Categories
Writing in Spanish

20+ Easy Ways To Express Emotions in Spanish

Not being able to express ourselves clearly can be frustrating. Expressing feelings or emotions is essential to be able to have quality conversations with our family and friends.

Some people are very expressive with their facial emotions and verbal language, just by looking at their faces, we can get an idea of what they are thinking or how they feel.

The most important thing when expressing emotions is to do it politely and respectfully towards the people we are talking to, this is the only way to practise quality communication.

The number of expressions in Spanish to show our state of mind is immense. We can be sad, happy, healthy, and so on. Learn the sentence structure and you will see how easy it is once you practise it.

At iScribo, today we bring you some formulas to express emotions and feelings so you can expand on the grammatical structures you already know.

Sentence Structure

You can use the basic structure of subject + verb + complements or you can turn the sentence around to emphasise:

Estoy contenta de estar hoy aquí (omitted subject ME + verb + complements).

(I’m happy to be here today.)

Contento me tienes…. (complements + verb + omitted subject YOU).

(I’m not happy with you…)

To start with, use the standard structure, which is the one you normally use. Gradually introduce inverted sentences as you become more proficient.

Elements of the Sentence

Feelings are often expressed with the verb ESTAR (to be). Just conjugate it.

Estoy cansado de hacer ejercicio (estar + adjective)

(I’m tired of exercising.)

Estamos bien, no preguntes más (estar + adverb)

(We are ok, don’t ask again.)

Another frequent verb to express feelings is SENTIR (to feel). This one is also easy, as you can associate the verb with the word family (sentir and sentimientos).

Me siento triste por lo que te ha pasado (sentir + adjective)

(I feel sad about what happened to you)

¿Sientes el amor lo mismo que yo? (feel + noun)

(Do you feel love the same way I do.)

There are other verbs, which we will see further down in the sentences, that help us to emphasise or give more strength to what we want to say, such as GUSTAR, ENCANTAR, DETESTAR, etcetera.

The next thing you need to know is that emotions are expressed with adjectives at the basic levels. However, they can also be expressed with nouns, adverbs, or other categories.

We have highlighted these grammatical categories in bold in the examples above so that you can see the difference.

Don’t forget that most of the time when there is a verb involved, in addition to the auxiliary, you have to use the subjunctive.

Expressing Positive Feelings

#1 Estoy muy contenta porque he aprobado el examen.

#2 Estás radiante con ese vestido.

#3 Estás a un nivel increíble.

#4 Están deseando que lleguen las vacaciones.

#5 Sentimos tu alegría como si fuera nuestra.

#6 ¡Me encanta tu actitud!

#7 ¡Sigue por buen camino!

#8 Me flipa la paella.

#9 ¡Qué alegría ver tan graciosa a la niña!

#10 Es increíble que nos hayamos encontrado.

#11 Me parece maravilloso que cambies de trabajo.

#12 Siento admiración por lo que has conseguido.

#13 Es estupendo que pueda venir a verte tu madre.

Expressing Negative Feelings

#14 Estoy triste porque te han echado del trabajo.

#15 Hoy estoy floja.

#16 Me encuentro enfermo, me duele la cabeza.

#17 Odio que me hables así.

#18 Detesto la cebolla.

#19 Siento mucho lo que te ha pasado.

#20 No me gusta que le hables así a tu amiga.

#21 No tengo ganas de salir ni de hacer nada.

#22 Qué decepción que hayamos perdido.

#23 Siento un vacío inmenso al alejarme de ella.

#24 Me ha dado mucho miedo el pasar la noche sola.

#25 No soporto a José.

#26 No aguanto esta película.

There Are Many Ways To Express Emotions!

Every day brings us millions of opportunities to express ourselves. From a bad face to the most extreme joy. Practically every time we speak, we are expressing emotions.

Pay close attention to what you do every day from the moment you get up to the moment you go to bed, and you will see that every few minutes you will identify an action that you can practice expressing emotions.

We also leave you with an entertaining video so you can see more examples and learn a little more. Also, don’t forget that iScribo corrects your Spanish and improves the way you express yourself. And remember! Don’t forget to be kind, we need positive and empathetic people to make this world a better place.

Categories
Writing in Spanish

4 Rules You Must Know About Italics In Spanish

Cursive or italic writing is the type of writing in slopping letters. Whether or not to write in italics will depend on the stylebook of each media company, but it is better to know what the rules say about its use.

Italics are used to indicate that a word, or a group of words, has a special meaning within the sentence.

Today iScribo brings you a series of easy rules so that you can use italics without any problem.

1. Figurative Uses

We must write in italics certain words or expressions whose value is figurative. In other words, they have a metaphorical meaning that would not normally be used with that word.

Se quedó entre los finalistas en la entrevista.

(He/she was among the finalists in the interview.)

2. Foreign Words

Words that do not belong to Spanish but that we use anyway are written in italics.

In many cases, these words have a graphic adaptation into Spanish that very often corresponds to the pronunciation of the word.

For example, memorandum is a Latin word that can be written in italics with its Latin spelling or adapted to Spanish, in this case memorándum or memorando.

It should be noted that, although the Latin spelling is correct, whenever we can adapt the word to Spanish, we should do so.

3. Titles of Books, Plays or Films

The titles of books, plays, films, etc. are written in italics, regardless of the language in which they are written.

Here are two examples to help you assimilate it better:

Hace unas semanas se estrenó la precuela de Toy Story.

(A few weeks ago, the prequel to Toy Story was released.)

Cuando viajé a París vi el cuadro de Los girasoles de Van Gogh.

(When I travelled to Paris I saw the painting Sunflowers by Van Gogh.)

4. Nicknames

Nicknames are written in italics when they are placed between first name and second name.

Of course, the rest of the sentence is written in normal letters:

Diego Armando el Pelusa Maradona falleció hace unos años.

(Diego Armando el Pelusa Maradona passed away a few years ago.)

Italics or not italics

Don’t worry if you don’t quite know whether a word is italicised or not. We are fortunate that each stylebook dictates its own rules about italic writing. Our advice is to always follow the rules unless someone tells you otherwise for a specific purpose. You will see that practice will make you learn the rules little by little.

Categories
Culture around Spanish language

50+ Useful Spanish Phrases When Traveling To Latin America

This article will teach you 50+ useful Latin Spanish phrases for travel that will help you survive in the language during your next South America travel.

Take the time to learn a few important Spanish travel words, and you’ll be able to interact with people, get by in different settings, and have a lot more pleasurable and genuine experience on your trip.

First and foremost, here are some greetings to use upon arrival

The most fundamental thing you can learn in a foreign language is how to greet people. Nonetheless, its significance should not be underestimated.

Even if you aren’t proficient enough to carry on a lengthy discussion, a simple ¡Hola! ¿Qué tal? (Hello, how are you?) would suffice.

You’ll be able to utilise these phrases as soon as you arrive at your location, whether it’s an airport, railway or bus station, or hotel.

People love it when you attempt to speak their language while visiting their nation, even if it’s just a few words.

#1 ¡Hola! – Hello

(O-la)

#2 ¡Buenos días! – Good morning!

(BWAY-nos DEE-as)

#3 ¡Buenas tardes! – Good afternoon/good evening!

(BWAY-nas TAR-des)

#4 ¡Buenas noches! – Good night

(BWAY-nas NOH-chays)

#5 ¿Cómo está? – How are you? (formal, to a stranger)

(KOH-moh eh-STAH)

#6 ¿Cómo estás? – How are you? (informal, to someone you know)

(KOH-moh eh-STAHS)

#7 Bien, gracias – I’m fine, thank you.

(bee-EN GRA-thee-as [Spain] / GRA-see-as [Latin America])

#8 ¿Cómo te llamas? – What’s your name?

(KOH-moh te YA-mas?)

#9 Me llamo… – My name is…

(May YA-moh… )

#10 Mucho gusto – Nice to meet you.

(MOO-choh GOO-stoh)

And, of course, don’t forget about basic politeness.

#11 Por favor – please

(por fa-BOR)

#12 Gracias – thank you

(GRA-thee-as [Spain] / GRA-see-as [Latin America])

If you are caught in a Spanish discussion, you can always rely on the following two phrases to help you out of a jam

#13 Yo (no) entiendo – I (don’t) understand

(yo no en-tee-EN-doh)

#14 ¿Habla inglés? – Do you speak English?

(Ab-la in-GLAYS)

Once you’ve completed greeting someone, you’ll need to be able to move on to the meat of your discussion, which means you will need to master a few frequent verbs

#15 Yo quiero un menú – I want a menu

(yo kee-EH-ro oon me-NOO)

#16 Yo quiero un taxi – I want a taxi

(YO kee-EH-ro oon taxi)

#17 Yo quiero una cerveza – I want a beer

(yo kee-EH-ro OO-na ser-BAY-za)

You may also use: if you want to be more polite (which is typically a good idea).

#18 Quisiera… – I would like … (lit. I would want)

(kee-see-EH-ra…)

Whether you’re searching for the restroom at a restaurant or a hotel to stay at, you’ll surely need to ask for directions at some point throughout your journey.

The most basic method to inquire where something is is to say ¿Dónde está? then the noun you’re searching for:

#19 ¿Dónde está el baño? – Where is the bathroom?

(DON-day es-TAH el BAH-nyo?)

#20 ¿Dónde está el banco? – Where is the bank?

(DON-day es-TAH el BAN-koh?)

#21 ¿Dónde está la calle [de Alcalá]? – Where is [Alcalá] Street?

(DON-day es-TAH la KA-yay de al-cal-AH?)

When travelling in Latin America, remember your etiquette when asking someone on the street for directions! Begin by saying: To catch someone’s attention, say:

#22 Disculpe – Excuse me

(Dis-KUL-pay)

#23 Con permiso/Perdone – Excuse me

(Con per-MEE-soh / Per-DOH-ney)

#24 Estoy perdido/Estoy perdida – I’m lost

(eh-stoy per-DEE-doh)

Asking for directions is one thing but it’s pretty pointless if you don’t know how to understand the directions that are given to you!

Memorise these phrases to help you understand what the friendly locals are trying to tell you when you ask for their help:

#25 Aquí – here

(Ah-KEE)

#26 Allí – there

(ay-EE)

#27 A la derecha – on the right

(A la de-RE-cha)

#28 A la izquierda – on the left

(A la iz-kee-ER-da)

#29 Derecho – straight ahead

(De-RE-cho)

#30 En la esquina – at the corner

(En la es-KEE-nah)

If you don’t want to walk everywhere, you’ll need to be able to learn about local transportation choices so you can get about wherever you are.

Here are a few basic words to help you find a bus, rail, or cab and get to your destination:

#31 ¿Dónde puedo encontrar un taxi? – Where can I get a taxi?

(DON-day PWAY-doh en-kon-TRAR oon taxi?)

#32 ¿Dónde está la parada de autobús más cercana? – Where’s the nearest bus stop?

(DON-day eh-STAH la pa-RAH-dah de ow-to-BOOS mas ser-KA-nah?)

#33 ¿Dónde está la estación de ferrocarril más cercana? – Where’s the nearest railway station?

(DON-day eh-STAH la es-tah-see-ON de ferro-carr-EEL mas ser-KA-nah?)

#34 ¿Cuánto cuesta un billete para… ? – How much does a ticket to … cost?

(KWAN-to KWES-ta oon bee-YET-ay PA-ra …)

#35 Un billete para… , por favor. – A ticket to … please.

(oon bee-YET-ay PA-ra … por fa-BOR)

Each Spanish-speaking nation has its distinct flavours and food that you should taste when you visit

Cooking is undoubtedly one of the major draws to places such as San Sebastian in Spain and Buenos Aires in Argentina, so make sure you have a basic understanding of food jargon before embarking on your tour!

To begin, you must be prepared to hear and comprehend certain inquiries in restaurants, such as:

#36 ¿Quieres algo para comer? – Would you like something to eat?

(kee-EH-res AL-go PA-ra koh-MER?)

#37 ¿Quieres algo para beber? – Would you like something to drink?

(kee-EH-res AL-go PA-ra beh-BER?)

#38 ¿Qué quieres comer? – What would you like to eat?

(KAY kee-EH-res koh-MER?)

When you read the menu, you’ll see that the offered cuisine is divided into distinct categories, exactly like an English menu:

#39 una entrada – an appetizer

(oo-na en-TRA-da)

#40 un plato principal – the main dish

(oon PLA-toh prin-si-PAL)

#41 un postre – a dessert

(oon POS-tray)

#42 una bebida – a drink

(OO-na beh-BEE-da)

#43 una sopa – soup

(OO-na SOH-pah)

#44 una ensalada – salad

(OO-na en-sa-LA-da)

#45 el pollo – chicken

(el POY-oh)

#46 la carne – the meat (beef)

(la CAR-nay)

#47 agua – water

(AG-wa)

#48 un vino tinto /blanco – red/white wine

(oon BEE-noh TIN-toh / BLAN-koh)

#49 una cerveza – beer

(OO-na ser-BAY-sa)

#50 un café – coffee

(oon ka-FAY)

If you’re not sure what to order, you may always ask your waiter for advice:

#51 ¿Qué me recomienda? – What do you recommend?

(kay may re-kom-ee-EN-dah?)

Most restaurants in Spanish-speaking nations would gladly recommend a particularly good local cuisine for you to try.

Finally, let’s go through a few simple words you may use to inquire about rates and pay the bill

#52 ¿Cuánto cuesta? – How much is it?

(KWAN-to KWES-ta?)

#53 La cuenta, por favor – The bill, please.

(la KWEN-ta por fa-BOR)

Once you’ve memorised these inquiry words, you’ll begin to see patterns in the Spanish language that will allow you to move away from the fundamental Spanish phrases that every visitor uses.

As you discover new words on your journey, you’ll be able to mix them with these inquiry words to create your statements and questions! And lastly, you can take help from iScribo which will correct your Spanish and make you sound like a native Spanish speaker.

Categories
Culture around Spanish language

Other Types of Spanish – Llanito and Judeo-Spanish

On other occasions, we have talked about the diversity of Spanish in the world, but there are two variants that are not so famous.

There is a small territory to the south of Spain that belongs to the United Kingdom, called Gibraltar, and its inhabitants speak llanito, which is a witty mixture of Spanish and English.

On the other hand, the Sephardim are Spanish Jews and their descendants who were forced to leave Castile at the time of the Catholic Monarchs. They speak Judeo-Spanish and have their own characteristics.

iScribo tells you some curiosities and shows you some of their characteristics.

Gibraltar, What a Curious Place  

Do you know the British overseas territory Gibraltar?

Gibraltar is located to the south of Spain, in the geographical territory of Andalusia, there on the coast of Cadiz, but it does not belong to Spain but to the United Kingdom.

Like almost all the names of locations in Andalusia, the name Gibraltar also comes from Arabic, specifically from Djebel Al Tarik (the field or mountain of Tarik). Tarik was an Arab commander.

The history of Gibraltar is very curious because it has always been considered a strategic military place, so everyone was interested in dominating it. Today we are not going to go into the history itself but we invite you to do a little research about it.

Mind your Wallet!

We are not suggesting that the llanitos, the inhabitants of Gibraltar, are out to steal your wallet, but there is a species of monkey that likes to play with tourists.

Monkeys? You heard right. They are very curious and like to pose for the pictures with tourists and take whatever they can get their hands on. They are undoubtedly the main attraction of the Rock.

Llanito, the Language of Gibraltar

Imagine the influence of Spanish in this tiny territory whose official language is English.

In other words – the llanito consists of mixing English and Spanish words with an Andalusian accent. Many people call it Spanglish and the truth is that they are right.

These are some of the phrases used on the Rock:

Te llamo pa tras” – I’m sure you have already made the literal translation “I’ll call you back” from English. In Spanish we say “Ahora te llamo”.

Te doy un lift” – “I’ll give you a lift”. In Spanish we say “Te llevo“.

Pómpalo brother”, or what is the same: “Turn it up, brother”. In spanish we say “Sube el volumen, hermano”.

This is one of my favourites:

Don’t give me the tin” – In Spanish we say “No me des la lata“, and it’s another example of the mix between Spanish and English. In English we simply say “Don’t bother me”.

By the way, I hope you haven’t forgotten to read these sentences with an Andalusian accent.

What is Judeo-Spanish

Also known as Ladino or Sephardic Spanish, Judeo-Spanish represents a sad and regrettable historical fact, as it is the language spoken by the descendants of the Jews expelled from Spain by the Catholic Monarchs and, later from Portugal.

It is a variant in disuse, so we could say that it is endangered. The new generations are learning the variant less and less, as they prefer to speak more famous languages.

It is as if the Spanish of 1492 had hardly evolved with the times – the phonemes, etymology, and expressions seem to have been taken from a work by Cervantes himself. Indeed, the grammar of the Judeo-Spanish variant is archaic.

Since Jews have had to emigrate extensively throughout history, Judeo-Spanish is spoken in parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and America.

Judeo-Spanish Influences

Judeo-Spanish is influenced by other languages, dialects, or speeches of the Iberian Peninsula.

For example:

Ainda –comes from Galician and means “Still”.

Lonso” –comes from Aragonese and means “Bear”.

Samarada” – comes from Leonese and means “Flare”.

Anozar” – comes from Portuguese and means “To upset someone”.

It has more influences from other languages, such as Italian, or from other cultures, such as Arabic. All this is due to the large community of Sephardic people spread all over the world, who contribute nuances to the scarce evolution of Judeo-Spanish.

Curiosities of Judeo-Spanish

Judeo-Spanish was written in Hebrew characters until the 19th century when the Latin alphabet came into use.

The spelling is significantly different from that of today’s Spanish, but it is still perfectly understandable.

Some phonemes of Judeo-Spanish are:

ç, which is the [ch] sound in Spanish, e.g., munço (a lot).

ny, which is the [ñ] sound in Spanish, e.g., kunyado (brother-in-law).

ş, which is the [sh] sound in Spanish, e.g., buşkar (to search).

Here is a video for you to listen to Judeo-Spanish. Also, don’t forget to use our tool so that, whatever Spanish you write, you can write it without mistakes.

Categories
Spanish as a language

4 Tips for Avoiding Laismo, Leismo and Loismo

It seems like an easy lesson but if you come from Spain or learn Spanish grammar in Spain, you will see that in some regions they make grammar errors when using the pronouns la, le, and lo. We call them laismo, leismo, and loismo. Today we will show you some tricks to avoid them.

1. Identify the Direct Object

The golden rule:

La and lolas and los in their plural, are the pronouns used for the direct object in the feminine and masculine respectively.

In many regions of Spain, the now correct use of le in the masculine singular is widespread. Never use the plural form of les, otherwise, we would be committing leismo!

Incorrect: ¿Recogiste a los niños del colegio? No, les recogeré cuando acabe de trabajar.

(Did you pick up the children from school? No, I’ll pick them up when I finish work.)

Correct: ¿Has visto a Martina? Sí, la vi ayer.

(Have you seen Martina? Yes, I saw her yesterday.)

2. Identify the Indirect Object

The indirect object is always represented by le, both in the masculine and feminine forms. Also, the plural les in its case.

Using la and lo in these cases is considered laismo and loismo. Here is an incorrect example that I enjoy mentioning:

Incorrect: ¡Cuando llegue Rosa voy a pegarla!

(When Rosa arrives, I’m going to punch her!)

To where? To the wall like a painting? In this case, it would be:

Correct: : ¡Cuando llegue Rosa voy a pegarle!

3. Use of Leismo with Animals and Things

It is not appropriate to use le when referring to animals or things.

Incorrect: Se le perdió el dinero y no le encontró.

(He lost his money and couldn’t find it.)

Correct: Se le perdió el dinero y no lo encontró.

4. Beware of Asking “To Whom?”

Elementary grammars teach that to detect the indirect object it is enough to ask “to whom”. This question will help us to determine whether it is a person or a thing, but nothing more.

Sentence: María paseaba a los niños.

(María walked the children.)

¿A quién(es) paseaba? = A los niños.

(Whom did she walk? = The children.)

Incorrect: María les paseaba.

Correct: María los paseaba.

Why Only in Some Regions?

Laismo, leismo and loismo were born during the Middle Ages in Castile and coincide with the development of the language in a different evolution to that of Latin.

Over the centuries, the regions that once lived in the glory days of the Catholic Monarchs adopted this etymological error.

It is very curious that in Andalusia, at that time under Muslim domination, these grammar errors were never adopted. Neither was it in the Canary Islands and in the countries on the other side of the Atlantic.

Curious, isn’t it?

iScribo helps you to avoid making grammar errors when you write. Try our tool and learn while correcting your documents.

Categories
Improving language

2 Easy Tips to Sound Like a Native Spanish Speaker

When learning a language, such as Spanish, you may be very conscious that your accent sounds like that of a natural Spanish speaker.

Even though the pronunciation is relatively simple in comparison to English, several small details may give you away when speaking with a fluent Spanish speaker.

So, how can you sound more natural?

You can enhance your accent and speech. You don’t have to be a gringo for the rest of your life. With the 2 suggestions below, you’ll be sounding like a natural Spanish speaker in no time.

Do you consider it difficult to learn Spanish? iScribo can help you.

Are you ready to start speaking the Spanish language in its truest form?

1. Remove the Pronouns

You may already be aware that subject pronouns are optional in Spanish. Native English speakers, on the other hand, prefer to continue using pronouns since they are used to the subject-verb sentence sequence.

To be honest, dropping the pronouns seems strange at first. However, if you use the subject pronoun in every sentence, it may be a clear indication that you are not a native speaker.

The use of subject pronouns is technically correct but it is more customary to eliminate them when the subject is apparent from the verb conjugation or earlier context hints.

You may simply omit the pronoun while still being understood. Other pronouns with shared conjugations, like usted, él, and ella, may need to remain in the phrase unless it’s obvious who you’re talking about.

Instead of: Yo quiero comer tacos.

Say: Quiero comer tacos.

(I want to eat tacos.)

Instead of: Sarah va a llegar tarde. Ella está con su familia.

Say: Sarah va a llegar tarde. Está con su familia.

(Sarah is going to be late. She’s with her family.)

Instead of: Nosotros hemos ahorrado para el viaje.

Say: Hemos ahorrado para el viaje.

(We’ve saved for the trip.)

You don’t always have to remove the pronouns. Listening to a native Spanish speaker is very handy here.

The subject pronouns are most often employed to emphasise a person or to provide clarification.

2. Concentrate on Pronunciation

The pronunciation of Spanish is simple. Each letter has one sound, and that sound is always the same! Isn’t it simple?

In principle, Spanish pronunciation is simple, but it’s difficult to imagine letters, especially vowels, sounding any different from what you’ve been pronouncing in English for years.

Letter R

The Spanish R is pronounced differently than the English R, you need to pay more attention to touching your tongue to the area just behind the alveolar ridge. You should put more attention to rolling your Rs.

Letter D

The Spanish D, like the English D, has a difficult pronunciation at the beginning of words. D is pronounced as [ð], the same sound you make when you pronounce the word father.

This difference may be seen by listening to native Spanish speakers and repeating their pronunciation. Take note of words that finish in -idad and pay attention to how soft the sound is.

Instead of: dedo – [day-doh]

Say: dedo – [day – tho]

Instead of: oportunidad – [oh-pohr-toon-ee-dad]

Say: oportunidad – [oh-pohr-toon-ee-thath]

Vowels

One of the first things you undoubtedly learned in class was the Spanish vowels. However, since we are so used to the 20 English vowel sounds, sticking to the five Spanish vowels might be challenging.

In English, for example, words that finish in vowels are prolonged and have varied intonation. The word “no” has a long “o” sound, and your voice may rise and fall as you say it. In Spanish, the reverse is true. Except for diphthongs and triphthongs, the vowels are short and never change.

Also, depending on where the vowel appears in the word, English vowels such as O and U have numerous pronunciations.

Because we are used to these pronunciations, switching to consistent Spanish vowels, particularly in words that look like English terms, may be difficult.

Let’s take a look at oportunidad. The first O in English sounds more like an A. The Spanish O, on the other hand, is usually oh.

Instead of: oportunidad – [ah-pohr-tyoon-ee-dahd]

Say: oportunidad – [oh-pohr-toon-ee-dahd]

Instead of: no – [nooo]

Say: no – [noh].

Learn Spanish

Practice makes perfect. Nobody said it was easy to learn Spanish but if you learn basic rules and use them often, your brain will get used to speaking without having to think. There you have it. The road to sounding like a natural Spanish speaker may be long, but it is well worth it.

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