Watching TELENOVELAS in Spanish? You’ll Need these Chunks!

Watching TELENOVELAS in Spanish? You’ll Need these Chunks!

¡Tú eres la otra! Fernando me ama a mí.
(You are the other one! Fernando loves me.)

¡Fernando es mío!
(Fernando is mine!)

Telenovelas are a great way to learn Spanish. The Spanish is básico (basic), the topics are repetitivos (repetitive) and they say the same thing una y otra y otra vez (over and over and over again.)

So what are these chunks you’ll hear all the time in telenovelas that are actually useful for you in real life? I’m Maura, from Spring Spanish and let’s start with chunks románticos. (romantic.)

1. Romantic chunks from telenovelas

Tú eres el amor de mi vida.
(You are the love of my life.)

Fernando, no puedo, no quiero vivir sin ti.
(Fernando, I can’t, I don’t want to live without you.)

No me importa lo que diga la gente, jamás nos vamos a separar.
(I don’t care what people say, we will never be separated.)

¡Te amo tanto!
(I love you so much!)

I promise I’ll make these very over the top expressions worth something in the real world. In the meantime, you can also access our free Essential Chunking kit through that link in the description and get a curated list of chunks that will come up on a daily basis.

In this dialogue, though, we have several things you could use if you have a very romantic moment with a Spanish speaker.

  • Tú eres el amor de mi vida. (You are the love of my life.): please only say this if you really mean it. It’s as rambunctious as it sounds. Yo suelo escuchar esto de mi papá. (I used to hear this from my dad.)
  • No puedo vivir sin ti. (I can’t live without you.): you can change “ti” and be a bit dramatic about more everyday things, like:
    • No puedo vivir sin meditar. (I can’t live without meditating.)
    • No puedo vivir sin mi té de la mañana. (I can’t live without my morning tea.)
  • No me importa lo que diga la gente. (I don’t care what people say.): this can be used for more than showing love. Puedes decir esto para rebelarte contra cualquier imposición social. (You can say this to rebel against any social imposition.) Like dressing however you want, or changing your hair color.

2. Spiteful chunks from telenovelas

I’m not a telenovela type of person but I can actually give you a great recommendation when it comes to Venezuelan telenovelas. Volveremos sobre este tema al final del video. (We’ll get back to this at the end of the video.)

¡Cállate la boca, desgraciada!
(Shut your mouth, you wretch!)

Eres una traidora.
(You are a traitor.)

¡Lárgate de mi vista!
(Get out of my sight!)

¡No me toques!
(Don’t touch me!)

Did you know that our Spring Spanish course is set up as a radionovela (radio soap opera)? Televenovelas were originally radionovelas. We took all that engaging power of a story and turned it into a Spanish course called “Los cazadores de tormentas” (Storm hunters). Here’s a snippet so you can check out what I mean:

  • Cállate la boca (shut your mouth): though this combination will always sound aggressive, you could learn how to use “cállate” for completely different reasons. You could say: ¡cállate! to show surprise. Es cuestión de personalidad. No todo el mundo lo hace. Yo lo hago cuando, por ejemplo, se me olvida algo importante. (It’s a matter of personality. Not everybody does it. I do it when, for example, I forget something important.) I would just say: cállate out loud, not talking to anyone specifically.
  • Desgraciada, traidora (wretch, traitor): telenovelas are known for their name calling which, to you, could mean a bunch of new vocabulary. You could use them to describe things like:
    • Ten cuidado con mi gata porque es muy traidora. (Be careful with my cat because she is very treacherous.)
    • Ella superó un montón de obstáculos a pesar de sus desgracias. (She overcame a lot of obstacles despite her misfortunes.)
  • ¡Lárgate de mi vista! (Get out of my sight!): you should just know that “lárgate” is the more aggressive version of “sal” (get out).
  • ¡No me toques! (Don’t touch me!): change the “me” for “lo” or “la” and use this about things.
    • La pared está recién pintada, no la toques. (The wall is freshly painted, do not touch it.)
    • El horno está caliente, no lo toques. (The oven is hot, do not touch it.)

3. Overly dramatic chunks from telenovelas

¡Me mentiste!
(You lied to me!)

Puedo explicártelo. ¡No te vayas!
(I can explain. Don’t go!)

Fernando, ya no aguanto más. Lo nuestro se acabó.
(Fernando, I can’t take it anymore. It’s over between us.)

Te lo juro por mi madre que no volverá a pasar.
(I swear on my mother’s life that it won’t happen again.)

Nuestro amor es imposible. ¡No quiero volver a verte jamás!
(Our love is impossible. I never want to see you again!)

  • ¡Me mentiste! (You lied to me!): saying this directly will always mean a little bit of drama. But do use “mentira” (lie) to mean: no way!
  • ¡No te vayas! (Don’t go!): this doesn’t have to be a plea. It can also work as a synonym for: espera (wait). If the person could actually leave the place, of course.
  • Ya no aguanto más. (I can’t take it anymore.): again, not as dramatic as it sounds if you use it in other contexts. Ejercitándote, por ejemplo. (Excercising, for example.)
  • Te lo juro (I swear): Yo uso esto para todo. (I use this for everything.) It doesn’t even have to be something serious. Like:
    • Me muero del hambre, te lo juro. ( I’m starving, I swear.)
    • Te juro que es la mejor serie que he visto en mi vida. (I swear it’s the best series I’ve seen in my life.)
  • ¡No quiero volver a verte jamás! (I never want to see you again!): change “verte” for “ver” and say things like:
    • No quiero volver a ver esta película jamás. (I never want to see this movie again.)
    • No quiero volver a ver a esa gente jamás. (I never want to see those people again.)

4. Downright toxic chunks from telenovelas

Here’s my big recommendation about telenovelas: En Venezuela, nuestro principal referente es el guionista Leonardo Padrón. (In Venezuela, our main reference is the screenwriter Leonardo Padrón.) This guy actually knows how to write.

Incluso está escribiendo teatro en España actualmente. (He is even writing theater in Spain at the moment.) So, his telenovelas will include more substance and better characters. Cosita Rica would be a good example.

Tú me perteneces.
(You belong to me.)

¡Me pusiste los cuernos!
(You cheated on me!)

Si me dejas, te mato.
(If you leave me, I’ll kill you.)

Me las vas a pagar tú a mí, Fernando, ¡por todo lo que me has hecho!
(You’re going to pay me, Fernando, for everything you’ve done to me!)

Pues te quedarás de patitas en la calle. ¡La herencia es mía!
(Well you’ll be left out on the street. The inheritance is mine!)

Ok, here we reach confession time: El nivel de toxicidad de las telenovelas solo puede ser contrarrestado por el sentido del humor. (The level of toxicity of soap operas can only be counteracted by a sense of humor.) Así que siempre velas como si estuvieses viendo un chiste. Un exagerado chiste contado por gente muy atractiva. (So always watch them as if you were watching a joke. An exaggerated joke told by very attractive people.) So, warning, you’ll see me roll my eyes a few times during this part of the video.

  • Tú me perteneces. (You belong to me.): remove the “me”, like, immediately and say things like:
    • Tú perteneces a esta familia. (You belong to this family.)
    • Tú perteneces en este equipo. (You belong in this team.)
  • ¡Me pusiste los cuernos! (You cheated on me. Lit.: You put the horns on me): idioms are another great thing you’ll find in telenovelas. It’s awesome because there’s no way you can get from “me pusiste los cuernos” to “you cheated on me” unless you’re watching the context play out.
  • Si me dejas, te mato. (If you leave me, I’ll kill you.): I would say this exactly but to a promiscuous friend on a club, for example. Or, change the verb for something like:
    • Si me pisas, te mato. (If you step on me, I’ll kill you.): this on a new-shoe day, por ejemplo (for example).
  • Te quedarás de patitas en la calle. (You’ll be left out on the street.): siempre he pensado que esto suena un poco cuchi, por el “patitas”. (I’ve always thought that this sounds a bit cute, because of the “little paws”), but it’s not. De nuevo, es una expresión idiomática. (Again, it is an idiomatic expression.) You could use this in any context, it’ll make sense and it’ll make you sound like a true native speaker.

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