External Resources Edit
1) Basics 1 Edit
Masculine and Feminine Nouns Edit
In Spanish all nouns are masculine or feminine. Usually, nouns that end with an "o" are masculine, and nouns that end with an "a" are feminine. For example, "manzana" (apple) is feminine and "diario" (newspaper) is masculine.
The articles "el" and "un" are used with masculine nouns, and the articles "la" and "una" are used with feminine nouns. "The apple" is "la manzana" and "a newspaper" is "un diario."
Accent Marks Edit
Vowels in Spanish can have an accent mark, such as the "u" in "menú" (menu). One use of the accent mark is to indicate which syllable should be stressed in the pronunciation. For example, in "teléfono" (telephone), the second "e" has the most stress.
Accent marks are also used to distinguish homophones. For example, "él" and "el" are homophones because they have the same pronunciation. However, "él" is a masculine pronoun (meaning "he" or "him") and "el" is a masculine article (meaning "the").
The Second Person Singular Edit
"Tú," "usted" and "vos" are different ways of referring to the second person singular (you). "Usted" is the formal way of saying "you," and "vos" is used in informal speech in certain countries instead of "tú."
The three pronouns are synonyms, but they change the way verbs are conjugated. For instance, for the verb "comer" (to eat), it is "tú comes," "usted come," and "vos comés."
The decision of which form of "you" to use is regional and cultural, but you can typically use "usted" when referring to strangers.
Verb Conjugation Edit
Verb conjugation in Spanish is more complicated than in English. In Spanish, the verb endings change in order to describe who is doing the action and when. For example, for "comer," "I eat" is "yo como" and "you eat" is "tú comes."
Because the conjugations indicate who is doing the action, it is usually possible to omit the pronoun. For instance instead of saying "yo como arroz" (I eat rice), you can say "como arroz."
2) Common Phrases Edit
Tardes and Noches Edit
In English, "afternoon" comes before "evening," which in turn comes before "night." In Spanish there are only two words that cover these times of the day: "tarde" which means "afternoon," but overlaps with "evening," and "noche," which means "night" but also overlaps with "evening." Therefore, at 6:30pm it is ok to say either "buenas tardes" or "buenas noches."
Buenos Días Edit
Even though "buenos días" literally means "good days," it is used in the mornings to mean "good morning."
Conjugation of 'Hablar'
Present indicative (presente del indicativo):
- yo hablo
- tú hablas
- usted habla
- él habla
- ella habla
- nosotros/as hablamos
- ustedes hablan
- ellos/ellas hablan
In Spanish, the most common negative word is "no". As an adverb negating a sentence, it always comes immediately before the verb.
I speak - [Yo] hablo.
I do not speak - [Yo] no hablo.
He is - [Él] es / está.
He is not - [Él] no es / está.
3) Basics 2 (No notes) Edit
4) Food (No notes)Edit
5) Animals Edit
As a general rule, in Spanish adjectives come after the noun they describe, e.g.
An English dog / Un perro inglés
A Spanish horse / Un caballo español
6) Possessives Edit
Possessive Determiners Edit
Possessive determiners are adjectives that are used to show ownership, such as "my" in "my dog." There are five possessive determiners in Spanish:
|su/sus||his, her, your (formal), their|
The first three of these have only two forms, singular and plural
For example, "my dog" is "mi perro" and "my dogs" is "mis perros."
"Mi", "tu" and "su" do not have masculine and feminine forms, so for example you say "mi gato" and also "mi gata."
Nuestro and vuestro have four forms depending on the gender and number of the noun being referred to:
|Masc Sing||Masc Pl||Fem Sing||Fem Pl|
For example, it is "nuestro gato," "nuestra gata," "nuestros gatos," and "nuestras gatas."
Long-form Possessive Adjectives and Pronouns Edit
The determiners above are always used before the noun. Spanish has an additional "long-form" way to describe possession, which usually comes after the noun:
|mío, míos, mía, mías||mine|
|tuyo, tuyos, tuya, tuyas||yours (familiar sing.)|
|suyo, suyos, suya, suyas||his, hers, your (formal) yours (formal), theirs|
|vuestro(s), vuestra(s)||yours (familiar plural, used in Spain)|
"El gato es mío" means "The cat is mine."
Note that the possessive adjectives vary by number and gender. The change is with the nouns they modify, not with the person(s) who possess the object. For example, for a male cat you say "El gato es tuyo" (The cat is yours) regardless of whether you are talking to a man or a woman.
The short form and long forms of nuestro and vuestro and related pronouns are identical. They differ only as to whether they are used before or after the noun.
Tu Versus Tú Edit
The two words "tu" and "tú" are pronounced the same. "Tú" is the personal pronoun meaning "you" (informal), and "tu" is the possessive adjective meaning "your" (informal).
7) Clothing (No notes) Edit
8) Questions Edit
The Upside Down Question Mark Edit
In written Spanish, questions should always start with an upside down question mark (¿). For example, to ask “What are you eating?” you would write “¿Qué comes?”
Position of Personal Pronouns Edit
When asking a question, it is possible to place the personal pronoun in different places without affecting the meaning. For example “¿Qué comes tú?” and “¿Tú qué comes?” mean the same thing (and also the same thing as “¿Qué comes?”).
The position of the personal pronoun is sometimes used for emphasis. For example “Tú qué comes” places the emphasis on “you” and would mean something like “You, what are you eating?”
“Por qué” versus “Porque” Edit
Even native speakers sometimes confuse “por qué” and “porque,” because they sound exactly the same. However, “por qué” means “why” and “porque” means “because.” That is, “por qué” is typically used when asking a question and “porque” is used when answering it.
- Q: “¿Por qué no eres un niño?” (Why are you not a boy?)
- A: “Porque soy una niña” (Because I am a girl)
9) Verbs: Present 1 Edit
Present Tense Verb Endings Edit
In Spanish, the verb endings change in order to describe who is doing the action and when. Most verbs are "regular," meaning they change their endings in predictable ways.
|Person||Endings||Examples (regular verbs ending in -ar, -er, -ir)|
|I||-o||yo nado (I swim), yo como (I eat), yo vivo (I live)|
|you (familiar)||-as, -es||tú nadas, tú comes, tú vives|
|he, she, it, you (formal)||-a, -e||él/ella/usted nada, él/ella/usted come, él/ella/usted vive|
|nosotros/nosotras nadamos, nosotros(/as) comemos, nosotros(/as) vivimos|
|you (formal pl. &
familiar pl. Latin America) & they
|-an, -en||ustedes/ellos/ellas nadan, ustedes/ellos/ellas comen, ustedes/ellos/ellas viven|
|you (familiar pl. Spain)||-áis,
|vosotros/vosotras nadáis, vosotros/vosotras coméis, vosotros/vosotras vivís|
10) Food 2 Edit
Sí Versus Si Edit
Although "sí" and "si" sound the same, "sí" (with an accent mark) means "yes" and "si" means "if."
And (Y, E), Or (O, U) Edit
The word for "and" in Spanish is "y," and the word for "or" is "o." However, if the word after "and" starts with an "i" or "hi" (which sounds the same as "i" because the "h" in Spanish is always silent), then you need to use "e" instead of "y." For example "sons and daughters" is "hijos e hijas." Similarly, if the word after "or" starts with "o" or "ho," then you have to use "u" instead of "o." For example, "dog or bear" is "perro u oso."
11) Family (No notes) Edit
12) Sizes (No notes) Edit
13) Household (No notes) Edit
14) Occupation (No notes) Edit
15) Time (No notes) Edit
16) Adjectives 1 Edit
Adjectives in Spanish Edit
In Spanish, adjectives have to match the noun they refer to in terms of gender and number. For example, since "vestido" is a masculine noun, you say "el vestido es bonito" (the dress is pretty), but you say "ella es bonita" (she is pretty). Note, however, that not all adjectives change with gender.
Usually, masculine adjectives that end in -o or -os (in the plural) can become feminine by changing the ending to -a or -as. For example, "viejo" (old) becomes "vieja."
Spanish doesn't use suffixes such as "-er" or "-est" to indicate superlatives. Instead, the adverb "más" (more) is used. For example, "she is prettier" would be "ella es más bonita," and "she is the prettiest" would be "ella es la más bonita."
Usually, though not always, adjectives are placed after the noun they refer to. For example, "the red car" is "el coche rojo."
A few adjectives are shortened when they appear before singular nouns. One of the most common is "grande," which is shortened to "gran." For example, you can say "el hombre grande" (the big man) or "el gran hombre."
17) Verbs: Present 2 (No notes) Edit
18) Determiners Edit
Demonstrative Determiners Edit
Demonstrative determiners are used to point at something. In English, they are "this", "that", "these" and "those."
Spanish has three sets of demonstrative determiners, which vary by number and gender, so there are 12 in total:
|Masc Sing||Masc Pl||Fem Sing||Fem Pl|
|este (this)||estos (these)||esta (this)||estas (these)|
|ese (that)||esos (those)||esa (that)||esas (those)|
|aquel (that over there)||aquellos (those over there)||aquella (that over there)||aquellas (those over there)|
Ese/Este versus Eso/Esto Edit
It is important to note that the masculine singular forms in the table above don't end in "-o." The words "esto" (this) and "eso" (that) are also demonstrative pronouns, but they are gender neutral and used when the gender of the noun they refer to is unkown. For example, you would say "qué es eso?" (what is that?) when you don't know if the object you're asking about is masculine or feminine.
Ese versus Aquel Edit
Both "ese" and "aquel" and their related forms are translated to English as "that" or "those." However, they have slightly different meanings. "Ese" is more common, and usually refers to things that are closer in terms of distance or time. For example, "esos perros" would be "those dogs," whereas "aquellos perros" is closer in meaning to "those dogs over there."
19) Adverbs (No notes) Edit
20) Objects (No notes) Edit
21) To Be: Ser/Estar Edit
Ser versus Estar Edit
One of the hardest things to learn about Spanish is the distinction between the verbs "ser" and "estar," since in English they both mean "to be."
By now you should be familiar with the conjugations of "ser," such as in "él es un niño" (he is a boy), "yo soy un hombre" (I am a man), and "ustedes son mujeres" (you are women). "Estar" is also an irregular verb, and its different conjugations in the present tense are below:
"Ser" refers to what something is, while estar refers more to what something does. For example, "estoy enfermo" would mean "I am being sick" or "I am currently sick." On the other hand "soy enfermo" translates to something closer to "I am a sick person" or "I am sickly." Below are more examples:
|Soy feliz = I am happy by nature||Estoy feliz = I am currently happy|
|Soy cansada = I am a tired person||Estoy cansada = I am currently tired|
|Él es callado = He is introverted||Él está callado = He is being quiet|
You can think of "ser" as being equivalent to "equals." Alternatively, you can think of "estar" as referring to a temporary condition, while "ser" frequently refers to a permanent condition. However there are some exceptions. For example, "ser" is used in expressions of time, such as "son las cuatro de la tarde" (it's 4 in the afternoon). Also, "estar" is used to indicate someone has died, so "he is dead" would be "está muerto."
22) Places (No notes) Edit
23) People (No notes) Edit
24) Object Pronouns Edit
Object Pronouns Edit
In English, the words "he" and "I" can be used as subjects (the ones doing the action in a sentence), and they change to "him" and "me" when they are objects (the ones the action is applied to). For example, we say "He likes me" and "I like him." "Me," "him", "her," etc. are called object pronouns.
Objects pronouns can either be direct or indirect. The direct object is the thing or person that is directly receiving the action. For example, "him" is the direct object in "she likes him." The indirect object is the receiver of the direct object. For example, "him" is the indirect object in "she writes him a book."
In English, object pronouns are the same for both direct and indirect objects, but in Spanish they can change.
The object pronouns in Spanish are:
|yo||me (me)||me (to me)|
|tú||te (you familiar)||te (to you familiar)|
|lo (him/it & you formal)||le (to him/it & to you formal)|
|la (her/it & you formal)||le (to her/it & to you formal)|
|nos (us)||nos (to us)|
|os (you familiar - Spain)||os (to you familiar - Spain)|
|los (them & you formal)||les (to them & to you formal)|
|las (them & you formal)||les (to them & to you formal)|
Unlike in English where object pronouns go after the verb ("I see him"), Spanish object pronouns are generally placed directly before the verb. Below are some examples:
|You write me a book||Me escribes un libro|
|I see you from my house||Te veo desde mi casa|
|I see him/her||Yo lo/la veo|
|She writes a book to him||Ella le escribe un libro a él|
|He sees us||Él nos ve|
|I see them||Yo los veo a ellos
Yo las veo a ellas
|I write them a book||Yo les escribo un libro a ellos/ellas|
Further clarification about who the sentence is talking about can always be added. For example, "I see him" can be translated as "Yo lo veo" and "Yo lo veo a él." Sometimes this clarification is necessary in order to remove ambiguity, while other times it is simply redundant. For example, "Yo los veo" is ambiguous because it could mean "I see them" or "I see you guys," so unless it is clear from context you would say "Yo los veo a ellos" or "Yo los veo a ustedes." However, "él nos ve" and "él nos ve a nosotros" mean exactly the same thing, since there is no ambiguity with "nos."
25) Numbers (No notes) Edit
26) Verbs: Past Edit
Past Tense Verb Endings Edit
The past tense is used to refer to actions that occurred in the past. The past tense in Spanish has two predictable verb endings: one for –ar verbs, such as hablar (to speak), and another for –er and –ir verbs, such as comer (to eat) and escribir (to write). It is important to point out that many verbs in Spanish have an irregular past tense conjugation. For those irregular cases, the best way to learn their conjugation is with memorization and practice.
Regular –ar verbs are conjugated as follows:Edit
|you (familiar sing.)||-aste||tú hablaste|
|he, she, it, you (formal sing.)||-ó||él habló, ella habló, usted habló|
|you (pl. formal)
|you (pl. familiar - Spain)||-asteis||vosotros hablasteis|
Regular –er and –ir verbs are conjugated as follows:Edit
|I||-í||yo comí, yo escribí|
|you (familiar sing.)||-iste||tú comiste, tú escribiste|
|he, she, it, you (formal sing.)||-ió||él/Ud. comió, ella escribió|
|we||-imos||nosotros comimos, nosotras escribimos|
|you (formal pl.)
|-ieron||ustedes comieron, ellas escribieron|
|you (familiar pl. - Spain)||-isteis||vosotras comisteis, vosotros escribisteis|
27) Verbs: Present 3 (No notes) Edit
28) Verbs: Infinitive 1 (No notes) Edit
29) Verbs: Phrasal Future Tense (AKA Ir Future) Edit
Phrasal Future Edit
There are two future tenses in Spanish. The easier one to learn is the so called "phrasal future," in which the verb "ir" (to go) is used an auxiliary. Much like in English, where you can express future by saying "I am going to run tomorrow," in Spanish you can say "Voy a correr mañana." Thus, the future is formed by conjugating the irregular verb "ir" to the appropriate person, then adding the word "a," and then the infinitive of the main verb. Below are the conjugations of the verb "ir," followed by examples of phrasal future.
of Irregular Verb Ir
|Spanish Example||English Translation|
|yo||voy||Yo voy a pensar||I am going to think|
|tú||vas||Tú vas a comer||You are going to eat|
|él/ella/usted||va||Ella va a trabajar||She is going to work|
|nosotros/nosotras||vamos||Nosotros vamos a comer||We are going to eat|
|ustedes/ellos/ellas||van||Ellas van a trabajar||They are going to work|
|vosotros/vosotras||vais||Vosotros vais a comer||You (pl.) are going to eat|