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Proyecto, accidente, sorpresa

Let’s learn some new nouns in Spanish, including the words for “project”, “mission”, “accident”, and “surprise”. We’ll get lots of spoken practice with these new words.

Full Podcast Episode


Es una sorpresa.

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 about 15 new nouns that you can use to talk about events or actions, including the words for “accident”, “mission”, “meeting”, and “surprise”.

Let’s start with the word for “project”, which is proyecto. This is spelled p-r-o-y-e-c-t-o. Proyecto. For example:

They’re going to help me with my new project.

Me van a ayudar con mi nuevo proyecto.

If a project is successful, in Spanish you would say that the project “has success”. The word for “success” in cases like this, where there is a positive outcome, is éxito. This is spelled e-x-i-t-o, with an accent mark on the initial E. Éxito. For example:

He tried to do it, but he wasn’t successful.

Trató de hacerlo, pero no tuvo éxito.

Let’s go ahead and get some practice with these words.

They have been successful with most of their projects.

Ellos han tenido éxito con la mayor parte de sus proyectos.

He was successful with the ninety-two things he told us about.

Tuvo éxito con las noventa y dos cosas que nos contó.

I wasn’t successful with my project and that’s why I’m coming back home.

No tuve éxito con mi proyecto y por eso regreso a casa.

Next let’s go over some words you might use when an outcome is not positive. The word for “mistake” or “error” is error, spelled just like the English word. For example:

There was a mistake in the program.

Hubo un error en el programa.

Note that in English, although we sometimes talk about “making a mistake”, in Spanish you don’t “make” a mistake, instead you “commit an error”. So you can’t use the verb Hacer with error. In those situations, the correct verb to use for error is cometer, as in cometer un error. We won’t officially practice cometer since it’s not frequent enough for us to learn right now; instead, we’ll use error in situations such as “it was an error”.

A similar word is accidente, which means “accident”, and it’s spelled like the English word except with an E at the end. Accidente. For example:

I haven’t been there since the accident.

No he estado allí desde el accidente.

So an error and an accidente are bad things that might happen without intention. But two other negative events that might happen on purpose are a “fight” and an “attack”. The word for “fight” is pelea, spelled p-e-l-e-a. For example:

My friend and I had a fight.

Mi amigo y yo tuvimos una pelea.

And the word for “attack” is ataque, spelled a-t-a-q-u-e. Ataque. For example:

The army didn’t know it until the attack.

El ejército no lo supo hasta el ataque.

Let’s practice these new words.

Walk by foot! You don’t want to have an accident again.

¡Anda a pie! No quieres volver a tener un accidente.

He was riding the train when he saw the fight and the accident.

Andaba en tren cuando vio la pelea y el accidente.

They realized that the attack had been a mistake.

Se dieron cuenta de que el ataque había sido un error.

That attack and that fight were a mistake, I have pain in my foot now.

Ese ataque y esa pelea fueron un error, tengo dolor en el pie ahora.

Our next word is misión, which means “mission”. This is a feminine noun. So for example:

Our mission is to find all the dogs in our city.

Nuestra misión es encontrar todos los perros en nuestra ciudad.

And actually, misión can even mean something like “task” or “role”. For example:

In this position, my task is to help the president(f).

En este puesto, mi misión es ayudar a la presidenta.

But this specifically refers to a large or recurring task, not a small, one-time assignment. The word for that would be tarea, which can mean “task” or “homework”. For example:

Have you finished your homework?

¿Has terminado tu tarea?

So the word tarea can refer to a small task in either work or school. A much bigger word is carrera, which means something like “career”. But it can also mean “degree”, or “degree program”. So it’s another word that can refer to either work or school. Here are a couple of examples:

I’m following a different degree program.

Estoy siguiendo una carrera diferente.

My career is in the government.

Mi carrera es en el gobierno.

Notice in that example that we said es en. Normally the verb Ser isn’t followed by the preposition en, but here this specific use is to indicate the identity of something, a career in the government.

Let’s practice misión, tarea, and carrera.

They have like ninety-one tasks on their list.

Tienen como noventa y una tareas en su lista.

What do you have to do if you want to follow that degree program?

¿Qué tienes que hacer si quieres seguir esa carrera?

I don’t know what to think about that mission, it doesn’t seem safe.

No sé qué pensar de esa misión, no parece segura.

She won’t return because she says that’s not her mission.

No regresará porque dice que esa no es su misión.

To follow that degree program, I understand you ride the train every day.

Para seguir esa carrera, entiendo que andas en tren todos los días.

My career is in the army and I don’t know if I’ll come back soon.

Mi carrera es en el ejército y no sé si regresaré pronto.

You have to do a lot of homework if you want to have a career like mine.

Tienes que hacer mucha tarea si quieres tener una carrera como la mía.

All right, now, to make this even more complicated, the word carrera is also the word for “race”, as in a competition of speed. For example:

I can’t, I have a race that day.

No puedo, tengo una carrera ese día.

So on today’s final quiz, be prepared to translate the terms “career”, “degree program”, and “race” as carrera.

Our next word is negocio, which sounds something like “negotiation”, but it’s the word for “business”. Negocio. For example:

Yes, it’s a service business.

Sí, es un negocio de servicios.

So in this example, we’re talking about one business, or organization. But the word negocios can also refer to the act of taking care of business, especially when it’s plural. For example:

Come here, let’s talk about business.

Ven aquí, hablemos de negocios.

When it’s used like this, it’s a lot like the word consejo. Remember that the English word for “advice” is a mass noun, which means we don’t refer to one or two “advices”, we just refer to “advice” in general. But in Spanish, consejos are countable. So we generally translate un consejo as “a piece of advice” and unos consejos as “some advice”. We’ll do the same thing with negocios. So for example:

I want to talk about a piece of business with them.

Quiero hablar de un negocio con ellos.

So if the Spanish here had been Quiero hablar de negocios con ellos, we would have translated it into English as “I want to talk about business with them”. But since it’s un negocio, singular, we translated it as “a piece of business”.

One other note about this word: We previously learned the word asunto to mean “business”, specifically in situations like this:

What I do is not your business.

Lo que hago no es asunto tuyo.

This use of the word “business” is idiomatic and doesn’t have anything to do with real “business”, or negocios.

Let’s practice using the word negocio. I’ll also throw in one or two uses of asunto just to help practice choosing the right word.

We need time to talk about business.

Necesitamos tiempo para hablar de negocios.

Don’t come back! None of this is any of your business.

¡No regreses! Nada de esto es asunto tuyo.

She has a very important business on that street.

Ella tiene un negocio muy importante en esa calle.

They have like eighty-eight problems, that’s why they want to talk about that piece of business.

Tienen como noventa y ocho problemas, por eso quieren hablar de ese negocio.

Now let’s make a transition from business to pleasure. The word for “meeting”, whether among work associates or among friends, is reunión, spelled like the English word “reunion” but with an accent over the final O. Reunión. And like most Spanish nouns that end with -i-o-n, this word is feminine. For example:

I have a meeting with my friends from school.

Tengo una reunión con mis amigos de la escuela.

The word for “wedding” is boda. For example:

I met her at my sister’s wedding.

La conocí en la boda de mi hermana.

And then the word for “surprise” is sorpresa, spelled s-o-r-p-r-e-s-a. Sorpresa. For example:

This meeting was a surprise.

Esta reunión fue una sorpresa.

And the idiom for “to someone’s surprise” is para su sorpresa. For example:

To my surprise, at my wedding they only talked about business.

Para mi sorpresa, en mi boda solo hablaron de negocios.

Let’s practice reunión, boda, and sorpresa.

To his surprise, nobody wanted to go to the meeting.

Para su sorpresa, nadie quiso ir a la reunión.

We hope he comes back and can go to the wedding.

Esperamos que regrese y pueda ir a la boda.

I was walking by foot, but I knew I was arriving late to the meeting.

Andaba a pie, pero sabía que llegaba tarde a la reunión.

At the wedding there were eighty-one kids; it was a surprise.

En la boda había ochenta y un chicos; fue una sorpresa.

All right, on to our last few words for today, and they have to do with music. The word for “music” is música, spelled m-u-s-i-c-a, with an accent over the U. Música. For example:

Do you like this kind of music?

¿Te gusta este tipo de música?

The word for “song” is canción. For example:

It was a very sad song from his country.

Era una canción muy triste de su país.

And then the word for “lyrics” is letra. For example:

I know this song, but I don’t remember the lyrics.

Conozco esta canción, pero no recuerdo la letra.

Note that this tends to be singular. La letra.

Incidentally, letra is also the word for “letter”, as in a letter of the alphabet. For example:

This word has eight letters.

Esta palabra tiene ocho letras.

Let’s practice música, canción, and letra.

We’re going to listen to music when you return.

Vamos a escuchar música cuando regreses.

I can’t see that letter. Can you tell me what it says?

No veo esa letra. ¿Puedes decirme qué dice?

I don’t know the name, I only know it has a lot of letters.

No sé el nombre, solo sé que tiene muchas letras.

They ride in the car and listen to that song, but they don’t understand the lyrics.

Andan en auto y escuchan esa canción, pero no entienden la letra.

I don’t like that music, but on the other hand, that song is great.

No me gusta esa música, pero por otro lado, esa canción es genial.

For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/204. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.

They had returned, but didn’t do the homework.

Habían regresado, pero no hicieron la tarea.

We returned with another ninety-three people.

Regresamos con otras noventa y tres personas.

(formal) Come back! I still haven't told you the name of the song.

¡Regrese! Todavía no le dije el nombre de la canción.

He returns to his city every time he’s successful.

Regresa a su ciudad cada vez que tiene éxito.

He can’t be standing, he knows the fight was a mistake.

No puede estar de pie, sabe que la pelea fue un error.

We’re going to return and we’ll tell you how many letters it has.

Vamos a regresar y te diremos cuántas letras tiene.

He doesn’t ride the car because he had an accident eighty-five days ago.

No anda en auto porque tuvo un accidente hace ochenta y cinco días.

When she’s riding in the car, she doesn’t want to listen to that music.

Cuando está andando en el auto, no quiere escuchar esa música.

She came back and she already has like eighty-nine projects.

Regresó y ya tiene como ochenta y nueve proyectos.

Let’s go back! Our mission is to help those eighty-four people.

¡Regresemos! Nuestra misión es ayudar a esas ochenta y cuatro personas.

You always come back from that business with ninety-seven dollars.

Siempre regresas de ese negocio con noventa y siete dólares.

We’re going to ride the car and talk about business.

Vamos a andar en auto y hablar de negocios.

Come back! You know your career is here.

¡Regresa! Sabes que tu carrera está aquí.

To his surprise, there were only ninety-one at the meeting.

Para su sorpresa, solo había noventa y uno en la reunión.

We want them to come back and go to the wedding.

Queremos que ellos regresen y vayan a la boda.

(plural) Come back! We want to listen to the lyrics.

¡Regresen! Queremos escuchar la letra.

We always come back from that place with eighty-six things.

Siempre regresamos de ese lugar con ochenta y seis cosas.

Needless to say, you came back after seeing the attack.

Está por demás decir que regresaste después de ver el ataque.

He wants to follow that degree program and it’s a surprise.

Quiere seguir esa carrera y es una sorpresa.

They want him to return and see the race.

Quieren que regrese y vea la carrera.

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/204, 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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