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Spanish For Dummies



Spanish For Dummies

Pedro Vázquez Bermejo, Susana Wald

ISBN: 978-0-470-66452-0 May 2010 392 Pages

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Whether you want to take up Spanish from scratch or brush up on your existing skills, this practical, easy-to-follow guide is for you! Inside you'll find helpful lessons, cultural facts, handy references and much more, including a Spanish-English mini-dictionary and common verb lists. Learn how to use your skills in a variety of everyday contexts, and discover common expressions, important holidays and phrases that'll make you sound fluent. Complete with an audio CD that allows you to hear actual Spanish conversations by native Spanish speakers, Spanish For Dummies is your one-way ticket to speaking mainland Spanish with confidence.

Spanish For Dummies includes:

Part I: Getting Started
Chapter 1: You Already Know a Little Spanish
Chapter 2: The Nitty Gritty: Basic Spanish Grammar

Part II: Spanish in Action
Chapter 3: Hola! Hello! Greetings and Introductions
Chapter 4: Getting to Know You: Making Small Talk
Chapter 5: Dining Out and Going to Market
Chapter 6: Shopping Made Easy
Chapter 7: Going Out on the Town
Chapter 8: Enjoying Yourself: Recreation
Chapter 9: Talking on the Phone
Chapter 10: At the Office and Around the House

Part III: Spanish on the Go
Chapter 11: Money, Money, Money
Chapter 12: Dónde Está? (Where Is It?): Asking Directions
Chapter 13: Checking into a Hotel
Chapter 14: Getting Around: Planes, Trains, Taxis, and More
Chapter 15: Planning a Trip
Chapter 16: Help! Handling Emergencies

Part IV: The Part of Tens
Chapter 17: Ten Ways to Speak Spanish Quickly
Chapter 18: Ten Favourite Spanish Expressions
Chapter 19: Ten Holidays to Remember
Chapter 20: Ten Phrases That Make You Sound Fluent in Spanish

Part V: Appendixes
Appendix A: Spanish-English Mini Dictionary
Appendix B: Spanish Verbs
Appendix C: On the CD
Appendix D: Spanish Facts

Note: CD files are available to download after purchasing the e-Book version

Introduction 1

What’s Special about Spanish? 1

About This Book 2

Why We Wrote This Book 3

Conventions Used in This Book 3

Foolish Assumptions 4

How This Book is Organised 4

Part I: Getting Started 5

Part II: Spanish in Action 5

Part III: Spanish on the Go 5

Part IV: The Part of Tens 5

Part V: Appendixes 5

Icons Used in This Book 6

Where to Go from Here 6

Part I: Getting Started 7

Chapter 1: Realising that You Know a Little Spanish Already 9

Recognising the Spanish You Know Already 10

Watching out for false friends 11

Getting to know some crossover influences 11

Reciting Your ABCs 12

Checking out consonants 13

Finding out about vowels 17

Discovering diphthongs 19

Looking at Pronunciation and Stress 21

Searching for stress, normally 21

Spotting accented vowels 22

Understanding accents in diphthongs 22

¡Punctuation Plus! 22

Some Basic Phrases to Know 23

Chapter 2: Getting Down to the Nitty-Gritty: Basic Spanish Grammar 25

Constructing Simple Sentences 26

Forming Questions 26

Introducing Regular and Irregular Verbs 27

Regular verbs 28

Irregular verbs 29

Hiding Pronouns: Él or Ella? 31

Getting the Hang of that Whole Gender Thing 32

Appreciating articles 33

Adding adjectives 35

Counting Numbers 36

Getting to Know You: The Tú/Usted Issue 37

Part II: Spanish in Action 41

Chapter 3: ¡Hola! Hello! Greetings and Introductions 43

Greeting Formally or Informally 43

Using Names and Surnames 45

Discovering what’s in a name 45

Meeting the verb llamarse 46

Getting Introductions Right: Solemn and Social 47

Introducing yourself formally 48

Presenting yourself informally 50

Feeling Free to Be the Way You are 52

Being permanent: ser 52

Conjugating ser (to be) 52

Saying adios to pronouns 54

Knowing a second ‘be’ for your bonnet: Estar 55

Speaking about Speaking: Hablar 58

Chapter 4: Getting to Know You: Making Small Talk 63

Using the Key Questions: Six Ws and Two Hs 63

Keeping an Eye on the Weather 66

Understanding the Verb Entender 68

Getting to Know People and Families 70

Living with Vivir: The Verb to Live 72

Discovering Diminutives 74

Chapter 5: Dining Out and Going to Market 77

¡Buen Provecho! Enjoy Your Meal! 77

Tackling table terms 80

Eating and drinking phrases 80

Using Three Verbs at the Table 81

Taking and drinking: The verb tomar 81

Drinking only: The verb beber 82

Tucking in: The verb comer 82

Eating Out: Trying Spanish Food at the Restaurant 82

Getting What You Want: The Verb Querer 85

Using the Shopping Verb: Comprar 90

Shopping Around: At the Market 91

Purchasing fresh fruit 91

Buying vegetables 93

Shopping for fish 93

Knowing the measures: Weight and volume 94

Calling into the Supermercado 96

Counting Numbers 97

Chapter 6: Shopping Made Easy 101

Hitting the Shops 101

Using the Verb Probar (To Try) 103

Creating a colourful you 105

Shopping for shirts and trousers 106

Checking fibres and fabrics 108

Wearing and Taking: The Verb Llevar 109

Making Comparisons: Good, Better, Best and More 111

Exaggerating: When Superlatives Fail 113

Shopping for Finer Objects 114

Shopping in Open-Air Markets 115

Rooting out typical market items: An affordable treasure trove 115

Bargaining at the open-air market 116

Buying glass, ceramics, silver and wood 118

Purchasing unique clothes 118

Searching out shoes and bags 119

Chapter 7: Organising a Night on the Town 121

Understanding that Timing is Everything 121

Having a Good Time 123

Inviting and Being Invited: Invitar 124

Dancing the Night Away: Bailar 127

Enjoying Yourself at Shows and Events 128

Going to the cinema 131

Taking in a show 132

Visiting art galleries and museums 134

Laughing at a comedy show 134

Launching a book 135

Singing For Your Supper: Cantar 137

Chapter 8: Enjoying Yourself: Recreation 141

Venturing Outdoors: The Good and the Bad 141

Strolling Along: Pasear 142

Appreciating Trees and Plants 143

Searching Out Animals 143

Saying What You Like: Gustar 147

Becoming Active with Sport 147

Playing with the verb jugar 147

Enjoying the ‘beautiful game’: Fútbol 148

Zoning in on basketball 150

Serving up tennis 152

Getting on your bike 153

Splashing About: Nadar 154

Checking Out Chess 156

Booking in Some Reading Time: Leer 157

Scribbling Away: Escribir 159

Chapter 9: Talking on the Telephone 163

Starting Out with Your Opening Line 163

Dealing with ‘Porridge’ (When You Can’t Make Out the Words) 164

Thinking about ‘Spelling Out’ 166

Calling on the Phone: Llamar 169

Spotting Phone-y Verbs: To Call, to Leave, and to Listen and Hear 169

You called? The past tense of llamar 170

Did you leave a message? The past tense of dejar 171

Have you heard? The past tense of escuchar 171

Chapter 10: Looking Around the Home and Office 175

Talking at Work and About Work 175

Considering the height of buildings 176

Conversing at work 177

Discovering Work-related Phrases and Idioms 182

Getting down to business with ‘Asunto’ 182

Employing the hiring verb: Emplear 183

Doing and making: Hacer 185

Speaking about Houses and Homes 186

Gaining rental wisdom 187

Renting a home: Alquilar 192

Part III: Spanish on the Go 199

Chapter 11: Money, Money, Money 201

Cashing in With Some Basic Money Phrases 201

Operating Cash Machines 203

Wielding Your Credit Card 205

Using Traveller’s Cheques in Spain 206

Changing and Exchanging: Cambiar 208

Exchanging Your Pounds for Euros 208

Chapter 12: Asking Directions: ¿Dónde Está? (Where is it?) 213

Asking the Question for Going Places: ¿Dónde? 213

Working Out Where to Go: ¿Dónde Vamos? 214

Orienting the Space Around You 214

Understanding Spatial Directions 216

Mapping the Place 218

Taking You Up: Subir 221

Lowering You Down: Bajar 222

Heading Here, There and Everywhere 223

Counting Ordinal Numbers 224

Knowing How Far To Go: Cerca and Lejos 226

Chapter 13: Checking into a Hotel 229

Checking Out the Hotel Before You Check in 229

Wondering About the Water 239

Sleeping Soundly: Dormir 239

Waking Up: Despertar 240

Being Possessive 241

Possessive adjectives 241

Possessive pronouns 242

Chapter 14: Getting Around: Planes, Trains, Taxis and More 245

Arriving in Spain 245

Dealing with the customs office 247

Registering your camera, computer and other expensive equipment 250

Finding a Train Station 251

Bringing and Carrying: Traer 253

Choosing Taxi or Bus 254

Addressing Driving Concerns 256

Carrying your driving licence 256

Reading road signs 256

Renting a Car 258

Preparing to drive 259

Hitting the road 259

Scheduling Issues: Running Late, Early or On Time 260

Using the Outgoing Verb: Salir 262

Employing the Waiting Verb: Esperar 263

Travelling Around in the City 264

Chapter 15: Planning a Trip 267

Making Travel Plans 267

Planning for the Weather 269

Timing Your Trip: Picking a month 270

Mastering Visas and Passports 272

Using the Verb to Go: Ir 276

Travelling into the simple future: Ir a viajar 276

Scheduling hours and minutes 277

Packing for Your Visit 278

Taking Along Your Computer 280

Chapter 16: Handling Emergencies 283

Shouting for Help 283

Handling Health Problems 284

Helping out: Using ayudar 285

Assisting yourself with reflexive pronouns 287

Expressing pain when you’re hurt 288

Telling where it hurts 291

Describing symptoms 293

Braving the dentist 296

‘Insuring’ that you get reimbursed 297

Getting Help with Legal Problems 297

Sticking ’em up 299

Reporting to the police 300

Using the Searching Verb: Buscar 303

Part IV: The Part of Tens 305

Chapter 17: Ten Ways to Speak Spanish Quickly 307

Visiting Spain 307

Mingling with Local Spanish Speakers 307

Listening to Radio, TV and the Internet 308

Renting a Film 308

Checking Out Your Library 308

Reading Lyrics and Liner Notes 308

Using Stickers 309

Saying it Again, Sam 309

Taking a Spanish Class 310

Finding Yourself a Tutor 310

Chapter 18: Ten (Plus Two) Favourite Spanish Expressions 311

¿Qué tal? 311

¿Cómo estás? 311

¿Qué pasa? 312

¿Cómo van las cosas? 312

¡De primera! 312

¿Cuánto cuesta? 313

¿Cómo dices? 313

¡Un atraco! 313

¡Una ganga! 313

¡Buen provecho! 314

¡Salud! 314

¡Buen viaje! 314

Chapter 19: Ten Holidays to Remember 315

Año Nuevo 315

La Feria de Sevilla 315

Las Fallas de Valencia 316

Carnaval 316

Semana Santa 317

Los San Fermines 317

Las Costas en Invierno 318

Los Paradores de Turismo en España 319

Taking a City Break 319

Planning Your Own Holiday 320

Chapter 20: Ten Phrases That Make You Sound Fluent in Spanish 321

¡Agarrar el toro por los cuernos! 321

¡Esta es la mía! 321

¿Y eso con qué se come? 322

Voy a ir de fiesta 322

Caer fatal 322

Nos divertimos en grande 323

Vérselas negras para 323

Pasó sin pena ni gloria 323

¡Así a secas! 324

¡La cosa va viento en popa! 324

Part V: Appendixes 325

Appendix A: Mini-Dictionary 327

Appendix B: Spanish Verbs 343

Conjugating Spanish Verbs 343

Figuring Out Irregular Spanish Verbs 345

Appendix C: About the CD 353

Appendix D: Spanish Facts 355

Answer Key to Word Search in Chapter 13 356

Answers to the Word Scramble in Chapter 14 357

Index 359