ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

An Expert Guide to Speaking Spanglish

Updated on December 3, 2012

No-one can write an expert guide to anything if they aren't expert themselves, and I am proud to say that I am an excellent Spanglish speaker. It is my language of choice and I use it every day.

Of course,living in Spain, I should be speaking Spanish, but I am one of those people who find learning new languages difficult, but I try my best.

To speak Spanglish, it is important that you have a good vocabulary of Spanish words, plus of course your English, as Spanglish is a mixture of the two.

Depending on the country you are in, or the language spoken by the people you are with, determines which words you use most of in a sentence.

I tend to use a lot of Spanish words, with the occasional English word in a sentence, but I would imagine Spanish Spanglish speakers would tend to use more English words and fewer Spanish ones.

The first thing you need is a good basic grounding in vocabulary. Don't worry too much about verbs and how they changes with the tenses - you can get away with only knowing half of their verb changes, but you do need to know the verbs as well as the nouns.

Some Spanish Nouns

  • la cama - the bed
  • el colchon - the mattress
  • la policia - the police
  • el cenicerro - the ashtray
  • el calle - the street
  • la carretera - the road
  • la puerta - the door
  • las calleras - the stairs
  • la piscina - the swimming pool
  • el agua - the water (just there to confuse us as it doesn't follow the rules)
  • el perro - the dog
  • la perra - the bitch (as in female dog)
  • el perrito - the puppy (male)
  • la perrita - the puppy (female)
  • la luz - light, electricty
  • la factura - bill
  • la factura de luz - electricity bill

While it is absolutely NOT true that adding an 'o' to the end of every word immediately turns it into Spanish, it works in a surprising number of cases.

  • experto
  • obsceno
  • doggo (ha ha just joking)
  • ilicito (spelt differently but sounds the same)

However, for speaking Spanglish, you can of course just add an 'o'.

An incredible number of Spanish words end in either 'o' or 'a' to denote whether or not they are masculine or feminine. It may seem to strange to us native english speakers, but in a way we are in the minority with using 'it' or 'the' as nearly every other (European) language sexes objects.

  • La mesa - the table
  • la silla - the chair
  • la ventana - the window

are all feminine while

  • el puerto - the port
  • el vino - the wine
  • el viento - the wind

are all masculine.

Please remember when speaking Spanglish to put at least one real Spanish word in the sentence too. It gives what you say a bit more authenticity. 'El' will do.

El is Spanish for the masculine 'the' or it can denote 'him' or 'it'.

Some Spanish Verbs

  • beber - to drink
  • comer - to eat
  • nadar - to swim
  • romper - to break
  • apprender - to learn
  • gritar - to shout
  • escribir - to write
  • traducir - to translate
  • conducir - to drive
  • sentir - to feel
  • estar - to be (not permament
  • ser - to be (permanent)
  • hacer - to make, or have

By far the most important part of speaking Spanglish is your vocabulary. If you know absolutely no Spanish words, you are going to have problems.

Take a few minutes each to sit down and learn some Spanish words. Don't worry too much about the verbs and and all their endings.

The verb endings are extremely important in Spanish. The endings denote who is doing something, and when - future, present and past, which is all too complicated for your average Spanglish speaker.

Simply learn the verbs, at the least the main part of the words. For example:

  • hablar - to talk (just remember the habl part)
  • habl-o - I talk
  • habl-a - you talk
  • habl-ando - talking
  • habl-ado - talked (past tense)

Now add this to any verb. It doesn't matter if you get it wrong because you are speaking Spanglish, not Spanish.

  • ie. andar - to walk

So you have and-o, and-a, and-ando, and-ado. See? easy-peasy.

If you do not know the Spanish verb, just use the English word with an '-o'. '-a'.-ando' or '-ado' at the end.

Just to confuse things further, some Spanish verbs end in '-ir' and they usually have present and past tense endings of '-iendo', or '-iedo' so you are allowed to mix and match and really confuse any non-Spanglish-speaker.

Some Spanglish sentences for you to practice on:

  • Que t'al, brother? How's it going, brother? How's it going, hermano?
  • El clockio no es functionando. The clock isn't working.
  • No andarando on el streetio. No walking on the street.
  • Tengo 50 years. I am 50 years old.
  • Habla Spanglish very well. You speak Spanglish very well.
  • Esta hub proves soy experto en speaking Spanglish! This hub proves I'm an expert on speaking Spanglish.
  • Mi perros barko mucho. My dogs bark a lot.
  • Learn Spanglish mucho faciles! Learn Spanglish easier!
  • Los trens y the buses are running maƱana. The trains and the buses and running tomorrow.
  • Apprender espanglol ahoranow! Learn Spanglish now!

George Lopez - Spanglish (very funny)

The movie Spanglish starring Adam Sandler


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Isabel Melville profile imageAUTHOR

      Isabel Melville 

      7 years ago from Planet Earth

      Lager and lemon? yuk! No wonder the Spanish think the Brits are a little crazy! (un poco loco). Spanish for shandy is clara, claro?

    • CASE1WORKER profile image


      7 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      When we lived in Gibraltar my dad was an expert at Spnaglish as we used to keep a car in Spain as dad worked there too. ( the border was only partially open) He did have a few failures like the day he assurred us he had ordered rabbit and got fish and the day my mum got a pint of larger with a lemon on top rather than a shandy!

      Voted up, great hub.

    • Isabel Melville profile imageAUTHOR

      Isabel Melville 

      7 years ago from Planet Earth

      Rainiando, is I think, quite wonderful, but even better would be rainiendo. Simply because the Spanish word for raining is lluviendo - pronounced yoobiendo, so raining should become rainiendo. No? Brilliant word. I shall say that next time it's raining. Not that anyone here will understand! Just because I speak Spanglish doesn't mean they do!

    • wavegirl22 profile image


      7 years ago from New York, NY

      So funny and so true. The first time my ex husband and I went on a trip together he chose to go to a Spanish speaking destination, as he speaks fluent Spanish (and I may add he speaks perfect Castilian Spanish) his thinking was along the lines that his bilingual status would impress me . .so he picks Puerto Rico . .Ha. .the land of Spanglish . .. Little did he know that though I cant speak Spanish my Spanish vocabulary is large! It ended up I understood alot more than he did!!! Unfortunately this was one washed up trip as the word that we heard everyday was Rainiando!

      On another note. . Italians do the same. . my girlfriend in Italy favorite saying on Saturday., . is andiamo a shopping! (Lets go shopping)

      Great read and I vote up for Spanglish is one excellent language more should get acquainted with!!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)