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Top 100 Spanish Verbs You Should Know

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Why learn Spanish verbs? Why are they important?

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

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

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

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

1. What You Need to Know

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s an example:

  • Voy a comer un helado. 

“I’m going to eat ice cream.”

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

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

  • ¿Quién va a comer un helado? 

“Who is going to eat ice cream?”

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

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

2. Different Groups of Verbs

Top Verbs

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

The three main groups are:

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

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

Verbs that end in -ar 

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

Verbs that end in -er

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

Verbs that end in -ir 

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

Irregular verbs 

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

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

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

3. Action Verbs

More Essential Verbs

Physical Verbs 

1- andar

Meaning: “to walk”

Example: Todos los días voy andando al trabajo.

Translation: “I walk to work everyday.”

2- arreglar 

Meaning: “to fix”

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

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

3- besar

Meaning: “to kiss”

Example: ¿Vas a besarme o qué?

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

4- caer

Meaning: “to fall”

Example: Ayer me caí y me rompí el brazo.

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

5- cantar

Meaning: “to sing”

Example: A mi hermana le gusta mucho cantar.

Translation: “My sister really likes singing.”

Girl singing

6- cocinar

Meaning: “to cook”

Example: No sé qué cocinar esta noche.

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

7- comer

Meaning: “to eat”

Example: Hoy he comido cereales para desayunar.

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

8- comprar

Meaning: “to buy”

Example: Me he comprado un ordenador nuevo.

Translation: “I have bought a new computer.”

9- conducir

Meaning: “to drive”

Example: ¿Sabes conducir?

Translation: “Do you know how to drive?”

10- conseguir

Meaning: “to obtain” or “to achieve”

Example: He conseguido el visado.

Translation: “I have obtained the visa.”

11- correr

Meaning: “to run”

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

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

12- dar (!)

Meaning: “to give”

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

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

13- decir (!)

Meaning: “to say”

Example: José me ha dicho que me quiere.

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

14- descansar

Meaning: “to rest”

Example: ¿Has descansado bien?

Translation: “Have you rested well?”

15- empezar (!)

Meaning: “to start”

Example: Mañana empiezo a trabajar en una tienda.

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

16- encontrar (!)

Meaning: “to find”

Example: Aún no he encontrado las llaves.

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

17- enseñar

Meaning: “to teach” or “to show”

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

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

18- entrar

Meaning: “to enter”

Example: Claro que puedes entrar en mi habitación.

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

19- enviar

Meaning: “to send”

Example: He enviado una postal a mi abuela. 

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

20- escribir

Meaning: “to write”

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

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

21- ganar

Meaning: “to win”

Example: Ya hemos ganado tres partidos.

Translation: “We have already won three matches.”

22- gritar

Meaning: “to scream” or “to yell”

Example: ¡No me grites!

Translation: “Don’t yell at me!”

23- hacer (!)

Meaning: “to do” or “to make”

Example: ¿Has hecho los deberes?

Translation: “Have you done your homework?”

24- intentar

Meaning: “to try”

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

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

25- ir (!)

Meaning: “to go”

Example: Este verano me voy de vacaciones a Londres.

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

26- jugar (!)

Meaning: “to play”

Example: Martín y yo jugamos a tenis los martes.

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

27- leer

Meaning: “to read”

Example: ¿Qué libro estás leyendo?

Translation: “What book are you reading?”

28- limpiar

Meaning: “to clean”

Example: Tengo que limpiar la cocina.

Translation: “I have to clean the kitchen.”

29- llamar

Meaning: “to call”

Example: Llámame cuando estés en casa.

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

30- llegar

Meaning: “to arrive”

Example: ¡Hemos llegado!

Translation: “We have arrived!”

31- llevar

Meaning: “to bring”

Example: ¿Vas a llevar algo a la cena?

Translation: “Are you bringing anything to dinner?”

32- mirar

Meaning: “to look” 

Example: ¡Mira a la derecha!

Translation: “Look right!”

33- mover

Meaning: “to move”

Example: Muévete, estás en medio.

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

34- morir (!)

Meaning: “to die”

Example: Su abuela murió hace años.

Translation: “His grandmother died years ago.”

35- nadar

Meaning: “to swim”

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

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

36- pagar

Meaning: “to pay”

Example: Me gustaría pagar la cuenta.

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

37- parar

Meaning: “to stop”

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

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

38- perder

Meaning: “to lose”

Example: He perdido un poco de peso.

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

39- poner (!)

Meaning: “to put (on)”

Example: Ayer me puse un vestido nuevo.

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

40- preguntar

Meaning: “to ask”

Example: ¿Te puedo preguntar algo?

Translation: “Can I ask you something?”

42- reír (!)

Meaning: “to laugh”

Example: Siempre te ríes cuando cuento un chiste.

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

42- regalar

Meaning: “to give (as a gift)”

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

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

43- robar

Meaning: “to rob” or “to steal”

Example: Me han robado el móvil.

Translation: “My phone has been stolen.”

44- salir (!)

Meaning: “to exit” or “to go out”

Example: Saldré en media hora.

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

45- saltar

Meaning: “to jump”

Example: Tenemos que saltar a la vez.

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

46- seguir

Meaning: “to follow”

Example: Vamos, ¡sígueme!

Translation: “Come on, follow me!”

47- trabajar

Meaning: “to work”

Example: Trabajo de camarera en un bar conocido.

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

48- vender

Meaning: “to sell”

Example: ¿Quieres que te venda mi televisión vieja?

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

49- vivir

Meaning: “to live”

Example: Siempre he vivido en Valencia.

Translation: “I have always lived in Valencia.”

50- volar

Meaning: “to fly”

Example: Ese pájaro está volando muy cerca del fuego.

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

Mental Verbs

Negative Verbs

51- amar

Meaning: “to love”

Example: Siempre te amaré.

Translation: “I will always love you.”

52- aprender

Meaning: “to learn”

Example: Estoy aprendiendo español.

Translation: “I am learning Spanish.”

Girl having fun learning

53- confiar

Meaning: “to trust”

Example: Solo confío en mi mejor amiga.

Translation: “I only trust my best friend.”

54- creer

Meaning: “to believe”

Example: ¿Crees en Dios?

Translation: “Do you believe in God?”

55- decidir

Meaning: “to decide”

Example: Hemos decidido casarnos.

Translation: “We have decided to get married.”

56- desear

Meaning: “to wish”

Example: Te deseo un feliz cumpleaños.

Translation: “I wish you a happy birthday.”

57- divertirse

Meaning: “to have fun”

Example: Me he divertido mucho hoy.

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

58- encantar

Meaning: “to love” (not romantic)

Example: ¡Me encanta el chocolate!

Translation: “I love chocolate!”

59- entender (!)

Meaning: “to understand”

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

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

60- gustar

Meaning: “to like”

Example: Siempre me ha gustado el arte.

Translation: “I have always liked art.”

61- juzgar

Meaning: “to judge”

Example: No juzgues a la gente sin conocerla.

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

62- necesitar

Meaning: “to need”

Example: Necesitas dormir más.

Translation: “You need to sleep more.”

63- odiar

Meaning: “to hate”

Example: Odio cuando te portas así.

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

64- olvidar

Meaning: “to forget”

Example: ¿No se te olvida algo?

Translation: “Aren’t you forgetting something?”

65- pensar

Meaning: “to think”

Example: Queremos que sepas que pensamos mucho en ti.

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

66- preocuparse

Meaning: “to worry”

Example: No te preocupes.

Translation: “Don’t worry.”

67- prohibir

Meaning: “to forbid”

Example: El gobierno ha prohibido fumar en la playa.

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

68- querer

Meaning: “to want” or “to love”

Example: No quiero ir al colegio.

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

69- recordar

Meaning: “to remember” or “to remind”

Example: Te recuerdo que hoy te toca invitarme.

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

70- saber (!)

Meaning: “to know”

Example: ¿Sabías que mi madre es italiana?

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

71- soñar

Meaning: “to dream”

Example: Anoche soñé con mi abuelo.

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

72- sorprender

Meaning: “to surprise”

Example: Mi novio nunca me sorprende.

Translation: “My boyfriend never surprises me.”

73- tener (!)

Meaning: “to have”

Example: Cuando era pequeño tenía dos perros.

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

4. Self-care Verbs

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

Man Shaving

74- afeitarse

Meaning: “to shave”

Example: Mi padre se afeita todas las mañanas.

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

75- arreglarse

Meaning: “to get ready”

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

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

76- bañarse 

Meaning: “to bathe”

Example: Me gusta bañarme antes de ir a dormir.

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

77- despertar(se)

Meaning: “to wake up”

Example: Siempre me despierto a las siete.

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

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

Meaning: “to fall asleep”

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

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

79- ducharse

Meaning: “to shower”

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

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

80- levantarse 

Meaning: “to get up”

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

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

81- maquillarse

Meaning: “to put on makeup”

Example: Marta nunca sale de casa sin maquillarse.

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

82- peinarse

Meaning: “to brush one’s hair”

Example: ¿Te has peinado?

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

83- vestirse

Meaning: “to get dressed”

Example: Deja que me vista primero.

Translation: “Let me get dressed first.”

Clothes

5. Linking Verbs

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

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

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

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

86- convertirse 

Meaning: “to turn into”

Example: Bruce Banner se convierte en Hulk.

Translation: “Bruce Banner turns into the Hulk.”

87- girar

Meaning: “to turn”

Example: Gira a la derecha después del edificio azul.

Translation: “Turn right after the blue building.”

88- oír (!)

Meaning: “to hear”

Example: Habla más alto, no te oigo.

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

89- oler (!)

Meaning: “to smell”

Example: ¡Este perfume huele genial!

Translation: “This perfume smells great!”

90- parecer

Meaning: “to seem”

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

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

91- permanecer

Meaning: “to remain”

Example: Tienes que permanecer quieto.

Translation: “You need to remain still.”

92- saber (!)

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

Example: Esta sopa no sabe a pollo.

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

93- saborear

Meaning: “to taste” (I taste…)

Example: Siempre saboreo bien el chocolate antes de comerlo.

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

94- sentir (!)

Meaning: “to feel”

Example: Siempre haces que me sienta especial.

Translation: “You always make me feel special.”

95- ver (!)

Meaning: “to see”

Example: No te veo.

Translation: “I don’t see you.”

6. Helping Verbs

96- deber

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

Example: Debo verla.

Translation: “I must see her.”

97- haber

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

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

  • Hay dos cabras. 

“There are two goats.”

  • Hay solo una cama en mi habitación. 

“There is only one bed in my bedroom.”

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

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

98- poder (!)

Meaning: “can”

Example: No puedo ir al cine hoy.

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

99- soler

Meaning: “use to”

Example: De pequeño solía ir en bici al colegio.

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

100- tener que

Meaning: “have to”

Example: Tengo que ir al trabajo.

Translation: “I have to go to work.”

7. Verb Placement in a Sentence

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

  • Mi vecino tiene un gato

“My neighbor has a cat.”

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

  • ¿Qué desea comer la señora? 

“What would the lady like to eat?”

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

  • ¿Tu hermano ha terminado el libro?

“Has your brother finished the book?”

Man Reading a Book on the Train

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

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

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

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

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

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Spanish

Ultimate Guide to Spanish Pronouns

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

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

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

1. Personal Pronouns

Introducing Yourself

a) Spanish Subject Pronouns

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

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

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

  • Yo (“I”)

Yo tengo un hermano.

I have a brother.”

  • (“you”)

tienes un hermano.

You have a brother.”

  • Usted (formal “you”)

Usted tiene un hermano.

You have a brother.”

  • Él / ella (“he” / “she”)

Ella tiene un hermano.

She has a brother.”

  • Nosotros / nosotras (“we”)

Nosotros tenemos un hermano.

We have a brother.”

  • Vosotros / vosotras (“you”)

Vosotros tenéis un hermano.

You have a brother.”

  • Ustedes (formal “you”)

Ustedes tienen un hermano.

You have a brother.”

  • Ellos / ellas (“they”)

Ellos tienen un hermano.

They have a brother.”

Brothers Having Ice Cream

b) Spanish Direct Object Pronouns

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

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

  • Me (“me”)

Juan me quiere.

“Juan loves me.”

  • Te (“you”)

Te quiero.

“I love you.”

  • Lo / la (“him” / “her”)

La quiero.

“I love her.”

  • Nos (“us”)

Nuestros padres nos quieren.

“Our parents love us.”

  • Os (“you”)

Os queremos.

“We love you.”

  • Los / las (“them”)

Las quiero.

“I love them.”

Mother Kissing Her Baby

c) Spanish Indirect Object Pronouns

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

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

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

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

  • Me (“[to/for] me”)

¿Me vas a mandar algo por mi cumpleaños?

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

  • Te (“[to/for] you”)

Te tengo que devolver el libro.

“I have to give you your book back.”

  • Se/le (“[to/for] him/her”)

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

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

  • Nos (“[to/for] us”)

Nos han regalado estas toallas.

“They gave us these towels.”

  • Os (“[to/for] you”)

Os voy a decir la verdad.

“I’m going to tell you the truth.”

  • Se/les (“[to/for] them”)

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

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

Tortilla de Patatas

d) Spanish Prepositional Pronouns

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

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

  • (“me”)

No te rías de .

“Don’t laugh at me.”

  • Ti (“you”)

Sin ti todo es diferente.

“Everything is different without you.”

  • Él / ella (“him” / “her”)

Soy feliz con él.

“I’m happy with him.”

  • Nosotros / nosotras (“us”)

Para nosotros no es lo mismo.

“It’s not the same to us.”

  • Vosotros / vosotras (“you”)

Esto lo he hecho por vosotras.

“I have done this for you.”

  • Ellos / ellas (“them”)

El gato es de ellos.

“The cat is from them.”

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

e) Spanish Possessive Pronouns

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

  • Mío / mía / míos / mías (“mine”)

Este móvil es mío.

“This phone is mine.”

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

Esta pelota es tuya.

“This ball is yours.”

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

Los pañuelos son suyos.

“The tissues are his/hers.”

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

El coche es nuestro.

“The car is ours.”

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

Las muñecas son vuestras.

“The dolls are yours.”

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

La casa es suya.

“The house is theirs.”

f) Spanish Reflexive Pronouns

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

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

  • Me (“myself”)

Aún me tengo que maquillar.

“I still need to put on my makeup.”

  • Te (“yourself”)

¿A qué hora te has levantado?

“What time did you wake up?”

  • Se (“himself” / “herself”)

Se llama Paula.

“Her name is Paula.”

  • Nos (“ourselves”)

Nos vamos a peinar antes de salir.

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

  • Os (“yourselves”)

¿Os podéis sentar?

“Could you sit down?”

  • Se (“themselves”)

Los niños se van a duchar ahora.

“The kids are going to shower now.”

2. Demonstrative Pronouns

Woman Looking in the Distance

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

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

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

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

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

Este de aquí es mi primo.

This one here is my cousin.”

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

Estos coches no me gustan, prefiero esos.

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

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

Aquel suele ir al bar del puerto.

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

  • Aquí (“here”) 

Es la primera vez que vengo aquí.

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

  • Ahí (“there”)

En ese banco de ahí nunca se sienta nadie.

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

  • Allí (“there”)

Antes solía subir aquella montaña y sentarme ahí arriba.

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

3. Interrogative Pronouns

Basic Questions

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

  • Qué (“what”)

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

  • Cuál (“which”)

¿Cuál de ellos es Carlos?

Which one of them is Carlos?”

  • Por qué (“why”)

¿Por qué te tienes que ir tan pronto?

Why do you have to leave so soon?”

  • Quién (“who”)

¿Quién eres?

Who are you?”

  • Dónde (“where”)

¿Dónde viven tus abuelos?

Where do your grandparents live?”

  • Cuánto (“how much”)

¿Cuánto cuesta esta falda?

How much does this skirt cost?”

  • Cuántos/cuántas (“how many”)

¿Cuántas hermanas tienes?

How many sisters do you have?”

¿Cuántos años tienes?

How old are you?”

  • Cuándo (“when”)

¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?

When is your birthday?”

4. Indefinite Pronouns

Improve Listening

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

  • Alguno (“some”)

Seguro que alguno de ellos irá.

“I’m sure some of them will go.”

  • Alguien (“someone” or “anyone”)

¿Hay alguien que pueda recogerme en el aeropuerto?

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

  • Algo (“something”)

Hay algo que te tengo que preguntar.

“There is something I need to ask you.”

  • Otro/s (“another”)

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

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

  • Cualquiera (“anyone”)

Puedes preguntárselo a cualquiera.

“You can ask anyone.”

  • Mucho/s (“many”)

Muchos de mis amigos van a la universidad.

Many of my friends go to university.”

  • Todo (“all” or “everything”)

Todo lo que dice Marta es mentira.

Everything that Marta says is a lie.”

  • Todos (“everyone”)

Todos te van a decir lo mismo.

Everyone is going to tell you the same thing.”

  • Nada (“nothing” or “anything”)

No quiero nada para mi cumpleaños.

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

  • Nadie (“nobody”)

No conozco a nadie que viva en Madrid.

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

  • Ninguno (“none”)

Ninguno de mis amigos va a ir a la fiesta.

None of my friends is going to the party.”

Lonely Person

5. Spanish Relative Pronouns

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

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

  • Que (“that”)

Este es el chico que te dije.

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

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

Esta es la casa en la cual creció mi abuela.

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

  • Quien / quienes (“who”)

Esta es la chica a quien vi en el parque.

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

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

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

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

  • Donde (“where”)

Aquí es donde nos conocimos.

“This is where we first met.”

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

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

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

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

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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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The Top 100 Nouns in Spanish

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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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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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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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Life Event Messages: Learn Happy Birthday in Spanish & More

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We love sharing life event messages on our social media and through instant messages, right? Life events are very significant moments, and many of them are like rituals to us. Take birthdays, weddings, and funerals for example.

If you’re learning Spanish and want to say happy birthday in Spanish to your loved ones, or perhaps share your best wishes for the holidays in Spanish with your friends, it’s important to know what to say, when to say it, and how to say it.

These types of Spanish greetings and well-wishes for important occasions are normally language-specific words which shouldn’t be literally translated. So when you’re trying to say Merry Christmas in Spanish and Happy New Year in Spanish, instead of translating them, you should learn the proper way to do so. This will ensure that you say the right thing at the right time, and avoid confusion.

Let’s learn the best Spanish congratulations and best wishes for any life event, and how to use them.

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Table of Contents

  1. How Do You Say Happy Birthday in Spanish?
  2. Best Wishes & Greetings in Spanish for the Holidays
  3. Spanish Congratulations: Weddings & Engagements
  4. Spanish Congratulations: Pregnancy, Baby Shower, and New Baby
  5. Congratulations in Spanish for Graduations
  6. Spanish Congratulations Phrases for Promotions & New Jobs
  7. Spanish Congratulations Messages for Retirement
  8. Condolences in Spanish: Death & Funerals
  9. What to Say About Bad News
  10. What to Say When Someone’s Injured or Sick
  11. Conclusion

1. How Do You Say Happy Birthday in Spanish?

Happy Birthday

We all want to celebrate, congratulate, and be congratulated on our special day. Celebrations are a big part of any Spanish-speaking country. We celebrate everything, yes everything! That’s why we have so many bank holidays, even for saint days.

Send the perfect message on your friend’s birthday and make them feel special!

Celebrating Birthday

Feliz cumpleaños, which means Happy Birthday in Spanish, is the most common way to congratulate them right and simple. In Spain, we give two kisses (one on each cheek) or a hug, but in some Latin American countries, one kiss is enough.

If you don’t get to see them, text them! A quick message on their social media will make their day. Let’s answer the question “How do you say Happy Birthday in Spanish?” with some examples you can use:

  • ¡Que todos tus deseos se hagan realidad!
    “May all your wishes come true!”
  • ¡Felicidades!
    “Congratulations!”
  • ¡Que cumplas muchos años más!
    “I hope you enjoy many more years!”
  • ¡Que tengas un maravilloso día!
    “Have a wonderful day!”
  • ¡Mis mejores deseos en este día tan especial para ti!
    “I wish you all the best on your special day!”
  • ¡Enhorabuena!
    “Congratulations!”

And there are some special phrases, such as:

  • Si es tu cumpleaños, ¿por qué el regalo lo tengo yo? Gracias por regalarme otro año de vida a tu lado.
    “If it is your birthday, why do I have your present? Thanks for giving me another year next to you.”
  • Que el nuevo año que empiezas esté tan lleno de alegría y felicidad como te deseo. ¡Que cumplas muchos más!
    “I hope this new year can be as full of joy and happiness as I wish you. I hope you have much more!”

2. Best Wishes & Greetings in Spanish for the Holidays

Basic Questions

The holiday season is the most exciting time for Spanish people. Why? Because it’s when we all get to share quality time with our families. Although there may be many ways to say Merry Christmas in English, there’s one phrase in Spanish that encapsulates the meaning.

¡Felices fiestas! literally means “Happy holidays” in Spanish, and is the most common way to give best wishes for the holidays in Spanish.

Receiving A Christmas Card

As you may know by now, Spanish-speaking countries are all about parties, which explains the phrase Felices Fiestas.

Feliz Navidad is another way to say “Merry Christmas,” and may be the best translation of it.

You should reply: Igualmente, which means “You too.”

If you want to add more love and affection to your Merry Christmas in Spanish, you should say con mucho cariño, meaning “with all my love.”

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are also part of the holiday season in Spain. Although “happy holidays” in Spanish is Felices Fiestas, Happy New Year in Spanish is expressed in many different ways.

  • ¡Feliz año nuevo!
    “Happy New Year!”
  • ¡Feliz año!
    “Happy year!”

New Year's Eve Party

You can send your best wishes for the holidays in Spanish for the new year by saying something like: Que tengas un próspero año nuevo, or “I hope you have a prosperous new year.”

This message is the best choice if you want to wish a Happy New Year in Spanish on a Christmas card, send a text message, or email it to someone special.

  • Feliz próspero año nuevo.
    “Happy prosperous new year.”
  • Que el próximo año esté lleno de bendiciones.
    “May next year be full of blessings.”
  • Año nuevo, vida nueva.
    “New year, new life.”

Other important days in Spanish-speaking countries are Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We all want to tell our parents how important they are and how much they mean to us, making it important to know how to wish them a happy Mother’s Day in Spanish (or Father’s Day).

If you have a Spanish partner, it’s possible that you have a mother-in-law or father-in-law who cares about you a lot. This is the perfect chance to show them your love and wish them a Happy Mother’s Day in Spanish.

Kissing Mother in Mother's Day

  • ¡Feliz día de la madre!
    “Happy Mother’s Day!”
  • ¡Feliz día del padre!
    “Happy Father’s Day”
  • Gracias por todo lo que has hecho.
    “Thanks for all you’ve done for me.”
  • Estoy agradecido/agradecida por todo tu trabajo.
    “I’m thankful for all your work.”
  • Eres la mejor mamá del mundo.
    “You’re the best mom in the world.”
  • Eres el mejor padre del mundo.
    “You’re the best dad in the world.”
  • Mamá, te amo or Te quiero mamá.
    “I love you, mom.”

These are some messages you can send to wish a Happy Mother’s Day in Spanish on their social media, in a postcard, or in person.

3. Spanish Congratulations: Weddings & Engagements

Marriage Proposal

A wedding is a special day that most people want to share with their family and friends with a big party. Perhaps this year you’re lucky enough to be invited to one in a Spanish-speaking country!

Perfect! Learn how to express all your best wishes in Spanish here.

What do you write in a Spanish wedding card? How can you express your happiness for the couple? Whether you want to congratulate the married couple, have received an invitation to a wedding, want to add a message to your gift card, or just want to leave your best wishes in Spanish on their wedding book, these are useful phrases you can use.

If you’re lucky, you may get to give a public speech on this special day. Surprise your audience with your Spanish skills. Here’s how:

  • Espero que seáis muy felices.
    “I wish you both happiness.”
  • ¡Felicidades por esta nueva etapa!
    “Congratulations on your new life together!”
  • ¡Felicidades a los futuros esposos!
    “Congratulations to the future spouses!”
  • ¡Felicidades a los novios!
    “Congratulations to the bride and the groom!”

Celebrating Newlyweds

If the couple has been married for a very long time and you want to congratulate them for all the time they‘ve been together, this is how:

  • ¡Felicidades por sus bodas de plata!
    “Congratulations on your silver wedding anniversary.”
  • Felicidades por sus bodas de oro.
    “Congratulations on your golden wedding anniversary.”
  • Felicidades por sus bodas de diamante.
    “Congratulations on your diamond wedding anniversary.”

4. Spanish Congratulations: Pregnancy, Baby Shower, and New Baby

New life! A new member of the family has arrived, and you want to take the time to congratulate the new parents. Here are some Spanish greetings and well-wishes for important occasions like these.

Newborn in Mother's Arms

  • ¡Felicidades por el nuevo integrante de la familia!
    “Congratulations on the new arrival in your family.”
  • ¡Felicidades por el nacimiento de su niño/niña!
    “Congratulations on the arrival of your boy/girl.”
  • Nos alegra mucho saber que ya ha nacido.
    “We are so happy to hear he/she has already been born.”
  • Enhorabuena.
    “Congratulations.”

5. Congratulations in Spanish for Graduations

Hats in Graduation Day

We all want to share with others what we accomplish in life. Tell the new graduates how happy you are for their academic accomplishment in Spanish. And why not surprise them with your Spanish skills while you’re at it!

  • ¡Felicidades por tu graduación!
    “Congratulations on your graduation.”
  • ¡Buen trabajo!
    “Well done.” or “Good job.”
  • ¡Felicidades por tus buenas calificaciones!
    “Congratulations on your good grades.”
  • ¡Felicidades por tu master!
    “Congratulations on getting your Master’s degree.”
  • ¡Felicidades por entrar en la universidad!
    “Well done on getting into the university.”
  • ¡Felicidades por pasar el examen!
    “Congratulations on passing your exam.”

6. Spanish Congratulations Phrases for Promotions & New Jobs

Two Men Shaking Hands

Did someone just share their success? A new job, moving to a new country, or something else? Celebrate with them by saying something in Spanish. Here’s how:

  • ¡Felicidades! or Enhorabuena.
    “Congratulations.”
  • ¡Bien hecho!
    “Well done!”
  • Sabíamos que lo lograrías.
    “We knew you would get it.”
  • Estamos orgullosos de ti.
    “We are so proud of you.”
  • ¡Felicidades por tu nuevo empleo!
    “Congratulations on your new job!”
  • ¡Felicidades por tu ascenso!
    “Congratulations on the promotion!”
  • ¡Mucha suerte en tu nueva etapa!
    “Best of luck on your next step.”
  • ¡Suerte en tu primer día de trabajo!
    “Good luck on your first day of work!”

7. Spanish Congratulations Messages for Retirement

Age

Now the fun begins: Your father-in-law or mother-in-law has retired, and you want to share your best wishes in Spanish. They may come to your place more often now, so keep your Spanish skills sharp with these Spanish greetings and well-wishes for important occasions such as this one.

  • Enhorabuena, ahora empieza la diversión.
    “Congratulations, now the fun begins.”
  • Mis mejores deseos en la nueva etapa de tu vida.
    “Best wishes on your new chapter in life.”
  • Deseándote a ti y a tu familia lo mejor en la nueva etapa de vida. Que disfrutes del tiempo extra que pasarás con ellos.
    “Wishing you and your family the best on your new chapter in your life. I hope you enjoy spending more time with them.”

8. Condolences in Spanish: Death & Funerals

We all want to express our sympathy when someone has lost a loved one. Sometimes it’s hard to express, especially if it’s not in your native language.

Funeral Talk in Cementery

Here are some Spanish phrases of condolences to help you:

  • Lo siento mucho.
    “I am sorry to hear that.”
  • Estamos con ustedes.
    “We are with you.”
  • Mis condolencias para la familia.
    “I offer my condolences to your family.”
  • Mi más sentido pésame.
    “My deepest condolences.”
  • Que descanse en paz or Descanse en paz.
    “Rest in peace.”

9. What to Say About Bad News

What should you say when you receive bad news? We all have difficult moments in life, and words may not always bring a solution. But when we share them with meaning and from the heart, they can go a long ways toward comforting someone.

Receiving Bad News by the Phone

Here are some phrases that you can use to express your feelings in Spanish when someone is having a bad day!

  • Lo siento mucho.
    “I’m sorry to hear that.”
  • Estoy contigo.
    “I’m here for you.”
  • Te envío un beso y un abrazo.
    “Sending you all my love.”
  • Cuenta conmigo.
    “You can lean on me.”
  • Cuidate mucho.
    “Take care of yourself.”

10. What to Say When Someone’s Injured or Sick

What if you have a Spanish-speaking friend or colleague who’s sick, and you want to cheer them up?

Sick with Fever

Wish them a quick recovery, and ask them to get well soon in Spanish:

  • Recupérate pronto.
    “Wishing you a speedy recovery.”
  • ¡Que te mejores!
    “Get well!”
  • Alíviate pronto.
    “I hope you get well soon.”
  • Espero que te sientas mejor.
    “I hope you feel better soon.”

11. Conclusion

Apart from receiving compliments for those significant life events, we should all learn how to thank them for their kind words in Spanish. We can help you learn more Spanish at SpanishPod101.

  • Gracias.
    “Thank you.”
  • Se agradece.
    “It’s appreciated.”
  • Mil gracias.
    “Many thanks.”
  • No sé cómo podría agradecértelo.
    “I don’t know how to thank you.”
  • Estamos muy agradecidos.
    “We are very grateful.”
  • Qué amable de su parte.
    “Very kind of you.”
  • Gracias desde el fondo de mi corazón.
    “Thanks from the bottom of my heart.”

“How do you say happy birthday in Spanish?” Well, with this simple list, now you know! Learn more about life event messages in Spanish and much more at SpanishPod101.

Before you go, let us know in the comments if there are any Spanish life events and life event messages you want to know about! We look forward to hearing from you, and will help out the best we can!

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Spanish Adjectives Guide & Top 100 Spanish Adjectives List

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Is it possible to speak a language without using any adjectives? Well, it is, but if you did, you would lose so much meaning. It would be like eating a flavorless meal; sure, you ingest food and all of its nutrients, but do you actually enjoy it? Not much, surely. Adjectives might not be essential for all kinds of communication, but they’re still very important and bring more meaning to your words.

In this article, you’ll find 100 of the most-used Spanish adjectives, as well as how to use them. Rest assured this will help you spice up your Spanish!

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Table of Contents

  1. How Do Spanish Adjectives Work?
  2. Common Spanish Adjectives for Dimensions, Sizes, Distance, etc.
  3. Essential Spanish Adjectives for Describing Value
  4. Spanish Adjectives for Describing Feeling & Sense
  5. Spanish Adjectives for Describing Personalities and Behaviors
  6. Spanish Adjectives for Describing Speed, Difficulty, Importance, etc.
  7. Describing Colors in Spanish
  8. Describing Weather
  9. Spanish Adjectives for Describing Taste
  10. Best Spanish Adjectives for Describing Situations
  11. Describing Physical Traits or Physical Condition
  12. Spanish Adjectives for Describing Appearance & Condition
  13. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn More Spanish

1. How Do Spanish Adjectives Work?

Before we continue on with our top 100 list, it’s prudent that we go over the basic Spanish adjectives rules. Understanding Spanish adjectives is far more important than knowing them only by rote!

Spanish Adjectives Placement

In Spanish, we generally find adjectives after a noun, the opposite of where you find them in English. For example, un coche verde means “a green car,” but if we translated it literally, it would be “a car green,” which sounds really weird in English.

However, there are exceptions, for various reasons. For example, it’s common in literature to find the adjective before the noun, and you can also do this yourself when you want to emphasize the noun: una bonita flor is “a beautiful flower.”

Another common way of using an adjective works the same way as in English, and that is when it follows this structure: noun + “to be” verb + adjective. For example: El coche es verde means “The car is green.” Nevertheless, as you might already know, Spanish has two different verbs that can translate to the English verb “to be,” which are ser and estar. A true nightmare for a Spanish learner, as some might say.

We’re going to make it simple here, though. If the adjective you’re using is something perceived as permanent, use the verb ser. If it’s something temporary, use the verb estar.

Let’s see some examples:

When you tell a girl she’s pretty, you’re not thinking of it as a temporary state, but as a permanent thing. This means you’ll tell her something like Eres muy guapa, or “You’re very pretty.”

Man Talking to Woman through an Open Window

However, if what you want to tell her is that she looks good in that moment, perhaps because she’s wearing a nice dress, you might say: ¡Qué guapa estás!, which would translate to “You look so pretty!” Of course, there are exceptions, but don’t worry about that for now. We’ll see them shortly.

Spanish Adjectives Agreement

There’s something else you need to keep in mind: While adjectives in English only have one form and never change, in Spanish, they can change in a few ways. The most important variation is related to the fact that nouns can be either feminine or masculine. Because an adjective accompanies a noun, it also has a gender, and most of the important Spanish adjectives change a little bit according to its gender.

As you’ll see in the examples below, all the adjectives that end in -o in their masculine form, will end in -a in their feminine form. However, there are many that end in -e (and a few others that end in different letters) that have the same form whether they’re masculine or feminine. In this Spanish adjectives review, we’ve marked all the adjectives that do change, but you can also check this brief article on Invariable Adjectives in Spanish.

Spanish adjectives can also be singular or plural, depending on the noun they accompany, so one adjective might have up to four different forms. For example, guapo, or “handsome,” has the following forms: guapo, guapa, guapos, guapas.

There’s another variation that most adjectives can have, and this is something that doesn’t exist in English, or at least not in the same way. When you want to emphasize an adjective, instead of saying muy (“very” ) in front of it, you can add -ísimo or -ísima at the end. If you see a very tall building, you can say it’s altísimo, instead of just alto, or muy alto. If you’re very very happy, you might want to say that you’re contentísimo, instead of contento.

Now that you’ve refreshed your knowledge, it’s time for our Spanish adjectives list! But if you do still need some Spanish adjectives help, why not give our MyTeacher program a try or drop us a comment below?

2. Common Spanish Adjectives for Dimensions, Sizes, Distance, etc.

Adjectives

Let’s start with some basic adjectives, such as those to describe sizes, among others.

1- grande

Meaning: “big”
Example: Esta camiseta me va grande.
Translation: “This shirt is too big for me.”
Note: This adjective also has the form gran, which is only found in front of the noun and changes its meaning to “great.” It’s not the same to say una mujer grande (“a big woman” ) as it is to say una gran mujer (“a great woman” ). There are also some nouns that can only have this adjective in front of it. For example, “a great idea” is una gran idea.

2- pequeño

Meaning: “small”
Example: Mi hermana tiene los pies pequeños.
Translation: “My sister has small feet.”

3- ancho/a

Meaning: “wide”
Example: Es una habitación muy ancha.
Translation: “It’s quite a wide room.”

4- estrecho/a

Meaning: “narrow”
Example: Hemos pasado por una calle muy estrecha.
Translation: “We passed through a very narrow street.”

Narrow Passage

5- alto/a

Meaning: “tall”
Example: ¡Qué alto eres!
Translation: “You’re so tall!”

6- bajo/a

Meaning: “short”
Example: El techo es muy bajo.
Translation: “The ceiling is very low.”

7- pesado/a

Meaning: “heavy”
Example: Esta caja es demasiado pesada para mí.
Translation: “This box is too heavy for me.”

8- ligero/a

Meaning: “light”
Example: Coge este libro, es más ligero de lo que parece.
Translation: “Grab this book, it’s lighter than it looks.”

9- lejano/a

Meaning: “far”
Example: Ese bar es muy lejano. ¿Podemos ir a otro?
Translation: “That bar is too far. Can we go to a different one?”

10- cercano/a

Meaning: “close”
Example: Nací en un pueblo cercano.
Translation: “I was born in a close town.”

11- lleno/a

Meaning: “full”
Example: El vaso está lleno.
Translation: “The glass is full.”

12- vacío/a/

Meaning: “empty”
Example: Tengo el monedero vacío.
Translation: “My wallet is empty.”

Empty Wallet

3. Essential Spanish Adjectives for Describing Value

We tend to say that things are good or bad, but sometimes they might be better or worse. They could be amazing, they could be wonderful, or they could be awful… Let’s learn some of these adjectives!

13- bueno/a

Meaning: “good”
Example: Mi primo es una buena persona.
Translation:My cousin is a good person.”

14- genial

Meaning: “great”
Example: ¡Eres genial!
Translation: “You’re great!”

15- maravilloso/a

Meaning: “wonderful”
Example: Tu abuela es maravillosa.
Translation: “Your grandmother is wonderful.”

16- increíble

Meaning: “incredible”
Example: Me ha regalado un videojuego increíble.
Translation: “He gave me an incredible video game.”

17- malo/a

Meaning: “bad”
Example: Esta película es muy mala.
Translation: “This movie is really bad.”

18- malísimo/a

Meaning: “awful”
Example: Ese actor es malísimo.
Translation: “That’s an awful actor.”
Note: Okay, we realize that here we only added the -ísimo ending to malo, but it’s just to show you that there’s nothing worse than this. However, when something really sucks, we don’t use an adjective; we say it’s una mierda, which means “a sh*t.” We might also add some swear words to that, but this isn’t the right time for that.

4. Spanish Adjectives for Describing Feeling & Sense

You might also want to know how to describe how it feels to touch something. Whether it’s smooth or rough, hot or cold… These adjectives always come in handy.

19- frío/a

Meaning: “cold”
Example: La sopa se ha quedado fría.
Translation: “The soup went cold.”

20- helado/a

Meaning: “ice cold”
Example: Siempre se me quedan las manos heladas.
Translation: “My hands always get ice cold.”
Note: helado also means “ice cream.”

Little Girl Eating Ice Cream

21- caliente

Meaning: “hot”
Example: Cuidado, el café está muy caliente.
Translation: “Be careful, the coffee is really hot.”

22- ardiente

Meaning: “burning”
Example: No toques eso, está ardiente.
Translation: “Don’t touch that, it’s burning hot.”

23- suave

Meaning: “smooth”
Example: Siempre he tenido la piel suave.
Translation: “I’ve always had smooth skin.”

24- áspero

Meaning: “rough”
Example: Tienes las manos ásperas.
Translation: “Your hands are rough.”

25- rugoso

Meaning: “rugged”
Example: Esta pared es muy rugosa.
Translation: “This wall is very rugged.”

26- blando

Meaning: “soft”
Example: Esta almohada es muy blanda.
Translation: “This pillow is very soft.”

27- duro

Meaning: “hard”
Example: Esta tarta no se puede comer, está durísima.
Translation: “I can’t eat this cake, it’s really hard.”

5. Spanish Adjectives for Describing Personalities and Behaviors

Improve Pronunciation

We couldn’t write an article about adjectives without talking about how to describe someone’s personality. In this section, we’ve decided it would be a good idea to classify these words between positive and negative words. Some of these words aren’t that easy to classify, so we realize that not all of these words are entirely negative, but we hope that’s okay with you! Here are the top Spanish adjectives for personality.

Positive words

28- agradable

Meaning: “nice” and “friendly”
Example: He pasado una tarde muy agradable.
Translation: “I’ve had a very nice afternoon.”

29- amable

Meaning: “kind”
Example: Gracias, eres muy amable.
Translation: “Thank you, you’re very kind.”

30- contento/a

Meaning: “happy”
Example: Hoy estoy muy contento.
Translation: “I’m really happy today.”

31- educado/a

Meaning: “polite”
Example: Tu hijo es muy educado.
Translation: “Your son is very polite.”

32- extrovertido/a

Meaning: “extroverted”
Example: No soy demasiado extrovertida.
Translation: “I’m not too extroverted.”

33- feliz

Meaning: “happy”
Example: Nadie me hace tan feliz como mi gato.
Translation: “Nobody makes me as happy as my cat.”

Happy Kid

34- gracioso/a

Meaning: “funny” (but it can also be used ironically)
Example: ¿Te crees gracioso?
Translation: “Do you think you’re funny?”

35- listo/a

Meaning: “smart”
Example: Tengo alumnos muy listos.
Translation: “I have very smart students.”

36- sincero/a

Meaning: “sincere”
Example: Gracias por ser sincero.
Translation: “Thank you for being sincere.”

37- valiente

Meaning: “brave”
Example: Tienes que ser valiente.
Translation: “You need to be brave.”

Check out our Top 20 Spanish Words for Positive Emotions!

Negative words

38- cansado/a

Meaning: “tired”
Example: Mi madre siempre está cansada.
Translation: “My mom is always tired.”

39- enfadado/a

Meaning: “angry”
Example: Sé que estás enfadado, pero escúchame.
Translation: “I know you’re angry, but listen to me.”

40- ingenuo/a

Meaning: “naïve”
Example: Mira que eres ingenua.
Translation: “You’re so naïve.”

41- loco/a

Meaning: “crazy”
Example: ¡Estás loco!
Translation: “You’re crazy!”

42- maleducado/a

Meaning: “rude”
Example: De pequeña era bastante maleducada.
Translation: “When I was little I was quite rude.”

43- malvado/a

Meaning: “evil”
Example: He soñado con una bruja malvada.
Translation: “I dreamed of an evil witch.”

44- serio/a

Meaning: “serious”
Example: Mi hermano es un chico serio.
Translation: “My brother is a serious boy.”

45- solitario/a

Meaning: “lonely”
Example: Siempre he sido algo solitario.
Translation: “I’ve always been somewhat lonely.”

46- tímido/a

Meaning: “shy”
Example: Mi amiga es un poco tímida.
Translation: “My friend is a little shy.”

47- torpe

Meaning: “clumsy”
Example: Es verdad que soy un poco torpe.
Translation: “It’s true that I’m a little clumsy.”

48- triste

Meaning: “sad”
Example: Me pone triste verte así.
Translation: “Seeing you like this makes me sad.”

49- vago/a

Meaning: “lazy”
Example: Hoy tengo un día vago.
Translation: “I’m having a lazy day today.”

Lazy Man Taking a Nap

For a few more words to describe personality, you can check out our list of Spanish adjectives.

6. Spanish Adjectives for Describing Speed, Difficulty, Importance, etc.

50- rápido/a

Meaning: “fast”
Example: Eres demasiado rápido para mí.
Translation: “You’re too fast for me.”

51- lento/a

Meaning: “slow”
Example: Qué lento es este coche.
Translation: “This car is so slow.”

52- fácil

Meaning: “easy”
Example: El examen me ha parecido fácil.
Translation: “I found the test easy.”

53- difícil

Meaning: “difficult”
Example: Es una pregunta difícil.
Translation: “That’s a difficult question.”

54- importante

Meaning: “important”
Example: Sé que este collar es importante para ti.
Translation: “I know this necklace is important to you.”

55- simple

Meaning: “simple”
Example: No es tan simple.
Translation: “It’s not so simple.”

56- complicado

Meaning: “complicated”
Example: Me gustaría que la vida no fuese tan complicada.
Translation: “I wish life wasn’t so complicated.”

7. Describing Colors in Spanish

No list of adjectives would be complete without a list of colors. Here we have selected some of the most basic Spanish colors as adjectives:

57- amarillo/a

Meaning: “yellow”
Example: Tengo un coche amarillo.
Translation: “I have a yellow car.”

58- azul

Meaning: “blue”
Example: Mi lámpara es azul.
Translation: “My lamp is blue.”

59- blanco/a

Meaning: “white”
Example: Me he comprado un vestido blanco.
Translation: “I bought a white dress.”

Girl Trying on a Dress

60- marrón

Meaning: “brown”
Example: No me había fijado en que tenías los ojos marrones.
Translation: “I didn’t notice you had brown eyes.”

61- negro/a

Meaning: “black”
Example: Mi primer perro era de color negro.
Translation: “My first dog was black.”

62- rojo/a

Meaning: “red”
Example: ¿Te gusta mi nuevo pintalabios rojo?
Translation: “Do you like my new red lipstick?”

63- verde

Meaning: “green”
Example: Me encantan los árboles, son tan verdes.
Translation: “I love trees, they’re so green.”

64- claro/a

Meaning: “light”
Example: Tengo la piel muy clara.
Translation: “I have really light skin.”

65- oscuro/a

Meaning: “dark”
Example: ¿Puedes encender la luz? Está muy oscuro.
Translation: “Can you turn on the lights? It’s really dark.”

8. Describing Weather

In general, there aren’t very many Spanish weather adjectives. As we saw before, we do say something is hot or cold, but not when we’re talking about us feeling hot. Instead, what we say is Tengo calor (literally, “I have heat” ) or Tengo frío (“I have cold” ). If you said Estoy caliente (“I’m hot” ) you would actually be saying that you’re horny, so that could be quite confusing to the person you’re talking to.

On a similar note, when you want to say that the weather is hot, you won’t use an adjective. You’ll have to say Hace calor, which literally translates to something like “It makes heat,” and you’ll say Hace frío when it’s cold.

Even if it’s not that common, we do use some adjectives. For example, if it’s a cloudy day, we can say Está nublado.

For more weather words in Spanish, check out our Spanish weather article.

9. Spanish Adjectives for Describing Taste

We now know how to describe the feeling of touching something, so now it’s time to see how to describe taste. When you eat Spanish food, we’re sure you’ll want to tell your host how delicious you think it is!

Cookies

66- dulce

Meaning: “sweet”
Example: Estas galletas son muy dulces.
Translation: “These cookies are very sweet.”

67- salado/a

Meaning: “salty”
Example: La tortilla está demasiado salada.
Translation: “The omelette is too salty.”

68- agrio/a

Meaning: “sour”
Example: Creo que la leche tiene un sabor agrio.
Translation: “I think this milk has a sour flavor.”

69- picante

Meaning: “spicy”
Example: ¿Este plato es picante?
Translation: “Is this dish spicy?”

70- asqueroso/a

Meaning: “disgusting”
Example: Esta fruta tiene un sabor asqueroso.
Translation: “This fruit has a disgusting taste.”

71- delicioso/a

Meaning: “delicious”
Example: Las fresas son deliciosas.
Translation: “Strawberries are delicious.”

72- amargo/a

Meaning: “bitter”
Example: El café es demasiado amargo para mí.
Translation: “Coffee is too bitter for me.”

To explore taste while you’re traveling in Spain, here’s a list of the 20 best restaurants in Spain.

10. Best Spanish Adjectives for Describing Situations

Reading

73- peligroso/a

Meaning: “dangerous”
Example: ¡No vayas! ¡Es peligroso!
Translation: “Don’t go! It’s dangerous!”

74- seguro/a

Meaning: “safe”
Example: Esta casa es completamente segura.
Translation: “This house is completely safe.”

75- divertido/a

Meaning: “fun” or “funny”
Example: Esta película es tan divertida.
Translation: “This movie is so funny.”

76- aburrido/a

Meaning: “boring”
Example: Esta clase es aburridísima.
Translation: “This lesson is so boring.”

Bored Kid

77- imposible

Meaning: “impossible”
Example: Este examen es imposible.
Translation: “This exam is impossible.”

78- posible

Meaning: “possible”
Example: Esa chica es una posible asesina.
Translation: “That girl is a possible killer.”

11. Describing Physical Traits or Physical Condition

79- viejo/a

Meaning: “old”
Example: Es solo un reloj viejo.
Translation: “It’s just an old watch.”

80- joven

Meaning: “young”
Example: Eres demasiado joven para entenderlo.
Translation: “You’re too young to understand it.”
Note: Even though being young isn’t permanent and it’s only temporary, we wouldn’t use the verb estar here: we use ser.

81- fuerte

Meaning: “strong”
Example: Tienes los brazos muy fuertes.
Translation: “You have really strong arms.”

82- débil

Meaning: “weak”
Example: Juan no es tan débil como parece.
Translation: “Juan isn’t as weak as he looks.”

83- enfermo/a

Meaning: “sick”
Example: Mi abuelo está enfermo.
Translation: “My grandfather is sick.”

84- nuevo/a

Meaning: “new”
Example: Me he comprado un anillo nuevo.
Translation: “I bought myself a new ring.”

12. Spanish Adjectives for Describing Appearance & Condition

And finally, another very common group of adjectives. These are the top Spanish adjectives to describe people’s appearance.

85- atractivo/a

Meaning: “attractive”
Example: Mi madre de joven era muy atractiva.
Translation: “When my mom was young, she was very attractive.”

86- bonito/a

Meaning: “beautiful”
Example: Me parece un cuadro muy bonito.
Translation: “I think it’s a very beautiful painting.”
Note: We can say a girl is bonita, or a thing, or a landscape, but we don’t use it to describe a boy. If we want to say a boy is good-looking, we’ll use the following adjective, guapo.

87- guapo/a

Meaning: “handsome” or “pretty”
Example: Mi novio es guapísimo.
Translation: “My boyfriend is so handsome.”

88- feo/a

Meaning: “ugly”
Example: Qué paisaje tan feo.
Translation: “It’s such an ugly landscape.”

89- calvo/a

Meaning: “bald”
Example: Mi padre ha sido calvo desde que nací.
Translation: “My father has been bald since I was born.”

90- peludo/a

Meaning: “hairy”
Example: No me gusta tener las piernas tan peludas.
Translation: “I don’t like having such hairy legs.”

91- rubio/a

Meaning: “blond”
Example: De pequeña tenía el pelo rubio.
Translation: “When I was little, I had blond hair.”

92- moreno/a

Meaning: “tanned” or “brown-haired”
Example: ¿Has visto qué morena me he puesto?
Translation: “Did you see how tan I got?”

93- pelirrojo/a

Meaning: “red-haired”
Example: Me gustan mucho las chicas pelirrojas.
Translation: “I really like red-haired girls.”

Red-Haired Girl

94- delgado/a

Meaning: “thin”
Example: Te has puesto muy delgada, ¿no?
Translation: “You got really thin, didn’t you?”

95- gordo/a

Meaning: “fat”
Example: Marta está un poco gorda.
Translation: “Marta is a little fat.”

96- obeso/a

Meaning: “obese”
Example: Si no te pones a dieta ahora, te vas a poner obesa.
Translation: “If you don’t go on a diet now, you’re going to become obese.”

97- mono/a

Meaning: “cute”
Example: Qué mona eres.
Translation: “You’re so cute.”

98- pobre

Meaning: “poor”
Example: Soy pobre, pero tengo orgullo.
Translation: “I’m poor, but I have pride.”

99- rico/a

Meaning: “rich”
Example: A veces pienso que me tendría que buscar un novio rico.
Translation: “Sometimes I think I should get a rich boyfriend.”

100- tatuado/a

Meaning: “tattooed”
Example: Mi hermano está todo tatuado.
Translation: “My brother is all tattooed.”

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

Do you feel more confident now using Spanish adjectives? Are there any Spanish adjectives you still want to know? Let us know in the comments! We always enjoy hearing from you!

We’re sure that these 100 Spanish adjectives will help you improve your level of conversation in Spanish. But let’s not stop there! There’s so much more to learn, so many new words to explore, so many friends to make! At SpanishPod101.com, you can learn so much more and really become fluent in Spanish.

You might want to take a look at our very useful vocabulary list of Spanish Adverbs and Phrases for Connecting Thoughts, or now that we’ve looked at Spanish adjectives, it might be good to check out these 25 Most Commonly Used Verbs.

If you’re here, you might be interested in moving to Spain. Why not read our article on How to Find Jobs in Spain?

Until next time, happy learning!

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Spanish Conjunctions Guide: Link Your Thoughts Together

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Conjunctions in Spanish are a crucial part of learning Spanish. They allow you to connect your thoughts, make comparisons, and put sentences together.

Clarity is very important when you’re learning a new language. Not only because the other person will understand what you’re saying, but also because it will build your confidence.

Do you remember when you first decided to learn Spanish? You may still remember how frustrating it was to try having a fluid conversation with a native speaker. You were trying to find the small words to express yourself properly.

We all find ourselves saying: “I have a brother. I have a sister. I have a mother. I do not have a father.”

Well, this is what Spanish conjunctions will do for you. Learning Spanish conjunctions will help you string sentences together: “I have a brother and a sister and a mother, but I do not have a father.”

In this article, you’ll find our Spanish conjunctions list that will show you what small Spanish conjunction words can do for you.

Your thoughts will come out nicely, you’ll be easily understood, and your confidence will increase much faster since you’ll sound like, at the least, an upper-intermediate Spanish learner.

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Table of Contents

  1. Spanish Conjunctions Review: What are Spanish Conjunctions?
  2. Spanish Conjunctions to Correlate Similar Thoughts
  3. Spanish Conjunctions to Express Condition
  4. Spanish Conjunctions to Express Cause
  5. Spanish Conjunctions to Express Opposition
  6. Spanish Adverbial Conjunctions
  7. Spanish Conjunctions that Offer Alternatives
  8. Spanish Subordinating Conjunctions
  9. Spanish Conjunctions that Allow You to Give Reasons
  10. Spanish Subjunctive Conjunctions
  11. Conclusion

1. Spanish Conjunctions Review: What are Spanish Conjunctions?

The first thing we do when trying to learn a new language is to put simple sentences together: “I want a coffee.” Now, it’s time for you to learn how to put these simple sentences together: “I want a coffee and a muffin,” or “I like muffins, but I prefer a cookie.” That’s what Spanish conjunctions are, and how they can help you.

Coffee and Pastries

A conjunction in Spanish is a word that helps you create relationships between words, phrases, clauses, and sentences.

Keep in mind that some conjunctions in Spanish may not have meaning by themselves. They have a different meaning in different contexts, which is why it’s important to know what their functions are and how to use them. Throughout this article, we’ll go over some Spanish conjunctions rules to give you a better idea about their use.

So let’s see some of them in our Spanish conjunctions list!

2. Spanish Conjunctions to Correlate Similar Thoughts

This is the most important—and easy—conjunction in Spanish: y, meaning “and.” It allows you to add more than one sentence together.

We actually overdo this Spanish conjunction quite often. Take a look at what we mean:

  • Me gusta la comida española y la italiana y la francesa y la griega.
    “I like Spanish food and Italian food and French food and Greek food.”

Selection of Different Type of Foods

  • Santiago pidió de comer y pagó toda la cuenta.
    “Santiago ordered the food and paid the whole bill.”
  • El policía me pidió el carné, anotó mis datos y me puso una multa.
    “The police officer asked for my licence, wrote down my information, and I got a fine.”

This use of this Spanish conjunction has an exception where you have to use e instead of y. They mean exactly the same thing, but if your next word or sentence starts with the vowel –i-, you have to use e instead of y.

Why? Well, –i– and –y– in Spanish sound the same, so you have to use –e– to emphasize that you’re adding more information. Let’s see how:

  • María es guapa e interesante.
    “Maria is beautiful and interesting.”
  • Daniel e Isabela se acaban de conocer.
    “Daniel and Isabela just met each other.”

However, if the next word starts with –h-, although this letter has no sound in Spanish, you can use –y-.

  • He comprado agua y hielo.
    “I bought water and ice.”
  • El puente es de acero y hierro.
    “The bridge is from steel and iron.”

3. Spanish Conjunctions to Express Condition

Sentence Patterns

This is our English-Spanish conjunctions list for conjunctions that are used to express a condition. When you use these Spanish conjunctions, you’re expressing a specific condition that must be met for the rest of the sentence to be true or possible.

  • Si: “If”

Si vas a ir al supermercado, compra leche.
“If you are going to the supermarket, buy milk.”

  • En caso de que: “If”; “in case of”

This Spanish conjunction has the same meaning as the English word “if,” but in Spanish it’s used at the beginning of the sentence.

En caso de que decidas venir a la fiesta, compra más cervezas.
“If you decide to come to the party, buy more beers.”

  • Como: “If”

We included this word to our conjunctions in Spanish list because in English, you can just use “if,” but in Spanish this word has a different meaning that the phrase above. You use como if you want to warn someone about something. Let’s see how:

Como no vengas a casa temprano, no sales mañana otra vez.
“If you don’t come home early, you won’t go out again tomorrow.”

  • Siempre que: “If”; “provided”

Siempre que seas honrado todo te saldrá bien.
“Provided you are honest, everything will be fine.”

4. Spanish Conjunctions to Express Cause

Improve Listening

These should be on your Spanish conjunctions worksheets because you need them to express the results and consequences of what you’ve said or done.

  • Así que: “So”

Acabo de llegar a casa así que te llamo luego.
“I have just arrived home, so I will call you back later.”

  • Luego: “So”

This Spanish conjunction may mean the same as Así que, but it’s less common. You’ll see it more in books or literary articles than in speech.

No tengo efectivo, luego no podré comprarme un café.
“I do not have cash on me, so I can’t buy myself a coffee.”

  • De modo que: “So”; “so that”

Salgamos de casa ya, de modo que lleguemos temprano al cine.
“Let’s leave home now so we can arrive early for the movie.”

5. Spanish Conjunctions to Express Opposition

Improve Listening Part 2

This conjunction list will help you express contrast.

  • Pero: “But”

Voy a ir a tu fiesta pero primero tengo que ir a casa.
“I am going to your party, but I have to go home first.”

  • Aunque: “Although”; “even though”

Seguiré buscando trabajo aunque sea difícil
“I will carry on looking for a job, even though it’s still difficult.”

  • Sin embargo: “However”

Me gusta el helado, sin embargo prefiero el yogur cuando estoy en casa.
“I like ice cream; however, I prefer yogurt when I am home.”

  • No obstante: “However”; “nevertheless”

Nos lo pasamos bien en la primera cita, no obstante, no la volví a ver.
“We had a good time on our first date; however, I didn’t see her again.”

  • Por lo demás: “Otherwise”; “apart from that”

No creo que la conclusión esté bien; por lo demás, el ensayo está muy bien.
“I don’t think the conclusion was good; apart from the conclusion, the essay is fine.”

  • Excepto: “Except for”

Me gustan todas las verduras excepto la patatas.
“I like all vegetables except for potatoes.”

6. Spanish Adverbial Conjunctions

Spanish adverbial conjunctions are also known as conjunctive adverbs. They’re adverbs with the characteristics and functions of conjunctions. They join two or more words together, and are used when you want to express the result, purpose, or consequences of something.

Adverbial conjunctions show continuity, joined under casual or situational dependence. The most-used adverbial conjunctions in Spanish are:

  • Cuando: “When”; “if”; “as”; “whenever”

Toda la comida estaba preparada cuando tú llegaste.
“All the food was prepared when you arrived.”

  • Mientras: “While”

Puedes ir comprando palomitas mientras compro las entradas.
“You can buy the popcorn while I’m buying the tickets.”

  • Donde: “Where”

Vivo muy cerca de donde tú trabajas.
“I live pretty close to where you work.”

  • Como: “As”; “like”

Tengo el pelo rizado como tu madre.
“I have curly hair just like your mom.”

7. Spanish Conjunctions that Offer Alternatives

These conjunctions in Spanish help you choose between different alternatives.

  • O: “Or”

¿Quieres café o té?
“Would you like tea or coffee?”

  • U: “Or”

U has the same function that o does, but it’s used whenever the next word starts with –o. This is just like the –e to –y rule from earlier in this article. They sound the same, so you have to change the Spanish conjunction to hear the alternative given.

¿Quieres ir a California u Orlando?
“Do you want to go to California or to Orlando?”

California Car's Plate

¿A qué hora comienza la película, siete u ocho?
“What time does the movie start, at seven or eight?”

8. Spanish Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions in Spanish allow you to join an independent sentence with a dependent sentence.

A dependent sentence alone wouldn’t make any sense without the independent one, thus these Spanish subordinating conjunctions will help you make sense of the whole sentence, situation, or event.

  • Porque: “Because”

No voy a ir al gimnasio porque me siento muy enferma.
“I am not going to the gym because I am not feeling well.”

  • Pues: “Since”

Deberíamos ir a cine el miércoles, pues creo que es más barato que el sábado.
“We should go to the movies on Wednesday since I think it’s cheaper than Saturday.”

  • Ya que: “Since”; “seeing that”

Voy a ir al mercadillo, ya que tengo que comprar verduras.
“I am going to the street market, since I have to buy vegetables.”

There are other synonyms with the same use as the ones above: dado que, por cuanto, a causa de que, por lo cual… They would be the same translations in English: “because,” “therefore,” “since…”

9. Spanish Conjunctions that Allow You to Give Reasons

This type of conjunction in Spanish allows you to give a reason for why something happens the way it does.

These useful Spanish conjunctions can help you answer the question ¿Por qué?, or “Why?” As for the first one on the list, you’ll simply use the two words together without the accent.

  • Porque: “Because”

No voy a la fiesta porque tengo que trabajar mañana en la mañana.
“I am not going to the party because I am working tomorrow morning.”

  • Ya que; puesto que; en vista de que: “Since”; “because”

No me he comprado un coche ya que no tengo dinero.
“I did not buy myself a car because I do not have any money.”

No vamos a ir al parque puesto que está lloviendo.
“We are not going to the park because it is raining.”

En vista de que no quieres comer nada, no te daré el helado tampoco.
“Since you haven’t eaten anything, I won’t give you ice cream either.”

Ice Cream

  • Pues: “Because”; “since”; “for”

Hemos decidido vender el coche, pues nos vamos a Inglaterra.
“We have decided to sell the car because we are going to England.”

  • Como: “Since”

Es mejor que cambies de profesión, como has pensado empezar de nuevo.
“It’s better to change your profession since you’ve thought to start again.”

10. Spanish Subjunctive Conjunctions

With some Spanish conjunctions, the subjunctive is needed to express a hypothetical uncertainty as to whether an action or event will take place, or whether or not a situation will happen.

  • A menos que: “Unless”

El gato se quedará dormido a menos que el ratón salga de su escondite.
“The cat will fall asleep unless the mouse gets out of its hideaway.”

  • En caso (de) que: “In case”

Voy a dejar las llaves del coche en caso de que quieras usarlo.
“I am going to leave the car keys in case you want to use them.”

  • Antes de que: “Before”

Antes de que salgas corriendo, déjame la comida preparada.
“Before you run out, leave the food ready for me.”

  • Con tal de que: “So that”

Limpié la casa con tal de que no discutiéramos.
“I cleaned the house so that we wouldn’t fight.”

  • Para que: “So that”

Voy a ir a supermercado para que tengas pan para mañana.
“I am going to the supermarket so that you have bread for tomorrow.”

  • Sin que: “Without”

Habían pasado tres semanas sin que Juan viera a Silvia.
“It had been three weeks without Juan seeing Silvia.”

11. Conclusion

Do you want to sound like a confident Spanish speaker? After this article, and lots of practice with important Spanish conjunctions, you will! These basic Spanish conjunctions will help you link different parts of sentences together. You can use them to include ideas in your sentences, or to exclude them. You have to be very clear about that; after this post, you get it, right?

Here at SpanishPod101, you can find many resources, forums, and even a Spanish conjunctions worksheet for extra Spanish conjunctions practice to help you learn at your own speed. Why don’t you give it a try? You lose nothing and gain more knowledge about our Spanish conjunctions list.

Happy learning!

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SpanishPod101’s Guide to Etiquette in Spanish-Speaking Countries

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When learning about etiquette in Spanish-speaking countries, keep in mind that every culture is different, and even neighboring countries might have very different customs from one another. Sometimes, what might seem normal or even polite to you could be interpreted as weird or rude in another country. In the same way, something you find rude might seem common to someone else. Don’t worry, though. We’re here to help you not make the same mistakes other people have made!

Maybe one of the first things you need to know here is that “etiquette” in Spanish is called protocolo or etiqueta. Even though protocolo is a bit more common, etiqueta is equally valid, so you can stick to whichever word you prefer!

Another thing you might want to do when trying to find out about Spanish etiquette is to do some online research on it, which is completely understandable. However, we did some reading too, and we want to warn you that if you do so, you might find Spanish “rules” of etiquette that are very outdated and not appropriate anymore.

For example, we read that women aren’t allowed to cross their legs or wear shorts, which is completely false nowadays. Trust us, you definitely can. Maybe not for formal occasions, but if you want to survive a Spanish summer, you might want to wear shorts when you go out with friends or family.

Here’s our practical, relevant guide on etiquette in Spanish-speaking countries. Read up and wow your hosts with your Spanish social etiquette!

Table of Contents

  1. Do’s and Don’ts for Dining
  2. Do’s and Don’ts for Sightseeing
  3. Do’s and Don’ts for Greetings
  4. Do’s and Don’ts for Visiting a House
  5. Do’s and Don’ts When Riding Public Means of Transportation
  6. Do’s and Don’ts for Business
  7. Do’s and Don’ts for Celebrations
  8. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn Spanish

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1. Do’s and Don’ts for Dining

Hygiene

Eating is an important part of any culture, but dining etiquette can be really different from one country to another. This makes knowing the most basic Spanish meal time etiquette essential. Here are the most basic Spanish dining etiquette rules to keep in mind.

  • No sorbas (Don’t slurp): While in other countries such as Japan, this is considered polite, it’s rude to slurp in Spain.
  • No eructes (Don’t burp): Just like slurping your food, burping is considered rude in Spain. Some people definitely burp in public, but trust us, no one likes those people.
  • No pongas los codos encima de la mesa (Don’t rest your elbows on the table): It’s allowed for your arms to be on the table, as long as your elbows aren’t touching it.
  • No insultes la comida española (Don’t insult Spanish cuisine): While this might sound obvious, there are ways of insulting Spanish cuisine that you might not realize are offensive to Spaniards. Take this example: In 2016, Jamie Oliver made the mistake of adding chorizo to a paella and posting it online. To save you from reading the entire article, we all went mad! In case you’re wondering, chorizo doesn’t go in paella. To this day, we still haven’t forgiven him. We could give you more examples, but they’re all quite similar: someone decides to cook a Spanish recipe, but gets a little too creative and makes the entire country of Spain go berserk. Just stick to our recipes; they’re already amazing and don’t need changes!

Family Celebration

  • Deberías esperar hasta que todos estén sentados y con comida en sus platos (You should wait until everyone is seated and has food on their plates): It’s considered rude to start eating if there are people at the table who haven’t been served their food. Or, in the case of dining in someone’s house, wait until everyone, including the guest, is sitting down.
  • Siempre deberías tener las manos visibles (Your hands should always be visible): While your elbows shouldn’t be on the table, as we mentioned before, hands should be.

When you’re dining at a restaurant, there are some other specific Spanish restaurant etiquette rules you need to know. For instance, is tipping expected in Spain?

  • Dejar propina es opcional (Tipping is optional): Spain isn’t like other countries such as the USA, where tipping is compulsory even if your server didn’t do a good job—and not only that, but you actually need to know math to know how much you need to tip! Tipping in Spain is seen as a nice gesture, but people usually only do it when they feel like they need to reward their server for a good job. And when you do so, you don’t need to think of what percentage is appropriate. Rather, it’s more about just giving them a couple of coins, whatever you have in your wallet, as you see fit.

If you’re dining in someone’s house, however, this is what you should keep in mind:

  • Deberías esperar a que alguien te muestre tu asiento o a que el resto de gente empiece a sentarse (You should wait until someone shows you to your seat or until people start to sit down): The host will often let you know where you can sit.
  • Deberías ofrecer tu ayuda al anfitrión (You should offer to help the host): This is considered polite, even though most of the time they’ll tell you not to worry and ask you to take a seat.

2. Do’s and Don’ts for Sightseeing

Bad Phrases

We don’t think we need to teach you basic Spanish protocol and etiquette when it comes to sightseeing, such as not cutting in line and respecting other people’s cultures, but some things might not be exactly the same everywhere.

For example, here’s something you should always keep in mind when you’re on an escalator. They normally have signs that explain what is prohibited, such as wearing flip-flops, but there’s one unspoken rule that’s never included on the signs but that everyone knows:

  • Siempre deberías quedarte en el lado derecho (You should always stand on the right side): Unless you’re walking, you should always stay on your right whenever you’re on an escalator. It doesn’t matter if you’re going up or down: the left side is only for walking. Don’t use an escalator like the man in the picture, he’s doing it wrong!

Man Standing on the Escalator

Another matter that can be a little bit complicated if you’re not familiar with it is visiting a church. Here are a few Spanish culture and etiquette tips you should know if you want to visit a church or cathedral in Spain:

  • No lleves pantalones cortos ni sandalias (Don’t wear shorts or sandals): This is common in most places of worship, but it’s good to remember.
  • Deberías apagar o poner en silencio el móvil (You should turn off or silence your phone): Again, this is quite normal and shouldn’t surprise you.
  • Deberías prestar atención a los carteles (You should pay attention to the posters): Churches usually have posters with signs that you should follow. For example, sometimes they’ll ask you not to take photos, or if you do, to always take them without flash.

3. Do’s and Don’ts for Greetings

What is Spanish greeting etiquette? We already taught you pretty much everything you need to know about greeting someone in Spanish in different situations in our article titled How to Say “Hello” in Spanish. But we thought we should remind you of a few non-verbal gestures you should or shouldn’t do when greeting someone. (If you’re wondering about Spanish phone etiquette, though, you’ll also find this in the above-mentioned article.)

  • Deberías hacer contacto visual (You should make eye contact): Unlike in some other cultures, in Spain, eye contact is seen as a symbol of confidence. However, keep in mind that while we advise you to make eye contact, you shouldn’t make it extreme. Remember to blink and don’t have your eyes wide open like a crazy person. You want to look confident, not creepy!
  • Si no estás seguro de qué deberías hacer, espera unos segundos (If you’re unsure what you should do, wait a few seconds): We don’t want this greeting to become an awkward encounter, but waiting a few seconds until the other person starts the greeting won’t hurt anyone.

4. Do’s and Don’ts for Visiting a House

Thank You

Etiquette when visiting a house also tends to change from country to country. Here are a few Spanish etiquette tips that you’ll find helpful when you’re invited to someone’s house:

  • No te quites los zapatos a menos que te digan lo contrario (Don’t take your shoes off unless told otherwise): In many cultures, it’s common to take off your shoes when you enter a house, and sometimes even other kinds of buildings. In Spain, this isn’t very common, but it still might be preferred in certain households. So what we recommend is that you don’t take them off unless they specifically ask you to do so. If you’re unsure, you can always ask them, just in case!
  • Deberías llevar un detalle (You should bring a small present): It’s common to bring something, such as a bottle of wine or some sort of sweets, especially if you’ve been invited for a meal. The word we used in Spanish is detalle, which literally means “detail,” and refers to something small yet thoughtful.
  • Deberías hacer un cumplido a su hogar (You should compliment their home): The classic “You have a lovely home” should do the trick. To say this in Spanish, you could go for Tienes (if you’re visiting someone who lives alone) or Tenéis (if you’re visiting someone who lives with other people) una casa preciosa.

5. Do’s and Don’ts When Riding Public Means of Transportation

We think there are not that many rules when it comes to public transportation that differ from other countries, but we’ll remind you of a few of them. Here’s some practical information on Spanish taxi etiquette and how to act when on other means of transportation.

  • Deberías saludar al conductor (You should greet the driver): Either on a bus or on a taxi, it’s considered polite to greet the driver when you get in—and of course, in the case of a taxi, also when you get out. In most public buses in Spain, the exit is only through the back, so you don’t see the driver again and therefore you don’t necessarily need to say goodbye. Of course, if you’re taking the train or the metro, you won’t see the driver, so you don’t have to greet anyone.
  • Deberías ofrecer tu asiento a alguien que lo necesite más que tú (You should offer your seat to someone who needs it more than you): If you’re sitting down and someone enters who might need to sit down more than you do, you should offer them your seat. We’re referring, for example, to old people, handicapped people, pregnant women, among others. Out of politeness, they might refuse it sometimes, but it’s common and considered polite to insist a little bit more.
  • Debes comprar un billete (You must buy a ticket): We don’t think we need to say this, but just in case, don’t forget to pay for your ticket! Or the ride, if you’re taking a taxi.

6. Do’s and Don’ts for Business

Business

If you work in Spain or travel there for work, you might need a couple of tips, even though Spanish business etiquette is quite international.

  • Deberías dar la mano (You should shake their hand): This is the basic rule for greeting someone in a business environment, but there is an exception. As we explained in our article about greetings, it’s common in Spain to kiss someone twice when greeting them. While in this context a handshake would be the usual greeting, if you’re greeting a woman who’s offering you her cheek, you should kiss her on her cheeks; if you’re a woman and you’re greeting a man who looks like he’s about to kiss you, don’t shy out and offer him your cheek. If you ignore this greeting, it might look like you want to avoid them, and we’re sure you don’t want to do that.
  • No lleves ropa informal a menos que te digan lo contrario (Don’t wear casual clothes unless told otherwise): More often than not, you should wear formal yet simple clothes.

People Shaking Hands

7. Do’s and Don’ts for Celebrations

Often, celebrations have more rules than we wish they had. We’ll show you a few basic Spanish etiquette and customs for celebrations, but sometimes these rules depend on the specific event, so you might have to ask whoever invited you to the event. For example, whether you should wear formal or casual clothes, or whether you can bring your kids or not.

Something that’s applicable to different kinds of celebrations is the act of making a toast. In Spanish, this is called brindar, and there are a couple of ways of saying “Cheers.” One of them is ¡Salud! and another one, which people tend to find interesting, is ¡Chinchín! Many people think this is an onomatopoeia that resembles the clashing of glasses, but as it turns out, it actually isn’t; it comes from Chinese. In some families, it’s considered bad luck for people to drink water in these cases, but it’s nothing you need to worry about if you don’t feel like drinking alcohol.

Spanish Wedding Etiquette

  • Deberías comprar un regalo (You should buy a present): It’s common to get presents for the bride and groom, but remember that you’re not meant to bring it to the wedding. Sometimes, instead of getting them a present, you can transfer some money to a bank account that they will provide.
  • No vayas de blanco (Don’t wear white): The only person who’s allowed to wear white is the bride.

Bride and Groom While People Throw Petals

Spanish Etiquette for Birthdays

If it’s your birthday:

  • Invita a tus amigos a una comida (Invite your friends for a meal): Either breakfast, lunch, dinner, or something in between, it’s common to invite your friends (and/or family) to have a meal, and to pay for all of them. This can be at a restaurant or at your place, and it doesn’t need to be fancy or a big celebration. We’ll leave this up to you.

If it’s someone else’s birthday:

  • Deberías llevar un regalo (You should bring a present): We guess this is common in most cultures, but it’s customary to bring a present for the person who’s celebrating their birthday.

Etiquette for Births

  • Deberías llevar un regalo (You should bring a present): It’s common to bring a present for the new parents, either to the hospital if they’re family or close friends, or whenever you see them. The present is normally something for the newborn, but it can be something for the parents as well.

Spanish Funeral Etiquette

  • Deberías dar el pésame (You should give your condolences): It’s common to say Lo siento (I’m sorry), but if you knew this person really well, their family might appreciate it if you said something slightly more personal, yet brief. Let them know you cared about them.
  • Deberías presentarte (You should introduce yourself): If the family of the deceased person never met you before, you should introduce yourself to them and let them know how you knew him or her.
  • No es necesario vestir de negro (It’s not necessary to wear black): Even though it’s still rather common, it’s not compulsory to wear black clothes anymore.

Something else you should know is that it’s common to bring flowers, and sometimes even flower crowns, as a group present.

For other celebrations and festivities, such as New Year’s Eve, you can check out our lesson on Spain’s New Year’s traditions, or another lesson on how to celebrate Christmas in Spain that might be interesting to know if you’re in Spain for the holidays.

8. How SpanishPod101.com Can Help You Learn Spanish

Keep in mind that no one will judge you if you don’t remember all of these rules we just listed. If you’re ever unsure what you can and can’t do, don’t hesitate to ask someone. They will perfectly understand that you’re foreign and not completely familiar with our traditions and customs yet. This is especially true in very specific celebrations, such as weddings, that don’t happen everyday.

Are any of the customs we went over similar to those in your country? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

At SpanishPod101.com, you can learn everything you need to know about Spain, its culture, and its language. From vocabulary lists to lessons, we have anything you might need. Join us and learn Spanish like never before!

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