Learn Spanish

⭐Learn Spanish if your native language is PORTUGUESE

Hello, Live! If you want to learn Spanish and your native language is Portuguese, this article interests you. For 25 years we have received numerous students in our School whose mother tongue is Portuguese and who come from the different countries in which this wonderful language is spoken: Portugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique or East Timor. As Center Accredited by the Cervantes Institute for the Teaching of Spanish as a Foreign Language, our School has teachers with great experience and the ability to detail the most important differences and similarities between Spanish and Portuguese, and give you some tricks and tips so that you can get the most out of your Spanish classes, whether online or in person. Let's go!

Recommendation: DO NOT translate this page into your language, stay in the Spanish version to better understand the article.

Most spoken languages ​​in the world. Fountain: statista.com

DIFFERENCES between Spanish and Portuguese

If there is a problem for Lusophone students, it is the closeness and similarity between Spanish and Portuguese. The lexical similarity between both languages ​​is more than 85% and their grammatical structure is similar. For this reason, sometimes the greatest difficulty is distinguishing what things are the same and what are different in each of the languages. It is not strange to often see Portuguese-speaking students who feel insecure when speaking Spanish, since in many cases they doubt whether what they are saying is Spanish or whether they are making a direct translation from their own language. That is, they don't know if they are speaking Spanish or they are resorting to that terrifying intermediate system called “portuñol”. Well, to avoid making these types of errors, it is best to be very clear about the differences between both systems. We are going to detail them for you point by point.

The ubiquitous LO article

If there is one thing that characterizes the true speaker of “portuñol”, it is the indiscriminate use of the form “lo”. This error lies in the fact that in Portuguese the masculine definite article is “o” (for example “o chão” = “the ground”), while in Spanish the corresponding form is “the”. Many students tend to always use the form “lo” instead of the masculine article and thus say things like *I ground it🇧🇷the dog🇧🇷the boy, which are not correct in Spanish. 

However, many of you will be thinking: but have I heard Spaniards using the form “lo” as an article? Well yes, you are right. But this “it” is neutral and never accompanies nouns, but appears with adjectives when we are not referring to a specific thing and speak generically. So, we can say things like “The best thing about the movie is the ending" or "The important thing is to try” when the adjective does not refer to a specific male or female noun. So now you know, the important thing is that you never use the article “lo” together with a noun.

The verb to like

Another common obstacle is the difference in the structure of the verb GUSTAR in Spanish and Portuguese. Thus, it is normal to hear phrases like *“I really like Italian food”, which are not correct in Spanish. In Portuguese, the verb gustar has a preposition and the subject is the person who experiences the action. Thus, the previous phrase would be “Eu gosto muito da food Italiana”. However, both the verb gustar and many other feeling verbs have a different structure in Spanish, since the person experiencing the action corresponds to the indirect object, while the subject appears last. That is, the previous sentence in Spanish would be: “I really like Italian food”, where the person (A mí / me) is the indirect object and the Italian food is the subject.

YOU and YOU are not the same

Another common confusion between Spanish and Portuguese is found in the use of pronouns. In Spanish the forms “Tú” and “Vosotros” correspond to familiar use and are accompanied by a specific verbal form. So, we say things like “Do you want more soup?” o “Do you want anything else?” when the relationship with our interlocutors is close. For formal use, we use the pronouns “You” and “You” with their respective verbal forms. Thus, the formal variants of the previous phrases would be “Do you want more soup?” o “Do you want anything else?”, when we want to speak more formally. (It must be said that these uses correspond to the variant of standard Spanish associated with Spanish from the north of the peninsula and that in the south and in Latin America its use is different). 

In Portuguese the plural form “Vocês” serves both formal and informal contexts and appears with a third person verb. Therefore, it is normal for many students to translate it as “You” and add a verb in the third person. However, examples like *“You Spaniards are very kind” are not correct, since they combine the familiar pronoun “you” with the third person plural verb “are.” So, pay close attention! Or we say “You are very kind” o "You're very kind".

Gender differences

Although most of the words between Spanish and Portuguese coincide in gender, there is a list of keywords that do not share it, and it can be very useful for you to know them to avoid errors in their use. Here you can see some of the most important ones:

Differences in gender between Spanish and Portuguese
Differences in gender between Spanish and Portuguese

Where do I put the pronouns? 

Another problem that drives students who want to learn Spanish when their native language is Portuguese crazy is the position of object pronouns, since in Portuguese the placement rules are different. Therefore, it is not strange to hear incorrect phrases such as *”I come to tell you something” o *“I want to visit you next year”, which copy the structure directly from Portuguese. In these cases, the correct thing would be to say: “I come to tell you something” o “I want to visit you next year”. So, if you want to place the pronouns correctly in Spanish, do not translate and remember that in Spanish the pronouns always come before the conjugated verb and only come after in these three cases:

  • After the verb in the infinitive: "I want to givele the gift tomorrow.”
  • After the verb in gerund: "We are learninglo little by little".
  • After the verb in the affirmative imperative: “Dame the hand".

"ALSO NOT" 

In both Portuguese and Spanish there is the form “também” and “also” respectively to express agreement in an affirmative way. However, while in Portuguese we say “também não” to express agreement in a negative way, in Spanish we say “tampoco”. So you know, never say *“I don't like it too" if not "I do not like it either".

THE “PESSOAL INFINITIVE” does not exist in Spanish

Although the verbal system is almost identical in both Portuguese and Spanish and the use of tenses is not usually a problem for Portuguese-speaking students, there is one structure in Portuguese for which there is no correspondence in Spanish. The problem in these cases is that many students translate directly and create phrases that do not exist in Spanish. For example, from the Portuguese phrase “Even though we have a lot of money, we are ignorant” some students translate *“Despite having a lot of money, they are ignorant”. But no, the form “teneren” does not exist in Spanish, because in our verbal system there is no personal infinitive, so the correct thing would be to say “Despite having a lot of money, they are ignorant”.

Fake friends 

Well yes, as we said at the beginning, Spanish and Portuguese share more than 80% of their lexical base, but we can also find some surprises. So if in most cases, from a Spanish word we can know its corresponding word in Portuguese and vice versa, it is not always so easy and, in many cases, although the word exists in an almost identical way, its meaning is not the same. same. They are as famous as feared “false friends”, and the list is endless. Below you can see a list with some of the most important examples.

Spanish and Portuguese false friends
Spanish and Portuguese false friends

Problems with PHONETICS

Portuguese has a greater number of phonemes than Spanish, which makes it a little more complicated for Spaniards to both understand it and pronounce it correctly. However, there are some sounds in Spanish that can also be difficult for Portuguese speakers.

The Z and C of BEER

One of the sounds that is most difficult for those who want to learn Spanish when Portuguese is their native language is the pronunciation of the voiceless dental fricative or interdental sound. This sound is typical of the accent of the Iberian Peninsula, although in some regions of Andalusia and the Canary Islands, it has practically disappeared. In Latin American Spanish it does not exist either. This sound is represented by the letter z, and by the letter c when followed by eo i. In the International Phonetic Alphabet it is represented with this symbol: /θ/. Some words that have this sound in peninsular Spanish are: cereals, pray, conscience, hunter, ignite.

Council: To pronounce this sound you must place the tip of your tongue between your teeth and blow lightly.

The double R of ROME

Another sound that is difficult for our Portuguese-speaking students to pronounce is that of the alveolar vibrating voice, graphically represented by a double ro or strong r at the beginning of a word or after a consonant, represented by the International Phonetic Alphabet in this way: /r̄ /. Some words that have this sound in peninsular Spanish are: remember, run, around, coil, fox, mud. 

Although this sound also exists in many Portuguese-speaking areas, in many other places the double r is guttural, that is, the point of articulation is in the throat, as in the case of the French r. In these cases you have to pay close attention, since many students can confuse the pronunciation of verbs such as correr y by

Council: To pronounce this sound, place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth (in the part closest to the front teeth) and make it vibrate.

Confusions with the Ñ

The palatal nasal sound represented graphically with the letter ñ also exists in Portuguese and is represented by the double spelling “nh” in Portuguese. Although many words that have -nh- in Portuguese also have -ñ- in Spanish (strange/strange; amanhã/morning), it does not coincide in all cases: path/path; money/money; nephew/nephew; win/win; etc.). So now you know, don't trust yourself and first think if the word has -ñ- in Spanish or not.

Be careful with SPELLING

In Portuguese there are some double spellings that also exist in Spanish, such as the double rr, as we have already told you about. However, there is one that does not exist in Spanish and that is one of the most frequent errors in Portuguese-speaking students when they write: it is the case of the double that -ss-. Thus, it is important to remember that words that are written with double that -ss- in Portuguese will always have a single that -s- in Spanish, since there is no option for double that -ss- in our language. This is the case of words like: pass/pass; session/session; past/past; process/process).  

Another problem is that of -b- and -v-. Although Spanish and Portuguese normally coincide, this is not always the case. The most important cases that you always have to remember are the verb “duty” (duty in Portuguese), “have” (oats in Portuguese) and all the verbs of the first conjugation in the imperfect tense: was, walked, arrived, etc., which in Portuguese are with -v-.

Tips for learning Spanish if your native language is Portuguese

If you want to learn Spanish and your native language is Portuguese, there are many options to perfect your level of Spanish. In general, we always recommend that students do the things they like, but in Spanish. It is the best way not to get bored and learn while having fun. Anyway, if you need some inspiration, here we give you some tips and alternatives to improve your Spanish in different ways. Below you will find links to other very useful websites. These are not sponsored links. Remember that Luis Vives does not use covert promotion techniques. In fact, we are against these practices.

Leather

Reading is one of the best ways to learn a language and acquire new vocabulary. Sometimes, certain graded readings can be uninteresting. What we recommend you do if you like reading is that you read the same type of books that you already read in your language. Although there are many options, if you don't have a library or a good second-hand bookstore nearby with books in Spanish, you can always access virtual libraries: we suggest this.

Talk

Of course, this is the best way to learn Spanish if your native language is Portuguese. Furthermore, we Spaniards are very talkative, so it is best that you start training your oral expression as soon as possible. If you live in a Spanish-speaking country, you can surely find a cafe or place where linguistic exchanges take place periodically. But if not, no problem, on the internet you can also find people willing to do language exchanges and thus improve your oral expression. For example in this website You can register and find people with whom you can practice more informally. 

However, if you are shy or do not have time, a very useful thing can be to record yourself with your own cell phone answering some questions and then listen to yourself to see what you can improve or, if you like series or movies, you can try to remember small dialogues of Spanish series and then repeat them. Yes, it seems a little crazy, but it works.

Listen to a podcast

It's true, podcasts are more fashionable than ever and you've surely heard many in your language. In this case, we also recommend that you listen to podcasts on topics that interest you, since this way you will not get bored and you will turn your learning into a pleasure. If you are looking for a variety of topics, you can listen to the podcasts offered by Spanish public television on its websites. But, above all, you cannot miss the podcasts that we make at our school, since they are specially designed so that our students can improve their Spanish in an entertaining way. You can take a look at an interview we did with a Brazilian student here.

Take a Spanish course

Of course. Taking a Spanish course is always one of the best ways to learn and improve. Contact with a native teacher who resolves those doubts for which you sometimes do not have answers is very important, just as being able to be in contact with other students who have a similar level to yours can help you lose your fear of speaking Spanish. And what is the best option if you are in Madrid or want to come visit the city? Of course, the best option is our Madrid School.

Expand your radius of action

If you live in a country where Spanish is spoken, don't limit yourself to just taking a language course. If you have a passion, join a group with Spaniards to practice. The options are endless: a theater group, a cooking school, a hiking group, a musical band. The topic doesn't matter! The important thing is that you like it and that you can learn Spanish.

Watch movies or series

Of course, cinema is one of our great allies when it comes to learning a language. By watching movies or series you can improve your vocabulary and learn a lot of colloquial expressions. A good option due to its extensive catalog is the website of RTVE. But if you are an inveterate film lover, you cannot miss the range of films offered by the Spanish platform. The film

Listen to music

Who does not like music? Now, listening to music is easier than ever thanks to platforms like YouTube or Spotify. Don't you know much music in Spanish? Well don't worry, we offer you a lot of songs for all tastes in she is ready made by the teachers of our school.

Teaching Spanish to Portuguese Speakers

Being a Spanish teacher in Portugal was for me one of the most enriching professional experiences of my life. In Portugal I had the opportunity to teach Spanish to students of different profiles, from universities or language schools to vocational training courses funded by the Porto City Council, the city where I spent almost five years. From all my students I was able to learn unforgettable things, both about the country's culture and its language.

However, upon returning to Madrid my Portuguese-speaking horizon expanded, since at our school I have been lucky enough to meet students from other Portuguese-speaking countries: Brazil, Angola or East Timor. Like Portuguese, Spanish is an immense language with great variations, an aspect that undoubtedly enriches it and makes it even more interesting. Therefore, in these tips we have tried to focus on the most important interferences between Spanish and Portuguese, which can be a useful guide for students from any Portuguese-speaking country. However, between different Spanish-speaking countries there are differences in pronunciation, in the uses of certain parts of grammar and, above all, in vocabulary. And the same goes for Portuguese.

But, whatever variant of Portuguese you speak or Spanish you want to learn, these tips can be very useful. And, above all, don't forget: never be afraid of making mistakes and enjoy the experience of learning Spanish. Well, if you want to learn Spanish and your native language is Portuguese, I hope this article helps you in your learning. My name is Daniel Agudo, and I am a Spanish teacher at Luis Vives Escuela de Español. See you soon!

Learn Spanish if your native language is English
⭐Learn SPANISH if your native language is ENGLISH

Hello, Vivers! If you want to learn Spanish and you come from an English-speaking country, this article will interest you. For 25 years we have received hundreds of students whose native language is English at our School. They come from countries on five continents: Australia, the United States or Canada, the United Kingdom or Ireland, South Africa, the Philippines or Nigeria, among many others! As Center Accredited by the Cervantes Institute for the Teaching of Spanish as a Foreign Language, our School has teachers with extensive experience and the ability to detail the most important differences and similarities between Spanish and English, and give you some tricks and tips so that you can get the most out of your Spanish classes, whether online or in person. Let's go!

Recommendation: DO NOT translate this page into your language, stay in the Spanish version to better understand the article.

DIFFERENCES between Spanish and English

Yes it's true. English and Spanish have some differences. And... we have bad news: generally, these differences mean that as an English-speaking student you are going to have to get used to conjugating verbs or changing the gender of some words. What's that? We explain it to you.

The conjugation

We Spaniards conjugate verbs depending on the person we use. You already know that we have three people, singular and plural: I, you, he, we, you, they (we will talk about genders later). Well, each person will have their corresponding conjugation for each verb. For example, for the verb sing (to sing)

  • I sing
  • You sing
  • He sings
  • We sing
  • You sing
  • They sing

On the other hand, in English, only the third person singular can undergo changes. This happens with all verbs and all tenses of the Spanish language.

You or you? You or you?

Students who want to learn Spanish with English as their native language always ask us the same question: “Teacher, when should I use “tú” and when should I use “usted”?

In Spain, in general, we use TÚ or VOSOTROS with friends, family and even strangers as long as they are our age or younger; while we use YOU or YOU when we talk to older people, with authority figures (police, doctors, judges...) or in very formal contexts.

However, in Latin America this works differently and also depends on the country. In LATAM, generally, TÚ (informal) and USTED (formal) are used as in Spain. However, the form YOU practically does not exist and YOU are used for both formal and informal situations. Many of our students who come from the United States do not know the form of VOSOTROS, since in Mexico - the closest Hispanic country - this form is not used.

Gender: male or female

Our English-speaking students often find it difficult to learn which words are feminine and which are masculine, since, in Spanish, gender affects countless words: nouns, adjectives, possessives, numerals... And it doesn't matter if they refer to people, animals, objects. , places, etc.

While, in English, the gender difference in words appears only on some occasions when talking about people or a species of some type of animal. We give you some examples:

EnglishSpanish
Social hierarchyKing
Queen
King (m)
queen
CareersActor (m)
Actress
Engineer (m,f)
Professor (m,f)
Actor (m)
Actress
Engineer (m), Engineer (f)
Professor (m), Professor (f)
AnimalsRooster
hen
Dog (m,f)
Cat (m,f)
Rooster (m)
chicken
Dog (m), Bitch (f)
Cat (m), Gata (f)
ObjectsWashmachine
Microwave
Table
The washing machine (f)
The microwave (m)
The table (f)
PlacesRestaurant
School
Park
The restaurant (m)
The school (f)
The park (m)
Differences between genders in English and Spanish. How fun, right?

The false friends

If you are learning Spanish as an English speaker, beware of “false cognates”! False cognates or false friends are words that are similar in written form and pronunciation, but have different meanings. Here are some examples:

EnglishSpanish
EmbarrassedPregnant (to be pregnant)
PresentCurrent
SandSand
ConstipatedConstipado (to have a cold)
BreadBread
FabricFactory
CarpetFolder
VacuumVaccine
LargeLong
False friends english and spanish

Our Luis Vives teachers will be able to warn you about more FALSE FRIENDS, so that you take them into account and can avoid mistakes.

SIMILARITIES between Spanish and English

We have good news, really. There are also similarities between both languages, which will make it easier for you to learn Spanish if your native language is English.

Words ending in -TION/-CION

There may be more similarities between English and Spanish than we think, because although English is not a Romance language, it has a lot of influence from them. This can be seen in the words that end in -CION in Spanish. In English, we simply have to change the “C” to a “T”.

EnglishSpanish
InformationInformation
CommunicationCommunication
AssociationAssociation
FederationFederation
Similar words between English and Spanish

Finally good news! Because if your native language is English, you know more Spanish words than you think, just make a list of all the words that end in -TION and transform them into Spanish. Check if they are correct with a dictionary.

Expressions

Although we may make mistakes when translating expressions literally from English to Spanish or vice versa, the reality is that many of them are the same:

EnglishSpanish
I have it on the tip of my tongueI have it on the tip of my tongue
To be a chickenbe a chicken
Who wears the pantsThe one who wears the pants
Don't bite the hand that feeds youDo not bite the hand that feeds you
To kill timeKill the weather
Fingers crossed!Fingers crossed!
To be all earsBe all ears
To tighten one's beltTighten your belt
To be the black sheepBe the black sheep
Similar expressions in English and Spanish

If you want to learn expressions and sayings in Spanish, remember that you can listen to our podcast: Spanish in 10 minutes. Luis Vives' podcast with which you can perfect your Spanish by listening to real conversations.

cognates

Unlike in the FALSE FRIENDS section, we also have cognates that are EQUAL between English and Spanish. So, another good news! If you study Spanish and your native language is English, you already know many words in Spanish (even if they are pronounced differently):

EnglishSpanish
AlcoholAlcohol
ChocolateChocolate
DigitalDigital
MediocreMediocre
MentalMental
NostalgiaNostalgia
OpinionOpinion
SexualSexual
TaxiTaxi
Cognates between English and Spanish

Problems with PHONETICS

It happens with most languages: Spanish and English do not share all phonemes.

The Z and C of BEER

One of the sounds that is most difficult for those who want to learn Spanish when English is their native language is the pronunciation of the voiceless dental fricative or interdental sound. This sound is typical of the accent of the Iberian Peninsula, although in some regions of Andalusia and the Canary Islands, it has practically disappeared. In Latin American Spanish it does not exist either. This sound is represented by the letter z, and by the letter c when followed by eo i. In the International Phonetic Alphabet it is represented with this symbol: /θ/. Some words that have this sound in peninsular Spanish are: beer, city, thanks, shoe, zoo, juice, start, close, carrot, sky or belt.

Council: To pronounce this sound you must place the tip of your tongue between your teeth and blow lightly.

The double R of ROME

Another sound that is difficult for our English-speaking students to pronounce is that of the alveolar vibrating voice, graphically represented by a double ro or strong r at the beginning of a word or after a consonant, represented by the International Phonetic Alphabet in this way: /r̄/.
Some words that have this sound in peninsular Spanish are: dog, car, mud, Roma, Enrique, slate or river.

Council: To pronounce this sound, place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth (in the part closest to the front teeth) and make it vibrate.

Sounds that do NOT exist in the English phonetic alphabet

The palatal nasal sound represented graphically with the letter ñ: some words that contain this phoneme are: mountain, child, cabin, Spain or sister-in-law.

In English there is no letter ü with an umlaut, which we use in the digraphs güe, güi, although it is pronounced the same, such as penguin and pingüino. In both the u is pronounced.

Mnemonic rule for phonetics and spelling

In English, consonants tend to be doubled in various contexts, however in Spanish this does not happen often. We often find our students' words written as follows in Spanish: officina, possible, cafettería, etc. These forms are incorrect since in Spanish neither f, sy nor t can be doubled.

To make it easy for you to remember which consonants can be doubled in Spanish, remember this name: CAROLINA. Only the four consonants that appear in this name can be doubled in Spanish. Thus, we have words like: action, dog, paella, innovative, fiction, car, key or perennial.

Carolina It is the name of a famous song in Spanish. If you want to learn Spanish through music, you can download the list we have created for Spotify with the 100 best songs in Spanish.

7 tips to learn Spanish if your native language is English

If you want to learn Spanish with English as your native language, there are many ways to improve your learning, here are some of them. In these tips you will see links to other websites and applications. These are links that we consider to be very interesting if you want to learn Spanish. You should know that Luis Vives does not use hidden promotion techniques within its web content. In fact, we are against these practices😁

Leather

“Read” is one of our favorite words. If you are not ready to read a novel in Spanish, we recommend this website, in which you will find readings graded by levels. In addition, these are accompanied by exercises and questions.

Talk

Yes. It is the best advice for learning a language. The best thing you can do is practice it as much as possible and the best way to do this is by talking. If you don't know any Spanish speakers, it's best to find one and you don't even have to leave your house. You can find a Spanish speaker who is interested in learning English and do an online exchange with them. For example in this website You can create a profile and look for an exchange partner and be able to practice speaking.

If you are very embarrassing, you can practice alone. It may sound crazy, but you could look for questions in Spanish according to your level, and think at home how you could answer these questions. This exercise is very useful, since when creating your speech alone at home you can take the opportunity to look up the words in the dictionary that you want to express and that you don't know how to say in Spanish. Then you could write down the words you have looked up in your notebook. This will enrich your Spanish lexicon enormously. In this website You have questions in Spanish classified by topic. Would you know how to answer them?

Download an App

Memrise It is one of the favorite applications for learning languages. In this application you can find real videos of natives speaking Spanish. These videos are accompanied by questions about the vocabulary you have heard. Language transfer It is an application that is especially good for English speakers since you can learn Spanish with explanations in English. On this platform you will find audios of real Spanish lessons completely recorded, meaning you will hear the teacher and the students and it can be good practice.

Take an in-person Spanish course

I am not only a teacher, I am also a French student. And, from my own experience, attending in-person classes is one of the best ways to improve your language learning. If you can attend Spanish classes in your city, it would be ideal. And if not, you could always take an educational vacation in Spain. In these courses Spanish is spoken all the time and you will be able to interact with other students who are in the same process as you. Oh, and if you want to study in Spain, of course, you must do it in our Madrid School, where else?!

If you live in Spain, sign up for courses on topics you like

Going to Spanish classes is perfect for learning the language. But, let's put it into practice surrounded by Spaniards! For example, if you like yoga, sign up for yoga classes in Spain. If you like doing theater, go to theater classes in Spanish, or painting classes, athletics classes... whatever your passion is! This way, you will meet Spanish people with whom you have the same tastes, you will make friends and practice Spanish.

Watch movies or series

Of course! Watching movies or series in Spanish helps a lot. On Netflix you can find a few, but we also leave you the link RTVE, the national public platform where you can find Spanish series and movies 100% online.

Listen to music

Do you like Spanish music? Thanks to Spotify or YouTube we can listen to the song and see the lyrics at the same time, which will help you understand them better and you can also learn new words. The most famous Spanish singers in the world at the moment are: Aitana, Rosalía, Quevedo, C. Tangana, Raphael, Abraham Mateo, Lola Índigo, Camilo Sesto, David Bisbal, Pablo Alborán, Nathy Peluso, Alejandro Sanz, Enrique Iglesias, Belinda and Rels B.

My experience as a Spanish teacher in the United States

Being a Spanish teacher at a Middle School in Bellevue, Washington state, was one of the best experiences of my life. I had never had students so young; They were actually preteens, between 11 and 13 years old.

Learning Spanish by my students

Most of them spoke Spanish quite well because they had studied in a bilingual (Spanish-English) Elementary School, so they were used to listening and speaking in Spanish. However, I will talk about some of the difficulties I encountered as a teacher.

There was a lot of interference between English and Spanish and many times they spoke to me in Spanish. I think that not even they themselves were aware and thought it was the correct way to speak Spanish. For example, to talk about their lunchboxes, they said luncheras, sleepear to sleep, apply to request.

Personally, sometimes (but very rarely) it could be difficult for them to understand me since, above all, they study Mexican Spanish and were used to other types of vocabulary that I, as a Spanish person, do not use. But on the other hand, it was also good for them to expand their vocabulary. He left a brief word difference table:

MexicoSpain
DriveDrive
grab, takeFuck👀
HurryHurry up
CarCar
ComputerComputer
MissMiss
Differences between Mexico and Spain

Neither did you know the form; They do not study it directly there and it rarely appeared in the manuals. They used the variant you. But I always talked to them about you so that they would get used to Spanish from Spain and learn the corresponding verbal forms.

Where is Spain?!

One of the things that surprised me is that many of them didn't know where Spain was🙁They thought it was somewhere in Latin America, near Mexico😅. So I made sure to show them on a world map where Spain and its most important cities were.

I also had students who came from Latin America or who were born in the United States but whose parents were Latino. Although this could be an advantage, I encountered a cultural problem and that is that many children of Latinos refuse to speak Spanish because they have been taught that it is a language of “low prestige” or for “very physical and heavy work that requires no one wants to do,” so these Latino students told me they didn’t “know how to speak Spanish” when I knew they did 😂.

However, and despite the difficulties I encountered, it was an experience that enriched me as a person and as a teacher. I would repeat it again with my eyes closed.

If your desire is to learn Spanish and you are an English speaker, I hope I have helped you. My name is Cristina López, and I am a Spanish teacher at Luis Vives Escuela de Español. Until next time!

Speak fluent Spanish. Expressions in Spanish with the word milk.
Expressions with milk

Hello, #Vivers! If you are learning Spanish, you have probably known the word milk for a long time. However, did you know that we use it for many more things than just referring to food? When it comes to speaking Spanish fluently, it is important that you know common expressions, this will allow you to speak Spanish fluently. Below we show you the most used expressions with milk and you probably don't know some of them yet:

Be the milk.

When we say that something or someone “is the milk” we mean that it is extraordinary, excellent. However, and depending on the context, we could also express that it is terrible, horrible. So if I say “Pepe es la leche”, it could be interpreted both ways, which is why it is important to take the context into account.

Have a bad temper / be in a bad mood

This expression has its origin in wet nurses, the women who were formerly in charge of breastfeeding the children of other families. It is a profession older than we believe and very common among upper class families. In the past it was thought that a person's character was determined by the milk they had drunk, so if the person turned out to have a bad character, was always in a bad mood or had a strong temperament, it was thought that it was because the milk they had drunk As a child I was not good and hence the expression. When we refer to a specific situation, that is, someone is circumstantially in a bad mood for some reason, we will say that he is in a bad mood (today).

Shit in the milk (that they gave you, that you sucked).

This is a VERY VULGAR expression and the origin is related to the previous expression. You say this when you are very angry with someone or a situation. So if you “shit in the milk” you are referring to the milk that person sucked, and in some way you are cursing them.

Go full steam ahead/Go pouring milk.

This expression is related to milk delivery people. In the past, when we did not have refrigeration systems at home, we had to consume some foods more quickly, such as milk. Likewise, milk deliverers needed to transport it quickly so that its consumption was immediate. Hence, when in Spanish we say “go full steam ahead” we are saying that we are going at a fast or accelerated pace.

Give someone milk.

It means giving a “blow.” The origin of this expression is not clear, but it is quite common and colloquial. In the same way we can transform the verb into a pronominal in this way: “give yourself a milk.” It also means “to hit oneself,” but to oneself by accident.

It is worth mentioning that, in all of these previous expressions, we can replace the word “milk” with the word “host”, they would have the same meaning, but they would become very vulgar expressions so be careful when using them!

If you want to see other uses of the word milk, you can do so at This Video that we published a few weeks ago on our social networks. Follow us on Instagram or in Tik Tok to see more videos like this with which you can improve your Spanish.

Now that you have read about the Spanish expressions with the word milk, you are a little closer to being able to speak fluent Spanish. In our Spanish classes In Madrid we carry out a total linguistic immersion, from level A1 you will be learning practical Spanish for everyday life. If you are interested, you can write to us at spanish@luis-vives.es, send us a Whatsapp or complete our form contact.

The word of the day: “Spain”

Hello, #Vivers! In the entry that we bring you today, we tell you the origin of a word that I am sure that all students of Spanish courses in Spain have used at some time: the name of the country where they are located.

The origins: Spanía and Hispania

The word of the day: Spain. Spanish courses in Madridthe greek word Spain It is recorded for the first time in the XNUMXst century BC. C. The geographer Artemidorus of Ephesus used it as a variant of the Greek Hispania, which passed into Latin as Hispania. At that same time that name was used by Julius Caesar, who distinguished the Hispanic later, beyond the Ebro River, and the Citerior Hispania, south of the Ebro River. After the union of the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon with the wedding of the Catholic Monarchs, the name of Hispania It began to be used heavily for the country.

The origin of the word is not known with certainty. It is believed that it may come from Punic Isephanim, which in this language spoken by the Phoenicians of Carthage meant “island or coast of rabbits”, because the rabbit was a very abundant animal in Andalusia. The Phoenicians founded the oldest city in the West, Cádiz, 3000 years ago. On Roman coins from the time of King Hadrian, Spain was represented as a seated lady, with a rabbit at her feet. Furthermore, the Roman poet Catullus called the Iberian Peninsula Cuniculosa Celtiberia, which meant more or less “Celtiberia, the Hutch”.

Other possible origins of the word

However, some authors claim that the origin of the word is Celtic, because it is related to the fact that the plain region of the Iberian Peninsula has a shape similar to the palm of the hand, which was called chip in the Celtic language, and it is possible that this is the origin of the word Hispania.

There are also other hypotheses about the origin of the word Spain, although they are less credible. For example, the word chip from the Phoenician language, which meant “hidden, hidden.” It is possible that chip derived from the Hebrew word xaphano (hide), because Spain was a distant and hidden country.

Source: The origin of words. Illustrated etymological dictionary. Ricardo Soca.

If you are interested in studying Spanish courses in Spain, in the Luis Vives Spanish School we offer you Spanish classes for all levels. They will surely adapt perfectly to your needs. Luis Vives Spanish School The best option to learn Spanish in the heart of Madrid!

Seven ways to express in Spanish that something matters very little to you

Hello, #Vivers! One of the things that students who come to our school like to learn most about Spanish is the fact that we have many different ways of expressing the same thing. In our entry today we are going to discover other different ways to show that you don't care about something or care very little about it.

I don't mind. Spanish academy for foreigners

1. I don't give a damn

It is said that this expression has its origin in the XNUMXth century, a time in which artists, specifically painters, in search of achieving perfection and the greatest virtuosity in their works, tried to recreate with the greatest reality the composition and texture of the objects that appeared in their still lifes and still lifes*.

For this reason, painters preferred to use pomegranates, lemons and other fruits that were a real challenge for them to draw with the greatest fidelity. However, peppers were one of the vegetables that did not involve much difficulty. The smooth, shiny, and almost completely monochrome surface of peppers offered no appeal to still life painters, who rarely included them in their paintings. That is why in this union the expression “I don't give a damn” began to be used, due to the “uselessness” of the vegetable for their creations.

2. I don't give a damn

When we say that we don't give a damn about something, we are making it very clear that we don't care at all, that is, that we don't give it the slightest importance. The origin of this phrase lies in the little value given to pigweed, a vegetable that does not have much flavor and therefore has never been highly appreciated in gastronomy. 

3. I don't give a damn

There are several theories regarding the origin of this expression, but one of the most widespread says that may come from military language, since the “pito” was the name given to the boy who played said instrument in the army. Apparently this young man was not very respected and was not taken into account very much, so his salary was very low. This would be the reason why this popular expression would have emerged, meaning that little value is given to an issue.

4. I don't give a damn

This is another way of expressing that we care little about something or think it is unimportant. The origin of this expression comes from France in the 1800s, where cumin was considered a pest that was of no use. Hence the character of the expression.

Learn other expressions in Spanish that mean the same thing

As you can see, there are many ways to express that you don't care about something or don't care about something. Also with the same meaning it can be said that something:

  • 5. I don't give a damn
  • 6. I don't give a damn
  • 7. I hate it.

In all these cases the meaning is the same, saying that it has no value for me. The last of the expressions, “I hate it,” It is very common in youth slang, but it is a vulgar expression.

If you want to learn many other Spanish expressions that serve to say the same thing, in our spanish courses, we can teach them to you. Luis Vives Spanish School The best option to learn Spanish in Madrid!

*Still lifes and still lifes: work of art depicting animals, flowers and other objects, which may be natural (fruits, food, plants, rocks or shells) or man-made (kitchen, table or household utensils, antiques, books, jewelry, coins , pipes, etc.) in a given space. These types of works were very popular during the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries.

The word of the day: beer. Learn Spanish in Madrid
The word of the day: “Beer”

Hello #Vivers! The weekend is approaching and also with spring weather that invites students who come to learn Spanish in Madrid to go out and have some very cool beers on one of the many terraces in our city.

But do you think they know the origin of this refreshing drink? And the origin of the word “beer”? And you? Do you know it? If you have ever wondered, in our new entry on Luis Vives' Spanish blog we tell you.

The origin of beer

When we talk about beer or ask someone where beer comes from, the first thing many people say is that its origin is from central Europe (Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic...). The issue is that in several Sumerian documents from the year 4000 BC. C. there was talk about a fermented cereal drink in Mesopotamia. In Babylon, beer consumption was so great that it forced King Hamurabi to legislate it, in his code, which sought to protect drinkers against dishonest tavern keepers, so it became the first consumer protection law in history. .

Some interesting anecdotes and legends about this drink:

The word of the day: beer. Learn Spanish in MadridIn Chaldea (a region of Mesopotamia), the inhabitants offered beer to the gods as tribute.

According to some stories, when Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylon) got bored with his concubines (lovers), he used to kill them by drowning them in beer.

Already in the Roman Empire, Pliny (Roman knight) said that the Gauls (French) called Cervesia to drink and brasce to the grain that was used to make it. So, brasce gave rise in French to brewer(beer maker) already brasserie (brewery).

During the Middle Ages, monks brewed the best beers, which in Latin were called cerevisiaemonacorum and to this day they are made in some European countries under the name “abbey beers”.

From the almost complete Cervesia from the Gauls (French) derived cervoise, as the drink was called for several centuries in the French language.

The first references in Spanish come from the XNUMXth centuries, as beer, and XVI, already with the current form beer.

The French beer, the Italian beer, English beer and the German Beer come from latin bottle (to drink).

Well, now you can surprise all your friends by telling them some of these anecdotes while you enjoy a few beers, but don't forget to drink wisely and above all: if you drink, don't drive!

Source: The origin of words. Illustrated etymological dictionary. Ricardo Soca

And if you are looking to learn Spanish in Madrid to learn to speak fluently like a native and improve your grammar, stop by. Luis Vives Spanish School and take a look at the Spanish classes what we offer. They will surely adapt perfectly to your needs. Luis Vives Spanish School The best option to learn Spanish in the heart of Madrid! 

The origin of the word Christmas. Spanish school for foreigners in Madrid
The origin of the word “Christmas”

Hello #Vivers! Next Friday, December 21, the long-awaited Christmas holidays arrive, a period that the students of our Spanish school for foreigners in Madrid take advantage of to rest and share good times with friends and family, but do you know the origin of the word "Christmas"? Keep reading the new entry on Luis Vives' Spanish Blog where our teacher Yara explains the origin of this word and some more curiosities related to Christmas.

The origin of Christmas

The word Christmas comes from latin Natīvītas, abl. Nativitate, which means “Nati”: birth, “vita”: of life and “te”: for you. Translated into Spanish: “birth of life for you.”

The origin of the word Christmas. Spanish school for foreigners in Madrid

This festival, known as Christmas Day, began to be celebrated in the year 440 AD. C. That year, the Roman bishops decided that December 25 would be the day of Jesus' birth, although Jesus Christ was not born on December 25. In fact, the Bible does not explain an exact time or date of Jesus' birth.

This day replaced several pagan celebrations that the Romans celebrated on the winter solstice (such as the Natalis Solis Invicti, in Latin, or the festival of the Invincible Rising Sun, in Spanish, or the Saturnalia). The Christians added a religious meaning and the name was changed to Christmas.

Among the ancient Romans it was customary to give each other three dried figs decorated with bay leaves and olive twigs on New Year's Eve. Also some small lamps (bronze, for the rich; clay, for the poorest), on which some legend was usually written with wishes for the year that was beginning. Apparently, our custom of giving each other gifts on Christmas Day or on "Three Kings' Day" in Spain comes from this custom. 

The origin of the word Christmas. Spanish school for foreigners in MadridChristmas tree

The custom of the famous Christmas tree arose in Germany during the first half of the 680th century. According to a traditional account, when the British missionary Saint Boniface (755-1483) was preaching on Christmas Day, he attempted to destroy the sacredness of the oak and cut down one. The oak, when it fell, knocked down all the bushes around it except a small fir tree. This was interpreted as a miraculous divine message, and it was called at that very moment "Tree of the Child Jesus." The event was very important among German Christians and, since then, the custom of decorating a fir tree for Christmas began. Centuries later, Martin Luther (1546-XNUMX) instituted the custom of decorating it with lit candles.

One last curiosity: many times we have seen the word written Christmas in English (Christmas) in abbreviated form (Xmas), because this is because the letter X is the Greek abbreviation for Christ.

Sources: Very interesting magazine and website of the Diocese of the Canary Islands.

If you are looking for a Spanish school for foreigners in Madrid to learn to speak Spanish fluently like a native and improve your grammar, stop by. Luis Vives Spanish School and take a look at the Spanish classes what we offer. They will surely adapt perfectly to your needs. Luis Vives Spanish School The best option to learn Spanish in the heart of Madrid! 

Estar + gerund. Spanish academy for foreigners
Estar + Gerund

Hello #Vivers! In today's entry in Luis Vives' Spanish Blog We are going to review one of the grammatical structures that generate the most doubts in the students of our Spanish academy, the construction Estar + Gerund.  We leave you an infographic with the shape of regular and irregular gerunds and the uses of this structure. At the end you will find some links to online exercises so you can practice them. If you want to see it, you just have to keep reading...

Estar + gerund. Spanish academy for foreigners

exercises to practice

In the following links you can find some exercises in which you can practice this grammatical structure and check if you have assimilated the concepts well:

If you are looking for a Spanish academy in Madrid to learn to speak Spanish fluently and improve your grammar, stop by Luis Vives Spanish School and take a look at the Spanish classes that we offer, they will surely adapt perfectly to your needs. Luis Vives Spanish School, the best option to learn Spanish in the heart of Madrid!

Expressions related to sports - Spanish School
Expressions related to sports

Hello #Vivers! Unfortunately, summer is coming to an end and vacations are over. However, in our Spanish school we return with batteries full of energy to continue teaching. We return with a new entry in Luis Vives' Spanish Blog. This time we leave you this video of Luis Vives TV in which our beloved teacher Daniel Agudo will explain some colloquial expressions to us.

These are everyday expressions that have their origin in the world of sports. If you want to see it, you just have to click and hit “play”. If you like it, don't forget to "like" it and share it with your friends...

We hope you liked it and you know, if you are looking for a Spanish course in Madrid to learn to speak Spanish fluently and improve grammar, stop by Luis Vives Spanish School and take a look at the Spanish classes what we offer. They will surely adapt perfectly to your needs. Luis Vives Spanish School, the best option to learn Spanish in the heart of Madrid!

Native Spanish courses. 10 ways to tell someone is crazy.
10 ways to say like a native that someone is crazy in Spanish.

Hello #vivers! Surely on more than one occasion you have heard someone tell a friend that they are crazy or, perhaps, you have told them. But if you want to seem like experts, in today's article we are going to teach you other ways to express the same thing just as an authentic native would do in Spain, which is how we teach it in our Spanish courses.

First of all, although it is logical, it is necessary to clarify that all the expressions that we show you are usually used in a colloquial context and we do not use them to refer to people with mental health problems, but to refer to someone who behaves irrationally, inadequate, strange or illogical, that is, people who do small crazy things, attitudes that escape common sense.

1. Be like a goat

This phrase is used to indicate that the person behaves in a strange, extravagant or simply crazy way.
Why is it associated with goats? Most likely, this expression comes from ranchers who, observing the behavior of their goats, could verify that the offspring of sheep, cows or horses, when they were weaned, stayed calmly next to their mothers, while those of The goats (kids) ran away, so that the mother goats ran desperately, like crazy, after their babies so that no harm would happen to them. So if you want to indicate that someone is behaving in a strange or inappropriate way, you can say that he "is crazy."

2. Someone missing a screw

According to the RAE (Royal Academy of the Spanish Language), “someone missing a screw” It is when a person has little sense or lacks it.

Literally, just like a machine, missing a screw can cause it to malfunction. When we refer to a person we mean that he has some crazy ideas or does not behave with common sense, that is, he does not "work very well."

So, if you know someone who does things without logic, without sense, in short, who is crazy, that means that that person is missing a screw.

For example: This guy is doing stupid things all day. I think that It's missing a screw...

3. Hit someone's head/pot/tong

We say that “someone loses his mind, his jaw or his pot” when he is doing something crazy, behaving irrationally, or talking nonsense. But also when someone is distracted, he is confused about something or completely forgets about something. It is a colloquial expression that a Spanish native uses frequently and that we teach in our courses.

Example: "But how do you do those things, aunt!… You're losing your pot…" / "Oh! I left my wallet with the money and documentation at home... I've lost my grip... "

4. Being sick in the head / Not being right in the head

The truth is that this expression does not need many explanations as it is quite obvious. We use it to refer to someone who behaves unwisely.

5. Be like a shower

We use this phrase to say that a person has no logic or control and does things without using reason.

Its origin is probably due to the fact that a watering can is an object, made of metal or plastic, that we use to pour water on plants and flowers. This object, at the end, has many holes and there is a theory that the expression, which is not very prior to the XNUMXth century, was born when comparing that end full of holes, with the “holes” that a person metaphorically has in their head. when you lose your logic.

6. Being crazy

The term crazy It is common to use it, in a more casual than formal way, to indicate that someone he is not right in the head o is lack of judgment.

We find its origin in the Caló language (the language spoken by the gypsy people) in which the word 'chat' literally means 'and' (in reference to the action of moving from one place to another). And it was as a result of that meaning that it began to be used to refer to those people who were madly in love with someone, since these were used to 'go head' because of the passionate love they felt.

It did not take long for it to be used in Spanish as one of the many synonyms of the term 'crazy' and finally it was incorporated into the RAE Dictionary.

This expression is a little older and is out of use.

7. Being gone or crazy

These expressions are equivalent to the previous one, but more frequent. They are related to the verb “go”. Specifically, the second expression, “estar pirado/a”, comes from the verb “pirarse”, which in colloquial language means to leave a place. Therefore, when using these expressions we are saying that someone his head has gone or he has lost his mind (the pot or tong), that is, he is crazy.

8. Being crazy

According to the RAE, we use it colloquially to refer to someone who has lost his mind or behaves as such. It is also very common to use the expression “whistle something to someone” to show that you like something a lot just like we use “drive someone crazy. For example: uterine “I love chocolate” / “Chocolate drives me crazy.”

9. Being hung up

It is literally being under the influence of a drug. It is said of those who are in that situation and, figuratively, of those who behave as if they were like that, of those who act a little crazy, of course.

10. Being mad/majareta

The term majara has its origin in Arabic, ““mahrum”. This is linked to “haram” which means taboo or sin. This has given the term ““mahrum” a negative meaning such as excluded, prohibited, unfortunate, miserable, denied and that in the Arabic of al-Andalus was used with the meaning of poor man, which led to "crazy” a way of saying "crazy" something more compassionate.

Now that you know all these different ways to tell someone that they are crazy, we can assure you that we are not crazy, crazy, or missing a screw for thinking that in our Spanish courses, you will learn these types of expressions that a person uses. native in his daily life. Don't think twice and contact us if you need more information. WhatsAppemail and through our form contact.

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