Spanish Grammar help

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How to Use Negative Words in Spanish

Negative words SpanishNegative words in Spanish do not work in the same way as in English. If you try to translate a negative sentence from Spanish directly into English it will not sound right.

For example, in English we do not use double negatives whereas in Spanish they do.

e.g. No tiene nada que hacer. – Literal translation: He doesn’t have nothing to do.

(This is incorrect English and anyway, this would mean that he does have something to do, so is not negative.)

You will also find that you do not hear plural nouns used in negative sentences. You always use the noun in the singular form.

e.g. No hay problema.There are no problems.

In this blog post we will teach you everything you need to be able to make up your own negative sentences. Continue reading

Preterite vs Imperfect

Master Which Past Tense to Use

One of the most difficult things people who are learning Spanish come across is which past tense to use. There are several past tenses in Spanish but the two most common ones are the preterite (or the past simple) and the imperfect which are also the easiest to confuse.

In this blog post we will help you work out when to use the preterite and when to use the imperfect so that when you come to talk or write in the past in Spanish you will be able to with ease. Continue reading

Master the ‘Preterite Tense’ in Spanish

Preterite SpanishThe “preterite tense” in Spanish is also known as the “past simple tense”. As there are several different past tenses in Spanish, it can be tricky for learners to work out which one they should be using and when to choose the preterite tense.

This blog post will help you work out when you should be using the preterite tense / past simple tense.

When to use the Preterite Tense

Basically you need to use the preterite tense when talking about completed actions that happened at a specific time. You could also be talking about something that happened once – NOT habits or repeated actions. Continue reading

How to Talk About What You “Used to do” in Spanish Using the Imperfect Tense

Spanish ImAs a Spanish learner you may not realise it but in everyday conversation Spanish speakers use about eight different past tenses! On the other hand, English only has four past tenses.

This can be quite scary to find out as a Spanish learner. However, the good news is that you do not need to know all of them to be able to communicate effectively in Spanish.

In this blog post we are going to concentrate on just one past tense, the imperfect tense which you will be pleased to hear is one of the easiest tenses to learn in Spanish! Continue reading

7 Common Uses of the Spanish Verb “Pasar”

The verb pasar in Spanish is one of the most used verbs in Spanish. It is used in many different situations so can seem tricky to use and therefore cannot be translated in one word easily. However, the good thing is that it is a regular verb, so it is easy to conjugate in any tense.

In this blog post we will look at the 7 most common uses of pasar:

1) To spend time

2) To happen

3) Relating to a place

4) Change of state or condition

5) Accepting and adapting to a situation

6) To pass an object to someone

7) Experience something good or bad Continue reading

5 Easy Ways to Use the Spanish Subjunctive in Everyday Conversation

When you are learning Spanish you soon come across grammatical jargon that just doesn’t make sense – things like, the ‘subject of the verb’, ‘object pronouns’, ‘possessive adjectives’ and the ‘subjunctive’! You panic as you don’t know what these all mean. The problem is most of us haven’t learnt English grammar at school so when faced with these terms it is natural to worry that you won’t understand. However, all these are, are names of parts of the language we speak all the time. For example, the subject of the verb is simply, “I”, “he”, “she”, “we”, “you” or “they”. A possessive adjective is just “my”, “your”, “his”, “her”, “our”, “their”. We use these all the time but we don’t know what they are actually called. Likewise, using the subjunctive is just the same. We use it without knowing that we are. Continue reading

When do you need to use an infinitive verb in Spanish? – 10 tips!

What is the infinitive?

The infinitive is the simplest form of a verb. An infinitive tells you what the action is but not who is doing it nor when they are doing it. It translates into English as “to …” In Spanish there are 3 patterns of infinitive; those that end in -ar, -er or -ir. Examples are:

hablarto speak

comerto eat

vivirto live

There are several common structures in Spanish that need the use of the infinitive. In this post we will look at these uses: Continue reading

How to say “Let’s …” in Spanish

If you want to invite someone out in Spanish or suggest going out to do something the easiest way is just to say “Let’s go to the beach”, “Let’s have a coffee”, “Let’s dance” and so on. Once you learn how to say this in Spanish, you will sound a lot more natural and native like rather than a textbook. This blog post explains how to form this phrase, “Let’s …”: Continue reading

Power verbs in Spanish: Gustar (to like)

When you first start learning Spanish you need to learn the most common verbs to help you form questions and basic needs and wants. One of the most important verbs to know is “gustar” (to like) so that you can express what you like, what you don’t like and ask other people what they like. This verb works a bit differently to most verbs as you also need the pronoun in front to say who likes the thing.

In this blog post we will look at how to use this important Spanish verb “gustar”: Continue reading

Spanish Power Verbs – Querer (to want)

When you first start learning Spanish you just need to learn a handful of verbs that will allow you to form the most important questions to express your needs and wants to get by. These include words like want, need, looking for, have. In this post we will look at how to express what you want in the present tense.

querer = to want

(Yo) quiero = I want
(Tú) quieres = you want (informal)
(Usted) quiere = You want (formal)
(Él) quiere = He wants
(Ella) quiere = She wants
(Nosotros) queremos = we want
(Vosotros) queréis = you all want (informal)
(Ustedes) quieren = you all want (formal)
(Ellos) quieren = they want Continue reading

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