Spanish grammar explanation.

Calendario de abril (passive voice)

 April calendar will help you to understand how passive sentences work in Spanish. In Spanish impersonal sentences can be done in two main ways with a passive sentence “el libro fue publicado el años pasado” or by using the impersonal pronoun SE  el libro se publicó el año pasado“. Click on the links to learn more about these topics and practice with our quizzes.

Click also on the image, on the left, to download the pdf sheet with the whole April calendar. 

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Language tips: Me encantaría (A2)

Me encantaría (ir al cine) means I would love to (go to the movies). Literally, “It would enchant me (to go to the movies)” or “Going to the movies would enchant me”. The subject of this sentence is ir al cine, and when an infinitive such as ir is used as a subject, it is considered singular; therefore, the main verb, encantaría, has a singular conjugation. Note the difference between Me encanta and me encantaría.

Me encanta ver películas (I love watching movies/I love to watch movies).

Me encantaría ver una película (I would love to watch a movie).

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Spanish grammar: TAMBIÉN vs TAMPOCO

TAMBIÉN and TAMPOCO are a pair of words that can be confusing for students of Spanish as a foreign language. Both are used to show agreement with what someone says or to show that you do the same or feel the same ways, but there are important differences.

1. También is used to show agreement with a positive statement. It can have the meaning of TOO or ALSO in English depending on where the word is positioned.

Tomás: Yo juego al fútbol todos los domingos (I play footbal every Sunday).

Miguel:  Yo también (Me too -Miguel is confirming that he does the same thing).

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Spanish grammar: Modal verbs (A1)

Modal verbs, or PERÍFRASIS VERBALES in Spanish, are used to express opinion and intention –should, can, must. The main modal verbs in Spanish are deber (to have to/must/ought), poder (to be able to), querer (to want to) and saber (to know how to).

Notice that poder, querer y saber are irregular (click on the link to see the conjugation), and in certain tenses, these verbs can have a particular meaning, so always look at the meaning of the verb from their context: Continue reading Spanish grammar: Modal verbs (A1)

Language tips: Tener ganas de + infinitive (A2)

Literally, means to have desires to (do something), but this expression is better translated as to feel like (doing something) or to really want to (do something).

    Clara tiene ganas de comer tarta (Clara feels like eating cake).

    Tengo ganas de ir de compras (I feel like going shopping).

    Mis hijos tienen muchas ganas de ir de compras (My children really feel like going on holidays).

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Spanish grammar: Present tense verb ending in -AR (A1)


Spanish verbs are divided into three main groups according to their ending -AR, -ER or -IR.  The biggest category of verbs is those ending in -AR (around 80% of all) and the good news is that more of them are regulars (click here to learn 25 verbs ending in -ar). To conjugate these verbs, just remove the ending (-ar) and then add the corresponding termination according to the subject pronoun (yo, tú, él…).

Continue reading Spanish grammar: Present tense verb ending in -AR (A1)