Accelerated Spanish, Lesson 11

In this lesson, for the first time, we’ll be presenting both verbs and other words. Since we now know enough about verbs at this point to load up on them in the same way that we’ve been learning other words in bulk, we’ll be adding about 15 new verbs in addition to about 50 other words. Do remember that the vocabulary up to this point is the most essential, so the most important work is behind us, although the verbs in this lesson are quite essential to fluency.

We’ll progress through Joel’s neighborhood in Yol the same way that we normally do, starting at the amusement park and working our way back to Joel’s house. However, since there are no new pronouns to learn this time, we’ll just go straight from the amusement park to the adverbs.

Amusement park

aunque = “even though”: Joel has only been through one earthquake before, and he did NOT enjoy it. The amusement park is going through an earthquake today. Joel has a mortal fear of quakes. But he says that even though he hates earthquakes, he’ll endure it for today in order to get to his favorite rides.

Market, center

“ay” = “ouch”: When Joel first comes to the marketplace, he runs into the statue at the fountain and hits his head. The first thing he thinks to shout is “ay!” For Joel, it’s a self-serving exclamation to draw attention to himself.

igual = “at the same time”: The vendors ask Joel why he shouted. He says “I ran into a wall.” They say “There’s no wall there, just a statue.” Joel responds, “OK, there’s no wall here, pero igual, I ran into something hard.” (“Igual” is used the way we use “at the same time” in English.)

dale = “sure”, “go ahead”, “OK”: Joel sees a dolly and he thinks she’s trying to cross the street. He tells her to go ahead: “¡Dale!” But she doesn’t move. When the vendors tell Joel, “That’s just a doll”, he responds “Oh, OK. Dale.”

Market, steak stand

medio = “half-“: The butcher asks Joel how he likes his meat done. He shows him raw meat “This is rare,” and a piece of charcoal “This is well-done.” Joel says, “I’ll take medium, halfway in between.”

Let’s do a review of our words at the steak stand.

First of all, here are the four most common words of degree: “muy”, “tan”, “más”, and “menos”.

spanish adverbs of degree muy tan menos mas

Most common “degree” adverbs.

You can use all of these words interchangeably, for example before the adjective “feliz”. Something can be “menos feliz”, “tan feliz”, “muy feliz”, or “más feliz”. Also, notice that they proceed in degree from less to more, left to right.

Now look at this image and try to recall the words just from the images, and make up a few sentences in your head, switching out these different adverbs.

spanish adverbs of degree muy tan menos mas

Recall the adverbs of degree.

Next let’s add a few more, also exchangeable with these words, and still proceeding from left to right. “Demasiado feliz”, for example, would be “too happy”. That steak not just “more green”; it’s SO green that it’s falling off the right side of the stand.

spanish adverbs of degree demasiado nada medio bastante completamente

More degree adverbs

The word “bastante” is being used to mean “quite”, as in “that steak is quite tanned”. “Nada” is being used as an adverb to mean “not at all”. “Completamente” is a cognate that means “completely”, because on the right side of the stand, it’s completely covered with mint.

Let’s do some sentences from left to right:

“No está nada feliz.”

“Está menos feliz.”

“Está tan feliz…”

“Está medio feliz.”

“Está muy feliz.”

“Está bastante feliz.”

“Está demasiado feliz!”

“Está completamente feliz.”

See how all of these words can be grammatically exchangeable in these contexts.

Next, let’s add three more degree adverbs. These work in slightly different ways, because they tend to happen at different places in a sentence. We’re using three salt shakers hanging over the stand.

spanish adverbs of degree tanto cuanto poco

The shaker on the left lets very, very little salt out, and it pokes the steak as you try to use it. The one on the right, however, has a very tanned-looking spice in it, and lets out “so much” (“tanto”) when you shake it.

“Poco” and “tanto” are basically exchangeable, and they happen at the end of a phrase. For example, “I slept so much…” is “[I slept] tanto…”, and “I slept very little” is “[I slept] poco”.

Cuanto, on the other hand, is used to mean “as much as”. The mean vendor lets Joel add as much spice as he wants to his steak from this shaker.

Now take a look at this last image, which has no text. Try to remember all of the words and use them in sentences of your own.

spanish adverbs of degree muy más menos demasiado tanto poco medio

All adverbs of degree (picture only).

Market, bread stand

“¿cuándo?” “¿when?”: Joel asks the vendor, “When can I buy bread?” The vendor responds, “When are you going to bring your magic wand?” (This version of the word with an accent indicates it’s used in a question, instead of as a connector like the version in the amusement park.)

Market, fruit stand

afuera = outside: Joel sees a really nice jacket hanging in the fruit stall and he wants it. “Lo quiero!” He knows he can’t afford it, but he wants to just try it on to see how he likes it. He sneaks in secretly and puts the jacket on. The owner quickly catches him. “Get out! Get out!” Don’t wear it, you’ll wear it out!”

arriba = up: The ribs of the stand are starting to fall out, so joel must fly up to hold them in place until the fruit merchant gets someone taller.

cerca = nearby: Joel is looking for food shaped like a circle and asks where the best place to find that would be. The vendor says “You’ve come to the right place. We have more circles than anyone else nearby!”

Market, vegetable stand

“igual” = “the same way”: Fueled be the fruit he just sampled at the fruit stand, Joel flies too quickly to the vegetable stand and smashes his head into the carrot in the middle of the stand. The vegetable stand owner remarks that Joel has acted the same as he did earlier, as if he was running into a wall. “Siempre estás igual” means “you are always acting the same way” or “you are always doing the same.”

Regular verbs along the woods

trabajar = to labor: Joel’s shop. If any customers come in, he asks them to do work for him, like sweeping the floor or cleaning the windows or counting his money. If they ask for help or for pay, he says, “Bah! Humbug! That kind of thing is too hard for me.”

dejar = to leave off: Dejar is a pawnshop that Joel owns. Everyone says that it’s “hard” to leave your possessions, because it’s a bad day when you have to leave your possessions behind. But if you’re having a bad day and you have to sell your possessions, you go to dejar and you leave your things here. So dejar where you have a hard day leaving things behind means “to leave” (something) or “to stop” (something). So it doesn’t just mean to leave something, it can also mean to leave off doing something.

tomar = to take: Joel doesn’t like the “mar” neighborhood. Everything gets destroyed, or in Joel’s words, “marred”. For example, when you go to the Tomar shop, it’s a trap. They take all your things and they mar them beyond recognition. The idea here is that when something is taken away, someone tries to “mar” it so that you can never have it back. Tomar means “to take” (or sometimes “to drink” or “to eat”, like “I take my tea with sugar”).

llamar = to call: Llamar is also in the “mar” verb neighborhood, which Joel always associates with something bad. Llamar is “to call”. Llamar is full of llamas, which Joel doesn’t like. So when you go into the llamar shop, you have to call the llamas what they want to be called; otherwise they might do you some sort of harm. So when you’re calling to them or when you’re addressing them you have to call them what they want to be called. So “llamar” means “to call”, either in the sense of calling somebody something as in calling them their name or actually calling to somebody, shouting or calling on the telephone. Now one of the most common uses of the verb llamar is actually in greetings or in introductions. When you tell someone your name you don’t say my name is, instead Joel prefers to say. ‘I call myself Joel.’ or ‘I am called Joel:’ “Me llamo Joel.” And the question “what do you call yourself” or “what are you called” is “¿Cómo te llamas?” So the reflexive is often used with this verb.

encontrar = to find: This is a shop that belongs to the lizard. But Encontrar is less a shop and more like an indoor jungle. If you walk in there, you go in and you get lost in a jungle inside the shop. Now what you’re supposed to do is you’re supposed to find the animals that are hidden in the shop. There are a bunch of lions and tigers and things like that inside the store hidden in the jungle, and you’re supposed to follow their sounds as you try to find them. But the point is that when you find them, you announce that you found them by making the noise that the creature would make by saying ‘rar’. (The lizard loves this game.) So you’re successful if you say ‘rar’. So “encontrar” means “to encounter” or more likely “to find” something. It doesn’t have to do with the activity of looking for the creatures but when you find them that’s when you say, ‘rar’. And so “encontrar” is “to find”.

esperar = to hope, to wait: This one is also one of the lizard’s shops. Esperar is a detetive office where the lizard waits all day for good mysteries to come in… but it really never happens. So he’s just sitting there in his shop all day long every day hoping and waiting. So Esperar means “to wait” or “to hope”. One day, right outside Esperar, Joel finds a dead sparrow on the sidewalk. Now Joel had nothing to do with this particular sparrow’s death, and so he’s very curious as to why this happened. So he brings the sparrow into Esperar shop and he asks the lizard, ‘What happened with this sparrow? I hope that you can find out what happened.” “Espero” means “I hope”.

matar = to kill: This is an underground, illegal entertainment center beneath the Tar neighborhood store. They use stolen tar to try to kill animals. It’s a very ugly place, but the point is that “matar” means “to kill”.

pensar = to think: The Tsar runs the “Pensar” shop, where he sells pens. Pens are in high demand in Yol; the theory is that if you have a pen, you’re perceived as a very important person. Now the pens themselves are made of rolled up yen, so the stressed syllable of the present tense is “yen”; for example “pienso” means “I think” and “piensas” means “you think”.

Regular verbs along the beach

entender = to understand: Dare (the fitness guy) runs a beach shop where he invites people in and tries to understand them. Unfortunately, he doesn’t understand much of anything. He doesn’t even understand why his shop gets wet every time the tide rises.

oír = to hear: The shop “Oir” is a record shop, and it’s run by Ir, the doctor who wants people to go down his long hall. But here, he likes to play records, and he wants everybody to hear his records. Unfortunately his tastes are very eccentric and don’t really resonate with his customers. Most of the records in the entrance of the shop are just about a wig. So Joel is not very impressed, and he says ‘Oy! Oigo, I hear a record about a wig.’ However, while Joel is not impressed, the others seem to be happy about this song. For the lizard the conjugation is oye, for the pandas it’s oyen, and for the owner of the store it’s oyes. So oigo is “I hear”, oye is “he hears”, etc.

seguir = to continue: Seguir is a segway shop where they sell segway scooters and all the parts that segway scooters have (like gears). Now at the shop they give segway tours of Joel’s neighborhood in Yol, and they require everybody on tour to follow them on the scooters. If anybody strays away from them, they’re forced to give up their segway scooters and go back home. So it’s all about following them. Seguir means “to follow”, but it also means “to continue” when followed by a gerund. For example, “I continue being a child” is “sigo siendo un niño”.

salir = to exit, to go out: Salir means “to exit” or “to go out”. The shop here is a Learjet Shop that insists that you should leave any place in style. At the Salir Shop, they say the right way to leave the city is in style, in a Learjet. So whenever the worldly-minded Joel thinks about leaving a place, he remembers this shop and the idea of leaving that place in a Learjet. So to say “to leave” or “to go out” (as in “to go out shopping”), he likes to say “Salir”.

comer = to eat: Comer means “to eat”, and this is where a bunch of mares are fed. Joel never comes here because he’s terrified of horses and always scared that they’re going to eat him.

morir = to die: Morir means (to die). Morir is the undertakers shop and his name is Mo and what he does is he transports the coffins in the rear part of his hearse. He likes to play special emphasis on the fact that the people who have died are in the rear while the people who are still alive are in the front. So for anyone in Yole when you die the verb at play here is Morir. Now a couple of things to note on this verb: First of all, it’s on the right side of the street. And what that means is that the stressed syllable of many of the present tense is are different. So the present tense first person is “muero” (I die), “he dies” is “muere”, “they die” is mueren, and so on. And then of course the subjunctives are all based on these alterations, so “muera”, “mueras”, and so on. Also note that the participle is irregular but you already know it. When we say that someone is dead we say that they are muerto and so that’s the participle. He has died is ‘ha muerto’ and I have died is ‘he muerto’ if you ever happened to have to say that.

Irregular verbs

We have a few irregular verbs to learn today, starting with some previously omitted conjugations of Haber.

Haber, daytime

We have a few conjugations of Haber that we skipped in lesson 6 to keep things simple. But although these conjugations are not quite so ubiquitous, they are quite frequent and handy.

haya: Subjunctive form. “I hope that he has been there” would be “Espero que haya estado allá.”

hubiera: Past tense subjunctive and past tense conditional, with the stressed syllable “yer”. For example, “If I had done it, I wouldn’t be here”: “Si lo hubiera hecho, no estaría aquí.”

habría: Conditional of haber. Not as commonly used as “hubiera”; generally when you want a conditional (“I would have [done something]”, “he would have [done something]”, etc.), you’ll just use “hubiera”.

Haber, nighttime (existence)

hubo: Preterite for haber. This is used when there is suddenly something, as an event. For example, “There was a problem” would be “hubo un problema”.

habría: Conditional, used for “there would be (something)”. For example, “We were in Argentina, there would be better meat”: “Si estuviéramos en Argentina, habría más carne.”


Venir is a convenience store. It seems that any time you need, it Venir is near where you are. The store itself actually physically comes to you wherever you are, which is a little creepy for a building. So “venir” means “to come”.

Note that Venir is located right next to Hacer, so it’s conjugated much the same way.

Present tense: Vengo, viene, vienes, vienen, venimos.

Preterite tense: Vine, vino, viniste, vinieron, venimos.

Subjunctive: Venga, vengas, vengan, vengamos.


Dar is a gift shop and its run by someone called Darling who goes by dar. So ‘dar’ means (to give).

Dar is located near Hacer and Venir, but on the left side of the street, so it doesn’t have a “G” in the first person (like “hago” and “vengo”). But it is irregular and is more like the first person of Ser and Ir, “doy”. The past tense, like in every store on the same street, has a letter “i” emphasized.

Present tense: Doy, da, das, dan, damos.

Preterite tense: Di, dio, diste, dieron, dimos.

Imperatives: “Da” means “Give!” “Dame” means “Give me…” “Dale” means “Give him…”


Suponer means “to suppose”. Here you’re supposed to guess what’s in the soup, but if you guess wrong, they all yell at you and throw you out. So you may suppose that something is in the soup, but if you’re wrong, they very rudely shout that they would never put such a thing in soup.

So for example, you might say, ‘I suppose there’s bacon in the soup’. But then they would say “we would never put bacon in the soup”, and they throw you out. That’s based on the trigger “ner”, which sounds like “never”. So Suponer has the stress syllable “ner” and means “to suppose”.

Present tense: Supongo (I suppose) is extremely common. Other present-tense conjugations are supone, supones, suponen, and suponemos.

Participle: “Supuesto” is the very commonly used participle. It means “supposed”, but the frequent expression “por supuesto” is used to mean “of course”.

Adjectives, comparative

mayor = bigger: Joel likes to make things out of wood when his trees die. One of his trees died a long time ago, and Joel made an oar out of it. It sits here in the yard. He boast that his oar is bigger than anyone else’s: “My oar is mayor que anyone else’s.”

Adjectives, indefinite

ciertos = certain/specific: Cognate meaning “certain”, as in “certain things”.

Adjectives, ordinal

segundo = second: The second horse that tried to jump over Joel’s fence is a little silly, and like his unidentified neighbors, Joel calls it a “goon”.

cuarto = fourth: Instead of a horse, in the fourth place on the fence is a stack of four quarters.

última = last: At the very end of the fence is the “ultimate” horse. It’s the last horse that tried jumping over Joel’s fence, and it’s holding a frisbee because it likes to play ultimate frisbee.

Adjectives, numbers

cuatro = four: We return to the scary part of the yard where Joel encounters animals. After tracing the ground with the shape of his wings, the next thing he encounters is a flag pole. Of course, he doesn’t like the dark and he doesn’t like the animals, so he wants to light up the whole area. In order to do this, he puts some light bulbs up on both the flag and its pole. So there are bunch of light bulbs all over the flag and the pole, and when they’re all lighted up, theycreate the shape of the number 4. Interestingly, Joel always thinks about light bulbs in terms of wattage, and so when he thinks about the number “four” he thinks about “watts”. So the word is cuatro, with the stressed syllable ‘watt’.

cinco = five: The animals around Joel seem to be getting increasingly loud, and they seem to be coming closer and closer to him. He wants to get away, but he’s currently unable to fly because he’s exhausted (from trying to draw himself and from trying to put those light bulbs up on the flag pole). And he can’t really get across a stream that’s blocking his way. So he thinks about boating across. But the only boat that he can find is one that is flat on top and curve in a very strange way at the bottom so that it would easily sink. If you think about the way that the number 5 physically looks, imagine trying to float the number five on some water. The water would easily spill into the left side and it would sink. So for Joel, the number five is pronounced cinco.

Adjectives, ser-ish

difícil = difficult: Joel has an airplane. He used to be a pilot, but it was too hard to keep up with everything. The hardest thing was paying all the fees that were necessary.

fácil = easy: Joel always wonders why people say it’s so hard to find Dinosaur fossils. He digs them up in his yard all the time. It’s easy!

fuerte = strong: Joel works really hard, and his tools get a good workout, but they’re mostly wooden, so they wear out really fast (Hard wear hardware, easy)

igual = the same: There are walls around the garden in Joel’s back yard. He had them built carefully, because he knows many people with gardens whose walls are all of different heights and don’t match up at the top. He made sure to hire someone who knew how to make the walls of equal height.

malo = bad/mean: Joel maintains that even though the dogs were obedient this time, they are bad at heart and will maul him if they get the chance.

pequeño = small: Joel has a cane, but it was very hard to find. He’s a bee, and those are tiny. He had to look far and wide for something a tenth as small as a candy cane.

posible = possible: Joel’s human brother often wonders if they are actually related. They are siblings after all, and he insists that stranger things have happened. Humoring him, Joel just says “Es posible”

vivo = lively: Related to the verb for “vivir”, “vivo” means “lively” when used with Ser. So “es muy vivo” means “he is very lively”.

alto = tall: Joel always imagines that the trees sing as high as they are. The short little stubby trees are the basses and the really tall ones are the altos. “Es alto” means “he is tall”.

Adjectives, estar-ish

vivo = alive: The word vivo with estar means “alive”. It’s how you are, not what you are. So “ella está vivo” means “she is alive”.

alto = high: If someone is high in a tree, they are “alto”. “Está alto” means “he is high up”.

Nouns, physical

dólares = dollars: Joel doesn’t believe in american money. He always uses yen. For this reason, any time he gets american money, he gives it to his dolls, which he incidentally also never uses.

arma = weapon: Joel has a suit of armor in his hall that is carrying an impressive giant axe. He says, “It’s no wonder they wore armor with armas like that around!”

comida = food: Joel feeds his cat every day. He gives it comida and says “Come eat!”

Nouns, pool (substances etc.)

luz = light: The lights over the pool seem loose, like they could splash into the pool at any time.

Nouns, people

tío = uncle: Joel doesn’t like tea, but he keeps some around because when his uncle comes by, he always insists that they have tea. His uncle lives in Britain most of the year. Explains everything.

amo = master: The cat often gets mean ideas, but Joel always put’s it in check by saying “I’m your master.”

jefe = boss: Statue of Chief He Fe, nickname for “Head Feathers” he’s known for wearing.

clase = class: Joel has a picture of a school class on the left side of the living room.

Nouns, dining room

gusto = pleasure: Joel has a roast goose on the table. It gives him great pleasure to think about the idea of the goose from the “gustar” shop as roasted and ready to eat. The word “gusto” as a noun means “pleasure”.

Nouns, kitchen (abstract)

pregunta = question: One of Joel’s Lenders sent a goon to come “ask Joel questions”. Joel put a picture of the goon on the table, near the picture of Gary (the guy who started a war), because he wants to get back at this guy if he ever can. The word “pregunta” means “question”.

paso = step: The books he has in the kitchen outline simple steps to make good meals, but Joel always insists “We’ll pass over that step, y ese paso, y ese paso, y ese paso…”

oportunidad = chance: The only instrument Joel is any good at (or thinks he’s good at) is the two spoons. He ALWAYS keeps a pair on the counter because he doesn’t want to miss any opurtunidad to play a tune for his dad.

realidad = reality: Joel likes to think that some of his kitchen appliances work, but the realidad is that all of them are broken.

vuelta = turn: A statue of a whale in a U shape.

Nouns, ballroom (times)

mes = month: The calendar on the wall of the ballroom has pictures of famous maces from history on it. Every month there is a new mace.

fiesta = party: Every easter, Joel holds an easter party in his house. He leaves some of the decorations up year-round because it’s too much hassle to change them every time.

Nouns, library (places)

tierra = earth: When Joel was little, he and his hermana would make things out of mud and clay. One thing they made out of clay was a filthy tiara, that got his sister’s hair all dirty. He keeps it in his library to remember those good old days.

cuarto = room: The pillars under the balcony in Joel’s library have grown warts. Joel thinks of the area inside those pillars as a small room, but he doesn’t like that room because of the warts. The word “cuarto”, with the stress on “wart”, means “room”.

escuela = school: Joel only went to school once. He hated it. Joel wailed a lot and never went back to school again.

Nouns, bathroom

cuerpo = body: Joel thinks of a “body” as a living “corpse”. The corpse in Joel’s bathtub represents the word “body”.

oído = ear: Joel has a mortal fear of getting a seed stuck in his ear and growing weeds out of it. He keeps a case of earplugs in his bathroom to protect his ears from foreign objects.

Nouns, bedroom

punto = point: One of Joel’s pillows, the one on the right, has little dots all over it. He calls the dots points, or “puntos.”

número = number: The clock uses Roman Numerals.