Grammar Guide – Small Things

AccentsPronounsGenderForming PluralArticlesSome Sound SpellingTyping Accents

Accents in Spanish

  1. If word ends in -n -s or a vowel, the stress falls on next-to-last syllable. If you remember that these – está, están, estás – are exceptions, than you remember the rule.
  2. Words with all the other endings have an accent on the last syllable.
  3. Question and exclamation words – cómo, dónde, qué – always have accents.
  4. Demonstrative pronouns have an accent as opposed to demonstrative adjectives. éste – este libro, éstas – estas blusas
  5. Certain words change their meaning when written with an accent.
    give (command)deof, from
    I knowse3rd person pronoun
    sóloonly (adverb)soloalone

Pronouns in Spanish

PersonalDirectIndirectReflexiveUnstressed PosessiveStressed PossessiveAfter Preposition

For details see Object Pronouns – Direct, Indirect and Reflexive.

Gender in Spanish

AReferring to males and/or ending in -ohombre, libro
BReferring to females and/or ending in -a -ción -tad-dadmujer, mesa, nación, libertad, universidad
COnes referring neither to males or females and having different endings can be of either genderel lápiz, la clase, la tarde, la noche
DMany nouns change gender by changing the last vowel or by adding -a to the last consonantel compañero, la compañera, un profesor, la profesora
EMany nouns have the same form and differ only by the articleel estudiante, la estudiante
!!!Some nouns ending in -e change gender by changing it to -ael presidente, la presidenta
!!!El día is MASCULINEel día
!!!Many words ending in -ma are MASCULINEel problema, el sistema, el programa

Forming Plural in Spanish

1) ending in vowelvowel + sel/un libro la/una mesalos/unos libros las/unas mesas
2) ending in consonantconsonant + esun papel la universidadunos papeles las universidades
3) ending in consonant zz -> cesel lapizlos lapices
!!! to refer to a group consisting of both males and females masculine plural is used.el amigo la amigalos amigos

Articles in Spanish

SINGULARMasculine NounsFeminine Nouns
Definite Articlesel hombre – the man el librothe bookla mujer – the woman la mesathe table
Indefinite Articlesun hombre – a (one) man un libroa (one) bookuna mujer – a (one) woman una mesaa (one) table


PLURALMasculine NounsFeminine Nouns
Definite Articleslos hombresthe men los librosthe bookslas mujerasthe women las mesasthe tables
Indefinite Articlesunos hombressome men unos librossome booksunas mujerassome woman unas mesassome table

Some Sound Spelling

Hard C soundca que qui co cusacar, saque
S/Z soundza ce ci zo zucazar, cace
Hard G soundga gue gui go gupagar, pague
Soft G soundja ge gi jo ju elija, elegir

As you see, two vowels – e and i – are exceptional. To remember them, remember two words – que and quien.

Typing Accents

áalt 160alt 0225ctrl ‘, a
éalt 130alt 0233ctrl ‘, e
íalt 161alt 0237ctrl ‘, i
óalt162alt 0243ctrl ‘, o
úalt 163alt 0250ctrl ‘, u
ñalt 164alt 0241shift + ctrl+~, n
Áalt 0193ctrl ‘, A
Éalt 144alt 0201ctrl ‘, E
Íalt 0205ctrl ‘, I
Óalt 0211ctrl ‘, O
Úalt 0218ctrl ‘, U
Ñalt 165alt 0209shift + ctrl+~, N
¿alt 168alt 0191alt+shift + ctrl + ?
¡alt 173alt 0161alt+shift + ctrl + !

The first two options work with the Number Pad which is located on the right hand side of a keyboard. The last ones work only for MS Word.

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