If you know a bit of Spanish, you will be familiar with the verb "tener", which literally means “to have”. Like in English, we use this verb to express possession, for example “tengo una casa en España” (I have a house in Spain)
"Tener" is one of the most common and useful verbs in Spanish, and as well as expressing possession, it has some other uses too...
Today, I’m bringing you 13 very common expressions with "tener" for everyday situations.
These expressions frequently cause confusion for English speakers because in English they are used with “to be” (they are states of being), but in Spanish they are always formed with "tener".
Whether you know some, most or none of these, why not take a look at them and pick the ones that you can use straight away:
Listening to catchy songs in Spanish can greatly help you improve your accent. But not only that. It's an excellent way to develop vocabulary, grammar, fluency and confidence too!
Well, firstly, it’s fun! And the brain learns better when we’re enjoying what we’re doing. And songs are a very natural way to get an ear for the language.
Listening to songs in Spanish help you retain more vocabulary because of the catchy lyrics and rhythm. After just a couple of repetitions, you get familiar with the sounds, the intonation and the pace.
And if it’s a song that you like, it will get stuck in your head… which is a great thing for learning Spanish! Follow along with the lyrics and the connection between sounds and words will be instant
Because no matter what level you’re at, songs will help you improve pronunciation, broaden vocabulary and deepen grammar understanding.
Manu Chao - Me gustas...
“I want to sound more natural, more native…”
This is something that I hear all the time the first time I speak with someone who has been learning for a while, but is stuck and not happy with the way their progress is going.
Can you relate?
Granted each person is unique and there will be specific things that they can do to improve and develop which need further exploring, but one of the things that will definitely help is to start adding Spanish expressions, just like Spaniards do… all the time!
They will help you sound more fluent and native as they will instantly let the other person know that you are confident and relaxed with your speaking and not sound like a walking textbook!
However, it’s important that you learn how to identify the most frequently used ones though (there are lots and lots!) and the techniques for incorporating them naturally and exactly at the right time!
Many people think that learning another language is about studying the vocabulary, the rules, the expressions…
And yes, that is absolutely necessary, but there are *often overlooked critical skills* that you need to make peace with and develop if you want to be fluent and competent.
Because once we start the journey, we usually find other unexpected challenges that we need to know how to overcome. Otherwise, they can slow us down, block us or even make us quit!
But we really don’t want that to happen. So, what does it really take to speak Spanish naturally and confidently?
Remember energy flows where attention goes. If your attention is on mistakes, your brain will often freeze when not sure how to say something as the focus is on “not making mistakes”. If your attention is on communication, your brain will relax...
Finding the correct Spanish words to express anger and frustration without being rude or sounding inappropriate is definitely an important skill to have.
And in your quest to speak fluent Spanish, you’ll need to equip yourself with common words that allow you to express your feelings and thoughts appropriately.
So, I’m sure today’s vocabulary will be very useful, whether you use it yourself or you recognise when someone is voicing anger and frustration in Spanish too!
The easiest way is by using the following formula:
Estoy harta del tráfico - "I’m fed up with the traffic"
¡Estoy enfadado porque ha subido el precio de la gasolina otra vez! - "I’m angry because the price of petrol has gone up again!"
And it is a very interesting question as not only is there no simple answer, but also the answer may surprise you… because a huge part is really up to you!
Let me explain.
There are critical elements that will influence how long it will take you and most of them are actually within your control.
Let’s explore each of them in more depth:
If you live in Spain, how many *real* opportunities do you have daily to interact with people? Go through your day to day and identify the situations where the interactions are “easier and more predictable” and build it from there.
Having phone conversations in a different language is one of the hardest things to master, particularly if it’s with people we’ve never met or spoken to before and it’s an important call.
Because over the phone, similar sounds are more difficult to distinguish, and also, we miss all forms of non-verbal communication (like reading their lips, facial expressions and body language).
However, if you can remain calm and put into words what’s happening, you’ll get through the situation successfully (ie. Hay mala cobertura, ¿te puedo volver a llamar en 5 minutos? There’s bad reception, can I call you back in 5 minutes?)
Here's 8 super helpful phrases when there is a problem while you’re on the phone in Spanish for all levels that you can use any time:
Most Spanish words that look the same (or very similar) in English are in fact very close in meaning. They’re called “cognates”. And when you’re learning another language, it is very uplifting to hear a new word and think… “YES! I know this”
These words are called “false friends”. And today I’m bringing you five of the most confusing ones for intermediate learners. Mastering these will help you speak Spanish more confidently
Sp. Actual - current, present day (Ex. Una noticia actual - Current news)
En. Actual in Spanish is “real, verdadero” (Ex. el coste real - The actual cost)
Sp. Realizar - “perform, make, do, carry out” (Ex. Ejercicios fáciles de realizar - Easy to perform exercises”)
En. Realise is...
As you know, here at Your Spanish Dreams, we’re all about helping you integrate in Spain and communicate easily and naturally with the locals.
And one of the best ways to know what’s going on is by understanding the colloquial expressions used on a daily basis. Some expressions can be guessed because there may be a similar version in English. But, if you hear people saying…
Madre mía, he estado trabajando todo el fin de semana y estoy hecho polvo -...
If you want to sound more natural and spontaneous in Spanish, you’re about to learn a huge trick on how to do just that!
Many people think that the ultimate way to sound fluent and native means learning more grammar, vocabulary, etc (which of course is necessary). However, that on its own won’t give you the native distinction.
These are little words and noises like “erm”, “so”, “well”, “I mean”, “right”, “you know” in English... They’re called filler words because we use them to fill in the gaps while we’re thinking about what to say next.
Well, in Spanish, there’s a whole set of them too!
And the good news is, these words are quick to learn and will instantly help you sound and feel more native, whatever your level.
Because they give a sense of...