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High Frequency Words in Spanish

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querer

QUERER is the fifty-sixth most common word in the Spanish language.

QUERER is an irregular verb in some tenses and, in the present tense, it is a radical changing verb.

“Quiero” means I love or I want. Technically speaking, this is the first person singular of the present tense. The first “e” from querer has been changed to “ie“. This is what is known as the radical change.

“Quise” means I loved or I wanted. Technically speaking this is the first person singular, preterite tense. In the preterite or past tense, the verb is irregular, meaning that it does not follow the normal grammatical pattern.

The fact that QUERER can mean “to want” and “to love” can seem to be quite odd to the English speaker. My Collins Spanish – English dictionary explains that when the verb is followed by a person it means ” to love”.  When it is followed by an object it means “to want”. Notwithstanding this, is there some cross-over in the Spanish speaker’s mind between wanting and loving? This is not the place to discuss this any further, but it is an interesting point.

Here are two examples of uses of parts of the QUERER. One example illustrates the use meaning love,  and one, the use meaning want.

Te quiero – I love you.

Quiero una casa moderna – I want a modern house

Here then is a tale of two meanings – “to want” or “to love”. QUERER , the fifty sixth most common word in the Spanish language encapsulates them both.

dos

Dos is the fifty-fifth most common word in the Spanish language.

Dos is, in technical grammatical terms, is a cardinal numeral and an ordinal numeral. So, let’s unpack what these terms mean.

Firstly, dos can be translated into English as either “two” or “second”. When dos means “two”, it is a cardinal numeral. When dos means “second”, it is an ordinal numeral.

Here are etwo xamples of dos as a cardinal

dos más dos son cuatro = two and two are four

uno, dos, tres, cuatro = one, two, three, four

An example of dos as an ordinal

el dos de mayo = the second of May

dos de mayo

This picture is the “Dos de mayo” by Goya.

It hangs in the Prado in Madrid.

 

 

Dos, as the fifty-fifth most frequently used in Spanish, is a tale of two numbers, a cardinal and an ordinal. The same word in Spanish, different words in English – this is the beauty and interest of studying a language.

ano

 

AÑO is the fifty-fourth most common word in the Spanish language.

AÑO is a masculine noun, linked into the English word, annual, and anniversary, amongst others; in other words, something related to the English word year.

Indeed, the word AÑO means “year”.

One of the first idiomatic phrases that Spanish students learn is “tengo…años“. This is translated into English as “I am…years old” whereas the Spanish is literally saying “I have … years”.

This brings me to the question of the importance of accents in Spanish. If a ten year old says, or writes, “tengo … anos” i.e. without the tilde (the accent on the n), he or she is saying that he or she has, not to put too fine a point on it, ten anuses ( or should that be ani?). Moral of the story – beware the accent!

Here are a couple of examples of the use of año

1. As above – tengo veinticinco años – I am 25 years old

2. El año próximo voy a ir a España Next year I am going to go to Spain.

The moral of the story here then is to be very careful with your accents!  AÑO is the fifty-fourth most frequently used word in Spanish.

 

 

hasta

Hasta is the fifty-third most common word in the Spanish language.

This two-syllable is a preposition.

My Collins Spanish – English dictionary gives a number of differing translations, and the best, to my mind , are “until” or “to”.

Of course, this word is best known to Anglo-Saxon ears, in the expression made (in)famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger, “hasta la vista, baby”. I must confess to not having seen the film that the expression is from, but it has formed a prominent part in my Spanish lessons (especially amongst adolescent boys) when the  hasta la vista expression cropped up.

Hasta la vista literally means “until the sight” … but is perhaps rendered best into English as “see you soon”.

Here are two examples of the use of hasta

Hasta martes – see you on Tuesday (literally “until Tuesday”)

trabajo desde las nueve hasta las cinco – I work nine to five

Hasta then is the 53rd most frequently used word in the Spanish language. ¡Hasta pronto, amigos!

tambien

También is the fifty-second most common word in the Spanish language.

The three syllable word is an adverb.

My Collins Spanish – English dictionary gives three short expressions in English as possible translations – “too”, “as well” , and “also”.

The online DICCIONARIO DE LA LENGUA ESPAÑOLA reveals that también is a fusion on the words tan (so) and bien (well). The diccionario (click here for the entry on también http://lema.rae.es/drae/?val=yo) is a tremendous resource for all students, especially with advanced students who really want to get to grips with the language.

Here are two exemples of the use of también.

voy a ir al café también – I am going to go to the café as well

me gusta jugar al fútbol también – I like to play football as well

There it is the fifty-second most frequently used word in the Spanish language – también.

ego

Yo is the fifty-first most common word in the Spanish language.

The monosyllable Yo is a personal pronoun.

My Collins Spanish – English gives a crisp and short section on the meanings and definition of the word.

Yo means “I”. It comes from the latin word “ego”, which, of course, has its related words egotistical and other connected root words in English.

Here are a couple of examples of the use of  yo.

Pablo y  yo no vamos a ir – Pablo and I are not going to go

El  yo – in psychology, this means the ego.

A short, sharp and crisp post to reflect the monosyllabic nature of the fifty-first most frequently use word in the Spanish language yo.