Category Archives: Our Spanish Learning Videos

Our videos are designed to compliment our main audios and podcasts, and cover many topics. Some are recorded at real-conversation speed, while others come with English analysis or comprehensive notes so that you really get the most out of them no matter what your level.

January Q and A Video Number 2

Welcome to the second of our two January 2019 Q and A videos! (The first one is here).

Below you will find all of the language notes and links for the video…

Question from James:

Como se dice “I’m getting rusty in something” in Spanish?


Mi español está un poco oxidado – My Spanish is a bit rusty
Estoy un poco oxidado con la guitarra – I’m getting a bit rusty on the guitar

Question from Steve:

How do you train yourself to think in Spanish? I have lived in Madrid for over four years, and I still find myself translating at times, and this really slows me down. So when I am at a dinner party with lots of people shouting at the same time, I can never keep up and feel totally unable to join in the conversation. Thanks in advance for any advice you may have!


It took Ben about 5 years to get over this hurdle and to be able to participate actively at loud dinner parties.

Actively try to think in Spanish and keep immersing yourself  in Spanish listening, via films, tv, podcasts, radio etc – fill your life with more Spanish than English.

Question from Ann:

I work in a school with a few English language learners whose first language is Spanish. I know there is another colloquial way to say “it’s your turn” besides “Es su turno.” It’s something like “le toca a ti” but is that grammatically correct?


Te toca a ti (informal) / le toca a usted (formal, usted form in Spain) – but in a class the first would be more natural, in Spain at least.

Question part 2:

And, incidentally, do you have any suggested children’s songs that would be well known to Spanish-speaking children.


For small kids… Al corro de la patata, Susanita tiene un ratón, El barquito chiquitito, Debajo de un botón. Or search in Youtube for “canciones de niños”.

Question from Anthea:

I have a question about the different ways of saying: I’d like to do this – tengo ganas de hacer esto – me gustaría hacer esto, I’d be pleased to do this – me alegra, me apetece, me encanta, estaría feliz … I know all these phrases exist but I don’t have much sense of the nuance of each, and sometimes wonder if I sound too eager, too formal … I wonder if you could put these various phrases in some order of intensity, or order of politeness, so I could use the right ones in the right context.


First of all, the word nuance – in Spanish we say “matiz”, a lovely word.

“Me alegra” doesn’t work in this context, it’s more when you are happy about something, e.g. Me alegra mucho que te hayan dado el trabajo – I’m really happy they’ve given you the job.

Tengo ganas de ir al cine – I feel like going to the cinema
Me gustaría ir al cine – I’d like to go to the cinema
Me apetece ir al cine – I feel like going to the cinema

Estaría feliz de ir al cine – I wouldn’t mind going to the cinema, that would be OK

Me encanta ir al cine – I love going to the cinema (in general)
Me encantaría ir al cine – I’d love to go to the cinema

Question part 2:

Finally what’s the best way to say I’m looking forward to this?


See our video on “Expressing enthusiasm and excitement in Spanish

Question from Gill from New Zealand:

Can you suggest some good phrases for talking about your health, please. In English we have phrases like ‘under the weather’, ‘feeling lousy’, ‘a box of birds’ for feeling great (this might be a New Zealandism, I’m not sure.) Are there some great Spanish phrases you can suggest?


Feeling bad…

Estoy pachucho/a – I feel a bit under the weather (not too ill)
No estoy muy católico/a – I’m not feeling great
Estoy hecho un trapo/estoy fatal – I’m felling really terrible

Feeling good…

Estoy pletórico – I’m really full of energy (Origin: Plétora, which means: ‘Exceso de sangre en el cuerpo’, or an abundance of something –  like plethora in English).
Estoy en plena forma – I’m feeling on top of the world
Estoy a tope – I’m really energetic, very active, doing lots of things at the moment

Thank you again to everyone that sent in questions! Make sure you listen to our Real Spanish podcasts and pick up the accompanying Spanish-boosting worksheets in our store!

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Q and A Video for December

Thanks once again to all of you who sent in questions this month!

Language Notes for the Video

Tener ganas

– ¿Qué te apetece? – What do you feel like/what do you fancy?
– ¿Qué te apetece comer hoy? – What do you feel like eating today?
– ¿De que tienes ganas? – What do you feel like (less common usage.)

– ¿Tienes ganas de ir al cine hoy? – Do you want to go to the cinema today?
– ¿Tienes ganas de comer algo? – Do you feel like eating something?
– ¿Tienes ganas de comer pollo? – Do you fancy some chicken?
– ¿Tienes ganas de comer algo de fruta? – Do you fancy some fruit?
– ¿Tienes ganas de dar un paseo? – Do you feel like taking a walk?
– ¿Tienes ganas de ir a la playa? – Do you feel like going to the beach?
– Tengo ganas de ir a la playa, ¿te vienes? – I feel like going to the beach, are you coming?

– Tengo ganas de ver a mi hermana – I’m excited about seeing my sister/I want to see my sister.
– Tengo muchas ganas de leer este libro – I really want to read this book.
– Tengo muchísimas ganas de ir a la fiesta esta noche – I really want to go to the party tonight.
– Tengo muchas ganas de irme de vacaciones – I really want to go on holiday.

Enhorabuena / Felicidades

Both words mean ‘congratulations’ and, except for birthdays when you would always use Felicidades, are mostly interchangeable for most events/occasions. Despite that, the most common uses of each word for each occasion would be:

– Los nacimientos (births) – Enhorabuena
– Los cumpleaños (birthdays) – Felicidades
– Las bodas (weddings) – Enhorabuena
– Las graduaciones (graduations) – Enhorabuena
– Las promociones (promotions) – Enhorabuena

Uses of Tardar for lateness

– Voy a tardar un poco más – I’m going to take a bit longer.
– Voy a tardar media hora en llegar – I’m going to take half an hour to get there.
– Me voy a retrasar 10 minutos – I’m going to be ten minutes late.
– Voy a llegar 10 minutos tarde – I’m going to be ten minutes late.
– ¿Cuánto vas a tardar en llegar? – How long are you going to take to get here?
– Voy a tardar una media hora/Tardaré una media hora – I’ll be half an hour.

Thanks again!

Un abrazo desde Madrid!

Ben y Marina

Expressing enthusiasm and excitement in Spanish

In today’s video we look at ways to express enthusiasm, excitement, and how to say you can’t wait for something in Spanish. Thanks Molly for the question!

Spanish words and phrases from the video:

Estupendo / genial /fantástico /maravilloso – Wow!

¡Qué lo pases muy bien! – Have a great time

¡Disfruta un montón! – I hope you really enjoy yourself

¡Qué sortudo! / ¡Qué suerte tienes! – Lucky you

No puedo esperar mas / estoy super impaciente – I can’t wait

Mañana me marcho a esquiar a los Alpes, estoy super impaciente – I’m going skiing in the Alps tomorrow, I can’t wait!

No puedo esperar, este viernes es mi último día de trabajo antes de las vacaciones – I can’t wait, this Friday is my last day of work before the holidays

Estoy emocionado – I’m so excited

Estoy muy emocionado porque esta tarde me dan mi coche nuevo – I’m really excited because this afternoon they are giving me my new car

Tengo muchas ganas de… – I’m looking forward to…

Tengo muchas ganas de verte – I’m really looking forward to seeing you

Tengo muchas ganas de que nos vayamos de excursión – I’m really looking forward to the outing

Thanks for the question Molly!

Seasonal Christmas Holiday Greetings in Spanish

In today’s video we look at Christmas holiday greetings in Spanish. Here’s all the great vocab and Spanish Christmas phrases from the video:

Feliz navidad y prospero año nuevo – Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (more formal, for writing in a Christmas card)
Feliz navidad – Happy Christmas
Feliz año nuevo – Happy New Year
Que lo pases muy bien estas navidades – Have a wonderful time this Christmas
Que lo pases muy bien estas vacaciones – Have a fantastic holiday
Te deseo unas vacaciones llenas de paz y alegría – May your holidays be filled with peace and joy
Te deseo lo mejor en estas vacaciones – I hope you have a wonderful holiday

We also have many podcasts for all levels that cover Spanish Christmas!

Thanks to Bruce for asking this question!

Un abrazo desde Madrid!

Ben y Marina

Video Q and A For November

Thanks to all of you who sent in questions this month.

Language Notes for the Video

Question 1 – Spanish for ‘What’s the point?’

Mi nombre es Randi. Mi pregunta es: ¿Cómo decir “What´s the point” en español? Por ejemplo: What´s the point in doing that?

Simple answer – ¿Para qué?

Here’s an example: Voy a pedir una subida a mi jefe – I’m going to ask my boss for a raise.

Answer 1. ¿Para qué? – What’s the point?
Answer 2. Total, para lo que te va a servir – Right, for all the good it’s going to do you (much more ironic.)

Question 2 – Useful words for vegetarians in Spanish:

David – my question is part language/part cultural: how, as a vegetarian, should I deal with being given meat-based tapas without appearing rude or ungrateful? I was recently in Granada and felt uncomfortable sending the tapas back.

Answer 1. Muchas gracias, te importaría cambiarme la tapa por una que no tenga carne? Soy vegetariano. – Thank you, would you mind changing it for a tapa that doesn’t have meat? I’m vegetarian.

Answer 2. Culturally . it’s fine! The Spanish always send stuff back! You can’t be too British about it!

To confirm something is vegetarian on a Spanish menu:

Perdona. ¿Este plato tiene carne, pescado o embutido? Es que soy vegetariano – Excuse me, does this dish include meat, fish or cured meat (e.g. chorizo, cured ham)?

Question 3 – Christmas words in Spanish:

Marcus – I have a question regarding the word “navideño”. I saw this word on a poster several years ago, but I rarely see this word used when I read Christmas-related articles in Spanish. I know that people say “árbol de Navidad” for “Christmas tree”, “canciones de Navidad” for “Christmas songs”, “época de Navidad” for “Christmas time”, “regalos de Navidad” for “Christmas presents/gifts”, so when would you actually use “navideño”? Could I instead say:

– árbol navideño – no, this is not common
– canciones navideñas – yes, this is fine
– época navideña – yes, this is fine
– se acerca la época navideña – yes, this is fine

Would it be correct to say this? – Me encanta la época de Navidad, el amor está en el aire y todas las casas de mi ciudad están adornadas con cosas navideñas. – Yes, perfect!

Here are a few more:
7 curiosidades navideñas – the name of a podcast we are releasing soon!
Este mantel es muy navideño – this table cloth is very Christmassy.
Hay un ambiente muy navideño en la plaza mayor – There is a real Christmas atmosphere in the Plaza Mayor.

Question 4 – How to use ‘A flor de piel’.

Marcus – Last month I came across an interesting expression: a flor de piel. If I remember the sentence correctly it went like this: Un día vas a despertar con la nostalgia a flor de piel. Are there any other examples you could give me to correctly use this expression?

Tiene los nervios a flor de piel, mejor que le dejes tranquila – She’s on the edge of her nerves, you better leave her in peace.

Tiene las emociones a flor de piel – Her emotions are just under the surface

Question 5 – using ‘hombre’ in Spanish.

Gill from New Zealand – In the episode about scooters in Madrid, Marina said to Ben, ‘Hombre, tampoco te pases.’ What does that mean, and when would you use it?

Ben said he used to walk across half the city to work, a big exaggeration.

Hombre is used as a filler word, for men or women. It has different meanings.
In this case it means ‘come on’, ‘yeah right’.

Tampoco te pases – don’t exagerate

Hombre Can also mean ‘well…’ for example:

– No seria mas fácil para ti ir a San Sebastián en el tren?
– Hombre, no lo había pensado.

Thanks again to all you who sent in questions this month!

The other Q and A videos from this month:

Seasonal Christmas Holiday Greetings in Spanish

The Mighty Echar! Super Useful Spanish Verb

Un abrazo desde Madrid!

Ben y Marina

¡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.

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.

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!


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).

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.

Ya! A Very Useful Spanish Word

In today’s video we discuss the word ‘ya’, a super useful Spanish word that is incredibly common in day-to-day conversation in Spanish. You can start using it more too!

Notes from the video:

1,2,3…  ¡Ya! – 1,2,3, Go!

Ha subido el precio del café – ¡Ya te digo! – The price of coffee has gone up – You’re right there!

Si le estoy haciendo cosquillas…¡Basta ya! – If I’m tickling Marina. Stop it!

Ya que estás aquí, ¿me puedes arreglar la lámpara por favor? – Seeing as you are here, can you fix the light for me please?

¿Estás ya? ¡Ya Voy! – Are you ready to go yet? I’m coming!

¿Cuando comemos? – ¡Ya! – When are we going to eat? Now!

¡Comemos Ya! – It’s time to eat!

Están pasando una situación difícil… Ya…  – They are having a tough time… I know…

¿Estás ya? Ya estoy – Are you ready yet? I’m ready.

¿Has hecho tus deberes? ¡Ya está! – Have you done your homework? It’s done!

¡Ya me levanto! – I’m getting up! Really!

¡Venga ya! No me cuentes tonterías – Come on, don’t talk nonsense.

Y luego ya – And finally…

Vamos a comer, luego vamos a hacer las compras, y luego ya vamos a casa – We are going to eat, then we are going to go shopping, and finally/after that we’ll go home.

Keep listening to our audios, and to really learn lots of Spanish, pick up the accompanying worksheet packs in our store!

Un abrazo!

Un Manjar – A Cool Spanish Word!

Queridos amigos,

We’ve got another great Notes in Spanish video for you below, this time connected with food and pronunciation. Either watch the video through once first to see if you understand it all, or if you would like some help, see the context and language notes below first:

Language notes and context:

In this video we discuss the word ‘un manjar’, which means a food which is really special, or a real delicacy, in this case a German blue cheese that Ben bought after not having had any for a long time. We discuss what is a ‘manjar’ for us, and go on to say that Ben learnt the word from his friend Jorge, who only just recently, after about 4 years, taught me to pronounce his name correctly.

Here are some useful phrases from the video:

Un queso exquisito – A delicious cheese
Un queso azul – A blue cheese
(Un queso) que llevábamos sin tomar como ocho años – (A cheese) that we hadn’t eaten for about 8 years
Tengo un manjar – I’ve got a real delicacy
Unas gambas blancas de Huelva a la plancha – Grilled white prawns from Huelva
Me suena árabe, de origen árabe – It sounds arabic to me, of arabic origin
Dices mi nombre mal – You say my name wrong
Estaría el muy orgulloso – He would be very proud
Tiene un sentido del humor muy interesante – he’s got a very interesting sense of humour.

¿Cuál es tu manjar favorito?

Remember! Our new Advanced 2 audios have started! Listen to episode 1 now!

Un abrazo,

Ben y Marina

New Spanish video! El cambio de hora y el “jetlag”

Queridos amigos,

¡Tenemos un video nuevo para vosotros!

Watch the video and check out all the real Spanish vocab and phrases we’ve selected from it below. (This is real speed conversation, so don’t worry if it’s tricky if you are a beginner!)

In this video Marina and Ben discuss the effect of the changing of the clocks at the end of March and the arrival of the best weather of the year, which lasts from here until full-on summer arrives.

Useful real Spanish phrases in the video:

Hace un día estupendo – it’s a glorious day

Marina, ¿Qué me cuentas? – Marina, what’s new?

Acaba de llegar la primavera – Spring has just arrived

Escuchando los pajaritos – Listening to the little birds

Hay una cosa que nos ha costado bastante, ¿verdad? – One thing has been really hard for us, hasn’t it?

El cambio de hora – The changing of the clocks

Ahora ajustarte a levantarte a la hora, ¡ay que difícil! – Now to get used to getting up at the right time, wow it’s really difficult!

Ben me ha llamado, “¡vente que estoy fuera!” – Ben called to say “I’m out in the street, come and join me!”

Hay que disfrutar a tope de estos meses – You have to really enjoy these months as much as possible.

Questions related to the video

Feel free to answer in the comments below:

¿Qué tal lleváis el cambio de hora? – How has the clock change been for you?

¿Cuál es tu palabra favorita en el espanglish? –  What’s your favourite Spanglish word?

Notes in Spanish Video and A Spanish Joke!

First the joke!

Un inglés pregunta a uno de Málaga:
-Please, to Antequera?
-Ante arbañí, ahora toy en paro y cojo caracole…

If you don’t get the joke above, don’t worry! Here’s the explanantion:

It’s a play on the heavy Andalusian accent in those parts. While the English guy is asking the way to Antequera, the local guy thinks he’s saying ¿Tu, antes que eras? – What did you used to do?

To which the local replies in his heavy accent, -Ante arbañí, ahora toy en paro y cojo caracole… – which without the accent would read, -Antes albañil, ahora estoy en paro y cojo caracoles… – Before I was a builder, and now I’m unemployed and collect snails.

If you want to hear more about Spanish jokes, check out Advanced Podcast 57, on Lepe Jokes!

And now the video! If you enjoyed last week’s video from Bangkok, here’s another classic related video from our archives, from Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand! Again, it’s from 2007, pre-HD video days!

Feel free to share these resources with your Spanish learning friends!

Classic Notes in Spanish Video – From Bangkok!

In 2007 Marina and I travelled to the other side of the world… to bring you more great Spanish video! It’s pre-HD video days, hence the ‘old-school’ video quality!

Get More! How about…

Did you see our newest video, the fun Spanish Fruit and Vegetables Quiz?

Are you still working your way through our Real Spanish Conversations?

…and if you enjoyed this video, please feel free to share it with Spanish learning friends!

The Learn Spanish Fruit and Vegetables Video Quiz!


In our latest Spanish learning video Ben and Marina begin by explaining how Marina’s sister and her boyfriend came back from a Kitesurfing holiday in Brazil keen to improve their eating habits, and started buying more fruit and vegetables from the local market.

This reminded us about how lots of children these days don’t know the names of many fruit and veg, and so we thought we’d test your knowledge of the names of fruit and vegetables in Spanish! Watch the video and see how many you get right!

Spanish vocab and phrases from the video

Hacer kitesurfing – To do kitesurfing
Le gusta mucho hacer kite – He really likes kitesurfing
Han vuelto con muchas ganas de cambiar su estilo de vida y llevar una alimentación mas sana – They’ve returned [from holiday] really keen to change their lifestyle and eat more healthily
[En el mercado] se supone que la verdura y la fruta es de mejor calidad – In the market the fruit and vegetables are supposedly better quality
[La fruta y verdura] no ha pasado tanto tiempo en cámaras – The fruit and vegetables haven’t spent so long in refrigerators
Un limón – A lemon
Un aguacate – An avocado
Una berenjena – An Eggplant/Aubergine
Un calabacín – A zucchini/courgette
Una manzana – An apple
Una calabaza – A squash/pumpkin
Lo tengo en la punta de la lengua – It’s on the tip of my toungue
Un plátano (de Canarias!) – A banana (from the Canary Islands!)
Están super ricos – They are really nice/tasty
Una mandarina – A mandarin/tangerine
Una Clementina – A Clementine
Una nuez – A walnut
Un cascanueces – A nut cracker
Un cazo – A ladle
Un mortero – Pestle and Mortar
Una cabeza de ajos – A bulb of garlic
Un diente de ajo – A clove of garlic
¡Tampoco te pases! – Don’t go over the top!

And finally, Marina rembered a typical Spanish phrase with apples:

¡Estoy mas sana que una manzana! – I’m really healthy!

More Great Spanish Learning Resources…

– Learn Spanish with our best materials: Our free Spanish Learning Audio / Podcasts and the Premium Materials in our Store
– Watch more of our Spanish learning videos here
– Sign up for our Spanish-boosting newsletter here

Vacaciones Con Retos! Learn Spanish This Summer!


In our latest Spanish learning video (with real Spanish conversation followed by analysis in English!) Ben and Marina discuss the heat in Madrid, summer holiday plans, and what challenges they have lined up for the summer.

Vocab and phrases from the ‘Analysis’ section

¿Qué tal? – How are you?
…Muy bien – Fine
…Regular – So so/not great
…Estamos fatal – We are a complete mess
Todo el mundo tiene insomnio – Everyone has insomnia
El fin de semana que viene prometen 37 o 38 grados – This weekend we can expect 37 or 38 degrees
La fiesta de esta noche promete – I think it’s going to be a great party tonight
La fiesta promete – The party looks like it’s going to be really good
Vamos a viajar a la Selva Negra que me hace mucha ilusión – We are going to go down to the Black Forest which I’m really excited about
A mi me hace mucha ilusión pasar por Suiza – I’m really excited about going through Switzerland
Tienes algún reto para las vacaciones – Do you have any goals /challenges for the holidays?
Descansar y pasármelo bien – Relax and have a good time
Pásatelo bien – Have a good time
Bloc para esbozo – Sketch pad
Bloc – Notepad
Leeré a ratitos – I’m going to read in short bursts

More Great Spanish Learning Resources…

– Learn Spanish with our best materials: Our free Spanish Learning Audio / Podcasts and the Premium Materials in our Store
– Watch more of our Spanish learning videos here
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A Secret in Madrid – Another Great Spanish Learning Video!


Ben and Marina take a trip to one of their favourite spots in Madrid, the Museo de Sorolla, the green city home of one of Spain’s least known, but most loved painters. Like our video from Monday on Spanish table manners, the second half includes key analysis in English again!

Vocab and phrases from the ‘Analysis’ section

En pleno centro (de Madrid) – Right in the middle (of Madrid)
Se desnudó en plena calle – He took his clothes off right in the middle of the street
Qué gozada – How fantastic
Qué gozada bañarte en el mar – What a joy to swim in the sea
Están hechos en estilo arabesco – They are made in the Moorish style
Le gustaba retratar escenas cotidianas – He liked to paint everyday scenes
En mi vida cotidiana – In my everyday life
Retratos – Portraits
Voy a pintar un retrato – I’m going to paint a portrait
Su obra era caracteristica por la luz y lo llaman el luminismo – His body of work was characteristic for its use of light, they call it ‘luminismo’

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Learn Spanish – Table Manners! New Video!


More fun Spanish learning video from Ben and Marina! We look at the different customs at the Spanish dining table, and Spanish superstitions involving the salt! Do listen to the second half analysis in English to get the most from the video.

Vocab and phrases from the ‘Analysis’ section

No se usa la servilleta – Serviettes aren’t generally used (in the UK)
En España se come mucha ensalada – A lot of salad is eaten in Spain
Otra cosa que se suele ver en la mesa española es una aceitera – Another thing you tend to see on the Spanish table is an olive oil bottle
Me resulta un poco violento pedirles una servilleta – I feel a bit uncomfortable asking them for a serviette
Cuando yo pongo la mesa – When I set the table
Soy un chapuza(s) – I don’t do things properly/I do things in half measures
Hacer chapuzas – To do some DIY
Hacerlo de manera chapuza – To do it not very well

More Great Spanish Learning Resources…

Gold 2, mentioned in the video, is available here
Watch more of our Spanish learning videos here
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New Spanish ‘Thank You’ Video Story!

Can’t see the video here? You can see it direct at here


Another great Spanish learning video! Ben and Marina tell a quick story about why the Spanish never send ‘thanks’ a few days after a lunch/party etc, and why Ben is a ‘paleto’! Plus we thank all of you that have signed up for Gold Season Two on the first day!

Vocab and phrases from the ‘Analysis’ section

Eres un poco paleto – You are a bit of a country bumpkin
Despiste – Absent-minded
Soy un poco despistado – I’m a bit absent-minded
Mi cuñada – My sister-in-law
Yerno – Son-in-law
Nuera – Daughter-in-law
Aqui hay tomate – There’s some juicy stuff to talk about here!

Muchas gracias once more to everyone that has joined us already in Gold Season Two!

Update: the above-mentioned Gold Season Two is now available as a complete season pack in our store:

Get the Gold Season Two Complete Pack Here.

Unstoppable Fruteria Shops! Our Latest Spanish Learning Video!

Can’t see the video here? You can see it direct at here


Ben and Marina discover that although a lot of shops are going out of business in their neighbourhood, fruit and veg shops continue to open continuously and thrive!

Vocab and phrases from the ‘Analysis’ section

Los pequeños comercios – Local shops / small businesses
Están cerrando sus puertas – They are going out of business
Grandes almacenes – Superstores
¿Qué te contó la dueña? – What did the owner tell you?
Hola, ¿qué me cuentas? – Hi, what’s new?
No suele estar lo suficientemente madura – It (the fruit) doesn’t tend to be ripe enough
Está un poco entera /un poco verde – It’s a bit unripe
5 raciones de fruta al dia – 5 portions of fruit or vegetables a day
Una ración – Like a big tapa, a big plateful of ham for example
Un racimo de uvas – A bunch of grapes
Las generaciones mas mayores – The older generations
Los mayores – Older people
“Mis viejos no me dejan ir a la discoteca” – My parents won’t let me go to the disco (very informal/teenager only!)

Update: Gold Season Two, as mentioned in the video, is now available as a complete season pack in our store:

Get the Gold Season Two Complete Pack Here.

Saludos desde Madrid,

Ben y Marina

New Spanish Learning Video! La Puerta del Sol!

Can’t see the video here? You can see it direct at here


Ben and Marina head off to the Puerta del Sol and find some things have changed!

Vocab and phrases from the ‘Analysis’ section

Han hecho obras en la plaza – They’ve done some work on the Plaza
No hay bancos – There are no benches
El gordo de navidad – The Spanish Christmas lottery
…donde supongo que habra caido algun premio importante – where I think a big prize must have been awarded
El estatua del oso y del madroño – The statue of the bear and the strawberry tree
Un punto de comienzo de las manifestaciones – A starting point for demonstrations
La puerta del sol también aloja el kilometro zero – The Puerta del Sol is home to ‘Kilometer Zero’
Tanto turismo a mi me agota – So much tourism exhausts me
Agotarse – To become worn out
Bacalao rebozado – Battered cod
Está que te mueres – It’s delicious

If you are interested in finding out when Gold Season Two (as mentioned in the video) is next open to the public, please make sure you are signed up for our newsletter, via the form at the top of the right hand column of this page.

Update: the above-mentioned Gold Season Two is now available as a complete season pack in our store:

Get the Gold Season Two Complete Pack Here.

Saludos desde Madrid,

Ben y Marina

¡A Por Ello! Spanish Learning Video!

Here’s our latest video, with a key ‘analysis’ section in the second half:

Useful vocab and phrases from the analysis section of the video:

Hay una avería – There is a fault / problem (in this case no hot water in the building)
Afeitarse – To shave
Estoy hecho un guarro – I’m ‘a bit rough around the edges’, unpresentable
Vas hecho un guarro – You look a real mess
Tenemos esa inquietud de aprender cosas nuevas – We have the need to learn new things
Estar inquieto – To feel restless
Esperamos que vayáis a ir a por ello – We hope you are going to go for it!
Profe de yoga para embarazadas – Yoga teacher for pregnant women
Doula – Mother who helps pregnant women before, during and after birth
Nos gustaría que vosotros nos contaseis lo que tenéis en mente para mejorar vuestro español – We would like you to tell us what you have in mind to improve your Spanish
Aprovechando que está aquí – Making the most of being here

Remember, the worksheet packs that accompany our audio help you actually SEE the language (just like in the list from the video above), invaluable if you want to learn more Spanish, more quickly.

Head to our store now to check them out:

Ben and Marina’s Spanish Aniversario Video – With Analysis!


Ben and Marina talk about their wedding anniversary and holiday plans, and help you learn more Spanish with the new ‘Analysis’ section at the end.

Useful Vocab:

Estar listo – To be ready
Ser listo – To be clever
Preparados, listos, ya – Ready, steady, go.
Abanico (m.) – Fan
Abanicarse – To fan
El que me tocó a mi – The one that was handed out to me
Te toca a ti – It’s your turn
Raparse – Informal way to say I’ve had a hair cut – usually used when it’s really short.
Nos vamos dentro de muy poco de vacaciones – We are going on holiday very soon.
Dentro de un mes – In a months time
Dentro de nada – In a very short while
Dar a luz – To give birth
Esperamos estar en Francia cuando llegue el bebé – We hope to be in France when the baby arrives.

Useful Links:

Get The Super Simple Spanish Subjunctive Rule Book

Get Notes in Spanish Gold (New Audio With Similar Special Analysis)

Our Big Vice and Special Spanish Analysis Video!

Context: Ben and Marina confess to their biggest vice/addiction, and how it’s shrinking their house (but hopefully expanding their brains with lots of learning!)

New! Today’s video includes a special English analysis section at the end!

Vocab and phrases from the analysis section:

Tenemos un vicio – We have an addiction/vice
Tengo un vicio con el chocolate – I’m addicted to chocolate
La casa se nos está quedando pequeña – The house is getting small for us
Estos zapatos se le están quedando pequeños – These shoes are getting small for him
Tengo muchos de crianza – I’ve got lots [of books] about bringing up kids
Si tuviéramos una casa mas grande compraríamos más libros aún – If we had a bigger house we’d buy even more books
Seguiremos llevándolos al retiro según los vayamos leyendo – We’ll keep taking them to the Retiro as we finish reading them

Have You Got The Amazing Subjunctive Report Mentioned In The Video Yet?

We hope so, it’s our best ever! Make sure you get it here if you haven’t!

And watch out for the launch of Notes in Spanish Gold – It’s our best audio yet, and includes key English analysis like this with every real Spanish conversation!

UPDATE!: Notes in Spanish Gold is available now in our store!

Free Spanish Subjunctive Rules Report and New Spanish Video! Cerveza Ecologica!

Context: Ben and Marina discuss how they get organic food and vegetables delivered to their house, and how the Spanish drink a lot more alcohol-free beer than the British.

Click Here To Get the FANTASTIC Super Simple Spanish Subjunctive Rule Book Mentioned In The Video!

Useful Vocab from the Video

Fruta y verdura biológica / ecológica – Organic fruit and vegetables
Sabe buenísima – It tastes great
Potitos – Pots of baby food
¡Qué rollo! – What a pain/how boring!
Mega rollo – Mega-sized paper roll
En Inglaterra no esta muy bien visto – It’s not well thought of in England (drinking alcohol free beer)
Todo el cultivo es local – It’s all grown locally
Nos lo traen a casa – They deliver it to our house

Click Here To Get the AMAZING Super Simple Spanish Subjunctive Rule Book Mentioned In The Video!

Ben and Marina’s Intercambio Secret…

We recently made this video to help introduce some new friends to Notes in Spanish, but really wanted to share it here too so everyone can benefit from it now. We hope you enjoy it, feel free to leave a comment!

Context: This is the story of how Marina and Ben met, over 10 years ago, here in Madrid. Look below for lots of useful vocabulary from the video! We hope you enjoy it!

Useful Vocab from the video:

Un intercambio – a language exchange

Quedar – to meet (Quedábamos – we used to meet)

Daba clases de inglés – I used to teach English

Una cita a ciegas… con excusa… – A blind date… with an excuse

Hola, ¿qué me cuentas? – What’s up, how are you?

Cuidado, porque ¡mira hasta donde puedes llegar! – Watch out, because look how far you can end up going!

Remember: Make the most of the 36 plus hours of free audio here at Notes in Spanish, and pick up the worksheets if you need a hand!

Dejandos Libros – New Notes in Spanish Video

Ben and Marina are doing an ’80/20′ clean up at home, and have found a great place to get give away some old books…

Watch the video, use the vocab below for a helping hand if you need it, and see if you can answer the two questions at the bottom!

Useful vocab from the video:

No tenemos hueco en las estanterías – we haven’t got room on the shelves

Ben ha metido la pata – Ben has put his foot in it/made a big mistake!

Biblioteca pública – Public library

Me parecía un poco rollo – I found it a bit boring

Asomarse – to glance at, take a quick look at

And now, a couple of questions about the video!

¿Porqué dice Marina que Ben ha metido la pata?

¿Quién, segun las sospechas de Ben y Marina, suele llevarse los libros, y porqué?

Answers in the first comment below! And do leave a comment about the video if you like!