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AlwaysSpanish is Retiring!

After a long awkward silence, here's something to break the ice – all over again. I can totally see why you should be upset to see no action from the Burro for over a month now, but trust me, your wait was all worth it. The news here is that your beloved Burro has just moved into a brand new home – one that's a whole lot richer, swankier, and easier to live in. I'm talking about PeppyBurro. That's the name of the new website! Isn't that cool? At least it tells you all about the Burro's pepped up temperament right off the bat, right? This post is not about Spanish-learning tricks (although I will drop in a couple out of habit, I guess) or grammar lessons. This one's all about our new home!

The Witchcraft Of Spanish Vocabulary

The very first step to conquering a language is to tame its vocabulary. And sadly, that's the part that puts off most novice learners because memorizing strange-sounding words is too darn boring! A never-ending chant of rote rehearsal and a nervous prayer can see you through an upcoming test, but the process just won't cut it if your goal is to actually use the language in the street. It's a mystery how this incredibly inefficient method has survived this long and still continues to be perpetuated by schools and educators around the world. So is there any nirvana around this assault of monotony in our miserable lives? Anything that could make learning foreign words less painful?

Six Words That Rule The Streets Of Mexico

Having more Spanish speakers than any other country on the planet, Mexico naturally holds the lion's share in vernacular creativity. Mexican slang lexicon is not only matured and complex but also as colorful and diverse, if not more, as any of its counterparts. Given the proliferation of Mexicans in not only entertainment but rather every aspect of life and trade in the Western world, we already enjoy a healthy exposure to its slang vocabulary. Although an exhaustive study of any country's colloquialism would be overkill, learning some of the most common expressions is mighty fun and useful. Here, we explore ten of them from Mexico.

So Many Ways "To Pull" In Spanish!

Languages don't always work in predictable ways. They have rules and they break their own rules. They have more than one word for the same thing and the same word for more than one thing. This makes them frustratingly complex and it is this complexity that makes them beautiful. This complexity is the very hallmark of an organic language setting them apart from the likes of Klingon and Dothraki. One such fun aspect of Spanish is its translation for the English verb "to pull." If you've just started out with the language, it's a no-brainer: halar. But there's more than meets the eye. Turns out, Mexicans and their neighbors don't even like the word!

Comprender Vs. Entender: Do You Understand?

These are words that get mixed up by even native speakers, let alone noobs like us. Going by the dictionary, both are synonymous and have the same translation in English. However, the two have quite dissimilar connotations. Now the good news here is that mixing up comprender and entender is not a exactly deal-breaker like mixing up, say, ser and estar or por and para. So depending on how far ahead you are in your Spanish learning program, this might be a non-issue. However, if you're like me and suffer from an itch for perfection, knowing where to use one instead of the other is surely the difference between a rookie and a native.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Always Spanish has retired. Please visit the new blog at for all future articles.

Pedro Teaches Conjugation – The Simple Present Tense Of Spanish

For most Spanish leaners, the present indicative tense, or simple present, is invariably the first step into the utterly confusing and demotivating world of Spanish verb conjugations. While conjugations eventually come naturally once you have acquired even a basic level of proficiency with the language, you are often left with no choice but to memorize them painfully until that stage comes. And memorization using traditional rote method, as we all know, is far from efficient, inspiring, or even interesting. So, is there any trick to commit these conjugations to memory without any repetition whatsoever? Of course there is!

The Spanish Preterit: Once And For All

Past actions in the Spanish language can be expressed in two ways depending on whether they were completed once for all or otherwise. Spanish grammar categorizes them as the preterit and the imperfect. While the imperfect handles all habitual, continuous, or repetitive actions and verbs denoting a state of being, preterit covers pretty much whatever is left – actions that were performed and also concluded well within the past. This article delves into the latter and tries to make life easier for those of you who are still struggling to remember and recall the preterit conjugations. Rest assured, they only appear scary.

Tú Or Vos? The Culture Dilemma

English, as we know it today, is a very simple language when it comes to addressing people. You have just one word (you) that can be used for strangers and acquaintances alike regardless of your level of intimacy with them. With Spanish, life gets a bit complicated because depending on where you are and who you are with, you must carefully choose from three different pronouns to sound appropriate. While knowledge of and usted is commonplace, it’s vos that’s relatively unknown to most Spanish learners. Here, we will try to explore voseo – the usage of vos – in different cultural contexts throughout the Hispanic world.

Tricks To Instantly Recall The Spanish Imperfect Conjugations

The Spanish language, like its other Romance cousins, is notorious for its myriad spirit-throttling conjugations. The first conjugation set any novice learner memorizes is the one for the simple present tense. While that one was relatively easier, it turns out there are many more such sets to be mugged up – for at least a dozen other tenses – and that’s where it starts to get intimidating. In this article, we’ll see how simple mnemonic cues and tricks can be exploited in committing one such set to memory – the Spanish imperfect tense. This is the tense for habitual or incomplete actions in the past and is quite important.

Tips On Using The World's Largest Language Learning Community

In the process of acquiring Spanish, we have used and abused an insane amount of free resources both offline and online. It is only with hit-and-trial that you eventually appreciate what works best for you, be it learning Spanish or acquiring any other skill. One of the resources many learners have used quite extensively is Livemocha and this article is going to focus on our experiences – and those of many other Spanish learners all over the world – with it. Having ransacked all that Livemocha has to offer in terms of Spanish, we have managed to put together our own list of strategies around squeezing it for maximum juice.

Positive Emotions In Spanish

Expressing one’s emotions is perhaps the single most important aspect of human communication in any language. Almost every real-life communication involves expression of the speakers’ feelings and sentiments, positive or negative, in varying degrees. Hence, it becomes obviously imperative for anyone learning Spanish to learn to be able to express themselves and their emotions efficiently in that language before they set out on any confident conversation with a native speaker. Regardless of circumstances, these expressions often form the pivot of any conversation that goes beyond asking for directions or ordering a cerveza.

Irregular Spanish Imperative Made Easy With Vin Diesel

Few real-life Spanish language interactions can last meaningfully long without the use of the imperative. This is the quintessential tense you speak in whenever you make a direct request or a command. Hence, it’s imperative that you master this tense quite early on while learning Spanish. While the English imperative is pretty straightforward with a single word for both requests and for commands, both negative and positive, Spanish has different words for each one of them! This article attempts to make it easier to master some of the most heavily used words of command (used with ) that are also irregular in conjugation.