History or Story?

How can we differentiate the terms “history” and “story”? In Spanish only one word, historia, is used to encompass both of these concepts.


  • History describes important events that occured in the past. It objectively narrates what took place, when and where it took place, who participated, and potentially why it happened.


  • History is a subject we study in school to learn about the past.


  • We can learn about the history of a place, a person or group of persons, a philosophy or religion, etc.

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He Said, She Said

Practice makes perfect when it comes to gender-specific pronouns. Although Spanish has grammatical gender, Spanish personal pronouns can be gender-neutral (su, le, se, etc.).

Moreover, given that the subject pronoun isn’t obligatory, a sentence in the 3rd person could be referrering to a man (él) or a woman (ella).

The following sentences exemplify this ambiguity.

  • Le invitó a su casa. He or she invited him or her to his or her house.
  • Se defendió. He or she defended himself or herself.


Now, let’s take a closer look at English personal pronouns. Remember, “it” is gender neutral and refers to objects, abstractions, and most animals.


Knock Knock. Who’s There? It’s Me!

Let’s imagine that you live in a tiny apartment with killer built-ins in the heart of Madrid…


…and someone knocks on your door. The following exchange could take place in Spanish:

–¿Quién es?

–Soy yo.

Clearly, no one would ever reply saying “es yo” or “es nosotros.”


However in your cozy apartment in New York City, the same conversation would go something like this in English: Continue reading