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!

the use of "the"

Hello, I am lost on the use of definite article "the"--when is it used, and not used, in Spanish. Two examples are given below. The first I know for a fact that the definite article is used: 1) Estaba cocinando _el_ desayuno But in the ...

1 reply - Last post by Hombre - August 9, 2006

Dictionary Of Modismos

Does anyone know of a dictionary on sale specifically relating to idioms(modismos) of Mexican Spanish? Thxs In Adv Nev

1 reply - Last post by Mauricio - August 1, 2006

soló un café

I was in a restaurant next to where I work, and the owner (who is from Puerto Rico and knows I'm trying to learn espanól) asked me what I wanted to order. I said "*soló un café*" with confidence and pride. He gave me sympathic nod and smile, an...

2 replies - Last post by nohablo - July 27, 2006

Rocket Spanish Advanced Book on Audio?

Are there any plans for the *Rocket Spanish Advanced Book* to be made into *audio*? I really get a lot out of the beginners book, and hope that the Advanced book will be available when I finish the beginners.

2 replies - Last post by Hombre - July 27, 2006

Pen Pal in Mexico

Can a non RS student join this forum? I have a pen pal in mexico who is a language specialist and works for the Univ. of Mexico. Can she join this forum without purchasing the RS course, since she obviously does not need it. She would be a great resour...

1 reply - Last post by Mauricio - July 25, 2006

Confused; as usual.

O.K., I'm going to attempt to make myself clear so bear with me. I'm going through the lesson about the birthday party. In it the word "su" is used in reference to a third person. In other words it's used to define "his birthday". ...

2 replies - Last post by nohablo - July 19, 2006

Pobre Diabla

There is a reggaetone song called Pobre Diabla by Don Omar, which has recently bee remade as a salsa song by Michael Stewart. Part of the chorus goes: Pobre Diabla, se dice que se te ha visto por la calle vagando llorando por un hombre que no vale...

4 replies - Last post by taalibeen - July 14, 2006

El haber

What is the meaning of El Haber. It seems really weird to see the definite article in front of the auxilary verb Here is a sample sentence A Alexander von Humboldt, el cientifico y viajero, se le atribuye* el haber* a concer al chocolate en Alema...

1 reply - Last post by Lenguas - June 30, 2006

Why Neuva York

Why is it Neuva York and not Nuevo York? What make the name feminine?

2 replies - Last post by Lenguas - June 30, 2006

Cada vs Todos

First time poster - Hola What is the difference between using "cada dia" and "todos las dias" when expressing the frequency of "every day"?

1 reply - Last post by Lenguas - June 21, 2006

Why is this tense used in this case?

Here is an excerpt from some Spanish literature: A pesar de que existen muchas versiones de los origenes del mole poblano, la mas común dice que *fue inventado* en el siglo XVII. Firstly why is the text highlighted in bold using the past progressive...

1 reply - Last post by Lenguas - June 20, 2006

Éste/Ésta y este/esta

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre Éste/Ésta y este/esta? Por ejemplo, looking at a picture with several niños, you would say, “Éste es mi hermano.” but in this sentence you would say “Mi casa no está en este barrio.” You would say “Ésta es mi familia” looki...

1 reply - Last post by nohablo - June 16, 2006

Que se le ofrece?

Ok. According to the audio lessen "Que se le ofrece" literally means "What can be offered to you" Right? Why are there two pronouns? I realize that "se" is the indirect object pronoun as in "to you". Why is "le...

4 replies - Last post by tocayo - June 9, 2006

Want some good practice Rolling those Rs?

Here is a little poem that will help with rolling the 'rr's in spanish. Like the rest of this course, you have to do it out loud, and repeatedly. Rr con rr cigarro Rr con rr barril. Rapido corren los carros Del ferro carril

2 replies - Last post by dsandife - May 25, 2006

como estas tu-or- como estes tu? ( Informal )

In Rocket Spanish you show como estes tu for How are you. ( informal ) But in other places in Spanish they show como estas tu. ( informal ) I am confused with this difference. Please help to understand the difference. ...

3 replies - Last post by nohablo - May 21, 2006

¿Como Estámos?

Maybe someone can help me. I listen to the spanish station on the radio everyday to try to help me learn. When people call into the station, they say "¿Como estámos?" Now that seems weird to ask a group of people, 'how are we?' Or maybe it's...

3 replies - Last post by windchaser - May 20, 2006

esta ésta está

The three words above are all different. The first is an adjective, the next is a pronoun, and the last one is a verb. My question is about the pronunciation. Since the words have only 2 syllables, there can only be two distinct pronunciations. How is ...

1 reply - Last post by litlmike - May 19, 2006

Rocket Spanish Beginners Guide on pdf is all that

I just want to say this about the Beginners Guide that was provided in .pdf format when I purchased the program. This is the most incredible resource I have found to date. I have seen many books on the subject but this Guide makes everything understanda...

0 replies - Last post by Hombre - May 19, 2006

where to place the "lo"

I am totally confused on where to place the "lo" or "los" within a sentence. I know that when I ask "can you make it/them ...?", it's translated as "puede hacerlo/los...?" but when I want to say something like &q...

1 reply - Last post by (deleted) - May 17, 2006

Conversacion Por Teléfono...

My predominant interest in Spanish is being able to communicate. I can understand much of what I read, because I can see it in print. I can write a coherent message in Spanish as well, because I have time to think and formulate, review it and correct ...

5 replies - Last post by hahne - May 12, 2006

para vs. a

Is there any difference in meaning between using "para" or "a" in a sentence like the following: Siéntese __para tomar__ un cafe Siéntese __a tomar__ un cafe I had learned the to use "a" in another course, but in...

1 reply - Last post by Lenguas - May 12, 2006

Objectos Directos y Objectos Indirectos

I am trying to clear up in my mind the above theme. I thought that the direct object always answered the question What or Whom. For example: Paco hit Juan ----------> Paco le pega a Juan Now I also thought that the direct object recei...

10 replies - Last post by nohablo - May 5, 2006

Suggestions for Agenda with Tutoring

I have gotten up to lesson 1.6 or so of Rocket Spanish. I have invited a person from Honduras to sit with me for a few hours on Saturday Mornings to help me practice my spanish. She speaks passable english, so I was able to tell her what I was looking for...

1 reply - Last post by Mauricio - May 2, 2006

Preterite,Imperfect etc. I may be in trouble.

Is it essential that I know these terms. I have to confess that I am one of the statistics. I graduated high school not knowing any of this. I also graduated without knowing my times tables, which astounds my husband. But it is true. I've had to educ...

11 replies - Last post by Antonio - April 27, 2006

Language Tools for Children

Hola, I’m looking for interactive children’s Spanish software - games, stories, puzzles, etc. for a 5 year old. I will also try my recently purchased Rocket Spanish on her. She doesn’t live in my household therefore I wanted to purchase something that ...

0 replies - Last post by knezz - April 23, 2006


Hola todo. Necessito ayudar por favor. In the audio section of describing people, at times in the word for blonde, the "b" in rubio sounds like a "b" when Mauricio and Amy repeat just the word. However, in the conversation portion, ...

4 replies - Last post by taalibeen - April 22, 2006

Preterite vs. Imperfect

I'm still finding it very hard to figure out when to use the preterite vs. the imperfect when talking about the past. I've gone through Rocket Spanish and Learning Spanish Like Crazy, but just when I think I understand how to deal with the past, I find ...

12 replies - Last post by Hombre - April 22, 2006

I would rather

HOw does one express "I would rather ..... die than reveal my sources to you " I don not want to express say I would prefer ........> prefería I would rather is much more emphatic. Thoughts and comments welcome as always Nev

1 reply - Last post by Mauricio - April 20, 2006

Online Spanish-language newspaper

My teacher at Encuentros Language School in Cuernavaca, Mexico, recommended reading La Jornada at __ In the Sunday edition she especially recommended the column by Cristina Pacheco, a well-known Mexi...

1 reply - Last post by vainita - April 19, 2006

Sí, se puede

How can this mean, "yes, we can"? I'm pretty new at this, but isn't "we can" usually translated as "podemos"? Just when you think you understand something. . . . . :?

6 replies - Last post by Hombre - April 14, 2006

Another "How do you express": Supposed to

One I have a question about is "supposed to." I know that deber is used to express "should," as in debo ir contigo (I should go with you). But, how do you expressed "supposed to" as in: I am supposed to go with you. ...

8 replies - Last post by nohablo - April 13, 2006

Yo voy vs. Me Voy

What is the difference between: Yo voy a la tienda & Me voy a la tienda

4 replies - Last post by taalibeen - February 16, 2006

Feminine or masculine?!

Hi everyone! I really want to learn Spanish, first i thought that it was so easy but it's not that easy. I don't know which words are feminine or masculine. I'm going to give you an example for what i mean. Example: I live in Holland = Yo vivo en Holand...

5 replies - Last post by Espanola - March 31, 2006

Subjuntivo - Subjunctive Case

The significant other in mi vida is Puertoriqueña, and so I get a lot of opportunity to practice español. One of the things I keep getting messed up on is the subjunctive. Mi novia found a powerpoint presentation that explained it in detail and here is ...

1 reply - Last post by nohablo - March 26, 2006


i work with many latinos, and i have noticed that a number of them use the english phrase "maybe later" when it doesn't really make much sense. do you have any ideas as to what they might think that means in english?

4 replies - Last post by taalibeen - March 24, 2006

Copreterite vs Past Progressive

When I first started learning Spanish using the Michel Thomas course it stuck with me that whenever you wanting to say in English; I was ..... We were..... You were to use the copretérito ie. -----ía + person or ----aba + person Now I am confus...

1 reply - Last post by nevjohnson - March 6, 2006

no me...remember

OK. I have heard it said, and been told that, "I don't remember" is pronouced as "no me _acuerdo_" yet when I look it up in online translators it comes up, "no me _recuerdo_." Which is the correct? And, to go a step furthe...

1 reply - Last post by Mauricio - March 2, 2006

Se Puede

Hi, I am a newbe on this Forum and this is my first Post. I hope I do it ok. My question is the verb Puede, I have noticed that sometimes the prefix Se is put before Puede, I know there must be a rule for when this is done, but I dont know what it is. ...

2 replies - Last post by Umpaw - February 27, 2006

Discripciones in Conversation Course

On page 49 of the Conversation Course, the section on descriptions, it has bonita and hermosa as feminine descriptors for beauty/attractiveness and "n/a" for the masculine counterpart. Por que esto es? Mi novia me llama "Bonito,"...

1 reply - Last post by Mauricio - February 28, 2006

Stringing Verbs Together

Hola, Through the day, I like to try and translate into Spanish various things that I or someone else has said (in my mind of course). I’m not sure how beneficial this is, or if it’s another way to pick up some bad habits, but I like to do it anyway. ...

7 replies - Last post by Randy1 - February 27, 2006

Question about this forum

Hi folk! Which type of script-engine does this forum use? I want the same one. Please, help me. Thanks in advance!!!

1 reply - Last post by (deleted) - February 24, 2006

tú vs. usted in the Rocket Spanish course

I have a question about the use of tú in the Rocket Spanish lessons. In Lección 2.3, Amy is supposedly a reporter interviewing the famous singer, Señor Evlampieff. Though she addresses him as "Señor Evlampieff," she uses the second person ...

8 replies - Last post by nohablo - January 29, 2006


I have heard some people say _espere_ when meaning for someone to "wait," e.g., "Espere un momento, por favor." I thought that "you/he/she wait" was _espera_ and that espere (spelt esperé) was the preterit tense. Thanx.

1 reply - Last post by (deleted) - February 23, 2006

Que vs. ese vs. eso

Now this is definitely stumping me. All three are used for "that," pero que es la regla? Gracias.

2 replies - Last post by nohablo - February 21, 2006

Spanish Penpals

The following site is for "intercambio cultural." People wanting to chat in Spanish and/or English post their names and emails. I have found it helpful to chat online in Spanish and to help Spanish-speaking people with their English. This is...

0 replies - Last post by AnthonyLouis - February 17, 2006

Medio Hecha/Cruda

Hola, In Lesson 4.4 the cooking of the steak is referred to as medio/poco hecha and also medio cruda. Why do we use the masculine forms of medio & poco when forms of hecha & cruda are feminine? Gracias, Randy

2 replies - Last post by Randy1 - February 16, 2006

no te preocupes?

Hola. In the "Conversación en español" section of this forum, I wanted to tell someone not to worry. I said "no te preocupes," mostly because my _Big Red Book of Spanish Verbs_ gives that as an example. However, I wonder why that'...

3 replies - Last post by Mariposa - February 15, 2006


Is there a rule for choosing when to use "por" or when to use "para" in a sentence?

3 replies - Last post by taalibeen - February 14, 2006

Que y Lo Que

Tengo una pregunta sobre "que" y "lo que" I have a question concerning "que" and "lo que" In the Rocket Spanish conversation course booklet, it has "Lo que quieres" as "What you want." ...

2 replies - Last post by taalibeen - February 13, 2006

The placement of LO

I understand that LO can mean him, her or it, but I'm at a loss of it's placement in a sentence. Why is it that it is placed before verbs, (eg, lo nesecito, lo conozco, etc), but when used with the verb escribir it is placed "afterwards" (escrib...

3 replies - Last post by (deleted) - February 7, 2006

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