Spanish Lesson Intermediate 34 The different uses of the Spanish word Como Posted by Laura on May 29, 2012 in Learning, Pronunciation, Spanish Grammar, Spanish Vocabulary, Videos
Hola ¿Cómo estáis?
Hoy vamos a ver los diferentes usos de la palabra “como”. Today we will see the different uses of the Spanish word Como.
“Como” is another of those words that we use a lot in everyday Spanish conversation and for that reason it is a good idea to become familiar with all of its meanings and uses. As we have discussed before, it is very very rare that a Spanish word has one simple and straightforward translation into English.
When learning any foreign language it is vital to keep an open mind at all times and be prepared to deal with lots of different translations for any one word. Como, for example, can be translated to Like, As, About, or How (it is has an accent “cómo”) in English depending on the specific moment it is used in.
So let’s start examining how and when we use the Spanish word Como.
To compare similar objects, people or actions:
• Mi bicicleta es como la tuya: Mi bicycle is like yours
• Mi madre es como mi abuela: My mother is like my grandmother
• Nadar en una piscina es como nadar en la playa: Swimming in a swimming pool is like swimming in the sea
Como + indicativo: To describe how we do an action:
• Voy a cocinar el pollo como Ana dice: I am going to cook the chicken as Ana says
• Estudiaremos como nos recomienda el profesor: We will study as the teacher recommends us
Como + subjuntivo: To describe how we do an action (when the speaker doesn´t know how to do it yet):
• Voy a cocinar el pollo como Ana diga: I am going to cook the chicken as Ana says
• Estudiaremos como nos recomiende el profesor: We will study as the teacher recommends us
When discussing Como it is important to be aware of the Spanish expression “Como si” which opens up even more uses and meanings.
Como si + subjuntivo: To describe something real with an imaginary idea:
Como si + imperfecto de subjuntivo: When both elements are simultaneous:
• Habla en inglés como si fuera británico: He speaks English as if he were British
Como si + pluscuamperfecto de subjuntivo: When the imaginary element occurred first:
• Habla ingles como si hubiera vivido en Inglaterra: He speaks English as if he had lived in England
Ni que + imperfecto de subj/pluscuamp de subj: To describe something real with an imaginary idea, giving greater emphasis on the imaginary idea:
• Silvia gasta todo su dinero en ropa. ¡Ni que fuera rica!: Silvia spends all her money on clothes as if she were rich
It takes time to pick up all of the little intricacies of the Spanish Language and patience, perseverance and an open mind are strong qualities in the most successful Spanish students.
The best and easiest way to speak Spanish to a really high level is, of course, to live in Spain or Latin America and surround yourself with native speakers all day and every day. That way you will be learning Spanish and improving even when you are not aware of it. However, even if you don’t live in Spain or Latin America you can still get all of the material you need from the wonderful invention that is The Internet! I am a firm believer that anyone of any age can learn a foreign language to a very high level; it all depends on the time you can set aside to studying Spanish and practising Spanish and the dedication you have to achieving your goals.
I look forward to continuing to help you along the way.
See you next time for more Spanish!
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