Spanish Language Basics: Prepositions

Today we are going a bit back to the basics, and talk about Spanish Prepositions.  Prepositions are words that relate a noun or pronouns to some other word in the sentence.

Prepositions are an essential building block of a proper sentence, and are used in every Spanish conversation.  While they are relatively easy to learn, I think it is good practice to once in a while review to make sure that your understanding and memory of them are clear

For example:

  • Yo voy a la tienda.I’m going to the store.
  • Ella estudia con George.She studies with George.
  • Trabajo en la biblioteca.I work in the library.


Now let’s look at one by one these prepositions:

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GUATEMALTEQUISMOS: Guatemalan Expressions in Spanish:

This week, we’d like to expand your horizons and to go “off-textbook” and teach you some useful everyday phrases in Spanish. “Guatemaltequismos” are sayings, words or idioms typical in Guatemala – the phrases and expressions are used in “the street” for referring to certain things but in a funny or very casual way in this country.  Keep in mind that these are common in Guatemala specifically, some words/phrases may be understood in other Latin American countries.  Having at least some of these in your back pocket will surely go a long way towards the goal of fluency – and the locals will be impressed!

Here is a list of some Guatemaltequismos:

Amishara verb for being shy, or embarrassed.

  • La niña es muy amishada. – She is very shy.


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The Spanish Verb HACER – Meanings and Everyday Uses

In our 3rd installment of essential verbs (dar and tener), today we will look at the Spanish verb “Hacer”.  By its translation: to make/ to do – you can see that it is one of the most common verbs while speaking Spanish.  We’ll look at the quick and easy conjugation, some examples in sentences, and finally the ever-so-important “alternate uses” which as you will find out, are just as important as its “basic” meaning.

Yo hago – I do/make

haces – You do/make

Él/ella hace – He/she does/makes

Nosotros hacemos – We do/make

Ellos/ellas hacen – They do/make

Ustedes hacen – You (pl) do/make


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The Spanish Verb TENER – Meanings and Everyday Uses

In our second piece on three verbs (Dar, Tener, and Hacer) to discuss their main uses, but more importantly (and more interestingly) their alternate usages.  Today  we will focus today on the verb “tener” which in English is “to have”.

Yo tengo – I have

Tú tienes – You have

Él/ella tiene – He/she has

Nosotros tenemos– We have

Ellos/ellas tienen – They have

Ustedes tienen – You (pl) have


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The Spanish Verb DAR – Meanings and Everyday Uses

Today we’ll start with a high-level over view of one of the most essential verbs in Spanish: the verb “dar“, which is in English means “to give”.  The second part contains a handful of extremely useful common expressions used in everyday spoken Spanish – completely must-learns for the serious Spanish learners!

Yo doy – I give

Tú das – You give

Él/ella da – He/she gives

Nosotros damos  – We give

Ellos/ellas dan – They give

Ustedes dan – You(pl) give

For example:

  • Ella da una explicación al director.She gives an explanation to the principal.
  • Nosotros damos muchos regalos a los niños. – We give many gifts to the children.
  • das la tarea a la maestra.You give the homework to the teacher.
  • Yo doy las reglas a los estudiantes.  – I give students the rules.

Pretty basic stuff…

…But there are also Spanish expressions that use the verb “dar”, and once you have learned the above which shouldn’t take too long – the below is the more interesting and essential stuff about DAR.


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Positive and Negative words in Spanish

Today, we’ll talk about something a bit simpler – positive and negative words in Spanish.

Let’s start with the negative words.  As the name implies, there are words that have a negative meaning, but we will also see that sometimes can give a positive idea, so let’s see some examples.

Negative words in Spanish

No – no, not

Nadie / ninguno – nobody, no one

Nada – nothing, not anything

Nunca / jamás – never

Ningún / ninguna – none, not any

Tampoco – neither

Ni… ni – neither …. nor

Ni – not even


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What is the difference between Por y Para, and when do use each

The difference between “por and para” after the difference between ser and estar, is one of the biggest problems that the students face when they study Spanish

The difference between these two words is large, but even so – Spanish students tend to mix them up time and time again.  In most cases “por and para” means “for”, which obviously is a very common word in both languages, but they can also take on meanings that extend beyond this, all which I will detail below.

For example:

  • Gracias por venir. – Thanks for coming.
  • Los chocolates son para los niños. – The chocolates are for kids.

Arrgh!  Confusing, right?


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How to say I’m sorry in Spanish: Lo siento, Perdón y Disculpe

“I’m sorry” is an example of a word that can cause confusion especially when learning how to speak Spanish – since you normally say it on the fly, and abruptly.  Fortunately, the principles of “I’m sorry” in Spanish are pretty manageable, and not one to be a burden for the long-term.  The three Spanish expressions for “I’m sorry” / “Excuse me” can be used interchangeably for the most part as they have almost the same meaning.  Normally, there is no marked difference between Lo siento, Perdón and Disculpe as the context or the idea of the three is the same “apologize” for something we did wrong or some accident, or disturbance that we cause.

For example:

  • Lo siento por llegar tarde. – Sorry for being late.
  • Perdón por llegar tarde. – Sorry/Excuse me for being late.
  •  Disculpa por llegar tarde. – Sorry for being late.

As you can – the three words can be used in exactly the same way, and convey the same meaning.

Easy – right?  The good news is normally- yes!  The bad news is however there are situations that they can’t (shouldn’t) be used in the same way.


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The difference between SER Y ESTAR: To Be…Or not To Be…

First of all, even though our blog is fairly new, we always appreciate the comments and emails that we have received from our students and blog-readers.  We are always looking for great ideas and unique topics to write about to help people learn Spanish online.  Of course, we’d love for our readers to try our conversational Spanish lessons for free – we’d still love to hear from you either way.  Today we are going to discuss a typical, yet essential topic for Spanish students, which leave them asking: Exactly, what is the difference between ser and estar?


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What is the difference between SABER and CONOCER? – Breaking down the two “To Knows”

SABER and CONOCER are two verbs that many of our students confuse easily. Why? Because in English we just have just one verb “to know”. I know him. I know the time. I know how to do that. I know this city like the back of my hand. It’s all the same in that we say “to know” for each example. However, in Spanish, there are two verbs that exist, and it is important that any student differentiates them. The good news if you have a look at a few of our examples below – it’s really not that hard to learn!


We’ll show you how we can distinguish these irregular verbs and differentiate the two “to knows” that exist in the Spanish language.

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