School Objects and Situations in Spanish

Schools are great places of learning, but for any proper learning to take place, there needs to be good communication. The phrases and vocabulary below should help you communicate in Spanish in all kinds of school-related situations.

classroom classroom
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In the Classroom

A lot of what happens in school happens in the classroom, so let's start with some words and phrases that will help you communicate in this context.

Classroom Vocabulary

What are some things you might find if you look around a classroom? You'll probably find many of the following:

  • La clase/El aula - Classroom
  • La pizarra/El pizarrón - Blackboard/Whiteboard
  • La tiza - Chalk
  • El marcador - Marker
  • El borrador - Eraser (for blackboards)
  • El escritorio/El pupitre - Desk
  • La silla/El banco - Chair
  • La mochila/El morral - Backpack
  • El libro - Book
  • El cuaderno - Notebook
  • El papel - Paper
  • El lápiz - Pencil
  • Los lápices de colores - Coloring pencils
  • El sacapuntas - Pencil sharpener
  • El bolígrafo - Pen
  • La goma - Eraser (rubber in British English)
  • La tijera - Scissors
  • La cola/El pegamento - Glue
  • La regla - Ruler
  • La grapadora/engrapadora - Stapler
  • El estuche/La cartuchera - Pencil case

Classroom activities

So now you know how to name most of the things around you, but you might be wondering about some common learning activities. Here are some common classroom activities in Spanish:

  • Estudiar - To study
  • Repasar - To revise
  • Aprender - To learn
  • Saber - To know
  • Hacer los deberes/Hacer la tarea - To do homework
  • Leer - To read
  • Escribir - To write
  • Hablar - To speak
  • Preguntar - To ask
  • Charlar - To chat
  • Dictar - To dictate
  • Deletrear - To spell
  • Faltar (a clase) - To miss (school)
  • Aprobar (una materia/una prueba) - To pass (a subject/a test)
  • Reprobar (una materia/una prueba) - To fail (a subject/a test)
  • Prestar - To lend
  • Tomar prestado - To borrow
  • Traer - To bring

Common Phrases for the Classroom

It's time to start putting what you've learned together into sentences. Here are some things you might say or hear in a classroom:

  • ¿Qué significa X? - What does X mean?
  • Saquen sus cuadernos y sus lápices. - Take out your notebooks and your pencils.
  • Abran sus libros en la página 20. - Open your books to page 20.
  • ¿Quién sabe... (quién descubrió América)? - Who knows... (who discovered America)?
  • ¿Hiciste tus deberes? - Did you do your homework?
  • ¿Entendiste? - Did you understand?
  • ¿Necesitas que lo repita? - Do you need me to repeat that?
  • Por favor, presta atención. - Please, pay attention.
  • Para la próxima clase, traigan un cuaderno. - Next class, bring a notebook.
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Outside the Classroom

Classrooms might be the heart of a school, but not everything happens in them, so you'll want to expand your Spanish vocabulary with the following words and phrases.

Places in a School

Let's start by looking at the different places in a school:

  • La escuela/El colegio - School
  • El gimnasio - Gym
  • El patio - Playground
  • El baño - Restroom
  • El pasillo - Hallway
  • La biblioteca - Library
  • La oficina (del director) - (The principal's) office
  • La sala de profesores – Staff room
  • El comedor - Cafeteria
  • La cocina - Kitchen
  • La enfermería - Infirmary
  • El laboratorio - Lab

People in a School

You can also learn the Spanish names for the different people you might find in a school:

  • Maestro/a - Teacher (Primary school)
  • Profesor/a - Teacher (Secondary school)
  • Entrenador/a - Coach
  • Enfermero/a - Nurse
  • Director/a - Principal
  • Alumno/a - Student
  • Estudiante - Student
  • Padres - Parents
  • Padre - Father
  • Madre - Mother

Some More School-Related Vocabulary

A definitive list of school-related vocabulary in Spanish would be impossible, but there are a few more terms to go over that you probably need:

  • El almuerzo - Lunch
  • El recreo - Recess
  • Las vacaciones - Vacations
  • La comida - Food
  • El casillero - Locker
  • La materia - Subject
  • La matemática - Math
  • La biología - Biology
  • La química - Chemistry
  • La física - Physics
  • La educación física - Physical Education
  • La historia - History
  • La literatura - Literature
  • La prueba - Test
  • El examen - Exam
  • La nota/La calificación - Grade
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School Conversations

You now know quite a bit of vocabulary, so it is time to look at some phrases you could use during different conversations at school.

Talking to students

  • ¡Hiciste un muy buen trabajo! - You did a very good job!
  • ¡Felicitaciones! Haz mejorado mucho. - Congratulations! You've improved a lot.
  • Debes prestar más atención en clase. - You need to pay more attention in class.
  • Debes estudiar más. - You need to study more.

Talking to parents

  • Su hijo/a trabaja muy bien en clase. - Your son/daughter does a good job in class.
  • Los felicito, su hijo/a es muy buen/a estudiante. - Congratulations, your son/daughter is a very good student.
  • Su hijo/a no hizo los deberes. - Your son/daughter did not complete his/her homework.
  • Su hijo/a no participa en clase. - Your son/daughter doesn't participate in class.
  • Su hijo/a reprobó el examen. - Your son/daughter failed the test.

To complement the vocabulary you've learned, you might want to brush up on some other basics, like the numbers and colors in Spanish. Armed with this new knowledge, you should have no trouble communicating with teachers, students and parents alike!