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Agua, dinero, auto

Let’s learn some fun Spanish nouns, including words for “water”, “money”, “car”, and “light”. We’ll also get lots of good spoken practice with these new words.

Full Podcast Episode


¿Qué tal la comida?

Intro: Join us on a rigorous, step-by-step journey to fluency. I’m Timothy and this is LearnCraft Spanish.

Today we’re going to keep practicing the verbs that we learned this week, Venir and Ver, and all the abstract adjectives that we learned yesterday. But while we do, we’ll also learn a few fun nouns for tangible things, including words for “water”, “book”, and “car”.

Let’s start with the word for “money”, which is dinero. This is a masculine noun. For example:

You have to give him the money first.

Le tienes que dar el dinero antes.

For counting amounts of money, you might want the word dólar, which means “dollar”. This is spelled d-o-l-a-r, with an accent on the O. For example:

I only have one dollar with me.

Sólo tengo un dólar conmigo.

To make this plural, you put E-S at the end: dólares. For example:

I see that you have three dollars.

Veo que tienes tres dólares.

Let’s practice combining the nouns dinero and dólar with our new verbs and adjectives. In this first example, you’ll see an example of coming somewhere por something, meaning “because of”, although this is often translated as “for” in English.

I didn’t come because of money, I came because of the truth.

No vine por dinero, vine por la verdad.

When they come, we are going to have the dollars.

Cuando vengan, vamos a tener los dólares.

I only saw a dollar, not much money. 

Vi solo un dólar, no mucho dinero.

Some day you(formal) will have money.

Algún día usted tendrá dinero.

The Spanish word for “food” is comida. For example:

Come here, we have some food for you.

Ven aquí, tenemos algo de comida para ti.

That Spanish sentence threw something at you that you probably weren’t expecting — to say “some food”, we said algo de comida, literally “something of food”. This idiom, algo de, is a common way to say “some”, specifically when you’re referring to a mass noun. A mass noun is something that isn’t countable, such as food or water, rather than something countable, such as dollars or books.

We can even do this with the word dinero, or “money”, since it’s a mass noun, although the word dólares is instead a countable noun. Compare these two sentences:

They gave me some dollars.

Me dieron unos dólares.

They gave me some money.

Me dieron algo de dinero.

Another very common mass noun is the word agua, which is a feminine noun that means “water”. For example:

I came to this place because their water is so good.

Vine a este lugar porque su agua es tan buena.

But there is one very strange thing about this noun: To say “the water”, you actually say el agua. This breaks the rule that you’re supposed to use feminine articles with feminine nouns. The thing is, agua is feminine for all intents and purposes EXCEPT for the word for “the”, and that’s because of an odd pronunciation rule in Spanish: You’re not allowed to use the word la before a noun that starts with a stressed “A”. This is simply because of pronunciation. It’s kind of like how the word y, which means “and”, turns into e before words that start with the “ee” sound.

So as a result, we have some strange phrases that make agua look like it’s being treated as a masculine noun. Here’s one:

They came here because of the water.

Vinieron aquí por el agua.

That sentence sure makes it look like agua is masculine. But if we add the word “good” to the end, we use buena, not bueno.

They came here because of the good water.

Vinieron aquí por el agua buena.

Let’s practice agua, comida and algo de, along with other things we’ve been learning this week.

There is a need to see the water of that place.

Hay que ver el agua de ese lugar. 

Come, someone has to see it with me. 

Ven, alguien tiene que verlo conmigo.

Do you want some water or just food?

¿Quieres algo de agua o solo comida? 

She sees the food in that way.

Ella ve la comida de esa forma.

They want us to come here for some food.

Ellos quieren que vengamos aquí por algo de comida.

He comes here for some money and for water.

Él viene aquí por algo de dinero y por agua. 

Another mass noun is the word for “light”, which is luz, spelled l-u-z. This is a feminine noun. For example:

There’s a lot of light here.

Hay mucha luz aquí.

He didn’t manage to do it because there wasn’t enough light.

No pudo hacerlo porque no había suficiente luz.

Here’s one more mass noun: The word equipo can mean “equipment”, as in “tools”. Of course, we already learned this as a noun that means “team”, but it also has this secondary meaning. For example:

Here is all the equipment for the job.

Aquí está todo el equipo para el trabajo.

Let’s practice equipo and luz.

We want some equipment so that they see it.

Queremos algo de equipo para que ellos lo vean.

Each team is in its place, but there is little light.

Cada equipo está en su lugar, pero hay poca luz.

My mother wants me to see her equipment. 

Mi madre quiere que vea su equipo.

Pedro came late and there wasn't light anymore.

Pedro vino tarde y ya no había luz. 

Our last three nouns are very simple: They’re words for “book”, “car”, and “table”.

The word for “book” is libro. For example:

It’s a book about a girl and her family.

Es un libro sobre una niña y su familia.

And the word for “table” is mesa. For example:

I saw that the book was under the table.

Vi que el libro estaba bajo la mesa.

Spanish has several words for “car”, but a very simple and common one is auto, spelled like “auto”. For example:

Why did you put your water on top of the car?

¿Por qué pusiste tu agua sobre el auto?

Let’s practice libro, mesa, and auto.

We all came for the book that is on the table. 

Todos vinimos por el libro que está en la mesa. 

Some men have those big cars.

Algunos hombres tienen esos autos grandes.

Ana wants to see you before you have the book. 

Ana quiere verte antes de que tengas el libro.

I want Juan to come since they came from that place.

Quiero que Juan venga ya que ellos vinieron desde ese lugar.

We always see the car from here, but today it’s not there. 

Siempre vemos el auto desde aquí, pero hoy no está.

All those things are upon the table.

Todas esas cosas están sobre la mesa.

Before going on to today’s final quiz, let’s learn a few idioms that involve the word tal, which means “such”. Check out this English sentence:

There were only 3 people, and as such, it wasn’t a party.

This phrase, “as such”, is a bit odd if you think about it. But actually, this same exact idiom works pretty much the exact same way in Spanish, using the words como tal.

Solo había 3 personas y, como tal, no era una fiesta.

Now see if you can tell what’s happening in this Spanish sentence:

No teníamos dinero y por tal razón fuimos a casa.

So the phrase por tal razón literally means “because of such a reason”. This is a fairly common idiom that means “therefore”. So here’s that sentence again, but this time I’ll put the English before it:

We didn’t have money, and therefore we went home.

No teníamos dinero y por tal razón fuimos a casa.

Try it yourself in this sentence:

She was his friend and therefore she came to the party.

Ella era su amiga y por tal razón vino a la fiesta.

Let’s practice como tal and por tal razón.

Ana is his friend and as such she has to do something.

Ana es su amiga y, como tal, tiene que hacer algo.

You always come late and therefore there is never enough time.

Siempre vienes tarde y, por tal razón, nunca hay suficiente tiempo.

We have come before; therefore, it’s not a new place.

Hemos venido antes, por tal razón, no es un lugar nuevo. 

They have seen each other twice and, as such, they can’t be friends.

Se han visto dos veces y, como tal, no pueden ser amigos.

Few men have that equipment at home.

Pocos hombres tienen ese equipo en la casa.

Our next idiom is qué tal, which has no literal translation into English (it would be something like “what such”), but it’s used in questions to ask how someone or something is. It can be used all by itself in a greeting. For example:

Hi! What’s up?

¡Hola! ¿Qué tal?

But it can also be used to ask how something in particular is or was. For example:

How about that book that I gave you?

¿Qué tal ese libro que te di?

Try it yourself in this next example:

How about the party? Did you go?

¿Qué tal la fiesta? ¿Fuiste?

And our last idiom is tal vez, which means “perhaps”. This idiom also doesn’t translate at all between languages if you go word by word, but tal vez is used in pretty much exactly the same way that quizás is used. In general, in our quizzing, we’ll translate quizás as “maybe” and we’ll translate tal vez as perhaps. Compare these two examples:

Maybe he’s still in the car.

Quizás todavía esté en el auto.

Perhaps he’s still in the car.

Tal vez todavía esté en el auto.

Let’s practice tal vez and qué tal.

How about the food?

¿Qué tal la comida?

It’s too late, certain days that can’t be done.

Es demasiado tarde, ciertos días eso no se puede hacer. 

Yesterday I saw Roberto and perhaps he will come home tomorrow.

Ayer vi a Roberto y tal vez venga a casa mañana.

How about the new car? Any person would want to have it.

¿Qué tal el auto nuevo? Cualquier persona lo quisiera tener.

Hello, what’s up? Come, he wants me to see this.

Hola, ¿qué tal? Ven, él quiere que yo vea esto. 

For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/99. Or if you’re ready, let’s practice all of this with today’s final quiz.

Let’s see… you see fine and you have the equipment.

A ver… tú ves bien y tienes el equipo.

Perhaps the book is about that. As such, it might be good.

Tal vez el libro sea sobre eso. Como tal, puede ser bueno.

I haven’t seen any cars in this part.

No he visto ningún auto en esta parte.

It has to be this way, and as such, you have to do it. 

Tiene que ser así y, como tal, tienes que hacerlo.

Don’t come if there is no light, I want you to see the table. 

No vengas si no hay luz, quiero que veas la mesa.

Marcos has two cars and I don’t have any. 

Marcos tiene dos autos y yo no tengo ninguno. 

Why are we seeing this equipment? It's a lot of dollars. 

¿Por qué estamos viendo este equipo? Son muchos dólares. 

Perhaps when you come there will be some food.

Tal vez cuando vengas haya algo de comida.

Did anyone see Tomás? He was going to come this morning.

¿Alguien vio a Tomás? Iba a venir esta mañana. 

My friends want us to come here more for the water.

Mis amigos quieren que vengamos aquí más por el agua.

Are you(m) sure? We did not see such a book in that place.

¿Estás seguro? No vimos tal libro en ese lugar.

As I have so much time here, I always see that.

Como tengo tanto tiempo aquí siempre veo eso.

How about the food? They look at it in another way.

¿Qué tal la comida? Ellos la ven de otra forma. 

Perhaps she comes since there are quite a few dollars. 

Tal vez ella venga ya que hay bastantes dólares.

Tomorrow my friends(f) come and therefore it will be a good day. 

Mañana vienen mis amigas y por tal razón será un buen día.

We come for the book that is on the table.

Venimos por el libro que está en la mesa.

I always come here, therefore I have a table.

Siempre vengo aquí, por tal razón tengo una mesa.

There is still some time for us to see that.

Aún hay algo de tiempo para que veamos eso.

Because there is no light they didn’t see the table.

Porque no había luz no vieron la mesa.

Hello, what’s up? Did you see Sonia?

Hola, ¿qué tal? ¿Viste a Sonia?

Did you only come for the water or for something else?

¿Solo viniste por el agua o por algo más?

Some friends(f) are from Peru and, as such, you can’t tell them that.

Algunas amigas son de Perú y, como tal, no les puedes decir eso.

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/99, or tune in again tomorrow for a big quiz to work on everything that we’ve learned this week.

This show is brought to you by LearnCraftSpanish.com. The Spanish voice in this episode was our coach Michael Agudelo. Our music was performed by the Seattle Marimba Quartet, and I’m Timothy, encouraging you to do the hard work of learning Spanish. Acquiring a second language is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, so start your fluency journey today at LCSPodcast.com.

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