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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!

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!

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!

para for

Para is the fifteenth most common word in the Spanish language. It is a preposition.

Para is a two-syllable word which can cause difficulties for the English maternal tongue speaker. Coupled with number twelve in the list of the most frequently used words in the Spanish language, por, it is responsible for countless grammatical set-pieces and keeps Spanish teachers in a job!

The essence of the problem is that both por and para can be translated by for.

My dictionary has some eight different ways of translating the word para, but for simplicity’s sake, it is easiest to remember that para means for.

Here are some examples of the use of para

Esta hamburguesa es para mí – this hamburger is for me.

Para qué sirve? – What is it for?

So there we have it – a problematical two-syllable preposition which comes in at number 15 in the most common words in the Spanish language.

 con with

Con is the 13th most frequent word in the Spanish language. Con is a preposition.

Con in its simplest meaning is with in English, but, as ever, with these little Spanish monosyllables, there is a whole range of shades of meaning. My dictionary, for example, comes up with a whole range – 12 to be precise.

To the English speaker’s ear, this word is slightly odd. No – it has nothing to do with con, or con artists, or, come to that, the mafia. No con is a much more friendly and cosy word than that!

Here are some examples of the use of con.

Voy a ir al teatro con mi amigo – I am going to the theatre with my friend.

¡Vamos a la playa con tus amigos ingleses! – Let’s go to the beach with your English friends!

One of my favourite uses of con is in the following example:-

Sueño con mi mujer – I dream about my wife. I simply love the fact that in Spanish you dream with your wife. It struck me forcefully when I was a young romantic Englishman getting to grips with Spanish. That feeling is still with me today!

Well, there it is number 13 in the top one hundred Spanish words. Not unlucky at all!

por

Coming in at number 12 in the top 100 Spanish High Frequency Word list is the Spanish word por.

The word has lots of different meanings in the dictionary. Por is a defined grammatically as a preposition.

Here are the three main meanings:-

because of

for

by

Shades and subtleties of meanings are many – my dictionary lists up to 21 various nuances in meaning. But for the beginner, for and because of and by more than suffice.

This monosyllable, lurking in the undergrowth of grammatical complexity, can be the bane of Spanish learners’ lives. Why? Because there are two words in Spanish for the word for in English, the other being para. And, from this simple fact flows a plethora of difficulties, misconceptions, and keeps Spanish teachers in a job!

But, let’s keep it simple. There is a ton of resources on the net that pick through this grammatical minefield, if you need it. http://spanish.about.com/cs/grammar/a/porpara.htm is as good place to start.

Examples of use:-

lo haces por gusto – you do it for pleasure

hago mis deberes por temor – I do my homework because of fear(!) (does this bring back school memories?)

mando la carta por correo – I send the letter by post (or by mail, for our American cousins)

So, there it is – number 12 in the Spanish most frequently used words list.

It’s simply a “you have to know it” word.

 

High frequency words in Spanish – 6

 

en

The word “en” is the sixth most frequent word in the Spanish language.

This one syllable word has a variety of possible meanings and translations into English (my dictionary has nine variations and shades of meaning). The key meanings are “on” or “in”.

“En” is a preposition.

Here are some examples of the use of “en”.

Mi casa está en Granada (my house is in Granada). For an audio clip, click below.

Mi libro está en la mesa ( my book is on the table). For an audio clip, click below.

For more advanced students in the two examples, note the use of the verb estar in the two examples for location.

En is pronounced as it looks “en”.

The preposition “en”, meaning in or on, amongst other things, is number six in the top one hundred Spanish words.

Click below for an audio clip of this post.