Here are the answers to the Spanish 3 passwords post and some of the thinking behind them.

My Spanish 3 students, who are very sharp, mostly said that it was easy to remember these passwords and everything about them. Proud of those kids.

For more password ideas, plus cultural/historical context and explanations as to WHY passwords word and especially HOW to use them most effectively, see my book, “What’s the Password”, published by Teacher’s Discovery:


  1. “Little by little one goes far.”                     “Poco a poco se va lejos.”   This is the moral to the Aesop fable that we use in level 3. It is available here:
  2. I was born the (#) of (month) of the year (#).   Nací el cuatro de julio de mil setecientos setenta y seis.  Some students, even at this level, are slow with their numbers. This  password re-emphasizes numbers and the date early in the year.
  3. “Zamora was not won in an hour.”                      No se ganó Zamora en una hora. A short lesson on Spanish history and a 10 question quiz accompanied this one.
  4. What English saying conveys a similar message?   Rome wasn’t built in a day.  This shows that similar ideas can be conveyed with different words and that history and culture are often embedded in sayings that we take for granted.
  5. I forgot! / It forgot me!                    ¡Se me olvidó!
  6. It left me. / It went away from me.       ¡Se me fue!

           I hope that…                                 Write 3 sentences with this phrase:

  1. ¡Ojalá que…
  2. Students said a different sentence with this phrase each day they entered the class during the week to personalize it
  3. Each answer also required a subjunctive.

           I don’t believe that…                Write 3 sentences with this phrase:

  1. No creo que…
  2. Students said a different sentence with this phrase each day they entered the class during the week to personalize it
  3. Each answer also required a subjunctive.
  4. “Whoever gets up early, God helps.”                                          

          “A quien madruga, Dios le ayuda.”

  1. Said and done!                     ¡Dicho y hecho!    Handy saying, plus a reminder of irregular past participles of two common verbs.
  2. “From the said to the done, there is a great distance.”                          

           “Del dicho al hecho, hay mucho/gran trecho.”

  1. “Speaking of the king of Rome, and through the door he appears/shows up/peeps.”                                            

           “Hablando del Rey de Roma, y por la puerta asoma.”

  1. What is the historical relevance of this phrase?

The Iberian Peninsula was part of the Roman Empire. Two Roman emperors came from Spain, as did the Stoic philosopher, Seneca.

  1. “Time is gold.”                     “El tiempo es oro.”
  2. “A powerful gentleman is Sir Money.”   “Poderoso caballero es Don Dinero.”   
  3. Where does this phrase come from?                     It comes from the poem by the same name by prominent 17th century Spanish poet Francisco de Quevedo. This insightful and impactful poem talks about the power of money. Each stanza ends with this line.
  4. “When I had money, they called me Don Thomas…

           “Cuando yo tenía dinero me llamaban Don Tomás. 

  1. …now that I don’t have it, they call me Thomas, nothing more.”

Ahora que no lo tengo, me llaman Tomás, no más.”

  1. am so glad! / That makes me so happy!                    ¡Cuánto me alegro!  This password is in honor of my late college professor and mentor, Dr. Lynn Sandstedt, of the University of Northern Colorado (co-founder and president of three professional organizations: CCFLT, SWCOLT and ACTFL) who used this expression frequently. My undying gratitude and respect, profe.
  2. “Computers are useless. They can only give us answers.”

           “Los ordenadores son inútiles. Solo nos dan respuestas.”

  1. Who said it ?  Pablo Picasso, who predicted the irony and inanity of the Google Age, where we can look up any answer and think we understand, but do not comprehend at a deep enough level to ask more and better questions.
  2. Don’t bother me! / Quit bugging me!                        ¡No me molestes!  I offer this as a defense aid to my students that will be traveling when confronted by aggressive street vendors and Latin lovers.
  3. “If at the beginning you do not show who you are,

           you will never be able to afterwards when you want to.”

            Si al principio no muestres quien eres,

            Nunca podrás después cuando quisieres.

  1. Where does this ↑ phrase come from?  This quote comes from a classic story in Spanish culture: El Conde Lucanor, Cuento XXXV: Lo que sucedió a un mancebo que casó con una muchacha muy rebelde (Count Lucanor, Story 35: What Happened to a Young Man that Married a Very Rebellious Girl), by Don Juan Manuel (1282-1348).
  2. “There where you may go [in the future], do that which you may see [in the future].”

            “Allí donde fueres, haz lo que vieres.”

  1. “Who laughs last, laughs best.“                                                 “Quien se ríe último, se ríe mejor. 
  2. “There is no bad that through good might not come.”      “No hay mal que por bien no venga.”
  3. “Only an idiot can be totally happy.”                                        “Solo un idiota puede ser totalmente feliz.”
  4. Who said it?                     Mario Vargas Llosa, autor peruano
  5. Rapidly run the cars, the cars of the railroad.

            Rápido corren los carros, los carros del ferrocarril.

  1. That’s exactly right! / Literally: “That, yes, that is it!”            ¡Eso sí que es!
  2. As little cocoa I eat, little cocoa I buy.    Como poco coco como, poco coco compro.
  3. Three sad tigers, threshed wheat in a wheat field.

          Tres tristes tigres trillaron trigo en un trigal.

It bothers me when…                                   Write 3 sentences with this phrase:

  1. _Me molesta cuando…
  2. _
  3. _
  4. “In a closed mouth, flies do not enter.”

           “En boca cerrada, no entran moscas.”

  1. “Better a bird in the hand, than one hundred flying.”

          “Mejor pájaro en la mano que cien volando.”

  1. “Although the monkey dresses in silk, a monkey it remains.”

          “Aunque la mina se viste de seda, mona se queda.”

I didn’t realize that…                                     Write 3 sentences with this phrase:

  1.  No me di cuenta que…
  2. _
  3. _
  4. “To bad weather/time, good face.”                     “A mal tiempo, buena cara.”