The Basics Archives - The Spanish Dude

Subject: The Basics

The videos on this page go in the order I made them (oldest on top, newest on bottom). If you would like to see them in the opposite direction (newest on top, oldest on bottom) click here.

  • The Infinitive & Conjugation

    One of the main reasons I failed Spanish my first time through is I was lost from the beginning. On the first day, the teacher starting using words like “conjugation” and “infinitive”. I didn’t even know what those words meant in English. Woulda been nice of her to explain that, no?

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  • Subject Pronouns (Personal Pronouns)

    Personal pronouns in Spanish are pretty easy and straightforward. The words are small and they work generally the way they do in English. But there are a couple common pitfalls for gringos like you and me. Formal/Informal, Latin America vs Spain. But don’t worry, that’s what we’re here to talk about today.

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  • Ser Vs. Estar

    “To be or not to be? That is the question.” I know very few lines from Shakespeare. But it’s no surprise to me that one of the few I do know, contains the verb “to be” twice. You see, I consider “to be” to be the mother of all verbs. I’d bet a lot of money that “to be” is the most frequently used verb in English and in Spanish. Anytime you say “is” “am” “are” “was” or “were”, you’re actually saying a conjugated form of “to be”. But here’s the thing. In Spanish, they have two different “to be’s”.

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  • The Three Enemigos

    In this lesson, I present “ser”, “estar” and “ir” together. Very few books present “ser” and “estar” together. I don’t know why. Probably because the people who make those books have no idea how our Gringo minds work.

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  • The Sexualization of Nouns

    In this lesson, I go over the whole masculine/feminine thing in Spanish. While not nearly as hard to “get” as all the verb conjugations, the sexuality of nouns still gives Spanish students a lot of trouble at the beginning. Or at least that’s how it was for me.

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  • Plural Forms of Nouns

    Plural forms of nouns in Spanish are very much like plural forms of nouns in English. The sounds are almost exactly the same too. In this quick video, I give you two rules that have no exceptions and give you some examples of both rules–and how they compare to what we do in English.

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  • Definite & Indefinite Articles

    Sometimes using terms when you’re learning a language can hurt more than it helps. This is possibly one of those times. But we need to refer to stuff somehow, right? In today’s lesson, I go over Definite & Indefinite Articles in Spanish. If you don’t know what those are, join the club. Even when I learned Spanish, since I learned on my own, I never knew what those were.

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  • More Than One One?

    There aren’t many words to learn in this lesson–all but one have been taught in past lessons (see the Related Lessons section). This is more of an “idea” lesson. So just sit back, relax and listen to what I have to say.

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  • Spanish Adjectives

    There are a couple tricky parts with adjectives. In this lesson, not only do I tell you the rules and exceptions to the rules for adjectives, but I go over those tricky parts to. It’s not difficult if you just focus. Then you’ll never have to worry about it again.

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  • Put Your Pronouns In, Take Your Pronouns Out

    I talk fast. I like to get as many words out as possible in as short of a time frame as possible. It’s my nature. So… I took it as really good news when I found out: In Spanish, you usually don’t have to use subject pronouns (I’ve been referring to them as Personal Pronouns in past lessons). That means, you can say the same thing with fewer words. Kind of like the equivalent of “works” instead of “he works”. Ha ha ha. It just doesn’t work in English. And there’s a very specific reason for that–and I explain it in today’s video.

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