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Week 3 Day 2: More with estar – Question words

What’s in store for you today: More with estar, and question words

Today’s goals are:

●     To learn to use “estar” with location

●     To learn about question words

Listen to Track 3.2.1


Man: Hola, María. ¿Dónde estás?

Woman: Hola, Diego. Todavía estoy en casa. ¿Dónde estás tú?

Man: Estoy en el bar. Juan y Andrea están conmigo.

Woman: Llego en cinco minutos.

Man: Vale. Esperamos en la puerta.

Woman: Gracias. ¡Hasta luego!

Man: Adiós. ¡Hasta luego!

Yesterday, we looked at using estar to talk about emotions and states (Estoy enfadado. Estás despistado.) Today, let’s look at using estar to talk about location!


¿Dónde estás?

Listen to Track 3.2.2


Let’s take a moment to look at some useful vocabulary for talking about location:

  • En la ciudad (In the city):
    • La biblioteca – The library
    • El hotel – The hotel
    • El banco – The bank
    • El supermercado – The grocery store
    • El hospital – The hospital
    • La tienda – The store
    • El restaurante – The restaurant
    • La farmacia – The pharmacy
    • En casa – In the house/At home
    • El parque – The park
  • Las preposiciones (The prepositions):
    • En – In/At/On
    • Al lado de – Next to
    • A la derecha de – To the right of
    • A la izquierda de – To the left of
    • Cerca de – Close to
    • Delante de – In front of
    • Detrás de – Behind
    • Entre – Between


You might notice that a lot of those “place” vocabulary words look a lot like their English equivalents (we’ve seen this before with professions, as well). These words are called “cognates.” They are words that are similar in two (or three, or four…) different languages.

These words are handy because you’ll find that you actually know a lot more Spanish than you thought, just because you speak English. Be careful, though! There are some things called “false cognates.” These are words that are not what they seem.

Up to now, we haven’t come across any of those evil little false cognates. But when we do, we’ll be sure to point them out so you can give them a little extra practice.

Something to note

Listen to Track 3.2.4


We discussed contractions before when we were talking about where we’re from (Soy del Reino Unido). You’ll notice them here as well.

  • Whenever you have the preposition de followed by the article el, you can mush them together to create one word: del.
  • We will use another contraction (the only other one in Spanish, by the way) when we’re talking about locations: al
    • Al is formed when we combine the preposition a (to) with the article el.


Asking Questions

Listen to Track 3.2.5


In Spanish, there are a couple of ways to go about asking questions. A lot of it will depend on your intonation. For example, the question, “Are you from Spain?” can be asked:

  • Example 1: ¿Es usted de España?
  • Example 2: ¿Usted es de España?
  • Example 3: Usted es de España, ¿no?
  • Example 4: Usted es de España, ¿verdad?

Generally speaking, asking questions in Spanish is a lot like asking questions in English. You can change the order of the words (put the verb first – Example 1). You can do all the work with your voice (i.e. your intonation – Example 2). Or you can add a “question tag” (like in Examples 3 and 4).

Listen to Track 3.2.6

Yet another way to ask a question, like in English, is with a question word. Below you’ll find the most common question words in Spanish:

  1. ¿Qué? – What?
  2. ¿Dónde? – Where?
  3. ¿Por qué? – Why?
  4. ¿Quién? – Who(m)?
  5. ¿Cuándo? – When?
  6. ¿Cuánto? – How much?/How many?

Listen to Track 3.2.7


*Note: “Cuanto” can change from masculine or feminine and singular to plural depending on what is being asked about.

  • ¿Cuántas niñas hay en la escuela? How many girls are there in the school? – Here, we’re talking about a group of girls, so we use the feminine plural.
  • ¿Cuántos niños hay en la escuela? How many children are there in the school? – Here, we’re talking about a group of children (may be only boys, may be boys and girls. Remember, when there’s a mixed group of males and females, the masculine form is used – like we saw with “nosotros” and “ellos”).

When cuánto is followed by a verb, it won’t change.

  • ¿Cuánto cuesta? How much does it cost?
  • ¿Cuánto quieres? How much do you want?


Today, we talked about using estar with locations.

  • We learned some vocabulary for “Around the city.”
  • And we learned some prepositions to give more specific locations.

We also talked about asking questions with question words. We learned:

          ¿Qué? – What?

          ¿Dónde? – Where?

          ¿Por qué? – Why?

          ¿Quién? – Who(m)?

          ¿Cuándo? – When?

          ¿Cuánto? – How much?/How many?