CAPÍTULO 3 Gramática

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1 CAPÍTULO 3 Gramática 3.1 TELLING TIME The hour, quarter hour, and half hour in Spanish are given as follows: On the hour Quarter hour Half hour Son las cinco. Son las nueve Son las doce y y cuarto. media. The following expressions are used when telling time in Spanish: Up to the half hour (or 30), add minutes to the hour using y. Son las [hour] y [minutes]. 3:20 Son las tres y veinte. 11:05 Son las once y cinco. After the half hour (or 30), subtract minutes from the next hour using menos. Son las [next hour] menos [minutes]. 9:50 Son las diez menos diez. 4:35 Son las cinco menos veinticinco. When talking about 1:00 (between 12:30 and 1:30), es is used instead of son. 1:15 Es la una y cuarto. 12:35 Es la una menos veinticinco. Noon and midnight are expressed as (el) mediodía and (la) medianoche. La clase es al mediodía. El programa es a la medianoche. The class is at noon. The program is at midnight. In Spanish, A.M. = de la mañana, P.M. = de la tarde (12 noon 7:00 P.M.) and de la noche (after 7:00 P.M.) 9:15 A.M. las nueve y cuarto de la mañana. 4:50 P.M. las cinco menos diez de la tarde. 11:00 P.M. las once de la noche. When no specific time is mentioned, the expressions por la mañana, por la tarde and por la noche are used. Tengo matemáticas por la mañana. Tengo historia por la tarde. Tengo computación por la noche. I have math in the morning. I have history in the afternoon. I have computer class in the evening. 8

2 Be very careful to distinguish between what time it is and AT what time something occurs. Qué hora es? Son las dos y veinte. What time is it? It is two-twenty. A qué hora es la clase? At what time is the class? A las dos y media. At two-thirty. Many schedules buses, trains, planes, theaters, museums use a 24 hour clock (this is often called military time in the United States). In other words, after 12:00 noon, the hours are 13,00 h. through 24,00 h. (1:00 p.m 12:00 midnight). Note: h. = horas. 15,00 h. = las tres de las tarde 20,30 h. = las ocho y media de la noche In order to convert back to twelve-hour time, you must subtract twelve from the hour. 18,00 h. (18 minus 12) = 6:00 p.m. 22,30 h. (22,30 minus 12) = 10:30 p.m. 3.2 POSSESSION WITH DE In English, when we want to show possession, we use s. For example: David s backpack. In Spanish, s doesn t exist. In fact, apostrophes are NEVER used. To show possession in Spanish, we use the word de, which in this case means of. The formula for possession in Spanish is the + item possessed + de + possessor. So, David s backpack in Spanish = la mochila de David. 3.3 GENDER OF ADJECTIVES Used to Describe Adjectives are words that describe nouns. For example, in the sentence Anita es alta (Anita is tall), alta is an adjective because it describes Anita. Other examples are: Daniel es delgado. Tú eres simpática. Yo soy estudioso. Daniel is thin. You are nice. I am studious. Colors are also adjectives when they are used to describe a noun. Examples are: La carpeta es roja. The folder is red. El lápiz es blanco. The pencil is white. In Spanish, an adjective that describes a masculine noun must also be masculine. Also, an adjective that describes a feminine noun must also be feminine. In order to make adjectives masculine or feminine, you may have to change the ending. Like nouns, most adjectives in Spanish have a masculine ending o and a feminine ending a. Adjective Endings Masculine -o estudioso Feminine -a estudiosa 9

3 Other adjectives that don t end in o or a, have only one ending for both masculine and feminine nouns. These adjectives end in e or in a consonant. Some of the adjectives that belong to this group are: difícil elegante exigente fuerte grande inteligente interesante joven popular azul café marrón difficult elegant demanding, exacting strong big intelligent interesting young popular blue brown brown When you use more than one adjective, the last one is connected by y (and). Él es grande y fuerte. He is big and strong. Ella es alta, delgada y elegante. She is tall, thin and elegant. El libro es azul y rojo. The book is blue and red. 3.4 ADJECTIVES: SINGULAR AND PLURAL FORMS Used to Describe People and Things Adjectives, like nouns, have both singular and plural forms. Formation of Plural Adjectives If the singular form of an adjective ends in a vowel, add s. SINGULAR bueno perfeccionista grande PLURAL buenos perfeccionistas grandes If the singular form of an adjective ends in a consonant, add es. SINGULAR popular fatal azul PLURAL populares fatales azules In Spanish, adjectives must agree in number (singular / plural) and in gender (masculine / feminine) with the noun they modify. Unlike English, adjectives usually follow the noun. 10

4 Él es mi profesor favorito. Las clases son estupendas. He is my favorite teacher. The classes are fabulous. When one adjective describes two or more nouns, one of which is masculine, the masculine plural, or co-ed form of the adjective is used. La profesora y el director son altos. Words ending in ista can be either masculine or feminine, but will always end in ista. You have learned one of these words, perfeccionista. 3.5 SUBJECT PRONOUNS: SINGULAR AND PLURAL FORMS Referring to People Subject pronouns are used to talk to and about other people. In Spanish, the subject pronouns have the following forms: Subject Pronouns Singular Plural yo I nosotros nosotras we (masculine) we (feminine) tú usted you (familiar) you (formal) vosotros(as) ustedes y all (fam. pl. in Spain) you (plural) él ella he, it she, it ellos ellas they (masculine) they (feminine) Yo (I) refers to the person speaking, tú or usted (you) to the person spoken to, and él or ella (he, she) to the person spoken about. The subject pronoun it in English is NEVER expressed specifically in Spanish. Yo soy Victoria. Ella no es la profesora. Quién eres tú? Es usted el Sr. Ramos? Quién es él? Él es mi amigo. Es un perro. (No subject pronoun!) I am Victoria. She is not the teacher. Who are you? Are you Mr. Ramos? Who is he? He is my friend. It is a dog. Yo is not capitalized unless it comes at the beginning of a sentence. 11

5 Tú and usted both mean you. Tú is the familiar form of address usually used with children, family, and friends. Usted is used to show respect or to indicate a more formal relationship with the person addressed. Customarily, usted is used to address teachers and elderly people, as well as adults you don t know well. Usted is always used when talking TO anyone referred to by title: Sr. (señor) Sra. (señora) Srta. (señorita) Prof. (profesor/profesora) Dr. (doctor) Dra. (doctora) When speaking directly to someone, just use that person s name or title, as in English. Buenos días, Sr. Castillo. Hola, Miguel. Cómo está usted, Sra. Robles? When speaking about someone with a title (señor, señora, señorita, profesor, profesora, etc.), el, la, los or las is always used in front of the title. 3.6 THE VERB SER The forms of the verb ser (to be) are as follows: yo soy tú eres usted es él, ella es Ser - to be nosotros(as) somos vosotros(as) sois ustedes son ellos, ellas son Ser is used in the following ways: To describe physical characteristics and personality traits. Luis es alto y guapo. Luis is tall and good-looking. Él es muy modesto. He is very modest. Tú eres interesante. You are interesting. To tell where someone is from. Yo soy de Phoenix. I am from Phoenix. Usted es de Miami. You are from Miami. Ella es de México. She is from Mexico. 12

6 3.7 THE VERB GUSTAR WITH PLURAL NOUNS Used to Express Likes and Dislikes In chapter 1, you learned how to use the verb gustar is used to express likes and dislikes with singular nouns. It is always preceded by me, te, or le to state that something is pleasing to me, to you, or to you (formal), him, or her. When more than one thing is pleasing, we use gustan. Remember that the forms never use yo, tú, usted, él, or ella, as a subject. A ti te gustan tus clases? literal translation: To you are your classes pleasing? (Do you like your classes?) Sí, a mí me gustan. literal translation: Yes, to me they are pleasing. (Yes, I like them.) A él le gustan las fiestas divertidas. literal translation: To him fun parties are pleasing. (He likes fun parties.) Gustar - to be pleasing to (to like) To me To you To him To her To it (a mí) (no) me gusta(n) (a ti) (no) te gusta(n) (a usted) (no) le gusta(n) (a él) (no) le gusta(n) (a ella) (no) le gusta(n) (no) le gusta(n) A + mí / ti / usted / él / ella, etc. is frequently used to emphasize or clarify who is doing the liking or disliking. A ella no le gustan los exámenes. Te gustan los tacos? She doesn t like tests. Do you like tacos? 3.8 QUESTIONS AND QUESTION WORDS: A SUMMARY Spanish has three types of questions: tag questions, yes/no questions, and information questions. Tag questions ask the listener to agree or disagree with what the speaker is saying. They are formed by adding no? or verdad? to the end of a statement. When the statement is negative, only verdad? can be used. Eres de Ecuador, no? El libro es muy interesante, verdad? Él no es muy fuerte, verdad? You re from Ecuador, aren t you? The book is very interesting, isn t it? He isn t very strong, is he? (Use verdad? statement is negative.) 13

7 Yes/no questions can be answered with sí or no. These questions usually begin with a verb. If the subject is expressed, it often comes at the end of the question. Va al concierto Pepe? Conoce Julio a Paco? Is Pepe going to the concert? Does Julio know Paco? Information questions request information and begin with a question word, also known as an interrogative. Question Words Quién? Who? (singular) Cuánto(a)? How much? Quiénes? Who? (plural) Cuántos(as)? How many? Qué? What? Cómo? How? What? Cuál? Which?, What?, Which one? (singular) Cuándo? When? Cuáles? Which?, What?, Which ones? (plural) Dónde? Where? Por qué? Why? Adónde? Where to? De dónde? From where? Note that all question words have written accents. Question Word Song (sung to the tune of Jingle Bells ) Por qué? Cuándo? Qué? Dónde? Cuánto? Cómo? Quién? Cuál? Why? When? What? Where? How much? How? means Who? is there? Which? 14

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