How I learned to conjugate verbs

I run a Spanish conversation group and one of the questions I routinely get from beginners is “What’s the best way to learn to conjugate verbs?”.  Good question right? Verb conjugation is one of the most brutal parts of learning Spanish because there are no shortcuts, you have to put in a lot of hard work.   In this post I’m …

Using Pasar for more a lot more than just saying que pasa

Today we’re going to take a look at the verb pasar, and you can use it to say a lot more than ¿Qué pasa?. I don’t think there are to many people who don’t know what ¿Qué pasa? means. It’s not the most exciting phrase you can use the verb pasar for, but it is a good place to start. …

15 Spanish phrases every beginner should know

Here is a short list of phrases that every beginning Spanish learner should know.  Let’s get to it. One of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a beginner is understanding what’s being said to you, because everything sounds like one huge run-on sentence.  You might actually understand what’s being said to you if they just didn’t talk so fast.  Well, …

Casi me caigo de culo

Let’s start with a translation: Casi me caigo de culoI almost fall on my ass Hmm.  “I almost fall…”.  That doesn’t sound quite right does it?  At least not in English it doesn’t.  The correct English translation would be: I almost fell on my ass So what’s going on here?  There’s a simple explanation for this. While in English we …

Contractions in Spanish

The Spanish contractions your textbook didn’t tell you about

According to your Spanish textbook there are only two contractions in Spanish. Your Spanish textbook and most likely your Spanish teacher probably neglected to teach you several other Spanish contractions that are used so much I considered it the equivalent of criminal negligence not to teach it. Let’s talk about the official Spanish contractions first. We’ll start with the contraction …

Yo te invito

The verb invitar means to invite, and it’s usage is pretty straight-forward. Quiero invitarte a mi casa I want to invite you to my house ¿Hiciste una fiesta y no me invitaste? You threw a party and didn’t invite me? Te invito a festejar mi cumple I invite you to celebrate my birthday While we’re on the subject of birthdays, …

Informal Spanish Greetings

If you’re completely new to Spanish, then you should learn the basic greetings, and here’s a great lesson to help you with that:  Basic Spanish Greetings While knowing the basic greetings is really important, they aren’t very exciting.  In this post I’m going to talk about some very colloquial greetings that your Spanish book or teacher may not have mentioned. …

Improving your listening skills

A critical part of being able to speak Spanish is being able to understand it when you hear it.  Easier said then done right?  Sure it’s hard, but there are things you can do to improve those wanna-be Spanish ears of yours. Let’s look at some of the ways you can improve your listening skills. Movies, Television and video Turn …

Hazme caso por favor

Welcome to the first in a series of posts I’m going to call All About Verbs.  I’ll be discussing the real life use of a montón (a ton) of Spanish verbs.  We’ll get things started with hacer, so let’s get to it. Your Spanish book will tell you the verb hacer means to make or to do, but it actually …

Tengo que lavar los trastes

Sometimes there are things that we just have to do.  Well, if you ever need to tell someone what that something you have to do is in Spanish, then you’ll need the expression tener que. Tener by itself means “to have”. Tengo 21 años I’m 21 Tengo dos coches I have two cars Add the word que after it and …