How to Talk About Your Spanish Class in Spanish
When you’re in Spanish class, a lot of your conversation revolves around the work and class itself. Did you finish the homework? What did you get on the test?
If you’re in Spanish class, one of the best ways to practice what you’re learning is to talk about your class in Spanish! ¡Vamos a aprender!
Spanish Class Vocabulary
To start talking about your Spanish class, we need to go over the classroom vocabulary. In this day and age, many classes are switching to an online learning setting, so the traditional classroom vocabulary is changing. Whether you take Spanish classes in a live setting or through a video call, you can still talk about your surroundings in Spanish!
In-person Spanish Class Vocabulary
|Teacher||El maestro, la maestra|
El profesor, la profesora
|Student||El, la estudiante|
|Desk||El escritorio, el pupitre|
|Sheet of paper||La hoja|
|Pen||El lapicero, bolígrafo|
|Chalkboard||La pizarra, el pizarrón|
|Chalk||El yeso, la tiza|
|Whiteboard||El pizarrón blanco|
|Pencil sharpener||El sacapuntas|
|Glue||El pegamento, la goma|
|Colored pencils||El lápiz de color|
|Paper clip||El sujetapapeles|
|Hole puncher||La perforadora|
|Trash can||El basurero|
Spanish Class Synonyms
Several of the above vocabulary words, like “chalk,” “pen,” and “glue” have multiple translations in Spanish. If you are just starting to learn Spanish, these differences can be confusing. These translations (like yeso and tiza) are synonyms, but each word is used in different Spanish-speaking countries.
For now, use whatever word your teacher uses in class. If you decide to travel to a Spanish-speaking country, be prepared for a change in vocabulary.
For example, while goma is very commonly used in Guatemala, if you use it in Colombia you may be met with blank stares. In these cases, don’t hesitate to ask what word they use for glue (there are surprisingly a lot of options!).
Compound Words in Spanish Class
The Spanish language doesn’t have as many compound words as English, but when we look at classroom vocabulary, we see several examples. Sacapuntas and sujetapapeles are two great examples of compound Spanish words.
Sacapuntas is a combination of saca (take out) and puntas (tips). It literally means to “take out the tips” of the pencil, hence pencil sharpener.
Likewise, sujetapapeles is a combination of sujeta (hold) and papeles (papers), or “to hold papers.”
When you have a compound word in Spanish, it often ends in -s because the second word is usually plural. However, the accompanying article is not plural (unless, of course, you are talking about multiple pencil sharpeners or paper clips). Also, even though the final part of the word is feminine, that doesn’t mean the whole word is feminine. You must memorize the accompanying article for each compound word.
El sacapuntas – the pencil sharpener (one)
Los sacapuntas – the pencil sharpeners (multiple)
El sujetapapeles – the paper clip (one)
Los sujetapapeles – the paper clips (multiple)
Online Spanish Classes
|Laptop||El, la portátil|
|Mouse||El ratón, el mouse|
|Live classes||Las clases en vivo|
|Website||La página de web|
|Group call||La llamada grupal|
|Discussion board||El tablero de discusión|
|El correo electrónico|
|Headphones||Los audífonos, auriculares|
|Computer settings||La configuración del equipo|
|USB||El USB, la memoria|
|Online learning||Aprender en línea|
|Slide show||La presentación de diapositivas|
Since a lot of the technology we use today was developed in the United States, many of the Spanish words for these objects are similar to or the same as the English words.
While there are official words for things like “laptop” and “mouse,” you may hear a lot of native Spanish speakers use the English words. Also, things like PDF and USB are exactly the same in Spanish, but you spell them out with Spanish letters.
Spanish Class Conversations
Now that you have mastered the Spanish class and classroom vocabulary, it’s time to form sentences. To do that, we need to learn some key Spanish class verbs. Below are some common verbs used to talk about classes and learning.
|To be (permanent)||ser|
|To be (temporary)||estar|
|To be able to||poder|
|To borrow, lend||prestar|
|To ask (a question)||preguntar|
|To answer||contestar, responder|
Let’s look at how to use these verbs in Spanish sentences about your classes. (Get a refresher on how to conjugate verbs in the present tense!)
Spanish Class Phrases with Ser and Estar
The first type of sentences we’re going to look at are descriptive phrases. You can use the verbs ser and estar to talk about what your class and your teacher are like. However, they are not interchangeable.
If you want to talk about a permanent state of your class, use ser. For example, if your class is always fun, or if the teacher is always your favorite, ser is the correct verb.
If you want to talk about a temporal state of your class, use estar. For example, if the class was boring just for today, or if today’s class was particularly hard, use estar.
Esta clase es muy difícil.
This class is very hard.
Esta clase es aburrida.
This class is boring.
La clase es divertida.
The class is fun.
Esta clase es mi favorita.
This is my favorite class.
Ella es mi maestra favorita.
She is my favorite teacher.
El profesor está triste hoy.
The teacher is sad today.
Hoy la clase estuvo aburrida.
The class was boring today.
La clase de español está aquí.
The Spanish class is here.
Did you note the two sentences about the class being boring? The first one (with ser) means that the class is always boring. The second one refers to just one boring class, which requires estar.
Questions about Your Spanish Class
Let’s look at some questions you can use both in the classroom and outside of it. .
¿Te gusta la clase?
Do you like the class?
¿Ya hiciste la tarea?
Did you do the homework?
¿Qué pusiste para el número tres?
What did you put for number three?
¿Qué nota sacaste en el examen?
What did you get on the test?
¿Me puedes ayudar?
Can you help me?
¿Quieres trabajar conmigo?
Do you want to work with me?
¿Lo puedes repetir?
Can you repeat that?
Did you understand?
¿Quién me puede dar la respuesta?
Who can tell me the answer?
¿Sabes la respuesta?
Do you know the answer?
¿Me prestas un lapicero?
Can I borrow a pen?
¿Cómo te va en la clase de español?
How are you doing in Spanish class?
¿Qué tal tu clase de español?
How is your Spanish class going?
Tú and Usted
All of these questions use the pronoun tú. If you are talking to another classmate, it is more common to use the informal tú. Teachers may also use tú with their students, but when students talk to their teachers, it is more appropriate to use usted to show respect.
In the question ¿me prestas un lapicero?, the verb prestar is translated as “borrow.” However, prestar is actually “lend.” The format of the sentence literally translates to “Can you lend me a pen?” In English, though, it is more common to say “can I borrow.” Just remember that if you need to ask someone to borrow something, format the Spanish sentence as “can you lend me?”
The fourth question asks about what grade you got. The Spanish word for grade is nota, which may be confusing at first because it also translates to “note.” Similarly, to pass the year translates to ganar, and failing is perder (literally “to win” and “to lose”).
Key Spanish Classroom Phrases
It is imperative that you can express yourself in Spanish during class. This includes everything from asking how to say a word to asking a question.
I don’t understand.
I need help.
¿Cómo se dice…?
How do you say…?
What does …. mean?
Tengo una pregunta.
I have a question.
Necesito ir al baño.
I need to go to the bathroom.
No tengo la tarea.
I don’t have the homework.
Se me olvidó la tarea.
I forgot the homework.
There are several ways to say “excuse me” in Spanish, and we have two options above. Disculpa is the informal translation, which you can use with your friends, and disculpe is the formal form to use with your teacher.
If you want to say that you forgot about the homework, there are two correct ways to say it:
Olvidé la tarea.
Se me olvidó la tarea.
The first example puts “I” as the subject, saying that “I forgot.” The second sentence puts “homework” as the subject, expressing that the thought of homework left your brain. Both forms are correct, and it’s just how you want to express the act of forgetting.
Spanish Classroom Commands
Make sure you understand all the commands your teacher says by memorizing the following statements.
Pongan la tarea en la carpeta.
Put the homework in the folder.
Pónganse de pie.
Levanta la mano.
Raise your hand.
Entreguen los exámenes.
Turn in the exams.
Limpien sus escritorios.
Clean your desks.
Trabajen en grupos.
Work in groups.
Estudien la página treinta.
Study page thirty.
Escriban la respuesta en su cuaderno.
Write the answer in your notebook.
Investiguen un tema de la lista.
Investigate a topic on the list.
The imperative mood only has two tenses in Spanish, the affirmative and negative. There is only one command above in the negative tense, no hablen.
All of these commands are conjugated in the ustedes form since a teacher would generally be addressing all students at once. If you would like to learn how to conjugate the above verbs in the tú form so you can use them with your friend, check out our blog post on the imperative mood.
Take a Spanish Class with Us!
You’re now prepared to talk about your Spanish class in Spanish! Take some time to memorize the vocabulary and practice with your friends and teacher. If you would like to practice with us before using the phrases in class, comment below! We would love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have. ¿Te gusta tu clase de español?
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