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Expand Your Vocabulary With Suffixes

2014-06-02T01:26:48Z

In Spanish, a tabla is a board (among other things). By changing its ending, you can come up with new words and meanings: A tablado is a platform, a tablero can be a game board (such as for chess), a tableta is a tablet or a candy bar, and a tablón is a plank or a bulletin board. These endings added to tabl- are known as suffixes, and in Spanish they can be used with great versatility to add nuances of meaning or to come up with new words entirely.

Although most suffixes are different enough from those in English that you might not be able to guess their meanings, that's not so with Spanish prefixes, which overlap substantially with those of English.

Expand Your Vocabulary With Suffixes originally appeared on About.com Spanish Language on Monday, June 2nd, 2014 at 01:26:48.

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Impersonal Es Phrases Often Trigger the Subjunctive Mood

2014-05-31T03:14:29Z

The subjunctive mood can be intimidating when you first start to learn it, but don't let that deter you — although the subjunctive mood is often neglected in English, it's an essential feature of Spanish. One way to ease yourself into using the subjunctive is by studying our list of phrases such as "Es posible que" and "Es necesario que" and learning which ones can trigger the use of the subjunctive mood. That list is featured in our grammar lesson on es phrases and the subjunctive.

Impersonal Es Phrases Often Trigger the Subjunctive Mood originally appeared on About.com Spanish Language on Saturday, May 31st, 2014 at 03:14:29.

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All in the Family

2014-05-29T05:40:25Z

As you travel around the Spanish-speaking world, chances are that you'll frequently be asked about your family. Even if you're new to Spanish, you can learn how to refer to your relatives. Today's featured lesson, on Spanish names of family members, lists nearly every named relative there is — from parents to second cousins — and provides some simple sentences that you can use so you can engage in basic conversations about the people closest to you.

All in the Family originally appeared on About.com Spanish Language on Thursday, May 29th, 2014 at 05:40:25.

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Preterite Perfect Tense Tells What Happened Before

2014-05-26T14:26:14Z

As I prepared my newest lesson, one on the preterite perfect tense, I learned a new word: "anterior," and it's the same in Spanish: anterior. It carries the idea of something coming before. And that makes sense: The preterite perfect tense is used to tell of an action that took place just before another action, and an alternative name for the tense is the anterior perfect. The tense isn't used much, but it's good to know for when you come across it.

Preterite Perfect Tense Tells What Happened Before originally appeared on About.com Spanish Language on Monday, May 26th, 2014 at 14:26:14.

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Verbs for 'To Be'

2014-05-24T12:12:40Z

The differences between the two Spanish verbs for "to be," estar and ser, can be difficult to grasp for some people who are new to learning Spanish. Spanish speakers think of the two verbs in entirely different ways, and they are seldom interchangeable. In today's featured lesson, we take a look at ways you can distinguish between ser and estar.

Verbs for 'To Be' originally appeared on About.com Spanish Language on Saturday, May 24th, 2014 at 12:12:40.

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Make These 3 Verbs Do More Than Exist

2014-05-22T09:03:08Z

Verbs don't always show much action. In fact, our newest lesson is on three verbs that indicate existence. Of course, existir is one of them, although the other two are more common: estar and haber.

Make These 3 Verbs Do More Than Exist originally appeared on About.com Spanish Language on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 at 09:03:08.

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Put on a Show With Mostrar

2014-05-20T09:41:19Z

Here's an interesting etymological tidbit I discovered: Despite their vastly different meanings, there's a connection between the words "monster" and "demonstration": Both come from a Latin family of words with meanings that include "to show," "to point out" and "to warn."

What does this have to do with Spanish? Not much, except that those same Latin words also gave us the Spanish words mostrar and demostrar. Although there's nothing monstrous about them, they do convey the idea of showing.

Put on a Show With Mostrar originally appeared on About.com Spanish Language on Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 at 09:41:19.

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Which 'You' Do You Use?

2014-05-18T05:00:03Z

If you've been studying Spanish for a while, knowing which subject pronoun for "you" to use — usted, , vosotros, or ustedes — is something that you don't have to think about anymore. But if you're new, it can be confusing. Our lesson on the four yous of Spanish offers an explanation of the four pronouns and lets you know when you use each one.

Which 'You' Do You Use? originally appeared on About.com Spanish Language on Sunday, May 18th, 2014 at 05:00:03.

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Don't Let Apagar Turn You Off

2014-05-16T09:23:10Z

In English, a fire might be extinguished, a TV might be turned off and enthusiasm might be dampened, but in Spanish you can use the same verb for all three actions, as explained in our lesson on using the verb apagar. Words such as apagar are one reason you should avoid the temptation of translating word for word — context always matters. Three other verbs with a wide range of translations include servir, realizar and caer.

Don't Let Apagar Turn You Off originally appeared on About.com Spanish Language on Friday, May 16th, 2014 at 09:23:10.

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Precise Punctuation: the Semicolon

2014-05-14T05:17:00Z

Although the semicolon isn't used very often, it provides a useful function, emphasizing the connection between statements or words in a way that neither the period nor comma can. Our lesson on the Spanish semicolon is one in a series on Spanish punctuation.

Precise Punctuation: the Semicolon originally appeared on About.com Spanish Language on Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 at 05:17:00.

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