Subject | Object | Verb | Adjective | Adverb
At the Store
Bienvenidos is the most common way to say welcome, but, in this case, the barista is speaking to one female, so he used bienvenida. In Spanish, adjectives change endings based on someone’s gender. -a = one female, -o = one male, -as = more than one female, and -os = a group that includes at least one male. So, if there’s a group of 99 females and one male (lucky guy), it would still be bienvenidos.
In Spanish, you can often “drop” the subject because the verb implies who the speaker is talking about.
So, the -as in Necesitas implies that the speaker is talking about you. You also don’t need the Do as it is also implied in the question marks and the inflection of the speaker’s voice.
The one Spanish word, Necesitas, does all three jobs of the three English words: Do, you, and need. Pretty cool, huh?
Hello. Welcome. Do you need help?
The verb ayudar (to help) is used here in the Affirmative form, also known as the Command form. In Spanish, commands can add the object of the command to the end of the verb. Another acceptable way to say “Help me” is “Me ayuda.”
, por favor.
In Spanish, the verb, gustar (to like) literally translates to it pleases me. So, the store is doing the action (pleasing) to the speaker, Amanda. Therefore, the verb gustar conjugates (changes) based on the subject doing the pleasing. If the sentence said, “I like these stores a lot,” it would translate to, “Me gustan mucho estas tiendas.” If you like multiple things, use the verb gustan.
mucho esta tienda.
Just like Necesitas in the first line, Amanda was able to drop the subject because the -o in the verb Quiero implies that she is talking about herself.
Querer is a stem-changing verb, meaning that the conjugation is irregular. In every conjugation (except nosotros), there is an i added before the first e.
Again, it’s important to notice what the subject of the sentence is because that affects how you’re going to conjugate the verb. In this sentence, “¿Cuánto cuesta?,” the subject is the implied coffee because it is the thing that is doing the action, (costing). This is important to note because if the subject was plural, the verb cuesta would change to cuestan.
Yes, help me, please. I like this store a lot. I want a coffee. How much does it cost?
This is a simple example of when English and Spanish syntax (sentence structure) line up exactly: Subject | verb | object. Don’t let this throw you off, though. The syntax isn’t always like this.
Keep in mind that this example uses American dollars (USD), dolares but the country that you’re visiting may not accept it. Here’s a list of Spanish-speaking countries and their currencies:
Great. The price is five dollars.
The literal translation of Lo siento is I feel it with the -o in siento implying the subject of yo.
, señora,. ¿ , por favor? ¿ ?
In Spanish, there are two different ways of saying you, Usted and tú. In this example, Habla, Amanda is using usted.
Usted is generally used when speaking to someone that you don’t know very well or is in a respectable position, such as a professor or doctor. Amanda is using it here to be respectful to the barista.
Tú is used with friends and acquaintances. The barista used it with Amanda to be more conversational and friendly while asking her, Necesitas ayuda.
Notice that the verbs are conjugated differently based on which subject is used, even for usted and tú which essentially mean the same word, you.
I’m sorry, madam, . , please?
It may seem strange to say No back-to-back in the same sentence, but it’s not a typo. In Spanish, verbs become negative by simply adding no before the verb. So, the first No (before the comma) was answering the question and the second no (after the comma) has the purpose of making the verb, hablo, negative.
If the speaker chose to include the subject (remember it’s optional), the sentence would read as follows: No, yo no hablo inglés.
inglés. Cuesta cinco dólares.
No, I don’t speak English. It costs five dollars.
Demasiado is an adjective describing dinero.
In Spanish, adjectives change endings based on the noun that they’re describing. If the object was feminine (with an -a ending) the adjective would also end with -a.
Tengo is an irregular verb in many ways. The base verb is tener, but a lot happens to it when it conjugates. Try to memorize this conjugation chart.
tres. ¿Entonces, tiene algo más barato?
it’s too much money. I only have three. So, do you have something cheaper?, but
Yes, we have a small coffee for three.
Comprarlo is a combination of the infinitive of a verb and a direct object. You can only add the direct object to the end of a verb when it is in its infinitive form, meaning not conjugated. A tip to see if a verb is still in the infinitive form is to see if it still ends with -er, -ar, or -ir. If it does, it hasn’t been conjugated yet and the direct object that it’s affecting can be added onto the end. If the verb is conjugated, the direct object goes before the verb. So, this phrase could be rewritten as, “Lo quiero comprar.”
, por favor.
Perfect. I want to buy it, please.
Thank you. Goodbye.
Llamarse is yet another reflexive verb, which may cause some confusion for new Spanish learners. The direct translation of me llamo Amanda is, “I call myself Amanda. Weird, I know, but it’s a very common way to introduce yourself. It’s interesting due to the fact that the object and the subject are both the person being introduced. So, if someone asked what your brother’s name is, you would respond with, “Se llama Enrique.” “He calls himself Enrique“.
Hello, how are you? My name is Amanda.
If you look at the next sentence in this section, you’ll see that Hector uses both estoy and soy to say the phrase I am. Estoy comes from the verb estar, meaning to be. Soy comes from the verb ser, also meaning to be. So, what’s the difference?
Think of estar as temporary and ser as permanent. Below is a list of the different use cases for ser and estar.
Now that you understand the different use cases for ser and estar, it’s time to learn the different conjugations.
Hector. ¿De dónde eres?
I’m well, thanks. I’m Hector. Where are you from?
Fui is the first use of the preterite form. Preterite simply means past tense. Fui is the preterite form of the verb ir, which is an irregular verb in both tenses.
a Bogotá hace dos meses. Yo
Llegué is in the preterite, one of the possible past tenses in Spanish. For the verb llegar, the yo conjugation (llegué) is irregular. This has a reason, though. If llegar followed traditional preterite conjugation standards, it would turn into llege and lose the “g” sound. In Spanish, a -ge is pronounced like an “h” sound in English. The u and accent mark over the e are added to maintain that hard g sound. Hover over the question mark icon at the end of the sentence to listen to the audio.
ayer. ¿Vives aquí?
I’m from the United States and I live in Florida right now. This is my first time in Columbia since I went to Bogota two months ago. I arrived yesterday. Do you live here?
Yes, I’m from here, but I’m a college student right now. I’m here to visit some friends.
Me too. I’m staying here for a few days. I’m going to a party tonight with my friends. They’re over there at our table. Do you want to go to the party with me?
Yeah, I would like to go, but I can’t leave my friends. They’re in the restroom.
We can go together.
Great. Maybe I can go. Why is there a party?
Today is my friend’s birthday. He’s twenty one.
Really? Tomorrow is my sister’s birthday. She’s twenty nine. Where is the party? Isit far? When is it?
It’s at a club. I believe it’s in two hours.
Cool, I can buy your next drink before we leave.
Thanks, but this is my last beer.
At the Restaurant
Friend, I’m hungry. I have to eat soon. Would you like to eat and drink after work?
Sure, I normally eat and drink around seven.
There’s a good restaurant near our hotel. Do you like paella?
I love paella. I went to that restaurant two weeks ago and the food is delicious. I have to work until 6:30. After,we‘ll go.
Can you give me directions? Do I need to go right or left?
Neither. You need to continue straight ahead.
Excuse me, sir. I need a menu—do you have one? Thank you. The paella seems very good, but I don’t know this word. How do you say it in English?
That word is camarón, which means shrimp in English.
Okay, even though the paella seems delicious, I would like this dish of chicken and rice with a glass of water, please.
How was your food?
Excellent. Check, please.
Who is going to pay?
I can pay.
- Quién Who
- Qué What
- Cuándo When
- Dónde Where
- Por qué Why
- Comó How
- Cuánto How much
- No entiendo I don’t understand
- Más despacio, por favor. More slowly, please.
- Lo siento/perdón Sorry
- ¿Puede repetir, por favor? Can you repeat that?
- ¿Cómo se dice ____ en español? How do you say ____ in Spanish?
- No sé I don’t know
- ¿Qué significa ____? What does ____ mean?
- Ayúdame Help me
- Puedes You can
- ¿De verdad? Really?
- Quiero I want
- Quieres You want
- Necesito I need
- Tienes You have
- Tiene You have (usted)
- Tenemos We have
- Tengo que I have to
- Me gusta(n) I like
- Me voy (Voy a) I go(ing to)
- Te gustaría You would like (Would you like…?)
- Fui I went
- Yo soy I am
- Es It is
- Comer Eat
- Beber Drink
- Trabajo I work
- Vivo I live
- Me quedo I stay
- Comprar Buy
- Me llamo My name is
- Necesitas You need
- Tengo I have
- Te gusta(n) You like
- Puedo I can
- Podemos We can
- Nos vamos (Vamos a) We go(ing to)
- Me gustaría I would like
- Tú eres You are
- Estoy I am (estar)
- Estás You are (estar)
- Está It is (estar)
- Hablo I speak
- Habla/Hablas You speak
- Como I eat
- Bebo I drink
- Vives You live
- Creo que I believe
- Tengo hambre I’m hungry
- Perdón Excuse me
- Por Favor Please
- Nuestro/Nuestra Our
- Entonces Then
- Ahora Now
- Luego Later
- Después After
- Desde Since
- Aquí Here
- Hay There is/There are
- Demasiado/Demasiada Too much
- Solo Only
- Mucho Very much (A lot)
- Juntos/juntas Together
- Conmigo With me
- Fiesta Party
- Restaurante Restaurant
- Hotel Hotel
- Comida Food
- Agua Water
- Esta noche Tonight
- Pronto Soon
- Gracias Thank you
- Hola Hello
- Señora Madam
- Señor Sir
- Adios Goodbye
- También Also/Too
- Ayuda Help
- Yo I
- Tú You
- Nosotros We
- Ellos/Ellas They
- Mi My
- Tu Your
- Ahí/Allí/Allá There
- Antés Before
- Pero But
- Dinero Money
- Hasta Until
- Años Years
- Él/Ella He/she
- Hoy Today
- Mañana Tomorrow
- Ayer Yesterday
- Próximo Next
- Última Last
- Tal vez Maybe
- Muy Very
- Aunque Even though (although)
- Algun(os/as) Some
- Izquierdo Left
- A la derecha Right
- Derecho Straight
- Direcciones Direction
- Cerca Near
- Lejos Far