Archive Monthly Archives: May 2016

What’s the Difference Between Es and Son?

Do you know what the difference between es and son is? I’ll give you an example.

Mi camiseta es azul.

Mis ojos son azules.

Did you figure out the difference? Es is the singular version of “to be” which translates as “is”. So the first sentence is “My t-shirt is blue.” Son is the plural version of “to be” which translates as “are.” So the second sentence is “My eyes are blue.” Since my eyes are plural, the verb must also be plural.

Ok, your turn!

La casa ______ blanca.

Las casas ________ blancas.

What do you think?

 



If you said es for the first and son for the second, you are right! Nicely done!

Context is Everything

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One lane covered bridge from a recent trip to visit family in PA

There are many differences between Spanish and English. When you learn Spanish as an English speaker, there are lots of things that become difficult- for example, in Spanish “for “could be either por or para, depending on context. Another example, is “to be” could be either ser or estar, depending on context. There are also two different past tenses depending on what is being expressed.

One of the things that has come up recently while teaching is context. Let me explain- in Spanish the verb “tratar (de)” means to try, in the sense of to attempt to do something. Voy a tratar de estudiar- I am going to try to study.

However, if you wanted to say “I’m going to try a new food,” that would translate as “Voy a probar una comida nueva.” So probar and tratar de can both mean to try, but in a different context.

This is one of the issues I have with Google translate. Sometimes Google translate can not contextualize the content it is translating. However, with some basic Spanish knowledge, you can use Google translate as a tool to improve your skills because you will be able to determine which of the translations presented by Google translate are the most correct for the usage you are looking for.



Regional Spanish Slang- Coger un bus

Regional Spanish Slang

Hola, friends! It’s been a while since I have written. I’ve recently gone from working part time to full time employment! Between this business and my virtual assistant business with my business partner Jessie, I’m working completely online. I plan to get back to blogging more regularly, so here we go, back on track with regional Spanish slang today!

I often get asked about regional Spanish slang and dialects. Every country has their own slang and dialect(s), just like different regions of the USA and other English speaking countries  have their own slang and dialects. For example, in the US we say fries where in the UK they say chips. We have the word chips in the US, but it is a different type of potato product. Similarly, it would be very difficult to learn all of the slang and dialects for all of the Spanish speaking countries. I wouldn’t worry too much about it in general. If you have a specific country you plan to visit, focus on that country’s regional slang. A general English knowledge will get you by just about anywhere in an English speaking country. Similarly, a general Spanish knowledge will get you by just about anywhere.

An Example of Spanish Regional Slang:

An interesting example of this is different meanings for the same word in different Spanish speaking countries. In some places such as Spain, coger un autobus means to catch a bus. In other places like Mexico and Argentina, coger means “to fuck” and is used to swear. So you can probably guess what Mexicans and Argentinians would interpret “coger un autobus” as. Not the same way that Spaniards would!

So if you are planning to travel to a specific country, look into local dialect and slang. Avoid making the mistake of saying coger a bus in a country where coger doesn’t mean to catch!



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