36 Advanced Intermediate Useful Spanish Vocabulary on Movement LightSpeed Spanish

Very useful Spanish vocabularyphotography-1064294_1280

The truth of the matter is that, just like the majority of the Podcasts in this series, the idea behind this one on useful Spanish vocabulary came from one of our viewers who often comments on our videos in Youtube. He gave us a long list of all of the different kinds of body movement that there are and asked us to say them in Spanish. He even asked us to explain how to say: To take a selfie!

It’s because of this that we can say that the information that this Podcast contains as well as that in the corresponding Helpsheets is very ‘ useful Spanish ‘.

There’s lots to learn.

Did you know that there are more or less 100,000 words in the Spanish language? That means that we’ve all got a lot of learning to do! However, it’s not the case that every one of those words could be classified as ‘ useful Spanish ‘. So, rather than trying to learn every one of the blessed things, it’s far better to focus on what to you is really useful Spanish and to set about learning that.

Is it true that with a 1000 words I can be fluent?

There are lots of quick fix sites around that tell you that with only 1000, 2000, 3000 or even just 500 words you can speak with natives anywhere. Well, that is absolutely true and those people could never be sued for making false claims. However, the question is: What on earth would you be talking to them about?

Most of those sites suggest that you don’t bother breaking down verbs or learning the other tenses.  What’s more, many suggest that you just use whole verbs when talking.

Me Tarzan, Me hungry.

Effectively, trying to shortcut the learning journey (which is actually the fun part of learning a language) just leaves you with a Spanish that, to a non-speaker sounds fluent and to native speaker sounds like you are Tarzan.

Now, I’ll be the first to say that if you don’t mind that at all, then those kind of courses are perfect for you.  What we must bear in mind, however, is that when most people talk with someone in their own language who speaks badly, they make a judgement on that person’s intelligence and IQ level. (It’s scientifically proven.)

It’s a great starting point.

What we aren’t saying is that these courses aren’t worthy of consideration. They are actually great at building your useful Spanish vocabulary really quickly. The only issue is that you mustn’t leave it there.  These are courses to be built upon, expanded, clarified and developed.

Listen in to the useful Spanish in this Podcast.

In this Podcast we present a whole host of really useful Spanish on movement. Why not take the information and place it on flash cards and repeatedly practice it until it becomes second nature? There are lots of apps that allow you to add information and then learn it through repetition. It’s certainly worth a go, isn’t it?


Un saludo,

Gordon 🙂

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37 Advanced Intermediate The Haber Subjunctive Structures LightSpeed Spanish

What are the Haber Subjunctive Structures?pumpkins-1022627_1280

Basically, these are the ones that quite often catch us out. We’ve learnt the subjunctive triggers and are feeling pretty confident about how and when to use them and bam! Suddenly we are faced with the Haber subjunctive and we don’t know what to do.

The great news.

The great news is that the Haber subjunctive is not really any different to any of the other subjunctive tenses (or moods as they say).  Okay,  the verb Haber may be a little irregular but that shouldn’t faze us very much given that more than 70% of Spanish verbs are irregular anyway.

First things first.

Probably, for you to understand how to use the Haber subjunctive structures you really need to get to grips with the normal, Present Subjunctive and what we here at LightSpeed Spanish call the Triggers.

Probably the best way to do this is through the book we have created on the Subjunctive. However, you can also get a very clear overview of how to identify these Triggers by watching the series of videos we made on this subject.

Then, once you have understood how they work with other verbs, you can move on to the Haber subjunctive.

Everyone’s so scared of the Subjunctive.

We don’t know how you feel about the Spanish subjunctive yourself, but we have to say that to the vast majority of students ‘le da mucho miedo’. And we aren’t even talking about the subject of the Haber subjunctive. However, it really doesn’t need to be that way.

The fear of the Subjunctive normally comes from others. What I mean is that other students often frighten the life out of us when they talk about the Subjunctive:

‘Oh, my God! Wait till you get to the subjunctive.’, they say. ‘You’ll be horrified’.

I know this to be the case because it happened to me. I then watched the same thing happening in every class that I have taught. For whatever reason, the more experienced students among us feel obliged to warn us of the forthcoming doom of the subjunctive. lol.

It’s actually the fun bit.

Whether it be the Haber subjunctive that we cover in this video podcast or any other kind of Subjunctive for that matter, once you get into it you will find that it’s the cherry on the cake in terms of your Spanish. Being able to use the subjunctive takes your Spanish go from good to great. What’s more, it’s really fun too. (Trust us, we are language doctors jeje)

So, listen in whilst we help you with Haber subjunctive and we hope you enjoy the rest of your learning journey.


Gordon y Cynthia:)

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38 Advanced Intermediate Spanish Commands in Spanish LightSpeed Spanish

Stop, Look and Listen!button-1015629_640

I recall coming across the commands in Spanish very early on in my language learning journey. I have to say that initially I was uncomfortable. Why? I suppose it was for two reasons. One was that the very word ‘commands’ sounded a bit strong for my liking. Who was I to command people around?

The second issue I had with the Commands in Spanish was the fact that I was born in Britain. For those who are familiar with the British culture, you’ll know that we have terrible problems saying exactly what it is that we want. Whatever the reason behind this reluctance to express our real needs, our fear of making excessive demands on others manifests itself in sentences such as:

I’m sorry but I wonder if you would be so kind as to help me? But only when you have time, I don’t want you to rush on my behalf. I’m more than happy to wait.

At the same time, in Spain, all that ‘farting around’ would never be tolerated. People simply say what they want and be done with it.  A typical  translated interaction in Spain might go something like this:

Hello. Give me a pack of cigarettes.  Thanks. See you later.

Commands in Spanish are perfectly normal.

It’s not that we don’t use commands in English. We do so all of the time. We are always telling others to stop, look and listen, just as did the Green Cross Code man.

Where we have the issue is when we are in interactions con others. For example, when we buy goods. (As opposed to ‘bads’.)

In Spain, although for the most part, people are polite in their interactions, the use of the commands in Spanish happens far more between people who don’t know one another than would ever happen in the UK.

It’s a cultural thing.

Telling people what you want in Spain is expected. Telling people what you want in the UK is an art form that goes straight over the heads of many of the Spanish living in in the UK. They can often come across as rude if they say: Give me… to a Brit, or if they don’t say: ‘Yes, please.’ or ‘No, thanks.’ after every question offered to them.

Equally, in Spain, the interminable stream of pleases and thank yous coming from the Brits can be viewed as quite in-genuine and false by the Spanish. And it’s all down to the culture. After all, rudeness is only rudeness if it doesn’t comply with the expected norms of a particular society.

So, tread carefully with the commands and always aim to copy what you hear being said by natives. If you hear ten people saying ‘Oíga’ and none of them have been punched in the face by the waiter, then it’s probably safe for you to do so also.


un saludo,

Gordon 🙂




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