: cante
  • Plural, formal: canten 

D. Non-personal forms

And last but not least, there are a few non-personal forms that don’t belong in any of those moods. They also exist in English, as follows:

  • Infinitivo (“infinitive”): cantar → “to sing” 
  • Participio (“participle”): cantado → “sung”
  • Gerundio (“gerund”): cantando → “singing”

The participle is used exactly the same way in Spanish and English, as you might have noticed when we explained the different Spanish tenses.

We haven’t seen the gerund before, but it’s also used similarly to how it is in English. In Spanish, for some reason, this isn’t considered a tense and it’s not usually included in the conjugation tables. However, it’s very commonly used. In English, you have the present continuous and past continuous tenses, and they’re both used in Spanish: 

  • Estoy cantando. (“I am singing.”)
  • Estaba cantando. (“I was singing.”)

While you might sometimes have doubts about the verbs estar and ser, in this case, we always use the verb estar.

3- Number

Spanish verbs, just like Spanish nouns or adjectives, change depending on how many people are performing the action of that verb. While some languages distinguish actions as being done by two people or a larger number of people, Spanish only makes two distinctions: singular and plural. It’s either one person, or it’s more. For example: 

  • Yo como. (“I eat.”)
  • Nosotros comemos. (“We eat.”)

4- Person

Just like verbs change depending on the number of the subject, verbs also conjugate depending on the person who performs the verb. In English, for example, the simple present tense shows that the first and second persons are different than the third person: “I eat,” “you eat,” “he/she eats.”

In Spanish conjugations, endings are different in every single person. To give you an example, we’ll use the same verb we used in English: yo como, tú comes, él/ella come. If you’re not familiar with Spanish subject pronouns, you might find our article about pronouns quite useful!

You might have noticed that the first three letters of the word don’t change, but the ending does. These first letters are called the stem of the verb and they stay the same in every single conjugation of this verb. 

Even though endings in all tenses are different, they follow a pattern.

  • Yo (“I”): –
  • (“you”): –s
  • Él/Ella (“he/she”): –
  • Nosotros (“we”): -mos
  • Vosotros (plural “you”): -is
  • Ellos (“they”): –n

In case you’re wondering, we didn’t leave those two empty for no reason. We consider them not to have a specific ending, because they only use the ending of the tense in particular.

5- Politeness

You might already know that Spanish, unlike English, has a formal “you” pronoun that’s used when talking to someone who is important or above us, and sometimes even to older people. The truth is that it’s not used nowadays as often as it was in the past, but it’s still very important to know. You never know when you might need it. 

There are actually two pronouns, one for the singular (usted) and one for the plural (ustedes), with no distinction for gender. This formal pronoun doesn’t use the normal conjugation for (“you”), but actually uses the one for él or ella (“him” or “her”). For example, if you wanted to say “You’re very kind,” to a friend, you would say: Eres muy amable. But to speak more formally, you would say: Es muy amable.

Waiter Showing Customers a Table

2. Verb Groups

Once again, as you already saw in the article about verbs, Spanish conjugations are divided into three groups (or four, if we think of irregular verbs as another group). These groups are based on the ending of the verbs in their infinitive form. Verbs that end in –ar, such as saltar (“to jump”), form the first conjugation; verbs that end in –er, such as correr (“to run”), form the second conjugation; the third conjugation is formed by verbs that end in –ir, such as mentir (“to lie”).

Now, why is it important to know that there are different groups of verbs? Well, it’s quite useful when learning conjugations because Spanish conjugation rules are specific to a given group. In most cases, conjugations will be the same or similar, but you need to be careful sometimes. 

Spanish conjugations for present tense, for example, are easy to remember. If the verb is from the first conjugation (-ar), all forms will use the vowel a (except for the first person in the singular, but it’s an exception in all three conjugations!). If it’s from the second conjugation (-er), it will use the vowel e. However, the third conjugation (-ir) isn’t as regular as the others, since some forms use the vowel e and some use the vowel i. Let’s look at some examples:

  • Saltar (“To jump”) → yo salto, tú saltas, él salta, nosotros saltamos, vosotros saltáis, ellos saltan
  • Correr (“To run”) → yo corro, tú corres, él corre, nosotros corremos, vosotros corréis, ellos corren
  • Mentir (“To lie”) → yo miento, tú mientes, él miente, nosotros mentimos, vosotros mentís, ellos mienten

Note that the verb of the third conjugation that we’ve chosen is also slightly irregular, since the stem—which would always be ment- if it was a regular verb—changes to mient- in a few of the forms.

Other tenses show most important changes, such as pretérito imperfecto, one of the simple past tenses. In the first conjugation, the endings are –aba, -abas, aba, ábamos… But in the second and third conjugations, the endings are -ía, -ías, -ía, -íamos. They’re completely different.

In the following sections, we’ll take a closer look at each of the Spanish verb conjugation types. Let’s go! 

3. Conjugation Examples

More Essential Verbs

1- First conjugation: cantar (“to sing”)

Indicativo

Simple tenses

SubjectPresentePretérito imperfectoPretérito perfecto simpleFuturo simpleCondicional simple
Yo (“I”)cantocantabacantécantécantaría
(“you”)cantascantabascantastecantaráscantarías
Él/ella (“he”/
she”)
cantacantabacantócantarácantaría
Nosotros/as (“we”)cantamoscantábamoscantamoscantaremoscantaríamos
Vosotros/as (plural “you”)cantáiscantabaiscantasteiscantaréiscantaríais
Ellos/as (“they”)cantancantabancantaroncantaráncantarían

Compound tenses

SubjectPretérito perfecto compuestoPretérito pluscuamperfectoPretérito anteriorFuturo compuestoCondicional compuesto
Yohe cantadohabía cantadohube cantadohabré cantadohabría cantado
has cantadohabías cantadohubiste cantadohabrás cantadohabrías cantado
Él/ellaha cantadohabía cantadohubo cantadohabrá cantadohabría cantado
Nosotros/ashemos cantadohabíamos cantadohubimos cantadohabremos cantadohabríamos cantado
Vosotros/ashabéis cantadohabíais cantadohubisteis cantadohabréis cantadohabríais cantado
Ellos/ashan cantadohabían cantadohubieron cantadohabrán cantadohabrían cantado

Subjuntivo

Simple tenses

SubjectPresentePretérito imperfectoFuturo simple
Yocantecantara or cantasecantare
cantescantaras or cantasescantares
Él/ellacantecantara or cantasecantare
Nosotros/ascantemoscantáramos or cantásemoscantáremos
Vosotros/ascantéiscantarais or cantaseiscantareis
Ellos/ascantencantaran or cantasencantaren

Compound tenses

SubjectPretérito perfecto compuestoPretérito pluscuamperfectoFuturo compuesto
Yohaya cantadohubiera or hubiese cantadohubiere cantado
haya cantadohubieras or hubieses cantadohubieres cantado
Él/ellahaya cantadohubiera or hubiese cantadohubiere cantado
Nosotros/ashayamos cantadohubiéramos or hubiésemos cantadohubiéremos cantado
Vosotros/ashayáis cantadohubierais or hubieseis  cantadohubiereis cantado
Ellos/ashayan cantadohubieran or hubiesen cantadohubieren cantado

Imperative

cantacantad

Non-personal forms

InfinitiveParticipleGerund
cantarcantadocantando

2- Second conjugation: comer (“to eat”)

Indicativo

Simple tenses

SubjectPresentePretérito imperfectoPretérito perfecto simpleFuturo simpleCondicional simple
Yocomocomíacomícomerécomería
comescomíascomistecomeráscomerías
Él/ellacomecomíacomcomerácomería
Nosotros/ascomemoscomíamoscomimoscomeremoscomeríamos
Vosotros/ascoméiscomíaiscomisteiscomeréiscomeríais
Ellos/ascomencomíancomieroncomeráncomerían

Compound tenses

SubjectPretérito perfecto compuestoPretérito pluscuamperfectoPretérito anteriorFuturo compuestoCondicional compuesto
Yohe comidohabía comidohube comidohabré comidohabría comido
has comidohabías comidohubiste comidohabrás comidohabrías comido
Él/ellaha comidohabía comidohubo comidohabrá comidohabría comido
Nosotros/ashemos comidohabíamos comidohubimos comidohabremos comidohabríamos comido
Vosotros/ashabéis comidohabíais comidohubisteis comidohabréis comidohabríais comido
Ellos/ashan comidohabían comidohubieron comidohabrán comidohabrían comido

Subjuntivo

Simple tenses

SubjectPresentePretérito imperfectoFuturo simple
Yocomacomiera or comiesecomiere
comascantaras or cantasescomieres
Él/ellacomacomiera or comiesecomiere
Nosotros/ascomamoscomiéramos or comiésemoscomiéremos
Vosotros/ascomáiscomierais or comieseiscomiereis
Ellos/ascomancomieran or comiesencomieren

Compound tenses

SubjectPretérito perfecto compuestoPretérito pluscuamperfectoFuturo compuesto
Yohaya comidohubiera or hubiese comidohubiere comido
hayas comidohubieras or hubieses comidohubieres comido
Él/ellahaya comidohubiera or hubiese comidohubiere comido
Nosotros/ashayamos comidohubiéramos or hubiésemos comidohubiéremos comido
Vosotros/ashayáis comidohubierais or hubieseis  comidohubiereis comido
Ellos/ashayan comidohubieran or hubiesen comidohubieren comido

Imperative

comecomed

Non-personal forms

InfinitiveParticipleGerund
comercomidocomiendo

3- Third conjugation: vivir (“to live”)

Indicativo

Simple tenses

SubjectPresentePretérito imperfectoPretérito perfecto simpleFuturo simpleCondicional simple
Yovivovivíavivíviviréviviría
vivesvivíasvivistevivirásvivirías
Él/ellavivevivíavivióviviráviviría
Nosotros/asvivimosvivíamosvivimosviviremosviviríamos
Vosotros/asvivísvivíaisvivisteisviviréisviviríais
Ellos/asvivenvivíanvivieronviviránvivirían

Compound tenses

SubjectPretérito perfecto compuestoPretérito pluscuamperfectoPretérito anteriorFuturo compuestoCondicional compuesto
Yohe vividohabía vividohube vividohabré vividohabría vivido
has vividohabías vividohubiste vividohabrás vividohabrías vivido
Él/ellaha vividohabía vividohubo vividohabrá vividohabría vivido
Nosotros/ashemos vividohabíamos vividohubimos vividohabremos vividohabríamos vivido
habríamos vividohabéis vividohabíais vividohubisteis vividohabréis vividohabríais vivido
Ellos/ashan vividohabían vividohubieron vividohabrán vividohabrían vivido

Subjuntivo

Simple tenses

SubjectPresentePretérito imperfectoFuturo simple
Yovivavivieraviviere
vivasvivierasvivieres
Él/ellavivavivieraviviere
Nosotros/asvivamosvivieramosvivieremos
Vosotros/asvivaisvivieraisviviereis
Ellos/asvivanvivieranvivieren

Compound tenses

SubjectPretérito perfecto compuestoPretérito pluscuamperfectoFuturo compuesto
Yohaya vividohubiera or hubiese vividohubiere vivido
hayas vividohubieras or hubieses vividohubieres vivido
Él/ellahaya vividohubiera or hubiese vividohubiere vivido
Nosotros/ashayamos vividohubiéramos or hubiésemos vividohubieremos vivido
Vosotros/ashayais vividohubierais or hubieseis  vividohubiereis vivido
Ellos/ashayan vividohubieran or hubiesen vividohubieren vivido

Imperative

vivevivid

Non-personal forms

InfinitiveParticipleGerund
vivirvividoviviendo

For more examples, you can take a look at the many tables on the Real Academia Española website.

4. Irregular Verbs and their Conjugations

Negative Verbs

When doing Spanish conjugations, irregular verbs can be frustrating. In this section, we’ll show you how to conjugate one of the most common irregular verbs.

Irregular verb: ser (“to be”)

Indicativo

Simple tenses

SubjectPresentePretérito imperfectoPretérito perfecto simpleFuturo simpleCondicional simple
Yosoyerafuiserésería
ereserasfuiesteserásserías
Él/ellaeserafueserásería
Nosotros/assomoseramosfuimosseremosseríamos
Vosotros/assoiseraisfuisteissereisseríais
Ellos/assoneranfueronseranserían

Compound tenses

SubjectPretérito perfecto compuestoPretérito pluscuamperfectoPretérito anteriorFuturo compuestoCondicional compuesto
Yohe sidohabía sidohube sidohabré sidohabría sido
has sidohabías sidohubiste sidohabrás sidohabrías sido
Él/ellaha sidohabía sidohubo sidohabrá sidohabría sido
Nosotros/ashemos sidohabíamos sidohubimos sidohabremos sidohabríamos sido
Vosotros/ashabéis sidohabíais sidohubisteis sidohabréis sidohabríais sido
Ellos/ashan sidohabían sidohubieron sidohabrén sidohabrían sido

Subjuntivo

Simple tenses

SubjectPresentePretérito imperfectoFuturo simple
Yoseafuera or fuesefuere
seasfueras or fuesesfueres
Él/ellaseafuera or fuesefuere
Nosotros/asseamosfuéramos or fuésemosfueremos
Vosotros/asseaisfuérais or fuéseisfuereis
Ellos/asseanfueran or fuesenfueren

Compound tenses

SubjectPretérito perfecto compuestoPretérito pluscuamperfectoFuturo compuesto
Yohaya sidohubiera or hubiese sidohubiere sido
hayas sidohubieras or hubieses sidohubieres sido
Él/ellahaya sidohubiera or hubiese sidohubiere sido
Nosotros/ashayamos sidohubiéramos or hubiésemos sidohubieremos sido
Vosotros/ashayais sidohubierais or hubieseis  sidohubiereis sido
Ellos/ashayan sidohubieran or hubiesen sidohubieren sido

Imperative

sed

Non-personal forms

InfinitiveParticipleParticiple
sersidosiendo

5. Spanish Conjugations Quiz

1- Mañana ________ (nosotros – ir) a la piscina. → “Tomorrow, we ____ ________ to the swimming pool.”

Options: hemos ido, iremos, habremos ido

2- Ya ____ ________ (yo – terminar) los deberes. → “I ____ already ________ my homework.”

Options: terminaré, has terminado, he terminado

3- Mi vecina ________ (ella – ser) muy alta. → “My neighbor ________ very tall.”

Options: soy, es, son

4- Ayer Carlos ________ (él – cantar) una canción en el karaoke. → “Yesterday, Carlos ________ a song at the karaoke.”

Options: cantó, cantaré, cantaría

6. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn Spanish

We hope you found this Spanish conjugation lesson useful and practical. We’ve said this before, but we want to emphasize again that you really don’t need to learn what all these tenses are called, and you don’t need to learn all of them at once. If you think learning them step-by-step is a good idea, how do you feel about receiving one new word every day? Subscribe to our Free Word of the Day!
Before you started learning Spanish, did you know that verbs had conjugations? In case you didn’t know, would you have changed your mind about starting to learn this language? Or would you have given some excuses to put off starting? We hope that’s not the case, but let us know in the comments!

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A Hero’s Cry – Mexican Independence Day

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Every country has a story behind its independence, and many have a figure whom they credit with their victory. In fact, Mexican Independence Day is really more about the country’s national hero, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, than its actual independence! 

In this article, you’ll learn more Mexican Independence Day facts, delve into the country’s history, and explore the most popular traditions. 

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Mexican Independence Day?

Creole

Each year on September 16, Mexicans celebrate their country’s Día de la Independencia (“Independence Day”). The most important holiday in the country, Mexican Independence Day marks the date in 1810 when Mexico took its first major step toward gaining independence from the Spanish. 

Let’s dig a little deeper.

Mexican Independence Day History

a map focused on Spain

In the year 1519, Hernán Cortés and those under his command began their invasion of the Aztec Empire (which comprised parts of today’s Mexico). 300 years of Spanish rule followed, and the land’s indígena (“indigenous”) inhabitants fared poorly. The Spanish took land and possessions away from the natives, and refused them the ability to participate in governmental politics. For years, conspiracies against the Spanish had risen up left and right; each one was found out and put to a quick end. 

In 1808, inspired by the recently won freedom of the United States and empowered by the imprisonment of Ferdinand VII, the natives decided it was time for a change. In particular, a priest named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla—today considered a national héroe (“hero”)—was adamant in his desire for a free and independent Mexico. 

Costilla, along with his second-in-command Ignacio Allende, grew a huge movement through Mexico. He’s credited with filling the oppressed Criollo (“Creole”) population with inspiration and boldness, building up an army much larger than anything the Spanish rulers thought possible. In 1810, Costilla gathered his untrained, unorganized army, and delivered a speech that has been coined The Cry of Dolores (named for the city in which the gathering took place). 

To everyone’s surprise, Costilla retreated before commencing the actual attack. 

Despite this unexpected turn—the root of which historians still debate today—he’s considered the Father of Mexican Independence. Had it not been for his role in inspiring the Creoles to rise up against their oppressors, Mexico may not have gained independence in 1821. 

2. Mexican Independence Day Traditions

a group of people celebrating

Mexican Independence Day celebrations are loud, crowded, and colorful. The streets are bright with the colors of the Mexican Flag (red, white, and green), flowers decorate buildings and homes, and at night, the skies are filled with fireworks. 

Many cities host a Mexican Independence Day parade, in addition to parties and other get-togethers. Perhaps the most popular tradition is that of listening to their local government officials as they reenact the Cry of Dolores. In Zócalo, people gather to watch as the President rings Costilla’s bell and gives the Cry of Dolores speech.

Countries that have a large number of native Mexicans may also put on Mexican Independence Day festivals. For example, Los Angeles in the U.S. is known for its elaborate festivities for the holiday, complete with traditional dances and other performances by native Mexicans. 

3. Mexican Independence Day Food

The Mexican Flag

Now for the best part: the food! 

Like many other things across the country, dishes served on this day often reflect the colors of the Mexican Flag. Imagine a dish, for example, with green cilantro, black beans, and red pico de gallo. A very popular dish for this holiday is called chiles en nogada, which consists of Poblano chiles, meats, dried fruits, and a white, nutty sauce. You can read more about traditional Mexican dishes on TripSavvy.com

Of course, you can also find more non-traditional methods, such as dying cookies or making a cake with these colors in the frosting. (Hungry, yet?)

4. Essential Vocabulary for Mexican Independence Day

a humanoid figure breaking free of its chains

Let’s review some of the vocabulary from this article! 

  • Septiembre – “September”
  • España – “Spain”
  • Personas – “People”
  • Esclavitud – “Slavery”
  • Independencia – “Independence”
  • Héroe – “Hero”
  • Día de la Independencia – “Independence Day”
  • Guerra – “War”
  • Esclavo – “Slave”
  • Criollo – “Creole”
  • Indígena – “Indigenous”

Remember to visit our Mexican Independence Day vocabulary list to hear the pronunciation of each word. 

Final Thoughts

300 years is a long time for a people to be oppressed, but the determination of a passionate leader stirred courage in their hearts. 

Does your country have a similar independence story? And which of these Mexican Independence Day events seems most fun to you? Let us know in the comments! 

For more information on Mexican culture and the Spanish language, explore SpanishPod101.com! If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend the following blog posts:

We hope to see you around. 😉

Happy Mexican Independence Day from the SpanishPod101 team!

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Top 100 Spanish Verbs You Should Know

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Why learn Spanish verbs? Why are they important?

Language would pretty much not exist without verbs. We would still be able to talk, of course, and understand one another. But think of how you would need to describe something that you would normally express with a verb. For example, if you wanted to tell someone they need to run. Using verbs, this is something that we can express by just saying “Run!”

Take a moment to think of how you would say that with no verbs at all. It won’t take you very long: surely you’ll easily find another way of saying the exact same thing, but it might sound silly and you would probably use a few more words. This is one of the many reasons we need verbs.

Sadly, as you might already know, Spanish verbs aren’t as easy as English verbs. However, they’re similar to verbs in other romance languages (such as Italian or French), so if you already speak one of them, it won’t be that difficult. If you don’t, well, that’s why we’re here—to help you learn them. Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Spanish Table of Contents
  1. What You Need to Know
  2. Different Groups of Verbs
  3. Action Verbs
  4. Self-care Verbs
  5. Linking Verbs
  6. Helping Verbs
  7. Verb Placement in a Sentence
  8. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Spanish

1. What You Need to Know

The first thing that you need to know about Spanish verbs is that they have conjugations. In case you only speak English or another language that doesn’t have (many) conjugations, we’ll try to explain it simply.

English verbs don’t usually change much, but the few changes they have will help us explain Spanish verb conjugation. Any regular verb in English has the same form in the present tense, except for the third-person: 

  • “I buy” 
  • “You buy” 
  • “He/She buys” 

Can we say that’s a conjugation? Yes, it is! If we look at the verb “to be,” however, there are more changes:

  • “I am” 
  • “You are
  • “He/She is
  • “We are

In Spanish, this happens to every verb. The good news is that most of the time, it’s only the ending that changes and not the entire word. The only exception is for the Spanish irregular verbs.

Something else you need to know is that Spanish, unlike other languages, tends to avoid using the subject. The reason for this is completely related to conjugations: Because the verb changes according to the subject, you already know the subject of this action without actually using the corresponding pronoun. We only use the pronoun when it might not be so obvious who the subject is, or when we want to emphasize it.

Here’s an example:

  • Voy a comer un helado. 

“I’m going to eat ice cream.”

Voy is already expressing that I am the person who is going to eat it.

However, a few different things could happen to this same example. Let’s say the person you’re talking to didn’t hear you properly and asks you: 

  • ¿Quién va a comer un helado? 

“Who is going to eat ice cream?”

In this case, you would need to emphasize that it’s you, so you would say: YO voy a comer un helado.

If that same example was in the third-person (Va a comer un helado), the person we’re talking to might not know who we’re talking about and we might need to use a pronoun or even their actual name. But this is exactly the same thing that happens in English!

2. Different Groups of Verbs

Top Verbs

Verbs in Spanish can be divided into three different groups. This division is what helps us know which conjugation the verb follows, and it’s based on the ending of the verb in its infinitive form, which is the one you’ll always find in a dictionary. On top of that, we could say there’s still a fourth (and last) group which consists, of course, of irregular verbs. 

The three main groups are:

  • Spanish verbs with AR
  • Spanish verbs with ER
  • Spanish verbs with IR

We’re only going to take a brief look at the different verb groups here because we’ll soon be publishing an article about conjugations.

Verbs that end in -ar 

The first group of verbs, which we call “first conjugation,” is formed by all Spanish verbs with the infinitive ending –ar. Some examples are cantar (“to sing”), jugar (“to play”), and amar (“to love”).

Verbs that end in -er

The second conjugation is formed by verbs that end in –er in their infinitive form. Some examples are comer (“to eat”) and leer (“to read”).

Verbs that end in -ir 

The third and last conjugation is, as you might have guessed by the subtitle, verbs that end in –ir in their infinitive form. Two examples of this conjugation are salir (“to exit”) and dormir (“to sleep”).

Irregular verbs 

As mentioned before, sadly, there are also some irregular verbs. The classic examples are ser and estar (“to be”), but there are a few more—such as ir (“to go”)—that we’ll mark with a (!) on the following list of verbs. 

Irregular verbs can have different kinds of irregularities. For example, some verbs might be completely irregular and have conjugations that don’t look like their infinitive form at all, while others have only certain irregularities, sometimes in a specific tense, such as the present. 

Alright, now that we’ve covered the basics, here’s our list of Spanish verbs you need to know as a beginner! 

3. Action Verbs

More Essential Verbs

Physical Verbs 

1- andar

Meaning: “to walk”

Example: Todos los días voy andando al trabajo.

Translation: “I walk to work everyday.”

2- arreglar 

Meaning: “to fix”

Example: He tenido que llamar a un fontanero para que me arreglara el váter.

Translation: “I had to call a plumber to fix my toilet.”

3- besar

Meaning: “to kiss”

Example: ¿Vas a besarme o qué?

Translation: “Are you going to kiss me or what?”

4- caer

Meaning: “to fall”

Example: Ayer me caí y me rompí el brazo.

Translation: “Yesterday, I fell and broke my arm.”

5- cantar

Meaning: “to sing”

Example: A mi hermana le gusta mucho cantar.

Translation: “My sister really likes singing.”

Girl singing

6- cocinar

Meaning: “to cook”

Example: No sé qué cocinar esta noche.

Translation: “I don’t know what to cook tonight.”

7- comer

Meaning: “to eat”

Example: Hoy he comido cereales para desayunar.

Translation: “Today, I ate cereal for breakfast.”

8- comprar

Meaning: “to buy”

Example: Me he comprado un ordenador nuevo.

Translation: “I have bought a new computer.”

9- conducir

Meaning: “to drive”

Example: ¿Sabes conducir?

Translation: “Do you know how to drive?”

10- conseguir

Meaning: “to obtain” or “to achieve”

Example: He conseguido el visado.

Translation: “I have obtained the visa.”

11- correr

Meaning: “to run”

Example: Voy a tener que correr si quiero coger el autobús.

Translation: “I’m going to have to run if I want to take the bus.”

12- dar (!)

Meaning: “to give”

Example: Si te portas bien, te daré un trozo de chocolate.

Translation: “If you behave well, I’ll give you a piece of chocolate.”

13- decir (!)

Meaning: “to say”

Example: José me ha dicho que me quiere.

Translation: “José has told me that he loves me.”

14- descansar

Meaning: “to rest”

Example: ¿Has descansado bien?

Translation: “Have you rested well?”

15- empezar (!)

Meaning: “to start”

Example: Mañana empiezo a trabajar en una tienda.

Translation: “Tomorrow, I start working at a store.”

16- encontrar (!)

Meaning: “to find”

Example: Aún no he encontrado las llaves.

Translation: “I haven’t found my keys yet.”

17- enseñar

Meaning: “to teach” or “to show”

Example: Mi madre me enseñó a nadar cuando era pequeño.

Translation: “My mother taught me how to swim when I was little.”

18- entrar

Meaning: “to enter”

Example: Claro que puedes entrar en mi habitación.

Translation: “Of course you can enter my room.”

19- enviar

Meaning: “to send”

Example: He enviado una postal a mi abuela. 

Translation: “I have sent a postcard to my grandma.”

20- escribir

Meaning: “to write”

Example: Juan escribió su primer libro cuando tenía veinte años.

Translation: “Juan wrote his first book when he was twenty years old.”

21- ganar

Meaning: “to win”

Example: Ya hemos ganado tres partidos.

Translation: “We have already won three matches.”

22- gritar

Meaning: “to scream” or “to yell”

Example: ¡No me grites!

Translation: “Don’t yell at me!”

23- hacer (!)

Meaning: “to do” or “to make”

Example: ¿Has hecho los deberes?

Translation: “Have you done your homework?”

24- intentar

Meaning: “to try”

Example: He intentado decirle la verdad, pero no he podido.

Translation: “I tried to tell him the truth, but I couldn’t.”

25- ir (!)

Meaning: “to go”

Example: Este verano me voy de vacaciones a Londres.

Translation: “This summer, I’m going on holiday to London.”

26- jugar (!)

Meaning: “to play”

Example: Martín y yo jugamos a tenis los martes.

Translation: “Martín and I play tennis on Tuesdays.”

27- leer

Meaning: “to read”

Example: ¿Qué libro estás leyendo?

Translation: “What book are you reading?”

28- limpiar

Meaning: “to clean”

Example: Tengo que limpiar la cocina.

Translation: “I have to clean the kitchen.”

29- llamar

Meaning: “to call”

Example: Llámame cuando estés en casa.

Translation: “Call me when you’re home.”

30- llegar

Meaning: “to arrive”

Example: ¡Hemos llegado!

Translation: “We have arrived!”

31- llevar

Meaning: “to bring”

Example: ¿Vas a llevar algo a la cena?

Translation: “Are you bringing anything to dinner?”

32- mirar

Meaning: “to look” 

Example: ¡Mira a la derecha!

Translation: “Look right!”

33- mover

Meaning: “to move”

Example: Muévete, estás en medio.

Translation: “Move, you’re in the way.”

34- morir (!)

Meaning: “to die”

Example: Su abuela murió hace años.

Translation: “His grandmother died years ago.”

35- nadar

Meaning: “to swim”

Example: Me dijiste que te gustaba nadar, ¿no?

Translation: “You told me you liked to swim, didn’t you?”

36- pagar

Meaning: “to pay”

Example: Me gustaría pagar la cuenta.

Translation: “I would like to pay the bill.”

37- parar

Meaning: “to stop”

Example: Cuando llegues al final de la calle, para el coche.

Translation: “When you get to the end of the street, stop the car.”

38- perder

Meaning: “to lose”

Example: He perdido un poco de peso.

Translation: “I have lost a bit of weight.”

39- poner (!)

Meaning: “to put (on)”

Example: Ayer me puse un vestido nuevo.

Translation: “Yesterday, I put on a new dress.”

40- preguntar

Meaning: “to ask”

Example: ¿Te puedo preguntar algo?

Translation: “Can I ask you something?”

42- reír (!)

Meaning: “to laugh”

Example: Siempre te ríes cuando cuento un chiste.

Translation: “You always laugh when I tell a joke.”

42- regalar

Meaning: “to give (as a gift)”

Example: Creo que mis padres me quieren regalar un coche para mi cumpleaños.

Translation: “I think my parents want to give me a car for my birthday.”

43- robar

Meaning: “to rob” or “to steal”

Example: Me han robado el móvil.

Translation: “My phone has been stolen.”

44- salir (!)

Meaning: “to exit” or “to go out”

Example: Saldré en media hora.

Translation: “I’ll go out in half an hour.”

45- saltar

Meaning: “to jump”

Example: Tenemos que saltar a la vez.

Translation: “We have to jump at the same time.”

46- seguir

Meaning: “to follow”

Example: Vamos, ¡sígueme!

Translation: “Come on, follow me!”

47- trabajar

Meaning: “to work”

Example: Trabajo de camarera en un bar conocido.

Translation: “I work as a waitress in a well-known bar.”

48- vender

Meaning: “to sell”

Example: ¿Quieres que te venda mi televisión vieja?

Translation: “Do you want me to sell you my old TV?”

49- vivir

Meaning: “to live”

Example: Siempre he vivido en Valencia.

Translation: “I have always lived in Valencia.”

50- volar

Meaning: “to fly”

Example: Ese pájaro está volando muy cerca del fuego.

Translation: “That bird is flying very close to the fire.”

Mental Verbs

Negative Verbs

51- amar

Meaning: “to love”

Example: Siempre te amaré.

Translation: “I will always love you.”

52- aprender

Meaning: “to learn”

Example: Estoy aprendiendo español.

Translation: “I am learning Spanish.”

Girl having fun learning

53- confiar

Meaning: “to trust”

Example: Solo confío en mi mejor amiga.

Translation: “I only trust my best friend.”

54- creer

Meaning: “to believe”

Example: ¿Crees en Dios?

Translation: “Do you believe in God?”

55- decidir

Meaning: “to decide”

Example: Hemos decidido casarnos.

Translation: “We have decided to get married.”

56- desear

Meaning: “to wish”

Example: Te deseo un feliz cumpleaños.

Translation: “I wish you a happy birthday.”

57- divertirse

Meaning: “to have fun”

Example: Me he divertido mucho hoy.

Translation: “I’ve had a lot of fun today.”

58- encantar

Meaning: “to love” (not romantic)

Example: ¡Me encanta el chocolate!

Translation: “I love chocolate!”

59- entender (!)

Meaning: “to understand”

Example: No te entiendo cuando hablas con la boca llena.

Translation: “I don’t understand you when you speak with your mouth full.”

60- gustar

Meaning: “to like”

Example: Siempre me ha gustado el arte.

Translation: “I have always liked art.”

61- juzgar

Meaning: “to judge”

Example: No juzgues a la gente sin conocerla.

Translation: “Don’t judge people without knowing them.”

62- necesitar

Meaning: “to need”

Example: Necesitas dormir más.

Translation: “You need to sleep more.”

63- odiar

Meaning: “to hate”

Example: Odio cuando te portas así.

Translation: “I hate when you behave like this.”

64- olvidar

Meaning: “to forget”

Example: ¿No se te olvida algo?

Translation: “Aren’t you forgetting something?”

65- pensar

Meaning: “to think”

Example: Queremos que sepas que pensamos mucho en ti.

Translation: “We want you to know that we think a lot about you.”

66- preocuparse

Meaning: “to worry”

Example: No te preocupes.

Translation: “Don’t worry.”

67- prohibir

Meaning: “to forbid”

Example: El gobierno ha prohibido fumar en la playa.

Translation: “The government has forbidden smoking at the beach.”

68- querer

Meaning: “to want” or “to love”

Example: No quiero ir al colegio.

Translation: “I don’t want to go to school.”

69- recordar

Meaning: “to remember” or “to remind”

Example: Te recuerdo que hoy te toca invitarme.

Translation: “Let me remind you that today, it’s your turn to invite me.”

70- saber (!)

Meaning: “to know”

Example: ¿Sabías que mi madre es italiana?

Translation: “Did you know that my mother is Italian?”

71- soñar

Meaning: “to dream”

Example: Anoche soñé con mi abuelo.

Translation: “Last night, I dreamed of my grandad.”

72- sorprender

Meaning: “to surprise”

Example: Mi novio nunca me sorprende.

Translation: “My boyfriend never surprises me.”

73- tener (!)

Meaning: “to have”

Example: Cuando era pequeño tenía dos perros.

Translation: “When I was little, I had two dogs.”

4. Self-care Verbs

You might notice that in this section, all verbs end in –se after their regular verbal ending. These verbs are called reflexive and require a reflexive pronoun. Even though English doesn’t require pronouns for this kind of verb, it’s important to use them in Spanish. We recently published an article about pronouns that will most likely help you understand these verbs. Just in case, we’ve also added a literal translation to each of these translations.

Man Shaving

74- afeitarse

Meaning: “to shave”

Example: Mi padre se afeita todas las mañanas.

Translation: “My dad shaves every morning.” (Literally: “He shaves himself”)

75- arreglarse

Meaning: “to get ready”

Example: Espera cinco minutos, aún no me he arreglado.

Translation: “Wait five minutes, I didn’t get ready yet.” (Literally: “I didn’t get myself ready yet”)

76- bañarse 

Meaning: “to bathe”

Example: Me gusta bañarme antes de ir a dormir.

Translation: “I like to bathe before going to sleep.” (Literally: “I bathe myself”)

77- despertar(se)

Meaning: “to wake up”

Example: Siempre me despierto a las siete.

Translation: “I always wake up at seven.” (Literally: “I wake myself up”)

78- dormirse (vs. dormir [“to sleep”])

Meaning: “to fall asleep”

Example: Anoche me dormí a las once de la noche.

Translation: “Last night I fell asleep at eleven p.m.” (“Literally: “I put myself to sleep”)

79- ducharse

Meaning: “to shower”

Example: Todos los días me ducho antes de ir al trabajo.

Translation: “Every day, I shower before going to work.” (Literally: “I shower myself”)

80- levantarse 

Meaning: “to get up”

Example: No soy capaz de levantarme antes de las ocho.

Translation: “I’m not capable of getting up before eight.” (Literally: “I get myself up”)

81- maquillarse

Meaning: “to put on makeup”

Example: Marta nunca sale de casa sin maquillarse.

Translation: “Marta never leaves the house without putting on makeup.” (Literally: “She puts makeup on herself”)

82- peinarse

Meaning: “to brush one’s hair”

Example: ¿Te has peinado?

Translation: “Have you brushed your hair?” (In this case, we wouldn’t say it literally translates to “yourself,” because we already used “your.”)

83- vestirse

Meaning: “to get dressed”

Example: Deja que me vista primero.

Translation: “Let me get dressed first.”

Clothes

5. Linking Verbs

84- ser (!) vs. 85- estar (!)

You’ve probably heard of these two verbs before. We know, they’re not fun. However, they’re extremely important in Spanish. They only have one translation in English, which is the verb “to be.”

An easy way of making a distinction between these two verbs is that ser is generally used for things that are permanent, while estar is used for things that are temporary. For example, I can say Soy española (“I am Spanish”) using the verb ser, because I will always be Spanish. But if I want to say “I’m sad,” I’ll use the verb estar, because I’m not always going to be sad: Estoy triste.

For some more information, check out our lesson on whether to use ser or estar.  

86- convertirse 

Meaning: “to turn into”

Example: Bruce Banner se convierte en Hulk.

Translation: “Bruce Banner turns into the Hulk.”

87- girar

Meaning: “to turn”

Example: Gira a la derecha después del edificio azul.

Translation: “Turn right after the blue building.”

88- oír (!)

Meaning: “to hear”

Example: Habla más alto, no te oigo.

Translation: “Speak louder, I can’t hear you.”

89- oler (!)

Meaning: “to smell”

Example: ¡Este perfume huele genial!

Translation: “This perfume smells great!”

90- parecer

Meaning: “to seem”

Example: A mí me parece que esto no va a funcionar.

Translation: “To me, it seems like this isn’t going to work.”

91- permanecer

Meaning: “to remain”

Example: Tienes que permanecer quieto.

Translation: “You need to remain still.”

92- saber (!)

Meaning: “to taste” (something tastes like…)

Example: Esta sopa no sabe a pollo.

Translation: “This soup doesn’t taste like chicken.”

93- saborear

Meaning: “to taste” (I taste…)

Example: Siempre saboreo bien el chocolate antes de comerlo.

Translation: “I always taste the chocolate well before eating it.”

94- sentir (!)

Meaning: “to feel”

Example: Siempre haces que me sienta especial.

Translation: “You always make me feel special.”

95- ver (!)

Meaning: “to see”

Example: No te veo.

Translation: “I don’t see you.”

6. Helping Verbs

96- deber

Meaning: “must” (or “should” if it’s in the conditional form debería)

Example: Debo verla.

Translation: “I must see her.”

97- haber

This verb is different than all the other verbs in Spanish, and it can have two different uses.

One of these two uses is that it’s the translation of “there is” and “there are.” For example: 

  • Hay dos cabras. 

“There are two goats.”

  • Hay solo una cama en mi habitación. 

“There is only one bed in my bedroom.”

The other use is purely as a Spanish auxiliary verb that we could translate to the verb “to have” in English, and we’ve actually seen it before throughout this article, in some tenses. For example, when in English we say “I have eaten,” we use “have” to express this tense. In Spanish, we use the verb haber

This same sentence, for example, would be translated into He comido, where he is the first-person in the singular of the verb haber in the present tense. “He has eaten,” as another example, would be translated to Ha comido.

98- poder (!)

Meaning: “can”

Example: No puedo ir al cine hoy.

Translation: “I can’t go to the cinema today.”

99- soler

Meaning: “use to”

Example: De pequeño solía ir en bici al colegio.

Translation: “When I was little, I used to go to school by bike.”

100- tener que

Meaning: “have to”

Example: Tengo que ir al trabajo.

Translation: “I have to go to work.”

7. Verb Placement in a Sentence

In Spanish, the basic sentence pattern is S+V+O, so: subject (which is optional, as you might remember), followed by a verb, and then possibly an object. For example: 

  • Mi vecino tiene un gato

“My neighbor has a cat.”

In the case of questions, we have different options. If the question is preceded by an interrogative pronoun, the subject might be found after the verb. For example: 

  • ¿Qué desea comer la señora? 

“What would the lady like to eat?”

However, unlike in English, if the question doesn’t need an interrogative pronoun, the pattern will be the same as in a regular affirmative sentence, such as: 

  • ¿Tu hermano ha terminado el libro?

“Has your brother finished the book?”

Man Reading a Book on the Train

8. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Spanish

We hoped this Spanish verbs lesson helped you get a bit more familiar with verbs in Spanish. Remember to keep following this blog so that you can read our more in-depth Spanish verb conjugation article once it’s published! As we mentioned before, we realize it can sound a bit scary when your mother tongue has simpler verbs, but once you learn them, you’ll see it’s not as hard as it looked at first!

You should also keep in mind that we’ve also published an article dedicated to the top 100 nouns in Spanish and a similar one about adjectives, as well as the previously mentioned article about pronouns. 

For some more vocabulary, you might like to subscribe to our Free Spanish Word of the Day and get an email with new words everyday. 

Before you go, let us know in the comments if there are any Spanish verbs you still want to know. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Ultimate Guide to Spanish Pronouns

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Pronouns are essential in any language. All languages have pronouns, in some way or another, though some might not have as many as others. We use pronouns all the time, so not understanding them would mean missing a big part of the conversation. 

They simplify the language and make it possible for us not to repeat ourselves all the time. Sentences would be so much longer if we didn’t use pronouns or some other way of indicating what you’re talking about without constant repetition. 
There are many different kinds of Spanish pronouns, including indirect and direct object pronouns in Spanish, and we’re going to take a look at all of them. If you don’t feel like reading the entire article, you can always look at our list of the Most Useful Spanish Pronouns, even though you’re obviously not going to get as much information.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Spanish Table of Contents
  1. Personal Pronouns
  2. Demonstrative Pronouns
  3. Interrogative Pronouns
  4. Indefinite Pronouns
  5. Spanish Relative Pronouns
  6. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Spanish

1. Personal Pronouns

Introducing Yourself

a) Spanish Subject Pronouns

Let’s begin with something simple: Spanish personal subject pronouns. All languages have subjects, which according to the Cambridge English Dictionary, consist of “the person or thing that performs the action of the verb or is joined to a description by a verb.” In English, these are “I,” you,” etc. In Spanish, we have a few more different subject pronouns than in English. This is because the words for “we” and plural “you” have both a masculine and a feminine form. 

We also have another pronoun for when we want to speak more formally, or when we’re talking to an important person. Nowadays, it’s not very common in Spain, though! That’s why we’re only including it in this first section. In any other section, the pronouns used for the formal “you” are the same as the pronouns for the third person.

One more thing that you need to keep in mind is that in Spanish, the subject is often omitted unless the person we’re talking to doesn’t know who we’re talking about or we want to emphasize it. This is because the verb changes depending on the person, so it already tells who the person is. We’re going to include the subject on all of the following examples, but keep in mind that you won’t usually need to use them. 

  • Yo (“I”)

Yo tengo un hermano.

I have a brother.”

  • (“you”)

tienes un hermano.

You have a brother.”

  • Usted (formal “you”)

Usted tiene un hermano.

You have a brother.”

  • Él / ella (“he” / “she”)

Ella tiene un hermano.

She has a brother.”

  • Nosotros / nosotras (“we”)

Nosotros tenemos un hermano.

We have a brother.”

  • Vosotros / vosotras (“you”)

Vosotros tenéis un hermano.

You have a brother.”

  • Ustedes (formal “you”)

Ustedes tienen un hermano.

You have a brother.”

  • Ellos / ellas (“they”)

Ellos tienen un hermano.

They have a brother.”

Brothers Having Ice Cream

b) Spanish Direct Object Pronouns

An object is something or someone that’s affected by the action of the verb. So, for example, in the sentence Juan tira la pelota (“Juan throws the ball”), la pelota (“the ball”) is the object. This object can be substituted for a pronoun, if what you’re talking about is already known. If you wanted to substitute the object in that sentence for a pronoun, the sentence would become Juan la tira (“Juan throws it“). 

Look at the Spanish pronoun’s placement in the sentence. Even though the object is found after the verb, the pronoun always goes in front of it, as opposed to English.

  • Me (“me”)

Juan me quiere.

“Juan loves me.”

  • Te (“you”)

Te quiero.

“I love you.”

  • Lo / la (“him” / “her”)

La quiero.

“I love her.”

  • Nos (“us”)

Nuestros padres nos quieren.

“Our parents love us.”

  • Os (“you”)

Os queremos.

“We love you.”

  • Los / las (“them”)

Las quiero.

“I love them.”

Mother Kissing Her Baby

c) Spanish Indirect Object Pronouns

These pronouns are very similar to the direct object pronouns. You’ll soon notice that only the third person changes. In English, they’re always the same, unless we rephrase them a little. However, in Spanish, we use them differently. They both go in front of the verb, but they have different meanings. 

To see an example, we can use the same sentence we saw when we explained direct object pronouns, but we’ll add an indirect object to it: Juan tira la pelota a Carlos (“Juan throws the ball to Carlos”). Here, a Carlos (“to Carlos”) is the indirect object. 

Now, to substitute this indirect object for a pronoun, we can transform this sentence in a couple of different ways. If we only wanted to substitute the indirect object, the sentence would become: Juan le tira la pelota (“Juan throws him the ball”). But if we wanted to change both objects, it would be: Juan se la tira (“Juan throws it to him“). You might have noticed that we used a different pronoun, even though they both mean the same thing. 

No need to worry. The third person is the only one that has two different forms, and se is only used when it’s next to direct object pronouns. In all other cases, there’s only one pronoun for both circumstances.

  • Me (“[to/for] me”)

¿Me vas a mandar algo por mi cumpleaños?

“Are you going to send me anything for my birthday?”

  • Te (“[to/for] you”)

Te tengo que devolver el libro.

“I have to give you your book back.”

  • Se/le (“[to/for] him/her”)

Traigo un regalo para mi madre. → Le traigo un regalo. → Se lo traigo.

“I bring a present for my mom.” → “I bring her a present.” → “I bring it to her.”

  • Nos (“[to/for] us”)

Nos han regalado estas toallas.

“They gave us these towels.”

  • Os (“[to/for] you”)

Os voy a decir la verdad.

“I’m going to tell you the truth.”

  • Se/les (“[to/for] them”)

He hecho una tortilla para mis amigos. → Les he hecho una tortilla. → Se la he hecho.

“I made an omelette for my friends.” → “I made them an omelette.” → “I made it for them.”

Tortilla de Patatas

d) Spanish Prepositional Pronouns

The following pronouns are also personal, but they’re a bit different than the others. We call them “prepositional” because they always follow a preposition. (P.S.: Be sure to check out the video above about the most common Spanish prepositions!) 

Once again, the translation into English is the same as the object pronouns, but they’re not the same in Spanish.

  • (“me”)

No te rías de .

“Don’t laugh at me.”

  • Ti (“you”)

Sin ti todo es diferente.

“Everything is different without you.”

  • Él / ella (“him” / “her”)

Soy feliz con él.

“I’m happy with him.”

  • Nosotros / nosotras (“us”)

Para nosotros no es lo mismo.

“It’s not the same to us.”

  • Vosotros / vosotras (“you”)

Esto lo he hecho por vosotras.

“I have done this for you.”

  • Ellos / ellas (“them”)

El gato es de ellos.

“The cat is from them.”

Whenever you find the preposition con (“with”) in front of the pronouns (“me”) and ti (“you”), we actually need to put the two words together and change them a little bit, to conmigo (“with me”) and contigo (“with you”), specifically. For example: Estoy bien contigo (“I’m fine with you”).

e) Spanish Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns do go after the verb, just like in English. However, there’s an important difference between them and their English counterparts: English uses one pronoun per person, independently of the gender or number of the word. In Spanish, each pronoun has four different forms. We’re going to be nice and include all of them, but just so you know, they always have the same ending. Masculine singular words end in –o, feminine singular words end in –a, and whenever it’s plural, you add an -s to the previous ending.

  • Mío / mía / míos / mías (“mine”)

Este móvil es mío.

“This phone is mine.”

  • Tuyo / tuya / tuyos / tuyas (“yours”)

Esta pelota es tuya.

“This ball is yours.”

  • Suyo / suya / suyos / suyas (“his” / “hers”)

Los pañuelos son suyos.

“The tissues are his/hers.”

  • Nuestro / nuestra / nuestros / nuestras (“ours”)

El coche es nuestro.

“The car is ours.”

  • Vuestro / vuestra / vuestros / vuestras (“yours”)

Las muñecas son vuestras.

“The dolls are yours.”

  • Suyo / suya / suyos / suyas (“theirs”)

La casa es suya.

“The house is theirs.”

f) Spanish Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns in Spanish always need to be the same person as the subject of the verb, just like in English. Even though all of these pronouns have an equivalent in English, we use them a lot more in Spanish, and very often when we translate one of these sentences, they aren’t actually used in English. Well, we could add them, but it would be very unnecessary.

This is because Spanish has some verbs which are known as reflexive, that always need one of these pronouns in order to make sense. To learn more about them, check out our lesson “What are Reflexive Verbs?

  • Me (“myself”)

Aún me tengo que maquillar.

“I still need to put on my makeup.”

  • Te (“yourself”)

¿A qué hora te has levantado?

“What time did you wake up?”

  • Se (“himself” / “herself”)

Se llama Paula.

“Her name is Paula.”

  • Nos (“ourselves”)

Nos vamos a peinar antes de salir.

“We’re going to brush our hair before going out.”

  • Os (“yourselves”)

¿Os podéis sentar?

“Could you sit down?”

  • Se (“themselves”)

Los niños se van a duchar ahora.

“The kids are going to shower now.”

2. Demonstrative Pronouns

Woman Looking in the Distance

In Spanish, demonstrative pronouns are quite similar to those in English, but there are a couple of differences. One of them is that while English only has a form for the singular and one for the plural, Spanish also takes feminine words into account. This shouldn’t surprise you at this stage, because they work just like possessive pronouns, which we saw previously. There’s also a sort of neutral gender in demonstrative pronouns, which are esto, eso, and aquello. Even though they end in –o and therefore look like the masculine gender, they’re neutral because they’re not linked to a specific noun; they’re kind of saying “this/that thing.”

Just like in English, we use este (“this”) when something is close, and ese (“that”) when it’s far. But Spanish adds a third demonstrative pronoun, which is aquel. The secret to understanding these three pronouns is to link them to different people. No, we don’t mean specific people. Este (“this”) is linked to yo (“I”), which is the speaker, while ese (“that”) is linked to (“you”), which is the person we’re talking to. However, aquel (once again, “that”) is linked to someone else who isn’t part of the conversation. 

This is exactly what happens to the other three pronouns we have in this Spanish pronouns list, which are completely related to the previous ones (as you’ll see in the following examples). These are aquí, ahí, and allí. Aquí means “here,” while ahí refers to something that isn’t very close, and allí refers to something that’s a lot farther away.

In the past, these pronouns used to have an accent, so they were spelled éste, ése, and aquél instead. However, a few years ago, the Real Academia Española (RAE) decided to delete them for good, so now you don’t need to worry about them anymore.

  • Este / esto / esta / estos / estas (“this” / “these”)

Este de aquí es mi primo.

This one here is my cousin.”

  • Ese / eso / esa / esos / esas (“that” / “those”)

Estos coches no me gustan, prefiero esos.

“I don’t like these cars, I prefer those.”

  • Aquel / aquello / aquella / aquellos / aquellas (“that” / “those”)

Aquel suele ir al bar del puerto.

That one often goes to the bar at the port.” 

  • Aquí (“here”) 

Es la primera vez que vengo aquí.

“This is the first time I’ve come here.”

  • Ahí (“there”)

En ese banco de ahí nunca se sienta nadie.

“No one ever sits on that bench over there.”

  • Allí (“there”)

Antes solía subir aquella montaña y sentarme ahí arriba.

“I used to climb up that mountain and sit up there.”

3. Interrogative Pronouns

Basic Questions

Interrogative pronouns in Spanish aren’t hard to learn, because they work exactly the same way as in English. It’s the first word in a sentence, and just like most of them in English start with wh-, in Spanish most of them start with the sound [k], which in this case can be represented by q– or c-. For more examples, take a look at our Top 15 Questions You Should Know for Conversations.

  • Qué (“what”)

¿Qué vas a hacer este verano?
What are you going to do this summer?”

  • Cuál (“which”)

¿Cuál de ellos es Carlos?

Which one of them is Carlos?”

  • Por qué (“why”)

¿Por qué te tienes que ir tan pronto?

Why do you have to leave so soon?”

  • Quién (“who”)

¿Quién eres?

Who are you?”

  • Dónde (“where”)

¿Dónde viven tus abuelos?

Where do your grandparents live?”

  • Cuánto (“how much”)

¿Cuánto cuesta esta falda?

How much does this skirt cost?”

  • Cuántos/cuántas (“how many”)

¿Cuántas hermanas tienes?

How many sisters do you have?”

¿Cuántos años tienes?

How old are you?”

  • Cuándo (“when”)

¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?

When is your birthday?”

4. Indefinite Pronouns

Improve Listening

When it comes to indefinite pronouns in Spanish, some are similar to those in English and some are not. Here’s a list that will surely be useful.

  • Alguno (“some”)

Seguro que alguno de ellos irá.

“I’m sure some of them will go.”

  • Alguien (“someone” or “anyone”)

¿Hay alguien que pueda recogerme en el aeropuerto?

“Is there anyone who can pick me up at the airport?”

  • Algo (“something”)

Hay algo que te tengo que preguntar.

“There is something I need to ask you.”

  • Otro/s (“another”)

Se te ha ensuciado la bufanda, ¿no tienes otra?

“You got your scarf dirty, don’t you have another one?”

  • Cualquiera (“anyone”)

Puedes preguntárselo a cualquiera.

“You can ask anyone.”

  • Mucho/s (“many”)

Muchos de mis amigos van a la universidad.

Many of my friends go to university.”

  • Todo (“all” or “everything”)

Todo lo que dice Marta es mentira.

Everything that Marta says is a lie.”

  • Todos (“everyone”)

Todos te van a decir lo mismo.

Everyone is going to tell you the same thing.”

  • Nada (“nothing” or “anything”)

No quiero nada para mi cumpleaños.

“I don’t want anything for my birthday.”

  • Nadie (“nobody”)

No conozco a nadie que viva en Madrid.

“I don’t know anyone who lives in Madrid.”

  • Ninguno (“none”)

Ninguno de mis amigos va a ir a la fiesta.

None of my friends is going to the party.”

Lonely Person

5. Spanish Relative Pronouns

One good thing about relative pronouns in Spanish is that we don’t have any confusion between “who” and “whom.” We do have a specific word for “whose,” which is cuyo, but it’s not as widely used, even though we have included it in the list below. The pronoun quien (“who”) is actually not used very much either, as we often just use the pronoun que (“that”).

Notice that most of these are similar to interrogative pronouns. However, there’s an important difference: interrogative questions have accents, such as dónde (“where”), while relative pronouns don’t.

  • Que (“that”)

Este es el chico que te dije.

“This is the guy (that) I told you about.” 

  • El cual / la cual / los cuales / las cuales (“which”)

Esta es la casa en la cual creció mi abuela.

“This is the house in which my grandmother grew up.”

  • Quien / quienes (“who”)

Esta es la chica a quien vi en el parque.

“This is the girl (who) I saw in the park.”

  • Cuyo / cuya / cuyos / cuyas (“whose”)

Juan, cuyo hermano murió el año pasado, va a venir a vernos.

“Juan, whose brother died last year, is going to come visit us.”

  • Donde (“where”)

Aquí es donde nos conocimos.

“This is where we first met.”

6. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Spanish

You might have noticed that even though there are some exceptions, pronouns in Spanish work quite similarly as those in English, which definitely makes them easier to learn. Even though there are several types of Spanish pronouns, they should all make sense to someone who speaks English, even if it’s not as a first language. 

Now that you’ve taken the time to study Spanish pronouns, which usually substitute nouns, it would be a good idea to learn the 50 most common nouns in Spanish, wouldn’t it? At SpanishPod101.com, you’ll learn everything you need—and sometimes even things you wouldn’t expect to learn, such as all these untranslatable words in Spanish that you’ll probably find interesting. 

Before you go, let us know in the comments how you feel about Spanish pronouns now. More confident, or is there something you’re still struggling with? We look forward to hearing what you have to say!

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eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

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Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

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eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

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The Basics of Spanish Word Order

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We might not always like to admit this when we’re starting to learn a language, but the truth is that one can’t speak properly without knowing how to put sentences together. If you use the wrong word order, there’s a chance that what you’re saying might have a different meaning than what you intended, or it might have no meaning at all. 

To avoid this, here’s the perfect article for you to learn Spanish sentence structure. You’ll soon learn that Spanish word order is actually not so hard, and that, in some ways, it’s similar to word order in English. You’ll also learn that, in fact, it’s more flexible! That means you can change the order of words a little bit more than you can in English.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Spanish Table of Contents
  1. Overview of Word Order in Spanish
  2. Basic Word Order with Subject, Verb, and Object
  3. Word Order in Negative Sentences
  4. Word Order with Prepositional Phrases
  5. Word Order with Modifiers
  6. Changing a Sentence into a Yes-or-No Question
  7. Translation Exercises
  8. How to Master Spanish with SpanishPod101.com

1. Overview of Word Order in Spanish

Improve Listening

Basic Spanish language word order refers to the usual order in which words are found in a sentence. Even though the sentences that we use day-to-day may have other elements in them, to learn this basic order, there are three basic elements that we use as a reference. These three elements are the subject, verb, and object.

Despite Spanish being more flexible than English in this sense, our basic word order is the same: 

subject + verb + object (SVO)

Yo + me comí + la tarta

I + ate + the cake

Sometimes, we might want to emphasize one element or another in a sentence. This leads us to moving these around the sentence, but they will keep the same (or very similar) meaning. In English, because the ability to move words in a sentence is quite limited, emphasizing an element is accomplished by intonation. 

Let’s look at two sentences. The first one has basic word order, and the other one has a different order. In the second sentence, the emphasized word is marked in bold:

Example: Yo me comí la tarta

Translation: “I ate the cake.”

Example: Me la comí yo, la tarta.

Translation: “I ate the cake.”

Man Eating Cake

There’s a way of modifying the English sentence to emphasize this element even more: “It is I that ate the cake.” However, this wouldn’t be an accurate translation of our example in Spanish, because in English, we’re not just moving an element around: we’re changing the whole structure. 

Did you notice that we actually added an extra word in our second Spanish sentence? If you did, we just want to say: Nice job! The word that we added was a pronoun, and don’t worry, we’ll explain it a little bit later.

We could still modify our sample sentence a bit more:

Example: La tarta me la comí yo.

Translation: “The cake, I ate.”

In this case, we can translate this new structure pretty much literally, but in English, we feel like this sounds quite unnatural. In Spanish, this is completely normal.

2. Basic Word Order with Subject, Verb, and Object

Now, let’s go more into detail about the most basic Spanish word order rules.

1 – Subject

Subject is the person or thing performing the action of the verb. It’s usually a noun phrase, such as a noun or a pronoun: Juan come espaguetis. (“Juan eats spaghetti.”) / Él come espaguetis. (“He eats spaghetti.”). 

Sometimes, the subject might be a verb: Cantar es divertido. (“Singing is fun.”). However, as we’ve explained in previous articles, in Spanish, a subject isn’t always necessary and we often drop pronouns when we already know who the subject is: Como espaguetis. (“I eat spaghetti.”). 

As we saw in our previous article about verb conjugation in Spanish, the verb como is conjugated, and considering the verb is conjugated in the first person singular, we know it means “I eat,” so there’s no possible confusion.

2 – Verb

The second element in Spanish word order is verbs. You know what verbs are, don’t you? According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a verb is “a word or phrase that describes an action, condition, or experience.” 

To give you a few examples: cantar (“to sing”), comer (“to eat”), and hablar (“to talk”) are all verbs. Without them, language wouldn’t make much sense.

3 – Object

The third and last element in basic word order is something we call an object. It isn’t an indispensable element in a sentence, as some verbs don’t require objects, but it’s undoubtedly common and helps us define sentence structure. 

Cambridge defines an object as “a noun or noun phrase that is affected by the action of a verb or that follows a preposition.” In the sentence Juan come espaguetis. (“Juan eats spaghetti.”), spaghetti is the thing that is being eaten by Juan.

Spaghetti Dish

3. Word Order in Negative Sentences 

In some languages, negative sentences can completely change an affirmative sentence. Lucky for you, in this sense, Spanish happens to be quite simple. So, what is the Spanish word order for these negative sentences?

To form a regular negative sentence, all we need to do is add the word no, which in this context is equivalent to “not,” to an affirmative sentence. No is always found before the verb. To illustrate this, let’s use the same example we did before: Juan no come espaguetis. (“Juan does not eat spaghetti.”).

As you know, there are other ways of making a negative sentence. One example would be to add nunca (“never”): Juan nunca come espaguetis. (“Juan never eats spaghetti.”). As you can see, it follows exactly the same structure as the previous example. Simple, right? 

Well, there are many other negative words: nada (“nothing”), nadie (“nobody”), ninguno (“none”)… When we use these words, the structure is a bit different, because they can be used in different ways. They can act as subjects or as objects. 

For example: Nadie ha comido espaguetis. (“Nobody has eaten spaghetti.”). Here we find the word nadie before the verb, just as we saw in the previous negative sentences. However, that makes sense, because it acts as a subject. 

Since we’re mentioning this, we should explain that sometimes these words might be found after the verb, even if they’re a subject. Here are a few examples:

  • No hay nadie. → “There isn’t anyone.”
  • No hay nada. → “There isn’t anything.”
  • No queda ninguno. → “There is none left.”
Empty Street

The negative word in bold in each of these examples is the subject of the sentence, even though it might not be as obvious as in the other examples we’ve seen. We could say that the word in bold is “the thing that isn’t.” 

As you might have noticed, the adverb no does appear at the beginning of the sentence, something that happens similarly in the English translation. As you’ll find out in our lesson “How to Be Negative?” in Spanish, it’s quite common to have more than one negative word in one sentence.

4. Word Order with Prepositional Phrases

Another element that needs to be taken into account when talking about word order is prepositional phrases. A prepositional phrase is a type of phrase that always begins with a preposition, such as en (“in,” “on,” “at”) or con (“with”). If you would like to find out more about prepositions, we have an article just for you! Check out our article about Spanish prepositions.

Prepositional phrases are usually found at the end of a sentence, but some of them can be placed at the beginning if you want to emphasize said phrase. Let’s look at some examples of Spanish word order that show this: 

Estudio español en casa. → “I study Spanish at home.”

But what if someone asked us: 

¿Dónde estudias español? → “Where do you study Spanish?”

In this case, a possible answer we could give them would be:

En casa, estudio español. → “At home, I learn Spanish.”

There are many other prepositional phrases we could add to the same sentence, even together, such as: 

Estudio español en casa con SpanishPod101.com. → “I study Spanish at home with SpanishPod101.com.”

Man Studying at Home

5. Word Order with Modifiers

We’ve already seen a type of modifier, which were the ones that turned affirmative sentences into negative sentences. However, there are many more elements in sentences that we call modifiers. These include words such as articles, adjectives, and pronouns.

Determiners are easy, because they always go in front of a noun, just like in English. These are, among others, articles, numerals, and possessives. Let’s look at examples for these types of modifiers:

Articles: El hombre come espaguetis. → “The man eats spaghetti.”

Numerals: Dos hombres comen espaguetis. → “Two men eat spaghetti.”

Possessives: Mi padre come espaguetis. → “My father eats spaghetti.”

However, in Spanish word order, adjectives normally go after the noun, but there are exceptions. For example, in literature, especially poetry, it’s common to write the adjective before the noun. Check out our article on adjectives for more information!

El coche blanco es de mi padre. → “The white car is my dad’s.”

La hermosa princesa abrió los ojos. → “The beautiful princess opened her eyes.”

Pronouns can go either before or after the verb, depending on the kind of pronoun they are, or sometimes depending on what you feel like saying. As we learned in our previous article about pronouns, there are different kinds of pronouns in Spanish. Even though we also talked about the order they follow in that article, we’ll look at them again, one by one:

1 – Personal Pronouns

If you read the article we just mentioned, you might remember that there are many kinds of personal pronouns. 

a) Subject Pronouns

Subject pronouns, which are the ones we use for the subject of a sentence, are always found before the verb. This is because, as we saw, in Spanish, the subject is always the first element in a sentence. 

Ellos quieren una casa nueva. → “They want a new house.”

b) Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns and Reflexive Pronouns

You probably remember that basic word order in Spanish is subject + verb + object, don’t you? Well, when a direct or indirect object is substituted by a pronoun, the pronoun is actually found before the verb. We’ll illustrate this with a few examples:

Direct object: 

Quieren una casa nueva. → La quieren.

“They want a new house.” → “They want it.”

Both direct and indirect objects: 

Traigo un regalo para mi madre. → Le traigo un regalo. → Se lo traigo.

“I bring a present for my mom.” → “I bring her a present.” → “I bring it to her.”

Reflexive pronouns work in a very similar way and they’re always found before the verb:

Mis padres se van de vacaciones. → “My parents are going on vacation.”  

c) Prepositional Pronouns

Prepositional pronouns follow the same rules that prepositional phrases do, so they can be in different locations inside a sentence depending on what you would like to emphasize.

Sin ti todo es diferente. → “Without you, everything is different.”

Todo es diferente sin ti. → “Everything is different without you.”

d) Possessive Pronouns

A possessive pronoun can be a subject or an object, so its order will depend on the function it does in the sentence:

El nuestro es ese. → “Ours is that one.”

La casa es nuestra. → “The house is ours.” 

2 – Demonstrative Pronouns

Just like what happened with possessive pronouns, demonstrative pronouns can be in different places in the same sentence, depending on their function.

Este es mi hermano. → “This is my brother.”

Nunca he estado ahí. → “I have never been there.”

3 – Interrogative Pronouns

Interrogative pronouns are pronouns that help us ask questions, and they’re always the first word in a question:

¿Qué quieres? → “What do you want?”

4 – Indefinite Pronouns

Once again, indefinite pronouns don’t have a specific position in a sentence, because that depends on their function.

Todos quieren dinero. → Everyone wants money.”

Puedes preguntárselo a cualquiera. → “You can ask anyone.”

5 – Relative Pronouns

Relative pronouns are never found in simple sentences. Rather, we find them in complex sentences. These pronouns always start the second part of the sentence, so they’ll always be in the middle. This might sound odd if you’re not sure what a relative pronoun is, but you’ll understand once you look at an example:

Esta es mi prima que vive en la ciudad. → “This is my cousin who lives in the city.”

6. Changing a Sentence into a Yes-or-No Question

Improve Pronunciation

In many languages, to transform a normal sentence into a yes-or-no question you must change it a fair bit, or change the order. In Spanish, this is way simpler. So, what is the Spanish word order in questions? Look at these examples:

Estudias español todos los días. → “You study Spanish every day.” 

¿Estudias español todos los días? → “Do you study Spanish every day?” 

As you probably noticed, it’s exactly the same structure. This doesn’t only happen with specific structures: it happens every time you turn a sentence, either affirmative or negative, into a yes-or-no question. 

We’re sure you enjoyed learning this, but you probably know that there are other kinds of questions. If you feel a bit lost when it comes to this topic, you might enjoy our lesson on 15 Questions You Should Know

7. Translation Exercises

We thought it would be useful to you to see how we transform a simple sentence into more complex sentences, and translate them to English. Below, you can see exactly what changes we make.

1. Bebiste agua. → “You drank water.”

2. Bebiste agua hace cinco minutos. → “You drank water five minutes ago.”

In this second sentence, the only thing we added was the time the action happened, hace cinco minutos, which means “five minutes ago.”

3. Bebiste dos botellas de agua hace cinco minutos. → “You drank two bottles of water five minutes ago.” 

In this third sentence, we made a bigger change. This time, what we’re drinking isn’t just water, but something slightly more specific: two bottles of water. The new object is dos botellas de agua instead of just agua.

4. ¿Bebiste dos botellas de agua hace cinco minutos? → “Did you drink two bottles of water five minutes ago?”

To end these examples, we thought it would be a good idea to show you once again how to turn an affirmative sentence into a question, to convince you that we don’t have to make any changes to it, just in case you didn’t believe us before!

Woman Drinking Water

8. How to Master Spanish with SpanishPod101.com

As we mentioned previously, Spanish word order is more flexible than English word order, so in some cases, if you don’t use our basic order, it might just seem as if you’re trying to emphasize some word or phrase in particular. The way we see it, it means you would have to try pretty hard to get it wrong! When learning a foreign language, this is exactly the kind of motivation you need.

For more information on Spanish word order, SpanishPod101.com has another short lesson on this as well! If you want to get a better understanding of Spanish grammar in general, also check out our relevant page.

No matter what your level is, give us a try and learn Spanish! From beginner to advanced, here you’ll find everything you need.

Before you go, let us know in the comments if there’s anything that’s still not clear about Spanish word order. We’ll do our best to help you out!

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Ultimate Guide to Telling Time in Spanish

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How do you say “time” in Spanish? And how do you say “What time is it?” in Spanish? 

Did you know that to tell the time you should never use the literal translation, tiempo

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though. We’ll answer this and other questions more in-depth in this blog post! Learn everything about how to say the time in Spanish with SpanishPod101.com!

Learning about telling time in Spanish, along with how to introduce yourself in Spanish, is significantly important if you want to improve your conversation skills. 

Even in your native language, knowing the right way of telling the time can help you avoid misunderstandings. Well, time is so crucial in Spanish culture that learning how to tell time is as important as time itself. 

Let’s get started with our guide on time in Spanish for beginners! 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Spanish Table of Contents
  1. How to Ask for the Time
  2. The Hours in Spanish
  3. The Minutes in Spanish
  4. Hours Divided into Minutes in Spanish
  5. General Time Reference of the Day
  6. Time Adverbs
  7. Time Proverbs and Sayings in Spanish
  8. Conclusion

1. How to Ask for the Time

Telling the time in Spanish is simple if you know the cardinal numbers and the verb “to be” (ser). Once you practice and master those two things, asking and telling the time in Spanish will be so much easier. 

Kid With a Clock on the Hand
  • ¿Qué hora es?

“What time is it?”

In some Latin American countries, you may hear ¿Qué hora son? instead of ¿Qué hora es?. Both are correct for asking the time in Spanish. The singular form is used mostly in Spain and the plural form is used mostly in Latin American Spanish-speaking countries.

  • ¿Qué hora son?

“What time is it?”

To learn how to say the time in Spanish, you also need to know that “time” in Spanish is tiempo. Tiempo also means “weather,” but you never use tiempo to ask for the time. 

  • Hoy hace buen tiempo.

“Good weather today.”

To learn how to ask the time in Spanish, you just have to change the word “time” to the word for “hour.” So “What time is it?” would be translated as ¿Qué hora es? This is the easiest way to learn how to say time in Spanish. But there are some other ways of asking what the time is in Spanish, such as ¿Tienes hora? which means “Do you have the time?”

Another way to learn how to ask the time is by asking what time something is (e.g. a meeting, a concert, or work): ¿A qué hora es el concierto? To ask “At what time is,” in Spanish (e.g. “What time is the concert?”), notice that you have to add an a before qué, which means “at.”

Once you have these few things in mind, it will be so much easier for you to ask for the time in Spanish. 

Asking correctly is as important as telling the time in Spanish. So let’s look at some formulas and tricks on how to say the time in Spanish in case you get asked. 

Clocks

Verb to be (Es / Son) + la(s) + number from one to twelve + number of minutes

  • Es la una de la mañana.

“It is 1 a.m.”

OR

  • Es la una en punto.

“It’s one o’clock.”

Es + la + una + y + number of minutes

  • Es la una y treinta minutos.

“It’s 1:30 a.m.”

  • Es la una y diez minutos.

“It’s 1:10 a.m.”

If you want to say any hour between two and twelve, you have to use the third person of the plural son, as follows:

  • Son las tres de la mañana.

“It’s three a.m.”

If someone tells you the time, make sure you say “thank you,” and do it the right way.

2. The Hours in Spanish 

Time

If you can count from one to twelve, you’re already on the right path—cardinal numbers are essential for telling the time in Spanish. If you don’t know all of them yet, here you just need to know the numbers from one to twelve. 

Uno “One”

Dos “Two”

Tres “Three”

Cuatro “Four”

Cinco “Five”

Seis “Six”

Siete “Seven”

Ocho “Eight”

Nueve “Nine”

Diez “Ten”

Once “Eleven”

Doce “Twelve”

Once you have these memorized, you can try using them in one of the formulas we’ve covered. Another thing to keep in mind when learning how to say “What time is it?” is that “o’clock,” which is en punto, doesn’t always need to be added.

Example:

  • Son las ocho.

“It’s eight o’clock.”

Clock at 8 o'clock
  • Son las ocho en punto.

“It’s eight o’clock.”

Easy peasy, right? 

So, how do you know if it’s morning or evening? 

When telling the time in Spanish, know that you don’t need to use a.m. or p.m. Although it’s correct to say, most Spanish speakers don’t use them. We prefer to say ocho de la mañana (“eight in the morning”) or diez de la noche (“ten in the evening”). However, when it comes to writing the time in Spanish, we use the twenty-four-hour clock (also known as military time).

However, this is very subjective because some of the Latin American countries aren’t used to using the twenty-four-hour clock and use a.m. and p.m. more often than in Spain.

The general rule in Spain is: Write in military time and speak the time as numbers from one to twelve. For example, if you’re going to a theater show, you’ll see the time on their page or billboard as follows:

22:30 

But you’ll say to a friend by phone:

  • Las diez y media de la noche.

“Ten thirty at night.”

For some Latin American countries, the night starts when it’s dark, around six p.m. This is because they’re near the equator, and thus the time the sun sets doesn’t change much during the summer. 

For the Spanish, on the other hand, the night starts after eight p.m. “Six p.m.” is still seis de la tarde.

It’s important to remember then that the Spanish language is gendered. So, when learning about time in Spanish, you need to know that you should always use the feminine article –las because it refers to la hora. The only exception is when you’re talking about one o’clock, in which case you use la.

  • Es la una en punto.

“It is one o’clock.”

  • Son las tres de la tarde.

“It is three p.m.”

3. The Minutes in Spanish

Improve Listening

When learning how to tell time in Spanish, there are multiple levels that you can aim for once you start using the minutes in Spanish. You can start with the easy formula of saying the number of minutes after the hour. To reach the highest level, use phrases such as “quarter to,” in Spanish, “quarter past,” “half,” or “minutes to (hour).”

An easy way to say the minutes in Spanish is to just say the number of minutes. But to make things simpler, let’s learn the minutes by fives:

2:05 Las dos y cinco

3:10 Las tres y diez

4:15 Las cuatro y quince

5:20 Las cinco y veinte

6:25 Las seis y veinticinco

7:30 Las siete y treinta

7:35 Las siete y treinta y cinco

8:40 Las ocho y cuarenta

9:45 Las nueve y cuarenta y cinco

10:50 Las diez y cincuenta

11:55 Las once y cincuenta y cinco

After the number of minutes, you can add the word minutos. It’s the translation for “minutes,” and you’ll always use this word in the plural unless you say “one minute” (y un minuto).

  • Son las tres y cinco minutos.

“It is three and five minutes.”

  • Son las doce y un minuto.

“It is one minute past twelve.”

4. Hours Divided into Minutes in Spanish

So one way of improving your level of Spanish is to expand on your knowledge of hours in Spanish. What do I mean? You can identify your level of Spanish by whether you’re able to understand and tell the time in Spanish by half, quarter, and three quarters of an hour.

How do we do this? 

The same way we divide time in English. Dividing the clock into blocks of fifteen minutes. Every fifteen minutes, we’re talking about cuartos or “quarters.”

Four Clocks Showing different Times

To talk about half an hour in Spanish, you need to use y media.

Unlike in English, in Spanish you say the hour first, then the minutes:

  • 01:30 p.m. 

La una y media.

“Half past one.”

To say that it’s a quarter past an hour in Spanish, you need to use y cuarto.

  • 01:15 p.m. 

Es la una y cuarto.

“It is a quarter past one.”

To say that it’s a quarter until an hour in Spanish, you need to use menos cuarto. This means that you tell the hour first, and then you have to take away the quarter from the time that’s approaching. It sounds like “one minus quarter” for 12:45 p.m. 

Like in English, the Latin American Spanish-speakers use the phrase “quarter till” in a similar manner. It’s okay to use this, especially if you’re learning. Then, once you get a better understanding and you need to improve your Spanish skills, you can start telling time like Spaniards do. 

Note that even for some Latinos it’s hard to tell the time the European Spanish way, so go easy on yourself! 

Latin American Spanish:

  • 01:45 p.m

Faltan un cuarto para las dos.

“It is a quarter to two.”

The most difficult to learn and remember is the quarter until an hour. This is because you may still be thinking it in the English way. 

In English:

Minutes left to the time approaching + “to” + hour (from one to twelve)

Example:

01:45 p.m. — “A quarter to two.”

In Spanish:


Hour (from one to twelve) + menos + minutes left to the approaching time

Example:

01:45 p.m. — Las dos menos cuarto.

5. General Time Reference of the Day

As we said earlier, in Spanish we’re more used to saying “in the morning” or “in the evening” to refer to a.m. or p.m. While we do understand it if we see it, we don’t usually use these terms. 

Instead, we use other words that refer to certain times of the day, and these will be very good for you to learn. Let’s take a look! 

  • Primera hora de la mañana — “Early morning”

Example: 

Tengo cita en el médico a primera hora de la mañana.

“I have a doctor’s appointment in the early morning.”

Woman Cheering the Sun in the Morning
  • Amanecer “Sunrise”

Example:

El amanecer más bonito que he visto nunca ha sido en Cádiz.

“The most beautiful sunrise that I’ve never seen was in Cadiz.”

  • Mediodía “Noon” or “Midday”

Example:

La clase acaba en el mediodía. 

“The class ends at noon/midday.”

  • Primera hora de la tarde “Early afternoon”

Example:

¿Quedamos para el café a primera hora de la tarde?
“Shall we meet for coffee at early afternoon?”

  • Noche “Evening” or “Night”

Example:

¿Cuántas noches has tenido que trabajar esta semana?

“How many nights did you have to work this week?”

  • Puesta de sol “Sunset”

Example:

Me han contado que en Bali hay unas puestas de sol mágicas.

“I have been told that in Bali there are magical sunsets.”

  • Medianoche “Midnight”

Example:

Con 15 años mis padres me dejaban salir los fines de semana hasta medianoche.

“When I was 15 years old, my parents would let me go out on the weekends until midnight.”

6. Time Adverbs

In Spanish, we use adverbs of time, place, mode, or quantity all the time. With them, you add information to verbs, adjectives, and even to the whole sentence. 

You’ll quickly become very familiar with them since they’re essential when you’re learning how to tell time in Spanish. 

  • Antes “Before”

Example:

Kike, lávate las manos antes de comer.

“Kike, wash your hands before eating.”

  • Después “After”

Example:

Después de comer apetece una siesta.

“After eating, you want a nap.”

  • Luego “Later”

Example:
Llámame luego.

“Call me later.”

  • Pronto “Soon”

Example:

Te veo pronto.

“See you soon.”

  • Tarde “Late”

Example:

Se me está haciendo tarde para ir al supermercado.

“It’s getting late to go to the supermarket.”

  • Temprano “Early”

Example:

Hay que levantarse temprano para ir al colegio mañana.

“We have to wake up early to go to school tomorrow.”

  • Todavía (This adverb has different meanings in English, depending on the time verb you’re using.):

– “Still”

– “Yet”

– “Even so”

Example:
Todavía estoy aquí esperándote.

“I am still here waiting for you.”

Example:
Todavía no he estado en París.

“I have not been to Paris yet.”

  • Ayer “Yesterday”

Example:
Ayer Luis me dejó esperando una hora en el café.

“Luis left me waiting for one hour in the coffee shop yesterday.”

  • Hoy “Today”

Example:
Tengo tres entrevistas de trabajo hoy.

“Today, I have three job interviews.”

  • Mañana — “Tomorrow”

Example:
Sara, por favor, revisa mi agenda de mañana.

“Sara, check tomorrow’s agenda, please.”

  • Antes de ayer o anteayer “The day before yesterday”

Example:
Antes de ayer empecé con el entrenamiento.

“I started with my training the day before yesterday.”

  • Pasado mañana “The day after tomorrow”

Example:
Pasado mañana empieza el mes de julio.

“July starts the day after tomorrow.”

  • Siempre “Anytime”, “always,” or “forever”

The word “anytime” refers to “always” in terms of describing every time that something happens. But we translate the same word siempre, or with cada vez.

Example:

Siempre que Antonio va al parque se encuentra al gato perdido.

“Anytime Antonio goes to the park he runs into the lost cat.”

  • “Always” is the most common way to translate siempre. It refers to “all the time” and “forever.”

Example:

Siempre te querré.

“I will always love you.”

  • Nunca, Jamás — “Never”

Example:

Nunca más vuelvo a fiarme de un desconocido.

“I will never again trust a stranger.”

  • Prontamente, Pronto “As soon as possible”

Example:

Ven a recogerme pronto.

“Come and pick me up as soon as possible.”

  • En un rato – “In a little while”

Example:

Estaré preparada en un rato.

“I’ll be ready in a little while.”

7. Time Proverbs and Sayings in Spanish

If you want to sound like a Spanish native, idioms and expressions are the best way to show off. However, it’s important that you know when and how to use them, or it can have the opposite effect! 

Some great phrases for latecomers include Voy en camino (“I’m on my way”) and Llego tarde (“I’m late” or “I’m running late”). These are great to send by text so you don’t keep people waiting.

Man with a Multiple Hands

The expressions “time is money” and “time flies” refer to moments in which time goes fast and you have to take advantage of it. Their translations are el tiempo es dinero and el tiempo vuela respectively.

Other common expressions in Spanish are:

  • El tiempo cura las heridas. “Time heals all wounds.”
  • Más vale tarde que nunca. “Better late than never.”
  • A quien madruga, Dios le ayuda. “The early birds get God’s help.”

8. Conclusion

Basic questions

So, reader, do you feel more confident about telling time in Spanish now? In the comments below, tell us what time it is where you are, in Spanish! 

Next time you’re late to an appointment or want to ask someone on a date, you can come back to this page for help setting up times or letting someone know you’re almost there. You can use all of our fun lessons, idiomatic expressions, and more resources at our SpanishPod101 website.

SpanishPod101 has many vocabulary lists for you for free, and of course, our Spanish Resource Corner for any other questions you may have. Why don’t you practice your Spanish by asking other Spanish speakers what they’re up to?

Happy Spanish learning! 🙂

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Learn Spanish Directions: “Left” in Spanish & Much More



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Do you enjoy traveling? We do! And we know that even though it’s possible to travel to most places speaking only English, we love the feeling of being able to understand the locals, even if it’s only a few words.

There’s some vocabulary that’s especially useful in these cases, such as “left” in Spanish or the four basic map directions. Asking for directions is one of the basic bits of knowledge that you most definitely need every time you travel. Even with Google Maps, you’ll probably end up needing a little bit of help at some point during your trip. No battery, no data, or maybe just a complicated place to get to! In any case, it’s better to be safe.

Often, when you learn directions in Spanish (or other languages), you learn how to ask where something is, as well as a few random words for positions. But if you ask someone how to get to your hotel, are you sure you’re going to understand the answer?

If you’re not too sure, there’s no need to worry, because we’re about to make sure you learn everything you need to ask, give, and receive directions when you travel to a Spanish-speaking country. We’re going to go far beyond the usual “left” or “right” in Spanish.

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Table of Contents
  1. Cardinal Directions in Spanish
  2. Describing Positions
  3. Spanish Directions Using Landmarks
  4. Must-Know Phrases for Asking for Directions
  5. Must-Know Phrases for Giving Directions
  6. Vehicles and Transportation
  7. Example Situation
  8. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Spanish


1. Cardinal Directions in Spanish


Directions

We’re not sure if people are going to tell you to head north or south when you ask them for directions, but cardinal directions are still important to know when you’re trying to find your way around or understand where you are. They’re quite easy to learn, so let’s start with them, followed by the ordinal directions in Spanish!

Norte (“north”)

Francia está al norte de España.
“France is north of Spain.”

Sur (“south”)

Este año me voy de vacaciones al sur de Alemania.
“This year I’m going on holiday to the south of Germany.”

Oeste (“west”)

Portugal está al oeste de España.
“Portugal is west of Spain.”

Este (“east”)

Barcelona está en el este de España.
“Barcelona is on the east of Spain.”

Cardinal Directions

Noroeste (“northwest”)

Antes vivía en el noroeste de Inglaterra.
“I used to live on the northwest side of England.”

Noreste (“northeast”)

Dirígete hacia el noreste.
“Head northeast.”

Sudoeste (“southwest”)

Creo que tengo que seguir la carretera que va hacia el
sudoeste.

“I think I need to follow the road that goes southwest.”

Sudeste (“southeast”)

Australia está en el sudeste.
“Australia is in the southeast.”

Centro (“center”)

Madrid está en el centro de España.
“Madrid is in the center of Spain.”

Note: We realize that “center” isn’t a cardinal or ordinal direction, but we thought it was appropriate to include it in this section!

2. Describing Positions


Street at Night

Now, this might be more like the type of vocabulary you were looking for. The following list of directions and positions in Spanish will help you describe where things or people are. Some of these words are simple prepositions, and some are more complex words or expressions used to describe a position.

En (“in,” “on,” or “at”)

Estoy en casa.
“I’m at home.”

Delante de (“in front of”)

Ayer estuve delante de Marta, pero no me vio.
“Yesterday I was in front of Marta, but she didn’t see me.”

Detrás de (“behind”)

Tienes una avispa detrás de ti.
“There is a wasp behind you.”

Izquierda (“left”)

A vuestra izquierda veréis el castillo de la reina.
“To your left, you will see the castle of the queen.”

Derecha (“right”)

Tengo un lunar en la mejilla derecha.
“I have a mole on my right cheek.”

Dentro (“in” or “inside”)

¿Dónde estás? Yo estoy dentro.
“Where are you? I’m inside.”

Fuera (“out” or “outside”)

No quiero salir fuera, hace frío.
“I don’t want to go out, it’s cold.”

Hacia (“to”)

Estoy de camino hacia el aeropuerto.
“I’m on my way to the airport.”

Desde (“from”)

No sé cómo ir al hospital desde aquí.
“I don’t know how to go to the hospital from here.”

Cerca (“close”)

El restaurante de mi padre está cerca de tu casa.
“My father’s restaurant is close to your house.”

Lejos (“far”)

La estación de tren está lejos de aquí.
“The train station is far from here.”

Arriba (“up”)

¡Mira hacia arriba!
“Look up!”

Debajo (“down,” “under”)

El lápiz está debajo del libro.
“The pencil is under the book.”

Aquí (“here”)

¿Estás aquí?
“Are you here?”

Allí – ahí (“there”)

Ahí no hay nada.
“There’s nothing there.”

Al lado de (“next to”)

El banco está al lado de la farmacia.
“The bank is next to the pharmacy.”

Por ahí (“that way” or “around there”)

Sigue por ahí.
“Keep going that way.”

Mi móvil tiene que estar por ahí.
“My phone must be around there.”

Al otro lado (“on the other side”)

Mi casa está al otro lado del pueblo.
“My house is on the other side of town.”

A la vuelta de la esquina ( just around the corner”)

La casa de Ana está a la vuelta de la esquina de la mía.
“Ana’s house is just around the corner.”

En la esquina (“at the corner”)

Mis tíos viven en la esquina de la calle Mallorca con la calle Bruc.
“My aunt and uncle live at the corner between Mallorca Street and Bruc Street.”

Enfrente (“right in front”)

¿Vives aquí? Yo vivo enfrente.
“Do you live here? I live right in front.”

Al fondo (“back” or “end”)

El baño está al fondo a la derecha.
“The toilet is at the end on the right.”

Entre… y (“between… and”)

La escuela está entre el hospital y el parque.
The school is between the hospital and the park.”

3. Spanish Directions Using Landmarks


Asking Directions

Understanding or giving directions in Spanish isn’t all about where something is: you also need to know what that “something” is called so you can get to it! It sounds obvious, right? Well, as it turns out, it’s not that obvious to some people. Pay attention here; it’s important!

1- En la ciudad (“In the city”)


We’ll start with some places you can easily find in a city and that you might have to get to. Have you been to any Spanish cities before? Let us know in the comments!

Aeropuerto (“airport”)

Para llegar al aeropuerto tienes que seguir la carretera A-25.
“To get to the airport, you need to follow the A-25 road.”

Estación de tren (“train station”)

La estación de tren está en el centro del pueblo.
“The train station is in the town center.”

Estación de metro (“subway station”)

La estación de metro más cercana a mi casa es la de Collblanc.
“The closest subway station to my house is Collblanc.”

Parada de autobús (“bus stop”)

¡No encuentro la parada de autobús!
“I can’t find the bus stop!”

Centro de la ciudad (“city center”)

Hoy he estado todo el día en el centro de la ciudad.
“Today I’ve been at the city center all day.”

Parque (“park”)

¿Has pasado por el parque hoy?
“Have you been to the park today?”

Hotel (“hotel”)

Mi hotel en París era genial.
My hotel in Paris was great.”

Banco (“bank” or “bench”)

En mi pueblo solo hay un banco.
“There is only one bank in my hometown.”

Note: Yes, the words for “bank” and “bench” in Spanish are both banco. You understand what they mean by the context.

Hospital (“hospital”)

¡Hay que llevarla al hospital!
“We need to take her to the hospital!”

Iglesia (“church”)

La iglesia de esta ciudad es preciosa.
“The church in this city is beautiful.”

Ayuntamiento (“city hall”)

Los ayuntamientos suelen estar en el centro.
City halls are usually in the center.”

2- En la carretera (“On the road”)


The following words will be especially useful if you need directions to drive somewhere. As we mentioned before, nobody knows when your GPS might fail, so these words for road directions in Spanish will come in handy when you need to ask the locals!

Wrong Way

Intersección (“intersection”)

Después de esta intersección sigue recto y verás un edificio azul a la derecha.
“After this intersection, keep going and you will see a blue building on the right.”

Rotonda (“roundabout”)

Gira a la derecha en esa rotonda.
“Turn right on that roundabout.”

Semáforo (“traffic light”)

No te olvides de pararte en el semáforo.
“Don’t forget to stop at the traffic lights.”

Paso de cebra or paso de peatones (“crosswalk”)

En este pueblo no hay ni un solo paso de cebra.
“There isn’t a single crosswalk in this town.”

Puente (“bridge”)

Este puente tiene por lo menos cien años.
“This bridge is at least 100 years old.”

3- En un edificio (“In a building”)


Have you ever been lost inside of a building? We have. Let’s try to help you prevent that from happening!

Baño or lavabo (“bathroom” or “toilet”)

Esta casa tiene dos baños.
“This house has two bathrooms.”

Ascensor (“elevator”)

El ascensor está detrás de ti.
“The elevator is behind you.”

Escaleras (“stairs”)

¡No te caigas por las escaleras!
“Don’t fall off the stairs!”

Entrada (“entrance”)

La entrada está cerrada.
“The entrance is closed.”

Salida (“exit”)

Ayer no encontraba la salida del centro comercial y tuve que pedir ayuda.
“Yesterday I couldn’t find the exit to the shopping mall and I had to ask for help.”

Aparcamiento or parking (“parking lot”)

El parking de este edificio está bajo tierra.
“This building’s parking lot is underground.”

If you feel this wasn’t enough, you might enjoy our Essential Spanish Vocabulary About Buildings.

4. Must-Know Phrases for Asking for Directions


Finally, we bring you what we’re sure you were looking for. Whenever you need to find your way in Spain, these are the questions you need to ask. The key to not getting lost anymore: Learn these phrases for asking directions in Spanish and, most importantly, don’t be shy. Ask someone when you can’t find what you’re looking for!

Person Asking for Directions

Disculpe… (“Excuse me…”) and ¿Me podría indicar…? (“Could you indicate to me…?”)


These two phrases are formal ways to begin asking someone for something. They both use the formal usted instead of the regular “you,” but this isn’t necessary and can be avoided.

If you don’t want to use the formal “usted,” you can say Disculpa and Me podrías indicar instead. They can be used separately, but also together, as in the following example: Disculpe, ¿me podría indicar dónde está el río? (“Excuse me, could you indicate to me where the river is?”).

If you’re interested, we have an article on other ways of saying sorry that might be helpful to you.

Estoy perdido/a (“I’m lost”) or Me he perdido (“I got lost”)

Estoy buscando la Alhambra, pero me he perdido.
“I am looking for the Alhambra, but I got lost.”

¿Dónde está…? (“Where is…?”)

¿Dónde está el baño?
Where is the bathroom?”

¿Cómo se va a…? (“How do I go to…”)

¿Cómo se va a la playa?
How do I go to the beach?”

¿Está lejos de aquí? (“Is it far from here?”)

¿El Hotel Don Juan está muy lejos de aquí?
Is the Hotel Don Juan very far from here?”

¿Cómo se llega a…? (“How do I get to…?”)

¿Cómo se llega a la Plaza Mayor?
How do I get to Plaza Mayor?”

¿Por dónde se va a…? (“How do I go to…”?)

¿Por dónde se va a Barcelona?
How do I go to Barcelona?”

Gracias (“Thank you”)

Gracias is usually one of the first words to learn in Spanish, so you should already be quite familiar with it. You know how it goes: If someone helps you, you should thank them. If you want to learn a few more ways of thanking someone, you can check out our vocabulary list of Common Ways to Say Thank You.

Gracias por tu ayuda (Thank you for your help”)

We thought we would add another way of saying thank you to this list, because this one emphasizes that you’re thankful for the help you just got from them. Locals will definitely enjoy hearing this phrase.

a veo (“I see”)

This phrase is a rather simple one that will help you show the person you’re talking to that you understand what they’re saying. If you forget how to say it, remember you can just nod!

Muy amable (“You’re very kind”)

This is another common phrase that literally means “very kind,” omitting the “you are.” You can use it together with gracias, but it also works on its own.

5. Must-Know Phrases for Giving Directions


Now you know what to say when you’re lost, so it’s time to learn how someone will most likely answer. Once again, it’s important to pay attention! You won’t look too good in front of your friends or family if you mess this up! Here’s how to give directions in Spanish.

Walking the Camino de Santiago

Ve recto (“go straight”)

Para llegar a la playa, ve recto.
“To get to the beach, go straight.”

Da la vuelta (“turn around”)

Te has equivocado, da la vuelta.
“You made a mistake, turn around.”

Ve hacia atrás (“go backwards”)

Te has pasado la casa, ve un poco hacia atrás.
“You missed the house, go a bit backwards.”

Gira a la derecha/izquierda (“turn right/left”)

Gira a la izquierda después de esta farola.
Turn left after this street light.”

Sigue recto (“keep going straight”)

Una vez llegues a la farmacia sigue recto para llegar a mi casa.
“Once you reach the pharmacy, keep going straight to get to my house.”

Sigue por aquí (“keep going through here”)

Mira, aquí hay una señal, sigue por aquí.
“Look, there is a sign here, keep going through here.”

Dirígete hacia… (“head [to]…”)

Dirígete hacia el este.
Head east.”

Cruza (“cross”)

Cruza el puente para llegar a mi casa.
Cross the bridge to get to my house.”

Acelera (“accelerate”)

No vayas tan lento, ¡acelera!
“Don’t be so slow, accelerate!”

Frena (“slow down”)

Vas demasiado rápido, frena un poco.
“You’re going too fast, slow downa little.”

Sigue a ese coche (“follow that car”)

¡Corre, sigue a ese coche!
“Hurry, follow that car!”

Note: You probably won’t need this one, but haven’t you always wanted to do this like in the movies?

Es imposible perderse (“You can’t get lost”)

Ve recto por esta calle hasta que veas un edificio alto de color verde. Es imposible perderse.
“Go straight through this street until you see a tall green building. You can’t get lost.”

No tengo ni idea (“I have no idea”)

A: ¿Cómo se va al ayuntamiento?
B: No tengo ni idea, no soy de aquí.

A: “How do I go to the city hall?”
B:I have no idea, I’m not from around here.”

Note: Let’s be honest, when you ask someone how to get to a place, there’s a chance they won’t know. We want you to be ready for that kind of answer.

6. Vehicles and Transportation


The last vocabulary list we’re including in this article is quite simple, but will come in handy even if you already know some of these words.

When you ask for directions, it’s not all about knowing where to go, but also about how to get there. Sometimes this includes public transportation, or some other kind of transportation. How about we take a look at some of these?

We also have a list of Spanish Words Related to Vehicles for you to check out. Be careful, though! In Mexican Spanish, a car is called carro, but in European Spanish, it’s coche (and carro just means “shopping cart”).

Autobús (“bus”)

El autobús llega a las cinco y media.
“The bus arrives at half past five.”

Tren (“train”)

Tienes que coger el tren que va a San Sebastián.
“You need to take the train that goes to San Sebastián.”

Coche (“car”)

Vamos a alquilar un coche para nuestras vacaciones.
“We’re going to rent a car for our holidays.”

Moto (“motorbike”)

Siempre me ha dado miedo montar en moto.
“I’ve always been scared of riding motorbikes.”

Bicicleta or bici (“bicycle” or “bike”)

Iremos a casa de Pedro en bici.
“We’ll go to Pedro’s house by bike.”

Taxi (“cab”)

¿Llamamos un taxi para ir al aeropuerto?
“Should we call a cab to get to the airport?”

Avión (“plane”)

Para ir a Japón vas a tener que coger un avión.
“To go to Japan, you’re going to need to take a plane.”

Helicóptero (“helicopter”)

Mi prima fue a Nueva Zelanda y sobrevoló Mordor en helicóptero.
“My cousin went to New Zealand and flew over Mordor on a helicopter.”

Barco (“boat”)

Solo puedes llegar a esa isla en barco.
“You can only get to that island by boat.”

Yate (“yacht”)

Mis amigos están ahorrando para comprar un yate el año que viene.
“My friends are saving up to buy a yacht next year.”

7. Example Situation


Basic Questions

To help you better understand how to use all of these phrases and sentences together, we thought we would add this short example conversation:

A: ¡Hola! Estoy perdido, ¿me podrías ayudar?
B: Por supuesto.

A: ¿Cómo se va a la Plaza Mayor?
B: Es muy fácil. Ve recto por esta calle y cuando llegues al río, crúzalo y gira hacia la derecha. La verás muy pronto.

A: Muchas gracias. ¿Está cerca?
B: Sí, se puede ir andando, pero puedes coger un autobús si quieres.

A: ¿Dónde está la parada de autobús? 
B: Está justo aquí, detrás nuestro. Tienes que coger el autobús L2.

A: Gracias. Tengo otra pregunta: ¿cómo se llega al ayuntamiento desde la Plaza Mayor?
B: Está en la misma plaza. Es un edificio alto y antiguo que está entre el banco y el hospital.

A: ¡Perfecto!
B: Si te gusta el arte, hay un museo precioso detrás del ayuntamiento.

A: ¡Me encanta el arte! Gracias por la recomendación.
B: De nada. ¡Disfruta la visita!
A: “Hello! I’m lost, could you help me?”
B: “Of course.”

A: “How do I go to the Main Square?”
B: “It’s very easy. Go straight through this street and when you get to the river, cross it and turn right. You’ll see it really soon.”

A: “Thank you very much. Is it close?”
B: “Yes, you can go by foot, but you can catch a bus if you’d like.”

A: “Where is the bus stop?”
B: “It’s right here, behind us. You need to catch the L2 bus.”

A: “Thank you. I have another question: how do I get to the city hall from the Main Square?”
B: “It’s in that same square. It’s an old tall building between the bank and the hospital.”

A: “Perfect!”
B: “If you like art, there’s a gorgeous museum behind the city hall.”

A: “I do love art! Thank you for your recommendation.”
B: “You’re welcome. Enjoy your visit!”


8. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Spanish


We hope that after reading this article you feel like there’s no way you could possibly get lost when you travel to Spain. But even if you do get lost, we’re sure you’ll be able to ask for directions in Spanish and find your way to wherever you’re going. However, we wouldn’t suggest traveling to Spain only knowing this! If you want to talk to the locals, you’re going to need some more vocabulary.

If you’re planning on going to the beach, you’ll thank us for this list of twenty Spanish words you’ll need for the beach. You might also be interested in learning these ten verbs you’ll need for traveling, or if you’re organizing your next holiday, you might also like to learn how to talk about your winter holidays or summer holidays.

Before you go, let us know in the comments how you feel about asking and giving directions in Spanish now. Are there any words or phrases we didn’t mention? We look forward to hearing from you, and will do our best to help you out!

Happy Spanish learning!

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Día de Santiago: Celebrating Saint James in Spain



It’s amazing how a person can permeate a country’s culture at one point in time, and have their influence carried over through the years.

While Spain certainly has a number of important historical figures, St. James is arguably one of the most popular. So much so that he has his own feast day each year, which we’ll talk about in this article.

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Día de Santiago?


Santiago de Compostela

On Día de Santiago, or St. James Day, Spain celebrates its patron saint.

Saint James is credited with bringing Christianity to the country around the time of the Moorish occupation. However, upon returning to Israel, he was killed and his remains were sent back to Spain, near Galicia. From there, St. James’s remains were taken inland and buried in what the Spanish now call the Santiago de Compostela. The saint’s burial place received this name because it was rediscovered in 813 by a hermit who followed a star which led him to it. Today, people go to honor Saint James in Santiago de Compostela on his feast day.

Some say that, around the time of the Christian Reconquest, St. James also appeared alongside the Christian army to fight with them against the Moors.


2. When is the Feast of St. James in Spain?


Calendar Pages

Each year, Spain celebrates Saint James Day on July 25.

3. St. James Day Traditions & Celebrations


Fireworks, or Apostle’s Fires

Día de Santiago is a major occasion in certain parts of Spain, particularly Galicia and other autonomous regions. Thus, you can expect to see festivities begin up to two weeks prior to the actual holiday!

The real celebrations take place the evening before, the most notable of which is the Fuegos del Apóstol (“Apostle’s Fire”) at midnight. This is a special fireworks show that takes place near the St. James Cathedral. Spain can see the building in full light in the dead of night!

On Día de Santiago, many devoted Christians and admirers of the patron saint walk the St. James hiking trail in Spain. This trail is called the Camino de Santiago (“Way of St. James”), and this is considered a lugar de peregrinación (“place of pilgrimage”), leading to Santiago de Compostela. Over time, it’s become one of the most important and popular pilgrimages in Europe. More than 100,000 people from many countries show up to walk the St. James Way, Spain’s hotspot for tourists this time of year.

Another incredible sight to see on St. James Day is the botafumeiro. This is a large dispenser of incienso (“incense”) that’s swung using ropes under the expert control of tiraboleiros. Because this event is quite expensive to get underway and requires a skilled workforce, viewings and locations for it are limited. Generally, this takes place during the Ofrenda al Santo (“Offering to the Saint”), which is a mass celebration attended by government officials and even the Royal Family!

Anytime you’re in Spain for a celebration, you can’t forget the food! For Día de Santiago, the most popular food item is the Saint James cake. This is a cake from Galicia that contains almonds, is dusted with powdered sugar, and has a St. James cross on top.



4. Why Scallop Shells?


If you visit Spain for St. James Day, you may be confused to see veneras (“scallop shells”) on display.

Well, according to Spanish-Fiestas.com, there are three reasons for this:

1. The scallop shell represents the many paths that can lead to Santiago (as the grooves meet at the focal point).

2. Scallop shells were used by pilgrims as eating and drinking utensils.

3. Some say that Saint James rescued someone covered in scallop shells from the sea.

5. Must-Know St. James Day Vocabulary


A Scallop Shell

Here’s a quick list of some of the vocabulary words and phrases from this article! Practice these so you can talk about the Day of Saint James in Spanish!
  • Santiago de Compostela — “Santiago de Compostela”
  • Camino de Santiago — “Way of St. James”
  • Fuegos del Apóstol — “Apostle’s Fires”
  • Ofrenda al Santo — “Offering to the Saint”
  • Incensario — “Thurible”
  • Incienso — “Incense”
  • Lugar de peregrinación — “Place of pilgrimage”
  • Peregrino — “Pilgrim”
  • Venera — “Scallop shell”
  • Catedral — “Cathedral”
  • Año santo — “Holy year”
  • Botafumeiro — “Botafumeiro”

You can hear the correct Spanish pronunciation for each item on our free Saint James vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts


As you can see reflected in his feast day, St. James is a major figure in Spain’s history and culture!

Who are the most important religious or historical figures in your country? Do you have holidays or feast days to honor them? Let us know in the comments!

To continue learning about Spanish culture and the language, be sure to read these free articles on SpanishPod101.com:


Stay safe out there, and happy learning! <3

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