Author Archives: fernando

A Guide to Interjections in Spanish (Part 1)

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Ouch, argh, hmmm, great!… An interjection in any language could be defined as a word that happens almost instinctively during speech to convey a feeling or some kind of reaction before some kind of stimuli.

We can thank interjections for the fact they make much easier for us to express emotions, a way of greeting others, a quick reply, doubt, or even just the act of insulting in our conversations.

As it may include many parts of our verbal communication, interjections partially overlap with a few other linguistic categories, like discourse markers, fillers or just pet expressions.

You may have noticed I haven’t mentioned anything special about interjections in Spanish, and the reason for it is that this kind of words accomplishes the same function as its counterparts in English. What should be emphasized is which words are used in each language to convey the same emotion or non-verbal message.

For example, in order to express amazement or surprise, English speakers tend to say “wow!”, while a Spanish speaker would say “¡huy!”, “¡oh!”, and even “¡guau!”—surely, a calque from English. In other cases, such as “ah!” for clarity, Spanish uses a similar sound and corresponding spelling.

Now, I will be giving you a two-part useful guide to learn the different types of interjections in Spanish, highlighting the type of feeling or non-verbal message you would be communicating.

  • Amazement, surprise or excitement

Interjections in Spanish: guau, uy, huy, oh, órale (esp. in Mexico), hala (esp. in Spain)

Example: Guau, llegaste muy rápido a la meta; uy, esa escena fue impresionante


Equivalent in English: Wow, (oh) my God

Example: Wow, you arrived pretty fast to the finish line; my God, that scene left quite an impression


  • Wish:

Interjections in Spanish: Ojalá; ojalá que…

Example: ¡Ojalá pases los examenes!; ojalá que viniera mi familia de visita.


Equivalent in English: Let’s hope, I hope, hopefully.

Example: Let’s hope you pass all your tests!; hopefully, my family will come to visit.


  • Relief:

Interjections in Spanish: ¡Fiu!; menos mal

Example: ¡Fiu!, ya se terminó la jornada; menos mal que no fuiste a esa fiesta.


Equivalent in English: Phew, whew; thankfully, thank goodness…

Example: Phew, this work day is now over; thank goodness you didn’t go to that party.


  • Mistake or difficult situation

Interjections in Spanish: Ups, ay

Example: Ups, esa lesión no se ve bien; ¡ay, me equivoqué en esta línea!


Equivalent in English: Oops, whoops, uh-oh…

Example: Uh-oh, that injury doesn’t look good; oops, I made a mistake on this line!


  • Disgust

Interjections in Spanish: (Qué) asco, puaj, puf, guácala, fuchi

Example: ¡Esto se siente pegajoso, puaj!; fuchi, se siente un mal olor en esta habitación


Equivalent in English: Ugh, yuck, ick, eww

Example: Ugh, this feels all sticky!; yuck, there is a funny smell in this room


  • Disdain or indifference

Interjections in Spanish: Bah

Example: Bah, no me importa lo que hagas…


Equivalent in English: Bah, pshaw, meh

Example: Meh, I don’t care what you end up doing…


So, don’t miss out on the next part of my interjection guide. You will be left stunned!


The post A Guide to Interjections in Spanish (Part 1) first appeared on Spanish Language Blog.

Pueden corregir este ejercicio de preposiciones, por favor?


Hay una frase sobre la cual tengo dudas.

Es esta:

  • _ preocupa _ todos sus alumnos, aunque los que más _ preocupan son los que faltan continuamente a clase.

Yo puse:

  • LE preocupa A todos sus alumnos, aunque los que más SE preocupan son los que faltan continuamente a clase.

Al principio pensé ''les'' preocupa, pero ahora no me suena muy bien, pues puse ''le''…

Gracias de antemano por cada comentario!

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Can anyone help me with what this cashier said?

The cashier at target was speaking Spanish to the person in front of me in line, and at the end of the conversation it sounded for all the world like he said to the customer “te comendia.” Based on the context I assumed this means something along the lines of “have a nice day” but later my translate app translated this to “I started you” so clearly I must have misheard the cashier.

Any native speakers here know what he must have said (if there’s a saying that sounds similar) and what the direct translation of that is?

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English Spanish Parallel Texts – Describing personality with El verbo Ser (Part 2)

In this lesson of our English Spanish Parallel Texts course and we are going to practice more describing personality with El verbo Ser in Spanish. Start by reading the text in Spanish below. The English translation is provided later but please try not to look at it until you have read the Spanish version various times and tried your best to understand it.

There may be some words and phrases in the text that you are unfamiliar with, but you should be aiming to capture the main essence of what is happening. There will always be words and phrases popping up in real-life situations that you have never heard before, so it is important never to get too distracted by details.

If you want to investigate some of the words you don’t know with a dictionary that would be great, please do, but do this after trying your best to understand with what you already have in your head.

Check out this video lesson with information relevant to this topic:

Describing personality with El verbo Ser

Describing personality with El verbo Ser (Part 2)

Image by Coffee Bean from Pixabay


Spanish Text


La entrevistadora: Hola, buenos días. ¿Cómo se llama usted?
El entrevistado: ¡Hola muy buenas! Me llamo Rafael Moreno. Estoy aquí para la entrevista.
La entrevistadora: Muy bien. Sí, señor Moreno. Bienvenidos.
El entrevistado: Muchas gracias.
La entrevistadora: Vale, empezamos. Como sabe usted, esta entrevista es para el puesto de jefe de proyecto en esta empresa.
El entrevistado: Sí, el puesto me parece muy interesante y tengo mucha experiencia en puestos similares.
La entrevistadora: Muy bien. Hablamos de eso luego.
El entrevistado: Sí, por supuesto.
La entrevistadora: Primero, quiero entender qué tipo de persona es usted y si usted es la persona adecuada para este trabajo.
El entrevistado: De acuerdo.
La entrevistadora: ¿Que cinco adjetivos describen mejor su personalidad?
El entrevistado: Mmmhh… Honesto, decidido, sociable, optimista, de fiar, y trabajador.
La entrevistadora: Son seis señor Moreno.
El entrevistado: Perdón. ¡Es que soy tan bueno!
La entrevistadora: Vale. Entiende usted que todos los entrevistados dicen más o menos lo mismo. Todos son personas honestas, decididas, sociables optimistas, de fiar, y trabajadoras. ¿Por qué es usted mejor para este puesto que los otros? Y, también, si es tan honesto ¿donde están las características un poco más negativas de su personalidad? Todos nosotros las tenemos.
El entrevistado: Mmmhh…
La entrevistadora: ¿Decidido?
El entrevistado: Vale, perdón. Soy un poco despistado a veces e igual un poco desordenado.
La entrevistadora: Gracias señor Moreno.



English Text


The interviewer: Hello, good morning. What is your name?
The interviewee: Hello! My name is Rafael Moreno. I’m here for the interview.
The interviewer: Very good. Yes, Mr. Moreno. Welcome.
The interviewee: Thank you very much.
The interviewer: Ok, let’s start. As you know, this interview is for the position of project manager in this company.
The interviewee: Yes, I think the position is very interesting and I have a lot of experience in similar positions.
The interviewer: Very good. We can talk about that later.
The interviewee: Yes, of course.
The interviewer: First, I want to understand what kind of person you are and if you are the right person for this job.
The interviewee: Agreed.
The interviewer: What five adjectives best describe your personality?
The interviewee: Mmmhh … Honest, decisive, sociable, optimistic, reliable, and hardworking.
The interviewer: That is six Mr. Moreno.
The interviewee: Sorry. I’m so good!
The interviewer: Ok. You understand that all the interviewees say more or less the same. All are honest, decisive, sociable, optimistic, reliable, and hard-working people. Why are you better for this position than the others? And, also, if you are so honest, where are the slightly more negative characteristics of your personality? We all have them.
The interviewee: Mmmhh …
The interviewer: Decisive?
The interviewee: Ok, sorry. I’m a little distracted at times and maybe a bit disorganised.
The interviewer: Thank you Mr. Moreno.


So, how did you get on? How much did you understand of the original text before checking the translation? Please let me know in the comments section below…

Don’t worry if you didn’t understand that much, practice makes perfect! Be patient and keep reading, hearing, writing, and speaking Spanish. See you next time!

The post English Spanish Parallel Texts – Describing personality with El verbo Ser (Part 2) first appeared on Spanish Language Blog.

Un Viaje Virtual a Ecuador (Parte Uno)

Mi pasatiempo favorito es viajar, pero en este momento es un poco difícil (My favorite hobby is traveling, but it’s a little difficult at the moment). I’m sure many of you feel the same way. In the meantime, I’m leading some virtual tours of Spanish-speaking countries here on the blog. Hoy vamos a hacer un viaje virtual a Ecuador (Today we’re going to take a virtual trip to Ecuador).

The center of Quito is bustling.


Empecemos por la capital. Quito es la segunda capital más alta del mundo (Let’s begin in the capital. Quito is the second-highest capital in the world). At an elevation of 2,850 m (9,350 ft) above sea level, it’s behind only La Paz, Bolivia.

También es la capital más antigua de Sudamérica. La ciudad tiene un centro histórico bien conservado (It’s also the oldest capital in South America. The city has a well-preserved historic center). That’s why it was one of the first World Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO in 1978 along with Krakow, Poland.

A look at Plaza Grande.

El Centro Histórico de Quito es considerado uno de los más importantes conjuntos históricos de América Latina (The Historic Center of Quito is considered one of the most important historical sites in Latin America). At the heart of this area is la Plaza de la Independencia (Independence Square), which is colloquially known as Plaza Grande.

En el centro de la Plaza Grande es el Monumento a la Independencia, conocido también como Monumento a los Héroes del 10 de agosto de 1809 (In the center of the Plaza Grande is the Independence Monument, also known as the Monument to the Heroes of August 10, 1809). It commemorates el primer grito de la independencia (the first cry of independence) in the struggle against the Spanish.

The Independence Monument

El presidente de Ecuador vive en el Palacio Carondelet (The president of Ecuador lives in the Carondelet Palace). It’s also a museum that’s open to the public with guided tours. Be sure to sign up for one if you ever get the chance to visit Quito.

Todos los lunes, se puede ver la ceremonia del cambio de guardia frente al palacio (Every Monday, you can see the changing of the guard ceremony in front of the palace). It starts at 11 AM but it’s best to get there a bit early. You can even catch a glimpse of the president!

Changing of the guard ceremony.

Hay muchas iglesias hermosas en Quito, como la Catedral Metropolitana, la Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción, y la Basílica del Voto Nacional (There are many beautiful churches in Quito, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Church of the Immaculate Conception, and the Basilica of the National Vow). The latter is especially fun to visit as you can actually climb up in the tower to take in the views. See for yourself…

A drone’s-eye-view of the church.


The view from the tower.

Do you see that statue on the hill in the distance? It’s la Virgen de el Panecillo, also known as the Virgin of Quito. Fun fact – at 41 m (135 ft), it’s actually taller than the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio. It’s well worth the trip up the hill to enjoy the panoramic views of the city.

Enjoying the views.

Un lugar divertido para visitar en la ciudad es la Calle la Ronda (A fun place to visit in the city is Calle la Ronda). This cobblestone alley is one of the oldest in the city, dating back to the time of the Incas. Today it’s a popular spot for shopping, dining, and nightlife.

Calle la Ronda

When in Quito, you must take a day trip to la Ciudad Mitad del Mundo (the Middle of the World City). This monument is located right on the equator. Did you know that’s where Ecuador gets its name from? It turns out the monument was actually built about 200 meters away from the equator, so they went and built another one. Both are easily visited on a half-day tour from the city.

Middle of the World City

Aquí puedes equilibrar un huevo sobre un clavo o ver cómo el agua que va a un desagüe gira en diferentes sentidos (Here you can balance an egg on a nail or see how the water that goes to a drain rotates in different directions). These are just a few of the fun activities you can do here!

It works!

Last but not least, be sure to take a ride on TelefériQo. The name is a combination of teleférico (cable car) and Quito and it’s one of the highest aerial lifts in the world. It takes about 20 minutes to climb to 3,945 m (12,943 ft) on the east side of Volcán Pichincha. This is a great spot to go for a hike, but just be sure to bring plenty of water and layers.

What a view!

Of course, there are plenty of amazing markets, restaurants, cafes, and bars here in this bustling capital city. Be sure to check out our guide to Ecuadorian food to get acquainted with the most famous dishes in the country.

A typical meal in Quito.

My wife and I spent a week in Quito during out 7-month trip around South America as digital nomads. Definitivamente fue una de nuestras ciudades favoritas (It was definitely one of our favorite cities). In fact, I’d love to go back and stay for a month or more next time! I’ll end this post with a question for you:

¿Quieres visitar Quito? ¿Que quieres hacer ahí?
Do you want to visit Quito? What do you want to do there?

Photos taken and used with permission from Sasha Savinov.

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