Introduction to Grammar Terms

OBJECTIVE: Learn the names of all the different parts of the Spanish language, ... actually ... and probably learn about "why" a lot of stuff is said like it is in your own language.
TASK: Study real hard !!!
It is your destiny!
About Grammar ...
Grammar is the study of all the parts of a particular language. Sometimes a grammar is stable, and people let the names stand. At other times, names change and participles and gerunds become some new-fangled name to make the "new perfessers" feel like they "developed something."
All in all, they're just bits and pieces of "how words work together" to make up a more or less communicative meaning.


Spanish Studies
Verb Tenses
Verb Conjugation
Grammar Terms
Noun Cognates
Verb Lists
Vocabulary Lists

Background Vocabulary

Don't worry about learning all these words at one sitting. You can come back to this page many times, because the information IS important ... yet in one sitting it could be a real pain in, for all your language-learning queries ...

Conceptualize the term, ... don't define it as an English word!
The little mark ´ that you have to put over some vowels in some words. It's only there because the word isn't pronounced like it's supposed to be, ... according to the first two rules.
A word that describes something or someone; a descriptive term. The thing to remember before you can use these is whether "the entity being regarded/described" is m or f. Another good thing to look at right off the bat is that they come AFTER the nouns, ... and you know what you're describing before you describe it ...
A word that describes an action or an adjective. Sometimes it tells you "when." Sometimes it's a -ly word in English.
The words "a" and "the" in English have varied forms in Spanish. "A" is the indefinite article in English, corresponding to Spanish un and una. "The" is the English definite article, corresponding to the Spanish el, la, los, las.
auxiliary verb
A "special verb" that appears in compound tenses to make another verb into a more specific tense, making it compound because the helping verb and the real action are used together.
A word that is spelled or sounds like another word in another language, and keeps its meaning.
compound (tenses)
Two verbs put together for the formation of specific tenses, with one verb usually being conjugated for "who" is doing it, and the other being in another form to show "when" or "how."
A verb tense name. This verb form is required when there's an "if" clause, i.e., the information in the sentence is based on a condition. (If I were to win the lottery, I would ...) Endings for this tense attach the equivalent of the English "would" to the action implied.
Changing a verb to meaningfully represent "who is doing what when."
A shortened form of two words placed together. In English they always take an apostrophe (... can't, don't, it's, etc.) There are only 2 in Spanish: al = a el ______ and del = de el _____. Notice the blank? It means that the el here means "the," and there's gotta be a "something" after the "the."
The variations in how people speak from region to region, including pronunciation and even vocabulary at times.
direct object
The "object" that the verb is acting on.
The specific letters added to a word or word's stem - placed there to indicate specific values or meanings.
A way of saying something more or less indirectly.
false cognate
A word that is spelled or sounds like a word in another language - but isn't what you'd think it is.
A gender. Not necessarily female! Rules will tell you what's "feminine."
A verb tense name. Not necessarily "when." This tense is used more to indicate conjecture "What do you think he's up to?" than an upcoming action or event.
A word's form, not what it represents as "man" or "woman" - but rather how the word is dealt with. There are only 2 genders in Spanish: masculine and feminine. Has nothing to do with boys & girls ...
A group of words that don't mean what they look like they'd mean. No, idioms and expressions aren't the same, ... but some are proverbs!
A verb tense specifying prolonged activity in the past without beginning or end. The verb forms take on the meaning of somebody would _____ in the past, somebody used to _____ in the past, or somebody _____-ed over and over again in the past. I walked to school every day.
"Real" forms of verbs - or verb forms that indicate what is "really happening." How often does the English speaker consider whether what (s)he is saying is really going on or not? You don't use this mood when you're talking about what's going on inside your head.
indirect object
The "other object" that is receiving the "object the verb is acting on." Often is the "for" or "to" being in a sentence.
The plain vanilla, unconjugated form of a verb, ... in English: the "to" form. Spanish has 3 kinds of verbs: AR, ER, & IR.
The "question words" --- like WHO? WHEN? WHERE? WHY? , ... etc.
A gender. Not necessarily male! Rules will tell you what's "masculine."
Whatever you're pointing at ... (Conceptualize here!)
perfect (tenses)
Forms of verbs that have occurred, with the helping verb "to have." Have you eaten? They will have arrived by now. I would've done something!
More than 1.
A word that gives position to all things. These are tough, and you never finish learning them because somebody always has another instance to add, like when Billy Bob seen a bar crosst yonder!
Now. Nowadays. Current. On-going. Not completed. Not over with. Not finished.
A verb tense: done. Somebody "did" this. It was an event and not a background setting. It happened! Pum! ... over with!
progressive (tenses)
A set of tenses showing activities as on-going, no matter when it was or will be.
Whatever you're pointing at, but without knowing what it is or what it's called.
How one says a word, a sound, a syllable, etc.
The markings that let you know when a sentence ends ... or starts.
Reflects back to the doer of the deed. Talking about the -self here.
Refers back to or is related to whatever precedes it, whether directly or in reference.
Just 1. No more, ... sometimes less.
The part of the word that really carries the weight of it's "meaning" or "implied reference."
The loudest part, most frantic part, most vocalized and heard.
The person or thing that's doing the action. This isn't a laboratory you know!
"Fantasy" forms of verbs - or verb forms that indicate what's going on in the speaker's head, as a wish, or a conjecture or a doubt - anything but a reality. Anything imagined you speak of in the subjunctive. Hmmm, ... yeah, English speakers do that all the time! Sure they do ...
Most often a consonant-vowel, or just a vowel, or consonant-vowel-consonant, or (in a cluster) consonant-consonant-vowel, or (in a diphthong) consonant-vowel-vowel, or ...
The name of different sets of endings that convey who's doing what and when the verbs are going on. They establish the timeframe of the activity: past - present - future, etc.
The action!! This is the part of a sentence that tells you what is happening!