Hola Primary Two.
¿Qué tal? ¡Estoy feliz porque me gusta animales! (I’m happy because I like animals.)
This week’s Spanish challenge is to find out how to say I have pets and name some animals.
Some of the animals have two different ways of saying the animal. One that ends in o and one that ends in a. Why do you think that is? (Answer: under the Spanish words.)
¿Tienes mascota / mascotas? – Do you have a pet / pets?
¡No tengo mascota! – I don’t have a pet.
Sí, tengo … – Yes, I have …
Un perro / una perra – a dog
Un gato / una gata – a cat
Un conejo / una coneja – a rabbit
Un cobayo – a guinea pig
Una serpiente – a snake
Un pez – a fish
Un ratón – a mouse
Una tortuga – a tortoise
Un pájaro – a bird
Un caballo – a horse
*Ms F’s Top Tips* – When you have a double r, like in perro you have to roll your rs, like a purring cat. Remember, j in Spanish makes a sound like ch as in the Scottish word loch. So conejo sounds like coney-cho. When you see ll in Spanish, it is actually a special letter. The sound it makes is y, like in ‘you’, so caballo sounds like cabye-yo. You may recognise it from me llamo (my name is), amarillo (yellow) and llueve (rain).
Answer: The reason why some animals have one Spanish version that ends in o and one that ends in a is that it is for you to say if it is a male or female animal. Well done if you worked that out!
For male animals you would use un and the word ends in o. For female animals you would use una and the word ends in a.
So if you have a male dog, you would say, “Yo tengo un perro.“
But, if you had a female dog, you would say, “Yo tengo una perra.”
If you want to say you have a number of pets you could add the number and y (and) to help.
For example, to say “I have three cats, two dogs and four rabbits“, it would be:
Yo tengo tres gatos, dos perros y quatro cabajos.
Most of the animals you just add s to the end to say there is more than one (plural). The only different ones are:
Fish (more than one) – peces
Mice – ratones
Ideas to help you practise
- Have a conversation with a parent or sibling where you take turns answering ¿Tienes mascotas? (You can make up your answers to make it trickier.)
- Create your own animal flashcards – one set with the Spanish words and another set with a picture or photo of an animal. You can then use these to play a game of memory, match pairs, or create your own game.
- Play Pictionary, where you have to draw an animal and say the answer in Spanish.
- Pick an animal and play ‘articulate’ where one player has to describe the animal using clues, but without saying the name of the animal. The other player has to guess the animal in Spanish.
- Create a poster or draw animals in your jotter and write the Spanish next to the animals.
¡Que te diviertas!
Here are some fun songs to help you practise and learn some other words for animals, including farm animals: