Category Archives: Spanish Lessons

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Spanish Verbs – Basic IR Ending Conjugation

In learning Spanish, verb conjugation is by far your biggest challenge, yet as a student you can be grateful that many verbs follow a very distinct pattern. In this lesson, we are going to discover conjugation of IR verb endings in the present tense. This is probably one of the very first things you learn in a Spanish class.

Let take a verb such as the one that means “to write”. The Spanish verb is escribir.

In conversation, if you are to use the word escribir, you are literally saying “to write”.

In English, you would say something like I write or he writes.  In Spanish, you have the subject and verb in the same word.  For example, escribo is the word for I write.

Let’s look at how all of the forms of the verb escribir look:

Singular:

I write: escribo
You write: escribes
He/she writes: escribe

Plural:

We write: escribimos
You all/they all write: escriben

Notice how all of the forms start with escrib?  This is the root of the word, with the IR ending removed.  Spanish verb conjugation in the present removes the two letter ending and adds a new ending based on the subject that is doing the action.

Here are some other IR ending verbs that you can see follow the same pattern:

Recibir: to recieve
recibo/recibes/recibe/recibimos/reciben

Vivir: to live
vivo/vives/vive/vivimos/viven

Permitir: to allow, permit
permito/permites/permite/permitimos/permiten

That’s all it takes for a standard Spanish IR verb conjugation.  Check back again for some irregular verbs.

Spanish Verbs – Basic ER Ending Conjugation

In learning Spanish, verb conjugation is by far your biggest challenge, yet as a student you can be grateful that many verbs follow a very distinct pattern. In this lesson, we are going to discover conjugation of ER verb endings in the present tense. This is probably one of the very first things you learn in a Spanish class.

Let take a verb such as the one that means “to eat”. The Spanish verb is come.

In conversation, if you are to use the word comer, you are literally saying “to eat”.

In English, you would say something like I eat or he eats.  In Spanish, you have the subject and verb in the same word.  For example, come is the word for I eat.

Let’s look at how all of the forms of the verb comer look:

Singular:

I eat: como
You eat: comes
He/she eats: come

Plural:

We eat: comemos
You all/they all eat: comen

Notice how all of the forms start with com?  This is the root of the word, with the ER ending removed.  Spanish verb conjugation in the present removes the two letter ending and adds a new ending based on the subject that is doing the action.

Here are some other ER ending verbs that you can see follow the same pattern:

Aprender: to learn
aprendo/aprendes/aprende/aprendemos/aprenden

leer: to read
leo/lees/lee/leemos/leen

That’s all it takes for a standard Spanish ER verb conjugation.  Check back again for some irregular verbs.

Spanish Verbs – Basic AR Ending Conjugation

In learning Spanish, verb conjugation is by far your biggest challenge, yet as a student you can be grateful that many verbs follow a very distinct pattern. In this lesson, we are going to discover conjugation of AR verb endings in the present tense. This is probably one of the very first things you learn in a Spanish class.

Let take a verb such as the one that means “to walk”. The Spanish verb is caminar.

In conversation, if you are to use the word caminar, you are literally saying “to walk”.

In English, you would say something like I walk or he walks.  In Spanish, you have the subject and verb in the same word.  For example, camino is the word for I walk.

Let’s look at how all of the forms of the verb caminar look:

Singular:

I walk: camino
You walk: caminas
He/she walks: camina

Plural:

We walk: caminamos
You all/they all walk: caminan

Notice how all of the forms start with camin?  This is the root of the word, with the AR ending removed.  Spanish verb conjugation in the present removes the two letter ending and adds a new ending based on the subject that is doing the action.

Here are some other AR ending verbs that you can see follow the same pattern:

Arreglar: to fix
arreglo/arreglas/arregla/arreglamos/arreglan

Mirar: to look
miro/miras/mira/miramos/miran

Preguntar: to ask
pregunto/preguntas/pregunta/preguntamos/preguntan

That’s all it takes for a standard Spanish AR verb conjugation.  Check back again for some irregular verbs.

Spanish Direct versus Indirect Object Pronouns

Are you learning Spanish and having trouble understanding the difference between direct and indirect object pronouns?

There are many different literary conventions to learn when learning a new language.  Object pronouns, both indirect and direct, are an important part of understanding Spanish speaking and therefore must be discussed.  Many people have trouble remembering when to use one or the other, and which one is which for that matter.  Here’s a very basic review of the two and how to know when to use them.

Direct Object Pronouns

Here are the various forms of direct object pronouns:

me – yo
te – tu
lo, la – el, ella, usted
nos – nosotros
los, las – ellos, ellas, ustedes

When to use direct object?  User direct object pronouns when speaking about an object and what is done with it.  For example:

  • I bring it (referring to a book) – lo traigo
  • I have them (referring to shoes) – los tengo
  • You search for us – nos buscas

Indirect Object Pronouns

Here are the various forms of direct object pronouns:

me – yo
te – tu
le – el, ella, usted
nos – nosotros
les – ellos, ellas, ustedes

When to use direct object pronouns?  Use direct object pronouns when speaking about an object and what is done to it.  For example:

  • I bring the book to her – le traigo el libro
  • You give me the shoes – me das los zapatos
  • You speak to us – nos hablas

In review

Did you notice the biggest difference?  Direct object pronouns are used when the verb is describing what is being done with an object where indirect object pronouns are used when the verb is describing what is being done to an object.

 

Spanish Vowel Pronunciation

Spanish vowels are probably one of the best parts about learning Spanish.  The pronunciation consistently stays the same from one word to another.  As in English, where diphthongs can drastically change vowel sounds, Spanish does not typically cause the same struggles for the learner.

With vowels being a necessity for building words, it makes sense to first learn how they sound.  The pronunciations of the vowels are below.  Listen to each clip repeatedly and pronounce the vowel and word with each sample.

All Vowels:  Listen for “A  E  I  O  U

SpanishVowelsAll.mp3

A:  Listen for “A – Santa”  The definition of santa is holy

SpanishVowelsA.mp3

E: Listen for “E – Tengo” The definition of tengo is I have

SpanishVowelsE.mp3

I: Listen for “I – Sí” The definition of is yes

SpanishVowelsI.mp3

O: Listen for “O – No” The definition of no is no

SpanishVowelsO.mp3

U: Listen for “U – Tú” The definition of is you

SpanishVowelsU.mp3

That’s a real basic introduction to the vowels in Spanish.  As easy as it may seem, it is very important for building a solid foundation for your learnings.  You will begin to notice once you start seeing vocab, how it’s often easy to pronounce words that you have never seen before simply because of the consistent pronunciation of vowels!

Learning Spanish – Part One

Are you interested in learning Spanish?  Speaking Spanish is a great skill to have and learning it can be very fun!

Well, to start off teaching Spanish, we are definitely not going to speak any Spanish.  We are going to talk about some of the hurdles you might have, and some things to keep in mind while learning this language as a current English speaker.  Everyone always wants to know, is it harder for an English speaker to learn Spanish or the opposite.  I would say both.  Learning a foreign language takes time, dedication, humility, and desire to succeed.  Why humility you may ask?  Because everyone is a little entertaining when watching them speak a language that is not very comfortable for them.  But usually the fact that someone is learning also brings them a certain amount of respect in the process.

Here are some things you will need to get used to in the Spanish language:

1:  The order of words.  In Spanish, often times the order of the words in a sentence are very different from what we are used to in English.  The familiarity will come, but it’s OK to be confused on that.  The other part to this is that often times in Spanish, words can be mixed around much more freely than in English and they still make sense.  That is helpful in many ways!

2:  Masculine/Feminine words.  In Spanish, descriptive words and certain other parts of speech change based on a male/female object of discussion.  This isn’t always a person, but basically any noun is referenced to as either a masculine or feminine object.  A real basic relation is this.  Masculine ends in “O” and feminine ends in “A”.  This will take a long time to get used to, but trust me will get more and more natural as you learn.

3:  Verbs.  I can’t say much more than most of learning Spanish is about learning the verb tenses.  Where you are used to two main variations for many tenses of a verb, such as I buy and he buys, Spanish has many.  I buy, you buy, he buys, we buy, they buy are 5 different variations in Spanish.  Just as an example, here they are respectively: compro, compras, compra, compramos, compran.  Now that is what is going to be most tricky.  Take your current understanding of one or two variations and make it 5 for every tense of every verb and see if you don’t get a bit confused.  Thankfully, they follow patterns.

So what’s the good thing?  Well, our first lesson is going to revolve around the best part of learning Spanish!  That is the vowels, A E I O U, all have the same pronunciation throughout Spanish vocabulary.  No complicated dipthongs in Spanish!  Once you learn how to pronounce the vowels, pronouncing any written word should not be too difficult.

Hopefully that gives you a good overview of speaking spanish.  You’re either running away at this point, or excited to start. Hopefully you are excited to start learning the 3rd most popularly spoken language in the world!  ¡Adios!