Spanish idiom: Parecerse a alguien


In Spanish ‘Parecerse a alguien’ means to look like or take after someone. For example:

Se parece al abuelo – he takes after his grandfather.

Se parecen mucho – they look very similar.

Es muy inteligente, se parece a su madre – she’s very intelligent, she’s like her mother.

Son hermanas pero no se parecen mucho – they’re brothers but they don’t look alike.

You can also use ‘parecerse’ with objects:

No tenemos destornillador ni cosa que se parezca – we don’t have a screwdriver or anything like it.

¿En qué se parecen estos dos objetos? – what’s the similarity between these two objects?/ In what way are these two objects alike?

Adiós 🙂

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Beginner’s lesson nineteen: El Futuro


In Spanish, there are two ways of forming the future tense. The first involves adding endings to the verb, and corresponds to ‘I will do’ or ‘I will go’ etc. in English.

The second way uses the verb ‘ir’ (to go), ‘a’ (to) and the infinitive of the verb to make something a lot like ‘I’m going to do’ or ‘I’m going to go’.

To talk about the future the first way, the following endings are added to the end of the infinitive verb for each pronoun:

Yo  – é

Tú  – ás

Él/Ella – á

Nosotros/Nosotras – emos

Vosotros/Vosotras – éis

Ellos/Ellas – án

However, there are some irregular verbs that change slightly before the endings are added on, for example:

Hacer ( to do) – Haré (I will do)

Querer (to want) – Querré ( I will want)

Venir (to come) – Vendré ( I will come)

Tener (to have) – Tendré (I will have)

Poner ( to put) – Pondré (I will put)

Valer ( to be worth) – Valdrá ( It will be worth)

Poder (to be able to) – Podré (I will be able to)

Caber ( to fit in) – Cabrá ( It will fit in)

Haber ( to have/exist) – Habrá ( There will be)

Saber ( to know) – Sabré ( I will know)

Decir ( to say/tell) – Diré ( I will say)

 

The second way to make the future tense is slightly easier and involves conjugating the verb ‘ir’ in the present tense:

Yo voy

Tú vas

Él/Ella va

Nosotros/Nosotras vamos

Vosotros/Vosotras vais

Ellos/Ellas van

The Preposition ‘a’ (to) and the infinitive go after this:

Voy a hacer – I’m going to do.

 

Some example sentences:

Vamos a hacerlo más tarde – We’re gonna do it later.

Voy a decírselo – I’m going to tell him.

Podrás hablar español muy pronto – You’ll be able to speak Spanish very soon.

Jugarás para el equipo nacional – You’ll play for the national team.

Podremos ir mañana – We’ll be able to go tomorrow.

Hope that made sense 🙂

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Which SRS?


This post is about SRSs or Spaced Repetition Systems. This work like traditional flashcard systems but allow you to rate how well you remember each card and then works out how soon you will need to see that card again in order to improve. The main ones are:

Anki

User interface: good.

Mobile app: yes.

Works offline: yes.

Price: computer version free, mobile app £17.99 (!).

Supports audio: yes.

Allows cloze deletion (where you can past a sentence into the question side of a card and highlight a word and the program makes in into a ‘guess the missing word’ kind of game with the full sentence on the back): yes.

 

Repetitions

User interface: very good.

Mobile app: yes.

Works offline: yes.

Price: computer version free, mobile app either free (ads) or £2.99 (no ads).

Supports audio: the option’s there, it just doesn’t seem to work.

Allows cloze deletion: no.

 

Mnemosyne

User interface: not that good.

Mobile app: no.

Works offline: yes.

Price: basic version free, newer versions can be quite expensive.

Supports audio: no.

Allows cloze deletion: yes.

 

There are others such as Supermemo, Fullrecall, jMemorize, Expemo and Surusu which I didn’t include due to not having any experience with these. At the moment I use repetitions and anki equally. I have my basic sentence and question cards in repetitions and I have cloze deletion cards and music cards (where I put a clip of audio, eg. a song or a bit of a podcast or film as the question and then a transcription as the answer) in anki. I use the mobile app of repetitions whenever I have a spare minute, it’s particularly useful to kill time on buses 🙂 An example card looks like this:

Question: Las padres de mi madre son….

Answer: Mis abuelos.

Adiós 🙂

 

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Beginner’s lesson eighteen: The Past in Spanish


There are roughly three main ways of forming the past tense in Spanish. The first one is called the preterite (el pretérito) and corresponds roughly to ‘I did’ in English:

Hice mis deberes – I did my homework

Cerró la puerta – He closed the door

¿Qué hiciste? – What did you do?

Aprendí a hablar Español – I learnt to speak Spanish

The second way is called the imperfect (el imperfecto)and corresponds roughly to ‘I used to do’ or sometimes ‘I was doing’ in English. It generally gives the idea of ongoing actions:

Hacía mis deberes cada día – I used to do my homework every day

Cogíamos el tren juntos – We used to take the train together

¿Qué ibas a hacer? – What were you going to do?

Quería ir a Bilbao – I wanted to go to Bilbao

The last way of talking about the past I’m going to cover in this lesson is the perfect (el perfecto). This uses the verb ‘haber’ and corresponds roughly to the English ‘I have done’:

¿Has hecho tus deberes? – Have you done your homework?

Sí, he hecho mis deberes – Yes, I’ve done my homework

¿Ya habéis cenado? – Have you all eaten dinner yet?

Hemos roto el ordenador – We’ve broken the computer

Ha abierto la ventana – He’s opened the window

Han perdido al perro – They’ve lost the dog

That’s all for now, adiós 🙂

 

 

 

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Darse Cuenta


‘Darse cuenta’ translates approximately into English as ‘to realize’ or ‘to notice’. Literally, it means ‘to give yourself account’. Some examples:

Me di cuenta de que hacía sol – I realized it was sunny

Ella se dio cuenta de que había llegado él – She noticed that he had arrived

No es muy fácil darse cuenta del tiempo que ha pasado – It’s not easy to see how much time has passed

¡¿Cuándo te vas a dar cuenta de que te amo?! – When are you going to realize that I love you?!

Adiós 🙂

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Dónde Vs Adónde


In Spanish, these are the two words for where. ¿Dónde? is asking where something or someone is, whereas ¿Adónde? asks where something or someone is going.

¿Adónde vamos? – Where are we going?

El lugar adonde voy – The place that I am going to

¿Dónde estás? – Where are you?

El bolso está donde lo dejé – The bag is where I left it

Buena Suerte 🙂

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Beginner’s lesson seventeen: Ser y Estar


The verbs ser and estar both mean ‘to be’. However in Spanish there are to words with different uses. In the present tense these verbs look like this:

Ser

soy – I am

eres – you are

es – he/she is

somos – we are

sois – you (plural) are

son – they are

Estar

estoy – I am

estás – you are

está – he/she is

estamos – we are

estáis – you (plural) are

están – they are

Roughly, ser is used for permanent things and estar for temporary things, although this is not a great rule and the best way to learn to use these verbs is just to see lots of examples of them, which you will do if you immerse yourself in Spanish.

Some examples:

Soy Carmen – I’m Carmen ( permanent)

Soy una mujer – I’m a women ( permanent)

Es mío – It’s mine (permanent)

Estoy cansado (male)/ cansada (female) – I’m tired (temporary)

Estoy feliz – I’m happy (temporary)

Basically ser is used when describing someone or something and estar is used for temporary states such as tiredness, happiness or sadness.

Another main usage of estar is location:

Estoy en España – I’m in Spain

¿Estás con María? – Are you with Maria?

Están en la cocina – They’re in the kitchen

That doesn’t cover all of the uses, but it’ll be easier to learn through example than explanation, this lesson is just supposed to introduce the two verbs.

Here are some more example sentences:

¿De dónde eres? – where are you from?

¿Cómo estás? – how are you?

Es para mi hijo – it’s for my son

Están en huelga – they’re on strike

Soy actriz – I’m an actress (in Spanish the ‘an’ is not needed)

Somos ocho – There are eight of us

Buena suerte 🙂

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