English Spanish Vocabulary – Human physiology Fisiología humana

Posted on 27. Apr, 2016 by in Basic, Learning, Pronunciation, Spanish Grammar, Spanish Vocabulary

Today we are going to practice useful Spanish vocabulary related to Human physiology.

Hoy vamos a practicar vocabulario español útil relacionado con Fisiología humana.


Use the player below to listen to and repeat the pronunciation of the words in Spanish:

Human physiology Fisiología humana

Abdomen: abdomen
Anatomy: anatomía
Appendix: apéndice
Artery: arteria
Biceps: bíceps
Bladder: vejiga
Blood: sangre
Bone: hueso
Brain: cerebro
Calf: pantorrilla
Capillary: vaso capilar
Cell: célula
Cranium: cráneo
Cuticle: cutícula
Ear (inner): oído
Eardrum: tímpano
Esophagus: esófago
Eye: ojo
Eyebrow: ceja
Eyelash: pestaña
Eyelid: párpado
Face: cara
Fingernail: uña
Gall bladder: vesícula biliar
Gland: glándula
Groin: ingle
Gum: encía
Heart: corazón
Intestine: intestino
Jaw: mandíbula
Kidney: riñón
Ligament: ligamento
Liver: hígado
Lung: pulmón
Mandible: mandíbula
Muscle: músculo
Nerve: nervio
Organ: órgano
Palate: paladar
Palm: palma de la mano
Pancreas: páncreas
Prostate: prostata
Rib: costilla
Scalp: cuero cabelludo
Sinus: seno
Skeleton: esqueleto
Sole: planta del pie
Spine: columna vertebral
Spleen: bazo
Sternum: esternón
Stomach: estómago
Temple: sien
Tendon: tendón
Thorax: tórax
Throat: garganta
Thyroid: tiroides
Tonsil: amígdala
Trachea: tráquea
Umbilical cord: cordón umbilical
Vein: vena

The Spanish Voseo: When, Where, and How to Use It

Posted on 25. Apr, 2016 by in Spanish Grammar

If you studied Spanish in a high school classroom, you probably learned on day one about the two different forms of addressing someone in the second person: and usted. Not so hard–one for familiar folks like friends and family, the other for the people you’d give a “Mr.” or “Mrs.” to in English, and ya, done.

Except that’s only two-thirds of the story.

If you ever take off backpacking through Latin America, go far enough and someone will inevitably ask you: “de dónde sos?” This is the voseo: in this case sos is the form of the verb ser conjugated for the second-person pronoun vos, which you may have never encountered in a formal study setting. Vos is a different pronoun that’s used by tens of millions of Spanish speakers from Guatemala to Argentina and many places in between. In many Spanish dialects, it just takes the place of , but in others it peacefully and confusingly coexists alongside the more familiar pronoun.

You don’t need to learn to use the voseo to speak great Spanish, but if you want to really understand the language as it’s spoken by millions in the Western Hemisphere, you’re just a couple conjugations away from mastering the voseo form.

Where It’s Used: Geographic Distribution of Voseo

You’ll hardly ever greet a local in the Southern Cone of South America without prompting a “bien, y vos?” in response.

spanish voseo mapa paises

Countries where voseo is common. It’s used to exclusion in the dark blue regions, and in the lighter blue areas coexists with tuteo.
Image by Marcel Montes via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA 2.5,

In Argentina, just as in neighboring Paraguay and Uruguay, voseo is universal: that familiar you spent years studying in the classroom hardly appears south of the Tropic of Capricorn.

While these are the only parts of the Spanish-speaking world where vos is the written and spoken standard, the tricky pronoun can be found in the speech of many other parts of Central and South America.

Not quite as dogmatic about their pronouns, Costa Ricans and Nicaraguans are partial to voseo, but crops up in certain contexts, sometimes marking a difference in familiarity and sometimes not. Bolivia, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and much of Colombia all use vos regularly alongside , and in parts of Cuba, Mexico, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela, it shows up in the language.

So if the Spanish speaking world can’t get on one page as to whether or not they even use voseo, how can a language learner be expected to know how or when to use it? We’ll start with the hard part.

When It’s Used: Picking the Right Pronoun

Why does Spanish even have multiple ways of saying “you” in the first place?

The complicated answer has to do with Latin and etymology, but the simple one is that they’re used to differentiate between levels of familiarity, or the amount of social distance between you and your conversation partner.

In English we’re also aware of whether we’re addressing someone as a familiar or as socially distant: most twenty-something English speakers don’t just walk right up to a little old lady or a police officer and greet them by their first names.

In Spanish class, you learned that usted is used for the unfamiliar cops and little old ladies, and is reserved for your friends and peers. This isn’t a hard and fast rule anywhere in the hispanophone world, and when you throw in voseo, it can create quite a chaos.

spanish voseo claro

An advertisement from phone company Claro in Argentina, imploring you to switch to them in voseo. Photo by Qqqqqq via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA 3.0,

Some places are easy: in Argentina, for example, you can think of vos as simply a replacement for or equivalent to . Easy call: if you’d use elsewhere in the Spanish-speaking world, substitute vos here and you’re good to go. The same is true of Uruguay, Paraguay, and most of Costa Rica.

In other parts of the hispanophone world, voseo coexists alongside tuteo. This is where it can get tricky.

In Medellín and the surrounding Antioquia region of Colombia, for example, both voseo and tuteo are present. In this case, while usted remains the go-to polite option, vos serves a sort of intermediary role with people who seem a bit too familiar for usted, yet not quite close enough for : that can mean anything from not-super-close friends of a similar age to the friendly cashier at the corner store you’ve been going to for two years.

In other places, like in Honduras and El Salvador, it’s the opposite: vos is the affectionate term reserved for lovers and best friends, while is the intermediary polite form.

And then you have places like Chile, where not only do both forms exist, but mixing and matching pronouns and verbs is no problem: a sentence starting with followed immediately by a pronoun conjugated for vos is an everyday occurrence here.

Use of the three you’s is highly particular to the country you find yourself in, so memorizing rules about it will do you little good. Instead, if you learn to conjugate and recognize verbs conjugated in voseo, you’ll not only understand what’s being said to you, but you’ll probably be able to crack the code of how vos is used in the region where you find yourself.

How It’s Used: Conjugating with Voseo

Knowing when to use vos can be difficult, but conjugating verbs with it is easy.

For the standard voseo conjugation, drop the r from the end of your infinitive verb, add an s, and move the stress to the last vowel. Another way to explain it is that regular verbs in voseo are conjugated just the same as tuteo, but with the stress moved to the last syllable.

It looks like this:

Infinitive Tuteo Voseo
Hablar hablas hablás
Comer comes comés
Vivir vives vivís

Irregular verbs of course follow their own pattern: tú eres, but vos sos. And imperatives, subjunctives and the like make up a grammatical puzzle big enough for its own entire website.

Just as with sensibilities on when and where to use each pronoun, the exact conjugation of verbs in voseo can differ by country. The Wikipedia page has a great comprehensive table with an overview of the voseo forms used in various parts of Latin America.
Have you ever traveled anywhere where voseo is common? Did it trip you up at first? Does it still? Tell us about it in the comments!

Poesía en español – Poetry in Spanish

Posted on 21. Apr, 2016 by in Literature, Videos

Poetry in Spanish has a tradition of more than 500 years. Today we will rejoice with some poems in Spanish from well known poets of the 20th century, so that you can practice the future tense in Spanish and also expand your vocabulary on love and feelings.


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Ya no será…

by Idea Vilariño

 Ya no será,
ya no viviremos juntos, no criaré a tu hijo
no coseré tu ropa, no te tendré de noche
no te besaré al irme, nunca sabrás quien fui
por qué me amaron otros.

No llegaré a saber por qué ni cómo, nunca
ni si era de verdad lo que dijiste que era,
ni quién fuiste, ni qué fui para ti
ni cómo hubiera sido vivir juntos,
querernos, esperarnos, estar.

Ya no soy más que yo para siempre y tú
Ya no serás para mí más que tú.
Ya no estás en un día futuro
no sabré dónde vives, con quién
ni si te acuerdas.

No me abrazarás nunca como esa noche, nunca.
No volveré a tocarte. No te veré morir.

Not anymore…

Not anymore
We won’t live together, I won’t raise your child
I won’t sew your clothes, I won’t have you at night
I won’t kiss goodbye, you’ll never know who I was
why others loved me.

I won’t know why nor how, never
or whether it was true what you said was so,
nor who you were, or what I was for you
or what it’d have been like to live together,
love, wait, be each other.

I’m no more than I anymore and you
won’t be more than you for me.
You’re not on a future day
I won’t know where you live, with whom
if you remember.

You won’t hug me like that night, never.
I won’t touch you again. I won’t see you die.

Translated by PM.
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Cancioncilla del primer deseo

by Federico García Lorca (song by Marta Gómez)

En la mañana verde,
quería ser corazón.

Y en la tarde madura
quería ser ruiseñor.

¡Alma, ponte color naranja!
¡Alma, ponte color de amor!

En la mañana viva,
yo quería ser yo.

Y en la tarde caída
quería ser mi voz.

Ditty of First Desire

In the green morning
I wanted to be a heart.
A heart.

And in the ripe evening
I wanted to be a nightingale.
A nightingale.

Soul, turn orange-colored!
Soul, turn the color of love!

In the vivid morning
I wanted to be myself.
A heart.

And at the evening’s end
I wanted to be my voice.
A nightingale.

Soul, turn orange-colored.
Soul, turn the color of love.

translated by Alan S. Trueblood