School Supplies Words in Spanish

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

This lesson gives you a list of a few useful school supplies words in Spanish. Also, the lesson contains some practice prompts so you can learn the vocabulary and use it in a practical context.

School Supplies

The list of school supplies words we'll learn in this lesson is very useful, not only in a school context. For instance, a pen is used in any work environment and in other daily settings. Thus, learning this list gives you knowledge you will be able to use in lots of practical contexts. Let's begin with the list first.

Útiles Escolares

Let's begin with Útiles Escolares. These two words mean 'school supplies'. They are pronounced as: ooh-tee-les es-koh-lah-rehs.

The following útiles escolares are the most common in a school setting:

  • la mochila (the backpack, pronounced: la moh-chee-lah)
  • el libro (the book, pronounced: el lee-bro)
  • el cuaderno (the notebook, pronounced: el koo-ah-dehr-noh)
  • el lápiz (the pencil, pronounced: el lah-pees)
  • el bolígrafo (the pen, pronounced: el boh-lee-gra-foh)
  • el borrador (the eraser, pronounced: el bor-rah-dor)
  • el resaltador (the highlighter, pronounced: el reh-sahl-tah-dor)
  • el crayón (crayon, pronounced: el krah-ee-onn)
  • la regla (the ruler, pronounced: la reh-glah)
  • la goma (the glue stick, pronounced: la goh-mah)
  • el estuche de lápices (the pencil case, pronounced: el es-too-cheh deh lah-pee-ses)
  • la calculadora (the calculator, pronounced: la kahl-koo-lah-dor-ah)

Important Notes Regarding School Supplies

These notes are included so you can fully learn the use of the vocabulary in a practical manner.

First, both libro and cuaderno can be followed by the word de (of) and the name of the study subject. For example, a math book would be el libro de matemáticas. Similarly, a Spanish notebook would be el cuaderno de español.

Second, in some Spanish speaking countries, such as Spain and Mexico, people refer to el bolígrafo as la pluma (pronounced: la ploo-mah). The two words are synonyms and people will understand whether you use one or another in any country.

Third, in some countries, instead of saying el crayón, people say el lápiz de color (literally means: the color pencil). These words, as happens with pen, can be used in either country as people will understand both.

The Plural of School Supplies

To begin, the plural of the articles 'el,' 'la' is 'los,' and 'las' (the). As with any other nouns in Spanish, the vocabulary in this lesson is easy to put into plural form. To do so, you add the letter 's' at the end of the respective word that ends in a vowel. For example, the plural of la mochila is las mochilas. It's important to note two rules:

  1. For nouns ending in a consonant (except z) you add the ending 'es' at the end of the respective word. So, el borrador becomes los borradores.
    *While the same rule applies to el crayón, the plural form does not have an accent on the letter 'o.' So, the plural is los crayones.
  2. For nouns ending in the letter 'z,' you change the 'z' for a 'c' and, then, add 'es.' So, el lápiz becomes los lápices.

Practicing the Vocabulary

Here are two practicing tips to help you memorize this new vocabulary. First, you could label your own items with the vocabulary in Spanish. This way, when you use your pen, you see the label el bolígrafo on it, and the visualization helps you memorize the word. You could also say the word aloud to practice pronunciation.

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