Spanish is such a useful language to know- did you know that over 560 million people speak it around the world?! If you are getting started then here are some must-know concepts about speaking Spanish that can definitely help you along your way to mastering the language.
- Nouns are male or female
Unlike English, nouns in Spanish can be masculine or feminine. For example, an apple (una manzana) is feminine where as a banana (el plátano) is masculine.
There is no way around it, if you want to learn Spanish you have to remember the gender of each word!
But don’t worry, there is a rule (kind of!). Words ending in ‘o’ are usually masculine and words ending in ‘a’ are usually feminine. However this can change, so learning exceptions to this rule is recommended! Gender can affect other parts of the sentence and adjectives too, so getting ahead with this can really help to learn the more difficult parts of Spanish.
- Adjectives come after
Adjectives are mostly placed after the noun. For example, the red car in Spanish would be ‘el coche rojo’ literally ‘the car red’. Making this switch in your mind to put the description after the noun is useful, especially when trying to be more fluent with your speaking skills! Of course, there are exceptions, but knowing this basic rule will help you out to start off with.
- The bag of Peter, not Peter’s bag
In Spanish, possession is not done with an ‘s. Instead they use ‘de’ to connect the possession and the owner of it. So, Peter’s bag would be ‘la bolsa de Peter’ …literally ‘the bag of Peter’. It’s not too difficult and once you get the hang of saying the owner after the possession, it’s a piece of cake!
- ‘Have’ can be for feelings too
In English we say ‘I am’ hungry or thirsty or frightened or excited- but in Spanish they say ‘tengo’ meaning ‘I have’. Have is associated with personal experiences. For example, ‘tengo hambre’ is I’m hungry or ‘tengo miedo’ is I’m frightened. Knowing this concept can be useful when trying to translate and particularly when trying to understand native speakers and what they really mean!
- Less prepositions
Prepositions in English can be really hard for foreign speakers to pick up. Spanish is great because there aren’t so many! In Spanish, ‘at’, ‘in’ and ‘on’ are all the same: ‘en’. So, learning less prepositions is one of the easier parts!
- Capital letters
The main differences you should know here are that in Spanish they don’t capitalize days of the week or months of the year, as in English. This is a simple change and easy to remember the more you use the language. Also, languages are not capitalized either. So the correct way to say Spanish would be español.
- Spanish spelling more straightforward
Sometimes spelling in English just doesn’t make sense compared to the way you say the word! In Spanish, the pronunciation of the word is a clear indicator on how to spell it and there are far less vowel sounds to contend with. Overall, the way you say it is the way you spell it- nice and simple!
If you are looking to further your learning and take your Spanish to the next level then take a look at our Spanish language courses!
Both private lessons and group lessons can be taken to improve your Spanish skills.