First of all, here are the answers to your homework. I know you have all been sitting on the edge of your seats waiting to know if you’d got it all right.

Tengo una gata siamesa.
I have a Siamese cat.

¿Tienes mascotas?
Do you have pets? (Of course in English we would often add the word “any” which has no equivalent in Spanish).

Mi hermano tiene dos perros grandes.
My brother has two big dogs.

No tenemos vasos en nuestra casa. Tenemos que comprar más.
We don’t have any glasses in our house. We have to buy more. (By the way, vaso refers to a tumbler or general drinking glass but not a wine glass which is a copa.)

Los padres hoy en día tienen problemas para educar a sus hijos.
Parents nowadays have problems bringing up their children. (Notice the meaning of educar. It can mean ‘educate’, but its principle meaning is to ‘bring up’.

Prefiero vivir en San Pedro, aunque mis hijas prefieren vivir en Asturias.
I prefer to live in San Pedro, although my daughters prefer to live in Asturias.

Podemos jugar al tenis mañana si quieres.
We can play tennis tomorrow if you want.

Vamos a comer en un restaurante este sábado.
We are going to eat in a restaurant this Saturday.

Los extranjeros en España viven bien en general, pero necesitan hacer mucho papeleo.
Foreigners in Spain live well on the whole, but they need to do a lot of paperwork.

Cuando los españoles hablan rápido, los británicos tienen problemas para entenderlos.
When the Spanish speak quickly the British have problems in understanding them.

Well if you managed to notice the changes in the verbs in these sentences then you did very well. In fact you have overcome a major hurdle. As I have said before, there are quite a lot of details to study before we know all the right forms for each verb in the present tense, but that can come gradually and we’ve already covered a lot of the basic principles.

We’re now going to have a break away from the present tense and will shortly start to look at something else of a similar ilk, but today I thought we could follow a short digression and look at a small point that tends to trip a lot of people up; that is the difference between más, mucho and muy. I constantly hear people get these confused, so here is a brief explanation of the difference.

First of all a simple translation: más = more, mucho = a lot, muy = very.

Actually – that’s it! There is a problem that appears though when we translate things directly. For example, a lot of people know the expression mucho calor and have learnt to translate it as ‘very hot’ thereby concluding that mucho must mean ‘very’. However, if we translate that phrase literally we are actually saying ‘a lot of heat’.

A common error is to use más (more) instead of muy (very). This can cause confusion as it might appear to be asking for more of something, when we are just making an observation. If we want to say something is ‘very cheap’, for example, we have to say muy barato. If instead we say más barato we would be asking for it to be cheaper.

Well that is a brief explanation, but perhaps it will help in some of those little transactions in life!

Jane Cronin’s “Step by Step Spanish” articles are available as e-books at where you can also obtain Jane’s “Step by Step Internet Spanish” course.