10 tricky Spanish words for beginners
If you’re just starting out with learning Spanish, you may come across some words that seem difficult to understand or remember. Here are 10 tricky words that beginners often struggle with:
- Ser and Estar: Both of these verbs mean “to be,” but they are used in different situations. “Ser” is used for more permanent characteristics, like nationality or profession, while “estar” is used for temporary states or conditions, like location or emotions.
- Gustar: This verb is used to express likes and dislikes. But it’s not used like the English verb “to like.” Instead, it is followed by the thing being liked, and the person who likes it comes after. For example, “Me gusta la pizza” means “I like pizza.”
- Tener: This verb means “to have.” But it’s also used to express age. In Spanish, you say “Tengo 20 años” to mean “I am 20 years old.”
- Por and Para: Both of these words can mean “for,” but they are used in different contexts. “Por” is used for reasons, cause, duration or motion, while “para” is used for destination, purpose or goal.
- Saber and Conocer: Both of these verbs mean “to know,” but they are used in different situations. “Saber” is used for facts, information or skills, while “conocer” is used for people or places.
- Deber: This verb means “should” or “ought to.” For example, “Deberías estudiar más” means “You should study more.”
- Ir a + Infinitive: This is a common structure used to talk about future plans or intentions. For example, “Voy a viajar a España” means “I am going to travel to Spain.”
- Serio and Grave: Both of these words can be translated to “serious,” but they are used in different contexts. “Serio” is used for someone who is serious by nature, while “grave” is used for a situation that is serious or important.
- Poder: This verb means “can” or “to be able to.” For example, “No puedo hablar español muy bien” means “I can’t speak Spanish very well.”
- Hacer: This verb means “to do” or “to make.” But it’s also used in many common expressions, like “hace calor” (it’s hot) or “hace frío” (it’s cold).
Learning these tricky words in Spanish can be challenging for beginners, but don’t let that discourage you. With practice and repetition, you’ll be able to master them in no time.