Talking about yourself and others
In this lesson, we will go through the basic Spanish phrases used for talking about yourself and others.
Let’s review some basic questions and answers for introducing yourself then we will discuss physical descriptions as well as talking about personalities.
Telling your Name
- ¿Cómo te llamas? What is your name?
- Me llamo Sandra My name is Sandra
Expressing your country of origin
- ¿De dónde eres? Where are you from?
- (yo) soy de España I am from Spain or
- (yo) soy español(a) I am Spanish
As you learned in previous lessons, the nationalities are expresses using verb ser.
Expressing where you live
- ¿Dónde vives? Where do you live?
- Vivo en Madrid I live in Madrid
Telling your age
- ¿Cuántos años tienes?
- Tengo 34 años.
Telling what you do for a living
- ¿En qué trabajas? What’s your occupation?
- Soy ingeniero I am engineer
Important words for giving personal information
(el) nombre name
(el) apellido surname
(la) nacionalidad nationality
(la) edad age
Marital Status (Estado civil)
The adjectives which describe marital status are used with the verb ser as well. So, you can say I a married in Spanish as
- Soy casado/-a
Describing people physically
Three important verbs one should know in terms of this topic are
- Ser (to be)
- Tener (to have)
- Llevar (to have)
For example, you can express that someone is tall, short, fat, ugly and so on as in English with the to be verb ser.
- (yo) soy bajo/-a (I am short)
- (tú) eres bajo/-a (you are short)
You can write similar sentences for the other subject pronouns by conjugating ser accordingly for the present tense.
As you know, tener means “to have”. It’s very useful for expressing what kind of hair and eyes someone has.
- (yo) tengo el pelo corto I have short hair
- (tú) tienes el pelo largo You have long hair
(el) pelo means hair. Because it is masculine, the adjectives agree with them and end in “–o”. Also not that for describing hair styles, pelo is used together with the definite article “el”. So, it is not tengo pelo largo but tengo el pelo largo.
You can also use the verb tener to say that someone wears glasses and also that someone has mustache and/or beard.
- tiene bigote he has mustache
- tengo gafas I wear glasses
It can also be used to describe hair:
- tengo el pelo liso I have straight hair
Tener is used to describe eyes as well:
- tengo los ojos verdes I have green eyes
Ojos means eyes. Note that it’s used together with the definite plural article “los”. Other possibilities
- Los ojos azules (blue eyes)
- Los ojos marrones (brown eyes)
- Los ojos negros (black eyes)
Primary meaning of llevar is to carry. But it can also be used to tell that someone wears glasses:
- lleva gafas he/she wears glasses
Llevar can be used with “bigote” and barba as well.
- Llevo barba I have beard
Just as tener, it can be used for hair as well:
- Llevo el pelo negro I have black hair
Here is the list of other hair sytles:
- el pelo rizaddo
- el pelo liso
- el pelo moreno
- el pelo rubio
- el pelo castaño
- el pelo pelirrojo
- Tiene el pelo ondulado
- Tiene los ojos grandes
- Tiene el pelo liso y lleva gafas
- Es calvo y lleva bigote y barba
To describe personalities of people, use ser:
- soy impatiente I am impatient
- eres agradable you are pleasant
You may find below other adjectives which can be used with ser to describe people. Note that the adjective rules you learned in the last lesson are valid here as well.
with ser (physical):
alto/-a high, tall
with ser (personality):