This page contains tips for Spanish grammar.
Buenos or buenas?:
Spanish greetings are a good way to break the ice, but they can be easy to make mistakes with. We use
buenos dias because "dia" is masculine. Buenas tardes and buenas noches are both feminine.
Al and del:
- Spanish has two contractions that are always used in place of their full versions: al and del. Al is officially the contraction of "a el", which is "to the..." for masculine nouns. Del is officially the contraction for "de el", which is commonly used for "from the..." and "of the..." for masculine nouns. Never use "a el" or "de el", as these are incorrect.
These and those: Edit
- These and those are created with the plural of this and that. However, the plural form is a little different. Estos is these in Spanish. Esos is those in Spanish. Note: Estes and eses do not exist.
Como and cómo: Edit
Though the only difference between the two is a diacritic (acento ortográfico), that diacritic makes a difference. Como means "like" or "as", while cómo means "how".
This or that Edit
- In Spanish, this and that match the gender of the noun in the sentence, or are neuter (in gender) if the noun is not mentioned .
- Esta (feminine nouns only): Esta falda es roja.
- Este (masculine nouns only): Este zapato es nuestro.
- Esto (when the noun is not mentioned in the sentence): Esto es mal.
- Esa (feminine nouns only): Esa foto es nueva.
- Ese (masculine nouns only): Ese coche es viejo.
- Eso (when the noun is not mentioned in the sentence): Eso no es cierto.
Confusing Genders: Edit
All Spanish words have gender, but some can be confusing because they do not have the gender we expect. Here are a few:
La moto = the motorcycle (short for motobicicleta)
La foto = the photo (short for fotografía)
El problema = the problem
El día = the day
El agua = the water (El agua is actually feminine – so you would say el agua fría. Nouns that begin with a stressed a – such as alma, arma and agua – always use el, even though they are feminine.)
Most words ending in "ción" = La instalación, la federación, la explicación
Most words ending in "dad" are feminine: La ciudad, la variedad, la velocidad
Most words ending in "ma" are masculine: el problema, el tema
- Pez versus Pescado
- Genders in Spanish
- Animals names can be male or female
- Omitting Pronouns
- The second person plural in Spanish
- Many ways of saying "you"
- Accent Marks