A very good sentence construction in Spanish to learn early on is the comparative statement. Here you can refer to something or someone in reference to something (one) else – whether is it a comparison on equal or non-equal. As you will see below, the constructions are actually quite easy, and soon you will be comparing things left and right in Spanish!
Comparisons of Equality
Tan + adjective (or adverb) + como – as (equal)… as
- Jorge es tan fuerte como tú. – Jorge is as strong as you.
- Ellos están tan aburridos como yo. – They are as boring as I.
- Ella baila tan bonito como su hermana. – She dances as well as her sister.
This is the second edition on learning some common Spanish Expressions with Verbs. Don’t miss the first-part which focuses on the verbs: Acabar, Dar, Dejar, Echar, Haver and Hacer.
Today, we’ll focus on: Perder, Ponerse, Tener, Volver, and some other commonly used expressions.
(ponerse + adjective – to become)
As you will discover while learning Spanish, many verbs can take on different meanings than what you initially learned, and are used idiomatically to create other various expressions. Dar generally means “to give”; however in combination with other words as you will see, a whole new useful vocabulary list emerges.
Today, we’ll start a two-part mini-series on common expressions with verbs in Spanish. Specifically, expressions with: Acabar, Dar, Dejar, Echar, Haber and Hacer.
Expressions with ACABAR
acabar de + infinitive – to have just
acabar por + infinitive – to end by, to finally
- Acabo de volver de la escuela. – I have just returned from school.
- Se enfermó gravemente y acabó por morir. – He became seriously ill and finally died.
(dar de beber (comer) a)
This basic lesson focuses on how to ask for and tell the time of day in Spanish, as well as expressing the days of the week. Compared to other topics, it is fortunately one that you may be able to read through just a couple of times, and get the hang of it. Don’t be afraid to read it out loud!! Try asking yourself the questions, and then responding back.
¿Qué hora es? Is equivalent to “What time is it?”
The verb HABER is a tricky one at first, being that it is used differently than most verbs. However, it’s quite important to get a handle on it sooner than later as its use is quite important, and you will use it all the time while speaking Spanish.
To start, HABER is used in two ways:
- To express the existence of something
- As an auxiliary verb + past participle to form the “Perfect Tense”
To start, the verb HABER is used as existence; it has only one conjugation in all the tenses. In present tense is: HAY + noun. It doesn´t matter if it’s singular or plural.
Today let’s back peddle a tad to a more basic topic in Spanish grammar – Demonstrative Adjectives and Demonstrative Pronouns. You will learn when to use them, how to differentiate them from each other. The words themselves seem very similar, so pay visual attention to the word-endings, and things will start to make sense as you improve your Spanish skills.
Demonstrative adjectives are simply words that “point” to something else, and in English are words; this/these, and that/those. They precede the nouns they modify and agree with them in gender (masculine or feminine) and number (singular or plural).
Spanish, like English, has an active and a passive voice. In the active voice, the subject generally performs some action. In the passive voice, the subject is acted upon.
Notice the difference between active and passive voice Spanish sentence constructions:
- El chef preparó la comida. – The chef prepared the meal. (active)
- La comida fue preparada por el chef. – The meal was prepared by the chef. (passive)
- Los niños hacen los dibujos. – The children make drawings. (active)
- Los dibujos son hechos por los niños. – The drawings are made by children (passive)
- Los arquitectos construirán el edificio. – The architects will construct the building. (active)
- El edificio será construido por los arquitectos. – The building will be constructed by the architects. (passive)
Not the favorite topic of Spanish students, especially coming from a language without a common equivalent – Reflexive verbs are indeed an important grammatical topic to get your head around pretty early on.
Reflexive verbs are simply when the subject of the verb is also its object. What does this mean? Let’s start off slow and work our way forward with some easy examples.
A reflexive verb requires a reflexive personal pronoun, and these are:
We have already studied the rules of how to use prepositions in Spanish; we hope that this information has been useful to you. Now we will study Spanish verbs that use prepositions and some phrases or expressions that are formed using prepositions.
As we saw, prepositions can be used in various ways; they can express location, use, places, destination, etc. Today, we will see how to use them to accompany verbs
Prepositions with infinitives
In Spanish, the infinitive is the only verb form that may immediately follow a preposition. So, after a preposition the verb must be in the infinitive
- Ella salió sin cerrar la puerta. – She went out without closing the door.
- Vamos a nadar en la piscine. – We are going to swim in the pool.
- Ellos acaban de llegar. – They have just arrived.
Today we are going a bit back to the basics, and talk about Spanish Prepositions. Prepositions are words that relate a noun or pronouns to some other word in the sentence.
Prepositions are an essential building block of a proper sentence, and are used in every Spanish conversation. While they are relatively easy to learn, I think it is good practice to once in a while review to make sure that your understanding and memory of them are clear
- Yo voy a la tienda. – I’m going to the store.
- Ella estudia con George. – She studies with George.
- Trabajo en la biblioteca. – I work in the library.
Now let’s look at one by one these prepositions: