5 Ways Spanish is Different From English
Save Time By Knowing The Differences Between Spanish And English Here's another time-saving tip. -- You already know the English language inside and out, and you can save time by leveraging your knowledge of English and becoming aware of the many ways Spanish is different from English.
There are many, many ways Spanish is different from English. Below is a sampling of 5 main differences with some links to other resources if you want more information.
1 - Nouns Have Gender - Masculine And Feminine
English doesn't have a concept of noun gender but Spanish is one of the languages that do. Just as there are male and female people there are actually male and female nouns in Spanish. Spanish nouns usually have a different ending letter to show male or female - most often o for masculine nouns and a for feminine nouns. Here's an article on nouns that goes into more detail about Masculine and Feminine Spanish Nouns
2 - Special Spanish Characters
While most of the Spanish alphabet looks like English, there are several special Spanish characters you need to be aware of. Usually the letters are the same and just have an accent mark of some sort on top. Here is a lesson that not only teaches you about the special Spanish characters but also shows you how to enter those special characters on your computer keyboard. This article talks about the Spanish alphabet and explains some differences between the Spanish and English alphabet.
3 - Different Sounds To Be Made
Spanish actually has a letter of the Spanish alphabet called rr. This is a double r and it has the rolling r sound that you hear when Spanish is spoken. This is a sound that speakers of English aren't required to produce. It can take some work to learn to make the rolling r sound. The best way to learn and practice this unique sound is to listen to native Spanish speakers making this sound and imitate them. You can practice making this rr sound if you listen to the phrases here with audio recorded by a native Spanish speaker.
4 - Noun, Adjectives, Must Agree in Gender and Plural
In English we say the day is sunny and we say the days are sunny. In these two phrases notice that the verb changes from is to are when the subject/noun days becomes plural. But also notice that in English the adjective sunny remains unchanged. This isn't the case in Spanish.
In Spanish adjectives take on a plural form to match the nouns they describe. So the two phrases above in Spanish look like this: el dia esta soleado and in the plural form: los dias estan soleados. Most Spanish adjectives take their plural form by adding an s at the end. You can find out more about Spanish adjectives here.
5 - Word Order and Sentence Structure Can Be Different
Adjectives usually follow nouns in Spanish sentence structure. This is the reverse of English. So form the example sentences above instead of saying sunny day as is done in English, the Spanish would be dia soleado. Notice the order of the words is reversed.
Also, the simple sentence I give it to you gets changed around in Spanish. It becomes te lo doy which literally is to you - it - i give. This word order can seem quite different at first but after practice becomes second-nature.
This article has more to say about making sentences in Spanish.