Early Intermediate Spanish Podcast 1 – Spanish Perfect Tense

The Spanish Perfect Tense!teacher blackboard scale

So, what is this tense exactly? Well, it’s a very important one and one that will open up your conversational ability.  With this tense you can ask: “What have you done today?”.

Now, just imagine the wealth of Spanish that you will hear with a question as open as that one.

Even better! “How has your week been?” or, “Have you ever been to Mexico?”

This Spanish perfect tense is the one that will allow you to ask these kind of questions and instigate some great conversations.

As a learner, it’s important that you get to hear people speaking. You yourself may not be able to express yourself in great detail, but by having some key questions that demand reasonably lengthy answers, your Spanish will be onto a winner.

What we cover.

In this free Spanish podcast we explain step by step and then give a clear demonstration of the way you can talk about what you’ve done today using the Spanish perfect tense.

We can’t stress the importance of this tense in conversation and once you grasp this, your ability to instigate a conversation will go from strength to strength!

What’s even more interesting is that the Spanish perfect tense is virtually identical in Spanish as it is in English. It breaks down into what is called ‘the auxilary verb’ and the ‘past participle’ in exactly the same way is it does in English.  What’s more, it’s used in virtually  the same way and under the same conditions.

It’s easy to make and use and in the majority of Spanish speaking countries it is one of the key conversational tenses.

Just picture yourself in a bar in a Spanish speaking country and there you are wondering how on earth you are going to start off a conversation with the person at the table next to you. Well, this is the tense that will save your bacon or your enchilada.

Once you have this tense under your belt you could easily lean across and say: ” Hola, buenos días. ¿Qué tipo de día ha tenido usted? = What kind of day have you had? Then, you can just sit back and soak up the whole listening experience.

Have we convinced you enough that this is the tense for you? Great! Then why don’t you listen in and start broadening your Spanish. After all, what have got to lose?

¡Buena suerte!

Remember that all the additional information and guidance can be found in the comprehensive Spanish help-sheets.

Audio for This Spanish Lesson

Early Intermediate Spanish Podcast 2 – Ordering a Drink in a Spanish Bar

Naturally, when travelling through your Spanish speaking country, you are going to need to stop for some waiter drinks2 scalerefreshments. Being able to manage your way around a Spanish bar is nothing short of “imprescindible”.

The Spanish Myth.

Every country has its bar culture, and none more so than that of Spain. In fact, there seems to be a big misunderstanding about alcohol consumption in Spain.

Many people confuse the fact that Spanish bars are often full to the brim with noisy Spaniards drinking beer and eating tapas and imagine that there is a lot of drinking going on. Actually, they couldn’t be further from the truth.

What happens, in reality, is that Spanish people spend far more time in their bars than other Europeans and yet they drink far less. In the ten years that I have spent time in Spain, I can recall only one time that I saw someone drunk. Even at four o’clock in the early morning on New Year’s Eve (la Noche Vieja) everyone was still quite sober.

The true Spanish bar culture.

What it’s all about in Spain is not drinking for drinking’s sake, or drinking to get drunk, but rather it revolves around the pure enjoyment of savouring good beers, or wines and eating tasty little snacks along the way.  It’s not uncommon for the Spanish to pop into their local bar twice a day for a little beer and some tapas.

If you watch what they drink, however, you’ll notice that the typical ‘caña’ glass of beer they order is less than a half pint. Either they order one of those, or a ‘botellín’ which is what is often called a ‘stubby’ bottle, the smallest bottle of beer available.

It’s for this reason that it’s quite common to see Spaniards drinking a beer at lunch in their work break. At first, it used to seem a little extreme to me, and I’d heard the stories of the construction workers having a shot of  ‘aguardiente’ before they went up to the scaffolding.

The difference is that that was what they had, one shot, and not half a bottle! Certainly, in many other European countries, we have much to learn from the Spanish bar culture and their view of how to enjoy alcohol.

In this free Spanish lesson we have distilled much of the key vocabulary that will help you order drinks like Spanish speakers do. ¡Salud!

Of course, all the additional information and guidance can be found in the comprehensive Spanish help-sheets.

Video of This Spanish Lesson

Audio for This Spanish Lesson

Early Intermediate Spanish Podcast 3 – How to Order Food in Spanish in a Restaurant

How to order food in a Spanish restaurant.

In this intermediate Spanish lesson, we walk you through one of the most important activities when on holiday: waiter drinksscaleHow to order food in Spanish in a restaurant.

Just like in a bar, there is a certain etiquette to ordering in a Spanish speaking restaurant.

How do you get the waiter’s attention?

In many phrase books and beginners Spanish work books they tell you that when you want to attract the waiters attention you simply shout:


This is the imperative tense and means, “Hear” which doesn’t translate very well but is equivalent to the English, “I say!”

The problem is that this is NOT the most common way of shouting for the waiter and what is more, in the wrong region it can sound a little offensive.

Certainly, in central Spain it is not what people say. In the ten years that I have been eating in restaurants in Madrid I haven’t heard anyone shout it at a passing waiter.

So why do they put it in the books?

The answer to this is easy. It’s in the books because it’s one of those standard phrases that everyone is supposed to use but hardly ever does. We could ask why Spanish speakers learn the greeting: “Hello, how do you do?” when, in fact, it’s used only in very formal situations and rarely at that!

The other issue is that many of the Spanish text books out there were written decades ago and just keep getting reprinted with the same old, archaic Spanish in them. Not only that but it is very difficult to offer a Spanish that is used throughout the entire Spanish speaking world.

This is a real challenge and so, when we produced this podcast about how to order food in Spanish we tried to provide you the kind of language that would travel and could be used in all countries.


Our advice is always this: Use what you have learnt until you find the place that you really want to spend time in. Once you are there, start listening to what the locals say when they order food in Spanish and copy them. Even from region to region in Spain there exists different vocabulary and verbs that that area prefers to use in conversation.

That’s why it’s important to start with something non-polemic and very general and work from that as a base.

In this podcast we help you with:

What should you expect when the waiter comes to the table?

What do you order first?

What else can you say other than “La cuenta, por favor.” when the meal is over?

Listen in as we give you the most important vocabulary to use when you are in a restaurant.

You can sound just like the natives do. ¡Que aproveche!

A mountain of additional information and guidance can be found in the comprehensive Spanish help-sheets.

Audio for This Spanish Lesson

Early Intermediate Spanish Podcast 4 – Directions in Spanish

Ever been lost in a Spanish speaking country? Frustrating isn’t it? How much better is it to have all the tools you need to find your way?

Listen in as we guide you, in the fourth of our intermediate Spanish lessons, through the vocabulary needed to not only ask, but understand directions when they are given to you by a Spanish speaker.

¡Siga todo recto!

Remember to make the most of all the additional information and guidance found in the comprehensive Spanish worksheets.

Video for This Spanish Lesson

Audio for This Spanish Lesson

Early Intermediate Spanish Podcast 5 – Buying Goods

Shopping in markets and small shops can be one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have in Spanish speaking countries. This is something you really must try for yourself. However, to really get the most out of it you need some key words and expressions and that’s where our free Spanish lessons online come in.

Here we assist you in learning the key Spanish vocabulary for most situations while you’re shopping. ¡Venga!

Get the freshest food, the best bargains, and sound authentic while you do!

For even more detailed information and help get the our ever-helpful Spanish worksheets.

Video for This Spanish Lesson

Audio for This Spanish Lesson