Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Expressing Negation: Indefinite and Negative Words

Here is a list of the most common indefinite and negative words in Spanish.

algo – something, anything
alguien – someone, anyone
algún (alguno/a/os/as) – some, any
siempre – always
también – also
nada – nothing, not anything
nadie – no one, nobody, not anybody
nunca, jamás – never
ningún (ninguno/a) – no, none, not any
tampoco – neither, not either

Pay particular … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Saber and Conocer

Two Spanish verbs express to know: saber and conocer.

  • Saber means to know facts or pieces of information. When followed by an infinitive, saber means to know how to do something (or to be able to do something).
  • No sabemos el telefono de Alejandro. ¿Saben Uds. dónde vive Alejandro? ¿Saben llegar alli? – We don’t know Alejandros phone number Do

[ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Direct Objects and Personal a

In English and in Spanish, the direct object (el complemento directo) of a sentence is the first recipient of the action of the verb.

I see the car; but I don’t see the dog.
George is preparing dinner for the family

In Spanish, the word a immediately precedes the direct object of a sentence when the direct object refers to a specific person … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Indirect Object Pronouns

me – to/for me
te – to/for you (fam. sing.)
le – to/for you (form. sing.), him, her it
nos – to/for us
os – to/for you (fam. pl.)
les – to/for you (form. pl.), them

  • Indirect object nouns and pronouns are the second recipient of the action of the verb. They usually answer the questions to whom? or for whom? in relation

[ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Expressing Likes and Dislikes: gustar

–¿Que les parece este restaurante? ¿Les gusta?
— ¡A mí me gusta mucho!
–Y a mí me gustan los postres que sirven.
–Bueno, ¿quién va a pagar hoy?
–¿Nadie contesta?
–Bueno, nos gusta mucho el restaurante… no nos gustan nada las cuentas,

You have been using the verb gustar to express likes and dislikes. However, gustar does not literally mean to like, but to … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Miscellaneous

  • To suggest activities to a friend: ¿Qué tal si nosotros verb form?
  • Descriptive adjectives are frequently used by Spanish speakers with ¡Qué ___!, to express English how + adjective.
  • ¿El bebé? ¡Que mono!
    ¿Michael Jordan? ¡Qué alto! ¡Y qué bárbaro!

  • Beginning with 31, Spanish numbers are not written in a combined form: treinta y uno, cuarenta y dos, sesenta y tres,

[ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – ¿Por or Para?

Just as there are two Spanish verbs that mean to be (ser and estar), there are two Spanish words that often express English for: por and para. These prepositions (words that express the relationship between other words) have other English equivalents as well.

In the following questions, you will use por in one of its most important meanings: in, during.

  • Estudio por la

[ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Tener Idioms

  • tener miedo (de) – to be afraid of
  • tener prisa – to be in a hurry
  • tener razon – to be right
  • tener ganas de – to feel like
  • tener que – to have to
  • tener (mucho) calor – to be (very) warm
  • tener (mucho) frio – to be (very) cold
    These expressions are used to describe people or animals only.

[ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Ser

Here are some basic language functions of set.

  • To identify people and things
  • Yo soy estudiante.
    La doctora Ramos es profesora.
    Alicia y yo somos amigas.
    Esto es un libro.

  • To describe people and things*
  • Soy sentimental. – I’m sentimental (a sentimental person).
    El coche es muy viejo. – The car is very

[ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – ¿Donde está? Más Preposiciones

cerca de – close to

lejos de – far from

delante de – in front of

detrás de – behind

debajo de – below

encima de – on top of

al lado de – alongside of

entre – between, among

al este/oestenorte/sur de – to the east/west/north/south of

In Spanish, the pronouns that serve as object of prepositions are identical to the subject pronouns, … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Los números de teléfono

Note that telephone numbers in many Hispanic countries are written and said slightly differently than in the United States. Here is one model for asking for and giving phone numbers.

MODELO

El: ¿Cual es tu (número de) telefono?
E2: Es el cuatro, treinta y tres, veintiocho, veintiuno.

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Expressing –self/-selves

Many English verbs that describe parts of one’s daily routine–to get up, to take a bath, and so on–are expressed in Spanish with a reflexive construction: I take a bath — me baño (literally, I bathe myself). In this section you will learn to use reflexive pronouns, as well as other verbs that are used reflexively, to talk about your daily routine.

In Spanish, … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Placement of Adjectives

As you have probably noticed, adjectives do not always precede the noun in Spanish as they do in English. Note the following rules for adjective placement.

  • Adjectives of quantity like numbers, precede the noun, as do the interrogatives
  • ¿cuanto/a? and ¿cuantos/as?.
    Hay muchas sillas y dos escritorios. – There are many chairs and two desks.
    Busco otro[1]

[ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Describing

 
Unequal Comparisons
Equal Comparisons

with adjectives or adverbs
más/menos ____ que
tan ____ como

with nouns
más/menos ____ que
tanto/a/os/as ____ como

with verbs
____ más/menos que
____ tanto como

Regular Comparisons of Adjectives
The comparative (el comparativo) of most English adjectives is formed by using the adverbs more or less (more intelligent, … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Forms of this/these

The demonstrative adjective this/these has four forms in Spanish. Learn to recognize them when you see them.

este coche – this car

estos coches – these cars

esta casa – this house

estas casas – these houses

You have already seen the neuter demonstrative esto. It refers to something that is as yet unidentified: ¿Que es esto?

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Demonstrative Adjectives

this – este libro
that – ese libro, aquel libro alli
these – estos libros
those – esos libros, aquellos libros alli

Demonstrative adjectives (los adjetivos demostrativos) are used to point out or indicate a specific noun or nouns. In Spanish, demonstrative adjectives precede the nouns they modify. They also agree in number and gender with the nouns.

  • There are two ways to

[ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Cognates

You already know that cognates are words that are similar in form and meaning from one language to another: for example, English poet and Spanish poeta. The endings of many Spanish words correspond to English word endings according to fixed patterns. Learning to recognize these patterns will increase the number of close and not-so-close cognates that you can recognize.

-dad ⇒ -ly

-mente ⇒ … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – Talking About the Past (the Preterite Verb Tense)

To talk about all aspects of the past in Spanish, you need to know how to use two simple tenses (tenses formed without an auxiliary or “helping” verb): the preterite and the imperfect.

The preterite (el pretérito) has several equivalents in English. For example, hablé can mean I spoke or I did speak. The preterite is used to report finished, completed actions or states … [ Read more ]

Notes from ¿Qué tal? – r and rr

Spanish has two r sounds, one of which is called a flap, the other a trill. The rapid pronunciation of tt and dd in the English words Betty and ladder produces a sound similar to the Spanish flap r: the tongue touches the alveolar ridge (behind the upper teeth) once. Although English has no trill, when people imitate a motor, they often produce the Spanish … [ Read more ]