5 Super-Cool Verbs to Add an
Authentic Flourish to Your Spanish
by Peter Christian
They're an essential part of learning to speak Spanish but
if you're anything like I am, you'll find them one of the most
boring parts! I'm talking about verb drills of course and another
problem with them is that many common verb uses aren't taught
in formal language courses, uses that will add an authentic flourish
to your spoken Spanish. Here's 5 really cool verbs you can add
to your vocab that'll help you make a fantastic impression with
Our first cool verb is a big favourite of mine. The reflexive
form of "Antojar, Antojarse", means to have a craving
for something, to have a real desire for something. I use this
a lot when it comes to food and on one memorable occasion I left
a very attractive camarera (waitress) well impressed when I said:
"Se me antoja una hamburguesa con
queso" - I really fancy a cheeseburger.
You can also use it to say you're not
in the mood to do something, like this:
"¿Por qué no vas
a ir a la fiesta?" - Why aren't you going to the party?
"Porque no se me antoja."
- Because I'm not in the mood for it.
Like I say, I use it mostly when it comes to dining and if
you use this in a restaurant you will be rewarded with great
service as you'll make a very favorable impression!
The verb "Echar" - To Throw - has a multitude of
uses, way too many to list all of them here. And some uses just
aren't appropriate to be included here, they're a little bit
tooo streetwise if you know what I mean! But here's a couple
of really cool phrases involving Echar that you can easily introduce
into your daily conversations.
Echar de menos - is to miss someone or something. I was enjoying
a pleasant evening out with a very good Spanish friend of mine
who is married to a Brazilian. As we were talking, she suddenly
looked very sad and I asked my friend:
"¿Qué pasa con Cleo?"
- What's wrong with Cleo?
He replied: "Ella echa de menos
a su familia en Brasil". She's missing her family in Brasil.
And a nice quick usage of echar for those times when you want
to say to someone: "Put some elbow grease into it",
or "make an effort" or even "go for it",
you can simply say: "¡Échale ganas!"
But this is an absolute beauty. You know when something happens
that makes your blood boil - say, someone steals your car and
you're in a foul temper and you're shouting and ranting and raving?
Here's what the Spanish say:
"¡Mira! Alguien ha robado
el coche de Pablo, ¡Él está que echa espumarajos!"
"Hey! Someone has stolen Paul's
car, he's fuming!"
Echar espumarajos - To be foaming at
Here's a cool little verb you will rarely discover in formal
courses. "Lograr" means "to manage" and it
is a handy little verb to acquire. A couple of examples for you:
"Si yo logro salir del trabajo
antes de las cinco, llegaré a tu casa a las seis"
"If I manage to leave work before
5 I'll be at your house for six o' clock."
"Logré fijar la tele asi
que podremos mirar el fútbol esta noche."
"I managed to fix the TV so will
we be able to watch the football tonight."
Next up is a power verb with a myriad of meanings. "Quedar"
is sometimes called a "catch all" verb and with good
reason! But here's a couple of nice and easy phrases relating
to money that use the reflexive you can add to your vocab right
Me quedé con diez dolares - "I
kept ten dollars."
Quédese con el cambio = "Keep
which can be shortened to: Quédatelo
- Keep it.
Finally, a favourite cool verb of mine that'll really win
you the admiration of native speakers. Soler doesn't really have
an English equivalent and it used to describe your regular habits
and actions. Examples will work the best here:
Suelo ir al bar saliendo del trabajo
- I normally go to the bar after work
Él suele cenar a las ocho cada
noche - He normally has dinner at 8 'o' clock every night every
El aútobus suele llegar a las
tres - The bus usually arrives at 3 'o' clock.
It's a great little verb and fun to play around with and form
your own phrases that reflect your daily routines.
That's five really cool verbs that'll add an authentic flourish
to your Spanish. Play around with them to get them dialled-in
and enjoy the looks of admiration from native speakers as you
bring them into your conversations!
Barcelona-based writer Peter Christian is the author of the
brand-new book "Streetwise Spanish". To discover how
you can add an authentic flourish to your spoken Spanish along
with practical, valuable insights into Hispanic culture, click
here now ==> STREETWISE