Monday, June 30, 2014

Ciento and Cienta (100 and gender agreement)

Gender agreement and Spanish numbers are only  an issue when the numbers are over 200.
If the number is between 101 and 199, the ciento part does not ever agree with a feminine noun. That is to say that you do not put an A at the end of the word ciento to make it feminine. If the number has an un (1) in the number ( 101, 121,131 etc ), then the un part  does get an A at the end... if the noun is feminine.
 ciento  cuarenta una galletas or ciento una galletas. Notice that the ciento part is not feminine even though the noun it is modifying is.

Here is a visual for you. 
I was going to write that the numbers 100-199 are too young to change in front of  girls.
The only time you make ciento change to cienta is for numbers over 200
as in doscientas cuarenta una galletas or doscientas una galletas.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ciento (Plural)

 Ciento and Plurals

In Spanish, the numbers 100-199 are not considered plural, so never put an S at the end of ciento for these numbers.
Example: ciento un gatos (101 cats)

Numbers 200 and higher are considered plural, so put an S at the end of ciento for these numbers
Example: doscientos gatos (200 cats)

 Those are not dollar signs. They are "No S for ciento on numbers 100-199 signs".

Monday, June 23, 2014

Cien and Ciento

The Spanish word for 100 is cien.

The Spanish word for 101 on up is ciento (ciento uno, ciento dos, ciento tres ...). There is no "toe" sound at the end of cien.
But every number above 100 has toes.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Difference Between Conocer and Saber

Conocer and Saber both  mean "to know" but there is a difference.

Conocer means to know people or places as in," Do you know that fencing teacher?"
Saber means to know facts and stuff as in, "Do you know how to fence?"

To make the difference between Conocer and Saber clearer, look at the word Conocer:
Doesn't it sound like Can Know Sir as in:
- "Can you know him?"
- Yes, I can know Sir. "
Do you you see the connection? Sir is a person...and you use conocer when talking about people ( and places)

As for Saber, your first thought should be a LIGHTSABER....and lightsabers are employed by science fiction characters and nerds... and nerds know a lot of facts and stuff...and you use Saber when you are talking about facts and stuff.
Conocer and Saber
She is saying, " I know how to use a rocket"

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


You  can construct an endless amount of sentences with the word hay. Hay can mean 4 different things
  • There is 
  • There are
  • Is there?    and 
  • Are there?

You can talk for hours by just pointing things out with this word.
Hay un payaso. Hay unos niños. Hay una policía. Hay un arresto.

Or you can come off like a brilliant conversationalist by asking questions with Hay.
¿Hay una baño? ¿ Hay unas toallas?  ¿Hay jabón?  ¿Hay papal higiénico?

To remember the use of the word Hay forever, when you see the word Hay think  about  a hay seed.
 asking brilliant conversation starting questions
hayseed talking
This hay seed has one eye closed as a reminder that the word hay is pronounced like "eye".

Monday, June 16, 2014

Ser and Estar

Ser and Estar both mean "to be".

Common uses of the word ser are:

  • When saying what something is like ( Escuela es aburrida)
  • Where someone is from (Soy de los Estados Unidos y eres  de Júpiter) 
  • Telling time ( Son a las cinco por la tarde)

Whenever I see the word ser, I picture it looking like this:

Common uses of the word estar are:

  • To describe metal states
  • To talk about location
To make this stick I think, " Estar... star.. you know like the movie star kind of stars." From there, I picture movie stars always shooting on location and because of their artistic nature, they have plenty of emotional states.
ser and estar

Click Ser and Estar to learn more

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Spanish Indefinite Article (a)

Or how to say the word "a" in Spanish

There are four ways to say the definite article "a" in Spanish.

Una goes with feminine singular nouns
Un goes with masculine singular nouns
Unas goes with feminine plural nouns and
Unos goes with masculine plural nouns

Each Spanish indefinite article has to agree in gender with the noun.  The rules for the Spanish indefinite article are similar to the Spanish definite article- that is  to say,  The article and noun have to agree sexually and in how many (singular or plural). It might be a good time to mention that the adjective has to agree sexually and in number too.

indefinite article

Look! The masculine words look like quasi-bald men while the feminine words like like girlies!

Click Spanish indefinite article to learn more.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Spanish Definite Article (The)

There are four ways to say the word THE in Spanish.
La goes with feminine singular nouns
El goes with masculine singular nouns
Las goes with feminine plural nouns and
Los goes with masculine plural nouns

Each Spanish article has to agree in gender with the noun that it goes with. But I find it easier to say:  The article and noun have to agree sexually and in how many (singular or plural) It might be a good time to mention that the adjective has to agree sexually and in number too.
If it helps you to remember, think of the article, noun, and adjective having a same-sex threesome. I tried to make the Os look masculine  and the As  look feminine to make my point.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Feminine Spanish Nouns

or 6 clues that the Spanish word you are dealing with may be feminine.

Words that end in tud, dad, tad, sión, ción, or umbre are going to be feminine.

How to remember this...

Picture the media's shallow image of feminine confidence. Doesn't it look something like this:

Spanish feminine words

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Spanish Verb Conjugation and Word Order

Whenever a verb is conjugated in Spanish, the verb is always conjugated in this order:
(1) Yo                    (4)  Nosotros
(2) Tú
(3) Usted, Él, Ella  (5) Ustedes, Ellos, Ellas

To remember this order, think that you are creating a seating arrangement at a dinner party...
Yo sits at the head of the head of the table. Because that's where I belong. Tú sits next to yo so they can make inappropriate noises- because that is what familiar people do. Usted sits at the end because he is so formal and tends to pass judgment.  But do not feel bad. He has él and ella to keep him company. Nosotros sits at the head of the table with Yo. This way we are all together. Way down on the other end is the rest of them -ustedes, ellos, and ellas.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Gender of Spanish Nouns

Or how to tell if a Spanish word is a boy or a girl.

If the word ends in an A, it usually is feminine. Example: Playa, which means beach, is feminine.

If the word ends in an O, it usually is masculine. Example: Libro, which means book, is masculine.

Use this image to remind you how to tell the girl words from the boy words.
a looks so girly and o looks like a bald guy

Click  on gender of Spanish nouns for a more details.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Spanish Subject Pronouns

or the first 9 words you need to know to pass Spanish 1.

Subject pronouns in English are I, you, she, he, we, and  they.
Spanish has 9 subject pronouns and they are: 

  1. Yo (I)

Am I the only one who starts the day by saying,"Yo" to myself when I look in the mirror?

2.  Tú (you informal)
I covered Tú in an earlier post but here it is again. Tú is the informal you - which is why she can get away with wearing the B-ball hat. It helps that Tú rhymes with You

3.   (you formal)
Like Tú,  Usted has been discussed. Just look at that big U (you) and picture some formal hot shot looking down  his nose at you.

4.   Él (he)
He- men are good at moving heavy stuff so I picture él looking like a dolly and a he-guy moving stuff with it.

5.   Ella (she)
She of course has everything that he has but add an extra "la" to make it a lady-like

6.   Nosotros (we)
That N on nosotros looks like a roller coaster which always makes me scream,"Weeeee." And look at all of those Os. Don't they look like they are screaming,"weeee" also?  If that doesn't do it for you, Nosotros kind of sounds like nosotrus and us almost means we.
The last 3 do not have a corresponding visual because they are easy
7.   Ustedes (you plural as in "you guys")
 Just add an "es" to make usted plural.
8.   Ellas (she plural)
Just add an "s" and ella becomes plural. I assume you know how to do this.
9.   Ellos (he plural)
Much like él only drop the hyphen, add an  l, add o and you are good to go!

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Difference between Tú and Usted

Tú and usted both  mean you.

Use Tú when talking in an informal setting (family, friends, one-night stands).
Use Usted when talking in a formal setting or when you need to suck up (doctors, teachers, prison wardens).

To remember which you goes with who, I picture this:
Tú is wearing a baseball hat because she is informal. Meanwhile, the formal Usted is looking down his nose at  you like some kind of Orwellian  big brother.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Spanish Alphabet

The Spanish alphabet looks and sounds a lot like the English alphabet. Below is the Spanish Alphabet with the pronunciations. The letters in bold have less intuitive pronunciations. I have added some drawings that will help you never forget how to say the trickier letters.

A( a)             
B (be grande)...

C (ce)
D (de)
E (e)
F (efe)
G (ge)...
H (hache)...

I (ee)
J ( jota)
K (ka)
L (ele)
M (eme)
N ( ene)
Ñ (eñe)
O ( oh)
P (pe)
Q (cu)
R (ere)
RR (erre)
S (ese)
T (te)
U (u)
V (ve chica)
W (uve doble)
X (equis)
Y ( I griega)
Z (zeta) 

This Spanish alphabet song will stick in your mind.