Monday, 31 October 2011

Piña

La palabra de hoy es: 'piña' = pineapple/ pine cone/ etc.

In Spanish, the word 'piña' is a feminine noun of Latin origin, the meaning of which could be:
  • pineapple (the fruit of the pineapple palm tree) 
  • pine cone (the fruit of the pine tree)
The noun 'piña' may be also used in Spanish to refer to:
  • A corn cob
  • A heavy blow (thump)
  • A blow with fist (punch)
  • A very close knit group of people (clan/ group)
  • A special knot in the seafaring world

A couple of expressions containing the noun 'piña' in them are:
  • Piña colada (pina colada- a drink/ cocktail)
  • Hacer piña (to rally round or stick together)

 A couple of examples of the use of the word 'piña' are:
  • Tengo una receta para hacer piña colada (I have a pina colada recipe)
  • Hay que hacer piña para salir adelante (we need to stick together to survive)

Love-Spanish.com loves the word 'piña' in the YouTube clip with the unofficial Spanish Team Anthem for the 2010 World Cup: Himno De la Selección Española "Todos Somos Una Piña"
 
For more on the word 'piña', visit: Wordreference.com/es/en/ Piña
 
*NB 'Click' on the speaker icon next to the word “piña” in the link to hear the word pronounced.

This is another Free online Spanish lesson from Love-Spanish.com. We conduct lessons online on this and many other topics using the latest video conferencing facilities. Online lessons are the ideal way to improve listening and speaking skills. For more details on our lessons online and how to book them, please visit:

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Sunday, 30 October 2011

Shall I Go Straight On?

SCENARIO

Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend, a work colleague or even a total stranger. You are giving him/ her directions to go somewhere. At some point the other person interrupts you and says something like: "shall I go straight on?"

In Spanish, the other person could say:
Perdón, ¿sigo todo recto?


OUR TIP
The question is an invitation for you to clarify the directions you are giving. Typically, your answer will involve giving directions to the person you are talking to. When the directions are for the person you are talking to, you MUST make a choice between two levels of formality*.

Here are some examples of how you could reply:
  • Sí , sigues todo recto (yes, you go straight on);
  • Sí , sigues hasta el final de la calle (yes, you go on to the end of the street);
  • No, giras a la izquierda (no, you turn left);
  • No, giras a la derecha (no, you turn right);
  • No, tuerces a la izquierda (no, you turn left);
  • No, tuerces a la derecha (no, you turn right);
  • No, tomas la primera a la izquierda (no, you take the first on your left);
  • No, tomas la primera a la derecha (no, you take the first on your right);
  • No, tomas la segunda a la izquierda (no, you take the second on your left);
  • No, tomas la segunda a la derecha (no, you take the second on your right);


*Level of Formality
The wording of the answers in this post assumes that the person you are giving the directions to is someone with whom you have a very good rapport. That person could be a friend, a relative or a work colleague. In any case, when wording your answers in this less formal manner you are also signalling familiarity, affinity or closeness. There is a separate post dealing with wording your answers in a more formal manner.


Now you should practise answering the question:
Perdón, ¿sigo todo recto?

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Saturday, 29 October 2011

Tell Me, When Are You Taking Your Holidays?


SCENARIO
Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. Maybe you are talking about your holidays. Your relative/ friend/ colleague does not know when you are due to take your holidays and wants to find out. He/ she decides to say to you: "tell me, when you are taking your holidays?". 

He/ she could choose to be less formal and say to you:
Dime, ¿cuándo tienes las vacaciones?


Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be a little bit more formal and say:
Dígame, ¿cuándo tiene (usted) las vacaciones?
  


OUR TIP

You DO NOT need be concerned about the degree of formality in what your relative/ friend/ colleague says to you. Whether the other person uses a more/ less formal register is irrelevant to your choice of reply.

Your answer depends only on what you want to say about when you are having your holidays. There are a variety of ways to reply. Maybe you want to say that you:
  • Are taking your holidays in August
  • Still undecided about when to take them

Here are a couple of examples which deal with those basic possibilities:
  • Tengo las vacaciones en agosto (my holidays are in August)
  • Todavía no he decidido cuando cogerlas*/ tomarlas (I have not decided yet when I am going to take them)
*NB In some specific countries in Latin America, "coger"  (verb) has a sexual connotation. That localisation does not extend to the whole of Latin America nor Spain, where "coger" is widely used. If in doubt, you could use "tomar" instead of "coger".


Now you should practice answering the question:
Dime, ¿cuándo tienes las vacaciones?

This is another Free online Spanish lesson from Love-Spanish.com. We conduct lessons online on this and many other topics using the latest video conferencing facilities. Online lessons are the ideal way to improve listening and speaking skills. For more details on our lessons online and how to book them, please visit:

© Copyright 2011 Love-Spanish.com. by JM González. All Rights Reserved

Friday, 28 October 2011

Cereza

Today's word is: 'cereza' = cherry.

In Spanish, the word 'cereza' is a feminine noun of Latin/ Greek origin, the meaning of which is cherry (the fruit of the cherry tree - 'cerezo' in Spanish).

The noun 'cereza' can be also used to refer to a colour (a dark red colour).

In some parts of Latin America, the noun 'cereza' is also used to refer to a coffee bean.

Note.- The English expression "cherry picking" should only be translated into Spanish with one meaning: "picking cherries".

 An example of the use of the word 'cereza' is:
  • ¿No te gustan las cerezas? (Do you not like cherries?)

Love-Spanish.com loves the word 'cereza' in the YouTube clip in which the group En Cantadoras sing: Boquita de Cereza
 
For more on the word 'cereza', visit: Wordreference.com/es/en/ Cereza
 
*NB 'Click' on the speaker icon next to the word “cereza” in the link to hear the word pronounced.

This is another Free online Spanish lesson from Love-Spanish.com. We conduct lessons online on this and many other topics using the latest video conferencing facilities. Online lessons are the ideal way to improve listening and speaking skills. For more details on our lessons online and how to book them, please visit:

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© Copyright 2011 Love-Spanish.com. by Jose M González. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Is The Hotel Very Far?


SCENARIO

Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. You tell him/ her that you need to go back to your hotel. Your relative, friend or colleague does not know where your hotel is. He/ she decides to ask the question: "is the hotel very far?".

He/ she could say:
¿Está muy lejos el hotel?




OUR TIP

There are a variety of different ways in which this question could be answered. How you would answer depends only on how far you wish to say the hotel is. Perhaps you want to choose between saying that the hotel is:
  • Very far
  • Not very far
  • Quite far
  • Three blocks away
  • Ten minutes away by car

Here are some examples which deal with those basic possibilities:
  • Sí, el hotel está muy lejos (yes, the hotel is very far)
  • No, el hotel no está muy lejos (no, the hotel not very far)
  • El hotel está bastante lejos (the hotel is quite far)
  • El hotel está a tres manzanas (the hotel is two blocks away)
  • The hotel está a diez minutos en coche (the hotel ten minutes by car)

Now you should practice answering the question:
¿Está muy lejos el hotel?

This is another Free online Spanish lesson from Love-Spanish.com. We conduct lessons online on this and many other topics using the latest video conferencing facilities. Online lessons are the ideal way to improve listening and speaking skills. For more details on our lessons online and how to book them, please visit:

© Copyright 2011 Love-Spanish.com. by JM González. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

How Do You Know My Brother's Name?


SCENARIO
Imagine you are talking to a friend or a colleague. Maybe you are talking about his/ her family/ relatives. Your friend/ colleague has a brother named Antonio. Your friend/ colleague is surprised to discover that you know his/ her brother's names. Your friend/ colleague wants to ask how you know his/ her brother's name. 

He/ she could choose to be less formal and ask you:
¿Cómo sabes que mi hermano se llama Antonio?


Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be a little bit more formal and say:
¿Cómo sabe (usted) que mi hermano se llama Antonio?
  


OUR TIP

There are a variety of different ways in which this question could be answered. How you would answer it depends on how you want explain how come that you know Antonio. Perhaps you want to choose between saying that you know his/ her brother's name is Antonio because:
  • You have known Antonio for a long time
  • You work with Antonio

However, before you 'deliver' your reply, you MUST choose how you are going to 'deliver' it. In other words, you need to decide whether you are going to talk to him/ her in a manner which shows:
  • Less formality/ less need to be respectful or keep distances.
  • More formality/ that you want to be more respectful or keep distances

Here are a couple of examples which deal with your hypothetical choices of reply in an informal manner:
  • Porque hace mucho (tiempo) que conozco a tu hermano Antonio (because I have known your brother Antonio for a long time)
  •  Porque trabajo con tu hermano Antonio (because I work with your brother Antonio)
Here are a couple of examples which deal with the same choices of reply in a more formal manner:
  • Porque hace mucho (tiempo) que conozco a su hermano Antonio (because I have known your brother Antonio for a long time)
  •  Porque trabajo con su hermano Antonio (because I work with your brother Antonio)

Now you should practice answering the question:
¿Cómo sabes que mi hermano se llama Antonio?

This is another Free online Spanish lesson from Love-Spanish.com. We conduct lessons online on this and many other topics using the latest video conferencing facilities. Online lessons are the ideal way to improve listening and speaking skills. For more details on our lessons online and how to book them, please visit:

© Copyright 2011 Love-Spanish.com. by JM González. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Ciruela

Today's word is: 'ciruela' = plum.

In Spanish, the word 'ciruela' is a feminine noun of Latin origin, the meaning of which is plum (the fruit of the plum tree - 'ciruelo' in Spanish).

Expressions which include the noun 'ciruela' are:
  • Ciruela claudia (greengage)
  • Ciruela pasa (prune)
  • Ciruela seca (prune)

An example of the use of the word 'ciruela' is:
  • Me gustan mucho las ciruelas (I really like plums)

Love-Spanish.com loves the word 'ciruela' in the YouTube clip'Pollo al papillote con manzana y ciruelas de Marta'
 
For more on the word 'ciruela', visit: Wordreference.com/es/en/ Ciruela
 
*NB 'Click' on the speaker icon next to the word “ciruela” in the link to hear the word pronounced.

This is another Free online Spanish lesson from Love-Spanish.com. We conduct lessons online on this and many other topics using the latest video conferencing facilities. Online lessons are the ideal way to improve listening and speaking skills. For more details on our lessons online and how to book them, please visit:

For more Free Spanish:
Follow us on:
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© Copyright 2011 Love-Spanish.com. by Jose M González. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Is The Beach Near?


SCENARIO

Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. You tell him/ her that you are going to the beach. Your relative, friend or colleague does not know where the beach is. He/ she decides to ask the question: "is the beach near?".

He/ she could say:
¿Está cerca la playa?




OUR TIP

There are a variety of different ways in which this question could be answered. How you would answer depends only on how near you wish to say the beach is. Perhaps you want to choose between saying that the beach is:
  • Very near
  • Very far
  • Quite near
  • Two blocks away
  • Five minutes away by car

Here are some examples which deal with those basic possibilities:
  • Sí, la playa está muy cerca (yes, the beach is very near)
  • No, la playa está muy lejos (no, the beach is very far)
  • La playa está bastante cerca (the beach is quite near)
  • La playa está a dos manzanas (the beach is two blocks away)
  • La playa está a cinco minutos en coche (the beach is five minutes by car)

Now you should practice answering the question:
¿Está cerca la playa?


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Saturday, 22 October 2011

How Long Have You Been Studying Spanish?


SCENARIO
Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. Maybe you are talking about activities you are currently involve in and you took up at some point in time in the past. Your relative, friend or colleague knows that you are learning Spanish and have been doing so for some time. He/ she wants to know for how long you have been learning Spanish. 

In Spanish he/ she could choose to be less formal and  say :
¿Cuánto (tiempo) hace que estudias español?


Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be a little bit more formal and say:
¿Cuánto (tiempo) hace que estudia (usted) español?
  


OUR TIP

You DO NOT need be concerned about the degree of formality in the question you are asked. Whether the other person uses the more/ less formal question is irrelevant to your choice of answer.

Your answer depends only on what you want to say about the length of time you have been learning Spanish. There are a variety of ways to answer this question. Maybe you want to say that you have been doing it for:
  • Quite a long time
  • A short time
  • A specific length of time

Here are some examples which deal with those basic possibilities:
  • Hace mucho (tiempo) que estudio español (I have been studying Spanish for a long time)
  • Llevo mucho (tiempo) estudiando español (I have been studying Spanish for a long time)
  • Estudio español desde hace mucho (tiempo) (I have been studying Spanish for a long time)
  • Hace muy poco (tiempo) que estudio español (I have been studying Spanish for a very short time)
  • Llevo muy poco (tiempo) estudiando español (I have been studying Spanish for a very short time)
  • Estudio español desde hace muy poco (tiempo)  (I have been studying Spanish for only short time)
  • Hace un año que estudio español (I have been studying Spanish for one year)
  • Estudio español desde hace un año  (I have been studying Spanish for one year)
  • Llevo un año estudiando español (I have been studying Spanish for one year)

Now you should practice answering the question:
¿Cuánto tiempo hace que estudias español?

This is another Free online Spanish lesson from Love-Spanish.com. We conduct lessons online on this and many other topics using the latest video conferencing facilities. Online lessons are the ideal way to improve listening and speaking skills. For more details on our lessons online and how to book them, please visit:

© Copyright 2011 Love-Spanish.com. by JM González. All Rights Reserved

Friday, 21 October 2011

Plátano


Today's word is: 'plátano' = banana.

In Spanish, the word 'platano' is a masculine noun of Latin/ Greek origin, the meaning of which is banana (the fruit).

An example of the use of the word 'plátano' is:
  • El plátano es una fruta muy sana (bananas are a very healthy fruit)

Love-Spanish.com loves the word 'plátano' in the YouTube clipLa Plantación - El Videjuego del Plátano de Canarias
 
For more on the word 'platano', visit: Wordreference.com/es/en/ Plátano
 
*NB 'Click' on the speaker icon next to the word “plátano” in the link to hear the word pronounced.

This is another Free online Spanish lesson from Love-Spanish.com. We conduct lessons online on this and many other topics using the latest video conferencing facilities. Online lessons are the ideal way to improve listening and speaking skills. For more details on our lessons online and how to book them, please visit:

For more Free Spanish:
Follow us on:
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© Copyright 2011 Love-Spanish.com. by Jose M González. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Where Are The Shops?

SCENARIO

Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. You tell him/ her that you want/ need to go to the shops. Your relative, friend or colleague does not know how far the shops are or how long you might be away. He/ she decides to ask the question: "where are the shops?". 

He/ she could say:
¿Dónde están las tiendas?




OUR TIP

There are a variety of different ways in which this question could be answered. How you would answer depends mainly on how you would like to describe how far away the shops are. Perhaps you want to choose between saying that the shops are:
  • Nearby
  • In the town centre/ downtown
  • Ten minutes away on foot
  • Five minutes away by car

Here are some examples which deal with those basic possibilities:
  • Las tiendas están muy cerca (the shops are very near)
  • Las tiendas están en el centro (the shops are in the town centre/ downtown)
  • Las tiendas están a diez minutos a pie (the shops are ten minutes on foot)
  • Las tiendas están a cinco minutos en coche (the shops are five minutes by car)

Now you should practice answering the question:
¿Dónde están las tiendas?


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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Did Peter Not Have A Good Time?

SCENARIO
Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. Maybe you are talking about someone you both know. Perhaps the person you are talking about has visited Spain recently. You might have said something which gave the impression that the person in question did not have a good time in Spain. Your relative, friend or colleague wants to ask you if the person you are talking about did not have a good time in Spain.

He/ she could choose say to you:
Peter lo ha pasado bien en España ¿o no?




OUR TIP
This is a straight forward question about a third person. Thus, depending on what you want to say, most of the words in the question itself may be re-used in the answer without any changes. In order to answer the question, you want to choose between saying that :
  • The person in question did have a good time in Spain
  • The person in question did not have a good time in Spain
  • You don't know, the person in question has not told you

Here are some examples which deal with those basic possibilities:
  • Sí, (Peter) lo ha pasado muy bien en España (Yes, had a good time)
  • No, (Peter) no lo ha pasado bien en España (No, not had a good time)
  • No lo sé, (Peter) no me lo ha dicho (Don't know... did not tell)

Now you should practice answering the question:
Peter lo ha pasado bien en España ¿o no?

This is another Free online Spanish lesson from Love-Spanish.com. We conduct lessons online on this and many other topics using the latest video conferencing facilities. Online lessons are the ideal way to improve listening and speaking skills. For more details on our lessons online and how to book them, please visit:

© Copyright 2011 Love-Spanish.com. by JM González. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Pera


Today's word is: 'pera' = pear.

In Spanish, the word 'pera' is a feminine noun of Latin origin, the main meaning of which is pear (the fruit of the pear tree - 'peral' in Spanish).

However, the noun 'pera' may also be used in Spanish to refer to:
  • A bulb (rubber suction pump)
  • An electrical switch (with a shape similar to that of a pear)
  • A goatee beard (diminutive 'perilla' often used)
  • In boxing, a punching or punch ball

Some expressions with the noun 'pera' in them are: 
  • El año de la pera ('ancient' times)
  • Pedir peras al olmo (the impossible/ a waste of time)
  • Pera de agua (dessert pear/ a very juicy variety of the fruit)
  • Poner las peras a cuarto (to give someone a right telling off)
  • Poner las peras a ocho (to give someone a right telling off)
  • Ser la pera (to be 'the limit')

Examples of the use of the word 'pera' are:
  • Estas peras están riquísimas (these pears are very nice)
  • Ese coche es del año de la pera (that car is really 'ancient')
  • Pedir a Pedro que sea puntual es como pedir peras al olmo (asking Pedro to be on time is waste of time)
  • A Manolo tuve que ponerle las peras a cuarto (I had to give Manolo a right telling off)
  • ¡Eres la pera! (you are the limit!)

Love-Spanish.com loves the word 'pera' in the YouTube clip in which Manolo Muñoz singsLa Pera Madura
 
For more on the word 'pera', visit: Wordreference.com/es/en/Pera
 
*NB 'Click' on the speaker icon next to the word “pera” in the link to hear the word pronounced.

This is another Free online Spanish lesson from Love-Spanish.com. We conduct lessons online on this and many other topics using the latest video conferencing facilities. Online lessons are the ideal way to improve listening and speaking skills. For more details on our lessons online and how to book them, please visit:

For more Free Spanish:
Follow us on:
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© Copyright 2011 Love-Spanish.com. by Jose M González. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Where Is The Town Hall?


SCENARIO

Imagine someone stops you in the street. That someone is looking for the town hall and has decided to ask you.

He/ she could say:
¿Dónde está el ayuntamiento?




OUR TIP

There are many different ways in which this question could be answered. How you would answer depends mainly on where the town hall is. Perhaps you want to choose between saying that:
  • The town hall is just round the corner (whilst you point to the corner you mean)
  • You don't know where the town hall is

Here are a couple of examples which deal with those two basic possibilities:
  • El ayuntamiento está allí, a la vuelta de la esquina (the town hall is over there, round the corner)
  • Lo siento, no sé donde está el ayuntamiento (I am sorry, I don't know where the town hall is)

Now you should practice answering the question:
¿Dónde está el ayuntamiento?


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Sunday, 16 October 2011

Where Is Your (Female) Friend From?


SCENARIO

This scenario considers only the specific case of a FEMALE * friend. Imagine you and a female friend are talking to someone else. That person does not know where your female friend comes from and decides to ask you "where does your friend comes from".

He/ she could choose to be less formal and ask you:
¿De dónde es tu amiga?

Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be a little bit more formal and say:
¿De dónde es su amiga?

*Please see a separate blog entry for a MALE friend


OUR TIP

You DO NOT need be concerned about the degree of formality in the question you are asked. Whether the other person uses the more/ less formal question is irrelevant to your choice of answer.

This is a straight forward question about a third person. Thus, depending on what you want to say, most of the words in the question itself may be re-used in the answer without any changes. There are a variety of ways in which this question could be answered. Perhaps you want to choose between saying that:
  • Your friend is from a specific country
  • Your friend is of a specific nationality
  • You don't know where your friend is from

Here are some examples which deal with those basic possibilities:
  • Mi amiga es de Inglaterra (my friend is from England)
  • Mi amiga es inglesa (my friend is English)
  • No sé de donde es mi amiga (I don't know where my friend is from)

Now you should practice answering the question:
¿De dónde es tu amiga?


Spanish lessons online
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© Copyright 2011 Love-Spanish.com by Jose M González. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Are You Free Tomorrow?

SCENARIO

Imagine you are in the process of making arrangements with a relative, a friend or colleague. That person wants to ask if you are free tomorrow afternoon/ evening.

He/ she could choose to be less formal and ask you:
¿Estás libre mañana por la tarde?

Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be a little bit more formal and say:
¿Está (usted) libre mañana por la tarde?
  


OUR TIP

You DO NOT need be concerned about the degree of formality in the question you are asked. Whether the other person uses the more/ less formal question is irrelevant to your choice of answer. Your answer depends only on whether you want to say that you are:
  • Free
  • Not Free

Here are a couple of examples which deal with those two basic possibilities:
  • Sí, estoy libre mañana por la tarde (yes, I am free tomorrow afternoon);
  • Mañana por la tarde no estoy libre, estoy ocupado (no,  tomorrow afternoon I am not free, I am busy);

Now you should practice answering the question:
¿Estás libre mañana por la tarde?

This is another Free online Spanish lesson from Love-Spanish.com. We conduct lessons online on this and many other topics using the latest video conferencing facilities. Online lessons are the ideal way to improve listening and speaking skills. For more details on our lessons online and how to book them, please visit:

© Copyright 2011 Love-Spanish.com. by JM González. All Rights Reserved