Adventures to have and places to see

Spanish

If you stop and think about how many words you actually use in daily language, you might be surprised just how few are needed. You may also realize that we tend to speak in phrases rather than proper grammar. We leave a lot of words out of the conversation when it is obvious what we mean. For example, you could say “I am going to the grocery store now”, or you might just say “goinq to the store”. Spanish is very much like this, with the addition of feminine/masculine and past/present/future tenses. Learning some keywords and phrases/expressions in Spanish will help you feel more comfortable in your environment.

We have decided to try and learn basic Cuban Spanish, and have been enjoying interactive video lessons with Julio at Awesome Cuba Tours! If you want to learn ‘Cuban Spanish’, give him a try!

Our Pronunciation Methodology:

  • If you see a capital letter, say that letter just like you would when saying it in the alphabet. (E would be ee).
  • ss sounds like gross.
  • ew is like blue.
  • V‘s are pronounced as B‘s in Spanish, but it is a subtle/soft-sounding B. H‘s are usually silent. Havana is pronounced as ah-bana.
  • In Spanish words that start with des almost always mean the opposite of the subject. So descansado means rested, which is the opposite of cansado which means tired. The same general rule can be applied with un.

Topics: Actions, Clothing, Common Words, Confirmation Statements, First Person (I or Me), Food, Greetings & Farewells , Phrases, Places, Purchasing, Second Person (You), Sentence construction, Starting Sentences, Third Person (he/she/they), Time, W5’s, Weather

First Person (I or Me)
I / yo [yoh ]
I / me [me ]
I also believe / Creó también [krE-O tam-B-N ]
I am / estoy [A-stoy ]
I don’t know / no se [noh say ]
I don’t want it / no lo quiero [noh low key-air-O ]
I don’t understand / No entiendo [noh N-T-N-dough ]
I have / tengo [ten-go ]
I know / se [say ]
I like / Me gusta [me goo-stah ]
I liked / Me gustó [me goo-stow ]
I think / creo [krE-O ]
I want / quiero [key-air-O ]
I would like / me gustaría [me goo-star-E-ah ]
I would like / desearía [day-say-ree-ah ]
I’d love to / me encantaría [me N-can-tar-E-ah ]
let’s go / vamo [bah-mO ]
Let’s see / vamo a ver [bah-mO ah bear ]
our / nuestros [new-A-strOss ]
say / decir [dA-seer ]
us / nos [noh-s ]
we / nosotros [noh-so-trOss ]
we are / ya estamos [yah A-stah-mohs ]
we are / estamos [A-stah-mohs ]
we can / podamos [pod-ah-mOss ]
we go / vamos [bah-mOs ]
we have / hemos [A-mOss ]
we have / tenemos [Ten-M-Os ]
we have no plans / no tenemos planes [noh Ten-M-Os plan-ehs ]
We’ll see / vamos a ver [bah-mOs ah bear ]

Second Person (You)
are (you are) / eres [air-rays ]
she/the (feminine) / la [lah ]
you / te [tay ]
you / [two ]
you (formal) / usted [oo-sted ]
you are / usted está [oo-sted A-stah ]
you have / tienes [T-N-ays ]

Third Person (he/she/they)
he has (EL prefix) / el tiene [L T-N-A ]
he/the masculine) / el [L ]
she has (ELLA prefix) / ella tiene [L-la T-N-A ]
she/the (feminine) / ella [L-la ]
they (feminine) / ellas [L-lass ]
they (masculine) / ellos [L-yO-ss ]
they have / tienen [T-N-N ]

Confirmation Statements
always / siempre [see-M-prA ]
Expression of gratitude/admiration / ohh que bonito [O K boh-nee-toe ]
many thanks / muchísimas gracias [moo-chE-C-mass gra-C-S ]
no / no [noh ]
no problem / No hay problema [noh A pro-bleh-mah ]
OK / ok [O-K ]
ok / vale [bah-lay ]
OK, let’s go / bueno vamos [bway-nO bah-mOs ]
Right on / así mismo [ah-C me-smO ]
sure / claro [clar-O ]
thank you / gracias [gra-C-S ]
well of couse/of course / pues claro [p-way-S clar-O ]
yes / si [see ]

W5’s
how / cómo [koh-moh ]
what / qué [K ]
what do you know/what have you known/asking for information / que has sabido [K has sabido ]
when / cuándo [kew-on-dough ]
where / dónde [dawn-day ]
who / quién [key-N ]
why / por qué [pour K ]
Why do you ask? / porque pregunta [poor-K pray-goon-tah ]
why not / por qué no [pour K noh ]
Why’s that? / y eso por que [E A-so pour K ]

Sentence construction
already / ya [yah ]
also / también [tam-B-N ]
and / y [E ]
are / está [A-stah ]
because / porque [poor-K ]
between / entre [N-tray ]
for / para [pair-rah ]
for / por [pour ]
happen / pasar [pah-saR ]
has/have / tiene [T-N-A ]
is / es [ace ]
may / puedo [pway-dough ]
maybe / quizás [key-sass ]
on / sobre [sO-brA ]
so / así [ah-C ]
that / eso [A-so ]
the / lo [low ]
then/well / pues [p-way-S ]
there is / hay [A ]
these / estás [A-stahs ]
this or um/ah if starting a sentence / este [S-tay ]
to / a [ah ]
was / estaba [ace-sta-va ]
which / cuál [kew-ahl ]
with / con [con ]

Common Words
beautiful / bonito [boh-nee-toe ]
begin / empezar [M-pay-saR ]
better / mejor [may-hor ]
certain / cierto [see-air-toe ]
finish/end / fin [feen ]
good / bien [B-N ]
greater / mayor [may-your ]
here / aquí [ah-key ]
in/on / en [eeN ]
little / poco [pO-kO ]
lots of / mucho [moo-chO ]
maximum/superior / máximo [max-M-O ]
minimum / mínimo [me-knee-mO ]
not really / realmente no [real-mon-tA noh ]
nothing / nada [nah-dah ]
of / de [day ]
oh / ohh [O ]
pain/trouble / pena [pA-nah ]
problem / problema [pro-bleh-mah ]
purpose / propósito [prO-pO-see-toe ]
question / pregunta [pray-goon-tah ]
regret / arrepentir [ah-ray-pen-teer ]
rested / descansado [day-can-sah-doh ]
same / mismo [me-smO ]
similar / parecido [pair-A-C-dough ]
so many / muchísimas [moo-chE-C-mass ]
the least / lo mínimo [low me-knee-mO ]
tired / cansado [can-sah-doh ]
truth / verdad [bear-dad ]
understand / entiendo [N-T-N-dough ]


Phrases
don’t worry about that / no te preocupes por eso [noh tay pray-awk-U-pehs pour A-so ]
it is worth it/it is worth the effort / vale la pena [bah-lay lah pA-nah ]
the truth is that / la verdad es que [lah bear-dad ace K ]
You are the best / tu eres lo máximo [two air-rays low max-M-O ]
you won’t regret it / no te vas a arrepentir [noh tay vas ah ah-ray-pen-teer ]

Time
afternoon / tardes [tar-days ]
breakfast / desayuno [day-day-oo-no ]
day / día [D-ah ]
days / días [D-ass ]
evening / noches [gnaw-chess ]
fall / otoño [O-toe-knee-yO ]
lunch (feminine) / almuerza [el-mwhere-sah ]
lunch (masculine) / almuerzo [el-mwhere-so ]
next / próximo [prox-E-moh ]
now / ahora [ah-orah ]
really / realmente [real-mon-tA ]
remember / recuerda [ray-kwair-dah ]
soon / pronto [phron-toe ]
spring / primavera [prim-ah-bear-ah ]
summer / verano [ber-ah-no ]
supper / comida [co-me-da ]
then / entonces [N-tawn-say-ss ]
then / luego [lou-egg-O ]
tomorrow / mañana [man-yan-nah ]
until / hasta [ah-stah ]
week / semana [say-man-A ]
weekdays / días entre semana [D-ass N-tray say-man-A ]
weekend / fin de semana [feen day say-man-A ]
winter / invierno [in-be-air-no ]
yesterday / ayer [air ]

Greetings & Farewells
bye / adiós [ah-D-Oss ]
Good afternoon (12pm to 6pm / Buenos tardes [beh-way-nOs tar-days ]
Good day (before 12 noon) / Buenos días [beh-way-nOs D-ass ]
Good evening (after 6pm / Buenos noches [beh-way-nOs gnaw-chess ]
hello / hola [O-la ]
How are you? / Cómo estás [koh-moh A-stahs ]
My name is / Me llamo [me yah-moh ]
Pleased/Nice to meet you / encantado [N-can-ta-dough ]
See you / Nos vemos [noh-s vemos ]
See you later / Hasta luego [ah-stah lou-egg-O ]
What can I do for you? / En qué puedo ayudarle ? [eeN K pway-dough A-U-dar-lay ]
What is your name? / Cómo te llamas [koh-moh tay yah-mass ]

Typical greeting and goodbye:

In Spanish (much like English), it is polite to respond with a similar (or the same) greeting as you are offered. If someone asks “how are you?”, your response would be “Good. How are you?” After the greetings are over, the conversation may begin.’

Mark: Hola! Buenos días! / Hello! Good morning!
Tamara: Hola! Buenos días! / Hello! Good morning!
Mark: Cómo estás? / How are you?
Tamara: Bien! Cómo estás? Good! How are you?
Mark: Bien. / good
Conversation …begins…ends…
Mark: Adiós! Hasta luego / Bye! See you later!
Tamara: Hasta luego! / See you later!

Do not say Hasta la vista! That means I will never see you again, and is quite negative.

Purchasing
buy it / compraré [kom-prayer-A ]
cost / cuesta [K-S-tah ]
dollars / dólares [Dough-lar-rays ]
how much / cuánto [kew-on-toe ]
How much is this? / Cuánto cuesta este? [kew-on-toe K-S-tah S-tay ]
purchase / comprar [kom-prayer ]

a typical purchase might be…

Visitor: Hola! Buenas tardes! / Hello Good afternoon.
Merchant: Buenas tardes! Cómo puedo ayudarte? / Good afternoon! How can I help you?
Visitor: Cuánto cuesta este? / How much is this?
Merchant: Quince dólares / Fifteen dollars.
Visitor: OK. Lo compraré. / OK. I will buy it

Actions
eat / comer [come-air ]
help her / ayudarla [A-U-dar-lah ]
help him / ayudarle [A-U-dar-lay ]
help you / ayudarte [A-U-dar-tay ]
hiking / hiking [hi-king ]
let / dejar [day-aR ]
make / hacer [ah-sear ]
plans / planes [plan-ehs ]
ready / listo [lee-stO ]
travel / viaje [B-ah-A ]
watch / ver [bear ]
work / trabajo [tra-ba-hO ]
would like / gustaría [goo-star-E-ah ]

Places
beach / playa [play-yah ]
Cuba / Cuba [koo-bah ]
Cuban / cubano [koo-ban-O ]
Havana / Habana [ah-ban-ah ]
highway / carretera [car-ray-tare-ah ]
market / mercado [mer-kah-dough ]
Spanish / espanol [A-span-Ol ]

Food
fried / fritas [free-tah-S ]
fries (french fries) / papas fritas [pah-pah free-tah-S ]
potato / papas [pah-pah ]

Clothing
casual / casual [cass-U-L ]
clothes / ropa [row-pa ]
dresses/wasn\’t it? / viste [bis-tA ]
Elegant / elegante [L-eh-ghan-tay ]
sporty / deportiva [day-pour-T-bah ]

Weather
cold (feminine) / fría [free-ah ]
cold (masculine) / frío [frío ]
hot / caliente [cal-lE-N-tA ]
rain / lluvia [U-V-ah ]
rainy (feminine) / lluviosa [U-V-O-sah ]
rainy (masculine) / lluvioso [U-V-O-sO ]
sunny (feminine) / soleada [so-lay-ah-dah ]
sunny (masculine) / soleado [so-lay-ah-doe ]
weather / clima [klE-mah ]
windy (feminine) / ventosa [ben-toe-sah ]
windy (masculine) / ventoso [ben-toe-so ]

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