When you’re talking about perceptions, you’d generally use the infinitive “sentir.” If you’re talking instead about something you are feeling with your hands, then you’d use either “tocar” or “palpar.” Beyond these three transitive verb options, there are a range of intransitive verbs you might use—all of which have nuanced meanings and are highly context dependent.
As tricky as Spanish verbs might seem, remember that you don’t have to tackle them all at once. Even with something like “to feel,” getting a grip on a few of the basic translations will probably work well in most circumstances and in most conversations. After you get comfortable with those fundamental verbs, you can slowly incorporate options with more specific meanings.
For all the ins-and-outs of Spanish verbs, learning Spanish is usually attainable—especially if you already speak another foreign language or if you have had even casual exposure to Spanish. Because English, as well as French and Italian, has deep roots in Latin, these languages all share thousands of words in common with Spanish. These shared words are known as cognates, words that have significant similarities in spelling or pronunciation. This is why you’ll find English words like “chocolate” that look and sound nearly the same in French (chocolat), Italian (cioccolato), and Spanish (chocolate). Aside from the similarities in spelling, you’ll find that Spanish also has a very simple system for pronunciation. And unlike English, with all of its curious rules and silent letters, there are only a few notable irregularities. The standard Spanish alphabet is also nearly the same as English. It just has 29 letters instead of the 26 you already know. The extra three are: ch (chay), ll (elle), and ñ (eñe).
Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion® methodology teaches you the language, not just the words. What makes this approach effective is that we prepare you to use your new language in your everyday life. So, it’s not just about the features, but what you’re able to do because of them. It helps you get ready to handle situations with confidence.
Learn Spanish Words and Phrases
Spanish is spoken throughout the U.S., and is featured prominently on TV, in movies, and in music. This prompts many to begin their journey in learning Spanish. Other people make the decision because they have plans to work, vacation, or volunteer in one of the 20 countries around the world for which Spanish is the official language. Whether your reason is based on business or pleasure, you can get off to a strong start by focusing first on what matters most. And that is learning basic Spanish words and phrases and how to pronounce them. It is the key to understanding and conversing with any of the estimated 437 million people who speak Spanish fluently.
In many cases, new language learners get caught up in efforts to memorize long lists of Spanish words and phrases. Then, they find themselves unable to understand or be understood in everyday, real-world Spanish conversations. That’s why it’s important to learn to pronounce and understand commonly used Spanish words and phrases, so you can feel comfortable and confident engaging in conversation with locals.
It’s true that Spanish does have some pronunciation distinctions—which can make it a bit of a challenge for new learners. As one example, the letter r is pronounced differently and takes some practice for most new learners. This distinct sound is formed by tapping the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth, about a third of the way back in the mouth. Many Spanish language experts counsel new learners to practice making the “tt” sound, as it sounds in the English word butter.
Getting accurate pronunciation down depends on receiving immediate feedback. Rosetta Stone helps you dial in your pronunciation with our TruAccent™ speech engine. TruAccent compares your voice to native and non-native speakers—in real-time—so you get the feedback you need for the most accurate pronunciation. It’s also adjustable, which allows you to tweak your accent as needed. TruAccent is a powerful tool for helping you learn and speak the Spanish language.
When you have acquired basic words, short phrases, and their proper pronunciation, it’ll be a natural transition to learn the longer phrases that make up so much of everyday conversation. Rosetta Stone’s brief, 10-minute lessons are built in exactly this way—teaching the basics first, then moving onto longer phrases. This approach helps you acquire the skills to understand and be understood in Spanish with confidence.
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Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation .
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.