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Archive for the ‘Spanish Grammar’ Category

by CaptainCode

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May 15th, 2015

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Learning a foreign language is exciting! Soon enough, every learner understands that not everything can be translated directly and there can be double meanings, so language learners need to understand the difference in meanings of seemingly similar words.

Ser and estar (the pair of verbs that both mean ‘to be’ in Spanish) are not the only example. Do you know verbs saber and conocer? They fall into the same category and both verbs mean “to know.” Yet, they are different in a way that does not exist in English.

Saber is used in the context of knowing information, ideas or how to do something.
Conocer is used in the context of knowing a person or a place, or to be familiar with something (software, for example).

For example:

e.g., “Yo sé como cocinar.” I know how to cook.
e.g., “¿Conoces bien la ciudad?” Do you know the city well?

A few more examples:
¿Sabes tú leer música? – Do you know how to read music?
Yo sé escribir en español. – I know how to write in Spanish.
Ellos saben jugar a las cartas. – They know how to play cards.
¡No sé! – I don’t know!
Ellos conocen el sitio donde van a tener el concierto. – They know the site where they’re going to have the concert.
Conozco este modelo, como casi lo compré anteriormente. – I know this model, as I almost bought it previously.
No conozco al abuelo de Estefanía. – I don’t know Stephanie’s grandfather.

Want to learn Spanish verbs? Check out our courses:
Introductory Spanish Verbs
Advanced Spanish Verbs

by CaptainCode

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June 20th, 2014

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Can 40 dollars change your life? YES – if you spend them wisely.

Lifetime membership in Visual Link Spanish Digital Learning Center is exactly what you’re looking for. For only $39.99, you receive access to an award-winning language learning platform.

ON39DLC accommodates your needs from the beginner through intermediate to advanced and fluent levels. We surveyed thousands of our customers and over 1,000 school teachers to create these fun interactive lessons that will help you improve your Spanish, boost your vocabulary and expand the knowledge of Spanish culture. You will find this platform helpful no matter which level you’re at right now, and it will grow with you, meeting your needs as you progress.

Here’s why you will love the Lifetime Membership in Digital Learning Center from Visual Link® Spanish:

  • Verb Conjugation and Drills - Quiz yourself in ALL major verb conjugations in Spanish with over 5,000 conjugation drills -including past, future, subjunctive, conditional and more!
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*This post features a special offer only available through the link provided. Regular website prices differ.

by CaptainCode

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November 21st, 2013

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If you have been studying Spanish for some time, you most probably know that there are two words to say You in Spanish. This is common for Roman languages, and the rules of French and Italian, for example, are the same – just so you know. Now, back to Spanish :).

So, there are Tu and Usted.

Tu is an informal and friendly pronoun, used when talking to a person you call by their first name. The word Usted used in cases of formal speech, or when you do not know a person well. Addressing anyone with a title in their name, you should use Usted.

Here’s our video to help you memorize the use of the Spanish pronouns

by CaptainCode

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November 7th, 2013

How comfortable are you using the future tense in Spanish? Do you remember the irregular verbs? Whether you need to refresh your memory or learn the future tense from zero, this Visual Link Spanish video is here to help:

Even if you are an absolute beginner or just consider learning Spanish – don’t just scroll down. This video gives you an idea of just how accessible Visual Link Spanish lessons are. And you know the extra good news? You can start learning Spanish now for FREE with almost 500 lessons available.

Explore Visual Link Spanish now!

by Dave Clark

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March 1st, 2012

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Dear Dave, I was speaking with my husband from Central America and said, “Se me olvido” He corrected me and said I should be saying, “Se me olvidan”.  ((I was trying to say I forget the correct way to speak when speaking even if I can understand when reading Spanish). Does the verb olvidar get conjugated into the 1st person or 3rd person in this phrase?  I know if I say, “no me gusta” it is 3rd person because it actually translates as “It is not pleasing to me” so gusta is refering to the 3rd person pronoun “it” but I don’t understand why the word olvidar would be in the 3rd person if I am says “I forget it” or “I forget them”.


Buena pregunta.

The phrase, “Me olvidé” means “I forgot”.

The phrase, “Se me olvidó” means “I forgot it” or “It escaped me.” When you put the “se me” next to each other, it can have the connotation of “suddenly” or “unexpectedly” (I forgot it – suddenly.)

Now, if you said, “Se me olvidan” it would mean “I forget about them”. The phrase, “Se me olvidaron” means “I forgot about them” (past tense).

Hopefully that all makes sense and answers your question.

Comment from Jaime

“se me” could be reflexive OR impersonal form OR to my self, like in that case.
“se me olvidó” means (literally) “I forgot it myself”
You need to conjugate it as 3rd person because is “it”, is “something”. Example: “se me olvidó (ir a trabajar)”. “ir a trabajar” is “it, something” is the direct object.
Find me at: spanish teacher uk . tk (all together)

by Dave Clark

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December 21st, 2011

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¡Hola Amigos!

A few weeks ago, I started to teach you Indirect Object Pronouns. Here’s the link to that first post: Indirect Object Pronouns in Spanish Part I.

As I explained in the last post, the information I am sharing here is from the scripts from our Digital Learning Center (DLC) course. If you purchase the DLC course, you will learn all kinds of info about Spanish grammar. You can find it on our Catalog page.

That said, here we go:

…Now let’s learn how to say the Spanish indirect object pronouns and how to use them in sentences in Spanish.

Are you ready?

me nos
te os (used only inSpain)
le les

If you’ve gone through the Direct Objects lesson, you may have noticed that the only difference between direct object and indirect object pronouns in that we use “le” and “les” instead of “lo”, “la” “los” and “las” (bottom row).

Now let’s see how they work in Spanish – As we go through these examples, notice how, unlike English, the Indirect Objects in Spanish come before the verb.

“She gives the money to me” changes to

Me da el dinero

“We send letters to him” changes to

Le mandamos las cartas

“She asks a favor of him” changes to

Le pide un favor

“They tell secrets to her” changes to

Le dicen secretos

“He writes emails to us” changes to

Nos escribe emails

“I throw the ball to them” changes to

Les tiro la pelota

“I deliver the packages to you – informal” changes to

Te entrego los paquetes

Hopefully now you have the basic idea of how indirect objects work. If this idea still seems pretty new to you, you may want to review it again.

Next we’ll move on to a new concept and learn how to put Direct Object and Indirect Object Pronouns together in the same sentence.

Now, if you’ve seen the Direct Object lesson, you learned how to use Direct Object Pronouns (if not, I recommend watching it). We’ll review them for a minute now.

They are:

me nos
te os
lo/la los/las

In this lesson, we’ll only focus on objects or items so we’ll only need the bottom row of Direct Objects. In other words, we don’t need to use the top ones then putting together direct and indirect object pronouns.

As a quick review, we’ll take another look at the Indirect Object Pronouns.

me nos
te os
le les

First of all, when you put a “Direct Object Pronoun” and an “Indirect Object Pronoun” together, the “Indirect Object Pronoun”, representing a person, always comes first. And the “Direct Object Pronoun”, representing an item or object, comes second.

Well Amigos, that does it for today.

I hope you’re all having fun getting ready for Navidad (Christmas).

¡Felices Fiestas! (Happy Holidays!)

by Dave Clark

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November 30th, 2011

Hola Amigos!

Here is a partial script from an interactive lesson in our Spanish Digital Learning Center (DLC).

In order to learn “Indirect Object pronouns”, first we need to briefly review what a “Direct Object” is. Direct Objects are the “First goal or action of a verb”. The best way to learn what that means is to look at a few examples.

The first one is: “She gives the money”. Here the verb is “gives” and “the money” is the “Direct Object”. It receives the action of the verb – it’s “what” She gives. In Spanish, this would be said “Ella da el dinero”. The “ella” is optional.

See if you can pick out the “Direct Objects” in the next few examples. Just a hint, the “Direct Object” will turn blue a second after the sentence is said (Note: this only happens in the interactive lesson). Try to pick it out before it turns blue.

We send letters:  Now in Spanish – Mandamos las cartas

She asks for a favor: Now in Spanish – Pide un favor

They tell secrets: Now in Spanish – Dicen secretos

He writes emails: Now in Spanish –  Escribe emails

I throw the ball: Now in Spanish – Tiro la pelota

I deliver the packages: Now in Spanish – Entrego los paquetes


by Dave Clark

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November 16th, 2011

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Spanish Question:

Dave,  thanks for your explaination on the “a” before some verbs… Now I remember from level 1 that after some verbs you had the “a” in parentheses after some verbs. I also purchased the 501 verb book that you suggested. I think it will help, especially when I get used to the terminology used in the book.


As you mention, there are certain verbs from Level I that you have to put an “a” afterward if you add another verb on after (you have to memorize these):

Quiero aprender a leer. (I want to learn to read.)

Necesito enseñarle a tocar el instrumento. (I need to teach her to play the instrument.)


As I said in my last email, I have started level 3 now. I have been in the program for a year and a half now and in some respects feel like I am progressing pretty well but in others feel like I am lagging a little. Just have trouble with the irregulars in as far as getting them mixed up. I keep going back through them to try to get them straight. Is this pretty common? I learn them fine while in a lesson but as I go on I get confused on which verbs for which tense.


This is very common. The most challenging part about Spanish is learning the verbs because there are so many tenses and conjugations. The good news is that the more you practice (with the software and with native speakers), the better you get. Keep plugging away and eventually it will come. To really become fluent, I recommend 30-60 minutes a day 3-5 days a week. Remember, cramming doesn’t work. You learn it and then forget it soon thereafter.


Another concern I have is how slow I am to comprehend when others are speaking. I can read and write pretty well, speak pretty well if I think first but comprehension is my weak point. I am thinking of the DLC product but don’t want to overload. I still have to finish level 3 and I have the additonal verb product that I haven’t even looked at yet. Just wondering what your thoughts on this are. I should probably mention that I am 58 yrs old and that might hinder the speed of my progress some. I would appreciate any advice you might have. I am hooked and want to become fluent. By the way, what is considered fluent? Thanks—————Rick


For what you want, I would really recommend the Spanish Comprehension Trainer and not the DLC at this point. It has real-life conversations between native speakers and it helps you to understand them with a translation tool. There is also a tool to let you hear everything slower. As you use this software, you will start to recognize the verb tenses you are learning and how they are used.

To answer your question about becoming fluent, fluency really means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. remember to just keep practicing – eventually you reach breakthroughs that are exciting and that confirm your progress.

Question (from a different anonymous Spanish learner):

I don’t know what I ought to do.  No sé lo que debo hacer.  Why the direct object lo?


Here the “lo que” means “that which”. So, the translation would be, “I don’t know that which I ought to do”.


I’m going to ask my aunt what she thinks.   Voy a preguntarle a mi tía lo que piensa.  Why the direct object lo? I can’t figure this out.


Again, here you are literally saying, “I am going to ask my aunt that which she thinks.” I realize that sounds a little different from the way we would actually say it in English, however, that’s how they say it in Spanish.

Hopefully that answers your questions.

If any of you readers has future question, please comment here on our blog.

¡Hasta luego amigos!





by Dave Clark

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November 9th, 2011

¡Hola Amigos!

This week, I’m going to take a section out of our Level II verb course for you to take a look at to help you learn direct object pronouns. At the end of the blog post, I’ll give you a link where you can download a free 7-day trial of Level II.

Are you ready? Here we go:

Now we’re going to learn about direct objects in Spanish. One of the good things about learning Spanish is that you learn more about English at the same time. If you’re like the average person, you probably learned about direct object pronouns in junior high, high school, or even college, then forgotten about them. Here, we’ll refresh your memory and you’ll probably learn them better here than you ever did in English class. Basically, in a nutshell, direct objects receive the action of a sentence or phrase and are words like he, she, it and them.

For example, if I said “I’m waiting for Juanita”, “Juanita” is the direct object because she receives the action of the sentence. Now, to simplify a little bit, if I’m talking about Juanita, I don’t have to say her name, “Juanita”, every time I mention her. Instead, I can use what’s called a direct object pronoun and simply replace “Juanita” with “her”. For example, I could simply say “I’m waiting for her”. Since the word “her” receives the action, It’s called a direct object pronoun.

In Spanish here are the direct object pronouns when we’re talking about people:

For “yo” it’s Me For “nosotros” it’s “nos”
For “tu” it’s Te For “vosotros”, the plural of “te”, used only inSpain, it’s “os”
For “él”, “ella” or “Ud.” It’s Lo or la depending on whether the person is a male or female And for “ellos”, “ellas” or “Uds” it’s “los or las” depending on whether the people you are talking about are men or women. Remember, a mixed group of men and women uses the masculine, or “los”.

Now let’s learn how to use these in Spanish. Are you ready? The tricky part is that the direct object pronouns come before the verb instead of after the verb like we’re used to in English. Let’s take a look at a few.

The phrase “I see her” would be “La veo”.

Some of you may have learned that you can say “Veo a ella”. This is completely correct but isn’t as common as “La veo”. The phrase “La veo” is sort of like a shortcut.

Let’s try a few more: (leave the chart above on the screen with just the pronouns)

“They see me”. To do this one in Spanish, first we look at the direct object (“me”) and put it at the front of our Spanish verb “Me ven”. The direct object pronouns look the same in both languages but it is just a coincidence. In Spanish, it is pronounced “meh” and in English “me”. Anyway, after putting “me” in front, then you conjugate “they see” (arrow) which is “ven”. So, “they see me” would be “me ven”.

That’s as far as we’ll go this week in helping you learn Spanish direct object pronouns.

For more, please go to our Level II Course Free 7-Day Trial and have fun!

Hasta luego Amigos!

by Jake Beus

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October 25th, 2011

Many nouns that end in -o are masculine. Many nouns that end in -a are feminine. However, there are certain Spanish nouns that end in -ma that are masculine. It is important that you not over-think this. A mistake that many language learners make which slows their language growth is trying to figure out “why” on everything. Some things you simply need to accept and memorize. This list is one of those things:

the program | el programa
the problem | el problema
the drama | el drama
the system | el sistema
the charisma | el carisma
the symptom | el síntoma
the aroma | el aroma
the climate | el clima
the trauma | el trauma

Like I previously stated, this is a list of nouns and their genders which you must simply memorize. A common mistake that Spanish learners make is assuming that just because the Spanish noun ends in -a, it must be feminine. Don’t assume. Consistently learn and improve your Spanish.

I have a friend in Japan who learned English 17 years ago in the United States. She attended high school and college in the U.S. She now has a very good job as an assistant and translator for a large company and gets to travel all around the world. She has very good English, but she still makes mistakes. After 17 years of learning and improving her English, she still works hard to correct her mistakes. She has been very successful because of that. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Laugh about them, learn from them, and move on.

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