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Las Vacaciones

Let’s learn some new nouns you can use to describe people, including the words for “detective”, “captain”, and “role”, as well as some nouns relevant to travel, such as “vacation”, “traffic”, and “flight”.

Full Podcast Episode


Nos encantan las vacaciones.

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 several new words you can use to describe people, as well as some nouns relevant to travel, such as “vacation”, “traffic”, and “flight”.

Let’s begin with a few occupations and titles. The word for “lawyer” or “attorney” is abogado or abogada for a feminine person. For example:

My brother is a lawyer at that company.

Mi hermano es abogado en esa compañía.

The word for “detective” is detective, spelled exactly like the English word. This can be either masculine or feminine, though it’s masculine by default. For example:

I had to look for evidence, like a detective.

Tuve que buscar pruebas, como un detective.

The word for “captain” is capitán, spelled c-a-p-i-t-a-n, with an accent over the final A. Capitán. For example:

The captain of the ship got sad.

El capitán del barco se puso triste.

When the captain is feminine, the word is capitana. For example:

My mother is a captain in the army.

Mi madre es capitana del ejército.

And then the word for “sergeant” is sargento, and “soldier” is soldado. So for example:

Here come the sergeant and his soldiers.

Aquí vienen el sargento y sus soldados.

Note that sargento changes to sargenta for a feminine person. Soldado is a little bit different: It can be either masculine or feminine, but it ends in O in either case. For example:

The soldier is my sister.

La soldado es mi hermana.

Let’s practice abogado, capitán, sargento, and soldado.

He is the sergeant and she is the captain.

Él es el sargento y ella es la capitana.

The captain has loved how the music sounds.

Al capitán le ha encantado como suena la música.

His sergeant(f) is going to need a good lawyer.

Su sargenta va a necesitar un buen abogado.

The detective(f) says that one piece of evidence suffices.

La detective dice que una prueba basta.

The detective gave the lawyer one million three hundred thousand dollars.

El detective le dio un millón trescientos mil dólares al abogado.

Next, let’s learn a noun that can be used to describe someone’s position relative to other people. We’ve already learned that puesto can mean “position”, as in someone’s role in a company. For example:

How long has he been in his position as a detective?

¿Cuánto tiempo lleva en su puesto de detective?

Notice that we say puesto de detective, literally “position of detective”.

Let’s also learn a very similar word. The word papel, which means “paper”, can also mean “role”, as in someone’s position. And just like in English, papel and puesto can mean roughly the same thing when used this way, but in general, “position” is translated as puesto and “role” is translated as papel. So for example:

How long has this soldier been in his role?

¿Cuánto tiempo lleva este soldado en su papel?

Let’s practice this use of papel.

Her role is to play the piano.

Su papel es tocar el piano.

What’s your role in the company?

¿Cuál es tu papel en la compañía?

Let’s learn just three more nouns to describe people. The word for “companion” is compañero, spelled c-o-m-p-a-ñ-e-r-o. Compañero. In modern English we don’t really use the word “companion” much anymore, but in Spanish it’s a pretty common term to refer to classmates, coworkers, or roommates. For example:

My coworkers and I have new roles.

Mis compañeros de trabajo y yo tenemos nuevos papeles.

Note that we said compañeros de trabajo; typically, a “coworker” is a compañero de trabajo, a “classmate” is a compañero de clase, and a “roommate” is a compañero de casa.

This word can also be compañera to refer to a feminine person. For example:

Remind me the name of your classmate(f).

Recuérdame el nombre de tu compañera.

Next, the word for “owner” is dueño, spelled d-u-e-ñ-o. Dueño. For example:

I’m the owner of three dogs.

Soy el dueño de tres perros.

Here’s an example of dueña, the feminine version.

I’m the owner(f) of three offices in that building.

Soy dueña de tres oficinas en ese edificio.

Next, the word for “cousin” is primo or prima. For example:

My daughter has three girl cousins and one boy cousin.

Mi hija tiene tres primas y un primo.

Let’s practice compañero, dueño, and primo.

Her cousin isn’t honest with her.

Su primo no es honesto con ella.

He is the owner of nine million five hundred thousand dollars.

Es dueño de nueve millones quinientos mil dólares.

Do you play piano with your cousins?

¿Tocas el piano con tus primos?

His classmate(f) is the owner of two cars.

Su compañera de clase es dueña de dos autos.

I don’t know my coworkers.

No conozco a mis compañeros de trabajo.

All right, let’s move on to some nouns you can use to talk about travel and vacations. The word for “vacation” is vacaciones. This word literally means “vacations”, and it’s almost always used in the plural: Vacaciones. So here’s a typical translation of an English sentence that uses the word “vacation”.

My parents are on vacation.

Mis padres están de vacaciones.

So this is a bit odd to English speakers; the literal translation is “of vacations”. But this is idiomatic in Spanish. Try it yourself in this next one:

Are you here for business or on vacation?

¿Estás aquí por negocios o de vacaciones?

Next let’s talk about air travel. We’ve already learned the word for “airplane”, which is avión. The word for “airport” is aeropuerto, spelled a-e-r-o-p-u-e-r-t-o. Aeropuerto. For example:

We ran into each other at the airport.

Nos encontramos en el aeropuerto.

The word for “flight” is vuelo, spelled v-u-e-l-o. For example:

We spent three hours in the airport before our flight.

Pasamos tres horas en el aeropuerto antes de nuestro vuelo.

Let’s practice vacaciones, aeropuerto, and vuelo. In this first one, to say that the vacation “was” millions of dollars, we’ll use a preterite form of Ser that goes with vacaciones. Try to predict the Spanish.

Our vacation was thousands of dollars.

Nuestras vacaciones fueron miles de dólares.

He’s at the airport, waiting for his flight.

Está en el aeropuerto, esperando su vuelo.

It hasn’t been my turn to go on vacation.

No me ha tocado ir de vacaciones.

We have to go to the airport because we have a flight.

Tenemos que ir al aeropuerto porque tenemos un vuelo.

Our last few words pertain to travel in a vehicle. The word for “traffic” is tráfico, spelled t-r-a-f-i-c-o, with an accent on the A. Tráfico. For example:

The traffic was so bad we almost missed our flight.

El tráfico era tan malo que casi perdimos nuestro vuelo.

The word for “taxi” is taxi, spelled exactly like the English word. For example:

We went by taxi to the airport.

Fuimos en taxi al aeropuerto.

The word for “bus” is autobús. So basically it’s the word for “car” plus “bus”, but it also has an accent on the U. Autobús. So for example:

My city doesn’t have trains, but it has a lot of buses.

Mi ciudad no tiene trenes, pero tiene muchos autobuses.

And then our last word is carro, which means “car”. This word is basically a synonym for both auto and coche, and just like those words, you might use it depending on what region you’re in. Coche is more typical in Spain. In the Americas, auto and carro are both used a lot, with carro more common the further north you are and auto more common the further south you are. So for example:

We didn’t have a car on our vacation.

No teníamos un carro en nuestras vacaciones.

In this episode, you can expect to translate “car” as carro. But since there’s really no difference between carro, auto, and coche, note that it’s totally fine in general to translate “car” as any of these three words.

Let’s practice tráfico, taxi, autobús, and carro.

Don’t touch that car!

¡No toques ese carro!

I like buses more than taxis.

Me gustan los autobuses más que los taxis.

There’s a lot of traffic today.

Hay mucho tráfico hoy.

The car is there, waiting in the traffic.

El carro está ahí, esperando en el tráfico.

Let’s not take a taxi or a bus, there’s a lot of traffic.

No tomemos ni un taxi ni un autobús, hay mucho tráfico.

For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/224. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.

The owner of that car doesn’t like traffic.

Al dueño de ese carro no le gusta el tráfico.

We have to take a taxi to go to the airport; our flight leaves soon.

Tenemos que tomar un taxi para ir al aeropuerto, nuestro vuelo sale pronto.

(Formal) Don’t touch that bus!

¡No toque ese autobús!

My cousin is a detective and she has worked on four thousand eight hundred and sixty cases.

Mi prima es detective y ha trabajado en cuatro mil ochocientos sesenta casos.

My cousin has been playing guitar for a long time.

Mi primo ha estado tocando la guitarra por mucho tiempo.

My phone is going to ring soon.

Mi teléfono va a sonar pronto.

His boss made him do that three thousand one hundred ninety times.

Su jefe le hizo hacer eso tres mil ciento noventa veces.

Don’t play that song anymore!

¡No toques más esa canción!

I want him to play in front of seventy-two thousand three hundred people.

Quiero que toque frente a setenta y dos mil trescientas personas.

Sixty-six million people use those buses each year.

Sesenta y seis millones de personas usan esos autobuses cada año.

His lawyer(f) played the piano at their wedding.

Su abogada tocó el piano en su boda.

It isn’t your turn, wait for the traffic to end.

No te toca, espera que el tráfico termine.

We love vacations, but we don’t like flights.

Nos encantan las vacaciones, pero no nos gustan los vuelos.

He is the owner and his role in the company is the most important.

Él es el dueño y su papel en la compañía es el más importante.

A detective doesn’t go by taxi, he has his own car.

Un detective no anda en taxi, tiene su propio carro.

I don’t play the guitar, but the sergeant does.

No toco la guitarra, pero el sargento lo hace.

I would love to have a better role than my coworker(f).

Me encantaría tener un mejor papel que mi compañera de trabajo.

He wants me to play the piano.

Él quiere que yo toque el piano.

Being honest(f), my head hurts and I can’t go to the airport.

Siendo honesta, me duele la cabeza y no puedo ir al aeropuerto.

I have seven million dollars and I am a lawyer.

Tengo siete millones de dólares y soy abogado.

The sergeant told the soldiers to do it two hundred and seventy-four thousand times.

El sargento les dijo a los soldados que lo hicieran doscientas setenta y cuatro veces.

The captain(f) of the plane isn’t at the airport yet.

La capitana del avión no está en el aeropuerto aún.

Those soldiers have five hundred and forty-five million weapons.

Esos soldados tienen quinientos cuarenta y cinco millones de armas.

The captain loves going on vacation.

Al capitán le encanta ir de vacaciones.

Millions of people can play the guitar.

Millones de personas pueden tocar la guitarra.

Play a song for your classmates!

¡Toca una canción para tus compañeros de clase!

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/224, 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 Ximena Lama-Rondón. 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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