Categories
Improving language

Spanish Grammar for Beginners – 5 Must-Know Rules

As you realise when you learn Spanish, grammar is an essential component of every language, and Spanish is no different. Numerous parallels exist between Spanish grammar and those of other Romance languages, including many characteristics that are akin to English.

In this post, we’ll cover the best way to learn Spanish and the fundamentals of Spanish grammar. In addition, we’ll discuss some of the contrasts and parallels between Spanish and English grammatical rules.

1. General Guidelines

To begin, we’ll examine some of the parallels between Spanish and English.

a) Active verbs

Tenses and conjugations are used with Spanish verbs. While English has a few conjugations, Spanish, like any Romance language, has a plethora.

Having said that, the tenses are quite close to those in English. Nevertheless, there are tenses that exist in Spanish but are not stated in English.

In the next part, we’ll go over verbs in further detail.

b) Word sequence

Spanish follows the same fundamental word order paradigm as English: S + V + O (Subject + Verb + Object). There are some changes in adverb and adjective placement, but to construct a basic phrase, just follow the same sequence as in English.

Here’s an example of a short statement that is the word for word translated:

Example: Mi padre canta una canción.

Translation: “My father sings a song.”

Isn’t it simple?

c) Words and phrases

While vocabulary isn’t a grammatical component, we thought we’d cover it briefly since it has many parallels to English.

It’s fascinating to note that many words in both English and Spanish have the same origin. While English is not a Romance language, but rather a Germanic language, it has historically been heavily impacted by French and Latin.

Numerous terms appear similar in both English and Spanish, but we’ll just include a few:

Example: nación

Translation: “nation”

We picked this term because there are hundreds of Spanish nouns that finish in the suffix -ación, which is equal to “-ation” in English. We could go on and on about información (“information”) and decoloración (“discolouration”).

This suffix is derived from Latin, which is why it is used in Spanish, English, and other languages. That explains why they are all so identical.

Example: animal

Translation: “animal”

This second example has the same spelling as the first, but it’s pronounced differently. This is another example of a Latin term, which explains its resemblance to its Spanish version.

2. Verbs

As previously stated, Spanish verbs have many more conjugations than English verbs. While English verb conjugations can be counted on one hand, Spanish verbs have a separate conjugation for each person in the single and plural forms, in all tenses and moods. Every individual in all verb conjugations has the same stem but a distinct finish. Consider how the word comer (“to eat”) might be conjugated:

Yo como → “I eat”

Tú comes → “You eat”

Él/ella come → “He/she eats”

Nosotros/as comemos → “We eat”

Vosotros/as coméis → “You eat” (plural)

Ellos/as comen → “They (masculine / feminine) eat”

Spanish, like English, contains regular and irregular verbs. English verb irregularities, on the other hand, are most visible in the past and participle forms.

Because verbs must be conjugated for each person in Spanish, these inconsistencies become much more noticeable.

Speaking about irregular verbs, there are two in Spanish that we must not overlook: ser and estar. If you’re fluent in Spanish, you may understand what we’re saying. In case you don’t know, ser and estar both mean “to be,” and you must use the appropriate one depending on the situation.

Example: Soy español.

Translation: “I’m Spanish.”

Example: Estoy triste.

Translation: “I’m sad.”

In the first example (with ser), we establish a permanent reality, which is that I am Spanish. In the second case (with estar), we are referring to something transient. Usually, when we say we’re sad, like in the example, we imply that we’re unhappy at the moment or for a short period, but not forever.

3. Nouns

The fundamental distinction between Spanish nouns and English nouns is that Spanish nouns have grammatical gender, which is divided into masculine and feminine (we will dedicate another entry to the gender of nouns as there is a lot to say about this). We call this heteronimia.

We’ll give you an example of each gender’s noun:

el horno (“the oven”) is masculine

la nevera (“the fridge”) is feminine

You may be asking what distinguishes an oven from a refrigerator. Nothing. Everything is based on etymology and the development of the language.

Most words need you to remember their gender as well as their meaning. There are certain nouns, though, that have apparent genders. Una mujer (“a lady”), for example, is a feminine term, but un hombre (“a man”) is unmistakably masculine.

We do have a quick trick to assist you to decide whether a word is masculine or feminine: Masculine words nearly always finish in a -o, whereas feminine terms almost always end in a -a. This advice isn’t perfect, but it will assist you in the great majority of cases.

4. Adjectives

There are a few fundamental things you should know about adjectives in Spanish. To begin with, adjectives must always coincide in gender and number with the noun they follow. We’ll use the adjective negro (“black”) as an example:

Masculine Singular – Coche negro (“Black car”)

Masculine Plural – Coches negros (“Black cars”)

Feminine Singular – Casa negra (“Black house”)

Feminine PluralCasas negras (“Black houses”)

You may have noticed that the noun was put before the adjective in these cases. Most adjectives in Spanish are put after the noun in this manner, with a few exceptions.

5. Negation

Today, we’ll go over the basics of Spanish negation. What you need to know is that basic negative sentences in Spanish are formed by inserting the word no before the verb. Here are only a few examples:

Example: No tengo coche.

Translation: “I don’t have a car.”

Example: Hoy Martín no quiere ir al colegio.

Translation: “Martín doesn’t want to go to school today.”

While the adverb in the previous example was in a different position than in English, the negative word stayed in the same place in both versions: between the subject (unless removed in Spanish) and the verb.

So this is all about Spanish grammar for beginners. 

Tell us in the comments which component of the Spanish language is the most challenging for you. We look forward to hearing from you and will do all we can to assist you.

Meanwhile, you can practise your Spanish grammar on iScribo, the best way to learn Spanish.

Categories
Writing in Spanish

How to Learn Spanish on Your Own in 5 Easy Steps

When someone says, “Wow! Your Spanish is fantastic! “How did you find out?” “I taught myself,” I usually claim.

Sure, I made sure to chat to Spanish locals whenever possible, picking their brains on Spanish grammar, vocabulary, and local idioms, as well as a few other methods of language learning help.

But, for the most part, I studied Spanish on my own.

So, what were my ploys? How did I manage to achieve it?

There’s no denying that it took a long period and a lot of personal effort. Anyone who claims to be able to acquire a language in a few months is lying.

After a fast crash course in the classroom, you may be able to navigate a Spanish-speaking city while on vacation, but it won’t be enough to participate in a fluid conversation, go for a job interview, or even sing along to music without tripping over the words.

So, here are 5 simple steps to learn Spanish on your own that turn out to be the best way to learn Spanish:

1. Spend an hour each day working on Spanish grammar tasks

Hugo Spanish in 3 Months” is a great basic grammar book and CD for beginners I discovered. It’s jam-packed with brief explanations and activities. All the answers are at the back of the book, and it is a great resource for learning the fundamentals: past, present, and future tenses; prepositions; common phrasal structures; and explanations of plurals and gender.

Set aside an hour at the end of each day to do the exercises. Keep doing this until the grammar becomes second nature.

You can even practise your Spanish grammar online on a very powerful tool.

iScribo is one of the best Spanish grammar correctors online today.

2. Subtitled movies and web series

You can use two strategies for this.

  • The first option is for novices to view Spanish films with English subtitles.
  • The second option is for advanced speakers to view Spanish films with Spanish subtitles.

It may seem strange to watch and read in Spanish at the same time, but it works wonderfully. 

Reading abilities increase far quicker than listening abilities. You’ll be able to significantly enhance your pronunciation by reading and listening at the same time.

It will also help you speak like the locals.

3. Listen to Spanish-language radio

After around two years of becoming pretty competent, you’ll find it fun to listen to the radio in Spanish.

It will be difficult for you at first. It might be very difficult to understand what someone says in a foreign language when you can’t see their lips, but I suggest perseverance.

You can get in an hour or two of listening to the radio on your phone while driving to and from work.

You can also keep the radio on in the background while you’re at home. Make a note of words that sounds strange to you and check them up later.

The process of learning to use the radio never ends.

4. Make Spanish your thinking language

Unless you relocate to a Spanish-speaking nation, you will not always have many opportunities to converse in Spanish this is why you can (and should) talk to yourself in Spanish.

In any case, we all chat to ourselves from time to time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left my house wondering whether I’d unplugged my curling iron and locked the front door. If you’re anything like me, you may as well do it in Spanish.

I’m not suggesting you conduct lengthy discussions with yourself in public, that would be ridiculous. But the next time you need or want to express yourself, consider saying it in Spanish.

And if you come across any terms or translations, make a note of them and check them up later.

If it’s too sophisticated for you, you may chat to yourself in the mirror to increase your confidence for future discussions with native speakers.

5. Set your phone’s language to Spanish

Okay, I realise this one seems a bit intimidating, particularly if you’re new to it. But, if your objective is to include Spanish in your daily life, wouldn’t it make sense to make that adjustment on your phone?

After you’ve got used to the changeover, you’ll want to change the language settings on the rest of your devices.

This will undoubtedly be difficult if you are a beginner in Spanish. But if you already know where everything is on your phone, give it a chance.

If you find it too tough, you can simply change your settings back to English.

So there you have it, 5 easy steps to self-learning Spanish.

If you follow these instructions, you will one day be complimented on your Spanish and asked how you acquired the language so effectively. Then you may confidently say, “I taught myself!”

Categories
Improving language

Common Mistakes by Beginners when Learning Spanish

What has brought you to this article? You may be an aspiring Spanish instructor or simply a smart person looking for typical blunders in learning Spanish before attempting to learn it, right?

I expect you to be the latter.

So, if you’re an English native speaker, Spanish is a very difficult language to learn and master, and it’s not unusual to make frequent grammar errors in Spanish.

Why?

English and Spanish are read and spoken in quite distinct styles and manners. That alone may influence how you read and pronounce the language.

So, without any further ado, let’s get this party started.

Pronunciation

Pronunciation is the most critical component of learning a language, whether it’s Spanish or learning to talk like a Native American. Because many languages are derived from Latin, most words are the same or nearly so.

But that doesn’t imply they’re pronounced the same way.

The Spanish letter “R” and the English letter “R”

One of the most frequent errors in learning Spanish is pronouncing the letter “R.” The Spanish “R” is correctly pronounced by putting your tongue behind your front teeth and making a vibrating “R” sound.

The English “R” is the polar opposite; you want your tongue away from your teeth to prevent generating the vibrating sound you create when pronouncing, right?

This is a typical error while learning Spanish; you should practise vibrating your tongue behind your teeth; it will help you pronounce the Spanish “R.”

Adjective placement before a noun

This is one of the most typical grammar errors made by new Spanish students. Forget about English sentence structure guidelines, we’re studying Spanish here.

The most common errors with this are noted below.

“Hot water” is how we phrase it in English.

In Spanish, the reverse is true! you say “Agua caliente.”

Another example is:

“Wash in hot water” is an English phrase; if you want to express that in Spanish, you don’t say it “Lavar con caliente agua“. The right way to phrase it is “Lavar con agua caliente“.

Do you notice how English and Spanish are reversed? Try not to screw this up, and you may be able to advance from the “Beginner” level a little bit.

Correct word usage

The most foolish thing to do while learning a new language is to expect that any given term has the same meaning as an English one. You wouldn’t want to make your Spanish audience laugh all day, would you?

Purchase a Spanish dictionary to educate yourself on these often-misunderstood Spanish terms. But, to make things easier for you, here’s a list of commonly misunderstood terms.

This is one of many typical blunders in Spanish learning. For this reason, Spanish students all around the globe misuse these terms.

  • Mejor – Often confused with the English term Major, which is ludicrous. In Spanish, this term means “better.”
  • Alegre – You may believe that this is the Spanish term for alligator! You, my friend, are incorrect. This word means “joyful.”
  • Cerrar – often misunderstood as carrier or career; certainly, if you used it in your speech, it would end your career. In Spanish, the term means “cerrar.”
  • Nubes – Maybe you assume this is where the term “Noobies” comes from. Wrong! In Spanish, this term signifies “clouds.”
  • Universidad – Probably clear to others, you’d believe this term implies Universe, right? My dear reader, it means “college” and “university”.
  • Tallar – Doesn’t it sound like “teller” or “tailor”? Wrong! In Spanish, this term means “carve.”

It’s not a large list of often misunderstood Spanish terms, but it could help you out a little.

Practice!

Last but not least, the most crucial consideration in learning a new language. This may be clear at this point for you guys who are learning a new language.

Practice is essential while learning a new language, whether it be Spanish, English, or even Latin. As they say, practice makes perfect.

Yes, absolutely.

Just keep in mind that the pronunciation of the Spanish “R” differs significantly from that of the English “R.”

Another consideration is correct word use. You should practise it as well since you could utilise your Spanish one day and talk to a Spanish audience, and you don’t want to be laughed at, do you?

Also, of course! The ideal approach to practise Spanish is to locate a Spanish friend, much better if they are a natural Spanish speaker, so you can have a great time studying Spanish together.

Speaking in front of a mirror may be beneficial, but it would be worthless if you were speaking to yourself, right?

You wouldn’t know whether you were saying or pronouncing it properly, would you? This is the most crucial aspect of all. P.R.A.C.T.I.C.E.! Alternatively, you can use iScribo to practise your Spanish online. It will hold you by hand and make your Spanish learning curve exponential.

Categories
Spanish as a language

10 Latin and Spanish Writers to Improve Your Style

Looking for Spanish writers to help improve your writing style?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Discover 10 of the best Latin and Spanish writers working today and get to know some of their best works to moonlight your way towards writing better Spanish and discover different writing styles.

1. Julia Álvarez

Many of Álvarez’s works, as a poet and writer, tackle the complexities of living as both a Dominican and an American. In the Time of Butterflies, one of her most famous works was made into a film starring Salma Hayek and Marc Anthony.

She received the National Medal of Arts in 2013 and the Pura Belpré Award for Writing.

2. Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende, a dominating voice in the magical realism genre, utilises her best-selling novels to establish herself as a notable feminist voice in Hispanic literature.

She is the recipient of the National Prize in Literature and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, both of which were bestowed to her by President Barack Obama.

3. Mario Vargas Llosa

The Nobel Prize laureate in Literature is noted for his ability to masterfully span genres with his work, having written prolific literary criticism, murder mysteries, historical novels, and political thrillers.

His tales are largely inspired by his Peruvian ancestry and political activity.

4. Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez, a Colombian novelist, journalist, and short-story writer was renowned as the perfecter of magical realism, a form of literature that incorporates elements of fantasy into actual circumstances.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982 for his most famous work, the epic One Hundred Years of Solitude.

5. Laura Esquivel

Like Water for Chocolate, Esquivel’s globally best-selling magical realism romance book was made into a highly praised foreign language film.

She’s also authored short tales, films, and children’s plays, often including themes of magic.

6. Rosa Montero

Rosa Montero, a writer and a journalist, has created wonderful novels while simultaneously conducting intriguing interviews. Her book The Delta Function, 1981 is recognised as a key work of modern feminist theory, exploring the dualities of female existence.

Her work The Lunatic of the House, 2003 received both the Qué Leer Prize for the best book published in Spain and the Grinzane Cavour Prize for best foreign book in Italy.

Montero is presently a columnist for El País and has received the National Journalism Prize many times.

7. Enrique Vila-Matas

Enrique Vila-Matas was born in Barcelona and completed his military duty in Melilla when he penned his first book, Woman in the Mirror Contemplating the Landscape. He has worked in a variety of formats throughout his career, from cinema criticism and novels to essays and film screenplays.

His finest work is known for its sardonic and fragmentary style, which breaks down the line between fiction and reality.

Vila-Matas has received worldwide acclaim for his works and creative contributions, including the Italian Bottari Lattes Grinzane Prize, the French Prix Jean Carriere, and the Spanish Leteo Award, all for his novel Dublinesque (2010).

Vila-Matas’ writings have been translated into numerous languages and he is widely regarded as one of the most celebrated Spanish writers by both national and international reviewers.

8. Elvira Navarro

Navarro was featured in Granta’s Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists anthology issue in 2010. She released The Happy City in 2009, a book about an immigrant Chinese worker and a homeless Spanish guy.

The Happy City went on to win Spain’s Jaén Prize for best book and the Tormenta Prize for the best new author before being translated into English in 2013.

9. Sonia Hernández

Sonia Hernández, another entrant into Granta’s Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists, is a literary poet.

Hernández is also the editor-in-chief of the literary study journal Quaderns de Vallençana, which is devoted to the humanist Juan Ramón Masoliver.

10. Félix J. Palma

Felix J Palma is well-known in Spain for his magical realism works, and he is well-liked by both reviewers and the general people.

Palma, a master storyteller, has had several anthologies and short tales published, as well as a lot of literary honors.

His speculative fiction Map trilogy, which combines magical realism and history, has captivated readers all over the world.

Read with no borders

These are the top 10 best Latin and Spanish writers and their notable work reading which will improve your Spanish writing style.

As will iScribo, this AI-powered tool will take your Spanish writing skill to the next level.

What are you waiting for? Check the different writing styles on iScribo today, read these Spanish writers’ works, and improve your writing skills in no time to create good Spanish sentences.

Categories
Writing in Spanish

8 Reasons to Start Learning Spanish Today

Why is Spanish important to learn? Because it’s the second most spoken language in the world and offers amazing opportunities!

One of the main benefits of learning another language is the freedom it offers. Being multilingual opens up a wealth of opportunities in regard to travel, work, and relationships – particularly in today’s globally connected world. 

Spanish has several unique benefits that make it a great choice for anyone embarking on the journey to become bilingual. Not only is it one of the most spoken languages in the world (coming in at number two after Mandarin), it also has a reputation as being easier to learn than others.

So, for those wondering why is Spanish important to learn? We have some great reasons to help make the decision an easy one.

1. It’s the second most spoken language

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world after Mandarin. With an estimated 471 million native speakers, it beats even English. Not only is it the first language of those born in Spain, but it is the primary language of most South and Central American countries, which are becoming more economically important on the global stage. Even if you go to the USA, you’ll be amazed at how much Spanish is a part of everyday life in certain states. This shows the importance of learning Spanish and why you should consider it instead of a less widely spoken language.

2. It’s fairly easy to learn

The great thing about Spanish is that it has clear rules, and there aren’t many exceptions to them. This isn’t the case with languages like English and French, which have many more exceptions.

Even reading Spanish is easier than most languages, as it is almost completely phonetic. When you look at a word in Spanish, more often than not you can easily sound out the letters and pronounce them correctly, unlike some common English words like ‘thought’ and ‘knead’. It also helps that many words are similar to their English counterparts, which makes remembering them a breeze.

Plus, there are countless resources available to learn the language, including courses (both online and in-person), audio lessons, books, videos, and more. So, there’s nothing stopping you from starting to learn Spanish today!

3. It can advance careers

As we mentioned earlier, speaking Spanish can open up a host of career opportunities. Not only does being multilingual impress employers, but you can take that skill and apply it to different positions at foreign-owned companies.

For example, if there is a promotion up for offer, and it’s between two people, it is much more likely that the person who can speak Spanish will get it. They can help expand the customer base beyond just English speakers. This is why employers frequently seek people who speak more than one language – with Spanish being one of the most in-demand.

Just think of the diversity of Spanish-speaking countries and their many varied industries, whether it’s mining in Chile, solar power in Peru, manufacturing in Mexico, petroleum in Colombia, and tourism and agriculture in Spain. They all trade with the world and need employees who speak Spanish and second languages to do business

4. It makes it easier to travel

The importance of learning Spanish in the 21st Century can’t be underestimated, especially for those who like to travel. For one, it makes visiting Spanish-speaking countries easier. These exist all over the globe, from Europe to South and Central America. Similarly, it gives you more freedom during your holidays. Rather than relegating yourself to the well-worn tourist paths, where almost everyone speaks English, learning Spanish is your passport to travel with confidence.

This bilingual ability opens up an entire world outside the package holidays. It allows you to explore without limits and interact with locals. These are the experiences that create lasting memories, and which aren’t possible when you don’t speak Spanish.

5. You have 21 countries where you can study abroad

No well-rounded university education is complete without a semester studying abroad. Of course, a major cause of anxiety for students planning an international adventure to a Spanish-speaking country is the language barrier. Learning the language beforehand, however, eliminates this anxiety.

Knowing a little (or a lot) of Spanish makes it easy to head off to a country like Spain or Colombia with confidence. An added bonus is it makes the actual studying even easier. Ask anyone who’s had to endure a three-hour university lecture in a language they don’t understand if they wish they’d known the language beforehand, and the answer will invariably be yes. That aside, learning Spanish opens up a person’s worldview. There are 21 countries that count Spanish as an official language. Just think of the amazing adventures you can have honing your language, having adventures, and discovering the world.

6. It offers more entertainment options

Were you one of the people watching the world’s most in-demand series on Netflix, Money Heist? This Spanish language series – La Casa de Papel in Spanish – was a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a crime caper and learn more about the Spanish psyche. Learning the language allows anyone to enjoy all that Spanish media has to offer. At any given time, there are so many popular Spanish series and movies on streaming services. Being able to understand what the actors are actually saying is immensely better than relying purely on subtitles.

There’s also the question of Spanish-language books. Whether a person is reading for education or entertainment, they are bound to miss out on both vital information and subtle nuances if they don’t have a strong grasp of Spanish. The best way to eliminate these headaches and devour all the Spanish-language media out there is to learn the language.

7. It offers more business opportunities

The importance of learning Spanish is huge, particularly for business owners. Speaking the language fluently opens up new markets in Spanish-speaking countries. And within those new markets is a whole new demographic of customers. In short, being bilingual will help any business owner achieve the core principle of growth.

Say a person owns a restaurant and wants to open a chain in a Spanish-speaking country. They’ll need to know the language to make this happen. Knowing the language means the owner can better give his or her customers what they want, which will bring in more business, which leads to greater profits, and on and on.

8. It can actually help improve English

This may sound counterintuitive but learning Spanish can actually help a student improve their English at the same time. As native speakers, we grow up learning English from family and friends. This natural method of language learning often results in many people not fully grasping the underlying mechanics of the language.

However, learning a second language like Spanish can help the student see English with new eyes – particularly as Spanish has a very structured grammar with minimal exceptions to the rules, unlike English. The learning process reveals the fundamental basics and complex principles of grammar and syntax. Next thing the student knows, their English is improving right along with their Spanish. This is the direct result of learning the rules of a foreign language and being able to apply those rules to the native language. It makes the student better at both.

Start learning Spanish today

The importance of learning Spanish in the 21st Century is growing as the world becomes ever more interconnected. In the internet age, there are ever more opportunities to learn a new language like Spanish, and with so many exciting Spanish-speaking countries becoming more globalised, there are opportunities ahead. So why not give it a try with iScribo and see how you go trying to learn Spanish. ¡Vamos!

Categories
Writing in Spanish

5 Easy Tips You Wish You Knew to Create Your Own Writing Style

Everyone has their style when it comes to writing. Several sorts of writing are determined by both the audience and the format – whether it is an essay, research paper, diary, poetry, or any other style of writing.

Finding your writing style is essential since it becomes a part of your identity. 

This article will explain the various writing styles, so you know which to use. It will also provide you with some ideas on how to establish your writing style.

The Four Kinds of Writing

Knowing the many forms of writing is essential to finding your writing style.

There are four kinds of writing:

1. Expository Writing

Expository writing’s primary goal is to explain something. It is often employed in academic contexts since it is one of the most prevalent writing styles. 

The author’s viewpoint is unlikely to be included in expository writing. Instead, it is packed with facts that either convey knowledge about a certain topic or explain how to accomplish something.

When Should You Use Expository Writing?

  • How-to manuals
  • Recipes
  • Writing for academic purposes
  • Papers on technical and scientific subjects
  • Editorials and news

2. Narrative Writing

Narrative writing is exactly what it sounds like: it relies on narration and narrative. This kind of writing necessitates the author’s creation of characters and, at times, conversation. 

It follows a plot that introduces the characters and takes the reader on their trip.

When Should You Use Narrative Writing

  • Stories of brevity
  • Novels
  • Poetry
  • Pieces that are biographical or autobiographical
  • The oral history
  • Anecdotes

3. Persuasive Writing

Persuasive writing comprises arguments to persuade the reader. The author shares their point of view and provides evidence for why you should agree with them on a particular issue.

When Should You Use Persuasive Writing?

  • Advertorial
  • Recommendation letter
  • Opinion and editorial articles
  • Statements of Personal Interest
  • Reviews

4. Descriptive Writing

Descriptive writing is concerned with explaining something in great detail. 

Descriptive writing, in addition to short and to-the-point language, builds a picture for the reader.

When Should You Use Descriptive Writing?

  • Journaling
  • Poetry
  • Fiction
  • Writing about nature

First, Choose Your Purpose, then Select a Style

When writing, you’ll often be reminded to consider your audience before you begin. 

Understanding your “why” will assist you in deciding on your “how.” That is why it is important to understand the many sorts of writing styles. 

It will assist you in making your writing more effective and carefully crafted.

Why Does It Matter?

Knowing why you’re writing will assist you to fulfil the piece’s purpose. Furthermore, if you have a clear objective, you will be able to build your unique writing style.

What Is Your Writing Style?

Writing is a kind of communication, and everyone has something to say and a distinct method of saying it.

Consider the following while defining your writing style:

1. Tone and Voice:

Voice refers to who is speaking, but tone refers to how you are speaking. When you write, you are essentially placing words that you might utter out. 

As a result, when someone reads it, they may notice a specific cadence, or rhythm, in how you put the words together. 

This becomes one of your writing style’s most evident characteristics.

2. Examine Your Point of View:

Take a step back to understand how and why you view things the way you do. 

Then, in your writing, strive to portray that thinking process so that the reader understands where you’re coming from.

3. Avoid Cliches:

Refrain from using overused terms in your writing. While cliches provide truth, they detract from your unique style since they have been overused.

4. Understand the Writing Rules:

Ensure to follow basic writing norms and language, especially when writing for academics or business. 

It will be simpler to concentrate on the real topic of the work if you master these guidelines before you begin.

You can use various online tools like Hemingway editor, Grammarly, etc…

If you want to write in Spanish you can use iScribo to ensure you’re free from any grammatical errors.

5. Daily Practice:

The more you do it, the better you become at it. You will automatically improve if you write a little bit every day.

Final Thoughts

You will take a different strategy each time, depending on what you want to write.

You may pick the sorts of writing that are most suited for each work by identifying your objectives and understanding your audience.

As you continue to write, you will begin to build a style that is unique to you.  Best wishes and happy writing!

Categories
Writing in Spanish

How to Write a Resume in Spanish that Stands Out

There are many benefits to learning how to write a Spanish CV. Possessing a commanding knowledge of Spanish shows a dedication to the job in question. Plus, it makes things easier for employers in Spanish-speaking countries.

This goes beyond simply running text through a translator. There’s an art to composing a great resume or CV — particularly in a second language, as there are cultural norms that also need to be followed.

This is a job seeker’s one chance to show potential employers what makes them stand out from the rest. However, if that resume isn’t in the employer’s native language, it’s a safe bet it will end up at the bottom of the pile. This is certainly the case for anyone submitting a resume in English when the language in question is Spanish.

Here are some top tips on how to write a resume in Spanish.

How to create your Spanish resume

Before typing up your resume, it’s vital to know what information to include. Keep in mind that complex, technical jargon can often be difficult to translate into Spanish with total accuracy. This is why anyone writing a Spanish resume for the first time should have a native speaker proofread it before submitting to employers.

Information to include

Ensure that all information listed in the various sections of your resume is relevant and appears in order of importance. Here are the specific sections to include when considering how to write a Spanish CV:

  • Photo/la foto: While it’s not mandatory to include a photo on the cover of a resume, it does help the employer humanise the applicant and can be quite common in Spanish-speaking countries. The employer sees the applicant as a person rather than a collection of words and bullet points. In a stack of resumes in which the majority of applicants have similar skills but only a handful have photos, this can help you stand out.
  • Personal information/datos personales: Applicants should place their name and contact information at the top of the resume. Depending on the circumstances, it can consist of a home address, email address, and phone number, but will need to include nationality and your residency number if you’re already living abroad, such as your NIE number in Spain, or your RUT if you are in Chile, for example. This information is often the heading, or title, of the resume. It’s also where the applicant should attach a photo, if they decide to do so.
  • Education/formación académica: This is one of the most important parts of the resume. Besides the section detailing professional experience, this is where most employers’ eyes first land. The applicant should list all relevant education history and credentials in reverse chronological order, with the most recent degree appearing first.

For each degree, include a short summary of the course of study and what year it was completed. If the applicant didn’t go to university or college, then this is the section where they should mention any relevant training or courses they have taken.

  • Professional experience/experiencia profesional: Professional experience takes up the bulk of most resumes. This is where applicants list their work history relevant to the industry in question. Therefore, it’s not necessary for the applicant to mention every job they’ve ever had. It’s best to list only the most impressive and most recent work. Long gaps in employment history are red flags for employers.

Similar to the education section, applicants should list their employment history in reverse chronological order with a short summary describing the roles and responsibilities performed in each job.

  • Skills/informática: Strong skills can really catch a potential employer’s attention, especially if the applicant is light on work experience. The applicant should pay close attention to the skills mentioned in the job description and list any he or she possesses. More general skills can apply here too. Some examples include clear communication, analytical thinking, leadership, etc. More specific skills include things like proficiency in specific computer programs and being licensed to use special equipment.
  • Languages/idiomas: This section is important for a Spanish resume. It’s impressive to employers if an applicant is multilingual. Here, applicants should state the languages they speak and their level of proficiency, such as native, intermediate, or beginner. If you have been studying an official program such as with the Cervantes Institute, remember to list your level, such a B2 or C1 etc.

Writing your cover letter

A cover letter, also known as a carta de presentación in Spanish, needs to be short and formal. At the top right should be the applicant’s name, address, and telephone number. Below this should be the recruiter’s name, their company, and the date and job reference. The main text should mention the job the applicant is applying for, why they’re applying, and what makes them a suitable candidate. It should end with a formal Spanish expression, a signature, and a printed name beneath it.

Useful phrases to include

Wondering how to write a Spanish CV and covering letter? Below are some useful phrases:

  • Estimado/a – Dear (in the plural form. This can be used alone or as estimado/a if you are writing to a specific person)
  • A quien corresponda – To whom it may concern
  • Si necesita más información, no dude en contactar conmigo – Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me
  • Espero tener noticias suyas pronto – I look forward to hearing from you soon
  • Saludos cordiales – Best regards
  • Reciba un cordial saludo – Yours sincerely

Adapting your resume from English to Spanish

There are differences in expectations for Spanish versus English resumes. Therefore, it’s not necessary to translate a resume word for word from one language to the other. Instead, the applicant should adapt it.

For example, resumes written for employers in Spain tend to have less information than those written in English, and professional experience is not as detailed. When writing a resume in Spanish for a job application in Mexico, education is one of the most valued sections. In this case, the applicant should include as much relevant detail as possible.

Also, don’t worry if your CV in Spanish suddenly seems to be so much longer than your English version. This is because formal Spanish is often much wordier, so it takes up more space. This is expected in the Spanish-speaking world.

Write a perfect Spanish resume

The above tips on how to write a Spanish resume should allow any applicant to stand out amid the competition. You need to ensure you have the correct information, layout, and phrases that a Spanish employer is looking for. Once the resume is complete, the best thing to do is read over it, get a native speaker to proofread it, then read it over again for good measure. Keep making changes until the resume is perfect, and there’s no doubt it will impress potential employers. iScribo helps you to write properly your cv in Spanish.

Categories
Writing in Spanish

7 Useful Tips When Trying to Learn Spanish Online

When attempting to learn Spanish, you should be enthusiastic and

have the drive to succeed.

The following are some helpful tips on your journey, learning Spanish:

Tip #1: A lack of time is not an acceptable excuse

There’s a common justification for individuals who don’t learn Spanish but wish they could. They claim they don’t have enough time to learn, study, and exercise. Well, it’s just an excuse… 

You don’t have to sit down and spend hours studying Spanish and performing exercises all the time. There are hundreds of online tutorials that include audio content. 

Whilst waiting for a bus or working out you could listen to your favourite audio course on your MP3 device or CD player. It’s that easy.

For a change, switch to a Spanish channel and attempt to figure out the meaning of the words and phrases you hear. Get a Spanish magazine or browse a Spanish website, for example.

So, don’t create any excuses. Even if you don’t have much time, you can study Spanish online.

Moving on to Tip #2: Learn the fundamentals

Many individuals begin studying hundreds of Spanish words and phrases to become Spanish vocabulary experts… but guess what? 

When they speak Spanish with someone, they only employ a tiny proportion of their vocabulary. I believe it is more important to study and understand the fundamental words or phrases, as well as their grammar and pronunciation. 

Then, if you choose, you can go on to study the remaining thousands of Spanish words.

Sometimes, teachers attempt to teach you old-fashioned Spanish, grammatical rules that can be not enough when speaking Spanish. You must learn current Spanish. 

Learn the fundamental words and phrases, master their pronunciation and writing norms, and only then will you be able to extend your vocabulary.

Tip #3: Avoid worrying about the Spanish language

What I mean is that you shouldn’t be concerned with why the Spanish language and words are written, formed, or spoken the way they are. 

Leave it alone. 

That’s the way it is. You can’t call the language’s origins or definitions into dispute. You could, but it will not help you learn Spanish. 

So don’t ask yourself, your tutors, or your Spanish lover why a word is spoken or written a certain way, or what the meaning of a specific word or phrase is, and so on.

Concentrate on acquiring the language in its current form. Don’t spend your time debating the wordings.

Tip #4: Of course, motivation is key

Okay, so you’re driven and excited when you start studying Spanish online. But what happens after a few weeks?

If you start losing interest in learning Spanish, plan a vacation to Spain or a Spanish-speaking nation, or if you can’t afford it, try visiting a Spanish-speaking neighbourhood, a Spanish market, or a Spanish restaurant. 

This will be beneficial to you and will encourage your drive to continue learning and studying.

You might perhaps look for a Spanish-speaking partner or a buddy who speaks Spanish well.

This should greatly urge you to keep going and learning Spanish. If you have a Spanish-speaking friend or lover you will notice a significant improvement in your ability to acquire Spanish words or phrases.

And if that person cares about you, he or she will make an effort to enhance your self-esteem and keep you going. 

When it comes to learning Spanish, it’s all about the drive.

Let us now move on to tip #5: You have every right to make errors

I encourage you to make as many errors as possible. And then create more, and more, and more. After that, please feel free to create even more errors. If you want to study Spanish online, this is the easiest method to get started. 

However, there is a catch. You must be able to admit and learn from your errors. And try not to make the same errors over and over again.

If you start making errors when speaking Spanish, writing a sentence in Spanish, or trying to pronounce anything in Spanish and realize you made a mistake, your brain recalls that mistake and it’s simpler for you not to make that mistake again.

So, please don’t be discouraged if you make errors when learning Spanish. That’s how it works.

Tip #6: Pretend you’re a parrot

You should, without a doubt. Parrots, these amazing birds, have a very great memory because they can reproduce what they hear and pronounce it the way they hear it. 

When attempting to learn Spanish, acting like a parrot will be beneficial. 

Begin by imitating.

Remember the Spanish lover or buddy I mentioned? Imitate your friend’s pronunciation and how he or she employs Spanish words or phrases.

If you go to a Spanish market or a Spanish restaurant, pay attention to how the Spanish-speaking individuals use the language.

Interacting with fluent Spanish speakers and behaving like a parrot is a valuable skill if you use self-learning techniques.

And last Tip #7: Find the Right Lesson

Finally, if you are interested in studying Spanish online and want to purchase some interactive courses, you should be aware that not all classes are created equal.

They all employ distinct strategies and approaches. 

And not all strategies are appropriate for everyone. So it’s best to try them first, then evaluate whether it’s the correct lesson or method for you… and then go on. Alternatively, you can use iScribo, it will make you write like a professional Spanish speaker or at the very least, not like a fool.

Categories
Writing in Spanish

The Best Phrases to Use When Writing a Letter in Spanish

Letter writing has been around in one form or another ever since the days of the first cloth parchment paper. In recent times, we’ve seen it go digital in the form of email and text. Despite advances in technology, however, there are still precious few people who know how to write a well-structured, professional email – especially in another language like Spanish.

It’s a subtle art and an important skill to learn. Essential to becoming such a multilingual person of letters is to understand that there are differences in what words to use depending on the formality of the letter. We’ve compiled a guide to help overcome these obstacles – one that provides the best phrases for writing a letter in Spanish.

Informal letters

Greetings

When writing a letter in Spanish, you’ll always start with a greeting. For informal letters, you can use any one of the two:

  • Hola: Similar to if you were casually greeting someone on the street in Spain, informal letters can begin with a simple hola. It translates very simply to ‘hi’, ‘hi there’, or ‘hey’ and is the most basic way to start an informal letter. An added bonus is that hola easy to remember because it doesn’t have any differences between masculine and feminine.
  • Querido/Querida: is slightly more formal than hola, but you wouldn’t use it in a formal letter. It translates as ‘dear’, but the adjective’s ending will depend on the gender of the person to whom you are writing. You can also use the plural form when writing to a group of people, such as ‘Mis queridos amigos’, or ‘My dear friends’.

Body text

For informal letters, it’s really up to the writer as to which phrases he or she wants to use. Setting a casual tone is fine, so feel free to say what you like. Here are some common phrases to consider:

  • Te escribo porque – I’m writing to you because…
  • ¿Cómo te va? – How are you doing?
  • Saluda a tu familia de I parte – Say hello to your family
  • Me alegró mucho recibir noticias tuyas – It was lovely to hear from you.
  • Espero que estés bien – Hope you’re doing well
  • Tanto tiempo sin hablarnos – Long time no talk

Valedictions

There are many more ways to end an informal Spanish letter than there are greetings. That aside, here are some of the most common ones:

  • Besos y abrazos: This is great when you want to say goodbye to a loved one, as it literally means ‘hugs and kisses.’ It’s also quite a common farewell at the end of English-language letters.
  • Afectuosamente: Similar to the above, afectuosamente is a loving farewell typically reserved for family and friends. It translates to ‘yours, affectionately’, and it’s traditional to finish the phrase with the name of the person sending the letter.
  • Saludos: This goodbye is useful in informal letters for people the writer isn’t close to, such as acquaintances. It simply means ‘greetings’ and finishes the letter off nicely.

Formal letters

For formal letters, it’s important to ensure your Spanish is perfect because it’s a reflection of the professionalism of the writer. Never use slang, and always double-check infinitives before sending.

Greetings

Similar to when drafting an informal letter, there are two main opening phrases you can use at the beginning. Choose between these formal Spanish phrases:

  • A quien pueda interesar: It’s best to use this phrase at the beginning of a letter when the recipient’s name is unknown. It translates to ‘to whom it may concern.’ It’s typically the easier option when feminine and masculine infinitives are confusing to the writer.
  • Estimado/Estimada: Although querido is an informal Spanish word for ‘dear’, estimado means the same thing but can also be used in formal letters. It’s best accompanied by señor or señora and then the recipient’s last name. Be sure to remember to use the correct ending for the recipient’s gender.

Body text

The phrases used in a formal letter will depend on the message the writer is trying to communicate. However, when in doubt it’s best to use usted instead of throughout the text to show the recipient respect. Here are some examples of popular formal Spanish phrases used in letters:

  • Adjunto encontrará – Enclosed you will find
  • Les escribo para informarles – I am writing to inform you (plural)
  • Quedo a la espera de sus noticias – I look forward to hearing from you
  • Por favor no dude en contactarme si necesita más información – Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information
  • Gracias por su asistencia con este asunto – Thank you for your assistance in this matter

Closing

There is a large selection of polite and professional farewells you can use to end a formal letter. Here are some of the most popular options:

  • Saludos cordiales: This farewell is best when you want to wish the recipient well. It translates to ‘warm regards’ and is one of the best ways to end a formal letter.
  • Atentamente/Cordialmente: Another polite way to end the letter is with this phrase, which means ‘yours sincerely’ or ‘yours faithfully’ and typically goes before the writer’s name.
  • Muchas gracias: And if you’d like to thank the recipient while signing off, use this phrase, which simply means ‘thank you very much.’

Informal and formal letter examples

Now it’s time to put these phrases together. Below are some examples you can use as a framework when writing a letter in Spanish:

Informal example

Spanish:

Hola, Jose:

Me alegró mucho recibir noticias tuyas. ¿Vas a la fiesta de cumpleaños de Patricia? ¡Me encantaría verte!

Besos y abrazos.

Óscar.

English:

Hey Jose,

It was lovely to hear from you. Are you going to Patricia’s birthday party? Would be great to see you!

Hugs and kisses,

Oscar

Formal example

Spanish:

Estimado Sr. González:

Gracias por su rápida respuesta. Adjunto encontrará una copia de la solicitud, junto a otros documentos informativos. Por favor no dude en contactar conmigo si necesita más información. Quedo a la espera de recibir noticias suyas tan pronto como le sea posible.

Atentamente.

Cecilia López.

The importance of letters

Writing a letter in Spanish doesn’t have to be difficult – and with the right words, it will always lead to success. However, there’s one principal thing to keep in mind if you’re trying to appear professional: it is vital to use formal Spanish phrases. If you employ the above recommendations, rest assured that you will do no wrong. So, break out that pen and paper and send a letter today with iScribo.

Free Trial until 30 September 2021: Our subscription programme does not start until 1 October 2021. So, as long as you provide us with a feedback you can use our site for free until noon 30 September 2021 (GMT)