This post will cover the usage of the Spanish verbs “estar” and “ser.” Both mean “To be,” but cannot be used interchangeably. If you missed my post on the conjugation of these verbs in the present, please visit: http://proficiencyinlife.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/adventures-in-spanish-conjugating-irregular-verbs-in-the-present-tense/
Anyways! On to the usage!
Location (at the present time)
Emotions and Feelings
Race, gender, occupation, etc.
Anything related to time
I hope this helped! Please tell me your opinions and feedback about my blog in the comments section! Thank you!
The second installation of my “Typical Day” series. Remember to keep reflecting upon what this all might mean; in the end, everything should (hopefully!) make sense! Enjoy, and don’t forget to leave your thoughts and comments!
7:00 am: Wake up and get ready for school
7:40 am: Arrive at school
2:25 pm-6 pm: Tennis match (usually)
6 pm-6:30 pm: Eat dinner
6:30 pm-9:30 pm: Homework
10:00 pm: Get ready for bed; read
11:00 pm: Sleeping time!
This leaves approximately 30 minutes of free time, depending on the amount of homework I have. Where is the “Me-Time” I am supposed to find? If anybody has seen it, please notify me immediately. Thank you!
This will be a new, brief series highlighting my typical day. The point is really to show that, in the end, society has created an impossible, imaginary set of rules and guidelines.
We are encouraged to challenge ourselves in academics and work, and take the most difficult courses possible at our skill level. We are encouraged to be completely dedicated to our job. Yet, we are told that we should save time for ourselves, and participate in plenty of extracurriculars. At the end, there is little spare time left, especially for the adults who must cook, clean, and take care of the household in addition to being employed.
What are your thoughts? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment!
7:00 am: Wake up and get ready for school
7:25-7:30 am: Leave for school
7:40 am: Arrive at school (any later, and it’s a “tardy.” Three “tardies” is a detention)
2:25-4:00 pm: Tennis practice or match
3:45-5:30 pm: Tennis practice (occasionally)
4:30 pm: Arrive home
4:30-5:45 pm: Eat dinner, start homework, and practice piano
5:45 pm: Leave for piano lessons
7:30 pm: Return home from piano lessons. Eat. Do homework.
10:00 pm: Get ready for bed/read
11:00 pm: Sleep
Notice how there is very little time left for “me-activities.” Just a thought.
Verb conjugation is as essential in Spanish as it is in English! That is why this post will cover the most basic conjugation in Spanish: the present tense.
Now, there are a few irregular verbs when it comes to the present tense, which are fairly tricky to learn at first. But, with practice, they will become second nature. The following are verbs that are commonly used, fully conjugated in the present tense:
There are plenty of languages in the world for one to choose from. I know I have searched (and still do search) questions like, “What are some of the easiest/hardest languages to learn?”, and I’m sure that plenty of others have as well. I have compiled a list of some languages, in order of difficulty for native English speakers. I am in no way an expert on this topic; merely a hobbyist. Some information comes from other sources, all of which are very reliable. Enjoy!
Spanish:Fairly easy grammar and a good amount of parallel vocabulary makes Spanish a good choice for an extra language. Perfect pronunciation comes with time, although one gets the basis of it quickly. A very fun, enjoyable language.
French:Slightly harder than Spanish, in my opinion, but still relatively easy. Again, there is parallel vocabulary, although grammar is a tad more difficult than in Spanish. Pronunciation is also generally more of a challenge, but do not let this deter you in any way; French is a great language to have by your side.
Afrikaans:I have never studied Afrikaans, but from what I understand, it has similarities to Dutch, German, and English. The language seems to be regarded as the easiest for English speakers to learn.
Italian:Another language which I have barely studied. Italian is a beautiful language, with strong ties to Spanish in particular. Grammar seems quite easy, as does vocabulary. Pronunciation shouldn’t be too much of a problem, either, especially for somebody who is learning/has learned Spanish or a similar language in the past.
Dutch:Grammatically, Dutch is less complicated than German, although it has many times to it. It also quite similar to English, and borrowed quite a few words from French. For a speaker of German or the likes, Dutch shouldn’t be too difficult a language to pick up.
Brazilian Portuguese: A language that I have not studied, Portuguese nevertheless seems quite similar to Spanish and Italian (from what I have learned, Portuguese and Spanish have very close ties). A definite must-speak for
anybody who loves languages like Spanish.
Russian:Russian starts off difficult, with an all-new alphabet that many English speakers have never even heard of before. The Cyrillic alphabet is truly a joy to learn. Writing and reading can be difficult, as incorrect intonation can create an entirely new meaning to a phrase, word, or sentence. Pronunciation isn’t too bad, but grammar is tricky (in Slavic languages, grammar is different than that of Romance/Germanic languages). A nice language to have by your side (and plus, you can yell at your friends and sound very intimidating, when you’re really saying, “Good Morning! I hope you have a nice day!”).
German:One of my personal favorites to learn, German has ties to English in both vocabulary and grammar. But, the grammar is one of the factors that makes German a “medium-difficulty” language. Some words are long compounds, and the spelling may be difficult for English speakers. Pronunciation is also fairly difficult to get used to, and noun genders are extraordinarily irritating. Despite the above criticism, German is a very useful language, and one of my lingual preferences.
Sign Languages: Slightly unusual for some at first, but not to difficult whatsoever. Many gestures make sense, although subtle differences in movement can convey a whole other meaning.
Polish:A fun little Slavic language. Many say that it is very, very difficult, but it does not seem that way; I would suggest learning another Slavic language, such as Russian or Ukrainian, beforehand, in order to get used to the grammar.
Chinese:Grammar is surprisingly easy, and writing can be done just fine in Pinyin. Reading and writing in the traditional Chinese writing system, though, are not easy, as each word has a different character. Pronunciation, as well, is taxing, as there are four commonly-used tones that are extremely demanding of an English speaker (one sound makes the difference between “I miss my mother,” and, “I miss my horse.”) Still, a fun language in which I am progressing slowly. Very, very slowly…
Arabic:By far the hardest language I have ever encountered. It comes with difficult pronunciation, a crazy writing system, and insane grammar. I gave up on it the moment I began (but many linguists say that it is actually a very enjoyable language once one gets a feel for it). There are different symbols for the same vowel/letter, depending on whether it goes on the beginning, middle, or end of a word. Again, definitely the most formidable language I have ever encountered.
Japanese:Congratulations! Japanese comes loaded with four new writing systems, and completely different grammar! I love the Japanese language, but it is very difficult when it comes to writing, reading, and using proper grammar. Pronunciation seems OK, but the writing, reading, and grammar make Japanese a very difficult language to learn.
Korean:I have not dabbled in Korean quite yet, but I expect it to be fairly similar to Japanese in terms of grammar and such. The writing system is completely different from the Cyrillic or Latin alphabets, so it’s a completely new experience.
That concludes this list! Please, do not let anything I have said come in between you and learning a language. Some people are more geared towards certain languages than others, and that is natural. Don’t let anything stop you!
(If you feel I have left anything out of this post, or you have suggestions for me, please don’t hesitate to comment. Thank you!)
For anybody just starting out in Spanish or Russian, this will certainly be a beneficial post. Personal pronouns (I, You, He, She, etc.) are very commonly used, and are essential in learning a language. Let’s learn!
You (informal): Tú
You (formal): Usted
You all (Used in Spain): Vosotros
You all: Ustedes
They (all male, or mix of male and female): Ellos
They (all female): Ellas
You (informal): Ты
You (formal): Вы*
You all: Вы*
Did I miss anything? Leave a comment!
*In Russian, the use of Вы is generally determined by context.