Learn Spanish Vocabulary
- Idioms and Phrases (32)
- Online Dictionaries
- Translations from English (49)
- Verb Families (9)
- Verb Meanings
- Vocabulary Games (8)
- Word Lists (34)
- Word of the Day (297)
- Words We Share (14)
Advice for Building Your Spanish Vocabulary
Advice from Spanish students and others on how to increase your vocabulary.
Expanding Your Spanish Vocabulary
Spanish students and others who have learned Spanish offer advice for increasing your vocabulary.
This lesson for beginning and intermediate Spanish students explains the different ways in which fractions can be expresssed.
Suffixes and how to use them in Spanish, with examples.
'Muchacho/a' or 'Chico/a': What's the Difference
The words 'chico' or 'chica' and 'muchacho' or 'muchacha' are used slightly differently in parts of the Spanish-speaking world. Here are some clues for knowing which one to use.
Word of the Day
Check back each day to learn a new word. Included with each word is its definition (in English) and an example of its use in a sentence, most of them taken from current Spanish-language publications or Web sites.
Talking Like the Animals
Here are the sounds that the animals make in Spanish. They aren't necessarily the same as they make in English.
Spanish for Beginners
If you're new to learning Spanish, this collection of lessons will help you learn what you need to know.
How Can I Increase My Vocabulary
It's a problem most learners of a foreign language face: How can I increase the number of words I know? Here, language students share what has worked for them.
Building Your Vocabulary: Prefixes
Spanish and English share many prefixes. Understanding them can help you learn more Spanish words.
Increasing Your Spanish Vocabulary
This collection of lessons and other resources is designed to help Spanish students increase the number of words in their vocabulary.
As in English, the Spanish prefix 'mal-' is used to indicate that something is bad, abnormal or otherwise not right.
Spanish Lessons for Intermediate and Advanced Students
If you're beyond the beginner stage of learning Spanish, this collection of lessons can help you learn the details of using the Spanish language well.
Suffixes are simply word endings that can be used to modify a word's meaning. We use them in English all the time, and nearly all of them that we use in English have a Spanish equivalent. But Spanish has an even wider variety, and their usage isn't always as obvious as it would be in English.
Does Spanish Have Fewer Words Than English?
Does Spanish have more words than English does? Yes, but that shouldn't be seen as a sign of inferiority.
Tips for Increasing Your Vocabulary
Participants in our forum tell what's worked for them as they try to increase the number of words they know.
Compound Words in Spanish
Spanish has an abundance of compound words, many of them colorful. One word for 'firecracker,' for example, means 'it looks for feet.'
False Friends - Spanish Words That Are Easily Misunderstood
Dozens of words are alike or very similar in English and Spanish while having quite different meanings. This collection of Spanish-English false friends, sometimes not-so-correctly referred to as false cognates, is one of the most complete anywhere.
Fickle Friends - Tricky Spanish Vocabulary
Fickle friends are those words that are the same or very similar in two languages and often mean the same thing — but not always. This list of fickle friends supplements the entries in the list of false friends above.
Dichos, refranes y citas
For a quick and enjoyable way of improving your Spanish vocabulary and knowledge of grammar, subscribe to "Dichos, refranes y citas," a daily newsletter that features a new saying, proverb or quotation each day.
Size of Spanish Vocabulary
Although Spanish speakers have far fewer words at their disposal than English speakers do, the smaller vocabulary of the language shouldn't be seen as a sign of inferiority.
The easiest way to expand your vocabulary in Spanish is to find other uses for those Spanish words you already know. One way is to add prefixes, beginnings that change or expand the meanings of words.
Quiz on Suffixes
Do you know the Spanish suffixes? Find out by taking this quiz.
The '@' Symbol in Spanish
Learn how the "@" symbol used in e-mail is referred to in Spanish and where the word came from.
Discussing Temperatures in Spanish
The Spanish verb 'estar' is often used in Spanish when talking about the temperature. This lesson includes an explanation of how to convert between the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales.
'Conocer' and Related Words
Learn about the Spanish word conocer, often meaning "to know," and words derived from it.
The Spanish of Peru
Many of the words distinctive to Peruvian Spanish that you're likely to come across as a tourist are related to food.
Adjectives with Location-Dependent Meanings
Some adjectives change meaning depending on whether they come before or after the noun they refer to.
One common way of coining words in Spanish is to combine a third-person singular verb with a plural noun.
List of Spanish homophones and homonyms, words that sound alike and can easily be confused, along with their definitions.
The two most common ways of expressing fear in Spanish are 'temer' and 'tener miedo.'
Definition of 'Suffix'
Glossary definition of 'suffix' as used in both English and Spanish.
Counting - Cardinal Numbers
Follow these rules, and you can count for the rest of your life and not run out of Spanish numbers.
Nouns with Ambiguous Gender
Nearly all nouns in Spanish can be placed in one of two categories — masculine and feminine. However, there are some words of ambiguous gender that don't fit quite so neatly.
Verbs Ending in '-ducir'
This is a guide to the common, and some not-so-common, Spanish verbs that end in '-ducir.'
Words of Both Genders
Nearly all nouns in Spanish are always masculine or always feminine. But there are a few nouns that can be either, and their meaning depends on which gender they are.
More Confusing Verb Pairs
These sets of verb pairs are often easily confused by Spanish students.
In English, you might say "ummm" between words as you collect your thoughts. Spanish speakers are more likely to use real words as vocal filler material.
What Is the Longest Word in Spanish?
Various sources claim that superextraordinarísimo is the longest Spanish word, but we can do better than that.
Definition of 'Onomatopoeia'
Definition of 'onomatopoeia' with examples in Spanish and English.
Spanish Beach Vocabulary
If you're a beach lover, sooner or later you'll find yourself someplace where Spanish is spoken.
The Meaning of 'Ya'
Ya is one of those words whose meaning depends almost entirely on the context.
Learn the words for the names of relatives such as "father," "aunt" and "second cousin."
First impressions count. That's one reason you should learn some of these common greetings before visiting an area where Spanish is spoken.
Spanish vocabulary list of words related to Thanksgiving.
Approximations can come in handy in everyday speech, since we often think in round figures rather than specifics.
'Derecho' and 'Derecha'
The Spanish words 'derecho' and 'derecha' are easily confused. Here's a quick guide to using these common words correctly.
Varieties of Spanish
Most regions of the Spanish-speaking word have own slang and terms of local usage, but the standard vocabulary of Spanish is understood everywhere.
Vocabulary of Air Travel
If you're traveling by air to or through a Spanish-speaking country, here's some vocabulary you will want to know.
Words for Snow
Spanish has dozens of words and phrases that can be used to refer to all types of snow and related phenomenon.
Yes, you can say ayúdame (or more formally, ayúdeme or ayúdenme, depending on how many people you're talking to) as a way of requesting help. But don't be surprised to hear someone call out simply "¡auxilio!"
Saying 'Next' in Spanish
The concept of "next" may seem quite basic, but it can be expressed in Spanish in several ways, depending on how it is being used.
Count to 10 in Spanish
Children sometimes learn how to count to 10 in a foreign language merely because it's fun to do so. But knowing the numbers can also be practical when traveling or shopping.
Principles of Translation
Effective translation is sometimes as much an art as a science. The key is to translate ideas rather than words.
Ordinal numbers are those such as "first" and "second" in English, primero and segundo in Spanish. This lesson explains how they are used and provides a list for reference.
Vocabulary for Lodging and Hotels
Here is some vocabulary that will help you if you're spending the night in an area where Spanish is spoken.
Everybody talks about the weather, so if you learn these words your efforts will help you with casual conversations.
What's the Difference Between 'Chico' and 'Muchacho'?
The two words are often interchangeable, but there are some differences in meaning.
What Is a Synonym?
Definition of "synonym."
This site is mainly for people who are learning medical Spanish, but there's plenty here of general interest too.
Definition of 'Transliteration'
When one language adopts words from another language, transliteration can be part of the process.
What Is an Antonym?
Definition of "antonym."
The Suffix '-miento'
The suffix -miento is used to turn verbs into nouns.
Calling for Help
Question and answer about workers calling for help.
Using the Prefix 'Super-'
Use of the Spanish prefix 'super-'
Although augmentative suffixes aren't as common in Spanish as diminutive suffixes, they are frequently added to nouns as a way of expanding vocabulary or providing a nuance of meaning, often a negative one.
Using the Suffix -dumbre
Explanation of the Spanish suffix '-dumbre' with sample sentences.
Usage of the Spanish noun parte in its masculine and feminine forms.
Spanish speakers frequently use the diminutive suffixes not only to indicate size but also to make a word less harsh or to indicate affection.
An explanation of how the verb 'comer' is used in Spanish.
Claro is one of the most commonly used words in Spanish for expressing agreement.
100 Spanish Words You Need To Know
A list of the 100 Spanish words you need to know. This is currently a work in progress; the list should be complete sometime in 2011.
Words Ending in '-quiera'
How to use Spanish words such as 'dondeqiera,' 'cualquiera' and 'quienquiera,' which can mean 'wherever,' whatever' and 'whoever,' respectively.
Expressions of Frequency
This lesson for Spanish students covers expressions of frequency, indicating how often events occur. This includes terms such as the Spanish equivalents of "never," "always" and "sometimes."
10 Mistakes To Avoid While Learning Spanish
Making mistakes is a natural part of learning any language, but chances are you don't want to make some of the easily avoidable mistakes that might make you sound less intelligent than you are.
What Does 'Chauito' Mean?
To understand an unfamiliar word, it sometimes helps to divide it into its parts.