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Sueño, orden, falta

Let’s learn some new nouns in Spanish, including the words for “dream”, “order”, “lack, and “curse”. We’ll get lots of spoken practice with these new words and some related idioms.

Full Podcast Episode


¡Es una orden!

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 some nouns, including the words for “dream”, “order”, and “curse”.

We’ll begin with the word sueño, which means “dream”. For example:

In a dream last week I had five dogs.

En un sueño la semana pasada tuve cinco perros.

And just like in English, this can refer either to a literal dream that you have while sleeping or to a wish that you have, as in “hopes and dreams”. For example:

In my dreams I live in a very large house in Mexico.

En mis sueños vivo en una casa muy grande en México.

There’s yet another meaning for the word sueño: It can refer to sleep or sleepiness. For example, to say “I’m sleepy”, in Spanish you say tengo sueño, literally “I have sleepiness”. Try it yourself in this next example:

She isn’t going to the party because she’s sleepy.

Ella no va a la fiesta porque tiene sueño.

Our next word is maldición, which means “curse”. For example:

He’s never able to do that; he thinks it’s a curse.

Él nunca puede hacer eso, cree que es una maldición.

Let’s practice sueño and maldición.

I had a curse in my dream.

Tenía una maldición en mi sueño.

You could see that he was sleepy.

Podías ver que tenía sueño.

It was eleven and I was sleepy.

Eran las once y tenía sueño.

During her dream that night she heard a curse.

Durante su sueño esa noche, ella escuchó una maldición.

Our next word is orden, which means “order”, as in what you might tell someone to do. This is a feminine noun. For example:

Do the work. This is an order.

Haz el trabajo. Esta es una orden.

Try it yourself in this next example:

You must leave now, it was an order.

Debes irte ahora, fue una orden.

And our last word for today is falta, which means “lack”. This word is used very often in Spanish when something is missing or when there’s not enough of something, even though the English word “lack” is not very often used anymore. Here’s a simple example:

We couldn’t do it for lack of money.

No podíamos hacerlo por falta de dinero.

Notice that we specifically phrased it as por falta de, literally “because of lack of”. Try it yourself in this next example:

When she was in the city she didn’t see me for lack of time.

Cuando estuvo en la ciudad no me vio por falta de tiempo.

The word falta is also very often used along with the verb Hacer in a kind of strange idiom. See if you can tell what’s happening in this sentence:

I am in need of luck.

Me hace falta suerte.

So this phrase is literally “for me makes lack luck”. Me hace falta suerte. That sounds very strange in English, but it’s actually pretty common in Spanish; basically we’re expressing that there’s not enough of something. In English we often say that we’re “in need of something”, but in Spanish that’s often translated as “something makes me lack”. Try it yourself in this next example:

They’re in need of a lot of money.

Les hace falta mucho dinero.

Another way you might see this used is to express that something is NOT lacking. For example:

We’re not in need of anything here!

¡No nos hace falta nada aquí!

Let’s practice falta and orden.

He is in need of an order to work.

Le hace falta una orden para trabajar.

They die because of the lack of food.

Mueren por la falta de comida.

He hasn’t died because she hasn’t given the order.

Él no ha muerto porque ella no ha dado la orden.

I had understood that they were in need of water.

Había entendido que les hacía falta agua.

The lack of food is your fault.

La falta de comida es tu culpa.

For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/144. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz. In this first example, to refer to “number fourteen”, you’ll literally translate it as “the number fourteen”. Try predicting the Spanish:

I can’t understand number fourteen.

No puedo entender el número catorce.

I want him to understand that she is in need of thirteen dollars.

Quiero que entienda que a ella le hacen falta trece dólares.

I didn’t understand the order.

No entendí la orden.

We understand it’s just a dream, it’s not a curse really.

Entendemos que es solo un sueño, no es una maldición de verdad.

It’s twelve o’clock and my phone is dying.

Son las doce en punto y mi teléfono está muriendo.

I think he understands what he has to do if I die.

Creo que entiende lo que tiene que hacer si yo muero.

The lack of money will be a problem if you die.

La falta de dinero será un problema si te mueres.

If we die it’s because of the curse.

Si morimos es por la maldición.

I don’t want you to die because of the lack of water.

No quiero que mueras por la falta de agua.

We were eleven people in the game, but we didn’t die.

Éramos once personas en el juego, pero no morimos.

He understood there were twelve, but actually there were fifteen.

Entendió que había doce, pero en verdad había quince.

If you have one more, you’ll have fourteen and not thirteen, so it’s an order.

Si tienes uno más, tendrás catorce y no trece, entonces es una orden.

He was in need of money in my dream.

Le hacía falta dinero en mi sueño.

You don’t understand that it might be that I die.

No entiendes que puede que yo muera.

I don’t want him to die, because if he dies I’ll be sad.

No quiero que muera, porque si muere estaré triste.

You didn’t understand that you could die.

No entendiste que podrías morir.

Don’t die! You still have my money!

¡No mueras! ¡Aún tienes mi dinero!

Now I understand, five times three equals fifteen.

Ya entiendo, cinco por tres es igual a quince.

He wants me to understand that she didn’t die.

Él quiere que yo entienda que ella no murió.

You(plural) don’t understand me; four people died.

No me entienden, cuatro personas murieron.

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/144, 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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