Today we are going to see how the verbs hablar (to speak), decir (to say) and contar (to tell) are used, to help you not to confuse them:
Carlos habla 5 idiomas (Carlos speaks five languages).
El Presidente dijo que no iba a subir los impuestos (The President said he was not going to increase taxes).
Por favor, cuéntame que está pasado (Please, tell me what is going on).
1. The Spanish verb HABLAR
- When we want just to express the ability to speak:
Me duele la garganta. Casi no puedo hablar. (My throat hurts. I can barely speak.)
- It used with the idea to talk with someone:
Mañana hablamos, ¿vale? (We´ll speak tomorrow, okay?)
He hablado con tu profesor de tus notas. (I´ve spoken with your teacher about your grades.)
2. The Spanish verb DECIR
- It is used to express something with words:
Mis amigos me dicen que haga un curso de español (My friends tell me to do a Spanish course).
¿Perdona, qué (me) dices? (Pardon, what´s that you´re telling me?)
- Common expressions used to express surprise and interest:
“¡No me digas!” “¡Qué me dices!” (You don´t say!)
3. The Spanish verb CONTAR
- It means to count:
Vamos a jugar. Escóndete donde puedas. Contaré hasta tres: uno, dos… ¡y tres! (We´re going to play a game. Hide where you can. I´ll count to three: one, two… three!)
- It can also be used with the idea of recount something:
¿Te he contado lo que me pasó ayer en el supermercado? (Have I told you what happened to me yesterday in the supermarket?)
¡No, cuéntamelo! (No, tell me!)
4. Spanish verbs conjugations
Click on the link to see the Spanish verb DECIR conjugation, it is quite irregular. Check also how to form the Spanish verb CONTAR. On the other hand, HABLAR is regular is a regular verb in all its tenses.
Time to practice with our quizzes
Now you can practice everything you have learned with the quizzes below, and remember you can contact your tutor with any question you have. Don’t you have a Spanish tutor yet?