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Archive for June, 2009

¿Jirafa o girafa? Posted by on Jun 30, 2009

The letters g and j are pronounced the same way in some cases and in others they represent different phonemes. Here are some useful rules so you don’t get them wrong anymore! 1. The letter g, before the vowels e and i, is pronounced like the h in hat (but harder), and in this case…

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Word origin: recordar Posted by on Jun 27, 2009

In the old days, people thought that feelings lived in the heart. For Aristotle, the heart was the core organ in the body and the brain played a supporting role. At the same time people thought the memory was also lodged in the heart, so the Romans started using the word recordari, which comes from…

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El Imperativo … con música! Posted by on Jun 24, 2009

I know how it feels to have to learn all those conjugation forms by heart… and there are so many exceptions to the rules… blah blah blah. So, dear reader, to help you learn about the imperative a little more pleasantly, I chose two videos: the first one is Thalia’s Regresa a Mí, where you…

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El Tango – Hand in Hand with Carlos Gardel Posted by on Jun 21, 2009

A lot has been written and said about the tango so I’m going to cut to the chase and bring you a video by Carlos Gardel, one of the greatest tangueros of all times. In this song, Mano a Mano (Hand in Hand) he uses tons of lunfardo, a kind of Argentinean slang. I have…

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The Weather: Part II Posted by on Jun 18, 2009

Every Spanish textbook has its share of weather-related vocabulary, but they only offer the basics. Today we’re going to learn some more vocabulary to talk about it. I have put them into grammar categories to make it easier for you. Sustantivos el aguacero – downpour el alud/ la avalancha – landslide; avalanche el amanecer –…

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Using the letter G corrrectly. Posted by on Jun 15, 2009

As posted earlier, choosing between the letters g and j in Spanish is no easy task, so here are some more tips to help you. Use g with: 1. words that start with: – gest-, gene- o geni-, except jenízaro (child born from parents of different nationalities) and jeniquén (a kind of plant): gesto –…

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Échame una mano, por favor. Posted by on Jun 11, 2009

My Brazilian students learning English give me such a hard time when they come across the verb ‘get’ because it has so many different meanings. Spanish is no slouch either, because it has the verb ‘echar’. Check out some of its meanings (there are tons!). 1. to throw, to toss, to cast. Echa la pelota…

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