Intermediate series 2

Beginners 1: The weather

Welcome to our first episode, all about the weather! Here’s what you’ll learn:
  • Questions to ask people when you first meet them
  • How to ask about the weather
  • How to tell people that it’s hot, cold, raining, or sunny
Lis Salinas

Lis Salinas







00:00 Welcome to Spanish Obsessed, you’re listening to beginners, series 1, episode 1. I’m your co-host, Rob, and I’m here with Lis. ¡Hola Lis!
00:10 Hola Rob
00:12 ¿Cómo estás?
00:13 Muy bien, gracias, ¿y tú?
00:15 Muy bien. So, during this series with Lis and I, we’re going to teach you functional Spanish which will be useful for various situations. You’ll learn useful phrases, snippets of grammar, and tips and tricks to help you with your Spanish. It’s not a particularly structured course, so it doesn’t matter if you listen to the podcast in order, but if you do want a more structured course then head over to, and look for our series Spanish from Scratch. In the meantime, we’ve got a present for you! No matter where you’re listening from, whether it’s Spotify or another podcast app, or on the website, if you head over to, we’ve got a present waiting for you there. You can get your hands on a Spanish starter pack, which contains over 90 starter phrases, and a link to help you learn those with flashcards. We’ve got a guide to the subjunctive, and much more to help you in your journey towards learning Spanish. That’s a freebee, so head over to That’s enough from me for now, so let’s get straight into the episode.
01:28 Buenos días Lis. [“Good morning Lis”]
01:31 Hola Rob, buenos días. [“Hi Rob, Good morning”]
01:32 ¿Cómo estás? [“How are you”]
01:34 Muy bien, muchas gracias. ¿Y tú? [“Very good, thanks, and you?”]
01:38 Muy bien, también, muchas gracias [“Very well too, thanks very much”]. So, for people to get to know us a little bit better, I’m going to ask Lis four simple questions. So, see if you can understand the questions and Lis’ responses, so you can get to know us a little bit better. Lis, ¿de dónde eres? [“Lis, where are you from”]
01:59 Yo soy de Colombia. [“I’m from Colombia”]
02:02 A simple and very common question to get us started there. ¿De dónde eres? means “where are you from?”. So that eres comes from the verb ser, which is one of two verbs in Spanish meaning “to be”. So, when we’re talking about where we’re from, so about nationalities, we use the verb ser. ¿De dónde eres? means “where are you from?”, and then Lis’ response was soy de… “I’m from”. So, two conjugations there for you: eres and soy. ¿De qué parte de Colombia? [“From what part of Colombia?”]
02:39 De la capital, que se llama Bogotá. [“From the capital, which is called Bogota”]
02:44 Hopefully easy enough to follow again. ¿De qué parte…? Parte means “part”. So ¿De qué parte…?, “from which part”, and Lis said de la capital, Bogotá. Now, an interesting thing to remember about la capital is that it’s feminine, we know that because it’s la. So, when talking about capital cities, it’s la capital. Now, there is an el capital as well, don’t get confused with that, because that means “capital”, as in “money”. So, how much capital you have, etc. La capital is “the capital city”. Y, ¿dónde estamos ahora? [“And where are we now?”]
03:26 Nosotros estamos en Inglaterra [“We are in England”]
03:31 Sí, no estamos en Colombia, estamos en Londres. [“Yes, we’re not in Colombia, we’re in London”] So I then switch from the verb ser to estar, this is the other verb in Spanish meaning “to be”. So I said, ¿dónde estamos? “where are we?”, ¿dónde estamos ahora?. And Lis said estamos en Londres. “We are in London”. So, to describe a location where something or someone is, we use the verb estar. Estamos: “we are”. Estamos en Londres. Lis, ¿cuánto tiempo llevas en Londres? [“Lis, how long have you been in London?”]
04:12 Sí. Llevo casi siete años, aproximadamente. [“Yes. I’ve been here almost seven years, approximately”]
04:18 ¿Llevas siete años? Mucho tiempo. [“You’ve been here seven years? A lot of time”]
04:23 Sí. [“Yes”]
04:25 So, here’s a handy verb for you: llevar. I said to Lis, ¿cuánto tiempo llevas en Londres?. Literally, “how much time do you carry in London?”. And this is the way you say in Spanish, “how long have you been somewhere?”. ¿Cuánto tiempo llevas en Londres? – “how long have you been in London?”. And then the response is llevo siete años – “I carry 7 years”, or “I’ve been in London for seven years”. Y, ¿a qué te dedicas? [“And, what do you do?”]
04:58 Ahora mismo me dedico a trabajar como coordinadora con un equipo de abogados en Londres.  [“Right now I work as a team coordinator of lawyers in London”]
05:10 A nice way of asking someone what they do is to say ¿a qué te dedicas? So, “what do you dedicate yourself to?”. This is quite a nice, natural Spanish way of asking someone what they do. And now Lis is going to ask me those questions.
05:25 Rob, y tú, ¿de dónde eres? [“Rob, and you, where are you from?”]
05:29 Pues, yo soy de Londres. Inglaterra. [“Well, I’m from London. England.”]
05:33 Tu tierra. Y, ¿cuánto tiempo llevas viviendo en Londres? [“Your land. And how long have you been living in London?”]
05:43 Llevo en Londres diez años. Yo soy de Londres, pero no he vivido siempre en Londres. [“I’ve been in London 10 years. I’m from London, but I haven’t always lived in London”]
05:53 Ya. Y, ¿a qué te dedicas? [“Ok. And what do you do?”]
05:58 Yo trabajo en una agencia de marketing. [“I work in a marketing agency.”] So, although we didn’t provide all the analysis and the translations for that small part of the conversation, you can check those out in the transcript on the website,, this is beginners episode 1, of course. And there you’ll find the full conversation and the transcript as well, complete with full explanations. Ok, now we’re going to move on to talking about the weather, which is a famous topic in England, and is something you can talk about pretty much anywhere in the world, because everywhere has weather of course! Now, the interesting thing in Spanish is that there are two verbs which are commonly used with the weather, which are…?
06:45 Hacer y estar
06:48 Hacer and estar. So these are two of the most common verbs in Spanish, hacer, which literally translates as “to do”, and estar, which translates as “to be”. So, commonly in English, “it is”, that’s the verb “to be”. So, when talking about the weather we use the verbs hacer or estar, depending on what we’re saying. So, Lis, give us a couple of examples. First of all, how do you even ask “how’s the weather”?
07:22 ¿Cómo está el clima?
07:23 ¿Cómo está el clima? So, it’s the same question as ¿cómo estás?, “how are you?”, using that verb estar, “to be”, and then “the weather” is el clima. So, ¿cómo está el clima? So, that’s how you ask someone “how’s the weather?”. ¿Cómo está el clima? So, how do you say “it’s hot”?
07:48 Hace calor
07:51 Hace calor. Now we’re not using the verb estar, we’re using hacer. Hace – “it does” – calor – “hot”. “It does hot”, hace calor: “it’s hot”. How do you say the opposite, “it’s cold”?
08:10 Hace frio.
08:13 Hace frio. So, the opposite of calor is frio. And again, we use the verb hacer. Hace calor, or hace frio. How do you say “it’s sunny”?
08:28 I love this one. Hace sol.
08:32 Hace sol. Again, using the verb hacer, so when it’s hot, when it’s cold, when it’s sunny, we use the verb hacer, hace sol – literally, that translates as “it does sun”, it’s sunny. Can you give us those three again?
08:52 Hace calor. Hace frio. Hace sol.
09:12 And how do we say “it’s raining”?
09:16 Está lloviendo.
09:22 Está lloviendo. So, “rain” doesn’t use the verb hacer, it uses the verb estar. So, just as we ask ¿cómo está el clima? We now say está – “it is” – lloviendo – that’s the verb “raining”. Now, in English we say “it’s raining”, that -ing ending is called a progressive ending, or continuous. And the iendo which you can hear in Spanish is similar. That’s the continuous, or the progressive ending to verbs. We’re not going to go into a huge amount of detail on that now, but it’s good to bear in mind that any time you hear a verb which ends in ando or endo we know that’s the progressive ending. So, está lloviendo from the verb llover, “it’s raining”. Now, what could you say if it’s not raining very hard?
10:22 Está lloviznando.
10:25 So. this is quite a nice little phrase which people won’t expect from someone who’s just learning Spanish. Está lloviznando, it’s a similar construction, which uses the verb estar again, and this time the verb is lloviznar. Not a very common verb, but this means “to drizzle”. So, está lloviznando means “it’s drizzling”. And then, there’s an expression which you use in Colombia, isn’t there? When it’s…
10:53 I think it’s in Spain too
10:55 Is it in Spain as well? What’s that?
10:59 Es un simple espantabobos.
11:02 Can you explain that phrase?
11:04 I will try. It’s when it starts raining, but very softly, and you can guess that it’s going to pass quite quickly, so you say “ah, it’s just… It’s a silly rain” – espantabobos. And the word espantabobos means like… I don’t know, help me how to translate
11:32 So, it’s actually two words put together, isn’t it. So, espantar means “to frighten”, and then bobos basically translates as “idiots”.
11:46 So it means basically you have to be brave to deal with a silly rain.
11:53 So it’s a rain which frightens idiots, I suppose…
11:58 Kind of, yeah
11:59 So, if it’s raining not very hard, you’d say, está bien, es un espantabobos, no más
12:05 Yeah, let’s go out.
12:08 So you’d say “come on, it’s raining just a little bit, we can go out”. Es un simple espantabobos. Ok Lis, can you give us those phrases again, just one more time. So, listen and repeat.
12:22 ¿Cómo está el clima? Hace calor. Hace frio. Hace sol. Está lloviendo. Está lloviznando. Es un simple espantabobos.
13:33 Bueno Lis, muchísimas gracias.
13:37 Gracias a ti Rob, y vamos a ver si hace sol.
13:43 A ver. Espero que sí.
13:46 Adiós.
13:47 Chao.


Saying hello

Buenos díasGood morning


“How are you”

¿Cómo estás?How are you?
Muy bien, gracias, ¿y tú?Very good thanks, and you?


“Where are you from?”

¿De dónde eres?Where are you from?
Yo soy de ColombiaI’m from Colombia
¿De qué parte de Colombia?Which part of Colombia?


“How long have you been…”

¿Cuánto tiempo llevas en Londres?How long have you been in London?
¿Cuánto tiempo llevas viviendo en Londres?How long have you been living in London?
Llevo casi siete añosI’ve been nearly seven years



“What do you do”

¿A qué te dedicas?What do you do (lit. “what do you dedicate yourself to?”)
Yo trabajo enI work in…
Soy…I’m a…


The weather

¿Cómo está el clima?How’s the weather?


Using “hacer”

Hace calorIt’s hot
Hace frio.It’s cold
Hace sol.It’s sunny

Using “estar”

Está lloviendoIt’s raining
Está lloviznandoIt’s drizzling


Es un simple espantabobosIt’s just a little shower