Category Archives: Spanish Q and A

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!

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Mil gracias,

Ben y Marina.

Notes in Spanish Q and A Feb 2018

[Download MP3]

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, or try the Cadena Ser or RTVE radio podcasts. Marina used to like La Ventana from Cadena Ser.

6 of the Best! Really Useful Spanish Q and A…

Here are 6 of our favourite Q and A’s from our top-end Gold Series. See if you knew the answers:

Q—How do I say “flush the toilet” politely?

ATirar de la cadena — Pull the chain (flush). There’s actually no impolite way to say it!

Q—What are some ways to give compliments on food/clothing/etc?

A—There are hundreds! Here are a few great ones below:

Que guapa estás — You look really good.
Que bien te sienta ese (jersey / abrigo) — That (shirt / coat) looks really good on you.
Que buena pinta — It looks delicious (for food).
Huele que alimenta — It smells great (for food).

Q—I’m a mother and I’m always the one who has to interrupt or wrap up chatting with my intercambio on skype; how can I do it without sounding too abrupt?

APerdona Sara, me encantaría seguir hablando contigo pero … — Excuse me, Sara, I’d love to keep chatting with you but …

… me tengo que ir a recoger a mis hijos al colegio — I have to pick my kids up from school.
… me tengo que ir al gimnasio / al supermercado — I have to go the the gym / to the supermarket.
… me tengo que ir a preparar la cena — I have to go make dinner.
… me voy a tener que ir — I’m going to have to go.

Q—Should I use “hacer” or “estar” when I’m talking about the weather?

A—When the weather is “doing” something, we use “estar,” except for wind.

Está lloviendo — It’s raining.
Está granizando — It’s hailing.

When it’s the general state, use “hacer.”

Hace bueno — It’s a nice day.
Hace calor — It’s hot.

Exception: Hace mucho viento — It’s very windy.

Q—How can I use “a lo mejor”? It seems to be used a lot.

A—A good translation would be “maybe.”

A lo mejor, te voy a ver esta tarde — Maybe I’ll come and see you this afternoon.
A lo mejor, nos vamos a Londres este verano— Maybe we’ll go to London this summer.

Q—Could you give me an interesting Spanish phrase to write on the front of my recipe book?

AEstá para chuparse los dedos — It’s finger-licking good.
Un minuto de placer en la boca y toda una vida en la cadera — A minute of pleasure in your mouth and a lifetime on your hips.

But the best of all is…

You hear this last one non-stop, for sub-par meals or for example when someone drops a piece of bread on the floor but picks it up, brushes it off and eats it:

¡Lo que no mata engorda! — What doesn’t kill you makes you fatter! …this phrase, accompanied by a shrug, will make you sound super-good at Spanish!

Notes in Spanish Q and A Competition Audio – and Big News!

Q and A Audio: [Download MP3]

Q and A PDF Notes: Download the Q and A PDF Notes

We really hope you enjoy the Q and A recording above, do download the notes PDF for your reference as well!

Again we are really sorry not to have been able to answer all 250+ questions!! But we will try and cover some of the other great questions in future newsletters, reports, and audio.