Water in Spanish
After this free audio lesson on water in Spanish you’ll know the right words and phrases to complain that your shower is cold, order a sparkling mineral water and a few other things in between!
Listen to the audio and join our Spanish speakers on their journey around Latin America – you’ll practice speaking Spanish and pick up lots of tips along the way!
Talking About Water in Spanish
Are you ready to see what Carlos and Carmona are up to? They are ready to venture out into the streets… not before finding out that their hotel room doesn’t have all the amenities they expected.
No hay agua caliente.
There isn’t any hot water.
I’ll take a look.
Carlos joins Carmona in the bathroom and examines the water taps. They are marked with an ‘F’ and a ‘C.’ Carmona turns on the water tap marked ‘F’ and shows Carlos that there’s no hot water.
Mira. No hay.
Look. There isn’t any.
Carlos searches for a hot water switch above the shower (la ducha), then turns both taps on and lets them run. He nods knowingly at Carmona as the water from the ‘C’ tap starts to steam.
Aquí está el agua caliente. ‘C’ para caliente. ‘F’ para frío.
Here is the hot water. ‘C’ for hot. ‘F’ for cold.
It is very important to know the difference between agua caliente (hot water) and agua fría (cold water) when you’re taking a bath! Hot water is a commodity in many Latin American countries. Always ask if your room has hot water, if you don’t see it advertised (¿Tiene agua caliente?). Sometimes the only hot water in the room will be in the shower, where an electric showerhead attachment will heat the water as it flows from the tap. Other times, there will be a gas hot water heater for every room or group of rooms (called a calefón in South America).
A few hours later, Carlos and Carmona are refreshed and ready to explore the city. Carlos packs a small backpack with his camera, maps, and guidebook. He is filling his water bottle with water from the tap when Carmona stops him.
No tomes esa agua.
Don’t drink that water.
Porque no está bien para tomar. Sólo hay que tomar agua hervida o agua embotellada.
Because it’'s not good to drink. You should only drink boiled water or bottled water.
Carlos nods and pours out the water.
Water in most Latin American countries isn’t safe to drink from the tap. If you are traveling, you should only drink bottled water (agua embotellada) or boiled water (agua hervida). That is why hot beverages like tea are safer than juice, since freshly made juices may be made with unsafe water.
Carlos puts his empty water bottle aside and straps on his backpack. He remembers to put his arms through the straps so that the backpack rests on his chest instead of on his back, just as their tour guide told them to do. Quito is a beautiful modern city, but like many places around the world there are always pickpockets.
Carlos and Carmona take to the streets. The Avenida Amazonas, where their hotel is located, is a beautiful street full of many shops for tourists, offering eco-tours of the Amazonía, biking around Baños, bathing in the hot springs of Papallacta, even mountaineering to the top of the great Chimborazo, the closest point on Earth to the sun.
They stop at a stand along the street to buy a bottle of water.
Una botella de agua mineral, por favor.
A bottle of mineral water, please.
¿Con gas o sin gas?
With gas (sparkling) or without gas (flat)?
Con gas, por favor.
With gas, please.
Sería un dólar.
It will be one dollar.
Carbonated mineral water, or water with gas (con gas), is a popular beverage in many Latin American countries. In Ecuador, the most popular brand is Guitig. The plant where the water is bottled from natural mountain springs is a tourist attraction.
Bottled water in hand, Carlos and Carmona survey the options available to them.
¿Qué queremos hacer?
What do we want to do?
Me gustaría hacer un tour.
I’d like to do a tour.
Me gustaría hacer compras.
I’d like to go shopping.
¿No te gustaría ver las iglesias famosas en el centro histórico?
Wouldn’t you like to see the famous churches in the historic center?
Sí. También me gustaría ver un museo.
Yes. Also I’d like to see a museum.
Un museo muy famoso está cerca de aquí. Se llama la Casa de la Cultura.
A very famous museum is near here. It’s called the House of Culture.
Hand in hand, Carlos and Carmona head off to the Casa de la Cultura museum for an afternoon of culture.
As Carlos and Carmona explore the pre-Colombian, Incan, and Spanish colonial artifacts in the museum, take some time to think about the following vocabulary that you’ve learned in this newsletter.
short for Voy a ver: “I’m going to look” or “Let’s see.”
look (an informal command)
agua con gas
water with gas (carbonated or fizzy water)
agua sin gas
water without gas (flat or noncarbonated water)
it would be or will be
¿qué queremos hacer? / ¿qué quiero hacer?
what do we want to do? / what do I want to do?
me gustaría / te gustaría
I’d like / you’d like
hacer un tour
go on a tour
el centro histórico
the historic center
it is called
Until later! ¡Hasta luego!
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