Tag Archives: school

Spanish Adjectives

Spanish Adjectives

Adjectives are words that go with the noun to modify or qualify the meaning adding more information or detail making it different to the others and more specific. The most important adjectives are the qualifying adjectives. Examples of this type of adjectives are pequeño (small), azul (blue) or beautiful (bonito). These are the group that we are going to study in this section.

Adjectives agree in number

As we saw, every word around the noun has to agree in number. In other words, if the noun is singular, the adjective should be singular as well. This is a very important thing for the English speakers because adjectives in English are invariable, remain the same form in plural or singular.

Una casa blanca (a white house) / Dos casas blancas (two white houses)

Un niño rubio (a blond boy) / Dos niños rubios (two blond boys)

To form the plural from de singular form of an adjective is pretty much the same as we do with nouns. To make the plural form:

– In singular adjectives ending in vowel add –s

Interesante / Interesantes (interesting)
Guapo / Guapos (handsome)
Tonto / Tontos (silly)
Bonito / Bonitos (beautiful)

– In singular adjectives ending in consonant or accented vowel add –es:

fenomenal / fenomenales (phenomenal)
marroquí / marroquíes (Moroccan)
normal / normales (normal)
hindú / hindúes (Hindu)

– In singular adjectives ending in –z we replace that by –ces:

voraz / voraces (voracious)
sagaz / sagaces (sagacious)
tenaz / tenaces (tenacious)

Adjectives agree in gender

Adjectives need to agree in gender with the verb they are associated. That is to say if the noun is masculine the adjective that qualifies has to be masculine or in the opposite case, if it is a feminine noun the adjective needs to be feminine as well.

Un hombre alto (a tall man) / Una mujer alta (a tall woman)

To form the feminine, masculine adjectives ending in:

 -o, we replace that with –a:

feo / fea (ugly)
guapo / guapa (handsome/pretty)

-án,-ín,-ón,-or replaced by –ana,-ina,-ona,-ora respectively:

holgazán / holgazana (lazy)
parlanchín / parlanchina (talkative)
bonachón / bonachona (goody)
trabajador / trabajadora (hardworking)

 -ior remains the same:

inferior (lower) / superior (higher)
anterior (previous) / posterior (later)
mejor (better) / peor (worse)

– Adjectives of nationality ending in consonant adding an –a:

francés / francesa (French)
inglés / inglesa (English)
alemán / alemana (Dutch)

– Adjectives of nationality, ending in -a,-e,- i, -u remain the same:

belga (Belgian)
canadiense (Canadian)
iraquí (Iraki)

Position of the adjective

Spanish adjectives may be before or after the nouns they modify, depending on various factors. But, in general we can say that the most common position is after the noun, that means, in the opposite position that we find them in English language. Generally speaking, we can say that descriptive adjectives follow nouns usually, while limiting adjectives (such as demonstrative, indefinite, etc.) precede nouns.

Un coche negro (a black car)

Un día soleado (a sunny day)

Shortened forms of adjectives

Adjectives usually go after the noun but sometimes there are other cases when the adjective goes before the noun. In these cases, the adjective is frequently modified loosing the last vowel or syllable. Even, sometimes this modified adjectives that go before the noun can change their meaning. We will see a few examples to illustrate this:

Un coche grande (a big car) / Un gran coche (a great car)
Medio equipo (half the team) / Un equipo medio (an average group)
Un pobre hombre (a wretched ma) / Un hombre pobre (a poor man)
Un buen hombre (a harmless man) / Un hombre bueno (a good man)
Un único espectáculo (a single concert) / Un concierto único (a unique concert)

Comparison of adjectives

Adjectives have two degrees of comparison: comparative and superlative.

Comparative

We use the comparative degree when comparing two objects, persons, or ideas.a comparative adjective. To form a comparative adjective, in Spanish, you have to use más (more) or menos (less) or tan (the same):

Ella es más alta que yo (She is taller than I am)
La ciudad el menos tranquila que el pueblo (City is less calm than village)
Inglaterra es tan fría como Irlanda (England is as cold as Ireland)

So, comparatives (comparativos) are said to refer to superiority (mas…que), inferiority (menos…que) or equality (tan…como). The second element in the comparation can be:

– Another adjective:
Los gatos son más listos que malos (cats are more clever than naughty)

– A noun:
Los gatos son más pequeños que los tigres (cats are smaller than tigers)

– An adverb:
Los gatos son más limpios que antes (cats are cleaner than before)

– An adverb phrase:
En casa se come mejor que en un restaurante (You can eat better at home than in a restaurant)

– A verb clause:
Sabes más español de lo que piensas (You know more English than you think you do)

Irregular comparatives

-Bueno/a/os/as (good) changes to mejor/es (better)
La playa es buena / La playa es mejor que la montaña
(The beach is good / The beach is better that the mountain)

-Malo/a/os/as (bad) changes to peor/es (worse)
La grasa es mala / La grasa es peor que la fibra
(Fat is bad / Fat is worse than fiber)

-Grande/es (big) changes to mayor/es (bigger)
Londres es grande / Londres es mayor que Barcelona
(London is big / London is bigger than Barcelona)

-Pequeño/a/os/as (small) changes to menor (Smaller)
Barcelona es pequeña / Barcelona es más pequeña que Londres
(Barcelona is small / Barcelona is smaller than London)

Superlative

We use the superlative form when comparing three or more objects, persons, or ideas. There are two main groups of superlatives, the relative superlative and the absolute superlative.

The relative superlative

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:

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)

The absolute superlative

The absolute superlative 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 simpatico (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)

Irregular absolute superlatives

Bueno-Mejor-Óptimo (El resultado es óptimo / The results are optimal)
Malo-Peor-Pésimo (El hice un examen pésimo / I 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

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”

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

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

We hope we helped with this  Spanish lesson . If there is anything about the adjectives in this post that you think is not correct please send us an e-mail. We tried to cover as much as we could in order to give you a good start  with this. (Spanish info)

Possessives adjectives in Spanish

The possessive words in Spanish are words used to express possession or belonging.

In this section we are going to study two groups of possessives: possessives adjectives and possessives pronouns.

 

Possessives adjectives

 

Possessive adjectives are used to indicate possession in Spanish, and they must agree in number (singular or plural) with the item being possessed.

 

Here is a list of the Spanish possessive adjectives that are used before the noun:

Mi / mis (my)

tu / tus  (your)

su / sus (its, his, hers)

nuestro /-a / -os / -as ( your-plural)

vuestro /-a /-os / -as (your)

su / sus (their)

Only nuestro and vuestro have feminine forms, and they must agree in gender unlike the rest that can be used in both genders.

– Nuestro perro (our dog)

– Nuestra casa (our house)

– Vuestro amigo (your friend)

– Vuestra abuela (Your grandma)

Examples:

Mi coche es nuevo (My car is new)

Nuestra casa está en España (Our house is in Spain)

Mis amigos son españoles (My friends are Spanish)

Vuestro perro es muy bonito (Your dog is so beautiful)

Su casa es más pequeña que la nuestra (Their house is smaller than ours)

Possessive adjective after the noun.

In Spanish, some possessive adjectives are used after the noun, and they must agree in number (singular or plural) and gender with the item possessed.

Here is a list of the Spanish possessive adjectives that are used after the noun:

mí (-a, -os, -as)  mine, of mine

tuyo (-a, -os, -as) yours, of yours

suyo (-a, -os, -as) yours, of yours, his, of his

hers, of hers

nuestro (-a, -os, -as) ours, of ours

vuestro (-a, -os, -as) yours, of yours

suyo (-a, -os, -as) yours, of yours, theirs, of theirs

 

Examples:

Un amigo mío vive in Londres.

A friend of mine lives in London

Una amiga mía está en España.

A friend of mine is in Spain

Los cafés son nuestros.

The coffes are ours.

Conocí a un primo suyo.

I met a cousin of his

Quiere el mí­o.

He wants mine.

Perdieron los nuestros.

They lost ours.

Possessive pronouns in Spanish

Possessive pronouns are the words used to replace nouns modified by possessive adjectives. In Spanish, there are different forms of possessive pronouns depending on if the noun is masculine or feminine, singular or plural.

 

Mine: el mío / la mí­a / los míos / las mí­as

Yours: el tuyo / la tuya / los tuyos / las tuyas

His / Her / Its/: el suyo / la suya / los suyos / las suyas

Ours: el nuestro / la nuestra / las nuestras / los nuestros

Yours: el vuestro / la vuestra / los vuestros / las vuestras

Theirs: el suyo / la suya / los suyos / las suyas

Note that the Spanish possessive pronouns for third person singular (él, ella) and plural (ellos, ellas) are identical. Sometimes Spanish speakers need to clarify what they men to avoid misunderstanding in these cases.

There are two important things to know about Spanish possessive pronouns:

The possessive pronoun must match the noun being replaced in gender and number.

You should use the appropriate definite article.

Here you have some examples:

Mi padre está aquí ¿dónde está el tuyo?

My father is here; where’s yours?

Me gustan salir con mis amigos y ella prefiere con los suyos.

I like going out with my friends and she prefers hers.

Tus cuadros son buenos, pero los míos son mejores.

Your paintings are good, but mine are better.

Estos libros ¿son vuestros o nuestros?

These books, are they yours or ours?

No sé donde está el tuyo, pero el mío es este

I don´t know where is yours but this one is mine

Mis padres no pueden, llama a los suyos

My parents can´t make it, call his / hers/ theirs

Note that Spanish possessive pronouns are identical to stressed form possessive adjectives, but their usage is different: possessive pronouns replace nouns, while possessive adjectives modify nouns.

 

Neuter possessive

There is also a neuter possessive pronoun which is used when the possessed thing is abstract or unspecific object. This is formed with the neuter article -lo- plus the masculine singular possessive pronoun (mí­o, tuyo, suyo, nuestro, vuestro).

¿Quieres lo mí­o?

Do you want mine (my work, my food…)?

Encontró lo suyo.

He found his / hers (his / hers stuff, his things).

¿Cuánto es lo nuestro?

How much is ours (bill)?

Me gustan más los vuestros

I like more yours

No entiendo lo tuyo

I don´t understand yours (behaviour, acctitude)

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)

 

Nepal School using a bilingual whiteboard

A bilingual whiteboard has been used in the Ullens School in Kathmandu.

This is my opinion about a very interesting article I have read that it was recently wrote by Helen Swire. She is talking about how to adapt interactive materials to teach Nepali and English simultaneously.

She is first giving a background about the Ullens School in Kathmandu.

Apparently is the first school in Nepal to teach the International Baccalaureate. However they also teach their mother tongue Nepali. Nepali language is really difficult to learn and can often be sidelined. On the other hand the school thought it could be use an interactive whiteboard in order to teach both English and Nepal. However a problem with the power cuts and electricity shortages was identified. Ullens School has been the first school to introduce those boards and they had invested in a backup power system to overcome to the reality of the main problem.

The interactive whiteboards Ullens School has used are the Promethean Activboards, which are really language friendly user however they lack content made for the device for teaching Nepali said Helen.

Ullens School has been nominated for the UNesco Wenhui award for the Educational Innovation.

Just to remember that this technology could also be used with some other languages so far I believe Chinese is one of them.

I personally think this technology could be really beneficial and useful to use in the UK. At least here there are no major power failures, most of the school got the technology in their hands but I haven´t actually seeing the use of it at this degree. Haven’t you? This could be extremely beneficial tool to teach children a second language, Spanish, French German …

Please, please, please… I am not talking here about the different software or suppliers that the schools use to provide MFL during curricular lessons as we also do. It is a great powerful tool where all the UK children could benefit from it.

In Helen’s article you will also find some tips and things to consider if you decide to implement this technology.

We hope you like this article about the Nepal School in Kathmandu (Descriptive writing).

Spanish Lessons and Spanish Tuition for children

School-e Ltd offers Spanish Lessons for children and we have been teaching Spanish in after school clubs and as part of the curriculum in Manchester schools for the past eight years.

Overall we have over 15 years experience with children. Our Spanish lessons in the schools enable children to understand and speak useful everyday Spanish, so that they can do things like greeting friends and saying how old they are.

Research has shown that learning another language is not only useful for travelling the world, it also gives children a deeper understanding of their own and other cultures, improves problem solving skills and increases their capacity for learning generally.

Additional benefits after our Spanish lessons include higher scores on standardized tests, increased self-confidence and social skills, and often children will be motivated to learn additional languages at a later stage of their development. Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, not only as a mother tongue but as a second language, too. Modern languages are increasing in importance and soon all schools will be required to offer MFL to pupils in Key Stage Two.

We make the Spanish lessons fun through songs, games, activities, worksheets, audiovisual material and an interactive website. We also make frequent use of PIPO educational software products, the world leader in supplying bi-lingual educational materials, with currently millions of children worldwide using these products to learn another language (English/Spanish).

All our teachers are CRB checked and we have our own liability insurance.


We hope to be able to assist you with our Spanish lessons soon in the future and we give thanks to all the schools that in one way or another one had helped us and support us to deliver good Spanish lessons.

(spanish@school-e.co.uk)

Please do not hesitate to write to us or to call us if you are a school or an individual and you are really interested with our Spanish lessons.