Resources for elementary students

Conocer algo como la palma de la mano (to know something like the back of your hand)

palma-de-la-mano¿Do you know how to say in Spanish to know something like the back of your hand?

It is said…

Conocer algo como la palma de la mano  

(to know something like the palm of your hand).

 

Conozco mi ciudad como la palma de la mano (I know mi city like the back of his hand).

Estoy seguro que Carmen no es culpable, la conozco como la palma de la mano y es incapaz de hacer algo así (I am sure that Carmen is not guilty, I know her like the palm of your hand and is unable to do something like).

 

Understanding and knowing how to use idiomatic expressions is very important. Why don’t you make a sentence and leave it in the comments? We will correct it for you. You can also contact your tutor with any questions you have about this idiom. Don’t you have a Spanish tutor yet?

Tener la sartén por el mango (to call the shots)

sarten por el mango

Do you know how to say in Spanish “to call the shots”?

It is said…

Tener la sartén por el mango

(To hold the frying pan by the handle).

En casa la que tiene la sartén por el mango es mi mujer (My wife is the one who calls the shots at home).

El director tenía la sartén por el mango y no  pasaba nada sin su aprobación (The manager used to call  the shots and nothing happened without his approval).

Understanding and knowing how to use idiomatic expressions is very important. Why don’t you make a sentence and leave it in the comments? We will correct it for you. You can also contact your tutor with any questions you have about this idiom. Don’t you have a Spanish tutor yet?

Estar todavía en pañales (To be wet behind the ears)

To be wet behind the ears in Spanish is said "estar todavía en pañales"

Do you know how to say in Spanish “to be wet behind the ears

It is said…

Estar todavía en pañales

(to be still in nappies)

 

Jaime es demasiado joven para aceptar un trabajo como ese ¡Está todavía en pañales!  (Jaime’s too young to take on a job like this. He’s still wet behind the ears!).

¡Qué gracia! ¿Tú me vas a dar consejos a mí sobre mujeres? ¡Pero si estás todavía en pañales! (That’s a laugh, you, trying to give me advice about women when you are still wet behind the ears).

 

Understanding and knowing how to use idiomatic expressions is very important. Why don’t you make a sentence and leave it in the comments? We will correct it for you. You can also contact your tutor with any questions you have about this idiom. Don’t you have a Spanish tutor yet?

No es tan fiero el león como lo pintan (his bark is worse than his bite)

no-ser-tan-fiero-el-leonDo you know how to say his bark is worse than his bite” in Spanish?

No es tan fiero el león como lo pintan

(the lion is not as fierce as he is painted)

 ……

 

Puedes hablar con el jefe, no es tan fiero el león como lo pintan (You can speak to the boss: his bark is worse than his bite).

Cuando la gente me conoce se da cuanta que no soy tan fiero como me pintan (When people get to know me they realize my bark is definitely worse than my bite).

 

Understanding and knowing how to use idiomatic expressions is very important. Why don’t you make a sentence and leave it in the comments? We will correct it for you. You can also contact your tutor with any questions you have about this idiom. Don’t you have a Spanish tutor yet?

Spanish Demonstrative Pronouns (A2)

Do you already know how to use the demonstrative adjectives in Spanish? If your answer is “yes”, it is time to start working with the demonstrative pronouns or,  PRONOMBRES DEMOSTRATIVOS in Spanish. If not click on the link to learn about the adjectives first.

Spanish adjectives pronouns, let's see how they work

Demonstrative pronouns in Spanish (words that point out a specific person or thing) are identical to the demonstrative adjectives, as you can see in the grid above. Although pronouns agree in number and gender with the noun they replace.

Esta chaqueta y esa son de cuero (This jacket and that one are leather).

Estos libros y aquellos parecen más interesantes (These books and those look more interesting).

Sometimes you can see Spanish demonstrative pronouns written with an accent on the stressed syllable (over the first e in each word: éste, ése, aquél…), this is because years ago an accent was compulsory on the pronouns to avoid mistake them with the demonstrative adjectives, but not anymore. Spanish demonstrative pronouns must not be written with an accent!

 

Other ways to omit the name

The definite article (el, la, los, las) followed by “de” or “que” is often translated as a kind of demonstrative pronoun.

Mi corbata y la de mi hermano (my tie and that of my brother (my brother’s) ).

Este libro y el que tiene Juan son interesantes (This book and the one that Juan has (Juan’s) are interesting).

 

Neuter demonstrative pronouns

The neuter forms (eso, esto, aquello) are used when the gender is not determined or when referring to vague or general ideas, never to persons or specific things. These words do not vary in gender or number and no accent mark is required.

¿Qué es esto? (What is this?) [unknown].

Estoy enfermo y esto me molesta (I’m ill and this makes me angry) [general idea].

 

Former vs latter in Spanish

The pronoun este (-a, -os, -as) is used to translate the latter (the latest or most recently mentioned), while aquel (-lla, -llos, -llas) expresses the former (the most remotely mentioned).

Olga y Chema son hermanos; este es dentista, aquella es doctora (Olga and Chema are siblings; the former is a doctor, the latter is a dentist).

Note that in English, you begin with “the former,” but in Spanish, this order is reversed.

 

Spanish demonstrative pronouns practice and quizzes

Now is time for you to practice what you have learned with our quizzes below and remember to contact your tutor if you have any question about the Spanish demonstrative pronouns. Don’t you have a Spanish tutor yet?

 

Each other in Spanish, reciprocal verbs (A2)

We have worked with reflexive pronouns before, but do you know we can use reflexive pronouns to express reciprocity?  The plural pronominal/reflexive pronouns (nos, os, se) are used to express “each other” or “to each other.” Let’s see how the reciprocal verbs and pronouns work in Spanish.

Reflexive and reciprocal verbs in Spanish

 Se abrazan (They hug to each other or they hug themselves).

Because the above statements could have a reflexive meaning as well, one may add one of the following phrases to clarify, but this is optional since the context of the sentence is going to be very helpful.

Se abrazan el uno al otro (they hug to each other).

Continue reading Each other in Spanish, reciprocal verbs (A2)

Double object pronouns in Spanish (A2)

Using double objects pronouns in Spanish implies working with direct object pronouns (D.O.P.), indirect object pronouns (I.O.P.) and reflexive pronouns and their collocations. So first at all, I advise you to review these topics individually (by clicking on the link) if you don’t feel very confident about them.

Anyway, you can find all these pronouns in the chart below.

double objects pronouns in Spanish

Continue reading Double object pronouns in Spanish (A2)

Direct and Indirect object pronouns in Spanish

Object pronouns -direct and indirect object pronouns- substitute the noun. In English these are ‘me’, ‘him’, ‘her’ and so on. For example, in the sentence ‘Give Sam the pen,’ Sam is a noun, which can be changed to ‘Give her the pen.’ In Spanish the pronoun either comes before the verb as a separate word or after joined with the verb, when are used with affirmative imperative, an infinitive or a gerund. For example:

Le da el boli (he is giving her the pen).

Voy a darle el boli (I am going to give her the pen).

‘Dale el boli’ (give her the pen).

Estoy dándole el bolí (I am giving her the pen).

Object pronouns in Spanish

Direct and Indirect object pronouns in Spanish

¿Puedes hacerme una tostada? (Can you make me a toast?)

Os llamo manaña (I will call you tomorrow).

¿Te gusta este libro? (Do you like this book?)

Direct and indirect object pronouns in Spanish

As you can see object pronouns are a little more complicated in Spanish and that is because they change depending on whether you are referring to the direct or indirect object. Direct and indirect objects are nothing to be afraid of – you have them in English.

How direct and indirect objects work

The majority of sentences have two objects. The direct object is the noun or pronoun on the receiving end of the action for example, ‘Pass me the pen’ – it is the pen here that is receiving the action (by being passed around). The indirect object is the person or entity for whom you are doing the action.

In the above sentence the indirect object is ‘me’. Another way to say this would be ‘Pass the pen for me’. In English indirect objects are often indicated with the prepositions ‘for’ or ‘to.’ For example, ‘Explain the problem to us’ – the problem is the direct object while ‘us’ is the indirect object. With pronouns this is ‘Explain it to us.’ In the Spanish equivalent of this sentence the direct object is signified with ‘lo’ and the indirect with ‘nos.’ So it would be ‘explícamelo’ – The indirect object goes first followed by the direct (or in other words ‘lo’ and ‘la’ go at the end). Explain to him the problem would be ‘Explícale el problema.’

The LE, LO, LA rule

If I were to say in Spanish (Give them to them) I would end up with ‘Daleslas.’ These are far too many ‘l’ words for comfort. To avoid the Repetition of all those ‘l’ sounds ‘le’ and ‘les’ change to ‘se’ when paired with ‘lo,’ ‘la’, ‘los’ or ‘las.’ So the above sentence would be ‘Dáselas.’ More examples ‘Explícaselo’ (explain it to her). ‘Prestárselo’ (lend him/them it).

Remember you can contact you tutor with any question you have about direct and indirect object pronouns in Spanish. Don’t you have a personal Spanish tutor yet? Also you can try our workshop about personal pronouns. Now, it is time to practice what you have learned with our quizzes.

Verbs like GUSTAR (A2)

You will probably already have come across the phrase me gusta meaning I like Actually, gustar means literally to please, and works also like this verb, where the thing that you like is the subject of the sentence:

guardar

Nos gusta el flamenco (We like flamenco or literally “flamenco pleases us”).

Even though flamenco comes after gustar is the subject of the sentence and therefore the ending of the verb agree with flamenco instead of with we (learn more about gustar).

There are many other verbs like gustar in Spanish. In fact, practically most of the Spanish verbs can be used like gustar, but careful because they usually change their original meaning. Let’s see some of them. Continue reading Verbs like GUSTAR (A2)