Category Archives: Spanish Grammar

Spanish Numerals – Part 2

In Spanish, hundreds agree in gender with a following noun:

 

Doscientas mujeres (two hundred women)

Docientos hombres (two hundred men)

Thousands:

 

1000 mil.

2000 dos mil.

3000 tres mil.

10.000 diez mil.

100.000 cien mil.

500.000 quinientos mil.

159.748 ciento cincuenta y nueve mil setecientos cuarenta y ocho.

1.000.000 un millón.

1.500.000 un millón quinientos mil.

25.667.477 veinticinco millones seiscientos sesenta y siete mil cuatrocientos setenta y siete.

The word -mil- is invariable when plural thousands are being expressed. But can appear in the plural in the expression -miles de – (thousand of).

Unlike in English, -mil- is not preceded by an article. For instance:

– Tengo mil dolares (I have a thousand dollars)

To refer to two million or more, Spanish uses the plural of -miles de millones-.

Punctuation of numbers in Spanish

Note when writing numbers in Spanish, a comma is used where a full stop appears in English and vice versa.

 

3.465 tres mil cuatro cientos sesenta y cinco (three thousand four hundred and sixty five)

3,465 tres coma cuatro cientos sesenta y cinco (three point four six five)

Saying dates and telephone numbers

The full stop is not used when writing years even if we are talking about thousands. In Spanish, telephone number are said in tens whenever possible. For instance.

 

91 47 34 28  (noventa y uno cuarenta y siete, treinta y cuatro veintiocho)

 

Ordinal numbers

As we said before, ordinal numbers are those used to indicate the position in series or successions.

Primero (first)

Segundo (second)

Tercero (third)

Cuarto (fourth)

Quinto (fifth)

Sexto (sixth)

Séptimo (seventh)

Octavo (eighth)

Noveno (ninth)

Décimo (tenth)

Rules:

– Ordinal numbers agree in gender and number with the noun they accompany:

 

El primero de la clase (the first of the class)

La primera mujer presidenta (The first woman president)

Las segundas partes nunca son buenas (The second parts are never good)

En los décimos pisos hace calor (In the tenth floors is always hot)

Another two examples that drops in front of a noun:

El primer libro del autor (The first book of the author)

Vivo en el tercer piso (I live in the third floor)

 

Uses

Ordinal numbers are used in Spanish specially in the following cases.

– Numbers form 1 to 9

– Naming kings, queens and popes

– When something is with Roman numbers

– To name centuries

 

We hope we helped with the Spanish Numerals. (Spanish info)

Spanish Numerals – Part 3

Collective numbers and fractions in Spanish

The collective numbers are nouns that represent a certain number of people or objects.

They are much more common in Spanish than in English. Most of the English numerical collective nouns have equivalents in Spanish:

– a pair of pants (un par de pantalones)

– a trio of singers (un trío de cantantes)

– a dozen eggs (una docena de huevos)

– a score of niños (una veintena de children)

You should know that most of the Spanish collective numbers have no single-word English equivalent so there is no way to translate them, you need to learn them by heart:

– Una decena de personas han venido (Ten people have come.)

– Una treintena de alumnos (A group of 30 students)

– Centenares de peces gigantes han muerto en las playas de Tokyo. (Hundreds of fishes have died on Tokyo beaches.)

– Más de un millar inmigrantes llegan cada año. (More than 1,000 people arrive each year).

Rules:

– When accompanying a noun they are followed by de

Una docena de uvas para el día 31 de diciembre (A dozen grapes for the December 31st )

Han suspendido un par de niños (A pair of children haven’t passed the exam)

– Collective numbers are usually singular:

Un millar de personas (A thousand people)

Un cuarteto de trompeta (A quartet of trumpets)

 

Fractions in Spanish can be expressed in different ways depending on the formality of the speech and specially the size of the number. Some examples

 

1/2 (La mitad)

– La empresa redujo a la mitad el precio (The company reduced to half the cost)

– La mitad de los niños son chicas. (half of the children are girls)

– Una mitad y otra mitad hacen uno (One half plus another half make one)

– Predicen la desaparición de un tercio de los linces en España (They predict the disappearance of a third of Lynxes in Spain )

1/3 (un tercio)

 

– Los espaÑoles pasan un tercio de su tiempo libre en internet (Spanish spend a third of their free time connected to internet)

 

– Un tercio de los ingleses van a España en verano (A third of English people go to Spain on summer)

For fourths up to tenths, you can use the masculine form of the ordinal numbers.

1/4 (Un cuarto)

– Un cuarto de los animals australianos está en peligro de extinción (A quarter of Australian animals are in danger of extinction)

– He bebido un cuarto de litro de cerveza (I have drunk a quarter litre of beer)

1/5 (Un quinto)

– El cambio requerirá la obtención de una mayoría de un quinto en la votación final. (The change will require the obtaining of a majority of one fifth in the final vote)

1/6 (Un sexto)

– Dos sextos es igual a un tercio (Two-sixths is the same as one-third)

1/7 (Un séptimo)

– Dos séptimos más dos séptimos es igual a cuatro séptimos. Two-sevenths plus two-sevenths equals four-seventh)

1/8 (Un octavo)

Un kilómetro es practicamente igual a cinco octavos de una milla. (A kilometer is practically equal to five-eighths of a mile)

We could say when the number is high, we will use the suffix -avo which is the aproximately equivalent of the “-th” (or, sometimes, “-rd”) suffix in English. It can be used for “eleventh” and beyond.

But, you should know that this is not the only form to express it. Numbers from 10 to 19 can be expressed as: 11 (décimo primero), 15 (décimo quinto). Numbers from 20 to 29 can be expressed as: 21 (vigésimo primero), 28 (vigésimo octavo), etc.

– Mi amigo vive en el piso décimo tercero (My friendo lives in the 13th floor)

– Es el trigésimo aniversario de mis padres (It is the 30th anniversary of my parent’s wedding)

– Hoy es su vigésimo quinto cumpleaños (today is my 25th birthday)

 

We hope we helped with the Spanish lessons – Numerals. (Spanish info)

Examples – adverbs in Spanish

Here we can see some adverbs in Spanish:

The adverbs (adverbios) are words unchangeable words with the function of modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs expressing how, when, where, frequency and quantity. Examples of adverbs are rápidamente (quickly), lentamente (slowly), tranquilamente (calmly). These words are used to describe how an action is taking place and may refer to a variety of characteristics.

We could say it is easier to use adverbs than adjectives in Spanish. While adjectives change according to the gender and quantity of the noun they describe, adverbs don’t change at all which definitely make everything simpler. The same adverb form applies to all verbs.

Examples:

El reloj es muy bonito (The watch is very beautiful)

In this case, muy is an adverb to say how beautiful it the watch

Mi casa está bastante cerca (My house is pretty close)

Both, bastante and cerca are Spanish adverbs.

Cerca modifies the verb está explaining where her/his home is. Bastante modifies the adverb cerca explaining how far his /her home is.

In this section, we will study some of the most common and important adverbs in Spanish. They can be classified in: adverbs of time, place, manner and quantity.

Adverbs of time in Spanish

-Ahora (in this moment, now): Estoy en Madrid ahora (I am in Madrid in this moment)

-Hoy (today): Hoy es mi cumpleaños (Today is my birthday)

-Mañana (tomorrow): Mañana es domingo (Tomorrow is Sunday)

-Ayer (yesterday): Ayer fui al cine (Yesterday, I went to the cinema)

-Antes (before, previously): Llama antes de entra (call before come in)

-Después (after): Voy al teatro después de trabajar (I am going to the theatre after work)

-Anteayer (The day before yesterday): Anteayer no dormí­ bien (I didn’t sleep well the day before yesterday)

-Todavía, Aun (yet, still): Estoy todavía en casa (I am still at home)

-Cuando (when): Veo la tele cuando como (I watch telly when I eat)

-Entonces (then): Estaba durmiendo y entonces me despertó (I was sleeping and then I woke up)

-Jamás, nunca (never): Jamás aprenderé alemán (I will never learn german)

-Siempre (always): Siempre escucho música (I always listen to music)

-Luego (later): Hasta luego (See you later)

-Mientras (while): Voy a ducharme mientras cenas (I am having a shower while you dinner)

-Tarde (late): No llegues tarde (Don´t be late)

-Temprano (early): Me levanto temprano (I wake up early)

-Ya (already, by now, yet): Ya he hecho los ejercicios (I have already done the exercise)

 

Adverbs of place in Spanish

 

-Abajo (below, downstairs): El baño está abajo (The bathroom is downstairs)

-Arriba (above, on top, overhead, upstairs): Vivo en el piso de arriba (I live in the top floor)

-Encima (above, on top, upstairs): Las llaves están encima de la mesa (The keys are on the table)

-Dentro / Adentro (in, inside): La ropa está dentro del armario (The cloths are inside the wardrove)

-Fuera / Afuera (out, outside): Deja la bici fuera de casa (Leave the bike out of the house)

-Aquí­, acá (here): Ven aquí (come here)

-Allí, allá(there): La fruta está allá (The fruit is there)

-Cerca (close, near, nearby): Mi casa está cerca (Mi house is near here)

-Lejos (away): Londres está lejos de Edimburgo (London is away from Edinburgh)

-Delante (ahead, in front of): Hay un bar delante de tú casa (There is a bar in front of your house)

-Detrás (behind, after): Hay un parque detrás del hospital (There is a park behind the hospital)

-Enfrente (opposite): La silla está en frente de la mesa (The chair is opposite the table)

 

Adverbs of manner in Spanish

 

-Adrede (intentionally, on purpose): Perdón, no fue adrede (Pardon, it wasn’t on purpose)

-Alto (aloud,loud): Habla más alto por favor (Speak louder please)

-Bajo (low,silently): Habla bajo, es muy tarde (Speak low it is late)

-Deprisa, aprisa, rápido (fast, quickly, swiftly): Vamos más deprisa, es tarde (Let’s walk faster, it’s late)

-Despacio (slowly): Habla despacio (Speak slowly)

-Así­ (like this, so, that way, thus): Así no es (It is not like this)

-Bien (well,goog, correct): Este examen está bien (This exam is good)

-Mal (badly, bad): Mi pie está mal (My foot is badly)

-Casi (almost, nearly): El vaso está casi vacío (The glass is almost empty)

-Claro (clear,clearly): El problema está claro (The problem is clear)

-Como (as, like, such as): Soy español como tú ( I am Spanish like you)

-Duro (hard): Este rock es muy duro (This rock is hard)

-Suave, blando (soft): La camiseta es suave (The t-shirt is soft)

-Pronto (soon): Vuelve pronto (Come back soon)

Adverbs of quantity in Spanish

 

-Algo (some, something, not much): Necesito comer algo (I need to eat something)

-Apenas (barely, hardly, only just, scarcely): No puedo ver apenas (I can hardly see anything)

-Bastante, suficiente (enough): Hay bastante comida para todos (There is food enogh for everybody)

-Demasiado (too, much): Londres es demasiado caro (London is too expensive)

-Más (more): No quiero más vino (I don’t want more wine)

-Menos (less): Madrid es menos fría que Bilbao (Madrid is a less cold city than Bilbao)

-Mucho (a lot of, much, very): He aprendido mucho (I have learnt a lot)

-Poco (little): Hablo un poco de español (I speak a little bit of Spanish )

 

 

Adverbs ending in mente in Spanish

The majority of adverbs in English end in ly are used in
spanish with the ending mente. Think of words like loudly, roughly, calmly, completely, quickly or easily. Fortunately, Spanish language has a specific ending making it easier for the students.

You can form an adverb from almost any adjective in Spanish. You just have to take the femenine form of the adjective and add mente to the end. Here you have some examples.

(adjective = femenine form  + mente =  adverb )

absoluto/absoluta (absolute) : absolutamente (absolutely)

tranquilo/tranquila (tranquil) : tranquilamente (tranquilly)

lento/ lenta (slow): lentamente (slowly)

rápido/rápida (fast): rápidamente (quickly)

suave (soft): suavemente (softly)

Spanish Lessons
We hope spanish adverbs are now a bit clear.

Superlative Spanish adjectives

In Spanish we use the superlative adjective form when comparing three or more objects, persons, or ideas.

There are two main groups of superlatives in Spanish, the relative superlative and the absolute superlative.

The relative superlative in Spanish:

The English forms “the most…” and “the least…” are usually called the relative superlative because the information they refer to is amongst an specific group. For Instance in Spanish we can say:

El niño más alto de la clase (The tallest boy in class)

El coche más rápido del mundo (The fastest car in the world)

El peor estudiante de la clase (the worst student of the class)

La casa menos ordenada que he visto (the house less tided up I’ve ever seen)

On the other hand the absolute superlative in Spanish  is used to intensify the quality of the adjective.

It is formed by “muy” (very) + adjective or by adding -ísimo, -ísima, -ísimos, or -ísimas to the adjective or adverb. If the adjective ends in a vowel, you have to remove the vowel before attaching the endings.

The absolute superlative does not strictly compare one thing to another, but states “a greater amount of”. This can be translated into English by placing “very” before the adjective or adverb.

Es una persona muy simpática (He/She is a very nice person)

Es una persona simpatiquísima (He/She is a very nice person)

 

Julia es una chica muy guapa (Julia is a very pretty girl)

Julia es una chica guapísima (Julia is a very pretty girl)

The irregular absolute superlatives in Spanish

Bueno-Mejor-Óptimo (El resultado es óptimo / The result is optimal)

Malo-Peor-Pésimo (El hizo un examen pésimo / He did a dreadful exam)

 

Alto-Superior-Supremo (Patatas de calidad suprema / Supreme quality potates)

Bajo-Inferior-Ínfimo (La diferencia es ínfima / The difference is very tiny)

Pequeño-Menor-Mínimo (No tiene un mínimo respeto / He doesn’t have a minimum respect)

Grande-Mayor-Máximo (Es el máximo goleador / He is the best scorer)

 

Informal absolute superlatives in Spanish

 

There are some prefixes that are used in colloquial language to express the absolute superlative.

 

Super: María es una chica supersincera (María is a really sincere girl)

Extra: Una pizza extragrande (An extra sized pizza)

Archi: Ricardo es mi archienemigo (Ricardo is my archenemy)

Requete: El helado está requetebueno (The ice cream is really tasty)

 

How to say “more and more” and “less and less” in Spanish

 

Cada vez más (more and more):

Hace cada vez más frío (It is more and more cold)

 

Cada vez menos (every time less and less):

Es cada vez menos interesante (It is less and less interesting)

We hope we helped with the Spanish adjectives. (Spanish info)

 

Demonstratives in Spanish

Spanish Demonstratives

Demonstratives are words we use to signal by adding a notion of distance in space or time. There are two kinds of demonstratives: demonstratives adjectives (este vino (this wine)) and demonstrative pronouns (¿qué es esto? (What’s this?)).

“Demonstrative” comes from “to demonstrate,” so this give us an idea of the function of this grammatical elemet..

In this section we are going to study the demonstrative with detail. In English, “this” and “these” are used to refer to things or people that are close to the speaker. “That” and “those” are used to refer to things or people that are distant. In Spanish, there is one more group to refer to things or people that are even further.

Proximity

Este: Este viernes nos vamos a Escocia (This Friday we are going toScotland)

Esta: Esta casa es preciosa (This house is beautiful)

Estos: Estos son mis amigos (These are my friends)

Estas: Estas zapatillas son mías (These sneakers are mine)

Average distance

Ese:Me gusta ese coche negro (I like that black car)

Esa: Esa chica de allí es mi novia (That girl there is my girlfriend)

Esos: No me gustan esos comentarios (I don’t like those comments)

Esas: Me das esas llaves  (Could you give me those keys)

Long distance

Aquel: Aquel pueblo se llama Aranjuez (That village over there is called Aranjuez)

Aquella: Ve por aquella calle de la derecha (Go by that street on the right)

Aquellos: Aquellos niños son mis hijos (Those children are my sons)

Aquellas: Trae aquellas botellas de allí (Bring those bottles)

The neuter demonstrative pronoun

Demonstrative pronouns would demonstrate the location of the noun they replace. If you have several options, let’s say pens, and someone asks you which one you want, you can respond with “this one” (the one close to you), or “that one” (the one far from you). “This one” and “That one” are both demonstrative pronouns.

Neuter demonstrative pronouns are used in Spanish speech to refer to concepts, ideas, or something that is not truly known. They are neuter, as they do not replace a specific noun, even though they end in “-o”. They also do not have accent unlike the other pronouns. (Esto, eso, aquello).

It is used to refer to inanimate things without specifying their gender or to talk about ideas or abstract concepts:

Esa es la idea que yo tenía en mente (that’s the idea I had in mind)

Eso es lo que busco (That’s what I was looking for)

Eso no lo entiedo (I don’t get that)

Demonstratives, reference to time

Sometimes, the neuter demonstratives are not only used to refer space but time as well. From other point of view we can understand this concept as a distance in terms of time. Here you have a few examples:

Este sábado es mi cumpleaños (This Saturday is my birthday)

Esa semana estuve enfermo (That week I was sick)

Nunca olvidaré aquel día (I won’t forget that day)

Aquellos años fueron maravillosos (Those years were wonderful)

En aquel momento era divertido (By that time it was fun)

Derogatory connotations

As the demonstratives are used to express distance, sometimes in speech they are used with a pejorative function. This means, to express a psychological distancing from the speaker or to make clear that the object referred is far away form the speaker, metaphorically.

Ten cuidado con ese idiota (Be careful with that idiot)

Esa tonta es muy molesta (that silly girl is annoying)

No me gusta ese chico (I don’t like that guy)

-Sometimes in this specific case, the demonstrative could go after the noun. In this situation, the noun will need an article:

No quiero saber nada de los señores esos (I don’t want to hear anything about those gentlemen)

No me acerques la cosa esa (Do not take that thing any closer)

No quiero que hables con la chica esa (I don’t want you to talk to that girl)

How can we express “the latter…and the former” in Spanish

In Spanish, we use “este” and “aquel” to express the “the latter” and “the former”, repectively. So, when you think or read this kind of expressions you just have to place them in the specific positions. Let’s see an example to illustrate this:

“El jefe llamó al empleado para tartar un problema en la compañía. Este no dijo nada mientras que aquel no paró de hablar en toda la reunión”

(The boss call the employee to treat a problem in the company. The latter did not say anything while the former did’nt stop talking during the whole meeting)

You can realise that in this kind of situations, the demonstratives are doing the same function. “Este” is referring to the closest in the sentence (the employee) and “aquel” to the other noun (the boss), which is more distant.

 

We hope we helped with your Spanish Lessons – demonstratives. (Spanish info)