This lesson is part of the Upper-Intermediate Spanish Course
(74 Spanish video or mp3 lessons. 4 hrs 3 mins)

Upper-Intermediate Spanish Course

In this free Spanish lesson we will see some useful phrases in Spanish to tone down one’s opinion slightly so that you do not come across as rude or blunt. In general, I would say that Spanish people are honest and straight-talking. In my experience most people do not mince their words and when they have something to say they say it. That is not to say though that they are rude; we just have our own style of communication. There are, though, many Spanish phrases that people use to tone down their opinions such as the ones featured in this Spanish video lesson. People might not use them very often, but they do exist and when you do use them they create a wonderful impression. During the years I spent living in England I had to change my style of speaking somewhat in order not to offend people. There I observed that people use phrases such as “If I am not wrong…” (Si no me equivoco…) and “If I am not mistaken…” (Si no me engaño…) much more than in Spain. Spanish people use “please” and “thank you” less than the English as well. Spanish people appreciate good manners, but we use our “pleases” and thank-yous” more sparingly than in some countries. We enjoy free, open and passionate debates and sometimes there just isn’t time to be overly polite and when nobody takes offence it really doesn’t matter.

Lesson notes:

Si no me engaño…: If I am not mistaken…
Si no me equivoco…: If I am not wrong…
Tengo entendido que…: I have understood that…/I have gathered that…
Parece ser que…: It seems that…/It appears that…
Puede ser que me equivoque, pero creo que…: I might be wrong, but I think that…
No sé mucho de este asunto, pero creo que…: I don´t know much about it, but I think that…
Por lo visto…: As far as I can see…

Activity:

Tone down the following opinions using the new Spanish expressions from this lesson…

Estoy seguro de que Peter es inglés
Para mí, está claro que tienes que ir al dentista
Pienso que mañana lloverá
Lo mejor es que estudies más

Here are some possible answers to the last activity:

He visto a Patricia y he caído rendido a sus pies. ¡Es preciosa!
No puedo creer que no le perdones. ¡Eres de piedra!
Mucha gente te promete la luna y al final todo es mentira
Me quedé boquiabierto cuando Nuria me contó lo que había pasado

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