Give Me Fluency

Mastering Spanish & Obtaining Fluency

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Ser & Estar Book: FREE. June 1 – June 5

Beginning Thursday, June 1, 2017, my book Ripping Apart The Spanish Language: Ser & Estar will be free… for five days.

Grab yourself a copy. Share it with your buddies. Leave a review, or not. Either way, you can get it here:


Why do I need this book?

You may be asking yourself this question. Like the rest of us, you may have seen a couple of books floating around out there that deal with the subject of Ser versus Estar. But I have not seen many books that explain Ser and Estar in sufficient detail, that squash all doubts about their usage, and instill such a sense of confidence in the reader that by the time they complete the book he or she can proudly say, “Hey, I really get it now!”

Therefore, it is my mission to change this.

It has been my purpose to write a book that gives you exactly what you need and ends the quest for that missing information in your Spanish learning journey.

This book will take you through many uses of Ser and Estar individually, explaining just how it works, using lots of examples and providing lots of exercises to “make it stick”.

By the end of this book, I am confident that you will have mastered the usages of Ser and Estar and will be ready to go out and speak like you know what you’re doing.

Uses of Ser

Some of the uses of Ser that we’ll be covering in this section
are as follows:

● Nationality And Place Of Origin
● Race
● Profession/Occupation
● Physical Traits
● Personal Characteristics
● Religious Affiliation
● Shapes
● Size
● Materials Things Are Made Of
● Possession
● Ser With The Infinitive
● Time & Date
● Relationships Between People
● Location of Events
● Gender
● Prices of Things Using Ser
● Impersonal Expressions
● Political Affiliation
● Amounts and Numbers
● Predicate Nominatives
● Commands Using Ser

Uses of Estar

Some of the uses of Estar that we’ll cover in this section are
the following, to name a few:

● Greetings
● Location and Position (but not Events)
● Present Progressive
● Conditions
● Civil Status
● Results of an Action
● Commands
● Expressions

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Something’s On The Roof


Below is an an excerpt from Chapter 2 of Something’s On The Roof, which is part of my soon-to-be released Cuentos Breves En Inglés book. This book features not-so-common English words to expand the vocabulary of the Spanish-speaking English learner. A vocabulary list will be at the end of each chapter, as seen below this one…

El siguiente extracto viene del Capítulo 2 de Something’s On The Roof, el cual es un pasaje de mi próximo libro Cuentos Breves En Inglés. Este libro presenta palabras que no son muy comunes que ayudarán al estudiante de Inglés a ampliar su vocabulario. Habrá una lista de palabras al final de cada cápitulo…


You guys hungry? You look hungry.”

Chimi and Changa always look at me as though they understand.

Here’s your favorite:

Moisty Chunks dog food.

I opened the packet and poured it into their bowl.

Of course they didn’t eat it.

And I could just imagine their thoughts:

We don’t want that crap! Why don’t you eat it?

They decided instead to sit and stare at me

while I ate my cereal and toast.

The day was long, and I felt like a zombie from lack of sleep.

I went to work, which is about 30 feet away from my dining room table.

I sat there in my office, staring at the computer screen.

I’ve been writing for a long time now,

but I started doing it full-time about a year ago,

after I retired from the tire shop.

I sat there in my faux-leather chair trying to write my story

the one about aliens that land in a dry river bed

and slowly take over a small town,

terrorizing people and animals alike.

As I sat there, I couldn’t help thinking about the night before.

What were the dogs barking at?

A coyote? Each other?

I went to the bedroom and sat my high-powered air rifle

in the corner of the room, right next to my bed.

My 9mm Glock 17 was still in the closet if I needed it, but if there is an animal coming into the back patio at night, the BB gun will be enough to scare it away.

I have become more sentimental towards animals in general

since getting Chimi and Changa two and a half years ago,

so killing the little critter would be something I would try to avoid.

I sat down at my HP laptop again and started to write.

This time, a little less worried than before.

The alien spaceship landed in the riverbed with almost no sound at all. The hatch slowly opened and pressed against the river rocks below, scaring away the

group of young cotton tails that had sat there

blinded by the bright lights of the huge machine…”


(Are) You guys hungry? ¿Tienen/Tenéis hambre?
To pour Verter, echar
I could just imagine Podría imaginar
Their thoughts Sus pensamientos
That crap Esa mierda
The lack of sleep La falta de sueño
The dining room El comedor
The computer screen La pantalla de la computadora/el ordenador
I’ve been writing for a long time now Llevo mucho tiempo escribiendo ya
Full-time A tiempo completo
The tire shop El taller de reparación de llantas/neumáticos
Faux-leather chair Silla de cuero de imitación
Aliens Extraterrestres
To land Aterrizar
A dry river bed Un lecho seco
To take over Tomar control de
To terrorize Aterrorizar
The night before La noche anterior
High-powered air rifle Rifle/carabina de aire comprimido
The closet El armario
The BB gun (ball bullet) Rifle de balines
To scare away Ahuyentar
To avoid Evitar
Laptop Ordenador/computadora portátil
Less worried than before Menos preocupado que antes
The spaceship La nave espacial
With no sound En silencio
The hatch La escotilla
Pressed against the river rocks below Presionó contra las piedras del río abajo
The cotton tails Los conejos de cola blanca
Blinded by the bright lights Enceguecidos por las luces brillantes
The huge machine La enorme maquinaria

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HelloTalk -The App Review



I had studied Italian on my own for a few years, but approximately three years ago I studied Italian very seriously. I studied hard. I read, I wrote, I listened, I spoke….er, sorta. I went through countless text books, watched movies, listened to podcasts and other audio…Pimsleur…Teach Yourself…

All great stuff! …But, there was something lacking…

Enter HelloTalk. I stumbled upon this app on the Apple Store (back when I had my iPhone 5) and downloaded it to give a whirl, like many other apps I’ve tried. Ah, but this one was different. It was exactly what I needed. Don’t get me wrong. No app is perfect. No app is all magical and miraculous and that, but this one came close. Yes, indeedy!



HelloTalk is an app that was created to enable you and me to connect to native speakers of our target language all around the world. It enables us to practice what we have learned, helps us to learn new stuff, and allow us to put it all into practice. But what did I find so special about this app? 

Personally, I realized that what was missing from my language learning regime was the common language, what people really say when they speak to each other. Real speech. Not the oh-so-formal stuff we learn in the textbooks. Nothing wrong with that at all. But what I am expounding on is the fact that we do this:

  • We study a textbook, a phrase book, listen to some audio and now…Yes! Now we know how to order food in a restaurant, purchase a plane ticket, introduce our kids, and talk about our jobs and our red socks.

But we’d rather do this:

  • Make some new friends that speak our target language, talk to those friends in the day to day language that they actually speak: “¡Hola! ¿Qué onda? ¿Qué tal tu día? ¿Yo? Pues aquí, nada más, descansando y tomándome un emparedado pero buenísimo!” If you are a language learner, you can relate. We want to be fluent. Speak smoothly. And learning the “filler words” and other neat things to say is very useful. We can learn all this with HelloTalk.


You download the app, set up a profile, type or record a self-description if you wish, choose your native language and the language you want to practice. You’re ready. There are many languages that you can choose form to practice – over 100 of them. You can search for native speakers of the language you are learning and find native speakers that are learning your native language.

I’ll stop rambling and get to the nitty gritty. Here are some of the features that I really like about HelloTalk:


  • You can record your voice and send it to your language partner. They can listen to it, critique it and give you feedback. (Something you can’t get form a text book.) In turn, they can send back voice messages, so you get some listening practice as well.
  • Another cool feature is that this app now has a text-to-speech and speech-to-text feature. For example, your language partner sends you a text message that says “Igual para usted.” You simply long press the text, click the little speaker icon and it reads it for you. Cool right?
  • You can also translate the text right there from the message. You long press on the text and click the translate icon and it translates it into your native language.You can also type in your native language, translate it into your partner’s language, and send it.
  • You can correct your partner’s text and send it back. He/she can do the same for you. The feedback is great! When you practice with a live person like this, you tend to remember things easier, in my experience.
  • You can also “group chat”, if you’re into that kind of thing.



You can do a lot on this app. It is the first of its kind on any app store. It’s available for iOS and for Android. (I now use HelloTalk on my HTC One M8 with Android Lollipop.) You can read, type, listen, speak and get helpful feedback…all on this one app. Another great thing is that you can use this app to find people in your area, since it shows location, and perhaps meet up in person to practice speaking.


Uh…hmmm… I’ll think of something… Oh, the app is very stable on iOS, but you may see a few little glitches here and there on the Android version. Nevertheless, I know for a fact that the HelloTalk team members are working very hard to get these fixed. No worries. I personally haven’t seen any in a while…


I highly recommend this app. I started studying Spanish again exactly three months ago and this app has helped me tremendously. I’ve met some great people from all over the world and have taken part in some awesome language exchanges.


Give me fluency!