Going to a restaurant – Spanish Exercises

Whether you are here for a weekend on holiday, a semester abroad at university, or you’re lucky enough to live here permanently, it is almost guaranteed that you will be going to a restaurant at some point. Madrid is a culinary hub of amazing restaurants, so there are hundreds of choices to try out some great food. Although they can cater for tourists, many of the restuarants will appreciate your efforts to communicate in Spanish. This is why we have made this helpful cheatsheet for what to say when going to a restaurant!

Can we change table? Have you got a children’s menu? The bill, please? Do you have a reservation? These are the questions you will hear flying about in any restaurant. Simply remember how to say them, and you will be comfortable communicating with your waiter or waitress with no confusion!

Next read our article on how to say numbers in Spanish so you can also cover your bill easily! Then you will be fully prepared for an unforgettable Madrileño feast.

After that, why not check out our website. There you will find more Spanish exercises and cheat-sheets to make your language learning that much quicker and easier…

Museo Prado- After-class activities

AIL Madrid offers free after-class activites to everyone in the AIL family that is enrolled on our courses! Last week there was a trip to Museo Prado to learn about the art, culture and heritage of this world-class art gallery. The students were given a guided tour of the most iconic pieces feautured in the Museo Prado. This gave them a great insight to the stoires behind many of the paintings.

The Prado museum has a huge collection of European art from the 12th to early 20th century. It was originally based on the Spanish Royal Art Collection and has been growing ever since. The gallery now boasts am impressive 21,000 works. The most well-known piece of art on display at the museum is Las Meninas by Velázquez. A trip to this beautiful building is essential when in Madrid, so why not make the most of having a talented tour guide to help you understand all the art better!

Want to join in on the fun we are having in our after-class activites? Sign-up to our school today, by clicking here! To get more of an idea of the activites we offer, read about our tour around Madrid of Los Austrias.

Translating from English – Spanish Exercises

Learning Spanish can seem overwhelming when there is a whole dictionary of new vocabulary to remember. This is why we have created a cheat-sheet that offers some helpful clues to figuring out what words could be in Spanish. Often you will be able to work out the word you need by translating from English. Just follow these rules!

But be careful! Whilst these structures do apply frequently, as with learning any language there are always exceptions to the rule. To be safe it is always best to double check your findings against a dictionary. However, for on the spot translation help we guarantee that you’ll find these tricks helpful!

As an A1 Spanish speaking beginner, you will be comforted to see that many of the word endings are very similar to those of the English language. Translating from English makes picking up new languages stress-free. This familiarity should make recalling the Spanish versions much easier!

If you want more cheats to learning Spanish, why not read our next article about how to say numbers?

For more of our infographics, as well as fun games and exercises to help improve your language learning, check out our website… there is plenty for everyone! Whether you are a beginnner or an expert, we have you covered.

Learning Numbers – Spanish Exercises

If you want to improve your fluency, as well as sounding like a local, you need to be learning numbers in Spanish! This exercise is really useful for shopping, giving quantities, and expressing dates, as it teaches you how to structure large numbers in Spanish. For example, to find out how much something costs in a shop, or to ask for a weight of food at a market, you need to be confident expressing large numbers. Repeat the phrases over and over and soon they will be easy! You will be surprised how useful this activity is, and how often you find yourself reciting these numbers…

You will soon be singing these number tongue-twisters in your sleep… Also, here’s an idea! Once you have learnt how to say all the numbers with 3’s, it is easy to pick up other numbers. The structure is the same, you just have to tweak it slightly!

Learning numbers has never been so easy! If you want more infographics like this to improve your Spanish speaking skills, head to our website, where you will find activities for every ability!

To learn more great hints and tricks to sounding like a local, why not read this article next: Health Vocabulary – Spanish Exercises

Madrid of Los Austrias Walking Tour- After-class Activities

Being the capital city of Spain guarantees that Madrid is full of history. Therefore, there are many different sightseeing opportunities that allow you to learn more about this magical city. At AIL, we host a variety of activities for our students, to teach them more about where they are studying! Here, we opted for a walk through the Madrid of Los Austrias. This taught us more about the history of this beautiful area.

Where we walked: Madrid of Los Austrias

During the 16th century, King Philip II began constructing the House of Austria’s imperial court in Madrid. Despite being so many centuries later, the historic centre of Madrid still conserves the architectural highlights of that time. The Austrias neighboroughood that we explored is famous for being historically significant for this era. We began our walk in the Plaza Mayor, a timeless square that has hosted all kinds of events throughout history. It’s been known to house markets, bullfights, and auto-da-fés, amongst many more. In the middle of the square you’ll see the equestrian statue of Philip III, who ordered the reconstruction of this now-famous plaza. However its current architecture is thanks to Juan de Villanueva’s, following a fire in 1790.

We then walked through the old narrow streets of the time, to the Plaza de la Villa. Our students loved it here because of its range of architectural styles, and its prime location. In this picturesque square you can find: the Lujanes’ House and Tower (15th century), built with a Gothic-Mudejar style, the Cisneros’ House (16th century), a Plateresque palace, and the Casa de la Villa (17th century), which features a Baroque style.

Thanks to this walking tour, our students gained a great insight into the history and culture of Madrid. If you fancy joining us on our next adventure round the city, check out our after-class activities page. All activities are completely free and there are over 80 on offer to all students of AIL. To get involved just sign up for a class today!

Need more persuading? Read about another one of our activities: Madrid’s Centennial Taverns. You won’t want to miss our next activity!

Health Vocabulary – Spanish Exercises

Are you away from home and not feeling yourself? Don’t let an illness ruin your travels! We understand it can be daunting to feel unwell in a foreign country. We’re aware that getting help may seem like a big challenge. This is especially the case if the medical staff you approach can’t speak English. However, the most important thing is that you can accurately describe your symptoms. This will ensure you receive the appropriate medical assistance. Therefore, if you know the right health vocabulary, it’s easy to get the care that you need!

In Spanish, the structures for expressing illnesses and cures are relatively straightforward and similar to in English. If you can remember the health vocabulary we have listed below, you will be confident visiting Spanish medical services. Remember, the medical staff are wanting to understand you and willing help you!

Has this health vocabulary made you feel more confident communicating with Spanish locals? Similarly, why not check out this article next on how to express portion sizes. That way, you can shop and eat hassle-free too!

If you want to continue improving your Spanish skills, take a look at the infographics of different levels that we have on our Language Resources page.

Uses of Before and After – Spanish Exercises

When telling a story it is always important to explain when things happened. Often we use the phrases ‘before…’ and ‘after…’ to help give an idea of a timeline of events. In english it is a relatively straightforward structure, however in spanish it gets a little more complicated. Follow the examples used below to learn how to use the subjunctive to make your stories even better!

before and after

Now that you have learnt about the rules for ‘before’ and ‘after’, you should head to our website to find more infographics to help your spanish language!

And now that you have learnt about ‘before’ and ‘after’, check out this article about Flamenco vocabulary and how to use it, you will love it!

Containers and Portions in Spanish – Spanish Exercises

In every country, in every language, there are different ways of naming containers and portions, like a pint of beer or a glass of wine. You will need to spend a lot of time in Spain if you want to learn how to order specifically what you are looking for in a bar, pub, or a restaurant. However, we might have something that will help you get started and became a master in containers and portions in Spanish.

Would you know how to order a good glass of wine in Spanish in one of those amazing taverns? “Copa de vino“, that’s an easy one, but the names of other containers and portions in Spanish may be a headache, because not only drinks are sizeable, food is too. So, here is a little quiz to help you out.

Match the containers and portions in Spanish with their corresponding pictures and memorize them or… take them wherever you go!

Containers and Portions in Spanish - Spanish Exercises

Do you want to continue your Spanish learning? Check out the infographics of different levels that we have in our Learning resources section page.

If you want to know even more about sizes and amounts, you should check out this post about amounts in Spanish.

Japanese words in Spanish – Spanish Exercises

Every language has been influenced by other languages, and Spanish is no different. We have a lot of words that come from English called anglicism, such as relax, marketing, backstage, and on and on. English has had an incredible influence around the world since it´s the most used language internationally. But the English language is not the only one that has had an influence on Spanish language; Japanese words in Spanish are influential too!

There are certain words that you will already know come from Japanese, such as sushi. But there are a few that you will probably use without thinking twice about, that also come from Japanese. It is true that Japanese words in Spanish language are quite recognizable since their structure is quite distinctive. But we assure you that there will be a few words that you have used without even realising.

Here are some examples of Japanese words that Spanish people include as common use:

Some examples of Japanese words that have influenced our language.

Now that you have learned that when you say “karaoke” you are actually using a word that came from Japan, you should check out our other infographics on our website.

And now that you have started learning about words from another language, you might want to learn words that are generally used in our “Flamenco” shows, which are really important in our country and they have their own way of expressing themselves.

Madrid’s Centennial Taverns – After Class Activities

Come join AIL Madrid on an exciting tour of Madrid’s centennial taverns!
AIL Madrid’s after class activities programme allows our students to dive into Spanish culture. The fun, daily outings provide the opportunity to undergo experiences that regular tourists can’t. Therefore, this month we want tell you all about our visit to Madrid’s centennial taverns!

They are enjoying one of the Madrid's centennial taverns

We chose two historical establishments for our special tour: Casa Alberto and Casa Labra. As we walked towards the first one, Sergio, one of the native Spanish speaking teachers from AIL and a true madrileño, told us about traditional dishes we were about to taste and right there our mouths started watering.

The first round of tapas was a couple of classics that are well-known and loved: refreshing gazpacho and patatas bravas. The element of surprise came when our teacher ordered soldaditos de Pavía and chatos de vino. Nobody knew what to expect! A few bites of soldaditos (deep-fried cod) with some sips of chatos (little glasses of wine) was delightful. Good choice, teacher!

Thanks to this tour around Madrid’s centennial taverns, we found some of the best examples of Spanish traditions in the taverns we visited! If you’re looking for fun and sociable way to explore the city, why not join us for the next AIL Madrid’s after class activity?

Also, if you want to learn how to cook Spanish food, check out this post about Spanish cooking classes in Madrid.