Lesson 11 of 15: Survival Phrases- Spanish in 30 Minutes a Day

survival spanish

Thanks for sticking with me so far in this 15 day series…

We’ve covered many of the essential aspects of Spanish grammar, for beginners…

From here on out I recommend you read everything you can get your hands on to improve your vocabularly.

And watch movies first in Spanish with Spanish subtitles, then without, to improve your listening abilities.

And once in Ecuador, talk.

Talk talk talk.

You will make mistakes.

But it doesn’t matter as long as you get understood, you’ll get better as the weeks and months pass.

But the first step is the grammar, of which we covered pretty thoroughly these 10 days together.

Now, today on our last day together, let’s take a look at some need to know phrases... phrases you got to know right from your very first day in the country…

Take a moment, and memorize these guys, print out this email and bring it with you if need be…

a. Greetings and Common Small Talk

Hello = Hola
How are you? = Cómo estás?  (informal, “tu” form) / Cómo está usted? (formal, “usted form)

Important Note: In Spanish, they have two ways of saying “you”: an informal way “tu”, and a formal one, “usted”, but you can communicate yourself fine just using one all the time for now, so let’s focus on how to say everything using “tu” for “you”.

Good, and you? = Bien, y tu?
What is your name? = Cómo te llamas?

My name is ______ = Me llamo ______
It’s a pleasure to meet you = Mucho gusto.

Where are you from? = De dónde eres?
I am from _____. = Soy de _____.

How old are you? = Cuántos años tienes?
I am _20___ years old. = Tengo _veinte_ años.

Goodbye = Chao
Excuse me = Disculpe

Thank you = Gracias
You’re welcome = De nada

Yes = Sí
No = No
OK = Está bien

b. Translations

Do you speak English? = Hablas ingles?
Yes, I speak English = Sí, hablo ingles.

How do you say ______ in Spanish? = Cómo se dice _____ en español?
I don’t understand. = No entiendo.

Can you repeat please? = Repitalo por favor.
What does _____ mean? = Qué significa____ ?

c. Taxis

How much to _________ ? = Cuánto es para……?
Take me to _______ please. = Lleveme a _______ por favor.

That’s expensive. But I only have ________. = Está caro. Pero solo tengo ______.
I get off here. = Me quedo aquí.

d. Asking for directions

Where is ______? = Dónde está _____?
I’m looking for … = Busco …

Turn left. = doble a la izquierda.
Turn right. = doble a la derecha.

Go straight = siga derecho
street = calle
block = cuadra

esquina = street corner
here = aquí
there = allí
Is it far? = Es lejos?
Before/After= Antes de/ después de

e. Buses/Trains (autobus/trenes)

Where does this bus go? = Para dónde va el autobus?
When does it leave? = Cuando se va?
One ticket, please. = Un boleto, por favor.

f. Lodging (Alojamiento)

Are there any rooms available? = Hay habitaciones disponibles?
Id like a … for _____ nights.(Quisiera un _____ por ____ noches.)

Single  = Simple
Double = Doble

How much is your cheapest room? =  Cuánto es la habitación más barata?
How much per night? = Cuanto es por noche?

Can I see the room? = Puedo ver la habitación?
I am leaving now. = Me voy ahora.

Hotel: El hotel
Hostal: El hostal

g. to Eat (comer)

One table please. = Una mesa por favor
The menu please. = El menu por favor.
What is that? = Qué es eso?

Do you have…? (Tienes…..?)
-chicken (pollo)
-fish (pescado)
-beef (carne)
-pasta (pasta)
-rice (arroz)
-bread (pan)
-purified water (agua purificada)
-salt (sal)

Check, please. = La cuenta, por favor.
Where is the toilet? = Dónde está el baño?

h. Shopping and Bargaining (Ir de compras)

How much? = Cuánto cuesta?
I´m just looking. = Solo mirando.

Can you give me a discount? = Me puedes dar un descuento?
How is $5? = Qué tal $5?

Give me… = Dame…
expensive/cheap = caro/barato

Do you accept credit cards? = Aceptas tarjetas de credito?
Only cash. = Solo efectivo.

I. Money (Dinero)

Where can I change money?= Dónde puedo cambiar dinero?
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? = Dónde hay un cajero automático?
What is the Exchange rate? = Cuál es la tasa de cambio?

J. Health (La salud)

I am sick. = Estoy enfermo.
Please take me to the hospital. = Por favor, llevame al hospital.
I am feeling better. = Me siento mejor.

K. Relationships (Las relaciones)

Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? = Tienes novio/novia?
Are you married? = Estás casado/a?

I am single = Estoy soltero/a.
Do you have a phone? What’s your phone number? = Tienes celular? Me podrias dar tu número?

My number is…. = Mi numero es ….
Want to have a cup of coffee sometime? = Quieres tomar un cafe algún día?

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Lesson 10 of 15: Describing with adjectives, prepositions- Spanish in 30 Minutes a Day

spanish adjectives prepostions

Today we’ll learn a little bit of everything as we kind of tie it all together… like how to use the word “it” in Spanish and how to describe things with the most common adjectives and prepositions.

Read on!

Pronouns and Objects

Pronouns often go in front of the verb in Spanish whereas in English they often come after. Also, in English, the word “it” can be used to represent anything,whereas in Spanish the word for “it” has to agree in both gender (el (mas), la (fem)) and number (los, las) with the noun it represents.

For example:

Tengo la toalla. = Yo la tengo.  (use “la” because the noun is fem.)
I have the towel. = I have it.
Tienes el cepillo. = Tú lo tienes. (use “lo” because the noun is mas.)
You have the brush. = You have it.
Quiero los boletos. = Los quiero.
I want the tickets. = I want them. (use “los” because the noun is plural)
Quieren los pasajes. = Los quieren.
They want the bus tickets. = They want them.

Exercise: Now you try a few

Example: Quiero el cepillo.= Lo quiero. (el cepillo=brush)
1. Quieren la maleta. = ____ quieren.
2. Tengo los zapatos. = _____ tengo.
3. Sabes quien tiene el teléfono? = Mark ____ tiene.
4. Tienes las computadoras? = Sí, _____ tengo.
5. Viste la ropa? = _____ vi.
6. Cambia la gorra. = ______ voy a cambiar.
7. Toco el espejo. = ______ toco.
8. Veo el televisor. = _____ veo.

Indirect Objects (people):

Use when you want to express “who” the action is done to.Depending on “who” use:
Me- I
Te- you
Le- he/she
Les- them
Nos- we


-Conoces a Juan? = Sí, le conozco.
Do you know Juan? = Yes, I know him.

-Te lo doy. = I give it to you.
-Nos dice el señor. = The man tells us.

Exercise : Replace the subjects with “le, les, te, me, nos”

Example: Juan dice a Mark que no. = Juan le dice que no.

1. Conoces a Julio y Maria? = _____ Conoces?
2. Qué vas a decir a Juan? = Qué ____ vas a decir?
3. Cuando vas a dar a nosotros? = Cuando ___ vas a dar?
4. Vas a pasar la pelota a Juan? = ___ a pasar la pelota?
5. Yo hablo con Pablo. = ____ habla.
6. Juan dice a ellos a correr. = ____ dice a correr.
7. Juan conoce a Maria? = ______ conoce?

One last important note:

When both the direct and indirect pronouns are next to each other and start with “L”, the first one changes to “se” no matter what.

For example:
Juan da la pelota a Pablo. = Le la da. — Se la da.

Describing things with Adjectives

Adjectives are used the same way as in English to describe something, but in Spanish they go after the word they describe, whereas in English they come before.

Also, in Spanish, they change according to the gender of the noun they describe.

For Example: “el cuarto (the room)” is masculine so the adjective ends in “-o”
-el cuarto limpio = the clean room

And… “La ropa” is feminine so the adjective would end in “-a”
-la ropa sucia = the dirty clothes

Here are the most common descriptive adjectives:

Grande- big
Pequeño- small
El hombre grande (the big man)

Mucho- a lot
Poco- a little
Quiero nadar mucho. (I want to swim a lot.)

Caro- expensive
Barato- cheap
El hotel caro (the expensive hotel)

Bello- beautiful
Feo- ugly
La mujer bella (the beautiful woman)

Limpio- clean
Sucio- dirty
El cuarto limpio (the clean room)

Alto- tall
Bajo- short
El pelotero alto (the tall ballplayer)

Lento= slow
Rápido= fast
el carro lento (the slow car)

Bueno= good
Malo= bad
La película estuvo buena. (The movie was good.)


Prepositions are used primarily to describe the location of something in relation to something else.

Learn a few of the most common ones and your communication ability just went through the roof.

The most commonly used prepositions in Spanish:

On- sobre
In- dentro de/ en

Above/over – encima de
Under- debajo de
In front of – delante de
behind- detrás de
beside – al lado de
between- entre
inside- dentro de

Exercise: Based on the location of the ball in the picture, insert the corresponding preposition.  Click on Display images in your email reader.

Example: La pelota está al lado del velero. = The ball is beside the sailboat. P (When next to each other “de” and “el” run together to form “del”.)

1. La pelota está ______ el velero. (The ball is ____ the sailboat.)

2. La pelota está ______ el velero.

3. La pelota está ______ el velero.

4. La pelota está ______ el velero.

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Lesson 9 of 15: Spanish simplified/ An overview- Spanish in 30 Minutes a Day

spnaish deconstruction

It’d be nice if someone could take a few minutes to explain to us how the Spanish language “works”.

Well, today that’s what I’m gonna do.

Today we’re going to do a deconstruction of the Spanish language to give you kind of a bird’s eye view of how the language works.

Once you know the basic puzzle, all you need are words (that you can learn as you go) to fill in the blanks.

This vid i made is to give you that much needed framework when starting out in Spanish… QUICK!

Follow the link below to watch now… the total lesson length is 12 minutes.

Click here to watch the video lesson now.

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Lesson 8 of 15: Expressing likes, dislikes and emotions- Spanish in 30 Minutes a Day

expressing likes in spanish

Mostly when we speak we are expressing how we feel, what we like, dislike and our emotions.

Today, let’s take a moment to learn how to do that in Spanish.

Here we go…

Expressing likes and dislikes

To express likes and dislikes in Spanish, simply use the verb “gustar.”

Literally, “gustar” means “to like,” but it is helpful to think that they use it similar to how we use “to please.”

For example, “me gusta” means “it pleases me” in English, but notice how the word order is reversed.

Me gusta = I like (It pleases me)
Te gusta = You like (It pleases you)
Le gusta = He/She likes
Nos gusta = We like
Les gusta = They like

When you are talking about liking multiple things at once (plural) use “gustan.”

Me gustan = I like them/those.
So if someone asks… “Te gusta la comida?” (Do you like the food?)

You can say for affirmative … “Sí, me gusta la comida.” Or simply “Sí, me gusta.”

For a negative response, say … “No, no me gusta.”

Top 11 phrases used to express emotions (memorize)

Estoy feliz. – I am happy.
Estoy enojado. – I am mad.
Estoy cansado. – I am tired.

Estoy emocionado. – I am excited.
Estoy triste. – I am sad.
Estoy aburrido. – I am bored.

Tengo sed. – I am thirsty.
Tengo hambre. –I am hungry.
Tengo calor. – I am hot.
Tengo frio. – I am cold.
Tengo prisa. – I am in a hurry.

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