Vocabulary Category Quiz: Spanish Edition


By: Laura DeFazio

6 Min Quiz

Image: Unsplash by Jon Tyson

About This Quiz

Spanish is one of the most useful languages you can learn! With 460 million speakers, it's the second-most spoken language in the world (after Mandarin Chinese.) Most of these speakers live outside of Spain; you probably know that Central and South America are predominantly Spanish-speaking. You probably also know that there are many "hispanohablantes" in the U.S. But did you know quite how many? 

In 2015, Instituto Cervantes conducted a frequently cited study and reported that the U.S. was home to 41 million native Spanish speakers (who may or may not have learned English later in life), plus 11.6 bilingual English/Spanish speakers (primarily the children of immigrants.) That's a total of 52.6 million, meaning that the U.S. is home to the second-most Spanish speakers in the world! Only Mexico, our neighbor to the south, boasts more.

So whether you're digging into the language for the first time or brushing up on what you learned in high school, it never hurts to add to your Spanish vocabulary and keep it sharp through regular use. This quiz will test your know-how in various categories that tend to come up in basic conversations or travel situations, categories like greetings and salutations, the weather, restaurants, transportation, sports, the arts and more. See how well you can keep up! ¡Buena suerte!

And the category is ... clothing! Which one of these words is a good fit?

"La camisa" is Spanish for "shirt." Well, technically, "the shirt." This is a feminine word, so we use "la" for "the." "La gente," "el perro" and "la luna" mean "the people," "the dog" and "the moon," respectively.


One of these Spanish words is a delicious type of meal. Can you sniff it out?

"Cazuela" is the Spanish word for casserole. "Abuela," though she might cook a delicious meal, is certainly not one herself — the word means "grandmother." Likewise, "consuela" (comfort) is not a meal, but you might derive it from one. "Tarántula" (tarantula) is one of the furthest things from a delicious meal we can think of.


Which of these Spanish words is school-related?

"Prueba" is a Spanish term for quiz or test. It comes from the verb "probar," which means "to check." "El martillo," "la ambulancia" and "las actrices" translate to "hammer," "ambulance" and "actresses," respectively.


And the word is ... "mariposa"! Do you know which category it belongs in?

"Mariposa" is Spanish for "butterfly." Some other insects include "moscas" (flies), "hormigas" (ants), "abejas" (bees), "orugas" (caterpillars), "lombrices" (earthworms) "mariquitas" (ladybugs) and "cucarachas" (cockroaches ... and also a dance.)


Can you identify the word that best fits the category "jobs"?

An "enfermera" is a nurse. The masculine form would be "enfermero." A "manzana" is an apple, a "reloj" is a clock or watch and a "chismoso" is a gossip. (We don't really consider this a "job," although certain people do take it seriously.)


Which of these words is a Spanish month-name?

"Enero" is the Spanish word for January. The other months, in order, are febrero, marzo, abril, mayo, junio, julio, agosto, septiembre, octubre, noviembre and diciembre. Unlike in English, the months aren't capitalized unless they come at the beginning of a sentence.


Ah, the old 9-to-5 grind ... (Unless you're in Spain and take a three hour siesta ...) Which of these Spanish words best relates to office work?

"Escritorio" is the Spanish word for "desk." If you work in an office, you probably sit at one. "Enviar" is the verb "to send." "Fuego" means "fire" (like the hot kind, not the kind where you lose your job), and "fumar" means "to smoke," which is a bit of a stretch in terms of office work, although your office work certainly might drive you to do more of it.


The word is "trece." Do you know which category it belongs in?

That's right, "trece" is a number: thirteen. Spelling out Spanish numbers can be tricky for those new to the language. Here are numbers 0-12: cero, uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diez, once and doce.


The category is ... sports! Are you on the ball enough to pick the right word?

"El baloncesto" is the Spanish term for basketball. "Un tenedor" is a fork and "un libro" is a book. The verb "tocar" means "to touch" or "to play." In Spanish, this verb is used when talking about playing instruments (for example, "tocar la guitarra"), but when it comes to sports, it's "jugar al baloncesto."


Do you know which of the following is a season name in Spanish?

"Invierno" is the Spanish word for "winter." The other seasons are otoño (fall), primavera (spring) and verano (summer). The word "veneno" means "venom," a "granja" is a farm and a "bruja" is a witch.


This word relates to construction. See if you can hit the nail on the head ...

"El destornillador" ... aka, the screwdriver. This is definitely the answer choice that best pertains to construction, as the other options mean, respectively, shark, waiter and earthworm.


Clear skies ahead! Which of these words relates to weather?

"La nieve" is Spanish for "the snow." The verb "to snow" is "nevar" and the verb "to rain" is "llover." In terms of the other options, they mean "pen" (bolígrafo), "spoon" (cuchara) and "wood" (madera).


The word is "barco." Can you tell which of these categories it fits best?

"El barco" means "the boat." Some other types of transportation include "el tren" (the train), "el coche" (the car), "el avión" (the airplane), "el autobús" (the bus) and "la bicicleta" (the bicycle). The verb "to walk" is "andar" or "caminar."


Hello, good day, how are you doing? The category is "greetings and salutations"! Can you identify the best fit?

"Ciao" is a casual term used frequently in many Spanish-speaking countries to say goodbye amongst friends and family. The word originally comes from Italy. "Tira" is a conjugated form of the verb "tirar" (to throw), "rato" is a small amount of time and an "oso" is a bear.


Attention class, the category is "school." Can you pick the Spanish vocabulary word that best relates?

The correct answer is "profesora" (or "profesor," in the masculine form). All of these answer options could also fall into the "Jobs" category; the others mean "firefighter," "boss" and "chef," respectively. They're all in the feminine form above; in the masculine form they become "bombero," "jefe" and "cocinero."


This word is a type of clothing. Can you identify it?

This one, as you might have guessed, means "pants." If you wanted to say "shorts," you'd say, "pantalones cortos" (literally, "short pants.") The first answer option, "bebidas," means "beverages." "Hombres" are men, and "luces" are lights.


Do you know which of the following Spanish words is the name of a musical instrument?

You could probably figure this one out, even if you didn't know it already. The "saxofón" is indeed the saxophone. Some other pretty self-explanatory instruments are "clarinete," "guitarra" and "piano."


Let's see who "nose" their anatomy. Which of the following is a body part?

"La oreja" in Spanish is "ear." "Un abogado" is a lawyer or attorney. "Una orilla" is a bank, as in the bank of a river. "Algodón" is the Spanish word for cotton, which derives from an Arabic root.


If we gave you the word "arból," would you be able to tell which category it fits under best?

"Arból" is the Spanish word for tree. Some other handy nature words include "flor" (flower), "aves" (birds), "plantas" (plants), "montañas" (mountains), "el mar" (the sea), "suelo" (soil) and the word for nature itself, "naturaleza."


One of the following activities relates to the category "leisure." Do you know which?

"Jugar al ajedrez" (to play chess) is definitely the pick of the litter here in terms of leisure activities. The other responses, in order of appearance, are: "to sit in a chair," "to follow a hunch" and "to lie to the baker."


The category is "religion." Praytell, do you know the answer?

The word that best fits is the first, the Spanish term for "mosque." The word for mosquito in Spanish is the same as it is in English. The word "mestizo" was used historically in the New World to denote someone of mixed European and indigenous ancestry. A matador is a Spanish bullfighter.


Alright, the word's "domingo" ... Do you know which category fits?

That's right, this is a day of week: Sunday. In Spanish, the days of the week aren't capitalized. The others, beginning with Monday, are lunes, martes, miércoles, jueves, viernes and sábado.


You might have heard the phrase "¡Hasta luego!" before. Do you know which category it relates best to?

In Spanish, this means, "See you later!" (Literally, "until later.") It's a common way to bid somebody goodbye. As you may have noticed, Spanish sentences that end in exclamation points also include an upside-down one at the beginning. The same goes for question marks.


The word is "abuelo." Can you pick the category it best pertains to?

"Abuelo" is how the Spanish say "grandfather." Grandmother is "abuela." Some other Spanish family members are tía and tío (aunt and uncle), hermano and hermana (brother and sister) and primo/a (male cousin/female cousin.) The word for "friend" is amigo/a.


Do you know which of the following Spanish words is a type of building?

"Casa" is an oft-used Spanish word; it means "house." The other answer options mean "bike," "goodbye" and "computer," respectively. Some other buildings include iglésia (church), tienda (shop), biblioteca (library) and rascacielos (skyscraper).


Hey Siri, which of these words relates to new technology?

Many words pertaining to new technology in Spanish are borrowed from English. ("New" words as in smartphone-new, not rocketship-new ...) You could also say "teléfono inteligente." "Césped" means "lawn" or "grass" and a "granjero" is a farmer. Neither of which are the newest of inventions ...


Can you identify the Spanish word that relates to weather or climate?

"El sol" is Spanish for "the sun." If you wanted to say, "It's sunny out," you'd say, "Hace sol." In order, the other options mean "street," "shoe" and, as you might have guessed, "hamburger."


The category is ... the arts. Which of the following vocabulary words makes the cut?

"Cantante" means "singer" and works as both a masculine and feminine noun. The other choices, respectively, mean "accountant," "runner" and "cowboy." Well, a lot of cowboys were certainly showmen, but we think "cantante" still works best. Those are all the masculine forms; the feminine versions are "contadora," "corredora" and "caballera."


"La Navidad" ... do you know which category fits this best?

Ho ho ho ... "la Navidad" is Spanish for "Christmas." Some other holidays include la Pascua (Easter), el Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), el Año Nuevo (New Year) and Cinco de Mayo. Hopefully, you don't need that one translated.


Call the movers! Do you know which of the following is a type of furniture?

"Una mesa" is a table. Some other furniture items you might need are "una silla" (a chair), "una cama" (a bed) and una sofá (a sofa). In terms of the other answer options, "botella" means "bottle," "boleto" means "ticket" and "bolero" refers to a genre of Latin music and the dance that goes with it.


Which of the following should you pack into your travel vocabulary first?

As you might have guessed, "hotel" means the same thing in Spanish as it does in English. You might not be staying at one every trip you take, but on average, it's a little more relevant to "travel" than chocolate (chocolate), cactus (cactus) or industrial (industrial).


Here, Fido! Which of the following makes a good pet?

Given the other options, a "pez de colores" (goldfish) is probably your best bet in terms of pets, unless you want to be responsible for taking care of a Siberian tiger (Siberian tiger), hombre-lobo (werewolf) or hombre loco (crazy man).


Which of the following belongs in your arsenal of military vocabulary words?

"La guerra" means "the war" and is undoubtedly one of the first words one needs to know in relation to military affairs. "Un payaso" is a clown, "una nariz" is a nose and "el jamón" is ham.


"Wool" see who can answer this one ... Do you know which of the following is a type of fabric or typical clothing material?

"Lana" is the Spanish word for wool. A "llama" is a llama, which isn't itself a clothing material, although you can make a wool of sorts from its fur. "Llama" is also a conjugated form of the verb "llamar," or to call. "Hierro" is iron, and while you could perhaps still find chainmail somewhere, it's certainly not a "typical" clothing material. "Mantequilla" is butter. Good luck with that.


Order up! Which of the following terms would be the most useful for going to a restaurant?

The first three choices (baseball bat, tax evasion and a mummy) don't seem likely to be particularly helpful in any sort of dining scenario we can think of. (Although, who knows ...) "Por favor," however, is first on the list to learn. Nobody should be ordering anything from anybody if they can't say "please" ...


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