Spanish 1/At the Mall

Chapter 15 (At the Mall / en el centro comercial)


Types of stores / Tipos de tiendas

  • el almacén - department store
  • en la Red - online
  • la joyería - jewelry store
  • la librería - bookstore
  • la tienda de descuentos - discount store
  • la tienda de electrodomésticos - household appliance store
  • la zapatería - shoe store
  • la carnicería - butcher's shop
  • la pescadería - fish store
  • la panadería - bakery
  • la verdulería - fruit and vegetable store
  • la tienda de ropa - clothes shop

Accessories / Accesorios

  • el anillo - ring
  • los anteojos de sol /los lentes de sol - sunglasses
  • los aretes - earrings
  • el bolso / la bolsa / la cartera - purse
  • la cadena - collar
  • la cartera - wallet
  • el collar - necklace
  • la corbata - tie
  • los guantes - gloves
  • el llavero - key chain
  • el perfume - perfume
  • la pulsera - bracelet
  • el reloj pulsera - watch
  • el software / el programa - software
  • Note: In Argentina, billetera is used side-by-side with cartera, although this is falling out of usage rapidly among youth.


  • novio - boyfriend
  • novia - girlfriend

Words at the mall

  • barato(a) - cheap
  • caro(a) - expensive
  • mirar - to look
  • pagar - to pay
  • vender - to sell

To talk about the past

  • anoche - last night
  • año pasado - last year
  • ayer - yesterday
  • anteayer - the day before yesterday
  • hace (+ time expression) - ago
  • semana pasada - last week

Other words

  • ¡Uf! - Ugh!, Yuck!

Preterite of -ar verbs


Preterite verbs talk about past actions. In Spanish, preterite verbs are conjugated in the same manner as their endings. Below is the list of conjugation of preterite verbs of -ar verbs:

yo: -é

tú: -aste

Ud./él/ella: -ó

nosotros/nosotras: -amos

vosotros/vosotras: -asteis

Uds./ellos/ellas: -aron

Note that the nosotros(as) conjugate the same as the present.

Example conjugation, comprar:

  • compré - I bought
  • compraste - you bought (singular)
  • compró - he/she bought
  • compramos - we bought
  • comprasteis - you bought (plural)
  • compraron - they bought

Note: Usted and ustedes continue to be conjugated in 3rd person form when in preterite form.

Preterite of -car and -gar verbs


Verbs ending in -car and -gar have their own conjugations in the yo form. The conjugation is the same even if the verb has a stem change, such as jugar.

  • busqué - I looked for
  • pagué - I payed
  • jugué - I played

Direct object pronouns


Direct object pronouns in English are "it" and "them." In Spanish, there are two ways to say these words.

  • lo - it (masculine)
  • la - it (feminine)
  • los - them (masculine)
  • las - them (feminine)

Note: Direct object pronouns are always placed before the verb it involves in a sentence. (Example: Yo ya lo compré. - I already bought it.)

Cultural insight (Mall culture)


Unlike in English-speaking nations, in Hispanophone nations the mall is generally not seen as a popular hangout spot but rather as a place to make purchases and buy the latest clothing and gadgets. However, malls in Hispanophone nations are beginning to become popular culinary spots and upscale restaurants are becoming as common as fast food joints and going out to dine in a mall restaurant is common.

Country Focus (Perú)


Peru (Spanish: Perú) is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean.

Peruvian territory was home to the Norte Chico civilization, one of the oldest in the world, and to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty, which included most of its South American colonies. After achieving independence in 1821, Peru has undergone periods of political unrest and fiscal crisis as well as periods of stability and economic upswing.

Peru is a representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions. Its geography varies from the arid plains of the Pacific coast to the peaks of the Andes mountains and the tropical forests of the Amazon Basin. It is a developing country with a moderate Human Development Index score and a poverty level around 34%. Its main economic activities include agriculture, fishing, mining, and manufacturing of products such as textiles and its economy has been rapidly growing over the past decade and is continuing to diversify by political stablity and investment.

The Peruvian population, estimated at 28 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans, Africans and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages. This mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music.

Machu Picchu is considered the "Lost City of the Incas."

The earliest evidence of human presence in Peruvian territory has been dated to approximately 11,000 years BCE. The oldest known complex society in Peru, the Norte Chico civilization, flourished along the coast of the Pacific Ocean between 3000 and 1800 BCE. These early developments were followed by archaeological cultures such as Chavin, Paracas, Mochica, Nazca, Wari, and Chimu. In the 15th century, the Incas emerged as a powerful state which, in the span of a century, formed the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. Andean societies were based on agriculture, using techniques such as irrigation and terracing; camelid husbandry and fishing were also important. Organization relied on reciprocity and redistribution because these societies had no notion of market or money.

Peruvian culture is primarily rooted in Amerindian and Spanish traditions, though it has also been influenced by various African, Asian, and European ethnic groups.


-Official Languages: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara

-Other Languages: Native American language, European languages, Asian languages

-Capital: Lima

-Government: Democracy

-Area: 1,285,216 sq km (496,222 sq mi) (20th)

-Population: 30,814,175 (40th)

The Andes Mountains cut the Peruvian coast from the Amazon Basin.

-Religion: Christianity (Catholic 81%, other Christian 4.1%) 85.1%, Buddhism 2.5%, Traditional beliefs 1.2%, other (Non-religious, Judaism, Shinto, Islam) 11.4%

-Human Development: 0.806 (78th, HIGH)

-Independence: July 28, 1821

-Currency: Nuevo Sol