Perífrasis verbales en español

¡Hola a todos!

Many of my students usually ask me about this topic: perífrasis verbales. That’s why I’d like to try to quickly explain this.

The verbal periphrases are groups of two or more verbs meaning something together. They usually are made up from a conjugated verb, a link (but many periphrases don’t need it) and another verb in a non personal form (infinitive, gerund or participle).

In Spanish, periphrases may talk about the aspect of the verb or the speaker’s attitude. Let’s see some examples of each.

If we talk about the aspect, we will find different categories: actions about to start, ended actions, actions happening right now… Well, here are some examples:

  • Imminent actions: Estoy a punto de salir de casa.
  • Starting actions: Mi hijo empezó a hablar el mes pasado.
  • Happening actions: Se ha pasado estudiando toda la noche.
  • Ending actions: Los obreros han dejado de utilizar el martillo eléctrico. ¡Menos mal!
  • Usual actions: Suelo cenar con mis amigos todos los sábados.

If we talk about the speaker’s attitude, we can say, for example:

  • Obligation: Tienes que comprar huevos para la tortilla.
  • Permission: Papá dice que puedo ir al cine, ¿a qué hora nos vemos?
  • Probability: Debe de haber pasado algo grave, han venido incluso los bomberos.
  • Certainty: El ciervo tuvo que asustarse mucho con el disparo.
  • Approximation: El texto viene a decir que todos somos iguales.

I hope that you liked it and that it’s been crystal clear. All week long you will find some pictures on my Instagram and Facebook profiles to review this, so if you don’t follow me yet, follow me now!

If you have any question about this, don’t hesitate to ask me. Remember that you can study Spanish online with me, you can ask for a 30 minutes free trial lesson, where we will get to know each other and start your Spanish adventure!

Also, if you like my job and you want to support me so I can keep sharing all this with you, kindly have a look to my Patreon page here. You can find a list (not complete, but very long) with Spanish periphrases.

¡Hasta la próxima!

Pretérito Perfecto Simple o Pretérito Indefinido de Indicativo

¡Hola a todos!

This week I’m back to talk about grammar, about Spanish tenses. I know it might me a bit boring when you learn the grammar, but you know we need it. I'll be sharing soon some podcasts with stories about Spain so you can practice the grammar in context. Stay tunned!

Firstly, I’m going to tell you when to use this tense:

- Finished past actions. We usually use it with specific dates and adverbs like el otro día, ayer, antes de ayer, anoche, el año pasado, la semana pasada…

El año pasado estuve de viaje en el sur de China.

Mi hermana se mudó a Valencia en 2009.

- When telling a story, consecutive actions.

Fuimos al restaurante y pedimos marisco. Cuando terminamos, pedimos la cuenta y nos marchamos.

- Interrupted actions in the past.

Estábamos hablando tranquilamente y, de repente, ¡un chico me robó el bolso!

Now we know when to use it, let’s see how to form it. Let’s start with the form for the regular verbs:

But, how about the irregular verbs? Well, in this chart you can see the first person of the main irregular verbs (but they’re not all!). If you want to get the complete chart, you can have it here together with the other past tenses in Spanish.

Also, if you missed the post about Pretérito Imperfecto, you can read it here.

I hope that you liked it and that it’s been crystal clear. All week long you will find some pictures on my Instagram and Facebook profiles to review this, so if you don’t follow me yet, follow me now!

If you have any question about this, don’t hesitate to ask me. Remember that you can study Spanish online with me, you can ask for a 30 minutes free trial lesson, where we will get to know each other and start your Spanish adventure!

Also, if you like my job and you want to support me so I can keep sharing all this with you, kindly have a look to my Patreon page here.

¡Hasta la próxima!

Imperfecto de Indicativo

¡Hola a todos!

This week, I’m back with a grammar topic: Spanish tenses. Specifically, we’re talking this week about the Indicative Imperfect past.

Let’s start with the form for the regular verbs:

 

But, how about the irregular verbs? Well, in this chart you can see the first person of the main irregular verbs (but they’re not all!). If you want to get the complete chart, you can have it here together with the other past tenses in Spanish.

 

And, when should we use the Imperfect in Spanish? Well, here’s a small list:

  • Continuous past actions.

Cuando era pequeña, iba a clases de inglés.

  • Past actions whose end is not clear.

Mi hermana estaba enferma.

  • Intentions and courtesy.

Buscaba un traje negro, por favor.

  • Stories and past narrations.

Iba caminando por la calle mientras veía el paisaje.

 

These are the main uses for the Imperfect in Spanish, but eventually you can face other situations, like indirect style or some conditional tenses.

 

I hope that you liked this post and that it’s been clear. All week long you will find some pictures on my Instagram and Facebook profiles to review and practice this, so if you don’t follow me yet, follow me now!

If you have any question about this, don’t hesitate to ask me. Remember that you can study Spanish online with me, you can ask for a 30 minutes free trial lesson, where we will get to know each other and start your Spanish adventure!

Also, if you like my job and you want to support me so I can keep sharing all this with you, kindly have a look to my Patreon page here.

¡Hasta la próxima!

Sentence order in Spanish

¡Hola a todos!

This week’s post is about something that many people usually ask me about: how to deal with the sentence order in Spanish.

We all know that many languages have closed structures and you can’t modify that grammar, but Spanish language is very flexible when talking about this. We do have a regular order for the sentences, but sometimes it may change. How? Let’s see it!

 

In affirmative sentences, the order will be subject + verb + objects.

Yo tengo una videoconsola en mi casa.

However, we can modify this order if we need to emphasize a specific object in the sentence, for example:

En mi casa tengo una videoconsola.

 

If we talk about negative sentences, we have two possible scenarios:

  • Using no, without any other adverb: we add no before the main verb. For example: No quiero ir al cine.
  • Using other negative adverb, like nada, ninguno, nadie… In this case, we need to use a double negation, using the structure no + verbo + nada/nadie… For example: No necesito nada, gracias.

 

Now, let’s see the interrogative sentences. We have two main types of interrogative sentences in Spanish: total and partial questions.

Starting with the total questions, they are the easiest to make, as the order will be the same than a regular affirmative sentence. For example:

Vamos al cine à ¿Vamos al cine?

The partial questions are those interrogative sentences where you ask for a specific information, so you can’t answer with yes/no. In this case, we will use the interrogative words like qué, quién, cómo… substituting the missing information, always at the beginning of the sentence. For example:

¿Qué quieres? Quiero una cámara de fotos.

¿Cuándo vamos al cine? Vamos al cine el domingo.

 

I hope that you liked this post and that it’s been clear. All week long you will find some pictures on my Instagram and Facebook profiles to review and practice this, so if you don’t follow me yet, follow me now!

If you have any question about this, don’t hesitate to ask me. Remember that you can study Spanish online with me, you can ask for a 30 minutes free trial lesson, where we will get to know each other and start your Spanish adventure!

¡Hasta la próxima!

Prepositions of place in Spanish

¡Hola a todos!

This week I’m talking about place prepositions. Yes, those words we always get confused with because they are kind of different in English. I’ve prepared a visual illustration about them, so you only need to have a look at it and you will know which preposition you need.

I hope that you liked this short post and that it’s been clear. All week long you will find some pictures on my Instagram and Facebook profiles to review and practice this, so if you don’t follow me yet, follow me now!

If you have any question about this, don’t hesitate to ask me. Remember that you can study Spanish online with me, you can ask for a 30 minutes free trial lesson, where we will get to know each other and start your Spanish adventure!

¡Hasta la próxima!

¿Ser o estar?

¡Hola a todos!

I'm back this week with a grammar topic: when do we use "ser" and "estar" in Spanish? I know this is something driving crazy most of Spanish students, so I'll try to clarify the issue a little bit.

To start with, I'll show you a picture with the uses for "ser" and "estar", but to make it easy, you'll see a note in a chart.

As you can see, that note simplifies the use for both verbs in Spanish: we use "ser" for the characteristics regarding to the object or person itself; and we use "estar" to talk about circumstances.

Yes! It's that easy!

But we've not finished...

No, it couldn't be that easy. Did you know there are some adjectives whose meaning may change depending on the verb they go with? I give you another picture where you can see some of the main adjectives suffering this change:

So it's not the same to say Soy listo that Estoy listo.

As I said, there are more adjectives whose meaning change when we use one or the other verb. Do you want to know them? Contact me and I'll help you out!

If you don't follow my Instagram and Facebook profiles, follow me! I post daily contents where you can practise your Spanish, and if you like it, remember that you can study Spanish online with me, you can ask for a 30 minutes free trial lesson, where we will get to know each other and start your Spanish adventure!

¡Hasta la próxima!

Direct and indirect object pronouns in Spanish

¡Hola a todos!

Last two weeks I’ve been talking about direct object and indirect object pronouns. This week, I’ll be talking to you about how to substitute both objects with their pronouns in the same sentence.

When we substitute both objects with pronouns, we will use lo, la, los, las for the direct object, but se for the indirect objects (instead of le, les). This change happens in order to avoid the phenomenon known as cacophony: the repetition of similar sounds.

But, how about the order in the sentence? There are some basic rules, but you can find some exceptions I’ll not talk about in order to avoid confusions. Let’s see those main rules:

  • The indirect object pronoun will always go before the direct object pronoun. When they both appear in a sentence, the direct object will go next to the verb, and the indirect object will go after that with the preposition “a”.
  • When they appear after the verb, they will go together. For example, with the Imperative tense:

Pide el teléfono a Juan -> Pídeselo

  • When they appear before the verb, like with a past tense, they will appear separated.

He pedido el teléfono a Juan -> Se lo he pedido

 

The imperative tense may have some alterations, due to phonetic reasons. I’ll list you the most common ones, but remember that you’ll only get this by practicing a lot. 😊

  • If followed by “-os”, “-nos”, the first person plural will lose the final “-s”.

Comamos + nos = Comámonos la fruta

Rogamos + os = Rogámoos (this was very used in old Spanish, so it’s good for you to know it if you have a high level and like reading Spanish books)

  • If followed by “-os”, the second person plural will lose the final “-d”, except for the verb “ir”:

Comed + os = Coméos la fruta

Id + os = Idos

I hope that you liked this post and that it’s been clear. I know this is very theoretic, that’s why you will find all week long some pictures on my Instagram profile to review and practice this, so if you don’t follow me yet, click here and follow me!

If you have any question about this, don’t hesitate to ask me. Remember that you can study Spanish online with me, you can ask for a 30 minutes free trial lesson, where we will get to know each other and start your Spanish adventure!

¡Hasta la próxima! 🙂

Indirect Object Pronouns in Spanish

¡Hola a todos!

Last week I was talking about direct objects, and as I told you, this week I’ll keep going with grammar: indirect objects and indirect object pronouns.

Indirect objects refer to the person, animal or thing where ends the action of the main verb. Wait, what? Despacito, profesora. Alright, let’s see it with an example:

Voy a regalar un libro a mi madre.

In this sentence, we have two objects: direct (un libro) and indirect (a mi madre). We could perfectly say Voy a regular un libro, but we would be missing some information. Who are you giving the book to? That’s why we say that the action ends with the indirect object, because it fills the information that we need.

Indirect objects, as well as direct objects, can be substituted by a pronoun: le, les. It doesn’t make the difference between masculine or feminine, only singular and plural. So we could say:

Le voy a regalar un libro.

Usually, these objects can be identified by answering two questions: ¿a quién? or ¿para quién? They will always go after the prepositions a or para, and they can appear with both transitive and intransitive verbs.

Tengo una sorpresa para ti. (Transitive verb).

Me gusta el café. (Intransitive verb, as el café is the subject. Review this verb’s structure here.)

 

I hope that you liked this post and that it’s been clear; next week I’ll talk about how to substitute both direct and indirect objects in the same sentence. You will find all week long some pictures on my Instagram profile to review and practice this, so if you don’t follow me yet, click here and follow me!

If you have any question about this, don’t hesitate to ask me. Remember that you can study Spanish online with me, you can ask for a 30 minutes free trial lesson, where we will get to know each other and start your Spanish adventure!

¡Hasta la próxima!

Direct Pronouns in Spanish

¡Hola a todos!

I’m back this week to talk about the object pronouns, specifically about direct object pronouns (Complemento Directo u Objeto Directo in Spanish).

Direct objects are those objects suffering the verb action in the sentence. If you know how to form a passive sentence, then the direct object will be the subject. They appear with transitive verbs, that is, verbs accepting direct objects. According to this, verbs like ir or enfermar can’t appear with a direct object.

Usually, the direct object will refer to a thing. Let’s see some examples:

He visto unos coches muy bonitos.

Voy a comprar esta agenda para mi clase de español.

You can always replace the direct object with a pronoun: lo, la, los, las. These pronouns must be the same genre and number than the object they are substituting. Let’s see the previous examples:

Los he visto.

La voy a comprar para mi clase de español.

As a general rule, the direct object doesn’t have preposition. But this is Spanish, and this is grammar, so there must be some exceptions. And here it is: when the direct object refers to a person, it will always be after the preposition a (also the pronouns). Let’s see some other examples:

Ayer conocí a Jorge. > Ayer lo conocí.

Sandra quiere a Eduardo. > Sandra lo quiere.

Voy a llamar a mi familia. > La voy a llamar.

There are also some verbs requiring the preposition a, even if it’s a direct object not referring to people, like sustituir a, preceder a or seguir a. For example:

Pablo sustituye a Pedro mientras está de vacaciones.

Los patitos siguen a su mamá.

I hope that you liked this post and that it’s been clear; next week I’ll talk about the indirect objects. You will find all week long some pictures on my Instagram profile to review and practice this, so if you don’t follow me yet, click here and follow me!

If you have any question about this, don’t hesitate to ask me. Remember that you can study Spanish online with me, you can ask for a 30 minutes free trial lesson, where we will get to know each other and start your Spanish adventure!

¡Hasta la próxima!

Presente de Indicativo (Present Simple)

¡Hola a todos!

I’m going to start a series of Spanish tenses, and of course, the first one will be Presente de Indicativo, equivalent to Present Simple in English.

 

We use this tense for:

  • Actions happening now.

Leo un libro de Arturo Pérez-Reverte.

  • Regular actions.

Tengo clase de español los martes y los jueves.

  • Future actions.

A las siete jugamos un partido de fútbol.

  • Some past actions, mostly when narrating.

Estaba hablando con él y, de repente, suena mi canción preferida.

 

About the form, there are general rules, but there also are a lot of irregular verbs. We will start with the regular ones.

In Spanish, we divide verbs in three groups: first (-ar), second (-er) and third (-ir) conjugation. Every group has different endings, and every grammatical person must agree with the appropriate form. To do so, we must take the verb radical (verb without -ar, -er or -ir) and add the endings.

Let’s see the three regular conjugations with three example verbs:

Now, we start with the irregular verbs.

Some verbs suffer some changes on the vowels:

Some other verbs, add a “z” or a “y” when conjugating:

Other verbs only change the first person singular, and the rest will be regular:

About the reflexive verbs, you can read this post that I wrote some time ago.

If you liked it, share it.

If you want to know more, send me a message and I’ll give you a 30 minutes free lesson!

¡Hasta la próxima! 😊