Mnemonics for Spanish Vocabulary

I started experimenting with creating mnemonics for Spanish vocabulary with these 25 common words. Does anyone have any feedback, or alternate ideas for these (or other) words?

Spanish English Mnemonic
vez time (as in number of times) Is this the first TIME you’ve broken a VASE?
caso case, occasion In the CASE of rain, the CAUSE OF the leaks will become clear.
año year A GNOcchi has been under the fridge for a YEAR.
país country Who PAYS less rent, people who live in the city or the COUNTRY?
tiempo time, weather Island WEATHER encourages a relaxed sense of TIME and life with a slow TEMPO.
lugar place, position PLACE your LUGGAGEe over there.
día day It was a bad DAY for the MEDIA today.
persona person The actor plays a PERSON with a good PERSONA.
cosa thing This THING is very COSY.
hora hour, time Her AURA was visible for only one HOUR.
hombre man, mankind; husband The MAN stranded on the island can’t survive ON BREAD alone.
trabajo work, job, effort I WORK making TRAVEL BAGS.
parte part, portion What PART or PORTION of the food can I bring to the PARTY?
punto point, dot, period PUNT the ball to that POINT over there.
vida life FEED the plants water to give them LIFE.
mano hand She drew the HAND in MONOCHROME.
momento moment, time What a MOMENT, OH my god!
manera manner, way The children had good MANNERS and sat still when the MENORAH candles were lit.
forma form, shape, way I’d like to make a FORMAL complaint about the SHAPE of the design.
fin end The tail FIN is at the END of the fish.
casa house My HOUSE is in CASABLANCA.
tipo type, kind That TYPE of pool is too DEEP for me?
mundo world The MOON blocked light from reaching the WORLD.
gente people The HEN ran around the PEOPLE.
mujer woman, wife The WOMAN’s WIFE had white hair that looked like milk, so they called it MOO HAIR.

I like what you are doing, but one thing I had to do was reword your sentence so the mnemonic of the Spanish vocabulary word and the English meaning were always in the same order for each sentence. That way I could look at the sentence and figure out the vocabulary word which served as an aide to remember the sentence ultimately hastening memorizing the vocabulary.


Thanks…that’s a great idea!

Here my 2 cents:

I’d skip the ones like “persona” or “forma” because they are almost identical in English and Spanish, and reserve the mnemonics for the ones that need to be derived.

Using a French example for Wednesday = Mercredi: credit Wednesday

Click on the sound button to let the French voice speak the words for you. There is only a slight difference in the pronunciation, so you can now use “sea” and “credit” to reason that you need to get a credit from the bank if you want to buy a house by the sea. (Plus you learnt two new words.)

So much for the French translation itself; and Wednesday understood as “wetness day” then nicely links “mer crédit” back to “wetness” because the “sea” (mer) is “wet”; so it can’t be any other day (the two are now logically connected).

Similar to your reasoning for “pais” in the list but both words here are derived by splitting the original word, so it’s more self-contained in that way, plus the reference back to the English word by means of the “wet sea”.

Hope that example makes sense… that’s what I mean by derived.

I’d also cross-reference false friends or words with different endings that might lead to confusion. For example, “caso”, “casa”, etc. Words with -o (usually being a male ending) and -a (usually being a female ending). Now image a couple arguing:

She tells him that it’s the “case” that he (-o) always goes out with his friends and she (-a) has to stay in the “house” with the kids. This helps distinguish the two similar words by having one combined mnemonic rather than to separate ones.

Or since you already referenced Casablanca and in case you are familiar with the line in the movie “Of All The Gin Joints In All The Towns In All The World, She Walks Into Mine.” It is Rick (-o) stating the “case” that Ilsa (-a) walked into his “house”.

I’d always go for [Concrete images] over concepts or (il-)logical reasoning if it can be avoided. Your example of “fin” fits this nicely and my Wetness-day example above really doesn’t.

The above can be fixed by simply adding a Camel. :wink: They can walk miles without water which is “incroyable” (incredible), you could almost say “mercredi-able” (not a real word), but now I got a picture of the “Mercidiable Camel”… obviously, the camel refers to Wednesday as hump day.

It’d do the same with “lugar” in your list. If you google “Lex Luger” (not “e” instead of “a” in the name) you’ll find a professional wrestler from he 90s. Wrestlers usually put their opponents into a finishing move to end the match. I.e., a “place, position” to finish the match. In the “sounds like” scenario I find that (“Luger”) a bit closer to the original “lugar” than “luggage” and it creates a more unique image than in the list (…to me at least.)

Maybe check also some other languages that have “image logic” built in as a concept. Here for example the Chinese for “female” and “child”, which put together as two characters means “woman” and combined into one character means “good”:女 子 女子 好

You can also google “father” in Hebrew which is a combination of the first two letters of the alphabet; aleph and beth (i.e., A and B). Beth means “house” and aleph is derived from a hieroglyph representing an “ox” (or “strength”), so the “father” is the “strength of the house”.

Long post… so, last one: Mano

I’d argue the standard mnemonic here is “Manuela Soledad Palma”; at least everyone I know uses that. Here a link to the meme:

The meme itself doesn’t really say much more than the mnemonic itself, but the explanation is here when you scroll down the page to “M”:
I’m giving a TMI warning; however, this is very common slang in Spanish:


Great 2 cents. Thanks :slight_smile:

Romance languages are thick with idioms. Without idiom, these languages simply don’t work. Therefore, learn the common idioms. One idiom per day will give you real proficiency.


Another great resource is on They have an entire system for learning the Spanish language through memory palaces. It is really astounding and well done. Furthermore, what is amazing is they offer it for free. I have personally used it and made great progress.