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Leer, Escribir, Aprender

Let’s learn some Spanish verbs related to reading, writing, and learning! We’ll explore the verbs Leer, Escribir, and Aprender, in a wide variety of uses. Practice along out loud!

Full Podcast Episode


Aprende rápido.

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

This week we’re wrapping up our journey to essential fluency. We’ll learn our last seven verbs and our final adjectives and nouns that you need to communicate on practically any topic in Spanish, with practically infinite variety — as long as you combine what you’re learning here with some good, productive practice.

Let’s kick off the week by learning the verbs for “read”, “write”, and “learn”. The Spanish verb for “read” is Leer, spelled l-e-e-r. Leer. So for example:

I want to read that.

Quiero leer eso.

This verb is conjugated like Deber, but it’s a little bit tricky because of the two Es. Basically, the stem of this verb is the L-E at the beginning, and then to conjugate it you change the other two letters at the end. So “I read” is leo, and “he/she reads” is lee, which simply sounds like le but is spelled with two Es. And then the rest of the present-tense forms have two Es as well: lees, leen, and leemos. Incidentally, this is exactly what happened with the verb Creer, our other verb with two Es.

Let’s practice the present-tense forms of Leer.

We don’t read at night.

No leemos por la noche.

Do you read that kind of books?

¿Lees ese tipo de libros?

They read every day before sleeping.

Leen todos los días antes de dormir.

She doesn’t read yet, but she’ll start in June.

Aún no lee, pero empezará en junio.

I read the books after having made them.

Leo los libros después de haberlos hecho.

The preterite forms of Leer are just like the preterite forms of Creer. So “I read” is leí, “you read” is leíste, and “we read” is leímos. But the third-person forms have a Y thrown in the middle: leyó and leyeron. Let’s practice these.

Yes, I read(past) it on Tuesday.

Sí, lo leí el martes.

Do you think she read it?

¿Crees que ella lo leyó?

They read(past) that that color doesn’t suit them well.

Leyeron que ese color no les queda bien.

I can’t believe you read(past) the same book we read(past).

No puedo creer que leíste el mismo libro que nosotros leímos.

Some other common forms of Leer are the imperatives, lee for the informal and lea for the formal, the subjunctive form lea for “I read” or for “he/she reads”, the infinitive contraction leerlo, and the gerund, leyendo, which has that extra Y in there. Let’s practice these.

Read my book, please!

¡Lee mi libro, por favor!

(Formal) Read it on Sunday!

¡Léalo el domingo!

I wasn’t able to read it, what did it say?

No pude leerlo, ¿qué decía?

She’ll know it when she reads it on Saturday.

Lo sabrá cuando lo lea el sábado.

He’s been reading that book since April.

Ha estado leyendo ese libro desde abril.

You have to read it before I read it.

Tienes que leerlo antes de que yo lo lea.

Our next verb is Escribir, which means “to write” or “to write down”. For example:

I need to write this down.

Necesito escribir esto.

This verb is conjugated exactly like Vivir, except for its participle, which is irregular. We would expect it to be “escribido”, but the participle is escrito. For example:

I have written to her many times.

Le he escrito muchas veces.

Notice here that we’re using Escribir with an indirect object, since we’re writing “to” someone. So Escribir can be used with both direct and indirect objects, although it’s more common just to talk about what you’re writing, not whom you’re writing to.

Here are a few more examples of various forms of Escribir.

I didn’t write that.

No escribí eso.

She didn’t write anything.

No escribió nada.

If she writes something, I’ll read it.

Si escribe algo, lo leeré.

He has been writing for hours.

Ha estado escribiendo por horas.

Let’s get some practice with Escribir. Again, it’s a perfectly regular IR verb, other than the participle escrito, so you should be able to predict the Spanish.

You don’t have to write anything.

No tienes que escribir nada.

You wrote it last Wednesday.

Lo escribiste el miércoles pasado.

I don’t want him to write it.

No quiero que lo escriba.

She’s been writing a book.

Ha estado escribiendo un libro.

I wrote a song last Spring.

Escribí una canción la primavera pasada.

Write more! You haven’t written almost anything.

¡Escribe más! No has escrito casi nada.

If she writes to me, maybe I’ll write to him.

Si ella me escribe, quizás yo le escriba a él.

(Formal) Write this down! Today is the first day of October.

¡Escriba esto! Hoy es el primer día de octubre.

He wrote to apologize for having told me that.

Escribió para disculparse por haberme dicho eso.

I always write during the Fall, I have more time than in Winter.

Siempre escribo durante el otoño, tengo más tiempo que en el invierno.

Our last verb for today is Aprender, which means “to learn”. For example:

I learned many things at that job.

Aprendí muchas cosas en ese trabajo.

Here’s a fun one where Aprender goes with de.

She obviously learned from her mistake.

Obviamente aprendió de su error.

When you’re talking about learning to do some action, you’ll put the preposition a after Aprender and then use an infinitive. For example:

He learned how to say that word.

Aprendió a decir esa palabra.

Try this yourself in this next example:

She’ll learn how to write after she learns how to read.

Aprenderá a escribir después de aprender a leer.

Let’s practice this verb. It’s conjugated exactly like Deber, so you should be able to predict its various forms.

I learned a lot in September.

Aprendí mucho en septiembre.

He’s still learning.

Aún está aprendiendo.

She hasn’t learned anything since December.

No ha aprendido nada desde diciembre.

She learns fast when she wants to learn.

Aprende rápido cuando quiere aprender.

Learn this song! You only have a little while.

¡Aprende esta canción! Solo tienes un rato.

You’ll learn it soon, don’t worry.

Lo aprenderás pronto, no te preocupes.

If you learn this before January, I’ll buy you a gift.

Si aprendes esto antes de enero, te compraré un regalo.

Did you learn what you needed for the test?

¿Aprendiste lo que necesitabas para la prueba?

She learned very quickly, you should(Deber preterite) have seen her.

Aprendió muy rápido, debiste haberla visto.

For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/246. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.

Write down what I’m reading!

¡Escribe lo que estoy leyendo!

He learned a lot from what he read last November.

Aprendió mucho de lo que leyó el noviembre pasado.

I read(past) it and now I’m writing something else.

Lo leí y ahora estoy escribiendo algo más.

We read(past) the news after having heard it.

Leímos las noticias después de haberlo oído.

Do you read during the Summer?

¿Lees durante el verano?

I wrote a book; I think you should read it.

Escribí un libro; creo que deberías leerlo.

He wrote a story without having told him.

Escribió una historia sin haberle dicho.

We always read together on Mondays.

Siempre leemos juntos los lunes.

At the beginning, he wanted to learn, but he was having trouble learning.

Al principio, quería aprender, pero tenía problemas para aprender.

I shouldn’t(Deber preterite) have written to you.

No debí haberte escrito.

She learns faster during this season; she loves February.

Aprende más rápido durante esta estación, le encanta febrero.

He has learned a lot after having left.

Ha aprendido mucho después de haberse ido.

I always read via my computer.

Siempre leo a través de mi computadora.

You’ll learn to write soon.

Aprenderás a escribir pronto.

She writes lovely stories, like the one you wrote last July.

Ella escribe historias bonitas, como la que escribiste el julio pasado.

I want him to write me a song before Thursday.

Quiero que me escriba una canción antes del jueves.

(Formal) Write down the names of the people who are learning to read.

Escriba los nombres de las personas que están aprendiendo a leer.

They read(past) the news and they know you read(past) it too.

Leyeron las noticias y saben que tú las leíste también.

I’m writing a new story, different from what you have read.

Escribo una nueva historia, diferente de lo que has leído.

My teacher(f) wants me to write down everything I learned.

Mi maestra quiere que yo escriba todo lo que aprendí.

Learn a lot this Summer! I’ll see you in August!

¡Aprende mucho este verano! ¡Nos vemos en agosto!

The last Friday of March he wants me to read to the children.

El último viernes de marzo, él quiere que les lea a los niños.

Read! That way you learn.

¡Lee! Así aprendes.

Did you learn anything new in May?

¿Aprendiste algo nuevo en mayo?

She reads really well for her age.

Lee muy bien para su edad.

They read(present) to them after having talked to us.

Les leen después de habernos hablado.

I wrote it so that he reads it.

Lo escribí para que él lo lea.

(Formal) Read this, please, it’s important!

¡Lea esto, por favor, es importante!

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/246.

In tomorrow’s episode, we’ll learn some important verbs related to eating and traveling.

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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