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Spanish is not a stranger

By Os

Today I’m gonna steal some phrases from a book named:  “Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish”.  It’s a good one, I recommend it 100% to those who want to learn and gain some confidence in Spanish; I hope Margarita Madrigal (the author) doesn’t mind… 

At this moment you know several thousand Spanish words even if you have never seen or heard a Spanish word before.  You are not aware of these words simply because they have not been pointed out to you.  And today I’m gonna show you some of them…

Spanish Pura Vida

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¿Who’s who?

By Os 

This month we are gonna talk about ¿Who’s who?  We are gonna define the Personal Pronouns, just for the record a Personal Pronoun is a word that we use to substitute persons or things when they are the subject of the sentence

For example: 

Marcela eats a lot.  I don’t want to say “Marcela” any more so I can say:  She eats a lot.  “She” is the Personal Pronoun that I used to substitute for “Marcela” (a person). 

The house has two garages.  I don’t want to say “The house” any more so I can say:  She has two garages.  “She” is the Personal Pronoun that I used to substitute for “The house” (a thing). 

I did NOT say It has two garages –not in Spanish-.  In Spanish “The house” is a “she”.  “The house” is not a person (I now that) but “The house” has a gender which is femeninAIn Spanish “The house” is a “she”. 

I know it is hard to swallow but you will get used to this concept soon.  Believe me, there are more important things to worry about… (Like VERBOS for instance). 

Os - Lost in Translation

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Let’s Review…

By Os

This is the octavo-eighth month that I write in a row, so I have decided to do a little “test-review” of some of the stuff we have been reading and learning in SPANISH SUCKS… 

Say 1, 2, 3, en ESPAÑOL…  ¡WOW!  Now say and write the numbers between 0 and 10 en ESPAÑOL.


 ¿Can you do it backwards?


 ¿Can you do the same thing between 20 and 0?


Say and write your telephone number in pairs:

88   Ochenta y ocho             22   Veintidós

29   Veintinueve                    36   Treinta y seis

_________________        _________________

_________________        _________________

Count by hundreds between 0 and 1.000.

¿Can you do it now en ESPAÑOL?  Write the #’s:


There used to be 30 letters (“ch”, “ll” and “rr”) in the Spanish alphabet.  Look at them:

A “a”    B “be”    C “ce”    Ch “che”    D “de”    E “e”    F “efe”    G “ge”    H “hache”    I “i”    J “jota”    K “ka”    L “ele”    Ll “elle”/”doble ele”    M “eme”    N “ene”    Ñ “eñe”    O “o”    P “pe”    Q “cu”    R “ere”    Rr “erre”/”doble ere”    S “ese”    T “te”    U “u”    V “uve”    W “doble uve”    X “equis”    Y “i griega”/”ye”    Z “zeta”

Os - Lost in Translation

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Lots of stuff. Prepare yourself.

By Os

¿Todo bien gente?  ¿Everything is ok people? 

Last month we learned “Los Días de la Semana”, right?  So, I suppose we should learn “Los Meses del Año”-“The Months of the Year” right now: 

ENERO is the only one that doesn´t look very similar to the one in inglés.  Check this out: 

Enero = January * enero, enero, enero, enero.

Febrero = February * febrero, febrero, febrero.

Marzo = March * marzo, marzo, marzo, marzo.

Abril = April * abril, abril, abril, abril, abril, abril.

Mayo = May * mayo, mayo, mayo, mayo.

Junio = June * junio, junio, junio, junio, junio.

Julio = July * julio, julio, julio, julio, julio, julio.

Agosto = August * agosto, agosto, agosto.

Septiembre = September * septiembre, septiembre.

Octubre = October * octubre, octubre, octubre.

Noviembre = November * noviembre, noviembre.

Diciembre = December * diciembre, diciembre. 

ENERO is the only one that doesn´t look quite the same as the one in inglés.  ¡ENERO! 

Os - Lost in Translation

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By Os

You know the days of the week en español, don’t you?  Nooo? Why am I not surprised? Joke….Ok, let’s learn them: 

Domingo (Sunday) de Ramos, everybody gets a piece of palm to welcome Jesucristo.  El lunes (Monday), el martes (Tuesday) and el mièrcoles everything is normal until midnight when some people of the municipalidades are working (hard to believe but it is true, jajaja) and closing the liquor cabinets and cantinas with tape because it is prohibido to sell booze during el Jueves (Thursday) Santo and el Viernes (Friday) Santo. Tranquil@, you can come back to your favorite bar el sábado (Saturday) at 11 a.m. and el Domingo de Resurrección  you can eat red meat again in case your familia is very católica and they decided to do abstinencia during the Holy Week. 

Here we go guys: this is serious, very serious: 

EVERYTHING has to agree.

EVERYTHING has to match.

EVERYTHING has to agree and match.

EVERYTHING has to match and agree.

Os - Lost in Translation

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Things Have a Gender & Pluralsss

By Os

Now let’s learn how to say “The” en español (AGAIN)…  There are 4 ways to say “The” en español.  There are 4 “words” that equal “The” en español.  They are NOT interchangeable, ok?.  Let’s learn ALL of them today:

Word # 1  *  the = el  * when the following word is masculinO.

Book = Libro  *  The book = El libro.

El taco, el amigo, el hombre, el reloj.

Word # 2  *  the = la  * when the following word is femeninA.

Table = Mesa  *  The table = La mesa.

La empanada, la amiga, la mujer, la pared.

Word # 3  *  the = los  * when the following word is masculinO and PLURAL .

BookS = LibroS  *  The bookS = LoS libroS.

LoS tacoS, loS amigoS, loS hombreS, loS relojES.

Word # 4  *  the = las  * when the following word is femeninA and PLURAL.

TableS = MesaS  *  The tableS = LaS mesaS.

LaS empanadaS, laS amigaS, laS mujerES, laS paredES.

Last month we learned that en español, Things have gender, remember?  Well they also have PLURALS but this part is very easy and similar to el inglès.

Os - Lost in Translation

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Things Have a Gender

By Os

Feliz día de la amistad y del amor – Happy Valentine’s Day.  Let’s start with some lines that you may use en febrero:

Estoy enamorado(a) = I’m in love.

Te gustó? = Did you like it?

Quiere salir conmigo? = You wanna go out with me?

Te casarías conmigo? = Would you marry me?

Quiero darte un beso = I want to give you a kiss.

Què cursi! = How corny!

Templón(a) / Templado(a) = Horny.  *  Oops.

Here we go:  En español, Things have gender…OK?  Things don’t have sex, things don’t get laid, but “someone” decided to put gender to the Things…

Os - Lost in Translation

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First things first/Primero lo primero, Second part/Segunda parte

By Os
Hola amigos:  Happy New Year! – Feliz Año Nuevo! I hope you had a Feliz Navidad and everything is all right.

Did you have any trouble during your X-mas shopping understanding some numbers-números?  Problems with the totals-totales?  Still struggling to understand how much the bill-la cuenta is?  You can’t even get a telephone number?  You can say uno-dos-tres and that’s it?…Let’s fix that…Now-Ahora!

Familia “Sésamo Street”:

1 uno – 2 dos – 3 tres – 4 cuatro – 5 cinco

6 seis – 7 siete – 8 ocho – 9 nueve


Familia “weirdos”:

0 cero – 10 diez – 20 veinte – 30 treinta

100 cien – 500 quinientos

1.000 mil (don’t say “un” mil, just mil)

Os - Lost in Translation

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First things first/Primero lo primero, First part/Primera parte

By Os

Just for this month I am gonna show you something sweet about Spanish:  The pronunciation of the stuff.

¿How on Earth: ¿won and one?, ¿bear and bare?, ¿weight and wait?, have the same pronunciation???

In Spanish, when you see a letter such as “A”, it sounds like /ah/ in Anita, /ah/ in padre and /ah/ in any single word that has an “A” in it.  Period.-Punto.

In English, when you see a letter such as “A”, it sounds like /ey/ in Amy, /ah/ in father and who knows what else in another word that has “A” in it.

En español the letter you see and the sound that is gonna come out of your mouth when you see that letter is always the same.  En inglés the letter you see and the sound that is gonna come out of your mouth can be different.  Sorry about this but it super sucks.

Os - Lost in Translation

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Nice to Meet You – Mucho Gusto

Spanish Sucks

By Os

Yes, I have found myself saying it, saying that Spanish sucks; even in my lessons when I noticed how many action words (verbos) and different endings (conjugaciones) we need to know to make it perfect.  But this column is not about perfection it is not about grammar or rules.  It´s about how español works and the way it is (and remember this:  It is what it is).   It is NOT about grammar nor exercises…

And I think (and I hope you do too) it’s interesting and useful in order to present some ideas on how to handle, understand, enjoy, and learn some español………..And as you can read, it is in inglés.

Before continuing let me introduce myself and this column: I call myself OS, I teach español around here and I named this column “SPANISH SUCKS” because everything I am gonna tell you will be 99% (noventa y nueve por ciento) true according to my background or the point I want to express.

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