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Spanish Language

es que…

The expression “es que” is the combination of the 3rd person of the verb ser (es)  and the conjunction “que” and it is always written separately, but What does the expression es que  mean in Spanish? Well it means nothing really. This “locución” (phrase) is used in Spanish to emphasise something, it is normally used by the speaker at the beginning of a sentence. I have seen that some people  (the people who likes to translate everything) translate “es que” as “is just that”. If that works for you it is fine with me but personally I wouldn’t  translate it, use it when you think it is right to highlight something for example esque no tengo dinero (I don’t have any money). It can also be used to make an excuse: ¿Vienes esta noche? es que tengo sueño  – Are you coming tonight? I am tired.

Some more examples:

Es que somos muy pobres

Es que estoy borracho

Es que mañana tengo que trabajar

Please leave your thoughts about this discussion under “comments”

Spanish language

Spanish  Language  -  New GrammarSpanish, the second major global language on the planet, until now governed by a grammar written in 1931 that simply added a chapter to 1917. Since then, the Civil War in between, all scores had been to the outline of a new grammar of the Spanish language, published in 1973

From now on the outlook is quite different. “This is a grammar of the century”, says Ignacio Bosque, professor of Philology at the Complutense University, a member of the Royal Spanish Academy and draftsman of the new work. He says one of the halls of the Academy. Next to it is the director of the SAR, Víctor García de la Concha. On the table, the two volumes of the new standard orange, dedicated to the morphology and syntax. In a few months will see the third-phonetics and phonology “, coordinated by José Manuel Blecua.

Eleven years have taken the 22 Spanish language academies to develop a work in which the numbers compete with the lyrics: 3,800 pages, 40,000 samples, 3,700 books and 307 newspaper titles and magazines used as a source for citations. And almost five kilos. All for 120 euros and a circulation that has declined

Espasa editorial made public. Next year will publish a manual version and other basic pocket 750 and 250 pages respectively.

“20 years ago this Spanish grammar would have been impossible,” says Bosque. “The computer allows one to enter and search a building, for example, evidence of its use in nineteenth-century Peruvian authors. Before we worked with paper cards.”

García de la Concha said that it is a work that combines description (says how the language) and prescription (recommend some applications compared to others): “We started using the scheme panhispánico Dictionary of doubt, it is very sharp-right / wrong, “but we realized that it was necessary to qualify because there are things bound to be incorrect in one country and not in others. We do mirror work, when we say ‘not recommended or preferred other use’, what we say is that Spanish-speaking people prefer another use. ” Ignacio Bosque, “the buildings have a form, meaning and geographical distribution, but also prestige. If the Academy did not exist would be exactly the same.”

“The rule is polycentric,” he says, for its part, the director of the SAR, which insists that the new Spanish grammar is a collective and consensual between Spanish and American academies. Gone are the days when he first described the use of a building in Spain and then use in America. “It is now commonly described first and then the variants. It aims to show what speakers share and what differentiates us.”

Bosque pulls that thread: “Spanish is a language very smooth. The differences in syntax are not as great as in the vocabulary or pronunciation.” What is the biggest threat to this unity?  Bosque has trouble finding a lack of interest beyond some speakers: “They see the language code as something alien, as if the code of commercial law and not of his life. Why are young people who paint the street furniture ? Why not consider itself: At home they do. ”

Is the abuse of Anglicisms? “Has more influence on the lexicon,” says Garcia de la Concha, recalling that it is important to accommodate the Spanish as did Gallicisms (“garden”) or Italian (“carriage”) that today do not perceive as such. Will SMS maybe? “The writing was born as an abbreviation,” says Bosque. “One thing is to use a restricted code to a device and another, do a test with this code.”

Nueva Gramatica de la Lengua Espanola

Nueva Gramatica de la Lengua Espanola. Manual

you in Spanish

The use of the pronoun you in Spanish is not as straight forward as we may think, especially if we consider that we have plural, singular, formal and informal. So how and when do we use you in Spanish? These days the most used form of you in Spanish is in singular and vosotros in plural. If it is someone that you just met, an old person, business client etc we use a more formal approach. For this sort of situations we use usted for singular and ustedes for plural, the usage depending on the person you’re talking to and/or the circumstances. There is not a rule set in stone for this so, when it is difficult to find the appropriate form of treatment, it is useful to ask: “¿puedo tutearlo ?” Meaning, can I treat you with “tú”?Or say: “puedes tutearme (you can treat with “tú). In both cases the answer is supposed to be affirmative and from there on the exchange can be done in a friendly way.

There is another friendly form for you in Spanish, vos This form is used in Buenos Aires and some other regions. Its use is equivalent to , no more no less respectful. The vos informal is opposed to the formal form “Usted”.
In recent years it has expanded the use of vos as approach friendly and treatment. It is perhaps the most common form used and usted is used to put distance, to mark intentionally hierarchies, show admiration for someone older or highlighting the respectful treatment.

The vos is used friendly or with a friendly intention or among young. Even in the teacher-student, boss-employee, vendor-client relation the vos can be used, unless the intention is to highlight the asymmetry.
Usted is used in formal work situations (business meeting, interview with a client, etc.)and among the elderly.

If you like to learn about other pronouns in Spanish and its use visit

ABC as easy as 1 2 3

Based on the Roman alphabet, the Spanish alphabet is formed since 1803 (fourth edition of the academic Dictionary) by 29 letter. It is named after the first two Greek letters alpha (α) and beta (β), originally, in Hebrew and Phoenician, meaning “bull” and “home”, the Greek alphabet is an adaptation of the Hebrew-Phoenician alphabet.

The ch and ll although digraphs are also letters of the alphabet to represent a single sound, unlike the digraph rr has the same sound as the initial r. In the 10TH Congress of the Association of Spanish Language Academies (Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española) in 1994 it was decided, at the request of various international organizations, to adopt the universal Latin alphabetical order integrating the words started by ch and ll in their respective places within the c and l without leaving them out from the alphabet, as is commonly believed.

Enjoy learning the Spanish alfabet with a fun song

Also you can check the alfabet in our audio pages

Making sentences to make sense

La oración ( The sentence )

We define “oración” as a communication unit that has full meaning, and syntactic independence and ends on pause or full stop.

La mesa del profesor tiene libros.

Sentences are formed by two parts Sujeto (subject) and predicado (predicate)

El Sujeto

We call  “sujeto” to the person, animal or thing that performs the verb action or who is saying something.

El hijo de mi vecina compró una bicicleta.


We call “predicado” to what is said about the subject.

El hijo de mi vecina compró una bicicleta.


In the subject there is always a word that is more important and is called the nucleus (N). It is always a noun or other words that functions as if it were one.

El hijo de mi vecina compró una bicicleta.
Aquélla tiene el pelo rubio.

Check this slide show out to see more example of “oración simple”

El Predicado

The most important word in almost every predicate is the verb, which we call the nucleus (N).

l hijo de mi vecina compró una bicicleta.
Aquélla tiene el pelo rubio.

Locating the predicate is the easiest thing in the world. Predicate is all that is not Subject (Sujeto)

As always leave your comments.

What are you playing at?

The Spanish verb “jugar” is often confused when we are  learning Spanish. This is because the English equivalent is the verb to play which in English language means more than one action. The verb Jugar deals only with sports or games. For instance if you want to say “I am going to play football with my friends”, you will say “voy a jugar al fútbol con mis amigos”. For anything else you will need to find another verb or word that matches the contents you wish to express. For instruments or music you would never use the verb Jugar, you will use tocar, “I am playing the piano” “estoy tocando el piano”.

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Other meaning of to play are “obra (de teatro), pieza  (teatral), comedia” and “Reproducir (DVD, video film)”. To see a full list of meanings and phrasal verbs in Spanish of the verb to play click here.

B for bravo or V for victor?

bIf you are a Spanish speaker you are more likely to pronounce these two letters exactly the same. The phoneme lbl is represented on the writing for both v and b – caballo, viaje, bueno, etc.

In deed b and v are pronounced exactly the same. Has this always been the case? Talking to my grandfather about this (he is 96) he tells me that he always makes the labial differentiation, so he does make a slightly difference between both letters. He stated to me that “the problem now is we are too lazy to make the difference and we have lost the pronunciation difference between these two letters 60 years ago.

Some Spanish speakers from Valencia or Mayorca pronounce spontaneously the v as labial-teeth word also, this phenomenon appears in some regions in Catalunya as a result of the influence of their local language.

In some American countries they believe that there is a difference between B labial and V labial – teeth. The fact is that after speaking with some Argentineans and Mexicans they make the difference when pronouncing these two letters spontaneously and under the influence of the English language.

Victoria, I hope this resolves your concern.


Ser vs Estar – to be or not to be… That is always the question.


For our first post we are going to look at these two Spanish verbs which are always confused when we learn the language. Whole books have been written about the two important Spanish verbs; both ser and estar are translated in English as to be. Ser has a more passive form and estar a more active one or, how I like to explain this is, ser is for permanent status and estar is for more impermanent things. Estar is used to describe the current state of something- how it is at that moment. Ser is used to describe the nature and characteristics of something.

The window is open – La ventana está abierta

The window is big – La ventana es grande

The first sentence indicates something that can be change (the window can be closed). The second sentence indicates something more permanent. Here are a few more examples.

My car is very small – Mi coche es muy pequeño

My car is broken – Mi coche está roto.

Pedro and Ana are Spanish – Pedro y Ana son españoles

Pedro and Ana are in England – Pedro y Ana están en Inglaterra.

I hope this post helps you to understand the differences between both. There are some exercises available on the relevant sections of this site. If you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

Estar conjugation

Ser conjugation

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Plaza mayor - Salamanca
Plaza mayor – Salamanca

In this section we will put some news and comments about Spain and its language, also in the near future,you will be able to participate with your opinions, concerns and thoughts relating the Spanish language.

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