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 ]
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
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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 ]
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
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–¿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?
–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 ]
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.
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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 ]
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 ]
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 ]
Estar is used with adjectives to express temporary conditions or observations that are true at a given moment but that do not describe inherent qualities of the noun. The following adjectives are generally used with estar. Some of them are cognates.
abierto/a – open
aburrido/a – bored
cansado/a – tired
cerrado/a – closed
contento/a – happy
desordenado/a – messy
enfermo/a – sick, ill
furioso/a … [ Read more ]
Use ¿qué? to mean what? when you are asking for a definition or an explanation. Use ¿cual? To mean what? in all other circumstances.
Que without an accent mark means that or which.
Nouns that refer to male beings and most nouns that end in -o are masculine (masculino) in gender: hombre, libro.
Nouns that refer to female beings and most nouns that … [ Read more ]
Ir + a + infinitive is used to describe actions or events in the near future
Van a llegar esta noche. – They’re going to arrive tonight.
Voy a ir de compras esta tarde. – I’m going to go shopping this afternoon.
Although all Spanish words of more than one syllable have a stressed vowel, most words do not have a written accent mark. Most words have the spoken stress exactly where native speakers of Spanish would predict it. These two simple rules tell you which syllable is accented when a word does not have a written accent.
- Words that end in a vowel, -n,
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Prepositions express relationships in time and space. Some common prepositions include a, con, de, en, para, and por. Here are some prepositions that express time relationships:
antes de – before
después de – after
durante – during
hasta – until
The infinitive is the only verb form that can follow a preposition in Spanish.
¿Adónde vas después de estudiar? Where … [ Read more ]
The plural of usted is ustedes. In Latin America, as well as in the United States, ustedes also serves as the plural of tú. In Spain (and other parts of the Spanish-speaking world), however, there are two different plural forms for you: ustedes and vosotros/vosotras. Ustedes is used when speaking with two or more persons whom you address individually as usted. Vosotros/vosotras is used when … [ Read more ]