Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New and Improved Drag-n-Match

We are happy to announce the release of our upgraded Spanish matching game - Drag-n-Match. This upgrade features audio integration, high quality images, and an intuitive interface. It truly makes learning vocabulary fun -- I can't seem to stop playing!

There are many categories to choose from including food, animals, body parts, and more.  For the entire list of categories, click here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sayings in Spanish - Dichos

The following sayings are very common in many countries in Latin America. It will be helful to learn how to use to speak with the natives. They will be impressed!

Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente: Out of sight, out of mind

Dios los cría y ellos se juntan: Birds of a feather flock together

De tal palo tal astilla: A chip off the old block

Thursday, February 18, 2010

How to make horchata (a rice drink)?

Horchata is a rice drink serve in many Latinamerican countries. It is delicious and refreshing.

1 lb. of rice
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 onz. ulsalted toasted peanuts or almonds
2 lbs. sugar
5 liters of water

Cover the rice and the cinnamon with water. The next day blend the rice, cinnamon, peanuts and water. Add sugar. Serve over ice.

It's great to drink while learning Spanish online.   :-)

What's the difference between the verb SER and ESTAR in Spanish?

The verb SER indicates a quality that is not likely to change and the verb ESTAR indicates a quality that is likely to change. Example:
Rosa es enfermera. (A condition that won't change)
Rose is a nurse.
Rosa esta enferma. (A condition that will change)
Rose is sick.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Idioms with ECHAR

What does it mean "echar a perder". In Spanish there are several idioms that use the verb ECHAR . "echar a perder" means to ruin; to spoil.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Does the verb SER indicate a permanent state?

The verb SER does indicate a permanet state. Example: I am Italian., I am a nurse. To learn more about this topic go to this link.
verbs ser and estar

El verbo SER indica permanencia. Por ejemplo. Soy italiana., Soy enfermera.
Este enlace siguiente tiene mas informacion.

los verbs ser y estar

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ceviche de Atun (Tuna Ceviche)

1 can of tuna
3 medium roma tomatoes
1 small onion (finely chopped)
20 mint leaves (finely chopped)
Lime juice of 1 1/2 limes

Drain the tuna. Mixed tomatoe, onion, mint and lime juice. Add salt to taste and serve it with saltine crackers or nachos.

This is a delicious guatemalan recipe. It is easy to make and very refreshing in the warm weather.

Recipe provided by: Mimi Cabrera
1 lata de atun
3 tomates medianos (en trocitos)
1 cebolla mediana (picada)
20 hojitas de yerbabuena (picada)
jugo de 1 limon y medio
Sal al gusto

Drenar el agua de la lata de atun. Mezclar el atun con el tomate, la cebolla, la yerbabuena y el jugo de limon. Agregar sal al gusto y servirlo con nachos o galletas saladas.

Esta es una receta deliciosa que se prepara en Guatemala. Es facil de hacer y muy refrescante para comer en epoca de calor.

Receta de: Mimi Cabrera

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Que significa "echar la casa por la ventana"

Este dicho es usado popularmente para referirse a algun acontecimiento o festejo donde el anfitrion o anfitriona atiende a sus invitados de una manera opulenta. Se da lo mejor que se puede.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


llegar means to arrive

Expressions using llegar:

llegar a - to reach

llegar a ser - to become

llegar a saber - to find out

llegar tarde - to arrive late

la llegada (f) - arrival

al llegar - upon arriving, upon arrival

llegar hasta - to go as far as, to go all the way (to)

For the full conjugations of llegar, please visit:

llegar - full conjugations

tener que and deber

The English word, must or the phrase to have to can be expressed two ways in Spanish.

They are...

tener que and deber

tener que

Pablo tiene que levantarse una hora antes que nosotros para no llegar tarde a la oficina.
Pablo must get up an hour earlier than us so he does not arrive late at the office.

Here are some other example of various sentences with different conjugations of tener que.

Tengo que aprender lo mas que pueda..
I must learn as much as I can.

Tengo que preparle eso.
I must prepare that for him.

Tuve que llevar a mi hijo al hospital
I had to take my son to the hospital.

or one can use deber to express the same idea

Debo preparle eso.
I have to prepare that for him.

Debo llevar a mi hijo al hospital
I must take my son to the hospital.

Debo hacerlo.
I must do it.

Making Spanish 'ar' verbs into nouns

Making some Spanish 'AR' verbs into nouns is easy!

A number of Spanish 'AR' verbs can be easily changed into nouns by doing the following:
  1. Drop the letters 'AR' from the end of the infinitive leaving what is called the STEM
  2. Add the letter 'O'
  3. You have the noun
  4. AND it is identical to the verb conjugation for 'I' (me - first person singular)

Let's look at an example.

  1. The verb to work is trabajar.
  2. Drop the 'AR' at the end of the infinitive = trabaj -
  3. Add the letter 'O' = trabajo
  4. The noun of the work is el trabajo
  5. ...which is identical to I work which is yo trabajo

They are masculine words, hence we color code them blue. (We use redfor feminine words, and green for others like verbs etc.

votar becomes el voto, the vote, and the verb is voto - I vote, or I am voting.

cantar becomes el canto, the song, and the verb is canto - I sing, or I am singing.

progresar becomes el progreso, the progress, and the verb is progreso- I progress, or I am progressing.

dibujar becomes el dibujo, the drawing, and the verb is dibujo - I draw, or I am drawing.

odiar, to hate becomes el odio, the hate or the hatred, and the verb isodio - I hate, or I am hating.

And here are some more too...

robar, to rob, becomes el robo, the robbery, theft...
- and the verb is robo, I rob or steal, or I am robbing, stealing.

besar, to kiss, becomes el beso, the kiss...
- and the verb is beso, I kiss, or I am kissing.

estudiar, to study, becomes el estudio, the study...
- and the verb is estudio which is I study, or I am studying.

insultar, to insult, becomes el insulto, the insult...
- and the verb is insulto, I insult, or I am insulting.

pesar, to weigh, becomes el peso, the weight...
- and the verb is peso, I weigh, or I am weighing.

refrescar, to refresh becomes el refresco, the refreshment...
- and the verb is refresco I refesh, or I am refreshing.

triunfar, to triumph becomes el triunfo, the triumph...
- and the verb is triunfo, I triumph, or I am triumphing.

archivar, to file, becomes el archivo, the file...
- and the verb is archivo, I file, or I am filing.

anunciar, to advertise, becomes el anuncio, the advertisement.
- and the verb is anuncio, I advertise, or I am advertising.

cepillar, I brush, becomes el cepillo, the brush...
- and the verb is cepillo which is I brush, or I am brushing.

divorciar, becomes el divorcio, the divorce.
- and the verb in Spanish is divorcio, I divorce, or I am divorcing.

fracasar, to fail, becomes el fracaso, the failure...
- and the verb is fracaso, I fail, or I am failing.

gritar, to shout, becomes el grito, the shout, or cheer...
- and the verb is grito, I shout, or I am shouting.

caminar, to walk, becomes el camino... the road or pathway or track...
- and the Spanish verb is camino, I walk, or I am walking.

cambiar, to change becomes el cambio, the change (and the money exchanger)...
- and the verb is cambio, I change, or I am changing.

abrazar, to hug, becomes el abrazo the hug or embrace...
- and the verb is abrazo, I hug, or I am hugging.

arreglar, to arrange in Spanish, becomes el arreglo, the arrangement...
- and the verb is arreglo, I arrange, or I am arranging.

saludar, to greet, becomes el saludo.
- and the verb is saludo, I greet, or I am greeting.

With the pronunciation - for the infinitive, stress the last syllable.

For the verb and the noun, the stress is on the next to last syllable.

These examples are taken and adapted from the marvellous book first published in 1951 by Margaret Madrigal called 'Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish, A Creative and Proven Approach' published by Broadway Books, New York and available from all major booksellers online including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.

Ven - come or see?

The Spanish word, Ven can mean either come or see.

The Spanish word for "come!" when addressing a friend, relative, child or subordinate is Ven!

Ven, ven, ven Maria te quiero ven, ven, ven!
are the lyrics of a popular Spanish song. This means,
Come, come, come Maria I love you, come, come, come!

Ven also means see, as in ellos ven, which is Spanish for they see.

Remember this useful word Ven. Which can mean "come!" or "they see".

¡Feliz cumpleaños! = Happy Birthday!

¡Feliz cumpleaños! = Happy Birthday!

el cumpleaños (m) = birthday.

Some useful phrases:

cumplir .... años = to reach the age of ...

¿Cuándo cumples años? = When's your birthday?
lit: When do you reach (your) years?

¡Mañana cumplo diez/veinte/cincuenta años.
= I'll be ten/twenty/fifty years old tomorrow.
lit: I am reaching ten/twenty/fifty years of age tomorrow.

¡Que cumplas muchos más! = Many happy returns!
lit: May you reach/have many more!

From the verb:
cumplir = to carry out; to obey (law); to honour; to keep (a promise), to peform; to serve (e.g. prison sentence, military)

Hoy cumplimos diez años de casados.
= Today we are (have been) married for ten years.
lit. Today, we are reaching ten years of marriage.

cumplirse (reflexive) = to be realized, to be fulfilled, to come true.

cumplir con = to fulfil one's obligations.

¡Sí, cómo no!

¡Sí, cómo no! - is used a lot in Latin America, it means:

Why not! Of course! Sure!

In Spain, this expression is not used. One would say:

¡Claro! = Of course!

¡Claro que no! = Of course not!

Some other ways of saying "Of course!":

¡desde luego!

¡por supuesto!

The Origin of Borracho

In many rural regions of Spain, wine is still served in leather bota bags which in the 15th century were called borrachas, in Catalan.

Borracha comes from botella (bottle) y morratxa (a type of laboratory bottle). Later, the Spanish word borracho was used to talk about a drunkard, someone who was lleno de vino (full of wine).