If you want to express that someone is mean, or, “to be mean” in Spanish, there are two phrases you can use. The first is “ser malo” and the second is “ser mezquino.” In English, they both translate to someone being mean or nasty. If you’re talking about someone being miserly, you’d use “ser tacaño.” Let’s take a look at how the different options are used practically:

¡Cómo puedes ser tan malo! = How can you be so mean!Juan era falsa y mezquina. = Juan is mean and deceitful.

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Gloria no te va a prestar dinero. Es muy tacaña. = Gloria won’t lend you money. She is stingy.

Getting comfortable with the nuances of Spanish verbs can take some time. But remember, you don’t have to tackle everything at once. As you move forward on your language journey, you’ll learn to distinguish when and where to use the different options.


People choose to learn Spanish because they find themselves encountering the language in their daily lives. After all, Spanish is heard in popular music, movies, and TV shows. Other people want to learn Spanish based on their plans to volunteer, work, or vacation in any of the 20 countries where Spanish is the official language. Your reason for learning Spanish aside, you can get off to a great start by first learning how to pronounce some very basic words and phrases. It is an important step to understand and be understood by any of the 437 million people around the world who speak Spanish.

New Spanish learners often spend time trying to memorize lengthy lists of Spanish vocabulary words and phrases. Then they become frustrated because they have little-to-no ability to participate in everyday Spanish conversation. That’s why it’s strongly advised that new Spanish language learners focus on understanding and pronouncing basic words and phrases. This smart and practical approach to learning Spanish will help you become a confident and comfortable Spanish speaker.

You should make a note that Spanish does have some pronunciation distinctions that can make it a challenge for language learners. As one example, the letter r is pronounced differently and takes some practice for most new learners. This distinct sound is formed by tapping the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth, about a third of the way back in the mouth. Some Spanish language experts suggest new learners practice making the “tt” sound, as it sounds in the English word butter.

Developing the skills to accurately pronounce Spanish requires immediate feedback on your efforts. Rosetta Stone helps you dial in your pronunciation with our TruAccent™ speech-recognition engine. Our patented technology compares your voice to native and non-native speakers in real-time—so you get immediate feedback for the most accurate pronunciation. It’s also adjustable, which allows you to tweak your accent as needed. TruAccent is a powerful tool for helping you learn and speak the Spanish language.

After you’re comfortable with the basic Spanish words and short phrases, you can move onto the longer phrases used in everyday conversation. Rosetta Stone’s 10-minute language lessons are designed to lead you along this natural path to learning. You’ll first focus on learning basic words and phrases, then you’ll move onto learning longer phrases, and then towards learning to speak Spanish with confidence.


Surround yourself with Spanish whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app .

Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation .

The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.

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