The use of the verb “poder” in Spanish

‘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

Describing character in Spanish – beyond “nice”

Over 40 words to describe personality!

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

How to Learn to Speak Spanish by Watching Spanish TV Channels

If you’re trying to learn Spanish, pronunciation is probably the biggest problem you have. Like every other foreign-language speaker, you don’t have much chance to practice the language unless you visit the country where people speak it natively. If you don’t have that chance, the communication in Spanish is limited to your instructor and classmates. If you’re taking online classes, you’re deprived from that aspect of learning, too.

So how can you learn how to speak Spanish? Skype is one effective tool we can think of. You can connect with native speakers via Facebook and other social media, and start chatting via Skype. Sure; that’s a nice strategy. But what if you’re still not ready to chat with a native? Is there a way to learn how to speak Spanish before taking that extra step? Of course there is!

Today, we’ll talk about learning Spanish by watching Spanish TV channels. You’ll hear the natives speak, and you can freely repeat after them. Don’t worry; you won’t look silly. Continue reading

How to get a top grade in the new Spanish GCSE writing exam (AQA)

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.

Tips to get top marks

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Chatting about the weather in Spanish – a great icebreaker!

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

Build successful business relationships by speaking your client’s language!

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.

“If you speak to a man in a language he understands that goes to his head. If you speak to him in his language that will go to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela

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When do you need to use an infinitive verb in Spanish? – 10 tips!

What is the infinitive?

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:

hablarto speak

comerto eat

vivirto 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

24 Unique British Slang Terms You May Not Have Heard of

The English language is easily one of the most interesting languages in the world. By far one of the most complicated languages to learn thanks to the infamous silent letters, uncertain rules and funny phrases, it’s still one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.

However, travel to the UK itself, England in particular, and you may find you discover a whole new language that you’ve never heard before. This even happens to individuals who live in the UK and travel to another part of it!

I’m talking about British slang. But, British slang is easily one of the most humorous, funny and witty languages in the world and no matter what area you live in or are travelling too, it’s worth brushing up on your slang so you can use it with the locals.

To help you get started, here are 24 of the most common, awesome and downright hilarious slang terms that you need to learn today! Continue reading

How to say what is hurting you in Spanish – using the verb “doler”

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:

(Meme, teyou, lehim/her, nosus, osyou (plural), lesthem). Continue reading

When should you use articles in Spanish?

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:

  • Masculine, singular nouns use “el”:

el libro = the book

  • Feminine, singular nouns use “la”:

la casa = the house

  • Masculine, plural nouns use “los”:

los chicos = the boys

  • Feminine, singular nouns use “las”:

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