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Key:

Subject | Object | Verb | Adjective | Adverb

1

At the Store

Barista:

Hola.

Bienvenida.

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.

¿Necesitas ayuda?

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?

Audio

Hello. Welcome. Do you need help?

Amanda:

Sí,

ayúdame

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.

Me gusta

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.

Quiero

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.

un café.

¿Cuánto cuesta?

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?

Barista:

Que bueno. El precio es cinco dólares.

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: Spanish-speaking countries and their currencies

Audio

Great. The price is five dollars.

Amanda:

Lo siento

The literal translation of Lo siento is I feel it with the -o in siento implying the subject of yo.

, señora, no entiendo. ¿Puede repetir más despacio, por favor? ¿Habla inglés?

In Spanish, there are two different ways of saying you, Usted and . 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.
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 which essentially mean the same word, you.

Audio

Im sorry, madam, I don’t understand. Can you repeat it more slowly, please? Do you speak english?

Barista:

No, no hablo

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.

Amanda:

Entiendo, pero es

demasiado dinero

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.
Spanish adjectives conjugation example

. Solo

tengo

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.
Tener conjugation chart

tres. ¿Entonces, tiene algo más barato?

I understand, but its too much money. I only have three. So, do you have something cheaper?

Barista:

Sí, tenemos un cafe pequeño por tres.

Yes, we have a small coffee for three.

Amanda:

Perfecto.

Quiero comprarlo

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.

Barista:

Thank you. Goodbye.

2

Introductions

Amanda:

¿Hola, cómo estás?

Me llamo Amanda.

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.

Hector:

Estoy bien

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.
Ser and estar use cases

, gracias.

Yo soy

Now that you understand the different use cases for ser and estar, it’s time to learn the different conjugations.
Ser and estar conjugation tables

Hector. ¿De dónde eres?

Im well, thanks. Im Hector. Where are you from?

Amanda:

Soy de los Estados Unidos y vivo en Florida ahora. Esta es mi primera vez en Columbia desde que

fui

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.
Ir present and past tense conjugation charts

a Bogotá hace dos meses. Yo llegué ayer. ¿Vives aquí?

Im 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?

Hector:

Sí, soy de aquí, pero soy estudiante en la universidad ahora. Estoy aquí para visitar a unas amigas.

Yes, Im from here, but Im a college student right now. Im here to visit some friends.

Amanda:

Yo también. Me quedo aquí por unas dias. Voy a una fiesta esta noche con mis amigos. Están allí en nuestra mesa. ¿Quieres ir a la fiesta conmigo?

Me too. Im staying here for a few days. Im going to a party tonight with my friends. Theyre over there at our table. Do you want to go to the party with me?

Hector:

Sí, me gustaría ir, pero no puedo dejar a mis amigos. Ellos están en el baño.

Yeah, I would like to go, but I can’t leave my friends. Theyre in the restroom.

Amanda:

Nosotros podemos ir juntos.

We can go together.

Hector:

Genial. Tal vez puedo ir. ¿Por qué hay una fiesta?

Great. Maybe I can go. Why is there a party?

Amanda:

Hoy es el cumpleaños de mi amigo. Él tiene veintiún años.

Today is my friends birthday. Hes twenty one.

Hector:

¿De verdad? Mañana es el cumpleaños de mi hermana. Ella tiene veintinueve años. ¿Dónde es la fiesta? ¿Está lejos? ¿Cuándo es?

Really? Tomorrow is my sisters birthday. Shes twenty nine. Where is the party? Isit far? When is it?

Amanda:

Es en una discoteca. Creo que es en dos horas.

Its at a club. I believe its in two hours.

Hector:

Chévere, puedo comprar tu próxima bebida antes de salir.

Cool, I can buy your next drink before we leave.

Amanda:

Gracias, pero esta es mi última cerveza.

Thanks, but this is my last beer.

3

At the Restaurant

Amanda:

Amigo, tengo hambre. Tengo que comer pronto. ¿Te gustaría comer y beber después del trabajo?

Friend, Im hungry. I have to eat soon. Would you like to eat and drink after work?

Miguel:

Sí, yo normalmente como y bebo alrededor de las siete.

Sure, I normally eat and drink around seven.

Amanda:

Hay un buen restaurante cerca de nuestro hotel. ¿Te gusta paella?

Theres a good restaurant near our hotel. Do you like paella?

Miguel:

Me encanta paella. Yo fui al restaurante hace dos semanas y la comida es muy deliciosa. Tengo que trabajar hasta las seis y media. Despues, vámonos.

I love paella. I went to that restaurant two weeks ago and the food is delicious. I have to work until 6:30. After,well go.

Amanda:

¿Puedes darme direcciones? ¿Necesito ir a la derecha o a la izquierda?

Can you give me directions? Do I need to go right or left?

Miguel:

Ninguna. Necesitas seguir derecho.

Neither. You need to continue straight ahead.

* Luego, en el restaurante ** Later, in the restaurant *
Amanda:

Perdón, señor. ¿Necesito una cartatienes una? Gracias. ¿La paella me parece muy buena, pero no sé esta palabra aquí. ¿Comó se dice en inglés?

Excuse me, sir. I need a menudo you have one? Thank you. The paella seems very good, but I don’t know this word. How do you say it in English?

Server:

La palabra es camarón, que significa shrimp en inglés.

That word is camarón, which means shrimp in English.

Amanda:

Está bien, aunque la paella me parece deliciosa, quisiera este plato de pollo y arroz con un vaso de agua, por favor.

Okay, even though the paella seems delicious, I would like this dish of chicken and rice with a glass of water, please.

* Después de comer ** After eating *
Server:

¿Cómo estaba tu comida?

How was your food?

Amanda:

Excelente. La cuenta, por favor.

Excellent. Check, please.

Miguel:

¿Quién va a pagar?

Who is going to pay?

Amanda:

I can pay.

Vocabulary List

  • 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
  • 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