- Common daily activities in Spanish & reflexive verbs and pronouns
- How to make sentences about daily routines in Spanish: reflexive & non-reflexive verbs
- Spanish Listening: Describing my daily routine in Spanish – Mi rutina diaria
- Spanish Practice: Completing and writing about your daily routine in Spanish.
¿Qué haces todos los días? ¿Cuál es tu rutina diaria? These are some common questions we ask to know about someone’s daily routine in Spanish. There are so many activities we could do in a single day and some of them are just a part of our lives. In this lesson you will learn the most common activities in Spanish that people usually do every day. You will find a picture showing of these “actividades diarias”, read and listen to several examples, learn some grammar tips about reflexive pronouns in Spanish and sentence structure, and practice with some interactive quizzes.
We will begin the lesson with a video showing some of the activities you may find in a regular daily routine. You will see several pictures with phrases, plus a few important notes that will be useful throughout the lesson. At the end of this video, we show you how a simple daily routine in Spanish should look like. Please activate the captions (cc) below if you need the English translation for the audio.
Common daily activities in Spanish & reflexive verbs and pronouns
The picture below shows a collection of beautiful images of some common activities in a daily routine in Spanish. As it is presented in the picture, most Spanish activities are just verbs in infinitive like “jugar” (to play) or “comer” (to eat), but sometimes when these activities affect us directly or affect someone and we want to make clear who that is, then we may need a reflexive verb in Spanish like “vestirse” (to get dressed). Notice that when we talk about an activity in general, the reflexive verb ends in “se”. Look at the picture and see if the activities are familiar to you. Enlarge the picture by clicking on it.
You may be wondering, how can I create my own sentences using those Spanish activities? It is actually very simple. Begin your sentence with a subject pronoun in Spanish like “yo, tú, etc.”. Then add a reflexive pronoun (se, me, te) and a conjugated verb. Sentences about daily routines in Spanish usually follow the structure “Subject pronoun + reflexive pronoun + verb + complement”. A reflexive verb like “levantarse” (to get up) will change to “se levanta” or “me levanto” depending on who is getting up. For example, to say “She gets up early” we would say “Ella se levanta temprano” but to say “I get up early” we have to say “Yo me levanto temprano”. Just know that not all the sentences require a reflexive pronoun and there are many other daily activities you could learn too, including Sports in Spanish and household chores. Listen to the following examples about the activities in the picture and some more. Look up the new words in a dictionary. Pay close attention to the way we say the main activity in Spanish. Press the button “Play” to listen to the examples.
|Wake up||Despertarse||Yo me despierto al sonar la alarma|
|Get up||Levantarse||Yo me levanto temprano.|
|Take a shower||Bañarse||Usted se baña en poco tiempo|
|Brush my teeth||Cepillarse los dientes||Carlos se cepilla los dientes todos los días.|
|Shave||Afeitarse/Rasurarse||Él se rasura la barba todos los días|
|Get dressed||Vestirse||Mercedes se viste en su habitación.|
|Put on makeup||Ponerse maquillaje||Tú te pones maquillaje todos los días.|
|Make the bed||Arreglar la cama||Yo arreglo mi cama en la mañana.|
|Cook breakfast/lunch/dinner||Cocinar el desayuno/almuerzo/la cena||Mi mamá cocina el desayuno|
|Eat breakfast/lunch/dinner||Desayunar/almorzar/cenar||Nosotros cenamos juntos.|
|Clean the house||Limpiar la casa||Ella ayuda a limpiar la casa.|
|Wash the dishes||Lavar los platos||Ustedes lavan los platos|
|Get ready||Alistarse||Yo me alisto para ir a la escuela.|
|Go to school||Ir a la escuela||Yo voy a la escuela todos los días|
|Go to work||Ir al trabajo||Ellas van al trabajo juntas.|
|Pick up the children||Recoger a los niños||Joel recoge a los niños en la tarde|
|Go back home||Regresar a casa||Yo regreso a casa antes del anochecer.|
|Sleep||Dormir||Nos dormimos a las 10 de la noche.|
How to make sentences about daily routines in Spanish: reflexive & non-reflexive verbs
The following grammar notes are very important to understand how the previous examples work in Spanish and be able to create sentences about your daily routine in Spanish:
- The words in bold in the examples are reflexive pronouns in Spanish, “pronombres personales átonos”. We usually use reflexive pronouns like “me, te, se” to talk about our daily routine in Spanish. They are always placed before the main verb of the sentence and following the rules, we use a different reflexive pronoun depending on the subject of the sentence: “Me” is used after “Yo”, “Se” after “Él, ella, ellos, ellas, ustedes”, “Te” after “Tú” and “Nos” after “Nosotros”. Adding a reflexive pronoun or leaving it out actually depends on what we are trying to say in Spanish, for example the sentence “Ella cocina el desayuno” means “She cooks breakfast”, but if we add the Spanish reflexive pronoun “nos” to the sentence and say “Ella nos cocina el desayuno”, it would mean “She cooks us breakfast”. Other verbs just need a reflexive pronoun to make clear who is being affected by the action, for example, saying “Yo bañar” is incorrect because we are not saying who is taking the shower but if we add “me” and say “Yo me baño”, we clarify that I am the one taking the shower. The difference between reflexive pronouns and reflexive verbs is confusing even for Spanish speakers. If we say “Yo me visto solo” we are using the reflexive pronoun “me” instead of the reflexive verb “vestirme”.
- Not all the sentences we use to talk about our daily routine in Spanish have a reflexive form. Some of them are just simple sentences, which usually have this structure: Subject + verb + complement (optional). The infinitive form of Spanish verbs always ends in “ar, er, ir” like in the verbs “cocinar, comer y dormir”. We always change this infinitive form depending on the subject and the tense we are using in the sentence, which is called “conjugar verbos” in Spanish. For example, in Spanish the verb “to cook” would be “cocinar”, but we do not say “Yo cocinar la cena”, but “Yo cocino la cena” changing the form of “cocinar” to “cocino” because of the pronoun “Yo”. Following this structure you can also say “Yo me baño diariamente”, “Ellos se visten en el cuarto”, etc. Notice that this rule afffects sentences using reflexive pronouns too.
Although we only use some verbs in Spanish every day, there are thousands of them. Spanish verbs change a little in every tense and with every subject pronoun. You could start by learning the basic conjugation rules in Spanish in the presente tense and then apply these rules to most verbs. This will help you a lot to talk about your daily routine in Spanish and many other topics
Spanish Listening: Describing my daily routine in Spanish – Mi rutina diaria
Spanish listening quiz: a busy routine
Spanish Practice: Completing and writing about your daily routine in Spanish.
A quiz about daily routines in Spanish: "Completando la rutina de Ana"
Exercise #2: Complete the Spanish sentences in the picture below with the correct form of the verbs.
Exercise #3: Write a paragraph describing your own daily routine in Spanish. If it is possible, share it with a Spanish speaker and ask him about his daily routine.