Notes from Spanish 1

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Notes from Spanish 1
version 1.0.0
by Kyle Barbour
May 9, 2007
Contents
1 Front matter
1.1 Legal note . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.2 Corrections or improvements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2
2
2
2 The basics
2.1 The alphabet . . . . . . .
2.2 Pronunciation . . . . . . .
2.2.1 Emphasis . . . . .
2.3 Numbers . . . . . . . . . .
2.3.1 Simple arithmetic
2.4 Punctuation . . . . . . . .
2.5 Articles and gender . . . .
2.6 Pluralization . . . . . . .
2.7 Negation . . . . . . . . . .
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2
2
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9
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3 Common words and phrases
3.1 Greetings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.2 Telling time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.2.1 The days of the week, months, and
3.2.2 Weather . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.3 Questions and interrogatives . . . . . . . .
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seasons
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9
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11
11
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4 Adjectives
4.1 General rules . . . . . . .
4.2 Adjectives and gender . .
4.3 Possessive adjectives . . .
4.4 Demonstrative adjectives .
4.5 Comparisons . . . . . . .
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12
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14
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5 Adverbs
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14
1
6 Verbs
6.1 General rules . . . . . . .
6.2 Subject pronouns . . . . .
6.3 -AR, -ER, and -IR verbs .
6.4 Tenses . . . . . . . . . . .
6.4.1 Simple present . .
6.4.2 Present progressive
6.4.3 Near future . . . .
6.5 Irregular verbs . . . . . .
6.5.1 Empezar . . . . . .
6.5.2 Hacer . . . . . . .
6.5.3 Ir . . . . . . . . .
6.5.4 Jugar . . . . . . .
6.5.5 Oı́r . . . . . . . .
6.5.6 Pensar . . . . . .
6.5.7 Salir . . . . . . . .
6.5.8 Ser and estar . . .
6.5.9 Tener . . . . . . .
6.5.10 Volver . . . . . . .
6.6 Stem-changing verbs . . .
6.7 Reflexive verbs . . . . . .
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15
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16
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21
22
22
23
7 Prepositions
23
7.1 Por and para . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
8 Bibliography
24
List of Tables
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
El alfabeto de español. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Examples of emphasis based on ending syllables.
Los números. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The months and seasons. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Possessive adjectives. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Demonstrative adjectives. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Subject pronouns. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Present tense of regular -AR, -ER, and -IR verbs
Present tense of empezar. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Present tense of hacer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Present tense of ir. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Present tense of jugar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Present tense of oı́r. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Present tense of pensar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Present tense of salir. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Present tense of ser and estar. . . . . . . . . . .
2
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3
4
6
11
13
14
15
17
19
19
19
20
20
20
20
21
17
18
19
Present tense of tener. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Present tense of volver. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Reflexive pronouns. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3
22
22
23
1
Front matter
This document is intended to provide a base reference for materials learned in
Spanish 1 which I took at Sierra College in Nevada City. Please note that this
course is registered within the California Articulation Number (CAN) system,
wherein it is known as CAN SPAN 2 (with Spanish 2, CAN SPAN SEQ A),
and as such may be of use to anyone who is taking a course which is similarly
recognized. Spanish 1 was, at least at Sierra College, a 4-unit class equivalent to
two years of high school Spanish. In this document I intend to give an outline of
the grammatical rules, vocabulary, and other material of note that was covered
in this course in the hopes that it will be later useful as a refresher and general
reference.
1.1
Legal note
I claim no responsibility for any mishaps which may occur should you choose
to use this document. Please note that while this information contained here is
accurate to the best of my knowledge that there may be mistakes. Use at your
own risk (or at that of your grade).
1.2
Corrections or improvements
While I’ve attempted to make this as accurate as possible, I’m sure that there
are errors to some degree or another (or at the very least, improvements to be
made). Found an error? Thought of a better way to say something? Have
a question? Shoot me a line at [email protected] and let me know.
Nitpicky corrections are very welcome!
2
The basics
The Spanish language (español ) is the national language of Spain, most countries
of South and Central America (exceptions being Brazil, Guyana, Suriname,
French Guiana, and Belize), parts of the Carribbean, Equatorial Guinea, and
is spoken extensively in many others (among them, the United States). It is
regulated by the Real Academia Española of Madrid, Spain, and the 21 other
members of the Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española, each member
coming from a different Spanish-speaking country.
2.1
The alphabet
The Spanish alphabet (el alfabeto) has 27 letters: all of the letters of the English
alphabet and ñ. Prior to the tenth congress of the Asociación de Academias de la
Lengua Española in 1994 ch and ll were considered to be separate letters in the
Spanish alphabet, and would have separate sections in indeces and alphabetical
listings. The digraph rr never enjoyed the letter status that ch and ll once did,
and continues to be filed under r as normal. Despite this, as these three digraphs
4
have their own pronunciations and names, they have been included in table 1.
In addition to these letters, the five vowels may take acute diacritical marks:
á, é, ı́, ó, ú. These letters are spoken [letter] acentuada (example: Marı́a is
spelled eme, a, ere, i acentuada, a). While other diacriticals may occur in other
words, they are not part of the standard Spanish canon.
1
2
1
1
2
1
2
Letter
A
a
B
b
C
c
Ch ch
D
d
E
e
F
f
G
g
H
h
I
i
J
j
K
k
L
l
Ll
ll
M
m
N
n
Ñ
ñ
O
o
P
p
Q
q
R
r
Rr rr
S
s
T
t
U
u
V
v
W w
X
x
Y
y
Z
z
Name
a
be
ce
che
de
e
efe
ge
hache
i
jota
ka
ele
elle
eme
ene
enye
o
pe
cu
ere
erre
ese
te
u
ve
doble ve
equis
i griega
ceta
Example
alfabeto
bajo
caballo; cepillarse
Chile
delgado
escritorio
f útbol
grande
hora
inteligente
jugar
kilómetro
leer
llama
madre
no
ñapa
octubre
padre
quiero
rosa
perro
seis
traje
Usted
verano
whiskey
xilofón
yerno
zapato
No longer considered to be separate letters.
Only used in loanwords.
Table 1: El alfabeto de español.
5
2.2
Pronunciation
With few exceptions, pronunciation can be entirely derived from spelling in
Spanish. As the only way to learn to accurately pronounce words is to listen
to a fluent speaker, individual letter pronunciation will not be gone over in this
text save for a few general notes. Intead, we will cover grammatical rules that
apply to words as a whole. First, a short note on several letters:
b
c
ch
d
h
j
ll
q
r
rr
v
x
2.2.1
B and v are pronounced identically. At the beginning of a
word or after m or n, they are pronounced as the English
b. In other places, they are pronounced similarly to a
combination of English b and v.
C may be pronounced either hard or soft, depending.
When hard, it is similar to the English k, but comes more
from the top of the mouth. When soft, it is pronounced
like the English s.
Ch is pronounced as the ch in English chicken.
Inside of a word, d is pronounced similarly to a mix of
English th and English d (although lighter).
H is silent at the front of words. Thus, hora is pronounced
ora. For the sound of the English h, like most Latin languages Spanish uses j.
J, as said above, is pronounced as the English h.
Ll is pronounced as English y.
Q is often pronounced similarly to Spanish hard c.
R is trilled (rolled) as if it were rr at the beginnings of
words.
Rr is always trilled (rolled).
See note for b.
X is often pronounced similarly to the English z.
Emphasis
Emphasis in a word falls onto the last syllable, unless the word ends in an -n, -s,
a vowel (a, e, i, o, or u), or contains a vowel elsewhere that carries a diacritical
mark (such as á, é, ı́, ó, or ú). If the word ends in -n or -s, the emphasis falls on
the second-to-last syllable. If there is a vowel elsewhere in the word that carries
a diacritical mark, the emphasis falls on that syllable.
Normal
universidad
azul
levantar
Vowel, -n, or -s
cepillarse
examen
personas
Diacritical
inglés
bolı́grafo
están
Table 2: Examples of emphasis based on ending syllables.
6
Diacriticals accomplish one or both of two things: they give instruction for
the pronunciation of a word by showing which syllable carries the emphasis (as
in the examples in table 2), or they disambiguate between homophones (such
as in si and sı́). Although diacriticals other than acute accents exist in Spanish (cf. nicaragüense), they are not standard. Since for all practical purposes,
acute accents are the only diacritical marks in Spanish, unless otherwise noted,
diacritical will refer to acute accent.
In certain situations, a word must have a diacritical mark. They are:
1. When the emphasis falls on a syllable which would not be predicted given
the rules above, that syllable must carry a diacritical mark. Examples of
this are given above in table 2.
2. All words that are emphasized on the third-to-last syllable must carry
a diacritical on that syllable. Examples: teléfono, números. This is an
extension of the rule given above.
3. When two consecutive vowels do not form a diphthong (run together), the
one which carries the emphasis must carry a diacritical. Examples: adiós,
astronomı́a.
4. Interrogative and exclamatory words carry a diacritical on their emphasized vowel. Examples: ¿Cuándo?, ¡Qué lastima!.
5. Lastly, some words carry diacriticals to distinguish them from other homophones. Ordinarily, these are mono-syllabic words. Examples: mı́ and
mi, tú and tu.
2.3
Numbers
In Spanish, the numbers (los números) use the same Arabic numerals that
we’re familiar with in English (1, 2, 3, . . . ). While this section won’t make you
a mathematician, hopefully it will provide some basic insight into counting and
basic arithmetical operations in Spanish.
Spanish numbers give us our first taste of gender in this language, due to
the word uno (one). Uno, apart from meaning one, also means a, the singular
indefinite article (and as unos, some, the plural indefinite article). When uno,
either by itself or as the end of another number (such as veintiuno, meaning
twenty-one), is followed by a masculine noun, it changes to un. When followed
by a feminine noun, it changes to una. When used in counting, it remains uno.
You’ll get more used to this as you go along. Thus,
Uno, dos, tres, . . .
Pues, con frecuencia, un reloj es muy caro.
¡Unas mujeres están rompiendo mis cosas!
7
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
1
2
3
4
cero
uno1
dos
tres
cuatro
cinco
seis
siete
ocho
nueve
diez
veinte
treinta
cuarenta
cincuenta
sesenta
setenta
ochenta
noventa
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
diez
once
doce
trece
catorce
quince
dieciséis2
diecisiete2
dieciocho2
diecinueve2
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
cien3
doscientos4
trescientos4
cuatrocientos4
quinientos4
seiscientos4
setecientos4
ochocientos4
novecientos4
1.000
2.000
3.000
4.000
5.000
6.000
7.000
8.000
9.000
veinte
veintiuno2
veintidós2
veintitrés2
veinticuatro2
veinticinco2
veintiséis2
veintisiete2
veintiocho2
veintinueve2
mil
dos mil
tres mil
cuatro mil
cinco mil
seis mil
siete mil
ocho mil
nueve mil
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
1.000.000
2.000.000
3.000.000
4.000.000
5.000.000
6.000.000
7.000.000
8.000.000
9.000.000
treinta
treinta
treinta
treinta
treinta
treinta
treinta
treinta
treinta
treinta
y
y
y
y
y
y
y
y
y
uno
dos
tres
cuatro
cinco
seis
siete
ocho
nueve
un millón
dos millones
tres millones
cuatro millones
cinco millones
seis millones
siete millones
ocho millones
nueve millones
See second paragraph in section 2.3 for more on uno.
Numbers 16 through 19 and 21 through 29 can be written and pronounced two different ways. See section
2.3.
Cien has two forms: cien and ciento. See section 2.3.
The numbers of the hundreds (200, 300, . . . ) must agree in gender with the nouns they refer to. See
section 2.3.
Table 3: Los números.
8
A few more things here are of note. The numbers 16 through 19 and 21
through 29 may be created one of two ways: as one word, as shown on table 3:
dieciocho, veintiocho; or like all other numbers up to one hundred and greater
than 30, through the form [multiple of ten] y [number 1-9]: diez y ocho,
veinte y ocho.
As noted in the table, cien has two forms: cien and ciento. Cien is used
when counting to represent 100 (noventa y nueve, cien, ciento uno, . . . ), to
represent numbers two hundred or greater (cien millones) and before nouns
(cien personas, cien edificios). Ciento is used with a number from 1 to 99 to
express numbers from 101 to 199 (ciento tres, ciento ochenta y ocho.
The multiples of 100 from 200 to 900 must agree in gender with the noun
they modify. Thus, quinientos cuarenta y tres hombres, but novecientas catorce
estrellas.
Spanish-speakers use a period in numbers where English-speakers would use
a comma, and a comma where English-speakers would use a period. Thus,
12.000.000,00, rather than 12,000,000.00.
Also note that when used with a noun, millón or millones must have de (of)
between the number and the noun. Thus, cuatro millones de flores.
While one would expect to use one of the Spanish forms of to be in describing quantities of things, instead, one uses a form of haber (one flavor of to
have), specifically hay (present tense of there is or there are) to describe
quatities of objects.
No hay catorce mesas en mi cocina, ¡hay dos!
Hay catorce parientes en esta fiesta.
2.3.1
Simple arithmetic
The basic mathematical operations of addition and subtraction and done using
the words y (and) for addition, menos (less, fewer) for minus, and son (are,
third person plural of ser, a form of to be) for equals.
2+2=4
8−5=3
2.4
Dos y dos son cuatro.
Ocho menos cinco son tres.
Punctuation
Spanish has three punctuation marks not used in English: the inverted exclamation mark (¡), the inverted question mark (¿), and guillemets ( and ).
Inverted exclamation marks and question marks are used to begin exclamatory
and interrogative statements, respectively. Guillemets (las comillas españolas)
are used in Spanish in the same way quotation marks are used in English — to
represent speech. Note that these marks are not restricted to the beginnings or
ends of sentences!
9
¡Gracias a dios!
¿Qué es?
¿Cómo está?
2.5
Bien, gracias, ¿y usted?
Articles and gender
Spanish, like many other Latinate languages, has two genders: masculine and
feminine. (A neuter gender occasionally arises when you’re referring to an
unidentified object: esto, aquello.) Each noun is either masculine or feminine,
and words around them (particularly adjectives) must be modified to be of the
same gender. A number of rules govern whether a word is maculine or feminine;
we will approach this in a moment.
There are eight articles in Spanish: four definite (corresponding to the English the), and four indefinite (corresponding the the English a and an). In
these two divisions, there are two different types: masculine and feminine; and
within that division, there are two further types: singular and plural. Thus, we
have:
Definite
Indefinite
Masculine
Singular Plural
el
los
un
unos
Feminine
Singular Plural
la
las
una
unas
Note that when el is preceded immediately by de or a, the two words must
be contracted into del and al, respectively.
Articles must correspond exactly to the gender and number of the noun they
are attached to. Although you may use either a definite or an indefinite article
on any given noun, they should not be confused.
While the following gender conventions are generalized, and are not true in
all cases, they will work in the majority. They are as follows:
Words are generally feminine when:
1. The word refers to a female being. Example: la mujer.
2. The word ends in -a, -ción, -dad, or tad. Examples: la cocina, la condición,
la diversidad, la libertad.
Words are generally masculine when:
1. The word refers to a male being. Example: el hombre.
2. The word ends in -o. Example: el escritorio.
Nouns referring to people must, if possible, reflect the gender of the person
being referred to. Most nouns are male until changed: nouns like this will often
drop an ending -o and add an -a. If the word doesn’t end in -o, an -a will simply
10
be added. Other nouns use the same form for both men and women; in this
case one simply changes the pronoun to reflect gender.
El consejero ⇒ La consejera
El profesor ⇒ La profesora
El estudiante ⇒ La estudiante
Of course, some word’s genders don’t fit this mold and their gender simply
must be memorized.
2.6
Pluralization
Spanish words are pluralized primarily and with few exceptions by adding -s
or -es. Words that end in -z drop the z and add -ces. Note that the article
and adjectives attached to the noun must reflect the pluralization, and the verb
must also be conjugated in the plural rather than the singular.
La mesa es roja, but
Las mesas son rojas.
El lápiz está en el escritorio, but
Los lápices están en el escritorio.
Note that the masculine plural is used to refer to groups containing both
men and women.
2.7
Negation
Verbs are negated in Spanish by placing no in front of the verb in question.
Tengo cinco primos.
No tengo cinco primos.
3
3.1
I have five cousins.
I do not have five cousins.
Common words and phrases
Greetings
The common addresses of people in Spanish are señor (mister, abbreviated
Sr.), señora (ma’am, abbreviated Sra.), señorita (miss, abbreviated Srta.), and
señorito (master, no common abbreviation). Of these, only señorito is not in
common use. Note that there is not a general equvalent of the English Ms. in
Spanish.
The Spanish equivalents of hello and goodbye are hola and adiós, respectively. It’s very common to issue greetings by the time of day: Buenos dı́as
(good day, used in the morning); buenas tardes (good afternoon); or buenas
noches (good evening); or by asking how someone is: ¿Cómo está? Bien,
11
¿y usted? (formal: How are you? Well, and you?), or the tú form ¿Cómo
estás? Bien, y tú? (informal, same translation). Common answers to these
questions would be bien, muy bien, ası́ ası́, or mal (good, very good, so-so,
and poorly, repectively.
When leaving, frequently used terms are hasta luego (until tomorrow)
and hasta mañana (until tomorrow). Other common pleasantries are gracias
(thank you), de nada or no hay de qué (both translating as you’re welcome),
and por favor (please).
When meeting someone, to ask their name formally, use ¿Cómo se llama
usted?. If they are younger then you or you have a less formal relationship with
them, you may use the tú form of ¿Cómo te llamas?. After meeting them, say
mucho gusto or encantado (encantada if you’re female), meaning my pleasure
or charmed, respectively. You may reply with igualmente (likewise) or one
of the previously mentioned phrases. To ask, ‘‘Where are you from?’’, ask,
¿De dónde es usted? or in the informal tú form, ¿De dónde eres?. To
, meaning ‘‘I am of
’’.
reply, say, Soy de
There are two phrases to express excuse me in Spanish: perdón and con
permiso. Perdón is used to ask for forgiveness or to get someone’s attention,
while con permiso is used to get permission to pass someone. To make an
apology, say ¡lo siento! (sorry!).
3.2
Telling time
Time is expressed with ser, which is one of the two Spanish words meaning to
be (the other being estar ). Time is told using the formula [form of ser] la(s)
[hour] y/menos [minutes]. Ser is conjugated as es (is, third person singular
of to be) for the hour of one, and as son (are, third person plural of to be) for
all other hours. Note that we use la and una even though numbers are generally
masculine since we are modifying hora, which is feminine.
In Spanish, minutes before the half hour are expressed with addition, and
minutes after the half hour are expressed with subtraction from the next hour.
Additional pieces of vocabulary are cuarto (quarter) and media (half or middle).
A.M. and P.M. are expressed with de la mañana, de la tarde, and de la noche
(in the morning, afternoon, and night, respectively). To ask the time, use
¿Qué hora es? (‘‘What hour is it?’’).
Es la una y cuarto de la tarde.
It’s a quarter past one in
the afternoon.
It’s half past seven in the
evening.
It’s fourteen to four in
the morning!
Son las siete y media de la noche.
¡Son las cuatro menos catorce de
la mañana!
To ask, ‘‘At what time is ...?’’, say, ¿A qué hora es . . . ?. To reply,
say, A la(s) . . . (‘‘At ...’’). Lastly, to say exactly, use en punto. To express that something is happening during a given time, use por : por la mañana
12
(during the morning).
¿A qué hora es la pelı́cula?
A las siete y media, en punto.
3.2.1
The days of the week, months, and seasons
The Spanish days of the week are as follows. Note the lack of capitalization in
the Spanish. To say each [day of the week], use the plural masculine definite
article los. To speak of a specific day, use the definite masculine singular article
él. Apart from sábado and domingo, which pluralize as expected, don’t pluralize
the days of the week.
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
lunes
martes
miércoles
jueves
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
viernes
sábado
domingo
Mañana, apart from meaning morning, also means tomorrow. Ayer means
yesterday, and hoy means today.
The date is expressed as follows: Hoy es el ocho de mayo de dos mil siete.
However, if the day of the week is included, eliminate the el. Thus, Hoy es
miércoles, ocho de mayo de dos mil siete. The first of the month is never
expressed with un; instead, use el primero.
The months (los meses) and seasons (las estaciones) are as follows. Again,
note the lack of capitalization.
January
February
March
April
May
June
enero
febrero
marzo
abril
mayo
junio
July
August
September
October
November
December
julio
agosto
septiembre
octubre
noviembre
deciembre
Spring
Summer
primavera
verano
Fall
Winter
otoño
invierno
Table 4: The months and seasons.
3.2.2
Weather
Weather (el tiempo), is mostly expressed with hacer (instead of estar ). For
more on hacer, see 6.5.2.
13
3.3
Questions and interrogatives
To ask a question in Spanish, the easiest way to do so is to simply raise the
pitch of your voice at the end of a sentence. Alternatively, you can switch the
order of the verb and the subject, or end a statement with ¿no? or ¿verdad?.
There is no word equivalent of the English do you ...?.
Usted lleva pantalones verde.
¿Lleva usted pantalones verde?
You wear green pants.
Do you wear green pants?
When this isn’t sufficient, the following are some common interrogative
words. Note the difference between ¿Qué? and ¿Cuál?, and note that ¿Cuántos?
must match the gender of what it is asking about. If you wish to use one of these
words in a non-interrogative context (as in, when I’m bored ...), remove the
accent.
¿Quién?
¿Qué?
¿Cuál?
¿Cuándo?
¿Dónde?
¿Por qué?
¿Cómo?
¿Cuánto?
¿Cuántos(-as)?
¿A qué hora?
4
Who?
What?, for definitions and explanations
What?, for everything else
When?
Where?
Why?
How?
How much?
How many?
At what time?
Adjectives
4.1
General rules
Adjectives are placed based according to the following rules:
1. Adjectives describing the quantity of an object always precede the noun.
Veintiunos estantes.
2. Adjectives describing the characteristics of a noun follow the noun, with
the exceptions of buen, mal, and gran.
3. Bueno and malo can either precede or follow the noun they modify. When
preceding, they take the forms buen and mal. Grande may also precede
or follow a noun; however, when it does so it both changes in form and
in meaning. When preceding, it takes the form gran and refers to awe.
When following, it remains grande and refers to size.
4.2
Adjectives and gender
Adjectives must agree with the noun they refer to in both quantity and gender.
The following rules, as always, while generally true, are generalizations and do
14
not apply to every adjective. Thus, be sure to check a dictionary to be sure.
The endings of adjectives ending in -o must match the following table, depending on the gender and quantity of the noun:
Masculine
Feminine
Singular
-o
-a
Plural
-os
-as
The endings of adjectives ending in -án, -dor, -ı́n, or -ón, like those ending
in -o, have four forms and must match the following table, depending on the
gender and quantity of the noun the modify.
Masculine
Feminine
Singular
no change
+a
Plural
+es
+as
Adjectives which end in -e have only two endings: one for singular, one for
plural, regardless of gender. They are -e (singular) and -es (plural).
4.3
Possessive adjectives
The Spanish equivalents of English’s your, my, etc. are as shown in the following
table. Note that the masculine and feminine endings of nuestro and vuestro refer
not to the speaker but to the object and must agree in gender. Also note that,
like vosotros, vuestro and its forms are not generally used in North and South
America. There, the second person plural form is used instead.
First person (masc.)
First person (fem.)
Second person (inf., masc.)
Second person (inf., fem.)
Second person (form.)
Third person
Masculine
Singular Plural
mi
mis
—
—
tu
tus
—
—
su
sus
su
sus
Feminine
Singular
Plural
nuestro nuestros
nuestra nuestras
vuestro
vuestros
vuestra
vuestras
su
sus
su
sus
Table 5: Possessive adjectives.
Note that when referring to parts of one’s self or one’s clothing, one uses the
definite article, not a possessive adjective as in English. Thus, me cepillo los
dientes, not me cepillo mis dientes.
4.4
Demonstrative adjectives
There are three main demostrative adjectives in Spanish: este (this), ese
(that), and aquel (that, far away). Each of these has a singular, plural, masculine, feminine, and neuter (singular only) counterpart, for a total of fifteen
15
varieties. Use the neuter form for unidentified objects or a general concept or
happening.
Masculine
Feminine
Neuter
This
Singular Plural
este
estos
esta
estas
esto
—
That
Singular Plural
ese
esos
esa
esas
eso
—
That, far
Singular
aquel
aquella
aquello
away
Plural
aquellos
aquellas
—
Table 6: Demonstrative adjectives.
These adjectives may be used as demonstrative pronouns (equivalents to
this one and that one) by adding an accent onto the first letter: éste (this
one), ése (that one), áquel (that one, far away).
Aquı́ and allı́ (here and there) are words that often come in handy with
these adjectives.
4.5
Comparisons
Comparisons are made with the words tan (as) or tanto (as much) and como
(as), for equal comparisons, and más (more) or menos (less) and que (as)
for unequal comparisons. The order of and which words you use depends on
whether you’re comparing nouns, adjectives or adverbs, or verbs. Note that for
nouns, tanto must agree with the noun being compared in number and gender.
Adjectives or adverbs
Nouns
Verbs
Equal
[Noun] tan [adjective] como [noun].
[Person] [verb] tanto/s/a/s [noun] como [person].
[Verb] tanto como [person].
Adjectives or adverbs
Nouns
Verbs
Unequal
[Noun] más/menos [adjective] que [noun].
[Person 1] [verb] más/menos [noun] que [person 2].
[Verb] má/menos que [person].
Note that better, worse, older, and younger all have their own special
forms: instead of bueno, use mejor ; instead of malo use peor, instead of viejo
use mayor, and instead of joven use menor.
5
Adverbs
Unlike adjectives, adverbs do not change to reflect quantity or gender.
16
6
6.1
Verbs
General rules
When a verb is immediately followed by another verb, the first one is conjugated
while the second stays in the infinitive. Verbs in English sometimes behave this
way: see the first example.
Me gusta escalar.
Puede trabajar.
6.2
I like to climb.
I can work.
Subject pronouns
The subject pronouns in Spanish are listed in table 7.
yo
tú
usted (Ud.)
él
ella
I
you (informal)
you (formal)
he
she
nosotros/-as
vosotros/-as
ustedes (Uds.)
ellos
ellas
we
all of you (informal)
all of you (formal)
they, male or mixed group
they, female group
Table 7: Subject pronouns.
Note that the masculine plurals are used when there are both men and
women in a group. El, ella, and usted all take the same form of a verb when
conjugated, as do ellos, ellas, and ustedes, and as such these six fields will often
be condensed into two, singular and plural, in verb charts. Note that when
capitalized, él loses its accent: El. There is no word for it in Spanish; instead,
when describing an “it”, use the appropriate definite article (el or la) based
on the gender of the object and conjugate as if for él or ella. Latin American
and North American Spanish eliminates vosotros, instead simply using ustedes.
Note that nosotros and vosotros must agree in gender to the members of the
group they are describing.
For the second-person, you may use tú for people younger than you, who are
friends, and for family. Use usted for everybody else. Remember that you’re
better off using usted if you’re not sure or if you just want to be sure that you’re
being courteous, as the rules change depending on the customs of who you’re
talking to and where they’re from.
A verb conjugates by taking the stem and adding the personal ending (la
terminación personal ). Since all personal endings in Spanish correspond to exactly one grammatical person and one quantity, with the exception of the third
(él, ella, and usted ; ellos, ellas, and ustedes), subject pronouns in the first- and
second-person may be eliminated. Only use them if you wish to emphasize who
is doing something, usually in constrast to who is not, or to compare two groups.
Estás escuchando.
¡Tú estás escuchando!
You are listening.
You are listening!
17
6.3
-AR, -ER, and -IR verbs
There are three basic categories of Spanish verbs: -AR, -ER, and -IR. These
categories refer to the endings of the verbs, and each category has a standard
manner of conjugation (there are, of course, irregular verbs). Verbs conjugate
(at least in the present tenses) by losing the -AR, -ER, or -IR (thus leaving
the stem), and adding an appropriate ending given the gender (masculine or
feminine), grammatical person (first-, second-, or third-person), and number
of things (singular or plural) performing the action. This ending is called the
personal ending (la terminación personal ). The various conjugations taught in
Spanish 1 will be given in section 6.4.
-AR verb
hablar
cantar
Stem
habl cant-
-ER verb
aprender
leer
Stem
aprend le-
-IR verb
escribir
conducir
Stem
ecribconduc-
With reflexive verbs (section 6.7) you may see whether the verb is -AR, -ER,
or -IR by looking before the addition of the reflexive pronoun. Thus, cepillarse
would be an -AR verb.
6.4
Tenses
The manner in which a verb conjugates depends on which of three categories
the verb falls into: -AR, -ER, or -IR. These three categories have predictable
conjugation patterns, as shown in this section. However, as these are merely
patterns and not requirements of the language, there are many irregular verbs
(in fact, some of the most common, such as ser, estar, tener, and ir are all
irregular). The patterns and more detail on these verbs are provided in section
6.5.
Conjugation tables are presented as in the following table. Text in italic will
be replaced by Spanish in actual tables; text in typewriter will be replaced by
English; all text in small caps is merely there as a reference and will not actually exist in real conjugation tables. Where the table has [subject pronoun],
[subject pronoun] will be replaced by the verb listed at the top, conjugated for
that particular field, and with the personal ending underlined. If the table is not
for a particular verb, but is a general template, Spanish verb will be replaced by
what the table is a template for (or, it will become the caption), and [subject
pronoun] will be replaced by the personal ending to be added onto the stem.
First person
Second person (inf.)
Second person (form.)
Third person (masc.)
Third person (fem.)
Spanish verb: English translation
yo
nosotros
tú
vosotros
usted
ustedes
él
ellos
ella
ellas
Singular
Plural
18
Since the third person pronouns (singular: él, ella, and usted ; plural: ellos,
ellas, and ustedes) all have the same personal ending, rather than writing the
same material down over and over again they will be compressed into two fields:
one for singular, and one for plural.
6.4.1
Simple present
The simple present tense is the tense that describes things that are happening
right now (but are not in progress; for that, you need the progressive tense
described in section 6.4.2). An English sentence in this tense would be I hear.
Regular -AR verbs conjugate into the simple present as follows:
-o
-as
-a
-AR
-amos
-áis
-an
-o
-es
-e
-ER
-emos
-éis
-en
-o
-es
-e
-IR
-imos
-ı́s
-en
Table 8: Present tense of regular -AR, -ER, and -IR verbs
Note that -ER and -IR verbs conjugate identically, save for their nosotros
and vosotros forms.
6.4.2
Present progressive
The present progressive tense is a form of the present tense used to describe
actions in progress. An English sentence in this tense would be I am hearing.
Note that in Spanish, this tense is used solely to describe events that are currently in action. To describe something that is going to happen or something
that someone or something is doing over an extended period of time but is not
necessarily happening at this exact moment (cases which would take the present
progressive in English), use the simple present.
To form the present progressive, you use the following formula: [form of
estar ] [gerund]. Estar should be conjugated appropriately (see section 6.5.8).
To form the gerund, add -ando to the stem of an -AR verb and -iendo to the
stem of either a -ER or an -IR verb.
Estoy escuchando.
Está haciendo . . .
Estamos escribiendo.
I am listening.
I am doing ...
We are writing.
If, after adding -ando or -iendo to the verb stem, there is an i sandwiched
between two other vowels, turn it into a y. For example, the stem of leer is
le-, and you would add -iendo. This would give the present participle of leiendo
(which would be incorrect). Instead, turn the i into a y to get the correct
leyendo.
19
Stem-changing verbs, if ending in -AR or -ER, generally do not undergo
a stem change when conjugated into the present progressive. However, the
stem vowel in stem-changing -IR verbs generally do, although this change is
sometimes a different one than the normal change is. Generally, stems making
an e → ie change instead go from e → i, and stems making an o → ue instead
go from o → u. Stems changing from e → i make the same shift.
Dormir, when conjugated, makes a o → ue shift.
I sleep.
Duermo.
Thus, in the present progressive, it makes an o → u shift.
I am sleeping.
Me estoy durmiendo.
Reflexive verbs still must use a reflexive pronoun! The pronoun may go
either before estar, or you may attach it to the end of the reflexive verb. Note
that if you attach it to the end, either the a in -ando or the e in -iendo must
become accented.
Me estoy afeitando.
Estoy afeitándome.
Nos estamos durmiendo.
Estamos durmiéndonos.
6.4.3
—or—
—or—
Near future
The near future tense is used to describe events that are soon to occur or that
are intended to occur. An English example would be I am going to clean
tomorrow. As in English, Spanish uses ir, a verb meaning to go. Ir conjugates
as described in section 6.5.3.
To form the near future, use the formula [form of ir ] a [infinitive of verb].
That’s all there is to it!
Pues, voy a trabajar esta noche.
Vamos a ir a la pelı́cula.
6.5
6.5.1
Irregular verbs
Empezar
Empezar means to begin. When followed by another verb, you must insert a
between them. See table 9.
20
Empezar : to begin.
empiezo empezamos
empiezas
empezáis
empieza
empiezan
Table 9: Present tense of empezar.
6.5.2
Hacer
Hacer means to do or to make. It is often used to express conditions in the
weather (¡Hace muy buen tiempo! Hace calor, y hace mucho sol.). The following three idioms are also common: hacer ejercicio, hacer un viaje, and hacer
una pregunta (to exercise, to take a trip, and to ask a question, respectively). Use the plural of ejercicio if you mean that you’re doing exercises,
as in practices in school. See table 10.
Hacer : to do or to make.
hago
hacemos
haces
hacéis
hace
hacen
Table 10: Present tense of hacer.
6.5.3
Ir
Ir means to go. Apart from that, it is used to create the near future tense
described in section 6.4.3. Ir conjugates as shown on table 11.
Ir : to go.
voy vamos
vas
vais
va
van
Table 11: Present tense of ir.
6.5.4
Jugar
Jugar means to play a sport. When followed by a sport, you must insert a
between jugar and the sport. See table 12.
6.5.5
Oı́r
Oı́r means to hear. It may also be used to get someone’s attention, in the way
that English speakers use hey!. See table 13.
21
Jugar : to play [a sport].
juego
jugamos
juegas
jugáis
juega
juegan
Table 12: Present tense of jugar.
Oı́r : to hear.
oigo
oı́mos
oyes
oı́s
oye
oyen
Table 13: Present tense of oı́r.
6.5.6
Pensar
Pensar means to think. When followed by another verb, it means to intend.
When followed by en, it means to think about. See table 14.
Pensar : to think.
pienso pensamos
piensas
pensáis
piensa
pienen
Table 14: Present tense of pensar.
6.5.7
Salir
Salir means to leave. Used with con, it can mean to date. Used with bien or
mal, it means to turn out well or to turn out poorly. To speak of leaving
somewhere, use de after the verb. See table 15.
Salir : to leave.
salgo
salimos
sales
salı́s
sale
salen
Table 15: Present tense of salir.
6.5.8
Ser and estar
Spanish has two words meaning to be: ser and estar. Generally speaking, ser
describes permanent characteristics (where one is from, intrinsic qualities, etc.),
22
while estar is used to describe temporary characteristics (location, etc.). The
differences between these verbs are not trivial! Asking ¿Cómo está? (How are
you?) is not the same as asking ¿Cómo es? (What are you like?). Note how
the form of estar asks about a temporary quality (mood), while the form of ser
asks about a permanent one (personality).
Both conjugate irregularly. See table 16.
Ser : to be
soy somos
eres
sois
es
son
Estar : to be
estoy estamos
estás
estáis
está
están
Table 16: Present tense of ser and estar.
The following lists summarize the usages of ser and estar. Use ser :
1. To describe permanent characteristics of a person or thing, identify a person or thing, or to describe inherent qualities of a person or thing (such as
profession, type, nationality, personality, or other inherent characteristic).
2. With de, to describe possession or the material of which something is
made.
3. With para, to express for whom or what something is intended.
4. To form generalizations.
5. To tell time, as described in section 3.2.
Use estar :
1. To describe temporary characteristics of a person or thing, describe location, health, or other temporary qualities or conditions.
2. With the present participle to form the progressive tense, as described in
section 6.4.2.
3. In a number of fixed expressions, such as estoy de acuerdo (I agree).
6.5.9
Tener
Tener means to have. Tener is often used idiomatically to describe characteristics of a person that one might assume would be done with ser or estar, such
as age (Tengo dieciocho años). Tener conjugates as shown on table 17.
Common idomatic expressions with tener include:
23
Tener : to have
tengo tenemos
tienes
tenéis
tiene
tienen
Table 17: Present tense of tener.
[Tener ]
[Tener ]
[Tener ]
[Tener ]
[Tener ]
[Tener ]
[Tener ]
[Tener ]
6.5.10
años.
calor /frı́o.
ganas de [infinitivo].
miedo de [infinitivo o cosa].
prisa.
que [infinitivo].
razón.
sueño.
[To
[To
[To
[To
[To
[To
[To
[To
be]
years old.
be] hot/cold.
feel like] doing [something].
be] afraid of [activity or something].
be] in a hurry.
have] to do [something].
be] correct.
be] sleepy.
Volver
Volver means to return. When followed by another verb to mean to do
again, you must insert a between them. See table 18.
Volver : to return.
vuelvo
volvemos
vuelves
volvéis
vuelve
vuelven
Table 18: Present tense of volver.
6.6
Stem-changing verbs
Stem-changing verbs are verbs whose stem vowel changes from whatever it is,
usually e or o, to something else, usually i, ie, or ue (in the present tense)
when conjugated. The main types of stem changes are e → i, e → ie, and o →
ue (jugar, which changes from u → ue, is an exception). Stems change for all
grammatical persons save nosotros and vosotros.
Examples of this type of verb are tener, dormir, and acostarse. Stemchanging verbs that are not -IR verbs do not generally show a change when
conjugated into the present progressive. -IR verbs generally do show a change,
but don’t change in the same way as they do into the simple present. See section
6.4.2 for more detail.
24
6.7
Reflexive verbs
Reflexive verbs that refer back to the doer of the action. While there is no direct English counterpart, we would translate reflexives as he dresses himself,
they sit themselves down, etc. Like the English pronouns myself, themselves,
etc., Spanish also has reflexive pronouns. Reflexive verbs must take a reflexive
pronoun, and in the infinitive end in the reflexive pronoun -se. They are listed
on table 19.
me
te
se
se
myself
yourself (inf.)
yourself (form.)
him/her/itself
nos
os
se
se
ourselves
yourselves (inf.)
yourselves (form.)
themselves
Table 19: Reflexive pronouns.
The reflexive pronoun precedes the verb (se cepilla). If the reflexive verb
is preceded by another verb, it may precede that verb (Se quiere cepillar ) or
attach itself to the end, after the personal ending (Quiere cepillarse).
7
Prepositions
A preposition is a variety of adposition (a class for words that define how and
in what way something is occuring) that is placed before the something that it
is modifying. English examples would be with, for, and at. In Spanish, verbs
which follow prepositions remain unconjugated (and thus in the infinitive form).
Pronouns that are objects of prepositions are the same as the subject pronouns, save yo and tú. Instead, use mı́ and ti. When either of these two
pronouns is preceded by con, they must combine to form conmigo and contigo,
respectively.
7.1
Por and para
Por and para are two Spanish words which find their (rough) English equivalent
in for. Generally, para is used when something is for a specific purpose. Por is
used for everything else.
Use por to mean because of, by means of, during, for a duration of,
in exchange for, on behalf of, or through or along, and in some fixed expressions, such as por favor or por eso.
Use para to mean by [some time], for [some destination], for [some
person or purpose], for [somebody being compared to somebody else],
in order to [verb], in the employ of, or to be used for.
25
8
Bibliography
1. HarperCollins (2006). Spanish Unabriged Dictionary [8th ed.]. New York:
HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 0-06-074896-6
2. Larousse (2005). Spanish-English Pocket Dictionary [unknown ed.]. Boston:
Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 2-03-542051-2
26
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This document was typeset with LATEX 2ε , using TEXnicCenter for a text
editor and pdfTEX to make the final document. In addition, I used the babel
package to typeset some of the Spanish characters (namely, the guillemets),
and the ctable package to typeset the tables containing footnotes.
The font is the standard Computer Modern LATEX font.
My gratitude and praises go out to those who have helped make these fine
pieces of software as excellent as they are and free to boot.
27
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