My local area in Spanish - AQA Vocabulary - describing the local area
Practise your language skills and learn how to give directions, describe the weather and talk about different places in towns or neighbourhoods.
Vocabulary - describing the local area
You may live in a busy neighbourhood in a large city or a quiet village in the countryside. Whether an urban or rural area, it's important to be able to describe where you live and compare it with other places.
Here are some key words to start talking about the area where you live:
The most useful verb for talking about your local area is vivir (to live). As well as the present and future , make sure you can use it in the imperfect tense to say where you used to live:
To say what there is in your local area, use hay (there is/there are). Here are some things that you might find:
Fill in the gaps with the correct word from the list:
Vivo en un __________ tranquilo en las __________ de la ciudad. En mi pueblo hay una __________ y una oficina de Correos. En el centro de la ______________ hay una plaza muy grande con muchos restaurantes y cafeterías. Para divertirse, hay una bolera, dos _________ y un cine. Me gusta vivir en mi pueblo, pero preferiría vivir más cerca del __________.
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Vivo en un zona tranquila en las afueras de la ciudad. En mi pueblo hay una biblioteca y una oficina de Correos. En el centro de la ciudad hay una plaza muy grande con muchos restaurantes y cafeterías. Para divertirse, hay una bolera, dos teatros y un cine. Me gusta vivir en mi pueblo, pero preferiría vivir más cerca del centro .
I live in a quiet area on the outskirts of the city. In my village, there is a library and a post office. In the centre of the city , there is a very big square with restaurants and cafés. For enjoyment, there is a bowling alley, two theatres and a cinema. I like living in my village, but I would prefer to live closer to the centre .
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Talk About My City In Spanish
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My city in Spanish
¿Cómo es tu ciudad? or What’s your city like? is a common question people may ask you if you are visiting a Spanish speaking country or if you are learning the language. Talking about tu ciudad or your city is important since it is also a good icebreaker.
In order to describe your city, you need to learn some adjectives to describe where you live, some places in your city or how to give directions. No matter where you live, you need to learn basic vocabulary to tell others about your town.
First of all, you need to understand the questions a Spanish speaker may ask you to describe your city. ¿Cómo es….? or What’s…..like? is the most common information question to start talking about tu ciudad or your city or tu pueblo or your town. In any of these questions the main verb is the verb to be or es , the 3rd person singular of the verb ser .
¿Cómo es tu ciudad? = What’s your city like?
¿Cómo es tu pueblo? = What’s your town like?
¿Cómo es el lugar donde vives? = What’s the place where you live like?
¿Dónde queda tu ciudad? = Where is your city?
Describing the local area
In order to answer the question ¿Cómo es tu ciudad? , you need to learn some basic adjectives in the Spanish language. Once you have learnt a few of them, remember the word order in the Spanish language. First, you mention if you live in a ciudad or city, the campo or countryside, a pueblo or town.
Then, you add the adjective. The word order in the spanish language is indefinite article + noun + adjective: Una ciudad hermosa or A beautiful city.
Vivo en un barrio ajetreado  = I live in a busy city
Vivo en una ciudad grande = I live in a large city
Vivo en un pueblo tranquilo en el campo = I live in a quiet village in the countryside
Vivo en un área urbana = I live in a urban area
Adjectives to describe your city
Mi ciudad es bonita/pintoresca = my city is nice/picturesque.
Mi ciudad es grande/ pequeña = My city is big/small
Mi ciudad es tranquila/ruidosa = My city is calm/noisy
Mi ciudad es limpia/sucia = My city is dirty/clean
Talking about Locations in City
The verb to be in the spanish language has two meanings: ser and estar . In order to talk about locations you simply use the second meaning. You say Mi ciudad está al norte de Barcelona meaning My city is in the north of Barcelona. The verb está matches the 3rd person singular.
In order to describe a city using adjectives, you use the other meaning: ser which you conjugate in the 3rd persona singular.
Mi ciudad está al norte/sur/este/oeste de Barcelona  = My city is in the north/south/east/west of Barcelona
Mi ciudad está en el interior de Venezuela = My city is in the inland of Venezuela
Mi ciudad está lejos de la capital = My city is far from the capital city
Mi ciudad está a 50 kilómetros de la costa = My city is 50 kilometres from the coast
Describing features of your city
You can also use the verb tener or to have to describe some features in your city such as monuments, rivers, a coast, among others. The verb tiene matches the 3rd person singular. You simply say Mi ciudad tiene…. or my city has…..
Mi ciudad tiene muchos/pocos habitantes  = My city has a big/small population
Mi ciudad tiene un río importante = My city has an important river
Mi ciudad tiene muchas tradiciones = My city has many traditions
Mi ciudad tiene monumentos antiguos = My city has old monuments
Talking about places of reference in a city
In order to say where some significant places are you use the verb estar or quedar which literally means to be or to stay/remain. You need to use the 3rd person singular of both verbs: está and queda . Both verbs are used interchangeably and referrers where a particular place is located.
La farmacia está junto al hospital  = The drugstore is next to the hospital
La farmacia queda junta al hospital  = The drugstore is next to the hospital
Hay una farmacia junto al hospital  = there’s a drugstore next to the hospital.
¿Dónde queda el hospital? = Where is the hospital?
Related Lessons in Beginner Course, to further your understanding.
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Describing your home town and local area in spanish.
I then asked my students to produce a short movie like the one above about their local area. All of them did a fantastic job and here are some examples:
We watched all their videos in class and students gave feedback based on the IGCSE criteria for speaking . I was very pleased because they assessed the language and pronunciation accurately. For example, one student noticed that on the first video the student said “ muchos estudiantes ir allí ” instead of “ muchos estudiantes van allí “. Another student also noticed that “ allí ” was not pronounced correctly. Students were practicing they listening skills as well as peer assessing. And I am now planning to have grade 10 watch these videos as a revision tool.
It was a simple idea really! But my students liked to create the video although it was for homework and they enjoyed watching the end products all together in class. I think they were proud of their work and they were glad they could use technology instead of pen and paper!
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GCSE Spanish Writing Higher - 150 words examples
Age range: 14-16
Resource type: Lesson (complete)
28 March 2023
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