Please write 9 sentences in correct Spanish that deal with the below.


WHAT’S YOUR NAME? Jonathan Most people get it pretty easily that ¿Cómo te llamas? or ¿Cómo se llama? means “What is your name?” Literally, the question is asking “What do you call yourself?” To literally say “What is your name” is “Cuál es tu/su nombre?” which is a different way to ask the same thing. The answer, however, is often confused by the English speaker because of, again, literal translation and trying to speak English with Spanish words, if that makes sense. To answer “Cómo te llamas?” one should reply “Me llamo (Julio)” but often learners will mix the two and say “Me llamo es (Julio)” which is not correct. This actually says “I call myself is Julio.” Not good. It is an easy mistake to make because it sounds more like what we say in English: My name is…


EITHER state your name with “Me llamo” or “Mi nombre es” but not a combination of the two.




TENER: TENER, the verb TO HAVE, is a verb that is used in many common idiomatic expressions that English speakers often will mistakenly use SER (TO BE) to express. ALWAYS use tener for:


AGE—Yo tengo 25 años. (NEVER “Soy 25 años”)—this is another common error of direct translation.


The following idioms:


TENER hambre/sed/sueño/miedo/frío/calor/celos/prisa (to be hungry/thirsty/tired/scared/cold/hot/jealous/in a hurry)—In English we say I AM which in Spanish, is the verb SER or ESTAR.




QUERER vs. GUSTAR: Querer means ‘to want’ where gustar means ‘to like’. “Yo quiero Taco Bell” means I want Taco Bell, where “Me gusta Taco Bell” means I like Taco Bell. The verb QUERER is also used to mean love in situations like “I love/want you” (Te quiero)—but is not used to mean I love Taco Bell. It is only used with people in this way. To say one loves something (as we would say something like “I love skiing”), use ENCANTAR which works as the verb GUSTAR does: Me encanta esquiar.




A PERSONAL: In Spanish, the word ‘a’ is used between a verb and a person but it does not translate in English, so is often forgotten. To say “I call my mom” would be “Llamo a mi madre.” To say “We wait for the doctor” would be “Esperamos a la doctora.” But to wait for the bus would be “Esperamos el autobus.”


The personal A is NOT, however, used with the verb tener. For example, Tengo dos hijos (I have two children) would NOT have the ‘a’ between the verb and people.




SER vs. ESTAR: These verbs cause language learners a lot of grief. Basically, SER is used to describe things that don’t change (along with origin and professions) where ESTAR describes conditional or temporary things. Examples: Soy de California, Eres rubio, Somos altos, vs. Estoy enferma, Estás en Kansas City, Estamos tristes etc. These verbs require a lot of study.




ADJECTIVE AGREEMENT: In Spanish, adjectives always reflect the number and gender of the words they describe. As we don’t have gender per se in the English language, this is a tricky thing to get used to. First off, gender in language does not mean that feminine words only have to do with “women” and masculine words only have to do with “men.” It is not like that at all. Two good examples are the Spanish words for tie and dress. Tie is “la corbata” –a feminine word–and is typically a man’s article of clothing were “el vestido”—a masculine word– is the word for dress, which is typically something worn by a woman. The gender and number of a word is obvious by looking at the definite or indefinite article: el/la/los/las (un/una/unos/unas). If you se “LOS” in front of a word, the adjective needs to be masculine and plural: Los perros son blancos. Similarly, observe the adjectives and how they are different for the following sentences: El perro es blanco. Las casas son amarillas. La casa es amarilla.


Adjectives follow nouns in Spanish and precede them in English, so if it sounds backwards, it is probably right!




MUY vs. MUCHO: “Muy” means very.  (El bebé es muy pequeño.)—The baby is very small.  (Estoy muy muy cansada.)–I am very very tired.


“Mucho” means a lot.  (Tengo mucho trabajo.)—I have a lot of work. (Hay muchos carros en la calle.)—There are a lot of cars in the street.




BUENO vs. BIEN: This concept is mixed up a lot in English as well. “Bueno” means good. (Los tacos son buenos.)—The tacos are good.


“Bien” means well. (Estoy bien. Bien hecho.)—I am well. Well done.




DIVERTIRSE: This verb means “TO HAVE FUN” and is so very often literally translated, logically, to be “TENER DIVERTIDO” (which sadly is incorrect.) This is again direct translation gone wrong. Also seen a lot from the novice language learner is “tener un buen tiempo” for “to have a good time.” Unfortunately, when this is said, the person is saying “to have good weather.” Use the verb DIVERTIRSE. Me divierto en la playa. (I have fun at the beach.) Nos divertimos mucho anoche. (We had a lot of fun last night.) ¡Qué te diviertas en Madrid! (Have fun in Madrid!) Expressions equivalent to “having a good time” are: Lo pasamos bien. (We had a good time.) Lo pasamos en grande. (We had a blast.) Espero que lo pases bien en Mexico. (I hope you have a good time in Mexico.)