Spanish VocabularyLearn 10 Spanish words per day and know 2,500 words after one year!
Many words in Spanish and English are similar, but similar words can have very different meanings, so be careful.
debe he/she/it/you(formal) should/must; debe de he/she/it/you(formal) ought to, should probably be
deben they/you all(formal) should/must; deben de they/you all(formal) ought to, should probably be
deber to owe, should/must; owing; (m.) duty; task, assignment; deber de to ought to; to probably be
va he/she/it goes, you(formal) go; he/she/it is going, you(formal) are going
van they go, you all(formal) go; they are going, you all(formal) are going
ir to go; going
parece he/she/it seems, looks like, you(formal) seem, look like; he/she/it is seeming, looking like, you(formal) are seeming, are looking like; (se parece a he/she/it is like/resembles, you(formal) are like/resemble)
parecen they seem, look like, you all(formal) seem, look like; they are seeming, looking like, you all(formal) are seeming, looking like; (se parecen a they are like/resemble, you all(formal) are like/resemble; se parecen they are alike/resemble each other, you all(formal) are alike/resemble each other)
parecer to seem, look like; seeming (parecerse a to be like/resemble; parecerse to be alike/resemble each other)
da he/she/it gives, you(formal) give; he/she/it is giving, you(formal) are giving
dan they give, you all(formal) give; they are giving, you all(formal) are giving
dar to give; giving
quiere he/she/it wants/loves, you(formal) want/love; he/she/it is wanting/loving, you(formal) are wanting/loving
quieren they want/love, you all(formal) want/love; they are wanting/loving, you all(formal) are wanting/loving
querer to want/love; wanting/loving; (m.) affection, love
This is long, but it needs to be said somewhere, and I will try to keep it as simple as I can. Please do not feel that you need to understand all of this immediately. Understand what you can now, and move on. Re-reading later, after you know more, it should then make more sense.
Verbs (action words) change based on the person performing the action. In English, for example: I talk, you talk, he talks, she talks, it talks, we talk, you (all of you) talk, they talk. In Spanish, it is more varied: yo hablo, tú hablas/vos hablás, él habla, ella habla, ['it'] habla, usted habla, nosotros/nosotras hablamos, vosotros/vosotras habláis, ellos/ellas hablan, ustedes hablan. The Spanish verb for 'to talk' is HABLAR. It is an -AR verb (it ends in the letters AR). There are also -ER verbs (which end in -ER) and -IR verbs (which end in -IR).
When you are talking about the past, the future, things that could happen (conditional), things that might happen (subjunctive), etc., then there are just two main patterns for changing (more formally known as 'conjugating') the verbs: the -AR pattern and the -ER/-IR pattern.
If you are talking about the present (what is happening now), then there are three verb conjugation patterns: the -AR pattern, the -ER pattern, and the -IR pattern.
HABLAR, COMER, and VIVIR are an -AR, an -ER, and an -IR verb that follow the most common (also known as "regular") conjugation. Verbs that follow other patterns, or in rare cases their own unique pattern, are called "irregular" verbs.
How a verb changes is based on which grammatical "person" is performing the action. There are three grammatical "persons": first person, second person, and third person. There are two grammatical "numbers": singular (one) and plural (more than one, i.e., two or more).
The first person is the person nearest and dearest to most people's hearts: I.
If I am not alone (singular), but am instead part of a group (first person plural): we.
The second person is the person the first person is talking to: you. [From your perspective, you are the first person (because you call yourself "I") and the person you are talking to is the second person ("you")]
If the person that "I" is talking to is part of a group (second person plural): y'all (in the U.S. South; 'vosotros' or 'vosotras' in Spain).
Third person singular is that person you and I are talking about: he, she, it.
Third person plural is that group of people you and I are talking about: they.
The main difference, in Spanish, is that if I am talking to you in a formal way (because you are the president, or my boss, or someone much older, or someone I do not know well), then the right way for me to talk to you is to use the grammatical "third person"!! This is because the formal way to say you ('usted') and you all ('ustedes') is derived, historically, from a phrase ('vuestra merced,' 'vuestras mercedes') that essentially means 'Your Majesty' and 'Your Majesties' ("your grace(s)").
If I am talking to you as a friend (tú/vos) or as a group of friends (vosotros/vosotras), then the second person conjugation is the right one. (Except for the minor quibble that the second person plural [vosotros/vosotras] is used only in Spain, so elsewhere [Latin America] you still have to use the third person plural even when you are talking to a group of friends. In Latin America, the formal/informal distinction is made only when talking to one person, but not when talking to a group of people.)
In the vocabulary list above, there are five verbs. For each one the he/she/it/you(formal) conjugation is listed first (third person singular), then the they/you all (formal) conjugation (third person plural), and finally the "infinitive" form (-AR, -ER, or -IR form, equivalent to the English infinitive or "to" form).
THE MAIN THING TO NOTICE is the pattern that usually happens with these verbs (and others, too). The "to" form ends in -R. The he/she/etc. form removes that -R. The they/etc. form is the he/she/etc. form plus a final -N. For example, deber ('to owe,' should/must), debe (he/she/etc. owes, should/must), deben (they/etc. owe, should/must).
'Ir' is an exception to some of this (its infinitive form ['ir'] does not look like the he/she/etc. ['va'] form or they/etc. ['van'] form), and something strange is going on with 'querer' (an 'e'-to-'ie' change), which tells you already that 'ir' and 'querer' are irregular. Actually, 'deber' is the only one of these five that is a regular verb.
ella debe de llegar en cualquier momento she ought to be arriving any minute now ('at any moment')
antes de salir deben hacer sus tareas y pasear al perro before going out they must do their homework and walk the dog
de ser posible, es mejor no deber dinero a nadie if [being] possible, it is better not to owe money to anyone ('to no one')
¿va usted a la universidad? do you go to the university?
mañana van a salir para Miami tomorrow they are going to leave for Miami
después de ir a Dubai, irán a Irán after going to Dubai, they will go to Iran
esa nube parece una jirafa that cloud looks like a giraffe
ambos países parecen querer la paz both countries seem to want [the] peace
el pulpo se camufla para parecerse a una roca the octopus camouflages itself to resemble a rock
los fines de semana él da clases de baile on the weekends he gives dancing lessons
las películas de terror me dan miedo [the] horror films scare me ('give me fear')
más bienaventurado es dar que recibir it is more blessed to give than to receive ('more blessed it is to give than to receive')
mi prima quiere ir conmigo al parque de atracciones my cousin wants to go with me to the amusement park
se quieren mucho they love each other very much
tu querer es como el toro, que a donde lo llaman va; el mío como la piedra: donde la ponen se está 'your love is like the bull, who to where they call him he goes; mine is like the rock: where they put her she stays'
© 2017-2018 Chris Marquardt, Spanish Pronto
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