See, Look at, or Watch?

These three verbs all mean to use your sense of vision, but there are differences in how they’re used that can be confusing even to advanced learners of English. In…

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What the heck is «ya»?

I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I told you that every Spanish student I’ve ever had has asked me –at least once– what does ya mean? They think it’s the German…

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What’s the Difference? por qué, por que, porqué and porque

You’ve seen pairs like él and el, but a quadruplet? You already know that many Spanish words come in pairs that look alike, apart from an accent mark. If these…

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The Gender of Water: El Agua y Las Aguas

  Every Spanish learner has been told over and over to always pay attention to the gender of nouns. Normally Spanish courses make things easier and list the definite article…

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Would you like some tea? Sí or si, tú or tu?

Perplexity, that’s the word that better describes my astonishment when, innocently and naively, decided to learn some Chinese and heard that different pitches of a single sound vary the meaning…

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Beware of the Silent H! Echo and Hecho

    They say that in Spanish you have to pronounce all the letters. Yes, that’s certainly true, except for the ‘h’, which –we all know– is silent. Well, it…

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8 Little Words That Make Your French Sound More Natural

French has its own fillers that, um, er, uh, like, you know… make speech sound more natural. These little words add emotional flavor, they soften or reinforce an arguments, or…

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Do you drink your coffee solo or sólo?

Sólo or solo? Traditionally Spanish distinguished the adverb sólo (only/just) from the adjective solo (alone) by using the accent for the adverb. So, if you wanted to say: –At breakfast…

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6 Tips for Learning a New Language

There’s work involved in learning a new language, but a lot of it can be unnecessary. If you have unrealistic expectations about your language, or yourself, you’re going to waste…

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Active Reading: A Way to Improve Your Language Skills

As soon as you’re able to understand sentences, you can substantially increase your learning experience by being actively engaged in the reading process. That just means using a pen, colors…

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How a Little Writing Can Boost Your Language Learning

Many of us teachers strongly recommend that our students write. Why? Because writing will help you ‘visualize’ your thoughts. And your learning will accelerate drastically. Writing gives structure to the…

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