More Spanish Expressions with Verbs

This is the second edition on learning some common Spanish Expressions with Verbs.  Don’t miss the first-part which focuses on the verbs: Acabar, Dar, Dejar, Echar, Haver and Hacer.

Today, we’ll focus on: Perder, Ponerse, Tener, Volver, and some other commonly used expressions.

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(ponerse + adjective – to become)

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Common Spanish Expressions with Verbs

As you will discover while learning Spanish, many verbs can take on different meanings than what you initially learned, and are used idiomatically to create other various expressions. Dar generally means “to give”; however in combination with other words as you will see, a whole new useful vocabulary list emerges.

Today, we’ll start a two-part mini-series on common expressions with verbs in Spanish.  Specifically, expressions with: Acabar, Dar, Dejar, Echar, Haber and Hacer.

Expressions with ACABAR

acabar de + infinitive ­– to have just

acabar por + infinitiveto end by, to finally

For example:

  • Acabo de volver de la escuela.I have just returned from school.
  • Se enfermó gravemente y acabó por morir.He became seriously ill and finally died.

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(dar de beber (comer) a)

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What does HABER mean? Two Important Ways to use in Spanish

The verb HABER is a tricky one at first, being that it is used differently than most verbs.  However, it’s quite important to get a handle on it sooner than later as its use is quite important, and you will use it all the time while speaking Spanish.

To start, HABER is used in two ways:

  1. To express the existence of something
  2. As an auxiliary verb + past participle to form the “Perfect Tense”

To start, the verb HABER is used as existence; it has only one conjugation in all the tenses. In present tense is: HAY + noun. It doesn´t matter if it’s singular or plural.

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How to use Verbs like Gustar in Spanish

Early on when you are studying Spanish, you probably learned the phrase “me gusta”.  Me gusta this, me gusta that.  While you are somewhat correct that it means “I like this, I like that”, it would be more correct to say “This is pleasing to me, that is pleasing to me”.  That is why the verb conjugates differently than say “comer”.

Let’s have a look and dissect the verb Gustar (to like) and the several others that are similar to it.

In English the verb “like” is used as follows:

  • I like Spanish class.
  • You like flowers.

But Spanish is different. The verb “gustar” in Spanish depends on “what you like” and not the person who likes”

  • Me gusta la clase de español.
  • Te gustan las flores.

As you can see, the verb is conjugated according to the noun not the person.  In the first sentence there is “gusta” because the noun is “la clase” thus is singular.  The second sentence uses “gustan” because the noun is “las flores” and is plural.  The form of gustar and the noun have to agree with each other.

Additionally, “Gustar” is preceded by an indirect object pronoun (me / te etc.). This indicates that the person is performing the action (of liking).

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REFLEXIVE VERBS in Spanish -Flex some Spanish Muscle!

Not the favorite topic of Spanish students, especially coming from a language without a common equivalent – Reflexive verbs are indeed an important grammatical topic to get your head around pretty early on.

Reflexive verbs are simply when the subject of the verb is also its object.   What does this mean?  Let’s start off slow and work our way forward with some easy examples.

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A reflexive verb requires a reflexive personal pronoun, and these are:

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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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