Category Archives: Learn to Speak Spanish

Tips and tricks for studying Spanish. Learn some basic Spanish words, phrases and grammar that may help you in a Spanish conversation.

How Humans Learn Language – Can Adults Become Bilingual?

The simple answer to that question would be yes, of course they can! However, it’s slightly more difficult for an adult to learn a second language than it is for a child, and that’s because of the way the human brain works.

Linguists have suggested that humans have a ‘Critical Period’ in the early stages of their life, in which they are more open to environmental stimuli. In terms of language, the critical period spans from birth to around seven years old: in this phase of life, the brain is more easily moulded, and that is why children learn so fast. Because of this, children can learn two languages, from birth and never really confuse the two.

Past the age of seven, however, humans lose the ability to learn in the same way. Adults can still learn a new language, it just takes a little more work. There are many theories about the way children learn their first language, and we can actually apply these theories and techniques to ourselves when learning a second language.

First is the behaviourist approach. This idea states that children acquire new language by copying the adults around them. In the case of the adult learner, it is important to be around native speakers of the language, and to be in contact with native forms of the language. Let’s take Spanish, for example, watching TV shows in your target language or finding an online chat forum with native speakers will help you to progress and improve your Spanish vocabulary, as you can listen to how the language and the Spanish words are used and imitate certain sentence formations or phrases –particularly useful when learning idioms and metaphors. Language learning via immersion (i.e. moving to a country that speaks it) is one of the quickest ways to learn a language, albeit one of the scariest.

Similarly, other linguists have suggested that children need contact with a “more knowledgeable other,” i.e. somebody who is above the level of speaking you are at who can help to push you into the next phase of learning. A teacher is best here, but any contact with native speakers is good practice.

Studies have shown that grammatical development is something that takes place through usage of the language and making mistakes along the way. For children, grammar is an extremely hard concept to grasp, and for this reason, science has proven that adults can out-perform children at learning language when it comes to this area. Short-term, adults can pick up grammar much quicker, because we have a basic understanding of it in our own language, and can adapt that knowledge to apply to something new. So, adults aren’t completely disadvantaged when it comes to learning a second language! In fact, the only area where adults are more hindered is pronunciation, because certain languages have sounds that we don’t possess in our own.

To fully answer the title question, adults can most definitely become fluently bilingual. All it takes is a willingness to put in effort, and enough nerve to talk to other speakers. Be confident! We might not have a child-like neuroplasticity, but don’t let that put you off. It’s never too late to start learning.

Spanish grammar: Subjunctive vs Indicative

One thing that annoys us all about the Spanish language is that it wants to ruin our dreams. I am kidding, of course. However, if there is one thing thing that is certain is that Spaniards are really specific about what is real and what is not. This is kind of annoying for us dreamers, because we have to think twice. They are so specific that they even created a new mood, the subjunctive in order to tell hypothesis apart from reality. Arm yourself with a pen, a piece of paper, and some patience and let’s start.

The indicative mood is usually applied when talking about things that are certain, such as facts, events, object descriptions, and locations. Easy? What if I tell you that this certain things should be certain from the speaker point o view? Yeah, that is the key. Indicative is for assertions and assumption.

On the other hand, we have the subjunctive mood, which is used when talking about subjective things, possibilities, things that are not certain. We use the subjunctive when we talk about doubts, wishes, probabilities, and recommendations. In other words, anything different to assertions and assumptions.

When you say I like you singing, you are not saying that the other person is singing, you are just saying you like it. So in Spanish like goes in indicative and singing in subjunctive:

Me gusta que cantes

Fortunately, most sentences that use the subjunctive mood have three common features:

  1. Two subjects

The first clue that you are dealing with the subjunctive mood is the fact that there are two subjects. Like two people? Well, to be more specific, you have a subject in the main clause, and another in the subordinate clause. Usually, the person in the main clause wants the person from the subordinate clause to do something. If it is not as clear, maybe some examples will help.

Ana quiere que su madre le deje ir a la fiesta de su amiga. (Ana wants her mother to let her go to her friend’s party)

Pablo le pide a Juan que le escriba un mensaje. ( Pablo asks Juan to write him a message)

  1. Two verbs

As you can see, these sentences have two verbs, one in the main clause and one in the subordinate clause. The verb in the main clause is usually something that triggers the verb in the subordinate cause. In the two examples above, you can see that the second verb is related to the first one, or the first verb depends on the second one. I mean, for Ana to go to the party, her mother has to allow her to do so. Also, for Pablo to have the message, he needs Juan to write it.

  1. A relative pronoun

The majority of subjunctive sentences include a relative pronoun, such as “que” or “quien”, which usually links the main clause (indicative mood) with the secondary clause (subjunctive mood). If you look at the two examples that I presented you with, after the main clause: Ana quiere, we have the relative pronoun “que” which tells us that we need to use the subjunctive mood. The same happens in the second sentence, where we have the main clause Pablo le pide a Juan. The relative pronoun “que” is a sign that we must use the subjunctive mood.

Now that you know what the main characteristics of a sentence that needs the subjunctive mood are, you are one step closer to not mixing them up. Stay tuned, because there might be another post about the subjunctive mood soon.

 

Are e-books killing paperback editions?

We are witnessing more and more readers nowadays who are shifting towards electronic devices. Likewise, real bookshops are becoming replaced by online digital libraries. Is this an ongoing process where the software takes place over the good old book? Or maybe we shall have more libraries and shelves prettily arranged again?

In any case, there seem to be advantages and disadvantage of both ways.

The spread of digital technology has changed many habits making life easier for the consumers. Booklovers are among those who have experienced the great impact of the digital era.

Once we were used to enjoying the fun of strolling through bookstores to find the favoured title and would spend hours going over the covers, turning the pages, looking for the publishers and ultimately affording only a few editions to pay for paperback or even more for a hardcover. Of course, if we are lucky, we may find the book we are looking for as a used copy which is less expensive.

Also, lending and borrowing is always a convenient way for printed books, not to speak of the leisure of spending the day in a library, surrounded by the tranquility of the area.

Most of all, many of us are proud showing visitors to our homes the sacred place where we keep the colourful front pages with some amazing titles. In particular if we are the owners of some old books in their first edition.

On the other hand, when it comes to digital versions we have the advantage of carrying around thousands of pages on one device. Kindles have become frequently seen in almost every place, from stations to cafes.

We do not spend much time going to get a book, we find it more comfortable to just sit on the computer and order it in a few minutes. There is also an access to a lot of other information this way as we are able to see recommended links with references as well as the option of having other media in an e-book like sounds or videos. For example, if you read a scientific book and you come up with a new word, you may have a hyperlink directing you to a dictionary.

Moreover, you can easily search a passage by using various functions digital editions offer. One of them is the `put my finger` which helps you to scroll over the text and flip back to a certain place.

Above all, there are a number of possibilities to get a virtual version of a book as there are many websites offering free download of books in PDF formats. This may refer to copyright protection and the allowance of literary works. Copyright may have a limited time of duration and the author may agree to give permission their book to enter the public domain. When this happens the book is available on the Internet and can be downloaded.

No matter which opportunity people choose, we can say as long as they read it does not matter how they do it. Though the question is how much we really absorb of what we have read. It has been a long enough time to sum up the results and bring some conclusions. Until then, it is a choice of preference whether we use the paper or an e-reader.

In any case, this is an interesting topic to talk about in a Spanish conversation class.

B vs V and other similar errors in Spanish

Choosing bettween B and V in Spanish
Initiales BB” (CC BY 2.0) by Mon Œil

If there is one problem that even Spaniards have is with the letters b and v. What is so difficult about these two? Well, they are pronounced almost the same. This is why some confusions appear. In addition, on the keyboard, they are one next to the other. Even though you might be able to use this excuse when typing, it is better to learn when to use which letter. Arm yourself with a pen and a piece of paper, and let’s get started.

We use the letter b in Spanish for:

  1. The words that come from other languages (latin, arabic) and in their original language are written with either b or p. Here are some examples: bien, bueno, biblia, biblioteca, along with words that start with bi-( from the number two): bipolar, bigamia.
  2. Words that start with the syllables: bu-, bur-, and bus-, such as: búsqueda, burla, búho.
  3. The words that end in: -bundo, -bunda, and -bilidad, such as: moribundo, errabunda, There is an exception: movilidad.
  4. All the tenses of the verbs whose infinitives end in: -aber, such as haber, saber, and caber, in -bir, such as escribir, recibir, and in -buir, such as The only exceptions are: hervir, servir, and vivir, along with their compounds.
  5. The verb endings: -ba, -bas, -bamos, -bais, and -ban of the imperfect tense of the indicative mood which correspond to the verbs of the first conjugation, such as cantaba, bailabas, saltábamos, fumaban.
  6. The imperfect verb tense o the verb ir: iba, ibas, iba, íbamos, ibais, iban.

We use the letter v in Spanish for:

  1. Compound nouns formed with the prefix: vice- (which indicates that the person can do this instead of the other). Examples of such words include: vicepresidente, vicealmirante. Other prefixes that indicate the use of the letter v are: villa-, villar-. These are prefixes that indicate geographical places, such as: Villafranca, Villarcayo. Other geographic prefixes include: valle-, vall-, or val-. Examples of such words are: Valparaíso, Valladolid.
  2. The words that start with the syllables: ad, cla, di, pri and are followed by the “v” sound. Such words include: adverbio, clave, diversidad, privilegio. There is an exception: the noun
  3. The words that end in: -viro, vira, -voro, -vora. Examples of such words include: Elvira, carnívoro. As an exception, we have the word víbora.
  4. The words that have the following endings: -ava, -ave, -avo, -eva, -eve, -iva, -ivo. Examples include: suave, nueva, guava, viva. The exception for this rule is the word árabe.

So now you know some of the main ways in which you can learn to distinguish the letter v from the letter b when writing in Spanish. Here are some more tips to help you not mix the two up. Oh, and remember. If you ever happen to type b instead of v, just use the excuse that they are one next to the other on the keyboard. It is the best temporary solution.

Though if you don’t want to rely in excuses, you can contact me to proofread your texts!

The easy way to ser, estar, haber

The Spanish language sometimes likes to over complicate things. One example of such thing is the fact that there are three words to express the same thing: “to be”. If that is not over complicating your existence, then I do not know what is. It looks like they could not simply decide on one simple verb and that kind of sucks. Natives do not seem to mind it that much though. It is the people who are learning Spanish that have major problems with it.

Three verbs that express the same thing means that you can use any one of them whenever you want to, right? Wrong! Unfortunately, the three verbs: ser, estar, haber are used for different things. This confuses many people who want to and are learning Spanish. However, there is no need to worry. This blog post is here to help. Enough rambling, let’s cut to the chase.

  1. SER

The first verb is probably the most common verb in the Spanish language and also the first verb that people learn. It is usually used for:

introducing yourself:

Example: Yo soy María. (= I am Maria)

permanent characteristic ( color, shape, size):

Examples: El cielo es azul. (= The sky is blue)

           El cuadro es redondo. (= The painting is round)

Los pantalones son grandes. (= The pants are big)

where and when something takes place:

Examples: El evento será en Madrid. (= The event will take place in Madrid)

  El festival será en abril. (= The festival will take place in April)

indicating the owner:

Example: La casa es suya. (= The house is his/hers)

indicating the materials that something is made of:

Example: La pulsera es de oro. (= The bracelet is made of gold)

-indicating price:

Example: La chaqueta es 50 euros. (= The jacket is 50 euros)

There is a simple trick to determine whether we are going to use the verb “ser” as opposed to the verb “estar”. Is it permanent? If the answer is yes, then we use the verb “ser”, if not, then we use the verb “estar”. Seems simple, right?

  1. ESTAR

The second verb on the list is also one of the most common verbs in the Spanish language. It is usually used for:

temporary characteristics (it might surprise you, but marriage is a temporary characteristic also, what a pessimistic view!):

Examples: El chico está enfermo.(= The boy is sick)

Los dos están casados. (= The two are married)

location

Example: La biblioteca está en la calle principal. (= The library is on the main street)

There is a simple trick to determine whether we are going to use the verb “estar” as opposed to the verb “haber” , it is the question: “Do we know it?”. If the answer is yes, then we use the verb “estar”.

  1. HABER

Haber is mostly used for determining the location of unknown places or persons.

Example: Hay un banco por aquí. (= There is a bank around here) as opposed to El banco está aquí. (= That certain bank is here).

Now that you know the difference between these verbs, it’s time to use them!

How to reduce your cover letter to 350 words

Tips to study Spanish
Studying flickr photo shared by mer chau under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Cover letters are a great way to promote skills in front of the prospective employer. Though, today you need to make some alterations to what is considered as a good cover letter.

The most important one is that you should not keep it too long. Cover letters used to be around 675 words but nowadays they are going down to 350. Employer have less time to focus on long and time consuming activities like reading about someone`s achievements.

The main aim of the short cover letter remains the same- to show how you could contribute to the organization and why you are the right person to do so. But you should not repeat the things you have written in your CV – all your formal competence and your experience with former employers is already in your CV. That is where recruiters look for this type of information, because the CV is very clear and schematic.

The same for references – if you have a referee`s name reference on your CV, don’t mention them in the cover letter. It makes you look insecure – as if you are leaning too much on somebody else.

About the outlook-in the top right corner, you should have your name, address, telephone number and email address.

Try to find out who is doing the recruiting –do some Internet research. It is better to address the person by name. It makes it more personal. For example, write something like “To Ms. Alex Jenkins. Add the job title like “Director or HR Manager. Then put the name of the organization or company. Below it, write in bold letters “Application for the position”).

You need shorter paragraphs and more space between the lines. Though old-fashioned, Times New Roman is usually recommended. Your cover letter needs to be “airy”, and it shouldn’t look packed.

Don’t use additional things to make sentences more complex like “I would like to highlight the key reasons why I am so keen to be considered and how I can contribute to your company.” Just do it, don’t announce that you’re going to do it. That’s a bit like what good teachers give students in class: they don’t tell students what they’re going to tell them – they simply tell them.

In fact, the cover letter should be so short, clear and to the point and concise that the recipient would be able to read it in about ten seconds.

Once you have done this, proof-read it carefully to make changes if necessary. Do not feel insecure- it is the same job as writing the classic cover letter. Imagine this is a zip version of it.

This may sound overwhelming, but it is the reality of today’s market, and it’s the way recruiters work. Be catchy – grasp their attention but don’t overwhelm them with too much unnecessary information.

Next time you apply for something, give it a try-at least you will know that your letter was read by someone.

If you need to have your cover letter in Spanish proofread, contact me.

Spanish phrases for tourists

Spanish beach  Spanish phrases for tourists
“Nerja .. Andalucia” flickr photo by Nick Kenrick.. shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

If you’re spending a few weeks in Spain for your holidays you probably don’t want to bother becoming a fluent Spanish speaker. However, a few key phrases can go a long way, especially if you’re not planning to spend your trip in an all-inclusive resort. Not only does it make getting what you want easier, a lot of people appreciate it when foreigners take the time to learn a few basic phrases so it can often make you friends.

  1. Introductions

Let’s start with the basics:

Good day Buen día

Hello, my name is… Hola, me llamo…

What’s your name? ¿Cómo te llamas? (informal) or ¿Cómo se llama? (formal)

How are you doing? ¿Cómo estás? (informal) or ¿Cómo está? (formal)

I’m well, thank you – Estoy bien, gracias.

Goodbye   Adiós

In most parts of the Spanish-speaking world, strangers should be addressed using the formal version to be polite. However, it’s worth noting that in Spain, Argentina and some parts of Uruguay you can use the informal right away. Actually, being honest, it seems the overall trend is going towards the more informal versions.

  1. Ordering Food

A table for two, please Una mesa por dos, por favor.

What is this? ¿Qué es esot?

I am a vegetarian Soy vegetariano(a)

When the waiter asks you what you would like to drink, or something along the lines of ¿Algo de beber? or ¿Qué van a tomar?

To drink, I’ll have a… Para beber quiero…

When the waiter asks you what you would like to eat, or something along the lines of ¿Qué desean ustedes?

I would like the… Me gustaría el/la/los/las…

Could you bring me some… Me trae un/una/unos/unas…

No, thank you.  No, gracias.

Yes, please. Sí, por favor.

To make changes to your order, use sin or con for without or with. And, of course, don’t forget to thank your waiters with muchas gracias, as you would in English.

  1. Asking for Directions

In case you ever find yourself without your phone in a chaotic city like Mexico City, Barcelona, or Buenos Aires, here are a few simple questions to help you figure out where you are and where you need to be going.

Where are we? ¿Dónde estamos?

What street is this? ¿Qué calle es esta?

Excuse me, where is…? Disculpe, ¿dónde está el/la/los/las…?

Where is the bus stop? ¿Dónde está la parada del autobús?

Is it near? ¿Está cerca?

Now for the answers:

Go straight. Sigue derecho.

Turn left Gire a la izquierda.

Turn right Gire a la derecha.

Take me to this address, please. Lléveme a esta dirección, por favor.

Stop here, please. – Deténgase aquí, por favor.

How much is the fare? à Cuánto es la tarifa?

Spanish speakers have a wide variety of dialects and accents. So, while you may find it difficult to understand the questions being put to you, if you answer using standard Spanish you will most likely still be understood. However, pay attention to your pronunciation and intonation as that can confuse a local with little to no experience listening to foreigners speak.

Useful Phrases for Writing a Letter in Spanish

Types of writing styles

The emergence of digital technology has radically changed the way we get in contact by writing. Whether you need to get in touch with a friend, a close family member or a business partner the old fashioned time of writing letters by snail mail has been replaced by more convenient emails, text messages and social media. Although the necessity of letter writing is unchangeable, its form has transitioned almost entirely online. However, the distinction between formal and informal writing still remains as important since it represents the level of our literacy skills.

Informal letters even in the virtual world are more or less the same as those we used to write on paper. Writing to people with whom we are close does not require formality. On the contrary, the more natural they sound the more obvious is the friendly tone. On the other hand, when it comes to formal writing, we often feel uneasiness about the content, the style and the tone of the letter we need to start. Before we begin, we need to know the reason why we are writing. What type of letter do we need to write? Do we know the person we are writing to? Is it about being polite or a bit strict?

Formal letters

The content of formal letters depends on the reason we need to write to someone. We may be looking for information, forward an invitation, ask for a favour or complain on something, the reasons are numerous. Regardless what the reason is, we should keep in mind that the letter must present formality and politeness. All formal letters have a general frame of the content, which means an opening sentence(s), the body of the letter and the closing sentence(s).

The format of formal letters

  • Your address in the top right corner-you may include your phone number. The date goes right below this part.
  • Start with salutation. If you know the person you refer to him/her as “Estimado señor” /”Muy señor mío” if you refer to a male or  “Muy señora mía” if you address a female.
  • The opening lines of the letter should indicate the reason of your writing so that the receiver has a clear idea what it is about. For example:

-Le escribo para + INFINITIVO

-El motivo de mi carta es + INFINITIVO

-Le envío la presente carta para + INFINITIVO

-Me pongo en contacto con usted para + INFINITIVO

  • A positive introduction may be “Me complace informarle de que…” or “Es para mi un placer…”
  • If you write a letter of complaint you can say “Quiero expresar mi malestar por… ” / “Considero inaceptable”. Or you may wish to send a thank-you letter. In that case you express your intention like “Le estoy muy agradecido por + INFINITIVO / HABER + participio”.  “Quiero expresar mi agradecimiento por…”  “Quedo, por todo ello, muy agradecido /-a.….” .

In an inquery letter when you need information you may say: “Le escribo para pedirle…” or “Le agradecería mucho que + IMPERFECTO DE SUBJUNTIVO”.

  • The body of the letter should contain more information on the subject. This is where you expand your writing. Pay attention to your grammar and spelling rules. Your letter should be well presented and sound respectful even you if you need to complain. Keep it short and stick to the point of your writing.
  • End the letter with an expression such as “Sincerely yours” or “Best wishes” or in Spanish “Un cordial saludo” which is also acceptable nowadays. Sign with your full name and surname at the end.
  • Make sure your letter has short and clear paragraphs.

By no means, the digital era has made correspondence much easier in terms of time and efficiency. Nevertheless, the composition is a subject to the efficacy  and literacy of the sender.

Do you need to write to your clients in Spanish? Hire me to proofread them before you send them.

Love phrases in Spanish

freelance cooperation to increase your services
“Lemur giving hands” flickr photo shared by Tambako the Jaguar under a Creative Commons ( BY-ND ) license

It is Valentine´s Day, so what better way to express your feelings for your loved one than in the language of love: Spanish. Below are some Spanish love phrases from famous Spanish and Latin American authors that will make your crush fall for you or your loved one be even more in love with you.

Pablo Neruda, a poet from Chile and the winner of the 1971 Nobel Prize for Literature gives us a perfect type of phrase: “En un beso, sabrás todo lo que he callado”, which means: in one kiss, you will know all I have not said.

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, a post romanticist poet and writer, is considered to be one of the most read Spanish authors after Cervantes. Here is one his quotes that is guaranteed to make your crush fall for you: “El alma que hablar puede con los ojos, también puede besar con la mirada” and its translated version would sound something like: the soul that can speak with its eyes, can also kiss with a look.

Luís de Góngora was a Spanish poet whose poems were mostly written in the Baroque style. Here is one of his most romantic phrases:“A batallas de amor, campos de plumas”, which translates into: In the fight for love, a soft playing field.

If you are looking for something more on the humorous side, then a quote from Enrique Jardiel Poncela might just be the right thing for you. The Spanish novelist and playwright adopted a style based mostly on humor. Here is one of his love quotes: “El amor es como la salsa mayonesa: cuando se corta, hay que tirarlo y empezar otro nuevo”, its translation being: Love is like mayonaisse: when it separates, you’ve got to throw it away and start again.

José Ortega y Gasset a Spanish philosopher and essayist leaves us with this interesting insight about love: “Con la moral corregimos los errores de nuestros instintos y con el amor corregimos los errores de nuestra moral”, which means: With morality we correct the mistakes of our instincts, and with love we correct the mistakes of our morals.

This list could not be complete without a quote from the most renowned author from Spain, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, most famous for his worldwide best seller novel: ¨Don Quijote de la Mancha¨. Here is the quote: ¨El amor es invisible y entra y sale por donde quiere, sin que nadie le pida cuenta de sus hechos¨, its translation is: Love is invisible and comes and goes where it wants, without anyone asking about it.

If saying te quiero seems to no longer be enough to express your love, then maybe one of the phrases above will do the trick. There are many styles to choose from (funny, philosophical, romantic) and the options expand beyond these mentioned in this article. Here are some other Spanish phrases that you might find useful for any occasion, not just Valentine´s Day.

How to make plurals in Spanish

For English speakers, Spanish plurals aren’t too bad. Like in English, you generally just add an “s” to the end. Unfortunately, nothing is ever quite that simple. As always, there are a few differences. But don’t worry – this post will walk you through the whole process.

  1. Forming Basic Plural Nouns

Let’s get a few things clear first. A noun, as you may know, is the person, place, or thing being talked about. A plural noun is when there is more than one person, place, or thing. In English, when we want to show that we’re talking about more than one noun we add an “s” to the end of it:

  • I have a dog. 
  • I have three dogs.

For Spanish nouns that end in vowels, it’s exactly the same:

  • Tengo un perro.
  • Tengo tres perros.

And it doesn’t matter if the noun is feminine or masculine:

  • Juan tiene una manzana.
  • Juan tiene cuatro manzanas.

However, for nouns that don’t end in vowels, it’s a little different.

  1. Nouns That End with Consonants

For nouns that end with consonants, like televisión or avión, we need something a little different. Try saying “televisions” with a Spanish accent. Pretty hard, right? It just sounds like English. That’s because in Spanish nouns that end with consonants need an “es” at the end.

  • Tengo una televisión.
  • Tengo unas televisiones.

Don’t forget that the accent in television gets taken off when it becomes plural!

  1. Exceptions

There are no rules without exceptions, especially in grammar. Luckily, there’s only one exception to plural nouns in Spanish: nouns that end with “z,” like la voz or el lápiz. In the plural they’re spelled with a “c”:

  • la voz
  • las voces

 

  • el lápiz
  • los lápices

Luckily, lapis keeps its accent, so that’s one less thing to worry about. Bu the next question is: what about that el and la?

  1. Pluralising Articles and Adjectives

This is where things get a little trickier. Unlike English nouns, in Spanish not only does the noun become plural, but so do its article and its adjective, if it has them. If you’re not sure what an article is, see my post on articles. In Spanish, the definite articles are el for masculine nouns and la feminine nouns. In the plural they look like this:

  • Mira al perro.  (al comes from a + el)
  • Mira los perros.

 

  • Mira la televisión.
  • Mira las televisiones.

Indefinite articles in Spanish are uno for the masculine and una for the feminine.

  • Quiero un libro
  • Quiero unos libros.

 

  • Quiero una manzana.
  • Quiero unas manzanas.

Often, however, words come with descriptions: a strong drink or a green apple. In Spanish, these need to be pluralised to match the noun they describe:

  • Quiero un libro bueno.
  • Quiero unos libros buenos.

 

  • Quiero una manzana verde.
  • Quiero unas manzanas verdes.

This can get tricky when you have an adjective that needs to be changed for gender and number like rojo, or “red.”

  • Busco un coche rojo.
  • Busco unos coches rojos.

 

  • Quiero la manzana roja.
  • Quiero las manzanas rojas.

That said, Spanish plurals really aren’t too scary. Remembering to match the adjective to the noun might take a while but, with a bit of practice, it will soon come naturally!

Ready for a Spanish practice?