Spanish Fundamentals #2: Cognates, articles, and four new sentences
How much Spanish can you learn from ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’?
Welcome to Lesson Two of WordBrewery’s Spanish Fundamentals series. We have scoured thousands of recent Spanish-language news articles and chosen 500 sentences from them to teach you the essentials of Spanish grammar and vocabulary.
This post assumes knowledge of previous lessons in the Spanish Fundamentals series; each post defines only words that are appearing for the first time in the series. What concepts would you like us to cover in future posts? Let us know by sending a Tweet to @WordBrewery.
4. Eso es la vida.
Many Spanish words have entered the English language—or at least become familiar to English speakers—through pop culture. Remember Ricky Martin’s hit song “Livin’ La Vida Loca?” You don’t need to like the song to appreciate the usefulness of its title for Spanish learners. We can gather from the English word “Livin(g)” in the title that “vida” probably means “life.”
|la vida||the life|
|las vidas||the lives|
“La” means “the,” so “la vida” means “the life” (or just “life”). In grammar-speak, the word “the” is a “definite article.” Spanish has four words for “the”—”la” and “las” for “feminine” words, and “el” and “los” for “masculine” words. You probably know these words from Spanish phrases that commonly appear in English:
el niño | the boy [note: the tidle ˜ tells us to pronounce the second “n” as a soft “nyuh”, not a hard “nuh”]
|los niños||the boys|
|el taxi||the taxi|
|los taxis||the taxis|
|el rio||the river|
|los rios||the rivers|
|los ángeles||the angels|
[note: just as with the name of the city, the accent ´ tells us to place the stress or emphasis on the first syllable. Unlike the name of the city, “gel” is pronounced “hel”, not “jel”.]
|el ángel||the angel|
[note: pronounced “ahn-hel”, not “ehn-jel”]
|la niña||the girl|
|las niñas||the girls|
|las vegas||the meadows|
|la vega||the meadow|
You know more Spanish than you thought! Use the tools you have learned to solve the last two puzzles on your own:
5. Un minuto es la vida.
6. Y eso es bueno.
7. Bueno, no es así.
Learn more about the grammar and vocabulary that appears in this post’s sentences
Real Fast Spanish, 1001 Spanish Words You Already Know – A Guide To English-Spanish Cognates
StudySpanish, Gender of Nouns
StudySpanish, Plural Forms of Nouns
SpanishDict, Definite Article Uses
This post is part of WordBrewery’s Spanish Fundamentals series, which is described here. All the example sentences on this blog are real, recent sentences from the news selected from WordBrewery’s database, and each sentence is paired with audio recorded by native speakers. Click here to receive new WordBrewery Blog posts by email or RSS, and click here to join our email community. Your support helps us grow and build more useful features and content for language learners around the world.
WordBrewery Spanish Fundamentals post index:
This post is part of WordBrewery’s Spanish Fundamentals series, which is described here. All the Spanish example sentences on this blog are real, recent sentences from the news selected from WordBrewery’s database, and each sentence is paired with audio recorded by native speakers.