Words & phrases that I » thought important, interesting, or hard-to-remember during my Spanish courses.
The abbreviation ‘< L’ means ‘from Latin’, etc.

acertar (vt) – to hit, get/guess right, find (e.g., house); acierto (nm) – right answer, good choice; yo acertaba a estar allí – I happened to be there

acordar(se) (v) – to agree, (to remember); < L ad-cor – to heart

acostar(se) (v) – put to bed (go to bed); < L ad-costa – to put on side/rib

además – also, as well, furthermore; además de – as well as; además de gordo es feo – as well as being fat, he’s ugly

alegría (nf) – happiness; La alegría es contagisosa – happiness is infectious

algo (pron, adv) – something, any(thing), e.g., ¿algo más? – anything else?

alguno (adj) – some, any (algún before sing. nm); algún día – one day; (pron) someone, somebody; alguna vez – sometime, ever

alguien (pron) – somebody, someone; preguntemos a alguien – let’s ask someone

almuerzo (nm) – lunch (also elevenses, even breakfast); < L admodēre (to bite lightly) ... L mordēre – bite = Sp. morder

ama de casa (nf) – housewife

andar (irr v) – to walk (past: anduve, anduviste)

aparcamiento (nm) – parking, parking place

apartado [de correos] – post office box; abbrev: (APDO)

arder (v) – to burn; el edificio está ardiendo – the building is in flames

arroba (nf) – @-sign (< Ar, a quarter of a hundredweight)

aunque (conj) – although, (with emphasis: even if/even though)

así – so, in this way <L a-sic as thus

a ver (interj) – let’s see ...

ayuda (nf) – aid, help; ir en ayuda de alguien – to come to somebody’s assistance; ¿puedo ayudarle? – Can I help you? (le = Usted.)

barra (nf) – bar, rod, bar (counter), slash (‘/’); barra inversa – backslash; barra espaciadora – space bar; barra de pan – loaf, baguette;

bastante (adj) – enough, sufficient, quite a lot of; está bastante lejos (v adv adv) it’s quite a long way

bolsa (nf) – bag (in general); bolso (nm) – handbag

Británico (adj) – British; Gran Bretaña (nf) – GB

brújula (nf) – compass [in reference to the wooden box in which compasses were kept]

caber (v) – to fit, be possible; no cabe más en la maleta – there isn’t room for anything else in the suitcase; no cabe duda – there is no doubt

caluroso (adj) – warm, hot, enthusiastic; nos dieron una bienvenida calurosa – we were given a warm welcome

cansar (v) – to tire; descansar (v) – to rest (de-tire); descanso (nm) – a break

cantidad (nf) – quantity, amount; había una gran cantidad de libros – there were a large number of books

casar (v) – to marry; casado/a (adj) – married

catar (v), cata (nf) – to taste, tasting; cata de vinos – wine tasting <L captare to capture

chuleta (nf) – chop, cutlet; [Cat. xulleta, dim. of xulla: chop, cutlet < OCat. ensunya: grease, fat, esp. of pork < L. axungia: pork fat – axis (axle) & unguere (to grease).]

climatizado (adj) – climate-controlled, heated, air-conditioned; piscina climatizada – heated swimming pool

comer (v) – to eat; ¿quieres comer algo? – would you like to eat something?

compra (nf) – a purchase, shop; ir a la compra, ir de compras – to go shopping

conmigo/contigo (pron) – with me/with you [con- + OSp. migo < L. mēcum: with me (L. cum + mē + cum: with me with)]

contraseña (nf) – password, secret sign; also clave, clave de accesso, etc.

crecer (v) – to grow, get bigger; has crecido mucho – you’ve grown a lot; < L. cf. E crescent, increase

cual (pron) – who, whom, which; la ciudad en la cual nací – the city where I was born

cuál (pron, interr) – which, which one, what; ¿cuál es el más alto? – which one is the tallest?

cuidar (vt) – look after, take care, care for; cuidarse – take care of oneself; ¡cuídate mucho! – take good care of yourself!

cumpleaños (nm) – birthday (always has plural masculine form; invariable); from cumplir + años – fulfil/complete years

deber (v) – to owe, or + inf must; debo ir a comprar – I must go shopping; deber (nm) – duty; deberes (nmpl) – homework

decir (v) – to say, tel, mean etc.; dígame – hello / can I help (‘tell me’, díga is usted imperative/subjunctive?)

dedicar (v) – dedicate, devote; ¿a qué te dedicas? — what do you do for a living?

demasiado (adj, adv) – too much, too; tienes demasiados discos – you’ve got too many records

dentro (adv/prep) – inside, indoors, in; dentro de la casa – in the house; dentro de dos semanas – in two weeks; está podrido por dentro – it’s rotten [on the] inside

desayuno (nm) – breakfast (from des-ayunar; ayunar – to fast <L iēiūnus)

descanso (nf) – rest, break; descansar (v) – to rest, have a rest

después (adv) – afterwards, later, then (from L de- post); después de – after, since; después de la cena – after supper

detrás (adv) – behind, after, at the back; detrás mío (tuyo, suyo, etc) – after me (you, him, etc); el jardín está detrás – the garden is at the back

dibujo (nm) – drawing, sketch; dibujos animados – cartoons < Fr deboissier, sketch in wood, perhaps

disponible (adj) – available, free, at hand

donde (adv) – where, in which; de donde – from where; dónde (pron) – where; ¿dónde está el bar? – where is the bar?

ello (pron) – it; no me digas nada de ello – don’t tell me anything about it; por ello – that’s why

embargar (v) – to seize; embargo (nm) – seizure of property, embargo; sin embargo – however, nevertheless

encima (adv) – above, on top, on; el libro encima de la mesa – the/that book on the table

entrevista (nf) – interview

escuchar (v-ar) – to listen to (also oir)

esquina (nf) – corner; esquinar (v) – to make a corner with, to put in a corner

fácil (adj) – easy

falta (nf) – lack, shortage, error, fault, defect; hacer falta – to need/be necessary; a/por falta de – for want of

fuera (adv) – out, outside; fuera de peligro – out of danger

also afuera (adv) – outside; vengo de afuera – I’ve just been outside

guión (nm) – hyphen (also sketch, outline, script); guión bajo – underscore

gustar (v) – to like; me gusta comer (+inf or singular) – I like to eat; me gustan los idiomas (+plural) – I like languages

habitación/iones (nf) – room; habitación doble – double room; doscientas habitaciones individuales – 200 single rooms

hacer (v) – to make, do, play, be; hace buen día – it’s a fine day

hasta (preposition) – until

~ ahora (adv) – so far (until now)

~ luego (adv) – see you later

~ la vista (nf) – see you (sight)

~ mañana (nf) – see you tomorrow (or hasta el lunes, etc.)

helar (v) – to freeze (me estoy helando – I’m freezing); hielo – ice

ida (nf) – going, departure; billete para Madrid de ida – one way ticket to Madrid; ... de ida y vuelta – return ticket

imán (nm) – magnet. [from VL. adimante: a piece of magnetic iron (from its hardness) from L. adamantem]

ingeniero electrónico (nm/f adj) – electronic engineer

jardín (nm) – garden

{estoy} jubilado/a (adj) – retired (verb jubilar – to retire) ... but soy ingeniero

junto (adj) – together; junto a – next to; A las nueve cenamos juntos – at 9 we eat together; < L iungere, to join

lápiz – pencil (from L lapis, stone)

lata – tin can, can (of tuna, beer, etc.), tin strip, lath (original meaning lath, strip of wood → strip of tin)

listo (adj) – skillful, clever, ready (preperado), clever; ¿estás listo? – are you ready?

llegar (v) – to arrive, reach, suffice; llegar a – arrive at, etc.; llegó a casa cansado – he was tired when he got home

llenar(se) (v) – to fill (to fill up, e.g., a stadium); lleno (adj) – full; mi maleta ya está llena – my suitcase is already full

llevar (v) – to take, lead, have, wear, carry over (maths), etc.; te llevo en coche – I’ll take you in the car; no llevaba nada – she had nothing on

loncha (nf) – slice, rasher, also slab/flagstone; from Fr longe; queso en lonchas – sliced cheese

lugar (nm) – place, position, space; la iglesia no es lugar para bailar – the church is no place to dance; hacer lugar – to make room

mantequilla (nf) – butter; diminutive of manteca – lard, grease

marcha (nf) – march, walk, progress; sobre la marcha — as it goes

más (adv) – more   (mas (conj) – but)

medir – to measure; medirse – to measure oneself; ¿cuánto mides? – how tall are you?

mismo (adv, adj, pron) – same; ahora mismo viene, el mismo color, es el mismo – it’s the same one

mentir (v) – to lie; mentira (nf) – a lie, false; parece mentira – it’s unbelievable

menudo (adj) – small, tiny, minute; (n) small change; a menudo – often (at small intervals)

muerto (adj) – dead, tired, faded; estoy muerto – I’m knackered

murciélago (nm) – bat (flying)

navar (v) – to snow; nevera – refrigerator, icebox (from L)

oiga (interject) – excuse me, waiter!; from oír to hear (imperative [present subjunctive] Usted form: literally listen!)

ordenador (nm) – computer; ordenador personal – personal computer

otro (adj) – another, other; otra vez – again (another time); < L alter[um], cf. Eng. ‘alternative’

pagar (v) – to pay

par (nm) – couple, pair; a pares – in pairs, two by two; un par de veces – a couple of times; pareja (nf) – partner, pair

pasar (v) – to pass, pass by, pass (come) in, occur, etc.; pasar la página – to turn the page; ¿Lo pasaste bien? – Did you have a good time?

pájaro (nm) – bird (from L passer – sparrow; cf. passerine)

pedir – to ask for, to order, to beg; pedir la cuenta – to ask for the bill

pelirrojo/a (adj) – red-haired; (nm/nf) redhead

pero (conj) – but (from L per hoc); (nm) objection, fault; poner peros to find fault (a, with)

poco (adv) – a little; {estoy} un poco mal / regular – I’m not feeling too good

pregunta (nf) – question

propio (adj) – own, typical/proper, him/herself; lo pagué de mi propio bolsillo – I paid for it out of my own pocket; es muy propio de él – it’s very typical of him

propina (nf) – tip, gift; propinar (vt) – to give, to drink to one’s health (lit. to drink first, Gk. pro-pīnein )

próximo – next, near(est); el mes próximo – next month; en los próximos días – in the next few days

pues – (conj) since, as, therefore, so, then, well, because: pues .. hablo un poco de inglés

PVP (abbrev) – (precio de venta al público) recommended retail price

quedar (vit) – to stay, remain, to end, to arrange to meet, to be (as result, or situation); quedarse – to stay

querer (vt) – to love, to want, to need; quisiera – I would like ... (Imperf Subj); ¿Qué quieres tomar? – What would you like?

quinceañero/a – teenager; el cine estaba lleno de quinceañeros – the cinema was full of teenagers

quizás (adv) – pehaps, maybe; quizás venga hoy – maybe she’ll come today; < OSp qui sabe – who knows

rato (nm) – a while, a lot; al rato - a little while; un ratito más – just a moment

regular (adj) – so-so, average

remar (vi) – to row; remo – oar <L rēmus, cf. trireme

repasar (v-ar) – go over, rehearse, revise

retar – to challenge; reto – a challenge

retrasar (v-ar) – to delay, postpone, be late; retraso (nm) – delay

rincón (nm) – corner [from Ar.]

ritmo (nm) – rhythm, pace, tempo; trabajar a buen ritmo – to work at a good pace

rotonda (nf) – roundabout (traffic)

sabor (nm) – taste, flavour; sin sabor – tasteless; sabroso (adj) – tasty, pleasant, delightful

sacar (vt) – take out, withdraw, take (a foto)

sacudir (vt) – to shake; sacudirse (vpro) – to shake off; sacudiendolo – shake it (all about)

segundo/a – (nm) a second (time); (nm/f) second in order, runner-up; (adj) second [second in time because L ‘second small part of an hour’, minute being the first small part]

la semana pasada – (nf adjf) last week (the week last, posadopasada)

senderismo (nm) – trekking, hiking; hacer senderismo – to hike; sendero (nm) – path (also senda (nf))

siempre (adv) – always; como siempre – as usual; para siempre – forever, for good

siga – (as in siga todo recto or siga derecho – go straight on) is imperative formal of seguir – to follow

sin duda – doubtless, no doubt

sobre (prep) – on, over, about; sobre de la mesa – on the table; vendré sobre las dos – I’ll come about two; (sobrar – to have too much)

su (adj) – his, her, its, their, your, one’s; me dieron sus libros – they gave me their books

talla (nf) – size, height, stature, also carving, sculpture; de talla – outstanding; tallar – to carve, shape, measure, appraise (size up?)

tardar – take (time); tardé cuatro horas – it took me four hours

techo (nm) – ceiling, roof; techar (v) – to roof; tejado (nm) – roof (esp. tile)

tejido (nm) – textile, tissue; tejer – to weave

tomar (v-ar) – to take, to have; ¿Qué va a tomar? – what are you going to have? (note a is elided); tome nota (v nf) – take note

trozo (nm) – piece, chunk, excerpt, log (from Catalan/OFr related to tranche, trench)

¡vaya! (interj) – well!, What a ...; ¡Vaya, vaya – Well, well!; ¡Vaya vacaciones! — What a vacation!

¿verdad? (nf) – aren’t you? isn’t it? Really?, etc. (lit. ‘truth?’)

vez, veces (nf, nfp) – time, times; una vez – once; dos veces – twice; muchas veces – often; a veces – sometimes

y – (conj) and – also e, used before works beginning i... or hi...: compramos manzanas e higos – we bought apples and figs

ya (adv) – now, already, right now; ¿que ya se han casado? – what! they’ve got married already?; ¡ya voy! – I’m coming! (Lit: right now I come!)

Vocabulary was last edited on 2020-11-24  
Topic: Spanish