Learn Spanish Vocabulary

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You did your Spanish lessons diligently for sometime now. You already have a basic comprehension of pronunciation, verb tenses, parts of speech, and even the rules in spelling. You are wondering how you can continue with the learning momentum. It is now time to meet new words and learn Spanish vocabulary.

Easy does it

In so many ways, learning and expanding your Spanish vocabulary are the easiest compared with other languages. This is because in the past, there had been a vigorous cross-fertilization, so to speak, between Latin words and phrases that made it both into the Spanish and English languages.

For a language learner, word similarities (word cognates) between one’s own tongue and that of the studied language is such a big boost. A word of caution, though: similar words can be a swear word in one country and means something completely different in another.

Similar words

There are words, of course, that mean exactly the same in both English and Spanish. One example is the word ACTUAL which means the same in London and in Madrid, although there is a difference in the placement of the stress.

There are, of course, many words that are spelled the same in English and in Spanish but have very different meanings. For instance, the word ARENA in English means a riding place or a sports complex. In Spanish, ARENA usually means something about SAND.

Prefixes

You can expand your vocabulary, too, if you take advantage of suffixes and prefixes. They are both very common in English and Spanish.

In English and in Spanish, the prefix MAL has a negative connotation. Examples in English would be MALADY, MALEVOLENT, MALFUNCTION, and MALICE.

In Spanish, the words would include MALEVOLO (malevolent), MALFORMACION (malformation) and MALVADO (malignant). They all begin with the prefix MAL.

Suffixes

Suffixes are tricky in both English and Spanish. There are two main types of suffixes in Spanish: augmentative and diminutive.

Augmentative suffixes relate to size – ARBOLETE (large tree), MUJERONA (tough woman) or PERRAZO (vicious dog). The diminutive meanwhile connotes some sense of affection like CASITA (little house), ABUELITA (dear grandmother) and GORDITO (chubby).

Current new words

Many Spanish sites provide words right from current publications read by native speakers, and are therefore deemed part of contemporary, everyday speech.

Learning Spanish by memorization is the hardest way to retain them, as well as the least fun. If you are forced to do memorization, try to do them by groups for easier recall.

Examples would be list of body parts, weather conditions terms, shopping terms, and terms used in dining and eating, perhaps. This is one way of building up your vocabulary.

The “tion” and “cion” word endings

Generally, an English word that ends in “tion” or “sion” usually has a counterpart in Spanish: invitation/invitacion, insect/insecto, occasion/occasion, information/informacion and excavation/excavacion.

Words like politician and musician becomes POLITICO and MUSICO. Note that there are also many similarities between words in Spanish and roots or synonyms in English.
PENSAR means to consider. The English word, pensive, also means thoughtfully considering something.

All in all, learning Spanish vocabulary and expanding yours is the better part in learning Spanish. The reason is simply because it is fun.

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