3 Easy to Learn Spanish Grammar Tips!

3 easy Spanish grammar tips

Do you see the words ‘Spanish grammar‘ on the side of your textbook that’s been slowly gathering dust on your shelf and think, “I just want to learn to speak Spanish without it being so hard”

 

Don’t worry, I’m here to help make learning Spanish easier for you and so you can start speaking it quicker.

 

It’s true that Spanish grammar can be quite intensive but that’s usually when you are learning at an advanced level.  There are many different verb tenses that can be used and rules to follow.

 

Luckily, for beginners it doesn’t have to be hard at all.

 

Here’s 3 basic Spanish grammar tips to remember so that you can get started!

 

 

1. Masculine and Feminine

 

Tip number 1 is that you’ll notice that a lot of words have either el/la or un/una in front of it depending on whether it is masculine (el/un) or feminine (la/una).

 

For those of you that know some French, you will be familiar with seeing words that are either masculine or feminine.  For the rest of you, it’ll be something you will get used to seeing in Spanish.

 

As you learn more, you’ll see that it’s useful to know the gender of the word when it’s in a sentence to figure out what ending to add to it.

 

For now, what you need to know is that all words that are nouns (objects and living things) in Spanish are classified as masculine or feminine, such as:

 

the male cat = el gato (el ga-tow)

the female cat = la gata (la ga-ta)

a male cat = un gato (uwn ga-tow)

a female cat = una gata (uw-na ga-ta)

 

As you learn it’s best to always include the el/la or un/una before the word when you are practicing reading the words out loud.

 

Remember that reading out loud helps you start getting comfortable with hearing yourself speak Spanish.

 

The more comfortable you are speaking it, the more comfortable you will get when talking to other people.

 

 

2. Accents and how to type them on your computer

 

Spanish grammar tip number 2 is about accents. In Spanish, you’ll notice accents over many words. This means that the letter is to be emphasized when speaking the word.

 

It’s easy to remember that they only appear over vowels (á, é, í, ó, ú).

 

Thankfully, the accents always face the same direction.

 

When typing the accents over the letter on an English PC keyboard, press

 

CTRL

 

 

At the same time that you press

 

 

(which is usually in the top left corner of your keyboard) and then type the vowel.

 

The letter will appear with the accent over it – á, é, í, ó, ú

 

 

On an English MAC keyboard, you would need to press:

 

OPTION

 

And at the same time you hold down

 

e

 

Then you can select the vowel you need and it will appear with an accent on top – á, é, í, ó, ú

 

On smartphones,  you hold down the vowel for a couple of seconds and you’ll be given the option to select the vowel with an accent on top.

 

 

3. Upside down Question & Exclamation marks ¿ ¡

 

Yes, you read that right.  Upside down.

 

Tip number 3 is that in Spanish, at the start of a question there is an upside question mark to show that it’s a question.  Same with exclamation points.

 

At the end of the sentence, the question mark and exclamation mark are right side up, just like English.

 

This helps us when we are reading to know to change our tone so we can show we are asking a question or making an exclamation in our sentence.

 

In Spanish-speaking countries, the computer keyboard will often have the upside question mark and exclamation mark.

 

On an English PC keyboard, you can put in the upside question mark by holding down

 

ALT

 

And entering in either

 

0191

 

OR

 

168

 

 

 

On an English MAC keyboard you can get the upside question mark by pressing

 

SHIFT

 

Then

 

OPTION

 

Then

 

?

 

If you want more info, this site explains it further.

 

 

For an upside exclamation mark, you would do the same on an English PC keyboard except with a different number codeYou would hold down

 

ALT

 

And enter either

 

0161

 

 

OR

 

173

 

 

On an English MAC keyboard, you can get an upside exclamation mark by pressing

 

OPTION

 

and

 

1

 

 

In informal situations such as texts and emails, it’s become normal to not include the upside question mark or upside exclamation mark at the beginning of the sentences.

 

3 Spanish grammar tips recap

 

So, the 3 Spanish grammar points to remember are that:

 

  • All words that are nouns (objects/living things) are either masculine or feminine

 

 

  • Sometimes there are accents on the vowels meaning that the letter is to be emphasized (and we learned how to make them appear on a keyboard!) and

 

 

  • there are upside down question and exclamation marks at the beginning of sentences (and we learned to do these on a keyboard also!)

 

 

I’m guessing you didn’t find that too hard and I promise it will become more familiar as you learn more Spanish!

 

 

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