Warnings against heatHeat is whipping Europe. This first half of summer 2018 is breaking all records. Maybe we’re used to deal with it in Spain, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t need to follow some advertencias (warnings).

Every year, some kids and old people die because of golpes de calor (heat strokes), ahogarse (getting drowned) or other accidents in swimming-pools, the sea or rivers.

Today, we are going to learn some structures that we use to express warnings in a colloquial way in Spanish.

Firstly, we need to differentiate the purpose of that warning. If the speaker wants to provide an information of interest, then, we’ll use the indicative in the subordinative clause. On the other hand, if the intention is to influence the other person, we’ll use the subjunctive mode. However, we can warn in general, not a specific person. In that case, we’ll use infinitive or a noun.

1. Ojo con…

It’s very used by parents at the beach.

  • ¡Ojo con el sol! (keep an eye out for the sun).
  • ¡Ojo con tomar el sol demasiado! (be careful with sunbathing too much).
  • ¡Ojo con que tomes el sol todo el día! (be careful with sunbathing all day).

2. Cuidado con…

It’s maybe less informal, but very used too.

  • ¡Cuidado con el mar! (be careful with the sea).
  • ¡Cuidado con nadar en lo profundo! (be careful with swimming in the deep water).
  • ¡Cuidado con que nadéis muy lejos! (Carefull! Don’t swimm very far from here!).

3. Te aviso de…

It’s a little more formal

  • ¡Te aviso de la deshidratación! (I warn you about the dehydration).
  • ¡Te aviso de que es bueno beber! (I warn you that it’s good to drink).
  • ¡Te aviso de que no pases mucho tiempo sin beber! (I warn you not to spend too much time without drinking).

4. A ver si…

In this case, we have a conditional clause introduced by si. It requires the present indicative tense after it.

  • ¡A ver si descansas un poco! (Let’s see if you rest a little).
  • ¡A ver si no sales de casa! Hace mucho calor (Let’s see if you don’t go out. It’s very hot).

5. Atento a…

In this case, we have a conditional clause introduced by si. It requires the present indicative tense after it.

  • ¡Atento a las medusas! (Look out for jellyfishes).
  • ¡Atento a que nadie toque las medusas! (Look out for nobody to touch jellyfishes).
  • ¡Atento a nadar cerca de las medusas! (Look out for swimming close to jellyfishes).

At www.spanishviaskype.com, we don’t like to warn our students, although we have a popular old saying in Spanish: el que avisa no es traidor (forewarned is forearmed, or, literally, the one who warns, is not a traitor). Let us, not warn you, but advise you that if you try a free trial lesson via Skype here, you will not regret, and we will not be a traitor.