Stories to learn Spanish


FANTASMAS DEL PASADO is a short story specially written for students with an intermediate level of Spanish. It will help you learn, revise and consolidate the vocabulary and grammar of level B1.

Reading short stories like FANTASMAS DEL PASADO is one of the most effective and pleasant ways to learn a Foreign Language. By reading, you can learn vocabulary and grammar structures in context, without memorising lists of isolated words or studying endless grammar rules.


This story was originally released as a series of short videos for the online Spanish course HABLAR DEL PASADO. The main purpose of the videos, which feature live narration of the story, was to show the use of the past tenses in context. The story appeared in the course with the original title of Juan y María: una historia del pasado.


Reviews:Robin Williams wrote:

It’s difficult to find this type of reading material when you are first learning Spanish and wanting to try your hand at reading the language. This book is geared toward the intermediate level Spanish language student and I found it extremely interesting and helpful. The fact it covered all forms of past tense really helped me solidify my understanding of the conjugation. The story line was so interesting that I wanted to read every night. I found many words I didn’t know, and it introduced me to Spanish phrases which, in an English context, would make no sense, but the professor highlights these phrases that translate as “nonsense” to English speakers, and he gives a definition page at the end of every chapter. I’m looking forward to reading another of his books. But I plan to reread this book first because I listed the words I didn’t know, have reviewed them a few times, and hope to have them embedded in my head and reinforced with the second reading. It is a great way to refresh your memory of vocabulary you have learned from his books.

Amazon Costumer wrote:

This was the first book that I have read start to finish in Spanish. I like Juan’s style, and it’s clear that he knows how to teach based on organization of book. He recommends not to look up word definitions as you are reading as it improves learning and building up that skill. It’s a great recommendation but the book is filled with very practical vocabulary and much of it repeated or highlighted.
I listen to a lot of podcasts while I walk but I’m starting to realize that I have been missing the reading element and this is a good place to start. Forget about the plot as it’s not important but rather the uses of past tenses, subjunctive, past subjunctive, etc. My level is intermediate to advance intermedio but willing to guess beginners and more advanced would get a lot out of this.

Jambro wrote:

First of all, thanks to Juan Fernández for another novel focused on teaching Spanish. This book has a fairly interesting story line. Sr. Fernández has a focus as much on instruction as entertainment but it is interesting enough to keep you reading. Each chapter is heavily laden with recaps of previous chapters, which I found a little irritating but I understand why it is there. If you want something to read that will expand your vocabulary and natural use of grammar, this is a good one. He uses much repetition of new words and phrases and includes a summary of these at the end of each chapter. This is my 3rd Fernández book to read and I must say I am eager for more at advanced levels. Four stars are for good didactic content rolled into a story.

Kindle Customer wrote:

Although I speak Spanish at a slightly higher level than its book, it was perfect for me. First the plot was interesting enough that I wanted to keep reading.

Secondly, the "repetition" which some complained about was reassuring and reinforcing. Just a pretend example, is it darse cuanto de or cuenta de? By the time you finish you've got it.

Kristina wrote:

I loved this book. I recommend starting it when your whole day or evening is free, because it's a page-turner, and as it's not that long, it's perfect for binge-reading the whole thing in one sitting. It is especially important to read this book if you are aware of the objective fact that Juan is the best Spanish teacher in the world, because that enhances the experience. But even if you aren't familiar with the author, you will still enjoy this book, especially if you enjoy learning really useful expressions and grammatical structures that model the way real people actually speak (as opposed to the very dry and formal vocabulary you may have learned in Spanish class.)

Amazon Customer wrote:

An excellent book for someone learning Spanish, I have just started B1 Spanish and I found the book challenging without being to difficult, I love the story, and seeing the spanish structure and natural phrases have really helped me learn some new things too.

Mrs. K. Scott wrote:

Great story that flows with recap of new phrases or words at the end of each chapter. Brilliant learning material for anyone trying to build up vocabulary and practise grammar. Highly recommended :-)

Mr David Frank wrote:

I really enjoyed this book. It uses various forms of the past tense, and the story is recapped regularly as a means of consolidating the reader's kmowledge. The story is gripping enough, with an ending which promises a sequel. I will be buying more of these.