Comparative Constructions in Spanish: More/Less, Older/Younger etc.

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) + comoas (equal)… as

For example:

  • 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.

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What does HABER mean? Two Important Ways to use in Spanish

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:

  1. To express the existence of something
  2. 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.

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How to use Verbs like Gustar in Spanish

Early on when you are studying Spanish, you probably learned the phrase “me gusta”.  Me gusta this, me gusta that.  While you are somewhat correct that it means “I like this, I like that”, it would be more correct to say “This is pleasing to me, that is pleasing to me”.  That is why the verb conjugates differently than say “comer”.

Let’s have a look and dissect the verb Gustar (to like) and the several others that are similar to it.

In English the verb “like” is used as follows:

  • I like Spanish class.
  • You like flowers.

But Spanish is different. The verb “gustar” in Spanish depends on “what you like” and not the person who likes”

  • Me gusta la clase de español.
  • Te gustan las flores.

As you can see, the verb is conjugated according to the noun not the person.  In the first sentence there is “gusta” because the noun is “la clase” thus is singular.  The second sentence uses “gustan” because the noun is “las flores” and is plural.  The form of gustar and the noun have to agree with each other.

Additionally, “Gustar” is preceded by an indirect object pronoun (me / te etc.). This indicates that the person is performing the action (of liking).

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Demonstrative Adjectives & Pronouns in Spanish – When to Use & What are the differences?

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

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).

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The Passive Voice in Spanish

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)

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REFLEXIVE VERBS in Spanish -Flex some Spanish Muscle!

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.

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A reflexive verb requires a reflexive personal pronoun, and these are:

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More about Spanish Prepositions

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

For example:

  • 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.

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Spanish Language Basics: Prepositions

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

For example:

  • 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.

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Now let’s look at one by one these prepositions:

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GUATEMALTEQUISMOS: Guatemalan Expressions in Spanish:

This week, we’d like to expand your horizons and to go “off-textbook” and teach you some useful everyday phrases in Spanish. “Guatemaltequismos” are sayings, words or idioms typical in Guatemala – the phrases and expressions are used in “the street” for referring to certain things but in a funny or very casual way in this country.  Keep in mind that these are common in Guatemala specifically, some words/phrases may be understood in other Latin American countries.  Having at least some of these in your back pocket will surely go a long way towards the goal of fluency – and the locals will be impressed!

Here is a list of some Guatemaltequismos:

Amishara verb for being shy, or embarrassed.

  • La niña es muy amishada. – She is very shy.

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The Spanish Verb HACER – Meanings and Everyday Uses

In our 3rd installment of essential verbs (dar and tener), today we will look at the Spanish verb “Hacer”.  By its translation: to make/ to do – you can see that it is one of the most common verbs while speaking Spanish.  We’ll look at the quick and easy conjugation, some examples in sentences, and finally the ever-so-important “alternate uses” which as you will find out, are just as important as its “basic” meaning.

Yo hago – I do/make

haces – You do/make

Él/ella hace – He/she does/makes

Nosotros hacemos – We do/make

Ellos/ellas hacen – They do/make

Ustedes hacen – You (pl) do/make

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