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Spanish Grammar

Spanish Grammar is Not As Hard to Grasp As You Think it Is

Spanish is spoken by more than 400 million people around the world. It isn't too difficult to learn if the right method is followed. Here's something that can be of help...
Penlighten Staff
Last Updated: Mar 21, 2018
education
Spanish is one of the most commonly used languages in the world. It is also relatively easy to pick up, especially for people who are fluent in English. If you want to learn a new language for the sheer passion of picking up a new language, to learn about a whole new culture, or for additional grades in your school, then Spanish is the language for you.

Spanish Alphabets
The alphabets of the Spanish language are very similar to most of the European languages. Following is the list of the Spanish alphabets, and their pronunciation:
  • A - a
  • B - be
  • C - ce
  • CH - che
  • D - de
  • E - e
  • F - efe
  • G - ge
  • H - hache
  • I - i
  • J - jota
  • K - ka
  • L - ele
  • LL - elle
  • M - eme
  • N - ene
  • O - o
  • P - pe
  • Q - cu
  • R - ere
  • S - ese
  • T - te
  • U - u
  • V - ve
  • W - uve doble
  • X - eguis
  • Y - i griega
  • Z - zeta
I would like to highlight here that not all authorities on the Spanish language agree on the list that makes up the Spanish alphabets. The common exclusions are the alphabets 'w' and 'k'. Some authorities are of the opinion that the alphabet 'RR' pronounced as 'erre' is part of the list. The feminine alphabets are 'a' and 'b'.

Pronunciations: Vowels and Consonants
As mentioned earlier, Spanish can be picked up easily by people fluent in English. This is because, the vowels and consonants are pronounced like they are in English. However, the Spanish consonants are softer than their English counterparts, while the Spanish vowels are more distinct than that in English. Further, as in most languages, the sounds of the vowels can vary a little with the letters that are before and after them, but generally remain the same, irrespective of the word.

Plurals
In the English language, we have a few common rules for making a noun plural, like adding an 's' at the end of the word, unless the word end with a 'y', wherein the 'y' is replaced by 'ies'. Thankfully, the rules in Spanish are this simple too. In Spanish, if the word ends with a consonant, 'es' is added to the word, and if the word ends with 'z', the 'z' is replaced with 'ces' to get the plural form. Further, 'y' is also treated as a constant when obtaining the plural form of the word.

Like in English, there are a couple of exceptions, but then again, I guess the entire point of having an exception in a language is to make it more interesting and keep people on their toes.

Gender
Gender is an inherent characteristic of nouns in the Spanish language, and the nouns are classified as either feminine or masculine, with no neuter nouns. A very simple rule that can be followed is that the masculine nouns are used with masculine adjectives and articles, while the feminine nouns go with feminine adjectives and articles. A useful tip to make Spanish easy is that the masculine words are preceded with an 'el', while the feminine words are preceded with 'la'―both words meaning 'the'.

Spanish Greetings
It is very important that you pick up a couple of Spanish greetings before you visit an area where Spanish is the native language. It will help break the ice, and the natives will definitely be more cordial when they see that you are making an effort to fit in. Here are a list of some common greetings that should help you get through:
  • Hola - Hello
  • Adios - Goodbye
  • Buenos días - Good day
  • Me llamo Maria - My name is Maria
  • Bienvenido - Welcome
  • Gracias - Thank you
This article is not going to help you speak Spanish fluently, although, I do hope that I have managed to convey across as to how simple a language Spanish is.

I would like to end this article with the thoughts of Karl Albrecht, who said, "Change your language and change your thought".