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#7 How to Improve Your Spanish Pronunciation

#7 How to Improve Your Spanish Pronunciation

When you’re consuming Spanish in print or audio form, it’s easy to fall into Spectator Mode and spend hours listening or reading without actually producing any Spanish. The best way to avoid this trap is to read or repeat aloud what you consume.

I’ve created a video to help you go through this process sentence by sentence. Check it out!

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#6 The Best Way to Understand Spoken Spanish

#6 The Best Way to Understand Spoken Spanish

When you’re consuming Spanish in print or audio form, it’s easy to fall into Spectator Mode and spend hours listening or reading without actually producing any Spanish. The best way to avoid this trap is to read or repeat aloud what you consume.

I’ve created a video to help you go through this process sentence by sentence. Check it out!

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#5 La Ciudad – Advanced Spanish Listening Challenge

#5 La Ciudad – Advanced Spanish Listening Challenge

When you’re consuming Spanish in print or audio form, it’s easy to fall into Spectator Mode and spend hours listening or reading without actually producing any Spanish. The best way to avoid this trap is to read or repeat aloud what you consume.

I’ve created a video to help you go through this process sentence by sentence. Check it out:

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#4 La Compra – Advanced Spanish Listening Challenge

#4 La Compra – Advanced Spanish Listening Challenge

When you’re consuming Spanish in print or audio form, it’s easy to fall into Spectator Mode and spend hours listening or reading without actually producing any Spanish. The best way to avoid this trap is to read or repeat aloud what you consume.

I’ve created a video to help you go through this process sentence by sentence. Check it out:

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#3 La Siesta – Advanced Spanish Listening Challenge

#3 La Siesta – Advanced Spanish Listening Challenge

When you’re consuming Spanish in print or audio form, it’s easy to fall into Spectator Mode and spend hours listening or reading without actually producing any Spanish. The best way to avoid this trap is to read or repeat aloud what you consume.

I’ve created a video to help you go through this process sentence by sentence. Check it out:

Read More
#2 Dancing in Spain – Advanced Spanish Listening Challenge

#2 Dancing in Spain – Advanced Spanish Listening Challenge

When you’re consuming Spanish in print or audio form, it’s easy to fall into Spectator Mode and spend hours listening or reading without actually producing any Spanish. The best way to avoid this trap is to read or repeat aloud what you consume.

I’ve created a video to help you go through this process sentence by sentence. Check it out:

Read More
Repeating Sentences from Memory Improves Your Spoken Spanish

Repeating Sentences from Memory Improves Your Spoken Spanish

The first time you swing a baseball bat it feels incredibly awkward. After enough swings, however, your brain internalizes the conscious instructions you are giving it—turn the left shoulder, keep your hands back, rotate the ankle—, and the movement eventually becomes subconscious and natural.

Learning Spanish is not that different from swinging a bat: it only starts to feel natural after you’ve put in enough repetitions. If you feel like you’re stuck in Intermediate Purgatory, you’re probably doing a lot more consuming (reading and listening) than producing (speaking and writing). If that’s the case, here is a deliberate practice exercise that you can use to continue improving.

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Mastering the Spanish Reflexive Verbs: The Family Edition

Mastering the Spanish Reflexive Verbs: The Family Edition

Do you find the verbs in this conversation confusing?

—¡Qué calor! Así no se puede estudiar. Voy a darme un paseo por la playa y sigo en la biblioteca, que allí por lo menos tienen aire acondicionado.
“It’s so hot! It’s impossible to study like this. I’m going for a walk on the beach and I’ll continue (studying) at the library. At least there they have air conditioning.”

—¿Te vas ya? Si me esperas cinco minutos, voy contigo.
“Are you leaving right now? If you can wait five minutes (for me), I’ll go with you.”

—Venga. Termina y mientras aprovecho para darme una ducha.
“Cool. Finish what you’re doing and I’ll go take a shower”.

Since they’re accompanied by reflexive pronouns (me te se nos os), it’s common to think that they must all be reflexive verbs, but “I’m going to give myself a walk” makes no sense, and neither does “Are you leaving yourself right now?” So, what’s the deal?

The secret to making sense of these verbs is to realize that they belong to different families, each with its own hopes and dreams:

  1. Verbs with an object pronoun
  2. Impersonal verbs
  3. Emphasized verbs
  4. Verbs with pronominal twins

So, instead of lumping them all as reflexive verbs, let’s look at each family in turn. Once you understand what makes them tick, it’s much easier to spot their members.

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