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Spanish For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From Spanish For Dummies, 2nd Edition

By Susana Wald, Cecie Kraynak
Speaking Spanish requires you to keep tabs on all sorts of topics: essential words and phrases,
basic Spanish questions, and the proper gender of articles. Plus, if you intend to travel, you
want to be able to get help and give warnings in the case of an emergency.

Using Essential Spanish Words and Phrases

As with any language, the number of Spanish words and phrases can be intimidating. If
youre just beginning to explore Spanish, you can feign fluency with these essential words
and phrases until your Spanish is up to snuff.

Hola! (oh-lah!) (Hello!)

Por favor. (pohr fah-bvohr.) (Please.)

Gracias. (grah-seeahs.) (Thank you.)

Dnde est el bao? (dohn-deh ehs-tah ehl bvah-nyoh?) (Where is the bathroom?)

Lo siento. (loh seeehn-toh.) (Im sorry.)

Habla usted ingls? (ah-bvlah oohs-tehd een-glehs?) (Do you speak English?)

No hablo mucho espaol. (no ah-bvloh mooh-choh ehs-pah-nyohl.) (I dont speak

much Spanish.)

No s. (noh seh.) (I dont know.)

Claro. (clah-roh.) (I understand. [Literally: Clear.])

Adis. (ah-dee-ohs.) (Good-bye.)

Asking Basic Questions in Spanish

Knowing how to ask basic questions in Spanish or any other language is essential in a
global society. To ask for information in Spanish, use these basic Spanish question words and
example questions.

Quin? (keeehn?) (Who?)

Qu? (keh?) (What?)

Dnde? (dohn-deh?) (Where?)

Cundo? (koohahn-doh?) (When?)

Por qu? (pohr keh?) (Why?)

Cul? (koohahl?) (Which?)

Cmo? (koh-moh?) (How?)

Cunto? (koohahn-toh?) (How much?)

The following are examples of these question words in action that you may find useful:
Quin es l? (keeehn ehs ehl?) (Who is he?)
Qu hace usted? (keh ah-seh oohs-tehd?) (What do you do?)
Dnde viven ustedes? (dohn-deh bvee-bvehn oohs-teh-dehs?) (Where do you live?)
Cundo llegan ellos? (koohahn-doh yeh-gahn eh-yohs?) (When do they arrive?)
Por qu est usted aqu? (pohr keh ehs-tah oosh-tehd ah-kee?) (Why are you [formal]
Cul restaurante es mejor? (kooahl rehs-tahooh-rahn-teh ehs meh-Hohr?) (Which
restaurant is better?)
Cmo es su casa? (koh-moh ehs sooh kah-sah?) (How is their house? or Whats their
house like?)
Cunto cuesta el boleto? (koohahn-toh koohehs-tah ehl bvoh-leh-toh?) (How much is the

Distinguishing Masculine and Feminine Articles in Spanish

Like many things in the Spanish language, Spanish articles have either a masculine or a
feminine gender that must match the masculine or feminine gender of the Spanish nouns you
pair them with. (For example, you say la blusa (lah bvlooh-sah) (the blouse) but el vestido
(ehl bvehs-tee-doh) (the dress). Articles in Spanish include the (a definite article) and a, an,
and some (indefinite articles).
the (singular)
the (plural)
a, an (singular)
some (plural)

el (ehl)
los (lohs)
un (oohn)
unos (ooh-nohs)

la (lah)
las (lahs)
una (ooh-nah)
unas (ooh-nahs)

Getting Emergency Help and Giving Warnings in Spanish

Emergencies can happen whether you know Spanish or not, so if youre in a Spanishspeaking area, you need to be prepared to warn others and/or get help in Spanish should an
emergency situation arise. Following are some basic Spanish distress-signaling words:

Socorro! (soh-koh-rroh!) (Help!)

Auxilio! (ahoohk-see-leeoh!) (Help!)

Aydeme! (ah-yooh-deh-meh?) (Help me!)

Rpido! (rrah-pee-doh!) (Quick!)

Aprense! (ah-pooh-rehn-seh!) (Hurry!)

If you face some sort of disaster, use one of the following words:

Incendio! (een-sehn-deeoh!) (Fire!)

Inundacin! (ee-noohn-dah-seeohn!) (Flood!)

Temblor! (tehm-bvlohr!) (Earth tremor!)

Terremoto! (teh-rreh-moh-toh!) (Earthquake!)

Maremoto! (mah-reh-moh-toh!) (Tidal wave!)

When giving a warning, you have a choice. In Mexico shout

Aguas! (ah-goohahs!) (Watch out!)

Ojo! (oh-Hoh!) (Look out! [Literally: eye])

Everywhere else, yell Cuidado! (koohee-dah-doh) (Watch out!).