Set of structural rules that govern the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language.

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6
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1answer
109 views

What's the function of “lo” in “lo que”?

Examples: Lo que pasa es que el niño no fue a la escuela porque se fracturo el tobillo. Lo que quiere es una computadora para hacer sus tareas. Lo que dice es mentira. Lo que no ...
4
votes
2answers
105 views

Why “fiestas de árboles” and not “árboles de fiestas”?

I encountered the expression "fiestas de árboles" in a song by a Chilean singer whose lyrics are: Tus ojos son fiestas de árboles, son mi ventana. Son estrellas que guían mi caravana. Google ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Grammar of tengo and tienes

I am having trouble understanding how to use tienes/tengo and other related "have" words. For example, in my current lesson in Rosetta Stone, the following examples are used: Tengo anteojos de ...
2
votes
3answers
200 views

Continuing education after high school [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Spanish After Mango Languages Recently, I've been interested in learning a language. I took three years of Spanish in high school, and while I did better than the ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

“Te elegimos a ti en concreto”. Isn't it pleonasm? When is it allowed?

I'm reading a book and there's this phrase: Te elegimos a ti en concreto I wonder in what situations should the objective pronoum be repeated this way. Or it's allowed to be repeated.
5
votes
3answers
3k views

When should I use 'al'?

I am trying to tell the difference between 'al' and 'a' to refer to a place. I know that you usually use a to refer to a country. But when should you use al? I am trying to teach someone the ...
4
votes
1answer
183 views

What is the rule for forming fractional numbers?

What is the rule for forming fractional numbers (half, quarter, tenth, twenty-second, etc.) in Spanish? The small numbers are easy to find in a dictionary (tercio, octavo, etc.), but how would you ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

lo ayudo vs. le ayudo (direct vs. indirect object)

When describing someone helping someone else, does ayudar take a direct or indirect object pronoun? In other words, is it: ¿Lo puedo ayudar? or ¿La puedo ayudar? or ¿Le puedo ayudar? If ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

“después que” vs. “después de que”

Along the lines of another question I asked, what is the difference between después que and después de que? Is the situation the same as for antes? When are they synonymous, and when is one correct ...
3
votes
1answer
572 views

“antes que” vs. “antes de que”

What is the difference between the phrases antes que and antes de que? When should each be used? Are there contexts where one is correct and one is incorrect, or are they completely synonymous?
6
votes
1answer
6k views

When should the subjunctive be used after “mientras”?

When should mientras or mientras que be followed by the subjunctive and when by the indicative? In both cases, how is mientras usually translated?
4
votes
1answer
140 views

What is the origin of word endings like -ducir, -vocar, -locar, -ludir, -mitir?

The word-endings -ducir, -locar, -vocar, -ludir, -mitir are quite common, each can take a lot of common prefixes to form real words, for example: conducir, producir, introducir, aducir, inducir, ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

Why is “buena” in different places depending on its use? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Significance of adjective placement In these phrases below, why is the word "buena" in different places? Are there good things? => ¿Hay cosas buenas? Are there ...
2
votes
1answer
158 views

Using “qué” or “quién” when talking about people

Imagine for a moment you know who stole your car (some thiefs for example): Sabemos qué personas lo hicieron. The above sentence is the same as saying: Sabemos quiénes lo hicieron. (Persons ...
1
vote
1answer
606 views

Speakers' location in determining venir vs. ir

In English, we use the word "come" very loosely (at least in day-to-day spoken English): Want to come over to my place later? Can I come over to your house for New Years'? Can you come meet me at ...
3
votes
2answers
494 views

What exactly are the “passive se” and “impersonal se”?

Many materials for learning Spanish, discuss the "impersonal se" (e.g. ¿Se puede tocar esto?) and "passive se" (e.g. Se habla español.). What exactly are these forms grammatically? Is the se in both ...
6
votes
3answers
162 views

Why is 'estoy' used when saying “I'm related to”

I understand I'm related to David, he's my grandad. translates as Estoy relacionado con David, él es mi abuelo. Why is estoy used and not soy? It seems to me that the relationship is ...
5
votes
1answer
93 views

What is an expression in parentheses in the middle of a phrase called?

While I was reading the newspaper today I stumbled against something that is quite common and a bit obscure in writing in spanish. It comes from this opinion column. (The opinion and debate exposed ...
4
votes
1answer
287 views

Cannot use adverbs + possessives: “delante de ti” v/s “delante tuyo”

In Spanish there are some adverbs followed by de: Delante de, atrás de, en frente de, etc... When these adverbs are followed in a sentence by a declined pronoun, they are often "contracted" ...
9
votes
3answers
9k views

What's the “ísimo” in the following words?

What's the "ísimo" doing on the following adjectives? What rules should be applied to convert the adjectives to the corresponding "ísimo" adjective? Can this be applied to all adjectives or just a ...
3
votes
5answers
144 views

Translation of 'I was the one who did it'

What's the correct way to translate 'I was the one who did it'? By a literal translation it would be: Yo fui el que lo hizo. However, I know in Spanish the verb is often made to agree with the ...
4
votes
1answer
811 views

Spanish phrasal verbs

The most difficult feature of English language (at least for myself) are "Phrasal verbs". Today I stumbled upon one sentence from a newspaper that made think about Phrasal verbs in Spanish. If we ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Is “¿Qué hora es?” or “¿Qué horas son?” preferred?

Admittedly, it has been a very long time since I've studied Spanish, but I distinctly recall that we always used "¿Que hora es?" for "what time is it?". However, on a trip to the Dominican Republic, ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

“¿Qué te interesa?” or “¿Qué te interesan?”

To ask somebody about their interests in Spanish I understand you should say: ¿Qué te interesa? Would it ever be appropriate to say: ¿Qué te interesan? As if I was to ask such a general ...
8
votes
1answer
135 views

Indirect object and “le”

La madre le lava la cara a la niña. In that sentence, why is the word "le" there? The sentence already has a indirect object ("a la niña"), but removing the "le" makes the sentence to sound ...
13
votes
2answers
650 views

Significance of adjective placement

In Spanish, adjectives typically come after the noun they modify. However, there are some cases when the adjective comes before the noun, and usually (always?) with a change in meaning. Example: ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Determining gender of words ending in “e”

When learning Spanish, there are basic rules taught about word gender: words ending in o are usually masculine, words ending in a are usually feminine. What about words ending in e? Are there any ...
7
votes
1answer
923 views

What is the correct order of object pronouns?

I know that there are (at least) three types of personal pronouns in Spanish (well, and English): direct, indirect, and reflexive. In cases where all three (or at least two) are present, what is the ...
2
votes
2answers
87 views

Infinitive instead of past participle in Maná's “El Verdadero Amor Perdona”

In Maná's song "El Verdadero Amor Perdona" one of the verses contains the lines: Cómo pude haberte yo herido / engañarte y ofendido I'd think it should be "Como pude haberte yo herido / engañado ...
8
votes
3answers
433 views

Use of “Que” in “Que todo te vaya bien”

Que todo te vaya bien. Que nos reunamos a las 6. I've seen, and used, que in this form - it's as if the verb has been dropped, say, espero. What is the origin of this usage? Is it ...
9
votes
2answers
138 views

Unclear why to use “A vuestros hijos” instead of “vuestros hijos”

I have the following sentence in English Do your children like to read? Which translates to Spanish: ¿ A vuestros hijos les gusta leer? To me it is unclear, why I have to use "A vuestros" ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

When to use “que” and “de que”

Español En ciertas oraciones no sé si es más correcto usar que o de que. ¿Cuáles son las reglas para utilizar que/de que? Ejemplos: Estoy seguro que me fue bien. Estoy seguro de que me ...
37
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is “agua” masculine in singular form and feminine in plural? “El agua” / “Las aguas”

English Is there any rule that says that feminine nouns that start with "A" are converted to masculine or is it just done for phonetic (ie beauty) reasons? Does this happen in all Spanish speaking ...