In Spanish, are you “hungry” or do you “have hunger”? Let’s explore a bunch of Spanish nouns that can describe how you feel, including words for pain, pleasure, and pity. We’ll also get a variety of practice with these new nouns in a variety of Spanish sentences.
Es un honor y un placer.
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 some new nouns for feelings so that we can talk about things like pain, pleasure, and pity.
But to talk about this, we have to go over how Spanish is different from English when it comes to how you feel. One of the easiest feelings to talk about is hunger, which in Spanish is the feminine noun hambre, spelled h-a-m-b-r-e. Check out this sentence:
Is it because of their hunger?
¿Es por su hambre?
Now, in English, the noun “hunger” is not very frequent; instead, we tend to use the adjective “hungry” to describe how someone is feeling. For example, we say “I’m hungry”, “she’s hungry”, or “we are hungry”. However, in Spanish, it’s much more common just to use the noun. So for example, “I have hunger”, “she has hunger”, “we have hunger”, and so on. Here’s a full sentence example:
We’re hungry. When are we going to eat?
Tenemos hambre. ¿Cuándo vamos a comer?
So to translate the phrase “we’re hungry”, we had to rephrase it as “we have hunger”. This is actually very common among many different types of things you can feel. In Spanish, rather than talking about being hungry, or hot, or cold, you more often say that you have hunger, or heat, or coldness.
Let’s go ahead and learn some words for temperature as well. To say that you’re feeling hot, you’ll say tengo calor, or to say that you’re feeling cold, you’ll say tengo frío. These are both masculine nouns. Here’s a sentence example:
She’s cold and I’m hot.
Ella tiene frío y yo tengo calor.
To say that you feel “very cold”, or “very hot”, or “very hungry”, you’ll use mucho or mucha. For example:
She’s very cold and I’m very hungry.
Ella tiene mucho frío y yo tengo mucha hambre.
Literally “She has much coldness and I have much hunger.”
Now you don’t only have to use these words to describe how someone feels; you’re also able to use them as general nouns. For example:
I don’t live in that country anymore because of the cold.
Ya no vivo en ese país por el frío.
Let’s get some practice with hambre, frío, and calor.
I don’t like the cold, so I’m going inside.
No me gusta el frío, así que voy adentro.
I’m hungry and hot, so I want to leave.
Tengo hambre y calor, así que me quiero ir.
I don’t want you to lose just because you’re hungry.
No quiero que pierdas solo porque tienes hambre.
Do you think you’ll be hot or cold there?
¿Crees que tendrás calor o frío ahí?
Some other things you might feel are “pleasure” and “honor”. The word for “pleasure” is placer, and “honor” is honor, spelled exactly like the English word. Here are two very similar examples that use Tener with placer and honor:
I have had the pleasure of meeting your grandfather.
He tenido el placer de conocer a tu abuelo.
I have had the honor of talking with your grandmother.
He tenido el honor de hablar con tu abuela.
So in both of these examples, “having the pleasure” or “having the honor” indicate being pleased or proud to do something. These specific phrases translate literally into English, where we use “have” along with these feelings. But these words can also be used in more general ways. For example:
It has been a pleasure.
Ha sido un placer.
We did it in honor of our parents.
Lo hicimos en honor a nuestros padres.
Note that the idiom for “in honor of” is en honor a, literally “in honor to”.
Let’s get some practice with placer and honor.
It’s an honor and a pleasure to talk to you.
Es un honor y un placer hablar contigo.
He lost, but he said it was a pleasure.
Perdió, pero dijo que fue un placer.
I don’t want anything to occur, that would be an honor.
No quiero que suceda nada, eso sería un honor.
They lost, but it still was an honor and a pleasure for them.
Perdieron, pero igual fue un honor y un placer para ellos.
Next let’s learn the words for some negative feelings. We’ll begin with odio, which means “hatred”. Here’s an example:
I have a lot of hatred for those animals.
Les tengo mucho odio a esos animales.
So here we literally have “to them I have much hatred to those animals”. We’re using an indirect object along with Tener, and it’s interesting that we’ve done this before with the word cariño. Remember that to say that you’re fond of someone, you say that you “have affection for them”; for example le tengo mucho cariño a mi hijo. You can think of odio as basically the opposite of cariño.
Here’s a simpler use of odio:
Love is stronger than hatred.
El amor es más fuerte que el odio.
Another negative thing you might feel is pain. The word for pain is dolor. For example:
I have a strong pain in my left hand.
Tengo un dolor fuerte en mi mano izquierda.
This word can also mean “ache”, and sometimes it’s paired with a body part. For example:
I left early because I had a headache.
Me fui temprano porque tenía dolor de cabeza.
Note that we don’t use the article before either dolor or cabeza, so it’s literally “I have ache of head”.
Let’s practice odio and dolor.
I don’t care about their hatred.
No me importa su odio.
She doesn’t want me to lose or to have pain.
No quiere que yo pierda o tenga dolor.
My hatred is stronger than my pain.
Mi odio es más fuerte que mi dolor.
This might occur and give you pain.
Esto puede suceder y darte dolor.
They are losing because of their hatred.
Están perdiendo por su odio.
OK, so we have the word for dolor, which is how you might mention that you have a pain or an ache. But what about the action of getting hurt? Check out this sentence:
I don’t want to hurt your hand.
No quiero hacerle daño a tu mano.
So here we used the word daño, spelled d-a-ñ-o. This word basically means “damage” or “harm” as a noun, and it tends to be used along with Hacer to talk about hurting or damaging something or someone. Here’s another example:
I don’t want to harm anyone.
No quiero hacerle daño a nadie.
So in these sentences, we use Hacer with an indirect object, and then we name daño as the direct object that would be given to that indirect object. Try it yourself with this next example:
The dog harmed us.
El perro nos hizo daño.
This idiomatic use is tricky, but it’s very common. However, note that this word can also be more generally used to mean “damage” in simpler sentences. For example:
We went to his house to look at the damage.
Fuimos a su casa para ver el daño.
Our last word is pena, which is a very idiomatic word with specific uses. It means something like “pity”, “sorrow”, or “shame”. Here’s one of the simplest ways to use it:
What a shame that you can’t go!
¡Qué pena que no puedas ir!
So of course this uses a sentence template we’ve been practicing a lot, with an emotion in the first half and a subjunctive conjugation in the second half. Try it yourself in this next example:
What a shame that he keeps doing that!
¡Qué pena que siga haciendo eso!
We’ll learn more uses of pena in future episodes; for now we’ll mostly reserve it for this one sentence template.
Let’s practice pena and daño.
He’s not going to hurt you if you lose.
No te va a hacer daño si pierdes.
It’s a shame that he has hurt her.
Es una pena que le haya hecho daño.
You don’t care about my sorrows, you only want to hurt me.
No te importan mis penas, solo quieres hacerme daño.
For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/179. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.
If we get lost, we’ll meet each other behind the house.
Si nos perdemos, nos encontraremos detrás de la casa.
He ate more food besides that which you gave him.
Comió más comida además de la que le diste.
Could you pass me that on top of the table? I’m cold.
¿Me podrías pasar eso encima de la mesa? Tengo frío.
I know you lost it around that place.
Sé que lo perdiste alrededor de ese lugar.
Don’t lose! If that occurs, we’ll lose our honor too.
¡No pierdas! Si eso sucede, perderemos nuestro honor también.
It’s been a pleasure because we haven’t lost.
Ha sido un placer porque no hemos perdido.
I’ll tell you a secret: last night I wasn’t hungry, but I still ate.
Te diré un secreto: anoche no tenía hambre, pero igual comí.
That hasn’t occurred, we didn’t lose.
No ha sucedido eso, no perdimos.
He wants me to eat like you eat if I’m hungry.
Él quiere que yo coma como tú comes si tengo hambre.
Simply, it didn’t happen, she never got lost.
Simplemente no sucedió, ella nunca se perdió.
I don’t want him to lose; besides, he’s eating.
No quiero que pierda, además, está comiendo.
If she continues eating, she is going to hurt herself.
Si sigue comiendo, se va a hacer daño.
What a shame that he doesn’t eat that food.
Qué pena que no coma esa comida.
Eating with you is a pleasure, even if I’m cold.
Comer contigo es un placer, aunque tenga frío.
That isn’t occurring and I didn’t lose.
Eso no está sucediendo y yo no perdí.
He is fine with all of this, including the pain and the hatred.
Está bien con todo esto, incluso con el dolor y el odio.
If they eat now they’ll probably be hot.
Si comen ahora probablemente tengan calor.
Lose the game! That way you can have your honor.
¡Pierde el juego! Así puedes tener tu honor.
The heat from that bedroom is giving me pain.
El calor de esa habitación me está dando dolor.
Eat! You don’t want to miss your train.
¡Come! No quieres perder tu tren.
If I eat, I lose the game.
Si como, pierdo el juego.
You can find it on top of the table.
Puedes encontrarlo encima de la mesa.
I haven’t eaten because of the hatred.
No he comido por el odio.
It’ll be a shame if he loses; it would hurt him.
Será una pena si pierde, le haría daño.
For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/179, 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.