Welcome to your first Spanish lesson! Learning Spanish will help you meet interesting people and embrace new cultures. Learn with us for free!
In this lesson, we will practice the following vocabulary. Read the words, listen to the audio and remember them:
Hi / Hello
Good morning / Good afternoon
How are you?
¿Cómo te llamas?
What is your name?
My name is…
Encantado / Encantada
Nice to meet you
Bye / See you soon
Listen carefully to the following Spanish dialogues. They will help you understand this lesson’s vocabulary in the right context:
Hola, Pedro. ¿Qué tal?
Hello, Pedro. How are you?
Muy bien, gracias. ¿Y tú?
Very well, thank you. And you?
Muy bien también.
I’m very well too.
Buenas tardes. ¿Cómo te llamas?
Good evening. What’s your name?
Me llamo Natasha.
My name is Natasha.
Encantado. Me llamo Juan.
Nice to meet you. My name is Juan.
Nice to meet you.
Buenos días. ¿Te llamas Antonio?
Good morning. Is your name Antonio?
Sí, me llamo Antonio García. Y tú ¿сómo te llamas?
Yes, my name is Antonio Garcia. And what is your name?
Me llamo Elena.
My name is Elena.
Nice to meet you.
We will now study the grammar used in this lesson:
Personal pronouns: I, he, she, they, etc.
Our acquaintance with the Spanish grammar will start with those small but extremely important words – personal pronouns. Look at the table below and listen to the Spanish pronouns:
|you (informal, singular)||tú|
|we||nosotros (masc.) / nosotras (fem.)|
|you (informal, plural)||vosotros (masc.) / vosotras (fem.)|
|you (formal)||usted (sigular) / ustedes (plural)|
|they||ellos (m.pl.) / ellas (f.рl.)|
*The pronoun “ello” (it) is hardly ever used in Spanish. All Spanish words, no matter if they denote people or objects, can be either of masculine or feminine gender. That’s the reason why the pronouns “él” (he) and “ella” (she) are used when referring to people as well as when speaking about non-living things.
Maculine and feminine gender of pronouns
As you can see from the table, some Spanish pronouns have 2 versions: masculine (e.g. nosotros) and feminine (e.g., nosotras). In fact, “nosotros” means “us, men”, while “nosotras” means “us, women”. Let’s imagine a group of girlfriends saying “We want to go to the cinema”. In this case, we have to use the word “nosotras” which means “us, girlfriends”. If a group of men wants to say the same, the pronoun “nosotros” will be used. The same logic is applied when speaking about the pronouns ellos/ellas, vosotros/vosotras.
What’s the deal with the pronoun “you”? In Spanish, there are many versions of the pronoun “you”, too many perhaps… First of all, please notice that “you” can be formal and informal. In English, we always use “you” no matter who we are talking to. In Spanish, we can treat people more respectfully by using the formal “you”. Every Hispanic country has its own rules on when to use the formal and informal “you”. In Spain, for example, the informal pronoun “tú” is always preferred. In Mexico, however, they use “tú” when talking to friends and young people, while the pronoun “usted” is used when talking to strangers and elderly people.
Besides, “you” can be singular and plural. The singular form is used to address one person. The plural form is used to address several people. Let’s have a look at the following examples to illustrate the usage of all the pronouns “you”:.
- tú (when talking to one friend): Hi, Peter. Do you work today? = Hola, Peter. ¿Tú trabajas hoy?
- vosotros (when talking to several friends): Hi, Peter and Mary. Do you work today? = Hola, Peter y Mary. ¿Vosotros trabajáis hoy?
- usted (when talking to a stranger): Hello, mister Smith. Do you work today? = Hola, señor Smith. ¿Usted trabaja hoy?
- ustedes (when talking to several strangers): Hello, Mister Smith and Mister Brown. Do you work today? = Hola, señor Smith y señor Brown. ¿Ustedes trabajan hoy?
How to introduce yourself in Spanish
One of the most essential phrases of any language is “My name is…”. If you want to learn this phrase in Spanish you have to remember the forms of the verb “llamarse” (to be called, to call yourself). In Spanish, we don’t really say “My name is Peter”, instead we say “I’m called Peter”. That’s the reason why you have to remember the forms of the verb “to call”.
Spanish verbs have different forms for each pronoun. On our first lesson, we are not going to dedicate too much time to learn those complicated rules. Look at the table below and try to memorise the two most important forms:
- Me llamo… = My name is / I’m called
- Te llamas… = Your name is / You’re called
|I’m called||Me llamo|
|You’re called (informal, singular)||Te llamas|
|He’s called||Se llama|
|She’s called||Se llama|
|We’re called||Nos llamamos|
|You’re called (informal, plural)||Os llamáis|
|You’re called (formal)||Se llama (sing.) / Se llaman (pl.)|
|They’re called||Se llaman|
Which pronouns should I use: tú or usted?
Remember that the usage of “tú” and “usted” changes from country to country. Moreover, in Argentina, they have their own version of “you” which is “vos”. In this course, you will mostly see the usage of “tú”. It has to do with the fact that in Spain, “tú” has become the standard form of addressing people in all kinds of situations. In Mexico, the form “usted” is used more often than in Spain, but even so, there is a clear tendency to use “tú” in situations where “usted” was used before.
Words of different gender in Spanish
As you know, Spanish words can be of masculine or feminine gender. In our next lessons, we will see the rules that will help us identify the gender of each word by its ending.
After the first lesson you can already remember the two most common endings for each gender: “о” for masculine and “а” for feminine:
- encantado = I’m pleased to meet you (said by a man)
- encantada = I’m pleased to meet you (said by a woman)
Check if you know this lesson: