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1 Contents Introduction Chapter 1 Articles Chapter 2 Nouns Chapter 3 Adjectives Chapter 4 Prepositions and Conjunctions Chapter 5 Pronouns Chapter 6 Verbs Chapter 7 Adverbs Appendix Orthographic (Spelling) Changes

2 3 Adjective s An adjective is a word that describes a noun (big, small, red, etc.) and gives us more detail about the noun, such as who it belongs to (my, your, etc.) and indeed which particular noun we are talking about (this, that, etc.). There are many more rules for the use of adjectives in Spanish than there are in English. In Spanish, adjectives must agree with the nouns they are describing. e.g. Una casa grande, dos casas grandes. One big house, two big houses. In general adjectives in Spanish come after the noun. Adjectives that end in o stay the same when describing a masculine noun and change the o to a when describing a feminine noun. e.g. Tengo un bolígrafo nuevo. Tengo una mochila nueva. Adjectives ending in e keep the same form in the masculine and the feminine e.g. Un libro grande. Una goma enorme. To make adjectives plural, you simply follow the same rules as for making nouns plural (add s, es, etc.) Adjectives ending in a consonant do not change at all when describing a feminine noun. e.g. La falda es azul. The exceptions to this rule are (a) adjectives that end in -án/-ón/-or e.g. La niña es holgazana. = The girl is lazy. María es trabajadora. = María is hard-working. and (b) adjectives of nationality e.g. William es inglés y Siobhán es irlandesa. Los niños son franceses y las niñas son españolas. 15

3 Complete Spanish Grammar Note With this type of adjective, the accent is dropped from the vowel when you add the extra syllable. Also note that adjectives of nationality are always written with a small first letter. Certain adjectives come before the noun and drop the last o when they are describing a singular masculine noun. This is called apocopation. They are: primero = first tercero = third bueno = good malo = bad alguno = some ninguno = none Estoy en el primer año. = I am in first year. Me siento en la primera fila. = I sit in the first row. Ana vive en el tercer piso. = Ana lives on the third floor. Paco vive en la tercera casa a la derecha. = Paco lives in the third house on the right. Es un buen amigo. = He is a good friend. Es una buena amiga. = She is a good friend. Es un mal hombre. = He is a bad man. Es una mala niña. = She is a bad girl. Lee algún libro. = He is reading some book. Escribe alguna novela. = He is writing some novel. No tiene ningún papel. = He doesn t have any paper. No tiene ninguna tiza. = He doesn t have any chalk. Note that alguno and ninguno must take an accent on the u when the o is dropped. Also note that you need the word no before the verb when using the word ninguno in a negative sentence. This translates as not any in English. The words grande, nuevo and antiguo have a slightly different meaning when they are placed before the noun. e.g. Matías es un hombre grande. = Matías is a big man. Matías es un gran hombre. = Matías is a great man. Note that grande becomes gran when placed before a masculine or feminine singular noun. 16

4 Adjectives: 3 e.g. Juan tiene un nuevo coche. = Juan has a new car (new to him, but could be second hand). Juan tiene un coche nuevo. = Juan has a new car (the car is brand new). El fantasma está en la casa antigua. = The ghost is in the old house (old in age). El fantasma está en la antigua casa. = The ghost is in the old house (the former house, the one we used to live in). Some adjectives normally come in front of the noun: ambos = both En ambos casos. = In both cases mucho = a lot of Tengo mucho dinero. = I have a lot of money. otro = another Quiero otro café. = I want another coffee. poco = a little/few Tengo muy pocos amigos. = I have very few friends. EXERCISES Change the adjectives to agree with the noun they are describing and place them in the correct order: 1. A big book (libro, grande) 2. A great book (libro, grande) 3. An enormous house (casa, enorme) 4. Two blue schoolbags (mochila, azul) 5. An Irish girl (niña, irlandés) 6. The third row (fila, tercero) 7. Some friends (female friends) (amigas, alguno) 8. Lots of money (dinero, mucho) 9. Few houses (casa, poco) Comparatives and Superlatives Examples: More... than As... as Less... than The most... The least... Bigger than, smaller than, etc. The biggest, the smallest, etc. 17

5 Complete Spanish Grammar To compare two nouns in Spanish, you use the simple structure: más... que = more... than menos... que = less... than tan... como = as... as You place the adjective in the middle and make sure it agrees with the first noun. e.g. Las manzanas son más dulces que los limones. = Apples are sweeter than lemons. María es menos inteligente que Mónica. = María is less intelligent than Mónica. Ana es tan alta como Daniel. = Ana is as tall as Daniel. To form the superlative (the prettiest, the fastest, the tiniest etc.) you simply place the definite article (el, la, los, las) before más. e.g. Alberto es tan alto como Daniel pero Andrés es el más alto. = Alberto is as tall as Daniel but Andrés is the tallest. María y Mónica son inteligentes pero Eva es la más inteligente. = María and Mónica are intelligent but Eva is the most intelligent. As you can see, in English we have the forms -er and -est for comparatives and superlatives, but in Spanish we must use the structure more than and the most e.g. delgada, más delgada, la más delgada = skinny, skinner, skinniest rápido, más rápido, el más rápido = fast, faster, fastest interesante, más interesante, lo* más interesante = interesting, more interesting, the most interesting *the article here is lo referring to neuter nouns, for example: the most interesting thing is = lo más interesante es As always, there are exceptions to this rule too. There are four important adjectives that you must know, which have their own comparative and superlative forms: bueno, mejor, el/la/lo mejor = good, better, best malo, peor, el/la/lo peor = bad, worse, worst grande, mayor, el/la mayor = big, bigger, biggest (usually used when talking about age, use más grande when talking about size or greatness) pequeño, menor, el/la menor = small, smaller, smallest (más pequeño is also used and acceptable but use menor when talking about age) 18 The above comparative and superlative forms do not change in the feminine and the plural is formed by adding s, es, etc.

6 Adjectives: 3 Demonstrative Adjectives (this, that, these and those) In Spanish there are two forms of the word that depending on how far away in distance or in time the noun is. You simply choose the word that agrees with the noun you are talking about. Masculine Feminine Masculine Feminine This That (near) That (far away) este ese aquel esta esa aquella These Those (near) Those (far away) estos esos aquellos estas esas aquellas e.g. este libro = this book esta muchacha = this girl aquellas montañas = those mountains (far away, over there) Possessive Adjectives These are the words we use for my, your etc. Again they must agree with the noun they are describing, NOT the person who owns them! Remember that rule and you should have no problem with these words. e.g. Busco mi lápiz. = I am looking for my pencil. (One person, one pencil singular adjective) Busco mis lápices. = I am looking for my pencils. (One person, more than one pencil plural adjective) 19

7 Complete Spanish Grammar So you must choose the correct word depending on the number and gender of the noun: Singular noun Plural noun my your his/her/its our your their mi tu su nuestro/a vuestro/a su mis tus sus nuestros/as vuestros/as sus The words for my, your, his, her, its and their have no spelling change for feminine nouns. The words for our and your (plural) cause the most confusion for learners at the start but just remember that they must agree with the noun they are describing. e.g. nuestro padre = our father (padre = father is masculine singular) nuestras casas = our houses (casas = houses is feminine plural) vuestros equipos = your teams (equipos = teams is masculine plural) vuestra tía = your aunt (tía = aunt is feminine singular) When you are talking about body parts, you use the definite article and not the possessive adjective: e.g. Me duele la cabeza. = I have a headache. Paco se ha roto la pierna. = Paco has broken his leg. 20

8 Adjectives: 3 EXERCISES 1. Comparatives and superlatives. Translate the following sentences into Spanish: (a) María is as tall as Elena. (b) Juan is more intelligent than Jorge but José is the most intelligent. (c) Orange juice is good but water is better. (d) My team is better than your team. (e) Belén is younger than Jaime but Lola is the youngest. 2. Demonstrative and possessive adjectives. Translate the following into Spanish: (a) This book (b) That girl (c) Those boys (far away) (d) These apples (e) Those lemons (near) (f) Those days (long ago) (g) My pen (h) Our mothers (i) His sister (j) Your (plural) brother (k) Our school (l) Their teacher (male) (m) My hand hurts 21

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