Spanish phrases and vocabulary

Phrases and vocabulary are really the bread and butter of language learning, and learning your vocabulary in phrase form is an efficient and useful way to learn the language.

Why learn Spanish phrases?

Learning Spanish phrases is a quick route to Spanish domination. When you learn Spanish in phrases (instead of picking apart words and grammar), you’re treating Spanish as a system, and learning it in large chunks. It’s like taking a big bird’s eye view of it, rather than getting down and dirty with words and grammar. As natural language learning machines, we can trust it to our subconscious to pick apart the grammar, so learning Spanish phrases in this way is a great way of giving ourselves a dose of both grammar and vocabulary, packaged up into something useful. Learning phrases is something that is useful for all levels, and as you become advanced, is one of the most useful things you can actually do.

Improving your Spanish vocabulary

One of the major differences between someone who gets by in Spanish and someone who can really express themselves is the range of their vocabulary. Learning more Spanish words, and expanding your vocabulary, is the one true ongoing task of a language learner. As you increase your Spanish vocabulary beyond the basics, you’ll have access to deeper shades of nuance and refinement, and will be able to communicate yourself as you really want to. I truly believe that by getting inside a language’s vocabulary, you learn more about that country’s culture and way of thinking, and open up a new world to yourself.

Falsos Amigos: False Spanish Cognates you should avoid like the plague

“Falsos amigos”, or literally, “false friends” (also referred to as “false cognates”), are words which sound like they mean the same thing in English as in Spanish. This is the case with true cognates, such as horrible, which does in fact mean “horrible”. However, does carpeta really mean “carpet”, and is it a good idea to say that you are “embarazada” if you feel embarrassed? Read on to find out the top “falsos” amigos that you should avoid like the plague!

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Spanish Phrases for Tourists

So you’re off to a Spanish speaking country? Lucky you! Make sure you pack some sun-cream, plenty of towels, and our guide to Spanish phrases for tourists! We’ve no idea what you’ll be doing of course, but hopefully you can find a use for our fine collection of phrases below.

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Spanish insults

Funny Spanish Phrases and insults

We are proud to present the Spanish Obsessed collection of humorous Spanish phrases. These are phrases you can use just to get a quick laugh during your Spanish conversation, or whenever you feel like lightening the mood. They're also quite...
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Why you don’t need a perfect native Spanish accent

What does it take to get a perfect, native accent? Which of the myriad accents of Spanish would you choose, and why? Our accent when we talk any language makes a big difference in how we we are perceived by others, as well as how we perceive ourselves. Accents are tied in deeply with questions and assumptions of identity and background. Speaking Spanish with a perfect native accent is what many people aspire to, but why? And is it really necessary?

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Even more memory tricks

I’ve spent a good deal of my language learning life trying to learn vocabulary and phrases, and actually get them to stick in my long term memory. While there are so many ways to go about it, in this post I wanted to focus on “spaced repetition” systems, and how to get more out of them.

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So you think you know a Spanish word?

In our day to day conversations and interactions, we actually use a very limited set of words. An average person has a vocabulary of around 10,000 words, but in an average day, uses only 1,000 of them. We have a set of common words that we stick to, even when there are more interesting and expressive options available. Many courses sell themselves on the premise of a “minimum” vocabulary: Learn just 1,000 words, and master any conversation in Spanish/French/Chinese!

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Romantic Spanish Phrases

Woo your lover with these romantic refrains! Spanish is, after all, a Romance language, so spice up your Spanish with these romance phrases – I’m fairly sure your partner will be left quivering at the knees after you tell them that “el amor entra por los ojos”, or that “te encanta”. So, release Cupid’s arrow!

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Survival Spanish

So you’ve landed in Spain/South America/Mexico, and you’ve realised that people don’t speak quite as much English as you imagined. Have no fear! These essential Spanish phrases will help you get what you need, and will stop people laughing at you. They’re actually frequently used in every day conversation by millions of Spanish speakers world-wide.

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A Basic Guide to Building Your Spanish Vocabulary

Your vocabulary is your storage of Spanish words and phrases. Some of this is active – available for instant recall, and that you can use in your own Spanish; and some of this is passive – words and phrases which you understand, which ring a bell, but which aren’t available for instant recall, and aren’t part of your conversation toolbox.

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Spanish Rolling R: A Pronunciation Guide

You can perfect your grammar, learn the entire Spanish dictionary, and talk at 100 mph, but the one stumbling block keeping you from sounding really Spanish is the “r” sound. Especially for us native English speakers, this sound is so alien that it seems just impossible.

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