Spanish as a language

The Ultimate Guide About How To Tell Time In Spanish

Every language course talks about how to tell time in Spanish, but it is not always an enjoyable way to learn. Some questions always arise, such as How to write time in Spanish?, What are the rules for telling time in Spanish? Telling the time in Spanish is easy if you learn the format and know the numbers.

Today iScribo teaches you the ways to tell the time in Spanish so that you have the basics when practising the language.

How to Write Time in Spanish

The time in Spanish follows a clear structure:

Son las [número] y [minutos] de la mañana/tarde/noche.

(It is the [number] and [minutes] of the morning/afternoon/evening/night.)

Some examples are:

Son las ocho y cuarto de la mañana.

(It is a quarter past eight in the morning.)

Son las nueve y veinticinco de la tarde.

(It is twenty-five past nine in the evening.)

However, when the main number of the hour is 1, the format is used:

Es la una y diez de la mañana/tarde.

(It is ten past one in the morning/afternoon.)

How do you Add Minutes When Telling Time in Spanish

If you are going to tell the time (we speak orally), in most Spanish-speaking countries the twelve-hour format is used, so it is necessary to specify morning, afternoon or evening:

Es la una de la tarde.

(It is one o’clock in the afternoon.)

Although it is true that it is used in a minority of Spanish-speaking countries, there are places where the parameters of y cuarto, y media and menos cuarto are not used:

Son las doce y treinta.

(It is thirty past twelve.)

When the minutes are 00 or almost 00, it is said en punto:

Son las cuatro en punto.

(It is four o’clock.)

When writing numbers, especially in the formal context, the 24-hour format is used and they are always written in letters and not in numbers:

Son las veinte horas y cuarenta y tres minutos.

(It is twenty hours and forty-three minutes.)

If it is an informal context, you can write the time in numerals without any problem:

Son las 18 horas y 49 minutos.

(It is 18 hours and 49 minutes.)

Tips for Learning the Time in Spanish

1) Listen and repeat: if a native speaker gives you the time, remember it and repeat it. Learning is based on repetition and this happens with all languages. The news always gives the time, so maybe it’s a good time to watch it on TV.

2) Learn the vocabulary: knowing the numbers and the type of format is essential.

3) Practice in real situations: tell your friends and family the time, there is no better way to practice.

4) Write down the time: another good way to practice and learn.

iScribo & Learning As we have just seen, practice is the best way to learn. Listen, repeat and, above all, write. When it comes to writing in Spanish, use the iScribo tool to correct yourself in real time. Not only will you learn correct Spanish, but you will also broaden your vocabulary horizons thanks to its suggestions. Have you tried it yet?

IA and iScribo

Ethical Concerns of Artificial Intelligence

The ethics of artificial intelligence and robotics is a current topic due to the growth of AI. Today, this issue is omnipresent in our lives and raises questions such as ‘can AI be moral?’ in the debates about the ethical concerns of artificial intelligence.

At iScribo, we believe it is time to talk about the moral implications of artificial intelligence in terms of safety and ethics. To this end, we bring you the keys to its development and what is being done and can be done to integrate it into our lives in the best possible way.

AI Moral Issues

Since AI can make autonomous decisions, the impact on society is significant and many people are against artificial intelligence.

To ensure safe practice, AI must consider:

Data protection: ensuring users’ privacy will play in AI’s favour as the years go by. Companies have a lot of responsibility in this regard.

– Responsibility and security: as we are all responsible for our actions, AI also. AI can be a very powerful weapon, so it must ensure that it is robust against attacks and manipulation.

– Transparency: it is important for people to understand what is being done and how to build trust.

– Discrimination: AI must strive to be fair and accessible to everyone to apply appropriate ethics.

– Social impact: especially on the employment landscape as many jobs are being reinvented with the advance of AI.

Debates About Artificial Intelligence

There are some famous debates about the ethics and morality of artificial intelligence that have caused a lot of discussion. Many scientists, such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, have questioned the risks of the use of AI and the acceleration of its development, and called for a global agreement on the ethics of artificial intelligence. It is striking, however, that scientists of this level have contributed to the development of this type of technology.

Another debate nowadays is the use of algorithms and the discrimination they can provide when it comes to creating biases. Take, for example, banks’ lending decisions.

However, we believe that the debate of most concern today is the use of AI in the employment landscape. Job automation is a concern in an increasingly crowded world with a latent job shortage. We need to focus on the fact that AI also creates opportunities.

Think about the ability of machines to behave like humans. Many scientists argue for the emulation of human intelligence while others advocate the development of AI with different potentials.

Have you ever seen a self-driving car? It generates a lot of debate, for example, what does the vehicle do when important decisions have to be made? Imagine an accident situation where the autonomous vehicle had to decide whether to protect the passenger or an external person, such as a pedestrian.

Science Fiction and AI

Many of society’s concerns about AI are motivated by science fiction and the film industry. Science fiction deals with the ethics of AI and its impact on society in an entertaining and unique way but we must not forget that it is science fiction and presents dystopias. Some famous films that deal with this issue are Steven Spielberg’s ‘A.I. Artificial Intelligence’, Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’ and its later versions and Alex Garland’s ‘Ex Machina’.

Digital platforms have also recorded series dealing with AI such as ‘Black Mirror’ or ‘Westworld’.

iScribo & Social Evolution

Governments and companies are working to establish moral limits to AI so that it is used for the benefit of society and not to its detriment.

There are many other debates besides the ones we have presented in this blog post, do you know of any other? Do you have ethical concerns of artificial intelligence?

iScribo believes in artificial intelligence as a working tool to help you improve your documents when writing in Spanish. Our technology can develop a tool that corrects your Spanish in real time as you write. Have you already tried the iScribo corrector? Tell us about it in the comments.

Culture around Spanish language

Dream Vacation: What to See in Peru in 7 Days

iScribo has the answer when people wonder about what most amazing places are to visit in Peru. This country is full of wonders from north to south and from east to west. If you are looking for adventure, nature and history for your holiday, we have the dream vacation for you which includes a complete Peru holiday itinerary.

What to do in Peru for a week? Find your flight, buy it and start planning the most beautiful routes with our guide on what to see in Peru in 7 days. iScribo shows you unique places to visit in Peru, a natural paradise that will not leave you indifferent. If you have 7 days in the country, apart from the time you spend flying, we suggest an itinerary with the highlights.

Day 1 – Lima

Lima is one of Peru’s main cities to visit. The capital will provide you with rich gastronomy and culture.

Visit the historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can explore the colonial buildings such as the Plaza Mayor, the cathedral, the Palacio del Gobierno and the Palacio Arzobispal.

If you are a bohemian, you cannot miss the Barranco neighbourhood with its picturesque streets and lively nights. There you can also visit the Ermita and the Puente de los Suspiros.

Delight in Peruvian history at the Museo de la Nación, one of the main attractions to see in Peru.

Do you like the beach? Head to the Miraflores district and visit Huaca Pucllana, an impressive archaeological museum.

Day 2 – Cusco

In the very heart of the Peruvian Andes, Cusco is one of the most beautiful and impressive places to visit in Peru for its Inca architecture and history.

Visit the Plaza de Armas with the cathedral and the church of the Compañía de Jesús. Visit the Templo del Sol, known as Coricancha. It is an Inca temple destroyed during the Spanish conquest.

For a panoramic view of the city, head to Sacsayhuaman, an Inca fortress. Don’t miss the central market of San Pedro.

Day 3 – Valle Sagrado de los Incas

It goes from Cusco to Machu Picchu. Visit the villages of Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Moray, Chinchero and the salt mines of Maras.

The combination of landscapes and cultures will surprise you. Don’t hesitate to get lost in its streets and discover the immense beauty of nature.

Day 4 – Machu Picchu

Visiting Machu Picchu is a must if you travel to Peru. Discover the legends and mystery that surround this citadel, which is the iconic archaeological destination per se. This wonder of the modern world, more than two kilometres above sea level, features a striking stone structure called Intihuatana, a ceremonial site for the Incas.

Day 5 – Cusco

Return to the city of Cusco from Aguas Calientes and finish seeing what you haven’t had time to see, which is sure to be a lot – this city has a lot to see!

Explore nearby archaeological sites such as Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo and Tambomachay, you won’t regret it.

Day 6 – Arequipa

Known as the White City because of the type of stone used in its buildings, in Arequipa you can visit (once again) the Plaza de Armas with its Renaissance and Baroque cathedral.

Visit the Santa Catalina monastery and the Yanahuara viewpoint, where you will see the Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu volcanoes.

Finally, visit the underground city of Sabandía, built to protect itself from pirates.

Day 7 – Colca Canyon

Did you know that one of the deepest canyons in the world is located here? The Colca Canyon is worth a visit! Here you can admire the majestic condor. So accustomed is it to this landscape that it gives its name to the viewpoint of the Cruz del Condor.

iScribo & Culture

If you have time to spare or you have decided to cut out some of the visits we have suggested about what to see in Peru in 7 days, consider doing the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu, you will discover unique landscapes that end in the great citadel. iScribo enjoys the culture of all Spanish-speaking countries and our tool is adapted so that, whatever Spanish you write, you do it the right way. Have you tried it yet? Tell us about it in the comments.

Writing in Spanish

Semantic Fields and Lexical Structure in Spanish

Semantic fields and lexical structure (lexical family) in Spanish may seem confusing at first glance, but if you identify each concept, you will answer the question ‘how to identify a semantic field?’

Continue reading this iScribo article to learn some semantic fields examples and the difference between semantic and lexical fields in Spanish and how they are formed.

Lexical Families

Lexical families in Spanish are a set of words that share the same root or lexeme, in other words, it is the main part of the word and what gives it meaning and significance. They are also known as ‘word families’.

For example, in the word mesa (table), mes- would be the root and it is what will help us to form word families or lexemes.

How Are Word Families Formed?

To form a word family, you just have to play with its root by adding prefixes or suffixes:

Deporte (sport), root dep-:

deportista, deportivo, polideportivo, deportividad, antideportiva.

(sportsman, sportswoman, sportsman, sportsman, sportsmanship, unsportsmanlike.)

It should be noted that there are some lexical families that are irregular, depending on the origin of each word (its etymology):

Hueso (bone):

huesera, huesoso, óseo, osario.

(bonekeeper, bony, osseous, ossuary.)

By the way, changing the gender and number ending is not considered a lexical family, e.g. niño, niña, niños, niñas (boy, girl, boys, girls.)

Semantic Fields Definition

Semantic fields are words that share a specific theme. In other words, these words share a meaning that is related to each other. We are talking about a conceptual relationship, for example:

Animales (animals:)

Perro, gato, caballo, águila.

(Dog, cat, horse, eagle.)

Since we are talking about semantic fields and their comparison with lexical families, bear in mind that a lexical family can be part of different semantic fields.

To name an example, the lexical family that shares the root or lexeme of the word luz (light) – noun, generates other words such as iluminar (illuminate) – verb, luminosa (luminous) – adjective, and deslumbrante (dazzling) – adjective.

iScribo and Grammar Preservation

To sum up, semantic fields can be grouped by their subject, through a set of related words, while lexical families are the morphology of the language itself and the linking of words through their root. Pure grammar! At iScribo we like to protect and spread the good use of grammar and the Spanish language, so we try to bring you closer to the most technical and grammatical aspects of the Spanish language. Our tool helps you to form word families, have you tried it? Tell us in the comments and also tell us about any lexical family that drags your attention.

Culture around Spanish language

The 24 Best Spanish Songs to Learn the Language

Learning Spanish through songs can be the best way to improve your language skills. In addition, it’s possible to learn Spanish by music provide you with a fun experience, which can be an interesting way to pass the time in the summer.

From learning new vocabulary and expressions to differentiating accents from different countries, iScribo provides you with a list of the best Spanish songs to learn the language. Open your favourite music player and create a playlist to get you through the summer to discover how to learn Spanish by listening to music.

Songs to Help Learn Spanish

From the most recent to old Spanish songs that have set trends, Spain has been exporting talent since forever. It’s not all flamenco or the famous reggaeton imported from Latin America, here you can find several Spanish songs for beginners.

1. Eres tú by the group Mocedades: this song from the 60s is a Spanish classic that you’ll still hear among the people today.

2. Con su blanca palidez by Cristina y Los Stop: this Spanish version from the early 70s will give you a lot of play as you can compare it with its original English version.

3. Mi gran noche by Raphael: there is no artist more iconic than the great Raphael. There is no party today without this song.

4. La lista de la compra by María Jiménez & La Cabra Mecánica: to get you into a bit of culture, enjoy this song that fuses pop and flamenco.

5. Bulería by David Bisbal: entertaining song that will make you dance, plus, it’s very summery.

6. Y, ¿Si fuera ella? by Alejandro Sanz: we can’t make a list without Spain’s most influential singer. He still fills concert halls all over the country.

7. A mi manera by Siempre Así: another song to compare with English and to learn about Spanish culture.

8. La Flaca by Jarabe de Palo: this song by Pau Donés, leader of the band, will teach you Spanish from Spain with a Latin twist. We invite you to listen to more of this iconic Spanish band.

9. París by La Oreja de Van Gogh: you can learn Spanish by listening any song from this iconic band.

10. Maquillaje by Mecano: impossible to forget the music of Mecano in the eighties and nineties. This group fought for gender equality and LGTBI+ rights when no one else was doing so. Full of positive vibes!

Mexican Songs to Learn

The variety of Mexican music genres ranges from mariachi, bolero and huapango to the most traditional Mexican music.

11. Bésame mucho by Consuelo Velázquez: it crossed borders and became an international hit.

12. La llorona by Ángela Aguilar: there are many versions, each one more beautiful.

13. Vivir sin aire by Maná: this group has one of the best drummers in the world and their music is enjoyed all over the world.

14. Amor eterno by Juan Gabriel: another artist who has achieved worldwide glory.

15. La Bamba by Ritchie Valens: you probably know it, so we couldn’t resist including it in this list for obvious reasons.

Music in Colombia

Colombia is an iconic country in terms of current songs to learn Spanish because of the amount of talent it exports around the world.

16. Hawái by Maluma: this Colombian artist has even sung with Madonna.

17. La camisa negra by Juanes: this is one of the easiest Spanish songs to learn, it is often used in teaching. Take advantage and listen to this great artist with his activist lyrics.

18. Dónde están los ladrones by Shakira: you know her more than enough but it’s worth learning Spanish with her first albums, you won’t regret it.

19. Vida de rico by Camilo: Camilo mixes rhythms and teaches you Spanish in a respectful and beautiful way.

20. La gota fría by Carlos Vives: we love Carlos’ rhythm and positive vibe, don’t miss it.

Other Talents in Latin America

All over Latin America there is unparalleled talent and rhythm, did you know? Maybe it’s the joy of its people or their philosophy of life, but you can’t miss out on everything they bring us:

21. Te extraño, te olvido y te amo by Ricky Martin: the Puerto Rican artist is an icon from the beginning of the century.

22. Torero by Chayanne: this legendary song by the Puerto Rican singer is still heard today.

23. La vida es un carnaval by Celia Cruz: nobody better than the Cuban artist to show us the joy of living.

24. Flaca by Andrés Calamaro: we already loved him with his group Los Rodríguez. This Argentinian artist has made us enjoy music since we were little.

iScribo & Culture

Enrique Iglesias, Bomba Estéreo, Luis Miguel, J Balvin, Marc Anthony, Aitana and so on. We could spend hours talking about our favourite artists. Nobody better than all of them to learn Spanish by music. These songs cover different genres and styles, enjoy them while you learn. Don’t forget to look up their translations and compare them with their English versions, if available. iScribo brings you these songs representing different eras and styles, do you know how to write them? Try our tool and let us know what you think.

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