Talking about Easter in your Spanish Leaving Cert Oral (when the orals are after Easter)

Eggquilibrium de Orla De Bri en la Galeria Nacional de Dublín
Eggquilibrium de Orla De Bri en la Galeria Nacional de Dublín

A question I would regard as guaranteed for your Leaving Cert Oral examination is the one about Easter. This year, with the Easter holidays falling before the orals, the question will be a great way for the examiner to test your knowledge of Easter vocabulary as well as your past tenses.

Vocabulario útil:

Semana Santa = Holy Week/Easter week

domingo de Pascua = Easter Sunday

huevos de Pascua = Easter eggs

Conejo/conejito de Pascua = Easter bunny

ir a misa/a la iglesia = to go to mass/to church

el cofrade = religious brotherhood that carries religious images around the city at Easter, particularly famous in Seville.

dejar algo = to give up something

la Cuaresma = Lent

Sample questions and answers:

¿Qué hiciste durante las vacaciones de Semana Santa? = What did you do over the Easter holidays?

Bueno, la verdad es que no pude hacer mucho que no fuera estudiar porque ahora estoy bajo mucha presión con (todos) los exámenes estas dos semanas: español, irlandés/gaélico, música, francés, alemán (whichever oral/practical exams apply to you).

Well, the truth is that I couldn’t do much other than study because I’m under a lot of pressure now with (all) the exams that are on these two weeks: Spanish/Irish/music/French/German. NB Imperfect tense to describe repeated/habitual actions in the past.

Entonces, casi todos los días me levantaba temprano, desayunaba y estudiaba unas tres o cuatro horas. Luego comía algo y salía a dar un paseo o a correr. Es importante descansar de alguna manera durante un día intenso así. Por la tarde, volvía a estudiar unas horas más y luego, en función de cuánto trabajo había hecho, quedaba con amigos para ir al cine/navegaba por Internet/charlaba con mis amigos/veía un poco de tele.

So nearly every day, I got up early, had breakfast and studied for about three or four hours. Then I ate something and went out for a walk or a run. It’s important to take some kind of break during an intense day like this. In the afternoon, I studied again for a few hours more and then, depending on how much work I’d done, I met friends to go to the cinema/surfed the Internet/chatted with my friends/watched a bit of TV.

¿Cómo celebraste Pascua? = How did you celebrate Easter? NB Preterite tense as you are describing a series of single completed actions.

Mi familia y yo fuimos a la iglesia/a misa el domingo de Pascua y cuando volvimos, mi madre/padre/abuela etc preparó una comida magnífica. Vino toda la familia/ vinieron mis tíos y mis primos. Comimos rosbif/cordero asado/cochinillo asado etc. Fue delicioso. Luego comimos huevos de Pascua y nos tumbamos un rato en el sofá para tomar la siesta/ver la tele/ver una película. Me lo pasé muy bien. Estuvo bien tomar un día libre y estar con la familia.

My family and I went to church/mass on Easter Sunday and when we came home, my Mum/Dad/Granny etc prepared a magnificent meal. The whole family came/my uncles & aunts and cousins came. We ate roast beef/roast lamb/roast suckling pig etc. It was delicious. Then we ate Easter eggs and lay on the couch to have a siesta/watch TV/watch a film. I had a good time. It was good to take a day off and be with family. 

Velas de Pascua
Velas de Pascua

¿Qué sueles hacer el domingo de Pascua? = What do you normally do on Easter Sunday? NB Present tense. I use (and have underlined) the verb soler here. It’s radical-changing o>ue, and always followed by the infinitive, and means to usually do something. It’s a great verb to get familiar with.

El domingo de Pascua mi familia y yo solemos ir a la misa y luego celebrar el día con mis abuelos/mis tíos. Algunos años vamos a casa de mis abuelos/tíos y otros nos quedamos en nuestra casa y ellos vienen a nosotros. Comemos algo especial y luego comemos un mogollón de chocolate en forma de huevos de Pascua. Después de eso, necesitamos echar la siesta y luego vemos la tele. Suele ser un día muy relajado, y me gusta.

On Easter Sunday my family and I normally go to mass and then we celebrate the day with my grandparents/with my uncles and aunts. Some years we go to my grandparents’ house/my uncle and aunt’s house and others we stay at home and they come to us. After that, we need a siesta and then we watch TV. It’s usually a really relaxed day and I like it. 

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