FRIDAY CANCIÓN: Manos al Aire by Nelly Furtado

Hola mis amigos.  ¡Es viernes!

Welcome to today’s Friday Canción.  Today’s song is a more upbeat one, even if it’s about a love gone wrong.  Let’s dive into Manos al Aire by Nelly Furtado.


Nelly Furtado is a Canadian singer and songwriter who is the daughter of Portuguese parents.  Her success in the music industry is evidenced by Grammy wins (both traditional and Latin).  While most of her songs are in English, Manos al Aire is from her debut Spanish album.  It was the first original Spanish song by a North American to become a number one on the Latin Billboard chart.  I liked her hit song, I’m Like a Bird ever since it was released in 2001.  I’ve only just come across Manos Al Aire and can now add it to my long list of favourites. The music video for this song was filmed in June 2009 in Toronto and premiered on July 29, 2009.


Here are the letras for you to follow along.

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Here’s the song with English subtitles.


Using Manos al Aire as a teaching or learning tool

Other than in verse two, this one isn’t sung too quickly.  The lyrics are clear and the grammar is fairly simple as well, although it makes use of several tenses.  Those characteristics make this a really good listening tool for intermediate students.

Listening Exercise:

  1. Have students draw up a table with columns for the following tenses: Present, Infinitive, Present Continuous, Preterite and Future.
  2. You can let them know that most of the verbs are in the present and infinitive forms.  They’ll have to listen closely for the others.
  3. Play the song three times.
  4. Students should write the verbs they hear in the appropriate columns.


Here is an answer key.

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  • Present: yellow
  • Infinitive: blue
  • Present continuous: green
  • Preterite: pink
  • Future: grey

There is also an example of imperfect tense and one of the perfect tense.  Can you find them?


Have a lovely weekend!


For Spanish lessons on Travel, download my FREE e-Book: Spanish Phrasebook for Travel.

Spanish Phrasebook for Travel by K.D. Silva


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I’m a Latin American Studies teacher, teaching Latin American History and Politics and Basic Spanish. I love reading, writing, teaching and travelling.  Travel over the Andes with me to explore the diverse culture of Latin America.

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