Tag Archives: idiomatic phrase



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.




DAR is the thirty-eighth most common word in the Spanish language.

A short, snappy, monosyllabic, top drawer irregular verb.

Why top drawer? – because DAR and all of its irregular parts are one of the keys to learning Spanish and the fact that it crops up so often, being the thirty-eighth most frequently word in the Spanish language, makes learning the verb a “no brainer” (as my students might say).

DAR means to give in English and is linked into the English word donate.

My trusty Collins English-Spanish dictionary has some 25 different meanings and shades of meaning. It previous posts I have talked about the usefulness of learning how to read the dictionary and DAR is a case in point – if you drift through the various and take ,say, one and use it and remember it, slowly but surely the quality and breadth of your language will improve.

Before giving some examples of the use of DAR, I give the key first person irregularities of the verb.

DOY – I give

DI – I gave

These do not follow any real pattern as they are irregular and, as such, simply have to be learned and committed to memory. As a tip, learn them in context or in a phrase that you know you will be wanting to use quite frequently.

Here are two examples of the use of DAR

Voy a dar un bocadillo a Juan – I am going to give a sandwich to Juan

Voy a dar un paseo – I am going for a walk (literally I am going to give a walk..a nice example of an idiomatic phrase.

There it is – DAR, to give in English. An irregular must-know high frequency very common Spanish verb.