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Desayunar, Almorzar, Cenar, Viajar.

Why does Spanish have so many different verbs for eating? Today we’ll talk about “having breakfast”, “having lunch”, and “having dinner” in Spanish. We’ll also explore the verb Viajar, which means “to travel”, and we’ll get lots of spoken practice using these verbs in real sentence contexts.

Full Podcast Episode



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 learn our last four verbs on our journey to essential fluency.

Let’s start with three verbs that relate to eating. Remember back in Episode 234, we learned the nouns for “breakfast”, “lunch”, and “dinner”. For example:

We’re going to bring something for lunch.

Vamos a traer algo para el almuerzo.

But there’s a use of these words that exists in English that doesn’t exist in Spanish. In English, we talk about “having” breakfast, “having” lunch, and so on. For example:

No thanks, I just had breakfast.

In Spanish, there’s actually a verb for “having breakfast”, “having lunch”, and so on. The good news is that these verbs are actually closely related to the names of the meals. So for example, the verb for “to breakfast” is Desayunar, which is obviously closely related to desayuno. So here’s the Spanish version of “no thanks, I just had breakfast”:

No, gracias, acabo de desayunar.

The verb Desayunar is conjugated exactly like Hablar, so it’s pretty easy to use. Here are a couple of more examples.

I had breakfast at that café.

Desayuné en ese café.

We eat breakfast together at 9.

Desayunamos juntos a las nueve.

Let’s practice Desayunar.

She reads while you have breakfast.

Ella lee mientras tú desayunas.

On Sundays they don’t have breakfast, but she does have breakfast.

Los domingos no desayunan, pero ella sí desayuna.

We had breakfast very early today, but he had breakfast afterwards.

Nosotros desayunamos muy temprano hoy, pero él desayunó después.

I like to have breakfast very early, but today I had breakfast at ten.

Me gusta desayunar muy temprano, pero hoy desayuné a las diez.

We have breakfast at nine if we’re together. If not, I have breakfast earlier.

Desayunamos a las nueve si estamos juntos. Si no, desayuno más temprano.

Next, the verb for “to lunch” is Almorzar. For example:

We need to do it before having lunch.

Tenemos que hacerlo antes de almorzar.

This verb has a stem change whenever the second syllable is stressed. So for example, instead of “almorzo”, “almorza”, and so on, we have almuerzo, almuerza, almuerzas, and almuerzan. So that makes it similar to Encontrar. And you actually had a hint at this from the word almuerzo, our noun for “lunch”. So for example:

I eat lunch with my mom on Wednesdays.

Almuerzo con mi mamá los miércoles.

Another thing to note about these verbs is that you can use them with direct objects. Here’s how. In English, we often say that we’re having something “for” breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For example:

You always have meat for lunch.

But in Spanish, you can simply “breakfast it” or “lunch it”. In this particular sentence, you would literally say “You always lunch meat.” Here’s the Spanish version of that sentence:

Siempre almuerzas carne.

Let’s practice Almorzar.

They always have lunch early there.

Siempre almuerzan temprano ahí.

Why did you have lunch so late?

¿Por qué almorzaste tan tarde?

They had lunch without me, so I had lunch alone.

Almorzaron sin mí, así que almorcé solo.

We have lunch early and you have lunch late.

Nosotros almorzamos temprano y tú almuerzas tarde.

On Mondays I have lunch very late and she has lunch alone.

Los lunes almuerzo muy tarde y ella almuerza sola.

I could have met them, but I had to have lunch with my family.

Podría haberlos conocido, pero tuve que almorzar con mi familia.

And then our verb for “to have dinner” or “to dine” is Cenar. For example:

We have dinner very late, like at 10.

Cenamos muy tarde, como a las diez.

This verb is conjugated exactly like Hablar, so it will be easy to practice. But first let me point out one more fun thing you can do with these verbs: To go out for a meal, you typically say Salir, and then a, and then the infinitive for the meal. For example:

I want to go out to dinner.

Quiero salir a cenar.

All right, let’s practice Cenar.

You have dinner early and they have dinner late.

Tú cenas temprano y ellos cenan tarde.

They have to go out to dinner very early during Winter.

Tienen que salir a cenar muy temprano durante el invierno.

You had dinner with your friends, so he had dinner alone.

Tú cenaste con tus amigos, así que él cenó solo.

She has dinner at a restaurant when I have dinner with them.

Ella cena en un restaurante cuando yo ceno con ellos.

We always have dinner at the same time, but yesterday we had dinner very late.

Siempre cenamos a la misma hora, pero ayer cenamos muy tarde.

All right, our last verb is the verb for “travel”, which is Viajar, spelled v-i-a-j-a-r. Viajar. This is related to the noun for “trip”, which is viaje. So for example:

I want to travel more.

Quiero viajar más.

They traveled there last year.

Viajaron allí el año pasado.

This verb is conjugated exactly like Hablar, so let’s jump in and get some practice.

They have traveled there.

Ellos han viajado ahí.

I’m traveling around those places.

Estoy viajando por esos lugares.

They want me to travel with you because you never travel.

Quieren que viaje contigo porque tú nunca viajas.

He doesn’t travel much, but they want him to travel more.

Él no viaja mucho, pero ellos quieren que viaje más.

Did you travel with them? Because they always travel in March.

¿Viajaste con ellos? Porque ellos siempre viajan en marzo.

I always travel during the summer, but this year I traveled during the Winter.

Siempre viajo durante el verano, pero este año viajé durante el invierno.

We travel there when it’s cold, but we’d like to travel to another place.

Viajamos ahí cuando hace frío, pero nos gustaría viajar a otro lugar.

For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/247. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.

I always have breakfast reading; I like it a lot.

Siempre desayuno leyendo, me gusta mucho.

I don't know if he travels in February or June, you should ask him.

No sé si viaja en febrero o junio, deberías preguntarle.

On Saturdays we go out to dinner.

Los sábados salimos a cenar.

I should(Deber preterite) have told you that in March.

Debí haberte dicho eso en marzo.

I found out via them that’s why I traveled in September.

Lo supe a través de ellos por eso viajé en septiembre.

She had breakfast at home, but had dinner out.

Ella desayunó en casa, pero cenó afuera.

He has breakfast while he writes his stories.

Él desayuna mientras escribe sus historias.

She should have tried that on, but I think it’s going to suit her well.

Debería haberse probado eso, pero creo que le va a quedar bien.

They have dinner at nine, but I have dinner later.

Ellos cenan a las nueve, pero yo ceno más tarde.

I read(past) that you’ll have problems if you travel to those places in January.

Leí que tendrás problemas si viajas a esos lugares en enero.

We always have lunch at home, but today I had lunch out.

Siempre almorzamos en casa, pero hoy almorcé afuera.

I haven’t learned anything.

No he aprendido nada.

I should(Deber conditional) have left earlier.

Debería haberme ido más temprano.

Read what it says there before we go out for breakfast.

Lee lo que dice ahí antes de que salgamos a desayunar.

We could have stayed longer because I learned that traveling.

Podríamos habernos quedado más tiempo porque aprendí eso viajando.

They had lunch at home, but at night we had dinner alone.

Ellos almorzaron en casa, pero a la noche cenamos solos.

Why do you eat dinner so late if she has dinner early?

¿Por qué cenas tan tarde si ella cena temprano?

I’m reading what they had written on Thursday.

Leo lo que ellos habían escrito el jueves.

They traveled there last year and they want to write a book. 

Viajaron ahí el año pasado y quieren escribir un libro.

I had breakfast with them and we were together for a little while.

Desayuné con ellos y estuvimos juntos un rato.

You already learned that December is the worst month for that.

Ya aprendiste que diciembre es el peor mes para eso.

We have dinner there during the Summer, but in the Fall we stay here.

Cenamos ahí durante el verano, pero en otoño nos quedamos aquí.

Why do you have lunch at that time? You must learn to do it earlier.

¿Por qué almuerzas a esa hora? Debes aprender a hacerlo antes.

At what time did you have lunch? And did you have dinner at home?

¿A qué hora almorzaste? ¿Y cenaste en casa?

We travel there in April, but I learned that it’s better in May.

Viajamos ahí en abril, pero he leído que es mejor en mayo.

I have to read what she wrote in November.

Tengo que leer lo que ella escribió en noviembre.

I would like to have seen her during the Spring. 

Me gustaría haberla visto durante la primavera. 

She was writing a story.

Estaba escribiendo una historia.

They want me to travel to where he traveled last year.

Quieren que yo viaje a donde él viajó el año pasado.

I could have told her that in July, but I’ll tell it to her on Wednesday.

Podría haberle dicho eso en julio, pero se lo diré el miércoles.

In October you traveled to where they always travel.

En octubre viajaste a donde ellos siempre viajan.

They’ve been traveling, but on Friday we can have lunch with them.

Han estado viajando, pero el viernes podemos almorzar con ellos.

They have lunch very early, but she has lunch like at two.

Ellos almuerzan muy temprano, pero ella almuerza como a las dos.

Learn that and you won’t have problems on Tuesday.

Aprende eso y no tendrás problemas el martes.

When I travel, I have lunch at any time.

Cuando viajo, almuerzo a cualquier hora.

I want him to travel in August so that he reads what I wrote.

Quiero que viaje en agosto para que lea lo que escribí.

I think I want to travel in Summer.

Creo que quiero viajar en verano.

You always eat for breakfast what they have for breakfast.

Tú siempre desayunas lo que ellos desayunan.

He’s reading the beginning of that book and he’s learning a lot.

Lee el principio de ese libro y aprende mucho.

I don’t have a favorite season.

No tengo una estación favorita.

I would like to have seen him before the wedding.

Me gustaría haberlo visto antes de la boda.

Write what you think and everything will be fine.

Escribe lo que piensas y todo estará bien.

We always have breakfast at home, but today we had breakfast at another place.

Siempre desayunamos en casa, pero hoy desayunamos en otro lugar.

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/247.

In tomorrow’s episode, we’ll learn our last adjectives, including the words for “cold”, “hot”, “clean”, “dirty”, “expensive”, and “cheap”.

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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