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Limpio, sucio, mojado, seco

Today we’ll learn a bunch of new Spanish adjectives, including the words for “clean”, “dirty”, “wet”, “dry”, “cold”, and “hot”.

Full Podcast Episode


¡Más despacio!

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 adjectives before the end of our 250-episode journey to fluency. And I have great news: This episode is actually basically a bonus episode. We’re already well past the top 1000 words in Spanish, so all the words in this episode are less frequent than our essential vocabulary that we’ve learned so far. Now, there are a LOT of words in this episode, but don’t worry about learning all of them; you can consider them all optional, and just focus on the ones that interest you.

Meanwhile, you’re probably wondering what will happen to this show after episode 250. We’re actually going to start the entire series over, all the way from Episode 1, starting Monday, but with some improvements based on our work with our students. If you know anyone who’s interested in learning Spanish, and you think they’d like our rigorous, evidence-based approach, this next Monday would be a great time for them to start listening to the show.

All right, let’s dive in and we’ll start with some adjectives that are used with Estar, specifically to describe something as clean, dirty, wet, or dry.

The word for “clean” is limpio. For example:

These spoons are clean.

Estas cucharas están limpias.

The word for “dirty” is sucio. For example:

Why is the ground so dirty here?

¿Por qué el suelo está tan sucio aquí?

The word for “wet” is mojado. For example:

Careful, the floor is wet.

Cuidado, el piso está mojado.

And the word for “dry” is seco. For example:

Are the dishes dry?

¿Están los platos secos?

Here’s another example, using the idiom for a “dry mouth”, which is la boca seca.

I need a glass of water, my mouth is dry.

Necesito un vaso de agua, tengo la boca seca.

Let’s practice limpio, sucio, mojado, and seco.

The food is very dry.

La comida está muy seca.

Do you think that glass is dirty?

¿Crees que ese vaso está sucio?

Last Fall the weather was very dry.

El otoño pasado el clima estaba muy seco.

This table is dirty and I need it to be clean.

Esta mesa está sucia y necesito que esté limpia.

At the beginning the floor was wet, but now it’s clean.

Al principio el piso estaba mojado, pero ahora está limpio.

You shouldn’t travel in December, the roads are wet.

No deberías viajar en diciembre, las carreteras están mojadas.

Next, let’s learn some adjectives for temperature, such as “hot”, “cold”, “warm”, and “cool”. All of these words can be used with either Ser or Estar, depending on the context. Let’s start with the word for “hot”, which is caliente. For example:

Be careful, it’s very hot.

Ten cuidado, está muy caliente.

So here we’re describing how the food is, “hot”. But sometimes temperatures are used more to describe what something is. For example:

That day was very cold.

Ese día fue muy frío.

So here we used frío, which is exactly like our noun for “cold”, frío. It’s interesting that our word for “heat” is calor, as in hace calor, but our adjective is caliente. But the noun and adjective for “cold” are the same. Of course, the adjective will change based on the gender and number of what we’re describing. For example:

By that time our dinner was cold.

Para ese momento nuestra cena estaba fría.

Next, let’s talk about the temperatures in between hot and cold. Very roughly speaking, the word for “warm” is tibio, and the word for “cool” is fresco. But they don’t translate in a perfect, one-to-one way between languages.

So to begin with, tibio actually basically means “lukewarm”; you’ll use it to describe something as neutral, not very hot and not very cold. If you want to describe something as “warm”, emphasizing “warmth”, you’ll more likely use caliente or calor. For example:

The food was very warm.

La comida estaba muy caliente.

But if you want to describe something as more neutral, for example “tepid”, you’ll use tibio. For example:

I like my water to be tepid, not cold.

Me gusta que el agua esté tibia, no fría.

Next let’s talk about fresco. This word actually literally means “fresh”. But it’s very commonly used to mean “cool”. These words often go together nicely. So for example:

We need a little fresh air here.

Necesitamos un poco de aire fresco aquí.

So imagine a stuffy, warm room where you want air that’s both fresh and cool. Fresco does a good job of describing that. But it can also separately mean either “fresh” or “cool”. For example:

The water was cool and gorgeous.

El agua estaba fresca y hermosa.

Let’s practice caliente, frío, tibio, and fresco.

She always has fresh food for lunch.

Siempre almuerza comida fresca.

The food wasn’t hot, it was really cold.

La comida no estaba caliente, estaba muy fría.

The water is lukewarm, but I need it hot.

El agua está tibia, pero la necesito caliente.

I was going to have breakfast, but the coffee was lukewarm, almost cold.

Iba a desayunar, pero el café estaba tibio, casi frío.

The air is really cool for it to be August; it almost feels like winter.

El aire está muy fresco para ser agosto, casi se siente como invierno.

Next let’s talk about some adjectives that are almost exclusively used with Ser, to describe something’s identity. We’ll start with some words that describe size. We already have the words for “big”, which is grande, “small”, which is pequeño, “tall”, which is alto, and “short”, which is bajo. We also have “long”, which is largo. The opposite of “long” is “short” — not in height, but in length. This word is corto. For example:

It was a very short story.

Fue una historia muy corta.

Next, the word for “wide” is ancho, and the word for “narrow” is estrecho. For example:

The road is wide and the sidewalk narrow.

La carretera es ancha y la acera, estrecha.

Try it yourself in this next one:

This is too wide for the narrow door.

Esto es demasiado ancho para la puerta estrecha.

Another interesting word is antiguo, which literally means “antique”, but more often it’s translated into English as “old”. For example:

This is a very old and beautiful house.

Esta es una casa muy antigua y bella.

So of course we already know viejo as an adjective for “old”. But you’re more likely to encounter antiguo when referencing a building or an item that’s antique, vintage, or ancient.

Let’s practice corto, estrecho, ancho, and antiguo.

That street is wide, but short.

Esa calle es ancha, pero corta.

I have coffee for breakfast on Wednesdays.

Desayuno café los miércoles.

That building is very narrow and old.

Ese edificio es muy estrecho y antiguo.

The road is narrow and short because it’s ancient.

La carretera es estrecha y corta porque es antigua.

Do you see that wide table? That’s where we have lunch.

¿Ves esa mesa ancha? Allí es donde almorzamos.

All right, next let’s revisit colors. We already know the most important colors, black, white, red, green, and blue, as negro, blanco, rojo, verde and azul. But let’s talk about some of the colors that occur in between these colors.

To begin with, the word for “gray” is gris. For example:

Why are all these buildings gray?

¿Por qué todos estos edificios son grises?

The word for “yellow” is amarillo, spelled a-m-a-r-i-l-l-o. Amarillo. For example:

I didn’t know the sky could be so yellow!

¡No sabía que el cielo podía ser tan amarillo!

To say “brown” in Spanish, you can either say café, literally “coffee”, or more often marrón, spelled m-a-r-r-o-n, with an accent on the O. Marrón. For example:

It’s very brown; I think it’s dirty.

Es muy marrón, creo que está sucio.

To say “purple” or “violet”, there are multiple words in Spanish, but the more common one is violeta. This adjective is a bit odd because it ends with A even if the noun is masculine. For example:

I love looking at the violet sky in the evening.

Me encanta mirar el cielo violeta por la noche.

And there are also multiple words for “pink”, but a common one is rosa, which literally means “rose”. This one also doesn’t change based on the gender of the thing it’s describing. For example:

Her bathroom had a pink floor.

Su baño tenía un piso rosa.

It might be helpful to remember that both violeta and rosa refer to flowers, and the flowers are the colors that don’t change the vowel at the end based on the gender of the noun. However, note that they will get an S on the end for plural nouns. For example:

She has a whole lot of pink and violet objects.

Tiene muchos objetos rosas y violetas.

Let’s practice gris, amarillo, marrón, violeta, and rosa.

Those clothes are gray, not brown.

Esa ropa es gris, no marrón.

I don’t like this weather, the sky is gray.

No me gusta este tiempo, el cielo está gris.

I like the purple one(m) more than the pink one(m).

Me gusta más el violeta que el rosa.

She has a yellow car; she bought it in September.

Tiene un auto amarillo, lo compró en septiembre.

Do you see that brown building? It used to be yellow before.

¿Ves ese edificio marrón? Antes era amarillo.

Why is the floor violet if the bed is pink?

¿Por qué el piso es violeta si la cama es rosa?

All right, on to our last few words. The word for “expensive” is caro, and the word for “cheap” is barato. So for example:

She has a very expensive car.

Tiene un auto muy caro.

What he gave me was very cheap.

Lo que me dio fue muy barato.

Next, the adjective lento is the opposite of rápido. For example:

Do you want a fast song or a slow song?

¿Quieres una canción rápida o una canción lenta?

But there’s something complicated about using this word. Remember that the adjective for “fast” is rápido, and that’s also an adverb for fast. For example:

He did it very fast.

Lo hizo muy rápido.

The word lento can also be used as either an adjective or as an adverb. But it’s more common as an adjective. The more common adverb for “slowly” is despacio. Here’s an example of how this works.

He did it very slowly.

Lo hizo muy despacio.

So in this case, we’re using “slowly” as an adverb. We could have chosen either lento or despacio. But here’s another example, where we have an adjective:

It was a very slow attack.

Fue un ataque muy lento.

So this one had to be lento because despacio can’t be an adjective. In our quizzing, we’re going to stick with lento as the adjective for “slow” and despacio as the adverb for “slowly”.

Let’s get some practice with caro, barato, lento, and the adverb despacio.

You have to write a slow story.

Tienes que escribir una historia lenta.

I bought it on Sunday and it was expensive.

Lo compré el domingo y fue caro.

Read slowly, it’s better in order to understand.

Lee despacio, es mejor para entender.

The month of July is passing by slowly.

El mes de julio está pasando despacio.

I don’t think this watch is cheap, I think it’s expensive.

No creo que este reloj sea barato, creo que es caro.

This movie is slow, but it was also cheap.

Esta película es lenta, pero también fue barata.

For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/248. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.

She only reads short stories.

Solo lee historias cortas.

The weather is cold and dry.

El tiempo está frío y seco.

That old building must be expensive.

Ese edificio antiguo debe ser caro.

I always read whatever he has written.

Siempre leo lo que él haya escrito.

Write to him before Saturday.

Escríbele antes del sábado.

You have to eat lunch now while the food is hot.

Tienes que almorzar ahora mientras la comida está caliente.

October was a wet month; I hope March is better.

Octubre fue un mes mojado, espero que marzo sea mejor.

The pink clothes are wide.

La ropa rosa es ancha.

You have to learn to read before May.

Tienes que aprender a leer antes de mayo.

I read it slowly in April.

Lo leí despacio en abril.

I want to have fresh food for dinner; I don’t want it to be lukewarm.

Quiero cenar comida fresca, no quiero que esté tibia.

The yellow one is dirty; can you exchange it for the brown one?

El amarillo está sucio, ¿puedes cambiarlo por el marrón?

When I travel in the spring, I’ll buy a cheap phone.

Cuando viaje en la primavera, compraré un teléfono barato.

I learned that she doesn’t have dinner on Mondays.

Aprendí que ella no cena los lunes.

I had breakfast with a clean plate.

Desayuné con un plato limpio.

I always have lunch at two on Fridays.

Siempre almuerzo a las dos los viernes.

Next season it’ll be Summer; I can’t wait until June.

La próxima estación será verano; no puedo esperar hasta junio.

Write the letter before Thursday, January 3.

Escribe la carta antes del jueves 3 de enero.

I don’t want her to travel by train; it’s slow.

No quiero que viaje en tren, es lento.

She has learned it in just a little while.

Lo ha aprendido en solo un rato.

The gray car is too narrow.

El auto gris es demasiado estrecho.

I’ll see you on Tuesday, November 2.

Nos vemos el martes 2 de noviembre.

I know it’s your favorite color, but not everything has to be violet.

Sé que es tu color favorito, pero no todo tiene que ser violeta.

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/248.

Tomorrow, we have another bonus episode; we’ll learn some optional nouns for household items, including the words for “apartment”, “refrigerator”, “kitchen”, and “furniture”.

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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