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Flashcards in Final Exam Study Guide Deck (13):
1

Negative Words 

  • Only one negative word can precede the verb.
  • Verbs are affirmative unless they are made negative through the use of no or a negative expression. 
  • Double negatives are common in Spanish. Thus, when no precedes the verb, another negative word can appear somewhere after the verb. 
  • When the sentence is negative, any included indefinite word must also be negative. 
  • Note that questions may have a no before the verb but not be negative in meaning. 
  • When a negative expression precedes the verb, no is omitted. 
  • The expression nadie and alguien refer only to persons and require the personal a when they appear as direct objects of the verb. 
  • The adjectives anguno and ninguno drop the -o before a masculine singular noun. You must use the accent when the -o is dropped. 

Examples:    

Ni Juanito ni María fueron a la fiesta.

Celia nunca fumó cigarrillos.

Negation

To make a sentence negative, place the word "no" before the verb.

Ella no habla inglés.
She doesn't speak English.

Él no es profesor.
He is not a professor.

When the answer to a question is negative, two negative words are required.

¿Habla Ud. español? (Do you speak Spanish?)
No. No hablo español. (No. I don't speak Spanish.)

¿ Está Gerardo en la clase? (Is Gerardo in the class?)
No. Gerardo no está en la clase. (No. Gerardo is not in the class.)

¿Siempre estudias? (Do you always study?)
No, nunca estudio. (No, I never study.)

Study the following list of affirmative words and their negative counterparts:

algo (something)
nada (nothing)

alguien (somebody)
nadie (nobody)

algún (-o, -a, -os, -as) (some, something)
ningún (-o, -a, -os, -as) (no, none)

siempre (always)
nunca (never) jamás (never, ever)

también (also)
tampoco (neither, not either)

o . . . o (either . . . or)
ni . . . ni (neither . . . nor)

The negative words can also be used with the word "no," following the verb. Note that unlike English, double negatives are acceptable in Spanish.

No habla nadie.
Nobody speaks.

Él no come nunca.
He never eats.

Alfredo no baila tampoco.
Alfredo doesn't dance either.

Sometimes, three negative words occur in the same sentence.

No compro nada nunca.
I never buy anything.

Él no compra nada tampoco.
He doesn't buy anything either.

You can even have four negative words in the same sentence.

Yo no veo nunca a nadie tampoco.
I never see anybody either.

Alguno and ninguno drop the -o before a masculine singular noun.

¿Tienes algún libro?
No, no tengo ningún libro.

Ninguno(-a) is generally used in the singular.

¿Tienes algunas revistas?
No, no tengo ninguna.

¿Tienes algunos libros?
No, no tengo ninguno.

The plural of ninguno(-a) is used only when the noun it modifies exists only in plural, or is normally used in plural.

Ningunas vacaciones a Alaska son completas sin una excursión a Mt. McKinley.
No vacation to Alaska is complete without a trip to Mt. McKinley.

In this example "ningunas" is used because "vacaciones" is normally used in plural form.

2

Direct Object Pronouns

The object that directly receives the action of the verb is called the direct object.

Bill hit the ball.
"Ball" receives the action of the verb "hit."

Sherry reads the book.
"Book" receives the action of the verb "reads."

The direct object can also be a person.

Sherry hit Bill. (The direct object is Bill)

The direct object answers the question "what?" or "whom?" with regard to what the subject of the sentence is doing.

Bill hit what?
Bill hit the ball.

Sherry hit whom?
Sherry hit Bill.

Often, it is desirable to replace the name of the direct object with a pronoun.

Example 1
Paul bought the flowers. He took the flowers home and gave the flowers to his wife.

Example 2
Paul bought the flowers. He took them home and gave them to his wife.

When the pronoun replaces the name of the direct object, use the following pronouns:

me (me)
te (you-familiar)
lo, la (him, her, it, you-formal)

nos (us)
los, las (them, you-all-formal)

In an affirmative statement with one verb, the direct object pronoun comes immediately before the conjugated verb.

Tengo = I have
Tengo la pluma. = I have the pen.
La tengo. = I have it.

If the direct object of the sentence changes to a masculine noun, the masculine pronoun must be used.

Juan lo tiene.
Juan tiene = John has
Juan tiene el libro. = John has the book.
Juan lo tiene. = John has it.

but

Juan la tiene.
Juan tiene = John has
Juan tiene la pluma. = John has the pen.
Juan la tiene. = John has it.

Likewise, if the direct object of the sentence changes from singular to plural, the plural pronoun must be used.

Juan lo tiene.
Juan tiene = John has
Juan tiene el libro. = John has the book.
Juan lo tiene. = John has it.

but

María los tiene.
María tiene = Mary has
María tiene los libros. = Mary has the books.
María los tiene. = Mary has them.

Further Examples:

la como
I eat it (feminine DO - la sopa, la comida, etc.)

lo como
I eat it (masculine DO - el pollo, el arroz, etc.)

la leo
I read it

lo leo
I read it

la veo
I see it

lo veo
I see it

la tengo
I have it

lo tengo
I have it

la compro
I buy it

lo compro
I buy it

In the previous examples, it is clear that the subject of the sentence is "I" because the verbs are all conjugated in the "yo" form. With other verb forms, it is often desirable to add a word to clarify the subject.

Juan la come. (la comida)
Juan eats it.

María lo tiene. (el libro)
María has it.

El chico la compra. (la pluma)
The boy buys it.

La chica lo ve. (el edificio)
The girl sees it.

Ustedes lo leen. (el periódico)
You-all read it.

Examples of plural direct objects:

Juan come dos sándwiches.
Los come. or Juan los come.

María tiene tres libros.
Los tiene. or María los tiene.

El chico compra dos revistas.
Las compra. or El chico las compra.

La chica ve dos coches.
Los ve. or La chica los ve.

Ella compra dos televisores.
Los compra. or Ella los compra.

Tenemos dos mesas.
Las tenemos. or Nosotros las tenemos.

Examples where the direct object is a person:

I know you.
Te conozco.

She loves him.
Ella lo ama.

She loves me.
Ella me ama.

Juan sees her.
Juan la ve.

They call us.
Ellos nos llaman.

We call them.
Los llamamos.

3

Indirect Object Pronouns
Indirect Object (IO), Direct Object (DO)

  • The IO tells us where the DO is going.
  • The IO answers the question "to whom" or "for whom."
  • Sentences that have an IO usually also have a DO
  • Sometimes the DO is not stated, but rather is implied, or understood.
  • The IO pronouns are: me, te, le, nos, les.
  • Place the pronoun before the conjugated verb.
  • Think in phrases, do not translate word-for-word.
  • Le and les are ambiguous.
  • Prepositional phrases are often used for clarity and for emphasis.

The indirect object (IO) tells us where the direct object (DO) is going.

He gives the book to María.
DO=Book
Where is the book going?
To María.
IO=María

He gives María the book.
DO=Book
Where is the book going?
To María.
IO=María

The indirect object answers the question "To whom?" or "For whom?" the action of the verb is performed.

He gives María the book.
To whom does he give the book?
To María.
IO=María

He buys me flowers.
For whom does he buy the flowers?
For me.
IO=me

Sentences that have an indirect object usually also have a direct object. Remember, the IO tells us where the DO is going. Notice how the sentences below just wouldn't work without a direct object.

He gives María . . .
the book, the pen, the diamond, etc.

He buys me . . .
flowers, candy, an ironing board, etc.

Sometimes the direct object is not stated; rather it is implied, or understood.

My mother writes me every week.
DO=letter (understood)
IO=me
(My mother writes me a letter every week.)

She told him.
DO=it (understood)
IO=him
(She told it to him.)

To identify the indirect object use these two guidelines:

  1. The IO tells us where the DO is going.
  2. The IO answers the question "to whom?" or "for whom" the action of the verb is performed.

When a pronoun takes the place of the name of the indirect object, use the following pronouns:

me (me)
te (you-familiar)
le (him, her, you-formal)
nos (us)
les (them, you-all-formal)

In an affirmative statement with one verb, the indirect object pronoun comes immediately before the conjugated verb.

Juan me compra un regalo.
John buys me a gift.
John buys a gift for me.

Juan te compra un regalo.
John buys you a gift.
John buys a gift for you.

Juan le compra un regalo.
John buys her a gift.
John buys a gift for her.

Juan nos compra un regalo.
John buys us a gift.
John buys a gift for us.

Juan les compra un regalo.
John buys them a gift.
John buys a gift for them
.

Now, focus in on one part of each of the previous examples:

Juan me compra un regalo.
John buys (for) me a gift.

Juan te compra un regalo.
John buys (for) you a gift.

Juan le compra un regalo.
John buys (for) her a gift.

Juan nos compra un regalo.
John buys (for) us a gift.

Juan les compra un regalo.
John buys (for) them a gift.

Let's extract the IO phrase and its English equivalent:

me compra
buys (for) me

te compra
buys (for) you

le compra
buys (for) her

nos compra
buys (for) us

les compra
buys (for) them

Just like with the direct object, the indirect object presents a problem if one tries to translate word-for-word:

Juan me compra un regalo.
John for me he buys a gift.

The key to learning to use the indirect object pronouns is the same as the key for direct object pronouns. You must learn to think in phrases, not words. The phrases consist of a pronoun and a conjugated verb. In the following examples, note that the IO remains the same, while the subject of the phrase changes.

me compra
he buys me

me compran
they buy me

me compras
you buy me

The IO pronouns le and les present a special problem because they are ambiguous. That is, they can stand for different things.

le
to (for) him
to (for) her
to (for) you-formal

les
to (for) them
to (for) you-all-formal

The following sentences, while grammatically correct, are ambiguous:

Ella le escribe una carta.
Ella les escribe una carta.

Out of context, there is no way we can know the meaning.

Ella le escribe una carta.
She writes him a letter.
She writes her a letter.
She writes you (formal) a letter.

Ella les escribe una carta.
She writes them a letter.
She writes you-all (formal) a letter.

Since le and les can mean more than one thing, a prepositional phrase is often added to remove the ambiguity.

Ella le escribe a Juan una carta.
Ella le escribe a su hermana una carta.
Ella le escribe a usted una carta.

Ella les escribe a sus padres una carta.
Ella les escribe a ustedes una carta.

Sometimes a prepositional phrase is added not for clarity, but rather for emphasis.

Juan me da a mí el dinero.
John gives me the money.
(emphasizing that the money is given to me and not to someone else)

Juan te da a ti el dinero.
John gives you the money. (emphasis on you)

There is no ambiguity in the following sentence. It can only mean one thing.

Juan me da el dinero.
John gives me the money.

The addition of a prepositional phrase merely adds emphasis.

Juan me da a mí el dinero.
John gives me the money.

Let's sum up the important points of this lesson:

  • The IO tells us where the DO is going.
  • The IO answers the question "to whom" or "for whom."
  • Sentences that have an IO usually also have a DO
  • Sometimes the DO is not stated, but rather is implied, or understood.
  • The IO pronouns are: me, te, le, nos, os, les.
  • Place the pronoun before the conjugated verb.
  • Think in phrases, do not translate word-for-word.
  • Le and les are ambiguous.
  • Prepositional phrases are often used for clarity and for emphasis.

4

Direct & Indirect Object Pronouns Used Together

Direct Object Pronouns

me (me)
te (you [familiar])
lo, la (him, her, it, you [formal])
nos (us)
los, las (them, you-all)

Indirect Object Pronouns

me (me)
te (you [familiar])
le (him, her, it, you [formal])
nos (us)
les (them, you-all)

When you have both a direct object pronoun and an indirect object pronoun in the same sentence, the indirect object pronoun comes first.

Ellos me los dan.
They give them to me.
IO pronoun: me
DO pronoun: los

Ella te la vende.
She sells it to you.
IO pronoun: te
DO pronoun: la

Whenever both pronouns begin with the letter "l" change the first pronoun to "se."

le lo = se lo
le la = se la
le los = se los
le las = se las
les lo = se lo
les la = se la
les los = se los
les las = se las

The reason for changing "le lo" to "se lo" is merely to avoid the tongue-twisting effect of two short consecutive words that begin with the letter "l". To demonstrate this, first quickly say "les las" and then quickly say "se las." See how much easier it is to say "se las?"

In negative sentences, the negative word comes directly before the first pronoun.

No se lo tengo.
I don't have it for you.

Nunca se los compro.
I never buy them for her.

Because the pronoun se can have so many meanings, it is often helpful to clarify it by using a prepositional phrase.

Él se lo dice.
Ambiguous. He tells it to (whom?).

Él se lo dice a Juan.
He tells it to him. (to Juan)

Él se lo dice a María.
He tells it to her. (to María)

Él se lo dice a ella.
He tells it to her.

In sentences with two verbs, there are two options regarding the placement of the pronouns. Place them immediately before the conjugated verb or attach them directly to the infinitive.

She should explain it to me.
Ella me lo debe explicar.
Ella debe explicármelo.

I want to tell it to you.
Te lo quiero decir.
Quiero decírtelo.

You need to send it to them.
Se la necesitas enviar a ellos.
Necesitas enviársela a ellos.

Note that when attaching the pronouns to the infinitive, a written accent is also added to the final syllable of the infinitive. This preserves the sound of the infinitive.

When the pronouns are attached to the infinitive, make the sentence negative by placing the negative word directly before the conjugated verb.

Ella debe explicármelo.
Ella no debe explicármelo.

Quiero decírtelo.
No quiero decírtelo.

Necesitas enviársela a ellos.
No necesitas enviársela a ellos.

When the pronouns come before the conjugated verb, make the sentence negative by placing the negative word directly before the pronouns.

Ella me lo debe explicar.
Ella no me lo debe explicar.

Te lo quiero decir.
No te lo quiero decir.

Se la necesitas enviar a ellos.
No se la necesitas enviar a ellos.

5

Preterit Tense

  • In general, the preterite is used for past actions that are seen as completed.
  • Always use an accent mark in the final vowel for the first- and third-person singular forms of regular verbs, unless the verb is only one syllable.

To conjugate regular -ar verbs in the preterite, simply drop the ending (-ar) and add one of the following:

é
aste
ó
amos
aron

Hablar conjugated in the Preterite

hablé
hablaste
habló
hablamos
hablaron

Probarse (reflexive) conjugated in the Preterite

me probé
te probaste
se probó
nos probamos
se probaron

To conjugate regular -er and -ir verbs in the preterite, simply drop the ending (-er or -ir) and add one of the following:

í
iste

imos
ieron

Comer conjugated in the Preterite

comí
comiste
com
comimos
comieron

Vivir conjugated in the Preterite

viví
viviste
viv
vivimos
vivieron

Note: the nosotros forms for -ar and -ir verbs are the same in both preterite and present tenses: hablamos, vivimos.

Verbs ending in cargar and zar have a spelling change in the “yo” form of the preterit.

  • car (qu)
    practicar
    (yo) practiqué
  • gar (gu)
    jugar
    (yo) jugué
  • zar (c)
    empezar
    (yo) empecé

Generally speaking, the preterite is used for actions in the past that are seen as completed. Use of the preterite tense implies that the past action had a definite beginning and definite end.

Juan habló de la una hasta las dos.
Juan spoke from one until two o'clock.
(clearly stated beginning and end)

It is important to realize that the beginning and the end may not always be clearly stated.

Juan habló dos horas.
Juan spoke for two hours.
(implied beginning and end)

Juan habló con la estudiante.
Juan spoke with the student.
(implied beginning and end)

The preterite is used for actions that can be viewed as single events.

Ella caminó por el parque.
She walked through the park.

Ellos llegaron a las ocho.
They arrived at eight o'clock.

The preterite is used for actions that were repeated a specific number of times, or occurred during a specific period of time.

Ayer escribí tres cartas.
Yesterday I wrote three letters.

Vivimos allí por cuatro años.
We lived there for four years.

The preterite is used for actions that were part of a chain of events.

Ella se levantó, se vistió, y salió de la casa.
She got up, dressed, and left the house.

The preterite is used to state the beginning or the end of an action.

Empezó a nevar a las ocho de la mañana.
It began to snow at eight in the morning.

Common Expressions Using Preterite

entonces
then

de momento
for the moment

aquella semana
that week

anteayer
the day before yesterday

en febrero
in February

el lunes
on Monday

siempre (when an end point is obvious)
always

una vez
once

anoche
last night

la semana pasada
last week

de repente
suddenly

por fin
finally

una noche
one night

6

Imperfect Tense

  • The imperfect tense is used to refer to actions in the past that occurred repeatedly.
  • The imperfect tense is also used to refer to actions in the past that occurred over an extended period of time.
  • The imperfect tense is also used to "set the stage" for an event that occurred in the past.
  • Actions which are not physical, that is feelings and mental actions, usually use the imperfect tense.
  • The imperfect is frequently associated with phrases that describe the frequency of past actions.
  • The imperfect is used to describe how things were or what things were like. Use the imperfect when describing the characteristics of people, things or conditions.
  • One does not normally think of a general mental state or physical sensations as having a definite beginning or end, and so they are usually expressed in the imperfect.
  • The imperfect is used for telling time and stating one's age.

The imperfect tense is used to refer to actions in the past that occurred repeatedly.

I used to walk every day.
Yo caminaba cada día.

The imperfect tense is also used to refer to actions in the past that occurred over an extended period of time.

I used to eat paella frequently.
Yo comía frecuentemente paella.

The imperfect tense is also used to "set the stage" for an event that occurred in the past.

We were coming home when we saw Juan.
Veníamos para casa cuando vimos a Juan.

Actions which are not physical, that is feelings and mental actions, usually use the imperfect tense.

Juan was feeling sick.
Juan estaba enfermo.

The imperfect is frequently associated with phrases that describe the frequency of past actions.

a menudo
often

a veces
sometimes

cada día
every day

cada año
every year

con frecuencia
frequently

de vez en cuando
from time to time

en aquella época
at that time

frecuentemente
frequently

generalmente
usually

muchas veces
many times

mucho
a lot

nunca
never

por un rato
for awhile

siempre
always

tantas veces
so many times

todas las semanas
every week

todos los días
every day

todo el tiempo
all the time

varias veces
several times

Regular forms of the imperfect are formed by adding the following endings to the stem of the verb:

-ar verbs

aba
abas
aba
ábamos
aban

example: hablar (to talk)

hablaba
hablabas
hablaba
hablábamos
hablaban

-er verbs, -ir verbs

ía
ías
ía
íamos
ían

example: vivir (to live)

vivía
vivías
vivía
vivíamos
vivían

Only three verbs are irregular in the imperfect:

ser (to be)
era
eras
era
éramos
eran

ver (to see)
veía
veías
veía
veíamos
veían

ir (to go)
iba
ibas
iba
íbamos
iban

7

Conjugations

Preterite and Imperfect

One way to view the difference between the preterite and imperfect is that the preterite tells us specifically when an action took place, while the imperfect tells us in general when an action took place.

ser (to be)
Preterite (irreg.)

fui
fuiste
fue
fuimos
fueron

Imperfect (irreg.)

era
eras
era
éramos
eran

hacer (to do, to make)
Preterite (irreg.)

hice
hiciste
hizo
hicimos
hicieron

Imperfect

hacía
hacías
hacía
hacíamos
hacían

ir (to go)
Preterite (irreg.)

fui
fuiste
fue
fuimos
fueron

Imperfect (irreg.)

iba
ibas
iba
íbamos
iban

ver (to see, to look at, to watch)
Preterite (irreg.)

vi
viste
vio
vimos
vieron

Imperfect (irreg.)

veía
veías
veía
veíamos
veían

conocer (to know, to meet)
Preterite

conocí
conociste
conoció
conocimos
conocieron

Imperfect

conocía
conocías
conocía
conocíamos
conocían

tener (to have, to be)
Preterite (irreg.)

tuve
tuviste
tuvo
tuvimos
tuvieron

Imperfect

tenía
tenías
tenía
teníamos
tenían

venir (to come, to arrive)
Preterite (irreg.)

vine
viniste
vino
vinimos
vinieron

Imperfect

venía
venías
venía
veníamos
venían

llamar (to call)
Preterite

llamé
llamaste
llamó
llamamos
llamaron

Imperfect

llamaba
llamabas
llamaba
llamábamos
llamaban

querer (to want, to love)
Preterite (irreg.)

quise
quisiste
quiso
quisimos
quisieron

Imperfect

quería
querías
quería
queríamos
querían

jugar (to play)
Preterite (irreg.)

jugué
jugaste
jugó
jugamos
jugaron

Imperfect

jugaba
jugabas
jugaba
jugábamos
jugaban

dar (to give)
Preterite (irreg.)

di
diste
dio
dimos
dieron

Imperfect

daba
dabas
daba
dábamos
daban

poner (to put)
Pretrite (irreg.)

puse
pusiste
puso
pusimos
pusieron

Imperfect

ponía
ponías
ponía
poníamos
ponían

dormir (to sleep)
Preterite (irreg.)

dormí
dormiste
durmió
dormimos
durmieron

Imperfect

dormía
dormías
dormía
dormíamos
dormían

hablar (to speak)
Preterite

hablé
hablaste
habló
hablamos
hablaron

Imperfect

hablaba
hablabas
hablaba
hablábamos
hablaban

8

Irregular Preterite Verbs

ser (to be) & ir (to go)

fui
fuiste
fue
fuimos
fueron

ver (to see)

vi
viste
vio
vimos
vieron

dar (to give)

di
diste
dio
dimos
dieron

Group "i" Verbs

venir (to come)

vine
viniste
vino
vinimos
vinieron

querer (to want, to love)

quise
quisiste
quiso
quisimos
quisieron

hacer (to make, to do)

hice
hiciste
hizo
hicimos
hicieron

Group "j" Verbs

decir (to say)

dije
dijiste
dijo
dijimos
dijeron

producir (to produce)

produje
produjiste
produjo
produjimos
produjeron

traer (to bring)

traje
trajiste
trajo
trajimos
trajeron

introducir (to introduce, to insert)

introduje
introdujiste
introdujo
introdujimos
introdujeron

conducir (to lead)

conduje
condujiste
condujo
condujimos
condujeron

reducir (to reduce)

reduje
redujiste
redujo
redujimos
redujeron

traducir (to translate)

traduje
tradujiste
tradujo
tradujimos
tradujeron

Group "uv" Verbs

tener (to have)

tuve
tuviste
tuvo
tuvimos
tuvieron

poner (to put on)

puse
pusiste
puso
pusimos
pusieron

caber (to fit in)

cupe
cupiste
cupo
cupimos
cupieron

estar (to be)

estuve
estuviste
estuvo
estuvimos
estuvieron

poder (to be able)

pude
pudiste
pudo
pudimos
pudieron

andar (to walk)

anduve
anduviste
anduvo
anduvimos
anduvieron

saber (to know)

supe
supiste
supo
supimos
supieron

venir (to come)

vine
viniste
vino
vinimos
vinieron

ar and er verbs whose stems changing in the present don't change in the preterite

cerrar (to close)

cerré
cerraste
cerró
cerramos
cerraron

entender (to understand)

entendí
entendiste
entendió
entendimos
entendieron

Stem changing verbs of the 3rd conjugation (ir). Ir verbs that have stem changes in the present also undergo a stem change in the preterit, but only in the 3rd person singular and plural forms.

E (IE) > I

pedir (to ask)

pedí
pediste
pidió
pedimos
pidieron

 

9

Reflexive Pronouns & Verbs

Reflexive pronouns are used in both Spanish and English whenever the subject of a verb is also its object. In other words, reflexive pronouns are used when the subject of a sentence is acting on itself.

me veo
I see myself  (the person seeing and the person seen are the same.)

Reflexive Pronouns

me (myself)
te (yourself)
se (himself, herself, yourself, itself)
nos (ourselves)
se (themselves, yourselves)

When a verb is reflexive, the infinitive ends in "se."

lavar
to wash (non-reflexive)
lavarse
to wash oneself (reflexive)

There is one reflexive verb you have been using since you began studying Spanish.

llamarse - to call oneself

¿Cómo se llama usted?
What do you call yourself?

To conjugate reflexive verbs you need to use reflexive pronouns. These pronouns are positioned before the verb, while the ending "se" is dropped and the verb is conjugated normally.

lavarse (to wash)

yo me lavo
I wash (myself)

tú te lavas
you wash (yourself) (informal)

él se lava
he washes (himself)

ella se lava
she washes (herself)

usted se lava
you wash (yourself) (formal)

nosotros nos lavamos
we wash (ourselves)

nosotras nos lavamos
we wash (ourselves) (feminine)

ustedes se lavan
you-all wash (yourselves)(formal)

ellos se lavan
they wash (themselves)

ellas se lavan
they wash (themselves) (feminine)

The reflexive pronouns are not subject pronouns; rather they are object pronouns.

me (myself)
te (yourself)
se (himself, herself, yourself)
nos (ourselves)
se (themselves, yourselves)

The purpose of the reflexive object pronouns is to show that the action of the verb remains with the subject.

Juan se lava la cara.
Juan washes his face.

 

10

Saber and Conocer

Spanish has two verbs that can be translated in English as to know: saber (to know facts and information) and conocer (to know [be familiar with] a person, place, or thing).

SABER
sé (irregular)
sabes
sabe
sabemos
saben

CONOCER
conozco (irregular)
conoces
conoce
conocemos
conocen

saber + nounsaber + que, or saber + question word all mean to know facts and information.

saber + infinitive means to know how to do something

conocer + a + name/person = to be familiar with a person.

conocer + a + place/thing = to be familiar with a place or thing.

Mis primos bolivianos saben conducir, pero no conocen la ciudad.
My Bolivian cousins know how to drive, but do not know (not familar with) the city.

¿Conoces tú al amigo de María Elena?
-Sí, lo conozco, pero no  de dónde es.

¿Conocen ustedes el restaurante El Sol?
-Sí, nosotros lo conocemos, pero no sabemos dónde está.

¿Sabe usted a qué hora abre la cafetería El Diamante?
-Sí, abre a las 8:00 de la mañana, pero no  a qué hora cierra.

¿Sabes tú quién está en la oficina?
- que un estudiante está en la oficina, pero no lo conozco.

11

Por and Para

Por and para have a variety of meanings, and they are often confused because they can each be translated as "for."

Gracias por la información.
Thanks for the information.

Este regalo es para Juan.
This gift is for Juan.

To learn to use por and para correctly, you need to do two things:

  1. Learn the rules for how por and para are used.
  2. Memorize model sentences.

Por has many uses, and so it is the more problematic of the two.

Rule: to express gratitude or apology
Model: Gracias por la ayuda.
(Thanks for the help.)

Rule: for multiplication and division
Model: Dos por dos son cuatro.
(Two times two equals four.)

Rule: for velocity, frequency and proportion
Model: Voy al restaurante cinco veces por semana.
(I go to the restaurant five times per week.)

Rule: meaning "through," "along," "by" or "in the area of"
Model: Andamos por el parque.
(We walk through the park.)

Rule: when talking about exchange, including sales
Model: Él me dio diez dólares por el libro.
(He gave me ten dollars for the book.)

Rule: to mean "on behalf of," or "in favor of,"
Model: No voté por nadie.
(I didn't vote for anyone.)

Rule: to express a length of time
Model: Yo estudié por dos horas.
(I studied for two hours.)

Rule: to express an undetermined, or general time, meaning "during"
Model: Se puede ver las estrellas por la noche.
(One can see the stars during the night.)

Rule: for means of communication or transportation
Model: Prefiero viajar por tren y hablar por teléfono.
(I prefer to travel by train and speak by phone.)

Rule: in cases of mistaken identity, or meaning "to be seen as"
Model: Me tienen por loco.
(They take me for crazy.)

Rule: to show the reason for an errand (with ir, venir, pasar, mandar, volver, and preguntar)
Model: Paso por ti a las ocho.
(I'll come by for you at eight o'clock.)

Rule: when followed by an infinitive, to express an action that remains to be completed, use por + infinitive
Model: La cena está por cocinar.
(Dinner has yet to be cooked.)

Rule: to express cause or reason
Model: El hombre murió por falta de agua.
The man died for lack of water.

Rule: "estar por" means to be in the mood, or inclined to do something
Model: Estoy por tomar café.
(I'm in the mood for drinking coffee.)

Rule: in passive constructions
Model: El libro fue escrito por Octavio Paz.
(The book was written by Octavio Paz.)

Por also appears in many idiomatic expressions:

por adelantado
in advance

por ahora
for now

por allí
around there; that way

por amor de Dios
for the love of God

por aquí
around here; this way

por casualidad
by chance

por ciento
percent

por cierto
certainly

por completo
completely

por dentro
inside

por desgracia
unfortunately

por ejemplo
for example

por eso
therefore

por favor
please

por fin
finally

por lo general
generally

por lo visto
apparently

por medio de
by means of

por lo menos
at least

por lo tanto
consequently

por mi parte
as for me

por ningún lado
nowhere

por otra parte
on the other hand

palabra por palabra
word for word

por primera vez
for the first time

por separado
separately

por supuesto
of course

por suerte
fortunately

por todas partes
everywhere

por todos lados
on all sides

por último
finally

Para -- in contrast, has relatively fewer uses.

Rule: to indicate destination
Model: El hombre salió para Madrid.
(The man left for Madrid.)

Rule: to show the use or purpose of a thing
Model: El vaso es para agua.
(The glass is for water.)

Rule: to mean "in order to" or "for the purpose of"
Model: Para hacer una paella, primero dore las carnes.
(To make a paella, first sauté the meats.)

Rule: to indicate a recipient
Model: Este regalo es para ti.
(This gift is for you.)

Rule: to express a deadline or specific time
Model: Necesito el vestido para el lunes.
(I need the dress by Monday.)

Rule: to express a contrast from what is expected
Model: Para un niño lee muy bien.
(For a child, he reads very well.)

Rule: "estar para" to express an action that will soon be completed
Model: El tren está para salir.
(The train is about to leave.)

It is quite important to learn to use these two prepositions correctly, because if you inadvertently substitute one for the other, you might end up saying something altogether different from what you had intended. Study the two examples:

Juan compró el regalo para María.
Juan bought the gift for Maria.
(he bought it to give to her)

Juan compró el regalo por María.
Juan bought the gift for Maria.
(he bought it because she could not)

Por and para can also be used in questions. "¿Por qué?" means "Why?" (for what reason) while "¿Para qué?" means "Why?" (for what purpose).

¿Por qué estudias español?
For what reason do you study Spanish?

Possible answer:
Porque es un requisito.
Because it's required.

¿Para qué estudias español?
For what purpose do you study Spanish?

Possible answer:
Para ser profesor de español.
In order to become a Spanish teacher.

12

SER and ESTAR

ser (to be)

soy
eres
es
somos
son

estar (to be)

estoy
estás
está
estamos
están

Uses of Estar

  • To talk about health.
    ¿Cómo estás? (How are you?)
    Estoy bien, gracias. (I'm fine, thanks.)
  • To express location of people and objects.
    Estamos en el hospital. (We are in [at] the hospital.)
  • To express actions currently in progress.
    Está lloviendo. (It's raining.)

Estar can also be used with adjectives to describe a variety of states that are in some way a change from the normal state of the subject, or to describe things that do not really have a normal way of being.

Julieta está nerviosa hoy.
Julieta is (acting) nervous today. (The use of estar represents a change from her normal , calm state of being.) 

Ellos están estresados.
They are stressed. (They are normally relaxed people.)

Este plato está rico.
This dish is (tastes) delicious. (The food in front of me tastes great, even though sometimes the recipe doesn't turn out well.)

El café está caliente.
The coffee is hot. (I just made it; it could get cold.)

Uses of Ser

  • To express definition, occupation, or nationality, or otherwise equate the subject of the sentence with the word(s) following the verb.

Soy médico.
I'm a doctor.

Las enfermeras son bolivianas.
The nurses are Bolivian.

Esta medicina es un nuevo tratamiento para la malaria.
This drug is a new treatment for malaria.

  • To express orgin, composition, or possession.

Somos de Cochabamba.
We're from Cochabamba.

Son de María Luz.
They belong to María Luz

  • To tell time.

Son las 8:20

  • To indicate the time and location of events (to take place in English).

La operación va a ser in este hospital.
The operation is going to be (take place) in this hospital.

La reunión es a las 9:00
The meeting is (takes place) at 9:00.

Whereas estar + adjective describes a change from the norm, ser + adjective expresses the normal condition of the subject. Compare the following examples of ser with the examples of estar you saw previously.

Julieta es nerviosa.
Julieta is nervous. (She's a nervous person.)

Este plato es rico.
This dish is delicious. (In general, I like the recipe.)

El hielo es frío.
Ice is cold. (By definition, it's a cold substance.)

13

Gustar and Similar Verbs

  • Is used to express preferences, likes and dislikes.
  • Is used with an indirect object pronoun
  • The subject of the verb gustar is whatever is pleasing to someone. 
  • Indicates that something singular or some things plural are pleasing. It is often conjugated in the third-person singular or third person plural form

Los usos de gustar en el presente

(a mí)
me gusta(n)

( a ti)
te gusta(n)

(a usted, él/ella)
le gusta(n)

(a nosotros/as)
nos gusta(n)

(a ustedes, ellos/as)
les gusta(n)

Gusta and Gustan.

Nos gusta la torta de chocolate.

No me gustan los frijoles

On the Exam: Make sentences with the verb gustar and the indirect object.

MODELO: 
a ti / las blusas rosadas. 
A ti te gustan las blusas rosadas