Copyright © 2018-2020 Spectrum Monkey |  monkey@spectrummonkey.com



 BLOG ZONE
¡EMPECEMOS!
 02 AUG 2018 | WELCOME | POST #1
 1 MIN | by Spectrum Monkey

Welcome to the Spectrum Monkey Blog Zone. Let's begin our journey!

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PROGRESS UPDATE
 06 AUG 2018 | SITE UPDATE | POST #2
 2 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

A short progress report of site development to date.

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LEARN YOUR ABCs
 08 AUG 2018 | BEGINNER | POST #3
 20 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Pronunciation - Let's not run before we can "talk".

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ACCENTS AND ACCENTS
 14 AUG 2018 | BEGINNER | POST #4
 10 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Following on from our ABCs. Why accents are important, both kinds!

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ADJECTIVES QUIZ
 17 AUG 2018 | LEARNING TOOL | POST #5
 3 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

How to get the most from the Adjectives Quiz.

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DECONSTRUCTING 10
SPANISH PHRASES

 23 AUG 2018 | BEGINNER | POST #6
 15 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Let's looks at 10 simple Spanish phrases and really understand their sentence construction.

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NUMBERS, TIMES, DATES & GENDER AGREEMENT
 28 AUG 2018 | BEGINNER | POST #7
 20 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Exploring different types of numbers in Spanish and how they are affected by gender agreement.

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DAYS AND MONTHS CONTINUED
 30 AUG 2018 | BEGINNER | POST #8
 20 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Continuing on from the previous post. Let's expand our vocabulary beyond just numbers.

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ASKING QUESTIONS
 05 SEP 2018 | BEGINNER | POST #9
 10 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Examining how questions are formed in Spanish, using statement phrases and question words.

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SALUTATIONS
 14 SEP 2018 | BEGINNER | POST #10
 15 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Exploring common ways to say Hello and Goodbye in various situation.

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ADVERBS
 24 SEP 2018 | BEGINNER | POST #11
 7 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Introducing more concepts of Spanish grammar.

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THE RAIN IN SPAIN STAYS MAINLY ON THE PLANE
 27 SEP 2018 | BEGINNER | POST #12
 10 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

¡El tiempo! - Looking at different ways to describe the weather.

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5 SPANISH WORDS THAT DON'T EXIST IN ENGLISH
 3 OCT 2018 | BEGINNER | POST #13
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Let’s look at five different words that have no direct English translation and see what we can learn.

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NOUNS
 10 OCT 2018 | BEGINNER | POST #14
 12 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

A beginner's guide to nouns, and why we have gender agreement.

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ARTICLES
 15 OCT 2018 | BEGINNER | POST #15
 8 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Following our recent lesson on Nouns. Let's explore the articles that accompany them.

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ANTONYMS: BECAUSE OPPOSITES ATTRACT!
 17 OCT 2018 | BEGINNER | POST #16
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Learning words with their opposites in pairs.

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AN INTRODUCTION TO VERBS
 30 OCT 2018 | BEGINNER | POST #17
 12 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Scratching the surface of "doing" words.

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VERB PARADIGMS AND PATTERNS
 08 NOV 2018 | BEGINNER | POST #18
 20 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Continuing to explore verb forms. Learning by patterns.

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DIMINUTIVES
 13 NOV 2018 | BEGINNER | POST #19
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Words that are not only reserved for small cute things.

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AY, HAY, AHÍ OR ALLÍ?
 19 NOV 2018 | BEGINNER | POST #20
 4 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Demystifying some common words that are phonetically similar.

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MORE PAST TENSES AND AUXILIARY VERBS
 29 NOV 2018 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #21
 15 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Learning more verb tenses, and how to use the auxiliary verb haber.

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MOODS AND MORE SIMPLE FORM VERB TENSES


 10 DEC 2018 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #22
 15 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Expressing commands, ideas, feelings and opinions with the subjunctive and imperative tenses.

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Depending on your point of view, English has only two or three simple form tenses. By simple we mean: no other words are required to form them. Thus, strictly speaking only the present tense and the past tense are truly considered simple within English, as even the future tense requires the auxiliary modal verb “will”.

So, with the exception of the present tense and the past tense, in English all other tenses are constructed by using auxiliary verbs or phrases.

Spanish too, uses auxiliary verbs and phrases to construct different compound tenses, very much like English. We saw our first example of this last time, where we learnt how to use the auxiliary verb haber (to have) to create the perfect tense.

However, before we look further at more examples of compound tenses that are made using auxiliary verbs, we are going to learn more of the simple tenses that exist within the Spanish language.

Remember: A simple tense is one that doesn’t require other words to form them.

In contrast to English, the Spanish language has many more simple form tenses. These go beyond just expressing periods in time. Indeed, we have already seen two Spanish simple form past tenses in the shape of the preterite tense and the imperfect tense. But today we will learn about moods and how these translate into more simple form tenses.

Moods
Mood is a grammatical concept that distinguishes verb tenses beyond just periods in time.

In the Spanish language there are three moods: indicative, imperative and subjunctive.

The indicative mood is the one we are most familiar with as English speakers. It is used to express objective fact and indicate reality.

The imperative mood is used when we are issuing commands or orders, and when used in the negative, to forbid or prohibit. For instance: “¡Ven aquí!” (Come here!) or “¡No corras!” (Do not run!)

The subjunctive mood is used to convey the idea of something or to express a feeling towards an action. This includes concepts that are hypothetical or contrary to fact.

As English speakers, we are most used to speaking in the indicative mood. That is not to say, the imperative and subjunctive moods do not exist in English. They do, but they go largely unnoticed, as they tend not change the form of the verbs.

Examples of the subjunctive mood in English include starting a sentence using phrases like “It is important that….” or “If I were you…” In these examples we can see that, what will follow is the idea of something, rather than objective fact. However what will follow is unlikely to change form much, if at all, from the regular indicative form. Thus we often don’t realise we are speaking in this mood as there is little or no new vocabulary to learn.

Spanish behaves somewhat differently when we want to express different moods, as we have a whole set of new simple form tenses that differentiate between both mood and periods in time.

There are too many simple form Spanish tenses to cover in detail in one go. Therefore today, we will introduce ourselves to just a few, and begin to grow accustomed to speaking in a different mood.

Imperative affirmative tense

The imperative mood describes situations where commands or orders are issued. There are two tenses within this mood. One that describes the affirmative commands, and the other describing commands in the negative when we want to prohibit or forbid.

Below are the regular verb conjugations for hablar, comer and vivir in the imperative affirmative tense. As usual, we have highlighted the word endings. Providing the verb is regular, these endings will work with any respective –ar, -er and –ir verb.

Because it is considered illogical to command or order oneself, there is no form in the imperative tense for the first person singular. Thus it is left blank.

hablar (to speak) | imperative affirmative tense
Singular Plural
1st Person - hablemos
2nd Person habla hablad
3rd Person hable hablen

comer (to eat) | imperative affirmative tense
Singular Plural
1st Person - comamos
2nd Person come comed
3rd Person coma coman

vivir (to live) | imperative affirmative tense
Singular Plural
1st Person - vivamos
2nd Person vive vivid
3rd Person viva vivan

Let’s see some uses of the imperative affirmative tense in some basic sentence constructions, so we can start to understand when it is appropriate to use this form.

Note: It is common for pronouns to be appended to the end of imperatives in the affirmative. Also notice that this may lead to verbs gaining accented vowels to preserve their natural word stress.

Spanish Meaning
¡Ven aquí! Come here!
¡Cómetelo! Eat it!
¡Háblame! Speak to me!
Vive tu vida y sé feliz Live your life and be happy


Imperative negative tense
The imperative negative tense is used when we are forbidding or prohibiting something. As with the affirmative, there is no conjugation for the first person singular form as it is considered illogical to command oneself.

For the very observant: you will notice that this tense conjugates exactly the same as the present subjunctive tense, with the exception of there being no logical first person singular form. This is a nice tip to help us remember these forms.

hablar (to speak) | imperative negative tense
Singular Plural
1st Person - hablemos
2nd Person hables habléis
3rd Person hable hablen

comer (to eat) | imperative negative tense
Singular Plural
1st Person - comamos
2nd Person comas comáis
3rd Person coma coman

vivir (to live) | imperative negative tense
Singular Plural
1st Person - vivamos
2nd Person vivas viváis
3rd Person viva vivan

Now let’s see some uses of the imperative negative tense in some basic sentence constructions, so we can start to understand when it is appropriate to use this form.

Spanish Meaning
¡No corras! Do not run!
Nunca los toques Never touch them
¡No te lo comas! Don't eat it!
¡No me hables! Do not speak to me!
¡Nunca me hables así! Never speak to me like that!


Present subjunctive tense

As mentioned already, the subjunctive mood is used when we are conveying ideas or feelings, rather than objective fact or reality. Therefore the present subjunctive tense is used when we describing such ideas in the present time frame, rather than the past or the future for instance.

Before we dig deeper into this though, let’s take a look at how we can form this tense using the patterns found within the six form verb paradigm.

Below are the regular verb conjugations for hablar, comer and vivir in the present subjunctive tense. As usual, we have highlighted the word endings. Providing the verb is regular, these endings will work with any respective –ar, -er and –ir verb.

hablar (to speak) | present subjunctive tense
Singular Plural
1st Person hable hablemos
2nd Person hables habléis
3rd Person hable hablen

comer (to eat) | present subjunctive tense
Singular Plural
1st Person coma comamos
2nd Person comas comáis
3rd Person coma coman

vivir (to live) | present subjunctive tense
Singular Plural
1st Person viva vivamos
2nd Person vivas viváis
3rd Person viva vivan

So when should we use the subjunctive mood?

There are a number of reasons or triggers for using the subjunctive mood. These triggers might include conveying: wishes or hopes, feelings or emotions, doubts, opinion with impersonal expressions, suggestions or requests and even expressing a vague future.

Let’s see some uses of the present subjunctive tense in some basic sentence constructions, so we can start to understand when it is appropriate to use this form. We've underlined the verbs that have taken the present subjunctive form for clarity.

Spanish Meaning Trigger
Quiero que hables español I want you to speak Spanish wishing
Me gusta que hables español I like that you speak Spanish feeling or emotion
Solo te pido que comas tu cena I'm only asking you to eat your dinner requesting
Sugiero que comamos estos I suggest that we eat these suggesting
Es agradable que vivas aquí It is nice that you live here opinion with an impersonal expression
No creo que hable español I don't think that he speaks Spanish doubt
Seré feliz cuando vivan aquí I will be happy when they live here expressing a vague future

Hopefully by seeing a few different examples of how the subjunctive mood is triggered, we begin to get a real flavour of it.

More often than not, the construction of a sentence will take the form of: trigger + “que” + subjunctive form...

In particular, opinions expressed as impersonal expressions will trigger the subjunctive mood. These are often constructed as: “Es” + opinion + “que”...

Examples of such expressions include:
“Es bueno que…” (It’s good that…)
“Es malo que…” (It’s bad that…)
“Es mejor que…” (It’s better that…)
“Es probable que…” (It’s likely that…)
“Es raro que…” (It’s strange that…) and so on…

Conclusion | En conclusión
Some people get on with the subjunctive mood almost immediately, whilst others may take a while to learn when it is appropriate. Certainly learning the seven trigger types we’ve seen today should help keep it at the forefront of your thinking.

As English speakers, we are very used to only considering the present, the past and the future as tenses. But as we’ve discovered today, we can also think in moods as well as periods in time. Once we get used to phrasing ideas, personal opinions and even feelings as subjunctive conjugations; then one can argue, we’ve very much opened the door to being able to form emotional, hypothetical and sophisticated statements correctly.

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¡FELIZ NAVIDAD A TODOS!
 17 DEC 2018 | BEGINNER | POST #23
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Seasons greetings! A festive look at some Spanish Christmas phrases.

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YET MORE SIMPLE FORM VERB TENSES
 30 DEC 2018 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #24
 10 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Finishing our look at simple form verb tenses: The conditional and imperfect subjunctive.

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IRREGULAR VERBS
 10 JAN 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #25
 15 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Let's talk about verbs that don't follow the rules.

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SPANISH OMELETTE | TORTILLA DE PATATAS
 15 JAN 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #26
 10 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Indulging our inner foodie with this Spanish classic.

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5 CANARIAN WORDS
 19 JAN 2019 | BEGINNER | POST #27
 3 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Five interesting yet completely different Spanish words that originate from the Canary Islands.

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AN INTRODUCTION TO PRONOUNS
 22 JAN 2019 | BEGINNER | POST #28
 15 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Taking our first look at one of the most fiddly aspects of Spanish grammar.

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VERB CONJUGATION TOOL
 24 JAN 2019 | LEARNING TOOL | POST #29
 1 MIN | by Spectrum Monkey

Introducing the Spectrum Monkey verb conjugation tool.

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¿SER O ESTAR?
 31 JAN 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #30
 12 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

“To be, or not to be, what is the difference?”

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NI
 08 FEB 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #31
 3 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Exploring a tiny little word that deserves a proper explanation.

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EL DÍA DE SAN VALENTÍN
 12 FEB 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #32
 10 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Dissecting six “romantic” phrases in time for St. Valentine’s Day.

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RELATIVE PRONOUNS
 19 FEB 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #33
 15 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Continuing our look at fiddly Spanish grammar with relative pronouns.

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CONJUNCTIONS
 26 FEB 2019 | BEGINNER | POST #34
 8 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

A brief look at linking words with some interesting alternative forms.

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SPANISH FITNESS AND EXERCISE CLASSES
 07 MAR 2019 | BEGINNER | POST #35
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

How keeping fit in groups can improve our Spanish.

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OBJECT PRONOUNS
 14 MAR 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #36
 20 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Furthering our look at Spanish pronouns with direct and indirect object pronouns.

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REFLEXIVE VERBS
 20 MAR 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #37
 10 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Actions where we act upon ourselves

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¿POR O PARA?
 26 MAR 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #38
 15 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Explaining two easily confused prepositions.

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YA
 30 MAR 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #39
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

A word every newcomer should know "already".

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O SEA
 03 APR 2019 | BEGINNER | POST #40
 2 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

An expression not only reserved for young people.

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THE FUTURE SUBJUNCTIVE TENSE
 05 APR 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #41
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Ideas for the future that have been left in the past.

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THE PERSONAL “A”
 09 APR 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #42
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Explaining a very Spanish preposition.

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COMPOUND VERB TENSES
 18 APR 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #43
 10 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Describing actions completed and on-going.

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THE PASSIVE VOICE
 26 APR 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #44
 8 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Focusing on the action rather than the subject.

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NEGATIVES
 29 APR 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #45
 7 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Learning how to form negative sentences.

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SPANISH CAFÉ CULTURE
 09 MAY 2019 | BEGINNER | POST #46
 10 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Beyond just ordering a coffee.

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¿ESTE O ESTO?
 12 MAY 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #47
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Is it really this one?

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“ACABAR DE...”
 21 MAY 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #48
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

How to express having just done something.

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FILLER WORDS | MULETILLAS
 25 MAY 2019 | BEGINNER | POST #49
 9 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Muletillas: words that offer us a little support through conversations.

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“AL + INFINITIVE” CONSTRUCTIONS
 05 JUN 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #50
 4 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

An alternative way to describe when things are occurring.

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HABER
 13 JUN 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #51
 7 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Expressing existence.

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FALSE FRIENDS
 23 JUN 2019 | BEGINNER | POST #52
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Words that aren't what they seem.

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5 TIPS THAT WILL IMPROVE YOUR SPANISH
 01 JUL 2019 | BEGINNER | POST #53
 9 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Some simple tips that will help us remain on the right path.

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ADJECTIVES: PART 1
 10 JUL 2019 | BEGINNER | POST #54
 12 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Taking a closer look at describing words.

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ADJECTIVES: PART 2
 18 JUL 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #55
 17 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Continuing our look at describing words.

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DO YOU LIKE IT OR DOES IT PLEASE YOU?
 23 JUL 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #56
 8 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Demystifying so-called back to front verbs.

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SORRY / FORGIVE ME / EXCUSE ME
 26 JUL 2019 | BEGINNER | POST #57
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Looking at different ways to apologise in Spanish.

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WHEN TO USE ARTICLES
 10 AUG 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #58
 8 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Mastering when to include or omit articles in Spanish.

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“POR LO…” EXPRESSIONS
 11 AUG 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #59
 8 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Dissecting six useful constructions that use por and lo.

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5 IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS USING DAR
 22 AUG 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #60
 7 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Continuing our look at some more idiomatic expressions.

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WHAT
 26 AUG 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #61
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Distinguishing between the different ways to express what in Spanish.

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WHEN TO USE THE PERFECT TENSE
 03 SEP 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #62
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Describing recently completed actions.

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SWEARING IN SPANISH
 07 SEP 2019 | BEGINNER | NSFW | POST #63
 7 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

How to curse using a few choice Spanish words.

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COGNATES
 14 SEP 2019 | BEGINNER | POST #64
 8 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Words that are the same or similar in both English and Spanish.

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THE PRESENT PROGRESSIVE TENSE
 25 SEP 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #65
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Describing on-going actions that are happening right now.

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VERBS OF CHANGE
 07 OCT 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #66
 12 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Looking at different ways to express becoming.

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5 WAYS TO USE “ACUERDO”
 15 OCT 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #67
 10 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Exploring different ways to use an essential word based around agreement.

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DECONSTRUCTING 5
SPANISH PROVERBS

 18 OCT 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #68
 7 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Comparing a few wise words across both English and Spanish.

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PORQUE, POR QUÉ, PORQUÉ O POR QUE
 25 OCT 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #69
 6 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Four similar constructions with somewhat different meanings.

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WHEN SÍ DOESN'T MEAN YES
 05 NOV 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #70
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Explaining a meaning of sí that can go unnoticed by “itself”

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5 DIFFERENT WAYS TO EXPRESS “LET'S”
 13 NOV 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #71
 6 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Allowing ourselves and making suggestions.

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“A PARTIR DE”
 22 NOV 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #72
 4 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Beginning to expand our knowledge of idiomatic phrases.

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“ECHAR DE MENOS”
 30 NOV 2019 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #73
 4 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

How to say "I miss you" in Spanish.

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“MUY, PERO QUE MUY”
 11 DEC 2019 | BEGINNER | POST #74
 3 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Emphasising and intensifying a statement.

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“PERO BUENO”
 18 DEC 2019 | BEGINNER | POST #75
 2 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Expressing incredulity, surprise and acceptance.

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PREPOSITIONS
 26 DEC 2019 | BEGINNER | POST #76
 20 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

How people or things relate to others.

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ARROBA
 29 DEC 2019 | BEGINNER | POST #77
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Using @ (the at symbol).

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QUEDAR
 09 JAN 2020 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #78
 8 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Expanding our knowledge of this essential Spanish verb.

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TENER QUE / HABER DE
 13 JAN 2020 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #79
 3 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Alternative ways of expressing obligation or need.

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SPANISH IDIOMS AND PROVERBS
 25 JAN 2020 | BEGINNER | POST #80
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Learning a few catchy phrases that are almost identical across both English and Spanish.

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“ME DA” + NOUN VS
“ME PONE” + ADJECTIVE

 30 JAN 2020 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #81
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Two different constructions that help us describe how we feel.

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3 SPANISH NOUNS WITH AMBIGUOUS GENDER
 12 FEB 2020 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #82
 5 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Nouns that can be both male and female.

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5 SIMPLE PHRASES STARTING WITH "EN..."
 19 FEB 2020 | INTERMEDIATE | POST #83
 7 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Expanding our knowledge with these useful phrases.

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¿TRANQUILO O TRANQUILA?"
 20 FEB 2020 | BEGINNER | POST #84
 3 MINS | by Spectrum Monkey

Two commonly used interjections that offer reassurance.

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