One of the first things people ask me when they start to learn Spanish, is “How long will it take me to learn Spanish?” The problem with this question is that it is not clear what they are actually asking or what their expectations are. What do you actually need to learn the language for and what level of fluency do you need? Do you need to order a mean and drinks? Do you need to call a colleague, attend a business meeting? Are you planning to move to Spain? If you have a more definite idea of what you want to achieve and in what timescale this can help avoid disappointment when you feel you aren’t achieving what you hoped to and it can also help you plan your learning to suit your goals.
This blog post gives a few tips of how to set realistic but achievable goals so you get the most out of your language studies: Continue reading →
‘Poder’ in Spanish means “to be able to” or “can”. It is the sixth most important verb in Spanish therefore very useful and one of the first verbs you should learn as a beginner. It is mostly used to express capability, ability and probability.
In this post we will look at the most common uses of ‘poder’:
The conjugation of ‘poder’ in the present tense is:
(Yo) Puedo – I can
(Tú) Puedes – You can (1 person)
(Él/Ella) Puede – He/She can
(Nosotros) Podemos – We can
(Vosotros) Podéis – You all can
(Ellos) Pueden – They can Continue reading →
You are bound to meet lots of interesting people when you travel abroad. If you want to describe someone accurately you need to know more words than just “interesting” or “nice”.
Beginners of the language find it difficult to be able to describe someone in detail so you cannot get a true idea of someone’s real personality. Often they rely on “fun”, “good”, “bad” and similar easy, general words.
This post will teach you more specific descriptive words to describe people and their unique personality – we will include positive traits, negative traits and those that are inbetween and could be classed as good or bad depending on the situation. Continue reading →
This summer is the first set of the new style Spanish GCSE exam. The new “higher” tier exam involves three questions. You are given two options for the first two questions.
The first question is to write approximately 90 words responding to 4 bullet points. This may be in the style of a letter to a friend or an email.
The second question is a longer, more open written task of approximately 150 words in which you only have 2 compulsory bullet points to respond to. This could be a blog article, an email or an article for a magazine.
The third question is a translation from English into Spanish of a minimum of 50 words.
Continue reading →
A great way to strike up conversation in Spanish with a local is to ask a question about the weather or say something about the weather at the time. Weather is something that we all talk about either with people we know well or complete strangers therefore it is the ideal topic area to learn in Spanish to chat to anyone you meet.
What a nice day!
How hot it is!
Do you know if it’s going to rain tomorrow?
The key tenses you need to know are present, future and maybe past.
In this blog post we will look at some key phrases you could learn so that you can use them on your next holiday to chat with native Spanish speakers. Continue reading →
If your business deals with clients or suppliers in abroad it is clear that if you can speak their native language you will be in a much better position to build a good rapport with them and create a more positive business relationship with them and ultimately trade more successfully. This blog post looks at other advantages your company could gain by learning to speak your client’s mother tongue.
The infinitive is the simplest form of a verb. An infinitive tells you what the action is but not who is doing it nor when they are doing it. It translates into English as “to …” In Spanish there are 3 patterns of infinitive; those that end in -ar, -er or -ir. Examples are:
hablar – to speak
comer – to eat
vivir – to live
There are several common structures in Spanish that need the use of the infinitive. In this post we will look at these uses: Continue reading →
If you are ever unlucky enough to be in Spain and feeling ill and have to go to the doctor’s it would be a great help if you could describe what is hurting you in Spanish. The key verb that you need to know is “doler” (to hurt) which, unfortunately is not a straightforward verb to use.
Firstly, it needs to be used with an indirect object pronoun depending on who is hurting:
(Me – me, te – you, le – him/her, nos – us, os – you (plural), les – them). Continue reading →
When people first start to learn Spanish they first need to learn the basics such as how to say “the” in Spanish. This is called the definite article and in Spanish there are four different articles depending on whether the noun is masculine, singular, feminine or plural:
el libro = the book
la casa = the house
los chicos = the boys
las chicas = the girls
The problem comes when you start to see these words used everywhere often when we wouldn’t need to say “the” in English.
In this blog post we will look at when you need to remember to use the definite articles in Spanish: Continue reading →