Spanish - Grammar

By taking the time to understand how the Spanish language works, you'll be able to speak Spanish naturally, and read and write in Spanish. We know this can be one of the more challenging parts of your course, and we’re here to help! You can browse the topics, do a search in the top right corner of this page, or start a new conversation. Don’t be shy!

Entiendo y Comprendo

Today I realized that both "entiendo" and "comprendo"  mean about the same thing: "I understand." Can you use each in Latin America and Spain? Or, as with "tomar" and "beber," does the phrase you use vary between countries? Por ejemplo: Mi perra no ...

3 replies - Last post by KelllaurBailar - October 5, 2015

No lo he de olvidar

I have seen this construction a number of times in songs (only in songs actually!). - Haber + de + verb in the infinitive The English translation of the song puts this as "I will never forget." although in other places the "haber + de" would seem to indi...

5 replies - Last post by Dan-H24 - October 4, 2015

The difference between "el" and "la"

What is the difference between El and La?

12 replies - Last post by KelllaurBailar - September 28, 2015

Definite articles for a language

In Chapter 1 Grammar you say "the short defining word before the noun is really part of the noun," but one says, "Je ne parle pas anglais (or francais)."  Why is there no definite article (one assumes it would be masculine)?

8 replies - Last post by Steven-W15 - September 18, 2015

What is the name of the diacritic

What is the name of the diacritic, such as on the last syllable of "perdon," and the penultimate syllable of "gustaria?"  Gracias! Magister Britannus

7 replies - Last post by KelllaurBailar - September 17, 2015

Answering the teléfono "Bueno"

Hola, My wife works for a tire company in Phoenix AZ that has locations all over the Southwest. One of the smaller, one man locations is on the Texas/Mexico border, no matter what time of the day the guy that runs that location, who is Mexican answers th...

8 replies - Last post by Kevin-M143 - September 14, 2015

Beber or Tomar?

Tengo una pregunta para mi nuevo amigos aqui: Hello everyone! I just enrolled here on Rocket Spanish a couple of days ago. In all of the past curricular I've used, the verb for "to drink" has been "beber". Then I heard that "tomar" is also "to drink." Ar...

13 replies - Last post by KelllaurBailar - September 13, 2015

Your friend should've heard..

Are all of the following exactly equivalent? - Tu amiga debió de haber escuchado... - Tu amiga debería haber escuchado... - Tu amiga habría debido escuchado...  

3 replies - Last post by Steven-W15 - September 10, 2015

No pude acercarme lo suficiente.

It's funny how you can look at phrase x number of times and then, all of a sudden, something seems out of place. - "No pude acercarme lo suficiente." vs. "No pude acercarme suficiente." What does the "lo" add to this phrase?

12 replies - Last post by ricardo-rich - August 27, 2015

Al oír esto... Al salir ellos del agua... Al caer a tierra...

Upon hearing this... Upon getting out of the water... In falling to the ground... These are my translations btw - I hope I've got it straight. I'm seeing this "Al + verb in the infinitive" often enough in reading but I don't remember seeing this construc...

3 replies - Last post by Dan-H24 - August 4, 2015

No tienes parte ni suerte en este asunto.

- You have no right or portion in this matter. Wow, I would never have guessed "portion" from suerte. (Well, I suppose for that matter, who uses the word portion anymore?) Is this some sort of "stock" phrase in Spanish?  

3 replies - Last post by Steven-W15 - July 28, 2015

Ayuda... Help!

Hola a todos. I am just looking for some help/reassurance/advice really as I am in a stage I'm sure many of you have been through. I have been learning part time since January and just started on Level 2 and getting into learning the past tenses. I made p...

4 replies - Last post by Jo--110 - July 22, 2015

"acabar" vs. "venir recién + gerundio"

Are these two phrases interchangeable / mean the same thing?  

4 replies - Last post by Steven-W15 - July 16, 2015

Using a gerund instead of an infinitive

I am studying Spanish two, lesson 1.4, and wanted to know if I could use this gerund instead of the infinitive that you used. For example: Yo fui pescar. I went fishing. Could you say" Yo fui pescando?. I'm a little confused as to when to use the infi...

6 replies - Last post by janway-- - July 15, 2015

¿Qué se le ofrece?

I do not understand why this phrase in lesson 4.5 is stated the way it is. For the question, What can I offer you?, it says to ask ¿Qué se le ofrece?   What I would like to know is why  it is NOT  ¿Que le ofrezco? or ¿Que le puedo ofre...

4 replies - Last post by ricardo-rich - July 15, 2015

Como olvidar que te llevaste mi corazón

From the song Como Olvidar. Of course the song writer knows what to write far better than I! But I was just curious as to why it isn't: - Como olvidar que me llevaste el corazón  

4 replies - Last post by marieg-rocket languages - July 3, 2015

Me estoy....

"Me estoy sintiendo triste." I am feeling sad.   In the above example from lesson 6.5.  Is there a reason for Me in this way?  Couldn't it have been "Estoy sintiendo triste." or "Yo estoy sintinendo triste."?  Why "Me estoy.."? ...

11 replies - Last post by Rob-B23 - June 21, 2015

Present Progressive

I notice in lesson 6.5 that it is said to be wrong if you say "Vamos pescando" perhaps because that is in the future. But what about the ejemplo given below from the lesson? Isn't that in the future? So would "Vamos a venir pronto." be better?   Ej...

5 replies - Last post by Rob-B23 - June 13, 2015

Hubiéramos visitado otros lugares pero...

In a Skype conversation, I said the following: Hubiéramos visitado otros lugares pero no había tiempo para ello. And I was corrected with the following phrase: Teníamos que haber ido… I didn't want to belabor the point (she was the expert after all!) bu...

14 replies - Last post by Steven-W15 - June 4, 2015

The difference between para & por

What's the difference between the use of para & por??? both of them mean "for". Can anyone explains this to me?

8 replies - Last post by Steven-W15 - May 27, 2015

Yo no me pongo eso

Curious expression. This came up several times in a video I was watching. The Google translation came up as: "I don't get it."  Is that the correct translation? 

8 replies - Last post by ricardo-rich - May 19, 2015

Podrías haber aprendido a hablar español.

Habrías podido aprender a hablar español. You could have learned to speak Spanish. Are both phrases correct and be used interchangeably?  

3 replies - Last post by Dan-H24 - May 14, 2015

esta / ésta / está What are their differences?

When do we use esta / ésta / está ??? I am really confused about them .  

14 replies - Last post by marieg-rocket languages - May 12, 2015

Apresúrate - Jennifer Lopez

Por los dos por lo que siempre hemos luchado Por todo lo que pasamos apresúrate mi amor Por que vuelvan los minutos, porque no quiero perderte Porque vivo de ilusiones porque sueño con amarte hoy Terrific song. I'm not getting the following though: 1.) T...

6 replies - Last post by marieg-rocket languages - May 1, 2015

IO DO usage

I'm sure this has been asked before, but in lesson 4.10 on DO and IO usage they have the following example. Ellos nos los piden.    They ask us for them. Why isn't it translated, "They ask them for us." In the lesson we are told the order...

19 replies - Last post by Dan-H24 - April 21, 2015

Spanish grammer

In Spanish 2 Lesson 9.4 Cine They say. Bueno, I nos matamos de la rise. Translation.  Well, we couldn't stop laughing. Since matamos is the we conjugation of matar which means to kill, I do not understand this at all.  

4 replies - Last post by Steven-W15 - April 21, 2015

Para comer

Hola, I am a newbie. I have a pretty basic question I think. The sentence "Quiero algo para comer" to me translates as "I want something to to eat". Obviously that is not correct. Can someone explain?

16 replies - Last post by ricardo-rich - April 18, 2015

Pronunciación de "sino"

Estoy en lección 12.11, estudiando las diferencias entre pero y sino. Noto que Mauricio pronuncia sino con el acento en el ultimo sílaba, en vez del primero sílaba. ¿Es correcto, o no?

8 replies - Last post by marieg-rocket languages - April 17, 2015

Puedo

Puedo comes from poner (I think).  It is first person.  But I am not sure of the tense.   

6 replies - Last post by george-gmh - April 9, 2015

'Le doy'

Le doy - I'll give you e.g Le doy el dinero en un momento - I'll give you the money in a moment Please could someone explain it grammatically? Thanks.

7 replies - Last post by ricardo-rich - April 9, 2015

Tienes que ser la única persona en el mundo a la que no le gusta que la asciendan.

- You must be the only person in the world that doesn't like to be promoted. Why isn't gustar in the subjunctive tense here? It is a subjective statement to say that someone must be the only person in the world. Here is a counter-example (where enterarse...

1 reply - Last post by Robert-C7 - April 5, 2015

Le escondieron el auto, para que piense que se lo robaron.

You guys hid his car so that he'd think it had been stolen. Shouldn't the verb "pensar" be in the imperfect subjunctive "pensara" here?

3 replies - Last post by Steven-W15 - March 28, 2015

Mañana no se si podre que estás jugando

This is from "Te Amo" de Franco de Vita. We discussed this song in the forum awhile back but I don't think this phrase. For the life of me I can't seem to get what it means. To note there may be accents missing - words to songs on the web can be notorious...

2 replies - Last post by Steven-W15 - March 28, 2015

El Sol No Regresa

Sueños de habitación en un hotel de carretera Y unas gotas de lluvia que guardo en esta maleta Ruedan por el colchón de mi cama ya desierta Es la mejor solución para el dolor de cabeza. Here is a case where I understand every word but have no idea what i...

9 replies - Last post by george-gmh - March 26, 2015

Using gustar to order food or drink.

In an early lesson, Amy used “Me gustaría un café” Why not “Mi gustaría un café” ?  

3 replies - Last post by george-gmh - March 24, 2015

"Suerte" - Shakira

I'm going through songs I'm used to singing along with (to the chagrin of my neighbors...) and trying to clear up any portions I don't understand. There are subtle uses - and non uses - of the subjunctive in this song which are beyond me (but I would like...

0 replies - Last post by Steven-W15 - March 24, 2015

Para saber qué pasó después...

"To know what happened afterwards..." I am forever wanting to put a "lo que" in there. What is the rule for this? I remember there is a RS lesson on "lo que", "lo cual", etc. but I don't remember seeing the explanation for "que" vs "lo que".  

2 replies - Last post by Steven-W15 - March 24, 2015

LESSON 3.1 Sí. Sí, yo conozco a tu amigo Andrés.

 yo conozco a tu amigo Andrés. What does ¨a ´ mean in this sentence????  

5 replies - Last post by Steven-W15 - March 24, 2015

Tengo vivi en Irlanda 8 meses (?)

I just came across this in a forum from someone who is from Venezuela. Is this correct? This is the first time I've seen this construction (tengo viví) which I presume is intended to mean "I have lived" - but the grammar looks almost too "English". This, ...

3 replies - Last post by Cristian-Montes-de-Oca - March 23, 2015

¿Te gustan los perritos calientes con mostaza, con kétchup, o con ambos

¿Te gustan los perritos calientes con mostaza, con kétchup, o con ambos. Is gustan for ustedes or for perritos callientes?

10 replies - Last post by Cristian-Montes-de-Oca - March 23, 2015

Vayamos a un restaurante italiano que conozco.

Let's go to an Italian restaurant that I know. Interesting (from a RS lession). It seems like I read previously on the forum here that when using "vayamos", it refers to just leaving a place with no specific direction in mind; otherwise you would use "va...

8 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 - March 21, 2015

Vaya una cuadra. What's the difference betwen vaya and Voy ??

What's the difference between Vaya and Voy? Do they carry the same meaning? Could anyone explain the use of these two words?

3 replies - Last post by Darius-R1 - March 20, 2015

Porque en los ojos nos espiábamos el alma...

The context is clearly something positive as the phrase continues with "...y la verdad no vacilaba en tu mirada." Espiar is "to spy on". I would guess that the meaning is "For our eyes looked into each other's souls..." but "espiar" seems to be a curious ...

4 replies - Last post by Steven-W15 - March 19, 2015

How do I...

Hola everyone, How do I use the online keyboard provided by RL to make an uppercase letter on the "Write It!" test? Is there even supposed to be accented uppercase letter in Spanish? Adios, hasta luego!

17 replies - Last post by george-gmh - March 19, 2015

Using the second verb the infinative form

When using two verbs in sentence the second one is usually in the infinitive form.  Is this true for the present tense only?  

9 replies - Last post by Ava Dawn - March 14, 2015

Somos seis personas...

Wow, here is a basic question! If you've just arrived at a restaurant and you want to tell the waiter how many are in your party, would you use ser ou estar? Or perhaps something more like, "Hay seis personas..."?

6 replies - Last post by Steven-W15 - March 14, 2015

Me pondré la idea

Interesting expression (heard off a video). "Pondré" is "I will put" (from poner). Google translates this is "I'll get the idea." The context is one person suggests a course of action and the other person, the one who says this, is the one who then acts o...

4 replies - Last post by Steven-W15 - March 11, 2015

Me e hecho igual

In a TV series, a girl cuts off a branch and says this phrase to the plant (I'm pretty sure that's what she said). I don't have a handle on what this means. Any ideas? Some other useful expressions I've come across (the translations might be off): y...

5 replies - Last post by Ava Dawn - March 10, 2015

How do I say I am sorry?

Can anyone please help me match the occasions on which to use the many ways of saying I am sorry in Spanish. In my travels over the years, I have heard expressions like perdón, perdóneme, permiso, con permiso, disculpe, discúlpeme, lo siento, and lamento...

7 replies - Last post by Ava Dawn - March 10, 2015

si + subjunctivo

Is it true that the only place where "Si..." is not followed by a verb in the subjunctive is when "cuando" can be substituted for "si"? - Si sumas dos más dos, tienes cuatro. - Cuando sumas dos más dos, tienes cuatro.  A verb in the indicative tense ...

14 replies - Last post by Ava Dawn - March 7, 2015

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