el piano

This one is pretty easy, right? The only problem with cognates (words that look the same in Spanish and English) is that we sometimes forget to pronounce them correctly. So, be sure to say this one three times aloud:

ehl-pee-AH-noh. = el piano.

The A in Spanish always says AH, like at the doctors office. We also call it a short O sound. So, enjoy a “day off” with learning words, and practice instead on your pronunciation.

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Yo quiero tocar

I want to play… Yo quiero tocar… (yoh-kee-eh-roh-toh-kahr)

tocar mean to touch as well as to play. Tocar is NOT interchangeable with jugar (hoo-gahr) which also mean to play. Here is the difference:

tocar = to play an instrument, or to touch

jugar = to play a game, a board game, or just playing outside

The “guts” of this phrase is “Yo quiero,” which means “I want” can go with any noun you already know. Just like the phrase “Yo tengo,” you can use verbs as well, but you don’t need a connecting word. So…..

Yo quiero comer = I want to eat.

Yo quiero salir = I want to leave.

Yo quiero hablar = I want to talk.

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Yo tengo unos lápices y los cuadernos en mi mochila.

Did you understand the title? You SHOULD! If you read each word three times aloud for the past four days, this complete sentence should be a piece of cake for you!

Yo tengo unos lápices y los cuadernos en mi mochila. (I have some pencils and the notebooks in my backpack.)

If there is one word in there that you’re not sure on how to pronounce, go back NOW and re-read it aloud. To change this sentence up a bit, you can change a few different things. Let’s start from the end:

…en mi mochila can turn into, en mi cocina (in my kitchen; ehn-mee-koh-see-nah)

los cuadernos can be ANY noun you already know. (Yo tengo unos lápices y los libros en mi mochila.)

And finally you can begin the sentence differently; I DON’T have (yo no tengo.)

Have fun with flash cards, and extra words, and make sentences that you can use!

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un lápiz

a pencil – un lápiz (oon-lah-pees)

The difference between a pencil and some pencils is in the spelling:

unos lápices (oo-nohs-lah-pee-sehs)

So, every time you see a pencil today, call out ¡lápiz!: LAH-pees!

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los cuadernos

the notebooks – los cuadernos


“The notebooks” can be used to term any pad of paper, spiral bound booklet, or the binder, three ring binder. “el libro” is the book (lee-broh), which refers to hard-bound, published, books. To use the notebook, you can add these subjects:

the art notebook = el cuaderno de arte

the math notebook = el cuaderno de matemáticas

the science notebook = el cuaderno de ciencias

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yo tengo

yo tengo = I have


This phrase is EASY to use! You can throw it every time you have ANYTHING! Yo tengo your car. Yo tengo the keys. Tengo the kids, tengo the money.

…Or when you DON’T have something. Yo no tengo the time. No tengo any idea. No tengo the patience. No tengo your hat.

We can also add verbs. If you have some verbs in your vocabulary, like …

hablar (to talk), salir (to leave), to work (trabajar), comer (to eat)

You can say all sorts of things, just by adding the little word “que:”

I have to leave: Tengo que salir.

I have to work: Tengo que trabajar.

I have to talk: Tengo que hablar.

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en mi mochila

in my backpack.


You can use this phrase for any time you’re looking for something. A good phrase to start the lesson is “Dónde está…” (where is….) don’t be afraid to add in an English word at the end. Remember, using SOME Spanish is better than using NO Spanish, simply because you can’t remember EVERY word.

For the word MI (my) , try replacing it with another possessive:

mi = my

tu = your

su = his, her, or their

Remember, keep it fun and light!

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