Spanish grammar explanation.

Diphthongs -diptongos en español- (A2)

DiphthongsDiphthongs (diptongos en español) are a combination of one strong (a, e, o) and one weak vowel (i, u), or of two weak vowels. Diphthongs are counted as one syllable. It may not be separated unless the weak vowel bears a written accent called “tilde”:

   ai, ay aire, hay pronounce like “eye”
    ei, ey reino, ley pronounce like “may”
   oi, oy oigo, hoy pronounce like “toy”
   iu triunfo, ciudad pronounce like “you”
   ui, uy cuidar, muy pronounce like “Louie”
   ue hueso, muerte pronounce like “west”
   au jaula, Paula pronounce like “now”
   eu feudal, reuma pronounce like “eh + oo”
   ia estudiamos pronounce like “yacht”
   ie miel, quiero pronounce like “ye”
   ua cuatro, mensual pronounce like “watt”
   uo cuota, antiguo pronounce like “quota”

The combination of a stressed strong vowel between two weak vowels that forms a single syllable is a triphthong. In Spanish, only four exist.

   iai estudiáis pronounce like “yipe”
   iei estudiéis pronounce like “yea”
   uai (uay) continuáis, Paraguay pronounce like “wine”
   uei (uey) continuéis, buey pronounce like “wade”


If the weak vowel is stressed, there is a separation called hiato, these are not diphthongs: ca-í-da, dí-a, rí-en, Ma-rí-a, tí-os, re-í-mos, re-ú-ne…

It also an hiato when the combination of two strong vowels is separated: ca-e-mos,re-a-li-dad, le-en, em-ple-o, a-e-ro-pla-no..

Diphthongs and hiatosLearning about diphthongs and hiatos will help you to pronounce better.

Remember you can contact your tutor with any question you have about diphthongs. Don’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet? Just click on the link to practice the diphthongs with our quizzes.


TRANSITIVE VERBS: Spanish grammar (A2)

1. Transitive verbs

Transitive verbsVerbs can be classified depending on whether or not they imply that the action directly influences an object or person (the direct object). If they do, they are called transitive verbs (verbos transitivos in Spanish).

So, transitive verbs need to be used with a direct object to complete it though. A direct object is essentially the person or thing the subject performs an action upon. We can identify the Direct Object of a sentence by asking the verb what? or whom?

Mi esposa me regaló un reloj por mi cumpleaños (My wife gave me a watch for my birthday).

¿Tienes alguna pregunta? (Do you have a question?). Continue reading TRANSITIVE VERBS: Spanish grammar (A2)

POR y PARA, minitest (A2)

Por y para, ¿por qué tiene que ser tan complicado? This is what usually my students tell me all the time. Because, no doubt, that the difference between por and para, is probably Por y para mintest. How much do you know about these Spanish prepositions?one of the topics that more work required to master when learning Spanish. My advice is always to be patient, learn any case individually and practice as much as possible. What about you, do you find these two Spanish prepositions difficult to use?

Today, we propose to you to do a test to see if you have a good knowledge of preposition POR y PARA. You will also find some links below to learn more about this prepositions. But, first, do the quiz below; it will help you decide.

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WHAT IS A PREPOSITION, Spanish grammar (A1)

What is a preposition?

what is a prepositionA preposition is a word or group of words, that is placed before a noun or a pronoun, to show a relationship in a sentence. Prepositions allow us to put variety into sentences, by adding new information about time, direction, location, and ownership. On the other hand, take into account that prepositions do not change form; they are invariable.

 Se ha ido a la estación. (He is gone to the station.): DIRECTION.

El avión llega a la una. (The plane arrives at one o’clock.): TIME.

Tenemos una casa en el campo. (We have a house in the countryside.): LOCATION.

La casa de Ramón. (Ramon’s house.): OWNERSHIP

Continue reading WHAT IS A PREPOSITION, Spanish grammar (A1)

Direct object pronouns in Spanish: Basic grammar (A2)

Direct object pronouns (PRONOMBRES DE COMPLEMENTO DIRECTO) only can replace a direct object. First of all, we must know that direct objects receive the action of the verb in a sentence and they can be a thing, an animal or a person, look at the example.

Direct Object Pronouns in SpanishMessi golpeó el balón (Messi hit the ball)

Messi golpeó a Ronaldo ( Messi hit Ronaldo)

On the left, you have the list of the  Spanish direct object pronouns, and continue reading to see how they work.

Continue reading Direct object pronouns in Spanish: Basic grammar (A2)