Today we’re going to learn some new nouns for things related to health and the human body, including the words for “medicine”, “nurse”, “ears”, and “nose”. We’ll also get some spoken practice quizzing with these new words in lots of different contexts.
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 a bunch of very simple nouns related to health and the human body, including the words for “medicine”, “nurse”, “medic”, and body parts.
Let’s begin with the word for “health”, which is salud. For example:
She asked me about my health.
Me preguntó sobre mi salud.
The opposite of “health” is “sickness”, but before we learn the noun for “sickness”, let’s actually start by learning the adjective for “sick”, which is enfermo. So for example:
She didn’t come because she was sick.
Ella no vino porque estaba enferma.
The noun is enfermedad, which can mean “sickness”, “illness”, or “disease”. This is a feminine noun. So for example:
They’re sick? What type of sickness?
¿Están enfermos? ¿Qué tipo de enfermedad?
Let’s practice salud, enfermo, and enfermedad.
The sick women wanted to talk about their sickness.
Las mujeres enfermas querían hablar de su enfermedad.
He doesn’t come up with anything for having good health.
No se le ocurre nada para tener buena salud.
Everyone is sick and this sickness is really serious.
Todos están enfermos y esta enfermedad es muy seria.
He was sick, so he had to do something about his health.
Estaba enfermo, entonces tenía que hacer algo sobre su salud.
The word for “nurse” is enfermero or enfermera. So for example:
The doctor(f) and the nurse(f) are talking about me.
La doctora y la enfermera están hablando de mí.
Now, the word doctor or doctora is actually only one way to translate “doctor”. It’s almost as common to translate “doctor” as médico, spelled m-e-d-i-c-o, but with an accent over the E. This can also be médica if it’s a feminine doctor. So for example:
I need a doctor.
Necesito un médico.
In English, we sometimes use the word “medic” to refer to a doctor or other provider of healthcare. In our quizzing, to help you decide whether to use doctor or médico, we’ll generally use “medic” when you’re expected to guess médico or médica.
A related word is the word for “medicine”, which is the feminine noun medicina. For example:
My dad takes his medicine in the evenings.
Mi papá toma su medicina por las noches.
Let’s practice enfermero, médico, and medicina.
The nurse(m) let me sleep all night.
El enfermero me dejó dormir toda la noche.
The medic(f) told me to take this medicine.
La médica me dijo que tomara esta medicina.
The nurse(f) gave me medicine, because the medic(m) told her to do it.
La enfermera me dio medicina porque el médico le dijo que lo hiciera.
Now let’s learn some more words for body parts. We’ve already learned cuerpo, cabeza, mente, cara, ojo, boca, corazón, mano, and pie. Our next word is cerebro, which is the word for “brain”. So just like in English, mente, the word for “mind”, is often interchangeable with cerebro, the word for “brain”. The difference is that mente means something a bit more abstract and tends to refer to subjective thought, whereas cerebro literally means “brain”, the physical organ that can be more objectively studied. Here are a couple of examples:
I don’t know what happened to my brain today.
No sé qué le pasó a mi cerebro hoy.
Andrea is the brain of this business.
Andrea es el cerebro de este negocio.
But then to go in an even more abstract direction, the word for “soul” is alma. For example:
We can’t do this to him, I feel it in my soul.
No podemos hacerle esto, lo siento en mi alma.
Note that this is a feminine noun, but it does sometimes get paired with the article el because it starts with the letter A, in the same way that agua and arma do. So for example:
Do you believe in the soul?
¿Crees en el alma?
Here’s an interesting example of alma being used idiomatically with the preposition desde.
I realized that she was speaking from her soul.
Me di cuenta de que estaba hablando desde el alma.
Our next word is brazo, which means “arm”. So of course on the end of an arm we have a mano, which is the feminine noun for “hand”. But brazo is the masculine word for “arm”. So for example:
What are you carrying there in your arms?
¿Qué llevas ahí en tus brazos?
And then the word for “leg” is pierna. So of course on the end of a leg we have a pie, which is the masculine noun for “foot”. But pierna is the feminine word for “leg”. So for example:
You walked by foot all day! How are your legs?
¡Anduviste a pie todo el día! ¿Cómo están tus piernas?
Let’s practice cerebro, alma, brazo, and pierna. I’ll also throw in a use of mente to help with choosing between cerebro, mente, and alma.
I have pain in my leg.
Tengo dolor en la pierna.
You have something on your arm.
Tienes algo en el brazo.
He has loved her with all his soul.
La ha amado con toda su alma.
The thing on your arm is strange.
La cosa en tu brazo es extraña.
You can have control of your legs with your brain.
Puedes tener control de las piernas con el cerebro.
My brain isn’t well after the party that was at your house.
Mi cerebro no está bien después de la fiesta que fue en tu casa.
You can’t see it in your mind, you have to search in your soul.
No puedes verlo en la mente, tienes que buscar en el alma.
All right, next let’s learn a few more nouns for parts of the face. We already know “the face” as la cara, “the eyes” as los ojos, and “the mouth” as la boca.
The word for “forehead” is la frente. As you might remember, our noun for “the front” of something is el frente. That’s a masculine noun. So for example, “the front of the building” is el frente del edificio. But this feminine noun has a different meaning, “forehead”. For example:
You have something on your forehead.
Tienes algo en la frente.
The word for “nose” is nariz. So for example:
The eyes, the nose, and the mouth are parts of the face.
Los ojos, la nariz y la boca son partes de la cara.
Next let’s talk about the ears. In Spanish, there are two different words for ears that have separate meanings. First, the more frequently used word is oído, which is the same as the participle of the verb Oír. Remember that Oír means “to hear”. You’ll use the noun el oído or los oídos when you’re referring to what people use to hear. For example:
You didn’t hear the music? It didn’t reach your ears?
¿No escuchaste la música? ¿No llegó a tus oídos?
Literally “It didn’t arrive to your ears?”
Now there’s another word for “ear”, which is oreja. This refers to the external ear, the visible part that you might draw on a picture of the face. For example:
My ears look too big in this photo.
Mis orejas se ven muy grandes en esta foto.
Let’s practice frente, nariz, oído, and oreja.
Her nose and her forehead are small.
Su nariz y su frente son pequeñas.
I have pain in my ears.
Tengo dolor en los oídos.
Your ears are big, but that’s ok.
Tus orejas son grandes, pero eso está bien.
He is sleeping with his forehead on the bed.
Está durmiendo con la frente en la cama.
You have to be careful with your ears(inner) and your nose.
Tienes que tener cuidado con los oídos y la nariz.
My ears are small.
Mis orejas son pequeñas.
Our last words are the words for “hair” and “voice”. The word for “voice” is voz, spelled v-o-z. This is a feminine noun. So for example:
He has a very strong voice.
Tiene una voz muy fuerte.
This is also how you would say “a very loud voice”.
Here’s another example:
I don’t have my voice today.
Hoy no tengo voz.
Now let’s learn how to say “hair” in Spanish. This is a bit tricky, because Spanish has two words for “hair”. The most universal word for hair is pelo. So for example:
I have more hair on my arms than on my head.
Tengo más pelo en los brazos que en la cabeza.
But the other word, cabello, can only refer to hair on the head. For example:
I don’t know how she does that with her hair.
No sé cómo hace eso con su cabello.
So there’s a little bit of a translation challenge here. If an English sentence has the word “hair” in it, how do you know whether the Spanish equivalent is pelo or cabello? Well, “hair” can pretty much always translate as pelo. So that’s the safest translation to go with. But cabello is very commonly used to refer to the hair of the head, especially when the context is in reference to how that hair is styled. In our quizzing, we’ll try to make it clear when cabello is the appropriate translation, but when in doubt, you can always just go with pelo.
Let’s practice voz, pelo, and cabello.
You have a lovely voice.
Tienes una voz bonita.
You have to change the style of your hair.
Tienes que cambiar el estilo de tu cabello.
That animal has a lot of hair and a weird voice.
Ese animal tiene mucho pelo y una voz extraña.
Be careful with the hair on your arms.
Ten cuidado con el pelo en tus brazos.
The medic said this might be bad for my hair.
El médico dijo que esto puede ser malo para mi cabello.
To wrap up this episode, since we’re on the subject of health, let’s learn an idiom that uses words we already have. The term for “heart attack” is ataque al corazón, literally “attack to the heart”. For example:
I think it was a heart attack.
Creo que fue un ataque al corazón.
And then to say that someone “had” a heart attack, you’ll actually phrase it as “it gave him a heart attack”, using an indirect object and no subject. For example:
My parents are going to have a heart attack when they see this.
A mis padres les va a dar un ataque al corazón cuando vean esto.
Let’s practice this a little bit.
He’s at the hospital because he had a heart attack.
Está en el hospital porque le dio un ataque al corazón.
I didn’t return at that time and they almost had a heart attack.
No regresé a esa hora y casi les dio un ataque al corazón.
For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/209. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.
The nurse(m) saw his ears and nose.
El enfermero vio sus oídos y su nariz.
The wedding is at that place, so they have to get married.
La boda es en ese lugar, entonces tienen que casarse.
The food is good today, but you have a little on your forehead.
La comida está buena hoy, pero tienes un poco en la frente.
You’re (getting) tall and your hair is (getting) long.
Estás alto y tu cabello está largo.
I hope he doesn’t come up with anything or I’ll have a heart attack.
Espero que no se le ocurra nada o me va a dar un ataque al corazón.
The medic gave me medicine for the disease.
El médico me dio medicina para la enfermedad.
You can come up with something for getting married.
Se te puede ocurrir algo para casarte.
The medic told me this disease is going to be bad for my hair.
El médico me dijo que esta enfermedad va a ser mala para mi cabello
She loved me and wants me to be able to get married.
Me amaba y quiere que pueda casarme.
He is sick, but she still loves him.
Él está enfermo, pero ella igual lo ama.
The medicine is put by the nurse(m) in the arm.
La medicina es puesta por el enfermero en el brazo.
When he sleeps, he can see his soul.
Cuando duerme, puede ver su alma.
He needs to do something with his arm and his hair if he’s going to get married.
Tiene que hacer algo con su brazo y su pelo si se va a casar.
He is(Ser) happy and now he is getting married.
Es feliz y ahora se casa.
I loved him; that’s why I wanted him to have good health.
Lo amaba, por eso quería que tuviera buena salud.
His ears can be seen from far away.
Sus orejas pueden ser vistas desde lejos.
I’m sick, there is something wrong with my ears.
Estoy enfermo, hay algo mal con mis oídos.
Behind his forehead is his brain.
Detrás de su frente está el cerebro.
You love him because of his voice.
Lo amas por su voz.
He can’t get married today because of his leg.
No puede casarse hoy por la pierna.
She has to love you even if your health isn’t good.
Tiene que amarte aunque tu salud no sea buena.
I love her voice and her soul.
Amo su voz y su alma.
I’m getting married and the wedding is at my house.
Me caso y la boda es en mi casa.
If you get married, I won’t tell you what I came up with.
Si te casas, no te diré lo que se me ocurrió.
The medicine was put in the brain.
La medicina fue puesta en el cerebro.
He hasn’t slept because he hasn’t gotten married.
No ha dormido porque no se ha casado.
His hair is behind his ear.
Su pelo está detrás de la oreja.
He had a heart attack and that was sad.
Tuvo un ataque al corazón y eso fue triste.
They have been happy and the food today was good.
Han sido felices y la comida hoy estuvo buena.
For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/209, or tune in tomorrow for a big quiz to practice everything 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.