Author Archives: Ben

Notes in Spanish Conversations – Revolución en Madrid.

Photo: Scooter-sharing near Madrid’s Templo de Debod

[Download MP3]

Notes in Spanish ConversationsWelcome to the second episode of Notes in Spanish Conversations! Our Brand-New Weekly Real Spanish conversations for Advanced and Inspired Intermediate Spanish learners!

Today, Ben and Marina discuss the invasion of Madrid by shared electric scooters, cars and bicycles, that are revolutionising the very infrastructure and regulations of the city’s transport system. Where will it all end?

Double your Spanish with the Transcripts! Become a Patron to Supercharge your Spanish and support our work!

The new Notes in Spanish Conversations audios have new transcripts, including a full transcript of everything we say (so you miss nothing!), and a special list we call ‘Real, Essential Spanish’, everything from today’s audio that we feel you must know to be very good at Spanish no matter what your level! (e.g. Me echó una bronca, Me has pillado de lleno, Me rechina and much more!)

We are delivering the transcripts via the popular crowd-support website Patreon.com:

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A PATRON AND GET THE WEEKLY TRANSCRIPTS! – They will help improve your Spanish much faster!

PLUS! Become a Patron, and you get the ‘Real Spanish Archives’ 18-page BONUS!

We hope listeners of all levels will consider becoming a Notes in Spanish Patron even if you don’t need the transcripts right now, it’s a wonderful, innovative way to support our work and your Spanish!

Plus every Patron gets a copy of our brand new 18-page ‘Real Spanish Archives’ PDF report (the very best Real Spanish we’ve sent out over the last 12 years).

SEE THE VIDEO ON OUR PATRON PAGE FOR MORE DETAILS!

Subscribe to the new Conversations podcast in Apple Podcasts and other apps – Help us get the word out!

If you haven’t subscribed yet:

Subscribe to the Podcast in Apple Podcasts/iTunes – And do leave us a review in Apple Podcasts/iTunes if you can, it’ll help get the word out!

Tips on How to Use the Notes in Spanish Conversations Audio

Advanced Learners: Listen to the audio the whole way through. Listen again with the transcript to make sure you don’t miss a thing, and to be sure you know all the ‘Real, Essential Spanish’ we outline in the second part of the transcript, it’s really important at your level.

Inspired Intermediate Learners: Don’t panic if the Spanish feels really challenging! It should! Listen to the Spanish conversation, ideally with the transcript – we promise that no matter how challenging this may seem, this ‘real immersion’, with the transcript to help, is the best possible thing you can do for your Spanish!

As Kathleen said about our previous advanced conversations, “I’m one of those you describe as a ‘motivated intermediate’. I want to assure others in that category that this podcast is definitely approachable with the aid of the notes [transcript]. I wasn’t surprised that I understood little listening to the podcast without the notes, but I was amazed at how much I could understand having the notes to read alongside.”

Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Notes in Spanish Conversations Transcripts! To learn even more Real Spanish, get the Transcripts discussed in this audio now:
Click here to become a Patron and get the new Transcripts Now!

 

DONATE! Your donations and purchases help us to keep going! If you just feel like supporting these free audios, donations are welcome via our Donate page. ¡Mil gracias!🙂

PLUS! Make sure you are on our Spanish-packed newsletter list! You get our free Kickstart Your Spanish report and our Super Subjunctive Rule book - plus news of our new audios and videos, and great phrases in every newsletter! Sign up here now!

¡Que Gustazo! – A New Notes in Spanish Video!

In today’s video we look at words that use -azo or -aza to add emphasis, using these words will make you sound very good at very real Spanish.

If you enjoy our videos, please consider supporting us with a monthly donation via Patreon – it helps us to keep making more videos like these: https://www.patreon.com/notesinspanish

Words and phrases from the video:

Un marronazo – a real pain in the neck, a nightmare
Un marranazo – a big pig
Eres un guarro – you are a real pig
Que gustazo, que bien se está al sol – how lovely, how nice it is to be out in the sun
Un cochazo – A big or impressive car
Que cochazo te has comprado – what a big car you have bought
Un perrazo – A big dog
Menudo perrazo se me ha echado encima hoy – What a huge dog jumped up on me today
Una madraza – An incredible mum
Que madraza – What a mum!
Un padrazo – A fantastic dad
Es un padrazo – he’s a really amazing dad
Un puñetazo – A thump
Mama, me ha dado un puñetazo – Mum, he just thumped me
Un portazo – A door slam
No des un portazo – Don’t slam the door
Pedazo – A portion
Que pedazo de casa te has comprado – What an incredible/enormous house you’ve bought
Ese hombre tiene un pedazo de nariz – That man has an enormous nose
Pedazo de video que acabamos de hacer – what a fantastic video we’ve just made

Other examples of the suffix -azo to add emphasis:

Tener morrazo – to be very cheeky
Mi hermana tiene un morrazo, nunca ayuda en casa – My sister is very cheeky, she never helps at home
Un golpazo – whack, crash
Me he dado un golpazo con el coche – I’ve really pranged the car
Un currazo – A big piece of work (from curro, which is slang for work)
He hecho un currazo en casa hoy, he limpiado la cocina a fondo – I’ve done a massive amount of work at home today, I’ve cleaned every inch of the kitchen.

DONATE! Your donations and purchases help us to keep going. If you feel like supporting our free videos and audios, donations are welcome via our Donate page. ¡Mil gracias!🙂

PLUS! Make sure you are on our Spanish-packed newsletter list! You get our free Kickstart Your Spanish report and our Super Subjunctive Rule book - plus news of our new audios and videos, and great phrases in every newsletter! Sign up here now!

New! Notes in Spanish Conversations – La Buena Vida


Photo: La Buena Vida – The good life in one of Andalusia’s pueblos blancos

[Download MP3]

Notes in Spanish ConversationsWelcome to Notes in Spanish Conversations! Our Brand-New Weekly Real Spanish conversations for Advanced and Inspired Intermediate Spanish learners, designed to help you learn all the real Spanish you’ll never find in a classroom! A new episode every Monday!

Today, Ben and Marina discuss La Buena Vida, the good life in Spain – Spain’s version of Hygge – all the elements of Spanish life that lead to great happiness, from tapas to terrazas, long lunches, the sobremesa and more.

Important Information For Everyone! Transcripts, The 18-page ‘Real Spanish Archives’ Bonus, Subscribing and Listening Tips!

1. Become a Patron – Get the Transcripts – Support your Spanish and our work!

The new Notes in Spanish Conversations audios have new transcripts, including a full transcript of everything we say (so you miss nothing!), and a special list of ‘Real, Essential Spanish’ from the audio that we feel you must know (no matter what your level!)

We are delivering these weekly transcripts, in time with the weekly audios, via the popular crowd-support website Patreon.com. It’s widely used, and a fantastic way for our listeners to support our work and get our new transcripts (as well as other great Bonuses!)

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A PATRON AND GET THE WEEKLY TRANSCRIPTS!

2. Become a Patron, get the ‘Real Spanish Archives’ 18-page bonus!

We hope listeners of all levels will consider becoming a Notes in Spanish Patron even if you don’t need the transcripts right now, it’s a wonderful, innovative way to support our work (and your Spanish!)

Plus every Patron gets a copy of our brand new 18-page ‘Real Spanish Archives’ PDF report (the very best Real Spanish we’ve sent out over the last 12 years).

SEE THE VIDEO ON OUR PATRON PAGE FOR MORE DETAILS!

3. Subscribing to the new Conversations podcast in Apple Podcasts and other apps – Help us get the word out!

The new Notes in Spanish Conversations audios will be released weekly on Mondays and put out on a brand new podcast feed. (Episode 2 will be out on Monday November 12th)

If you haven’t subscribed yet:

Subscribe to the Podcast in Apple Podcasts/iTunes – And do leave us a review in Apple Podcasts/iTunes if you can, it’ll help get the word out!

– Search for ‘Notes in Spanish Conversations’ in your favourite podcast app

– Here’s the raw RSS feed if you want to enter it manually: http://nisconversations.libsyn.com/rss

4. Tips on How to Use the Notes in Spanish Conversations Audio

Advanced Learners: Listen to the audio the whole way through. Listen again with the transcript to make sure you don’t miss a thing, and to be sure you know all the ‘Real, Essential Spanish’ we outline in the second part of the transcript, it’s really important at your level.

Inspired Intermediate Learners: Don’t panic if the Spanish feels really challenging! It should! Listen to the Spanish conversation, ideally with the transcript – we promise that no matter how challenging this may seem, this ‘real immersion’, with the transcript to help, is the best possible thing you can do for your Spanish!

As Kathleen said about our previous advanced conversations, “I’m one of those you describe as a ‘motivated intermediate’. I want to assure others in that category that this podcast is definitely approachable with the aid of the notes [transcript]. I wasn’t surprised that I understood little listening to the podcast without the notes, but I was amazed at how much I could understand having the notes to read alongside.”

Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Notes in Spanish Conversations Transcripts! To learn even more Real Spanish, get the Transcripts discussed in this audio now:
Click here to become a Patron and get the new Transcripts Now!

 

DONATE! Your donations and purchases help us to keep going! If you just feel like supporting these free audios, donations are welcome via our Donate page. ¡Mil gracias!🙂

PLUS! Make sure you are on our Spanish-packed newsletter list! You get our free Kickstart Your Spanish report and our Super Subjunctive Rule book - plus news of our new audios and videos, and great phrases in every newsletter! Sign up here now!

5 Great Spanish Phrases when you are lost in your thoughts… and ‘Conversations’ news!

Vocab from this video:

Está en Babia, Está en las nubes, Está en su mundo, Está despistado – All mean: she/he is lost in his own thoughts, she/he’s in a dream

Es un despistado – she/he’s a dreamy person

Ha perdido el norte – she/he’s a bit lost

Big News! Notes in Spanish Conversations and The Real Spanish Archives report!

On Monday November 5th (this coming Monday!) we release the first episode of our new, weekly, Notes in Spanish Conversations podcast.

UPDATE! It’s available now here!

PLUS, we’ll be letting all our listeners know about a very special way to support our work, and how to get hold of the 18 page Real Spanish Archives report mentioned in the video – it’s great for ALL levels, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.

How can I get the Real Spanish Archives report?

Stay tuned to our newsletter (you can sign up via this page if you haven’t already, and we’ll let you know first thing on Monday about how to get the report, how to listen to the new audios, and how to get the new transcripts. Not long now!

Who is the new ‘Notes in Spanish Conversations’ podcast for?

Advanced and Inspired intermediate listeners – If you are Advanced, these audios and the transcripts will help keep you at the highest level. If you are a higher level and Inspired Intermediate listener, the transcripts will help you get a LOT out of the new audios.

What will be in the transcripts?

These new transcripts include a full transcript of our conversation, and a special list we call ‘Real Essential Spanish’, where we pick out the most important real Spanish words and phrases from our conversation, what we feel you really need to know whatever your level.

How can I get the weekly transcripts?

We’ll let you know on Monday – we’re using a new system that will easily deliver the new transcripts for you week by week, to coincide with the new audios every Monday. So stay tuned! Whatever your level! All will be revealed on Monday!

UPDATE! It’s all available now here!

 

DONATE! Your donations and purchases help us to keep going. If you feel like supporting our free videos and audios, donations are welcome via our Donate page. ¡Mil gracias!🙂

PLUS! Make sure you are on our Spanish-packed newsletter list! You get our free Kickstart Your Spanish report and our Super Subjunctive Rule book - plus news of our new audios and videos, and great phrases in every newsletter! Sign up here now!

Fun Autumn Spanish with Double Meaning!

Hola amigas y amigos!

Autumn is here! It’s freezing in Madrid! Marina found a funny Spanish phrase this morning, ‘Los únicos marrones que me gustan, son los del otoño’…

It looks like it means, the only brown colours I like, are the autumnal ones (the leaves, of course), but… did you know what else ’un marrón’ is?

It’s something which is a massive a pain in the neck! For example:

Me ha caído un marrón tremendo en el trabajo – I’ve been given a real nightmare to do at work

Tengo un marrón en casa, todos tienen la gripe y yo no puedo faltar al trabajo – Things are really tough at home, everyone has got ‘flu and I can’t miss work (You can also say, ‘tengo un marronazo en casa’ which sounds even more dramatic!)

Menudo marrón, me han pillado copiando en un examen – What a nightmare, I’ve been caught copying in an exam

So what’s the opposite of ‘un marrón’? how do you say something is really great? We asked our son, and he said, ‘¡Es la pera limonera!’

For example, ‘¡El parque de atracciones de Madrid es la pera limonera!’ – Madrid’s theme park is fantastic!

We looked up ‘pera limonera’ and found it is an actual type of pear. One Spanish fruit website I found made the following fantastic statement:

‘Las características de esta fruta, fresca, viva y positiva pero algo ácida y explosiva, también definen en cierta manera nuestra cultura española’ – The characteristics of this fruit, that it is fresh, alive and positive, but a little acidic and explosive, also define to a certain extent our Spanish culture’ – Spot on!

We’ve got a ‘pera limonera’ for you a week from today, on Monday November 5th, when the first of our brand new Advanced-level ’Notes in Spanish Conversations’ audios will be ready for you to listen to! We’ll be back with more details, more Real Spanish, and more big news, before the end of the week.

Until then, keep listening to our Real Spanish audios!

¡Un abrazo!

Ben y Marina

The photo at the top of this email: Autumn in Madrid’s Retiro Park, Palacio de Cristal, back in 2011, Via our Instagram feed.

 

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Cool Spanish and New NIS Audios News!

Cordoba, back in 2008

¡Hola amigas y amigos!

First more cool, real Spanish vocab, then news of NEW real Spanish audios from Ben and Marina coming very soon, plus our Instagram for photo lovers!

The other day I heard Marina telling her sister, ‘Nos ha sobrado un montón de comida’ – we’ve got loads of food left over (after a party we had).

And it reminded me of the wonderful verb ‘sobrar’, to be too much, or to be left over – and a classic Joaquin Sabina song, ‘Nos sobran los motivos’ – We have plenty of reasons.

In our case… Nos sobran motivos para ser felices – We’ve got plenty of reasons to be happy…

Because we are starting a brand new audio series on November 5th – Notes in Spanish Conversations.

These will be more of our trademark real-speed, 100% natural, real Spanish conversations, just like our Advanced series, with a new, streamlined ‘Real, Essential Spanish’ transcript that includes the transcript of our whole conversation and a list of the Real Essential Spanish you need to know from each show.

We’ll be in touch soon with more details, and the first weekly episode will be out November 5th. Until then, keep listening to our other audios and working with the worksheets in our store to bring you up to speed.

Photo lovers: the photo at the top of this email is from Cordoba, back in 2008 – check out more at our Instagram page (which Ben is very excited about getting out with his camera to work on!): https://www.instagram.com/notesinspanish/

¡Un abrazo!

Ben y Marina

Don't Forget! Make sure you are on our Spanish-packed newsletter list! You get our free Kickstart Your Spanish report and our Super Subjunctive Rule book - plus news of our new audios and videos, and great phrases in every newsletter! Sign up here now!

Great Spanish Phrases with Dar Vuelta and News

Hola amigas y amigos,

Lots of news today! First some useful Spanish phrases with ‘dar vuelta’, then links to a great interview with Ben and Marina about life in Spain, and much more (so do read on below!)

Spanish phrases with Dar Vuelta:

Le voy a dar una vuelta – I’m going to think about it (e.g. a decision or possible plan)

Darle una vuelta y me dices – think about it and let me know

No le des tantas vueltas al coco – (slang) don’t overthink it, don’t think about it so much (“it” being whatever you are thinking too much about!)

Also in the world of mindfulness, you will hear:

La mente da muchas vueltas – the mind spins around a lot

Another way to say this is ‘la mente es muy saltarina’ – the mind jumps around a lot. ‘Saltarina’ comes from ‘saltar’, to jump.

Ben and Marina Interview:

We were interviewed by Paul Burge for his When in Spain podcast. We chat with Paul about how Spain has changed since Ben first arrived here twenty years ago, the ups and downs of bi-cultural and bilingual relationships, observations on Spanish life, favourite places in Madrid, whether living in a foreign country changes you, and if there is a specific type of personality that’s suited to building a life abroad.

Listen here (interview in English) and check out the When in Spain Facebook page for show notes.

Today’s photo:

The photo at the top of today’s post is from Asturias, near Arriondas, and is part of Ben’s fine art photo collection at the Print Arcade.

Notes in Spanish now in Spotify and Stitcher:

You can now find all our podcasts in Spotify, and Stitcher, just search for ‘Notes in Spanish’ in either, and of course, we’ve been in Apple Podcasts forever!

Remember the worksheets!

If you like the phrases in today’s email, do buy the worksheets that accompany our audios, they are full of useful Spanish like this, plus you support Notes in Spanish with your purchase! Find them in our store now.

Un abrazo!

Ben y Marina

P.S. (or ‘P.D.’ as the Spanish write) if you are interested in happiness, and mindfulness, check out Ben’s side project ‘Being Happiness’ (in English).

Don't Forget! Make sure you are on our Spanish-packed newsletter list! You get our free Kickstart Your Spanish report and our Super Subjunctive Rule book - plus news of our new audios and videos, and great phrases in every newsletter! Sign up here now!

Some cool Spanish slang!

Hola amigas y amigos,

We hope you’ve had a great summer! We spent some time at the beach in Cantabria, near Santander (see the photo above!) Today we’ve got some great slang Spanish from the streets of Spain.

Some cool Spanish slang!

It’s 20 years since I (Ben) moved to Madrid, so I can say:

Llevo 20 años en Madrid, un huevo de tiempo – I’ve been in Madrid for 20 years, a really long time (literal translation “an egg of time”!)

“Un huevo”, an egg, is often used in Spain to show something is really big, or long. But don’t use this in formal circumstances, it’s pretty slang – fine with friends though! Here are more examples:

Los precios de las casas han subido un huevo este año – The prices of houses have gone up a huge amount this year.

Los mejores futbolistas ganan un huevo – The best football players earn a huge amount of money (not an egg!)

This is going to be a great year for your Spanish!

Saludos desde Madrid,

Ben y Marina

Don't Forget! Make sure you are on our Spanish-packed newsletter list! You get our free Kickstart Your Spanish report and our Super Subjunctive Rule book - plus news of our new audios and videos, and great phrases in every newsletter! Sign up here now!

More great, Real Spanish phrases

You’ve probably heard the phrase, ‘Estás en Babia’, to mean that you are dreamy, distracted, or ‘on another planet’. It comes from times gone by, when the kings of the region of León would go to the nearby area of Babia to hunt.

Someone was telling me this story again the other day, and commented, ‘Los reyes se quedaron allí ensimismados.’ – The kings were there (in Babia) lost in themselves, lost in their own thoughts. What a great word! Ensimismados!

Ben está ensimismado – Ben is in a dream

Here’s one more great one from our kitchen table…

I was sitting at the table the other day, ‘ensimismado’, while we were preparing supper. Marina, wanting my help, said ‘No te sientes ahí como un zero a la izquierda’ – Don’t sit there being useless.

Como un zero a la izquierda’ means something is useless – it literally means, ‘like a zero on the left’. When you put a zero on the left of a number, e.g. 023, that zero does nothing, hence the origin of the expression!

No quiero trabajar más con David, es un cero a la izquierda – I don’t want to work with David anymore, he’s useless.

More cool Spanish like this!

Remember, there is so much more cool Spanish like this in all our free Spanish-learning audios! We also highlight this type of phrase specifically in the worksheets for each level, available in our store.

 

Don't Forget! Make sure you are on our Spanish-packed newsletter list! You get our free Kickstart Your Spanish report and our Super Subjunctive Rule book - plus news of our new audios and videos, and great phrases in every newsletter! Sign up here now!

Summer Real Spanish Phrases and more!

Queridos amigos,

As you know, we love to collect and share with you real Spanish phrases (Ben carries a notebook around and is always writing down the best from conversations with Spanish friends!)

Here are a few of the latest that have made us think ‘we have to send these to our Notes in Spanish listeners!’

First of all, why haven’t you heard from us in a while?

Hemos estado muy liados con las nuevas leyes de privacidad – We’ve been really busy with the new privacy laws.

Y como dicen en España, ‘Cosas del palacio van despacio’ – As they say in Spain, bureaucracy is a slow process. (Literally, things of the palace go slowly – you hear this phrase often when there is tedious paperwork to be done involving the state).

Another phrase with ‘liado’:

Estoy super liado en el trabajo – I’m really busy at work

Pero bueno, ha llegado el verano, y hace un calor que te mueres – But anyway, summer has arrived, and it’s unbelievably hot (literally ‘it makes a heat that you die!)

Ha llegado el calor y me ha dejado planchado – The heat has arrived and it’s knocked me out (literally ‘it has ironed me’!)

Nos cuesta más dormir por la noche, y por la mañana se nos pegan las sabanas – It’s harder for us to get to sleep at night, and in the morning we can’t get out of bed (literally ‘the sheets stick to us’)

And a phrase Ben often uses at swimming pools:

Soy de secano – I’m not much of a water person (when someone asks me why I don’t get in the pool or the sea much)

And finally, a verb that is much used around June/July in Spain, veranear:

¿Donde veranáis? – Where are you going on holiday this summer?

Los Reyes siempre veranean en Mallorca – the Royals always go on their summer holiday in Mallorca.

More cool Spanish like this!

Remember, there is so much more cool Spanish like this in all our free Spanish-learning audios! We also highlight this type of phrase specifically in the worksheets for each level (available in our store).

Don't Forget! Make sure you are on our Spanish-packed newsletter list! You get our free Kickstart Your Spanish report and our Super Subjunctive Rule book - plus news of our new audios and videos, and great phrases in every newsletter! Sign up here now!

¡Importante! Want to keep getting our newsletter?

Queridos amigas y amigos,

As you know we love to send you Spanish-packed newsletters with great phrases, and news of new Notes in Spanish audios and videos. You may also know about new European privacy laws that came into effect on May 25th 2018 which mean that we can’t send you any more of our super newsletters unless you re-subscribe to our newsletter list – As the Spanish say, ¡Qué rollo! – What a pain!

Please take a minute to sign up again so we can keep sending you our real-Spanish newsletters – we have lots of great things coming up! (If you don’t we can’t send  you any more newsletters – ¡Qué pena! – A big shame!)

Visit our Free Report Page here to sign up again to our new newsletter list

We really hope you’ll take a moment to do this, we love teaching you Spanish!

Un abrazo desde Madrid,

Ben y Marina

Don't Forget! Make sure you are on our Spanish-packed newsletter list! You get our free Kickstart Your Spanish report and our Super Subjunctive Rule book - plus news of our new audios and videos, and great phrases in every newsletter! Sign up here now!

Fun Spanish Slang – ¡Como una cabra!

Here’s all the fun Spanish slang and cool phrases from today’s video:

Estoy pletórico – I’m full of life, full of energy

He empezado el día con buen pie – I’ve started the day very well/happily

He empezado el día con el pie izquierdo – I got out on the wrong side of the bed

Dime donde enchufo la pasta – Tell me where to send the money

Está como una cabra – She’s acting crazy, she’s really flustered

Estoy como una cabra, he perdido las llaves  – I’m going crazy, I’ve lost my keys

Ha perdido el norte – She’s in a real state

He perdido la cabeza – I’m in a real fluster, in a real state

More cool Spanish like this!

There is plenty more cool Spanish like this in all our free Spanish-learning audios! We also highlight this type of phrase specifically in the worksheets for each level (available in our store).

DONATE! Your donations and purchases help us to keep going. If you feel like supporting our free videos and audios, donations are welcome via our Donate page. ¡Mil gracias!🙂

PLUS! Make sure you are on our Spanish-packed newsletter list! You get our free Kickstart Your Spanish report and our Super Subjunctive Rule book - plus news of our new audios and videos, and great phrases in every newsletter! Sign up here now!

Notes in Spanish Q and A April 2018

Beach football, Barbate, Andalucia

[Download MP3]

Ben and Marina answer more great questions from listeners about everyday Spanish expressions, grammar, and language resources. Below are the notes and links from the Q and A audio.

New to Notes in Spanish? Make sure you check out our Spanish learning podcasts for all levels here too.

(Photo: Beach football, Barbate, Andalucia.)

Question 1 – Early/late

Llego tarde – I’m late
Llego pronto/llego con tiempo – I’m early

Question 2 – Llevar

The verb llevar – See our video and notes on Llevar here

Question 3 – A tope

Quiero disfrutar a tope cada día – I want to live every day to the fullest
Ben estás a tope hoy – Ben you are full of beans today
¿Qué tal todo en el trabajo? – How is everything at work
Estoy a tope – I’m completely overloaded

Question 4 – Ni fu ni fa

Ni fu ni fa – I’m indifferent, I don’t mind
¿Te gustan las lentejas? – Do you like lentils?
Ni fu ni fa – They aren’t my favourite dish but I can eat them

Question 5 – Ganar

Serena ganó a Venus el sábado – Serena beat Venus on Saturday
Me ganó a las cartas otra vez – She beat me at cards again

Question 6 – Caer bien/mal

Ese hombre me cae mal – I don’t like that guy
Ese hombre me cae bien – I like that guy
El novio de mi hermana me cae bien – I like my sister’s boyfriend
El novio de mi hermana me cae mal / me cae fatal – I don’t like /really don’t like my sister’s boyfriend
Me cae fenomenal – I really like him

Question 7 – Pillar de camino

Me pilla de camino – It’s on my way
Te puedo dejar en tu casa porque me pilla de camino al supermercado – I can leave you in your house because it’s on my way to the supermarket

Question 8 – Subjunctive with cuando

Download our Super Subjunctive Rule Book here

Question 9 – Regular

¿Qué tal? – How are you?
Regular – Not feeling great, a bit down
You can also use: ‘Regulín’, or, ‘Regulín regulán’

¿Cómo te han tratado en el dentista? – How did it go at the dentist?
Regular – They weren’t very caring or nice

Question 10 – The flat I used to live in

La casa en la que vivía cuando tenia 20 años – The flat I lived in when I was 20
Mi antiguo piso – My old flat
El piso donde vivía antes – The flat I used to live in
Mi piso anterior – My old flat
El coche que tenía antes – The car I had before/used to have
Mi antiguo coche – My old car

Question 11 – No creo que + Subjunctive

‘No creo que’ expresses doubt or uncertainty, and uses the subjunctive – see our Super Subjunctive Rule Book for further explanation.

No creo que haya problema – I don’t think there is a problem – uses subjunctive
Creo que no hay problema – I don’t think there is a problem – doesn’t use subjunctive

Question 12 – Recoger

Te recogeremos a las 8 – We’ll pick you up at 8
Pasaremos a buscarte a las 8 – We’ll pick you up at 8

Question 13 – You decide

¿Quieres beber cava o cerveza esta noche? – Do you want to drink cava or beer tonight?
Tu decides – you decide
Lo que tu quieras – you decide

Question 14 – Excited about something

Estoy emocionada por verte mañana – I’m excited about seeing you tomorrow
Estoy deseando irme de vacaciones la semana que viene – I’m really looking forward to going on holiday next week
Tengo unas ganas que no veas de irme de vacaciones la semana que viene – I’m really really looking forward to going on holiday next week
Me muero por irme de vacaciones la semana que viene – I can’t wait to going on holiday next week

Question 15 – Menos mal

Menos mal – Thank goodness
Menos mal que nos fuimos pronto a la cama ayer porque hoy los vecinos nos han despertado a las 7 de la mañana – Thank goodness we went to bed early last night because today the neighbours woke us up at 7am

Voy a llegar en 5 minutos – I’ll be there in 5 minutes
Menos mal, tu hijo ya te está echando de menos – Thank goodness, your son is missing you a lot.

Question 16 – The food is to die for

Esta comida está de muerte – The food is to die for/is incredible
Esta comida está que te mueres – The food is to die for/is incredible
Esta comida está que te mueres de buena – The food is to die for/is incredible

More great phrases like these!

Remember, our worksheets are full of all the best, real Spanish from our audios, make sure you use them with our audios at all levels to really boost your Spanish faster! Get them all in our store.

Also available: with 90 minutes of exclusive audio, our “Real Spanish Phrase Book” is your ultimate guide to speaking Real Spanish and fitting in with the locals immediately! Check it out in our store!

And if you just want to support our work, feel free to make a donation.

Mil gracias,

Ben y Marina.

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Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.20 – Homenaje a Madrid

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 20 Ben and Marina pay homage to Madrid, the city where Marina was born and Ben has lived since 1998.

We discuss the city’s most beautiful neighbourhoods, its classic bars and restaurants, and how the gentle art of meeting friends at one of the many terrazas in the city’s plazas may be where its real magic lies.

Photo: Back street, La Latina, Madrid

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

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Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.19 – El Arte de Relajarse

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 19 Ben and Marina discuss the art of relaxation. We look at how the after-lunch ‘sobremesa‘ is one of the most relaxing customs in Spain, and how it resembles an ancient Chinese concept of lazyness.

Plus we reveal all of our relaxation secrets, including walking, reading (travelling by novel! Recently with Isabel Allende…), films, yoga, and much more.

Photo: Calella de Palafrugell, Cataluña

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

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Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.18 – Generación Móvil

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 18 Ben and Marina discuss the excessive use of smartphones and social networks in the younger generations, and what effect it can have on our minds, ability to reason, and even our democracy.

We look at how many of the founders of these technologies now reject them for themselves and their children, and ask, is this just progress? Is the human being evolving in new ways? Or should we be looking more closely at this as a society?

Photo: Wall mural, “El que lee mucho y anda mucho, ve mucho y sabe mucho” – Miguel de Cervantes (He who reads a lot and walks a lot, sees a lot and knows a lot).

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

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Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.17 – La Etiqueta en España


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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 17 Ben and Marina discuss etiquette in Spain, covering Spanish punctuality, inviting people to your home in Spain, and how to be polite with food.

Are the Spanish generally punctual? How late will people arrive if you invite them to lunch? How late can you arrive at a restaurant? Can you refuse food at a friends house? Should you take the last croqueta on the plate? And what do the Spanish say about people that sing at the table while everyone is still eating?

Photo: Arriving on time by horse in the Jerez fiestas.

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

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Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.16 – Saludos Españoles

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 16 Ben and Marina talk about the endless ways of greeting people in Spain – should you shake hands, give two kisses, a hug, or a combination of all of them?

If they are a neighbour, an old friend, an elderly lady? A persona a friend is introducing you to for the first time? How does this all differ for men and women, or from people who aren’t Spanish, like Ben? We hope to clear everything up!

Photo: Plaza Dos de Mayo in Madrid

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

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DONATE! Your donations and purchases help us to keep going! If you just feel like supporting these free audios, donations are welcome via our Donate page. ¡Mil gracias!🙂

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Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.15 – Al Amor Por Los Idiomas


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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 15 Ben and Marina discuss a new device that translates real time conversations into different languages on the go, and ask if it’s the end of language learning – no way!

We also discuss whether learning languages makes you more intelligent, how it helps explore the depths of a culture and can lead to greater acceptance in a community when you life abroad, and how the musicality of another language can reach parts of you that your own language can’t touch.

P.S. Make sure you check out our latest Q and A audio too!

Photo: Las Fallas, Valencia.

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

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DONATE! Your donations and purchases help us to keep going! If you just feel like supporting these free audios, donations are welcome via our Donate page. ¡Mil gracias!🙂

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Notes in Spanish Q and A Feb 2018

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Ben and Marina answer questions from listeners about everyday expressions, grammar, and language resources. Below are the notes from the Q and A:

Estoy deseando conocerte – I’m looking forward to meeting you.

No tener dos dedos de frente – Thick as a brick – read about the origin of the phrase here.

Cada quien baila con su propia pañuelo – Everyone is very individualistic.

El mundo es un pañuelo – It’s a small world.

South American Spanish – Ben is reading Mas allá del invierno by Isabel Allende (Contains disturbing scenes).

Tu and usted – what is the rule of thumb? Marina tends not to use ‘usted’ much these days, but would use it in smart restaurants, with a hotel receptionist, the King, an elderly neighbour she met for the first time, and whenever someone addressed her with ‘usted‘ first.

Getting the hang of – coger el truco

E.G. Estoy aprendiendo a tejer y creo que ya lo estoy cogiendo el truco. – I’m learning to knit and I think I’m getting the hang of it.

Lamenting past decisions:

Debería de haber comprobado la documentación correctamente – I should have checked the documentation properly
Debería de haber pedido a un mecánico que comprobase el estado del coche – I should have got a mechanic to check the state of the car
Debería de haberme comprado un coche nuevo – I should have bought a new car
Tendría que haberme comprado un coche nuevo – I should have bought a new car

What else to listen to after Notes in Spanish? If you’ve listened to everything we have (Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced, Gold…) then watch Spanish films via filmin.es, or try the Cadena Ser or RTVE radio podcasts. Marina used to like La Ventana from Cadena Ser.

DONATE! Your donations and purchases help us to keep going! If you just feel like supporting these free audios, donations are welcome via our Donate page. ¡Mil gracias!🙂

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Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.14 – Paco de Lucia


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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 14 Ben and Marina discuss Paco de Lucia, the famous flamenco guitarist who took this very Spanish music onto the international stage.

We look at his childhood, from how he first picked up a guitar, to his first steps onto the international stage, plus the great influence of Jazz on his work, and his very interesting personality.

This podcast was inspired by the fascinating documentary, Paco de Lucía. La Búsqueda You can watch it here on filmin.es, a service we often use to watch films at home.

Photo: Paco de Lucia by der_makabere

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
Click here to join the Advanced 2 Members Area Now

 

DONATE! Your donations and purchases help us to keep going! If you just feel like supporting these free audios, donations are welcome via our Donate page. ¡Mil gracias!🙂

PLUS! Make sure you are on our Spanish-packed newsletter list! You get our free Kickstart Your Spanish report and our Super Subjunctive Rule book - plus news of our new audios and videos, and great phrases in every newsletter! Sign up here now!

Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.13 – Como Sobrevivir El Siglo 21


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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 13 Ben and Marina discuss why everyone is stressed these days, the number of things we have going on in life, the quantity of inputs overwhelming us all, and how to solve this 21st century problem.

We talk about changes in work culture and deadlines, how our parents’ generation faired differently, and how a walk in nature is our solution to everything.

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
Click here to join the Advanced 2 Members Area Now

 

DONATE! Your donations and purchases help us to keep going! If you just feel like supporting these free audios, donations are welcome via our Donate page. ¡Mil gracias!🙂

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Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.12 – Cataluña

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 12 Ben and Marina discuss Cataluña, and the wonders of Catalan cuisine, landscapes, restaurants, pueblos, and of course, the great city of Barcelona.

We talk about how Spain is a nation of huge cultural and geographic diversity, and how our friends Pep and Tom keep us in touch with the joys of life in Cataluña.

Photo: Arenys de Mar port, Cataluña.

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
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DONATE! Your donations and purchases help us to keep going! If you just feel like supporting these free audios, donations are welcome via our Donate page. ¡Mil gracias!🙂

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Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.11 – Niños Felices, País Feliz

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 11 Ben and Marina discuss the idea that Denmark is the happiest country on earth because it brings up happy children that turn into happy adults.

We look at ideas from a new book that attempts to explain how this is done, and compare to our own experiences of life and education in Spain and the UK.

Photo: Happy Children during the fiestas in Jerez.

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

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DONATE! Your donations and purchases help us to keep going! If you just feel like supporting these free audios, donations are welcome via our Donate page. ¡Mil gracias!🙂

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Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.10 – Horarios Locos

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 10 Ben and Marina discuss why Spain still has such a crazy timetable for shops, office work, and meals.

We explore how the roots of this problem lie in Franco’s Spain, when people often had two jobs, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and see if anything can be done to bring Spain into line with the rest of Europe’s timetable.

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

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Super Useful Spanish Video – The Verb LLevar


In today’s video we look at the verb LLevar! Get the report and check out the extra phrases in this post:

Download the special free llevar report:
PDF Download link: Totally Understanding Llevar PDF

All the other llevar phrases used in the video (not all are in the PDF!):

Llevarse bien/mal – To get on well or badly with someone
Llevarse como el perro y el gato – Te get on terribly with someone
Me llevo muy bien con mi vecina – I get on really well with my neighbour
Me llevo fatal con mi tío – I get on terribly with my uncle
Mis niños se llevan como el perro y el gato – My kids fight like cats and dogs
Llevarse un buen recuerdo – To have a great memory of something
Me llevo muy buen recuerdo de mi visita a Paris – I have great memories of my trip to Paris
Llevar encima – To carry something with you
¿Llevas el pasaporte encima? – Have you got your passport with you?
¿Llevas el movíl encima? – Have you got your mobile with you?
Lo llevo en modo avion – It’s in aeroplane mode
Llevo una vida de locos – My life is crazy
Llevarse un susto – To get a big shock
Tuve un accidente y me llevé un buen susto – I had an accident and I got a really big shock
Llevarse un premio – To win a prize
He escrito un libro sobre como sobrevivir el siglo 21 y me he llevado un premio – I wrote a book about how to survive the 21st century and I won a prize.

DONATE! Your donations and purchases help us to keep going. If you feel like supporting our free videos and audios, donations are welcome via our Donate page. ¡Mil gracias!🙂

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Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.9 – Musicofília


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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 9 Ben and Marina discuss Musicophilia, starting with the curious case of the man who was struck by lightening and quickly developed a life-changing obsession with music.

Plus, music in our own lives, and musicality in Spain – do the Spanish tend to learn instruments at an early age? Do they love to sing when they get together?

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

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DONATE! Your donations and purchases help us to keep going! If you just feel like supporting these free audios, donations are welcome via our Donate page. ¡Mil gracias!🙂

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Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.8 – Cocido


(Photo: Cocido Madrileño by Tnarik Innael)

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 8 Ben and Marina talk about Cocido.

It’s a typical Spanish dish from Madrid that Marina’s dad would eat 5 days-a-week in post civil war Spain and is now considered high cuisine.

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
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DONATE! Your donations and purchases help us to keep going! If you just feel like supporting these free audios, donations are welcome via our Donate page. ¡Mil gracias!🙂

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Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.7 – La Jungla en la Ciudad

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 7 Ben and Marina discuss the presence of wild animals in cities, comparing Spain to Africa and India.

Plus the scandal surrounding the unfortunate fate of some wild boars in a town near Madrid.

Photo: Wild boars in the Sierra de Cazorla.

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

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DONATE! Your donations and purchases help us to keep going! If you just feel like supporting these free audios, donations are welcome via our Donate page. ¡Mil gracias!🙂

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Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.6 – El Camarero Honesto

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2In episode 6 Ben and Marina discuss the odd rituals of Spanish restaurants: customer service, begging for ‘la cuenta’, tipping, and honest waiters.

Plus the ‘simpa’ and Ben´s related confession.

¡Un abrazo desde Madrid!
Ben y Marina

Get The Advanced 2 Worksheets ! To learn even more real Spanish, get the Worksheets discussed in this audio now:
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DONATE! Your donations and purchases help us to keep going! If you just feel like supporting these free audios, donations are welcome via our Donate page. ¡Mil gracias!🙂

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