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! 😊

Demonstratives and proximity adverbs in Spanish

¡Hola a todos!

Today, I’m writing about a grammar topic: demonstrative articles and some adverbs related to them.

I know grammar might be very boring for some students, but it’s a very important part when learning a language! So, I’ll try it to be short and easy-going. ¿Preparados? 🙂

 

Demonstrative articles in Spanish.

First of all, we must explain what a demonstrative article is. They are words that go with a noun, and they must agree with it. That is, if the noun is masculine and singular, the article must be masculine and singular as well.

  1. What are the demonstrative articles in Spanish?

 

  1. When should I use “este”, “ese” or “aquel”?

In Spanish, these articles are equivalent to this and that in English; but there’s a difference: English has two demonstratives, Spanish has three. This is because Spanish makes a deeper difference than English, and splits that in two. Let’s see why:

  • Este, esta -> this

Este coche es rojo. (This car is red)

  • Ese, esa -> that

Ese coche es verde. (That car is green; the car is a bit far, middle distance)

  • Aquel, aquella -> that

Aquel coche es negro. (That car is black; the car is far away)

As you can see, the difference among “ese” and “aquel” is the distance between the subject and the object. If it’s a middle distance, we use “ese”; if it’s very far, we use “aquel”.

  1. Can demonstrative articles in Spanish measure time?

Yes, they can… somehow. We often use them with words related to time: day, week, morning… For example:

  • Este fin de semana voy a la playa.
  • Ese día lo pasé muy bien.
  • Aquella semana estudié mucho.

If we use “este”, we are talking about a time that hasn’t occurred yet, that is, future. In the example, this (next) weekend I’m going to the beach.

On the opposite, if we use “ese” or “aquel”, we talk about a past experience, as shown in the previous examples: That (past) day; that (past) week.

  1. Can demonstrative articles in Spanish go after the noun?

Yes, but you must be careful. When we use the structure noun + demonstrative, we might want to be colloquial or pejorative.

For example, instead of saying “ese día lo pasé muy bien” as we said before, we could say “el día ese lo pasé muy bien”. It is an informal way, not disrespectful at all. But it could also be pejorative if we say “el día ese fue un asco”.

How to know if it’s informal or pejorative? Basically, about intonation and context. If  you’re talking about something good, then it would be informal; if you’re angry or disappointed, then it will turn pejorative.

 

Adverbs: aquí, ahí, allí, acá, allá

So these are some adverbs I like to teach related to the demonstrative articles, because they are also about distance in the same way.

“Aquí” and “acá” means the same, here. The difference is about use: personally, I always use “aquí”, and “acá” is more used in Latin-American countries (I’m Spanish, so if some Latin-American is reading me and I’m wrong, please let me know!).

About how to say there, we’re in the same situation than we were with that. “Ahí” is a middle-distance adverb, and “allí” is a long-distance adverb. And “allá” is used as well in Latin-America.

Note that the spelling is very important for “ahí”; if you change the “h” position, it will mean something different, as you can see in this orthography post.

Hope I’ve been clear with this. If you have any question, don’t doubt about asking!

If you liked it, share it! And if you want, remember you can book a free trial lesson to learn Spanish online with me!

¡Hasta la próxima! 😊

¿Me gusta o me gustan?

Hello everybody!

This time I’m going to explain the grammar in “me gusta” and similar verbs. I’m sure you all know “me gusta” means I like, and you may have noticed that the grammar is not the same. In English, I like something, and what I like, is an object. In Spanish is the opposite way: the subject produces a feeling on somebody, who is the object.

Let’s see an example:

“Me gusta mucho el cine”: “el cine” is the subject, which produces a good reaction on the somebody (“me”), who is the object in the sentence.

That’s why we sometimes can say “me gustan” in plural, instead of singular. It depends on the subject, as they must agree. For example:

“Me gusta tu coche”: we use the singular because we are talking about one only car, yours.

“Me gustan los coches”: we need to use the plural as we are talking about cars in a general way.

We always need to add the object pronoun to the sentence (me, te, le, nos, os, les), right before the verb, it is mandatory. But sometimes we can also add more information before that, always with the structure “a + noun/pronoun”. For example:

“A mí no me gustan las verduras”: we use “a mí” to emphasize that some people may like vegetables, but I don’t like them personally. Note as well that, if we want to say the negative form, we only need to add “no” before the pronoun.

“A Marta le gusta la universidad”: we add the name of Marta to specify who likes university. When we use the third person, it may be ambiguous, so it’s better to give some more information about the person.

But using the structure “a + noun/pronoun” doesn’t mean we can omit the object pronoun; as I said before, it is mandatory.

“*A Marta gusta la Universidad”: it is a mistake, as we need to add “le” (object pronoun) before “gusta”.

There are many other verbs that are conjugated like this in Spanish. Some of them are: fascinar, interesar, preocupar, encantar…

“Me encanta ir al parque los domingos”.

And there are also some other verbs using a similar structure where the person is indirect object, not direct. For example:

“Me dan miedo las arañas”: this sentence means I’m afraid of spiders, where “las arañas” is the subject, “miedo” is direct object and “me” indirect object. This verb works the same way than “gustar”, but using two different objects.

Other verbs with this structure are: dar vergüenza, dar pena, parecer bien, parecer mal, quedar bien, caer bien…

Can you make a sentence with some of them? 

If you liked it, please share it, and if you would like to learn Spanish with me, contact me for a free trial lesson!

¡Hasta la próxima!