Posted by: janecronin | October 14, 2018


For some reason this week I have chosen a verb that has no irregularities and very few derivative words, so I thought we could just look as some examples of how it is used.  That being said, it is a very common verb so it is worth having a look at.

The verb in question is “viajar” to travel.  It is related to our English word “voyage” and contains that lovely throat “j” sound which makes it tricky for some people to pronounce.  As already stated, it is a completely regular “-ar” verb in all its forms and in all tenses, so in that sense it’s a nice easy one to deal with.

Here are some of the words that are related to “viajar”.  Firstly we have “viajero” which means “traveller”, that is in the general sense that most of us become from time to time.  The other kind of traveller, namely a commercial traveller is called a “viajante”.  The word for a “trip” or “journey” is “viaje” and a business trip is a “viaje de negocios”.  You have probably  noticed at some point the exhortation “buen viaje” which means “have a good journey”.  It pops up on car park exit machines amongst other places.

To go on a journey is “ir de viaje” and we can also say “hacer un viaje” (to make a journey) whilst to “set off” on a journey is “emprender un viaje”.  To talk about a short trip, typically just one day out in a coach, we use the word “excursión”.  We still find “agencias de viajes” on high streets, although their role has diminished with the increase in Internet bookings.   We might still use them to organise a “viaje de estudios” (study or school trip) or a “viaje fin de curso” (end of school year trip) which are extremely popular in Spanish schools.   Travel expenses are referred to a “gastos de viaje”.

Since I seem to have run out of things to say about “viajar” here are some related expressions which you might find useful.  Firstly, various means of transport: we can “viajar” en bici (by bike); “en moto” (by motorbike); en coche (by car); “en autobús” (by bus); “en autocar” (by coach); “en barco” (by boat); “en avión”; (by plane) or andando (walking – on foot).  When we travel by train we can choose to go “preferente” (first class) or “turista” (second/standard class).  A one-way ticket is called “ida” (which is derived from the verb “ir”) and a return ticket is “ida y vuelta” (“vuelta” coming from the verb “volver” , to return).

It is very common for Spanish people to travel within their own country, as opposed to the British tendency to leap on a plane and escape to warmer climes.  During shorter breaks such as long weekends, Christmas and Easter, there are massive exoduses from the big cities to the coast, as those of you who live near the Mediterranean will be only too aware.

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