Days of the Week: Spanish Vocabulary for Students

You may not think about it often, but it is usual to give names of the days for appointments, to tell a story and for many other purposes. They are basic words we use in all types of contexts and these are usually some of the first things you need to know if you are learning a language. In this article that will help you learn Spanish you will see some easy vocabulary that will assist you in the creation of a comprehensive lexicon.

The Days and Their Pronunciation in Spanish

Here is a list of the days of the week, along with some guidelines to help you achieve a correct pronunciation:

  • Lunes = Monday → it sounds like “loo-” and “-nes”, with the stress in the first syllable.
  • Martes = Tuesday → it is pronounced “mar-” and “-tess”, with the stress in the first syllable.
  • Miércoles = Wednesday → this one is a little bit more difficult, since it has the two first syllables pronounced like one. You have to say “mee-” and “-er-” together, then “-co-” and “-less”, being the first syllable the strong one.
  • Jueves = Thursday → it sounds like “hoo-”, “-e-” and “-ves”, with the emphasis on these two connected syllables.
  • Viernes = Friday → another one with two syllables united, together they are pronounced “bee-er-” and then, separated, it is “-ness”. The first one is the strongest.
  • Sábado = Saturday → this one has the stressed syllable first, so you should make it stronger. It is “saa-”, then “-ba-” and “doh”.
  • Domingo = Sunday → it sounds like “doh-”, then “-meen-” and “-go”. The second syllable would be the stressed one.

Some Rules in Spanish

You must know a few things in order to use these terms properly. Here are some great tips you should remember for future occasions:

  • Both days and months are written with capital letters in English. When we use the Spanish words, though, this requirement is only needed after a period or at the beginning of a paragraph (like any other term).
  • Except for the weekend, that is, the last two days of the week (“sábado” and “domingo”, or “fin de semana”), the name of the rest end with the letters “-es”, a short form of the latin word “dies”, which means “days” (or “días” in Spanish).

If you want to know more about this topic, check out this interesting course.

Some Curiosities of the Spanish Vocabulary

As in many other languages, the basic vocabulary comes from different places and proceeds from previous languages. In this case, Latin is one of the main sources of terms, though we also have “galicismos” (words coming from French), “anglicismos” (terms that derive from English) and others. While we can see some German and Nordic influence in the English names for the days, the terms in Spanish mostly come from the ancient Roman culture and its mitology. Next you will see some interesting facts about the days of the week:

  • Lunes” is a derivative from the word “luna”, the moon.
  • Martes” is dedicated to the Roman good “Marte”, who was a great warrior and the god of war.
  • Miércoles” is dedicated to the Roman god “Mercurio”, whose job was to be the messenger of the gods.
  • Jueves” is the day for the Roman god “Júpiter”, the king of all the gods and main figure of the “panteón” (pantheon).
  • Viernes” is the day for the charming Roman goddess “Venus”, representative of love and beauty.
  • Sábado” is the sacred day for Jews, the “Sabbath”, that means “descanso semanal” (weekly rest).
  • Domingo” comes from the sacred day in Christianism, introduced by the Emperor Constantine. He called it “Dominicus dies”, or “dominus”, which Spanish meaning is “día del Señor” (day of the Lord).
  • There was a Greek origin for these names that cannot be seen now in them, since the Romans (“romanos”) decided to rechristen them after their corresponding gods (“dioses”).
  • All the days in this and other languages are based in the seven celestial bodies (“cuerpos celestes”) visible at dawn according to the Hellenic astrology.

Now you can use these names in many occasions with friends and acquaintances to practice your Spanish pronunciation, which will give you the opportunity to improve your knowledge and widen your lexicon. There are other related articles in the Wlingua blog that can be helpful, you can see them all in the online classes.

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