Intro To Spanish Parts of Speech
This lesson will give you an overview of the different parts of speech in the Spanish language -- parts of speech are types of words we use in sentences -- nouns, verbs, etc. When you learn Spanish it's necessary to know about the parts of speech so you can talk about sentences and learn the correct way to use them. While it's entirely possible to learn a lot of Spanish by simply memorizing phrases, if you really want to get good at Spanish, you'll learn the parts of speech and some of the rules for each of them.
Most of us take the parts of speech for granted when using our native language -- we and go with it. As you learn Spanish, however, you'll need to manually learn the rules for the nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc that you'll use in the sentences you'll make. If you happen to remember some of the English grammar you learned in school that will help you here. -- And by the way, there's nothing like learning a foreign language to make you better at writing and speaking English.
What follows in the rest of this lesson is a list of the Parts of Speech you'll use to learn Spanish along with some definitions, explanations, and examples. When you're ready for more information about one of these Parts of Speech, you'll find it in the appropriate lessons.
The noun is the part of a sentence that is a person, place, or thing. Nouns are masculine and feminine in the Spanish language. Like English, Spanish nouns can be plural or singular.
The verb is the action word in the sentence. It is the word that is doing something. Verbs have to agree with the person, whether first, second, or third -- And they also have to agree with the subject whether it's singular or plural. A transitive verb takes a direct object and does something to the object. With an intransitive verb the action doesn't affect something else.
Adjectives describe, or modify, nouns and pronouns. Adjectives answer the questions: Which?, What kind of?, and How many? In Spanish adjectives have to agree with the noun they describe in gender and number. This means plural nouns get plural adjectives, feminine nouns get feminine adjectives, and masculine nouns are described by masculine adjectives. Usually masculine adjectives end in o and feminine adjectives end in a. -- And plurals typically end in s. The adjective is normally located after the noun it describes -- this is the opposite of English.
Adverbs describe, or modify, verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. Adverbs commonly answer the questions: How?, When?, or Where? A large part of the Spanish adverbs are formed by adding the suffix -mente to the end of adjective. Adverbs work differently from adjectives in that they don't change to agree in gender or number -- they stay the same.
Pronouns take the place of nouns. Pronouns are used when the noun to which they refer is known by the listener. Common pronouns in English are I, you, he, she, it, we, they, and you(plural). Most of the time, pronouns that would be the subject are omitted in Spanish -- these pronouns are understood by the form of the verb that is used. For example: I walk to the store is Camino a la tienda. It's not yo camino, just camino. But there are also many cases where the pronoun is used and necessary for the sentence to be understood.
Prepositions connect words in a sentence and show a relationship between the words. The preposition a in Spanish is very popular and has many meanings in English. The dictionary defines a as: to, at, for, on, upon, in, into, by, and from. There are also prepositional phrases such as antes de meaning "before" and dentro de meaning "inside of".
There are three definite articles in English -- a, an, and the. In Spanish the definite articles are el, la, los, and las. As with adjectives, the definite articles agree in gender and number with the nouns they modify. As for indefinite articles, in English they are a, an, some, and a few. And in Spanish the indefinite articles are un, una, unos, and unas. The indefinite articles also agree in number and gender with the nouns they modify.
A conjunction is a word that connects other words and phrases together. Here are some examples of conjunctions: unless (a menos que), as if (como si), although (aunque).
An interjection is an expression or exclamation that you usually see written with exclamation marks. English examples of interjections are: Oh!, Come On!, Ugh! -- And in Spanish some popular interjections are: ¡huy!, ¡vaya!, and ¡Que barbaridad!. Notice in the examples how Spanish uses an exclamation mark at the beginning as well as the end.