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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.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Around Town in Spanish

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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The Top 100 Nouns in Spanish

Thumbnail

Did you know that every noun in Spanish has a gender? Once you learn the words on our Spanish nouns list, and study up on Spanish nouns gender rules, you’ll be able to recognize them and speed up your learning.

For even more words, you can check out the Spanish core 100-word list at SpanishPod101!

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Table of Contents
  1. What is a Noun in Spanish?
  2. Noun-Adjective Agreement in Spanish
  3. Essential Spanish Nouns to Know: Common Spanish Nouns List
  4. Conclusion


1. What is a Noun in Spanish?



Nouns 1

Nouns name or identify a person, animal, place, thing, or idea. Spanish nouns can be singular or plural, but the most important thing you need to know if you’re a Spanish learner is that nouns are always gendered. Let’s dig a little deeper into Spanish nouns’ gender.

Nouns in Spanish can be masculine or feminine. Crazy, huh? How do you know if a Spanish word is feminine or masculine? And what about plural vs. singular nouns?

It may take some time to get used to these rules, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to do this without even thinking!

To recognize the plural nouns in Spanish, you’ll see these words end in the letter -s. If you don’t see the -s, the Spanish noun is singular, will normally end with one of the following vowels: -a, -e, or -o.

To determine the gender of nouns in Spanish:
  • Feminine nouns in Spanish will end with an -a.

  • Masculine nouns in Spanish will end with an -e or -o.

The idea of gender nouns in Spanish can be confusing at first because there are some nouns in Spanish that don’t follow the rules above.

For example el sol, or “the sun,” ends with the consonant -l. In cases like this, the article will tell you which gender a noun is (unlike in English). Most nouns are used together with an article, like in this example. El tells you the noun is masculine, even if the noun itself doesn’t provide that information.

In English, the articles “the” or “a(n)” accompany nouns. In Spanish, here are two translations:

Masculine articles:
  • Singular: el
  • Plural: los

Example:
  • El sol brilla todas las mañanas.
    “The sun shines every morning.”

  • Yo voy a misa todos los domingos.
    “I go to church every Sunday.”

Feminine articles:
  • Singular: la
  • Plural: las

  • La luna está llena hoy.
    “We have a full moon today.”

  • Las puertas están abiertas hasta las 22 h.
    “Doors are opened until 10 p.m.”


Possessive pronouns in Spanish can also help you to identify the gender of the noun. Why? Because of their ending vowel of -o or -a.

For example:

  • La cama es mía.
    “The bed is mine.”

  • El coche es mío.
    “The car is mine.”


The examples above also show you that you have to use the possessive pronouns in Spanish depending on the gender of the object. In this case, if you’re a man and you want to talk about “the house,” which in Spanish is a feminine object, you have to say La casa es mía (“The house is mine”).

2. Noun-Adjective Agreement in Spanish



Nouns 2

The noun-adjective agreement is another essential aspect of Spanish nouns for beginners. Adjectives can help you identify the gender of a noun in Spanish. If the noun in Spanish is feminine, the adjective should be feminine:
  • Mi novia es tímida.
    “My girlfriend is shy.”

If the noun in Spanish is masculine, the adjective should be masculine:
  • Mi hermano es alto.
    “My brother is tall.”

This noun-adjective agreement in Spanish can also help you with singular and plural nouns in Spanish:

  • Mi coche es pequeño.
    “My car is small.”

  • Los autobuses son grandes.
    “Buses are big.”

There are some nouns in Spanish that are neutral or of ambiguous gender. How can you identify them? By the articles.

  • La atleta
    “Female athlete”

  • El atleta
    “Male athlete”

Some Spanish plural nouns exceptions include:

Nouns that end in -z, such as pez (“fish”), should end in -ces: Peces.

If the noun in Spanish ends in a consonant, you should add -es.

  • Doctor
    “Doctor”

  • Doctores
    “Doctors”

When you’re referring to a group of things or people, when there’s at least one masculine noun in Spanish, you should refer to the entire group as masculine:

  • 1 perro + 3 perra = Los perros.
  • “1 male dog + 3 female dogs = The dogs [masculine].”

Without nouns, we wouldn’t be able to name people, things, or ideas, so we need them for everything. This is why in Spanish, this is one of the first things you should learn, together with verbs, which are a basic Spanish grammar lesson.

Once you’ve stopped by our page on the Top 25 Nouns, you may want to learn more—and you’re in the right place! In the next part of this lesson, we’ll go over common Spanish nouns by category, and allow you to see each of these Spanish nouns in a sentence!

Without further ado, our key Spanish nouns list.

3. Essential Spanish Nouns to Know: Common Spanish Nouns List



Nouns 3

1- “Appliances” (Electrodomésticos)


Televisión — “TV”

La televisión está encendida.
“The TV is on.”

Ordenador portátil — “Laptop”

Mi hermano me ha roto mi ordenador portátil.
“My brother broke my laptop.”

Frigorífico — “Fridge”

He visto a mi hermano quien estaba buscando comida en el frigorífico.
“I saw my brother, who was looking for food in the refrigerator.”

Aire acondicionado — “Air conditioner”

Los aires acondicionados son bastante costosos.
“Air conditioners are very expensive.”

Secador de pelo — “Hairdryer”

Yo tenía un secador muy bueno.
“I used to have a good hairdryer.”

Ventilador — “Fan”

Cuando encendí el ventilador, mis deberes volaron por todo el cuarto.
“When I turned on the fan, my homework blew all over the room.”

Microondas — “Microwave”

¿Ponemos las palomitas en el microondas?
“Shall we put the popcorn in the microwave?”

Lavadora — “Washing machine”

Se me ha roto la lavadora.
“My washing machine is broken.”

Cocina — “Stove”

Hay tres ollas en la cocina.
“There are three pans on the stove.”

2- “Technology” (Tecnología)


Technology

Móvil — “Mobile phone”

Hoy día hay móviles por todo el mundo.
“Nowadays there are mobile phones everywhere.”

Blog — “Blog”

Todas las empresas deberían tener un blog.
“Every company should have a blog.”

Aplicación — “App”

Puedes buscar cualquier cosa en la aplicación.
“You can search for anything on their app.”

Página web — “Website”

Estaba visitando tu página web; es increíble.
“I was looking at your website; it’s amazing.”

Cuenta — “Account”

¿Tienes cuenta de Instagram?
“Do you have an Instagram account?”

Foto — “Picture”

Las fotos están muy pequeñas.
“The pictures are too small.”

Descargar — “Download”

¿Me puedes descargar estas fotos?
“Can you download these pictures?”

Contraseña — “Password”

Se me olvidó la contraseña de mis redes sociales.
“I forgot my password to my social media accounts.”

Archivo — “File”

No has agregado el archivo al correo.
“You did not attach the file to the email.”

Correo basura — “Spam”

Me ha llegado tu correo al correo basura.
“I got your email in my spam.”

Tablet — “Tablet”

Voy a subir todas mis fotos desde mi tablet a mi Facebook.
“I will upload all my pictures from my tablet to my Facebook.”

Wifi — “Wifi”

¿Hay wifi aquí?
“Do you have wifi here?”

3- “Transportation” (Transporte)


Traffic Lights

Avión — “Plane”

El avión a París tiene dos horas de retraso.
“The plane to Paris has a two-hour delay.”

Tren — “Train” / Metro — “Subway”

Cada día cojo dos trenes y el metro para llegar al trabajo.
“I take two trains and the subway to get to work every day.”

Bicicleta — “Bike”

La bicicleta es el mejor método de transporte en Amsterdam.
“The bike is the best transportation method in Amsterdam.”

Autobús — “Bus”

Los autobuses son un desastre en Medellín; nunca llegan a tiempo.
“Buses are a mess in Medellin; they’re never on time.”

Estación de tren — “Train station”

¿En qué estación de tren bajas?
“In which train station do you get off?”

Parada — “Bus stop”

En cinco paradas me bajo.
“In five bus stops I’ll get off.”

Semáforo — “Traffic light”

Fíjate en los semáforos o algún día tendrás un accidente.
“Look at the traffic lights, otherwise you’ll have an accident one day.”

Patinete eléctrico — “Electric scooter”

Los patinetes eléctricos causan muchos accidentes a los peatones.
“Electric scooters cause a lot of pedestrian accidents.”

Carretera — “Road”

¿Cuál es la carretera que llega más rápido a tu casa?
“What is the fastest road to your home?”

Taxi — “Taxi”

En Nueva York los taxis son amarillos.
“Taxis in New York are yellow.”

Intersección — “Intersection”

La intersección camino al centro es súper peligrosa.
“The intersection on the way to the center is very dangerous.”

4- “Restaurant” (El restaurante)


Restaurant Tableware

Copa — “Glass”

La copa está llena de vino blanco.
“The glass is full of white wine.”

Jarra — “Jug”

¿Me traes una jarra de agua, por favor?
“Can I have a jug of water, please?”

Plato — “Plate”

Mi plato está sucio.
“My plate is dirty.”

Tenedor — “Fork”

El arroz no se come con tenedor.
“Rice is not eaten with a fork.”

Cuchara — “Spoon”

En la India se comen el arroz con cuchara.
“In India, the rice is eaten with a spoon.”

Cuchillo — “Knives”

Tenemos muchos tenedores, cucharas y cuchillos.
“We have many forks, spoons, and knives.”

Vaso — “Glass”

El vaso está lleno de whiskey.
“The drinking glass is full of whiskey.”

Taza — “Mug”

Mi taza favorita es la rosa.
“My favorite mug is the pink one.”

5- “School essentials” (Lo esencial para volver a clase)


Writing Utensils

Bolígrafo or Boli — “Pen”

¿Me puedes prestar un boli?
“Can I borrow a pen?”

Asignatura — “Subject”

Mi asignatura favorita en la escuela eran las matemáticas.
“My favorite subject in school was math.”

Universidad — “University”

Sarah era mi mejor amiga en la universidad.
“Sarah was my best friend at university.”

Deberes — “Homework”

El niño está haciendo los deberes.
“The boy is doing homework.”

Beca — “Scholarship”

He recibido una beca completa de la Universidad de Brighton.
“I have received a full scholarship from University of Brighton.”

Mochila — “Backpack”

Cómprale la mochila de color negro.
“Buy the black backpack.”

Cuaderno — “Notebook”

Se me perdió el cuaderno.
“I have lost my notebook.”

6- “Occupation” (Profesiones)


Men and Women Different Occupations

Enfermero — “Nurse”

Este hombre es un enfermero.
“This man is a nurse.”

Empresario — “Executive”

Los empresarios están teniendo una reunión en la sala de juntas.
“The executives are having a meeting in the boardroom.”

Policía — “Police”

El oficial de policía no tiene su uniforme.
“The police officer does not have his uniform.”

Cocinero — “Cook”

El cocinero está asando el cerdo.
“The cook is barbecuing pork.”

Encargado — “Manager”

El encargado del supermercado está dando instrucciones.
“The store manager is giving instructions.”

Atleta — “Athlete”

Mi mejor amiga es atleta profesional.
“My best friend is a professional athlete.”

Ingeniero — “Engineer”

Mi hermano es ingeniero en Apple.
“My brother is an engineer at Apple.”

Profesor — “Teacher”

Mi madre es profesora.
“My mother is a teacher.”

Médico — “Doctor”

Luisa estudió mucho para ser médico.
“Luisa studied a lot to become a doctor.”

Bombera — “Firewoman”

Sofía quiere ser bombera.
“Sofia wants to be a firewoman.”

Bibliotecaria — “Librarian”

Mi tía es bibliotecaria.
“My auntie is a librarian.”

7- “Family members” (Miembros de la familia)


Family Having Ice Cream

Familia — “Family”

La familia está en la foto.
“The family is in the picture.”

Madre — “Mother” / Padre — “Father”

Mi madre y mi padre estuvieron casados por 30 años.
“My mother and father were married for 30 years.”

Hija — “Daughter”

El padre está mirando a su hija.
“The father is looking at his daughter.”

Hijo — “Son”

Mi hijo ha estudiado hasta ahora dos carreras.
“My son has studied for two BAs so far.”

Mamá — “Mom”

¡Ayuda a mamá! Está llevando la cesta de las toallas ella sola.
“Help mom! She is carrying the towel basket by herself.”

Abuela — “Grandmother”

La abuela se está comiendo un plátano.
“Grandma is eating a banana.”

Tío — “Uncle”

Mi tío tiene un hijo adoptado precioso.
“My uncle has a beautiful adopted child.”

Tía — “Aunt”

¿Es esa tu tía la peluquera?
“Is that your aunt who is a hairdresser?”

Hermano — “Brother”

Mi hermano pertenece al equipo de fútbol de la universidad.
“My brother belongs to the university football team.”

Hermana — “Sister”

Mi hermana está estudiando para ser policía.
“My sister is studying to be a police officer.”

8- “Body parts” (Partes del cuerpo)


Girl Jumping and Dancing

Pie — “Foot”

Su pie derecho es más grande que el izquierdo.
“His right foot is bigger than his left one.”

Mano — “Hand”

La mujer se está lavando las manos.
“The woman is washing her hands.”

Cabeza — “Head”

Deberías usar casco para proteger tu cabeza.
“You should wear a helmet to protect your head.”

Brazo — “Arm”

El niño está levantando los brazos.
“The child is raising his arms.”

Espalda — “Back”

Mi hermano se ha hecho daño en la espalda por levantar cosas pesadas ayer. “My brother hurt his back by lifting heavy things yesterday.”

Pecho — “Chest”

Tengo dolor en el pecho.
“I have a pain in my chest.”

Cuerpo — “Body”

Mi hijo está aprendiendo sobre el cuerpo humano.
“My son is learning about the human body.”

Dedo — “Finger”

Me he hecho daño en el dedo meñique.
“I hurt my pinkie finger.”

Ojo — “Eye”

Se quemó ambos ojos.
“He burned both his eyes.”

Oído — “Ear”

Solo puede escuchar por un oído.
“He can only hear from one ear.”

9- “Time” (Fechas)


Planning Schedule

Ayer — “Yesterday”

Ayer por la tarde me tomé la medicina.
“I took the medicine yesterday afternoon.”

Vez — “Time”

He perdido la cartera tres veces.
“I have lost my purse three times.”

Vida — “Life”

Me gusta el yoga como estilo de vida.
“I like yoga as a lifestyle.”

Año — “Year”

Me gusta ir a Italia todos los años.
“I like to go to Italy every year.”

Tiempo — “Time”/”Weather”

En México siempre hace buen tiempo.
“In Mexico, we always have good weather.”

¿Cuánto tiempo tarda la tarta?
“How long would the cake take?”

Día — “Day”

Espero que tengas un buen día de trabajo.
“I hope you have a good day at work.”

Calendario — “Calendar”

¿Cuál es el calendario de festivos de este 2019?
“Which is the holiday calendar for this 2019?”

Mañana — “Tomorrow”

Mañana tengo el día muy ocupado.
“I have a very busy day tomorrow.”

10- “Food” (Alimentos)


Food Bag

Agua — “Water”

Dicen que es bueno beber dos litros de agua al día.
“It is said that it’s good to drink two liters of water a day.”

Carne — “Meat”

Los vegetarianos no comen nada de carne.
“Vegetarians don’t eat meat at all.”

Pescado — “Fish”

¿Cuál es el mejor pescado de la ciudad?
“What is the best fish in town?”

Pollo — “Chicken”

¡No te comas mi pollo!
“Don’t eat my chicken!”

Leche — “Milk”

Me gusta el té con leche.
“I like tea with milk.”

Sopa/Crema — “Soup”

Mi madre hace la mejor sopa de invierno.
“My mom makes the best winter soup.”

Verduras — “Vegetables”

Yo compro las verduras en el mercado local.
“I buy the vegetables in the local market.”

Cerdo — “Pork”

Los musulmanes no comen cerdo.
“Muslims don’t eat pork.”

Ternera — “Beef”

Mi plato favorito es la sopa de vegetales con ternera.
“My favorite dish is vegetable soup with beef.”

Vino — “Wine”

Siempre me tomo una copa de vino con todas mis comidas.
“I always have a glass of red wine with my meals.”

Pan — “Bread”

¿Me trae pan, por favor?
“Could you please bring me some bread?”

Cerveza — “Beer”

Dos cervezas más para la mesa cinco.
“Two more beers to table five.”

4. Conclusion



Nouns 4

Once you familiarize yourself with this Spanish nouns list, start using them in context by trying them out in your conversations. Don’t worry about the feminine and masculine uses in your Spanish nouns practice at first; this will come automatically. You can master your Spanish skills with SpanishPod101, using our fun and practical learning tools for every learner!

Before you go, drop us a comment to let us know if there are any Spanish nouns or grammar rules you’re still struggling with. We’d love to hear from you!

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Verbena de San Juan: Celebrating St. John’s Eve in Spain



What are your favorite things about summer? For me, I think it’s the food and the sunshine! I could do without all the bugs, though…

In Spain, two of the highlights of summer are the Midsummer festival and the St. John’s Eve holiday. Spain is alight during this time, celebrating the longest day (Midsummer) and shortest night (St. John’s Eve) of the year.

In this article, you’ll learn about traditions for St. John’s Eve and Midsummer in Spanish culture. There’s so much going on that it would be difficult to cover everything, but we’ll do our best. 😉

Let’s get started!

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1. An Overview of St. John’s Eve & Spanish Midsummer


St. John’s Eve is a popular holiday in the Spanish-speaking world, particularly near the Mediterranean coast and in the North. It marks la noche más corta (the shortest night) of the year. This holiday has pagan Celtic origins, though it has been Christianized over time to commemorate the birth of John the Baptist. But don’t be fooled—the Spanish have kept St. John’s Eve rooted in its “pagan” origins, in several ways. You could say that the holiday is a blend of old beliefs and traditions with newer, modern ones.

For example, this holiday is strongly associated with “St. John’s Eve voodoo,” which refers to traditions and celebrations that focus on magic or other supernatural elements. We’ll go more into detail on this soon!

A couple of days prior to St. John’s Eve, the Spanish also celebrate the Midsummer Festival. Spain is alive with festivities on this day, which celebrates the longest day of the year and takes full advantage of great summertime weather.



2. When is St. John’s Eve?


A Full Moon Shining Over Hills at Night

Each year, St. John’s Eve is celebrated on June 23, a couple of days after Midsummer.

3. Traditions for St. John’s Eve in Spain


A Bonfire

The most popular traditions and celebrations differ from region to region.

Near the coast, people get together on a playa (beach) and have a massive fiesta (party). This always involves hogueras (bonfires), which anyone can set up and light—as you can imagine, the beaches are filled with these fires! Many activities are associated with these bonfires, such as throwing a list of one’s wishes into it, jumping over the flames, and walking on hot coals. Some people like to set off petardos (firecrackers) in celebration, too.

Those who live more inland, far away from the beaches, have their own set of traditions. In Lanjarón, people partake in what’s called the Fiesta del Agua y del Jamón: people splash each other with water, and there are ham tastings. In Asturias and Madrid, people don’t let their distance from the coast keep them from lighting bonfires!

In Soria, there’s a three-day celebration during which people play folk music, put on traditional dress, and watch a parade. The celebrations here are considered by many to be the most spectacular.

On Saint John’s Eve, Spain is sure to be filled not only with the blaze of bonfires and lots of music, but also with the delicious aromas of food cooking. This evening is the perfect occasion for Spaniards to enjoy a cena (dinner) of barbecue and smoked meats, and to drink alcoholic beverages and other thirst-quenching refreshments.

These festivities can go on long into the night.



4. St. John’s Eve Voodoo


As mentioned earlier, St. John’s Eve is rooted in paganism. Even today, there are many popular beliefs about this night with specific traditions associated with them.

For example, some people believe that it’s good luck to enter the sea naked and backward while looking at the moon. Another belief is that if a single man or woman looks outside of their window around midnight, just as June 24 is beginning, they’ll see the love of their life passing by. Another is that if someone wakes up early on Midsummer Day, they won’t be sleepy for the rest of the year.

In Galicia, they drink something called queimada. This is a “magic” potion made with brandy, fruit, and sugar. A spell is cast on it while it’s being made, and it’s lit on fire before being served. Queimada is thought to get rid of evil spirits and other supernatural forces.

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for St. John’s Eve


A Beach with a Palm Tree

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a quick list!

  • Cena — “Dinner” [n. fem]
  • Beber — “Drink” [v.]
  • Playa — “Beach” [n. fem]
  • Verbena de San Juan — “St. John’s Eve” [n. fem]
  • Noche — “Night” [n. fem]
  • Fiesta — “Party” [n. fem]
  • Multitud — “Crowd” [n. fem]
  • Petardo — “Firecracker” [n.]
  • Coca — “Coca” [n. fem]
  • Hoguera — “Bonfire” [n. fem]
  • La noche más corta — “Shortest night”


If you want to hear the pronunciation of each word and phrase, visit SpanishPod101.com’s St. John’s Eve vocabulary list with audio.

Final Thoughts


In Spain, Midsummer and St. John’s Eve are certainly festive occasions that you won’t want to miss out on! If you enjoy large gatherings, time at the beach, and amazing food, we do encourage you to plan ahead for a trip to Spain to see these awesome celebrations.

Do you celebrate Midsummer or St. John’s Eve in your country? If so, what do celebrations look like there? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

If you want to learn more about the culture of Spanish-speaking countries and the Spanish language, SpanishPod101.com has several free resources for you, straight from our blog:



This only scratches the surface of everything SpanishPod101.com has to offer the aspiring Spanish-learner. To make the most of your study time, create your free lifetime account with us today, or upgrade to our Premium or Premium PLUS plans for access to exclusive content and lessons.

It’s our goal to make your learning experience as painless and exciting as possible, so we do hope to see you around! 😉

Stay safe out there, and happy learning.

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How to Compliment in Spanish: Spanish Compliment Guide

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Hacer un cumplido, lanzar un piropo, or un halago: to compliment someone in Spanish.

Spanish is a Latin language, also known as one of the romance languages. While this doesn’t mean the language is romantic by nature, there are plenty of sweet Spanish compliments you can offer someone to warm their heart.

So, how do you say “compliment” in Spanish? Compliments in Spanish are known as piropos, halagos, or cumplidos.

If you’re planning to travel to Spain or Latin America, you’ll come across many of those. You’ll be amazed by how we compliment anyone on anything. It’s our way of encouraging each other!

Whenever I’m with some foreigner friends around my city, they’re always in awe about how we naturally call anyone guapo or guapa. This is certainly different from other Eastern European cultures, where people are more discreet and reserved.

Ever wonder how to compliment someone in Spanish? Well, you’re in the right place. In this article, you’ll learn how to compliment in Spanish, whether to get the attention of someone you like, give your compliments to the chef after eating a delicious meal, or congratulate your coworkers after a presentation.

Sometimes body language can be enough. But we don’t usually keep compliments to ourselves!

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Table of Contents

  1. Compliments in Spanish About How Someone Looks
  2. Compliments in Spanish for Someone’s Work
  3. Compliments in Spanish About Someone’s Personality or Lifestyle
  4. Compliments in Spanish on Someone’s Skills
  5. How to Make Your Compliment in Spanish More Sincere
  6. What to Expect After Giving Compliments in Spanish
  7. Conclusion

1. Compliments in Spanish About How Someone Looks

Compliments

Compliments are very common in the Spanish-speaking world, whether they’re used to flirt with, seduce, or praise someone. If you’ve just started learning Spanish, it may be hard to understand when you’re being complimented, or even how to compliment someone naturally. Here, we’re going to cover some nice Spanish compliments you can use to let someone know you like them (or just like their style).

Learn how to say a compliment in Spanish to a woman:

  • Qué guapa eres.
    “How pretty.”
  • Eres muy bonita.
    “You are beautiful.”
  • Estás muy guapa.
    “You are very pretty.”
  • Estás muy bonita hoy.
    “You are very pretty today.”
  • Te ves muy guapa.
    “You look beautiful.”
  • Qué guapa, ¿no?
    “How pretty, aren’t you?”

You can find out more about adjectives and how they work in our complete guide to Spanish Adjectives on SpanishPod101, or our related vocabulary list.

Now, here are some Spanish compliments to a man:

  • Qué guapo.
    “How handsome.”
  • Qué bonito.
    “How handsome.”
  • Te ves muy guapo hoy.
    “You look handsome today.”

There are some adjectives that can be used for both men and women.

  • Tienes unos ojos muy hermosos.
    “You have beautiful eyes.”
  • Tienes una sonrisa muy bonita.
    “You have a beautiful smile.”
  • Qué elegante.
    “Looking elegant.”
  • Te ves muy bien.
    “Looking very good.”
  • Haces que quiera ser una mejor persona.
    “You make me want to be a better person.”
  • Tienes un cabello muy bonito.
    “You have beautiful hair.”
  • Tienes unas manos muy bonitas.
    “You have beautiful hands.”
  • Me encanta tu vestido.
    “I love your dress.”
  • Te quedan muy bien esas gafas.
    “You look good with those glasses.”

Looking for some cute Spanish compliments? Here’s how you can praise a lovely couple:

  • Qué linda pareja.
    “What a beautiful couple.”

If you want to compliment on someone’s clothes, such as a jacket, tie, or blouse, you can say something like:

  • Qué lindo/a______.
    “What a beautiful______.”
  • Qué linda chaqueta.
    “What a beautiful jacket.”
  • Qué chula tu chaqueta.
    “Your jacket looks cool.”
  • Esa camiseta te queda muy bien.
    “That shirt looks very good on you.”

2. Compliments in Spanish for Someone’s Work

A Different Type of Jobs

If you’re learning Spanish because you’re planning to move to a Spanish-speaking country for work, this section is for you. Learn some compliments in Spanish to praise someone for their work.

Or perhaps you want to know how well you’re doing your job. We all like to get some compliments sometimes, so you should understand a compliment in Spanish if you get one.

  • Buen trabajo.
    “Good job.”
  • Lo has hecho muy bien.
    “You did very well.”
  • Me ha encantado la presentación.
    “I loved your presentation.”
  • Qué idea tan genial.
    “What a great idea.”
  • La manera en que has solucionado el problema fue genial.
    “The way you approached the issue was amazing.”
  • Solo has estado estudiando español tres meses, pero hablas muy bien.
    “You have only been studying Spanish for three months, but you speak very well.”
  • Tu curriculum es impresionante.
    “Your CV is impressive.”

For more good Spanish compliments for the workplace, study our vocabulary list of the Top 15 Compliments in Spanish that you always want to hear.

3. Compliments in Spanish About Someone’s Personality or Lifestyle

Sport Person on the Top.

It’s always awesome to hear compliments from friends and family because it reinforces the way they see us. If you want to praise someone in Spanish on an aspect of their personality, this section is for you. Make them feel good with these compliments in Spanish.

  • Juan es muy buena persona.
    “Juan is a very good person.”
  • María es muy trabajadora. (female)
    “María is a hard worker.”
  • Pedro es muy trabajador. (male)
    “Pedro is a hard worker.”

The following adjectives can be used for both men and women. Remember that you have to change the last letter of the adjective depending on the subject’s gender: -o for masculine and -a for feminine.

  • Eres un aventurero(a).
    “You are adventurous.”
  • Luis is muy cariñoso.
    “Luis is very affectionate.”
  • Estás siempre alegre.
    “You are always cheerful.”
  • Pareces muy seguro (a).
    “You look very confident.”
  • Marta es muy coqueto.
    “Marta is very flirtatious.”
  • Manuel es muy simpático.
    “Manuel is very friendly.”
  • Eres muy divertido (a).
    “You are funny.”
  • Eres muy gracioso (a).
    “You are very funny.”
  • Estás en buena forma.
    “You are in good shape.”
  • Abigail es una mujer Independiente.
    “Abigail is an independent woman.”
  • José es muy inteligente.
    “José is very smart.”
  • Martha es muy interesante.
    “Martha is very interesting.”
  • Manuel es muy tranquilo (a).
    “Manuel is very laid back.”
  • Mary es muy amable.
    “Mary is very nice.”
  • Jorge is muy abierto (a).
    “Jorge is very open-minded.”
  • Santiago es muy romántico (a).
    “Santiago is very romantic.”
  • Lucía es muy sexy.
    “Lucía is very sexy.”
  • Esther es muy dulce.
    “Esther is very sweet.”

4. Compliments in Spanish on Someone’s Skills

Chef Presenting His Meal.

You can also compliment someone in Spanish about their skills by following this formula. Fill in the blank with the verb or action you want to reinforce:

  • Tú _____ muy bien. Ex: Tú cocinas muy bien.
    “You ____ well.” Ex: “You cook very well.”

In Spanish, you can use the pronoun if you want. Let’s check some examples:

  • Tú cantas muy bien.
    Cantas muy bien.
    “You sing well.”
  • Tú escribes muy bien.
    Escribes muy bien.
    “You write well.”
  • Tú cocinas muy bien.
    Cocinas muy bien.
    “You cook well.”
  • Juegas al fútbol muy bien.
    “You play football very well.”
  • Pintas muy bien.
    “You paint very well.”
  • Hablas muy bien español.
    “You speak Spanish very well.”

When you’re complimenting a thing, you’re also indirectly praising the person with (or responsible for) that thing as well. For example, if you say that a song is beautiful, you’re praising the singer; if you’re amazed by how a dish tastes, you’re praising the cook.

Let’s see how to praise in Spanish:

  • Esta comida está deliciosa.
    “This food is delicious.”
  • La película es muy divertida.
    “The movie is very funny.”
  • La fotografía era espectacular.
    “The picture was spectacular.”
  • La comida huele muy bien.
    “The food smells very nice.”
  • Qué buena pinta tiene la comida.
    “The food looks amazing.”

5. How to Make Your Compliment in Spanish More Sincere

Woman Hiding Something

In this section, you’ll learn how to say a compliment in Spanish and sound sincere.

When you’re complimenting someone in Spanish, you should look them in the eyes; sometimes you can touch the other person on the shoulder or even give them a hug (really!). Yes, you will know when and to whom. Remember that in Spain and Latin America, it’s okay to touch each other.

Smile while delivering the compliment, and don’t expect anything in return (although you may get a sincere thank you or a compliment from the person).

These are some things you should not do when complimenting someone in Spanish (and actions to watch out for in others):

  • You should not over-compliment someone in Spanish. Sometimes when people compliment for the sake of it, the compliment loses value.
  • Sometimes people compliment you because they want something in return. Well, you should not do that to someone, and you need to know when someone is doing it to you. How can you know?

Well, they usually won’t look you in your eyes, and they’ll have a fake smile. Sometimes you can sense it, but just because Spanish isn’t your first language, you may get confused.

You can find these types of people outside of the touristic sites in Spain. They’ll tell you something nice, expecting you to buy something in return.

When you’re being complimented, be humble and try to offer the person a compliment in return. You can also just say: Gracias muy amable. (“Thanks, you are very kind.” )

6. What to Expect After Giving Compliments in Spanish

Positive Feelings

When you’re complimenting someone in Spanish, you should always say thank you (even if you don’t really agree). Otherwise, you may come across as rude.

In the Spanish-speaking world, you’ll get compliments on anything you do. So here are some tips on how to reply when you get a compliment in Spanish.

  • Gracias, eres muy amable.
    “Thanks, you are very kind.”
  • Gracias por el cumplido.
    “Thanks for the compliment.”

How a person feels after receiving a compliment depends on the person’s personality. You may encounter someone who feels very comfortable with the compliment, and simply thanks you for it.

On the other hand, some people may be very shy and uncomfortable, and don’t say anything at all. Don’t take it personally.

You may also compliment someone who’s very humble, in which case you may get a reply such as:

  • Gracias por el cumplido, pero cualquier persona puede hacerlo.
    “Thanks for the compliment, but anyone could do it.”
  • Gracias, pero podría haberlo hecho mejor.
    “Thanks, but I could have done it better.”
  • Gracias, pero no creo que lo haya hecho tan bien.
    “Thanks, but I don’t think I have done well enough.”

Either way, you should always express your gratitude when getting a compliment:

¡Gracias!

7. Conclusion

In this guide, you’ve learned the most common Spanish compliments, how to compliment a girl or a boy, how to thank the cook after a delicious meal, plus some praising words in Spanish. Would you like to know more about compliments in Spanish? Do you feel ready to express gratitude and praise someone in Spanish?

SpanishPod101 has many resources, from vocabulary lists, audio recordings, and more free content to boost your learning and keep it entertaining and fun.

Good luck!

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Learn Gender in Spanish: Spanish Gender Rules

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The gender of nouns in Spanish is part of a noun’s identity. We won’t be able to use a noun correctly without its corresponding article. If English (or another language with genderless nouns) is your first language, you probably freaked out when you found out that nouns have gender in Spanish. We admit that it does sound a little scary at first.

But hey, if it makes you feel better, at least Spanish isn’t like German, which has three genders, or like Polish, which has a few more than that. Or Swedish, which has two genders that aren’t feminine or masculine. There are many languages that use genders.

Fortunately, we only have two genders, and we plan on keeping them. They might not always make sense to a foreigner (I mean, why would a chair be feminine?), but they do make sense to us and it would sound really funny if someone didn’t use them right. This is why we’re about to teach you all you need to know about gender in Spanish.

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Table of Contents

  1. Spanish Language Gender Rules: How Does it Work?
  2. How to Make a Good Guess on the Gender of a Word
  3. How to Memorize the Gender of a Word
  4. Animals
  5. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Spanish

1. Spanish Language Gender Rules: How Does it Work?

Let’s start with something simple: the word for “gender” in Spanish is género, and our two genders are femenino (“feminine” ) and masculino (“masculine” ). That’s easy; everyone knows these two genders.

Now, how is the Spanish language affected by gender? As we mentioned previously, this topic mostly revolves around nouns. That means that every noun has one gender or the other, and that the words around it (which are articles, adjectives, and sometimes, pronouns) must match that gender.

However, we’re going to be mostly focusing on the gender of Spanish nouns, and will help you a little bit with adjectives and articles. The reason we won’t be talking about pronouns is because we’ll be publishing an article about pronouns soon, so keep your eyes peeled! If you can’t wait, check out our list of the most useful Spanish pronouns.

Feminine and Maculine

1 – Articles

The most common structure for nouns in Spanish is (article) + noun + (adjective), so we’re going to follow this structure and talk about Spanish article gender rules first.

In English, there are two articles, which are “the” and “a(n),” but Spanish has a few more. Don’t let this frighten you, but we have a total of eight articles. Yes, eight. The reason we have so many is because they change according to both gender and number.

Definite articles (“the” ) → “the kid” or “the kids”

  • Masculine, singular: el → el niño
  • Feminine, singular: la → la niña
  • Masculine, plural: los → los niños
  • Feminine, plural: las → las niñas

Indefinite articles (“a,” “an,” “some” ) → “a kid” or “some kids”

  • Masculine, singular: un → un niño
  • Feminine, singular: una → una niña
  • Masculine, plural: unos → unos niños
  • Feminine, plural: unas → unas niñas

Children Wearing Costumes

2 – Nouns

As you know, when talking about genders in Spanish, nouns are the most important. Basically, each noun has been assigned to be masculine or feminine. We don’t really get a say in this; we’ve all learned that this is the way Spanish works and we’ve accepted it.

Spanish mostly comes from Latin, which also has genders (three, actually), so a lot of these genders have just been passed on from Latin or other languages that have influenced Spanish over the centuries.

We could say some of these genders make more sense than others. For example, la mujer (“the woman” ) is obviously feminine, but un brazo (“an arm” ) is masculine and una pierna (“a leg” ) is feminine. We can’t really explain why, other than the ending of these words.

3 – Adjectives

Adjectives, just like articles, need to “agree” in number and gender with the noun they’re modifying. All adjectives change when it comes to number, so when the noun next to it is in the plural form, the adjective will need an -s at the end (or -es sometimes).

However, gender is a little bit different. In this sense, there are different kinds of adjectives. Whenever an adjective ends in -o in its masculine form, it has a masculine and a feminine form. For example: blanco / blanca (“white” ). This is the most common type of adjective.

Some other adjectives, however, don’t change. These are all adjectives that end in -e, in consonants, or some trickier ones to see, in -ista. Here are some examples: grande (“big” ), gris (“gray” ), and realista (“realistic” ).

There are some exceptions to Spanish gender rules for adjectives ending in consonants, which are the following endings: -or, -ón, -ol, -án, -ín, and -és. For example: alemán / alemana (“German” ) and francés / francesa (“French” ).

For more information, you might want to check out our article on adjectives. You might also be interested in this list of adjectives that describe personalities.

2. How to Make a Good Guess on the Gender of a Word

Let’s focus on nouns properly this time. How do you know if a Spanish word is masculine or feminine?

As we’ve mentioned, nouns dictate the gender of everything that surrounds them, so we need to know what gender a noun is before we know what article or adjective we want to use next to it.

Something that you should always remember is that when talking about a group of people or animals that includes both males and females, we always use the masculine form of the noun. For example:

Tengo cuatro perros: dos machos y dos hembras.
“I have four dogs: two males and two females.”

  • Words that end in -o or -a

There are two things that you need to keep in mind to know if a word is feminine or masculine.

The first thing is that words that end in -o are most likely masculine. Examples: un zapato (“a shoe” ) and un vaso (“a glass” ).

The second thing is that words that end in -a are most likely feminine. Examples: una taza (“a cup” ) and una casa (“a house” ).

But of course, there are exceptions to this rule: una mano (“a hand” ), un mapa (“a map” ), un día (“a day” )…There are also words like moto and foto, which are feminine words but aren’t really exceptions, because they actually come from motocicleta (“motorbike” ) and fotografía (“photography” ) respectively.

  • Other masculine words

There are some other exceptions that also follow rules. For example, words that end in -ma are masculine words, such as un problema (“a problem” ) and el alma (“the soul” ).

Other masculine words that don’t end in -o are those that end in -or, such as el color (“the color” ) or el humor (“the humor” ). However, as always, there are exceptions to the exception. A common example of this is la flor, which is a feminine word that means “the flower.”

  • Other feminine words

Words that end in -sión, -ción, -dad or -tad, -tud, or -umbre are always feminine words. Examples: una presión (“a pressure” ), una transformación (“a transformation” ), una cantidad (“a quantity” ), la libertad (“the freedom” ), una solicitud (“a request” ), la servidumbre (“the servitude” ), etc.

  • Other exceptions to gender rules in Spanish

There are some words that have random endings. Thankfully, there aren’t that many, but we should still consider them. For example, un lápiz, which means “a pencil,” has an unusual ending, -z.

3. How to Memorize the Gender of a Word

Man Memorizing Something

When learning a noun, it might be useful to learn it together with its corresponding article, especially when it’s not a typical word with an -o or -a ending.

There are some nouns that refer to animals and people that might have two different forms, such as the example we gave you when we listed the different articles there are in Spanish: niño means “kid,” but depending on whether it ends in -o or -a, it will refer to a boy or a girl respectively.

When it comes to professions, some nouns have the same form whether they’re masculine or feminine, and some change their ending. For example, artista means “artist” and it refers to both men and women. But if you want to talk about the person who delivers your mail, you’ll talk about a cartero or a cartera, depending on his or her gender.

The main Spanish dictionary, Diccionario de la Real Academia Española (DRAE), always indicates the gender of the noun (m. or f.). For example, the world cumpleaños, which means “birthday,” has the letter m. for masculine. In the case of adjectives, it always shows first the masculine form, and then the ending of the feminine form. One example is the adjective rojo, which means “red.” As you can see, it appears as rojo, ja, to show you both endings. If the adjective only has one form, it doesn’t give you any more information.

There are many activities and games you could try to help you memorize the gender of a noun, such as quizzes or flashcards that include an article or an adjective in the correct gender of the nouns you want to learn.

Our vocabulary lists also state what the gender of a noun is. For example, you can see it in this list of the 50 most common nouns in Mexican Spanish, or in this list of the 100 core Spanish words.

4. Animals

When it comes to animals, Spanish can be a little strange, we admit. Some words for animals are masculine, and some are feminine. Others, as mentioned before, can have a different ending—or even be completely different words. Just like with other nouns, it might not always make sense for an animal to be masculine or feminine, but it’s still important.

Before we get started with this, there’s a joke about animals and Spanish genders that might help you understand this whole thing:

A British man and a Spanish man are fishing when the British man sees a fly and says: “Look, un mosca.” The Spanish man corrects him: “No, it’s una mosca.” The British man responds: “Wow, you Spaniards have really good eyesight.”

Obviously, you understand that this is not about eyesight, but of knowing that the words we use to name animals have genders that might not be the same as their actual gender.

Dogs, Cat, Bird, Snake and Mouse

Feminine animals

  • Una cebra (“a zebra” )
  • Una mosca (“a fly” )
  • Una oveja (“a sheep” )
  • Una cabra (“a goat” )
  • Una vaca (“a cow” )
  • Una araña (“a spider” )

Masculine animals

  • Un elefante (“an elephant” )
  • Un caracol (“a snail” )
  • Un loro (“a parrot” )
  • Un pez (“a fish” )
  • Un pavo (“a turkey” )
  • Un pájaro (“a bird” )

Different endings

  • Un perro/una perra (“a dog” )
  • Un gato/una gata (“a cat” )
  • Un cerdo/una cerda (“a pig” )
  • Un león/una leona (“a lion” )
  • Un oso/una osa (“a bear” )

Different words

  • Un caballo (“a horse” ) / una yegua (“a mare” )
  • Un gallo (“a rooster” ) / una gallina (“a hen” )

Two Horses

When talking about an animal that might have different word endings depending on its gender, we normally use the masculine form first if we don’t know the actual gender of the animal.

For a few more examples of animals in Spanish, take a look at this vocabulary list of animal names.

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

We know that learning gender in Spanish isn’t easy, but it’s very important. You must keep in mind that it’s all about getting used to the genders; once you do, you won’t even have to think about them. They’ll just come to you. So give it a chance and you’ll see it’s not that difficult!

At SpanishPod101.com, you’ll find everything you need to learn Spanish. In this article, we mostly talked about nouns, but we’ve also mentioned articles and adjectives, so this could be a good time to read about adverbs too. You might be interested in learning how to get around in Spanish, or maybe you would like to improve your pronunciation.

Did we talk about anything in this article that you’re still uncertain about? Or do you feel much more confident with Spanish noun genders? Let us know in the comments; we look forward to hearing from you!

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How to be Angry in Spanish: 2020 Guide to 20+ Angry Phrases

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Trying to express your feelings is very important, especially if you’re learning a new language. I still remember how frustrating it was when I was trying to express myself in a new language. Sometimes I couldn’t find the words so it was easier just to give up.

Well, that’s why we want to put this article out there for you, even if you’re one of those people who never (or almost never) gets angry. There will be a time when you need to express that you are angry in Spanish.

Learn how to say “angry” in Spanish, how to express your feelings and when, and most importantly, how to spot when someone is being angry in Spanish toward you.

Spanish is a romance language not only because it comes from Latin, but because you can express so many emotions, feelings, and meanings with it—not only with words, but also with gestures, body language, and physical touch.

It’s normal to find a gap between your feelings, how you should express them, and what they can mean. In Spanish, you can express your emotions by learning the local expressions.

Learn the most common Spanish angry phrases with some specific vocabulary and colloquial words with SpanishPod101. You can start expressing yourself no matter your level!

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Table of Contents

  1. How Do You Say “Angry” in Spanish?
  2. Angry Imperatives
  3. Angry Warnings
  4. Angry Blames
  5. How to Tell Someone to Calm Down
  6. Conclusion

1. How Do You Say “Angry” in Spanish?

Negative Feelings

To express that you feel angry in Spanish, you need to know the verb “to be”: Ser or Estar.

These verbs can both be used with adjectives. However, when it comes to expressing your emotions in Spanish, it’s easy—you just need to use the verb estar.

Formula

The verb “to be” in the present tense: Estoy + Adjective.

Examples of the Spanish word for “angry”:

There are a few different words for “angry” in Spanish. The most common ones are:

  • Enojado(-a) (Latin American Spanish)
  • Enfadado(-a)
  • Molesto(-a)

Saying “I am upset” or “I am angry” in Spanish:

  • Estoy enojado(-a).
  • Estoy enfadado(-a).
  • Estoy molesto(-a).

Once you know these, you can start really using the Spanish word for “angry.” In addition, you should know the local angry phrases in Spanish to help you express your emotions.

2. Angry Imperatives

1- ¡Para ya!

Literal Translation:
“Stop it right now!”

Meaning:
You use this phrase when someone is really annoying you, and you’re starting to feel that anger inside of you, running through each inch of your body. To get that person to stop doing what they’re doing, you say ¡Para ya!

Example Situation:
A mom is with her child in the shopping center, and the child is running around and being rambunctious. This is making the mother feel nervous, so she yells ¡Para ya! to tell her child to stop.

Usage in a Sentence:
Por favor Antonio, ¡para ya!
“Please Antonio, stop it right now!”

2- Como quieras.

Literal Translation:
“Whatever.”

Meaning:
This expression is used when you feel angry in Spanish for something and you want to end the conversation.

Couple After an Argument

Example Situation:
Your partner wants to visit his/her parents for the holidays, and wants you to agree with that decision. You, of course, want to visit your own parents, but your partner is getting very angry because he/she wants you to give in. You finally give up and say Como quieras or “whatever,” showing that you cede—but you’re not feeling happy about it.

Usage in a Sentence:
Como quieras, igual a ti te gusta tener siempre la razón.
“Whatever, you like to always be right anyway.”

3- ¿Y qué?

Literal Translation:
“So what?”

Meaning:
This is one of the best angry Spanish sayings to show indifference about something and to tell the other person you don’t really care.

Example Situation:
Someone is judging you for something, so you use this expression to emphasize that you don’t care about their opinions.

Usage in a Sentence:
Sí, tengo 40 años, ¿y qué?
“Yes, I’m 40 years old, so what?”

3. Angry Warnings

1- Estoy hasta los huevos/las narices/el moño.

Literal Translation:
“I am up to my balls/nose/bun.”

Meaning:
This expression is used when you’re very tired or upset about something or with someone. The equivalent in English can be something like “I’ve had enough of my job.”

Example Situation:
If you work in a bar and there’s an angry Spanish man there, you can say Estoy hasta las narices de este tío, or “I’ve had enough of this man.”

Usage in a Sentence:
Estos hasta las narices de mi trabajo.
“I’ve had enough of my job.”

2- Vete a freír espárragos.

Literal Translation:
“Go to fry asparagus.”

Meaning:
This expression is often used to be angry in Spanish because it basically means “go to hell” but more politely, without using bad words.

Example Situation:
If you’re arguing with someone and you want to end the conversation, you send them to fry asparagus.

Usage in a Sentence:
Si no te gusta, vete a freír espárragos.
“If you don’t like it, go to hell.”

3- No me busques porque me encuentras. (Latin American Spanish)

Literal Translation:
“Do not look for me, because you will find me.”

Meaning:
If you want to argue, bring it on.

Example Situation:
You can use this when you encounter someone who wants to argue, even though you don’t want to. So you tell them: No me busques porque me encuentras. In English, this would be like saying “Don’t push your luck.” This is one of the most common angry Spanish phrases in Mexico.

Usage in a Sentence:
No quiero discutir, así que no me busques porque me encuentras.
“I do not want to argue, so don’t push your luck.”

4- Te voy a decir por donde sale el sol. (Latin American Spanish)

Literal Translation:
“I will tell you where the sun rises.”

Meaning:
This expression means “I am angry” in Spanish, and that you need to talk with that person.

Example Situation:
Your partner is late again and you’re not happy about it. Use this phrase to let him/her know you want to talk about it.

Usage in a Sentence:
Esta vez le voy a decir por donde sale el sol.
“This time I will tell her from where the sun rises.”

5- Que te den.

Literal Translation:
“F*ck off.”

Bald Man Shouting at Someone

Meaning:
This is an extremely offensive expression, and it’s used to tell someone to go away when you’re angry with them.

Example Situation:
A mother is arguing with her teenage son about tidying up his room. When her son refuses to do so, the mother punishes him by not allowing him to go out with his friends for a week. He says: Que te den.

Usage in a Sentence:
Si no te gusta que te den.
“If you do not like it, f*ck off.”

6- Estoy que echo chispas.

Literal Translation:
“I am about to give off sparks.”

Meaning:
This expression means that you’re very angry in Spanish. It’s a warning to the other person not to come any closer because you’re about to explode.

Example Situation:
You’re arguing with someone, and another person comes along. You can tell them: Estoy que echo chispas, or “I am about to explode.”

Usage in a Sentence:
No te metas conmigo que estoy que echo chispas.
“Do not come any closer because I am about to explode.”

7- Estoy de una mala uva/leche/hostia.

Literal Translation:
“I am of such a bad grape/milk/communion bread.”

Meaning:
Yes! This is one of the most common Spanish phrases when angry, especially in Spain. However, in Latin American Spanish, you’ll never hear this. This expression means that you’re in a bad mood.

Angry Man in a Dark Room

Example Situation:
This one is used in a variety of everyday situations when you just want to explain yourself to someone.

Usage in a Sentence:
Estoy de una mala leche mi jefe no me ha dejado salir temprano hoy.
“I am in such a bad mood today; my boss did not let me leave early.”

8- Me estoy calentando.

Literal Translation:
“I am getting hot.”

Meaning:
This means “I am angry” in Spanish. The equivalent English translation is something like “You’re getting on my nerves.”

Example Situation:
If you’re arguing with someone and the conversation doesn’t look like it’ll stop anytime soon, you can say Me estoy calentando.

Usage in a Sentence:
Basta ya que me estoy calentando.
“Stop it already, I am getting angry.”

9- El horno no está para bollos.

Literal Translation:
“The oven is not open for buns.”

Meaning:
This expression is used when you’re not in a good mood, and you don’t want to hear anything else that makes the situation worse.

Example Situation:
You’re already angry, and then someone wants to tell you that they’ve lost your favorite book. Well, you can tell them El horno no está para bollos.

Usage in a Sentence:
Acabo de chocar el coche así que no me digas nada que el horno no está para bollos.
“I just crashed the car, so do not tell me anything else.”

10- Te voy a cantar las cuarenta.

Literal Translation:
“I will sing the forty to you.”

Meaning:
Do you need to let someone know you’re angry in Spanish? This expression is the best way to do this. If someone says this to you, you’re in trouble, especially if you’ve done something to upset that person. This phrase is used to initiate a serious talk.

Example Situation:
If you’re talking to someone about how angry you are at someone else, you can use this expression to be angry in Spanish. Mothers also commonly use this phrase with their children when there’s something that needs to be talked about at home.

Usage in a Sentence:

Le voy a cantar las cuarenta a mi hermano.
“I am angry with my brother, I will talk to him.”

Te voy a cantar las cuarenta cuando lleguemos a casa.
“We will talk about it when we get home.”

11- Qué morro/cara tienes.

Literal Translation:
“You have such a big snout/face.”

Meaning:
You can use this expression to say that you’re angry in Spanish. In particular, this is one of the best Spanish phrases for angry people to use if someone is taking advantage of them, someone else, or a situation.

Example Situation:
If your brother is always asking you for favors and he never does anything for you in return, you can say Qué morro tienes.

Usage in a Sentence:
Mi hermano siempre me devuelve el coche sin gasolina, qué morro tiene.
“My brother always brings back my car without fuel, he has such a big snout.”

12- Te estás pasando.

Literal Translation:
“You are going too far now.”

Meaning:
You should stop now because you’re taking the situation too far.

Example Situation:
Sometimes when you’re angry, you may bring other subjects into the conversation or situation. In this case, the other person may say Te estas pasando so you can understand you’re going too far with it.

Usage in a Sentence:
No hay necesidad de hacer ese comentario, te estás pasando.
“There is no need to say that, you are going too far now.”

4. Angry Blames

1- A ti te dejaron caer cuando eras pequeño. (Latin American Spanish)

Literal Translation:
“You were dropped on the floor when you were a kid.”

Meaning:
If you’re talking to someone and you don’t get the messages they’re trying to send, they’ll tell you A ti te dejaron caer cuando eras pequeño. This is basically a way of calling someone dumb.

Example Situation:
This expression can be a subtle way to say “you’re dumb” to someone, especially in Latin American Spanish.

Usage in a Sentence:
¿Cómo que no entiendes lo que pasa? A ti te dejaron caer cuando eras pequeño, ¿verdad?
“What do you mean you don’t get it, are you dumb or what?”

2- Más tonto y no naces.

Literal Translation:
“If you were dumber, you would not have been born.”

Meaning:
This expression is another way to tell someone how dumb they are for not understanding the situation.

Example Situation:
In a situation where an angry Spanish woman is trying to explain herself, if you don’t get it, she’ll give up and say Más tonto y no naces.

Usage in a Sentence:
Estoy de mala leche, ¿no lo entiendes? Es que más tonto y no naces.
“Can you see I am angry? Should I spell it out for you?”

3- No te metas donde no te llaman.

Literal Translation:
“Do not be nosey.”

Meaning:
This expression means not to argue or say anything about a certain situation if it has nothing to do with you.

Tiger in the Shade

Example Situation:
If two people are arguing and you want to say or add something to their conversation, one of them can tell you No te metas donde no te llaman. In other words, “mind your own business.”

Usage in a Sentence:
Estoy hablando con mi madre en privado, no te metas donde no te llaman.
“I’m talking with my mom in private; please, mind your own business.”

4- Te voy a bajar los humos.

Literal Translation:
“Take down the wind of somebody’s sail.”

Meaning:
This expression is used when you’re angry because someone is behaving with superiority. The equivalent in English could be “Do not patronize me.”

Example Situation:
You can use this when you’re with a colleague and they talk to you like she or he is your boss.

Usage in a Sentence:
Baja un poco los humos y deja de gritarme, que tú no eres mi jefe.
“Do not patronize me, you are not my boss.”

5- Me estás buscando las cosquillas.

Literal Translation:
“You are looking for my tickling.”

Meaning:
This means that someone wants to argue with you, and is intentionally doing things to start a fight.

Example Situation:
If your partner is teasing you in order to start a fight, you can tell him/her this.

Usage in a Sentence:
Me estás buscando las cosquillas.
“You are looking for troubles and I won’t laugh.”

Girl Being Scolded by Parent

6- Te voy a poner los puntos sobre las íes.

Literal Translation:
“I will put the dots over the letter ‘i’.”

Meaning:
This expression is very common when you’re letting someone know you’re angry in Spanish. It means that you’re angry, and no matter what their excuse is, they’re going to hear what you have to say.

Example Situation:
Imagine your friend is late and you’ve been waiting for a long time. She or he is on the phone with you, so you make it clear during the call that you have something to say.

Usage in a Sentence:
Siempre me hace lo mismo, le voy a poner los puntos sobre las íes.
“It’s always like that, (s)he will hear what I have to say about it.”

5. How to Tell Someone to Calm Down

Common Feelings

1- Relájate / Cálmate

Literal Translation:
“Relax” or “Calm down”

Meaning:
This word in Spanish is used to tell someone to chill out.

Example Situation:
This word is more informal than saying “calm down” in Spanish. You can use this with your friends and family, because if you use it with other people, it may make the situation worse.

Usage in a Sentence:

Relájate, que te puede dar un infarto.
“Chill out, you may get a heart attack.”

Cálmate, que no es para tanto.
“Calm down, there is no need to be like that.”

2- No pasa nada.

Literal Translation:
“Nothing is happening.”

Meaning:
This expression is used to ease or stop the situation.

Example Situation:
If you’re arguing with someone and that person realizes that they were wrong, you can say No pasa nada, or “It’s okay, no worries!”

Usage in a Sentence:

A: Creo que me pasé con el comentario.
B: ¡No pasa nada!

A: “I think I went too far with my comment.”
B: “It’s nothing, no worries!”

6. Conclusion

It’s very common to want to express our feelings and emotions. The first words we usually learn for this are curse words, but it’s important to learn how to express your anger in Spanish without them. It’s a process, and SpanishPod101 is here to help you learn more about how to express your feelings in Spanish.

Do you feel more confident about expressing your anger in Spanish now? Drop us a comment to let us know, and be sure to continue practicing the phrases in this article (but not too much!). We look forward to hearing from you!

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Día del Trabajo: Celebrating Labor Day in Mexico

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On Labor Day, Mexico both commemorates the events leading up to the implementation of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 and takes a day off from the same-old-same-old of work. In this article, you’ll learn more about the origins of this holiday, how to celebrate Labor Day in Mexico, and some useful vocabulary!

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Labor Day?

A Laborer Carrying Something Heavy

On the Labor Day holiday, Mexico reflects on the history of labor in the country and celebrates the 1917 Constitution that allowed for better workers’ rights.

For many years (particularly in the late nineteenth century), Mexican workers faced the plight of poor working conditions, lower wages than their American counterparts, a lack of respect, and the inability to advance their careers based on skill or merit.

This eventually led to a revolt called the Cananea Strike, which took place in the June of 1906. In this huelga (“strike”), which took place in the mining town of Cananea, Sonora, Mexican workers made several basic demands (such as fair wages and respectful treatment from superiors)—none of which were met before they were forced to continue working. Twenty-three people were killed during the strike, which came under martial law from Arizona Rangers.

In 1907, another strike occurred at the Rio Blanco textile store. Workers complained about poor working conditions and a corrupt system. This led to many more deaths, with the Rio Blanco store being burned and several protesters shot dead or imprisoned by the Mexican Federal troops.

Not long after, the Mexican Revolution took place, and the Mexican Constitution was put into place in 1917. The first official Labor Day celebration was in 1923.

    → Study our Jobs vocabulary list to learn the name of several different occupations in Mexican Spanish!

2. When is Labor Day in Mexico?

A Calendar Page that Shows May 1

Each year, Mexicans celebrate Labor Day on 1 de mayo (“May 1” ) with the rest of the world (except the U.S., which celebrates on the first Monday of September).

3. How Does Mexico Celebrate Labor Day?

A Group of Workers Going on Strike

Because Labor Day is a public holiday, schools and the majority of businesses are closed.

The Labor Day holiday in Mexico is an opportunity for workers to take time off from their empleo (“job” ) and spend time with loved ones. Many people enjoy going out and doing things, such as seeing a movie, eating out at a nice restaurant, or shopping. There are also many parades and similar festivities that people can take part in. In addition, some people put on a manifestación (“demonstration” ) to protest for more workers’ rights or better work conditions.

Depending on when May 1 takes place, there may be an entire Labor Day weekend in Mexico. Of course, this gives workers even more time away from work and with their family or friends. It’s a great opportunity to go on a weekend trip away from home!

On Labor Day, Mexico City, in particular, is likely to be filled with activity, and it’s a great place to find a variety of delicious restaurants and interesting shops. For Mexico City, Labor Day weekend is a good opportunity to help boost the economy. 😉

4. Modern-Day Strikes

In Mexico, strikes still happen pretty frequently.

According to Mexican labor law, employees have every right to go on strike; during a so-called “legal strike,” the business affected isn’t allowed to hire replacement workers or continue business as usual.

However, this same labor law allows the Board to make the call on whether or not a strike is technically happening. In many cases, the Board decides there’s no actual strike and so allows the affected business to continue running with replacement workers.

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Labor Day in Mexico

A Wallet with Money Sticking Out

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a list of the most important words and phrases for Labor Day in Mexico!

  • Salario — “Salary” [n. masc]
  • Trabajador — “Worker” [n. masc]
  • Día del Trabajo — “Labor Day” [masc]
  • Huelga — “Strike” [n. fem]
  • Trabajo — “Work” [n. masc]
  • Empleo — “Job” [n. masc]
  • Jornada laboral — “Working time” [fem]
  • 1 de mayo — “May 1”
  • Manifestación — “Demonstration” [n. fem]
  • Obrero — “Laborer” [n. masc]

To hear the pronunciation of each word and phrase, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Labor Day in Mexico vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Labor Day in Mexico with us, and that you took away some valuable information.

Do you celebrate Labor Day in your country? If so, how do your traditions and history compare to those of Mexico? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

If you want to learn even more about Mexican culture and the Spanish language, you may enjoy the following pages on SpanishPod101.com:

This is just the tip of the iceberg. For even more fantastic Spanish-learning content, create your free lifetime account on SpanishPod101.com today. You can also upgrade to our Premium or Premium PLUS plans, which give you access to exclusive content and features to learn Spanish faster!

Happy Labor Day, and good luck learning! 🙂

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Your Guide to the Most Common Spanish Prepositions

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In a sentence, prepositions are the glue that connects pronouns, nouns, and other words to convey the most accurate meaning and reveal the relationship between them. Spanish prepositions are no different than prepositions in other languages.

If you asked any educated Spaniard about Spanish prepositions, they would tell you that they still remember the list of prepositions in alphabetical order they had to learn in school. This list has changed slightly over the years. A couple of them have been deleted, and a few more have been added.

The current official list is: a, ante, bajo, cabe, con, contra, de, desde, durante, en, entre, hacia, hasta, mediante, para, por, según, sin, so, sobre, tras, versus, vía.

Some of us learned a similar list, but durante and mediante were at the end because they were the newest additions. Now there are even more, though there are some prepositions in the list that aren’t used anymore—if you asked a Spanish speaker, they might not even know what they mean.

Man Shrugging His Shoulders

This is not the way we’re going to learn in this Spanish prepositions guide today. There’s no point in just learning a long list of prepositions in alphabetical order, so we’re going to list the most common Spanish prepositions with examples, and explain how you can use each of them. We’re also going to organize them in a way that will actually help you learn them and understand their functions.

With SpanishPod101, understanding Spanish prepositions is simple!

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Table of Contents

  1. What is a Preposition?
  2. 23 Most Common Prepositions
  3. So… When Do We Use Them?
  4. Change of Forms
  5. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Spanish

1. What is a Preposition?

Prepositions are words that can go in front of a noun phrase, such as a noun (that might also carry an article or an adjective with it) or a pronoun.

Prepositions can have different functions. For example, Spanish prepositions for location help express where something happens, while Spanish prepositions of time mark when that thing happens.

The best thing about Spanish prepositions—something you’ll most likely appreciate—is that in Spanish, there’s no possible confusion with certain prepositions such as “in,” “on,” and “at” in English. Instead, if we’re in/at/on a place, we only use en. We do have a preposition that translates to “on,” but it’s only used when something is on top of something else.

2. 23 Most Common Prepositions

We’re going to start with a list of the twenty-three most common prepositions in Spanish. We’ve omitted a few that aren’t used or that you’ll never need, but we have included compound prepositions—also known as Spanish prepositional phrases—that are often not considered prepositions. You might not have found these words in a different list even though they’re used very often. We’ll provide an example for each different use a given preposition has.

Here’s our list of Spanish prepositions and when to use them:

1- A

  • Motion (“to” )

Example: Después del trabajo me voy a la playa.
Translation: “After work, I’m going to the beach.”

  • Time (“at” )

Example: Te veo a las dos en punto.
Translation: “I’ll see you at two o’clock.”

  • Indirect object (“to”/”for” )

Example: Le he hecho una tarta a mi abuela.
Translation: “I have made a cake for my grandma.”

Cake with Icing

2- Bajo

  • Location (“under” )

Example: Los peces viven bajo el mar.
Translation: “Fish live under the sea.”

3- Con

  • Relation (“with” )

Example: Estoy cenando con Carlos.
Translation: “I’m eating dinner with Carlos.”

4- Contra

  • Relation (“against” )

Example: No tengo nada contra tu mujer.
Translation: “I have nothing against your wife.”

5- De

  • Relation (“of”/possessive “’s” )

Example: Esta chaqueta es de Sara.
Translation: “This jacket is Sara’s.”

  • Location (“from” )

Example: Soy de Barcelona.
Translation: “I’m from Barcelona.

6- Delante de

  • Location (“in front of” )

Example: Estoy delante de tu casa.
Translation: “I’m in front of your house.”

7- Desde

  • Time (“since” )

Example: Conozco a Pablo desde que teníamos cuatro años.
Translation: “I’ve known Pablo since we were four years old.”

  • Location (“from” )

Example: Ayer corrimos desde el parque hasta la playa.
Translation: “Yesterday we ran from the park to the beach.”

Man and Woman Running

8- Detrás de

  • Location (“behind” )

Example: ¡Vigila! ¡Detrás de ti!
Translation: “Watch out! Behind you!”

9- Durante

  • Time (“during” )

Example: No te puedes levantar durante la ceremonia.
Translation: “You can’t stand up during the ceremony.”

10- En

  • Location (“in”/”at”/”on” )

Example: Estoy en casa.
Translation: “I’m at home.”

11- Encima de

  • Location (“on top of” )

Example: Hay un lápiz roto encima de la libreta.
Translation: “There is a broken pencil on top of the notebook.”

Broken Pencil on Notebook

12- Enfrente de

  • Location (“in front of” )

Example: Van a abrir una biblioteca enfrente de tu casa.
Translation: “They’re opening a library in front of your house.”

13- Entre

  • Location (“between” )

Example: Mi casa está entre dos árboles.
Translation: “My house is between two trees.”

  • Time (“between” )

Example: Cenamos entre las ocho y las nueve.
Translation: “We eat dinner between eight and nine.”

  • Relation (“among” )

Example: Entre otras cosas, me gusta leer.
Translation: “Among other things, I like reading.”

14- Hacia

  • Location (“toward” )

Example: Voy hacia el mercado.
Translation: “I’m heading toward the market.”

  • Time (“around” )

Example: Nos vemos hacia las dos.
Translation: “I’ll see you around two.”

15- Hasta

  • Time (“until” )

Example: Mi hermano vivió con nosotros hasta que se casó.
Translation: “My brother lived with us until he got married.”

  • Location (“until” )

Example: ¿Nadamos hasta el final de la piscina?
Translation: “Should we swim until the end of the swimming pool?”

16- Para

  • Relation (“for” )

Example: Esta tarta es para el cumpleaños de mi madre.
Translation: “This cake is for my mom’s birthday.”

  • Purpose (“to” )

Example: Estoy estudiando para ser arquitecto.
Translation: “I am studying to be an architect.”

17- Por

  • Relation (“for” )

Example: Lo hice por ti.
Translation: “I did it for you.”

  • Relation (“by” )

Example: Escrito por Ana María Matute.
Translation: “Written by Ana María Matute.”

18- Según

  • Relation (“according to” )

Example: Según nos ha dicho Juana, no te encontrabas bien.
Translation: “According to what Juana told us, you weren’t feeling well.”

19- Sin

  • Relation (“without” )

Example: No sé qué haría sin ti.
Translation: “I don’t know what I would do without you.”

20- Sobre

  • Location (“on” )

Example: Siempre dejamos las llaves sobre la mesa.
Translation: “We always leave the keys on the table.”

  • Relation (“about” )

Example: ¿Te puedo hacer una pregunta sobre Carla?
Translation: “Can I ask you something about Carla?”

21- Tras

  • Time (“after” )

Example: No fue la misma tras la muerte de su marido.
Translation: “She wasn’t the same after her husband’s death.”

  • Location (“behind” )

Example: Escóndete tras la puerta.
Translation: “Hide behind the door.”

Girl Hiding Behind Door

22- Versus

  • Relation (“versus” )

Example: ¿Vas a ver el partido del Barça versus el Real Madrid?
Translation: “Are you going to watch the Barça versus Real Madrid match?”

23- Vía

  • Relation (“through” )

Example: Te contactaré vía correo electrónico o teléfono.
Translation: “I will contact you through email or phone.”

3. So… When Do We Use Them?

To sum it up, we’ve decided to organize the previous list in a few very basic groups. Keep in mind that some prepositions might be included in more than one list. And don’t worry, we’ll remind you of their meanings.

Here’s a rundown of Spanish prepositions usage based on category:

1- Prepositions of Location

First of all, here’s the group that has the most prepositions. These are the Spanish prepositions of location:

  • Bajo (“under” )
  • De (“from” )
  • Delante de (“in front of” )
  • Desde (“from” )
  • Detrás de (“behind” )
  • En (“in”/”at”/”on” )
  • Encima de (“on top of” )
  • Enfrente de (“in front of” )
  • Entre (“between” )
  • Hacia (“toward” )
  • Hasta (“until” )
  • Sobre (“on” )
  • Tras (“behind” )

2- Prepositions of Relation

This second group of prepositions isn’t as crowded as the last one, but the words still have very varied meanings:

  • Con (“with” )
  • Contra (“against” )
  • De (“of”/possessive “’s” )
  • Entre (“among” )
  • Para (“for” )
  • Por (“for” or “by” )
  • Según (“according to” )
  • Sin (“without” )
  • Sobre (“about” )
  • Versus (“versus” )
  • Vía (“through” )

3- Prepositions of Time

The third group of prepositions, the ones that refer to time, is another very important one:

  • A (“at” )
  • Desde (“since” )
  • Durante (“during” )
  • Entre (“between” )
  • Hacia (“around” )
  • Hasta (“until” )
  • Tras (“after” )

4- Other Prepositions

This last group is only formed, in our opinion, by the next two prepositions. It’s true we could have made them fit into the other groups, but we didn’t think they were completely appropriate there.

For example, one of the meanings of the preposition a is “motion,” which is related to location, but isn’t quite the same. The other meaning of a that’s included here (as well as the preposition para) could have been included in the group of prepositions of relation, but once again, we decided they were a bit different.

  • A (“to” or “for” )
  • Para (“to” )

4. Change of Forms

Something else you should know is that there are a couple of prepositions that, when followed by a definite article, join the article and become only one word. These are de + el (del) and a + el (al). Contracting these words isn’t optional, so you must remember them!

Here are a couple of examples:

  • Este es el coche del padre de María. → “This is María’s father’s car.”
  • Mamá, ¡me voy al lago! → “Mom, I’m going to the lake!”

In some regions of Spain, it’s also common to pronounce para + el together, as in pal. However, this contraction is very informal, so we don’t suggest you use it unless you’re talking to your close friends, or to people from one of these regions.

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

Alright, we know prepositions aren’t the funnest thing to learn in a language, but we’re actually quite sure that Spanish prepositions are way easier than English ones.

However, if you thought this wasn’t enough, or if you still need some Spanish prepositions help, there’s much more you can learn at SpanishPod101.com! You’ll find articles of all sorts on our blog, from basic articles such as the classic How to Say “Hello” in Spanish to vocabulary on the Tomatina festivities! You don’t know what they are? Make sure you check out our article! And stay tuned for more articles in the future, designed to help you master the Spanish language with ease.

Before you go, let us know in the comments how you feel about Spanish prepositions now, and if there’s anything you’re still uncertain about. We look forward to hearing from you!

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