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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.

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.

sobre

Sobre is the forty seventh most common word in the Spanish Language.

This lively two-syllable is both a masculine noun and a preposition. My Collins Spanish -English dictionary gives the following key meanings of the word.

Sobre as a masculine noun means an “envelope”

Sobre as a preposition means “on”.

It is clear though that most of the use of sobre will be with its meaning of “on”.

Here is an example of each of the meanings.

¿Dónde está el sobre? – where is the envelope? Sobre, therefore, is being used as as a masculine noun.

Sobre la mesa – on the table    In this case, sobre is being used as a preposition.

And here is a sentence, putting both of the previous examples of both the noun and the preposition into action. Such fun!

El sobre está sobre la mesa – The envelope is on the table

To conclude – sobre is the 47th most common word in the Spanish language. It doubles up as both a masculine noun and a preposition. Such are the varied lives led by these high frequency Spanish words!

saber

 

SABER is the 45th most common word in the Spanish language.

SABER is what appears to be an innocuous two-syllable verb. OK, I admit that it is irregular in certain parts and that in itself can cause some challenges. SABER causes a lot of discussion and heart-ache in Spanish lessons – this is because the word, or verb, means to know in English. However, there is also another word in Spanish which also means to know, namely CONOCER. Given the fact, therefore, that there are two words in Spanish and only one in English, gives rise to a certain amount of confusion and difficulty for the English speaker.

In such circumstances, I think the best approach is to keep it simple. SABER means to know a fact. CONOCER needs to know, in the sense of to be acquainted with.

As mentioned above, SABER is an irregular verb and I list below the key irregular parts of verb in the first person singular (the “I” form).

means I know …… this is the first person singular of the present tense.

Supe means I knew ….. this is the first person singular of the preterite tense.

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

The first one is in the first person singular of the present tense, and the second one is in the first person singular of the preterite tense.

que Londres es la capital de Inglaterra – I know that London is the capital of England.

Supe que Madrid es una ciudad muy encantadora. – I knew that Madrid is an enchanting city.

So there it is in all its complicated glory, SABER, a dual syllable irregular verb in Spanish. It causes problems, and it is well worth looking up in the dictionary – my trusty Collins Spanish English dictionary has always held me in good stead, why not give it a go? In fact, this may well be another of those opportunities to read the dictionary, which I have referred to other posts before.

Et voilà! – the 45th most common word in the Spanish language – SABER to know.

mucho

 

Mucho is the 44th most common word in the Spanish language.

For English speakers mucho does not cause many problems. In fact, mucho does what lots of English speakers want to happen all of the time if you cannot think of the Spanish word – take an English word and “lob” an “o” on the end.

Mucho is an adjective and an adverb. My Collins Spanish – English dictionary runs to some 7 or so definitions. But given its similarity to the English word “much”, its translation does not really cause much (!) difficulty.

The translation comes down to “a lot” or, of course, much.

Here is a simple example of the use of mucho.

Tengo mucho trabajo – I have a lot of work.

Much to do about nothing then! – Mucho the forty fourth most frequently used word in the Spanish language.

muy

Muy is the 41st most common word in the Spanish language.

This little word really does pack a punch underneath its unassuming one syllable outside.

The word is most easily translated into English as “very”.

My trusty Collins Spanish English dictionary has a further three possible translations for the word but the easiest one to remember is simply “very”.

Muy is an adjective.

Here are a couple of examples of the way that the word is used in context.

Es muy inteligente – he / she is intelligent

Rafael Nadal es un tenista muy bueno

So there it is – muy is the 41st most common word in the Spanish language. It is well worth learning for all Spanish learners.

stevenfrenchlanguages.com

SIN is the 42nd most common word in the Spanish language.

It is one of those words which are learned by lots and lots of Anglo-Saxon children learning how to say still water – the expression is “agua sin gas”.

The translation for SIN is “without”.

SIN is a preposition and my trusty Collins Spanish English dictionary gives three translations for SIN, but the one to retain for the Spanish student in the initial stages is “without”.

SIN has got nothing to do with the English word sin. It is interesting to record, however, that in the past a Cardinal of Manila in the Philippines was, in fact, called Cardinal Sin. ¿Interesante – no?

Here are some examples of the use of the word SIN

Agua sin gas – still water i.e. water without bubbles

¡Sin estudiar, aprendes nada! – without studying, you learn nothing!

Number 42 in the list then – it would be a sin not to know this Spanish monosyllable! Sorry – I could not resist it!

porque

Porque is the thirty-seventh most common word in the Spanish language.

Porque without an accent means, quite simply, “because” in English.So this is one word in all – not two. This can cause confusion for foreigners writing in Spanish – porque, without an accent and only one word is not to confused with por qué (two separate words and with an accent on the qué) which means “why”. If it helps at all, I remember the por qué as a little translation “for what” i.e. why.

Porque, then, meaning “because” is a conjunction according to my trusty Collins English-Spanish dictionary.

For the sake of completeness, I will add that el porqué (one word, accent on the e) means the reason, that is to say that el porqué is a noun. Looking in the dictionary, I particularly like “no me interesan los porqués” – I am not interested in the whys and wherefores.

Here is an example of the use of porque –

No puedo estudiar porque tengo mucho tabajo en la oficina durante el día – I cannot work because I have too much work during the day.

The thirty-seventh most common word in the Spanish language is therefore a tale of accents and one words or two.

Remember – porque, no accent, one word,means because.