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Archive for the ‘Spanish Questions’ Category

by CaptainCode

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November 4th, 2013

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¡Hola Amigos!
We hope your lunes (Monday) is going great! Make sure you have some Spanish time on your schedule today. And just in case you don’t, we’re bringing you this lesson, with some dialogues (Monday – themed, actually!) and wish you a great week!

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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February 28th, 2012

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The Spanish “x”


Hola Dave!

What are the pronunciation rules with regards to X’s? It seems to have many rules.. like Mexico is pronounced Mejico and Texas is pronounced Tejas. But it also has a real “x” such as in the word “exito”     Someone once told me how to pronounce Xcaret and I forgot how it sounded because it sounded very different. So what is the rule for the X’s?




Hola Dustin,

The Spanish “x” sounds just like the English “x” with one major exception – names. With certain names, the “x” sounds like the Spanish “j”. Examples are “México”, “Xavier” and “Oaxaca”.

Hopefully that answers your question.

Hasta luego,



Thank you Dave!

I have a followup on the same topic. I asked my friend from Mexico how to pronounce Xcaret. She said it is pronounced “Ish-Caret”…is this some exception?



by Dave Clark

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December 19th, 2011

Pregunta de la semana/Question of the week:

Dear Dave i have a really important question for you
alot of times when i hear people speak spanish then dont add the word yo to quiero or yo to the word tengo …

alot of times i well hear

quiero ir ( i want to go ) or alot i hear this word
tengo pregunta para ti ( i have a question for you )

but in spanish i though you had to add the word yo following the word quiero or tengo or ect…beacuse i think wouldent it make more sense to say yo tengo pregunta para ti ( i have a question for u ) or yo quiero ir ( i want to go ) an now i could be wrong and thats why i am asking ..

also when i speak spanish here is one more example where somtimes i find my self in a sticky situation for example i say usted tiene/ tienes comida porque tengo hambre
but my friend will say tienes comida porque tnego hombre
…they say tienes mean ( you have ) but dont u have to add the usted or tu ..to the word tiene ? to make it say you have ?

i hope when your reading this ..,my message is not confuseing to you ..but im just wondering alot do i have to add the words …yo to quiero ..or add the word yo to tengo for i have …or usted to tienes ..like this is all confuseing to me cuz they just say quiero…tengo…tienes
ect ..ect.. .


In Spanish, personal pronouns (yo, tú, él, ella, etc.) are completely optional. I realize this is a complete paradigm shift from how we speak in English (or how they do it in French or other languages). Often, native Spanish speakers with talk to you and not use them and sometimes, when you are new to Spanish, it will leave you wondering whom they are talking about. After a while you get used to it and realize whom they are talking about.

Basically, here’s how they do it – for everyday conversation, they’ll usually leave the personal pronoun off. For example, if someone said to someone else, “¿Quiere ir?” it could mean, Do you want to go? (formal) or “Does he or she want to go?” The way to tell the difference is by their body language or the context of what they are talking about. If they they are looking directly at the person, it probably means “Do YOU want to go?” If they are motioning to someone else or were previously talking about someone else, they mean “Does he/she want to go?”

Also, the personal pronouns are used when you want to emphasize. For example, if someone asked a group of people, “Who wants to go?” (¿Quién quiere ir?) If I really wanted to go (and only a few people could go) I would say, “Yo quiero ir.” (I want to go.)

Hopefully all of that makes sense and answers your question.

¡Hasta luego!



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 2nd, 2011

Note: For more Visual Link Spanish questions, please comment at the bottom of any blog post, and we’ll answer them here on the blog.

Level 3 Question:

Hola Dave,  I just started on level 3 and am a little confused on a couple of things. I’ve noticed that on some infinitive verbs you have place an “a” as in “to” before some verbs and not others. I thought that the infinitives included the “to”. For example, nadar means “to swim” but you have placed an “a” before the verb. Just not sure when to do that and when not to do that. I also noticed that in level 3 you have gone to “le” instead of “lo” and “les” instead of “los”. Again, not sure when to do that.  I would appreciate some clarification on this. I’m sure you’ll get some more questions from me as well. I am really enjoying the course and have recommended it to several people. Hasta la proxima.—–Anonymous User—-

Hola Amigo!

That is a great question and one of my favorites to answer. In Spanish, there are many times when you use two verbs together. For example:

Quiero comer (I want to eat), necesito caminar (I need to walk), puedo hablar (I can speak).

However, there are certain initial verbs that always have a preposition afterwords if followed by another verb. The prepositions or “helping words” really don’t mean anything, they simply have to be put on in Spanish to “sound correct”. Here are a few examples:

Vamos a comer (we’re going to eat), tengo que caminar (I need to walk), enseñar a jugar (to teach to play), aprender a leer (to learn to read).

The verbs that do this just have to be memorized. The verbs that do it will always do it.

Book Recommendation to Help:

I highly recommend the 501 Spanish Verbs Book. It has a section that shows the verbs that use prepositions and many other useful things. It is my favorite non Visual Link Spanish language learning book. It shows all of the conjugations and tenses for 501 Spanish verbs.

Here’s a link to the book on Amazon:

To answer your question about “le” vs “lo”, “le” is an indirect object pronoun and “lo” is a direct object pronoun. Now, I realize that is pretty technical, so I’ll give you a few examples. Here is the brief and simple answer. For a more in-depth answer, please see our Online Digital Learning Center which has many in-depth lessons on grammar.

Direct object pronouns use “lo” (the “lo” is what receives the action).

Don’t hit him.   No lo pegues.

She loves him.   Lo ama

She hates him.  Lo odia.

Indirect object pronouns use “le” (the “lo” changes to “le”): If you can put the word “something” after, then use the “le” which indicates is is an indirect object pronoun. Here are some examples:

I want to tell him. Quiero decirle (I want to tell him “something” – you can add “something” on afterward so you use “le”.)

She should ask him. Debe preguntarle. (She should ask him “something”.)

We are going to send him the letters. Vamos a mandarle las cartas. (In this case, “something” could take the place of “the letters” so you use the indirect object “le”.)

That is a brief answer. However, this topic goes much more in-depth that this and is covered well in our Digital Learning Center.

Hopefully that answers your questions.

¡Hasta luego!

by Dave Clark

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October 5th, 2011

¡Hola Amigos!

Here is a great question posted this week that came from Sherry about our Visual Link Spanish Level I course:

Thanks for posting it Sherry!:

Here is her question: “With the phrase – necesito hablar con usted… I don`t understand why it would not be – necesito hablar con a usted.”

Sherry, it looks like you are probably in the Communication Section of the Visual Link Spanish Level I course. In that section, you learned that when there is a person in Group 3 (which technically is a direct object – but all you need to know is “person in Group 3″), you have to put an “a” before the person. In Spanish, that is called a “personal a”. The “a” is pronounced “ah” (“personal ah”).

So, your question is a very perceptive one – ¡muy bien! In Spanish, there is a rule that if you use a preposition in front of a “Group 3″ word or “direct object that’s a person”, like “con” (“with”), it actually takes the place of the “personal ah”, and you don’t have to use it anymore.

Spanish usually doesn’t like to have two prepositions next to each other, except with the exception para/con. Sometimes native speakers will use para/con in the same sentences next to each other. It means “for/with”. However, that’s a different topic for a different day.

Hopefully that makes sense – another preposition will take the place of the “personal ah”.

Here is a short list of Spanish prepositions:

de: of, from, about

con: with

en: in, at, on

por: because of, for

para: intended for, in order to

antes de: before

después de: after

a: to, at (used with time)

cerca de: near

I love this language!! I hope you love it too! We believe this is the best website on the internet to learn Spanish online!

¡Hasta luego!

by Dave Clark

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September 26th, 2011

¡Hola Amigos de Visual Link Spanish!

Please post your comments and any questions you may have about Spanish and any of our courses at the bottom of this blog post (you may have to click the title of the blog post first to get in to where you can post comments.)

On Wednesdays, I will be answering questions – so come on back then and take a look.



by Dave Clark

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August 31st, 2011

¡Hola Amigos!

Last week I taught you how to say “Happy Birthday” in Spanish. I promised you that I’d show you the Mexican Happy Birthday song which is 7 verses long (I thought is was 8 in my article last week, but it’s only 7 – that’s way shorter eh?).

Anyway, here’s a link to last week’s article if you want to learn more about how to say Happy Birthday in Spanish.

So, here it is, and I’ve also included a YouTube video with an awesome mariachi singer singing it. (You can follow along with the words below. I’ve tweaked the English translation a bit to help for learning purposes.)

Here’s the song – enjoy! (Be sure and click on the “more” link below to see all 7 verses.)

“Estas son las mañanitas

que cantaba el rey David

Hoy por ser día de tu santo

Te las cantamos aquí.

Despierta mi bien despierta

Mira que ya amaneció

Ya los pajaritos cantan

La luna ya se metió.”


“These are the dawns

about which King David sang

Today because it’s your special day

We sing them to you.

Wake up very well wake up

Look what has already woken up

Already the birds are singing

and the moon has gone away.”


by Dave Clark

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August 24th, 2011

So, the question of the week is, “How do you say Happy Birthday in Spanish”?

It is “Feliz cumpleaños”. The word “cumpleaños” is a compound word – “cumple” comes from the Spanish verb “cumplir” which means “to complete” and “años” means “years”. So, literally “Happy Birthday” means, “Happy Completed Years”.

For a quick cautionary note, when you write the word “años” be sure to use the “tilde” over the “n” or it means a part of the body that you wouldn’t want to publish on a family friendly website. To write the “n” with the “tilde” over it (with Windows), press the “Alt” key, and while holding it down, press the numbers (on the keypad) 0,2,4,1, then let go of the “Alt” key. (I share this tip with you to save you embarrassment.)

Now, when someone says, “How old are you?” in Spanish, they say “¿Cuántos años tienes?” which literally means “How many years do you have?” To answer, you say, “Tengo veinte años” which means “I have twenty years”.

So, the question now becomes, how to you sing Happy Birthday in Spanish?

There are many different versions, so here goes:

Version 1:

“Cumpleaños a tí
En tu día feliz
Cumpleaños a (name/nombre)
Cumpleaños a tí”

Version 2 (watch out – this one’s pretty tricky!):

“Cumpleaños feliz
Cumpleaños feliz
Cumpleaños feliz
Cumpleaños feliz”

Keep watching the blog because later this week I’ll share the version with you from Mexico. Get excited – it has, get this, eight verses!

Well, thanks for joining me. If today happens to be your birthday, I’d like to wish you a Happy Birthday in Spanish, “!Feliz cumpleaños!”

¡Hasta luego Amigos!

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