Learn Spanish: Winter Vocabulary
Learn Spanish - Winter Words
In the winter, I love incorporating a unit with my students about things associated with snow. Many of them go skiing, snowboarding and do similar outdoor activities.
As a Spanish language teacher, I'm always looking for ways to make my curriculum relevant to my students' lives. What better way than with some vocabulary they can repeat with their friends and family as they're actually doing them?
The words I use for my winter unit vary; however, for this article, I included fourteen vocabulary words to allow for anyone to learn a bit of Spanish. Each word has the equivalent English translation and I created a video to help you learn how to pronounce the different words.
By the end of this article, you should be able to
- identify, pronounce and understand basic winter vocabulary in Spanish
- understand how to use the vocabulary when talking about yourself
- apply your newly acquired vocabulary to real-life situations.
If you're a teacher, you'll find ideas for activities for your students. Feel free to download the images you see here to create flashcards.
Winter Vocabulary: Spanish and English
Below are the fourteen words about the snow and winter in Spanish.
Pronounce each one slowly as you go.
To help you remember them, you can do a number of things:
- create flashcards
- add a hand symbol when you pronounce the word, i.e. you can use American Sign Language to match it up with a word to help you remember
- repeat the words aloud several times
- imagine yourself doing whatever the word suggests, i.e. "la chaqueta" - think about yourself wearing a jacket
- create a song with the words - list them off in a favorite song tune or create a rap with them
- label actual objects with the correct, corresponding word
- practice the exercises below
- converse with a friend
- watch the video and repeat the words
As you can see, there are lots of ways you can help yourself remember. Really, it just takes patience and practice.
Winter Vocabulary: El vocabulario del invierno
la copa de nieve
el traje de nieve
el hombre de nieve
Vocabulario de "La Nieve"
A Quick Reference Guide For Spanish
A Word About Present Tense Verbs
The word "llevo" can mean "I wear."
However, the present-tense version of verbs in Spanish has a "broader" meaning than in English. Thus, "llevo" can have three meanings at once:
- I wear
- I'm wearing
- I'll wear (near future)
Thus if you hear someone say "llevo el traje de nieve," and they haven't put it on, yet, you'll know they mean "I'll wear my snow suit."
Perhaps they're just about to go put it on, or they're referring to what they're going to wear when they go outside, but a present-tense verb in Spanish can imply all those meanings.
Practice Makes Perfect
Now, let's put all that new vocabulary into context.
If you're wearing winter items, you can explain what you're wearing by using the word "llevo":
- (Yo) llevo la chaqueta. (I wear the jacket.)
- (Yo) llevo los guantes. (I wear the gloves.)
- (Yo) llevo las botas. (I wear the boots.)
- (Yo) llevo la bufanda. (I wear the scarf.)
- (Yo) llevo el gorro. (I wear the hat.)
- (Yo) llevo el traje de nieve. (I wear the snowsuit.)
A couple things:
- Use "yo" when you want to emphasize. Otherwise, you can just say, "Llevo la chaqueta."
- Different Spanish-speaking countries may use different words than what you see here. This is a great learning opportunity. If you're a teacher, invite your students to tell you which words they use. For example, some people use "la gorra" instead of "el gorro." Otherwise, have fun learning the words that are more specific to the country you are studying.
- Be careful with the word "chaqueta" - it's not really used in Mexico, for example. In Mexico, a person can use the word "chamarra."
Often, wintertime evokes a sense of wonder in children. Since I teach those little ones, I will show them phrases that help them express themselves: "Look at the ______!" with regards to snowflakes, snowmen and the like:
- ¡Mira el hombre de nieve! - Look at the snowman!
- ¡Mira las copas de nieve! - Look at the snowflakes!
- ¡Mira la nieve! - Look at the snow!
- ¡Mira el termómetro! - Look at the thermometer!
Every time I begin a new unit, I create and draw a set of flashcards for them (well, almost every time - sometimes drawing them out takes too much time!). With those flashcards, I scan in my drawings and create exercises, make copies of my flashcards, play games and otherwise utilize my drawings to help my students learn the material better.
As I said above, you can right-click and save the drawings yourself and practice them if you'd like.
If you are a teacher, you can make flashcards with them. If you can, please link back or give me credit for these drawings and exercises; it's always good to practice good etiquette and attribute properly.
More Spanish Practice
With some of the vocabulary, I'll put a whole phrase or sentence together for the students to practice, so they can actually say these things when they do them:
- ¡Voy de trineo! (I'm going sledding!)
- Hago snowboard(ing). (I'm snowboarding.)
- Hago un hombre de nieve. (I make a snowman.)
- Esquío. (I ski.)
- Patino. (I skate.)
A couple things about these phrases:
- When learning them, don't worry about the grammar or why they are constructed the way they are. The sentences are already grammatically correct and if you use them in context, they'll come more naturally. That is, pretend you're skiing and say, ¡Esquío! or pretend you're ice skating and say, ¡Patino!
- The phrase "hacer snowboard(ing)" can be formulated a couple ways. You can say "hago snowboard" or "hago snowboarding" - that's why the -ing is in parentheses.
- These phrases are all associated with "action" - that's why they're grouped together and it really helps to imagine yourself doing them as you say or repeat them.
Applying Your Spanish
Now that you've studied up a bit, try the following exercises to help you remember all that you learned.
- ¿Cómo se dice _____? means "How do you say _____?"
1. ¿Cómo se dice "to skate"?
2. ¿Cómo se dice "I wear the jacket"?
3. Translate this phrase: "I make a snowman."
4. Translate this phrase: "I'm wearing the gloves."
5. ¿Cómo se dice "snow suit" en español?
(Check your answers below.)
The following dialogue takes place in the car. A mother and her child are having a conversation. See if you can choose the right word. Don't worry too much about words you may not know. Use the context of the situation to help you decide which answer is correct.
"Mamá, ¡______ (mira / patina) la nieve!"
"Sí, Pancho. Hay mucha _______ (nieve / chaquetas). Pero, hace frío. Sólo hay una temperatura de 32 ______ (termómetro / grados). Necesitas llevar una ______ (chaqueta / trineo)."
"Ay, Mamá, ¿también necesito llevar los _______ (traje de nieve / guantes), sí?
"Sí, Pancho. También, la _______ (hombre de nieve / bufanda) y el _______ (gorro / copa de nieve)."
"Sí, Mamá. Después, quiero un poco de chocolate caliente."
(Check the translation and your answers below.)
Worksheets and Coloring
For each image below, you can save these (right-click and "save image as") and create different worksheets.
The instructions are as follows:
Copy the Spanish word and write it on the line underneath the picture.
For the fourth page (fourth picture), there are true/false questions based on what you have learned so far.
If you're a teacher:
- You can print these and distribute to students
- Students can color the images
- Students can cut out the images and make flashcards
- You can make multiple copies and cut out the images to play games like Concentration, Sharades, Go Fish (¡A Pescar!), Around the World and more
Practice WritingClick thumbnail to view full-size
Test Your Spanish Winter Vocabulary
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Answers to Exercises A & B
- Llevo la chaqueta.
- Hago un hombre de nieve.
- Llevo los guantes.
- el traje de nieve
Translation: "Mom, Look at the snow!
"Yes, Pancho. There's a lot of snow. But, it's cold. It's only 32 degrees out. You need to wear a jacket."
"Oh, Mom, I'll also need to wear gloves, right?"
"Yes, Pancho. And your scarf and hat."
"Yes, Mom. After, I want a little bit of hot chocolate."
If you have questions, feel free to ask in the comments below.
© 2014 Cynthia Calhoun