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Restaurante, Tienda, Biblioteca

Let’s learn several new Spanish nouns that represent buildings and businesses, including the words for “restaurant”, “shop”, “library”, “church”, and “market”. We’ll also get some spoken practice quizzing with these new words in lots of different contexts.

Full Podcast Episode


El mercado ya está abierto.

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 for places, especially focusing on businesses and other places that tend to be located in urban buildings.

Let’s start with a few simple nouns that are very similar to their English counterparts. The word for “restaurant” is restaurante, spelled just like the English word plus an E at the end. This is a masculine noun. For example:

Our meeting was at a restaurant.

Nuestra reunión fue en un restaurante.

The word for “bank” is banco. For example:

First I have to go to the bank.

Primero tengo que ir al banco.

It’s interesting that this is the same word as our word for “bench”. But you’ll most likely never confuse them since it tends to be very clear from context whether banco refers to a bench or to a bank.

Next, the word for “bar” is bar, exactly the same as the English word. For example:

I ran into my friends at a bar last week.

Me encontré con mis amigos en un bar la semana pasada.

Let’s practice restaurante, banco, and bar.

My friend has brought me to a bar.

Mi amigo me ha traído a un bar.

The restaurant is beside the bank.

El restaurante está al lado del banco.

I’ll go to the bank when it opens.

Iré al banco cuando abra.

He is tired and doesn’t want to go to the restaurant, even if it has a bar.

Está cansado y no quiere ir al restaurante, aunque tenga un bar.

Next let’s talk about shopping. The word for “shop” or “store” is tienda, a feminine noun. For example:

I find it at a shop near here.

Lo encuentro en una tienda cerca de aquí.

The word for “market” is mercado. For example:

Did you go to the downtown market last night?

¿Fuiste al mercado del centro anoche?

This word can mean “market” in a wide variety of ways, including to refer to many kinds of places you might shop for produce, as well as the stock market. But if you want to be more specific and talk about a supermarket, you’ll use the word supermercado. For example:

They don’t sell these things at the supermarket.

No venden estas cosas en el supermercado.

Let’s practice tienda, mercado, and supermercado.

Do you know where the store is?

¿Sabes dónde está la tienda?

Open the market so we can sell!

¡Abre el mercado para que podamos vender!

The things they sell in the supermarket are fake.

Las cosas que venden en el supermercado son falsas.

I went to the store this morning.

Fui a la tienda esta mañana.

I don’t like that supermarket, but I like the market near my house.

No me gusta ese supermercado, pero me gusta el mercado cerca de mi casa.

Next, the word for “library” is biblioteca. For example:

I still have four books from the library at home.

Todavía tengo cuatro libros de la biblioteca en casa.

The word for “club” is club, the same as in English. And very much like the English word, club can refer to either a nightclub or a social club. Here’s an example that could be interpreted either way depending on the context:

Nobody likes that club anymore.

Ya no le gusta a nadie ese club.

And the word for “church” is iglesia. For example:

Did you meet him at church? / Actually, I met him at a club.

¿Lo conociste en la iglesia? / En verdad, lo conocí en un club.

Let’s practice biblioteca, club, and iglesia.

I’m bored, let’s go to the club!

Estoy aburrido, ¡vamos al club!

I’ll go to the library after church.

Iré a la biblioteca después de la iglesia.

Buy the book for the library.

Compra el libro para la biblioteca.

(Plural) Open the club, please!

¡Abran el club, por favor!

Church isn’t open yet.

La iglesia no está abierta aún.

Next, let’s talk about some words for schools. We already know escuela, which tends to refer to a primary school for children. The word colegio can also mean “school”. And even though it resembles the English word “college”, it actually most often refers to a primary school or high school, not a university. It’s kind of similar to how the word profesor doesn’t really mean “professor” in the same way we use it in English. So for example, consider this sentence:

Es profesor en el colegio.

This sentence can mean multiple things in Spanish, but since colegio doesn’t refer to a university, the most likely translation is “he’s a teacher at the school”.

To refer to a university, which we often call “college” in the US, you’ll use the feminine noun universidad. So for example:

I’ve known him since I was in college.

Lo conozco desde que estaba en la universidad.

Our next word is estación, which means “station”. This is spelled e-s-t-a-c-i-o-n, with an accent on the O. Estación. And it can refer to a station of basically any kind. So here are some examples:

They took him to the police station.

Lo llevaron a la estación de policía.

Are you looking for a bus station or a train station?

¿Estás buscando una estación de autobuses o una estación de tren?

In that last example, notice that “bus station” is estación de autobuses, literally “station of buses”, but “train station” is estación de tren, where tren is singular.

Let’s practice colegio, universidad, and estación.

He brought the book to college.

Trajo el libro a la universidad.

The station beside the school is closed.

La estación al lado del colegio está cerrada.

You can get to college by bus; there is a bus station nearby.

Puedes llegar a la universidad en autobús, hay una estación de autobuses cerca.

(Formal) Please open the train station, I need to get to college.

Por favor abra la estación de tren, necesito llegar a la universidad.

Our last couple of words are a little less likely to be handy, but they’re high on the frequency list, so they’re worth learning. The word for “jail” is cárcel, and the word for “prison” is prisión. They’re both feminine nouns, and they’re both spelled with an accent mark on the stressed syllable. La cárcel and la prisión. So for example:

Why is he in jail?

¿Por qué está en la cárcel?

She spent four years in prison.

Pasó cuatro años en la prisión.

Let’s practice cárcel and prisión.

Have you been in jail?

¿Has estado en la cárcel?

I don’t like this, it’s like a prison.

No me gusta esto, es como una prisión.

I can’t bring it because we’re in jail.

No puedo traerlo porque estamos en la cárcel.

When they open the prison, I’ll go, even if it’s dangerous.

Cuando abran la prisión iré, aunque sea peligroso.

For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/239. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.

He’s smart and that’s why he is in college.

Es inteligente y por eso está en la universidad.

If you bring that, you can’t enter the bar.

Si traes eso, no puedes entrar al bar.

He wants me to open the shop, because he has to go to college.

Quiere que yo abra la tienda, porque tiene que ir a la universidad.

He is in prison and that’s why he’s always awake.

Está en la prisión y por eso siempre está despierto.

The jail is open now.

La cárcel está abierta ahora.

If you buy it, I’ll bring it to church next week.

Si lo compras, lo traeré a la iglesia la próxima semana.

Did you bring that sweet food? It’s my favorite.

¿Trajiste esa comida dulce? Es mi favorita.

I’ll go to the bank near the station, not to the one that’s near the club.

Iré al banco cerca de la estación, no al que está cerca del club.

He is boring because he always buys the same thing.

Él es aburrido porque siempre compra lo mismo.

He opens the bar at nine.

Abre el bar a las nueve.

I want them to bring him to prison.

Quiero que lo traigan a la prisión.

He’s busy at the supermarket.

Está ocupado en el supermercado.

There’s a restaurant next to the church.

Hay un restaurante al lado de la iglesia.

I didn’t bring my books to school today.

No traje mis libros al colegio hoy.

The food I bought at the station was really yummy.

La comida que compré en la estación era muy rica.

Did you find out what happened at the library? It was horrible.

¿Supiste lo que pasó en la biblioteca? Fue horrible.

He always brings that for lunch and I bring this.

Él siempre trae eso para el almuerzo y yo traigo esto.

You can buy it for the restaurant at the market.

Puedes comprarlo para el restaurante en el mercado.

He didn’t want to be in jail.

No quería estar en la cárcel.

This is the wrong market, it isn’t open yet.

Este es el mercado equivocado, aún no está abierto.

It’s necessary to go to the bank before going to the supermarket.

Es necesario ir al banco antes de ir al supermercado.

Bring me a computer, if you’re so kind.

Tráeme una computadora, si eres tan amable.

I’m at the school library.

Estoy en la biblioteca del colegio.

They are going to open a new store near the club.

Van a abrir una nueva tienda cerca del club.

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/239, 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.

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