Spanish as a language

Collective, Concrete and Abstract Nouns in Spanish

The richness of Spanish grammar fascinates theorists and academics all over the world. Spanish vocabulary crosses borders and it is important to understand what we are talking about at any given moment in order to fully master the language.

Do you know collective, concrete and abstract nouns? And what about the common nouns in Spanish?

iScribo helps you to classify the nouns that cause the most confusion when expressing yourself in Spanish.

Concrete Nouns

Concrete nouns are nouns that refer to objects or entities that actually exist. To understand it better, they are tangible, real, physical things that “can be touched”.

They are the most common and have gender and number. Some examples to help you visualise it better are sofá (sofa), candado (lock) or máquina (machine).

La ventana del salón está abierta.

(The living room window is open.)

El avión va a despegar en un momento.

(The plane is going to take off in a moment.)

Abstract Nouns

Abstract nouns are intangible ones. To help you understand this better, imagine things that you cannot physically touch (although you can in a figurative sense, like felicidad – happiness). The beauty of the name of these nouns gives you a hint of how special they can be!

Abstract nouns name realities that cannot be perceived by the senses. Examples are: armonía (harmony), justicia (justice) or miedo (fear).

El olvido juega en contra de la edad.

(Forgetfulness plays against age.)

La sinceridad es lo que más valoro en una persona.

(Sincerity is what I value most in a person.)

Collective Nouns

This is a sub-type of concrete nouns.

Collective nouns are nouns that are used by the individual to designate a collective. The opposite of collective nouns is individual nouns, which in the singular designate a single being or object.

Examples of collective nouns are rebaño (herd – to designate a group of sheep), manada (herd – group of livestock animals) or constelación (constellation – group of stars).

Los toros pastan en manada para preservar su seguridad.

(Bulls graze in a herd to keep them safe.)

El cañaveral florecerá en primavera.

(The reedbed will bloom in spring.)

Mi familia vendrá a cenar por mi cumpleaños.

(My family is coming to dinner for my birthday.)

Examples of individual nouns are lápiz (pencil), frigorífico (fridge) or coche (car).

Expand Your Knowledge

Knowing the names of nouns and how to classify them can help you improve your Spanish vocabulary.

As well as helping you determine the difference between collective, concrete and abstract nouns, knowing the characteristics of a language helps you master it like a native speaker.

What aspect of Spanish grammar do you find most difficult to put into practice? Do you know more types of nouns or more common nouns in Spanish? Tell us in the comments and practice with iScribo.

Spanish as a language

8 Top Jobs Where Knowing Spanish is Helpful

Jobs where knowing Spanish is helpful are the order of the day.

In addition to specific training in a particular area, fluency in more than one language is an additional benefit over other candidates.

Not only in Spanish-speaking countries, but you can also work with the Spanish language practically all over the world. As one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, Spanish language jobs are at the top of the list of the most in-demand positions in the job market.

Read this iScribo article to discover jobs using Spanish on daily basis.

1. Journalism

Whether you are a Spanish speaker or a foreigner with a good knowledge of Spanish, this language opens doors to work in the journalism sector in a large number of countries. Whether as an editor in a foreign subsidiary or as a reporter, Spanish is almost always a prerequisite for working in the news industry.

From America to Asia to Europe, journalism has a job for anyone who speaks Spanish!

2. Education Sector

Spanish is taught as a second language in many countries, such as France, Brazil and Côte d’Ivoire.

Speaking more than one language gives you an advantage over other professionals who only speak one language. Imagine if you teach science in a school in Germany but speak Spanish like a native speaker, you will have a better chance of getting and keeping that job than someone else.

Not only as a teacher but also in the secretarial work in schools, languages such as Spanish are valued.

3. Legal Assistant

The legal and defence sector is on the rise in languages such as Spanish.

We live in an increasingly cosmopolitan world, where migratory flows are increasing every year.

Helping Spanish speakers living or travelling abroad with their legal matters is always an option.

Conversely, if you are a Spanish speaker, you can also help foreigners living or travelling to your country.

The possibilities in this sector are endless: from lawyers to advisors to counsellors.

4. Health Professionals

Almost the same as the previous option. A cosmopolitan world increases the proliferation of migratory flows. Being able to assist anyone in a language you and other people understand increases your chances of being hired.

Nursing, medicine or interpreting are the most in-demand jobs for a Spanish speaker or a person who is fluent in Spanish.

5. Social Worker

Another profession you can benefit from in a world in constant movement.

Guiding foreigners arriving in your country as a Spanish speaker or leading with your experience as a foreigner who speaks and writes perfect Spanish are the best opportunities for this job.

In addition, helping others with their problems and finding a solution on a personal and intimate level is a bonus.

6. Service Sector

As a foreigner who is fluent in Spanish in a Spanish-speaking country, this is your best option.

Jobs in hotel reception, as a tour guide or in the hospitality industry are the most sought-after. If you are fluent in Spanish, you are in luck, as it is more than likely that you will find your place in the tertiary sector.

As a Spanish speaker, you know that you will always have a place in the service sector both at home and abroad.

7. Customer Service

Phone calls are today’s problem solvers. In an increasingly digitised era, face-to-face contact is being replaced by phone calls and video calls.

Working in an after-sales service or in customer service, in general, is one of the sectors in which Spaniards and people with great Spanish knowledge are most in demand.

8. The Business World

Whether in a bank or a multinational company, communication in Spanish with both clients and other companies is more than necessary.

Fluency in Spanish will open the doors of local companies in practically any position in which you have good training and experience. Imagine if the company is large, your opportunities multiply.

Improve your Spanish and Increase your Chances

No matter how you look at it, speaking Spanish is an asset. If you are looking for jobs where knowing Spanish is helpful, prepare your CV along with your cover letter and go for it!

iScribo will help you proofread your CV and suggest improvements to make you stand out from the crowd. Why not give it a try?

Spanish as a language

9 Ideas to Increase your Spanish Vocabulary

Spanish is a very rich language; the RAE dictionary has about one hundred thousand words, of which an ordinary person uses about three hundred a day. A person with a high level of culture can use up to five hundred.

Learning vocabulary in Spanish that is considered more advanced is complicated even for Spanish speakers.

If you wonder what is the best way to improve your Spanish vocabulary, iScribo shows you some tips. They are all compatible, in fact, you will see that you can use them all at the same time and that they complement each other. The more ideas you put into practice, the more you will learn.

1. Identify your Level and Needs

Before you know how to learn Spanish vocabulary, you need to be clear about your level of Spanish. If you are a Spanish speaker, you already know that you have a high level, but this does not always imply that your cultural level is also high. They are very different things and there is nothing wrong if your level is lower than other people’s – nobody is born knowing!

If Spanish is not your mother tongue, think about whether you already know how to express yourself in basic or complex sentences. This will be your starting point.

Once you know your level, think about what kind of conversations you find it hard to express yourself in or what area of knowledge you need to learn vocabulary for.

Do you need to know more medical vocabulary, or do you need to learn economic vocabulary?

2. Practise Every Day

If you are a Spanish speaker, open the dictionary and start learning words that are new to you. Then use them in sentences every day to get your brain used to them.

If Spanish is your second language, practise daily with friends or colleagues and, when you learn a new word, repeat it over and over again in different sentences and contexts.

3. Read and Write

Reading in Spanish helps a lot to learn new vocabulary in this language. Try to decipher the word you don’t know from its context and if not, look it up in the dictionary. Once you know what it means, write it down in a notebook you designate for this purpose or in your mobile phone notes.

Go back to step two and repeat these new words over and over again until you are familiar with them, and they come up naturally in Spanish conversations or texts.

4. Look up Synonyms and Antonyms

The notebook trick comes in handy for writing down synonyms of words and creating associations with them.

Use a word you know and write down synonyms around it so that you internalise the diagram and can use them. This way you will create your own concept map of synonyms.

For example:

                                                BOLSA (economy)


5. Play Games

Thanks to technology and artificial intelligence we can take advantage of our mobile devices to expand our frontiers. There are plenty of single and multiplayer vocabulary games. Download one of them and challenge a friend to a game of word formation.

If you are more traditional, you can use the newspaper every day to do crossword puzzles, you can learn a lot from these.

6. Study the Origin of Words

Knowing where words come from helps you make associations with them. If your native language is different from Spanish, you will find it fun to compare words in the two languages.

Etymology also helps you create word families to expand your vocabulary. Listen, read, look it up, learn and practise.

7. Use Key Ideas

When you see or deliberately look up a word you don’t know, make up three sentences with it and then, without looking at your sentences, rewrite them.

Compare what you have written down at the beginning with what you have written at the end. I assure you that as well as laughing, you will learn.

8. Curiosity DIDN’T Killed the Cat

Be willing to learn all the time. A positive attitude of the initiative will help your senses to be alert and absorb new words more easily.

9. Use iScribo

The daily use of a spelling and grammar checker gives you the advantage of learning in real time. There is nothing like writing in Spanish and having a tool trained by a team of linguists to help you improve.

Not only do the synonyms and antonyms function help, but it also improves phraseology and suggests words that fit better in each context. Try it and tell us about it!

To Practise is to Learn!

You can follow all these tips but I am sure about what is most important of all: never be afraid to make mistakes. Learning Spanish vocabulary means getting out of your comfort zone and that always gives you a bit of respect.

Use the words and make mistakes, this is what teaches you in life. Use iScribo to correct your document as you write so that you can learn and identify what you find most difficult to learn in Spanish. Tell us, do you know any other tips to improve your Spanish vocabulary?

Improving language

Best Way to Avoid Anglicisms in the Spanish Language

Do you know what anglicisms are? According to the RAE, an anglicism in Spanish is a word that is used in English to express something that could be said in Spanish. For example, start-up instead of ‘empresa emergente’ or remake instead of ‘nueva versión’or ‘adaptación’.

Nowadays, the use of anglicisms is overrated and is often totally unnecessary in Spanish discourse because there are equivalents in this language. The indiscriminate use of English voices not only impedes the proper understanding of the text but also alters the functioning of Spanish as a language.

Anglicisms Accepted by the Spanish RAE

The RAE has accepted and included in the Spanish vocabulary anglicisms that, due to their use, have become part of the language. This is due to the evolution of the language itself:

Chat, plotear or candidatar

Al llegar al trabajo, enciendo el chat para hablar con mis compañeros.

(When I get to work, I sign in the chat to talk to my colleagues.)

There are other anglicisms that have adapted their spelling, such as ‘rugbi’, but many people still write rugby. In this case, the RAE recommends that we write the word in italics when, for whatever reason, we decide not to adapt it.

The RAE allows anglicisms if the text requires their use due to its characteristics, for example if it is related to marketing or if it is a very specific technical text, the anglicism will be in italics.

Whenever possible, we will try to introduce the equivalent word in English and the anglicism in brackets so that, from then on, only the English equivalent is included in the text.

For example:

En Inglaterra, las escuelas se enfrentan a una ola de noticias falsas (fake news) que perjudican al alumnado. Estas noticias falsas están a la orden del día.

(In England, schools are facing a wave of fake news that harms pupils. Fake news is the order of the day.)

How to Avoid Anglicisms

When an English word comes to mind when speaking in Spanish, stop and think about whether it is necessary to use that anglicism. Surely there is a Spanish word you can use instead.

For example, we are going to suggest some alternatives in this sentence:


¡Me has hecho un spoiler del final del capítulo!

(You gave me a spoiler for the end of the chapter!)


¡Me has fastidiado/destripado el final del capítulo!

If you can’t find any Spanish words, you can use the quick search tool of the RAE or the Fundéu, I assure you that someone else has had the same doubt before you and the solution is just a click away.

Make a ‘lluvia de ideas’ (and not a brainstorming)

The brain is a muscle and, like any muscle, you have to train it to get used to it and to make it perform tasks effortlessly. With this theory, you can avoid the use of unnecessary anglicisms in Spanish.

Speak, stop, think and use alternative words. If you are writing, remember that iScribo detects unnecessary anglicisms and suggests alternatives so that you can write correct Spanish. This is also a sure-fire way to learn. Which anglicisms in the Spanish language do you think are more integrated into this language? Tell us in the comments.

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