Tu día en la escuela You learn Spanish verbs in the



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Unit 2 Review

Unit 2A: Tu día en la escuela

You learn Spanish verbs in the infinitive. The infinitive is a neutral tense that does not specify who is performing the action nor when the action is being performed. In constructing sentences, you will need to change the verb ending to match the subject pronoun.

Subject Pronouns

A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. For example, Saint Martin was born in Lima, Peru. Saint Martin became a Dominican brother at age 24. Saint Martin took care of the sick. Saint Martin also took care of animals. Saint Martin set up a school for orphans. Saint Martin has a parish named after him in Poughkeepsie.

Instead of repeating the same name over and over, we use the pronoun “he” to make our sentences shorter and to make them sound better. Modern Standard English has seven personal pronouns: I, you, he, she, it, we and they. Spanish, however, has twelve personal pronouns, making distinctions for gender and honorary titles. They are as follows:

Yo : I. Unlike in English, the Spanish yo is only capitalized when at the beginning of a sentence.

Tú : You. Tú is only used when talking to one person; it is the singular “you.” In most Spanish speaking countries, tú is informal, meaning that people use this word when talking to friends, family members and anyone else around your age whom you consider an equal.

Él : He. Always remember to place the accent mark on the e.

Ella : She.

Usted : You. Usted also means “you” yet it is reserved for a single individual for whom the speaker has respect. It could be translated as “you sir” or “you madam” and is used in professional situations, especially towards people you don’t know very well or who are much older and in a position of authority.

Nosotros : We. Unlike English, Spanish specifies the word “we” to mean either a male “we” or a female “we.” Use nosotros if the group is either all masculine, or has at least one male in it.

Nosotras : We. This “we” is used only when the group consists of all women, no exceptions.

Vosotros : You. Unlike tú and usted that are used when speaking to a single individual, vosotros is used when speaking to two or more individuals. Like tú, vosotros is often used informally when talking to groups of friends and family, but can be used when talking to any multitude of people. Vosotros is only used in European Spanish.

Vosotras : You. Like nosotras, vosotras is used when speaking to two or more women. There cannot be a single man in the group to use this pronoun. Vosotras is only used in European Spanish.

Ellos : They. Ellos can refer to either a group of all men or to a mixed group of men and women.

Ellas : They. Ellas is only used when speaking about a group of girls.

Ustedes : You. In Spanish America, ustedes is both a formal and informal “you,” used when speaking to at least two individuals. In Spain, ustedes is falling into disuse and is only used politely in very formal situations.

To review, Spanish has four words that translate to “you” in English: tú, usted, vosotros and ustedes. Additionally, the plural “you,” “we” and “they” have gender specific pronouns: nosotros/nosotras, vosotros/vosotras, ellos/ellas. It’s important to understand Spanish pronouns because they are the first step in sentence formation.

Below is a chart that will continuously be used in your studies as you advance in Spanish courses. A quick review on person: first person refers to the self, second person is the person to whom you are speaking and third person is used to reference someone who is not present.

Person

Singular

Plural

First

Yo (I)

Nosotros (We, masculine/mixed)

Nosotras (We, feminine)



Second

Tú (You, informal)

Vosotros (You, masculine/mixed)

Vosotras (You, feminine)



Third

Él (He)

Ella (She)

Usted (You, formal)


Ellos (They, masculine/mixed)

Ellas (They feminine)

Ustedes (You, formal)


Not all sentences will use the subject pronouns. You will often see names of people instead of the pronouns.

Marcos = él María = ella Marcos y María = ellos María y Marta = ellas

You may also see two or more pronouns together which then equates to a different pronoun.

Él y yo = nosotros Él y tú = vosotros Él y ella = ellos



Conjugation

Conjugation is the joining together of a subject pronoun with a verb. You may not have noticed, but in English we conjugate by making a distinction between “I eat” and “He eats.” The verb changes depending on who the subject is. A better example is the verb “to be,” which conjugates as: “I am,” “you are,” “he is.” In this case, the conjugation is much more noticeable as each pronoun has a distinct verb. While Modern Standard English’s conjugations are subtle, Spanish is much more complex.

Regular verbs generally follow a pattern of conjugation. Once you grasp the rule, you should have no problem conjugating similar verbs of the same category. The first step is to drop the –ar ending and add a unique ending. Here is an example of regular –ar verbs.

bailar = to dance



Yo bailo

(I dance)



Nosotros/Nosotras bailamos

(We dance)



Tú bailas

(You dance)



Vosotros/Vosotras bailáis

(You all dance)



Él/Ella/Usted baila

(He/She dances | You formal dance)



Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes bailan

(They dance | You all formal dance)



Because each verb conjugation is unique, you do not need the subject pronoun when making sentences.

Cantamos. We sing.

You will have to use the pronouns for clarification when the subject is ambiguous, or unclear.

Ella habla inglés pero él habla francés. She speaks English but he speaks French.

When asking and answering questions, you must change the ending of the verb. Note that there is no word for “do” in Spanish; to ask a question, simply place question marks around your sentence.

¿Hablas inglés? Do you speak English?

Sí, hablo inglés. Yes, I speak English.

For “double-verb” constructions, conjugate the first verb but not the second.

Necesitáis estudiar. You all need to take notes.

To make a sentence negative, place the word “no” between the subject pronoun and the verb.

Yo no escucho música. I don’t listen to music.

Ordinal Numbers

The numbers used to state the position of something in a sequence are called ordinal numbers. In English, these numbers are first, second, third, fourth, etc. and differ from the numbers one, two, three and four. Here are the ordinal numbers in Spanish.





primero

6° sexto

2° segundo

7° séptimo

3° tercero

8° octavo

4° cuarto

9° novena

5° quinto

10° décimo

Note that these numbers end in –o and function like all other adjectives in Spanish by changing the ending to –a when referring to a feminine noun.

En la segunda hora tengo la clase de inglés. In second period, I have English class.



Comparisons

You can use adjectives to describe two different subjects. Remember to make sure the adjective agrees with the nouns you are describing. To make your comparisons, use the expressions más or menos and the word que.

La clase de arte es más fácil que la clase de español.

Art class is more easy than Spanish class.

La clase de matemáticas es menos divertida que la clase de educación física.

Math class is less fun than gym class.



Unit 2B: Tu sala de clases

Estar

While most –ar verbs in Spanish follow the pattern of conjugation as described above, some are irregular and deviate from the rules. The verb estar means “to be” and is used to describe states of health or emotion and also the location of people and objects.

estar = to be


Yo estoy

Nosotros/Nosotras estamos

estás

Vosotros/Vosotras estáis

Él/Ella/Usted está

Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes están

¿Dónde estás? Where are you?

You can use prepositional phrases to specify where certain things are located.

La hoja de papel está debajo del* bolígrafo. The sheet of paper is under the pen.

El bolígrafo está encima de la hoja de papel. The pen is on top of the sheet of paper.

La bandera está detrás del* ordenador. The flag is behind the computer.

La silla está delante de la mesa. The chair is in front of the table.

Note that when the words de and el are combined, they form the contraction del.



Plural Nouns

Like English, most nouns are made plural in Spanish by adding an –s (the dogs) or –es (the cockroaches). The articles also change in the plural; el becomes los and la becomes las.



el chico: los chicos the boy: the boys

la chica: las chicas the girl: the girls

Nouns that end in a consonant add –es in their plural form.

el reloj: los relojes the clock: the clocks

Nouns that end in –z change to –ces in the plural.

el lápiz: los lápices the pencil: the pencils

Nouns that end in an unstressed –s do not change spelling in the plural.



el sacapuntas: los sacapuntas the pencil sharpener: the pencil sharpeners

Hay

The Spanish verb hay translates to “there is” or “there are” in English. It can be used in questions like ¿Cuántos estudiantes hay? which means, “How many students are there?” You can also use hay in a statement like Hay dos papeleras en la clase (There are two waste bins in the class).


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