Posts in Resources
How to Learn Spanish Fast

Taking classes is not really necessary. We can learn most things by ourselves, right? Well, technically yes, but we often learn much faster if we have a. professional guidance, b. a well-thought-out curriculum that limits the amount of information we have to assimilate each week in packets we can easily digest and c. some external pressure that "forces" us to maintain a good pace. Taking classes gives us those three things. If you can’t commit to coming to Berges every week (or if you don’t live in NYC or Chicago), check out our online Spanish classes!

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The Second Person

Do you have a minute? I want to share a piece with you about the second person.

If I were to translate the same question I just asked into Spanish, I would have more than one way of doing so. It could be ¿Tienes un minuto? or ¿Tiene un minuto? It could even be ¿Tenéis un minuto? or ¿Tienen un minuto?

So many options, right? Options, fantastic as they are, may lead to mistakes, so it is a good idea to learn how to assess these options.

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The "Personal A"

The “personal a” is sure one of those areas most students of Spanish struggle with. It is not that the concept itself is difficult to understand. The issue is that students, especially those that are less familiar with the topic, have to make a conscious effort to apply this rule of the language when needed.

The rule, referred to by some grammars as “personal a,” establishes at the very basics that the preposition “a” is mandatory to precede direct objects, when these are people or pets. In the sentence, La semana pasada visité a Miguel, the preposition precedes the noun - in this case a proper noun - because the referent of this noun is a person.

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Conocer vs. Saber

Both verbs can be translated as to know, but they have different meanings.
 

  • Use conocer when you mean "being familiar" or "being acquainted" with a thing, a place or a person.


Examples:

I know Juan. (Meaning I’m acquainted with Juan).
Conozco a Juan. (We have to use the personal a).

I know the rules. (Meaning I’m acquainted with the rules).
Conozco las reglas.

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ResourcesDan Berges
Difference between SER and ESTAR
  • Use SER for defining attributes of things or people (such as being tall, being big, being good-looking).

  • Use ESTAR for generally non-permanent statuses or conditions of things or people (such as being sad, being broken, or being tired), regardless of whether they are temporary or not in a particular case, and for location (also regardless of whether it is temporary or not).

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How to Learn a Second Language

According to the legend of the Tower of Babel, the biblical structure could never be built as the architects, engineers and workers involved in its construction were unable to communicate with each other after humanity had been divided by languages and nations as a divine punishment meant to destroy its arrogance.

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ResourcesDan BergesComment
Articles in Spanish

As you probably know, the indefinite articles in Spanish (equivalent to ‘a’/‘some’) are un, una, unos, unas. As you probably also now, the definite articles in Spanish (equivalent to ‘the’) are el, la, los, las. The cool thing is they work in the same way in English and Spanish. We use the definite article when we assume the listener knows which concept/thing/place we’re talking about, since a previous reference (explicit or implicit) exists

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ResourcesDan BergesComment
10 Gifts for the Spanish Student

Finding a gift during the holiday season can be stressful. Depending on how funny, personal or “safe” you want to play it, there are gifts that encourage learning Spanish. Gifts that reinforce learning the language and culture can be purposeful, practical, fun and sentimental, and below is a gift guide for anyone looking for some inspiration for the perfect present that will crack a smile on any Spanish student’s face.

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ResourcesDan BergesComment
Cultural events in the boroughs that will enhance Spanish comprehension skills

One of the important tenants of learning a language is to expose yourself to how natives speak to better understand pronunciation, context and the culture. Here in New York there are multiple societies, organizations and institutions that dedicate themselves to celebrating Spanish-speaking heritages, which showcase and support arts programs, lectures, company performances and other informative and interactive cultural and political events.

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ResourcesDan BergesComment
Tips for Setting Spanish Language Goals

Learning a new language as an adult affords you new and exciting opportunities in your personal and professional live. Aside from your daily schedule, committing the time to study, practice and attend class calls for dedication and a clear strategy to keep you motivated while you learn. Your reasons for learning Spanish will be different than your classmates’, and no matter what your reason is, we have some tips to help you define your language learning goals and create an action plan to keep you on track with your Spanish development.

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ResourcesDan BergesComment
Challenge

We have a challenge for you. If you are an intermediate student, doing this will greatly improve your Spanish speaking and writing skills.

Here it goes: We’re going to ask you to memorize 98 basic verbs and learn how to conjugate them in the present, past and future tenses, and we’re going to give you a checklist so you can mark what you already know. Feel free to print it and post it on your fridge, where you'll be able to update it as you progress :) (You can also download it and keep your records electronically.)

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ResourcesDan BergesComment
6 More Ways to Keep Your Spanish Learning Active

Looking for more interactive ways to keep Spanish fresh between classes? Here are some ways to stay involved and learn more about the culture.

1. Quizlet

An app and website with a free and paid offering, lets its users create their own study sets from scratch or copy ones already created by other Quizlet users. Once a study set is copied, the copied version can be edited and changed without affecting the original. Learn interactively with flashcards, matching games and pronunciation and typing lessons. There are over 250 million study sets created on varying subjects other than language.

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