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5 Super-Cool Verbs to Add an
Authentic Flourish to Your Spanish

by Peter Christian

They're an essential part of learning to speak Spanish but if you're anything like I am, you'll find them one of the most boring parts! I'm talking about verb drills of course and another problem with them is that many common verb uses aren't taught in formal language courses, uses that will add an authentic flourish to your spoken Spanish. Here's 5 really cool verbs you can add to your vocab that'll help you make a fantastic impression with the locals!

Our first cool verb is a big favourite of mine. The reflexive form of "Antojar, Antojarse", means to have a craving for something, to have a real desire for something. I use this a lot when it comes to food and on one memorable occasion I left a very attractive camarera (waitress) well impressed when I said:

"Se me antoja una hamburguesa con queso" - I really fancy a cheeseburger.

You can also use it to say you're not in the mood to do something, like this:

"¿Por qué no vas a ir a la fiesta?" - Why aren't you going to the party?

"Porque no se me antoja." - Because I'm not in the mood for it.

Like I say, I use it mostly when it comes to dining and if you use this in a restaurant you will be rewarded with great service as you'll make a very favorable impression!

The verb "Echar" - To Throw - has a multitude of uses, way too many to list all of them here. And some uses just aren't appropriate to be included here, they're a little bit tooo streetwise if you know what I mean! But here's a couple of really cool phrases involving Echar that you can easily introduce into your daily conversations.

Echar de menos - is to miss someone or something. I was enjoying a pleasant evening out with a very good Spanish friend of mine who is married to a Brazilian. As we were talking, she suddenly looked very sad and I asked my friend:

"¿Qué pasa con Cleo?" - What's wrong with Cleo?

He replied: "Ella echa de menos a su familia en Brasil". She's missing her family in Brasil.

And a nice quick usage of echar for those times when you want to say to someone: "Put some elbow grease into it", or "make an effort" or even "go for it", you can simply say: "¡Échale ganas!"

But this is an absolute beauty. You know when something happens that makes your blood boil - say, someone steals your car and you're in a foul temper and you're shouting and ranting and raving? Here's what the Spanish say:

"¡Mira! Alguien ha robado el coche de Pablo, ¡Él está que echa espumarajos!" -

"Hey! Someone has stolen Paul's car, he's fuming!"

Echar espumarajos - To be foaming at the mouth.

Here's a cool little verb you will rarely discover in formal courses. "Lograr" means "to manage" and it is a handy little verb to acquire. A couple of examples for you:

"Si yo logro salir del trabajo antes de las cinco, llegaré a tu casa a las seis"

"If I manage to leave work before 5 I'll be at your house for six o' clock."

"Logré fijar la tele asi que podremos mirar el fútbol esta noche."

"I managed to fix the TV so will we be able to watch the football tonight."

Next up is a power verb with a myriad of meanings. "Quedar" is sometimes called a "catch all" verb and with good reason! But here's a couple of nice and easy phrases relating to money that use the reflexive you can add to your vocab right now:

Me quedé con diez dolares - "I kept ten dollars."

Quédese con el cambio = "Keep the change"

which can be shortened to: Quédatelo - Keep it.

Finally, a favourite cool verb of mine that'll really win you the admiration of native speakers. Soler doesn't really have an English equivalent and it used to describe your regular habits and actions. Examples will work the best here:

Suelo ir al bar saliendo del trabajo - I normally go to the bar after work

Él suele cenar a las ocho cada noche - He normally has dinner at 8 'o' clock every night every night.

El aútobus suele llegar a las tres - The bus usually arrives at 3 'o' clock.

It's a great little verb and fun to play around with and form your own phrases that reflect your daily routines.

That's five really cool verbs that'll add an authentic flourish to your Spanish. Play around with them to get them dialled-in and enjoy the looks of admiration from native speakers as you bring them into your conversations!

¡Échale ganas!

Hasta pronto,


Barcelona-based writer Peter Christian is the author of the brand-new book "Streetwise Spanish". To discover how you can add an authentic flourish to your spoken Spanish along with practical, valuable insights into Hispanic culture, click here now ==> STREETWISE SPANISH.

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