Welcome to the All About Spanish Verbs podcast series where we examine the most essential Spanish verbs and learn the most common uses of them in everyday speech through practical examples.
In today’s podcast we’re going to take a look at the verb alcanzar. Alcanzar is verb that’s rarely talked about, but it has a several uses you should know about.
Also be sure to listen to the Real Life Spanish podcast series where you’ll learn the Spanish you need for real life conversations and situations.
Now without further delay, posted below is the entire transcript of today’s podcast episode.
— Start of transcript —
Hi, This is Rodney and welcome to All About Spanish Verbs.
In this podcast we examine the most essential Spanish verbs and learn the
most common uses of them in everyday speech through practical examples.
In today’s podcast we’re going to talk about the verb alcanzar.
The first usage we’ll talk about is to reach, to get or to pass something
I can’t reach it
¿Me bajas el libro? Es que no alcanzo
Can you get that book down for me? I can’t reach it
Alcánzame ese florero, que no llego hasta el estante
Get that vase for me, I can’t reach the shelf
¿Me alcanzas las tijeras?
Could you pass me the scissors?
Alcánzame la sal
Pass me the salt
You can also talk about reaching something in a figurative sense
Las temperaturas alcanzan un promedio de 25 °C en el verano y 14 °C en el
The temperatures reach an average of 25 degrees centigrade in the summer and
14 degrees in the winter
¿Qué altura alcanzan los pingüinos cuando saltan fuera del agua?
What height do the penguins reach when they jump out of the water?
¿Por qué no alcanzamos nuestras metas personales?
Why don’t we meet our personal goals?
Our next usage is to talk about catching up with someone
I’ll catch up to you
Adelántate con él y los alcanzo
You run ahead with him and I’ll catch up with you guys
Te alcanzo en el cine
I’ll catch up to you at the movies
Al rato te alcanzo
I’ll catch up with you in a little bit
Llévalos a la escuela y me alcanzas más tarde
Take them to school and catch up with me later
You can use alcanzar to talk about having enough, or not enough, of something
Let’s start by talking about money
No me alcanza
I can’t afford it
¿Te alcanza para vivir solo?
Can you afford to live on your own?
¿Te alcanza para el taxi?
Do you have enough for the taxi?
El sueldo no me alcanza para nada
I can’t make ends meet on my salary
El dinero que tengo me alcanza por ahora
I have enough money for now
You can also use alcanzar to talk about time
El tiempo no me alcanza
I don’t have enough time
Si me alcanza el tiempo, editaré el libro
If I have enough time, I’ll edit the book
In fact, you can use alcanzar to talk about nearly anything
La comida no alcanza para todos
There’s not enough food for everyone
La gasolina no alcanza para llegar
There’s not enough gas to get there
No alcanza mi paciencia
I don’t have enough patience
No me alcanzan las palabras para explicarte lo que siento
I don’t have enough words to explain to you what I feel
No te preocupes, alcanzan boletos para todos
Don’t worry, there’s enough tickets for everybody
The final usage we’ll talk about is to manage to or to be able to
Nos alegra saber que alcanzaste el vuelo
We’re happy to know you made your flight
A pesar del tráfico, alcancé el vuelo
Despite the traffic I managed to catch the flight
¿Alcanzó a ir al supermercado?
Was he able to make it to the supermarket?
No alcanzo a llegar hoy
I won’t be able to make it today
Alcancé a verlo antes de que se fuera
I managed to see him before he left
No alcancé a bañarme
I wasn’t able to shower
Se marchó susurrando algo que no alcancé a oír
He left whispering something I wasn’t able to hear
And that’s it. As you can see, alcanzar is quite a flexible verb and has some very practical uses. That’s it for today, chao