Language Learners

tiny ginger kitten cuddled in a blue blanket

Spanish word of the week: dormir

dormir VERB to sleep The basic use of dormir is to sleep. Remember that the –o– of the stem changes to –u– in the –endo form: No hagas mucho ruido, que Rubén está durmiendo. Don’t make a lot of noise, Ruben’s sleeping. Dormir also has several other meanings that… Read More
girl in yellow t-shirt wearing headphones listening to musin on her phone

Spanish word of the week: encantar

encantar VERB to love To say what you like, you can use gustar. But if you want to say that you really love something, you use encantar. It works in the same way as gustar. If the thing you love is singular, or is a verb, you… Read More
an image raised arms with flat palms

Spanish word of the week: mano

la mano NOUN hand Most Spanish nouns ending in the letter ‘-o’ are masculine, because they are derived from masculine Latin nouns ending in ‘-us’; for example amigo, a (male) friend, from the Latin amicus. Unfortunately, as with many rules, there are exceptions. The word mano (from Latin manus)… Read More
brown shoes on bricked street with 2 arrows pointing in opposite directions painted on it

Spanish word of the week: contrario

contrario ADJECTIVE opposite; opposing Both the core meanings of contrario describe one thing being set against another, either physically or figuratively. In its physical sense, you use contrario to talk about directions: un coche que venía en sentido contrario a car which was coming in the opposite… Read More
small toddler casting a very long shadow

Spanish word of the week: sombra

la sombra NOUN shadow; shade Sombra covers two separate meanings in English. It can refer both to a shadow and to being in the shade. Lo único que veía era mi sombra. All I could see was my shadow. When it means shade it’s often used in… Read More
a quiet, empty spanish street

Spanish word of the week: nadie

nadie PRONOUN nobody; anybody The usual translation for the word nadie is nobody: Nadie habló. Nobody spoke. No había nadie. There was nobody there. However, unlike English, Spanish tends to use double negatives, as you can see below: No lo sabe nadie más. Nobody else knows. Read More
small boy in bed with a thermometer in his mouth

Spanish word of the week: fiebre

la fiebre NOUN temperature; fever You’re most likely to come across fiebre referring to someone’s temperature, for which it’s the usual word: No tenía fiebre. He didn’t have a temperature. La enfermedad lo mantiene en cama con 40 grados de fiebre. The illness is keeping him in bed… Read More
woman stretching on her bed in strong sunlight

Spanish word of the week: despertar

despertar VERB to wake up Despertar means to wake … up, that is when you wake someone else up. In other words it’s transitive. Despiértame a las ocho, mamá. Wake me up at eight, mom. If you want to describe waking up of your own accord — in other… Read More
lit lantern on a window sill, window opening on to sky full of stars

Spanish word of the week: oscuro

oscuro ADJECTIVE dark Oscuro is the opposite of claro in many contexts, and has the basic meaning of dark. Oscuro can refer to the absence of light, either literally: una habitación muy oscura a very dark room or in a figurative sense: la noche oscura del alma the… Read More