Help with Narnia

In the translation of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, I came across this sentence. Edmund has just happened upon a motionless lion:

No se había movido ni una pulgada desde que lo descubrió.

The use of se in its many forms is often a point of confusion for me. In this case is it part of haberse (which SpanishDict says means "to have it out" and doesn't work here), or is it somehow reflexive? Is it connected to mover?

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“I should have” or “I shouldn’t have”

In your country what is the most common way to express that you should’ve/ shouldn’t have done something? I’ve heard so many different expressions that seem to all convey this sentiment. Some examples I’m thinking of are

“I should’ve brought my coat”

“I shouldn’t have said that”

“I should’ve told you earlier”

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[Poll] Default flairs for unflaired users

Hello fellas.

Based on this post, some people seemed to be getting confused by users who answered questions or gave advice without having a flair that properly identified them as "Learners", "Natives" or as whatever they wanted (flairs have always been editable, so you can really type anything you want that describes your proficiency level adequately).

As a result, we started running a test to auto-assign a default "Beginner" flair to newcomers first participating here without one, in order to hopefully motivate them to change their flair to whatever they saw fit (even to no flair at all, if that's what they really wanted).

However, it seems that some users still don't know how to change their flair, even after spending years on Reddit, and others just don't care enough to do it.

So what's it gonna be?

View Poll

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Famous Frida Kahlo Works and Quotes

In my last post, I introduced the iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and discussed her early life. You can click here to read it if you missed it. Before I continue with her life story and her tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera, I’d like to share some famous Frida Kahlo works and quotes.

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

Famous Works of Frida Kahlo

As I mentioned in the last post, Frida Kahlo began painting as a way to pass the time while she was recovering from the many injuries she suffered in a bus accident. Most of her early works were self-portraits. In fact, she once said “Me pinto a mí misma, porque soy a quien mejor conozco” (I paint myself because that’s who I know best). Early on, she mainly drew inspiration from European Renaissance artists like Sandro Botticelli.

La primera pintura de Frida Kahlo se llama Autorretrato con traje de terciopelo (Frida Kahlo’s first painting is called Self-Portrait in a Velvet Dress). Painted in 1926, it was a nod to Botticelli’s painting “The Birth of Venus.” Click here to see it and read more about it.

Another of her famous self portraits is Autorretrato con collar de espinas (Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird). Painted in 1940 shortly after her divorce from Diego Rivera, there’s a lot of symbolism in this painting. In it, she wears thorns around her neck that are held by a monkey. There’s a lifeless hummingbird attached to the necklace, and a black cat looming over her shoulder. Check out this short video for an interesting description of this painting:

One of my personal favorite self portraits of hers is titled Autorretrato en la frontera entre México y Estados Unidos (Self Portrait Along the Boarder Line Between Mexico and the United States). It depicts Frida standing on the border in between her native land and the place where she and Diego lived for a few years. That just so happens to be my hometown of Detroit, where he was working on a mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts. It shows her distaste for the capitalist culture of the US and her longing to return to Mexico. Here’s a great video about this famous painting of hers:

Perhaps her most famous self portrait is Las dos Fridas (The Two Fridas). They wear different style dresses, one traditionally Mexican and one more European. Both have exposed hearts, one of which is broken. If you look closely, you’ll see that the one on the right clutches a tiny picture of Diego Rivera. You can learn more about this masterpiece by watching this informative video from Great Art Explained:

Not all of her works were self portraits, though. One of her notable paintings called El camión (The Bus) shows a group of passengers on a bus. They represent the different social classes of Mexico at the time, including a blue-eyed gringo in a suit clutching a bag of money. This painting clearly shows the influence that Diego had on Frida and her artwork. To view this painting and read more, click here.

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

Famous Quotes

In addition to being an incredibly gifted painter, Frida Kahlo was also quite the wordsmith. Here are some of her most famous quotes in both Spanish and English so you can learn from them:

Pies, ¿para qué los quiero si tengo alas para volar?”
Feet, why would I want them if I have wings to fly?

Soy una paisana de ceño fruncido, aunque llevo flores y tonos coloridos.”
I’m a country woman who frowns, even though I wear flowers and colorful tones.

Bebo para olvidar, pero ahora… no me acuerdo de qué.”
I drink to forget, but now… I can’t remember what.

Hay que ser sinceras, sin dolor no podemos vivir las mujeres.”
We have to be honest: women can’t live without pain.

Intenté ahogar mis dolores, pero ellos aprendieron a nadar.”
I tried drowning my sorrows, but they learned to swim.

Me pinto a mí misma, porque soy a quien mejor conozco.”
I paint myself because that’s who I know best.

Lo que no me mata, me alimenta.”
What doesn’t kill me, nourishes me.

Nunca pinto sueños o pesadillas. Pinto mi propia realidad.”
I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.

Yo sufrí dos accidentes graves en mi vida, uno en el que un autobús me tumbó al suelo. El otro accidente es Diego; Diego fue el peor.”
I suffered two grave accidents in my life. One where a bus tossed me to the ground. The other accident is Diego; Diego was the worst.

Doctor, si me deja tomar este tequila le prometo no beber en mi funeral.”
Doctor, if you let me drink this tequila, I promise I won’t drink at my funeral.


For a good Spanish listening exercise, you can hear a few of these and several others read aloud in this short video:


I hope you enjoyed this post taking a closer look at Frida Kahlo’s paintings and quotes. I’ll continue to tell the story of her life in the next post. For now I have a few questions for you:

¿Cuál es tu pintura favorita de Frida Kahlo?
What is your favorite painting by Frida Kahlo?

¿Cuál es tu frase favorita de Frida Kahlo?
What is your favorite Frida Kahlo phrase?

The post Famous Frida Kahlo Works and Quotes first appeared on Spanish Language Blog.

Is it okay to use “oye” as a way to say hello?

I’ve used “oye” as a way to say “hey”/“hello” but my boyfriend (who is of Mexican decent and Spanish is his first language) told me “oye” is used more as “hey, look at this” or “hey, pay attention to this.”

Only one other time I’ve used “oye” with a Mexican Spanish speaker and they thought I was about to tell them something. But I’ve also used “oye” with other non-Mexican Spanish speakers and they would respond as if I had greeted them.

A little confused

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Hey guys, what is a formal and colloquial way of saying these 2 phrases? so I have both sides of the spectrum, thanks :)

To push – in the sense of "we need something to push us to make a change" or " sometimes we need something to push us forward"


To put down. So say, you've just scored a goal and someone says…yeah mate but it was a dead goal, you might say "you are always putting me down"

Thank you guys.

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Colloquial Spanish Course – Talking about Movies in Spanish

In this Spanish lesson we are going to practice talking about Movies in Spanish. First we will learn some relevant vocabulary and then see if you can follow a short audio conversation in Spanish. The transcript to the audio will be given at the end of the post but please try not to look at it until you have tried playing and understanding the audio a few times.

Talking about Movies in Spanish

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Talking about Movies in Spanish:

Movie / film: la película
Cinema / movie theater: el cine
Audience: la audiencia
Drama: el drama
Foreign movie: la película extranjera
Independent film: cine independiente
Black and white: blanco y negro
Director: el director
Producer: el productor
Celebrity: el famoso / la famosa
Actor: el actor
Actress: la actriz
Action: la acción
Adventure: aventuras
Animation: animación
Cartoons: los dibujos animados
Comedy: la comedia
Black comedy: la comedia negra
Documentary: el documental
Horror: terror
Thriller: el thriller
Suspense: suspense
Mystery: misterio
Family movie: la película para todos los públicos
Romance: la película romántica
Science-fiction: ciencia ficción
Fantasy: fantasía
Musical: el musical
DVD: El DVD (de-uve-de)
3D: 3D (tres-de)
Subtitles: los subtítulos
Based on a true story: basado/a en una historia real
Character: el personaje
Star: el/la protagonista
Script writer: el guionista
Script: el guión
Plot: la trama
Special effects: los efectos especiales
Sequel: la secuela
Prequel: la precuela

Now play the audio to listen a conversation. Can you understand what is being said? Play the audio a few times before you look at the transcript. Don’t worry if you don’t understand every single thing the two people are saying. Try to catch whichever words you can and then try to piece things together to work out what is being said.

(Play the audio a few times before you scroll down and look at the transcript)



David: Hola Olivia. ¿Cómo estás?
Olivia: Hola David. Estoy bien. Acabo de salir del cine. ¡Qué perdida de tiempo! La película era malísima.
David: ¡Siempre lo son hoy en día!
Olivia: Supongo que nos estamos haciendo mayores. Pero creo que las películas eran mucho mejores cuando éramos niños.
David: Supongo que es normal pensar eso. Pero las películas son para todas las edades. Debería haber algo que disfrutáramos.
Olivia: Las películas para todos los públicos solían ser mucho mejores hace treinta años. Ahora tenemos películas en 3D y muchas opciones con canales de streaming como Netflix. Pero aunque hay millones de películas, nunca encuentro ninguna que me guste.
David: Los efectos especiales son asombrosos.
Olivia: ¡Pero los guiones y las tramas son una basura!
David: No creo que les falte talento a los actores y a las actrices.
Olivia: No, son los guionistas.
David: Quizás deberíamos ver más cine independiente. Películas francesas. Películas japonesas. Películas escandinavas. No sé.
Olivia: No me gustan las películas subtituladas. Siempre me distrae el texto y no puedo leer y mirar al mismo tiempo.
David: Sin embargo, los documentales modernos son increíbles. ¿No te parece?
Olivia: Oh, sí. Tienes razón. Ahora hay muchos documentales muy interesantes y emocionantes. Es cierto, han mejorado. Recuerdo que los documentales de antes eran muy aburridos.
David: Estoy de acuerdo con tus opiniones sobre las películas modernas. ¡Pero está claro que nos estamos haciendo mayores!


So, how did you get on? How much did you understand of the listening? Please let me know in the comments section below…

Don’t worry if you didn’t understand that much, keep reviewing the vocabulary and phrases and you will soon be up to speed and ready for the next lesson in this course. See you next time!

The post Colloquial Spanish Course – Talking about Movies in Spanish first appeared on Spanish Language Blog.