In the first phase we were kind of here and there, now we are about to concentrate on areas that will lead us to where we want to get. It is to have you speak Spanish correctly.
The use of the following verbs: ser, estar, tener
These three verbs: ser, estar and tener which are called linking verbs help in sentence formation. Although ser and estar have a close meaning, sometimes used interchangeably by Spanish speakers, they remain unique in their own way and should be used in an appropriate manner.
The verb estar is used when referring to a place or to express a temporary condition while ser is used to express something permanent (more or less) or the qualities of a person. For example you could say “estoy feliz” (I am happy) this represents a temporary condition. However, when you say “ soy una mujer” (I am a woman) this is something more or less permanent.
We have already seen the conjugation of verb ser, let us see now the verb estar (simple present tense) of the indicative mode
Tú estás or usted está
El (ella) está
Vosotros(as) estáis or ustedes están
Here are a few examples of how the verbs ser and estar are used:
Yo soy un hombre———————-Estás aquí————————El es alto
Yo soy Daniel—————————Ellas están enfermas———–Tu eres guapo
Estamos felices————————–Ellos son viejos—————-¿Cómo estás?
The conjugation of verb tener (simple present tense)
Tu tienes or usted tiene
El (ella) tiene
Vosotros(as) tenéis or ustedes tienen
Here are a few examples of how the verb tener is used:
Tengo hambre———————-Tengo frio—————————-Tiene sed
Tengo dos libros——————-Tienen dos billetes——————Tenemos calor
Do some practice!!!
Translate the previous short sentences according to what you have already learned.
A sentence is a group of word that expresses a complete idea. There are several types of sentences.
1. Declarative where you make a declaration (Tengo el lapiz) I have the pencil
2. Interrogative where you ask a question (¿Dónde está Maria?) Where is Maria?
3. Imperative where you give an order (¡Abre la puerta!) Open the door!
A sentence where a question is asked always starts and ends with these signs (¿, ?)
A sentence where you give an order always starts and ends with these signs (¡, !)
A sentence that expresses surprise or exclamation always starts and ends with (¡, !)
A normal sentence has a subject (the subject indicates who is or is doing something) and a verb (the verb indicates what the subject is doing) for example, we have (el hombre entra) the man enters. Hombre is the subject and entra is the verb. Sometimes a sentence has more elements that we will discuss later.
Another example is (el hombre habla con la mujer) the man talks to the lady. The same sentence may be written like this (habla con la mujer el hombre) where the words are shuffled around, but the meaning remains the same.
Do some practice !!!
Explain, and then write two samples of these different types of sentences.
Subject in a sentence____________________________________
Verb in a sentence______________________________________
The subjet does not have to be a person or an animal, it can be something like in the following examples:
La mesa es sucia———-the table is dirty
Es mío———————-it is mine
Hace mucho calor——–it is very hot
Affirmative and negative sentences
To turn an affirmative sentence into a negative sentence, you only place (no) in front of the verb. For example:
Este hombre es italiano (affirm.)———————Este hombre no es italiano (negative)
Mi hermano es guapo (affirm.)———————–Mi hermano no es guapo (negative)
Do some practice!!!
Pedro vive en Guatemala———————
Voy a la clase———————————-
Suzana es mi amiga————————-
Clause is another word for sentence. It is a group of words having at least a subject and a verb within. We have main clauses and subordinate clauses. The main clause is very important while the subordinate one depends on the main one in a complex sentence.
Main Clause———————————————————Subordinate Clause
Main Subj.—-Main Verb.——————————-Subor.Subj.—–Subor.Verb.
Antonia——– trabaja——————porque———— ella——- necesita el dinero
Here is another example where the subordinate clause is placed at the beginning of the sentence.
Subordinate Clause——————————————–Main Clause
Si me siento bien———————————————-voy a la fiesta
If I feel well—————————————————–I go to the party
We also have what is called an independent clause. It is a simple sentence as in the following example
Independent Clause————————————Independent Clause
Voy a la fiesta———————–y——————–voy a bailar
I go to the party——————–and——————danse
In this case, we have two independent clauses connected by the letter (y).
Contrarily to a dependent clause, an independent clause may stand on its own or attached to another independent clause as we just experienced it in the previous example.
We notice there are simple sentences and complex sentences. A simple sentence has one subject and one verb. A complex sentence has more than one subject and more than one verb.
Do some practice !!!
Write two sentences for each of of the following: main clause, subordinate clause and independent clause.
Direct Object and Indirect Object
It is very likely that in a sentence a verb is followed by a word or a group of words that are labeled as D. O. (direct object) or I. O. (indirect object). Some verbs such as ser (to be) do not require a D. O. or I. O. Other verbs such as hablar (to speak), lavar (to wash) do go along with them. For example we have the following sentences:
Subject ————————————verb————————————-direct object
When you ask the question “Roberto washes what?” and you get an answer (his car), that simply means you have a D. O. When the answer does not match the question, you do not have a D. O.
In this sentence, when you ask the question “Guttierez gave what?” you can not get a favorable answer. However, when you ask “Guttierez gave to whom?” you get a good answer which is to Roberto. In this case, you have an I. O.
You may also encounter both D. O. and I. O. in a sentence.
Do some practice !!!
What do we have in these sentences? D. O. or I. O.
Yo como las frutas——————————-I eat the fruits
Pablo viaja son su amigo————————Pablo travels with his friend
El abre la puerta———————————-He opens the door
Tonia ofrece unas manzanas a su madre—–Tonia offers a few apples to her mother
Voy a calentar mi comida———————–I am going to heat my food
The sentences that contain an I. O. oftenly have the word (le) in front of the verb. You could say: “Tonia le ofrece unas manzanas a su madre”. It is the same thing.
Clauses: relative and temporal
You remember that we have seen subordinate clauses. There are two main types of subordinate.
The first one is the relative subordinate which is introduced with a relative pronoun such as (Que) meaning (that, who). Let us take a look at this example:
El hombre que está manejando habla inglés—-The man who is driving speaks English
El hombre habla inglés_________is a main clause
que está manejando____________is a relative subordinate clause
Here are other examples:
La mujer que me mira es muy hermoza—-The woman who is watching me is very pretty
El muchacho que viene es mi hijo———–The boy who is coming is my son.
The second one is the temporal clause introduced by a conjunction such as (cuando) meaning (when) or (donde) meaning (where) and (porque) meaning (because). We have the following example:
Cuando esta comiendo, la mujer habla mucho——while eating, the lady talks a lot
Cuando esta comiendo____________is a temporal subordinate clause
La mujer habla mucho____________is a main clause
Here are a few more examples:
Cuando estoy cansado, me acuesto—————-When I am tired, I go to bed.
Yo hablo cuando me dan la palabra—————I speak when they let me.
El no va a la playa porque no se siente bien—–He does not go to the beach because he does not feel good
Do some practice!!!
Connect these words (letters with numbers) after identifying them.
1. Relative pronoun
3. Temporal subordinate clause
a) Cuando esta comiendo
Try to identity what type of clause do we have in these sentences?
Cuando la clase termina, voy a la playa.
Voy a la escuela y estudio inglés.
Yo vivo cerca del mar
El no tiene dinero para comprar libros.
La chica que baila bien trabaja en el café.
What have you learned about sentences when you speak or write in spanish?
1. Independent and dependent sentences
2. Subject and verbs
3. Affirmative and negative sentences
4. D. O. and I. O.
5. Main and subordinate clauses
6. Relative subordinate and temporal subordinate clauses
7. Simple and complex sentences
We have seen a great deal about sentence so far. However, we still have other aspects of sentences to explore.
Gender (el genero)
In Spanish, the gender factor is much more appreciated than it is in English. When we mostly refer to people and animals as we speak about gender, it encompasses much more in Spanish. A simple word, referring to a non-living element, is given a gender; it may be masculine, feminine or neutral. When a word is masculine, it is preceded by (el) as in el hombre (the man); when a word is feminine, it is preceded by (la) as in la mujer (the woman).
Here is a list of 10 rules that may help you identify the gender of some words.
1. The letters of the alphabet are considered to be feminine. Therefore, we have la “a”, la “b”, la “m”, etc…..
2. The words that end in –tad, -dad, -tud, -umbre, -ión, -sis, -it, – is, -nza, -ie, -ez, -eza, habitually are feminine as in: la libertad, la costumbre, la union.
3. The words for days, months, year, color, number, language, river, ocean, as well as a few foreign words found in Spanish are masculine as in: el martes, el julio, el quarto, el español, el Nil, el Atlántico, el marketing etc…
4. The words that end in –ma, -ambre, -or, -aje, -án or an accented vowel habitually are masculine as in: el problema, el hambre, el instructor, el garaje, el champú, el personaje, el alemán etc….
5. The name of most trees are masculine while their fruit name are feminine as in: el palto (avocado, tree) and la palta (avocado, fruit)
6. The name associated to people in their profession that end in –or, -és, -ón, -in habitually are masculine. You only add (a) at their very end to change them to feminine as in: el director—-la directora or el japonés——la japonesa.
7. Some words change completely from masculine to feminine as in: el poeta—-la poetisa, el rey——-la reina.
8. Some words do not change from masculine to feminine; their orthography remains the same whether you place (el or la) in front of them as in el dentista (dentist)—–la dentista, el joven (young)—–la joven, el lider (leader)——la lider.
9. Some words are applied for both sexes as in: la persona (the person), el pájaro (the bird).
10. Finally some words have a complete different meaning when you place either (el or la) in front of them as in: el papa (the Pope), and la papa (potato), la mañana (the morning) and el mañana (tomorrow).
One exception to the rules. The word agua (water) which is feminine follows the word (el) instead of (la) as in el agua está fría———the water is cold.
Do some practice !!!
Indicate the gender in these words by placing (el or la) in front of them.
Translate these words in English.
Translate these words into Spanish (do not forget to place an article in front of them.)
Quantity or Number (one, two———singular, plural)
When it comes to quantity, referring to one thing or one person is called singular. When referring to more than one is called plural. For example: la manzana (singular) and las manzanas (plural), el aeropuerto (singular) los aeropuertos (plural).
Here are 10 rules that may help you in this specific matter.
1. There are some words, whether they are singular or plural, they do not change. You might just have to memorize them as in: el paraguas (umbrella)—–las paraguas, el miércoles (Wednesday) los miércoles.
2. Some words are only used in plural as in: las Tijeras (scissors), los alicates (pliers), los anteojos (glasses).
3. The words with an accent on the last syllable, habitually have no accent in their plural form as in: el autobús (autobus)——-los autobuses, el cartón (paperboard)—-los cartones.
4. Some singular words without an accent have an accent in their plural form as in: el examen (test)——-los exámenes, el origen (origine)——los orígenes.
5. To words that end in –í, -ú are added (es) in plural instead of (s) as in: el menu (menu)—los menúes, el colibrí (humming bird)———los colibríes.
6. The accent in some words changes position on a different syllable according the word’s status: singular or plural. El régimen (regime)——–los regímenes.
7. Words that end in –z, change the z to ces as in: el lápiz (pencil)—–los lápices, una vez (time)——unas veces.
8. Masculine plural is always used to refer to men and women together as in: mis tíos (my uncle and my aunt), los maestros (the masters, (men and women)).
9. There is no plural for people name as in: los Garcia ( the Garcia (the Garcia family)).
10. Beside all theses particularities, a word is changed habitually from singular to plural by adding an (s) to the last syllable if it ends with a vowel. If the word ends with a consonant, (es) is added at its end.
Do some practice!!!
Rewrite these words in their plural form:
Articles: definite (el, la, los, las)—————-indefinite (un, una, unos, unas)
Although we have seen many examples of article in our past exercices, I want to make it clear what is an article. An article is placed in front of a word in an attempt to indicate whether that word expresses something familiar or not. When you say: el hombre (the man) or el día (the day) it is a man or a day that you know something about. However, when you say: un hombre (a man) or un día (a day), you do not happen to know such man and it is not a specific day either.
Here are the different definite articles:
Some examples of definite articles use:
El pais————el problema—————–el día——————-el ejercito
La muchacha—-la uva————————la naturaleza———–la bondad
Los amigos——los hermanos—————-los enemigos———-los meses
Las fiestas——-las palabras——————las papas—————las naciones
Here are a few things you need to know about the use of definite aricles:
1. A definite article is never used after the verb haber (to have) for example in this sentence: hay mucha gente en la oficina (there are a lot of people in the office).
2. Habitually, the definite article is used in front of words that indicate: time, day, season. We have the following example: vengo a las tres de la tarde ( I come at three o’clock in the afternoon.) el domingo es mi día preferido ( Sunday is my preferred day.)
3. There is an exception when the day follows the verb ser (to be) for example: hoy es martes (today is Tuesday.)
As I recently told you, indefinite articles are placed in front of a word that expresses something that is unfamiliar or unidentified. For example when you say una mujer (a woman) you are not really referring to a woman that you know. We have the following sentence: unos muchachos robaron al hombre (several young boys robbed the man) the boys are not identified in the sentence.
Here are the different indefinite articles:
Some examples of indefinite articles use:
Un hombre—————–un profesor————————–un dentista
Una enfermera————-una sala——————————una palabra
Unos alumnos————–unos dias—————————-unos pantalones
Unas camisetas————unas uvas—————————-unas manzanas
In front of a feminine word begining with the vowel á or ha they always use the article (un) instead of (una) to prevent the encounter between two (a).
Something particular about the Spanish language is the existence of a neuter article (lo).
Some examples where the neuter article (lo) is used:
Lo dificil——lo dificil es que el no habla inglés———-the difficult thing is that he does not speak English.
Lo bueno—–lo bueno es que Pablo habla español———-the good thing is that Pablo speaks Spanish.
Lo nuevo—-¿qué es lo nuevo?————-what’s new?
Lo mejor—–eso es lo mejor que tenemos——this is the best that we have
There is not really much that you have to learn about adjectives. They are descriptive words. When associated with a noun, the two of them agree in gender and number. For example we have:
Un hombre enfermo—————Una mujer enferma
Unos muchachos enfermos——Unas chicas enfermas
You have seen how the adjectives and the nouns agree in gender and number. The adjectives that end with a consonant or the letter (e) have only one singular form and one plural form as in: social——–sociales.
In some cases the last vowel of an adjective (o) is omitted as in the following examples:
Bueno———–un buen padre——————–a good father
Primero———mi primer hijo——————–my first son
Alguno———me hablaron de algún libro—–they told me about a book
Ninguno——–no encontraron ningún carro—-they did not find any car
Sometimes the word (gran) is used instead of (grande) when placed in front of a noun.
Ella vive en una gran casa—————-She lives in a big house
Sometimes adjectives are not placed immediately after the nouns as in the following:
Tengo una falda muy linda—————————I have a very nice skirt
Quiero algo más bonito——————————-I want something good
Nunca ví un carro tan caro—————————I have never seen a car so expensive
Do some practice!!!
Using the previous vocabulary lists provided, write a few sentences while applying what you have learned so far about articles and adjectives. When finished, answer the following questions.
1. What is an article?
2. How many types of articles are there?
3. What is an adjective?
Sometimes nouns are used as adjectives as in the following examples:
Tengo comida para los pobres———–I have food for the poor.
Eso es para los ricos———————-This is for the rich.
Adjectives are sometimes used to establish comparisons. They are inserted beteewn these:
Here are a few examples:
Maria es más bella que Jessica——————Maria is more beautiful than Jessica
Pablo es menos inteligente que Pedro———-Pablo is less intelligent than Pedro
Juan es tan guapo como Harry——————-Juan is as handsome as Harry
Sometimes, instead of más…..que, the expression más…..de lo que, menos….de lo que that has approximately the same meaning is used; but not in a comparison setting. For example:
La conversacion fue más larga de lo que pensamos——–the conversation lasted longer than we thought.
Do some practice!!!
Identify among those sentences which ones are comparisons and which are not. Then, translate them into English.
Ella es mayor que su hermana_______________
Tina es más inteligente que Simona___________
Es más grande que lo que pensamos__________
Tengo menos de sesenta años________________
El perro es más bravo que el gato_____________
The terms más/menos…….que or tan…..como do not always have an adjective in between. Sometimes a noun is inserted as in the following sentence: El tiene más paciencia que yo (He is more patient than me). It may also be an adverb as in the following sentence: Martino camina más lentamente que una tortuga. (Martino walks slower than a turtle.)
Adjectives to the superlative
An adjective is said to be at the superlative when it expresses an idea at the highest level. The expression used for that in Spanish is el (la, los, las) más (the most) as in the following:
El perro el más grande———the biggest dog
La mujer la más bella———-the most beautiful woman
Some people might say: El perro más grande. This is not a mistake either.
The superlative form of an adjective is formed by adding –ísimo at its end if it ends with a consonant or an accented vowel. If the adjective ends with z, the z is changed to c. If it ends in c, the c is changed to qu. If it ends in g, the g is changed to gu as in the following examples:
Feliz——-felicísimo(happiest) El felicísimo hombre
Do some practice !!!
Write these sentence correctly while applying your knowledge of comparison:
Los hijos son /viejo/ los padres
El ratón es /grande/ el elefante
Los pollos son /fuerte/ los caballos
El amor es /bueno/ el dinero
Place these adjectives in sentences at their superlative form:
Feo, nuevo, rico, grande, feliz
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